Seat, Ideo, Tesla, Toyota, Hero Electric, India.
Electrified Seat Arona? First photos have emerged that show Seat’s compact crossover Arona, which is to go on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year. The compact SUV is similar to the Ibiza and may become available in a PHEV version and from 2020 on all-electric, Autobild has learnt.
autoexpress.co.uk, autobild.de (in German)
Moving together: Design company Ideo has outlined an autonomous EV concept designed for ride sharing. The futuristic four-seater has a striking glass roof but also allows for privacy of passengers with a seat shell that can envelop the back seat. So far, the project is at concept stage only.
designboom.com (with video), ireviews.com, automobility.ideo.com
Tesla has removed restrictions of its Autosteer. The speed limit for handsfree driving (in theory) on highways climbs to 145 kph, up from 128 kph. Off highway, the update replaces the 56 kph limit with an adaptive system keeping pace at 8 kph above the official speed limit, or at 72 kph when there is none.
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Double triumph for Toyota: One week ahead of Le Mans’ 24 Hours, Toyota celebrated a double victory at the latest FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race in Spa, outpacing competitor Porsche, whose pilots finished third and forth. After 6 hours, it was the TS050 with Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson on board that crossed the finish line first.
Hero to extend scooter line-up: Indian manufacturer Hero Electric works on a broader assortment and thus, plans to enter the market with two new models every year, starting in 2017. To power the electric scooters, Hero has struck a deal with Bosch to supply electric drives.
India to progress electrification: There shall be no more vehicles with combustion engines on India’s road comes 2030 but EVs only. Plans have now been brought forward in order to reach this objective. An influential government think-tank suggests a set of measures which includes lower taxes and interest rates for loans on EVs, limited registration of conventional cars similar to China, re-investment of tax revenues from the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles into EV charging stations and the installation of a battery factory next year by the government. The report further favours EVs over HEVs, whose subsidies would be discontinued.
Nissan, Toyota + Suzuki, Tesla, Hero Electric, Beijing.
Nissan gears to expand EV range: The Volt’s 24 kWh battery pack phases out successively. In the USA, no 2017 Leaf has the smaller battery as an option anymore and nor do those in France. More countries are likely to follow. Meanwhile, Nissan beats other paths into electrification. The Note e-Power with a price of about 14,500 euros is 40 percent cheaper than the Leaf and range-extended, making it what Nissan calls a “near-electric” hybrid much like GM’s Volt. The smaller battery is charged by a gasoline engine but so far the Note is only available in Japan.
insideevs.com (Leaf), reuters.com (Note e-Power)
Toyota and Suzuki fix their partnership first aired last October. They do indeed want to work together on green and safe technology as well as IT and to supply each other products and components. This looks like it may lead to shared electric mobility innovations in the future.
Elon of Arabia: Tesla is to enter the United Arab Emirates, where it will host a launch event a week from today. It will take place in the world’s tallest building in Dubai. Dubai is also the location for the first service centre in the region and Tesla is now looking for a manager and technicians there.
electrek.co, tesla.com (job listing)
Hero Flash: There is a new e-bike in town as Hero Electric launches the Flash. A lead-acid battery with 960 Wh powers a 250 W motor up to a speed of 25 kph. Range is given at 65 km. While the chemistry is worrying, it helps to keep the price at an all time low of 19,990 rupees, about 280 euros after subsidies.
Beijing pushed back hard on subsidy cheating as it stroke seven carmakers off the list of electric cars eligible for incentives. Officials claim their models were either unfinished or used wrong battery cells. This leaves SAIC Bus and Zhengzhou Nissan Auto among others with two months to rectify the problems.
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Nissan, Supercharger, FAST, Hero Electric.
Nissan cooperates with Fastned: Dutch buyers of a Nissan Leaf or e-NV200 can charge for free for four years using Fastned’s network of fast-chargers. The deal is part of the e-Four package, which also includes a free charger for the home or workplace, as well as a rental car for going on holiday (max. 12 weeks over the course of four years).
Supercharger-App: Ndili Technologies has developed the ‘Supercharger for Tesla’ iPhone app, allowing Tesla drivers to see which Superchargers are occupied in real time, as well as search for alternatives. The data used is provided by a third-party site.
FAST provisions: In the U.S., the federal tax credit of up to 1,000 dollars for home chargers and up to 3,000 dollars for chargers at the workplace has been renewed, while the Department of Transportation is to designate corridors for EV charging and hydrogen stations. The ‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’ (FAST) was signed into law by U.S. President Obama earlier in December.
Last electric mile: Hero Electric will deliver at least 100 e-bikes to the city of New Delhi. The e-bikes will be deployed at 15 strategic locations for last mile connectivity and will be free of charge. Since the beginning of the year, cars with odd and even license plates take turns in being allowed to roam the streets of the Indian capital.
Volkswagen, Aston Martin, Toyota, Turkey, Audi, Hero Electric.
New e-poch for VW: Volkswagen comes up with concrete measures in an attempt to disperse the smelly fumes of dieselgate. VW’s new product strategy includes increased electrification. The MQB platform will be redesigned to accomodate longer range PHEV, EVs and mild hybrids. Additionally, a ‘Modular Electric Toolkit’ (MEB) will be developed to become the standard architecture for electric passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. VW further confirmed to make the next-gen Phaeton electric only.
greencarcongress.com, worldcarfans.com, volkswagen-media-services.com
Aston Martin electrifies as it prepares the all-electric version of the Rapide with up to 735 kW, set for launch by the end of 2017, CEO Andy Palmer announced. It will be followed by an electric DBX.
Prius update: Toyota’s latest Prius will give consumers the choice between a lithium-ion or a new nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery. Optionally, the E-Four system turns the Prius into an AWD. Sales will start this December in Japan.
Turkish EV: Turkey has officially presented the first three prototypes of its national cars. While the models wear camouflage, it is apparent that the design was strongly “inspired” by Cadillac. Two versions are electric with one featuring a range extender. Production is planned for 2019.
A3 electrified: German Auto Bild previews the upcoming A3. By 2019 it will become available as a plug-in hybrid with 220 hp. A mild hybrid version is planned as well.
autobild.de (in German)
Electric two-wheeler: India’s Hero Electric has launched a new electric scooter. The E-Sprint reaches a top speed of 45 kph and claims a range of up to 80 kilometres in eco mode.
LG Chem, NXP & Freescale, Qualcomm, Hero Electric.
LG Chem is to “change the future” by pouring considerate resources into research and development of new materials for EV batteries, LG Chem vice chairman and CEO Park Jin-soo announced. He continued saying the company already had technology that would enable electric cars to go for 400 to 500 kilometres and that it would “not take long” for these products to be market-ready.
New industry leader: NXP Semiconductors is to merge with Freescale Semiconductor in a deal worth 11.8 billion dollars. Both companies offer several components for hybrid and electric vehicles. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015. NFX and Freescale will then become the market leader in automotive semiconductors with a combined revenue of more than 10 billion dollars.
Qualcomm enters Formula 1: The company has now been named as official technology partner for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. According to the press release, the introduction of inductive charging technology is among joint development plans for the future of the racing series.
Hero Electric motorcycle: The Indian manufacturer has developed a prototype electric bike that features a 2000-Watt electric motor and a 48V lead acid battery. It has a maximum speed of 60 kph and a said range of 50 kilometres. A possible launch is at leat 8 to 12 months away.
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Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, Toyota, Audi, Hero Electric, Mercedes.
Tesla inspired e-Rover? According to Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover is considering an all-electric model. It could be based on a new crossover version of the Range Rover and be ready to take on the Tesla Model X. After all, what is more inspiring than the others’ success?
Hybrid system for Porsche 911: Porsche CEO Matthias Müller now confirmed that the 911 model will be hybridised. He did not mention if it will be a plug-in hybrid, but for Porsche it´s most likely. When the hybrid 911 will become available was not confirmed.
bilanz.ch (in German)
Luxury hybrid for Japanese businessmen: Toyota introduces the Esquire, which will also be available with a hybrid drive unit with a combined 134 hp. This comes after potential customers in Japan had complained that their current luxury SUVs do not seat enough people.
autoblog.com (with promo video)
Audi Q7 caught on camera: New, heavily camouflaged images of the Audi Q7 have emerged on the internet. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler had confirmed that the new model will also be available as a plug-in hybrid, soon after being launched in early 2015 (we reported).
New e-bikes for India: Hero Electric launches a new range of pedelecs called Avior. The AMX model is meant for male cyclists and the AFX for female cyclists. Both will feature a 24 V Li-ion battery and will be available at the 250 dealerships in India as well as online.
Driving the B-Class ED: The Telegraph calls it “the most enjoyable model in the range,” also because of the extra 260 kilos positioned down low balance out the vehicle’s height, making it more “agile and stable.” The author says the electric B-Class may be a better deal than VW e-Golf or BMW i3.
GM, Hero Electric, Brammo, BMW, Audi, Chevy Volt.
The Chevy Volt prove exceptional once more, as it is the only (!) model that has not had to be recalled by General Motors this year. The American company has had to admit safety issues with almost its entire range, forcing them to recall tens of millions of cars.
autonews.com via greencarreports.com
Low cost e-scooter for India: Hero Electric presented its latest electric scooter, the Photon, designed for the Indian market. It has a top speed of 45 kph and a said range of 80 kilometres. The Photon is priced at 54,110 rupees, that is less than 900 dollars, and will first be available in five cities across India.
Brammo in Australia: ELMOFO (Electro Motive Force) has been appointed the importer and distributor for the electric motorcycles of Brammo in Australia. The company not only supplies but also designs and builds electric vehicles and EV components.
Canadian i3 review: “Electric. Eclectic. Edgy i3. Goes fast. But not far,” is the short version of Kathy Renwald’s review of the BMW i3. However, she got much more to say as Renwald also gives details about the pricing for the Canadian market.
Audi A3 e-tron: EV Fleetworld‘s Danny Coobs is looking at the Audi A e-tron’s suitability for fleets. Although the carmaker took its time to arrive in the plug-in market, Cobbs thinks “perhaps now is the time when the consensus of opinion will favour this type of drivetrain,” esp. as his verdict puts the e-tron above all other plug-in hybrids on the market.
Will Volt become a family? The new generation Volt is already loaded with expectation. It seems, however, as if they not all point in one direction but could give an indication that GM is planning a whole range of Volt models, similar to Toyota’s Prius, Transport Evolved muses.