EV incentives in Germany: After much debate, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken matters into her own hands. She will meet with executives of VW, Daimler and BMW on Friday to discuss whether carmakers could co-finance a 5,000 euro buying incentive. Moreover, the government will decide on a purchasing quota for EVs for government fleets by 2017, while Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks announced a funding programme for electric buses due to begin this year.
spiegel.de (in German), zfk.de (buses, in German), reuters.com
New BMW PHEV in March: The Bavarian manufacturer will launch the 225xe van and 330e sedan in Europe on March 5th. The limousine is priced from 43,500 euros, on par with a comparable ICE. The 225xe comes at a price of 38,700 euros and is thus about 1,500 euros cheaper than a petrol-powered model.
automobilwoche.de (in German), autocar.co.uk (225xe reviewed), autocar.co.uk (330e reviewed)
BUDD-e by 2020: Volkswagen’s electric van concept that was presented at CES is likely to make it into serial production, Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electronic development at VW, told Car Magazine. Sitting on the MEB platform, its edgy styling will also inspire another electric car. Audi, too, is considering an electric successor of its A2, as well as four more electric models utilising the MEB architecture.
Tesla Model 3 updates: Elon Musk says pricing for the Model 3 in the UK will start at 30,000 GBP or less. The EV will first be presented in March. Tesla meanwhile denied rumours that a Model Y will introduced at the same time, but confirmed that Jim Keller is to act as vice president to further develop the Autopilot hardware. Keller previously worked for AMD and Apple.
techradar.com, electrek.co, electrek.co (Jim Keller)
Crowdfunded electric sports car: Canadian Dubuc Motors turns to crowdfunding to realise its Tomahawk electric sports car. The company is seeking 25m dollars and plans to start selling its own EV from next year.
carscoops.com, business.financialpost.com, startengine.com (campaign)
Kia Niro sales: The South Korean carmaker aims to sell 65,000 units of its dedicated hybrid per year. It will first launch in South Korea this year and will then make its way to Europe, China and the U.S. A plug-in hybrid variant is to follow next year.