Psychological effects of range anxiety, Right-hand drive Model S.
Reading-tip: If you like suspense novels, this personal account of the psychological effects of range anxiety might just be the right pre-weekend read and also delivers some semi-scientific facts. To be evolved…
Video tip: Tesla Motors published a promo video for its right-hand drive Model S. For those not in the UK it might be a bit hard to get your head around it but it is definitely a change of perspective.
Ssangyong, Toyota, Formula E, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes.
Ssangyong surprises in Seoul where it is displaying an electric version of the Korando that comes with range extender. However, the SUV is not more than a study and will serve as research vehicle mainly as the infrastructure in South Korea cannot accommodate for series electric vehicles yet. The research was being carried out with the support of the government.
Toyota FCEV ahead of schedule: The Japanese car maker will start production of its fuel cell vehicle by mid-december and start delivering the first units immediately afterwards. The price is said to be about eight million yen (roughly 78,000 dollars) but Toyota believes it will be able to cut the price by 50% by the end of the decade.
japantimes.co.jp, nbcnews.com, greencarreports.com
Formula E without Drayson? It looks like Lord Paul Drayson will hand over his place in the Formula E to a team led by former Maserati and Ferrari GT boss Claudio Berro and ex Formula 1 racer Jarno Trulli. Apparently negotiations are still on-going but no explanation has been made so far on why Drayson might back off.
VW delivers XL-1: The first customer for Volkswagen’s ultra-efficient XL-1 is from Berlin. He picked up the car at VW’s transparent factory (Gläserne Manufaktur) in Dresden. The plug-in, which is actually built at VW’s Osnabrück plant, is limited to 250 units and exact prices remain a secret.
First BMW i8 delivered: Eight selected customers have already received their plug-in hybrid sportscars at a pre-launch event in Munich. With that, BMW has just managed to be the first car maker actually delivering a vehicle with laser lights, a title Audi recently tried to claim for itself.
Poor man’s Tesla? This is the question raised by Susan Carpenter when reviewing the electric Mercedes B-class. Not only makes the company a “compelling case for EVs” but also got the details right and thus offers “the most luxurious EV experience” one can get if a Model S is not in your budget, finds Carpenter.
Ford and BMW sales.
Ford sold 4,296 Fusion Energi this year, that is an increase of 260 percent compared to 2013. Another 2,940 C-Max Energi and 699 Focus Electric seem to confirm that plug-ins are the future. In comparison, BMW has sold its i3 already 4,145 times worldwide this year.
plugincars.com (Ford), presseportal.de (BMW)
Helmholtz-Institute Münster, Tesla, HorseFly, NTT Docomo.
Concentrated battery competence: The Research Centre Jülich, together with Münster University and RWTH Aachen have now founded the Helmholtz-Institute Münster (HI MS) or ‘Ionics in Energy Storage.’ There, they want to join forces in research and development of batteries. The focus of their research activities lies on electrolytes which are the key to develop new storage technologies.
idw-online.de (in German)
Tesla facilities in Europe? CEO Elon Musk can well imagine to build a R&D centre on British soil, much rather than a factory which he sees in the Netherlands. A factory would need to produce about 500,000 cars a year to be viable.
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Delivery via air: The university of Cincinnati and AMP Electric Vehicles have developed an autonomous and unmanned flying electric vehicle. The HorseFly is an octocopter destined to support AMP drivers of electric trucks with their deliveries.
Tesla in Japanese: The Californian car maker has named its partner of choice, NTT Docomo, to provide communication services starting with 3G for the Model S in Japan. Tesla will start selling in Japan later this summer.
EV state Atlanta, Elon Musk Interview.
Reading tip: Atlanta is the latest example of best practice to get electric cars taking off. A mixture of incentives and cheap energy has helped making Atlanta the second best state for electric car sales.
Listening tip: The BBC’s Radio 4 interviewed Tesla CEO Elon Musk and asked him about his entrepreneurial endeavours which are nothing short of impressive. Tune in!
Tesla, Nissan, Oullim Spirra, California, CO2 reduction, Ford.
Tesla update: The Model X is scheduled for mid-2015 while the Tesla for the people, i.e. the affordable one, will only arrive by the end of 2016, according to CEO Elon Musk. Meanwhile, the Californians plan a Roadster software update this year as well as a reduction of the price for the Model S. In terms of super-charging, Tesla will open up its patents to other carmakers if they contribute a “fair” proportion of the maintenance and running costs.
green.autoblog.com (Roadster), engadget.com (Supercharger)
Nissan to build plug-in hybrids? According to Nissan’s head of development, Andy Palmer, the Japanese company might deviate from its pure electric path as it plans to offer a plug-in hybrid by the end of 2015. Palmer sees hybrids a more viable application in vehicles weighing from 1.75 tons.
Electric super car from South Korea: Actually, the electric ‘Oullim Spirra’ with 4WD will be built in the Netherlands. The electric sports car is based on the Proto Motors’ standard Spirra from South Korea and is said to be presented at next year’s Geneva Auto Show, shortly before going into production.
telegraaf.nl (in Dutch) via greencarreports.com
California dangles a big carrot in front of Tesla’s nose to get the carmaker to build the Gigafactory in its sunny homestate. A new bill declares the legislature’s plan to change regulation as well as the generous use of financial incentives and all sorts of credits, all in the name of job creation.
CO2 reduction in progress: Transport & Environment is looking at carbon emission savings of carmakers to predict when they could reach the EU requirement of 95 g/km given they keep at the current speed. Volvo and Toyota would comply by 2018, BMW and GM not before 2024.
Electric Ford reviewed: “Normal” is probably the most used word in James Fossdyke’s review of the Ford Focus Electric which is just like any other Focus but with an electric motor. Fossdyke sees the electric Focus as valuable addition to the growing market providing that Ford will bring more than just 30 units of the next-gen model to Great Britain.
All-time Top 5 in France, China and Norway.
The all-time Top 5 series continues with the EV Sales blog looking at France where the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy, and the Bolloré BlueCar are the Nations favourite. The only non-French car that made it is the Nissan Leaf. In China, nationalism is equally high with the Chery QQ3, JAC J3 EV, and BYD’s e6, Qin and F3 being at the top. Norwegians take the best from everyone and love the Leaf the most which is followed by the Model S and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, the VW e-Up and Citroen’s C-Zero.
ev-sales.blogspot.de (France), ev-sales.blogspot.de (China), ev-sales.blogspot.de (Norway)
Aluminium-Air, ANSYS, Volvo, DOE.
Aluminium-air battery to see the light? Phinergy and Alcoa are apparently in talks with Renault-Nissan to test their battery technology which is said to prolong EV range to up to 1,000 kilometres by 2017. However, the date might be rescheduled to 2019 but Phinergy founder, Aviv Tzidon, said his company is “patient” and here to stay.
hybridcars.com, youtube.com (video)
Battery design made easier: ANSYS is working with General Motors, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and ESim on including battery models into ANSYS’ Fluent software. The aim of the DOE-funded ‘Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries’ (CAEBAT) project is to make battery design quicker and safer while creating longer-lasting Li-ion batteries.
Power according to route: In Gothenburg, Volvo is currently testing its Zone Management technology, which automatically regulates the speed but also the drive state of the hybrid bus depending on the route. The system works with GPS so the bus automatically switches to electric in a zero-emission zone.
More money for fuel cells: The States’ DOE announced to spend another 4.6 million dollars for funding of fuel cell activities. Projects, both from industry and academia, lasting one to two years and come up with innovations in fuel cell and hydrogen fuel technologies are eligible.
Aerodynamic Tesla Model S, Audi welcomes Porsche back to Le Mans.
Video tip I: Car and Driver put the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, and Mercedes CLA into a wind tunnel to see who is the most aerodynamic. Guess who has proven the most slick (it bears a capital S in its name)?!
Video tip II: Audi sent a special ambassador, the R18 e-tron quattro, to Porsche’s headquarter in Germany to deliver an impressive welcome message. Porsche is returning to the Le Mans race course after 16 years of absence and will compete in the 919.
youtube.com (video message) via autoweek.com
Nissan, Hyundai, Ford & Samsung SDI, Isle of Man.
Nissan Leaf hits Mexican roads: Sales of the all-electric Nissan have just started at certified dealers in Mexico City, making it the first EV available in the country. Moreover, Nissan is cooperating with the Mexican government is setting up an electric corridor between Mexico City and Cuernavaca.
Compliance car: Hyundai admitted that it is only offering its Tucson fuel cell vehicle in California, because it earns the carmaker zero emission vehicle (ZEV) credits. For every unit leased for the next 36 months, the Korean will earn 26 points, allowing it to sell more cars with combustion engines there.
Joint battery research: Ford and Samsung SDI work together to develop next-generation Li-on batteries to be used in Ford’s hybrid cars and vehicles with start-stop technology. The research includes systems combining Li-ion with lead-acid batteries, with the aim to eventually replace the 12-V lead-acid with Li-ion batteries completely.
John McGuiness sets new record: He finished the 37.7-mile course at the TT Zero on the Isle of Man in 19:17 minutes, driving an average speed of 117.366 mph. He is also the first to complete a full electric lap in less than 20 minutes. Needless to say, he was also crowned the winner of the alternative-drive motorcycle race.
DHL, Carbon fiber, Inductive charging, Yellowstone.
Testing Centre for EVs: Germany’s postal service (Deutsche Post/DHL) wants to open a test centre near Aachen, in order to test alternative delivery methods, such as the StreetScooter (picture). Construction is set to start at the end of June. The reason the postal service chose the location is that it is located near the University RWTH Aachen.
aachener-nachrichten.de (in German)
Battery-body: Swedish researchers are testing if the carbon fibre shell of an EV could be used as an active electrode in a multifunctional structural Li-ion battery. Meaning, whether the battery could be integrated into the body. Others such as Volvo and the Imperial College London have also begun looking at the possibilities.
Charging the market: In a new paper entitled “Strategic Analysis of Inductive Charging for Global Electric Vehicles (EV) Market,” Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the market for inductive charging will grow 126.6 percent annually between 2012 and 2020. Especially Europe will see tremendous growth, with many carmakers already testing the technology.
Yellowstone gives batteries a second life: 208 decommissioned batteries used in Toyota Camry hybrids will be installed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch inside the U.S. national park. With a combined storage capacity of 85 kWh, they will be able to hold enough excess energy produced by local solar panels and micro hydro turbines to power the farm off the grid.
Elio Motors, Events for the coming week.
Video tip: Yahoo’s Daily Ticker got to test drive the Elio three-wheel prototype, even if it only took it for a spin around the parking lot. The journalist also got to exchange some quick words with Elio’s founder and CEO, Paul Elio, who explains the thinking behind the design.
yahoo.com (with video)
Selected events for the coming week: Electric Marathon 2014 (03 – 15 June, from St Petersburg to Monte Carlo) ++ Battery Congress 2014 (11 and 12 June, Troy, USA) ++ 4th North European E-Mobile Rally (13 – 15 June, Denmark) ++ World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) (15 – 20 June, Gwangju Metropolitan City, Korea)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar
Tesla, Gigafactory, Euro NCAP, Nissan, Ford.
Final battle for Tesla Gigafactory: The Californian carmaker now wants three instead of just two U.S. states to compete as location for its Gigafactory. The first finalist will be announced this month and a ‘winner’ will be named by the end of the year. The move is good news for California, which Tesla CEO had said, would not be among the initial two states.
NCAP puts quadricycles to the (crash) test: In the EV category, the Club Car Villager 2+2 LSV, Renault Twizy 80, and Tazzari ZERO had to hit wall at 50 kmh (37 mph). The Twizy performed the best, also compared to petrol-driven models. Still, Euro NCAP criticised the outcome, saying it is worrying that these vehicles do not meet the same safety levels as cars.
24 laps completed: It is the first time the Nissan ZEOD RC took to the track at Le Mans. And while it was delayed by a few technical issues, drivers and engineers see it as an important part of the car’s development. The goal is to complete an entire lap at Le Mans on electrical power only.
Let’s talk about S-E-X: Because Ford had filed for trademarks for the letter ‘E’ and later the ‘Model E’ and threatened to sue Tesla, the electric carmaker dropped the name for its next mass-market sedan (we reported). Elon Musk has now referred to it as “Ford killing sex”, with Model S and Model X missing that certain letter.
Electric cars from Tesla have just completed 344,000,000 electrical miles. The announcement was made at the shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Moreover, a software to be released later this year will let the Model S learn a driver’s “behaviour and just automatically [adjust] to what you want,” says Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.
GridSense, Storage cables, Mavel, IFPEN.
Energy under control: Swiss company Alpiq presents GridSense, a technology that can be installed in various electrical devices, such as an EV charging station, for example. With help of an algorithm, it learns a user’s behaviour in regards to that equipment and is therefore able to send available energy there, where it’s needed.
alpiq-intec.ch, alpiq-intec.ch (Video)
Storage cables: Researchers at the University of Central Florida are working on a nanotechnology, where cables would not only be used to transport energy, but also to store it. The solution would also prove handy for electric vehicles, giving them extra storage capacity without adding any weight or needing more room for a bigger battery.
Italian-French alliance: Together the Italian electric motor specialist Mavel and the French Institute for Petrol and New Energies (IFPEN) want to develop systems for the recuperation of thermal energy, for the generation of energy using micro turbines, as well as drivetrains for electric and hybrid vehicles.
wissenschaft-frankreich.de (in German), ifpenergiesnouvelles.fr (in French)
Bus lanes, Porsche Panamera plug-in hybrid.
Most powerful incentive: A recent study shows that one of the strongest selling points for EVs in Norway is that they are allowed to drive in the bus lane. That saves time but means there are more EVs than buses in the designated lane. And that could lead to the end of the incentive.
e-mobility-nsr.eu (Study as PDF)
Video Tip: In this new edition of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn takes the Porsche Panamera S plug-in hybrid for a spin. And he cannot hide his enthusiasm.
E-Class, World Cycling Alliance, BMW, Mercedes, Mission.
Take a look at the E-Class: Mercedes has released a rendering of its updated E-Class for 2016. Apparently, the volume seller is supposed to be offered as at least three hybrid versions, two of which are plug-ins, developed in cooperation with Tesla.
World Cycling Alliance: The new collective uniting 84 cycling advocates was established at this year’s Velo-City conference in Adelaide, Australia. The World Cycling Alliance (WCA) is open to any NGO and is supposed to put cycling issues on a broader global agenda, whereas before the initiative was led by European ECF alone.
Inner-German competition: Antony Ingram pitched the BMW i3 against the Mercedes’ B-Class ED to see which electric car made in Germany would prove the better sport. As similarities outweigh the differences, though, it all comes down to “consumer’s choice,” Ingram concluded. In other words – it is all a matter of taste.
Mission review: Translogic’s Jonathon Buckley took the Mission RS electric motorcycle on a test ride. Luckily, he was in California and was therefore able to find a charging station after he had run out of power. After having a lot of fun and a little bit of range anxiety, Buckley also interviewed Mark Seeger, CEO of Mission Motorcycles.
autoblog.com (with video)
Phinergy/Alcoa, MIT, Africar, Audi.
1,600 kilometres all-electric range, promised Phinergy and Alcoa with their aluminium-air battery (we reported). Now, both companies announced they will demonstrate the technology ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal, Canada. The key to the aluminum air’s high energy density is its construction. But technology is still at test phase.
No more platinum? Researchers at MIT found a way to replace platinum catalysts used in fuel cells with less expensive catalysts. Apparently, they can now produce so-called metal-terminated transition-metal carbides (TMCs), which exhibit catalytic activities similar to platinum group metals (PGMs). To tackle impurities, the MIT team developed a “removable ceramic coating method.”
Electric car for Africa: Students of Munich’s Technical University are developing an electric vehicle with an extra-large loading area, designed to meet demands of Africa’s rural areas. If everything goes to plan, the ‘Africar’ could enter production within the next two or three years.
merkur-online.de (in German)
Audi ready for Le Mans: The German carmaker successfully completed 248 laps with its R18 e-tron on the Le Mans course ahead of the race. The racer survived 2,405 miles faultlessly and all eight drivers got a chance to get acquainted with the vehicle. Albuquerque and Bonanomi finished within 3m 23.799s and came in third in the overall test rating, just behind Toyota.
Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kenguru, Nissan, ALTe.
Toyota applies pressure: The Japanese company plans to commercialise its fuel cell vehicle at the end of this fiscal year (March 2015). The move is backed by the Japanese government, which considers raising the pressure limit for fuel tanks from 700 to 875 atmospheres (886 bar). That could increase the range for H2-cars by up to 20%. Furthermore, Tokyo is lobbying the UN and EU to deregulate in a similar manner.
Updated i-MiEV hits USA: Mitsubishi’s 2014 model will replace the 2012 version and with a price tag of 23,845 dollars, it costs 6,130 dollars less than its predecessor. Customers eligible for the full 7,500 dollars tax credit would thus pay less than 16,000 dollars.
Jumpstarting the Kenguru Car: The wheelchair accessible electric car was first introduced back in 2012. Since then, founder Istvan Kissaroslaki has had to overcome financial and logistical problems and the Kenguru got two new competitors – Chairiot and EcoCentre. All three companies say they are ready to roll as soon as the demand takes it there.
Leaf tuning: At the AMI in Leipzig, Germany, Nissan is showing its electric flagship packed in NISMO’s Aero Performance tuning kit, which has been available in other countries for some time already. Depending on demand, the aerodynamic and stylish Leaf version might be offered on the German market as well.
mein-elektroauto.com (in German)
Electrified Ford van reviewed: ALTe, a company formed by three ex-Tesla employees, recently converted a Ford E-350 into to a plug-in hybrid able to run 22 miles on battery power alone. Jeff Cobb takes a test drive as a welcome opportunity to scrape together all available information on the company, which is now looking from hybrids into pure EVs, too.
Longest parade of electric vehicles.
An impressive 507 EVs gathered in Stuttgart last weekend to form the longest parade of electric vehicles to date. The WAVE (World Advanced Vehicle Expedition) is expected to have broken previous records from Zurich (305) and Norway (399), but Guinness still has to officially recognise this new World Record. The WAVE Trophy runs until June 8th through Germany and Switzerland.
Mitsubishi, Solar Impulse 2, Suitcase scooter, KDS, Efacec.
Mitsubishi’s “mountaineer”: The Japanese have unveiled the ‘MiEV Evolution III’ with which they will compete at this year’s Pikes Peak race. The upgraded electric racer comes with 450 kW and is thus 50kW stronger than its predecessor.
Electric maiden flight: The ‘Solar Impulse 2’ solar aircraft has managed its inaugural 2.5-hour flight successfully. It is an upgraded version of the plane which carried Swiss Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg across the United States. In 2015, the two pioneers plan to fly around the world powered only by the sun.
bbc.co.uk, phys.org, youtube.com (video of take-off)
Suitcase scooter: Chinese inventor He Liangcai has filed a patent for his electric suitcase, which not only carries luggage but the traveller as well. It has three wheels and a steering wheel, transforming any trolley into a mini e-scooter.
System solution for e-buses: Kinetics Drive Solutions and Efacec Electric Mobility from Portugal partner up to deliver fully integrated systems for electric buses to bus OEMs. Their NexDrive system is designed to be implemented on various platforms, while minimising engineering efforts. Efacec’s first e-bus using the system is set for operation in July.