Nikola Motors, BYD, Magna, Tesla, FDG Electric Vehicle, Seat.
Power of ideas: Another Tesla-inspired U.S. company opens the order books for its first electric vehicles. Nikola Motor will launch a 1,500 kW electric truck called Nikola One, and a 382 kW electric quad with the code name Nikola Zero. The truck’s 320 kWh battery is charged via a gas turbine, while the four-seater’s battery is said to last for 125 miles. First working prototypes are to be shown later this year.
More electric trucks come from BYD that just presented a full range of heavy-duty electric vehicles with four new types. The T5, T7, T9, and the Step Van deliver ranges from 100 – 155 miles on one charge and feature V2G functionality, as well as regenerative braking. They will be produced in Lancaster, California, and can be used for i.e. hauling, freezing, and mail delivery.
Made in Austria: Toyota and BMW will have Magna build their joint hybrid sports car from 2018, Austrian Kleine Zeitung reports. 60,000 units of the Z4 successor (aka Supra) will be produced in Graz. Toyota is Magna’s first Asian customer and the Japanese will reportedly deliver the 400 hp hybrid system.
kleinezeitung.at (in German)
Tesla progresses: According to Elon Musk, the design of Model 3’s will be finalised by the end of June. Meanwhile, suppliers have to have their parts ready for delivery by July 1st, 2017. Furthermore, the EV maker introduced a ‘Growth Team,’ tasked with developing strategies to, well, grow the firm.
teslarati.com (design), electrek.co (deadline), electrek.co (growth)
State-build EV: FDG Electric Vehicles has entered into a cooperation agreement with Chinese Guizhou province. In a joint venture, they are to construct a production facility designed to annually build up to 150,000 electric vehicles annually. The project costs about 170m dollars but no timeline has been published.
Seat unplugged: There will be no hybrid or electric models in the line-up of VW’s Spanish subsidiary anytime soon. Despite the technology being readily available within the corporation, Seat believes it to be too expensive for its youthful target group. The argument seems anachronistic.
Volkswagen, tax credit, Tesla, Honda, FDG Electric Vehicle, Formula E.
Open letter: Elon Musk and 44 other entrepreneurs and investors suggested in an open letter to the California Air Resources Board that it should not simply make VW pay penalties. Instead, VW should reinvest the money to accelerate electrification by stepping up research and development or production capacities.
autoblog.com, greencarreports.com, insideevs.com
Tax credit for e-motorcycles extended: The U.S. tax credit for two- and three-wheeled plug-in motorcycles comes back to life, after being scrapped in 2013. Therefore, all motorcycles with a 4 kWh or larger battery pack and electric driving capabilities of at least 45 mph will benefit from a 10 percent tax credit (up to 2,500 dollars of the purchase price).
prnewswire.com via insideevs.com
First Model X Signature delivered: Tesla has delivered a Model X Signature edition which starts at 132,000 dollars. So far, just over 30 of the Founder editions had been delivered. Meanwhile, the EV pioneer is setting up shop in South Korea, where it founded Tesla Korea Ltd. When it will officially launch has not been announced yet.
hybridcars.com, insideevs.com (Signature), yonhapnews.co.kr, koreatimes.co.kr (South Korea)
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Acura NSX priced in the U.S.: Honda’s hybrid supercar will range from 156,000 to 205,700 dollars. Acura has also released a first teaser image of the Precision concept car, which it will showcase in Detroit next month. The concept is said to not preview a specific new model, but the design language that Acura plans to adopt for its upcoming sedans.
puregreencars.com, carscoops.com, autocar.co.uk (NSX pricing), worldcarfans.com, carscoops.com (Precision concept)
FDG investment: Chinese Conglomerate Citic will invests 60.8m dollars in Hong-Kong based Li-ion battery manufacturer FDG Electric Vehicles. FDG plans to start producing electric buses in the first half of 2016.
Uruguay ePrix: Former Formula One pilot Sébastien Buemi won the third Formula E race of the season in Punta del Este. The Swiss now leads the overall scoreboard with 62 points. The next race will take place in Buenos Aires on February 6th.
electricautosport.com, fiaformulae.com, youtube.com (highlights)
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Toyota, Aston Martin, Smart, Tesla, FDG Electric Vehicles.
Olympic push: Toyota plans to introduce a number of new models in order to present its interpretation of future mobility as part of its sponsorship of the Olympic Games in 2020. In addition to the next-gen Prius, the i-Road, and the Mirai (which is said to receive a facelift in 2018), Toyota reportedly also plans to launch its Taxi Concept (first shown at the 2013 Tokyo motor show), fuel cell versions of the Lexus LS (2017) and Toyota Crown (2019) as well as a new hybrid minivan called Alphard (2020).
Electric duo: Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer confirmed to Automotive News that the British carmaker aims to launch an all-electric version of its Rapide in two years, followed by an electrified DBX crossover. The latter would be introduced around 2019 as a plug-in hybrid as well as an all-electric version.
E-Smart axed: Production of the Smart Fortwo´s current electric version has been discontinued, according to a Daimler spokesperson. The electric successor is scheduled for the end of 2016.
tagesspiegel.de (in German)
Big bets on Tesla: In a report published on Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas increased the price target for Tesla Motors from 280 to a whopping 465 dollars a share. The analyst believes that the Californian electric car pioneer is uniquely positioned to dominate the emerging world of “shared mobility” and expects fully autonomous and shared electric cars to be launched within ten years from now.
FDG gets cash injection: Asia’s richest man Li Ka-Shing has bought a minority stake in the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery developer FDG Electric Vehicles. The China-based company sold a total of 800 million shares worth 368 million Hong Kong Dollars (49 million USD).
Bentley, Hyundai, South Korea, Fisker, FDG, XL Hybrids.
Bentley plans three plug-ins: New details on the brand’s electrification course have emerged, as Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer announced plans to triple the hybrid offering. After the introduction of the Bentayga PHEV in 2016, plug-in hybrid versions of the Continental and Mulsanne will follow.
focus.de (in German)
Hyundai iX35 on-sale on the Isles: The Korean FCV is now available in the UK. Pricing starts at 67,995 pounds, not taking into account the 15,000 GBP in subsidies granted by the European HyFive programme. The final price for the iX35 thus comes down to 53,105 GBP (about 72,000 dollars).
South Korea charged up: Competitors are entering the Asian country, as Renault-Samsung says it would start offering the Twizy soon – details will follow in the next few weeks. Chevrolet too, has plans for Korea. GM wants to begin selling the new generation Volt from 2016.
koreaherald.com (Twizy), koreatimes.co.kr (Volt)
Fisker advances: There is movement on the new Fisker website, which had so far only featured graphic allusions of the upcoming Elux. Now, the new owners seem to remember the brand’s roots and offer advice and support to existing Karma owners online.
thenewfisker.com via transportevolved.com
FDG in the U.S.: FDG Electric Vehicles, a blend of American Smith Electric Vehicles and Chinese Sinopoly Battery, is taking another step into U.S. territory and will become the majority shareholder in a new joint venture with Smith that will further develop and market Smith’s electric trucks.
Hybrid Ford Transit: XL Hybrids has adapted its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System to retrofit the Ford Transit van. The XL3 Hybrid System is compatible with all Transit variants, while it adds only around 180 kg to the vehicle. It can be installed in about six hours.
Seoul, FDG Electric Vehicles, Honda, Renault, BYD, Tesla.
Seoul means business: The capital of South Korea partners with BMW, GM, Kia and Renault-Samsung and offers up to 18,425 dollars in incentives to residents who buy an EV from those manufacturers, while businesses can also receive up to 6,400 dollars in funding for installing charging stations. Moreover, BMW wants to erect 120 chargers in Seoul and allow customers with its “BMW i3 Link Package” to test drive or rent a car from BMW’s entire line-up for ten days per year.
FDG kicks off production in China: FDG Electric Vehicles hopes to produce 10,000 electric utility vehicles per year at its plant in Kunming. In the first half of 2015, FDG will open a second production site in Hangzhou, with the capacity of 100,000 units per year. FDG was formerly known as Sinopoly Battery, but changed its name into FDG Electric Vehicles after investing in Smith Electric Vehicles.
Honda Legend hybrid announced: The Japanese carmaker will begin offering the hybrid Legend on its home market starting January 22nd. It uses the same three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, as the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid. Pricing starts at 59,000 dollars.
Renault Z.E. interest in Australia: After launching a trial with Australia Post, Renault has seen some interest by other businesses in its Kangoo Z.E., but sales in Down Under will probably not kick off for at least another year, as the country lacks i.e. incentives for EV programmes.
BYD eyes Brazil: The Chinese manufacturer unveiled it electric bus K9-12d for the Brazilian market. At the beginning of next year, BYD wants to begin building around 500 electric buses per year in the South American country and also export them to Columbia, Chile and Uruguay.
Model S price adjustment? According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla considers upping the prices for its all-electric sedan in Europe. The reason is a seven percent change in the dollar-euro exchange rates. Not surprisingly, Musk is telling potential customers to buy rather sooner than later.
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