Autopilot under arrest.
New times bring new crimes at least allegedly and so Chinese internet giant Baidu finds its CEO Robin Li under investigation to determine whether his testing a driverless car on public roads was illegal. Beijing’s traffic police is on the case and said it would support “autonomous driving, but it should be conducted legally, safely and scientifically.” Fair enough.
Curb side delivery.
After Skype founders recently introduced a delivery robot, MIT researchers present a solution of their own. The all-electric ‘Carry’ can transport up to 100 pound, which the customer can access via a mobile app that also allows for real-time tracking. So no more excuses for not being home when the delivery arrives.
New distance record.
Driving 41.6 kilometres, a battery-powered tram featuring the latest Primove technology by Bombardier has set a new distance record for catenary-free operation. The wire free run was part of a trial in the German city of Mannheim.
Van Hool, Bombardier, Leclanché, ZF, Verd2Go, Sakor.
Joint e-bus innovation: Van Hool, Bombardier and battery maker Leclanché introduced a new electric bus in Belgium. It is charged wirelessly at the bus depot via Bombardier’s charging system. Three buses were handed over to the Flanders public transport company De Lijn to undergo real world testing. The project was part of the ‘living lab for electric vehicles programme’ by the Flemish ministry for innovation.
leclanche.eu, hln.be (in Dutch)
More efficient: ZF presents the EcoLife automatic transmission with start/stop function at the Busworld show. The company also improved the AVE 130 electric low-floor axle as it increased power of the two electric motors from 120 to 125 kW each. By losing the conventional drive and propeller shaft in the rear, more space for passengers was created.
Swap, stack, and plug: Start-up Verd2Go from Kansas City tries to find backers to warm up the battery swap idea once more. Different from Better Place however, Verd2Go batteries can be requested in smaller stacks so they can be used in anything from a mobile to a PEV.
High voltage testing: Sakor presents testing technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles and batteries at the Automotive Testing Expo in the USA. Testing covers standards as well as simulations.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Monday was Volkswagen’s quite humorous full page advertisement in major Dutch newspapers to apologize for equipping its diesel cars with cheating software.
The very last mile.
The Korbiyor is a futuristic concept by Bombardier with an unusual target group: the deceased. Designed as a hearse, it enters a church silently and autonomously on mecanum wheels and the follows the procession carrying a transparent coffin. It can also play sad tunes on its surround sound system. For those wanting to leave this world with no carbon trace.
StreetScooter, Stratasys, Electric plane, Bombardier, ETH Zurich.
3D printed StreetScooter: Stratasys will present a prototype of the StreetScooter C16 at the EuroMold fair in Frankfurt next week. The electric car is planned to be offered for less than 10,000 euros (12,550 dollars) and will feature exterior parts printed with a 3D printer from Stratasys.
3dprint.com, 3druck.com (in German)
Electric plane from China: Shenyang Aerospace University has presented a small electric aeroplane at the Airshow China. The two-seater RX1E is said to fly 90 minutes per charge and will be produced by next year. Price is annonced at 1 million Yuan (163,000 USD)
Driverless transport: Singapore has launched the automated ‘People Mover’ system with two ‘INNOVIA APM 100’ vehicles by Bombardier. They run on a separate track, energised by conductor rails. Another 13 vehicles have already been ordered, eight are set for delivery already this year.
Cheaper high-capacity anodes: Researchers from ETH Zurich have identified vanadate-borate glasses as high-capacity cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. The composite electrodes with reduced graphite oxide are said to deliver specific energies around 1,000 Wh/kg and retain high specific capacities in the range of 300 mAh/g for the first 100 cycles.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the rumored BMW i5, which “Autocar” suggests might be using a version of the Toyota Mirai fuel cell system.
Bombardier, Emobility Works, Ireland, Hermosa Beach.
Streetcar unplugged: In China, the first four of 15 catenary-free trams with Bombardier technology have been delivered to the city of Nanjing. They are equipped with Primove traction batteries and charged via pantograph. Two trams have already been serving the eight-kilometre Hexi line this August.
The EU project ‘Emobility Works’ just launched in Germany. It is designed to support 27 municipalities in nine participating countries as well as at least a 100 companies in their efforts to introduce electric transport by providing action plans.
derwesten.de (launch in German), ec.europa.eu (project)
EVs in Ireland: Incentives and charging infrastructure in Ireland seem to be ideal for early adopters of electric cars. But why are EV sales not taking off as one might expect? Green Car Reports takes a look at the current situation and delivers some insights on what it would take to get to the tipping point.
Freedom Station: NRG eVgo opened the first fast-charging station in Hermosa Beach, California. The “Freedom Station” consists of both CHAdeMO and Combo DC fast chargers and one standard Level 2 outlet. According to NRG eVo, this is the first Combo (CCS) fast-charger install in greater Los Angeles metro area.
EV-friendly National Park: Point Reyes National Seashore received a donation of multiple charging points for its National Park. Located at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, the station is free to use and powered by solar energy produced by the park’s own solar panels.
Hybricon, V-Charge, Bombardier, D-Face.
Super-fast charging at 625 Ampere: In Swedish Umea, the new Arctic Whisper (HAW) electric bus by Hybricon Bus Systems has been charged ultrafast via Opbrid’s Bůsbaar. In the trial, 625 amps were pushed inside the battery for six minutes, making way for 2-3 min. charges at 500-1,000 kW in the future.
greencarcongress.com, youtube.com (Busbaar video)
Autonomous charging: In the EU project ‘V-Charge’ (for Valet Parking and Charging) ETH Zurich and the universities of Brunswick, Oxford, and Parma, are developing driverless park and charge systems for EVs together with Bosch and Volkswagen. A first prototype system is now up and running in Stuttgart, Germany.
EVs by Bombardier: Charles Bombardier of the company of the same name is drafting electric vehicle concepts based on Bombardier’s own inductive charging technology. In his vision, electric shuttles, one-man vehicles or electric motorcycles could all be charged contactless soon.
charlesbombardier.com via justpark.de (in German)
Bubble-car is back: In German dubbed “Knutschkugel” (snog ball), the BMW Isetta is back as EV with range extender. The D-Face concept by Japanese firm D Art was on display at the Taipei EV show and the company is looking to license the mini EV with a top speed of 45 mph in other countries.
Bombardier, Type 2, Toyota, IDTechEx.
Inductive Bus: In the German city of Brunswick, a new electric bus has now entered regular service. Operator Braunschweiger Verkehrs AG says, that so called Emil is the first inductively charged e-bus in scheduled service worldwide. It will serve on the highly frequented loop line M19. By 2015, Emil will be joined by more of his kind to serve the line with e-buses only. So far, two stops feature inductive charging developed by Bombardier and TU Braunschweig university.
braunschweiger-zeitung.de (in German), braunschweiger-verkehrs-ag.de (photos)
German standard for Europe: The Type 2 (three-phase AC) connector has been officially named the standard for the European Union, reports German news agency dpa with reference to the EU council of ministers. The Type 2 connector, also known as Mennekes plug gets already used for a while in European-built cars such as the BMW i3, Renault Zoe, Volvo V60 PHEV or Smart electric drive. Even Tesla’s European version of the Model S comes with a Type 2 intlet.
spiegel.de (in German), wiwo.de (in German)
Toyota presents TS040 Hybrid: The Japanese have unveiled their race car for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. The TS040 comes with a combination of a V8 engine and two electric motors. Together they got 735 kW and will unfold their full power at the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Study tip: IDTechEx analysed the global activities of 140+ lithium battery manufacturers and predicts that by 2024, li-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles will make up more than half of the total market volume.