Hydrogen council, Mini, Gigafactory, Tesla, JSW, Porsche.
Pushing FCVs: The World Economic Forum saw the introduction of a new hydrogen council. Companies such as BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Air Liquide, Linde, Shell and Total will work together to help fuel cell technology take off. During the launch event, members confirmed their intent to invest even more than the current 1.4bn euros per year in further development and commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cell technology.
greencarcongress.com, .autonews.com, daimler.com
Mini presented its Countryman in detail, announcing that it will launch in Europe in February. The Plug-in-Hybrid drivetrain of the Mini Copper S E Countryman ALL4 combines a 100 kW petrol engine and 65 kW electric motors and can drive fully electric at speeds of up to 125 kph. The all-electric range is set at 40 km. While Mini has no listed a price, the Countryman PHEV was shown with a price tag of 36,000 euros at the Brussels Motor Show.
bmwgroup.com, automobile-propre.com (price; in French)
Gigafactory production: It’s not a secret that Tesla wants to produce components other than battery cells at the Gigafactory, but those plans are finally shaping up. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said Tesla will invest another 350m dollars in the production site and create 550 new jobs, as the EV maker will being building electric motors and drivetrains for its Model 3 there.
Tesla recall: The carmaker is calling all Tesla Model S build in 2012 back to the shop to replace possibly faulty Takata airbags. While only U.S. build cars are concerned, Tesla extended the recall worldwide on a voluntary basis. A recall for Model S from 2013 to 2016 could follow. All cars produced after the end of 2016 are not concerned, Tesla says.
JSW update: The Indian company wants to venture into the electric car market from 2020 (we reported) and initially said it would purchase batteries externally. Now, JSW is considering building batteries themselves as part of a joint venture. Moreover, the son of JSW CEO Sajjan Jindal wants to open his own company selling electric two-wheelers.
Driving the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: Autocar calls it “better in almost every measurable way” than its predecessor, saying it is “absolutely lovely” to drive in electric mode. Still, the tester misses a bit of that Porsche feel when driving it, saying it “appeals more to the head than the heart.”