Tesla, Kia, BMW, Continental, Nissan.
Tesla technology for all: Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the industry by surprise with his latest blog post saying that he will not take action against anyone, who wants to use Tesla technology “in good faith.” The reason, Musk says, is that other carmakers are falling behind in developing long-range electric cars. This even tops Tesla’s recent announcement that it will open up its Supercharger patents to other carmakers (we reported).
teslamotors.com, forbes.com, usatoday.com
Kia kicks off Soul EV production: Output at the production facility in South Korea is planned to reach 5,000 units per year. The electric car is Kia’s first zero emission vehicle available on the international market. The Soul EV will hit those markets later this year.
BMW 7-series hybrid: The next-generation BMW 7-series was spotted driving test laps on the Nurburgring, as well as in Italy. It could clearly be identified as “Hybrid Test Vehicle”. Moreover, the BMW 7 Series will set new standards in terms of lightweight construction and driving dynamics, since it will feature a lot of carbon fibre parts.
bmwblog.com, youtube.com (Video Nurburgring), autoevolution.com (pictures)
Longer Tesla Model S: According to a ‘Tesla-insider,’ the Model S might become available with a stretched wheelbase later this year. This would especially cater to the Chinese market, where customers place a lot of importance on rear leg room, since they often have drivers. The insider tip has not officially been confirmed.
Tyres for hybrids: Continental has adapted the Conti.eContact tyre technology – originally meant for EVs – for hybrid vehicles. Rolling resistance is about 20% lower than with conventional tyres. Continental will start with a low-volume production at its site in Sarreguemines, France.
Driving the e-NV200: John Simpson took the Nissan e-NV200 van for a spin, describing it as a Leaf “with a panel van dropped on its head.” Convinced by the design and versatility, the tester wonders, how many of Nissan’s target group or “smaller businesses will be convinced to jump on the electric van bandwagon.”