StreetScooter expands enormously: Deutsche Post DHL is taking its EV manufacturing business yet another notch up as the delivery service will open a second factory to produce the StreetScooter. Annual capacity will thus double to 20,000 electric vans and at least 50 percent will be made for third parties. Prices for a StreetScooter start at 32,000 euros and DHL hopes to interest municipalities and/or partners and fleets across Europe. No more specific location other than North Rhine-Westphalia has been given for the new production site yet.
europe.autonews.com, postandparcel.info, dpdhl.com
E-tron Sportback Audi’s 2nd EV? 2018 will see the introduction of Audi’s first fully electric model. However, now another seems to be in the pipeline. Auto Motor und Sport believes the second EV is to be the e-tron Sportback, which could hit the shelves no later than 2019.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German)
Kia gears up for its third EV in the meantime as the Korean brand is looking to electrify its compact SUV Stonic. An electric variant may be here as early as next year and will utilise technology from the Hyundai Ioniq Electric allegedly. With a larger battery than its brother in tech, the Kia Stonic EV may get 300 km far. If it makes it to market in time, it would be Kia’s third all-electric model after the Soul and expected Niro.
Second-hand EVs: Mahindra ventures into the vintage market for electric cars as it authorises its subsidiary Mahindra First Choice Wheels (MFCWL) to open its platform for used EVs. It includes certification and warranty and enables clients to exchange, buy and sell pre-owned electric cars.
Ampera-e statistics: The European version of GM’s Bolt EV has made it onto our shores, at least on paper. First registrations of the electric Opel surfaced in Norway (13) and Germany (68) but were most likely logged in by dealers. Get ready to book your test ride. Deliveries officially start in May.
itanywhere.no (Norway), kba.de (Germany)
Talking about shipments: Chrysler is three months behind schedule for the Pacific plug-in hybrid. It will start shipping to U.S. dealerships only after Easter. Chrysler claims quality control for the delay.
An astonishing 11 billion electric miles have been accrued by plug-ins in the USA. The “big three” (Leaf, Volt & Model S) account for 80 percent of the eMileage. The data is based on studies of the Idaho National Laboratory, CARB and OEMs but have been ultimately estimated by Plugless.
62m GBP for low-carbon tech: The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has granted 62m pounds in funding to projects overseen by the likes of BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, or Ford. The seven collaborative research initiatives revolve around more powerful (BMW) or cheaper batteries (Williams) and a hybrid drive train for niche vehicles like pods.
4.4m dollars for Quebec’s EV landscape: The Canadian province announced to spend 4.4m dollars to promote research and development as well as design and production of electric cars in Quebec over five years. Behind this is the intention to propose a law by 2018 that would force car companies in the province to make, produce and sell more electric cars – California or China-style. At the same time, the ministers confirmed that EV incentives would continue and are confident that by 2020 about 100,000 Quebecers will have made their move to drive electrically.
100kW-class inverter: Renesas Electronics launched a new inverter solution for 100kW-class motors as used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and more compact electric vehicles. Offered as a kit with optimisation software, Renesas hopes to reduce development time with its development.
Power film capacitors for HEV: AVX Corporation has released the new FHC1 and FHC2 Series power film capacitors, which were received with hybrid and electric vehicles in mind. The firm said the capacitors are “ideal for use in conjunction with IGBT modules, as well as medium-sized motor drives.”
“We think the existing technology can still extend the energy density of LIBs by 20% to 30%.”
Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga hopes to liberate the Li-ion battery’s full potential but also warns against a trade-off between power density and safety. Solid-state may be one “possible answer,” he concludes.
“We’ve done the maths: if we want to hit the CO2 reduction target for traffic for 2030, we need 3 – 12% of the fleet to be electric by 2020, 30 – 32% by 2025, and 60 – 70% by 2030.”
In German you would call a schedule such as the one drawn up by Maria Krautzberger, head of Germany’s Federal Environment Agency UBA, “sportlich” (sporty or ambitious). To make it, she calls for EV quotas as well as e-bike incentives in Germany.
transportenvironment.org, zeit.de (original interview in German)
Millions for e-scooter start-up: Berlin-based Unu secured 7.5m euros in another round of funding and wants to use the money to launch its electric scooters in France and the Netherlands. The circle of backers is international and includes French VC Iris Capital, Silicon Valley’s Michael Baum or NRW.Bank. Apart from the expansion, the three founders announced to be working on a new connected model. The original Unu scooter’s USP is its portable battery that facilitates charging anywhere.
gruenderszene.de (in German)
Electric trucks for charity: San Francisco Goodwill, a not-for-profit organisation, will deploy eleven electric trucks that will pick-up unwanted stuff and electronics in a bid to reduce not only poverty but CO2 emissions too. The test project involves BAAQMD, CARB, the Center for Transportation and the Environment as well as BYD. If successful, the charity may electrify its operations nationwide.
Coming from down under to the UK market is Tritium with its range of Veefil EV rapid chargers. The Australian tech company has found its first UK distributor in Electric World Enterprises (EwE). Tritium believes the “small footprint” of its products may prove particularly fitting for Britain’s narrow roads.
Fastned en route to growth: The Dutch infrastructure company announced its Q1 figures. Both volume and revenue grew by 160 and 148 percent year-on-year. Client registrations increased by 62% and Fastned thus counts 3,520 active customers, or about a fifth of all EV drivers in the Netherlands.
Alternative tracks are what BMW apparently wants to leave in California. The carmakers “Road to Coachella” campaign will see the i3 and X5 40e iPerformance serve as shuttles for the Coachella music festival. The i8 is reserved for VIPs, who will be accompanied by a soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer, who delivered the score for the Dark Knight or Pearl Harbour movies.
Video tip: Tesla advocat Bjørn Nyland here turned renegade as he takes the Chevy Bolt out for a ride in South Korea. The tour was a long one – he managed 292 miles (470 km) and talks about the Bolt at length.
youtube.com via insideevs.com
Reading tip: Probably in an attempt to win back some popularity abroad after Brexit, the British government now opened the Isles’ streets for motorsport events. This means racing is now legal (on closed public roads) and thus London may soon see the return of the Formula E.
A car ride has put many a baby asleep but is not the most climate-friendly solution. So Ford designers in Spain developed a baby crib that simulates a drive with gentle movements, LEDs that pass as streetlights and muffled engine noise. If the Max Motor Dreams would work for the Tesla generation though remains to be proven.