Fisker, Geely, Toyota, Romania, Subaru, Audi.
Henrik Fisker plugs in – again: Following the bust of his Fisker Karma, the automotive designer wants to try his luck with his new company Fisker Inc., and will present an all-electric premium car in second half of 2017. Thanks to a newly developed battery pack, range is set at 650 km. A more affordable EV will follow, and is also said to offer more range than competitors.
Geely brand for hybrids? According to Forbes, the Chinese manufacturer wants to launch an “affordable premium” brand for cars with hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology in Europe and the U.S. Details will be released in the coming weeks.
Prius Prime priced: The plug-in hybrid version of Toyota’s best-seller will start from 27,950 dollars including delivery fees. And U.S. buyers also qualify for a 4,500 dollar rebate. Green Car Reports already took the new model for a spin and hails Toyota’s choice to programme the PHEV so that it will run on battery-power only, if there is any charge left.
insideevs.com, autoblog.com, greencarreports.com (test drive)
Inexpensive EV from Romania: A Belgian investor wants to start producing small electric cars in Romania from spring 2017. A first prototype was now presented. The three-wheeled EV seats two, weighs 150 kg and is said to run 100 km on one charge.
digi24.ro (in Romanian with video) via romania-insider.com
Out for Crosstek Hybrid: Subaru will stop offering the hybrid variant of its XV Crosstek from next year, as demand has just been too low. And it’s not surprising. The standard Crosstek actually offered a better mpg rating in the city and the same on the motorway, as the hybrid variant. Only the latter was almost 5,000 dollars more expensive.
Audi opens Mexico facility: The carmaker has opened the production plant for it Q5 in Mexico, where it will also produce the hybrid variant of the SUV. Contrary to earlier rumours, a fully electric version is not planned for now.
Green Motion, Supercharger, BYD, Romania, Washington, PlugSurfing.
Swiss charging network: 1,600 EV charging stations shall stand in Switzerland by 2020 as Green Motion gathers finance and partners for its Evpass network. Mobility, Aldi and McDonald’s and others are on board to provide spaces for the charge spots of which 250 shall be erected already this year with another 1,000 to follow in 2017. The start-up installs its EV charging equipment for free and finances the move through income from licensing its technology to Chinese Zhongding, who plans a charging network in China that could accommodate for 5m electric vehicles.
berneroberlaender.ch (network, in German), nzz.ch (licensing background, in German)
Tesla charges China: The 100th Supercharger has been inaugurated in Beijing and the EV maker used the occasion to announce the Tesla Public Charging Partner Program. It builds on the principle of the destination charger scheme but includes fast-charging as well.
Electric cab fleet: HDT Singapore Taxi has applied to operate an all-electric fleet of 100 cabs, most likely built by BYD, on the city-state’s streets but is waiting for its taxi license. It would suit Singapore’s plans for an EV sharing for which 2,000 charge points have been confirmed.
EV incentives at work: 7,500 Romanians have applied for the EV incentive scheme. The state adds 4,400 euros when buying an electric car and 1,100 for plug-in hybrids. The sum increases by about another 1,000 euros if an old car is scrapped in the process (we reported).
Car expenses: Washington will raise the gas tax by 4.9 cent comes July, thus bringing the surcharge per gallon to 49.4 cent. Any run on EVs that might result from the new taxation could be hampered a little by the simultaneous increase of the annual EV registration fee by 50 dollars to 150 dollars.
Open access charging: PlugSurfing renews its partnership with charging infrastructure provider EV-Box as they implement the Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI), an open standard. The protocol is designed to simplify payments and to enable real-time billing.
China, BYD, Wrightspeed, Romania, Streetplug, Gogoro.
Chinese charging offensive: State-owned utility State Grid has issued a tender for the installation of 6,600 EV charging stations by the end of the year. The company is ready to invest 650m yuan in 2016 alone (9.3m dollars).
Slow delivery: The first 20 of 417 BYD K7 electric buses have been delivered to the Chinese city of Chengde. The order had been placed almost one year ago.
Bid deal: Wrightspeed, the start-up belonging to Tesla co-founder Ian Wight, has landed its biggest order to date. It will deliver its heavy-duty range-extended electric powertrain retrofitting technology to New Zealand’s urban bus operator NZ. The deal is worth 30m dollars.
Romania ups incentives: Citizens and companies purchasing an all-electric car can now qualify for up to 6,000 euros in subsidies, including a scrappage fee. For hybrids, they can get as much as 5,000 euros. Moreover, Romania plans to financially support companies setting up EV infrastructure.
Charging from down below: Dutch company Streetplug has developed a clever charging system for electric vehicles that can be embedded in the ground. It is currently being tested in Venlo should become available from October for 2.600 euros.
Selling point: Gogoro has added supermarket chain Carrefour to the list of vendors of its electric two-wheeler in Taiwan. Customers can test drive and buy the Smartscooter at three Carrefour in Taipei, increasing the Gogoro’s selling network in the country to 15 locations.
BeeZero, Nissan, BMW, Romania, Mumbai, Tritium.
Fuel cells to share: Under the name BeeZero, German company Linde wants to offer carsharing with some 50 Hyundai iX35 in Munich from this summer. If successful, the scheme could be implemented in other cities, as well as include FCVs from different manufacturers.
No more CHAdeMO? Inside EVs found a Twitter conversation between emobility insider Chelsea Sexton and Barry Koval, Senior Project Engineer at Nissan Technical Center North America, that hints that Nissan could move away from the Japanese standard. As batteries get bigger, Koval says “CHAdeMO won’t work.”
BMW invests in mobility service: BMW i Ventures is investing in RideCell, a company offering mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) software solutions for i.e. car- and ridesharing that automates end-to-end business operations. This could mean BWM is not only moving forward with its DriveNow business, but also rumoured Uber competitor (we reported).
Romania update: As reported, German retailer Kaufland wants to install EV fast-chargers at some of its locations in the Eastern European country. The first of ten planned stations has no gone online. Moreover, Kaufland added 18 e-Golf to its fleet.
Electrifying Mumbai: The Indian city wants to add 25 to 30 all-electric buses to its fleet in the coming months, converting some if its diesel-buses to EVs. It already received a grant from the central government to fund its undertakings.
Queensland plugs in: The Australian University of Queensland has installed four Tritium fast-chargers. The latter are powered by the sun and are free of charge. All four fast-chargers have an output of 50 kW.
Romania, Ola, Uno-X, Z Energy, LightMotion.
Romanian incentives: The Eastern European country launched a 16.6m euro incentive scheme for plug-in hybrid and electric cars. Last year, 495 such vehicles were sold in Romania, where price as well as infrastructure are a problem. The latter might be eased by German discounter Kaufland that is installing EV chargers at some of its locations.
balkaninsight.com (incentives), romania-insider.com (infrastructure)
E-rickshaw via app: Indian transportation app Ola has added e-rickshaws to its platform. Users can book from a pool of 5,100 electric trikes in the Delhi region and the scheme is to be exported to smaller towns. The e-rickshaws are being deployed together with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC).
Nordic charging: Uno-X will install a hydrogen fuelling station in Norwegian Sandvika. The station includes on-site hydrogen production via solar power and is part of the plan to install 20 such pit stops in urban Norway by 2020.
Kiwi charging: Z Energy has installed the first fast-charger in Christchurch, New Zealand, as the oil company strives to transform itself into a transport firm. Over the following weeks, five more EV charging stations by Charge Net will be erected in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Smart street lamp: Dutch Lightwell and The New Motion present LightMotion, a street light that serves as EV charge point as well as a WiFi hub. Furthermore, the lantern features CCTV and sensors and is now in mass production.
Tesla, Japan, Tata Motors, Turkey, Romania, GLM.
Tesla earns perfect score: Consumer Reports has given Tesla’s Model S P85D a more than perfect score of 103 points on a 100-point scale, saying that the high-performance electric sedan broke CR’s ratings system and “performed better than any other car ever has.” The rating comes about two years after Consumer Reports gave the base version of the Model S a near perfect score of 99 points.
greencarreports.com, cnbc.com, consumerreports.org
Japan to extend EV incentives? The Japanese government is considering extending tax breaks for environmentally friendly vehicles by one year through the end of March 2017. Customers who purchase electric and hybrid cars by the end of March next year, could be given a tax break of between 50 and 75 percent in the following year, with the degree of tax breaks depending on fuel efficiency.
Range-extended EV from India? Tata Motors may launch its Megapixel car in January of next year. The Megapixel range-extended electric vehicle concept was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 and has four independent electric motors, powering each wheel.
Turkey pushes EV production: The Scientific and Technological Research Council has completed three prototypes of the planned electric and hybrid cars from Turkey, which will now be tested. A fourth prototype will be completed within the next few months.
EV subsidies in Romania: The Romanian government has increased voucher values for electric cars. Buyers of all-electric cars will now receive vouchers of 20,000 RON (5,071 dollars) instead of 12,000 RON, while plug-in hybrid cars will benefit from a 5,000 RON subsidy (1,268 dollars).
GLM closes new funding round: Japanese Green Lord Motors (GLM) says it has raised 1.7bn yen (14m dollars) for its Tommykaira ZZ electric sports car. The investment will be used to expand domestic sales operations and to develop a left-hand drive version for foreign markets.
japantimes.co.jp, techinasia.com, businessgreen.com
Toyota, Borgward, Honda, Australia, Romania.
Billions for fuel cells: Toyota plans to replace 500 billion yen (4.2 billion dollars) of common equity with unlisted shares that have transfer restrictions. The aim is to secure long-term funding for the development of new technologies including fuel cell cars. Trading is restricted for a period of five years. After that, investors will have the option to sell the shares back or to convert them into common stock.
Borgward spy shots: German Auto Bild shows first spy shots of the Borgward compact SUV scheduled for launch at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The brand plans to issue the model as a plug-in hybrid with a 50-km electric range as well.
autobild.de (in German)
Electric AWD Honda: The Japanese carmaker might make it to Pikes Peak this year with a whole new prototype of a revamped CR-Z, Motoring quotes inside sources. The Pikes Peak CR-Z would enter the competition with four electric motors but the AWD is not likely to make into serial production.
Australia to be left deserted: Although Toyota now started production of the facelifted Camry and Camry Hybrid at its Australian plant, it will cease operations at the facility by 2017. Chevy too is calling it a day in Oz as the new Holden Volt will not be offered there due to low demand but also because the next-gen Volt will not be built as a right-hand drive at all.
automotive-business-review.com (Toyota), motoring.com.au (GM)
Romania to electrify: The Ministry of Environment proposed a scheme that could see the introduction of ‘Eco Vouchers’ worth up to 6,500 euros for the purchase of EVs. Additionally, up to 10,000 EV charging spots could be installed in Romania over the coming years.