GM and Amazon interested in Rivian
General Motors and Amazon intend to acquire minority stakes in Rivian, which would raise the valuation of the EV start-up to somewhere between 1 and 2 billion dollars. If negotiations are successful, the corresponding deals could be officially announced this month.
Toyota creates future concept e-Palette and alliance
With its versatile concept e-Palette put on display at CES, Toyota gives an idea of its vision of future mobility. The adaptable vehicle – of course, all-electric and autonomous – can be transformed into many different vehicle types. An alliance shall help to develop the vehicle.
Hyundai, Amazon, Plug Power, Ballard, VTOL.
Hyundai to develop solid-state batteries? The Korean car manufacturer readies battery tech based on solid rather than liquid electrolytes, Korea Herold reports referring to insider information. Hyundai apparently operates pilot production facilities already but does not intend to go serial before 2025. Also Samsung SDI und LG Chem are said to research solid-state batteries as well as Toyota and BMW.
Amazon tasks Plug Power: Plug Power gains a new order of no other than Amazon, who plans to deploy a fleet of H2 forklifts in 11 of its logistics centres. Delivering the corresponding tech, PlugPower estimates Amazon will spend 70m dollar on the deal in 2017 and likely twice that next year. Furthermore, Amazon is authorised to acquire 23% of the company if spending exceeds 600m dollars.
11m dollar deal for Ballard: Canadian Ballard Power Systems signed an 11m dollar order for 200 FCVeloCity systems to be delivered this year for the Chinese market. Buyer is Broad-Ocean, who intends to use them for demonstrations of H2 buses and industrial vehicles in China.
18 rotor drone production ready: German start-up e-volo has readied its 18 rotor electric VTOL and hopes it will be launched and authorised for commercial passenger transport soon. On top, the two-seated model shall serve the air sport market. A four-seater model is planned, too.
Reading tip I: The Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) has released its final project report, intended to help cities and bus fleet operators understand the reality of operating fuel cell buses. The report includes an environmental analysis and social study results.
Reading tip II: Amazon has completed its first delivery via drone in the UK. The buyer in Cambridge only had to wait 13 minutes for its package to arrive at his doorstep.
engadget.com (with video)
Supercharger, ChargeMap, Kiev, Amazon, Sacramento, Atieva.
Supercharger power upgrade: Tesla has increased the capacity of some of its Superchargers to 145 kW, apparently a result of a recent spat with British Ecotricty about who has the fastest charger (we reported). Only this time. Tesla didn’t beat the big drum for it.
On the map: ChargeMap has raised a half a million euros from the Cap Innov’Est investment fund in order to further develop its community app for EV charging points in Europe, China and the U.S. Part of the goal is to interface ChargeMap reservation and payment solution with the main charging operators.
Infos per email
E-taxi in Kiev: The Oxygen Group presented its Oxy-Taxi service in the Ukrainian capital. The electric fleet is to include 50 vehicles in three months’ time. The longterm goal is to have 500 EV, including Tesla taxis.
Delivery drone charger: Amazon is considering charging pit stops for its drones to allow them to fly farther. These could be located on top of street lamps, cell towers or parking garages and use the existing grid or solar power.
wired.de (in German)
Fast-charging Sacramento: California’s capital now has a fast-charger- Users can pay with credit card directly at the station. “Filling up” the battery to 80 percent will take between 20 and 25 minutes and cost between 15 and 20 dollars.
Moving in on Tesla territory: Atieva has begun setting up charging stations in Fremont (home to Tesla Motors). From the looks of it, they don’t appear to be setting up fast-chargers, but stations with 220V and 110V outlets.
Delhi, Hyperloop, battery swapping, Amazon, Go Ultra Low, Proterra.
Delhi welcomes electrification: The Indian capital has reduced VAT on hybrid and electric cars as well as e-rickshaws from 12.5 to 5 percent with immediate effect. Delhi’s government further decided to launch 25 electric buses, which will likely be procured by July.
indiatimes.com (VAT), hindustantimes.com (electric buses)
Hyperloop hype: One of the start-ups hoping to make very high speed trains a reality has issued a global call for applications. Regions, projects, and really anyone is invited to make a case for the first Hyperloop location. Hyperloop One just collected 80m in funding. Germany’s railway company Deutsche Bahn is among the investors.
electrek.co, hyperloop-one.com (Global Challenge)
Battery swapping comeback? BAIC BJEV trials a strategy of replacing batteries rather than just charging them. It sees the idea as particularly useful for electric taxi applications, but also rental EV fleets. A first such swapping station has been erected in Beijing.
Electric delivery: Amazon expanded its electric cargo bike delivery service to Berlin. Prime customers can now receive their orders within one or two hours. The couriers ride pedelecs by Bullit and shall mainly deliver perishable goods in time.
ebike-news.de (in German)
Go Ultra Low Company is a new status awarded by the UK government initiative of the same name. Among the first 11 organisations to be recognised for their commitment to electrify up 5 percent of their fleet by 2020, were Microsoft, the London Fire Brigade, and the Environment Agency.
Though testing: Proterra’s Catalyst electric bus has undergone rigorous testing in the King County Metro Transit fleet. The electric bus was in service 24/7 for 106 days, transporting the equivalent of 97 passengers and driving an average 325 miles a day with stops at the rapid-charger in between.
insideevs.com (with video)
Audi together with Amazon and DHL will test a new service starting this May. When ordering, Audi drivers can state their car’s trunk as delivery address. Just be careful not to re-park while DHL is on the way. You know how they schedule arrival between 9am and 6pm sometimes.
Faster than flying.
Not long ago, Amazon was looking into drones but for now the online giant resorted to an old yet fast form of delivery: cycle couriers. The service is called ‘Amazon Prime Now’ and is operated in New York City. The promise: get your goods within an hour or two. We say: Use electric bikes and half that time.
What was supposed to be a slowly unveiling PR coup has spun quicker than expected. As promised, last weekend Amazon delivered three massive boxes to their customers. Obviously, this would not go unseen and soon internet users guessed their content: a Nissan Versa Note. No need for a revealing video anymore, but why not use a super-drone next time to create a real big buzz?!