Renault hits on China with ultra-low price electric car
After Renault presented the series version of its small electric car City K-ZE at Auto Shanghai in April, the market launch in China followed suit and with a drumroll. Renault set a base price of 61,800 yuan, and currently, that converts to just under 7,900 euros.
Study: German carmakers have catching up to do
According to the latest CAM ‘Electromobility Report’, in which 212 series innovations in e-mobility have been evaluated by 30 car manufacturers over the past five years, German automobile manufacturers still have catching up to do.
Blitz cooperation: Opel PEVs through PSA & Dongfeng
Affordable prices through economies of scale – this is what Opel wants to achieve in cooperation with PSA and Dongfeng through new platforms for electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Unlike the VW Group’s MEB, the trio wants to remain flexible. Christoph M. Schwarzer takes a close look at the strategy.
Nissan & Dongfeng in talks with Didi Chuxing
Nissan and its China partner Dongfeng are currently in talks with Didi Chuxing to establish a joint venture with Didi’s ride-hailing and car sharing services. The Japanese and Chinese car makers should supply Didi with electric vehicles.
Bogotá: Bring your bus bids on
Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, is launching a tender procedure for the purchase of no fewer than 594 electric buses to be integrated into the TransMilenio metro bus system as early as next year.
Market launch for electric DS 3 and DS 7 Crossback
The PSA subsidiary DS Automobiles is now accepting orders for the all-electric compact SUV DS 3 Crossback E-Tense and the larger electric SUV DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4×4 with plug-in hybrid drive. So far, prices have only been announced for a few countries.
Honda producing next BEV for China
Honda plans to develop more than 20 electrified vehicle models for the Chinese market by 2025. Following the previously introduced battery-electric VE-1, this year another BEV designed with car-sharing services in mind will follow. Further details have not been announced yet.
Donfeng & Nissan JV begins Sylphy production
The joint venture’s first low-cost BEV has begun rolling off the assembly line at the Guangzhou factory in China. According to the manufacturers, it will be joined by another 5 models spread over several brands by the end of next year.
Nissan to boost China production by 30%
Nissan has earmarked $900M for increasing their production capacity in China. They plan a new factory in Wuhan together with JV partner Dongfeng. Also existing facilities are to be expanded. Nissan is looking to grow their China business by 30%, including new energy vehicles.
China carmakers to set up state-owned ride-sharing
China’s state-owned car manufacturers FAW, Dongfeng and Changan have set up ride-hailing service T3 Mobile Travel Services in order to rival the almighty Didi Chuxing. The platform builds on their existing EV alliance and is to deploy self-driving robo cabs.
Battery production by CATL & Dongfeng JV kicks off
Construction of a battery factory owned by both CATL and Dongfeng is complete. The facility of Dongfeng Amperex started production in Wuhan. Here they aim to reach a capacity of 9.6 GWh worth of batteries on three manufacturing lines from 2019.
Nissan & Dongfeng confirm their China EV
Partners Nissan an Dongfeng presented their electric car model for the Chinese market. It will come in the form of an existing model from Nissan. Together they want to woe buyers in the People’s Republic as they seek to offer the EV under all labels.
Nissan to sell 1 million PEVs a year by 2022
The Japanese carmaker set a new target for global plug-in sales, saying it wants to sell 1 million PEVs by 2022. The strategy includes both new all-electric cars as well as hybrids powered with the e-Power technology they use in Japan.
500 H2 trucks by Dongfeng powered by Ballard fuel cells
Licensed, plated and deployed with fuel cell stacks by Ballard – 500 hydrogen trucks built by Dongfeng have hit the road in Shanghai. Each electric truck has a range of over 330 km. Operated by a new fuel cell EV operator, the fleet will be used for city deliveries mainly.
PSA, Dongfeng, Lilium, Panasonic, Siemens, Local Motors.
Shared EV platform: PSA and Dongfeng officially agreed to jointly build a platform for electric cars. The e-CMP, based on the common modular platform, will be the base for compact and subcompact electric cars for the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, and Dongfeng brands.
Electric VTOL: ESA is backing Lilium, a Munich-based start-up intending to launch an electric jet by 2018. The two-seater shall start and land vertically, while flying at speeds of up to 400 kph. In cruising mode, range is given at 500 km and batteries are said to charge via a household socket.
siliconrepublic.com, inverse.com, esa.int
Panasonic increased its investment in the Tesla Gigafactory by 35 percent this last quarter. With 64m dollars, the Japanese paid more in Q1 2016, than they have since the start of the project. It is a good indicator that production of battery cells is about to start very soon.
3D car printing: Siemens partners with Local Motors to advance large scale 3D printing of cars. Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, which creates digital twins, will be combined with Local Motors’ experience in a process called Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM).
Porsche, Nissan, PSA, Dongfeng, Morgan.
Porsche confirms 911 PHEV: Work has begun on a plug-in hybrid version of the iconic Porsche, says Erhard Mössle, the 911 Turbo’s engineering boss, confirming earlier hints. The 911 PHEV will keep its V6 settings. Finding room for the battery and reducing the weight of the car are the main challenges that lay ahead. Which is why the hybrid variant will only be available with the next generation due by 2020.
Nissan battery facility: The Japanese carmaker pours another 26.5m pounds (about 38m USD) into its British Sunderland facility to modernise its battery assembly plant for the Leaf and e-NV200. 9.7m GBP come from the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre in an attempt to make the site the biggest in Europe. Partners include Warwick and Newcastle University, as well as Zero Carbon Futures.
autocar.co.uk, autoevolution.com, insideevs.com, electriccarsreport.com
Top down principle: Peugeot, Citroen, and newly emancipated DS will share technology. Some will be developed together, some will be handed down and some will remains specific to one brand. DS will lead PSA’s efforts in electrification and plug-in hybrid advances, passing on technological know-how.
First Dongfeng EV: The Chinese carmaker plans to introduce seven new models this year in an attempt to boost its sales by 30 percent. One electric vehicle is included in the line-up – the Joyear S50.
Morgan update: Following the British sports car maker’s announcement about the development of hybrid and electric engines, it now says that it plans to include the technology in all models starting from 2019.
Mercedes, Toyota, Jaguar, Japan, Geely, Dongfeng, Changan.
Fuel cell minivan? Mercedes teases the autonomous Vision Tokyo concept bound for the Motor Show in Japan’s capital. The size and sliding doors suggest a seven-seater. Nothing has been said about the powertrain yet but it could feature the same plug-in fuel cell system as the F 015 concept.
Toyota taxi: Toyota is in the process of updating its JPN Taxi Concept first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The new cab due for release in April 2018 is to feature a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system that is still under development.
Electric Jaguar update: Renderings depict the Brit’s first EV will be a slightly smaller version of Audi’s Q6 E-tron concept. According to industry insider Georg Kacher, a drag coefficient of 0.28 could make the E-Pace one of the world’s most aerodynamic crossovers.
Tax break extension: The tax break on hybrid and electric vehicles in Japan will possibly be extended but also scaled back. Stricter fuel emission standard wanted by Japanese government will make less cars applicable and will thus likely be met with opposition from domestic carmakers.
Geely R&D in UK: Another 50 million pound will be invested by Geely in its London Taxi Company facility in Ansty to expand the site into its British R&D headquarters. The facility will become twice as large than initially planned as total investment increases to 300m GBP.
New EVs from China: Dongfeng presents the Fengshen A60 EV scheduled for market entry in early 2016. Meanwhile, the BenBen EV was unveiled by Changan Auto who has not given a date for launch yet. Both models are based on petrol-powered cars.
carnewschina.com (Dongfeng), carnewschina.com (Changan)
Tesla, Nissan, Uniti, VECV, Proterra, Renault & Dongfeng.
Elon tweets: Tesla CEO Elon Musk took part in a Q&A on Twitter and revealed that a cheaper Model X version with a smaller battery will come in around 12 months from now. Musk has also confirmed that a Model Y ist planned. Whether the Tesla Model Y will be based on the Model 3 remains to be seen.
Connected Nissan EV: Nissan previewed its Teatro for Dayz concept ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show. Designed for the so-called share natives, the all-electric car is based on the Dayz kei car and boasts customizable screens on the inside and outside.
pcworld.com, carscoops.com, worldcarfans.com
Open design EV: The Uniti projects brings together an international team at Swedish Lund University. Together, they aim to challenge the idea of urban mobility and automotive design. An electric two-seater prototype is being set up with the design and development process open and patent-free.
pr.com, youtube.com (teaser), iamuniti.com (project website)
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Hybrid school bus: The Indian Joint Venture Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) plans to develop a hybrid powertrain and AMT system for buses and trucks in the 16-49t range. The development work has begun first in a hybrid school bus that will take a year and a half for completion.
Nimble electric bus: Proterra introduced its 35-feet electric bus (10.7 metres). The smaller Catalyst is easier to steer through dense urban areas and features more automation but sits on the same technology platform as the 40-feet version. Dallas Area Rapid Transit already ordered seven.
Spied: As we reported, Renault and Dongfeng are building an EV for the Chinese market. Now the Fluence Z.E. with a Dongfeng name tag has been spied without camouflage. It looks like a rebadge-only operation rather than a re-development but if the former is true, why is the launch only set for 2017?
PSA, Dongfeng, NextEV, Local Motors, Jordan, Mahindra Reva.
PSA partners with Dongfeng: Together, French PSA Peugeot Citroen and Chinese Dongfeng plan an electric vehicle for 2020. Furthermore, they will co-develop a shared platform for compact cars. Nonetheless, PSA will continue its current EV collaboration with Mitsubishi.
Up for the challenge: The start-up NextEV has raised half of the one billion dollars it seeks for its ‘Tesla-fighter,’ winning over Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital as investors. By the end of the year, the company plans to partner with two unnamed car manufacturers for production.
3-D printed car ready to order: Local Motors will take pre-orders for the first-generation of its Reload Redacted EV from next month via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Deliveries are set for the beginning of next year, while a high-speed version might be ready by the end of 2016.
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Free to register: The Jordanian government has now exempted electric cars from registration fees, amounting to about 9,000 dinar (12 dollars). Already last month, EVs were freed from custom duties and sales tax.
e2o review: This inspection of Mahindra Reva’s electric compact car concluded that it is lifestyle product. Writer Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy describes the e2o is “quirky, “saying that it “appeals to those that question the status-quo.”
NEVS + Dongfeng, LG Chem + Changan, BMW, Nissan, M-Zero.
Chinese partner for NEVS: Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and Dongfeng Motor Corporation signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly develop electrified cars. According to the agreement, Dongfeng will support NEVS on the construction of production and R&D in Tianjin and the formation of sales and service with support from Dongfeng’s dealer network. In return, NEVS will help Dongfeng to sell its own brand cars through Saab´s dealer network in Europe and the United States.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, businessinsider.com
LG secures another battery deal: LG Chem joined hands with Chinese carmaker Changan. Under the contract, LG Chem will supply Changan with batteries for its next plug-in hybrid model, whose mass production is scheduled to start in 2016. LG Chem said the latest deal has let the battery maker secure more than half of the top 10 Chinese car brands as customers.
BMW M electrifies: BMW officials have reportedly confirmed that the next-generation BMW M3 will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain. According to The Detroit Bureau, at least one and possibly two electric motors will be added to drive the front wheels and carbon fiber will help offset the weight of the batteries.
Leaf battery upgrade: A bigger battery for the 2016 Nissan Leaf becomes more likely. According to the description page of a Nissan dealer in Indiana, “drivers of higher trim levels will enjoy a battery with as much as 25 percent increased capacity”, which suggests Nissan will be adding a 30-kWh battery pack.
Hybrid sports car from India: The M-Zero hybrid sports car by Mean Metal Motors (we reported) is becoming more concrete as a prototype is expected to be complete by June 2016. The Indian start-up wants to launch the M-Zero in Europe first and plans to price it in the range of the BMW 7 Series.