LeSee unveiled: White, sporty and autonomous is how the LeSee concept rolled on stage. LeEco CEO Jia Yueting had summoned the EV via his smartphone, demonstrating that connectivity, self-driving technology and a powerful electric motor are all part of the package. Technical details will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show.
No deal with Apple: According to German Handelsblatt, Daimler and BMW have ended secret talks with Apple about a cooperation on the latter’s EV project. It seems, the three parties could not agree on who would be in charge. Apple is looking for partners to help launch its project. Canadian-Austrian firm Magna is currently believed to be the favourite.
Quality issues with Model X? U.S. magazine Consumer Reports questions the quality standards of Tesla’s SUV. One owner complained about the electric windows not functioning correctly and about the sensors of the falcon door wings missing, resulting in a first dent. Similar complaints have been voiced in online forums. The opposite is true for the Model S: in the UK, it received a satisfaction rating of 97,46 percent.
consumerreports.org, teslamotorsclub.com (Model X), autoexpress.co.uk (Model S)
High-performance Zoe? According to Autocar, Renault is considering a more powerful version of its all-electric Zoe called the Zoe RS. However, the move will not be possible before the EV can be fitted with a better battery to not trade range for more performance.
EV incentives in Germany – update: It seems the ruling coalition has agreed on an outline for an incentive scheme. All EVs bought before 2020 will be exempt from the road fund license and electricity charged at the workplace will not be taxed as a noncash assistance. Moreover, the government will increase the EV quota for its own fleet by 20 percent by 2017, will step up the installation of charging infrastructure and fund research and development of battery technologies. A purchasing incentive will be discussed at a separate meeting at the end of April.
Disaster relief: Following the earthquake in Japan last week, Nissan will donate 100 e-NV200 and Leaf to double as emergency power outlets. Following the devastating earthquake in 2011, carmakers like Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda began developing technology that would turn their EVs and FCVs into portable powerstations.