Blue Bird electric school buses now fully certified
US bus maker Blue Bird has received all required certifications for its electric school buses which are now in pre-production. The company also opened the order books and their EVs qualify for grants available in California and New York respectively.
Tesla, Ulrich Kranz, Hyundai, Dacia, Blue Bird, Volvo.
Tesla service push: 100 new service centres, 350 extra vans, and 1,400 additional technicians are going to triple Tesla’s service network ahead of the Model 3 launch. The service centres’ locations will be based on reservation concentration in certain markets and shops shall operate up to 40 lanes to speed up maintenance. The EV maker was quick to state though that most issues can be solved through over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics, followed up by a mobile technician on home service duty.
BMW i3 maker to join FF: Ulrich Kranz, former chief of BMWi and maker of the Bavarians’ first electric car is to become head of technology at Faraday Future, Manager Magazin has learnt. He thus takes over development and design of the company’s EVs and will meet an old colleague in Stefan Krause, long-time financial director at BMW and Faraday’s CFO since March. As the start-up is backed by financially stricken LeEco, it just announced to discontinue construction of its 1bn dollar facility in Nevada, so there is a lot to think about for the experienced strategists.
manager-magazin.de (in German)
Hyundai speeds up its FCV and wants to reveal its serial H2 model this August, six month earlier than planned. The fuel cell car is based on the FE Fuel Cell Concept presented in Geneva and shall be able to reach a range of 580km with Hyundai’s own H2 tech. On-sale is scheduled for early 2018.
Dacia to electrify: Renault’s Romanian subsidiary intends to build cars with alternative drive in the near future, including an EV. That is at least what a Renault manager from Romania hinted at but not without pointing out that affordability will remain a decisive factor for Dacia’s reputation throughout.
Blue Bird brought a bright bus to the STN Tradeshow. The Micro Bird G5 Electric school bus is based on a Ford E450 and got a 100 mile range. The second model is a proper American school bus with battery capacities of 100-150 kWh for 100 miles and V2G technology. Production is set by 2018.
Volvo to spice up its XC60 plug-in: The carmaker’s top version T8 will be available as more powerful Polestar model later this summer at a 1,200 euros more than the current T8. The performance update includes additional 14hp and 40Nm of torque, but has no influence on the 45 km electric range.
Bosch, Swatch, Blue Bird, NSK.
Bosch battery production: Bosch wants to decide until the end of the year whether or not to venture into battery cell production. According to Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner, the decision mostly depends on whether it is possible to develop and manufacture technologically better and cheaper cells than i.e. Samsung SDI or Panasonic.
Vanadium battery by Swatch: Said to have a 30 percent higher capacity than regular batteries (we reported), the vanadium battery will be testes in China in March. Expectations are high. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek expects that just by selling the technology to other OEMs, Swatch will make between 10 and 15bn francs by 2020.
cash.ch, luzernerzeitung.ch (articles in German)
Giving back: Georgia-based manufacturer Blue Bird is working on a school bus with bi-directional charging capabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and aims to demonstrate eight such buses in California by 2019.
Wheel hub motor with transmission: Japanese company NSK presented the, by its own account, world’s first transmission equipped wheel hub motor. Based on expertise gained from the prototype, NSK wants to commercialise components for wheel hub motors in the future.