Magna, Techrules, Aston Martin, John Deere, BMW.
Fuel cell REx by Magna: The Canadians have an electric van concept on the stand in Switzerland that uses fuel cells to extend the range. Magna’s FCREEV is based on the Mercedes Viano with a 30 kWh fuel cell stack coming from Proton Motor. The battery holds 16 kWh and serves for about 70 km of the total range of 350 km. The concept is not scheduled for production but serves Magna as mobile shop front rather. While the company said it sees “big potential” in the future, prices for both fuel cells and batteries are too high to be competitive at present.
autonews.com, magna.com (in German)
Techrules presents the production-ready Ren with turbine range extender in Geneva as promised previously. The sports car delivers up to 960 kW and has a range of 1,170 km, according to its Chinese creators. Production is to start by 2018 in a limited run of 96 track versions that can be ordered now. The Ren has a six e-motor set-up and offers three battery options (14kWh, 25kWh, and 32kWh) as well as two different turbines. The company plans to use tech components of this rather showy car that was designed in Italy in future models that could range from SUV to small city cars.
Aston Martin Valkyrie is the name Aston Martin and Red Bull chose for their hybrid racer, that was known AM-RB 001 before Geneva. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler took the opportunity to open rivalries on the spot when he considered Audi’s very own hypercar.
carscoops.com, autocar.co.uk (Audi)
Hybrid digger by BMW: John Deere developed an excavator with the support of BMW’s subsidiary Designworks. Their concept is called Fixstern Backhoe and is currently on display at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show in Las Vegas.
Apple, John Deere, Lilium Aviation, WiTricity.
Apple confirms autonomous car plans: In a letter to U.S. transport regulators, the tech firm for the first time acknowledged that it is working on self-driving technology. It urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to not introduce too many regulations on the testing of the technology and proposed that companies share data from i.e. crashes to make the autonomous driving even safer.
New e-tractor in town: John Deere unveiled a prototype of its new electric tractor SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery). The machine features two electric motors with 150 kW each and a 130 kWh battery pack. The tractor is said to require less maintenance and last longer than its diesel equivalent.
electrek.co, youtube.com (video)
Cash injection: Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström has invested 100m dollars in Munich-based start-up Lilium. The latter is working on a two-seater electric jet (we reported), ready to take flight by 2018. Range is estimated at 500 km while the jet’s top speed is set at 400 kph.
Optimising inductive charging: WiTricity has presented its new Tunable Matching Network (TMN), said to automatically optimise energy transfer between the ground and vehicle using a wireless charging system. It could therefore “correct” real-world operating conditions, such as parking misalignment, different vehicle ground clearance or battery voltage conditions.
Tell it where to go.
Engineer Paulo Camasmie has built his own autonomous electric vehicle in his garage, which he does plan to sell later. And to get from a to b? Just tell the Atticus what you want it to do and where you want to go. It will even run errands for you.
jalopnik.com (with videos)