EV promotion, EV uptake.
Click tip 1: A mini-poll on the effectiveness of EV promotion showed that 36% of participants believe that actually seeing cars like the BMW i3 on the roads is most helpful, while only 6% considered sporting events like the Formula E a helpful tool to make e-mobility appear more exciting.
Click tip 2: California is known as a hot spot for EV uptake in the U.S.. Still, there are regional differences, an interactive map reveals. Santa Clara, San Francisco and Marin are leading the way.
Specialized, Beijing, Solar Impuls 2, Ford, IND.
Specialized E-MTB: The American bike manufacturer will introduce an electric mountain bike range. The Turbo LEVO is powered by a modified 250-W Brose drive, but speed is capped at 25 kph. The battery is integrated in the down tube and includes three buttons for control instead of a display. The system communicates driving data from various hidden sensors and can be fine tuned via an app.
flowmountainbike.com, velomotion.de (in German)
On alert: Beijing is to keep up its car restriction rule based on odd and even license plates on days of heavy air pollution. As soon as alert level orange is called, half of the cars will be banned from the city centre, as will all trucks. Electric vehicles are obviously exempt from this rule.
Record flight: After weeks of waiting, the Solar Impulse II has managed to cross the Pacific Ocean. It took five days to fly from Japanese Nagoya to Hawaii on solar power alone. The 120-hour voyage thus broke the record for a nonstop flight. The next leg will take the pioneers from Honolulu to Arizona.
eco-business.com, greencarreports.com, ev.com
Ford recalls C-Max Hybrids in the U.S., due to a software malfunction that causes engines to keep running even after being turned off. Affected C-Max models were built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant between April 22nd, 2014, and June 12th, 2015.
Tuning the i-series: BMW tuner IND has developed a tuning kit to modify the BMW i3 and i8. While performance remains unchanged, the design of both cars is accentuated with blue rims, for example, while the i3 also receives a new carbon front and rear.
ecomento.tv (in German), ecomento.com
EV sales in the U.S.
In the U.S., 32,330 hybrids, 3,409 plug-in hybrids, and 6,975 EVs were sold in June. The number of BEV increased compared to the same period last year, whiles sales of hybrids and PHEVs dropped. The best-selling BEVs were the Tesla Model S (2,800), the Nissan Leaf (2,074) and the BMW i3 (551).
Valeo, ZTE Corporation, Ethos Electric Vehicle, BMW.
Yes to CO2 reduction: French Valeo says it already has the technology to reduce CO2 emissions to 75g/100km, which might become EU norm by 2025 (we reported yesterday). While no details have been released, the French supplier shifts its focus to fuel savings and Asia. There, it intends to sell 40% of its equipment by 2020.
Wireless charging in China: ZTE Corporation is developing high-power wireless charging systems for EVs and focusses on public transport and infrastructure. ZTE’s inductive charging WPT module is said to have a potential capacity of up to 30 kW, with a gap of 20 cm and efficiency of up to 90%. Several trials with electric buses are running already.
Roadster reloaded: Ethos Electric Vehicles from Alaska is looking for 100,000 dollars to rework the La Bala from Graber Cars into an all-wheel drive electric roadster. A two-wheel drive unit is planned for 28,000 dollars. EEV will build the electric motor, enclose the cabin and add storage space, as well as the battery.
greencarcongress.com, gofundme.com (campaign)
40-ton electric truck: At the BMW facility in Munich, tests of an electric truck are underway as planned. The 40-ton EV is hauling material over a 2-km distance between the BMW plant and logistic partner Scherm up to eight times a day. The battery is powered by renewable energy.
auto-medienportal.net (in German), nyteknik.se (in Swedish)
Google, inductive charging.
Video tip: See the road through the “eyes” of Google’s self-driving car and understand how it makes decisions autonomously. The video is guided by Chris Urmson, who heads up Google’s driverless car programme.
Reading tip: From the Economist comes a thorough run through of inductive charging technology with respects to all technologies that it could affect, like drones and phones. But the main focus is on the automotive sector.
Toyota, diesel-ban, Swatch, Lexus, Formula E.
New Prius spotted: Pictures of what looks like 2016 Toyota Prius Liftback and new Prius plug-in have emerged on a Taiwanese website. Its report puts the PHEV’s electric range at 31 miles (50 km) on the moderate Japanese JC08 cycle, about 5 miles more than the current model.
mobile.autonet.com.tw (in Chinese) via hybridcars.com
A diesel ban in German cities is one of the EU Commission’s recommendations in a 23-page report regarding non-compliance with EU regulations on air quality. Levels of nitrogen dioxide are too high and unlikely to decrease as long as Germany supports fiscal preferences for diesel vehicles. Further measures include the advancement of electric and hybrid vehicles. The EU Commission will also start discussing new CO2 emission targets for 2025. 68g/km to 78g/km are being assessed.
fazjob.net (Germany), europe.autonews.com (all EU members)
Swatch FCV revival: German electricity company Group E will take over the fuel cell car project by Belenos, a subsidiary of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and a shareholder. The latter will further license fuel cells and concentrate on batteries. Group E plans to build hydrogen cars and infrastructure.
Update: The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid (Nissan Pathfinder) has not been discontinued entirely, as it is available in global markets like China and Mexico, Lexus USA clarified following a report suggesting otherwise. Should demand strongly increase in the U.S., it could even there get back on the shelves.
Next Formula E takes shape: Based on a draft of next season’s calendar, there will be no electric races in Monaco, Hong Kong or Miami. Furthermore, FIA has published the list of the ten teams to take part in the ePrix. Three will run under amended names to reflect a change of sponsorship.
electricautosport.com (Races) electricautosport.com (Teams)
Newly registered EVs in Norway.
A cracking 18.4 percent of newly registered cars in Norway were electric in the first half of 2015. Of a total of 13,659 EVs sold, the e-Golf took a market share of 35.4 percent (4,829 units) followed by Tesla (2,674) and the Nissan Leaf (1,611). 2,617 EVs were sold in June alone.
elbil.no (in Norwegian)
Smart Urban Vehicle, electrolysis, solar car, trilithium niobate.
Smart Urban Vehicle: ZF TRW presents a compact electric car that combines technology of both recently merged companies. The Smart Urban Vehicle has a 6.5 metre turning circle and parks automatically even without a driver. Two electric motors (40 kW) sit on the rear axle and are powered by a traction battery. Top speed is 150 kph.
springerprofessional.de (in German), automotiveworld.com (paid content)
Wind-to-hydrogen plant: The world’s biggest PEM installation now stands in German Mainz. The 6 MW electrolysis facility could power 2,000 fuel cell cars, storing excess energy from wind in hydrogen. The 17-million euro project was undertaken by Siemens, Stadtwerke Mainz, Linde, and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences.
1,000-kilometre range is reached by the new solar car from Eindhoven University of Technology. The Stella Lux precedes the 2013 Stella and doubles previous range. Built by students, the EV seats four and generates more electricity than it uses.
New cathode material: Japanese researchers from i.e. the R&D Center at GS Yuasa are looking at trilithium niobate materials as electrode materials for lithium batteries. About 300 mAh⋅g−1 of high-reversible capacity at 50°C was observed, which partly comes from charge compensation by solid-state redox of oxide ions.
Reading tip: Tesla might introduce wireless charging within the next decade, argues Juan Carlos Zuleta, as he takes a detailed look at technology that could soon entangle the charge cable undergrowth.
Funding tip: Austria’s largest utility VERBUND is asking start-ups working on solutions for the European energy market, including e-mobility, to apply for funding until July 31st. The 5 best applicants will have the chance to pitch at the energy2050 conference in September to win 25,000 euros.
BMW fuel cell, Nissan Leaf, Elektroumrüster Elektro-Fahrzeuge Schwaben.
– Brands + News –
Future drives by BMW: Next to the prototype of a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with plug-in hybrid drive and a direct water injection for combustion engines showcased in France, all eyes were on the fuel cell model. The demonstrator is based on a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo with a 180-kW electric motor. Range is set at 500km+. Fuel cell components are developed together with Toyota (we reported).
Better Leaf battery: Nissan is planning a midcycle update in August already, introducing the 30-kWh battery for the current Leaf model, inside sources say. The battery would have the same size but higher energy density and preceeds an improved drivetrain for the next-gen Leaf.
autonews.com via greencarreports.com
Leaf also gets a new trim with the Accenta+. The 6.6kW on-board charger comes standard, along with a mode-3 32 amp (EVSE) cable. In the UK, the model that also features shiny new rims starts at 29,740 pounds, only 1,150 GBP more, than the standard Acenta.
Electric trucks for Europe: Truck manufacturer Orten and the retrofitter Elektroumrüster Elektro-Fahrzeuge Schwaben (EFA-S) have agreed to exclusively develop and distribute electric trucks Europe-wide. The light trucks will have the same load capacity as diesel trucks. EFA-S will be responsible for the electric system, while Orten will open up access to its customers.
emobilitaetonline.de (in German)
Undercover: The BBC One drama series “The Interceptor” features undercover agents hunting down criminals. Behind the scenes, however, five electric vehicles were used to take care of all needs during production, making it one of the greenest sets ever and helping the broadcaster to bring down costs.
Tesla delivers 11,507 EVs.
Tesla delivered 11,507 Model S in the second quarter of this year, more than ever before. In fact, numbers are up 52% compared to the same time in 2014 and now stand at a total of 21,537 Tesla that have been handed over this year.
DoE, Carnegie Mellon University, Sealander, Panasonic Electric.
Asia vs America: The U.S. has a chance to tackle Asian dominance in the battery industry, a report by the DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) found. American industry could take a market share of 32% if its realises its potential, i.e. through projects like the Gigafactory and in the area of electrodes and other processed materials.
energy.gov (report) via chargedevs.com
It depends on where you are, if you wish to determine CO2 emissions of either a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius a study by Carnegie Mellon University suggests. Researchers made a range of assumptions for regional boundaries of analysis, electricity emission factors, and charging patterns that go beyond the electricity mix alone.
greencarcongress.com, huffingtonpost.com, greencarcongress.com (policy brief)
Sea and land camper: The Sealander is an innovative caravan that serves as a trailer on land and turns into an electric (mini) yacht on water. Built and designed in Germany, pricing for the 4-metre mobile home start at 17,990 euros plus an electric motor with either 3 or 6 hp and a choice of two batteries.
luxus.welt.de (in German), sealander.de (website in English)
Versatile high voltage relais: Panasonic Electric launched the HES relay, designed for applications of up to 35A/277V AC, such as charging stations. It is compact and through the large contact gap (3mm) combined with rapid opening of the contacts high DC loads up to 220V/10A can be handled reliably.
Fully Charged, Ecotricity, Smart.
Video tip: Entertaining as it is, Fully Charged got a serious backer as the show is sponsored by Ecotricity. Robert Llewellyn paid his tribute by guiding viewers through using the charging stations of the Electric Highway network. Always a good laugh, yet mostly informative.
Reading tip: Canadian Stephen Grinwis has been with his electric Smart for a year now and here provides an update on the state of affairs. Expect being faced with “honest” cost of ownership, range, etc.
Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Proterra, Formula E, Catalonia.
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid scrapped: The Japanese manufacturer seized its the hybrid SUV after only two years, probably due to low sales. And with the Pathfinder, its luxury version, the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid disappeared from all websites as well.
Toyota and BMW JV progresses: Apparently, the two carmakers have agreed on a platform on which its joint sport car will sit. News on where the model might be built have not been released, while component testing will not take place before 2020.
Proterra finalises investment: The electric bus manufacturer has received another 55 million dollars in funding; 19 million from new strategic investors, while current creditors added the rest of the cash. The money will be used to further scale production and to accelerate growth.
Formula E race in Brussels? The city is another hot contender to host the ePrix during the second season of the Formula E. Brusselshas agreed to look into the feasibility. Berlin and Paris are the city’s rivals, but mainly it is a question about timing, as the 24 Hours of Le Mans might coincide.
Catalan EV privileges: Electric vehicles will be freed from road toll in Catalonia, i.e. the area in and outside of Barcelona. The new rule will go into force on September, 15th, and will be followed by other privileges such as free parking or access to bus lanes.
emobilitaetonline.de (in German)
Nissan builds 17,000 Leaf in Sunderland.
More than 17,000 Nissan Leaf rolled off the production line in British Sunderland in 2014, thus doubling EV production at the plant compared to 2013. There is space to scale though, as Sunderland produced more than half a million vehicles in total last year.
GS Yuasa, Bosch, Karmic Koben, Skeleton Technologies, BMW.
GS Yuasa and Bosch say they are on a “good path” to realise their battery technology by 2020. The battery will have double the energy density compared to today’s lithium cells. Bosch is also working on a new 48V-mild-hybrid system that will debut in a vehicle of a yet to be named European manufacturer this year.
Silicon Valley e-bike: The Karmic Koben weighs only 16.3 kilos at a price of about 1,700 euros. After gathering 260,000 dollars on Kickstarter, the pedelec with Bafang motor is ready to go into production. At its core is a light battery (2kg) with 300 kWh capacity. Its cells can be replaced one by one.
elektrobike-online.com (in German), karmicbikes.com, ecomento.com (background)
High performance ultracaps: Skeleton Technologies has issued a new range of cylindrical ultracapacitors with graphene material. The have a specific power performance of up to 111 kW/kg and specific energy up to 9.6 Wh/kg – more than any other cylindrical cell ultracapacitors on the market.
About 1.3 million dollars will be invested in a now launched e-mobility research programme by BMW and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). The quest for knowledge will be undertaken in the joint Future Mobility Research Lab. First objects under scrutiny: the i3 and i8.
Drag race, IDTechEx.
Video tip: A mini drag race saw the European champion sprinter Dafne Schippers compete against the ultra-efficient solar car Nuna 8 by the TU Delft. The somewhat surprising outcome of this pitch between a human and a machine can be explained by the short distance. It is all about getting off the block first.
youtube.com (in German), youtube.com (amateur video)
Research tip: With the rise of hybrids and EVs, connected industries, such as power electronics for these vehicles, grow as well. A new study by IDTechEx predicts 40 – 70% growth over the next decade, with the market leaping to 86 billion dollars in 2025, from 16 billion in 2014.
idtechex.com (report), idtechex.com
GreenGT, Volkswagen, Bentley, Lugano, Ballard Power.
Fuel cell racer unveiled: GreenGT presented its race car powered by SymbioFCell fuel cells as expected in France, despite previous delays. The GreenGT H2 features two hydrogen tanks (350 bar) and 18 stacks fuel cell that deliver 340kW. Maximum speed is said to be 300 kph and it weighs just 1,240 kg.
What is behind that “quantum leap” VW CEO Martin Winterkorn mentioned, wondered TransportEvolved and came up with an explanation: the solid-state battery by QuantumScape. Volkswagen recently acquired 5% of the Stanford spin-off and says it is impressed with the latter’s progress.
Sports car vs SUV: Bentley will have to make a tough decision, since it can only develop one car at a time. Will either the concept EXP 10 Speed 6 get the go-ahead or a smaller SUV that would sit under the Bentayga? A final decision is due only in 2016 or 2017. We hope for the mighty hybrid concept.
Lugano fast forwards Formula E: Mayor Marco Borradori has handed over the Swiss city’s official application to host a Formula E race next season. Lugano thus overtakes Zurich, where a new initiative also considers applying. Now, Lugano has to find 10 million euros from sponsors.
nzz.ch (in German), cdt.ch (in Italian)
Ballard Power Systems will acquire Protonex Technology Corporation, manufacturer of power management products and fuel cell solutions. The deal is valued at 30 million dollars. Ballard hopes to scale up and broaden its offering, while keeping staff and teams at Protonex intact.
Norway’s subsidy programme for EVs.
In Germany, there have been a lot of erroneous articles about Norway’s subsidy programme for electric cars. Media reports simply claim that incentives to buy will be scrapped. But what is really going on in the Scandinavian EV haven? We took a closer look, speaking i.e. to the Institute of Transport of Economics: and a complete stop of government aid is out of the question.
Continental, Mercedes, Evatran, Nanogenerator.
New electric drive by Continental: The supplier integrated electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one unit. Scalable from 60 to 120 kW, the new drive covers all performance levels and will be available as either asynchronous or permanent synchronous drive. Continental will unveils its new compact electric drive system at the IAA, and says that it is destined for the Chinese market.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Electric truck trial completed: Mercedes finished a one-year trial with eight Fuso Canter E-Cell electric trucks in Portugal. The EVs were tested with customers under real world conditions and met expectations fully. Ranges of up to 100 kilometres a day were easily reached and first analysis points at cost savings of up to 1,000 euros per 10,000 km compared to diesel trucks.
Evatran received 1.6m dollars from Chinese Zhejiang VIE Science and Technology Company (VIE) to develop inductive charging technology for China. The strategic investment by the component manufacturer is only the first step of a progressive partnership, as VIE plans additional investments.
Nanogenerator: Researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). The nanogenerator drives on an electrode integrated into a car’s tire. As the electrode comes into contact with the ground, the friction produces an electrical charge.
Formula E, EV models.
Video tip: The Formula E might be over, but its promotional pull is not. Qualcomm pitches its wireless charging technology in the form of a remote controlled car versus the real racer. David versus Grassi, so to speak. And yes, there is smoke from spinning involved.
youtube.com via autoblog.com
Click tip: the number of electric vehicles are growing. There are now nine models with sales exceeding 25,000 units. Newcomers are the BYD Qin (27,351), Renault Zoe (26,296) and the BMW i3 (25,785). The best-selling vehicle worldwide remains the Nissan Leaf (177,000).
insideevs.com (all nine), hybridcars.com (newcomers)
Norway: the fairy tale about the end of an incentive paradise.
In Germany, there have been a lot of erroneous articles about Norway’s subsidy programme for electric cars. Media reports simply claim that incentives to buy will be scrapped. But what is really going on in the Scandinavian EV heaven? For our German edition electrive.net we took a closer look, speaking i.e. to the Institute of […]
Volkswagen, Audi, Mini, Pikes Peak, Hyundai.
VW e-scooter: The German carmaker is planning an electric trike dubbed City Surfer, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said in an interview with German Bild. The LEV will weigh less than 20 kilos, have a range of about 20 kilometres and cost less than a 1,000 euros. Market entry is set for the second half of 2016. Meanwhile, Winterkorn confirmed that the rumoured 1,500 hp Bugatti will indeed be a hybrid (we reported).
bild.de (City Surfer, in German with pictures), themotorreport.com.au (Bugatti)
Audi A4 without e-tron? Audi presented the next-gen A4 for the first time but did not announce a PHEV as part of the motor line-up, even though media expected an A4 e-tron. German Heise Autos still believes a hybrid variant will come at a later date. First, the Audi Q5 PHEV will take the road.
puregreencars.com, heise.de (Q5, in German)
Mini Superleggera with i8 drive? Despite Mini denying production plans of its Superleggera concept, the rumour mill will not stop. Autocar reports that the classy convertible might be powered by a motor similar to that of the BMW i8 and expects a definite decision about production in November.
— Text Ad —
Optimised production of battery casings: The new project of the leading edge cluster Electric Mobility South-West “OptiFeLio” is dedicated to reducing production costs in the manufacturing of cell casings for pouch and prism cells. Already existing production methods are being upgraded.
Pikes Peak electrified: Drive eO’s 1,020-kW electric racer took the first place in this weekend’s hill climb race. The Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One came in second, making the dominance of electric vehicles perfect. Only one gas guzzler climbed onto the podium.
transportevolved.com, hybridcars.com, youtube.com (video out of the winning hill climber)
Hyundai’s hopes on hydrogen: Hyundai’s fuel cell manager Kim Sae Hoon sees the future in FCVs. He says fuel cell batteries can be incorporated into vehicles of all sizes because they are easily scaled and are thus more competitive. But the technology needs more time to penetrate the market.
My Electric Avenue reaches 2.7 million km.
More than 2.7 million kilometres have been driven in Nissan Leafs taking part in the ‘My Electric Avenue’ project. The project has been going on for less than 18 months, during which clusters of neighbours lease Nissan Leaf to test the strain on the local grid with multiple EVs charging.