UK on ICEs: The British Government confirmed its plan to ban sales of cars with combustion engines from 2040. The paper published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) exempts hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles though and leaves some air to reintroduce gas guzzlers should pollution reach “acceptable” levels again. Such hesitation could be expected from a conservative government that had to lose in court twice to finally draft the Clean Air Plan. In its latest form, it still does not include a scrappage scheme nor immediate clean air zones, critics point out. On the positive side is the pledge of 2.7bn pounds to reduce nitrogen oxide levels but much will have to happen through local government. Councils were promised 255m pounds to introduce environmental measures but are left to choose without any federal coordination. Options include Clean Air Zones (CAZ) which municipalities may define from 2020.
bbc.co.uk,independent.co.uk, autocar.co.uk, gov.uk (full plan, PDF)
Another shadow has fallen over German Autoland since Daimler blew the whistle, accusing its fellow carmakers and itself of collusion before EU cartel authorities. Now BMW is quick to try to distance its business and said it will suspend all talks with its rival for now. The joint CSS fast-charging network however, is to go ahead albeit it slower than planned. After all, close cooperation is the rule rather than an exception at Daimler and BMW, who recently pondered to merge their car sharing offers to better compete with Uber and the like.
sueddeutsche.de (original source in German), reuters.com
Battery gamble: The 85 kWh power pack may make its comeback in the Tesla line-up and first Model S and X sporting the 85 label have been delivered to Norway. For now, their capacity is limited to 75 kWh but once the Model 3 will come with higher capacity options, 85 kWh could become yet a new standard.
Toyota solid: Yesterday’s rumours have been confirmed today when a spokesperson for Toyota said that solid-state batteries are being developed. Commercialisation is scheduled for “the early 2020s,” but specific production plans have yet to be disclosed.
Micro EV from Poland: PIX is a concept EV drawn up by Polish 2sympleks, who calls it their short urban electric vehicle that is indeed anything but an SUV. At a length of 2.5 metres, it sits two or four passengers atop a 19 kWh battery – theoretically though as Pix is just a piece of design for now.
yankodesign.com, designboom.com, 2sympleks.pl
Plans for Sono Motors micro EV over in Munich have been scrapped in the mean time as the start-up wants to concentrate on the stronger version of its solar EV for now. This means the first Sion electric vans will have 30 kWh for 250 km of range and a price of 16,000 euros, exclusive the battery. You can witness the launch live online tonight from 20.45 CEST.
emobilitaetonline.de (in German), sonomotors.com (link to launch)