May 20, 2014 - 08:44 am

BMW i8 commercials, Jay Leno's McLaren P1.

Video tip I: None less than Gus Van Sant has directed this trilogy of ad clips promoting the BMW i8. And he is not the only star who lends its name to the hybrid super-car as the cast includes Sting’s daughter Mickey Sumner and Sam Hazeldine. (with all three videos)

Video tip II: Jay Leno is the proud owner of the first McLaren P1 in America. Of course he had to take it for a test drive! He even invited McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt to his garage to walk him through everything P1. via

May 19, 2014 - 08:25 am

Mitsubishi, BMW, Hyundai, Terra Motors, Tesla.

Ready for Russia: The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has successfully managed eight weeks of very cold weather testing (-30°C) in Russia. Now, everything is ready for the market launch set for the end of August at the Moscow Motor Show.

No bigger battery, yet: After an unspecified battery option on the Spanish i3 configuration page had nurtured hopes of a bigger battery to be introduced (we reported), BMW now clarified that this was just about a 12 V battery. However, a bigger battery for the EV is in the making, the German carmaker said. (in German)

Hyundai hybrid in Middle America: The South Korean company announced it would start selling the hybrid Sonata in Ecuador this month. It will then be made available to other countries too, like Chile and Colombia and the Bahamas later this year.

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Terra Motors to expand: The Japanese two-wheeler specialist has successfully raised 10 million dollars. The investment will be used to expand further into Asian markets, namely India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand and Taiwan.

Right-hand drive Model S: Tesla will deliver its first electric car with a right-hand drive to the UK on 7th June with more to come. In Britain, the Model S costs up to 98,000 pounds (165,000 dollars) and its uptake has been rather low compared to other European markets.

May 19, 2014 - 08:24 am


Ambitious 4,500 kilometres (2,485 miles) will be covered by the participants of the eTourEurope. Last weekend, various electric cars gathered in Munich for the start of the rallye that will lead them to nine European cities, covering about 450 km (279 miles) a day.,


Precision Power Laser

May 19, 2014 - 08:23 am

TECMEHV, Energiepark Mainz, Velogical, Intermodal Bike.

E-learning for e-mobility: TECMEHV stands for ‘Training and Development of European Competences on Maintenance of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles’ and is a EU-funded project of the Duisburg-Essen University. They developed an online platform for mechanics and apprentices providing information on EVs and hybrids. First language is English with more languages to follow soon. (in German), (project’s website)

Energiepark-MainzRenewable Energy storage: Construction of the ‘Energiepark Mainz’ has started. The new facility in Germany is a joint effort by utility provider Stadtwerke Mainz AG, Siemens AG, The Linde Group and RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. The pilot plant will produce hydrogen using electricity from renewable sources, mostly from nearby wind power stations and is set to commence operation next year.

Mini e-bike kit: German Velogical, a dynamo specialist, now offers an electric drive. Two electric motors sit on either side of the rim. Together, they deliver 40 Nm of torque and 300 W of continuous power. The system weighs only 1.6 kilos including the 92 Wh battery. The Velospeeder is set to launch next year. (with video)

Ultra-compact folder: A team of developers from various European countries has built a folding bike that weighs just 7.5 kilos and folds down to the size of a briefcase. The ‘Intermodal Bike’ is made of aluminium and magnesium using sail-grade cables. For the future, a pedelec with a system by Maxon Motor is planned and said to be offered for 1,500 euros.

May 19, 2014 - 08:22 am

Elon Musk.

Elon-Musk“There’s going to need to be lots of Gigafactories. Just to supply auto demand you need 200 Gigafactories.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts that growing demand for low price Li-ion batteries will make multiple mega-facilities like the one Tesla plans necessary.

May 19, 2014 - 08:20 am

Wrightspeed, Beijing, Events.

Video tip: Maybe this electric truck will serve James Bond in one of his next films as it certainly shows some superstar potential in this video ad by Wrightspeed Powertrains. (video) via

Reading tip: Three foreigners in Beijing decided to rent an electric car in China and were surprised by how easy and convenient it was.

Selected events for this week: eTourEurope (18 – 26 May, multiple European cities) ++ Advanced Automotive Battery Conference Asia (19 – 23 May, Kyoto, Japan) ++ ICN Summit (20 . 23 May, Copenhagen, Denmark) ++ Int. Transport Forum (21 – 23 May, Leipzig, Germany) ++ Int. Conf. on electrified transport (21 – 22 May, Gothenburg, Sweden), 6th Int. German Hydrogen Energy Congress (22 – 23 May, Berlin, Germany) ++ eMobility Summit 2014 (22 – 23 May, Berlin, Germany)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at


May 16, 2014 - 08:29 am

Rolls-Royce, Formula E, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Holden.

Rolls-Royce to become electric: The first plug-in hybrid of the luxurious brand is said to come within the next three years, most possibly in the Phantom model. Because the 102EX electric Phantom demonstrator was well received back in 2011, the carmaker is also discussing an all-electric version. (plug-in hybrid) via, (electric)

Formula E cars delivered: As the electric racing series opened its new HQ at Donington Park, UK, the first ten Spark-Renault SRT_01E were handed over to the teams. Pre-season testing though will only begin in July. At the same time, FIA named French EDF as official technical supplier. (race cars), (EDF)

Second best: The Honda Accord has succeeded the Toyota Prius as California’s best-selling car in the first quarter of 2014. Toyota had held the pole position for two years but failed to match Honda’s 15,611 Accords by inches as the Prius “only” sold 15,318 times.,

Spy shots: New pictures of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer seem to confirm that the German carmaker is indeed working on getting the plug-in hybrid study ready for production. The test model bears a sticker identifying it as “Hybrid Test Vehicle.”

Australian EV, almost: The Holden Commodore sold in Australia, also known as Vauxhall VXR8 (UK) or Chevy SS (USA), is combustion engine only but had actually been planned as EV. Shortly before its completion though, partners like Futuris, Better Place, GE Finance or Bosch pulled out for various reasons, leaving Holden as importer without an EV. The last remaining partner, Axiflux, is holding out looking for partners Down Under still. Anyone?!

May 16, 2014 - 08:28 am

Hyundai-Kia hybrid sales.

Hyundai-Kia passed the 200,000 mark for its global hybrid sales in the first quarter of this year. The success comes after expanding further into Europe, Asia and North America while broadening the hybrid offering at the same time, the group said.

May 16, 2014 - 08:27 am

Orange EV, RDM Group, University of California, Riverside.

OrangeEVCommercial EV: Orange EV presented its T-Series, a terminal truck used to move cargo in ports and other distribution centres. The short-haul drayage is a perfect playing field for electrification as it implies short ways and multiple charging opportunities. Orange EV also offers conversions.,

Electric pedestrian pods: British engineering office RDM Group has become the manufacturing partner for the Low Carbon Urban Transport Zone (LUTZ) Pathfinder project, which will see electric powered pods used in Milton Keynes by 2015. In a first step, RDM will work with Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) to create three two-seaters with a top speed of 7 mph.,

Integrating EVs and renewables: The University of California, Riverside (UCR) started its ‘Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative.’ Its smart-grid test bed includes four megawatts of solar panels, two megawatt-hours of battery energy storage, 27 EV charging stations, one electric trolley bus and energy monitoring, management and control tools.,


May 16, 2014 - 08:26 am

Richard Collar, Michael Lord.

Richard-Collar“The electric powertrain is something very true to Rolls Royce, it’s effortless, there’s huge amounts of torque and it is perfectly quiet.”

Richard Collar, Head of Bespoke Sales and Marketing for Rolls-Royce, hints at an electric model but did not go into detail.

Michael-Lord“We do not believe there is strong growth in the EV market. Subsidising the market is for now the only way to sell these vehicles as their limited range and long refuelling time is discouraging most potential customers. Lithium technology does not provide the performance or the cost factors to appeal to the mainstream.”

Michael Lord, Senior Principal Engineer at Toyota Technical Center, on the company’s insistence on what he calls a “mixed portfolio” that includes gasoline.

May 15, 2014 - 08:25 am

BMW, Audi, Hero Cycles/MIFA, Formula E, Hyundai.

BMW i5 to come? The Car and Driver website is trying to guess which model BMW might electrify next. To support the speculation they published a rendering of what the i5 could look like. The price is imagined to be competitive to the Tesla Model S base version’s.

Audi’s short-term strategy: In an interview with ‘auto motor und sport,’ Audi’s chief developer Ulrich Hackenberg said that Li-ion is the battery technology of choice for the company’s plug-ins for now. While wireless charging is certain to come by 2017, Hackenberg left open if it would be used for a hybrid or all-electric model first. (in German)

No Indian take-over: Rumour has it that Hero Cycles is about to take over the German Mitteldeutsche Fahrradwerke (MIFA) as the Indian company plans to invest 15 million euros (20.6m dollars). A MIFA spokesperson said that the investment would not make Hero a majority shareholder. Hero however replied that a final decision on how many shares the money would buy has yet to be made. (in German)

50 million for electric race series: Formula E Holdings has successfully concluded its first “lap” of financing, collecting 50 million dollars. The main investors are Qualcomm, Amura Capital und Causeway Media Partners with three more to be announced shortly.

Fuel cell fashion: Hyundai asked students of the London College of Fashion (LCF) to design a 2D campaign to raise awareness of fuel cells. The winners of the ‘Fashioned Fuel Cell’ will see their design printed and applied to ten ix35 cars to be used for VIP chauffeur services.

More speculation: Apparently, the Spanish i3 online configuration page contains a new battery option called “Bateria de mayor potencia.” While details about that option are not further specified it could be the first sign of BMW planning to provide its electric debutant with more range soon.


May 15, 2014 - 08:23 am

April 2014 BYD sales.

BYD has sold 910 Qins in April 2014, bringing the total for its hybrid in the first four months to 3,294 units. The electric e6 has been sold 262 times last month adding up to a total of 881 this year.

May 15, 2014 - 08:23 am

Chevrolet, Veloschmitt, Lightning Motorcycles, Celgard/Pansonic.

Chevy-Spark-EVMeet the new E-Spark: The 2015 Chevy Spark EV will get a new battery pack solely produced at GM’s Brownstown facility. The new system is said to be 39 kilos lighter and features an overall storage capacity of 19 kWh using 192 lithium ion cells by LG Chem. The range of the Spark will remain at an EPA-rated 82 miles.,

Mini-car turned e-bike: The legendary Messerschmitt has been reborn as ‘Veloschmitt’ – now a pedal-assisted e-trike. The two-seater comes with a 250 W pedelec drive and will sell for 5,200 euros. According to its German designers, motors with up to 1,500 watts might be made available soon.

Lightning fast and strong as a thunderstorm, yet legal, is what Lightning Motorcycles strives its electric superbike to be. So far, only a teaser image has been presented of the LS-218, which is supposed to come with the power of 136 kW and 228 Nm of torque.

Separator cooperation: Polypore International’s Celgard subsidiary and Panasonic have announced a five-year supply agreement. Panasonic will purchase Celgard brand separators for its EV lithium-ion batteries. As the companies have been working together in the past, the agreement now is its a formalisation.

May 15, 2014 - 08:21 am

Jun Seki, Amy Rein Worth.

Jun-Seki“China is serious about pushing the adoption of new-energy vehicles, and no other country can compare with the subsidies that it’s giving out.”

Jun Seki, head of Nissan’s China business, has a target to gain 20% of EV sales in China for the Japanese company.

Amy-Rein-Worth“It’s one thing to say that drivers can fuel an EV for only about 20 percent of the cost of a gasoline-powered car, or that EVs can cut the typical driver’s operating and maintenance costs by 1,200 dollars a year. But these are just numbers until people experience for themselves how much fun to drive these cars are.”

Amy Rein Worth of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which is driving the ‘Experience Electric — The Better Ride’ campaign in California designed to get more people into EVs.


May 15, 2014 - 08:20 am

Tesla Model S cartoon, Car technologies.

Click tip: A Model S review that lovingly describes the Tesla as a “spaceboat of light and wonder” got to be different – it is actually a cartoon. The cartoonist behind the Oatmeal blog does not stop at the love for his car but wants to show his gratuity to the “greatest geek who ever lived” (no, not Elon) and is currently looking for funding to build a Nikola Tesla museum. Will Elon Musk give the full 8 million dollars needed? (Model S review), (Tesla museum)

Reading tip: Head over to BBC to learn about how evolving technologies have changed the way we drive, use and think about the car. Also, the article gives an quick outlook on what driving a car will be like in the future.

May 14, 2014 - 08:49 am

Volkswagen, Infiniti, Honda, TDR Bikes, Lexus.

VW commercial vans to be electrified: At the VW shareholder meeting in Hannover, CEO Martin Winterkorn said his corporation will “most probably” electrify its utility vehicles soon. He named the Transporter as well as the new Crafter, which is supposed to start by the end of 2016. (in German)

Infiniti update: The first electric Infiniti is now scheduled for 2017 as part of Nissan’s business plan ‘Power 88.’ The Inifiniti will not only be purely electric but is said to be charged inductively too. Originally, the all-electric sedan was scheduled to arrive 2014.

E-Golf for the states: From the fourth quarter of this year, VW will bring its electric Golf to the U.S. It will be the first all electric model from Volkswagen on the continent. In which states it will be launched first and how much it will cost has yet be announced.,

Honda revival: According to the British Auto Express, the Japanese are planning to freshen up their image. The NSX (we reported) and S660 will be joined by a revived roadster, the S2000 by 2017. The roadster will get hybrid technology which is said to come from McLaren.

Bankruptcy: Dutch e-bike manufacturer TDR Bikes is out of business. The company founded by former Rabo Bank team manager Theo de Rooij gave quality issues as well as missing cashflow as reasons. Last year, one of TDR’s main suppliers of electronics declared bankruptcy, too.

Truly sorry: Lexus’ anti-EV affair (we reported) is almost over. After renewed protest, namely by Plug In America, the brand known for its hybrids has now taken the disputable content offline and promised to “alter and adjust” any misleading or incorrect information.,

May 14, 2014 - 08:48 am

Nissan Leaf sales.

Bing! 110,000 Nissan Leafs have been sold worldwide by the end of March this year. According to the company, this makes for almost 50 percent market share in EVs.

May 14, 2014 - 08:47 am

Power Japan Plus, Smith Electric Vehicles, Tesla, Eberspaecher catem.

All-carbon battery: Power Japan Plus is developing a battery that uses carbon for both the anode and cathode. It is said to make charging up to 20 times faster than with Li-ion batteries while enabling up to 3,000 charging cycles. The company hired Kaname Takeya, who developed the cathode technology used today in Toyota’s Prius and Tesla.,

Smith-Electric-VehicleMutual self-interest: After production grounded to a halt for consolidation (we reported), Smith Electric Vehicles has found fresh capital. With its 41 million dollar-investment Chinese Sinopoly Battery will become a new shareholder and, in return, the exclusive supplier of batteries. Together, the companies will operate as FDG Electric Vehicles.,

On your watch: Consumer Reports took a close look at Tesla’s titanium shield at the underbody of the Model S. In the video Consumer Reports shows which modifications were done to their Model S test car to minimise the risk of road debris damaging the battery. via

E-Golf energy management: Volkswagen is using the second generation PTC high-voltage heaters from Eberspaecher catem for managing the heating for the electric Golf. The same technology with intelligent output control is also found inside the VW E-Up.

May 14, 2014 - 08:46 am

Mamoru Aoki.

Mamoru-Aoki“Tesla doesn’t look EV at all. The Tesla S just looks nice, very sporty, sleek, but very authentic.”

Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s global design chief, is aiming for a more mainstream design for the next-gen Nissan Leaf by taking the Model S as an example.

May 14, 2014 - 08:41 am

Electric motorcycles and scooters, Nissan ZEOD RC.

Study tip: According to Navigant Research, power two-wheel vehicles (PTW), including e-motorcycles and e-scooters will continue to grow rather slowly, from 1.2 million vehicles in 2014 to 1.4 million in 2023 (e-motorcycles) and 4.1 million to 4.6 million (e-scooters). via

Video tip: Jason Fenske from ‘Engineering Explained’ looks at the electrical systems and Zero Emissions on Demand (ZEOD) motors of Nissan’s ZEOD RC which has a top speed of 300 kph. (video) via

May 13, 2014 - 09:02 am

Audi, Toyota/Tesla, Mitsubishi, Cadillac.

Audi-A3-etron-300Audis e-tron series: Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced to offer the next A6 and A8 as plug-in hybrids. Furthermore, he hinted at more pure electric cars apart from the R8 e-tron – if cell technology would continue to advance as rapidly. Next up is the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid., (in German)

No more Rav4 EVs from Tesla? In its quarterly filing, the Californian electric car maker announced the deal about the delivery of components for Toyota’s electric RAV4 is to conclude later this year. So far, the Japanese have not confirmed the news.,

Certified safety: The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV again proves a firm favourite with safety authorities as it has just received a five-star rating from the Japanese JNCAP. The same it got from the European counterpart, the NCAP. According to Mitsubishi there are currently 90,000 plug-in Outlanders on order in Europe., (orders, in German)

Mind the fine print: The battery warranty of the Cadillac ELR comes with a limitation: GM does not warrant for gradual loss of battery capacity, which apparently may be as much as 40% over eight years. Those in California or states that adopted its regulation do not have to worry though as the 150,000 miles AT-PZEV warranty applies.

May 13, 2014 - 09:01 am

Pedelec sales in Switzerland.

Is a drop of 12 percent in pedelec sales the end of a trend? Not quite as the Swiss market made up for the loss in 2013 with a rise in sales of speed pedelecs (45 kph) by 7.7% compared to 2012. Overall, every seventh bike sold in the Alps is electric nowadays.

May 13, 2014 - 08:58 am

Schaeffler/Continental, PEM fuel cells, Nigeria.

48-volt concept: At the Vienna Motor Symposium, Schaeffler and Continental presented a mild hybrid in what they dubbed the ‘Gasoline Technology Car’ (GTC). Based on the Ford Focus the GTC is said to use 17% less gasoline than a conventional compact car.

Less platinum, longer life: Researchers at the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai found that new platinum-iridium alloy catalysts for PEM fuel cells led to a “drastic” improvement in durability and stability while using 50% less platinum.,

Even less platinum: A new electrospinning/electrospraying (E/E) technique for fuel cell electrodes results in high power densities with ultra-low platinum loadings. The method which produces a nanoparticle cathode catalyst layer has been developed by researchers at Drexel University, USA.

Nigeria’s first electric car has been built by student Segun Oyeyiola. His conversion of a VW Bug features a solar roof and is said to come with enough range for the family’s daily errands.

May 13, 2014 - 08:53 am

John Hanson, Kjell Anderton.

John-Hanson“This was a project for a specific number of vehicles that we planned to sell for a specific number of years. We have not made any announcement about the relationship or what we’ll do with Tesla in the future.”

Toyota’s spokesperson John Hanson about the end of the RAV4 EV as told by Tesla. Apparently the initial deal from 2011 was about components for 2,600 units of Toyota’s electric car of which the company has sold 1,594 so far.

anonym“We were surprised to find that only 6 percent would consider investing in electric vehicles. We don’t believe EVs have become mainstream enough for them, which is a shame. Perhaps it’s just a lack of education.”

Kjell Anderton, director of TrackCompare, on the latest online quick survey held amongst fleet operators. According to the recent poll, only 6% of the participating fleet operators would consider to invest into EVs for their fleets any time soon. The participants were mainly worried about charging opportunities.

May 13, 2014 - 08:49 am

1906 Mercedes Mixte hybrid, Ikea sells e-bike.

Click tip: Yet another car maker finds its electric roots. Meet the “Mercedes Mixte”, dating as far back as 1906. With its two rear-wheel motors the series hybrid was initially designed for the race track.

Shopping tip: Ikea in Austria is now selling the already-assembled Folkvänlig pedelec. The stylish e-bike, which received various awards at the Taipei Cycle Show, Eurobike and the IF Design Award, is available for just 749 euros (1,030 dollars).

May 12, 2014 - 08:28 am

Fiat, Subaru, Hybrid SUVs, Porsche, Cadillac.

500e recall: Chrysler Group has issued the second recall for its electric Fiat 500e compliance car. Over time, coolant could seep into the power inverter module and cause a short-circuit followed by power loss. 4,151 cars are affected and will have their inverter module replaced.

Plug-in hybrid from Subaru: Subaru announced a new plug-in hybrid in order to meet U.S. zero emissions vehicle regulations taking effect in 2018. The vehicle will be based on Toyota’s hybrid technology and chances are it will be a new seven-seat SUV, replacing the aging Tribeca. via

No big hybrids: The bigger the car, the more a hybrid engine can help improve mileage. Nevertheless, big hybrids are having a hard time in the States. Giants like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS hybrids have already been discontinued there. via,

Porsche loves hybrid: With the Panamera Turbo S, 911 Turbo S, Macan S and GT4 expected to get a partly-electric heart soon, it is safe to say that Porsche has jumped on the hybrid bandwagon for good. For more details on these desirable sports cars, check out the links below. via,

Luxurious ELR: The New York Times finally got their hands on the Cadillac ELR. The review is rather detailed and comes with a video. The general verdict is positive, with the only real downer being the car’s 82,135-dollar price tag.

May 12, 2014 - 08:25 am

EV sales in Denmark.

In April, 124 electric cars were sold in Denmark, lifting the EV market share up to 0.65 percent. Best-seller was the Nissan Leaf with 84 units, followed by the Tesla Model S (15) and the VW E-Up (13).

May 12, 2014 - 08:24 am

BMW/SGL, Team Future Electric, Michelin, Mahindra.

BMW and SGL: The German joint venture is planing to expand its carbon fibre production in Moses Lake, USA. To meet demand of the lightweight material used in BMW’s electric cars, 120 new workers will be hired by early 2015, bringing the number of employees to 200. In total, BMW will invest 200 million dollars in the facility in Washington State.,

Team Future Electric: The consortium of Danish companies and the Aalborg Univeristy have developed a new kind of e-motorbike, ready to hit the track at the FIM eRoadRacing Championship and Moto E. Weighing only 180 kilos, the bike can go from zero to 100 in 2.5 seconds. (plus video)

Michelin invests in fuel cell technology: According to rumours, Michelin has bought 31% of minority shares of French company Symbio FCell, helping it increase capital. The latter is working on fuel cell range extenders, which are currently being tested in the French post office’s HyKangoo.

Mahindra sites in Michigan: The Indian company wants to build up to 9,000 units of the GenZe electric two-wheeler at its new factory in Michigan. And with the expansion of the Mahindra North American Technical Center (MNATC), the company adds engineering expertise as well as vehicle prototyping capabilities to its global operations.,,

May 12, 2014 - 08:23 am

Richard Bruce, Gong Zheng.

Richard-Bruce“This isn’t a failed policy. In fact, it’s just a long-term policy and one whose importance has been recognised in the recent spending review.”

Richard Bruce, head of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), emphasises that his office gave out 600 percent more in subsidies for new cars in January 2014 than it did in January 2013.

Gong-Zheng“The turning point of new energy is now, and we want to see BYD grow the same way we saw Jack Ma’s Alibaba grow years ago.”

Secretary Gong Zheng of Hangzhou’s Municipal Committee (China) comments on why his city chose to order a record number of electric buses and taxis.

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20.05.2014 08:27