Electric statement: Volkswagen’s rumoured economy EV is becoming more concrete. Engineers are working on a dedicated electric car of the likes of the BMW i3. It will be the first to serially use the MEB platform, boast a range of more than 500 km (311 miles) and connectivity features, and most likely launch by 2019. VW CEO Müller has promised 20 electric or plug-in hybrid cars in the line-up by 2020.
Sharing to earn: General Motors considers sharing the Volt’s powertrain technology with other carmakers. A licensing model could create a win-win situation, as it enables smaller companies to electrify, while GM itself hopes to put some development cost of the Voltec system back its pockets.
Mission E launch: Porsche has started development of its electric model under the official codename J1. The all-electric sports car is due by 2020. The team is headed by Stefan Weckbach.
Qoros en route to electrification: The Chinese will present an electric car at the Auto China this April. Based on the Qoros 5, the model is set to enter the Chinese market as EV or PHEV in the coming 12 to 18 months. Meanwhile, the firm plans to open an R&D centre in Israel to build an electric smart car.
Controller meets charger: British Sevcon, maker of motor controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles, has acquired Italian Bassi. The latter manufactures fast-charging technology, which Sevcon thinks is “highly complementary” to its own products and will eliminate interoperability issues.
Employee poaching: Another Apple employee makes a move for Tesla, as Andrew Graham joins the Autopilot developers to add his sensor expertise. Graham follows Jim Keller who recently took the job as vice-president for autonomous hardware development.
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