Lexus, Ssangyong, BYD, Formula E, Mercedes, LichtBlick.

Performance hybrid debut: Lexus will show the LC 500h in Geneva next month. The second version of the luxurious hybrid is close to production, and order books are expected to open later this year. Details are scarce, but Lexus says the LC 500h, which is based on the LF-LC concept, will see improved performance and efficiency. Total output is rumoured at 345 kW.,,

Electric Ssangyong SUV: The Korean carmaker aims to increase its presence in Europe. It will show the SUV concept SIV 2 in Geneva, which will be available a mild-hybrid first. A plug-in hybrid, as well as a fully electric version could follow shortly after production start in 2018, Autocar presumes.

Chinese in Korea: BYD will launch two electric models in South Korea this year. The 80 kWh e6400 targets consumers, while the electric bus K9 aims for commercial applications. Competition comes from German carmakers, as the BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 740e, BMW 330e, Mercedes S500 PHEV, and Audi A3 e-tron are all set to launch in Korea as well. (BYD), (Germans)

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Formula E stays in Berlin: The German capital will welcome the electric racing series again in May this year, as a new course through the city centre has been found. The original track at Tempelhof airport is unavailable, since the location is currently being used as a shelter for refugees from Syria (we reported).,

Convertible Mercedes PHEV: The latest C class variant comes topless to Geneva. Mercedes not only loses the roof, but will also introduce a hybrid drive. The electric drive is expected to deliver an all-electric range of up to 50 km, which should make for nice and quiet cruising when the sun is out.

Decentralised energy: German green utility LichtBlick launches its IT platform for digital energy management outside Germany. Called SchwarmDirigent (SwarmConductor), the system enables connection and optimisation of renewable energy sources and storage like EVs. A team of 40 people is negotiating or already working with partners in South-East Asia, Europe, and the U.S. (in German)


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