GKN is developing 800 Volt systems for electric vehicles
GKN Automotive is accelerating its development of electric drives in response to the increasing global demand for EVs. These future systems, utilising and harnessing 800-Volt technologies, are already at advanced stages of development and being tested in real-world conditions, GKN says.
Vertical Aerospace announces 1,000 air taxi orders
The British eVTOL start-up Vertical Aerospace announces pre-orders for a total of 1,000 of its electric aerial taxis. In this context, the company also announces that it is seeking an IPO via SPAC and has received commitments from Microsoft, American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce.
GKN testing new drive in the Arctic Circle
GKN Automotive continues their tests on the 3-in-1 powertrains and has several prototypes underway in the Arctic Circle. New inverters and motors are being used in the test vehicles based on the Tesla Model 3 and Fiat Ducato.
GKN Automotive and Delta join forces on e-drives
GKN Automotive and Delta Electronics are launching a strategic cooperation for the development and marketing of electric drives for the 80 to 155 kW power class. The drives from the joint development are to be launched on the market in three years.
CATL, GKN, Nidec, Tesla.
CATL to start Gigafactory: The Chinese supplier wants to enter the battery market as early as January 2018 when a new facility in Liyang will take up its work. The first phase already aims at an annual capacity of 10 GWh. This shall increase gradually until output reaches 36 GWh, just like Tesla’s Gigafactory. The cells will be assembled by cooperation partner SAIC that could soon supply enough packs for up to 300,000 EVs a year. CATL, that also delivers cells for the BMW i3, was the world’s third largest battery maker in 2016 with an output of 6.8 GWh.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Electric drive: GKN Driveline is about to construct a new manufacturing facility in Tokoname City, Japan. It will replace an older plant, and has become necessary to meet increasing demand for AWD and eDrive systems. GKN will break ground this month and targets completion by mid-2018.
Another e-drive from Japan is presented by Nidec that has developed a lightweight motor system for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. It combines a gearbox, an inverter and a motor with a proprietary cooling system and has an output of 40 to 150 kW to cater for various vehicles.
Lonesome ranger: 400,000 miles driven with almost no battery degradation. What sounds like one of those Tesla milestones has actually been hit by a single Chevy Volt driven by a GM employee. Note though that the electric miles count 141,795 only.
CATL, GKN, Hyperloop, Ford, Domino’s.
Batteries from China at IAA: Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), who recently opened offices in Berlin and Munich, will put its five main products on display at the show in Frankfurt. The battery modules EnerSpeedy, EnerDura, EnerMagic, EnerClimate and EnerLasting bear telling names.
automobil-industrie.vogel.de (in German)
GKN drive for electric and hybrid cars: Based on its Twinster tech, GKN has developed an eAxle equipped with a two-speed powershift transmission and will bring it to the IAA. It can be utilised for both hybrid and electric vehicles, no matter if they got a front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
TU Munich wins Hyperloop: Elon Musk is seeking the best Hyperloop pod prototype and part two of the contest has just taken place at SpaceX in Los Angeles. Again it was TU Munich’s team WARR that got the fastest capsule. It shot through the test tube with a speed of 324 kph driven by a 50 kW electric motor. The pod weighs only 80 kg and was the smallest in the race against the Swissloop team from ETH Zurich and Paradigm Hyperloop from Newfoundland.
Autonomous pizza delivery: Ford and pizza chain Domino’s will begin delivering pizzas in Michigan in a Ford Fusion Hybrid equipped with self-driving technology. The delivery vehicles initially will be piloted by human drivers but in New Zealand, Domino’s already tested drones to take the box to the doorstep.
BMW, GKN, Fraunhofer LBF, Fuel Cell Truck.
BMW looks into fuel cells: At the FVV research institute a new group led by BMW’s Dr. Merten Jung is working on future fuel cells designed to be cheaper. Through application-oriented research, the group sees potential in lowering platinum content, simulation models as well as new components. Hydrogen as well as air supply systems are further fields FVV research is looking into and Jung hopes “it will be possible in some ten years to build hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems that do not contain much more platinum than a today’s diesel catalytic converter.”
More electric motors will roll off the GKN production lines GKN at Bruneck, Italy, where the supplier plans to increase capacity by 60 percent until 2019. Demand feeds the move and comes from OEMs like Volvo or BMW who use GKN’s eAxle system in their plug-in hybrids.
Smarter testing: The InTeLekt project delivers first results as Fraunhofer LBF presents a new testing environment for error simulation in power modules. It shall help to develop EVs faster and mimics both electric drive and battery to test the inverter and allows to impress vibrations at the same time.
Road legal fuel cell truck: Swiss developer ESORO received official road approval for its 35t fuel cell truck it realised for Coop. The truck has been running for thousands of testing kilometres and will now deliver chilled products to the grocer. One hydrogen filling lasts for 400 km.
BYD, super battery, Singapore, GKN.
BYD ups EV investments: The manufacturer wants to spend another 670m euros on its electric and hybrid fleet, as well as another 800m euros on its battery segment. BYD will use the cash to i.e. set up a new battery factory in Quinghai, said to produce batteries with a total of 10 GWh per year. The Shang, Song, M5 and other electric and hybrid newcomers will arrive on the market before the end of the year.
New super battery: Using sheets of graphene, researcher at the Australian Swinburne University have developed a flexible energy-storage technology. The supercapacitor is said to store as much energy as a lithium battery, but can be charged in just seconds and has an almost unlimited lifespan.
Autonomous in Singapore: Companies Delphi and nuTonomy working with the government of Singapore to test autonomous vehicles. The mobility on-demand service will include one Audi SQ5 and five still unnamed electric cars that will be retrofitted with Delphi technology, including cameras, radar and lidar. The project, which kicked off Monday, will run until 2019.
Boosting electric AWD: Shanghai GKN Huayu Driveline Systems (SDS), GKN’s Chinese joint venture, has set up five new production facilities for its all-wheel drive technology in Shanghai, in order to cater to the growing demand for electric drivetrains.
Nissan fleet sales.
Nissan sold 7,500 of its electric Leaf and e-NV200 to fleet operators in Europe this past fiscal year. That is an increase of 45 percent compared to the year before and a new record. To date, a total of 20,000 Nissan have been sold to fleet customers on the old continent.
Apple, Beverly Hills, Amsterdam, GKN.
iSecret in Berlin? According to German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Apple has secret lab for its upcoming electric car in the German capital. As many as 20 experts from the German automotive industry are said to work there to prepare the launch of the iCar in Germany in 2019 or 2020, at which point it will become part of a carsharing fleet.
faz.net (in German); macrumors.com, cultofmac.com
Autonomous in Beverly Hills: The Los Angeles neighbourhood decided to implement a self-driving limousine service. Thanks to the vast network of fibreglass cables, the cars can stay connected with each other as well as that part of town. Beverly Hills plans to sit down with Tesla and Google to talk about delivering the fleet – which will therefore be all-electric.
Autonomous Amsterdam: The Dutch city, too, wants to kick off a pilot project with fully self-driving cars. The EU could issue a general approval of autonomous vehicles by 2019. Meanwhile, the city will test the cars on separate roads.
eAxle for Volvo: Following the Volvo XC 90 PHEV, GKN will also deliver its eAxle system for the Volvo S90 Plug-in Hybrid. The system supports both all-electric driving, as well as all-wheel drive where the rear is powered by an electric motor and the front by a combustion engine.
GKN Automotive, Schaeffler, Daimler, NextEV.
Torque vectoring eAxle: GKN Automotive has revealed a new torque-vectoring axle technology for next-generation hybrid vehicles. GKN says the technology will help hybrids compete successfully against conventional powertrains on performance, not just efficiency.
Schaeffler unveils hybrid module: Schaeffler has introduced a new P2 high-voltage hybrid module at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Due to a significantly higher electrical output of 80 kW, it can be used in plug-in hybrid vehicles and will go into serial production for the first time in China in 2017.
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German effort on battery cells? The joint purchase of Nokia’s mapping division Here might not be the last cooperation of German carmakers Audi, BMW and Daimler. Speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche considered the possibility of a joint production of next-gen battery cells.
wiwo.de (in German)
Update on NextEV: Chinese electric-vehicle startup and Tesla rival NextEV has chosen north San Jose, California, as the location for a major R&D center, says Silicon Valley Business Journal. The 85,000-square-foot building will serve as a hub focused on energy technologies and connected car research.
ALISE, StoreDot, GKN, Eberspaecher.
Li-sulfur range extension: The ALISE project is receiving funding over four years through European Union’s Horizon 2020 program and intends to realise lithium sulfur technology to 500Wh/kg with 2,000 cycles by 2019. It will involve the development of the anode, cathode and electrolyte of the cell and will culminate in an ultra-lightweight battery for a Seat vehicle for testing on tracks and public roads.
Fresh money for StoreDot: Israeli startup StoreDot, which claims to be working on an EV battery that charges in only five minutes (we reported), said that it raised 18 million dollars in funding from Samsung Ventures and Russian investor Roman Abramovich. The company now sits on a total of 66 million dollars and plans to spend the latest money on getting its fast-charging battery into electric cars.
GKN at IAA: GKN Automotive says it will demonstrate new technologies at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, which will make plug-in hybrids “the driveline of choice for future drivers.” Highlights will include new drive systems for electrified cars and light commercial vehicles as well as a new integrated eAxle system for plug-in hybrid SUVs and premium vehicles.
Air con for e-buses: Eberspaecher Suetrak announces it will present integral solutions for efficient thermal management of electric and hybrid buses at this year’s Busworld in Kortrijk. As a world debut, the company will show its new AC 230 roof-top air-conditioning system with an innovative heat pump.
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Most clicked Link on Wednesday was the ‘space elevator’, which would reach about 12 miles above the Earth’s surface and is designed to reduce the cost of rocket launches.
Samsung, CARB, GKN Automotive, Andretti Autosport
Two times higher density? Samsung researchers have developed a high crystalline graphene coating for silicon cathodes, said to have twice the energy density than regular lithium ion batteries. This is made possible since the protective graphene layer decreases the volume change through a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers. The technology is expected to be market ready within the next two or three years.
businesskorea.co.kr, nanotechnologyworld.org, nature.com
More funding for advanced vehicles: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved a 373 million dollar funding plan for the coming fiscal year. The budget, which will benefit hybrid and electric vehicles of all kinds, is 150 million dollars higher than last year’s.
GKN opens HQ in USA: GKN Automotive has set up its base for the Americas region at Auburn Hills, Michigan. Here, it will test and develop all-wheel drives and manufacture hybrid electric vehicles with 350 employees. Overall, the company employs almost 27,000 people in 22 countries.
New Andretti firm for electric drives: Andretti Autosport has announced its new entity called Andretti Technologies. Working together with TE Connectivity, it will mainly be responsible for developing a new electric motor for the second season of the Formula E.
nbcsports.com, electriccarsreport.com, fiaformulae.com
Continental, Drivetrain innovations, Chalmers University, GKN & Huaya.
Optimised power electronics: Continental says its 3rd generation of power electronics for hybrid and electric vehicles will be ready for serial production this August. According to the supplier, the latest series is six times more powerful than the first generation, while also being lighter (8 instead of 12 kilos).
Reversed innovation: A new analysis by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) looking at the 18 biggest automotive manufacturers concludes that while together they created 1,220 innovations, only 11 dealt with electric drivetrain technologies. That is down to the level of 2008 and also hybrid technology lost its inventive force as only 50 innovations, 12 less than in 2013, were counted.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German)
Plug-in cost calculation: Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology came up with a convex optimisation algorithm that takes into account various parameters affecting the costs of a plug-in hybrid. The tool helps to calculate development costs of hybrid systems quicker.
850 million dollars are to be invested by the Chinese Joint Venture of GKN Automotive and Huaya Automotive to fulfil demand for new drivetrain technologies like hybrids. By the end of the year, the partners intend to finish construction of a new technical centre in Shanghai.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the fan-made Tesla “advert” which apparently stroke our readers as enlightening.
Mahindra Reva, Magna Steyr, Quick Charge Power, GKN.
Mahindra Reva tech kit: The Indian carmaker announced that it will license its technology to other companies. In order to cut development costs, the proposed “kits” will include the know-how for developing drivetrain, battery pack, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) and telematics for remote diagnostics.
MILA Plus to be unveiled: As we previously reported, Magna Steyr will take the wraps off its new plug-in hybrid sports car this week. The drivetrain combines a three cylinder and two electric motors, the latter allowing for an all-electric range of 75 kilometres. More information is now available in English.
greencarcongress.com, autoblog.com, electriccarsreport.com
Retrofit CHAdeMO option: Starting this summer, Quick Charge Power will begin selling its JdeMO kit, allowing for the Toyota RAV4EV to be retrofitted with CHAdeMO fast charging technology. The EVSE company believes the same system will work on other EVs from Tesla, Mercedes, and BMW.
GKN struts its stuff: The British maker of drivelines for i.e. the BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder, invited “unsuspecting journalists” to the snowy climates of Sweden to test its engineering on a track on a frozen lake. First driving the i8, Sam Sheehan from evo Car Technology was clearly impressed when he learned that it was the car’s eAxle that made the car slide around with “such precision.”
Porsche & GKN, Getrag, Ferrari.
Porsche 918 Spyder eAxle: The eAxle system used on the 918 Spyder was developed in conjunction with GKN. It supports full-electric mode, all-wheel drive and provides a boost function. The module has maximum power of 95 kW and can deliver up to 1500 Nm of torque to the front wheels via a fixed gear ratio. At speeds above 265 km/h, a clutch isolates the electric motor to prevent it from over-spinning.
Dual-clutch potential: Getrag kicked off production of its seven-speed dual clutch transmission at its plant in Neuenstein, Germany. Hybrid versions of the 7DCT300 can be used in vehicles without major changes in installation space, starting in 2016. The transmission will also be produced in China.
Ferrari FXX K on the test track: Sebastian Vettel was given the opportunity to test drive Ferrari’s 1050-hp hybrid on the track in Fiorano. He clearly enjoyed the ride in this 2.5-million race machine.
GKN & Alexander Dennis, Jordan, Nissan, Hanoi.
Alexander Dennis partners with GKN: The bus and coach manufacturer will fit 250 of its buses with the GKN Gyrodrive electric flywheel hybrid system. The first fleets to undergo the update will be in London and Oxford. The system is said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent.
Jordan electrifies: The consortium AllCell Technologies has signed an agreement with Jordan’s government for the installation of solar-powered charging stations for EVs. Eleven will be installed in the capital Amman, where the major also announced the acquisition of 50 electric cars for the city.
Electric or nothing: Nissan had wanted to use its NV200 for taxi fleets in London, but those plans have been scrapped – the vehicle does not meet emission requirements for the city centre. But why not use the electric variant instead, as Nissan does in Barcelona?
Hybrid bus in Hanoi: Siemens and the Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation (Vinamotor) are launching the first diesel-electric bus in Hanoi, which is the first of its kind in Vietnam. It features an ELFA drive system developed by Siemens, in which the diesel engine is used to power a generator and supply the rear electric engine with electricity.
Neutrino, Advanced Propulsion Centre, Celgard & Panasonic, GKN.
Future or faux? Neutrino Inc. announces that it has developed a battery, allowing an EV to go as far as 2,ooo km on one charge. Moreover, it is said to recharge itself (no plug needed), due to a combination of Neutrino and nano technology. More details are being kept under lock and key due to patent issues, but will be revealed in the coming weeks. The battery itself could become available in 2016 or 2017.
focus.de (in German), neutrino-inc.com
New research centre in the UK: The Advanced Propulsion Centre at the University of Warwick has opened for business. It was financed by British government, Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, BMW, Ford and Nissan (we reported), and will also serve as a production site for electric motors.
Celgard – Panasonic agreement: The two companies have signed a letter of intent to work together in developing the next generation of Li-ion battery Celgard seperators. If the project is successful, the companies could sign a long-term agreement.
GKN ramps up Gyrodrive production: GKN Land Systems has announced that it is increasing production of its Gyrodrive flywheel hybrid system.The reason, the company says, is that recent trials in i.e. London have proven that the technology is the first “to make economic sense” for bus operators.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the new Piaggio electric bike project that was recently revealed at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy.
Opbrid, Tesla, California, Cenex LCV Event.
Ultra-fast charging: After fast and quick comes ultra-fast charging. Spanish Opbrid surely deserves that term with its 650-kW DC Trůkbaar charging system for electric trucks. Power is transferred using a 4-contact bar on the roof of the vehicle, which connects with a pantograph lowered from a curbside station. The system will be shown at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover end of the month.
Autonomous Tesla: In an interview with Japanese Nikkei, Elon Musk said that the Model 3 will be equipment with technology allowing the electric car to partially drive itself. “Full-pilot capability” is to become reality in the five- or six-year time frame, said the Tesla CEO.
asia.nikkei.com via transportevolved.com
Millions for zero emissions vehicles: The California Energy Commission wants to support planing efforts and the manufacturing of plug-in and fuel cell vehicles with another 13.3 million dollars. The money comes from the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).
Low Carbon Vehicle advancements: At the LCV 2014 Show in Millbrook, GKN is showing its Gyrodrive flywheel hybrid system for buses. Controlled Power Technologies (CPT), on the other hand, is showing how to hybridise a saloon car with its 48-volt technology.
hybridcars.com (Flywheel), newspress.co.uk (48 volt)
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the spyshot of the BMW i3 look-alike from Chinese carmaker Wuling.
GKN, Mercedes, BladeGlider, Visiobike.
GKN takes e-racer to Goodwood: The electric motor manufacturer will take part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed with the TMG EV P002. The car which has already won Pikes Peak in 2012 is driven by two GKN axial flux motors delivering 1.200 Nm to the rear axle.
Temporary range extension explained: Transport Evolved takes a look at the Mercedes B-class range mode feature. Basically, it is a battery boost, similar to the Tesla principle where the battery is programmed to use more of its capacity. Do this too often and you will ultimately shorten battery life.
BladeGlider test drive: Wes Raynal got the chance to drive a prototype of Nissan’s concept car, of which the company says might go into production by 2017. Essentially it is a race car brought to the streets and Raynall found it nothing but “remarkable.” When it comes to handling, Raynal likes its better than the Ariel Atom on which the BladGlider mule is based on and which he drove on that same day.
Looking for funding: Visiobike is a pedelec from a Croatian start-up which utilises the smartphone as controller that analyses the bike’s sensors and also serves as rear-view camera. However, the crowdfunding project to make this visonary e-bike come true, is about to fail as only 6,000 of 180,000 euros needed have been collected so far.
indiegogo.com (campaign) via green.autoblog.com
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the news about Toyota’s official presentation of its upcoming fuel cell vehicle.