Lexus to present their first BEV in November
In November, Lexus will present its first battery electric vehicle. The announcement was made by the Toyota luxury brand at the Tokyo Motor Show, where Lexus is already presenting its “vision for the next generation of electrified vehicles” with the futuristic LF-30 Electrified Concept.Weiterlesen
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A Japanese Prius owner went to extra lengths to make their vehicle particularly unique. By placing a Lexus badge and additional tailpipes along with a spoiler, the vehicle does look “racier”, however doesn’t really fit the point of driving a hybrid in the first place.Weiterlesen
Lexus presents convertible version of LC Coupé (Video)
Rumours about a convertible version of the Lexus LC sports car seem to be coming true. At the NAIAS in Detroit, Toyota’s luxury brand now presents the corresponding model called the LC Convertible Concept. The production version is expected before the year’s end.Weiterlesen
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Lexus facelifts classic Lexus ES with new hybrid system
Toyota’s premium branch has updated the Lexus ES for the sixth time, only now the 2019 model is more sleek and slightly more powerful. The hybrid version ES 300h delivers 160 kW with an all new system and is powered by a nickel metal battery.Weiterlesen
Almost half of all Toyota sales in Europe are hybrids
Toyota Motor Europe has presented its Q1 results, which position hybrid vehicles firmly on the map. Almost half of all European Toyota drivers opted for a semi-electric drive, in Western Europe it was the majority of buyers even.Weiterlesen
Lexus considering electrification for LS and CT
Lexus has reportedly been considering integrating electric motor systems in to their flagship LS, as soon as with the current generation. Furthermore, the next generation of the Lexus CT 2020 may present some serious electric competition for Tesla.Weiterlesen
Lexus’ UX also available as hybrid version UX 250h
Lexus’ compact crossover UX has debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. The hybrid version of the model will be known as UX 250h. It comes with a new fourth-gen hybrid powertrain and will be available either with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.Weiterlesen
Lexus premiers LF-1 Limitless at NAIAS in Detroit
Lexus reveals the LF-1 Limitless at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept can host all forms of electric drives, from fuel cell to PHEV as well as EV or a simple hybrid. The design study previews Lexus’ future models.Weiterlesen
Nissan Leaf, EV Forecasts.
Click tip: Another photo of the upcoming Nissan Leaf has appeared in the internet – showing the model without camouflage, but also quite blurred. Besides that, a new video clip has been launched in Japan, putting the new Leaf’s autonomous capabilities into the spotlight.
carscoops.com (photo), autoblog.com (video clip)
Reading tip: Exxon Mobil, BP, the International Energy Agency and OPEC have all something in common: They all revised their forecasts, predicting now that EV market growth will develop faster than thought before.
VW, MG, BYD, WKW, Lexus.
VW specifies I.D. production plans: In 2019, the German carmaker is to kick off serial production of its I.D. concept in Zwickau (Saxony), as announced. The Sächsische Zeitung has further details about VW’s first electrified model based on the MEB platform. Thus, the preparations for production will begin by mid-2018, before the lines start to roll in late 2019. However, sales won’t start before 2020. VW calculates with a production investment of 300m euros and an output of 300 I.D.’s daily.
sz-online.de (in German)
MG’s future electric line-up: Within the next few years, the British SAIC brand intends to bring 4 electrified vehicles to the market – in both PHEV version as well as all-electric. Specifically, MG works on two new crossovers, the compact model MG 3 and a replacement for the mid-range sedan MG 6. Top-of-the-end model of its new line-up shall be an electric sports coupe that was recently presented in Shanghai and is to enter production in 2020.
BYD plans to install an industrial park in Yinchuan in order to concentrate production capacities of its electric mobility units. The park shall be developed on 66 hectare and serve to manufacture EVs for both, road and rail traffic. While investment volume amounts to approximately 20bn Yuan (2.6bn euros). Further specifications, e.g. on time schedule, are yet to be delivered.
WKW to invest 1.1bn in Germany: The Chinese supplier is about to raise 1.1bn euros through its subsidiary Delon Automotive in order to install a EV facility in Saxony close to the German-Polish border. The company wants to produce high-end EVs for the European as well as the Chinese market. Details about the time have not been revealed.
Do we see soon a H2-Lexus? Rumour had it, that the next Lexus luxury sedan LS could feature fuel cell tech from Toyota’s Mirai. But a new trademark registration now indicates that rumours transformed to plans. At least, the patent’s title “LS-FC Concept” suggests a concept car may be on the way.
motor1.com, autoguide.com, tsdr.uspto.gov
First BYD bus rolls in L.A. County: Chinese manufacturer BYD has delivered the first model of its fully electrified articulated buses in the States. The 18 metres long vehicle can seat up to 60 people and shall reach up to 275 miles (440 km) thanks to a 547 kWh battery pack. The bus will serve the public transport company AVTA in Los Angeles County and is the pioneer of 13 more ordered BYD buses.
Audi, Mitsubishi, BMW, Buick, Tesla, Lexus.
Audi readies production for its first EV: Mid-2018 will see Audi’s first all-electric model roll off the lines and the preparations are in full swing, while normal operations are uphold in parallel, according to Automobil Produktion. The SUV, dubbed Q6 e-tron or C-BEV internally, will be manufactured in Brussels, where the Germans intend to establish a completely new battery assembly on top, thus turning the Belgian location into one of its key factories. Audi chose pouch cells for its model to pack enough energy for its intended range of 500 km.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
No small Mitsubishi PHEV: The Japanese brand takes a step back from its original plans to produce plug-in hybrid versions of their smaller models like their just-released Eclipse Cross. According to Mitsubishi Motors’ European general manager of communications Daniel Nacass, the technology is not yet cost-effective in small vehicles. Thus, it is likely that Mitsubishi’s next new PHEV will be solely the replacement of the current Outlander PHEV.
BMW third-largest EV player: BMW gained ground last year and now is the world’s third largest electric car maker compared to position 6 in 2015. With a market share of 7 percent BMW follows behind Tesla (9%) and BYD (13%). Volkswagen on the other hand, saw its EV market share drop by 5% in 2016.
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How Buick’s Velite 5 looks like: GM’s brand Buick permits a first glance at the serial version of its recently presented Velite Concept for China. A teaser picture of the new range-extended model called Velite 5 shows that it resembles the Chevy Volt not only in technology as expected but looks, too.
carscoops.com, hybridcars.com, media.gm.com
Tesla tackles corporate fleets: The American EV maker just released a new site in order to accelerate sales of its Model S and X to fleet operators. Besides, CEO Elon Musk announced that pre-orders for another project, the solar roof tiles developed by Tesla and SolarCity, will be accepted from April on.
insideevs.com, teslarati.com (website), electrek.co (solar tiles)
Lexus UX to go serial: The Toyota-owned luxury brand has confirmed to build a series version of its UX SUV concept, that was introduced 2016 in Paris. It wouldn’t be surprising if Lexus presents a hybrid version on top.
Skoda, BYD, California, Buick, Lexus, Thailand.
First glance at Skoda EV: In 2020 VW subsidiary Skoda plans to hit the road with its first pure-electric vehicle called Vision E. By publishing a teaser image the carmaker whets our appetite for the planned presentation of its coupe-like concept car at next month’s Shanghai Motor Show. Skoda has technology at its disposal – namely Volkswagen’s MEB global platform – and says is will dedicate “an all-new model” rather than electrifying an existing car.
BYD to build electric buses in France: China’s EV maker will invest 10m euros to set up its first electric bus assembly plant in Western Europe. The planners finally selected Allonne in the Hauts-de-France region. The new facility is to occupy an existing 32,000 sqm building and shall start production in the first half of 2018 with an annual capacity of up to 200 buses. Later on, the Chinese group wants to add an after-sales unit for maintenance and repairs, along with a logistics centre for spare parts.
15 percent PEV rule in California: The most populous state in the U.S. will not follow Trump’s new vehicle pollution standards but will uphold Obama’s (basically its own) ruling instead. Californian regulators voted to push ahead stricter rules for the period from 2022 to 2025 – inclusive the obligation for carmakers to sell 15 percent EV, FCV, or PHEV by 2025. The current rate is around 3 percent.
Buick’s strategy for China: In 2017 Buick seeks to impress its largest market by adopting GM’s proven extended-range electric vehicle technology in new or updated models. The brand presented its Velite Concept with plug-in hybrid technology for the Chinese market recently and the next two years will see more BEV and PHEV from Buick there.
greencarcongress.com, gmauthority.com, media.gm.com
Lexus debuts in India: The Japanese brand enters the Indian market with its RX 450h, ES 300h and LX450d vehicles. Besides, the brand has also pushed its all-new Lexus LS in the spotlight.
automotiveworld.com, ibtimes.co.in, greencarcongress.com
Thailand to attract PEV production: Demand for EV and HEV in Thailand is to receive a boost through a new promotion scheme and tax incentives. The latter shall support manufacture of electrified vehicles with applications for hybrids due this year and for EVs by 2018. The scheme will be submitted for cabinet approval tomorrow.
Toyota, Volvo, Skoda, Lexus, Hyundai, Pininfarina.
Toyota reveals brand new concept: The i-TRIL is an electric and autonomous city car. As was teased before, it features a one-plus-two seating layout as well as ‘Active Lean’ technology known from the i-Road, but the butterfly doors are news. The study also has self-driving technology, so much of it in fact, that it has no pedals. Control is applied through “drive-by-wire technology” instead, which is operated through devices similar to game controllers for the right and left hand. The electric drive sits in the rear and the i-Tril is said to have a range about 300 km. It is a little bigger than the Renault Twizy but different from its French competitor, that is very much alive, the i-Tril may hit the road from 2030 only.
autocar.co.uk, carscoops.com, youtube.com
Volvo reveals new XC60: It is Volvo’s second take on its best-selling premium SUV and this new generation is led by the PHEV variant just like the latest XC90 series. The top of the range XC60 Twin Engine delivers 407 hp and the SUV boasts to the brim with semi-autonomous and safety technology. Production is scheduled for mid-April in Sweden.
Electric Skoda confirmed: The first idea of how the electric future may look like for the Czech VW subsidiary will be presented this April in Shanghai, Auto Express reports quoting Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. Details remain scarce.
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Lexus premiers LS 500h: The latest luxury sedan of Toyota’s premium brand was presented at the Motor Show. It utilises the Multi Stage Hybrid System and thus couples a V6 engine with two electric drives. On sale date is set before the year’s end in Europe.
carscoops.com, autocar.co.uk, greencarcongress.com
Ioniq line-up complete: Hyundai revealed the last member of the Ioniq range, the plug-in hybrid in Geneva. It combines a 105 hp engine with a 45 kW electric drive. The 8,9 kWh battery lasts for about 63 km electric driving and the Ioniq PHEV is to enter Europe this July.
Pininfarina’s turbine hybrid sedan it develops for Hybrid Kinetic Group reportedly, is on display in Geneva. The H600 Concept features a micro turbine as range extender that propels the range to 1,000 km. The hybrid powertrain has 800 hp with electric drives accounting for 600 kW. The collaboration with the new Hong Kong-based EV company is worth over 63m euros for Mahindra’s Pininfarina.
UPS, Wireless Charging, Lexus, TUM.
Hybrid drone delivery: UPS started tests with hybrid delivery vans that carry a drone pod on their roof. From there, the little octocopter called HorseFly launches, delivers a parcel and returns to the van, where it is caught by robotic arms to dock and charge.
Wireless charging for e-buses: The 50 kW inductive charging system by Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories. It allows to charge electric buses at bus stops with up to 50 kW wirelessly. Californian Antelope Valley Transit Agency will be first to use it and plans to buy 85 electric buses from BYD over the next 5 years.
Lexus confirmed specs of the LS 500h hybrid powertrain ahead of Geneva. The partially electrified version of the luxurious sedan will share its powertrain with the LC 500h. The LS500h can run in EV mode to 140 kph.
New tool for Li-ion battery research: Positrons have been used by scientists at the TU Munich (TUM) to investigate capacity loss in NMC batteries. So-called positron annihilation spectroscopy reveals voids in the lattice of the cathode material that block electrodes’s return upon recharging.
Bentley, GAC Motors, GM, Lexus, Volkswagen, Rivian Automotive.
Bentley adds e-power: The British luxury brand wants to offer a hybrid variant of every one of its future models, Automotive News reports, quoting Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer. The first one on the list will be the Bentayga, scheduled for 2018, followed by the next generation Continental GT.
Chinese manufacturer GAC Motors presented a PHEV crossover called Enspirit at the motor show in Detroit. It has an all-electric range of 80 km. The carmaker also showed its all-electric GE3, which is based on GAC’s new EV platform. Range is estimated at 300 km. The GE3 will become available in China from June and will be marketed under the Trumpchi brand.
Bolt-based: General Motors wants to build a number of electric cars based on the Chevrolet Bolt platform, CEO Mary Barra said in an interview in Detroit. She did not, however, spill any more details.
youtube.com (video interview) via insideevs.com
New Lexus: The carmaker wants to launch the series version of the UX Concept that it unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October. Autocar learned the compact SUV will also be offered as a hybrid under the name of UX250h and will apparently replace the Lexus CT. Moreover, Lexus is planning a seven-seater version of its RX, which will also be sold as a hybrid from 2018.
No PHEVs for the U.S.: The diesel scandal also affects plug-in hybrids, Car and Driver reports. Apparently, the VW Group scrapped plans to sell in the Audi Q7 e-tron in the States, as well as PHEV variants for the A6 and A7, which would combine an electric motor and 3-L diesel engine. There will also be no modified versions featuring petrol engines for the U.S., meaning the Audi A3 e-tron will remain the only Audi PHEV sold there.
Electric start-up scene: U.S. start-up Rivian Automotive has purchased a former Mitsubishi plant in Michigan, investing 175m dollars and wants to begin churning out EVs from 2019. A first model could already be unveiled this year.
Chrysler, Renault, Lexus, France, Smart, UK.
Electric Chrysler in Vegas? Insiders apparently told Bloomberg that Chrysler will show an all-electric car based on the Pacifica (which is already available as a PHEV) at the CES in Las Vegas in January. An electric Maserati sports car will also be on display – probably some form of the Alfieri scheduled to hit the road in 2020 (we reported).
Renault gives Kangoo more range: After giving its Zoe a battery upgrade, Renault will also increase the range of its Kangoo Van Z.E., fitting it with the same technology as the former EV. Technical details are expected to be released at the European Motor Show in Brussels in January, but given the 41 kWh battery pack, the Kangoo’s range is expected to double to 270 km on one charge.
greencarcongress.com, autovolt-magazine.com/, insideevs.com
Lexus shows LC production version: Lexus presented its LC Coupé, which will become available in the U.S. in spring and Europe in summer. With the LC 500h, the two-door car will also be offered as a hybrid variant. The hybrid powertrain will boast 354 hp, pushing the Lexus from 0 to 100 kph in less than five seconds.
France tackles pollution: French environmental minister Ségolène Royale wants to extend EV subsidies, offering the 10,000 euro scrappage fee not only to private, but also commercial drivers, such as i.e. taxis. Moreover, anyone purchasing an electric scooter from January 1st, 2017, will receive a 1,000 euro bonus.
Smart renting: The Daimler brand kicked off its scheme “Smart ready to rent” in select French and German cities. It enables customers to rent the full Smart model range between one day and three months, essentially closing the gap between leasing a vehicle and its carsharing offer car2go. Electric variants will also be available from next year.
ICE ban in the UK? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is considering a proposal to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK, meaning all new cars would be electric, hydrogen- or methane-fuelled. Approximately ten years after the ban were to be enacted, Britain could prohibit all combustion engine cars on its roads.
BMW, Porsche, Lexus, Volkswagen, WM Motor.
New i3 by 2017: BMW plans to give its sole electric car a facelift that would include a new front and rear as well as a new battery. This will increase range “substantially” beyond the current 300 km maximum, the German carmaker told Welt. The revamped i3 is set for next year.
reuters.com, welt.de (in German)
20,000 Mission-E? Porsche plans to sell 20,000 units of its electric model annually. Given that only a total of 31,000 Porsche were sold last year, the mission is ambitious. Tesla however produces the Model S at a current rate of 50,000.
Fuel cell Lexus? Toyota’s subsidiary plans a H2 variant of its luxury LS model by 2019, Autocar reports. It borrows fuel cell technology from the Toyota Mirai. Production will remain within the three-digit realm and Lexus targets consumers in urban centres like London, Paris, LA and Tokio.
Luxury Passat: VW released a first sketch of the CC successor Arteon, which is to introduce a new design language. It will debut in Geneva next year and hit the shelves in summer 2017. A PHEV variant is planned but no details are known at this stage.
autocar.co.uk, autonews.com, volkswagen-media-services.com
WM Motor moving ahead: The Chinese start-up WM Motor broke ground for its facility in Wenzhou. With nearly 1bn dollar investment reserved, it aims for 200,000 vehicles a year. The first electric vehicle is planned for 2018 followed by seven more models, one each year until 2025.
Mercedes, Hyundai, Tesla, Volkswagen, Toyota, Lexus.
Electric Mercedes in China: Daimler wants to sell electric cars on the Chinese market under the Mercedes brand. The reason is said to be the electrification of vehicles in higher price segments and government support. The fairly limited success of Daimler’s Chinese brand Denza surely aided with the decision.
Ioniq under the hood: Hyundai will use the Ioniq hybrid or electric drivetrain for the upcoming i30, as well as to facilitate electrification of other models. In case of the i30, a plug-in hybrid, pure hybrid or even an all-electric version is in the cards. Meanwhile, the carmaker released first images of and data for the i30 ahead of the official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show.
evfleetworld.co.uk (electrification), carscoops.com (preview)
Deutsche Bank provides Tesla funds: The carmaker announced that it received 300m dollars in loans from Deutsche Bank for the former’s direct lease programme. With the loan in its back pocket until September 2018, Tesla will need to raise less capital in another round of financing for the Model 3 production.
New e-up! hits the Isles: The facelifted VW e-up! Can now be ordered for 20,780 pounds after the government’s grant in the UK. First deliveries are scheduled for October. The price of the new generation e-up! Is slightly higher, due to a 500 pound reduction of the OLEV grant.
New Supra in the spotlight: First images of the Toyota Supra sports car remake were snapped during a test drive. The hybrid coupé which was jointly developed with BMW will hit the road in 2018. Despite the regular camouflage, the car’s neat proportions are already apparent.
New Lexus concept caught on camera: The UX concept is said to preview the Toyota brand’s upcoming SUVs and will premiere at the Paris Auto Show. Not much is known about the technical aspects of the vehicle, but considering Lexus’ long standing tradition of hybrids, a partially electric drivetrain is in the cards.
PSA, Peugeot, Lexus, Faraday Future, Zinoro, Tesla.
Push to Pass: PSA revealed details on its strategy to master future challenges in powertrain production. To equip the e-CMP platform it reportedly develops together with Dongfeng, new hybrid and electric drives and components will be manufactured in Europe, in France to be precise. 2021 will see the launch of seven plug-in hybrids and four electric vehicles.
Push to move: The e-Kick scooter by Peugeot and Micro Mobility is a sleek last mile toy. Designed as an accessory for the upcoming 3008, the e-Kick’s thin lithium-ion battery pack built into the platform can be charged inside the trunk. Its 500 W electric motor in the rear wheel propels it to up to 25 kph.
Lexus to discontinue CT200h? Toyota’s premium subsidiary’s hybrid compact may be replaced by a crossover based on the LF-SA concept, European manager Alain Uyttenhoven suggests. The study debuted in Geneva and utilises the Toyota Yaris platform, which accommodates for hybridisation.
Glimpse of Brilliance: The Zinoro 60H has been spotted and is the freshest outcome of BMW’s Chinese endeavour Brilliance. The Zinoro 60H is a plug-in hybrid with a 37 kW electric motor and visibly based on the BMW X1. First production cars could be sold in China in the second half of this year.
New Faraday Future facility? The EV maker is negotiating to buy new land for yet another factory, this time in Vallejo, California. Its Nevada site had been shrouded in problems but construction shall finally commence on June 1.
timesheraldonline.com via electrek.co
Model 3 deliveries: As Tesla confirms accelerated production plans for its latest model, it becomes clear that the first Model 3 will reach the UK by 2018, while supposedly entering the U.S. stores in 2017. In South Korea, first the Model S and X are due to arrive by 2017 followed by the Model 3 a year later.
autoexpress.co.uk (Model 3), insideevs.com (Model S and X)
Tesla, Ford, Beijing, Lexus, Audi.
French Tesla facility? If France’s Energy Minister Segolene Royal gets her will, an old nuclear energy plant could become the first Tesla production plant in Europe. The Fessenheim nuclear plant in the Alsace region near the German border is due to close at the end of the year. Talks with Tesla management are to take place in a few days. That is what we call true energy turnaround.
reuters.com, theverge.com, jalopnik.com
Mexican Ford facility: The carmaker will build a plant for small cars in Mexico for 1.6bn dollars. Set to go into operation in 2018, the Ford facility will also produce a Focus-based hybrid described as “Prius-fighter,” according to Reuters‘ sources.
Crackdown continues: After Shenzhen, Beijing takes a tough approach to unregulated e-bike traffic, banning electric scooters from ten main roads because of safety reasons. There are about 4m e-bikes in China’s capita, most of which resemble electric motorcycles, but claim the freedom of bicycles.
800 hp hybrid? Lexus plans a LFA successor, which will debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Japanese Response reports. However, so far these are only rumours and Lexus has not commented on the undertaking.
A3 facelift: Audi updates its A3 this summer and reveals sharper and brighter lights, as well as new colours. The A3 e-tron will be continued, but the facelift does not concern the plug-in hybrid’s drivetrain.
Dyson, Genesis, Land Rover, Renaul, Acura, Lexus.
Dyson’s secret EV: The hoover manufacturer is building an electric car, The Guardian has learned, quoting internal government documents. Dyson’s endeavour will be funded with 174m pounds from the government and could create as many as 500 jobs in British Malmesbury. Just a few days ago, Dyson CEO Max Conze announced that the company wants to invest 1m pounds in battery production by 2020.
Genesis from Hyundai: The latest concept for Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis has been unveiled in New York. The 242 hp hybrid sports sedan is equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and could give a glimpse of the future of the G70, a possible 3-series rival.
Upcoming Range Rover: Details of the upcoming Range Rover are being kept largely under wraps. The “Sports Coupé” will share the alloy chassis of the Jaguar F-Pace and Autocar speculates that it will include an all-electric powertrain, which Jaguar previously developed for the I-Pace, as well as a hybrid option. The vehicle will be priced at around 90,000 pounds.
Renault recalls: Bad news for Renault owners. 10,649 Zoe are being recalled due to rupturing brake fluid hoses. There are, as of yet, no confirmations that the faulty hoses have led to any accidents on the road. Nonetheless, those cars built between 2012 and 2014 are being thoroughly checked.
Acura MDX: Honda’s luxury brand took the wrap of the 2017 MDX in New York. The MDX Sport Hybrid features not one, but three electric motors and a 3.5-litre V6 engine with a combined output of 325 hp. The 2017 variant will go on sale this summer, with the Sport Hybrid to follow soon thereafter.
Lexus extended: A three-row variant of the Lexus RX is on its way for late 2017, possibly early 2018. According to Autonews, Lexus recently trademarked the names RX 350L and RX 450hL, leading many to speculate the new car will be offered both with a standard V6 engine and as a hybrid. However, apart from the extra seats, styling will stay true to the original.
BYD, Lexus, Tesla, Terra Motors, Mercedes.
BYD’s new Song: BYD will bring an all-electric and a plug-in version of their SUV Song to market this year – one out of ten new alternative energy cars in the pipelines for 2016. An all-electric Qin and PHEV Yuan will also hit the road. Moreover, BYD is to invest in a new battery production line in Shenzhen, China, which will officially open its doors in 2018.
Fuel cell Lexus: Lexus will show the LF-FC (Lexus Future-Flagship Car/Fuel Cell) Concept in Geneva next week. It is said to preview the hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain vehicle planned for 2020, and also shows Lexus’ commitment to follow in the footsteps of parent company Toyota in including FCVs in their line-up.
Duty free imports: The Malaysian government will allow for the duty free import of 100 Tesla Model S, with hopes of promoting electric cars in the country. However, the imported cars will be used solely for demonstrations, and purchase may be restricted to government-linked companies.
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The latest from Terra: Terra Motors has unveiled their newest e-rickshaw model, the Y4 Alfa. It seats up to five people and is outfitted with Terra’s self-developed battery. The latter has a lifespan of 18 months and can travel up to 100 km on one charge.
Tesla gets domain name: Tesla finally gets to use tesla.com, a domain name that was registered in 1992—but even not by the EV maker. The company’s webpage can currently be found at teslamotors.com, but since Tesla is branching out into fields like home energy storage, being able to use the more general domain name had been a priority for years.
E Class spotted: The upcoming Mercedes E Class has been spotted nearly undisguised, as only some plastic sheet was used to cover the rear. The sedan will go on sale in September, possibly also as a plug-in hybrid. The system would boast a combined 279 hp and allow for an all-electric range of 18.6 miles.
Aston & LeTV, BMW, Lexus, Volvo, Hyundai.
Aston & LeTV e-racer: The British brand and Chinese internet firm have agreed to build an electric sports car based on Aston’s RapidE concept. LeTV, now called LeEco, will be responsible for the electric drive and battery, as well as other partners from China. But the car will be assembled in Great Britain. Launch is expected by 2018 and LeEco plans to use the EV platform for other projects, i.e. Faraday Future.
reuters.com, astonmartin.com, english.cri.cn, greencarcongress.com
BMW i5 takes shape: It looks like the third model of the i-series is going to be a roomy crossover that makes it easier to integrate the battery, Auto Motor & Sport reports. The BMW i5 is expected to launch by early 2021.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German)
Lexus with V6 hybrid: The luxurious LC 500h will be propelled by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and a 45 kW electric motor powered by a Li-ion battery. The system delivers a total of 265 kW. Lexus will debut the hybrid in Geneva next month with production start set for 2017.
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The estate arrives: Volvo revealed the latest V90 as scheduled. It is also available as PHEV with a T8 Twin Engine. The station wagon shares a platform with the S90 and XC90. A 9.2 kWh battery can power the car up to about 45 kph, while hybrid system boasts a combined 299 kW.
Hyundai will launch its electric Ioniq in its native Korea already this June. Prices will start at 40m won (32,706 dollars). The eco model can go up to 169 km on one charge, while the motor delivers up to 120 hp.
BMW puts a price on its PHEVs scheduled to arrive in Great Britain later this spring. The BMW 225xe will be offered from 32,545 pounds. The BMW 330e Saloon will sell for roughly one thousand pounds more (33,935 GBP), and is also due for delivery by April.
Lexus, Ssangyong, BYD, Formula E, Mercedes, LichtBlick.
Performance hybrid debut: Lexus will show the LC 500h in Geneva next month. The second version of the luxurious hybrid is close to production, and order books are expected to open later this year. Details are scarce, but Lexus says the LC 500h, which is based on the LF-LC concept, will see improved performance and efficiency. Total output is rumoured at 345 kW.
autocar.co.uk, greencarcongress.com, worldcarfans.com
Electric Ssangyong SUV: The Korean carmaker aims to increase its presence in Europe. It will show the SUV concept SIV 2 in Geneva, which will be available a mild-hybrid first. A plug-in hybrid, as well as a fully electric version could follow shortly after production start in 2018, Autocar presumes.
Chinese in Korea: BYD will launch two electric models in South Korea this year. The 80 kWh e6400 targets consumers, while the electric bus K9 aims for commercial applications. Competition comes from German carmakers, as the BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 740e, BMW 330e, Mercedes S500 PHEV, and Audi A3 e-tron are all set to launch in Korea as well.
autonews.gasgoo.com (BYD), businesskorea.co.kr (Germans)
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Formula E stays in Berlin: The German capital will welcome the electric racing series again in May this year, as a new course through the city centre has been found. The original track at Tempelhof airport is unavailable, since the location is currently being used as a shelter for refugees from Syria (we reported).
Convertible Mercedes PHEV: The latest C class variant comes topless to Geneva. Mercedes not only loses the roof, but will also introduce a hybrid drive. The electric drive is expected to deliver an all-electric range of up to 50 km, which should make for nice and quiet cruising when the sun is out.
Decentralised energy: German green utility LichtBlick launches its IT platform for digital energy management outside Germany. Called SchwarmDirigent (SwarmConductor), the system enables connection and optimisation of renewable energy sources and storage like EVs. A team of 40 people is negotiating or already working with partners in South-East Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
presseportal.de (in German)
Audi, Kia, Tesla, Qoros, Lexus, Toyota.
Audi A3 as triple hybrid: The next generation of the A3 will be available as two plug-in hybrid (211 and 252 hp) and a mild hybrid variant by 2018, German Autobild reports. Audi is also thinking about issuing a purely electric model, but only if it would beat the then upgraded BMW i3 in terms of performance.
autobild.de (in German)
Soul with more range: New spy shots of the upcoming Kia Soul EV reveal new lights and air intakes. It is also expected that technological advances will increase its current range of 132 miles, but details have yet to be released. The facelifted model is due by 2018.
Tesla truck? CEO Elon Musk said during an interview with CNN in Hong Kong that a Tesla pick-up is “sort of a logical thing to do in the future.” He did refuse to give any details though.
electrek.co (with video)
Qoros electrification: Chinese Qoros plans to launch a new model which will either be a PHEV or fully electric by mid-2017. It will be the prequel for a whole new platform for hybrid and electric cars set to launch by 2020. A business unit with a focus on electrified models has already been established.
Lexus RC300h review: Stephen Dobie took Lexus’ hybrid coupé for a spin and offers some comparison to rivalling models. The RC300h “is at its most in town driving” in terms of fuel savings, but since it is a hybrid without a plug, it does not offer much all-electric driving capability.
RAV4 Hybrid review: The updated Toyota hybrid has been reviewed by Richard Webber, who finds it difficult to get the electric motor working alone. Acceleration however is pretty impressive. Yet, the interior and general driving is a bit basic but the RAV4 was never intended to be driven hard.