Tesla, BMW i, Kia, Mini, BYD, Terra Motors.
Tesla software update 6.2: The promised end for range anxiety is basically a combination of optimised routing and a range alarm. The new software stays connected to Tesla’s charging infrastructure and warns the driver, when range drops below what is needed to get to the next Supercharger or Destination Charger. Things like elevation changes, weather and occupied chargers are taken into account.
transportevolved.com, insideevs.com, jalopnik.com
BMW i future: German Manager Magazin reports that the BMW i9 could become available by around 2020. Before, BMW i will introduce the next-gen i3 with a 300+ kilometre range. In subsequent years, every middle and large sized BMW model will be offered as plug-in or all-electric variant.
manager-magazin.de (in German)
Kia shows new Optima: The Koreans have released first design sketches of their new Optima, which will be presented at the New York Auto Show in April. The new Optima will also be available as a station wagon, previewed in Geneva earlier this month. A hybrid and a new plug-in hybrid powertrain is likely.
Electric Mini in the pipeline: Head of the Mini brand Peter Schwarzenbauer confirmed that an all-electric Mini is the works, but did not give any further details yet. He also made clear that there will be no Mini Minor and that a production version of the Superleggera is not certain yet.
BYD teams up in Thailand: Trading company Loxley will be selling electric cars and buses under the BYD brand in Thailand, starting with the K9 bus and e6 passenger car. Loxley plans on selling a combined 200 units within two years and is eyeing the possibility of setting up an assembly plant for EVs.
Terra Motors reveals e-bike: The company presented its S750, which is said to be the first e-bike designed by a Japanese company. The e-bike has a top speed of roughly 25 mph and a 31-mile range.
Endesa, Dundee, Solarwatt & BMW i, Eneco, Malaysia.
All-in-one Charging Point Solution is the name of Endesa’s newest offer. The Spanish utility company will provide a charging station, installation, servicing and a three-year warranty for just 1.85 euros per day. According to Endesa, it has installed 958 regular and 37 rapid-chargers in Spain since 2011.
Electric taxis for Dundee: 30 Nissan Leaf are now serving as taxis in the Scottish city. Moreover, taxi company 203020 Electric, a subsidiary of the Tele Taxi Group, wants to completely electrify its entire 60-vehicle fleet over the next twelve months
Sunny cooperation in France: Solar company Solarwatt and BMW’s i-brand will work together in France. The core of the cooperation will be providing BMW i owners with solar technology solutions for the roofs of their home and carports.
emobilserver.de, solarserver.de (articles in German)
Sustainable charging: The SmartCharging app by Dutch company Eneco allows Tesla drivers to charge when electricity prices are low and a lot of wind and solar energy is available. Eneco wants to further develop the app to offer the service to drivers of EVs from other brands.
Malaysia gets electric bus service: 15 electric buses will take commuters the 5.4 kilometre route from Subang to Bandar Sunway, driving in dedicated lanes to avoid congestion. The new transportation service called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will begin operating in May.
Ashok Leyland, Qianli, Spyker, BMW i, Lexus, Honda.
Commercial EVs from India: Ashok Leyland has presented three new electric commercial vehicle concepts – the Dost LCV, a 10-tonne electric Boss truck and a 10-tonne electric midi bus. The models could be commercialised within two years, if a viable market is found.
Minimalistic EV from China: The Qianli Sea Turtle only has room for two – one in front, the other in the back. The electric motor has an output of only 2.2 kW and is mated to a lead-acid battery. And the price tag is minimalist, too: The EV goes for a mere 23,450 yuan (3,754 dollars).
New hope for Spyker: Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is no longer officially bankrupt, an appeals court ruled this week. Spyker thus returns to the status of “moratorium of payment,” seeking a quick deal with creditors. The company plans to pursue previous plans and merge with an U.S.-based manufacturer of electric airplanes in order to use their technologies for electric Spyker cars “in the foreseeable future”.
autovolt-magazine.com, motoringresearch.com, spykercars.com
India-bound i8: BMW will launch its i8 hybrid sportscar in India on the 18th of February. Only a limited number will be available and for a hefty price: The i8 will cost around 20 million rupees (324,000 dollars).
indianautosblog.com, zigwheels.com, auto.ndtv.com
Lexus NX debuts in Malaysia: The SUV has gone on sale in Malaysia with the hybrid variant 300h starting at 385,063 Ringgit (about 106,000 dollars). Some 600 units have already been ordered since October; how many of them are hybrids, was not announced.
paultan.org (specs), therakyatpost.com (order numbers)
New hybrid offering in Down Under: Honda is giving its hybrid portfolio in Australia a makeover. The CR-Z and Civic Hybrid will be scrapped. Instead, Honda wants to introduce its Accord Hybrid in Australia before mid-2015 and also begin selling the new NSX hybrid sports car in 2016.
Chevy Bolt, BMW i8S, Nissan, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Shanghai.
Chevy Bolt debut: GM will unveil a concept version of its Chevy Bolt at the NAIAS today, Wall Street Journal reports. The EV is said to come with a 200-mile range and at a price of around 30,000 dollars. The batteries will be made by LG Chem. The Tesla Model 3 rival is set to launch by 2017.
wsj.com, autoblog.com, jalopnik.com
Jubilee BMW i8: BMW will indeed celebrate its centenary in 2016 with a super sports car based on the i8, which is currently developed under the name M 100, German Auto Bild reports. The special edition hybrid will reportedly be limited to 100 pieces and deliver more than 500 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Likely to be named i8S or i8CS, it is said to cost more than 250.000 euros (about 300,000 dollars).
autobild.de (in German)
EVs with range limitations? Not really. New data from Nissan’s telematic system CarWings show that Leaf drivers in Europe travel more than 50 percent further per year than drivers of traditional cars. While ICE vehicles rolled 6,721 miles on average, the electric Nissans covered 10,307 miles.
BMW i sales: The German carmaker sold 16,052 BMW i3 and 1,741 BMW i8 worldwide in 2014. Currently, more than 100 i3 are being built at the facility in Leipzig and BMW plans to increase the production of the i8 there this year in order to reduce customer waiting times.
LiveWire review: Embedded in tales of personal reluctance towards the Harley brand and musings on the campaign surrounding the LiveWire project, Domenick Yoney delivers a review of his electric ride. His conclusion: This Harley has the power to turn “no fans” into “potential customers.”
Free registrations in Shanghai: The Chinese metropolis has started handing out free license plates to drivers of the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S, according to a report from Bloomberg. Shanghai is waiving the registration fee of about 12,000 dollars in an effort to reduce air pollution.
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Toyota, Detroit Electric, Hyundai, Terra Motors, BMW i, Geely, Yema.
Toyota follows Tesla’s example as the Japanese corporation announced at the CES to share its 5,680 patents relating to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies with the whole industry. According to Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales USA, patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020, while patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration.
greencarcongress.com, hybridcars.com, theverge.com
SP:01 production version: Detroit Electric revealed how its e-roadster will look like when going into production in early 2015. When hitting the market in 2016, the SP:01 is said to deliver 210 kW, a top speed of 155 mph and a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.9 seconds. Customers can already place orders, with early pricing information indicating a starting cost of around 100,500 pounds (159,000 dollars).
Hyundai reloads: The Korean carmaker has announced to invest about 81 trillion won (73 billion dollars) over the next four years. The money will go into expanding and building facilities while almost a third will be spend on R&D activities with a focus on electric vehicles.
2,000-dollar e-scooter: Terra Motors presented its A2000 electric scooter which shares the design with the A4000i but comes at a more competitive price of around 2,000 dollars. The low cost is bought at the price of the environment as the A2000 uses a Lead-acid batteries. Terra Motors hopes to offer its latest model in 10-15 countries this summer, starting with Vietnam in January.
i8 to launch in India: BMW will enter the Indian market with its i-brand this February, ZigWheels reports. The i8 will hit India in limited numbers and could cost as much as INR 2 crores (about 315,000 dollars).
zigwheels.com via indianautosblog.com
New Chinese EVs: Geely will launch its all-electric EC7-EV on the Chinese market this quarter. While the sedan has a range of 150 km (93 miles), the new Yema T70 EV is said to go much further as the electric estate car claims a 400 km (248 miles) range and is set to launch in April.
carnewschina.com (Geely), carnewschina.com (Yema)
BMW i, Automotive Leasing & EST, ChargePoint, Northwestern, Dayton.
New BMW i charging: The German carmaker presented its ‘BMW i Home Charging Services’ to the American public at CES. It prefers solar energy when available. If not, the system charges when prices are low. Furthermore, BMW announced the ‘i ChargeForward Program.’ Up to a hundred i3 drivers in San Francisco will take part in the 18-month pilot to demonstrate intelligent charging that takes into account the grid. The program includes a second-life for Mini E batteries which will store solar energy.
electriccarsreport.com, transportevolved.com, bmwblog.com, greencarcongress.com (i ChargeForward)
EV promotion: Automotive Leasing has partnered with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) Scotland to encourage drivers to switch to EVs in a UK wide project. The partners will promote the ‘Take A Leaf Out of Our Book’ initiative, which offers three months trials with the Nissan Leaf.
ChargePoint Home: Usually ChargePoint is known to operate public charging stations in the U.S., but now offers a compact home charger. ChargePoint Home can be ordered with charging cords of various length and the station can be operated remotely via smartphone app.
Campus charging: Northwestern University in Illinois will install four EV charging stations each able to charge two electric cars at a time. The stations come from the university’s partner Schneider Electric and have been installed on request of existing and aspiring EV drivers.
Dual-mode electric bus: The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in Dayton, Ohio, has started testing the first of four electric trolleys. The prototypes called ‘NexGen’ were built in California and can operate on or off the overhead wire and will thus be compared with battery electric buses, too.
BMW i, Renault, Infineon & UMC, Sunswift.
Self-parking i3: BMW will present the Remote Valet Parking Assistant at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas early next month. The laser scanning system is activated via smartwatch and enables the BMW i3 to autonomously detect a free parking space and park itself, even in multi-storey carparks. The technology can also be used to hail the car back again.
Lightweight Renault concept: The french carmaker is working on a new concept vehicle called the ‘Value Up’ aiming to be lightweight (830 kg), efficient, and cheap, Autocar has learned. Using bamboo and other weight-saving materials, the vehicle could also be equipped with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. However, the Value Up so far only serves as platform new models might be built upon in the future.
Semiconductor agreement: Infineon and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) announced the extension of their manufacturing partnership into semiconductors for automotive applications. Both companies will jointly transfer Infineon’s Smart Power Technology (SPT9) to UMC and extend its production to 300mm wafers.
Sunswift crowdfunding: The solar powered EV built by students of the University of New South Wales Solar Racing Team has reached its first crowdfunding target of 30,000 AUS (24,600 USD). The money will be used to convert the racer into a street-legal EV. The campaign for the Sunswift eVe continues.
cnet.com, pozible.com (campaign)
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Most clicked link on Monday was the next-gen BMW 5-series spotted with a little door at the front left fender which appears to be a charging port.
Audi, BMW i, Tesla, BMW 5 series, Formula E.
Audi Q7 e-tron quattro: Audi has revealed the first official photos and details of its upcoming SUV which is to premier at the Detroit Auto Show. The Q7 will be offered as plug-in hybrid variant with a six-cylinder diesel engine which produces 190 kW and an electric motor with an output of 94 kW. The Audi Q7 e-tron is said to come with an all-electric range of up to 56 kilometers (35 miles).
electriccarsreport.com, puregreencars.com, greencarreports.com
New BMWi services: At the Detroit Auto Show, BMW will not only present its fuel cell stack developed together with Toyota (we reported) but also new services for its electric range. The ChargeNow, ParkNow and DriveNow apps will be extended to include new features like ParkNow LongTerm, which will let drivers find a permanent parking space where they can fill up their batteries.
Tesla’s China president resigns: Veronica Wu, head of Tesla’s Chinese operations, will leave the company after just 9 months on the job. Wu provided no reason for her departure. Tom Zhu, who now runs Tesla’s charging network development in China, will take over her role.
Spy shots of the 5 series: BMW has been caught testing the new BMW 5 series. When taking a close look, one can see a little door at the front left fender which might be the charging port for a plug-in hybrid version. The new 5 series is expected to arrive by 2016.
ePrix in Uruguay: Sebastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) drove to victory in the third race of the Formula E at Punta del Este, Uruguay. He was joined on the podium by Nelson Piquet Jr. (China Racing) and Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt), who remains the championship leader.
motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com, youtube.com (race highlights)
Xiaomi, Ford, Toyota, BMW i, Continental, Beijing Auto.
Xiaomi rumours: China’s plans to allow new players to enter the electric vehicles sector seems to bear its first fruits. According to local reports, mobile phone maker Xiaomi plans to enter the EV business and could be working with Tesla on electric cars to be produced in China.
chinatopix.com, techinasia.com, wantchinatimes.com
Hybridising the F-150? According to Ford’s head of development Raj Nair, the company is working on a hybrid drivetrain for its beloved pick-up. Nair added that it’s too early to talk about drivetrain details or when the hybrid F-150 might debut.
Prius priced: In the UK, pricing for the updated seven-seater Prius+ will start at 26,995 pounds, meaning the entry-level price increased by 850 pounds. First deliveries are scheduled for January. In the U.S., the 2015 Toyota Prius c will be available starting at 19,540 dollars.
autocar.co.uk (UK), toyota.com (USA)
Flexible Mobility programme: BMW had kicked off its initiative in the U.S. back in October, allowing i3 drivers to loan a petrol vehicle when needed. The reason the news only surfaces now is the lack of an official announcement, as well as low participation by local dealers.
Continental has started production of its Conti Drive System for e-bikes. It replaces the chain and supports the use of torque sensors to ensure an optimized interaction between pedal and motor power. Starting next spring, the system will be installed “in a wide range” of e-bikes.
New China-made EV: Next week, Beijing Auto will introduce its electric Senova EV200 on the Chinese market. The car supposedly has a range of 240 km and will be available starting at 130.000 Renminbi Yuan (21,000 USD) after incentives.
Tesla, Malaysia, TesLowJuice, Rome, BMW i & Soho, Honolulu.
Tesla charges China: Under a new agreement with Minsheng Bank, the California EV maker will erect 200 so-called Destination Chargers in twenty cities. Similar deals with China Unicom, Intime Retail and SOHO China have seen Tesla install over 400 charge spots in 61 cities, and 20 Superchargers in another eight cities in China, says China Times.
Malaysia charges itself: From 2015 to 2017, the Malaysia Automotive Institute will install 125 to 150 charging stations along the country’s highways and in the capital Kuala Lumpur. The government is ready to spend 150 million Malayan ringgit (about 46m dollars) on EV infrastructure. More stations are likely to follow until 2020.
Sharing economy: In the UK, owners of Tesla wallboxes are taking matters into their own hands. The TesLowJuice is a charge club via which British Model S owners can make their chargers publicly available. 50 chargers are already registered – 20 more and the UK is covered.
Leaf taxi in Rome: Nissan is working with a Roman taxi company and will erect a CHAdeMO fast charger for two Leaf taxis at the Fiumicino airport. Moreover, working with FCS Mobility, Nissan will convert a NV400 into a mobile charging station for the electric taxis.
Soho House and BMW i: The two enterprises have entered a global partnership that spans across Europe and America. The carmaker will provide guests and members of the Soho House Group with electric i3 vehicles, while also collaborating on cultural events.
Hawaii’s hybrid buses: Honolulu will soon receive four hybrid buses. They are based on New Flyers Xcelsior platform (we reported) and come with HybriDrive Series-E by BAE Systems. The articulated buses were ordered by the Department of Transportation Services (DTS) of the City and County of Honolulu.
Choice of battery pack sizes, BMW i production.
Study tip: In a new study, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) recommends that OEMs should offer buyers of plug-in cars different battery capacity options. It suggests that manufacturers should therefore develop a modular platform to offer i.e. battery sizes for drivers with low, average and high mileage requirements.
sciencedirect.com via chargedevs.com
Video tip: BMW lets you take a peek behind the curtain at its production plant in Leipzig and shows how the BMW i8 is build. The manufacturer points out that the hybrid sports car is not only more ecological when driving it, its production process is as well.
youtube.com via mein-elektroauto.com (in German)
BMW i, Canada, Charleston, Car2go, ubitricity.
New BMW wallbox: After the Wallbox Pure, BMW i introduces the Wallbox Pro. It can be integrated in a smart home grid and use self-generated electricity to charge the EV. The wallbox is to come available worldwide and can charge at a power rate of up to 7.4 kW. In Germany it is limited to 4.6 kW, due to local grid regulations.
hybridcars.com, slashgear.com, press.bmwgroup.com (4.6 kW, in German)
Electric corridor opens in Canada: The first charging stations between Quebec City and Montreal have gone into operation. A total of twelve charging points, including five fast charging ones, will be installed on the electric corridor between the Highways 10 and 138 this fall already.
Free Leaf Taxi: A new driving service is ready to launch in the next two weeks in Charleston, South Carolina (USA). Scoop CHS will feature four Nissan Leaf and will drive customers to their destination free of charge. The idea is to finance the service purely with advertisements.
Car2go conquers Brooklyn: The carsharing company will extend its offer to the New York neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Starting on October 25th, 400 Smart fortwo will hit the road there. The NYC fleet will not feature any electric vehicles, however.
Intelligent charging system: Five German welfare and caritas associations have acquired a total of nine EVs. The charge cables are supplied by Berlin-based ubitricity and include mobile electric meters. That enables employees to charge the cars at home without having to pay. Because of the intelligent charging technology, electricity consumption is monitored by ubitricity and billed directly to the company.
suedkurier.de, erzbistum-freiburg.de (both in German)