Cadillac, Mahindra, Opel, Aston Martin, Red Bull, Tesla.
Cadillac launch: The new Cadillac CT6 has been launched ahead of schedule in Berlin and will be travelling to mainland Europe on September 5th. It comes at a starting price of 73,500 euros, but it remains unclear whether the car will be offered in the U.K. A plug-in hybrid version is also in the works.
Autonomous Mahindra? Mahindra CEO Anand Mahindra told Autocar that the company plans to produce a range of autonomous electric cars by leveraging Mahindra’s many brands including Tech Mahindra. Further details remain unknown.
Opel Ampera-e sighting: Chevy Bolt-inspired Opel Ampera-e has been spotted for the first time since teaser shots were released in February. The mildly camouflaged EV was found testing in Germany.
Martin-Red Bull mashup: Aston Martin and Red Bull revealed their AM-RB 001 hypercar and granted exclusive access of the full-sized model to Autocar, who snagged some footage. An F1-inspired energy recovery system is harvesting kinetic energy from braking.
Tesla in Taiwan: Tesla has opened a pop-up store in the Taiwanese capital Taipei. The shop will remain in the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store until August 31st, and a full-scale store is still to come. The Model S online design studio opened in the country last weekend.
Hybridised sports car: Future iterations of the Ariel Atom could use hybrid power. CEO Simon Saunders also told Autocar that a purely electric version would make sense, suggesting “the Atom will move with the times.”
Aston Martin, Red Bull, Toshiba, Zero, Apple.
Truly desired: The hybrid sport car by Aston Martin and Red Bull has been sold out – even though production will not start until 2018 (we reported). All 100 planed units found a new owner during the Formula One race in Monaco. Apparently, there were even twice as many potential buyers as cars.
Wireless charger put to the test: Toshiba will test its inductive charging system under real life conditions in Japan from now until December. It will be used to charge an electric bus that services an 11 km route. Engineers estimate charging to take about 15 minutes for each direction.
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Electric climb to the top: The MIT’s Electric Vehicle Team is working with Zero Motorcycles and other partners to take part in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb at the end of June. Named KOMMIT-EV, the team further developed the Zero FXS’ drivetrain and aerodynamics.
Apple patents smartphone key: The company applied for a patent for its “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices” technology. It would allow cars to be locked and unlocked using a smartphone, while access can be granted to others by sending an access code. Is this yet another clue in the iCar puzzle?
Bolivia, Red Bull, UCLA, Go-e Onwheel.
Lithium demand from EVs: Bolivia plans to invest 925 million dollars up to 2019 in the industrialization of lithium, which exists in Salar de Uyun salt flat. German company K-UTEC was chosen to prepare the design for the construction of a plant to provide lithium carbonate for electric car batteries.
heise.de (in German), plenglish.com
Formula 1 rumor mill: Red Bull and Mercedes appear to be closing in on an engine deal. According to recent media reports, Mercedes considers supplying its hybrid power unit to Red Bull Racing. Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is quoted saying that this would be an “interesting option”.
Fuel cell research: Researchers from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have developed a nanochip for analyzing how fuel cell nanocatalysts convert chemical reactions into electricity. The new tool could give researchers more insight into how to make fuel cells less expensive and more efficient.
E-bike conversion kit: The Go-e Onwheel is a lightweight and powerful motor, designed to make an e-bike out of virtually any bicycle within seconds. A crowdfunding campaign is up and running and has already gathered a large part of the 50,000 euros funding target.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Monday was the Bugatti Chiron hybrid supercar, which was recently spotted at the Los Angeles International Airport.
Inductive bicycle lanes, Australian National University, Audi, Red Bull.
Inductive bicycle lanes: A Royal College of Art graduate developed the concept of an inductive charging system that wirelessly charges bikes and other devices on the go. Bikes could easily be retrofitted with the kit, using a capacitor as energy storage. The coils in the street would turn on their field as soon the RFID batch of the bike was recognised.
Hydrogen photosynthesis: Scientists at the Australian National University say they have found a way to mimic the photosynthesis of a leaf to directly produce hydrogen. The key is the Ferritin protein, which exposed to sunlight “displays the electrical heartbeat that is the key to photosynthesis.”
Audi will power the voltage up to 48 volts in some of its vehicle electrical systems to complement the 12-volt auxiliary systems, which operate at their limits due to current technology. The 48-volt systems will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and are part of Audi’s electrification strategy.
Red Bull F1 developments: The company is getting “deeply involved” with the F1 project led by partner Renault. According to recent reports, the development of the electric components and storage technology will be moved to the Red Bull facility in Milton Keyes. Will Infiniti and Red Bull even build their own engine?
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Monday were the hamsters in Kia’s latest Soul EV commercial.
MPG Marathon, Red Bull, Events.
Racing tip: For the first time, the MPG Marathon in the picturesque Cotswolds, UK, will let EVs and plug-in hybrids compete along the petrol-powered cars and vans in October. Cost will be measured with 13 pence per kilowatt hour. May the most efficient vehicle win!
Click tip: The Red Bull racing team went all-electric last weekend at Spa. Not really, though, as it were only mechanics practising pitstops with an electric racer. Still, a start…
Events for the upcoming week: Eurobike 2014 (August 27th–August 30th; Friedrichshafen, Germany) ++ Moscow International Automobile Salon (August 27th–September 7th; Moscow, Russia)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar
Boston-Power, Red Bull, Toyota, Oerlikon Graziano.
Gigafactory China-style: China-based battery manufacturer Boston-Power has collected 250 million dollars from investors to expand its annual production to 1 GWh. Currently the company is building Li-ion batteries for Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV). While this is no real match for Tesla’s planned output of 35 GWh, Boston Power CEO Sonny Wu still thinks “somebody has to compete” with Elon Musk.
Red Bull to build own drive train? The energy drink team is not happy with the performance of Renault’s Formula 1 drivetrain as it is far from “Mercedes standards.” Red Bull Racing thus is thinking of teaming up with Austrian AVL List to build its own hybrid motor. Some of the investment would come from Infiniti which would also be the name of the new system.
espn.co.uk, auto-motor-und-sport.de (in German)
Technology transfer: Toyota said it will incorporate some technologies used in its Le Mans racer TS040 into its Prius. According to LMP1 president Yoshiaki Kinoshita the company is thinking of using supercapacitors in particular but this will take at least another five years.
New transmissions for EVs: At a conference in Germany next week, Oerlikon Graziano will display its new transmission solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles. On display will be the 2SED, a dual-speed seamless-shifting transaxle, and the lightweight electric transmission 4SED.