Brands + News


Mercedes, Hermes, Jeep, Lamborghini, BMW, Kia, Changan.

Mercedes-Benz-Elektro-Vans-300x150Strategic transport partnership: Mercedes and courier Hermes have finalised their previous agreement to make deliveries emission free. Hermes wants to deploy 1,500 electric Mercedes Sprinters and Vitos, first in Stuttgart and Hamburg but later nationwide. At the signing ceremony, they further detailed the deal. It includes plans for infrastructure for logistic hotspots, where the batteries assembled in Daimler subsidiary Accumotive’s new facility will be charged. The electric drives have been specifically developed by Mercedes to electrify its van business, which will also receive another 150m euros over the next few years., (in German)

Jeep offensive: The outdoor brand wants to offer hybrid versions of most of its eight models, FCA CEO Marchionne announced. The leap into electric terrain is to take place within the next 2-3 years, so it looks like the Yuntu PHEV, displayed in Shanghai, was more than just a concept to test the waters.

Lambo likes it large: The Urus SUV by Lamborghini will have 650 hp under the hood. A first production run will see an initial 1,000 units hitting the road next year but Lambo plans to scale up to 3,500 pieces annually. By 2019, the Urus will also come as PHEV variant featuring the same V8 engine.

Spyder up close: The upcoming roadster BMW i8 has been caught on camera and bared almost all, or at least parts of its convertible new side. The innards of the super hybrid are expected to be stronger comes 2018, when a 380 hp engine will be combined with a bigger battery pack.

Korea gets Kia Niro PHEV: Kia has begun to serve its local market, where it launched the dedicated plug-in hybrid as planned. The Niro went on sale for 33m Won (about 27,000 euros). Europeans will have to wait until autumn for the PHEV and Kia has scheduled an all-electric version for 2018.

Changan too bets on domestic buyers and just announced an electric version of its compact SUVs CS15, that will launch in China later this year. The Changan CS15 EV entails 55 kW and has a said range of up 300 km.

4 in 5 victories of this year’s Formula E racing series went to Swiss Sébastien Buemi. The Renault pilot just scored again at the ePrix in Monaco, where he overtook Lucas di Grassi (Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport) and Nick Heidfeld (Mahindra Racing)., (highlights)

Number of the Day

BMW EV Sales.

EV sales at BMW increased by 82.7 percent in year-to-date, meaning the i-series sold 25,883 times. This April was particularly strong with 6,466 electric and hybrid vehicles leaving the global showrooms, 43.4% more than in the same month in 2016.

Research + Technology

Terra E, Podbike, Visedo, TECO, Hyundai.

German battery cell production: Terra E is the name of a consortium that consists of ThyssenKrupp, M+W and Manz who reportedly want to team up with battery assembly firms like Litarion, BMZ and StreetScooter to establish large scale battery cell production in Germany. Varta may join the partners’ endeavour and BMW has been mentioned as first automotive customer. The first task for Terra E will be to find 150m euros before applying for further funding from the federal government. (in German)

The Podbike is designed to deal with Norwegian weather as it is a pedal-assisted quad, so neither bicycle nor car. It is not actually a pedelec either, at least none that works with a chain. Instead the passenger pedals to power a generator that in turn activates the two in-wheel electric motors in the rear. While the size of a very small car, it is light enough to be “parked” upright. Production of 600 pieces may start next year but expect to see a prototype within this quarter. via (in German)

New heavyweight emerges: Visedo and TECO join forces to electrify heavy vehicles in Asian markets particularly. While TECO means access to the ASEAN zone to Visedo, it will profit in turn from the Finnish firm’s technology and expertise in large electric drives for ships and buses.,

Patent diggers: Hyundai is working on wireless charging, while Lucid Motors plans to have its own battery system and Toyota manages energy anew for plug-in hybrids. All this and more was dug out by our colleagues over at Inside EVs, who scanned the latest patent filings.

Quotes of the day

Herbert Diess, George Galliers.

Herbert-Diess-VW“When you think about possible successors to the Scirocco or the Beetle, you should probably think electric.”

VW’s chief Herbert Diess here catches up with expectations and raises hopes for more and rather quirky electric vehicles. Apart from that, VW continues to bet on SUVs though.

George-Galliers“Tesla’s unadjusted gross margin of 25 percent last year is impressive by any standard.”

Says Evercore ISI analyst George Galliers, who believes the EV maker will be able to keep this up even after the Model 3 launch. Galliers compared this growth with Porsche, saying it took Tesla three years to get where Porsche was after ten years.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Bolloré, India, Disney World, New Zealand.

Bolloré goes West: After BlueIndy has finally taken off in Indianapolis, the Frech seek to expand their EV sharing to California. Bolloré’s BlueLA pilot programme will consist of 100 electric cars and 200 charging stations and is currently underway. CARB granted Los Angeles 1.6m for setting it up but the French think they will bear 80 percent of the cost in the end with the city financing the rest.

Indian ministries to switch: Ministers responsible for power, coal, renewable energy and mines in Delhi will start using electric cars. Tenders for about 1,200 vehicles are currently being prepared as are matching fast-charging stations.

Donald Duck’s 313 car may soon drive all by itself. Maybe not that car but Disney World Florida is in late-stage talks with Local Motors and Navya from Paris to deploy a large fleet of autonomous electric shuttles. They will be tested on employees prior to taking passengers around the fun park.

Electric Day Pass: Regular business flyers to New Zealand’s Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch can now book a free Volkswagen e-Golf. Europcar and Volkswagen New Zealand have teamed up with the three airports for the Electric Day Pass (EDP) programme.

Service + Suggestions

Tesla, Boring Company.

Reading tip: To speed up the electrification of the U.S. car industry, Fred Lambert turns to Tesla to suggest an imminent launch of the Semi, including reservations. After all, the Model 3 put some pressure on established players when it was announced.

Video tip: Talking about a Tesla push – Elon Musk just released a video that illustrates rather impressively how fast cars could slide through his yet to be bored tunnels underneath Los Angeles. Anything but boring. via

Short circuit

Mystery Space Vehicle.

Half Mars rover half Batmobile but science fiction for real is this latest development by Nasa. The six-wheel space rover collects sun rays and drives electric but is is unclear, which planet it may roam in the future.