Volkswagen has founded a European Company (Société Européenne) to bundle activities along the battery value chain. In the future, third parties will also be able to participate in the SE as investors. In addition, VW confirms a number of personnel appointments in battery development.
Volkswagen has hired two high-profile managers for its battery programme. One of them is said to be Apple’s head of battery development Soonho Ahn, while solid-state cell expert Jörg Hoffmann is also to join VW from BMW.
Apple has hired former BMW manager Ulrich Kranz, who most recently led the electric vehicle start-up Canoo and left it in April. This was reported by several media sources, to whom Apple confirmed this.
Apple is negotiating with the Chinese companies CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its allegedly planned electric cars. Insiders say that the American company has made some specific demands.
Apple is reportedly planning to invest around three billion euros in electric vehicle production and to cooperate with the South Korean carmaker Kia. Rumours that Apple could cooperate with the Hyundai Group already existed in January.
Apple could select the South Korean carmaker Hyundai as a partner for the development of its rumored self-driving electric car. This is indicated by a statement from the South Koreans, which Hyundai, however, has meanwhile formulated in a more vague manner.
It is not the first time we hear of an Apple electric car only this time around, the tech giant is not just aiming for autonomy, but a new battery design that insiders say will “radically” reduce battery costs and increase range. It is also to be mass-market-ready by 2024.
Operator ChargePoint now works together with Apple CarPlay. The new integration transmits charging data so that drivers can access charging information directly via their vehicle’s infotainment system.
Apple is ramping up, or better, reviving its ‘Project Titan’ with a new attempt to build its own electric vehicle it appears. Insiders now suggest that the Apple car could be an autonomous electric van.
The cooperation between Apple and VW which was announced in May to develop autonomous vehicles is possibly larger than originally anticipated. According to media reports, Apple plans to include 500 modified VW Golf in their testing initiative.
Apple has given up on project Titan that looked as if they were building their own electric car for a while. Now the Giga-Corporation filed for a patent that describes an electric car formation with a term from road cycling: Peloton.
Doug Field, who had joined Tesla in 2013, returned to his previous employer Apple. He was head of development and production, among other roles, before he began phasing out in May, leaving the company for good in July.
China’s equivalent to Google, Baidu, is about to begin serial production of electric shuttle buses that will self-drive in selected areas. And it is that autonomy behind that self-drive that may be Baidu’s concern rather than just making EVs themselves.
Ever since Apple decided to put their ambitious plans for their own self-driving cars on pause back in 2016, and focus on the software aspects initially, things got quiet around project Titan. Until now.
Apple to show charging stations: The Silicon Valley based tech giant adds EV charging station information for Europe to its navigation app Maps. Data is provided by Munich-based Cirrantic and the UK will be the first country to receive this new information. Here, Cirrantic supports the major charger operators like Podpoint, CYC, Ecotricity, NPower and NewMotion but welcomes any interested parties. Apart from EV charging stations, the updated version of Maps will also show bike rental hubs in London, Paris and New York. Competitor Google Maps however, had included such data for some time and lists EV charging stations globally but without specific icons. motor1.com, bloomberg.com
Quick charging net in Bulgaria: eMobility International’s subsidiary Eldrive inaugurated the country’s first quick charging station in Blagoewgrad, another one is to follow soon in Sofia. Until the end of the year, Eldrive wants to implement a nationwide network with around 500 charging points. seenews.com
Electrified Korean Telecom: 1,000 EVs shall join the fleet of Korea’s Telecom little by little, bringing the electrification rate of the company fleet up to 10 percent. Consequently, the Telecom also plans to equip its sites with 300 new charging stations. english.hankyung.com, koreatimes.co.kr
H2 buses granted: SunLine Transit Agency benefits from a 12.5m-dollars grant provided by the California Climate Investments programme to deploy five new fuel cell buses from New Flyer. Part of this sum also supports the implementation of the largest H2-fueling station (Hydrogenics) in the U.S., which shall win hydrogen solely through electricity and renewable energy. greencarcongress.com
New charging cooperation: Infrastructure provider eMotorWerks und car supplier Webasto have become partners as they seek to strengthen their electric mobility units. Together they want to provide intelligent and cloud-based charging solutions to OEMs and dealerships. finance.yahoo.com
Apple confirms autonomous car plans: In a letter to U.S. transport regulators, the tech firm for the first time acknowledged that it is working on self-driving technology. It urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to not introduce too many regulations on the testing of the technology and proposed that companies share data from i.e. crashes to make the autonomous driving even safer. bbc.com, arstechnica.com
New e-tractor in town: John Deere unveiled a prototype of its new electric tractor SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery). The machine features two electric motors with 150 kW each and a 130 kWh battery pack. The tractor is said to require less maintenance and last longer than its diesel equivalent. electrek.co, youtube.com (video)
Cash injection: Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström has invested 100m dollars in Munich-based start-up Lilium. The latter is working on a two-seater electric jet (we reported), ready to take flight by 2018. Range is estimated at 500 km while the jet’s top speed is set at 400 kph. businessinsider.de
Optimising inductive charging: WiTricity has presented its new Tunable Matching Network (TMN), said to automatically optimise energy transfer between the ground and vehicle using a wireless charging system. It could therefore “correct” real-world operating conditions, such as parking misalignment, different vehicle ground clearance or battery voltage conditions. businesswire.com, greencarcongress.com
Reading tip: While Apple’s Titan is seemingly going down, Tesla’s self-driving endeavours intensify. Matthew DeBord looks at why an electric car has to come before software if it is to be truly autonomous. uk.businessinsider.com
Video tip French Lohr New Mobilities presented its self-driving electric shuttle called Le Cristal in Berlin and electrive took the liberty to produce a video with voices and wheels on the occasion. youtube.com
Internal deadline for Apple car: Apple executives are allegedly upping the pressure on Project Titan, giving engineers until the end of next year to show that they can develop an autonomous driving system. Only then will Apple decide whether to use it in its own car or form a partnership with a car company. bloomberg.com
Fisker bets on supercaps: As reported, the carmaker wants to celebrate its comeback next year, introducing a premium EV with 650 km range. Instead of Li-ion batteries, Fisker seems to use graphene supercapacitors that can only be produced at a low price, due an in-house developed technology. businessinsider.de
Toyota claims WEC home win: After two years without a win, the Toyota racer TS050 Hybrid was able to overtake the competition from Germany during the 6 Hours of Fuji of the World Endurance Championship on Sunday. The team Sarrazin/Conway/Kobajashi managed to finish the race just 1.4 seconds faster than team Audi. autoweek.com, gtspirit.com
Extra range from Germany: The Workhorse Group and BMW i have signed a multiple-year supply agreement. BMW will thus deliver i3 range extender technology to be used for electric Workhorse delivery trucks E-Gen. truckinginfo.com, nasdaq.com
Apple to take over McLaren? The corporation has approached the supercar maker with a buyout or investment approach, media reports. McLaren denies any such offer from Apple but did admit to having confidential conversations regularly. There are more talks underway with start-up Lit Motors that builds self-balancing scooters. Apple has already hired several engineers from the firm. If these rumours speak of a push for project Titan or are rather desperate grasps for know-how remains to be seen. nytimes.com, bbc.co.uk (Mc Laren)
Nissan extends warranty: The Japanese carmaker will offer a five year/ 60,000 mile warranty on all new Nissan e-NV200s sold in Europe from October, 1. It covers all electric components, battery capacity as well as the entire vehicle. Even roadside assistance will be delivered. commercialfleet.org, automotiveworld.com
EV for sharing: Dutch Amber Mobillity presents a concept electric car made to share. Amber One shall roam for 400 km but weighs only 650 kilos. Prototyping is set for 2017 with a small production run scheduled for 2018. Rather than being sold, the EV shall go straight on rental duties. e52.nl (in Dutch) via techcrunch.com
Watching the statue of liberty fly by from the seat of an electric racer is what awaits next season’s Formula E drivers. The electric racing series presented the New York City circuit which runs through Brooklyn and looks out to Manhattan and the Bay. The races will take place at the end of July 2017. nypost.com, electricautosport.com
Toyota drops prices: The Mirai FCV has become cheaper to buy in California as Toyota lowered the monthly leasing rate by 150 dollars to now 349. The Japanese further ask for 2,499 dollars at signing (down from 3,649 USD) for an annual driving allowance of 12,000 miles. autoblog.com
Tesla owners in Norway want their money back as they believe the EV maker made misleading claims regarding the power of the Model S P85D. 126 appeals have been handed to the court in Oslo as Tesla had previously challenged claims backed by the Consumer Disputes Commission. dn.no (in Norwegian) via electrek.co
Apple update: The New York Times reports that Apple is already testing self-driving cars. Moreover, the paper has learned that with the project’s new focus on autonomy instead of electrification (we reported), dozens of people have left Project Titan. nytimes.com
Hyundai shows H2 prototype: Just like with the ix35, the South Koreans will again integrate a fuel cell and electric drivetrain in an existing model. This time, the H350 transporter will be transformed into a minivan, which will most likely boast around 100 kW and have a range of 160 km. It is only thought as a concept, however. transport-online.de, lifepr.de (articles in German)
Manmade Tesla burn? It seems that the Tesla Model S that caught fire during a test drive in France last month (we reported), did so because of a bad electrical connection. Moreover, the carmaker found out that in this case, it had been mounted by a person and not the typical robot. More information has yet to be released. electrek.co, foxnews.com
Li-ion kit: Delta-Q presented a lithium charger development kit for at the Battery Show in Novi, said to support the development of the lithium powertrain system. The kit is available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and battery management system (BMS) manufacturers, helping them integrate Li-ion batteries “into the next generation of products.” prnewswire.com
New Titan details: Citing insiders, Autocar reports on new details about Apple’s secret EV project. The partially autonomous “iCar” is expected to launch in 2021 and will soon be followed by a fully autonomous version. And Apple seems to be looking to sell 500,000 units per year. autocar.co.uk
New Nissan hybrid: Nikkei has learned that Nissan wants to launch a hybrid variant of its Note mini-car in Japan this November. The petrol engine is said to function as a generator to charge the car’s battery (which cannot be charged externally), meaning the car will technically drive electrically. nikkei.com
Electric scooter with Tesla heart: Chinese manufacturer Yadea will launch a connected all-electric scooter called Z3. It will have a range of 120 km and will be fitted with 18650 Li-ion cells from Panasonic – just like Tesla. Starting at 3,388 dollars, the electric scooter will hit the road in China, German, South Korea, and Columbia. greencarcongress.com, multivu.com
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Honda goes hybrid in India: The carmaker will also offer the hybrid variant of its Accord in India starting in October. The previous (petrol) version had been discontinued in the country a few years back due to low sales. The hybrid version will now go tyre to tyre with the Toyota Camry. asianetindia.com
Tuning into Tesla: Late last year, Tesla announced that it is making the music streaming service Spotify available in its cars in Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong (we reported). According to electrek, U.S. driver will soon also be able to tune into their favourite music on the Tesla tablet. electrek.co
Novel battery tech for iCar: Apple is working with an anonymous Korean battery maker on cells of a new kind to power the Apple EV, ETNews reports. Designed as hollow cylinders, the batteries are said to enable new cooling possibilities for Project Titan. Capacity could be further increased through parallel connections. The Koreans have signed a NDA with Apple. The latter will likely push for exclusivity. etnews.com, macrumors.com, cultofmac.com
Fraunhofer ISC partners with Hydro-Québec: Together the two companies want to research and develop next-generation lithium-ion and lithium-air battery materials to be used in electric transport. The focus is on inorganic solid electrolytes, glass-ceramic electrolytes in particular. isc.fraunhofer.de
Recuperation from suspension: Audi is working on an electromechanical rotary dampening system. eROT replaces hydraulic dampers with electromechanical rotary dampers that have the potential for energy recuperation from the suspension. greencarcongress.com, audi-mediacenter.com
HVH for CVs: Webasto will present a prototype of its electric High-Voltage Heater (HVH) for light-duty commercial vehicles and trucks at the IAA. It features a heating capacity of 10 kW, allowing for more effective heating, esp. in PHEV and electric vans. The HVH contains no rare earths. automotiveworld.com
Luxembourg selects provider: Engie Cofely Luxemburg and Powerdale have won the tender to install and operate 800 planned EV charging stations in the Grand Duchy. 200 will be erected each year from 2017 to 2020. Powerdale will deliver the public charging stations and internet application while Engie will handle service over twelve years. All five grid operators in Luxembourg are on board as is the public transport provider in order to offer a multi modal model to end users. newswiretoday.com
Switzerland got fast-charging: The first 150 kW rapid charger of the GOtthard FASTcharge (GOFAST) network stands. The multi-standard outlet is located close to the southern entry of the Gotthard road tunnel that connects Italy and Switzerland. 150 stations are planned. tio.ch (in Italian), gofastcharge.com (in German)
Danish drop electric cars: Municipalities in Denmark are buying less EVs since the central government has decided to phase back the registration tax for electric cars. The policy’s dire consequences were revealed by e.On, which found that EV sales shrank from 323 in Q1 2015 to 62 in Q1 this year. cphpost.dk
Apple Energy: The IT giant can power homes as it gets the approval to sell energy into wholesale markets beginning this Saturday. The firm reportedly harvests sun rays on farms in Cupertino and Nevada and has recently shown interest in EV charging tech. bloomberg.com, bbc.com
CarCharging expansion: The infrastructure provider says it built almost 100 new EV charging stations in various states like California, Florida, Hawaii, or Tennessee over the last two months. During that same period, CarCharging also restored another 400 stops on the Blink network. marketwired.com
Lane change at Apple? The company has signed Dan Dodge, former head of automotive software at Blackberry. While Apple has not abandoned plans to build an electric car, the focus of project Titan is said to have shifted to autonomous driving. The new strategy would make it easier to find a partner in the automotive industry or even to acquire one. bloomberg.com
New Daimler factory: The manufacturer is building a second car factory in Hungarian Kecskemét, for which it will invest about 1m euros. The site is said to also be suitable for the production of electric and hybrid cars. Whether these will then also be build there has yet to be confirmed. autonews.com
Ballard Power gets new investor: The Canadian fuel cell specialist has signed a strategic partnership agreement with electric motor manufacturer Broad-Ocean. The latter will acquire 9.9 percent of Ballard Power for 28.3m U.S. dollars. prnewswire.com
Clean battery making: Solvay has announced the successful completion of the EU funded project Life + Glee that uses water instead of organic solvents during the production of Li-ion batteries. As part of the research project, Solvay has opened a pilot plant in Bollate, Italy, to develop an innovative cathode protection technology. chemeurope.com
Apple puts charging on the map: Apple is partnering with Parkopedia, integrating their data on more than 40m parking possibilities in 75 countries into Apple Maps. The service is said to also include information about the availability of charging spots. 9to5mac.com, cnet.com
V2G with Greenlots chargers: Greenlots has received an order for 200 EV charging stations in public areas, as well as private homes and businesses in Washington state. Utility Avista is planning to integrate Greenlots’ SKY platform into a V2G pilot project in the eastern part of the U.S. state. prnewswire.com/news-releases
Fastned gets ready for Tesla: The Dutch charge point provider has fitted all 50 of its fast-chargers with Tesla adapters. According the company’s annual report, it saw turnover go up an average 10 percent per month, while the provided amount of electricity and number of users rose 11 and 7% per month, respectively. fastnedcharging.com
Baton Rouge in Louisiana wants to install eleven chargers for street level parking and in parking garages. Both the infrastructure and the installation will be paid for by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF), while the city-parish will pick up the yearly maintenance bill. Moreover, non-EVs blocking the stations will be fined 50 dollars. businessreport.com
Emobility grants: Pierce Transit in the U.S. state of Washington will use federal grant money to purchase its first two electric buses from Proterra. The U.S. city of Choasset in Massachusetts spend its grant money on three electric and hybrid vehicles for the municipal fleet, as well as charging stations. thenewstribune.com (Washington), patriotledger.com (Massachusetts)
Horizon update: The EU Commission has published its list of grant opportunities as part of the Horizon 2020 programme. “Green Vehicles” will thus benefit from 133m euros in 2017, including 20m euros for the “development of a new generation of cells and their integration in competitive batteries.” europa.eu
Starred electric truck: Mercedes will present its “urban eTruck” concept in Stuttgart today. The all-electric heavy-duty truck can lug up to 25 tons. We are not allowed to tell you more just yet, but you can follow the live-stream starting at 10:30 a.m. CET. mercedes-benz.com (live-stream from 10:30 a.m. CET)
New momentum for Apple: The company’s former executive Apple Watch project leader Bob Mansfield is taking over the electric car project “Titan.” Mansfield would therefore take over form Steve Zadesky, who left the IT giant in January (we reported). autoblog.com; electrek.co
Tesla and Mobileye end cooperation: The Israeli company announced the end of its partnership with the EV maker. Whether it has something to do with the fatal car crash involving the Autopilot is not clear. it-times.de, electrek.co
BMW in Thailand: According to Thailand’s industry minister, BMW is looking to open a battery factory for plug-in hybrids in Thailand. Construction of the 52m euro project will likely start mid-2017. BMW did not comment yet, but said they would release a statement about the issue today. autonews.com, thestar.com
Apple car rumours: The launch date of the rumoured Apple car may have been pushed back to 2021. So far, “project Titat” had always been expected to launch in 2020 or even 2019, but the departure of design chief Steve Zadesky and technical problems may cause delays. But as always with Apple – rumours don’t have turn out to be true. theinformation (paid content), macrumors.com
Sporty Leaf with 48 kWh: Nissan engineers in Barcelona have built a 48 kWh Leaf in Barcelona just for fun, which i.e. meant replacing the back seats with a second 24 kWh battery pack. The goal is to enter the “Cocoon,” in the Spanish ECOseries motorsport event. autoblog.com, autovolt-magazine.com
BMW racing: BMW plans to return to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and therefore 24 hours of Le Mans. The carmaker is looking to take part in the Formula E, but not before they have a car that can compete from start to finish. At the moment, racers are still required to change cars mid-race. archyworldys.com
Cheaper Model X: Just like the Model S (we reported), Tesla’s Model X is now available with a smaller, 60 kWh battery pack. The new base version, the Model X 60D, starts 74,00 dollars, about 9,000 dollars less than the next step up, the 75D variant. autoblog.com, insideevs.com, electriccarsreport.com
Electric Mercedes revealed: But don’t get your hopes up, this is no electric car for going the distance nor will it take on Tesla. Golf cart Garia is equipped with a 3 kW electric motor, can go up to 80 km on one charge and has a maximum speed of 30 kph. Better to start small than never. paultan.org, motoringresearch.com, emercedesbenz.com
Could Apple buy the Formula 1? Apparently, the two are in serious talks about a takeover and the F1 is officially for sale. A takeover would give Apple also a seat at the table with FIA, who is also in charge of the Formula E – possibly a perfect setting to introduce the secret ‘Project Titan’ or Apple Car to the track. trustedreviews.com, joesaward.wordpress.com
Spyder recall: Porsche is calling the hybrid Spyder 918 back to the shop, as two different seatbelt screw could have been mixed up during assembly. This is the Spyder’s second recall. But with all of 918 units, it’s more an embarrassment than a hassle. motoringresearch.com
E-bus production in Asia: Chinese electric bus manufacturer Shenzhen Wuzhoulong Motors wants to set up an assembly plant in Thailand that will serve as a production base for ASEAN countries. Some 10,000 EVs are to be built there the first year. The Thai government is looking into the proposal. bangkokpost.com
Fly high: As reported, the Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Cairo yesterday – but not without flying a short victory lap over the pyramids. This is the crew’s 16 stop during its global circumvention and the last before heading back to Abu Dhabi from where the plane originally took off last year. bbc.com, theguardian.com
A motorcycle wanted to engage a Tesla Model S to a spontaneous drag race on a U.S. highway and was left in the dust. In the word of Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” youtube.com via teslarati.com
Powerful power pack competitor: Start-up Romeo Power is working with former Tesla and SpaceX employees on its own battery packs for EV and stationery uses. A first prototype has been presented under the guide of the firm’s CTO Porter Harris, formerly SpaceX and Faraday Future. electrek.co
Apple has set up an energy company called Apple Energy, which is to sell excess electricity from its solar farms in Cupertino and Nevada – in a first step. Already the corporation has requested permission to sell to consumers directly and recently showed interest in EV charging technology. 9to5mac.com
Purely electric NSX at Pikes Peak: Honda is using this year’s hill climb to not only show its latest hybrid technology in the Acura NSX Hybrid but also entered an all-electric prototype in an NSX body. The 4-Motor EV Concept is an evolution of the CR-Z prototype but is three times more powerful. autocar.co.uk, autoblog.com
Li-ion for forklifts: Jungheinrich is introducing lithium-ion batteries with 360 and 480 Ah respectively in its 48 Volt range. The new technology can be utilised for reach trucks and counterbalance forklifts. mhwmagazine.co.uk