Chevy Bolt, Tesla, Qoros, Kia, Lexus.
EV for the masses: GM just unveiled its Chevy Bolt a few hours ago. The 200 mile (320 km) range had been announced previously, but now we also know that the Bolt will sell for 30,000 dollars after (7,500 USD) in the U.S.. A price tag said to appeal to the masses. The EV will go on sale at the end of the year and will feature lots of driving assistants and maximum connectivity to appeal to the younger generations.
fortune.com, wfla.com media.chevrolet.com
Changes in the Tesla lineup: Tesla will from now on only offer the 3,000 dollar upgrade from 85 to 90 kWh for the all-wheel version of its Model S. The rear drive version will only be available with a 70 or 85 kWh battery pack.
Qoros electrified: The Chinese manufacturer cannot seem to get a foot in the door as a conventional carmaker and wants to form a business unit just for electric cars. Also, CEO Phil Murtaugh will leave the company due to “personal reasons.”
Self-driving Kia: Kia has set up a sub-brand for its autonomous driving technologies called ‘Drive Wise.’ The carmaker wants to introduce partially self-driving cars by 2020 and fully autonomous technologies by 2030. Meanwhile, Andrew English test ‘drove’ the autonomous Kia Soul, pondering questions about the responsibility and role of the person in the driver’s seat.
autocar.co.uk (Drive Wise), telegraph.co.uk (Kia Soul)
Driving the new Lexus RX450h: Autocar got to test the 2016 Lexus RX450h on British roads and was not sold on the idea, saying the “RX450h feels as soulless now as the original RX400h did a decade ago.” Also, the hybrid’s fuel-economy is only “acceptable.”
Lexus has come up with another idea designed to go viral, putting its NX on wheels made of ice. While this might fit the season, putting an SUV on ice in times of global warming might send the wrong message. Next time try something more electrifying, please!
Hyundai, Mahindra, Tesla, Alta Motors, Lexus, Skoda.
Naked Ioniq: The Hyundai was caught on camera completely undisguised. The vehicle, which will be available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and a purely electric car, was set to be unveiled at the auto show in South Korea next month and will go head to head with the Toyota Prius. The all-electric variant could rival the Nissan Leaf.
Electric cars from India: Indian manufacturer Mahindra wants to introduce an electric variant of its Verito and Maxximo in February, using an enhanced version of the drivetrain used in the e2o. India-based Tata Motors also announced that amid falling battery prices, it will focus more on electric and hybrid vehicles in the future.
business-standard.com (Mahindra), business-standard.com (Tata Motors)
Tesla update: According to the LA Times, the EV pioneer received another 39m dollars in the form of sales tax incentives from the California government. Tesla will therefore be exempt from paying sales tax on certain equipment for the next three years. Meanwhile, the manufacturer announced that Tesla drivers can now listen to the music streaming service Spotify in their car free of charge.
latimes.com (incentives), telegraph.co.uk (Spotify)
First RedShift delivered: California start-up Alta Motors has begun handing over the keys to its all-electric RedShift motorcycles, a line of electric Motorcross MX and Supermoto SM. The lucky customers Eric Gauthier and Jeannine Smith also live in California. By the way, the company is hiring for an array of positions.
electric-vehiclenews.co, businesswire.com, altamotors.co (jobs)
Lexus based on Prius: The next generation of the compact hybrid Lexus CT 200h is said to arrive in 2017 and will be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – the same basis used for the 2016 Toyota Prius.
A snowman called Kodiak: The new Skoda seven-seat crossover SUV will be dubbed Kodiak, after being previously known under the project name ‘Snowman.’ A plug-in hybrid version is in the cards. The vehicle will celebrate its premier at the Salon d’Auto in Paris next year.
Porsche, Aston Martin, Tesla, SAIC-GM, Lexus, Audi.
Mission E confirmed: The supervisory board of the Porsche AG gave the green light for the Mission E project. Porsche will build a production version of the all-electric concept car, first revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September. The carmaker says around 700 million euros will be invested and more than 1,000 new jobs will be created at its HQ in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The electric sports car will have a range of more than 500 km and should arrive at dealerships by 2020.
porsche.com, autonews.com, autocar.co.uk
Aston Martin partners with LeTV: The two companies have signed a MoU for the development of connected electric vehicles and smart vehicle technologies. Aston Martin’s first EV, the RapidE, will feature LeTV technology and will debut at the CES in January.
Tesla cancels Detroit appearance: The EV pioneer will not attend the Detroit Auto Show. The event is said to be too costly, especially since Tesla is not even allowed to sell its vehicles in Michigan.
SAIC-GM expands electric portfolio: The joint venture wants to introduce ten electrified models to the Chinese market by 2020. Scheduled for 2016 are the Cadillac CT6 PHEV, the Chevrolet Springo, which is based on the Chevy Volt, and the Buick D2JBI, an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV).
Lexus to debut LC500: Motoring reports that Lexus will finally reveal the car at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The Lexus LC 500 will also be available with a hybrid V6 powertrain (LC 500h), said to boast nearly 400 kW. Moreover, the drivetrain was redesigned to improve heat efficiency and fuel economy.
Audi gets new technical boss: Stefan Knirsch will replace Ulrich Hackenberg, whose head is the latest to roll following the VW diesel scandal. Since 2013 Knirsch worked as Head of Powertrain within Audi and will now need to help Audi enter the age of electric mobility.
Tesla, Cadillac, Ford, Lexus, Formula E.
Model X sales start: Tesla now accepts orders for its five- to seven-seater crossover. The base Model X 70D starts at 80,000 dollars and has a range of about 350 km. Deliveries will commence early 2016, starting with the P90D and 90D variant. The base version be delivered towards the end of the year.
Seatbelt check: Tesla recently voluntarily recalled its Model S due to a possible seatbelt problem. So drivers do not have to come to the shop, the carmaker sent technicians to Supercharger locations to check seatbelts while the cars are charging.
teslarati.com, youtube.com (Video)
Cadillac hybridises fleet: The U.S. carmaker wants to offer the bulk of its portfolio with plug-in hybrid technology, in order to stay in line with increasingly tough emission rules in China. Pure electric cars are supposedly on the “to-do-list,” but are not in the cards in the near future.
Ford to stand trial: The carmaker will have to go before a judge over allegedly exaggerated fuel-efficiency estimates for its C-Max hybrid cars. The suit dates back to 2013, when buyers denied being able to reach the promised 47 mpg. A New York judge now denied Ford’s request to dismiss the case.
Lexus RX Down Under: The hybrid variant RX450h will start at 88,000 Australian dollars (63,959 USD), 15,000 AUD over the base price. The RX450h F Sport variant will even sell for a minimum of 100,000 AUD (72,668 USD).
Formula E in Mexico: Mexico City has officially been added to the ePrix racing schedule for this season. The city will host round five of the electric racing series on March 12th, 2016. The track is 2.14 km long and tickets will go on sale on December 7th.
Toyota and Lexus reach hybrid milestone in the UK.
No less than 200,000 hybrids by Toyota and Lexus have been sold in the UK, 15 years after the Prius was first introduced in the country. Hybrid sales account for 25% and 97% of Toyota’s Lexus’ total sales in the UK, respectively. Together, the two brands offer 11 hybrid models there.
Nissan, Honda, Lexus, ZAP Jonway, BYD & Alexander Dennis, VW.
Autonomous and electric is the IDS Concept Nissan unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show. Made from lightweight carbon and aerodynamically shaped, the Japanese hope for long range fed by a 60-kWh battery. The Intelligent Driving Technology imitates the driver’s style as soon as autopilot is enabled.
greencarcongress.com, autoblog.com, forbes.com
Mirai fighter: Honda is ready to take the Clarity Fuel Cell to production as its shows the serial model in Tokyo. Its range is given at 700 kilometres and launch is set for early 2016. As presumed, the body of the FCV will form the base of a battery-electric and plug-in hybrid version due in 2018.
autoblog.com, greencarcongress.com, greencarreports.com (EV and PHEV)
Mirai mirror: Lexus brings its own fuel cell concept to the Tokyo Motor Show. The LF-FC previews the next-gen LS. The fuel cells are scattered throughout the 5.3-metre luxury sedan, which boasts an all-wheel drive, including two electric in-wheel motors in the front.
autoblog.com, electriccarsreport.com, greencarcongress.com
Pressing demand: ZAP Jonway increases production of its EV Minivan to 50 units a day to fulfil an order by Dongfeng requesting delivery of 3,000 EV before the end of the year. A second shift might be added shortly to ensure a monthly output of 2,000 units continuously throughout 2016.
London bus update: The electric double-decker bus developed by BYD and assembled by Alexander Dennis in Britain (we reported) is able to carry 81 passengers and is fully air conditioned. With a range of up to 190 miles in city traffic one off-peak charge a day will suffice for service.
VW pushes electrification a little further as it plans to offer an all-electric Phaeton by the end of 2017. A plug-in hybrid version had been recently scheduled for debut late next year at the earliest. Furthermore, the Passat GTE and Tiguan GTE PHEV are destined for the Japanese market.
automobilwoche.de (in German)
Lexus has asked a London design firm to recreate its IS sedan using 1,700 sheets of laser-cut cardboard. Glued together by hand and including the interior, the result is aesthetically amazing indeed and can be driven, too – electrically.
motortrend.com, youtube.com (making of)
Tesla, emission tests, Chile, Porsche, Lexus, Formula E.
Tesla ramps up production in Europe: Tesla Motors significantly increased capacity at its European assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands. 450 instead of previously 200 cars can now be assembled at this location per week. The facility also includes a 750-meter-long test track. Meanwhile, new buyers of the Model X will now have to wait until the second half of 2016 for delivery, according to the Tesla reservation webpage.
carmagazine.co.uk, nltimes.nl, teslamotors.com
On-the-road testing: Following the VW meltdown, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) have announced that they will introduce on-road emission tests for diesel vehicles. Other countries including the U.K., Italy and France are planning to take similar action.
hybridcars.com, greencarcongress.com, theguardian.com
EV from Chile: The two-seater ‘Sôki’ is Chile’s first EV. A very small batch of these subsidised vehicles is set to be produced from next year, each costing 12,000 dollars. The promised range is only 60 km (37 miles), while the 4.2-kilowatt battery is removable.
Next-gen Panamera: The new Porsche Panamera will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Like the current model, it will also be available as a plug-in hybrid. The main changes will be newly developed and improved drives, as well as reduced weight.
Lexus RX priced: The new Lexus RX Hybrid SUV will start from 47,000 pounds (71,000 dollars) when it becomes available in the United Kingdom toward the end of the year. It will feature a 3.5-litre V6 engine and an electric motor with a combined output of 300 hp.
Formula E ‘FanBoost’: Starting in October, Formula E fans will be able to vote for their favourite driver on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram up until the sixth minute of each race. The three most-voted drivers will profit from an even stronger power boost that can be utilized much more flexibly during the than last season.
BMW, Lexus, Borgward, WEpod, Skeleton Technologies.
New hybrid supercars planned: BMW and Lexus are rumored to be collaborating on a successor of the Lexus LFA. Motoring reports that a prototype already exists and that the BMW version will be powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, while the Lexus supercar will feature a detuned version of the hybrid drivetrain from the TS040 race car with roughly 800 hp. Meanwhile, Autoblog writes that Mercedes-AMG is reportedly developing a hybrid supercar with a 12-cylinder mated to an electric motor.
motoring.com.au (Lexus & BMW), autoblog.com (Mercedes-AMG)
Borgward goes all-electric: The freshly revived Borgward brand, which recently presented its plug-in hybrid SUV BX7 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is already working on an all-electric model. This is reported by German magazine Automobil Produktion, citing Borgward CEO Ulrich Walker.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Driverless electric transport: The first self-driving electric shuttle for use on public roads was recently delivered to the Netherlands. The WEpod can carry six people at a maximum speed of 25 kph and will transport passengers in the province of Gelderland from November this year.
Supercap-powered UGV: Skeleton Technologies will supply graphene-based supercapacitors to a multipurpose UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) to be showcased at this month’s DSEI 2015 in London. The hybrid vehicle was developed by Estonian defence solutions provider Milrem and Skeleton Technologies’ supercaps will be used to deliver increased energy efficiency and product reliability.
Bentley, Lexus, Tesla, Formula E, India.
Bentley drops the veil: The carmaker unveiled its Bentayga SUV even before the IAA. The V6 plug-in hybrid boasts 400 hp and will arrive on the market by 2017. Furthermore, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer confirmed that the plug-in hybrid technology will also be used in the next-gen Continental and Mulsanne.
New Lexus hybrid: Toyota’s premium subsidiary will bring the new RX to Frankfurt. The RX 450 hybird comes with a combined output of 313 hp. Production start is scheduled for October and first deliveries in Europe will start before the end of the year.
Not for everyone: The Roadster 3.0 upgrade is not compatible with older models, Tesla confirmed. Only Roadster Versions 2.0 and 2.5 can benefit from a new and more powerful battery pack, given owners are ready to pay 29,000 dollars for the extra range.
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The Formula E race in Beijing has been postponed by one week. The Chinese capital will now welcome the electric racing series on October 24th instead of on the 17th.
India subsidises EVs: The Indian government now offers 150,000 rupees (2,250 dollars) in subsidies to buyers of an electric vehicles that cost more than Rs 5 lakh (7,500 dollars). Reductions in road tax and VAT are also on the table.
SAIC-GM-Wuling, Suzuki, Lexus, ZEV Alliance, Volkswagen.
Construction of China EV factory kicks off: The SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture has begun building a factory for electric and hybrid vehicles in the Chinese southwestern province of Guangxi. The facility will have an annual capacity of 200,000 units. The JV has invested 470m dollars in the project.
Suzuki goes hybrid: The carmaker announced that it will introduce its first fully hybrid vehicle as early as December as part of the Solio family. So far, Suzuki has only manufactured mild-hybrids, many of them variants of their small line-up cars.
Lexus premiere: The fourth-generation of the Lexus RX will celebrate its European premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. It features a newly developed hybrid drivetrain, as well as new safety and drive assist systems. Lexus calls it the best Lexus SUV to date.
auto-medienportal.net, pressebox.de (articles in German)
Electric alliance: The U.S. state of California, Canadian Quebec and the Netherlands have founded the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance (ZEV Alliance). They want to promote EV uptake, innovation and investments, and create international awareness. Other countries and regions are asked to join their cause.
Volkswagen hits the track: Its logo has been added to the livery of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Formula E team, as the latter and Volkswagen signed a strategic partnership. Off the track, ABT Sportsline and VW have already enjoyed a long standing collaboration.
First test drive in the new Volt: A Chevy enthusiast posted a first review of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt on GM-Volt.com. One cool new feature is the wireless charging port for mobile phones and the car’s driving performance was also “incredible.” Conclusion: the car “improved in nearly every way.”
Lexus, Audi, CEVT, Tesla, Toyota.
Lexus LS details: Ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota’s premium subsidiary confirmed the attendance of the next-gen Lexus LS. Sources close to the company hint at a hybrid V8 system with allegedly 535 hp (399 kW). Furthermore, a fuel cell variant is rumoured for 2017 with an even bigger power pack than the Mirai’s.
Audi Q6 details: German AutoBild published new renderings and information on Audi’s Tesla-fighter Q6 e-tron. The long range battery will be supplied by LG Chem at sizes between 90-95 kWh. The company aims at an annual output of 45,000 units at a price of around 65,000 euros.
autobild.de (in German)
Ford fighter: Volvo and Geely are setting up the new China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) operation in Swedish Gothenburg to develop “future C-segment cars” to the likes of Ford Focus. The CEVT facility is designed to create a whole vehicle, including the platform and powertrains.
Out of service: Tesla VP of Service, Jerome Guillen, is taking a leave of absence until the end of the year and just before the introduction of the Model X. Reasons for his unexpected sabbatical were neither given by the company nor was he himself available to comment.
The future has come to Europe, as the first five Toyota Mirai arrive on the continent. Sales will start in September in Great Britain, Denmark and Germany. The Japanese carmaker is aiming at annual sales of 50-100 units in 2015 and 2016.
Okay, it hovers and only under very distinct circumstances like a rather light-weight and well-balanced boarder, a skatepark tiled with magnets and a flow of liquid nitrogen. Still, it really hovers! And, Marty McFly is due to arrive this October to help Lexus out anyway.
When the heart skips a beat.
Lexus modified its RC-F Coupe, so that it can reflect the driver’s heartbeat on the vehicle’s exterior using electro-luminescent paint and sensors attached to the driver’s body. While there is no real use for the technology, it does look cool!
Volkswagen, Toyota, Lexus, BorgWarner, Volvo, Tesla.
Plug-in Passat to come in autumn: VW officially presented its Passat GTE. Its system has a combined output of 160 kW and one charge allows for 50 kilometres of electric driving. It has four operating modes that range from electric to charging. The PHEV will launch in Europe this autumn and will also arrive in Asia later this year.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, autoblog.com
Toyota Mirai goes to California: Starting Monday (July 20th), the Japanese fuel cell model will be available in California. Prices (excluding incentives) start at 57,500 dollars or 499 dollars/month over three years. Hydrogen will be supplied free of charge for three years.
Hybrid Lexus LC confirmed: Lexus will begin serial production of its LF-LC concept in November 2016, Motoring reports, quoting inside sources. The coupe will also be offered as a hybrid called LC 500h. Additionally, Toyota’s subsidiary will present the next-gen LS at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
BorgWarner to acquire Remy: The U.S. supplier entered into a definitive agreement to take over Remy for 1.2 billion dollars. BorgWarner intends to strengthen its position in the growing market of electric drive trains, which Remy produces among other components. The deal will be finalised this year.
Volvo buys Polestar: Polestar, a Swedish high performance car company, has been collaborating with Volvo for many years. The carmaker now plans to utilise the former to launch particularly powerful models with a focus on its own twin engine plug-in hybrid technology.
motoringresearch.com, greencarcongress.com, digitaltrends.com
Tesla becomes fashionable: The electric carmaker has hired former Burberry senior vice president Ganesh Srivats to increase Tesla’s high street appeal. Srivats will act as vice president for sales in the U.S. – a newly created role, as sales had so far been a global matter.
Toyota hybrid sales soar.
Toyota sold 101,000 hybrid vehicles in the first half of 2015 in Europe, including Lexus sales. Hybrids thus account for almost one fifth (22%) of the total sales of Toyota Motors Europe (450,951 vehicles) .
Airbus, Toyota, Lexus, Formula E, Kia.
First! Airbus has crossed the Channel in the E-Fan 2.0. The 46-mile flight took 37 minutes and was supposed to be the first battery-powered flight. The record attempt was (almost) silently undercut by French pilot Hugues Duval in his mini electric plane CriCri. However, the latter had to be carried by a bigger plane to reach sufficient height.
Toyota hybrid update: The carmaker presented the 2016 Sienta MPV for Japan. The car’s design (which is also offered as a hybrid) was inspired by a trekking shoe – and it shows. Prices for the new version start at 1,689,709 yen (13,820 dollars).
Lexus ES 300h refreshed: Toyota’s luxury subsidiary presents an updated version of the hybrid that now features a very bold spindle grill. While the motor remains unchanged, the 2016 Lexus ES 300h comes with added safety technology like Steering Assist and blind spot monitoring.
New season calendar FE: Formula E published the list of cities to hold electric races in 2016. As reported, Monaco is taking a break, while Paris has been added as sole new entrant to the circuit. Like this season, 11 races will be held in 10 cities with London taking the double bill.
Kia Soul EV extended: The Japanese carmaker has trimmed its electric car for 2016. The Soul EV-e is the economy class that still features a DC fast-charge port and an on-board charger as standard. The premium Soul EV+ trim now comes with the ‘Sun & Fun Package’ that includes a panoramic sunroof and funky interior LEDs.
Toyota, diesel-ban, Swatch, Lexus, Formula E.
New Prius spotted: Pictures of what looks like 2016 Toyota Prius Liftback and new Prius plug-in have emerged on a Taiwanese website. Its report puts the PHEV’s electric range at 31 miles (50 km) on the moderate Japanese JC08 cycle, about 5 miles more than the current model.
mobile.autonet.com.tw (in Chinese) via hybridcars.com
A diesel ban in German cities is one of the EU Commission’s recommendations in a 23-page report regarding non-compliance with EU regulations on air quality. Levels of nitrogen dioxide are too high and unlikely to decrease as long as Germany supports fiscal preferences for diesel vehicles. Further measures include the advancement of electric and hybrid vehicles. The EU Commission will also start discussing new CO2 emission targets for 2025. 68g/km to 78g/km are being assessed.
fazjob.net (Germany), europe.autonews.com (all EU members)
Swatch FCV revival: German electricity company Group E will take over the fuel cell car project by Belenos, a subsidiary of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and a shareholder. The latter will further license fuel cells and concentrate on batteries. Group E plans to build hydrogen cars and infrastructure.
Update: The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid (Nissan Pathfinder) has not been discontinued entirely, as it is available in global markets like China and Mexico, Lexus USA clarified following a report suggesting otherwise. Should demand strongly increase in the U.S., it could even there get back on the shelves.
Next Formula E takes shape: Based on a draft of next season’s calendar, there will be no electric races in Monaco, Hong Kong or Miami. Furthermore, FIA has published the list of the ten teams to take part in the ePrix. Three will run under amended names to reflect a change of sponsorship.
electricautosport.com (Races) electricautosport.com (Teams)
Back to the future.
Normally, Lexus is known for luxury cars. But this time, the manufacturer chose a different approach, actually presenting a working hoverboard that uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets to stay off the ground.
Tesla, VDL, Guangzhou Auto, Porsche, Lexus.
Tesla secures credit line: To rake in the cash for investments for i.e. the Gigafactory, Tesla has signed a 500 million dollar credit line deal with a group of banks, including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, a.o. The agreement could be raised to 750 million dollars. Meanwhile, Tesla has bought another facility building in Fremont, California, to extend its production line. The state also considers giving Tesla a 15 million dollar tax break to further investments in Fremont that could create some 4,400 jobs.
fortune.com, teslamotors.com (credit line), bizjournals.com (Fremont), cbslocal.com (California)
VDL world premier: VDL Bus & Coach took the wraps off its Citea SLFA Electric at the UITP in Milan over the weekend. The electric articulated bus measures just over 18 metres in length and is fitted with a fast-charging system using a pantograph. The German city of Cologne has ordered eight units.
Stepping up production: China’s Guangzhou Auto is investing 2 billion yuan (322 million dollars) in a new facility in the country, reserved to the production of electric and hybrid vehicles. Starting in 2018, the company plans on building some 100,000 vehicles there annually.
Porsche 911 hybrid takes shape: According to Motoring, the next-gen Porsche 911 will go hybrid and could take the shape of the “Carrera 4 with electrically-driven front wheels and petrol-powered rear wheels.” The Porsche 911 plug-in hybrid could become available in about three years.
Lexus summer sale: Private and business customers in the UK can now benefit from a 1,000 pound boost in the Finance Deposit Allowance when buying a new Lexus hybrid. The deal is valid for new vehicle purchases ordered and proposed for finance through Lexus Connect until the end of June.
Chevrolet, SsangYong, Kia, Tesla, Lexus, Hyundai.
Chevy Bolt might need a new name: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has again suspended GM’s claim for the Bolt trademark. The name is already registered by Yamaha since 2012, however the two companies had come to an agreement. This time round, it is a company called Bolt Custom Trucks that stands in the way of baptising GM’s new EV.
Jeep rival by SsangYong? The Korean brand is thinking about issueing a Jeep Wrangler rival based on the XAV Concept shown at the Seoul motor show this April, insiders told Autocar. A production version could use the concept’s plug-in hybrid system. SsangYong is aiming to enter the US market.
Kia Niro spotted: Kia´s Niro has been filmed testing at the Nürburgring. Heavy camouflage makes it hard to guess what is under the hood but the Niro is believed to come as a hybrid-only model before also being offered as a plug-in. More substantial revelations are expected to follow in 2016.
Model X close to Nissan Leaf? At least in this recently surfaced spy shots which show Tesla’s new model next to the Japanese EV. The two of them do display a few similarities indeed, although it is hard to make out if their size is similar due to changing perspectives.
Lexus LS facelift: After just trademarking the LS500h, a Japanese magazine shows a covered-up prototype of the car. It is believed the shown model is basically a preview of a facelifted 2017 Lexus LS, which could thus receive a new hybrid variant between the LS460 and LS600h.
Selected Sonata reviews: Brad Berman has scanned the web to gather first drive experiences of Hyundai’s latest plug-in hybrid. His effort results in a mixed portrait of the Sonata PHEV with reviewers differing on how smooth the switch from electric to gas-driven power actually is.
Audi, Nissan Leaf, Lexus, Saab, Yunnan Wulong Automobiles, BMW i.
Electric city car by Audi? The German brand will let yet another electric concept out of the bag, at least if Georg Kacher’s prediction of an upcoming city car is correct. It could be shown at the Paris Auto Show next year and is to be developed together with VW, Skoda, and Seat. An all-electric version to compete against the Smart ED or the electric Mini is likely but could take until 2020 to hit the market.
Bigger battery for Leaf in 2015? The 2016 Nissan Leaf might be upgraded with a 30-kWh battery at trim levels SV and SL, Inside EVs quotes two Nissan dealers. The standard version S would keep the 24-kWh power pack while the new-gen Leaf is to be expected by 2017.
New hybrid Lexus to come? Toyotas premium subsidiary has trademarked the LS500h name in Europe. The “h” usually accompanies Lexus hybrid models and thus points to yet another model using the power of joint efforts. No details have been released so far.
Saab resurrection in China: The Swedish carmaker Saab which has been on the edge of bankruptcy recently has now found two more Chinese partners willing to help getting the brand back on track together with current owner NEVS. Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Area and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Company are to work with Saab/NEVS and plan to erect a facility focussed on electric cars and a R&D center in Tianjin, China.
Commercial EV from China: Yunnan Wulong Automobiles rolled out a 19-seat electric van called FDE6810. The company is ready to produce up to 3,500 units until March 2016. The range varies from 260 to 460 kilometres, depending on the model while prices start at 980,000 yuan (158,000 dollars) before subsidies that can reduce the price by 600,000 yuan (about 97,000 USD).
BMW i concept store in the States: The German brand has opened a dedicated facility for its i-brand, serving customers with both a showroom and a service centre. The Stevens Creek BMW i Center is (of course) located in California, in Santa Clara to be precise.
Toruk Electric, Tesla, Lexus, Europe, Toyota Mirai, Tesla Model S 70D.
Turkish EV concept: Toruk Electric Cars, an alliance of engineers from Turkey, is presenting their vision of a future EV. The concept’s design is based on a survey some 1,000 potential customers. Details about the drivetrain have yet to be released and Toruk is still looking for investors to come on board.
auto-service.de (in German); autoevolution.com
Tesla modifies charging standards for China: The Californian EV maker plans to modify its electric cars to meet China’s charging standards. Tesla announced that it wants to “fully cooperate” with the Chinese government in drafting the national charging standards as well as building public charging infrastructure – an interesting message from California!
Lexus takes Turkey: Toyota announced that it will introduce its luxury brand at the Istanbul Motor Show later this month and that sales of Lexus (hybrid) cars will start in the fourth quarter.
EU directive for “green” H2: EU Parliament decided that hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy sources, can be credited with twice its energy content on the greenhouse gas reduction commitment. If used for fuel cell cars, “green” hydrogen even counts five-fold.
ee-news.ch (in German)
Driving the Toyota Mirai: According to Drew Harwell, you would expect the Mirai to be majestic, but get something boring – “and that’s what makes it so fascinating.” He also compares it to the likes of Tesla, saying range and the time it takes to fill the tank, speak for FCs, rather than BEVs.
washingtonpost.com (with video)
Tesla Model S 70D review: Compared to other models in the lineup, the 70D variant is lighter, slower to accelerate, uses less energy and achieves a higher top speed. More importantly, it is cheaper (83,950 dollars) than a Mercedes S550 (95,325 dollars), which competes in the same class.
BMW, Fiat, Toyota, REM 2030, Chevrolet, Lexus.
Will the BMW i5 be a hybrid? According to the German Auto Bild, the third member of the i-brand family will most likely be a plug-in hybrid combining a 218 hp petrol engine and two electric motors with 110 kW and 200 kW and allowing for an all-electric distance of 125 km.
Fiat 500e call-back: 5,660 Fiat 500e from the model years 2013 to 2015 have been recalled, due to “incompatible software” between the vehicle’s control unit and battery pack control module. The car could shut down completely when power is low, instead of limiting power to the drivetrain to “limp home.”
electriccarsreport.com, transportevolved.com, insideevs.com
Toyota displays Mirai: The carmaker will open its first showroom for the fuel-cell vehicle in Tokyo on Friday, where the car can also be test driven. Moreover, Toyota will use the location to show videos and other media to present the advantages of fuel-cell technology.
EV of the future: The Fraunhofer innovation cluster REM 2030 is currently showing an electric vehicle demonstrator at the Hanover Trade Fair, featuring the cluster´s newly developed components. These are a permanent magnet synchronous motor with single-tooth winding, a manual gearbox, a Li-ion battery, and a methanol fuel-cell as a range extender.
Canada gets sparked: Chevrolet announced that it will offer the 2016 model of its Spark EV to retail customers in Canada. For the past two years, the electric car had only been available to fleets in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Pricing has not been announced yet.
hybridcars.com, electriccarsreport.com, insideevs.com
Lexus ES facelift: Three years after its launch, an updated ES version is said to be unveiled at the Auto Shanghai next week. The changes are cosmetic only, “conveying a more dynamic experience.” A hybrid variant powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle hybrid with a 200 hp output will still be available.
Cadillac, Chevrolet, Lexus, Nissan, Kazakhstan, DeltaWing.
Cadillac CT6 world premier: Cadillac’s latest limousine debuts in New York these days. The CT6 is allegedly to come as a plug-in hybrid. Meanwhile, the new Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid has been introduced with full technical data. It will come with a modified drive unit from the Chevy Volt with 182 hp of total system power.
bloomberg.com, nydailynews.com, greencarcongress.com (Malibu Hybrid)
Lexus presents RX 450h: Toyota’s luxury subsidiary will bring the fourth-gen RX to the New York Auto Show. While details on the hybrid have not yet been published, it is believed the PHEV will boast a V6 and two electric motors. Together, the trio is to deliver more than 300 hp.
Leaf for less: Nissan has reduced the price for the Leaf by 140,000 yen (1,170 dollars) for all grades in Japan. This means the best-selling EV is now available in its domestic market from 2.39 million yen (19,978 dollars) including subsidies.
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No EVs from Kazakhstan yet: The country was supposed to start production of EVs together with Iveco already at the end of last year. However, these plans have now been postponed indefinitely.
Details on DeltaWing: The road version of the arrow shaped racer is slowly becoming more real as now first design sketches have been published. DeltaWing Technology Group says it is open to all sorts of electrification, be it battery, fuel cell, or hybrid (we reported).
Tesla, Lexus, BMW, DeltaWing, Jaguar, Kia.
Tesla autopilot upgrade: The next software upgrade 7.0 awaits Model S drivers this summer and will add self-driving capabilities which basically can take the Tesla out of the hands of drivers, at least on major roads. Furthermore, summoning the car via mobile will be enabled on private property.
Lexus’ new RX: Toyotas premium subsidiary issued a teaser picture showing the fourth generation Lexus RX. Its debut is set for this April at the New York Auto Show and the new model is expected to be a little lighter and to feature an updated hybrid drivetrain, too.
BMW X7 update: BMW’s upcoming seven-seater SUV is expected to launch in late 2017 or early 2018, media reports. Furthermore, the X7 that sits above the X5 will be offered as a plug-in hybrid as well, using an adaptation of the system already known from the BMW X5 xDrive40e.
Street car by DeltaWing? DeltaWing Technology Group now announced its plan to build a road ready version of its arrow-shaped racer with two or four seats. While electrification seems likely, the extent has yet to be determined as DeltaWings is open to battery, fuel cell, or hybrid systems.
Electric Jaguar XE? The web is puzzled by pictures showing a Jaguar XE whose rear bears a badge with the letter “E.” Could this be an electric Jaguar? The missing tailpipe does suggest exactly that.
autoguide.com, carscoops.com, autoevolution.com
Kia Soul EV reviewed: Peter Braun reveals the “dirty secret” of the Soul EV as he discovers that it is “a brutally practical box on wheels” that outshines its petrol-powered ancestor. Add to that the “revelation” of electric power and “toys” usually found in luxury cars, you have one happy bunny of a reviewer, sorry, hamster.
Audi, Lexus, Maruti Suzuki, ElringKlinger, Ford, California.
Audi Q7 e-tron quattro unveiled: Making its world public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the new plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 e-tron quattro combines a 3.0 TDI diesel and an electric motor delivering a combined system ouput of 373 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Powered by a 17.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the SUV covers up to 56 kilometers (34.8 miles) on electric power alone. The Audi Q7 e-tron quattro will arrive at dealers in Germany in the spring of 2016.
Lexus city car concept: Ahead of its Geneva debut, pictures of the LF-SA concept by Lexus have been leaked. It looks bold, to say the least, and the LF-SA concept could go into serial production by 2018, then sitting on the Toyota Yaris’ platform. A hybrid variant is thus likely.
Small plug-in from India: Maruti Suzuki presents the Swift Range Extender concept. The small car comes as a plug-in hybrid combining a three-cylinder petrol engine and a 54-kW electric motor and is said to offer an all-electric range of about 25 kilometres (15 miles).
ElringKlinger to halt e-mobility? The supplier is thinking about terminating a contract for the delivery of electric car components due to continued losses at its e-mobility business. While the car manufacturer facing the end of its supply chain was not named, Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger, said “they will just have to see whether they get the stuff somewhere else,” if the situation would not improve.
Ford connects e-bikes: ‘Handle on Mobility’ is the latest project in Ford’s Smart Mobility initiative. The carmaker now presented the e-bike prototypes ‘MoDe:Me’ and ‘MoDe:Pro’, designed to be integrated into urban transport. The e-bikes take inspiration from automotive technologies, while featuring the ‘MoDe:Link’ app. The bikes are further connected to the ‘Info-Cycle’ – an open source research project.
cnet.com, electriccarsreport.com, wired.co.uk
California is considering a new bill which would reduce the sales tax on hybrid and electric vehicles to 3.06 percent, down from the current 7.5 percent. If accepted, first by several committees and finally the Assembly later this year, the new legislation would be in effect from 2016 to 2020.
Ashok Leyland, Qianli, Spyker, BMW i, Lexus, Honda.
Commercial EVs from India: Ashok Leyland has presented three new electric commercial vehicle concepts – the Dost LCV, a 10-tonne electric Boss truck and a 10-tonne electric midi bus. The models could be commercialised within two years, if a viable market is found.
Minimalistic EV from China: The Qianli Sea Turtle only has room for two – one in front, the other in the back. The electric motor has an output of only 2.2 kW and is mated to a lead-acid battery. And the price tag is minimalist, too: The EV goes for a mere 23,450 yuan (3,754 dollars).
New hope for Spyker: Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is no longer officially bankrupt, an appeals court ruled this week. Spyker thus returns to the status of “moratorium of payment,” seeking a quick deal with creditors. The company plans to pursue previous plans and merge with an U.S.-based manufacturer of electric airplanes in order to use their technologies for electric Spyker cars “in the foreseeable future”.
autovolt-magazine.com, motoringresearch.com, spykercars.com
India-bound i8: BMW will launch its i8 hybrid sportscar in India on the 18th of February. Only a limited number will be available and for a hefty price: The i8 will cost around 20 million rupees (324,000 dollars).
indianautosblog.com, zigwheels.com, auto.ndtv.com
Lexus NX debuts in Malaysia: The SUV has gone on sale in Malaysia with the hybrid variant 300h starting at 385,063 Ringgit (about 106,000 dollars). Some 600 units have already been ordered since October; how many of them are hybrids, was not announced.
paultan.org (specs), therakyatpost.com (order numbers)
New hybrid offering in Down Under: Honda is giving its hybrid portfolio in Australia a makeover. The CR-Z and Civic Hybrid will be scrapped. Instead, Honda wants to introduce its Accord Hybrid in Australia before mid-2015 and also begin selling the new NSX hybrid sports car in 2016.
Hyundai, Diar Khodro, India, Taiwan, Mercedes, Lexus.
Fuel-cell competition: According to The Korean Herald, Hyundai will cut the price of its Tucson FCV to be able to compete with Toyota’s Mirai. Hyundai recently informed Gwangju City, which wants to buy another ten units of the FCV, of its internal decision to cut the car price. How much the price will drop has not yet been revealed.
Iran’s first electric car was unveiled on Sunday and carmaker Diar Khodro kicked off trial production of ‘Sabrina.’ According to TehranTimes, the company plans to build 42,500 units per year. The car looks a lot like a Mercedes B-class, and is most likely licensed from Chinese BAIC BC301Z.
tehrantimes.com, diar-khodro.com (in Persian)
India invests in electric mobility: The country will officially invest 10 billion rupees (some 162 million dollars) until 2017 to build up infrastructure, support the development of new technologies and to set up incentive schemes and pilot projects. The official kick-off date is April 1st.
Tax break for EVs extended: A newly passed amendment in Taiwan enables local governments to scrap the license tax for electric vehicles until 2018. Previously, the measure had only been good through January 5th of this year.
Mercedes C300 Bluetec Hybrid vs. Lexus IS300h: Who would expect a diesel-hybrid of a comparatively new hybrid player to match the proven hybrid drivetrain of Toyota’s premium brand Lexus? The Mercedes C300 Bluetec Hybrid might have done just that – at least for company cars.