InMotion, Sway, Oregon.
Lean in there: At this year‘s CES, the Chinese company InMotion introduced its SCV-R1, basically a stripped-down Segway that weighs only 15.5 kilos. Also shown at CES was the three-wheeled electric scooter called Sway. With its patented tilting system, riders can literally sway from left to right.
technologicvehicles.com (InMotion), trendhunter.com (Sway)
Matching EV grants: Drive Oregon has named three projects receiving a total of 85,000 dollars of the Matching Grants scheme. The projects range from electric forklifts over the electrification of New York‘s ambulances to general EV marketing. The programme will be open for application again at the end of February.
Lex Kerssemakers, Andy Palmer.
“It’s the right combination between power and fuel efficiency, that’s what we believe. It should be class-leading.”
Volvo’s chief product planner, Lex Kerssemakers is undoubtedly proud of the new XC90 plug-in hybrid.
“There are 22,000 cabs in London, so the potential for the electric version depends on the infrastructure and we are having discussions about that. But London lends itself to the E-NV version: 40 per cent of the particulates in the air in Westminster comes from cabs.”
Nissan‘s Andy Palmer is responsible for planning and while the British capital is certainly challenging, it is an ideal playing field as well.
Video tip: In this video BYD showcases its new Qin plug-in hybrid from the inside-out. At times, one might feel like watching a computer game but the overall message is definitely futuristic. As the Chinese can start ‘playing’ now, the rest of the world has to wait until at least 2015.
youtube.com (Video), hybridcars.com (Details)
Mercedes, VW, Toyota, Fisker, Green Automotive, Viridian Motors.
Mercedes C-class unveiled: Daimler unveiled its new C-class at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday. The new model is bigger but at the same time 100 kilos less heavy. It will come as a C300 Bluetec Hybrid, which uses the diesel hybrid drive of the E-class while a plug-in hybrid version has been confirmed for 2015. Mercedes will build its best-selling car in the US, which is also the C-class’ biggest market.
VW SUV seats seven: Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn confirmed that the CrossBlue will be available by 2016. The concept was first introduced at last year‘s NAIAS and the production model is said to be very close to that concept. The CrossBlue is likely to come as a plug-in diesel hybrid with plenty of room to seat seven adults.
Future Toyota: The Japanese are debuting their FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Motor Show. The sports car, that some are calling the successor of the ‘Supra,’ was designed by the Calty Design studio based in California. Toyota said the FT-1 will not be available as a hybrid. Therefore, it has nothing to do with the upcoming cooperation between BMW and the Japanese car maker.
Fisker to be auctioned: On Friday a court ordered a competitive auction of Fisker assets. The judge followed a last-minute bid by Wanxiang and rejected the initial offer of 25 million dollars by Hybrid Tech led by Richard Li (we reported). The auction is due in February.
greencarreports.com, just-auto.com, green.autoblog.com
Safety downgrade: Because the Federal New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) revised their safety rating system, the 2014 Toyota Prius lost one of its five stars. A frontal crash test was rated with four stars – as before – but under the new system this also lowered the overall score of the hybrid to four.
E-truck cooperation: The Green Automotive Company (GAC) now owns one fifth of Viridian Motors Corporation (VMC). The latter builds light-duty trucks using their own electric motor and batteries. GAC said it hopes for synergies regarding its subsidiary Newport Coachworks, which is about to launch its first electric bus in February.
German hybrids in the U.S.
German car makers sold 7,600 hybrids in America last year according to the the German car industry association VDA – a fairly low share of the total sales of 470,000 hybrids in the U.S. in 2013. However, in 2012 only 1,900 hybrids were made in Germany and sold in the U.S..
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Roland Berger, ElectroForce, MIT.
Roland Berger dampens fuel cell hopes: A new study by the german consulting firm suggests that a mass market breakthrough for fuel cells is not to be expected in the near future. However, until 2025 the firm predicts production costs to lower considerably by up to 80% with cost per unit going down to about 1,000 euros (1,370 dollars). The big question will remain the price of platinum.
New e-motorcycles: ElectroForce Motors is based in Shanghai where it wants to fill a niche in the market for electric two-wheelers. Their models called Mu and Tau are both offered for less than 5,000 dollars. They come with a power of either 8 or 11 kW and a range between 115 and 150 kilometres.
Stability through disorder: A new study by Researchers at MIT suggests, that Li-ion battery cathodes made of disordered lithium compounds can outperform perfectly ordered ones. A combination of computer modeling and lab experiments showed, that certain kinds of disorder and the use of an excess amount of lithium can boost cathode performance.
Willi Diez, Matthew Klippenstein.
“Toyota has a strong ability to put ideas into action. The company not only announces but delivers, as the example of their full hybrid shows.”
The car expert Willi Diez from the university of Nürtingen-Geislingen, Germany, believes that Toyota has the power to bring their new fuel cell technology to mass market.
zeit.de (In German)
“Why compare plug-ins to vehicle price segments [under $20,000] where there are no electric competitors?”
This is one of many clever questions Matthew Klippenstein asked himself to figure out the “real” market share of electric cars by taking into consideration price and vehicle type.
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Audi, BAIC, Tesla, BladeGlider, Hyundai Porsche.
Welcome to a new edition of “electrive.com today”, the fresh industry service for electric mobility – made in Germany! Our newsletter is published every workday, delivering you all the latest global emobility news – short, to the point, and free of charge. Here are today’s top stories and innovations:
– Brands + News –
Audi plug-in concept: Before today’s start of the Detroit Auto Show, Audi released details of its latest crossover concept. The Allroad Shooting Brake has a 2.0 TFSI engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor with 85 kW powering the rear axle. The concept car is presumably a preview of what we might see in the next Q1.
greencarcongress.com, carmagazine.co.uk, autoblog.com (photos)
Electric Saab for China: BAIC will bring the Saab 9-5 back to life as an electric version for the Chinese market. As Shenbao D or Senova D it will cost about 37,000 euros. This year’s production of 10,000 is set to double by 2015. With a 40 kW motor, the EV has a top speed of 130 km/h and a range of 150 kilometres. When the electric Saab will come to Europe is yet unknown.
Tesla upgrades wall adapter: After six Model S drivers reported problems with overheating wall-charger adapters, the Californian company will send out new plugs including a new thermal fuse to all customers for free. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that these incidents are “very rare.”
bloomberg.com, greencarreports.com, green.autoblog.com
BladeGlider might go into production: According to Nissan’s VP Andy Palmer it is in “the mid-term plan” to build the triangle-shaped concept in small numbers. First, a lawsuit over copyrights will have to be sorted as Don Panoz believes the BladeGlider resembles his DeltaWing racer all too strongly.
Hyundai fuel cell lease: The US branch of Hyundai has specified the terms for leasing their Tucson FuelCell, which is better known as IX35 FCEV in Europe. On a two-years contract, customers pay a monthly instalment of 499 dollars with 2,999 dollars down payment. The lease includes maintenance as well as fuel.
Panamera S E-Hybrid test ride: John Simpson was sceptical before riding the plug-in hybrid Porsche but was soon won over by its performance. Yet Simpson found a “snag” – the price of 89,000 GBP (147,000 USD) and he wonders, if buyers that can afford this car will benefit from the government’s plug-in car grant.
PNNL, FTA, ISO/IEC 15118-2, Bridgestone.
Hybrid anode for Li-S batteries: Researchers at PNNL have designed a protection system for the anode of lithium–sulfur batteries. Electrically connected graphite and lithium metal functions as an artificial solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer that prevents destructive chemical reactions. This could prolong battery life up to four times.
25 million dollar LoNo program: The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has money left to spend on the deployment of low- or no-emission (LoNo) buses. 21.6 million dollars are available for vehicles other than prototypes, another 3.3m dollars for equipment and infrastructure.
International V2G standard: A part of the ISO/IEC 15118-2 standard regarding the two-way communication between electric vehicle and charging stations, has been accepted by the ISO authority as ‘FDIS’ (Final Draft for International Standard). Now, the IEC has to approve the draft before a final document can be prepared and eventually issued as international standard for V2G.
smart-v2g.info (In German)
Bridgestone tyres for i3: The Japanese exclusively deliver slim tyres for the all-electric BMW. The new Ologic line uses a diameter usually known from race car tyres and combines it with a narrow tread design. The tyres are said to improve aerodynamics and rolling resistance while providing safe grip.
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“We are finding new approaches in the development, implementation and application of leading edge efficiency technologies. This also leads to further improvements of the entire hybrid technology in our production cars. Ultimately, our customers will benefit the most.”
Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche, comments on the new LeMans prototype which he thinks will eventually benefit consumers.
Electric concept car Amitron (1967).
Reading tip: American Motors designed an electric mini car back in 1967. The Amitron, later dubbed Electron, was shorter than a Smart but could seat three people and is supposed to have been the first electric car with regenerative braking. Maybe it is time for a revisit?!
Bentley, Nissan, Faraday.
– Brands + News –
Plug-in hybrid by Bentley: The British company had finally given in to the SUV trend when they presented the EXP 9 F concept at Geneva in 2012. The ernomous car is supposed to go into production as ‘Falcon’ in late 2015. It will be based on a new platform and the first of a series of PHEVs from Bentley.
New Nissan Leaf: The 2014 Leaf just went into production and will arrive at American dealerships next week. The latest version of the electric Nissan benefits from a new EPA rating, with the electric range now at 84 miles instead of 76. The new Leaf costs 180 dollars more, starting at a price of 29,980 USD, but features the rear view camera as standard.
green.autoblog.com, greencarreports.com, hybridcars.com
Successful kick-starter: Faraday introduced their concept of a retro cargo e-bike called Porteur to the crowds for funding already in 2012. At this year‘s CES, Faraday is showing the production model that will have its first deliveries this spring. The Porteur pedelec features lovely details like a double top tube that holds the battery powering a 250W front-hub motor or a handmade leather saddlebag. However, those come at a price of 3,500 dollars.
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MyEnergi Lifestyle, Plug Power, Technical University Munich.
MyEnergi Lifestyle expands: The collaborative project by Ford, Infineon, SunPower and other partners has been designed to demonstrate how consumers can save energy by integrating home appliances in a smart way. The 2.0 version showing at CES, now also integrates home energy storage. The two families in the demonstration program successfully managed the combination of a Ford C-Max Energy PHEV, solar power and other intelligent devices and saved 1,200 dollars on fuel alone.
greencarcongress.com, hybridcars.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
Fuel-cell range extender: Plug Power will develop hydrogen fuel-cell range extenders for delivery vans of FedEx. The project is funded by the US Department of Energy with three million dollars. The devices will be installed in 20 vehicles and thereby double the range of the electric delivery vans.
greencarcongress.com, plugpower.com (Press release)
Virtual EV study: The Technical University (TU) of Munich, Germany, has rolled out a program where drivers of non-electric cabs and commercial vehicles can simulate the use of an electric car. With help of a smartphone app the driver is able to collect real-life driving data, which then will be used to calculate how an electric vehicle would have performed under those driving conditions.
Carlos Ghosn, Chris Umiastowski.
“We are now on a trend of 3,000 cars a month in the U.S., which is about 36,000 cars [a year]. The next step is moving up to 4,000 a month, which is going to be approximately 50,000.”
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan, apparently has such high hopes for the new Nissan Leaf, that they even defy arithmetics.
“I hear people say electric cars are just glorified golf carts that are slow and unable to travel very far. People also worry that it will be a hassle to recharge their battery, and that after three or four years, it will die, because that’s their experience with laptop computers.”
Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor Strategy Lab and places his best bet on Tesla. He thinks that most people do not yet understand the full implications of electric transport.
theglobeandmail.com via chargedevs.com
Volvo, Kia, Denza.
– Brands + News –
Volvo Concept XC debut: The latest concept car from Sweden will premier at the Detroit Auto Show next week and is a preview of the new XC90. Volvo announced to introduce the XC90 worldwide at the end of 2014 available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
electriccarsreport.com (with Video)
Extended version of Kia App: At CES, the Korean automaker presents its upgraded UVO app. The latest version brings telematic functionalities for Kia’s upcoming EVs. The new UVO system provides information on battery status and remaining range. With the app, drivers can also preset charging times for the car on their phone. Furthermore the new voice recognition feature will enable users to control the infotainment system more safely.
First look at the Denza EV: The joint venture of Daimler and BYD has been working on their Chinese Denza for some time. Now, a few snapshots from inside the production facility and the car itself surfaced. As the exterior looks somewhat like the Mercedes B-Class, the interior resembles more a BYD E6.
U.S. Sales 2013.
In the U.S. electric cars list a year with a record growth of 228.88 % in 2013 compared to 2012. Annual sales of 46,148 all-electric cars are almost in a level with PHEVs with 48,951 sold last year. In the same period 549,578 hybrids hit the roads of North America.
cleantechnica.com, hybridcars.com (Dashboard for December)
Autonomous passenger carrier: Induct has introduced its driverless e-shuttle Navia to the U.S. market at CES. It carries up to eight people and drives autonomously at 12.5 mph (19.1 km/h). Navia is charged inductively and uses robotics, laser mapping technology and sensors to safely make its way through unknown terrain. It is already in use in Europe and Asia.
Self-balancing skateboard: Inspired by the hoverboard from the movie “Back to the future”, the start-up Future Motion is looking for investors in their Onewheel. It is controlled by bodyweight, using gyroscopes and accelerometers. With eleven kilos and a running time of 20 minutes, its usefulness seems to be a bit limited though.
Daniel Goeudevert, Rudolf Krebs.
“E-mobility is the future.”
Daniel Goeudevert held top management positions at Citroën, Renault, Ford and VW. He has no doubts that electric transport is the future and advises the German car industry in particular to take the lead in this movement.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (In German)
“With our platform strategy, it is quite easy to bring a lot of electrified vehicles to the market for the different brands in a very short time.”
Rudolf Krebs is Group Commissioner For Electric Vehicle Drive Systems at VW and explains the corporation‘s platform strategy for vehicle development.
Charging behaviour of EV users, EV Predictions for 2014.
Study tip: “Understanding Charging Behaviour of Electric Vehicle Users” by the TU Chemnitz, Germany, identifies different types of EV drivers with subjective levels of range anxiety and the respective charging patterns.
plugincars.com, sciencedirect.com (Study for purchase)
Click tip: Navigant Research has published a paper with ten predictions for the global EV industry in 2014 which Green Car Congress has summarised avidly. The year ahead is looking good!
Toyota, Fiat, Chevrolet, Smart, Electra, Trek.
Welcome to today’s edition of electrive.com, the new industry service for electric mobility – Made in Germany! Here are the top stories and innovations this wednesday:
– Brands + News –
Toyota goes H2: At the opening of the CES in Las Vegas, two fuel-cell cars took centre-stage. The Japanese are presenting their FCV concept in shiny blue next to its „ugly“ brother – a prototype in camouflage that had been tested on U.S. roads for more than a year. The FCV will first be introduced in California in 2015.
Tiny, tinier, the tiniest: Jim Motavali compared the Fiat 500e, Chevrolet Spark and the Smart ED. All three had their “virtues”. In the end the American built suited Motavali best, with the Spark being over the Fiat “by an electron”, while the Smart excited most by being a convertible.
nytimes.com via plugincars.com
Electra taken over by Trek: The mayor bicycle company will provide logistics and financial support to its smaller competitor based in California. However, Trek does not want to interfere with Electra‘s product management or branding.
Electric Vehicle Sales Reports.
The SMMT counted 191 newly registered pure electric cars to hit UK roads in December 2013. With a total of 2,235 hybrid cars, 295 of them were eligible for the government’s plug-in grant. In Germany, 445 new electric and 2,062 hybrid cars were registered in December.
smmt.co.uk (UK), kba.de (Germany)
INRIX, BMW, Renault, Battery prices.
Intermodal navigation: INRIX partners with BMW to introduce their intermodal information system that integrates local public transport data into the on-board navigation. The system will be used in the i3 and i8. It informs drivers about alternative public transport connections and will reroute the driver considering the current traffic and range status.
Renault Zoé Next Two: The French carmaker just announced the next stage of testing of its autonomous electric car. The completely connected Zoé “Next Two” is set to be out on the roads already this year in preparation for bringing it to the market from 2018.
Battery price speculations: Savvy internet users and EV fans have tracked replacement batteries for the Chevy Volt listed at a retail price of 144.12 USD (105.80 EUR) per kWh. Hence, questions arose on how much these batteries actually cost GM. Has the magical line of 200 USD/kWh (147 EUR/kWh) McKinsey predicted for 2020 been crossed already?!
Friedrich Eichiner, Bob Carter, Paul Hollick.
“Last year, about 90,000 electric vehicles have been sold worldwide and this year it will be another 150,000. If sales continue at this rate, the one million-mark will be reached in a few years.”
Friedrich Eichiner is the CFO of BMW. In an interview with a German newspaper, he talks about why even he is still waiting for his i3 to arrive and why the Bavarian e-car might become for the electric car market what the iPhone was for telecommunications.
abendblatt.de (In German)
“Fuel-cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.”
“We’re confident that, with support from the corporate and public sectors, the adoption of EVs will more than double, from 4,200 to 10,000, over the next three years.”
Paul Hollick, chief commercial officer at Alphabet, believes that a tipping point for acceptance of EVs in fleets is reached since the involvement of mayor car manufacturers.
Formula E goes public, wrong PEV policy strategy in the U.S.?
Video tip: The Formula E is starting to make some noise – marketing wise – and filmed Lucas di Grassi taking a ride down the legendary strip of Las Vegas.
Study tip: Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Rochester Institute of Technology criticise the Obama Administration for a failed PEV promotion. Instead of simply focusing on mainstream consumers, they suggest more strategic and cost-effective incentives.
Fisker, Audi, Lincoln, BMW.
Fisker back in court: A new offer by the Wanxiang Group could see the sale of Fisker being turned around at the last minute. The new bid of 24.75 million USD (18.17 million euros) by the owners of A123 is favoured by creditors and investors. Fisker, however, would like the court to approve the original offer of Richard Li, as they blame Wanxiang for being partly responsible for their bankruptcy.
Updated Sport quattro: Audi is debuting a new and powerful plug-in hybrid car at this year‘s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Apart from a special headlight system, the Sport quattro laserlight concept features an electric motor with 110 kW powered by a 14.1 kWh battery pack that lasts for a 30 miles of electric driving.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid recall: 7,153 MKZ Hybrid cars assembled between April 2012 and September 2013 are being recalled in the USA. According to a notice by the NHTSA, an error in production could cause the automatic car to shift out of ‘Park’ without the driver depressing the brake pedal before.
Test ride the BMW i8: Greg Kable got his hands on a prototype of the upcoming BMW plug-in hybrid and tested it on the Miramas track in France. After extensively trying all driving modes while going through all kinds of curves and situations, Kable has no doubts about where the i8 belongs: „Driving it, is definitely new world“.