Tag: Apple

Jun 10, 2016 - 08:07 am

Apple, CHAdeMO, Events.

Reading tip: V is for i-car one might say as Steve Jobs showed interest in carmaking already back in 2010 when he looked at the V-Vehicle prototype by a small start-up, the Guardian reports. Some of the ideas the Apple founder had on design and choice of material later made it into the BMW i3.

Click tip: CHAdeMO is the most popular fast-charging system among electric cars sold between 2010 and 2015, the infographic shows. More interestingly though is the fact that 38 percent of EV and 75% of PHEV were incapable of rapid charging of any kind in the first place.

Events for the upcoming week: World Hydrogen Energy Conference (June 13-16; Saragossa, Spain) ++ 80eDays (June 16-September 04; 20 countries, 3 continents) ++ EVS29 Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition (June 19-22; Montréal, Canada)

You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar

Jun 2, 2016 - 09:22 am

Hydro, Designwerk, Japan, Apple.

Lightweight body for EVs: In order to go the extra mile, EV components have to lose the extra weight. For the project ‘Light e-body,’ Hydro and the fka Institute are working on an all-aluminium body for electric cars. It weighs only 199 kg and is on par with traditional concepts when it comes to safety and rigidity.

Designwerk-eGPUMobile battery for parked airplanes: Swiss company Designwerk has successfully tested the world’s first ground power unit with battery storage for airplanes. The unit has a maximum output of 120 kW and, because it makes almost no noise, it can even be used inside the hangars.
design-werk.ch (in German)

Japan’s clean energy offensive: The country wants to increase spending on green technology research to about 90bn yen (811m dollars) by 2021. On top of solar cells and hydrogen, the country is also looking to develop EV batteries that would allow for a rage of 700 km.

Apple – king of investments: Yet an another clue to the iCar puzzle. Apple has spent 4.7bn dollars on automotive research since 2013. According to Morgan Stanley, that is ten times more than Tesla and twentyfold of what the big U.S. carmakers are willing to invest.

Jun 1, 2016 - 08:19 am

Aston Martin, Red Bull, Toshiba, Zero, Apple.

Truly desired: The hybrid sport car by Aston Martin and Red Bull has been sold out – even though production will not start until 2018 (we reported). All 100 planed units found a new owner during the Formula One race in Monaco. Apparently, there were even twice as many potential buyers as cars.
ibtimes.co.uk, itechpost.com

Wireless charger put to the test: Toshiba will test its inductive charging system under real life conditions in Japan from now until December. It will be used to charge an electric bus that services an 11 km route. Engineers estimate charging to take about 15 minutes for each direction.
phys.org, toshiba.co.jp

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Electric climb to the top: The MIT’s Electric Vehicle Team is working with Zero Motorcycles and other partners to take part in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb at the end of June. Named KOMMIT-EV, the team further developed the Zero FXS’ drivetrain and aerodynamics.
hybridcars.com, ppihc.com

Apple patents smartphone key: The company applied for a patent for its “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices” technology. It would allow cars to be locked and unlocked using a smartphone, while access can be granted to others by sending an access code. Is this yet another clue in the iCar puzzle?


May 27, 2016 - 08:35 am

Toyota, Daimler, Apple, RainPrisk, Porsche.

Toyota-H-CR-2016Toyota C-HR premier: Toyota will premier their new C-HR at the 24 Hours Nürnburgring race in Germany. Though a racing version of of the car will be used, a hybrid model is also set to be released. This comes in conjunction with a statement from Toyota Europe’s executive vice president, Karl Schlicht, who says the company is aiming to be the biggest hybrid brand in Europe. And here we thought they already were…
newcarz.de (in German), autocar.co.uk

Daimler backing start-up ecosystem: Daimler partnered with the Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036 to establish the ‘Startup Autobahn,’ an ecosystem for start-ups in Stuttgart, Germany. The focus will be on both software and hardware technologies. Some 25 start-ups will be invited to ‘Selection Day’ in July.
greencarcongress.com, daimler.com

Possible iCar store? The recently opened Apple flagship in San Francisco sports huge glass doors, begging the question of whether they were designed for cars to drive in and out. This follows on speculations from several analysts that the tech company may be rolling out an Apple Car. Simultaneously, Tesla is also opening new stores in the Hamptons and Cape Code to lure tourists over the summer.
applecarfans.com (iCar), autonews.com (Tesla)

Model S turned pickup: Australian automotive designers RainPrisk have converted a Tesla Model S into a pick-up truck. Chopping off the roof and adding some massive tyres make the electric luxury sedan shine in a whole new light.

Porsche 918 Spyder run: Top Gear’s Jack Rix tested out the Porsche 918 Spyder and reports that the hypercar felt both fun and practical to drive. He also reported an internal economy test, wherein the Carerra GT and the 918 were driven on the same track, together, for 1,000 km. The test showed that the 918 used 30 percent less fuel overall.

May 27, 2016 - 08:32 am

Apple, BMW, Tesla, Worcesterhire.

Apple EV chargers? Apple is quietly investigating EV charging stations, contacting experts and searching LinkedIn profiles. There are few details known, as any related companies would have signed non-disclosure agreements, Reuters hints. The tech company has, however, already hired at least four EV charging specialists, raising several questions as to what they are planning.

BMW ridesharing investment: BMW is part of a 5.1m dollar seed round for California-based ridesharing platform Scoop Technologies, whose app lets commuters find each other and ride together. The app is currently in a limited rollout in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and North San Jose. Scoop also works with employers to organize rides to and from work.

New central Canada chargers: Tesla announced five new charger locations in Canada, all located in Ontario and Quebec, where significant EV incentives are in place. The new chargers are set to be installed by the end of the summer. Tesla also confirmed plans to install their first supercharger in Mexico, to be located in Cuernavaca City in the coming months.
electrek.co, globalnews.ca, thecountrycaller.com

Worcestershire gets chargers: Twelve rapid chargers have been installed in Worcestershire, including along the M5 corridor. Ten are included in the POLAR Plus network, meaning POLAR members can use them as part of their monthly subscription. Chargers can be used for 5.50 pounds for 45 minutes.

May 17, 2016 - 09:28 am

LG, Apple, Peugeot Design Lag, Scania.

LG does business in Iran: LG International Corp. has signed a tentative agreement with the Iranian government to help develop electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the country. According to local media, the deal includes the development of 20 EVs for manufacturer Iran Khodro by 2018, as well as to set up charging stations in Tehran and produce a total of 60,000 EVs by 2023.
mehrnews.com, greencarcongress.com

Apple invests in ride service: Apple has invested 1bn dollars in Chinese Uber competitor, Didi. Apple will help build up the platform, which already services 11m riders a day. Moreover, if Apple is already working with Didi on an IT level, it could make sense for them to include the iCar in its fleet once it hits road.
bloomberg.com, hybridcars.com

Powered by the sun: Peugeot Design Lab has designed a solar energy charging station for EVs, called the DRIVECO Parasol. The wooden structure is fitted with 88 solar panels and Li-ion batteries to store extra energy. Up to seven vehicles can charger there simultaneously. Paris has already commissioned one DRIVECO Parasol, and Ajaccio will likely commission another.

Delivery for Madrid: Volkswagen Group’s Scania will begin delivering 51 hybrid buses to Madrid starting in June. The buses meet EU suburban and short distance Class II regulations and will be used by seven operators, including Alsa, Samar, Avanza, and DBlas.


May 12, 2016 - 08:58 am

Toyota, BMW, Audi, Nissan, Apple.

Toyota-Corolla-HybridChina Corolla update: Toyota announced that the hybrid Corolla will cost about 21,500 to 27,000 dollars in China. The car is being built there together with FAW, has a combined output of about 100 kW and a top speed of 180 kph. The China Corolla Hybrid will serve as model for the global facelift.

i8 roadster revelations: BMW has published more information about the upcoming hybrid sports car. Code named I15, the convertible will boast an updated battery with up to 10 percent more power, as well as have a combined output of 420 hp. BMW announced the i8 roadster when it outlined its future strategy back in March.

Wrapped up: Carscoops may have caught a first glimpse of the upcoming Audi Q4, which will reportedly be available as a hybrid variant. It is hard to tell what they had in front of their lens, however, as the car is not only camouflaged, but also covered up.

Top level issue: Nissan has appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) responsible for incorporating green topics into the firm’s global strategy. The title goes to Senior Vice President Hitoshi Kawaguchi, who was previously tasked with the promotion of EV charging infrastructure.

Titan in progress? Kurt Adelberger recently left Google for Apple. A regular enough occurrence in Silicon Valley. However, as Adelberger was working on a smart EV charger patent for the internet giant, it suggests that the iCar or Project Titan could be further along than previously suggested.

BMW Down Under: Two plug-in hybrids are to enter the Australian market this month, as BMW will launch the X5 xDrive40e and 330e. The latter starts at 71,900 AUD, while the X5 SUV goes for 118,900 AUD. Pricing is thus almost identical to the petrol versions.

May 9, 2016 - 09:17 am

Mitsubishi reaches milestone.

There are now over 100,000 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on road around the world. It is only the fourth electric car to reach that milestone, following the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and Chevrolet Volt.

Apr 21, 2016 - 09:09 am

LeEco, Apple, Tesla, Renault, EV incentives, Nissan.

LeSee-conceptLeSee unveiled: White, sporty and autonomous is how the LeSee concept rolled on stage. LeEco CEO Jia Yueting had summoned the EV via his smartphone, demonstrating that connectivity, self-driving technology and a powerful electric motor are all part of the package. Technical details will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show.
engadget.com, electrek.co

No deal with Apple: According to German Handelsblatt, Daimler and BMW have ended secret talks with Apple about a cooperation on the latter’s EV project. It seems, the three parties could not agree on who would be in charge. Apple is looking for partners to help launch its project. Canadian-Austrian firm Magna is currently believed to be the favourite.

Quality issues with Model X? U.S. magazine Consumer Reports questions the quality standards of Tesla’s SUV. One owner complained about the electric windows not functioning correctly and about the sensors of the falcon door wings missing, resulting in a first dent. Similar complaints have been voiced in online forums. The opposite is true for the Model S: in the UK, it received a satisfaction rating of 97,46 percent.
consumerreports.org, teslamotorsclub.com (Model X), autoexpress.co.uk (Model S)

High-performance Zoe? According to Autocar, Renault is considering a more powerful version of its all-electric Zoe called the Zoe RS. However, the move will not be possible before the EV can be fitted with a better battery to not trade range for more performance.

EV incentives in Germany – update: It seems the ruling coalition has agreed on an outline for an incentive scheme. All EVs bought before 2020 will be exempt from the road fund license and electricity charged at the workplace will not be taxed as a noncash assistance. Moreover, the government will increase the EV quota for its own fleet by 20 percent by 2017, will step up the installation of charging infrastructure and fund research and development of battery technologies. A purchasing incentive will be discussed at a separate meeting at the end of April.

Disaster relief: Following the earthquake in Japan last week, Nissan will donate 100 e-NV200 and Leaf to double as emergency power outlets. Following the devastating earthquake in 2011, carmakers like Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda began developing technology that would turn their EVs and FCVs into portable powerstations.

Apr 19, 2016 - 08:50 am

Apple, Beverly Hills, Amsterdam, GKN.

iSecret in Berlin? According to German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Apple has secret lab for its upcoming electric car in the German capital. As many as 20 experts from the German automotive industry are said to work there to prepare the launch of the iCar in Germany in 2019 or 2020, at which point it will become part of a carsharing fleet.
faz.net (in German); macrumors.com, cultofmac.com

Autonomous in Beverly Hills: The Los Angeles neighbourhood decided to implement a self-driving limousine service. Thanks to the vast network of fibreglass cables, the cars can stay connected with each other as well as that part of town. Beverly Hills plans to sit down with Tesla and Google to talk about delivering the fleet – which will therefore be all-electric.

Autonomous Amsterdam: The Dutch city, too, wants to kick off a pilot project with fully self-driving cars. The EU could issue a general approval of autonomous vehicles by 2019. Meanwhile, the city will test the cars on separate roads.

eAxle for Volvo: Following the Volvo XC 90 PHEV, GKN will also deliver its eAxle system for the Volvo S90 Plug-in Hybrid. The system supports both all-electric driving, as well as all-wheel drive where the rear is powered by an electric motor and the front by a combustion engine.
greencarcongress.com, gkn.com

Mar 30, 2016 - 08:15 am

Apple, nuTonomy, Toyota, Stanford University.

Apple batteries: Apple’s recent job listings, combined with a patent on solid-state batteries, hint that the company is ready to tackle sub-par batteries. Listings imply a focus on the use of ceramic as an electrolyte, and plans to improve on current lithium-ion batteries.

Self-driving taxis: MIT spin-out nuTonomy is developing driverless electric taxis for the densely populated Singapore. By cutting out the need to pay drivers, they should prove cheaper than Uber or conventional taxis. nuTonomy cars passed their first driving test last week, and are now seeking approval for on-road testing.

Mirai’s 100,000 km test: Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai has driven around Germany for 16 hours a day for 107 days, completing 100,ooo km. Testing on city streets and rural roads, no mechanical breakdowns were reported and the fuel cell is said to have operated reliably at 100%. Drivers identified the car’s three-minute refuelling time as a major advantage.

Lithium batteries: A team at Stanford University has found a way to address two of the toughest issues for lithium-metal anode batteries. By encapsulating lithium inside a porous host scaffold, a material is created that can deliver around 2,000 mAH7g as stable anodes for Li-metal batteries. This may finally lead to real commercial solutions in the future.

– Feedback –

Most clicked link on Monday was hoover manufacturer Dyson’s plan to build an electric car.

Mar 4, 2016 - 10:05 am

GaTe, CO2 reduction, Apple, Shiwa.

Projekt-GaTEMore range with efficient heater: As part of the joint research project GaTe, Mahle, Daimler, Bosch, et al. looked at “integral thermo-management of electric vehicles.” They found that coolant-heat pump and more circulating air will make a car’s heater more efficient. At freezing temperatures, range could be increased by 33 percent in city traffic.
automanager.tv (in German)

Battery anodes from CO2: Researchers from George Washington and Vanderbilt University were able to able to demonstrate a process that replaces graphite electrodes in batteries with carbon material from the atmosphere. An EV would thus not only have zero emission, but even clean the air.
vanderbilt.edu, greencarcongress.com

iCar production site found? The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Apple has rented a nearly 9,000 square metre facility in Sunnyvale, which according to the paper could serve as a location for the production of an Apple car. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne himself offered to partner on the project.
businessinsider.de, ibtimes.co.uk (Fiat Chrysler)

Autonomy in sight: The IED Istituto Europeo di Design and Quattroroute have presented the futuristic design concept Shiwa at the Geneva Motor Show. The autonomous car has no windows, but four electric motors.
worldcarfans.com (with video), carscoops.com

Feb 10, 2016 - 09:26 am

Volkswagen, General Motors, Porsche, Qoros, Sevcon, Apple.

Electric statement: Volkswagen’s rumoured economy EV is becoming more concrete. Engineers are working on a dedicated electric car of the likes of the BMW i3. It will be the first to serially use the MEB platform, boast a range of more than 500 km (311 miles) and connectivity features, and most likely launch by 2019. VW CEO Müller has promised 20 electric or plug-in hybrid cars in the line-up by 2020.

Chevy-Volt-2015-TeaserSharing to earn: General Motors considers sharing the Volt’s powertrain technology with other carmakers. A licensing model could create a win-win situation, as it enables smaller companies to electrify, while GM itself hopes to put some development cost of the Voltec system back its pockets.
worldcarfans.com, autoblog.com

Mission E launch: Porsche has started development of its electric model under the official codename J1. The all-electric sports car is due by 2020. The team is headed by Stefan Weckbach.

Qoros en route to electrification: The Chinese will present an electric car at the Auto China this April. Based on the Qoros 5, the model is set to enter the Chinese market as EV or PHEV in the coming 12 to 18 months. Meanwhile, the firm plans to open an R&D centre in Israel to build an electric smart car.

Controller meets charger: British Sevcon, maker of motor controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles, has acquired Italian Bassi. The latter manufactures fast-charging technology, which Sevcon thinks is “highly complementary” to its own products and will eliminate interoperability issues.

Employee poaching: Another Apple employee makes a move for Tesla, as Andrew Graham joins the Autopilot developers to add his sensor expertise. Graham follows Jim Keller who recently took the job as vice-president for autonomous hardware development.

Jan 26, 2016 - 09:38 am

BAIC, China, Tesla, Apple, Spyker, Volvo.

BAIC wants to increase EV production: Beijing Electric Vehicle, BAIC’s subsidiary for electric cars, has announced an ambitious five-year plan. It wants to increase annual production to 800,000 EVs and PHEVs by 2020, shooting for yearly sales worth 60bn yuan (9.1bn dollars).

China fights misuse of subsidies: Some smaller companies are suspected to get their hands on government money by producing cheap vehicles, and selling them to their own car hiring companies, which only exist on paper. They may now face investigations and scrutiny.

Tesla eyes China: Elon Musk told Engadget that he is looking to find a partner for a joint venture in China by mid-2016, as well as a location for a production facility in the country.

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Project Titan loses head: The Wall Street Journal has learned that Steve Zadesky, head of the never confirmed Apple car project, is leaving the company due to personal reasons. What that means for the future of the iCar remains to be seen.

Spyker with EV in Geneva? Sportscar maker Spyker will exhibit at the Geneva Auto Show in March. It is rumoured that the manufacturer is planning a comeback with an electric sportscars.
worldcarfans.com, motorauthority.com

Hybrids in flames: Four Volvo hybrid buses in Bekkestua in Norway caught fire, while parked at night. According to police, the fire started in one of the buses that was being charged at the time.
nrk.no (in Norwegian)

Jan 11, 2016 - 09:00 am

Panasonic, Apple, BMW, Zar.

Tesla-GigafactoryMore money for the Gigafactory: Panasonic announced that it will invest between 1.5 to 1.6bn dollars in Tesla’s Gigafactory. The Japanese had previously promised to give as much as one billion dollars.
teslamag.de, marketwatch.com, valuewalk.com

Apple car domain: Apple has registered the domains apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto, fueling rumours that we will at one point see an iCar. Another plausible reason could be that the sunrise period for these domains started early December and the company wanted to protect its brand.
mactechnews.de, insideevs.com, autoblog.com, mashable.com (Sunrise period)

EV unmasks bumper: BMW premiered another useful feature at the CES. The “Bumper Detect” systems activates a camera when a (parked) car gets hit, filming those responsible and sending the images to the car owner’s smartphone.

Electric scooter for the carry-on: The supposedly smallest and lightest electric scooter worldwide is called Zar and is looking for cash via crowdfunding. The Zar is foldable, weighs four kilos and can go 20 km on one charge. The scooter is now available for 300 dollars and will later sell for 500 dollars.

Nov 6, 2015 - 09:20 am

Apple iCar, Nissan e-NV200.

Reading tip: Apple’s iCar was initially Steve Jobs’ idea, says former Apple manager Tony Fadell. Apparently, he discussed it with Jobs back in 2008, but the plan got discarded due to the crisis in Detroit and another products about to be launched – the iPhone. The rest is history (in the making).

Video tip: “I made the Switch” confesses Dutch Erik Vos in this latest episode of Nissan EV driver outings. As the owner of a furniture shop in Amsterdam, Erik drives the e-NV200 and is particularly satisfied with its long distance capability, given there is CHAdeMO charging around.
youtube.com via insideevs.com

Oct 28, 2015 - 09:20 am

Tesla Model S safety, Potential Apple iCar suppliers.

Click tip: A massive tree let loose by a landslide would have likely killed a mother and her child would it not have been their Tesla Model S that withstood the crushing forces of nature.
teslamotorsclub.com via greencarreports.com

Reading tip: Who might supply the Apple iCar, Re/code wonders. For hints, it turns to those that already deliver parts to Google and Tesla, like Continental, Bosch, Renovo Motors, Samsung, Atieva and Qualcomm. None of the companies possibly involved would comment.

Oct 5, 2015 - 08:53 am

General Motors, Apple, TÜV Süd, Schaeffler.

Battery costs go down: For the first time GM has mentioned concrete cost figures for their batteries at a recent conference. According to the car company, the costs for the LG batteries of the all-electric Bolt, which will go into production next year, will contribute only 145 dollars/kWh. GM believes that the barrier of 100 dollars/kWh will be breached by 2022.
insideevs.com, electric-vehiclenews.com

Apple expansion for EVs? While Apple is already building the mighty Campus2 project in Cupertino, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that the IT giant has signed a lease for a huge new site in Sunnyvale. The development of Apple’s electric vehicle could possibly be located at this new site, but no official confirmation was made.

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TÜV to test EV batteries in Japan: Together with ESPEC Corporation, TÜV Süd has inaugurated a testing center for the safety of EV batteries north of Tokyo. It is the first testing facility of its kind, and will offer battery manufacturers comprehensive testing facilities for safety and conformity with the more stringent UN-ECE regulation 100.
japanmarkt.de (in German)

Automatic Clutch: With their e-clutch Schaeffler wants to pave the way for the manual transmission into hybridisation. The automated clutch will make fuel-saving driving strategies, such as coasting or electric assisted driving possible for cars with manual transmissions.

Sep 22, 2015 - 09:17 am

Apple, Volkswagen, Skoda, BMW, Porsche.

Only four years till the iCar? According to the Wall Street Journal, the IT company stepped things up a notch and will triple the now 600 person strong development team. Moreover, it set a target ship date for 2019. Apple will first present an all-electric car before adding self-driving technology. The Guardian reports that the company recently met with officials from California to discuss autonomous car regulations.
wsj.com, theguardian.com

VW caught cheating: Volkswagen has admitted to systematically cheating on U.S. air pollution tests for years by selling diesel versions of VW and Audi cars with software that masks the car’s true emissions during testing. The confession comes two days after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the carmaker of purposefully manipulating emissions tests for almost 500,000 vehicles. Volkswagen shares fell over 20 percent on Monday, as the carmaker could face up to 18bn dollars in fines.
usatoday.com, nytimes.com, forbes.com

Skoda has EV plans: The Czech carmaker is reportedly working on a number of electrified models. According to Business Car Manager, a plug-in hybrid version of the Superb will be launched in 2018, followed by a PHEV variant of the next-gen Fabia, as well as an all-electric city car by 2020.

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BMW plug-in outlook: BMW will likely launch two PHEV versions of its next-gen 5 Series in 2017, Spanish motor.es reports. In addition to the basic version 530e, BMW reportedly also plans the 540e with a 258-hp four-cylinder and a 70-kW electric motor, as well as an inductive charging system.
motor.es (in Spanish) via insideevs.com

Porsche wins again: Round five of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship was once again dominated by Porsche. The 919 Hybrid achieved its third win in a row after its victories in Le Mans and Nürburgring this season.
lemanslive.com, porsche.com

Sep 9, 2015 - 08:14 am

Apple, Bosch, Borgward, ZF.

Apple fuelled by hydrogen? The electronics giant applied to patent a fuel cell system that could power a MacBook or mobile for days. While the patent only refers to “portable computing devices,” it does support rumours about a recent story about a fuel cell powered iPhone built by Intelligent Energy. May there be an iFCV on the horizon?
9to5mac.com, freepatentsonline.com

Warmth wisely managed: Bosch will introduce a heat-pump-based thermal management system for EVs at next week’s IAA. It is designed to increase range by 25 percent without modifications to the battery, as it distributes heat and cold using a combination of a heat pump with coolant pumps and valves.
greencarcongress.com, bosch-presse.de

New EV institute: Borgward has entered into a strategic partnership with engineering company FEV to establish the “BORGWARD Group AG Engine Technology Research Institute in cooperation with FEV” in Aachen. The institute aims to develop alternative drive technologies and to conduct market analysis.

Begin transmission: New hybrid drive technology by ZF has gone into serial production and will first be utilised in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. The hybrid system is integrated into an 8-speed automatic transmission, enabling electric driving at speeds of up to 120 kph and up to 70 percent fuel savings.
autocarpro.in, zf.com

Aug 27, 2015 - 08:17 am

Apple, Hyundai, Vestel, Zotye.

Hydrogen-powered iCar? Intelligent Energy recently unveiled an iPhone with a built-in hydrogen fuel cell. According to Seeking Alpha, Apple may already have exclusive rights to the technology and use it as leverage to partner with a carmaker such as BMW for Apple’s much rumored electric cars. Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell is said to offer high energy density and low weight. Also, it does not require high pressure hydrogen storage and can be refueled by swapping out self-contained modules.

Hyundai-Tucson-FCVElectrifying research: Hyundai is preparing a self-driving fuel cell vehicle called the “R Car” at its R&D centre in South Korea, says Korea JoongAng Daily. The carmaker is reportedly also developing a lithium-air battery to increase range of future EVs to up to 500 kilometers.

Electric cars from Turkey: Turkish electronics company Vestel allegedly plans to enter the automotive sector and is expected to make a long-term investment valued at 1.1 billion dollars. The main focus of the investment will be the production of electric cars and automotive electronics.

Nissan Z rumours: Nissan is preparing a radical sports crossover to bring its Z badge back to the masses, Autocar has learned. The car is said to hit showrooms within the next 18 months and will be previewed at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept could feature a hybrid drivetrain.

Electric Hyundai spied: As previously reported, Hyundai is working on a purely electric model. Latest spy shots suggest that this will actually be an all-electric variant of Hyundai’s dedicated hybrid model.

Zotye goes electric: Chinese carmaker Zotye will launch two pure electric cars this year and plans to introduce more plug-in hybrid models next year, according to a recent Gasgoo report.

Aug 24, 2015 - 09:07 am

Apple, India, DS Automobiles, Trulli.

Brain drain: Apple just hired Jamie Carlson, a former Tesla engineer who has been working on a self-driving technology. According to its LinkedIn profile, Carlson’s role at Apple remains unspecified. Tesla is not the only manufacturers to see its employees join Apple. BMW, Volkswagen and Ford engineers have also been recruited by Apple.

Cost-effective battery technologies for buses: Working with the India Space Organisation (ISRO), the Indian Transport Ministry wants to develop cost-effective battery technologies. The goal is to make electric buses more economically feasible. First results are expected in the six to 12 months.

DS Automobiles announces motor sport division: The new “DS Performance” division will be headed by Yves Matton and support DS Virgin Racing during the upcoming Formula E season. Its engineers developed the DSV-01 racer, with the exception of the motor management system, which was built together with Magneti Marelli. And DS Virgin Racing just unveiled the new livery design for the upcoming season.

Powertrain troubles: It seems the Trulli Formula E team has issues with its Motomatica powertrain developed for the second season and may revert to the previously used Spark SRT_01E. Time is of the essence, with the championship less than two month away.

Aug 17, 2015 - 07:06 am

Apple, New Flyer, Toyota, Auro Robotics.

iCar close to reality? Apple’s project Titan seems to be moving ahead more quickly than originally believed. The Guardian claims to have documents showing this project is actively seeking to use a special facility to test autonomous tech. According to the report, Apple already has a self-driving electric car “almost ready for the road”!

New-Flyer-Electric-BusFuel cell bus demonstration: New Flyer announced that the California Energy Commission has approved a 2.1 million dollar grant to conduct a demonstration project involving a New Flyer Xcelsior electric transit bus with a Hydrogenics CelerityPlus fuel cell. The demonstration bus will use a Siemens ELFA electric drive motor for propulsion and the Hydrogenics fuel cell as a range extender.

Maintenance costs: Some Toyota hybrids are capable of saving up to 1,000 euros in maintenance after three years, according to research conducted by Tec-RMI. But the Toyota Auris Hybrid and Lexus IS 300h were in fact the only hybrid models generating savings for their owners. Other brands’ hybrids ended up costing more than their diesel and petrol counterparts.

Driverless electric shuttle: Auro Robotics is currently testing a driverless electric shuttle car at various universities in the United States. The company is also planning to expand to other markets like amusement parks, retirement communities and small islands later this year.
techtimes.com, techcrunch.com

Aug 4, 2015 - 08:27 am

Google, BMW, Apple, Lotus, Toyota.

Google-Selfdriving-CarGoogle uncovered: As the Guardian reveal, the internet giant already set up Google Auto LLC back in late 2011, founding its very own car company. It is now licensed as car manufacturer, too, which might surprise all those who Google made believe that it had no intention of becoming their competitor anytime soon. The grounds to sell passenger cars have been laid.

BMW and Apple update: Details about talks between the IT firm and the German carmaker over the BMW i3 have emerged through Reuters. Insiders said Apple was interested in developing its own car, while BMW was equally keen on guarding its status as manufacturer rather than becoming a mere supplier. Still, both companies intend to keep communication channels open.

Lotus hybrid SUV? British Lotus Cars is collaborating with Chinese Goldstar to develop its first SUV, Car Magazine reports. The new model will be offered in China by 2020 and the magazine believes that a hybrid version to be “likely.”

Canada strengthens Toyota and the other way around, as the Japanese carmaker says it would invest 421 million dollars in the production of the next-gen Lexus RX350 and Lexus 450h at its Cambridge facility in Ontario. The Canadian government and province support the investment with 100 million dollars.
morningstar.com, yahoo.com

Yaris extended: The Toyota Yaris line up in the UK now includes the Active and Sports version as hybrids. The Yaris Hybrid Active is available from 14,995 pounds. The Yaris Hybrid Sport starts at 16,695 pounds. Both cars share the hybrid system with a combined output of 73 kW.

Jul 24, 2015 - 09:11 am

France, China, Apple & BMW, Tesla, Faraday Future, Thailand.

La mobilité électrique: France passed a law on the energy transition, including measures to promote electric mobility. Half of all public busses and transporters will be electrified by 2020, reaching 100 percent by 2025. The law also includes plans to install 7 million chargers across the country by 2030 as well as a scrappage bonus of up to 10,000 euros when replacing a diesel-powered car with an EV.
klimaretter.info (in German), lcp.fr (in French)

China follows California: According to Xu Heyi, head of the state-owned Bejing Automotive Group and member of the communist party, China wants to implement measures to promote EV uptake based on California’s example, such as ZEV credits for manufactures. Consumers would get credits based on the distance they drive in full electric mode. Both measure could be implemented in the first half of 2016.

BMW-i3Apple-BMW update: According to German Manager Magazin, Apple wants to use BMW’s i3 platform for its own electric car project. Initial negotiations in autumn 2014 were fruitless, but the two parties agreed to continue their dialogue. New BMW head Harald Krüger is reportedly also planning new versions of the i3 and i8 as well as a convertible version of the i8.
manager-magazin.de (in German)

New entry-level Tesla available: Tesla´s 70 kWh rear wheel drive Model S can now be ordered from 70,000 dollars before incentives. That’s 5,000 dollars less than the previous entry-level AWD model.
twitter.com, my.teslamotors.com

FF production plans: Californian start-up Faraday Future wants to pick a production site for its electric vehicles within this quarter. U.S. states California, Nevada, Louisiana and Georgia are being considered.

EVs from Thailand: Kwaithong Motor wants to invest 5 billion baht (about 143 million dollars) to build an assembly plant for electric vehicles in the country. Kickoff is planned for mid-2016 with electric buses. Kwaithong wants to sell some 5,000 units in Thailand and Asean countries by 2018.

Jul 22, 2015 - 08:16 am

Mia Electric, BMW, Toyota, Suzuki, Tesla, Apple.

Mia-ElectricMuch ado about Mia: An anonymous buyer purchased all of Mia Electric’s assets for just 800,000 euros. The French EV maker had previously been bought by a consortium for 1.3 million euros, but the sale was declared void. The court suspected a fraudulent buyback by former Mia boss Michelle Boos.
automobile-propre.com (in French)

Hybrid double: Motoring says it has additional details about BMW’s and Toyota’s joint sportscar project “Silk Road.” Quoting insiders, the site reports that both sports cars will be based on the BMW i8 platform, and contrary to previous reports, will both feature plug-in hybrid technology, which will be provided by Toyota and not BMW.

Prius plug-in with 35 mile range? Referencing inside information, Green Car Reports writes that the next generation of the Prius plug-in hybrid will be able to drive electric for 30 to 35 miles on one charge. The new Prius will become available this year, with the PHEV variant to follow about one year later.

Hybrid two-wheeler from Suzuki? If we believe its recently filed patent, the Japanese manufacturer is working on a motorcycle featuring a hybrid drivetrain and semi-automatic transmission. According to the description, the bike could also drive purely electric.
motorcycle.com, indiancarsbikes.in

Tesla goes with silicon: In its newly announced 90 kWh battery pack, Tesla will also use silicon for the anode of the Li-ion battery cells, allowing for more capacity without increasing battery size. Moreover, Tesla believes it will be able to increase the range of its EV models by 5 to 10 percent every two years.
qz.com, forbes.com

iCar rumour update: Media reports that Apple hired Doug Betts, the former head of global quality at Fiat Chrysler and an expert in auto manufacturing. That of course fuels rumours that Apple wants to build its own EVs in the future.
appleinsider.com, venturebeat.com

Jun 18, 2015 - 08:31 am

General Motors, Tesla, Apple, A123 Systems, Samsung.

Volt-BatteryVolt battery gets 2nd life: General Motors is employing five used batteries from the Chevy Volt to store energy from solar and wind power to supply its ‘Enterprise Data Center’. The demonstration project is to be the start for a series of tests together with partners, not unlike what Nissan just started doing.
greencarcongress.com, freep.com, detroitnews.com

Tesla seeks expertise: To further decrease costs of its batteries, the Californian carmaker has employed Jeff Dahn as an advisor, media reports. He is recognised as one the leading developers of lithium batteries. In return for his services, Tesla is to sponsor his research activities.
marketwatch.com, wsj.com (after registration)

Expert poaching resolved: Apple and A123 Systems have settled a lawsuit that accused Apple of poaching talents from the battery maker thus violating non-compete clauses. The case had fuelled rumours about Apple working on an EV. For what terms the two parties settled in the end is confidential.

A total of 4,761 automotive-related patents from Apple, Google, Samsung, Tesla and Uber from 1990 to 2014 were counted by Forbes. Surprisingly, 3,094 are held by Samsung that added 632 in 2014 alone, including a very large interest in battery and fuel cell technologies for next-generation vehicles.

– Feedback –

Most clicked link on Wednesday were the pictures of the undisguised 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV captured in Japan.

May 18, 2015 - 08:42 am

Google, Advanced Propulsion Centre, Toyota, A123 Systems, Apple.

Google-Selfdriving-CarGoogle EVs ready by summer: The internet giant wants to bring some of its autonomous vehicles to the streets of Mountain View, California, by summer, says Chris Umson, head of the project. The current versions will still feature steering wheels, as well as acceleration and brake pedals that will become redundant in the future.
electriccarsreport.com, treehugger.com

Drivetrain funding: The British Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) announced a 60 million pound funding programme for low carbon propulsion technologies. Key areas are i.e. electric machines, power electronics and lightweight powertrain structures. Registration deadline is June 24th.
smmt.co.uk, apcuk.co.uk

Toyota gives batteries a second life: 208 decommissioned nickel-metal hydride batteries from Toyota Camry hybrids were installed at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch inside the Yellowstone National Park. With a combined storage capacity of 85 kWh, they will be able to hold enough excess energy produced by local solar panels and micro hydro turbines to power the farm off the grid.
autoblog.com, business-review.com

Poaching dispute settled: Apple and battery maker A123 Systems have come to an agreement in a recent dispute, where Apple was accused of poaching A123 employees to set up a battery unit for its upcoming electric car. The financial (or in fact any) details of the deal have not been announced.
autoblog.com, automotive-business-review.com

May 18, 2015 - 08:37 am

Pick a team.

The fight for the best employees between Tesla and Apple has reached new heights. Cindy Nicola, who used to be in charge of recruiting for Apple, has switched sides and will from now on do that job for the Californian EV maker.
9to5mac.com, businessfinancenews.com

Apr 9, 2015 - 08:34 am

WEC racecars and drivers, Apple iCar design contest.

Reading tip: The WEC Season is about to start and Sofiane Kennouche has listed every LMP1 car with details and even includes the drivers. Ready – set – go!

Click tip: Website Freelancer.com recently hosted an online design contest, asking what an Apple iCar might look like. The entries were plenty (193) and pretty fancy.
freelancer.com (winner) via macrumors.com

Found on electrive.com
10.06.2016 08:09