Volkswagen, Icona, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Kandi, Russia.
VW to electrify China: Volkswagen has laid out a three-step strategy to electrify the Chinese market by investing 4bn euros per year. In the current phase, plug-in hybrid and electric models are being imported. Next, PHEVs will be produced directly in China, starting with the Audi A6. The last phase will see VW models based on the MQB platform be built in China before 2020. At the same time, the MEB platform will be developed together with JV partners SAIV and FAW. Overall, China will see up to 15 VW PHEV and EV models within the next three to five years.
Iconic concept: Italian Icona presents an electric city car study dubbed Neo. Inspired by Shanghai’s asymmetric architecture, the Neo sits four people. Weighing only 720 kg and with 21 kW in-wheel motors, Icona says the car will have a top speed of 75 mph and a city range of 93 miles.
Hybrid Jeep: Fiat Chrysler confirmed plans to hybridise the upcoming Jeep Wrangler. However, the 2018 model will only be a mild-hybrid, while a full hybrid can only be expected by 2022. FCA does not act out of conviction, admitting that it simply has to meet regulations.
Bagging it: Toyota USA is recalling about 5,000 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h built in 2016, due to faulty airbags for the driver’s knee. If found faulty, Lexus will replace the airbags free of charge.
Breaking ground: Kandi has started the construction of a new facility in Haikou in Hainan province. Once finished, the site will have an annual production capacity of up to 100,000 electric vehicles.
Putin pushes for EV: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin urged the country’s car industry to modernise by pushing production towards electric cars by 2025. At the moment, there is no import tariff on electric cars. Still, there use is not widespread in the vast country.