Mercedes, Ola, BMW, Tesla, Ford, London.
Mercedes spreads EQ models evenly as Rastatt is the third plant in Germany that will join in to produce plug-ins for Daimler. The facilities in both Bremen and Sindelfingen had come to an agreement earlier, making the German carmaker’s electric endeavour a national one. For now. A decision to involve factories on other continents will depend on market demand. Mercedes calls the chosen sites “centres of competence” where EVs will be integrated in the regular working of the plants. The agreements had been reached with each workers’ councils and Rastatt will concentrate on compact EQ models such as the one expected to debut at the IAA later this year.
Another Indian EV maker? India’s equivalent to Uber, Ola is reportedly pushing electric transport and wants to put 1m hire EVs on the roads within the next 5 years. To get there it may step into manufacturing itself but has not turned to Mahindra but Toyota rather to allegedly deliver car bodies. Behind this move is SoftBank, the Japanese investor that holds large stakes in the cab-hailing service and now wants to make its investment count. India already is the world’s 4th largest car market and pushes for zero emission vehicles only by 2030. Still, Ola is keeping its options open and is behind the
electric cab pilot in Nagpur featuring 100 Mahindra e2o and another 100 EV of other makers.
BMW i3 make over: The Bavarians will bring a revamped version of their all-electric model to this year’s IAA, including a performance version. While the i3 changes are rather stylistic, the BMW i3S will likely boast 15 kW more in peak power over the standard i3, adding up to a total of 140 kW. This extra push is to help with acceleration without eating into the renewed range of 300 km from the new 94 Ah battery.
Model 3 update: Tesla released some more details as it lists options for its economy EV. Drivers will have a choice between two wheel size options, an optional glass roof, and coil suspension. Furthermore, a picture reveals a first glimpse of the dashboard. which looks like an oversized iPad fixed horizontally.
insideevs.com, electrek.co, dashboard
Ford strengthens is Smart Mobility unit as it lures back its former electric powertrain engineer Sherif Marakby, who left for Uber last year. Marakby will now serve as vice president of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification under Jim Farley.
As London prepares to ban non-electric cabs from its centre, competitors for the renewed TX5 of the London Taxi Company already line up before its launch. Where the classic comes with a range extender, Nissan bets on an all-electric model. The Dynamo Taxi, developed together with Dynamo Motor Company, is a repurposed Nissan e-NV200 with enough room for a wheelchair. Range is said to be 100 miles only but may be balanced with a recharge time of just 30 minutes. Sales are to start this summer with a London-ready version to be expected by autumn.
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