Daimler, Absolute Design, BYD.
New Mercedes test centre in Germany: Daimler will publish plans tomorrow to invest 200 million euros (271.7 million USD) in a new testing and technology centre in Immendingen, a town in the south of Germany. On what used to be a military training area, the company’s autonomous driving systems and new drive train technologies will be put to the test. If approval is granted, construction could begin in autumn 2014.
indianautosblog.com, stuttgarter-zeitung.de (In German)
Easy access e-car: Croatian automotive designers are running a crowdfunding campaign for their “Equal” vehicle. The all-electric car has an extendable ramp in the rear for barrier-free wheelchair access. Once rolled in, physically challenged persons can steer, brake and accelerate with one hand.
earthtechling.com, indiegogo.com (Campaign with video)
Super-sized e-bus for Bogotá: The Chinese BYD produced an extra long version of its all-electric bus for the Columbian capital. Instead of the twelve metres of the K9 model, the new e-bus measures 18 m. It features the usual in-wheel motors and in tests ran 240 km (150 miles) on one charge.
electriccarsreport.com (With video)
Voxan Wattman, VW e-up!, Ford, BYD, Nissan, Saab.
Voxan presents powerful e-motorcycle: The French manufacturer unveiled the Wattman at the Paris Motorcycle Show. The electric motorbike boasts 200 HP and accelerates from 0-100 km/h (60 mph) in 3.4 seconds. The super-e-bike’s most striking feature is its exoskeleton that replaces the frame and contains all components of the powertrain.
Small price tag for a small car: In the UK, the VW e-up! is now available for 19,450 pounds (23,203 euros), after the 5,000 GBP (5,965 euros) government subsidy. The EV has a range of up to 93 miles. UK customers can also take home an optional wall box, with which the car’s 18.7 kWh lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in six hours.
Ford gets new plug-in vans: Not only will the American car maker bring the C-Max Energi to Europe in 2014, it will also install the van’s inner workings into two larger models. According to the German magazine “Auto Bild,” the S-Max and Galaxy will also be available as plug-in hybrids by the end of next year.
autobild.de (in German)
BYD-Leaks: A new document found online allegedly shows BYD’s planned product range. Apparently, the Qin plug-in hybrid will be offered at 18,000 dollars (13,000 euros), including government subsidies. The company will also launch the G1, S1, S3, and M2 but has not specified which drivetrains will be used.
Just a copy? Nissan is being sued over its BladeGlider concept by millionaire Don Panoz who says it “borrows” heavily from his Delta Wing racing car project, which Nissan helped financed. The Japanese carmaker has not yet commented on the matter.
Electric Saab coming soon: The production lines at the Trollhättan plant in Sweden are rolling again – under Chinese management. First up is the Saab 9-3 petrol-run car and an electric version set to follow in spring 2014. The first models will be sold in China. Partner Qingdao has already ordered 200 models.
Graz University, Mazda, NXP Semiconductors, Skoda Electric.
Light and airy: Researcher at the Graz University (Austria) and University of St. Andrews (UK) have found a way to increase the efficiency as well as capacity of lithium-air batteries. By using titanium carbine as electrodes instead of carbon, and light weight oxygen instead of heavy ionic structures, researcher say, storage capacity could be increased tenfold.
Rotary range extender: Mazda has revived its Wankel rotary engine, giving it a purpose in a new context. The rotary now serves as range extender in a Mazda2 EV prototype, adding an extra 200 kilometres (125 miles) to the battery pack.
New connection? NXP Semiconductors and Datang Telecom have established a joint venture for the development and marketing of semiconductor solutions for electric and hybrid vehicles in China. It is the first of its kind company in the country. Chinese authorities have yet to give the business a green light.
Skoda Electric plans e-busses: The Czech manufacturer takes to the streets with two electric busses. The first model was introduced in September and has a range of 150 kilometres (93 miles). Charging takes place at the depot overnight. The second e-bus, due in 2014, is said to have a range of 30 km (19 m) and can be recharged quickly at bus stops and terminals.
ZEV-Guidebook, Tesla Model S.
Video Tip: Tesla has been braving through fire and now ice. A new video highlights the Model S’ rather cool features, which are designed to make it run smoothly even in winter.
Click Tip: The Californian government has published a guide aimed at cities and provides recommendation for the construction of charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations. The goal is to have 1.5 million EV on the roads by 20150.
opr.ca.gov (download as PDF)