SolarCity, Sono Motors, Daimler, Kia, GAC Motor, BMW.
SolarCity-Tesla merger gets green light: As announced, Elon Musk will combine his two co-founded companies under one roof and will pay 2.6bn dollars for SolarCity in an all-stock transaction. The merger will be completed before the end of the year, and save the companies 150m dollars in costs in the first full year after closing.
autoblog.com, businessinsider.de, solarcity.com
Sono presents electric minivan: The Munich-based start-up took the wraps off its promising electric vehicle – a minivan that seats six and will sell for 16,000 euros. Range is given at 250 km. On top of a 30 kWh battery pack, the EV is fitted with a solar roof for an extra 30 km of range and comes with fast-charging capabilities. Sono wants to finance crash tests and test drives with crowdfunding and kick off production in 2018.
sonomotors.com, youtube.com (video presentation)
Is Daimler planning an electric sprinter? For the next generation of transporters, the manufacturer apparently wants to add an all-electric variant to its portfolio, trucks.com reports. The model is thus in early stages of planning, but could hit the road before the end of the decade.
Kia Niro Hybrid a hit: According to Thomas Oh, COO of Kia Motors, the Niro Hybrid is already selling better in South Korea than anticipated. The carmaker expects to sell some 40,000 units in the U.S. and 20,000 in Europe in the coming year and confirmed that an all-electric version is in the pipeline.
Plug-in for China: Chinese carmaker GAC Motor has introduced its GA3S PHEV sedan to its home market. The liquid-cooled battery allows for an all-electric range of up to 70 km. Moreover, GAC will open a new plant with a yearly production capacity of 150,000 units in Guangzhou in August; it could also harbour the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
BMW i3 94Ah reviewed: The car’s first major upgrade is said to give it considerably much more range, though its test drivers make no mention of whether or not they were able to achieve the 124 miles on one charge promised by BMW. They also had a little trouble with the strong regenerative breaking, which does take some getting used to.