Mercedes, NextEV, Corvette, Renault Samsung, Mitsubishi, Tesla.
Mercedes eco sub-brand? Daimler could create a label for its electric offering, similar to BMW’s i-series, says Mercedes head of design Ola Källenius. Yet, the manufacturer will first focus on expanding the actual electric offerings like the Smart ED and the B-class first, rather than rebranding them. Especially as electrification will eventually “affect the whole portfolio,” according to Källenius.
NextEV is near: The Chinese electric hyper car is set to launch “somewhere in Europe” this year, but will be offered in China first. NextEV will compete with the likes of LaFerrari. But CEO Martin Leach, formerly Ford’s head of product development, stresses that the firm will aim for a “wider range of models.”
Corvette electrifies: GM is readying the mid-engine C8 Corvette to debut in Detroit in 2018. The news also spurs expectations to see the hybrid E-Ray Corvette by Chevrolet with an electric front-wheel motor by the end of the decade. GM has already trademarked the term.
Electric light CV: Renault Samsung Motors will build an electric light commercial vehicle with a targeted range of 250 km and will form a consortium with small local companies for the development. However, it could take at least four years until we see an electric truck, Renault projects.
Mitsubishi scandal widens: Emissions of the Outlander PHEV 2013 must be readjusted slightly as the carmaker used a lighter vehicle than legally required for fuel economy tests. The revelation comes amidst Mitsubishi’s confession that it submitted false emission data for most of its models over years.
The bigger picture: Tesla has been accused of paying workers building their paint shop only 5 dollars an hour. In fact, Tesla hired specialist firm Eisenmann, which in turn hired a subcontractor to recruit cheap foreign labour. While Tesla is not at fault legally, it says that does not escape moral obligation and will look into the issue.
electrek.co, mercurynews.com (accusatory article), teslamotors.com (Tesla’s statement)
Renault-Samsung has bigger Plans in Korea.
Renault-Samsung looks to double EV sales this year in Korea. 2,000 SM3 Z.E. are reserved for the domestic market, with half of them destined for Jejudo island that poses an “ideal testbed,” according to the firm. Also, the Twizy is to arrive in Korea in 2016, given regulatory issues can be solved.
Evatran, Fastned, Renault-Samsung, York, University of Dundee.
Plugless in Sweden: Evatran is about to start a test run with its wireless charging system Plugless. More than 20 inductive chargers will be delivered to the Swedish cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Uppsala as part of the 18-month research project WiCh. The goal is to determine what effect wireless charging has on EV usage.
Sharing is charging: Dutch Fastned is trying to win investors by offering free charging for a lifetime. The offer is valid for everyone who buys at least 2,500 shares, priced at 10 euros each.
Renault goes to Seoul: Renault-Samsung has won the bid to deliver 40 electric taxis to the Korean capital this year. The SM3 Z.E. will help the government reach its own goal. It had announced that of 25% of newly acquired vehicles for government and public-service use will be electric.
Green sightseeing: British York put a newly converted electric bus into service. The City Sightseeing open top bus, formerly a diesel, is now available for city tours. If successful, another five electric buses might follow.
Extended fleet: The University of Dundee is expanding its electric fleet, adding three more electric vans and 12 electric bikes. The vehicles are paid for with a 70,000-pound funding package (108,558 USD) from Transport Scotland. The university now has seven electric vans, one electric car and a hybrid flatbed truck. The bikes are available to students as well as staff.
No less than 1,000 electric vehicles is what Renault Samsung plans on selling in South Korea this year. To make its EVs more popular, the company will supply 500 units to taxi companies. That way people will be able to experience the cars and not just consider government subsidies.
Renault Samsung, Toyota, Hamburg, Graz, Munich.
Spearheading e-volution: South Korea’s Renault Samsung has agreed with the city of Seoul to supply ten electric taxis free of charge. The SM3 Z.E. will be used in a pilot project designed to showcase the suitability of EVs for public transport. The South-Korean capital will take care of charging infrastructure.
H2 station from Toyota: The Japanese carmaker began construction of its first commercial hydrogen refuelling station in Nagoya, Japan. The fuel will be provided by French Air Liquide. Another two stations are set to be build with in the next few months before the planned introduction of Toyota’s FCV car in March 2015.
Hamburg’s harbour electrifies fleet: Hamburger Hafen and Logistik AG (HHLA) is adding another four Renault Zoe and three Smart ED into its fleet of now 64 EVs at the European port. They will replace older petrol models and will have their own charge point each.
E-bike sharing in Austria? The E-Mobility-Graz-Gesellschaft has come up with a bike sharing system which might go into operation in the city of Graz already next year. The system will include pedelecs with digital locks to be opened via bluetooth and smartphone app. The project plans to work with existing rental stations.
kleinezeitung.at (in German)
Meanwhile in Bavaria, the ‘Mobility Station’ is already past planning stage as construction has started. The station in Munich will include parking reserved for car sharing vehicles of multiple operators, an EV charging spot and a centre for rental bikes. Its opening is set for November.
merkur-online.de (in German)