Evergrande breaks ground on e-drive production plant
The extremely ambitious electric car plans of the Chinese Evergrande Group are becoming more concrete: In Huzhou in Zhejiang Province, local media reported that the ground-breaking ceremony for a production facility of Evergrande for electric drive systems has now taken place. Weiterlesen
MAN, Coventry, TU Graz, AVL, Venice.
Eco heavyweights: MAN Truck & Bus is taking part in the EU project ECOCHAMPS, that wishes to develop hybrid technology for passenger and commercial vehicles. Out of the 26 partners, MAN is looking to build a hybrid bus for cities and hopes to lower cost through the standardisation of components. Its driveline will be compatible with different energy sources, be it a gas generator or fuel cell.
National Battery Prototyping Centre: Coventry is becoming a centre for alternative mobility as plans are revealed to build a competence centre for battery research there. The proposal is backed by politicians, scientists, and industry alike. While the centre would focus on research and development, it could ultimately lead to a large scale local battery production. Still, Coventry seeks money from the government to execute the plans but already got the (idealistic) backing of neighbouring Jaguar Land Rover, that says it wants to build both EVs and batteries in England. Funding decisions will only be made after the General Election.
Another competence centre has been completed in Graz, where the ‘AVL-TU Graz Transmission Center’ offers ample space to research gearbox systems. 750 square metres will see testing of all sorts of transmissions, from hybrid drives to power axles for electric vehicles. It is a unique coupling of corporate and academic forces from which both partners hope to benefit.
Cleaning the lagoon: Venice wants to electrify its water taxi fleet and a new hybrid drive from British REAP may help. It can be retrofitted and works with a carbon drive belt. It is not the first attempt to keep noise and exhaust levels low as Siemens already fully electrified a Venetian vessel with more to come.
Toyohashi University of Technology, Tesla, AVL, Georgia Tech.
Road-powered EV: Researchers at Japan’s Toyohashi University of Technology replaced the battery of an EV with special tires that draw energy from steel paths embedded in the road. The technology works similar to inductive charging and guarantees that energy never runs out. A first prototype has already gone for a test drive – but at very low speeds.
Short circuit to blame: A Tesla had caught fire while at a Supercharger in Norway in January. The isolated incident has finally been deemed the result of a short circuit in the EV’s distribution box. Due to the extensive damage, the exact cause of the short circuit cannot be determined, however. Meanwhile, Norwegian officials see no reason to keep the electric luxury cars off the road.
New battery tester: The E-storage BTE from Austrian consulting firm AVL is a battery tester and can be used to simulate electric motors and inverters fin an early developmental phase. The system is very small, and reduces required floor space by up to 25 percent, and may reduce battery lifecycle testing time by up to 20%.
Shibusa e-bike: Georgia Tech students have created a futuristic e-bike as part of a nine-week study project. The Shibusa is designed specifically to blend appeal and flexibility. It is available with electric-assist technology, or as an ordinary, human-powered bike. Components can easily be switched out thanks to a modular design – a first on the e-bike market.
WePod, Google, Skeleton Technologies, AVL.
Driverless bus goes public: In Dutch Wageningen, an autonomous electric bus is rolling up and down a 200 metre stretch of road. The WePod goes 8 kph tops, but nevertheless uses public streets. The pilot will eventually expand to cover a 6 km long route, while the WePod will gradually speed up to 25 kph. The city looks to roll out an entire fleet over the coming years.
reuters.com, theguardian.com, wepods.com
Google eyes Austria: The IT giant is looking to test its self-driving pods in conditions not usually found in Silicon Valley, looking to Austria, where it will find snow, mountains and narrow curves. Autocluster AC Styria already signed a letter of intent with Google.
wirtschaftsblatt.at (in German)
Ultracap backed up: Skeleton Technologies received a 4m euro (4.4m USD) cash injection from KIC InnoEnergy, an investment company with shareholders like ABB, EDF, and Total. Skeleton aims to reach the ambitious target of a 20 Wh/kg energy density for its graphen-based technology by 2020.
greencarcongress.com, businessgreen.com, skeletontech.com
New technology centre: AVL’s latest technology centre has begun operations near Stuttgart, Germany. It features nine test beds for the development and testing of engines, powertrains and vehicles, including EVs. The modular design allows the addition of another 16 test beds.
Dyson, Benteler Engineering, AVL, TU Eindhoven.
Dyson acquires battery maker: Shortly after the maker of vacuum cleaners loudly thought about building its own EV, Dyson now bought solid-state battery start-up Sakti3 for 90m dollars. Previously, Dyson had invested 15m dollars. Things are poised to get even more serious as Dyson plans to build a grand battery factory for an estimated 1 billion dollars. It sure will deliver power packs for vacuum cleaners, if for electric cars too, will remain to be seen.
usatoday.com via greencarcongress.com, electric-vehiclenews.com
Electric-Retrofit is a system set up by Benteler Engineering to convert diesel into electric buses. The axle drive module is by Ziehl-Abegg and recuperates. The system is said to fit in 10.5 to 18-metre vehicles and is currently presented at the Busworld show in Belgium.
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New emission test site: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded AVL to set up an emissions measurement system at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL). Here, EPA wants to test electric and hybrid vehicles next to conventional vehicles.
Student racer for Garage 56? An electric racer built by Eindhoven University of Technology is preparing to take part in Le Mans. As of now, only a prototype exists but it already reaches 285 kph. The Le Mans version will have four instead of two electric drives and a small conventional motor. The students are looking for sponsors.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the motor of a BMW i3 filmed in action. While it sounds like an oversized dentist drill, more curiously it moves – slightly.