Feb 12, 2014 - 09:30 am

BMW sparks interest.

BMW’s American dealers have a list of 65,000 potential buyers for the i3 and i8. According to Trudy Hardy, VP of Marketing for BMW North America, this interest-based demand exceeds supply by far.

Feb 12, 2014 - 09:28 am

Tesla, Azure Embark, University of North Carolina, Limerick University.

Juggling charging: Two patents filed by Tesla, point to preparations for times when super chargers will have to handle many cars at once. U.S. Patent Application 2013/0057209 and 2013/0307475 outline prioritisation models according to state-of-charge, battery temperature or time of arrival.

Hybrid boat: At the Düsseldorf boat show, Italian Azure Embark presented the Ethos 30 or E30. The hybrid boat is equipped with a 13 kW electric motor powered by a 9.2 kWh LiFePO4 battery allowing for a 20 hour cruise at 3.5 knots. Solar panels on the roof are “primarily accessories,” says the company but when in hybrid mode, the E30 will travel 7,000 nautical miles (8,055 mi).
technologicvehicles.com (With videos)

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Lubricant turned electrolyte: Researchers at the University of North Carolina and UC Berkeley, have found a new class of nonflammable electrolytes for li-ion batteries. These electrolytes are based on functionalised perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs), usually used as a heavy-duty lubricant, and remain stable at temperatures beyond 200 °C.

Electrically grown anode: Researchers at Limerick University and University College Cork (Ireland) have developed anodes for li-ion batteries from tin-seeded germanium nanowire arrays. The anodes “grow” into a mechanically stable yet porous structure after about 100 charging cycles, providing a stable anode for about 1,100 cycles.

Feb 12, 2014 - 09:26 am

Brad Berman, Diarmuid O’Connell.

Brad-Berman“Perhaps where the Kia Soul EV will truly stand out to represent a legitimate alternative for EV buyers is in the platform itself.”

While Brad Berman is not particularly impressed by the battery and motor specifications of Kia’s all-electric car, he expects that the “quirky” looks of both the interior and exterior are more likely to attract buyers.

Diarmuid-O-Connell“We’re hoping the government will consider the role Tesla can have in catalysing electric vehicle adoption in China and extend those incentives to Model S as well.”

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, is optimistic after Tesla’s shares reached its record high yesterday following the news about China’s plans to extend its EV subsidies.


Feb 12, 2014 - 09:23 am

Tesla Music Streaming, EV Sales in Norway.

Listening tip: European Tesla drivers will soon be able to tune in to Rdio. The music streaming service has been selected as the default dashboard audio service for Model S, similarly to Slacker in the U.S..
gigaom.com, rdio.com

Click tip: January 2014 has been another great month for EVs in Norway. Once again the Nissan Leaf became the best-selling car in the Nordic country with now almost every tenth car sold being all electric. Second best-selling EV was the VW E-Up followed by the Tesla Model S.

Feb 11, 2014 - 09:37 am

Maruti Suzuki, Honda, China, Renault, Nissan, BMW.

Plug-in-Swift-SuzukiPlug-in by Maruti: The Indian Suzuki subsidiary presents its Swift R.E at the Auto Expo in India. With R.E. standing for Range Extender, the Swift capable of 25 kilometres all-electric drive is better to be called a plug-in hybrid. Together with the 54 kW electric motor, li-ion battery and three-cylinder petrol engine, the Swift R.E. now weighs 1,600 kg.

Honda recalls hybrids: The Japanese carmaker is recalling 70,929 Fit Hybrids (known as Jazz in Europe) and 10,424 Vezel Hybrids produced from July 2013 until now in Japan. It is the third time a recall has been issued concerning Honda’s 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). This time the control software is affected.
thegreencarwebsite.co.uk, puregreencars.com

China extends EV incentives: The current subsidies for EV buyers are set to expire by 2015. However, the Chinese government has planned a follow-up programme “to preserve policy continuity,” the Ministry of Finance stated on its website. Details are yet to follow.

No Zoe for India: Despite being on display at the Auto Expo India, the small electric car will not go on sale in India any time soon. This is possibly due to the lack of charging infrastructure or EV subsidies in the country.

EV world domination: Nissan’s electric flagship the Leaf accounted for 45% of all EV sales worldwide last year. Sales of Renault’s four EVs, namely Kangoo and Fluence Z.E., Zoe and Twizy, rose by 13% in the same time. Together Renault-Nissan now holds 63% of the global market for zero-emission vehicles, according to the company’s 2013 figures.

Video tip: BMW advertises its i3 and i8 during the Sochi games on NBC. While the ‘Shhh’ spot obviously praises the silent electric ride only the i3 can offer, the yet to be launched i8 is promoted as hear-say or simply the future.
youtube.com (Shhhh i3), youtube.com (i8 Sightings), youtube.com (Hello Future i8)

Feb 11, 2014 - 09:36 am

EV Sales in Canada.

In 2013, Canadians bought 3,100 PHEVs, that is an increase of 58% over 2012. Like in January last year, the Chevy Volt is the favourite EV in Canada with 66 sold last month. It is followed by the Nissan Leaf (41) and the Tesla Model S (35).
greencarreports.com, ev-sales.blogspot.de (Sales by model)


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Feb 11, 2014 - 09:34 am

BMW, Washington State University, Greenlots.

Laser lights hit the road: The BMW i8 will be the first production car with optional laser headlights. The lasers are said to double the high-beam range of the standard LEDs, being more energy-efficient at the same time. A camera-aided high-beam assistant will prevent the lights from blinding incoming traffic.
carscoops.com, youtube.com (Video by BMW)

Safer with gummy: Researchers from Washington State University have developed an electrolyte with a texture like chewing gum. It could reduce the risk of fire for lithium batteries dramatically. Furthermore, the material is light-weight and flexible.
electriccarsreport.com, puregreencars.com

Platform for smart charging: San Francisco-based Greenlots has introduced its SKY Smart Charging Platform designed for utilities and smart grid operators to tackle peak load impacts of EV charging. The platform is certified for the use with OpenADR demand response programmes.

Feb 11, 2014 - 09:33 am

Carla Bailo, Willi Diez.

Carla-Bailo“We don’t preclude it someday.”

Carla Bailo, Nissan’s senior vice president for R&D, on plug-in hybrids. While she did not say never, she clarified that hybrids could obviously not be part of the zero emission strategy the company is currently driving forward.

willi-diez“Tesla reminds me of the early days of the internet hype, when all sorts of companies were traded for billions at the stock exchange even though they had never made a penny.”

Willi Diez, head of the Institute for automotive industry in Geislingen, Germany, has his reservations about the electric car prodigy but is impressed how far Tesla actually has come as it is now about to expand its model range.
stuttgarter-zeitung.de (In German)

Feb 11, 2014 - 09:31 am

WAVE Rally 2014, Q&A with Elon Musk and JB Straubel in Oslo.

Event tip: The ‘World Advanced Vehicle Expedition’ or WAVE Rally 2014 is said to be even bigger than last year’s event. With 305 electric cars rolling through Zurich and setting an official Guinness record last year, we wonder how big it will get this time.
youtube.com (Video of WAVE 2013) via green.autoblog.com

Video tip: Almost two weeks ago Tesla’s Elon Musk and JT Straubel were travelling Europe (we reported) to talk directly to customers and reveal more details of Model S leasing and supercharging. Follow the link to watch a recording of their ‘gig’ in Oslo, Europe’s unofficial EV capital.
youtube.com (Video) via cleantechnica.com


Bosch Amps Up

Feb 10, 2014 - 09:55 am

BMW, Mahindra, Mitsubishi, SsangYong, Lexus.

Plug-in BMW 3 series: Apparently BMW is testing a plug-in version of its 3 series in Sweden, spy shots revealed. The car is marked with ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ and has a second fuel cap. Autoblog assumes that the test car could use the same eDrive drivetrain which has been seen before in the X5 prototype. Taken that the X5 comes with a range of 20 miles, the lighter 3 series will probably have at least 30 miles in all-electric mode.
autoblog.com, auozeitung.de (In German)

Details of the Halo: The Mahindra Halo with its 140 hp might not be the most powerful car, it is however fairly lightweight and said to reach 62 mph in under 8 seconds. On the biggest battery it will have a range of 125 miles and reach a top speed of 100 mph. Mahindra is planning to bring the sleek sports car into production after its market feasibility for Europe and India has been studied. At this point, pricing is aimed at 48,000 to 56,000 dollars.

Hybrid triple: Mitsubishi will present its three hybrid concepts seen in Tokyo also in Geneva next month (we reported). Now, more details on the proposed drivetrains have emerged: While the SUV studies GC-PHEV and XR-PHEV will be plug-in hybrids, the Crossover AR showcases a mild hybrid drive assisted with a ‘low output’ motor powered by a 28 Volt li-ion battery.
themalaymailonline.com, autobild.de (In German)

SsangYong’s hybrid concept: The Korean carmaker has published renderings of its hybrid XLV Concept to be presented at Geneva. ‘XLV’ is short for ‘eXciting smart Lifestyle Vehicle’ and said to come as a diesel-hybrid with seven seats.

Luxurious Lexus: Damion Smy put the latest version of the Lexus GS300h Luxury to the test and finds that the car indeed lives up to its name. Smy calls the drive “majestic” and the interior “spacious and comfortable.” Only the throttle behaviour is “disappointing,” still Smy concludes the Lexus to be a very serious competitor for BMW’s 5 series, especially as it offers “a lot of car for the money.” Speaking of money: German Autobild has just recently rated the GS 300h best car of its class in terms of depreciation.
carmagazine.co.uk, newfleet.de (In German)

Feb 10, 2014 - 09:54 am

Used Tesla Model S Prices.

Is a Model S getting better with age, or why else would people pay 99,734 dollars for a second-hand Tesla in the U.S.?! Only explanation Forbes came up with so far, is that demand and therefore waiting time remains high, in particular for the higher equipped Model S. The last time we witnessed this phenomenon was with the second-gen Prius. Is history repeating itself?

Feb 10, 2014 - 09:50 am

Sumitomo, PriMa3D, A123, Porsche, Hybrid Tech, Boston-Power.

Putting used EV batteries back into use: Japanese Sumitomo has installed a power storage unit which utilises recycled EV batteries. This commercial scale storage system uses 16 batteries and is placed in Osaka, where it will go live this February. It is operated by 4R Energy, a joint venture Sumitomo created together with Nissan.

How to print an electric motor? The PriMa3D project of Chemnitz University of Technology and Fraunhofer IFAM is looking for an answer to that question. The partners are working on production technologies involving 3D screen printing of electric drivetrains. The project is part of seven collaborative research projects with a total of 49 partners all working on new concepts for electric motor manufacture. The projects are funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research with 20 million euros (27m dollars).
elektroniknet.de (In German), tu-chemnitz.de (PriMa3D – in German)

Porsche powered by A123: The German carmaker just announced that A123 Systems will be its exclusive technology partner for the development of the energy storage system for the 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype. Porsche also revealed that it will partner with Schaeffler and Veltins brewery on its return to the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Bidding alliance for Fisker: Hybrid Tech Holdings has joined forces with battery supplier Boston-Power from Massachusetts. Together, they will compete against Chinese Wanxiang for the winning bid in the Fisker auction set for the 12th of February.


Feb 10, 2014 - 09:49 am

Michael Viktor Fischer, Henning Kagermann.

Michael-Viktor-Fischer“Until 2020, we want to have 4,000 charging stations all over Austria. None shall be further apart than 60 kilometres from another.”

Michael Viktor Fischer is the CEO of Smatrics, a joint venture with Siemens designed to expand charging infrastructure in Austria. The focus is on erecting stations along highways, malls and hotels.
salzburg.com (In German)

Henning-Kagermann“Aiming at our goal to become the leading market for electric vehicles by 2020, California is a reference to us.”

Henning Kagermann, member of the steering comite of the German joint council ‘Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität,’ sees Germany well-situated in the race to become the leading market for electric mobility but identifies California being in the lead so far.
bizzenergytoday.com (In German)

Feb 10, 2014 - 09:46 am

Electric water crafts, Cadillac ELR.

Study tip: A new research by IDTechEX expects the market for electric water crafts to increase from 2.6 billion dollars of today to 7.3 billion in 2024. At the same time, sales of electric outboard motors will at least have tripled.
idtechex.com, electricvehiclesresearch.com

Video tip: GM leaves no doubt for who its Cadillac ELR is made for: the few that have it all – and still want more. Well, who else is luxury being made for?!
youtube.com, hybridcars.com

Feb 7, 2014 - 09:55 am

Kia, Mahindra, Tesla, Nissan, Toby Perry, Kelley Blue Book.

Kia-Soul-EVKia Soul EV presented: The Koreans took the veil off their first all-electric car at the Chicago Auto Show. The Soul EV is now officially in the run against BMW’s i3 or GM’s Chevy Spark EV and will go on sale in some states in the U.S. in autumn this year. Next to the Soul EV, Kia’s latest Optima Hybrid and Niro hybrid concept are on display.
greencarreports.com (Soul), autoblog.com (Optima), greencarreports.com (Niro)

Mahindra electric: With the Auto Expo India starting today, more details of Mahindra’s exhibits emerge on the web. First of all there is the Formula E racing car M1 Electro. It is joined by the concept Reva Halo, an all-electric sports car, said to come with a range of 200 kilometres (125 miles). Last but not least comes the Mahindra Verito Electric.
indianautosblog.com (M1 Electro), technologicvehicles.com (Reva HALO), worldrapid.com (Verito)

Tesla Model X AWD: Tesla has now confirmed that its upcoming Model X will be offered with all-wheel drive only. The decision followes strong customer feedback showing a clear preference for the AWD solution.

Nissan carry-over: In Chicago, Chevrolet unveiled its City Express van, which is basically a rebadged version of Nissan’s NV200. If GM will further follow the path Nissan laid out with its electric eNV200, and also electrify the City Express remains to be seen. The petrol version goes on sale this autumn.

New EV leadership: Nissan named Toby Perry as new director for EV Marketing & Sales. Perry has been working for the brand in the U.S. and Europe for twenty years. In his new role, he is expected to further Leaf sales and oversee the eNV200 launch.
electriccarsreport.com, hybridcars.com

Cost of ownership: Kelley Blue Book (KBB) published its annual “Cost to own” list. The best plug-in vehicle is the Chevy Spark EV with a 5-year cost to own of 26,421 dollars followed by the Volt (33,462 dollars) and the Honda Accord Hybrid at 36,190 dollars. The Prius came first in the hybrid/alternative energy category costing 31,584 dollars over 5 years.


Feb 7, 2014 - 09:53 am

January 2014 (PH)EV Sales in the U.S.

In total 5,905 electric and plug-in hybrids were sold this January in the USA. This is an increase of 108.4% compared to the same month last year. However, sales of hybrids without a plug receded by almost 22% with 27,085 units sold.

Feb 7, 2014 - 09:50 am

RWTH Aachen, Phinergy, Renault, Toyota.

Engineering e-mobility: The German RWTH Aachen University has now founded the ‘Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components.’ There, students will learn to produce electric drive trains, batteries and other EV components. Professor Achim Kampker presides over the new course of study. He is also the CEO of StreetScooter, an electric delivery van company. For RWTH it is the second EV effort, complementing its recently opened Centre for EV production.
automobil-industrie.vogel.de (In German)

High-energy aluminium-air batteries: Together, Israel-based Phinergy and Alcoa want to develop aluminum-air batteries. Phinergy says its batteries would have an increased lifespan and can power an electric car for up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km).
greencarcongress.com, chargedevs.com

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Next Two details: ‘Greencarcongress’ has more details about Renault’s autonomous electric car of 2020. The Next Two prototype is based on the Zoe and is able to drive autonomously in congested traffic at speeds of up to 30 kph or at automated valet parking. The driver can then make use of the integrated video-conference service for example.

Unintentional winter testing: The latest arctic spells over the USA and Canada saw Toyota’s fuel cell cars being put to the test. According to reports from companies using the FCHV in their fleets, the cars worked just fine in sub-zero conditions.

Feb 7, 2014 - 09:48 am

Bob Carter, Ken Ogata.

Robert-Carter“If every vehicle in California ran on hydrogen, we could meet refuelling logistics with only 15 percent of the nearly 10,000 gasoline stations currently operating in the state.”

Speaking at the opening of the Chicago Auto Show yesterday, Toyota’s Senior Vice President Bob Carter said that the company’s green car credibility will continue to grow because of its upcoming hydrogen fuel cell car, due next year.

Ken-Ogata“Using this technique will help make battery design much more systematic, and less trial and error.”

Dr. Ken Ogata, Department of Engineering at Cambridge University, on a new method to monitor what happens inside silicon lithium batteries. The researchers went down to atomic level, using a combination of nanotechnology and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques.

Feb 7, 2014 - 09:45 am

Horizon 2020, EV Safety, Electric Highway, Events.

Click tip: Eight million euros (10.9m dollars) are available in the EU’s Horizon programme for electric two-wheelers. Additionally, the ‘Green Vehicle’ initiative holds 129 million euros (175m dollars) for projects in battery research and other related fields. Get digging!
ec.europa.eu (List), ec.europa.eu (Horizon PDF)

Video tip: In this video mainly addressed to rescue workers, you can learn safe handling of an electric vehicle, namely a Tesla, in case of an emergency. Or you can just watch it to take a closer look at the batteries of the Model S.
youtube.com (Video)

Video tip: Fully Charged proudly presents its trip up the electric highway between London and Edinburgh. 13 hours are boiled down to 13 minutes, so take a virtual seat in the Nissan Leaf and enjoy the scenery.
youtube.com (Video) via electric-vehiclenews.com

Select events for the upcoming week: Auto Expo New Delhi (02-07-2014 – 02-11-2014, New Delhi, India) ++ SAE 2014 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium (02-11-2014 – 02-13-2014, La Jolla, USA).
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar

Feb 6, 2014 - 09:38 am

Renault, Mahindra, Hero, Honda, UQM, Pantherwerke.

Renault-KWIDSay Hello to KWID: Renault unveiled its latest concept at the Auto Expo India. The sturdy chassis and the oversized wheels give the Kwid a buggy-look. The interior is inspired by a bird’s nest with wing-like doors, opening up electrically. Speaking of birds – Kwid comes with an integrated drone, which can be used for personal traffic surveillance. Powered by a petrol engine for now, Kwid is “Z.E. ready,” meaning there is space for a battery and the plug is already integrated.
indianautosblog.com, green.autoblog.com, technologicvehicles.com (With videos)

Hybrid Diesel: Mahindra is presenting its XUV500 hybrid at the Auto Expo India. The SUV comes with a diesel engine assisted by a permanent magnet synchronous motor that gets its energy from a li-ion battery. Equipped with a manual transmission, Mahindra claims the XUV500 hybrid will save up to 18% on fuel compared to its diesel-only version.

Hero Scooter: At its home show Auto Expo, Indian manufacturer Hero is displaying two hybrid scooters. With the Leap Hybrid SES being at preproduction stage, the Hero RNT is still a concept. The Leap is in fact an e-scooter featuring a 124cc range extender. The hybrid drivetrain in the RNT is realised by a diesel engine powering the rear and an electric motor powering the front wheels, thus making it an all-wheel drive bike.
technologicvehicles.com (With videos)

Honda Civic sale start: Honda’s 2014 version of its Civic hybrid is now available all over the U.S., starting at 24,635 dollars. Next is the updated Civic powered by CNG, which is expected ten days later and will be available from 26,640 dollars.
green.autoblog.com, greencarcongress.com

UQM capital rise: Colorado-based UQM Technologies, developer of drivetrains for electric vehicles, has announced that it successfully raised its capital by 5.3m dollars through institutional investors. The money will be mainly used for potential joint ventures and capacity expansions.

Pantherwerke down: German (electric) bicycle manufacturer Panther has filed for insolvency. While based in Germany, it operated factories in Eastern Europe. The Lithuania plant was sold in November last year and the company continues to trade as BV Cycles GmbH from Germany. What effects the bankruptcy will have on other Panther operations is uncertain.

Feb 6, 2014 - 09:36 am

Nissan Leaf.

Nissan proudly announced that it has counted 429,000,000 miles driven by its 100,000 Leafs currently on the roads and registered to the Carwings telematic system.

Feb 6, 2014 - 09:36 am

BASF, Fuel Cell Tuk-Tuk, Hydrogen Smart, Prius Roadster.

BASF facility in Japan: The chemical company opened its ‘R & D Lab and Application Technology Center for Battery Materials’ in Amagasaki. Its focus is on electrolytes and electrode materials for high-performance lithium ion batteries and is BASF’s first operation of this kind in South-East Asia.

Millennium Tuk-Tuk: The result of a joint effort by Birmingham University, UK and DYPDC centre for automotive research in Pune will be presented at Auto Expo this week. The researchers claim to have designed a four-wheeled hydrogen Rikscha. The “fuel” is generated through solar cells, powering a thermal compressor that splits water into H2 and O2.

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Hydrogen Smart: H2-mobil is a project run by South Westphalia University. Their work on converting a Smart into a fuel cell vehicle has been going on for some years and is now bearing fruit. The first so-called H2toDrive is almost ready to enter service in the city of Sundern. To fund the project, operator ProNet Energy is currently looking for 30 sponsors wanting to see their logo on the sides of the fuel cell Smart. In 2014, 30 units will be built for 60,000 euros (81,000 dollars) each, though the price is said to come down at the end of this year.
derwesten.de (In German)

Prius Roadster: Toyota engineers developed the TE-Spyder800 in their spare time, using parts mainly from the Prius and put them on a MR2 base. The resulting plug-in hybrid roadster is working but production is not scheduled – yet.
technologicvehicles.com via earthtechling.com

Feb 6, 2014 - 09:34 am

Elon Musk.

Elon-Musk“We hope the big car companies do copy Tesla. When you consider what is the fundamental good Tesla will achieve, it’s getting the rest of the car industry to move toward sustainable transport faster. I don’t know why they’re taking so long.”

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not afraid of established carmakers, he is impatient about them catching up with him. He can certainly see his company making “millions of electric cars” rather sooner than later.

Feb 6, 2014 - 09:32 am

GM EV1 sightings in China.

Click tip: Back in the day, GM tried to kill its electric car but apparently two of the nowadays cherished EV1 found refuge in China. There, they lead a peaceful life in museums but are said to be fully operational still.

Feb 5, 2014 - 09:41 am

GM India, Toyota, Kia, Audi, Hercules.

Concept Chevy in India: GM India published teaser images showing a compact SUV concept car named Adra, designed and developed at GM’s Technical Centre in India. What engine the Chevrolet will come with is not known but anything else than a plug-in would be pretty surprising.

Toyota-Camry-Hybrid2014Camry in new trim: Toyota will start selling its Camry Hybrid in a SE Limited Edition in the U.S. later this month. The hybrid best-seller will receive a sportier look and some interior upgrades. Being a limited edition, only 5,000 units will be build.
autoblog.com, hybridcars.com

True eco Soul: The new Kia Soul EV not only will be powered by a “green” drivetrain but also uses bio materials in its interior like bio degradable plastic, bio-foam or bio textiles. UL Environment has now officially validated the Soul EV’s claim of using ten percent bio material overall.
nextgreencar.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk

The lucky few: Audi announced the drivers of its R18 e-tron quattro D racing car for WEC and Le Mans. Title defenders Loïc Duval and Tom Kristensen are joined by Lucas di Grassi. For the endurance races, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer will compete. Further, Audi plans to start with an additional R18 team at Le Mans and Spa.

Hercules back home: Dutch Accell Group announced the sale of German bike manufacturer Hercules to ZEG, a buyer collective in Germany. It was said that Hercules’ product range was being too close to Winora’s, another Accell brand, especially in the e-bike segment. The divestment will result in a three-million euros book profit for Accell.
bike-eu.com, bike-eu.com (Statement Winora)

Feb 5, 2014 - 09:40 am

Top Electric Car States.

In Washington and Hawaii, EVs made up 1.6% of all newly registered cars between January and November 2013. This makes both the U.S. states with the highest percentage of electric cars, followed by California (1.4%) and Georgia (1.1%).

Feb 5, 2014 - 09:39 am

Samsung SDI, IHS Automotive, Shimano, Renault.

New battery factory: Samsung SDI has signed an agreement with Shannxi Province and Anqing Ring to build a car battery factory in Shaanxi, China. The joint venture will be set up by April with Samsung investing about 600 million dollars over the next five years. Production is set to start as early as next year.

EVs on the rise: According to IHS Automotive, worldwide production of plug-in electric vehicles will increase by 67% this year, mounting to 403,000 electric and hybrid vehicles. Driven by tighter emission standards in Europe, this will also lead to more choices for consumers and eventually result in 1.1 million charging stations worldwide by the end of 2014.

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Werbebanner-electriveCom-300x150Every workday, “electrive.com today” delivers the latest electric-mobility news from around the world right to your inbox – short, to the point and free of charge. Made in Germany! We cover global stories but also keep a focus on relevant news from the German electric car industry! Anyone, that would like to receive a free subscription, just needs to email us at subscribe@electrive.com or visit www.electrive.com

Get closer to Steps: Shimano introduced its new e-bike system Steps in Bremen, Germany. While being exclusive to the German market in its first year, Dutch Jan Willem van Schaik gave the system a go. He finds it “working smoothly,” especially as all components – mechanical or electric – come from one supplier. First test pedelecs are expected at German dealerships next month.

Self-experiment: Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn himself tested the autonomous Zoe called Next Two. The busy manager particularly enjoyed the opportunity to relax and let someone else take care of the steering. The technology is expected to be fully developed in 2020 but the Next Two prototype can already “navigate” through stop-and-go traffic or motorways safely today.
youtube.com (Video) via thegreencarwebsite.co.uk

Feb 5, 2014 - 09:38 am

Erich Merkle, Maya Vautier.

Erich-Merkle-Ford“We’re seeing some real softness in the overall electrified vehicle segment because of… the more affordable gas prices that are out there right now.”

Erich Merkle analyses U.S. sales for Ford and concludes that EVs are struggling in general due to low gas prices and extremely cold weather in January.

Maya-Vautier-Renault“It doesn’t call into question our EV strategy.”

Renault’s Maya Vautier denies any notion that the production stop of the Fluence Z.E. in Turkey would have a negative effect on Renault’s plant in Bursa, Korea or the company’s overall EV strategy.

Feb 4, 2014 - 09:36 am

Volkswagen, Brammo, Kia, Mitsubishi, Subaru.

Polo plug-in hybrid: Volkswagen has just confirmed plans to introduce the city car as PHEV as well as CNG powered version as early as next year. VW’s small plug-in will use the ‘TwinDrive system,’ which can be combined with either petrol or diesel engines. VW made it clear though that the Polo drivetrain will be different from the plug-in drive of the upcoming Golf GTE.

Brammo-Empulse-2014Brammo Empulse updated: The 2014 models of the Empulse and Empulse R electric motorcycles are now 4.5 kg less heavy, which leads to improved handling and performance figures. The refined all-electric motorbikes will become available during 2014 with prices starting at 16,995 dollars.
electriccarsreport.com, puregreencars.com

Kia Soul EV fully exposed: The production version of the Korean electric car has been caught on camera before its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The Soul EV has the Kia typical ‘Tiger Nose’ but comes with accents in friendly blue and has a closed-off grille, which is actually bigger as on the standard soul. An electric range of over 120 miles speaks of tiger-like strength.
green.autoblog.com, transportevolved.com

Mitsubishi concepts in Geneva: The Japanese carmaker will show its studies of SUV plug-in hybrids GC-PHEV and XR-PHEV for the first time in Europe at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Both concepts debuted at Tokyo Motor Show in November last year.
tagesanzeiger.ch (In German)

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid: The editors of ‘Green Packs’ took a closer look at Subaru’s hybrid SUV that comes with a 3.4 hp electric motor powered by a 13.5kWh nickel-metal hydride battery to support the boxer petrol engine. According to Green Packs, the new hybrid could be a leap to the future for Subaru and help in reaching out to new customers.

Found on electrive.com
12.02.2014 09:50