Mercedes, SAIC, London Taxi Company, Tesla, Nissan, Alta Motors.
Project One accidentally unveiled? As part of a design workshop, Mercedes may have revealed a detailed outlook on its Project One – AMG’s hybrid hypercar said to hit the road next year. The study at least bears some striking resemblance to teaser images published just recently (we reported).
Big investment: Chinese manufacturer SAIC is planning on investing a total of 15bn yuan (2.2bn dollars) in the development of electric vehicles and the field of connectivity. About half the money will be spend on pure battery-powered cars and the other on plug-in hybrids. SAIC plans to sell more than 320,000 EVs per year by 2020.
automobil-produktion.de (in German), autonewschina.com
Taxi power: London Taxi Company CEO Chris Gubbey confirmed that the company wants to use the almost finished platform of its TX5 hybrid taxi with range extender for commercial vehicles by 2019. LTC is a subsidiary of Chinese carmaker Geely and plans on launching the hybrid taxi by the end of the year. After subsidies, the cab is said to be just as expensive as a diesel.
Culprit? Tesla is accusing former Autopilot director Sterling Anderson of stealing company information for his own venture. He supposedly downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of information onto a hard drive and used it to form his own self-driving car company Aurora together with Chris Urmson, the former head of autonomous driving at Google.
Nissan Z as hybrid Nissan is planning to bring back its Z sports car series and will present a first concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Apparently, the portfolio will also include a hybrid variant with a total output of 500 hp.
Makeover: California manufacturer Alta Motors released an image of the new version of its Redshift, which it will present at the One Moto show in February. The electric motorbike is currently available in the variants SM and MX. No technical details have been released for the new “Street Tracker” or Redshift ST version.
electrek.co, autoblog.com, digitaltrends.com
Volvo electric bus sales.
Volvo already delivered no less than 3,000 electric and hybrid buses worldwide. Most of those (1,425) are in service in the UK, followed by Columbia (468) and Sweden (196), as well as Germany (135), Switzerland (129) and Norway (109).
CATL, Vigo Motorcycles, Hyperloop.
CATL eyes Europe: Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology, who reportedly wants to increase production capacities to 50 GWh per year by 2020, is getting ready to conquer Europe. It has bought 22 percent of Finnish company Valmet Automotive, saying that its goal is to supplier European OEMs with battery packs and drivetrains for electric vehicles.
Too good to be true: That’s how British start-up Vigo Motorcycles advertises its new 90 kW strong high-voltage e-bike on its website. It is said to go 640 km on one charge, have a top speed of 290 kph, and go from 0 to 100 kph in 3.2 seconds. All while it costs just 8,000 pounds. That really does sound too good to be true.
Hyperloop update: As part of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition, contestant teams got to present their concepts over the weekend. A total of three teams were allowed to test their idea in a one-kilometre-long vacuum tube. The TU Delft emerged as the overall winner, while the TU Munich was able to reach the highest speeds.
Shell, Bangkok, New Jersey, Jedlix, FLO.
Shell plans EV chargers: The oil giant will kick off construction of EV chargers this year, starting in the UK and Netherlands. More markets could follow. The number of planned chargers has not been released.
ft.com (paid content) via heise.de
200 e-buses for Bangkok? The Thai capital’s plan to replace 200 conventional buses with electric ones is getting more concrete. If the cabinet gives the green light in February, those 200 electric buses could already go into service before the end of the year.
Charging toll roads: The U.S. state of New Jersey passed two bills to push EV charging along toll roads. The first requires the installation of places to plug in at three service areas on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, and two Atlantic City Expressway service areas. The second bill will see the installation of EV chargers along to toll roads as part of a public-private partnership.
Charging renewables: Jedlix, a subsidiary of Dutch utility Eneco, is making its #ichargesmart charging app available to Tesla drivers. When charging at home, it helps increase the amount of renewable energy used to charge the battery, as well as keep costs low, by selecting optimal charging moments.
New home charging solution for Canadians: Nissan is working with FLO in Canada, recommending the FLO Home charging station to its customers there. Nissan will even offer a 500-dollar discount on the charger when purchased with a new Nissan leaf by March 31st.
ISO 15118, Acconia.
Book tip: The first professional handbook about the ISO 15118 standard will soon be available. It is said to be a good read for beginners as well as experts. Marc Mültin now published a video about the book as well as a link to receive further updates and a free extract on his blog.
Video tip: After the third try, company Acconia finally finished the Dakar Rally in an all-electric car (we reported), making it the first team to do so. Videos of their journey are now available.
Design students from Milan worked with Lamborghini’s own team to design the car of the future – for 2030, to be exact. The Bandido is an EV powered by four individual wheel hub motors. The design is so “bonkers” that Carscoops even sees Lamborghini building it. Especially because there is enough room for a combustion engine in the back, since the carmaker may still be stuck in the past in the future.
SHW Group, Nissan, Mazda, Mini, Tesla.
Tesla is mystery client: The Californians confirmed being behind the deal with the SHW Group (we reported), but denies calling it off due to political reasons. Instead, the carmaker says performance and quality standards were not kept and SHW violated the confidentiality agreement. The latter obviously disagrees and will most likely take legal steps. After all, the cancelled deal was worth 100m dollars.
More range extended models: Nissan wants to offer more models with its new e-Power range extender. Following the small Nissan Note e-Power presented in autumn, the Japanese want to present the Juke e-Power study in Tokyo in October.
Electric Mazda: According to Nikkei, the Japanese carmaker will launch an all-electric compact car in 2019, and is simultaneously working on a rotary engine to be used as range extender. Mazda will also add plug-in hybrids to its portfolio from 2021. And while Mazda will produce its first EV on its own, Nikkei reports that the Japanese may work with Toyota in terms of electric drivetrains in the future.
Mini production location uncertain: Because of Brexit, the plan to build the 2019 all-electric Mini in Oxford remains in limbo. It could therefore be manufactured near Nedcar in the Netherlands instead.
Tesla kicks off in Portugal: The Model S and X can now be ordered in Portugal, with first deliveries expected in the second quarter of 2017. Tesla opened a headquarter in Lisbon and says it will also open a store and service centre there. The first Superchargers are scheduled for the second half of this year.
Nissan Rogue priced: The 2017 hybrid model will start at 27,180 dollars in the U.S. and is therefore just 1,000 dollars more expensive than the petrol version. And more importantly, it’s 2,790 dollars less than its main competition – the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Tesla is the most sold EV worldwide.
With 50,931 sales worldwide (though unconfirmed), the Tesla Model S was the most sold electric car 2016. A title it now held on to for two years in a row. The Nissan Leaf came in second, with 49,214 sales worldwide.
Bosch, Swatch, Blue Bird, NSK.
Bosch battery production: Bosch wants to decide until the end of the year whether or not to venture into battery cell production. According to Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner, the decision mostly depends on whether it is possible to develop and manufacture technologically better and cheaper cells than i.e. Samsung SDI or Panasonic.
Vanadium battery by Swatch: Said to have a 30 percent higher capacity than regular batteries (we reported), the vanadium battery will be testes in China in March. Expectations are high. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek expects that just by selling the technology to other OEMs, Swatch will make between 10 and 15bn francs by 2020.
cash.ch, luzernerzeitung.ch (articles in German)
Giving back: Georgia-based manufacturer Blue Bird is working on a school bus with bi-directional charging capabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and aims to demonstrate eight such buses in California by 2019.
Wheel hub motor with transmission: Japanese company NSK presented the, by its own account, world’s first transmission equipped wheel hub motor. Based on expertise gained from the prototype, NSK wants to commercialise components for wheel hub motors in the future.
Chargemaster, PSA Group, Ukraine, Westminster, Massachusetts.
2,000 new chargers for the UK: British charging infrastructure provider Chargemaster has completed the takeover of Elektromotive and its subsidiary Charge Your Car (we reported). Chargemaster wants to also invest 15m pounds in 2,000 new EV chargers in the UK.
Electric commercial carsharing: The PSA Group is making 80 percent of Paris’ fleet of electric commercial vehicles available for the sharing service “VULe Partegés,” which is aimed primarily at business clients. The project kicks off with five stations with ten electric commercial transporters each.
Ukrainian police plugs in: As reported, the Ukrainian police is looking to electrify its fleet. Mitsubishi now says it will deliver no less than 635 Outlander PHEV in July.
Diesel charge: Westminster wants to charge diesel cars an extra fee just for parking. During a trial period from April, drivers of diesel-powered cars and vans will have to pay 50 percent more than drivers of other vehicles. Westminster is the first council in the UK to introduce such a fee.
Modernising Massachusetts’ grid: Utility Eversource wants to invest 400m dollars in the state, with 145m dollars earmarked for setting up energy storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Specifically issues like workplace charging, multi-unit dwellings, fast-charging along highways, and charging in disadvantaged communities will be addressed.
Formula E, EV ownership.
Video tip: The Formula E has started selling tickets for the electric race in New York City. This new ad already gives a little taste of what to expect when the all-electric racers compete against the backdrop of the NYC skyline.
Click tip: What U.S. state has the most EVs? And where are electric cars the most popular? This map gives an overview of electric car ownership in the States.
Technology versus thief.
A man was caught on camera trying to take off with a Tesla Model S. But he didn’t get very far. In fact, he already failed when trying to figure out the EV’s doorhandles.
NEVS, SHW Automotive, Volkswagen, Tesla, Toyota, Tata Motors.
NEVS gets green light: Saab successor National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has received government permission to manufacture electric vehicles in China. The factory in Tianjin is said to open its doors late 2017 and churn out 200,000 EVs per year. NEVS is the first company with international investors allowed to produce in China. At the end of 2015, NEVS had already bagged a billion-dollar deal for 250,000 EVs with Panda New Energy (we reported).
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, nevs.com
Trumped? As reported, SHW lost a deal 100m euro deal to deliver electrical ax ear pumps to “the world’s leading manufacturer of all-electric vehicles,” presumably Tesla. The deal breaker was said to be compatibility with vehicle requirements, but it could also have been political. U.S. President Trump has said repeatedly that he wants to focus on local production. And, after all, Elon Musk does belong to Trump’s team of advisors.
MEB completed: Auto News reports that Volkswagen has completed its modular architecture platform MEB. The first model to be built on the latter will be the 2020 VW I.D., followed by an electric SUV, of which the manufacture will premiere a first concept in April. Skoda is also planning five electric models by 2025, while Seat must still decide whether to kick off its electric future with hybrids or BEVs. Audi’s first all-electric SUV as well as the Porsche Mission E will not be built on the platform.
Hidden symbols Did you know that Tesla’s logo is not just a T? It’s also the cross section of an electric motor, as Elon Musk now revealed. Meanwhile, for the upcoming Model 3, the carmaker now replaced the three horizontal stripes with the actual number 3.
electrek.co (Tesla logo), insideevs.com (Model 3)
Supra update: Autocar reports that the new hybrid variant of the Toyota Supra, which is being developed together with BMW, will launch under the Gazoo performance brand in 2018. Other hybrids could then also be marketed under the brand in the future.
Small electric car: Tata Motors is apparently thinking about launching an all-electric version of its subcompact car Nano. The concept was already shown at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2010.
Roughly 100 million electric vehicles could roam the streets worldwide by 2025, BP predicts in its new “Energy Outlook.” However, that number would only account for about 5 percent of all cars. We’ll see if the oil giant is right or if it got its numbers a bit mixed up.
Cell production, Faurecia, Ballard Power, World Solar Challenge.
Battery cells made in Germany? Plant manufacturers ThyssenKrupp, M+W and Manz want to join up with cell hosts Litarion, BMZ and Streetscooter to kick off a large-scale serial production of battery cells in Germany. German Tagesspiegel broke the story and further reports that the German Ministry of Science already pledged financial support.
tagesspiegel.de (in German)
Reorientation at Faurecia: The automotive supplier is rebranding its business group “Emissions Control Technologies” as “Clean Mobility.” On the agenda are i.e. the development of new technologies for more efficient hybrid drivetrains, as well as innovative solutions for electric vehicles. The focus will be on lightweight solutions including composites and battery thermal management.
Ballard bags new deal: Canadian fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems received an order from the Zhuhai Yinlong Energy Group to equip ten buses with its fuel cell modules FCveloCity-MD 30. The Chinese manufacturer wants to build no less than 35,000 battery-electric buses this year, and will now amend its portfolio to include FCVs.
Raining funds: Solar Team Great Britain kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise a minimum of 20,000 pounds. The money will be used to finance at least part of the development of a solar-powered vehicle, with which the team will compete in (and hope to win) the World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.
Fuel Cell, ChargeNow, SoftBank, Cuba, California.
The largest joint H2 project in the EU to date kicked off in German Cologne yesterday. The project JIVE will see the purchase of about 140 fuel cell buses from 2018, while project MEHRLIN will focus on setting up seven H2 fuelling stations for fuel cell buses. The buses will go in to service in German (near Cologne, Wuppertal, and Frankfurt area), the UK (London, Birmingham, Dundee, and Aberdeen), Italy (South Tirol), Latvia (Riga), as well as Denmark (Slagelse).
BMW charging: Following yesterday’s news that Nissan and BMW partnered with EVgo to get up more than 174 new fast-chargers across the U.S., BMW now announced the expansion of its ChargeNow programme for BMW i and BMW iPerformance drivers. It now includes all DC fast-chargers in 33 states.
Electric ridesharing: Masayoshi Son, head of SoftBank, has given the green light for a pilot project in the Indian city of Hyderabad, that will see the company provide Ola drivers with access to one million EVs build locally. SoftBank owns stake in Uber competition Ola and made headlines with its electric plans back in December (we reported).
Export deal: Florida-based Premier Automotive Export was given the go ahead to ship American built electric cars and charging stations to Cuba. It now plans to ship Nissan Leaf to island state and install 50 EV charging stations in Havana. The license is valid for four years, if a certain U.S. President doesn’t revoke it.
H2-powered California: The Golden State counted 25 hydrogen fuelling stations in December 2015, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) report. Another 23 are in planning or early stages of construction. The goal of 100 H2 pumps by 2024 seems attainable.
What's said will be done.
Elon Musk is sick of sitting in traffic and recently tweeted that he’d love to just build a tunnel – and now he’s apparently doing exactly that. The tunnels starts most likely at SpaceX and goes to the LAX Airport, literally undermining all that traffic.
Tata, Scotland, Volkswagen, Starship Technologies, Chevy.
Tata shows electric buses: The Indian manufacturer presented a whole series of buses with alternative drivetrains. Next to the Starbus Electric and Starbus Hybrid, available in nine and twelve metres, Tata also unveiled the country’s first fuel-cell-powered bus. The only bad news: there are no concrete production plans.
Scotland outlines climate goals: The Scottish government announced that it wants to lower CO2 emissions by 66 percent by 2032 (compared to 1990). The climate plan also outlines that 40 percent of individual cars and transporters, as well as 50 percent of public buses will need to be electrified until then. 30 percent of public ferries will also receive a hybrid drivetrain in the next 25 years.
e-Golf for Japan: According to Nikkei, the German carmaker wants to introduce its EV to Japan in June or July. It would be VW’s first all-electric undertaking in the country and is also part of a move to repair its image damaged by the diesel scandal.
The mothership: Daimler invested in company Starship Technologies, taking part in a 16.5m euro financing round. Starship develops ground-based, autonomous delivery robots that could be featured in Daimlers (all-electric) delivery vans in the future. A mothership concept combining the two had already been shown in September.
Chevrolet Bolt review: The Chevy Bolt feels a lot like a normal car at first glance, Darrell Etherington from Tech Crunch writes. “But it feels fast, and fun.” Especially when turning on the regenerative breaking, “the car’s character really starts to shine through.” Etherington concludes that the Bolt ist he first EV he would consider owning.
techcrunch.com (with video)
EV market leader China.
A total of 507,000 plug-in cars were sold in China in 2016. 409,000 of those were purely electric. The figures mark an increase of 53 percent compared to the previous year, Center of Automotive Management (CAM) reports, and makes China the leading market for electric mobility worldwide.
Hydrogen, Color Hybrid, Efficient Drivetrains, Green Watt Power.
Hydrogen and diesel: A joined British-Chinese undertaking is to promote the use of hydrogen fuel for Chinese commercial vehicles. It is working on a hydrogen-diesel hybrid drive said to lower emissions by 70 percent. The project is also looking into the production of H2 using locally produced renewable energies, and helping set up H2 infrastructure.
The allegedly largest hybrid vessel worldwide has now been commissioned by Color Line in Ulstein. The plug-in hybrid ferry can sail on electricity only and has room for 2,000 passengers and 450 cars. It will go into service between Sandefjord (Norway) and Strömstad (Sweden) from 2019.
New division: U.S. drivetrain manufacturer Efficient Drivetrains announced the creation of a new development centre for electric and plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles. The division will be operated out of the company’s recently leased facility in Dixon, California, and will kick off new OEM and end-user customer projects before April.
DC/DC for EVs: California-based Green Watt Power presented its new EVD 500 Series DC/DC converters for EV applications with input ranges of 30 to 65 VDC and 50 to 120VDC. Efficiency is rated at 93 percent.
EVgo, Arriva, KEBA, E-Fleet.com, Auckland.
174 new fast-charger: BMW and Nissan have, as part of their cooperation with EVgo, set up another 174 multi-standard fast-chargers in 33 U.S. states. Another 50 fast-chargers are planned for this year.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, bmwgroup.com
174 new hybrid buses: British bus operator Arriva took delivery of no less than 174 Volvo hybrid buses, which will join the currently 44 hybrid buses already on the fleet. The new double decker buses are of the type Volvo B5LH, of which 123 are already in service in London and another 51 in Merseyside.
itsinternational.com, transportengineer.org.uk, automotiveworld.com
KEBA to produce new BMW i Wallbox: The Austrian company received approval for delivery for the new BMW i Wallbox. KEBA has set up a second production line for the wallbox and the start of series production, as well as initial deliveries have already taken place.
200 EVs to share a ride: California start-up E-Fleet.com wants to provide Uber and Lyft drivers with access to the Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf, Chevy Bolt and later the Tesla Model 3. The fleet of a total of 200 electric cars could already be made available in San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle and San Francisco this year.
yahoo.com, fundable.com (Crowdfunding)
E-mobility funding: Auckland will begin testing two electric buses this year and set up 60 new EV chargers. The undertakings will be funded by New Zealand’s government as part of the recently announced 3.5m dollar e-mobility grant that will be divided among 15 projects in the country.
Click tip: Tinkerer Jason Hughes took appart Tesla’s new 100 kWh battery pack, made up of 8,256 cells and a new cooling system. According to Hughes, real capacity is 98.4 kWh, plus a 4 kWh buffer. Meaning, you can actually get 102 kWh out of the new battery.
Video tip: Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield from Transport Evolved thoroughly reviewed the wireless charging system from Evatran, using a 2013 Nissan Leaf. The video shows how it works and if it’s worth getting. The 3.7 kWh system does cost nearly 3,000 dollars, after all, and is less efficient than plug-in methods.
youtube.com via greencarreports.com
Wrong side of the story.
Elon Musk has a following like a true rock star, but most likely lost some fans due to politics. The Tesla CEO defended the new U.S. Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson on Twitter – saying he actually wasn’t a climate change denier. Let’s just say, Musk taking (the wrong) sides didn’t sit well with everyone.
Volvo, Mitsubishi, Alstom, SHW Automotive, Okinawa Electric Scooters.
Swedish EV offensive? Volvo seems to be planning a whole series of electric car models. At least that’s what the designations P5, P6, P8, P9, and P10 suggest, which Volvo recently trademarked in Europe. Each of the applications are for “vehicles and conveyances; Electric vehicles” and suggest that just like Volvo’s XC90 PHEV bears the designation T8, future electric models could bear the P. Of course that’s all speculation.
swedespeed.com, carscoops.com, carsuk.net
New Mitsubishi SUV: The Japanese announced the world premiere of its new compact SUV for the Geneva Motor Show. While Mitsubishi is keeping details about the drivetrain under wraps, a product presentation from last year suggests a PHEV variant.
Alstom invests in EasyMile: Alstom invested 14m euros in company EasyMile, maker of the autonomous electric shuttle EZ10. The two companies agreed to join their know-how to develop integrated solutions for public transport in cities. It seems the next rail transport giant realises that autonomous shuttles should not be underestimated.
SHW Automotive loses big order: The Aalen-based supplier says it lost a 100m euro deal it was awarded last year (we reported). It had been named system supplier of electrical ax gear pumps to the unnamed “the world’s leading manufacturer of all-electric vehicles” – many speculated Tesla. But it seems that the pumps are not compatible with the vehicle’s requirements. SHW Automotive will now take legal action.
reuters.com, autonews.com, presseportal.de
E-power on two wheels: India has a new supplier of electric two-wheelers. Company Okinawa Electric Scooters just unveiled its first electric scooter Ridge, adding that it will launch two more models before the end of the year. Apparently, electric motorbikes are also on the agenda.
Who drives an EV?
Charging infrastructure provider The New Motion surveyed 5,000 clients about their EV use. It turns out that 82 percent of EV owners are male and also 82 percent are older than 41. 94% of EV owners live in a household with at least two people and 57% use their electric car to drive to work.