Tesla, Echo Automotive, Nissan, Renault, Mitsubshi.
Tesla in Japan: Elon Musk personally handed over the first nine Model S to Japanese customers. While the company operated a Tesla store as well as two service centres in the country before, only now deliveries have started. Also, Tesla already has two Supercharger locations operational with more to be coming soon.
Echo Automotive silent: The plug-in hybrid kit maker is bankrupt as it finds itself unable to repay outstanding debts. Echo Automotive only recently took over Bright Automotive but failed to finish the latter’s development of a light-weight plug-in hybrid van.
Made in Japan: When asked in an recent interview, Kenichiro Yomura, president of Nissan’s India Operations, denied that Nissan is planning to set up an EV facility in Bhutan anytime soon. However, Nissan has an agreement with the South-Asian kingdom to deploy Leaf taxis to be used in the capital Thimpu (we reported).
autocarpro.in (interview) via indianautosblog.com
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Renault Zoe making an entry: A spy shot of a different sort has appeared on the web showing a trailer full of the French electric car in Malaysia. It is most likely that these are of the 40 EVs destined for the new Comos carsharing programme in Klang Valley (we reported).
Long-term test: CarAdvice has been testing the Mitsubshi Outlander PHEV since its launch in March and now published the first report. While the actual technology is “mind-boggling,” the Outlander does not look nor feel like “a science experiment” to editor Matt Campbell.
caradvice.com.au (with video)
Lit Motors, Honda, Echo Automotive.
Lit Motors receives new funding: Thanks to a successful funding round collecting 1 million dollars, the startup from San Francisco is now able to hire a full engineering team and build a new driving prototype of its C-1 self-balancing motorcycle. The new prototype is said to go 100 mph and will be able to do 45-degree banked turns.
NSX drivetrain details: In Geneva, Honda is showing the powertrain layout for its latest hybrid sportscar expected in 2015. The NSX will be powered by what the Japanese carmaker calls the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive). Two electric motors drive the front wheels and are joined by a V6 engine coupled with another electric motor and dual-clutch gearbox.
New EchoDrive: Echo Automotive is now taking orders for its new ’Echo Induction Machine’ through EchoSolutions. The new motor is scheduled for deliveries later this year. Furthermore, to secure supply of critical components for its aftermarket plug-in hybrid systems, Echo signed a supply agreement with its main supplier Remy International.
MTT-136, Isabellenhütte, Bolton University, Berkeley Lab, Echo.
Electric sled: The MTT-136 (MTT stands for My Track Technology) might not sound fancy but is pretty strong and versatile. The sled was constructed by Canadian Yvon Martel and his draught horse weighs just 280 pounds (127 kilos). The threaded sled can pull along from 28 to 130 miles on a single charge and even works without snow. The designer is currently looking for partners.
New current sensor: The German Isabellenhütte has developed a new sensor to be used in battery management systems of EVs and hybrids. The ICB-M comes with two independently powered measurement channels which are galvanically isolated. One is digital, measuring current on shunt basis and the other analog thus using the magnetic method.
pressebox.de (In German)
UK-U.S. fuel cell research: A team at British Bolton University will work together with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA to improve the efficiency of hydrogen storage. The aim is to find nano-composite materials that are capable to absorb more H2 thus making its storage easier and more cost-efficient.
Hybrid system to be extended: Echo Automotive plans to expand its retrofit ‘EchoDrive’ hybrid system to more GM vans like the Chevy Express and GMC Savana. Orders are currently being accepted with production scheduled for this year.