NextEV, Peugeot, Maruti Suzuki, Mercedes, Chevrolet.
NextEV finds backers: Chinese internet companies are financing NextEV, a previously secret project said to rival Tesla, for which former Ford manager Martin Leach has begun hiring engineers (we reported). Experts from Tesla, BMW and Volkswagen are already said to be on board. An electric sportscar with more than 1,000 hp will arrive in 2016, followed by a series of high-performance family EVs.
Peugeot to present electric coupé: The all-electric Peugeot Fractal concept will make its debut in Frankfurt later this month. The car features is powered by two electric motors (front and rear) with 101 hp each. Thanks to a 30 kWh Li-ion battery, range is said to be at 450 km (280 mi). The Fractal also has variable ground clearance, ranging from 70 to 110 mm.
carscoops.com, motoring.com.au, carmagazine.co.uk
Ciaz SHVS goes on sale in India: Maruti Suzuki’s mild hybrid is now available from 823,000 rupees (12,446 dollars). The car features a Suzuki Hybrid Vehicle System (SHVS) and mild hybrid system. With 28 km/l, Maruti says that it is the most fuel-efficient car in India.
Mercedes GLA with plug? According to German Auto Bild (and picked up by Indian Auto Blog), the new Mercedes GLA will arrive in 2019. It is said to offer more head- and legroom and will also be available as a plug-in hybrid variant.
Driving the Chevy Volt: Alex Davies from Wired got behind the wheel of the next generation Chevy Volt, saying the 2016 model is definitely an improvement. He especially noticed the increased electric range of now 53 mi and lighter engine. Still, Davies is not sure that GM has done enough to make the Volt compare with other EVs and PHEVs.
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.
ZSW, Maruti Suzuki, Nemaska Lithium, TM4, Ballard Power Systems.
Li-Ion cells made in Germany: German ZSW, a research centre for solar and hydrogen energy, says it has produced Li-Ion cells close to serial production on its recently completed assembly line in the city of Ulm. According to the ZSW, 23 Ah capacity puts them at level with similar cells commercially produced in Asia and the research centre strives to increase this capacity even further in the future.
iwr.de (in German)
Hybrid tech for small cars: Maruti Suzuki engineers are working on a low cost hybrid technology aimed at small cars. Set to be ready by 2017, the technology is to first be utilised in the next generation Swift. Production will take place in India, which is seen as a key market.
Canada to fund clean tech: Natural Resources Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada will spend 29.5 million dollars to support 6 projects. Nemaska Lithium is to receive 12.87 million dollars to pilot production of lithium hydroxide and carbonate which could make for cheaper EV batteries. 3.7 million will go to TM4 to develop low-cost wheel motors for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Ballard fuel cells for buses: Ballard Power Systems expects to supply 10 FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell modules to power buses as part of two projects that were recently awarded funding by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. BAE Systems and ElDorado National are project partners for Ballard.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Wednesday was the NanoFlowcell Quantino, which is said to offer a range of more than 1,000 kilometres.
Maruti Suzuki, Honda, China, Renault, Nissan, BMW.
Plug-in by Maruti: The Indian Suzuki subsidiary presents its Swift R.E at the Auto Expo in India. With R.E. standing for Range Extender, the Swift capable of 25 kilometres all-electric drive is better to be called a plug-in hybrid. Together with the 54 kW electric motor, li-ion battery and three-cylinder petrol engine, the Swift R.E. now weighs 1,600 kg.
Honda recalls hybrids: The Japanese carmaker is recalling 70,929 Fit Hybrids (known as Jazz in Europe) and 10,424 Vezel Hybrids produced from July 2013 until now in Japan. It is the third time a recall has been issued concerning Honda’s 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). This time the control software is affected.
China extends EV incentives: The current subsidies for EV buyers are set to expire by 2015. However, the Chinese government has planned a follow-up programme “to preserve policy continuity,” the Ministry of Finance stated on its website. Details are yet to follow.
No Zoe for India: Despite being on display at the Auto Expo India, the small electric car will not go on sale in India any time soon. This is possibly due to the lack of charging infrastructure or EV subsidies in the country.
EV world domination: Nissan’s electric flagship the Leaf accounted for 45% of all EV sales worldwide last year. Sales of Renault’s four EVs, namely Kangoo and Fluence Z.E., Zoe and Twizy, rose by 13% in the same time. Together Renault-Nissan now holds 63% of the global market for zero-emission vehicles, according to the company’s 2013 figures.
Video tip: BMW advertises its i3 and i8 during the Sochi games on NBC. While the ‘Shhh’ spot obviously praises the silent electric ride only the i3 can offer, the yet to be launched i8 is promoted as hear-say or simply the future.
youtube.com (Shhhh i3), youtube.com (i8 Sightings), youtube.com (Hello Future i8)