Nissan, BMW, Saab, Toyota Mirai, Honda Grace, WEC.
More range for Nissan EVs? Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn somewhat unwillingly confirmed on Japanese television that the company could soon present an affordable battery, allowing EVs to travel at least 250 miles (400 kilometers). Nissan’s chief spokesman Jeff Kuhlman even said that Nissan will “very soon take the issue of range off of the table” with a “comparable range to today’s petrol vehicles”.
BMW to roll out more PHEVs: The carmaker announces that it will offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its main models due to tighter emissions regulations. The plans include the X5 sport-utility vehicle as well as the 3-Series sedan (we reported) and other “core-brand” models.
bloomberg.com, electric-vehiclenews.com, evfleetworld.co.uk
Is Saab back in the game? The Chinese Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden says it has found an Asian carmaker that will purchase a majority stake in NEVS. The investment group also said it is in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop new vehicles, but didn’t identify either company. In August it was reported that NEVS had sat down with Mahindra.
saabsunited.com, bloomberg.com, businessweek.com
Handmade Toyota: The fuel cell model Mirai will be built in Toyota’s advanced Motomachi plant in Japan, also because a lot needs to be done by hand instead of highly automated machinery. That explains why the carmaker plans on producing only 700 units in the first year.
autonews.com, transportevolved.com, motorauthority.com
Sales of Honda’s Grace hybrid sedan kicked off in Japan. The Grace features Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD one-motor hybrid system that allows drivers to start the car in EV mode, increasing fuel savings. Pricing starts at 1,950,000 yen (16,436 USD) and Honda hopes to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Dramatic WEC finale: Porsche’s Neel Jani took the top spot in the World Endurance Championship finale in Brazil in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, while teammate Mark Webber was involved in a dramatic accident, but had a lucky escape. Toyota took home the WEC manufacturers’ title.