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.
Lexus, South Korea, Trion Supercars, Xin Longma, Bultaco, Toyota.
Fuel cell powered Lexus? Having just released the Mirai, Toyota plans to phase in fuel-cell powered versions of other models, according to Motoring. The system could be used in the Lexus LS by 2017 as well as in Toyota models like the Corolla and Crown and in a large SUV over the next few years.
200,000 EVs by 2020 is the ambitious goal of South Korea’s latest policy package. Measurements include the extension of existing tax cuts, investments in infrastructure as well as a further electrification of vehicles purchased by public institutions. A pilot program on Jejudo Island will see battery leasing as well as the roll out of 119 electric buses and 1,000 electric taxis and rental cars by 2017.
Supercar to be electrified: Trion Supercars plans to launch its Nemesis by 2016. While the combustion engine version comes with 2,000 hp, an electric Nemesis E and a hybrid Nemesis ER are set to follow.
trionsupercars.com (Nemesis E), trionsupercars.com (Nemesis ER)
Electric minivan for China: Early next year, the Xin Longma Kaiteng M70 EV will hit the Chinese market. The electric minivan is the first of its kind and said to have a range of 190 km (118 miles) at a price of only 60,000 yuan (9,640 dollars) after incentives.
Bultaco e-bike: The Spanish brand is bringing the Brinco, an extra fast electric bike with a top speed of 60 km/h (37 miles). The 1-kWh Li-Ion battery provides a range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles), but only in pedal-assist mode. A limited edition is scheduled for delivery in April for 4,800 euros (6,000 USD).
Mirai review: John Voelcker drove Toyota´s FCV and found it very similar to the Prius, be it the steering or the interior. However, the Mirai’s hydrogen system makes sounds which are unheard in a Prius.
Toyota, Audi, Mahindra, Mercedes, Lexus.
Toyota steps up FCV production: The manufacturer plans to invest 20 billion yen (164,400 USD) to triple production capacity for its Mirai. The reason is that Toyota expects orders to exceed its current annual capacity of 700 units by the release date in Japan next week.
Q7 plug-in update: Automotive News reports that Audi’s first model to be available with the plug-in hybrid diesel powertrain will be the new Q7 SUV. The report said that the Q7 PHEV will be sold in Europe and the U.S. after the the gasoline- and diesel-powered versions were introduced next year.
Mahindra sports EV: On top of the Maxximo electric and Verito electric, the carmaker will also launch its electric sports car Halo presented earlier this year. Since demand in India lacks due to poor infrastructure and incentives, Mahindra plans to exports its EVs to Norway, the UK and France in the future.
business-standard.com, telegraphindia.com, businesstoday.intoday.in
B-Klasse ED priced in the UK: The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is now available to order in the UK. Split into two model lines – Sport and Electric Art – pricing starts at 31,950 pounds (Sport) and 32,245 pounds (Electric Art) before incentives.
Lexus LF-LC update: Last week, Lexus confirmed the production of its LF-LC concept. It will apparently be called LC 500 and the hybrid version LC 500h, as Lexus has now trademarked these names.
BMW, Lexus, Tesla, Renault, Hebei Yujie Vehicle Corp.
BMW presents the 3 series as a plug-in hybrid prototype, which is said to hit the market by early 2016. Its drivetrain is derived from the eDrive technology with an electric motor delivering 70 kW while the system has a total output of 245 hp. The BMW 3 Series eDrive can go for about 22 miles electrically. Dave Humphreys had the privilege to drive BMWs new 3 series plug-in hybrid prototype. As it is still early stages, he finds that power delivery at times “lacks finesse” but was impressed by the PHEVs “composure” when taking corners.
greencarcongress.com, insideevs.com, autoexpress.co.uk (Driving)
Lexus revelation: Toyota’s luxury brand has unveiled its LF-C2 concept at the LA auto show, a roofless roadster based on the Lexus RC. The latter is said to be offered as a hybrid variant with about 220 hp by the end of 2015.
Tesla to launch in Oz: The Californians will finally make it to the other end of the Pacific as they will launch their Model S in Sydney on December 9. Prices for Australia start at 97,000 AUD (83,000 USD) and first deliveries are set to go to homes using solar power.
Choose, s’il vous plait: British buyers of Renault’s Zoe and Kangoo Z.E. will now have the choice between owning or renting the battery. The price difference to own the battery is around 5,000 pounds (7,800 dollars) and fully owned EVs will be designated with an “i” for “included” (battery).
7-seater for China: Hebei Yujie Vehicle Corporation will bring the Yogomo to the Chinese market, a car that fits seven. Production is set to start next month and Yogomo says they are also working on a hybrid version as well as an electric version.
Toyota Mirai, Honda, Lexus, Tesla, Impossible Electric Bike, Korea.
Toyota’s future begins: The Mirai (Japanese for “future”) has now been officially introduced and marks the start of Toyota’s fuel cell era. On-sale is set in Japan already this year at a price of 7,24 million yen (63,000 USD) – before government subsidies. Europe will be next in early 2015, followed by California in summer next year before the Mirai will be made available in more U.S. states by 2016.
forbes.com, bloomberg.com (price), youtube.com (promotional video)
Honda’s future delayed: The Japanese carmaker unveiled its FCV model on home soil. However, instead of the expected production version Honda just showed a modified concept. Consequently, the launch has been pushed back from 2015 to March 2016 in Japan.
Lexus promises passion: Alain Uyttenhoven, VP of Lexus Europe, has confirmed a production version of the LF-LC concept, Auto Express reports. While he did not give any details on timing and drivetrain, the study which was first shown in Detroit in 2012 featured a 500-hp hybrid system.
Tesla discounts: As the new 2015 Model S range is just around the corner, 2014 Model S are to become increasingly cheaper, Consumer Reports quotes a Tesla insider. Discounts will apply to remaining Model S including display cars. The 2015 Tesla will be available with all-wheel drive, new power and range specs, and the so-called “Autopilot” function (we reported).
consumerreports.org via greencarreports.com
Folding e-bike: The ‘Impossible Electric Bike’ is said to weigh only 5 kilos and to fit in a backpack. The Kickstarter crowd seems inclined to believe the engineers’ claim even though the somewhat bizarre design is still missing pedals and a chain. Minor details when making the impossible possible…
Korea is to cut down hybrid subsidies after a recent budget revision. Instead of the originally allocated 40 billion won (36 million USD) only 32.5 billion won (29.5 million USD) will go to buyers of hybrids next year which will help finance 32,500 units. The government is further asked to provide EV infrastructure.
Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, Lexus, UK, Rakxe, Zoyote.
Green Korea: Kia and Hyundai announced a total of 22 “green cars” by 2020. The number of available hybrids will increase from four to 12, including six PHEVs. Also in the pipeline are two all-electric cars to replace the current Ray and Soul EV, as well as two FCVs to take over for the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.
Toyota FCV kicks off next week: On November 18th, the carmaker will hold a media briefing in Tokyo concerning its fuel cell sedan. electrive.com has learned that this will actually mark the official market launch of the FC model in Japan.
Drop-top Lexus: With a teaser image, Lexus takes the lid off its convertible LF-C2 concept, which it will officially present at the LA Auto Show later this month. It could be another version of Lexus’ RC coupé and The Telegraph expects it to feature a hybrid drivetrain. Official details have not yet been released.
Faster e-bikes for the UK: The Department for Transport considers increasing the legal power limit for pedelecs from 200 to 250 watts, putting regulation in line with EU-wide standards. Moreover, the speed cut-off for power assist could be raised to 15.5 mph (25 kph). High-speed bikes are out of the question.
Electric bikes and scooters from China: The new line of electric scooters by Chinese company Rakxe feature a 1,000 watt motor. The speed limit is set to 45 kph, while the range is estimated at 65 km. The e-bikes feature a Li-ion battery, have top speeds of 35 kph and also a 65 km range.
More EVs from China: Automobile manufacturer Zoyote is working on two all-electric models. The two- and four-door versions will be called E01 and E02. More details about the cars or a timetable have not been released.
Head to head.
Lexus again pokes fun at its plug-in cousins. In its newest ad, the company compares its hybrid CT 200h to the all-electric BMW i3 and of course focuses on the shorter driving range of the BEV. Interestingly it appears they used an i3 REx for the video, and photoshopped out the gas filler flap – in most scenes.
youtube.com via greencarreports.com
Toyota, Tesla, Lexus, Volvo, Ford, BMW.
Toyota EV for China? According to a Chinese news portal, Toyota is planning to introduce a new brand as part of its joint venture with the Guangzhou Automobile Group. “Lingzhi” will offer affordable electric vehicles especially to the younger generation. If those will be purely electric remains to be seen.
European Tesla facility grows: The Californian carmaker wants to add an additional 49,000 square meter hall to its assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands, essentially tripling the plant’s size. The new space will open its doors in April of next year.
insideevs.com, telegraaf.nl (in Dutch)
Lexus NX 300h gets price tag for the US: The front wheel version starts at 40,645 dollars, while the all-wheel drive model will go for 42,235 dollars. All prices include shipping. The NX could be seen as a good alternative to Lexus’ RX 450h, which starts at 48,545 USD.
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Volvo stretches out: A longer version of the Volvo S60 shown at the Auto China will become available as plug-in hybrid on the Chinese market in mid-2015. The four-cylinder and electric motor have a combined output of 305 hp, while the S60 is said to have an all-electric range of up to 80 kilometres.
Ford cuts prices: The manufacturer has once again reduced the sales price of its Focus Electric. After slashing the cost of the 2014 model by about 6,000 dollars, the 2015 version is to be another 6,000 dollars cheaper. The upcoming model will therefore start at around 29,995 USD.
BMW i8 reviewed: This look at the Bavarian supercar could also be described as an ode, as the author admires the car’s “interesting silhouette” and sporty design. It comes to no surprise that once he slid into the front seat and took it for a spin, he declared himself a true lover of the i8.
Opel/Vauxhall, Toyota, BYD, Cadillac, Nissan, Lexus.
Corsa EV to come? Green Car Reports is treading the rumour mill, reporting that the 200-mile-range Chevy, probably the Sonic, will also be imported to Europe in the form of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa EV. The Chevy EV could be unveiled at NAIAS in 2016.
New hybrid crossover by Toyota: The Japanese carmaker is currently scaling up its production facility in Turkey to accommodate for new SUVs. The hybrid crossover will be based on the concept C-HR presented in Paris earlier this month and will also come as a petrol variant.
New BYD e-bus: At the APTA Expo in Houston, Texas, BYD presented yet another electric bus. The ‘Lancaster’ measures 18 metres and can transport up to 120 passengers for over 170 miles on one charge. The Chinese also displayed a 12-metre e-bus, currently in service in California.
greencarcongress.com, automotive-business-review.com (with picture)
Cadillac CT6 spy shots: New pictures of the upcoming Cadillac luxury sedan show a heavily camouflaged CT6 testing in snowy and pretty chilly conditions. The CT6 is designed to take on the S-Class by the end of 2015, and will also be available as plug-in hybrid (we reported).
tflcar.com, insideevs.com (with video)
Nissan sets out to take France in a stride, starting its own “scrappage scheme.” Buyers of the Leaf and e-NV200 receive a 3,700 euro rebate if their purchase replaces a diesel that is ten years or older. That brings the Leaf to the price level of a Renault Zoe and is clearly a move designed to make the partners more equal.
lepoint.fr (in French)
Lexus NX300h reviewed: Technologic Vehicles drove the hybrid crossover, finding its handling “exemplary” and braking well-balanced. Over the 300 kilometres driven, fuel consumption dropped below 7 litres per 100 km.
Lexus, Envision Solar, British Columbia, Belarus.
Lucky Lexus: Diet club Slimming World will acquire 76 hybrid vehicles from Toyota’s luxury brand within the next three years. The models NX 300h, CT 200h and IS 300h will help the company’s district and field managers on their visits to customers. For Lexus, it is the largest fleet contract to date.
Mobile charging station: Envision Solar will install three solar charging stations in San Francisco by the end of the year. The EV Arc (autonomous renewable charger) station stores the power from the sun in a battery pack and will thus be moved around to test different locations.
Public EV charging has doubled in British Columbia, Canada. At least at the 350 of the province’s 550 public charging stations that were monitored. August saw 3,745 charging sessions, which is a 120% increase over the same month last year (1,684). In total, B.C.’s chargers were used 40,000 times.
In Belarus, the first CHAdeMO charge point is set to be opened tomorrow. It is located at a motorway exit close to the country’s capital Minsk. The organisers hope this to be start of wider EV adoption in the country.
…Lexus takes on the electric car in their advertising campaigns by highlighting its alleged disadvantages like having to plug it in. Well, isn’t Lexus a brand of Toyota? Didn’t Toyota sell about 11,500 Prius plug-in this year? Doesn’t mean ‘plug-in’ to….well, never mind!
Bristol Cars, Electric Vehicle Index, BMW, Lexus, Formula E, VW.
Bristol plug-in planned: Bristol Cars officially announced to be working on an electric GT car using technology by Frazer-Nash. Rumour has it, the new Bristol model will feature an electric drive in each wheel and a range extender. Suspected price point: 408,000 dollars (we reported).
EV nations: The latest Electric Vehicle Index (EVI) by McKinsey and the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche is out, looking at EV production and sales in the 2nd quarter of this year. The USA takes the top of the list, followed by Germany and France. The latter overtook Japan for the first time, thanks to the Renault Zoe. Number five on the list is Norway, ahead of China.
wiwo.de (in German), mckinsey.de/elektromobilitaet (in German)
Small recall of BMW i3: In the U.S., BMW is calling back a total of 27 Mini Cooper and BMW i3 built on March 31st. The reason is a an airbag inflator that might have been assembled in a wrong way. BMW will contact owners of the cars affected and fix the issue free of charge.
Lexus is adding some spice to its GS 450h by making the F-Sport package available for the hybrid. While the update does not affect the drive train, it will alter adaptive suspension, add 19-inch wheels and optional active rear steering to make for a more dynamic drive while exterior changes give it a sportier look. Meanwhile, the 2015 model of the ES 300h will mainly remain the same and only receive minor updates of the infotainment features.
autoblog.com (GS 450h), greencarreports.com (ES300h)
Formula E Motor Shows: The electric racing series will host a series of events alongside the races to showcase consumer-oriented electric cars. The first Formula E Motor Show will take place in Miami in 2015 where manufacturers can present their offerings to the public over four days.
Driving the Golf GTE: Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid is almost too good, as Faye Sunderland compares it to “that annoying kid you knew at school who seemed to excel in absolutely every subject.” She took the GTE up and down the Swiss alps where it performed admirably. In the UK, the Golf GTE can be ordered from November.
Ford, Toyota, Lexus, Google.
Predictive hybrid drive: Ford is working on a system that will use GPS data to efficiently control the driving modes in its hybrid cars based on road conditions. The Green Zone system is still a few years away but could potentially even make use of information from vehicle-to-vehicle networks.
Hydrogen tank inspections: Toyota can now carry these out itself during the vehicle manufacturing process. To achieve this, Toyota became the first registered manufacturer of 700 bar hydrogen tanks under Japan’s High Pressure Gas Safety Act. Before, every tank had to be inspected by the Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan (KHK) during its manufacturing and again upon its completion.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, autovolt-magazine.com
NX 300h safety features: The new hybrid car from Lexus will be equipped with numerous safety features such as a pre-crash safety system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and automatic high beam. It is the first time for Lexus to offer the radar controlled pre-crash system as a standard feature.
Delivery drone from Google: In its Project Wing, Google is currently testing a drone for parcel delivery. The aircraft is propelled by four electric motors, which allow for two different flying modes – horizontal like an airplane and vertical like a helicopter. When in hovering mode, the parcels will be lowered by wire and dropped at the ground.
theverge.com, bbc.com, engadget.com
NEVS, Nissan, Lexus, VW, Tesla, BMW.
NEVS bankrupt? Because the Chinese investors behind Swedish Saab are not able to pay supplier bills, most of their workers currently have to stay at home instead of building electric cars. According to just-auto, NEVS might be in negotiations with Mahindra and Dongfeng as potential investors.
Nissan Z with hybrid power? In 2017, Nissan might bring a successor of its sportcoupé 370Z, Australian Motoring reports. Apparently, the new model would be named Z35, feature Mercedes engines (2.0 and 3.0 litres) which will most probably be supported by electric motors.
Lexus NX is in production: The new SUV of Toyota’s luxury subsidiary is rolling off the production line in the Japanese Miyawaka facility. The company said it already has received about 6,500 orders for the Lexus. In Japan, the NX is offered with combustion engine but also as the hybrid NX 300h.
VW E-Up review: Faye Sunderland is full of praise for the “plucky little e-up!” as she fondly calls Volkswagen’s smallest EV. As with the electric Golf, the E-Up is based on an existing model but Sunderland does not think it takes away from its EV feel at all. The only faults she finds is range and price.
Tesla dealing in emissions: According to a emission regulations, Swiss car importers will have to lower the carbon emissions of their fleet to 130 g per km per vehicle by 2015. Now Tesla wants to capitalise on it, offering to trade in its CO2 certificates. So far, at least Hyundai Suisse is showing interest in the deal.
bernerzeitung.ch (in German)
Tesla vs BMW: One thing the Model S 85 and the i8 have in common is that they are “at the pointy end of the price pyramid,” as Frank Markus in his comparison duly notes. And while he had plenty of time to accommodate to the Tesla in a long-term test, it is BMW’s hybrid that holds the “racy/spacey” revelation. The Californian however, is the true “revolution.”
BMW, Via Motors, Toyota, Bravo Motors, GenZe, Lexus.
BMW i3 with fuel cell? By 2016, BMW plans to issue a model with the fuel cell system of the Toyota FCV, Craig Scott of Toyota USA told Motoring. The i3 would be the most likely candidate and packaging of the fuel cell components being on of the challenges, reckons Scott.
PHEV van by Via Motors: The U.S. manufacturer will start production of its plug-in hybrid van at the end of September in its Mexico plant. The Via PHEV van will be priced at around 80,000 dollars. The first potential customer is FedEx, which considers to buy up to 5,000 units.
Pimped Prius: Toyota announced its plans for a special edition of its hybrid pioneer, the ‘Persona Series.’ It will feature some special elements such as 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors and will come in two colours: ‘Blizzard Pearl’ and ‘Absolutely Red.’
City EV from Russia: The Russian start up Bravo Motors presented its electric two seater eGo, which also might be offered in Europe. The eGo is said to go up to 90 kph with a range of 70 kilometres. The company aims to sell the eGo starting next summer for a price of 20,000 dollars.
GenZe ready to order: The U.S. subsidiary of Mahindra, which just set up its new headquarters in Fremont close to Tesla, is now taking pre-orders for their 3,000-dollar e-scooter. The first GenZe scooters with removable battery system will be delivered in December.
Toyota Prius vs Lexus CT 200h: While both vehicles share the same drivetrain, and, according to Matt Keegan, “exceptional fuel economy,” he found differences too. The most obvious are in the styling of the Lexus which however falls short to “apply the luxury mantle,” in Keegan’s eyes.
JAC Motors, China, Tesla, Honda, Lexus.
Made by China for China: The state-owned carmaker JAC Motors has launched its latest model on its domestic market. The iEV 4 is said to offer a range of 200 kilometres per charge. With a price tag of just 74,800 yuan (about 12,000 dollars) the iEV 4 is in competition with BAIC’s E150EV.
Protectionism in China: The latest EV programme of the Chinese government will only back domestic production. Imported new energy cars like Tesla will not benefit from waived purchase tax and other incentives, the deputy minister for Industry and Information Technology now said.
Tesla production stopped: The Fremont facility has come to a scheduled halt at least until August 4th. During that time, the Californian electric carmaker will prepare the production line for the upcoming Model X and at the same time increase the production capacity for the Model S by 25%. The modifications will cost Tesla 100 million dollars.
bloomberg.com, insideevs.com, transportevolved.com
Honda NSX spied at the Ring: A production prototype of the Japanese supercar has been photographed on the Nürburgring. The Honda NSX is driven by a V6 engine and 3 electric motors and is said to be unveiled at Detroit Motorshow and the Salon in Geneva before launching later in 2015.
New Lexus hybrids: Toyota is keeping busy expanding its luxury segment. The NX Hybrid will be followed by the LF-LC which is also planned as a hybrid, possibly with BMW. Even sooner, one can expect the Lexus RC Coupe which will also get partial support by an electric drive.
Skoda, QUANT e, BMW, Nissan, Lexus.
Skoda plug-in to come? The new Skoda Superb will be offered as a plug-in hybrid by 2016, AutoExpress reports. The insider information further specified that the Skoda will use the technology of the VW Passat, which would be a 154 hp gasoline engine coupled with a 75 kW electric drive.
QUANT e gets approval: The electric sports limousine has been approved by TÜV Süd in Munich for use on European roads. It uses NanoFlowcell technology by a small company of the same name, which is now working on the homologation for the series production.
The BMW i8 is set to arrive on the British Isle this Saturday after its launch in Germany last month. In the UK, the hybrid sports car is priced from 94,845 pounds, including a 5,000-pound government grant. The i8’s petrol engine is made at the BMW Hams Hall facility in Birmingham.
REX to BEV ratio: George Betak from InsideEvs attempted to find out how many of the i3s sold in the U.S. come with the range extender. Based on serial numbers, he estimates a 3:2 ration between the i3 with range extender and without. But sales of the all-electric version are on the rise.
Nissan to electrify Puerto Rico: The Japanese apparently have begun selling the Leaf on the Caribbean island which is an unincorporated territory of the States. The Leaf is the first EV to be sold in Puerto Rico and will start at a price of 33,480 dollars. But thanks to a new law, all import tariffs will be reimbursed.
elnuevodia.com (in Spanish) via hybridcars.com
Lexus NX 300h review: John Voelcker drove Toyota’s latest luxury offering in the U.S. and found it to be the “least hybrid-feeling hybrid” he has driven lately. According to Voelcker this has been achieved by effective noise suppression and giving the acceleration a more “natural feel.”
India, Hyundai, Lexus, Nepal, Tesla, BMW.
EVs to be strengthened in India: The Indian Ministry for Heavy Industries has forwarded a proposal for EV subsidies that could see the government spending 140 billion rupees (2.34bn USD) until 2020. If the cabinet agrees, Indian buyers could get up to 35% of the price difference between a conventional and an electric car, hybrids would get 25%. At the same time, Nissan has announced to offer the Leaf in India soon and is looking for partnerships with local infrastructure providers.
timesofindia.com (subsidies), hindustantimes.com (Nissan)
Hybrid Hyundai delayed: While the new Sonata model has already been launched, an updated hybrid version will have to wait until 2015. Until then, the current Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will stay on the market.
Lexus NX 300h now in the USA: Toyota’s luxury brand has just introduced their latest compact SUV to the States where it will be offered in two versions, the NX 200t conventional and the NX 300h. The latter is a hybrid with a split battery pack for better weight distribution.
Himalayan EV uptake: The Nepalese Ministry for Transport (MoPIT) considers to lower the customs duties for the import of electric vehicles to zero. The policy, which is designed to promote electric mobility especially in public transport, is already at the Cabinet for approval.
Tesla bests again: For the Total Quality Index (TQI), Strategic Vision asked 38,361 drivers about their experiences and matched them with reliability data. The title of ‘Best Model in Total Quality’ went to the Model S while Kia was honoured for its ‘Strategic Vision’ embodied in the Soul EV and Optima.
BMW i3 in real-life test: Michael Specht, reporter at German Spiegel, actually bought the electric BMW and has been “testing” it in his daily life for months. He found fault with “impractical” back doors, a reflecting dashboard that makes the windscreen look “dirty” as well as the high price that pits the risk on the EV buying pioneers alone. Specht praises however, the silent and torque-full drive.
greencarreports.com, spiegel.de (German original)
Toyota FCV, Ferrari, MG, Korea, Mercedes vs. Lexus.
Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle has just been presented revealing some ground-breaking figures. In April 2015, The FCV will first debut in Japan before it goes on sale in the US and Europe a few months later. The price for customers in Japan is set at about 7 million Yen (69,000 dollars). The FCV is said to go as far as 700 kilometres on one tank filling on the Japanese cycle.
Ferrari is going hybrid: The EU requires any carmaker to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2021 – that also applies to luxury carmakers like Ferrari. Vittorio Dini, responsible for engine technology at Ferrari plans to reach that goal through hybridisation of its V12 models.
Toyota is Korea’s sole supplier of hybrids, or almost as it holds a marketshare of 97.1 percent of all imported hybrids. That is a total of 2,558 vehicles the Japanese manufacturer sold in the Asian country this year. Already in 2012 and 2013, Toyota has been equally successful in South Korea.
Electric MG review: Autocar was allowed to drive MG’s EV concept on the Silverstone circuit. The electric mini car is based on the Roewe E50 and is already being sold in China. Apart from the rather confined space, Autocar was impressed but only sees a future for the mini MG if it is offered notedly cheaper than its competitors VW E-Up and Nissan Leaf.
Premium hybrid competition: Auto Express has compared the Mercedes S300 hybrid with the Lexus LS 600h. While the Lexus beats Mercedes “hands down for performance,” in the end the reviewers got lulled in by the luxury a Mercedes’ S-class has got to offer.
NEVS, Lexus, Volvo, Tesla, Volkswagen.
NEVS is looking for investors: Financial problems at National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Chinese company owning Saab, continue. NEVS now confirmed talks with two Asian OEMs, interested in coming on board. Rumour has it, these two might be Mahindra and Dongfeng.
Toyota to take its time: Even though the Japanese carmaker sold 6,503 hybrids in the first quarter of this year in China, it has no concrete plans to set up a production line for its Lexus brand there. Despite 27% of all Lexus sold in China being hybrids, the brand is well behind the overall growth of its German competitors.
Volvo XC90 to go Down Under: Volvo Cars Australia will not import the diesel-electric plug-in hybrid V60. Instead, it will introduce the upcoming petrol-electric plug-in hybrid SUV, which is expected to arrive before the end of 2015.
Sharing is caring: Tesla shares rose by almost nine percent last Monday, when news broke about a possible cooperation with BMW and maybe Nissan. With their value reaching 224.61 dollars, it was the highest closing price in two months.
Spy shot of a ghost: At San Francisco Airport, a VW fan has spotted what appears to be a GTE plug-in hybrid estate – a model that is not even in production in Europe. But who knows what VW has got in the pipeline?!
golfgteforum.com via hybridcars.com