ZF, LeTV, Tesla, Volvo, Formula E.
ZF creates e-mobility division: The German supplier decided to consolidate all electric mobility activities in a new division located at Schweinfurt as previously rumoured. The E-Mobility division is ZF’s acknowledgement of the the “enormous importance” of electric and hybrid vehicle technology, CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer said. The new unit also includes all activities of TRW.
LeTV invests in cab app: The Chinese internet firm acquired 70 percent of Yidao Yongche for 700m dollars. The start-up is the Chinese Uber, a ride hailing service. The investment follows previous moves like the recent acquisition of an EV charger maker and positions LeTV for a future mobility market.
Aspiring Tesla autopilots will have to wait longer in Europe and Asia. The Californian EV maker blames regulators for the delay but CEO Elon Musk hopes that the update v7.0 will get the go ahead in a few weeks time.
autoblog.com, teslarati.com, transportevolved.com
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Volvo V90 leaked: A scale model of the Volvo V90 has emerged on Chinese Autohome website. Set for launch as a 2017 model, the estate shares the platform with the XC90. A plug-in hybrid version is expected to have an output of 400 hp.
motorauthority.com, indiansautoblog.com, autohome.com.cn
Formula E live stream on Facebook: The electric racing series partners with the social media provider to stream exclusive content filmed at the season opener in Beijing this Saturday. Streams will include key race action as well as behind the scenes features. Chinese viewers though will benefit the least as Facebook is (partially) blocked there.
LeTV, BMW, Subaru, VW, Kia, Honda.
Aston Martin for LeTV: The Chinese internet service plans to build an electric sports car together with Aston Martin. The Brits join BAIC as well as other partners like China Unicom in LeTV’s bid to develop EVs for the Chinese market. First outings are set for early next year (we reported continuously).
BMW hybrids debut in Asia: Both the BMW 330e and the Active Tourer 225xe plug-in hybrids will be shown in Asia for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show. Both feature hybrid technology taken from the i-series. Turn to the other side of the Pacific, where the X5 xDrive40e PHEV has just started arriving at U.S dealerships. Prices start from 62,100 dollars.
bmwblog.com (Tokyo debuts), insideevs.com (X5)
Subaru hybrid: Fuji’s automotive division will present the hybrid SUV concept Viziv Future in Tokyo later this month. Subaru’s Viziv is believed to preview the next-gen XV Crosstrek. The electric motor drives the rear wheels, while the front is propelled by a turbocharged gasoline engine.
greencarcongress.com, motorauthority.com, worldcarfans.com
VW loyalty bonus: To appease U.S. customers whose loyalty has been shaken by “dieselgate,” VW now offers its very own incentive. Existing VW owners buying a new hybrid or petrol Volkswagen receive a 2,000-dollar rebate. The offer stands until November, 2.
autoweek.com, carsdirect.com, greencarreports.com
Soul expansion: Kia started selling its Soul EV in four more states in the USA. The cubist electric car is now available in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland following its launch in six other states including Georgia, Texas, and Washington earlier this year.
Honda recalls 6,786 Accord hybrids in the States as they might switch to fail-safe EV mode unexpectedly, limiting the speed to 40 mph. The problem is due to a flawed battery cell voltage sensor.
Ballard Power Systems, LeTV, LoNo, e-clearing.net.
Public transport deals: Ballard Power Systems has won two contracts from China. Its fuel cell technology will be used in 300 H2-buses in the Chinese cities of Foshan and Yunfu for 17m dollars. Another deal worth 6m dollars will see Ballard develop and deliver fuel cell modules for trams build by CRRC Sifang for Foshan.
greencarcongress.com (Buses), prnewswire.com (Trams)
LeTV charges ahead: The Chinese internet giant has become a major investor in Dianzhuang Technology. The start-up produces EV charging stations and has already installed stations in more than 30 cities. Dianzhuang is currently building the largest EV charging station in Beijing, which can serve 100 EVs at a time.
22.5m dollars for green buses have been made available by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This latest round of the ‘Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program’ (LoNo) has been earmarked for transit authorities and firms to fund electric and fuel cell electric buses.
e-clearing.net grows: E.ON has joined the e-roaming platform e-clearing.net, increasing the latter’s number of roaming-enabled EV charging points by about 800 – most of them in Denmark. The platform now counts about 7,300 roaming-enabled chargers across Europe.
smartlab-gmbh.de (in German)
Nissan, BMW, LeTV, Hyundai, Tesla.
The new Leaf: Nissan has made it official. The 2016 Leaf will feature a 30 kWh battery for the SV and SL variant, allowing it to go 155 miles on one charge, says the Japanese carmaker. EPA ratings put range at 107 miles. The new battery, which is not available for the standard version, comes with an 8-year warranty. In the UK, the Leaf will start from 24,490 pounds and in the States from 32,400 dollars.
worldcarfans.com (U.S.), insideevs.com (UK)
Tesla-fighter by BMW? The rumoured i5 might be very different than expected, motor.es suggests. The Bavarian’s third electric car might in fact resemble a Tesla rather than a simple 5-series sedan, and could be powered by a fuel cell by 2020.
bmwblog.com, motor.es (in Spanish)
Brains for smart EV: Chinese LeTV has hired former Shanghai GM President Ding Lei for its electric vehicle project (we reported). He will be joined by Allen Lu, who ran Nissan’s Infiniti division in China. LeTV says, it would show its first concept smart EV at next year’s Beijing Auto Show.
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Visionary Gran Turismo? Hyundai is teasing its ‘N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo’ once more and this time promises “sustainable technology” under the hood of the digital car. If that means a hybrid or even purely electric drivetrain will be unveiled at the IAA next week.
In with the old: Tesla lets customers in Hong Kong trade in their old cars when purchasing a Model S. The offer is valid for both Model S owners and owners of other passenger cars, but is exclusive to clients in the former British protectorate.
Lifan Auto, South Korea, LeTV & Unicom, Torino Design, Le Mans.
EVs with exchangeable batteries: Chinese manufacturer Lifan Auto announced plans to introduce 20 new EV models by 2020, all featuring exchangeable lithium batteries. Moreover, the carmaker plans to terminate the production of combustion engine vehicles in the same move.
South Korea minimises: The country will invest in the development and commercialisation of small electric cars and electric three-wheelers to hit the market in 2017. The micro e-cars are said to cost less than 10 million won (9,000 dollars).
koreatimes.co.kr, koreabizwire.com, koreaherald.com
Smart EVs: Chinese online content provider LeTV and state-owned telecom carrier China Unicom announced their cooperation in developing “smart” electric cars. According to Bejing’s Economic Observer, it could include setting up LeTV power charging posts at Unicom business outlets.
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Italian supercar: Torino Design premiered its ATS Wildtwelve plug-in hybrid concept at the Parco Valentio Salone in Turin, Italy. The sports car has 860 hp and is said to make it from 0 to 100 kph in just 2.6 seconds. Some 30 units will be built.
electriccarsreport.com, autoevolution.com, gtspirit.com
Double win: Porsche has not one, but two reasons to celebrate. Nico Hülkenberg, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy drove the winning Porsche 919 Hybrid across the finish line at the 24 hour race in Le Mans, followed by teammates Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber in the sister car. The third Porsche team came in fifth.
electric-vehiclenews.com, greencarcongress.com, autovolt-magazine.com
Lyons Motor Car, LeTV & BAIC, Tesla, BYD, Mercedes, ZEV Electric.
American supercar: New York-based startup Lyons Motor Car will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show next week, where it will display the LM2 Streamliner. The racer claims a top speed of 290 mph and an all-electric version is said to be in the making as well.
Together for connected cars: Chinese internet firm LeTV and BAIC Motor have signed an agreement to develop connected electric cars together. More details will follow at the Shanghai Auto Show this April.
Model S in Shenzhen: Tesla has been included in the Chinese city’s programme that sets aside 20,000 special license plates for so-called new energy vehicles. However, the Californian EV maker remains excluded from government subsidies such as sales tax exemptions.
BYD assembles abroad: The all-electric BYD e6 will soon be assembled in Taiwan where it will also be used as taxi. In 2016, BYD is bound to look even further as it plans to assemble electric cars in Nigeria as well, together with local R.T Briscoe.
hybridcars.com (Taiwan), thestreetjournal.org (Nigeria)
C350 e review: Antuan Goodwin took the opportunity to try the Mercedes C350e plug-in hybrid and was promptly pushed back by the gas pedal in electric mode but found the handling “much more intuitive” than other eco gauges. Apart from driving, Goodwin takes a good look under the hood.
Electric scooter triptych: American ZEV Electric presents the S-8500 LR, T8500 and ZEV LRC. All three new electric scooters are said to deliver more power and range (up to 140 miles) than previous models. Their electric rear-hub motors are oil-cooled.