California, BMW, Lightyear, Geely, SAIC, Optare.
3bn dollars for EV funding: To call California ambitious when it comes to electric transport seems an understatement, given that it wants to pump another 3 billion dollars into EV subsidies. The aim is to bring them on price par with ICEs but also to reach the Golden State’s declared target of 1.5m electric cars on the roads by 2025, up from 300,000 to date. The initiative is part of a new bill which also includes infrastructure investments with a focus on low income communities in particular.
3 series electric? BMW may bring an electric 3-series to this year’s IAA, Handelsblatt has learnt. Its alleged 400 km range and positioning would place it in direct competition with the Tesla Model 3 and also makes sense in the overall line-up. After all, there has been no pure electric offering since the i3.
electrek.co, handelsblatt.com (paywall)
Take on the future: Lightyear One is the name of a solar-powered racer conceived by former students from Dutch TU Eindhoven. The team had met at uni but have since formed a spin-off. Lightyear hopes to build the first ten units of the “electric car that charges itself” by 2019 with another 90 to follow at the end of this decade. The solar coupé stands at a net price of 119,000 euros at the moment.
Another bite of the cake of the future was taken by Geely that just bought Terrafugia. The MIT spin-off is working on a flying car but their TF-X is only half-electric and set up as PHEV.
SAIC in India: A production plant in India by 2019 is the plan of Chinese SAIC for its MG brand, which will reportedly launch various plug-in models within the next few years. A decision whether those will be build in India however, has yet to be made.
Optare Down Under: British e-bus maker Optare is on the way to Australia at least in spirit after signing an agreement with Bus Corp Oceania (BCO) to distribute and service its buses in Oceania. In the long run, Optare considers to also assemble its electric models in Britain’s former colony.