Volvo, NextEV, Renault, Nissan, Roborace.
Volvo tests first hybrid truck: The latest Volvo Concept Truck is the firm’s first hybrid truck developed for long haul applications. 30 percent of the time it may run on electric power thus saving about 10% of fuel and emissions. The I-See assistance analyses the topography and controls the hybrid system accordingly, i.e. it decides which propulsion, diesel or electric, is most efficient and when to best use recuperated energy. The latter is recovered when driving downhill, or when braking.
The world’s fastest electric car just set another record, two actually. This time, NextEV sent its Nio EP9 hyper car on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Not only did it set a lap record with a driver but made another fast round without a driver, too.
roadandtrack.com, jalopnik.com, electriccarsreport.com
First autonomous Zoe and Leaf: Nissan has started real-world testing autonomous Leafs in London after trials in Japan and USA. The Leaf uses ProPilot technology that enables single lane autonomous driving on motorways. At the same time, Renault-Nissan announced its cooperation with French transport provider Transdev to develop self-driving mobility services. Research will include tests with autonomous Zoes on the avenues of Paris.
autovolt-magazine.com (Leaf in London), greencarcongress.com (Zoe in Paris)
A racer rather than a real-word application is the Robocar, which Roborace presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The final version for the Formula E features 4 electric motor with 300 kW each and has a top speed of 320 kph with a 540 kWh battery.
electrek.co, electricautosport.com, engadget.com
ZF Friedrichshafen, Roborace, Kawasaki, Penn State.
ZF joins Formula E: Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is now on board as Venturi’s official technical partner for season three of the racing series. The goal is to jointly develop a new drivetrain, which will hit the track in 2018/19 – the Formula E’s fifth season.
No race driver needed: Roborace has presented the prototype of its first self-driving race car, called DevBot. It will enter in driverless races as part of the next season of the Formula E, which will use the same track as the racing series. The goal is to show what autonomous technology can do.
theverge.com, telegraph.co.uk, youtube.com (Video)
Kawasaki goes electric? Plans for an all-electric motorbike from Kawasaki have appeared online, according to which the manufacture wants to use an oil-cooling system. Unfortunately, technical details as well as a possible release date are still unknown.
The future of EV batteries: Researchers form the Pennsylvania State University say they have found the “ideal energy storage material” for electric car batteries. It allows a higher energy density and does not show any attrition after 30,000 charging cycles at high temperatures. The key is said to be the material’s three-dimensional, sandwich like structure.
Roborace, H2IntraDrive, Google, Na-ion battery.
Autonomous e-racing: As part of the Formula E electric racing series, another driving competition will hit the track. The so called Roborace will be part of the series’ third season in 2016/2017 and will feature driverless electric cars. Races will be held two hours before each ePrix with teams able only to modify the software and not any physical aspects of the car. One of the teams will be crowdsourced.
worldcarfans.com, autovolt-magazine.com, fiaformulae.com
FC technology is market-ready: BMW, Linde Material Handling and the Technical University Munich say fuel cell technology for the use in logistic centres is already marketable and under certain conditions provides an economical solution. The partners now concluded their H2IntraDrive project with eleven hydrogen forklifts and tow tractors at the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany.
Google car preview: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has released a new patent application, showing various aspects of the next generation Google electric car. It will then no longer have a steering wheel, brakes or a gas pedal. Instead, it will feature a ‘centre console’ with a stop and start button.
Na-ion battery prototype: French researchers have developed a sodium-ion battery in a standard 18650 format. Capacity is said to be comparable with today’s Li-ion batteries, while the energy storage device is much cheaper to produce as it relies on sodium instead of lithium.