Germany’s electric highway project Elisa is experiencing delays. Five cantenary trucks i.e with overhead current collectors are to collect data on the A5 in order to sound out the opportunities for tomorrow’s freight traffic. Less than five months after the start of the project, only two trucks are in operation.
Volkswagen’s Swedish commercial vehicle brand Scania has apparently signed a contract with the Swedish company Northvolt to supply battery cells for electric vehicles. The supply volume of the contract is not known.
Scania and Scandinavian public transport operator Nobina have started preparations for a trial with fully autonomous electric buses to begin in 2020. Two Scania Citywide LF electric buses will be tested on a stretch of regular road in Stockholm.
Scania is developing a fuel cell refuse truck together with Renova, a waste handling company in Sweden. The truck will feature a fully electrified powertrain as well as an electrified compactor. Supported by government agencies, Scania set delivery for 2019/20.
Following in the footsteps of Sweden and Germany, Italy will now also convert a section of their roads to a so-called e-highway with overhead cables for electrified trucks. They will also be testing the hybrid truck from Scania with overhead current collectors on the stretch of the A35.
Scania is planning on presenting their new plug-in hybrid truck at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, and has announced that the HEV version without a plug will likely be presented in November, before they open the books next year.
Carmakers Volvo and Volkswagen’s Scania together with the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), and Chalmers University of Technology are establishing a testbed for electric mobility. With funding from the Swedish government the investment totals one billion krona (about 96M euro).
Works have started on one of three eHighway projects in Germany. Led by Siemens, the track along the A1 motorway will enable hybrid trucks to charge while in motion via overhead wire. The pilot set to start in mid-2019 will receive power from renewable energy sources.
The German environmental ministry has given the green light for the eHighway pilot to look further into the electrification of long distance hauling trucks via pantograph. Project partners are Siemens and Volkswagen.
Following successful trials, Scania is ready to deploy its first electric bus. Three units of the all-electric Citywide will start their service in the Swedish town of Östersund from mid-March on a 15 kilometre route.
Northvolt has found a new backer for setting up a battery cell production pilot plant. The Swedish Energy Agency will support the demonstration line, Northvolt Labs, in Västerås with a grant of SEK 146m. The new line precedes a planned Swedish Gigafactory.
Volkswagen’s Scania has joint Haylion to develop autonomous and electrified vehicles. Haylion Technologies focuses on solutions for the Chinese transport industry and the common aim is to commercialise autonomous vehicles and sustainable transport.
InEVit integrates into SF Motors: The start-up led by Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard now nestles under the wings of SF Motors, where Eberhard had been a consultant. His InEVit will continue to operate as a standalone tech firm but as a subsidiary of the Californian EV unit of China’s Sokon Industry Group. At the core of InEVit’s business is and will remain the design of chassis for electric cars as well battery modules and production techniques with the goal to scale up EVs quickly. In the new company, Eberhard will take the role of Chief Innovation Officer and vice chairman of the board. reuters.com, electrek.co
Ampera-e sold out in Norway: Opel had to stop accepting orders for the European version of the Chevy Bolt in Norway as demand surpassed supply. Opel has received 5,000 orders from Norwegians alone and has delivered only 1,000 units by now. Rather than building on the backlash, the Germans say they want to fulfil existing reservations first. Still there are fears that the supply may dry up entirely since GM sold its European operation to PSA. electrek.co, tek.no (in Norwegian)
Audi presents new A7: Audi’s latest four door coupé has been launched as A7 Sportback and will hit the shelves by February next year. Motor options include a novel mild-hybrid system but it remains unclear, if the A7 will be offered with the PHEV system from the A8 at a later date. greencarcongress.com, autocar.co.uk, audi-mediacenter.com
A more utilitarian hybrid comes from Mercedes in the form of the Citaro currently at display at the Busworld in Belgium. The hybrid powertrain is an option for most model variants of the city bus and mainly adds its 14 kW strong electric hand at times when high levels of power are required. greencarcongress.com, media.daimler.com
More electric bus business: Scania brought the all-electric Citywide to Belgian Kortrijk and wants to launch sales next year. At the same time, the Interlink series now features a hybrid option. greencarcongress.com, scania.com
Formula E is covered: Eurosport has extended its existing partnership with the electric racing series by another three years and will broadcast all 14 races. The new season is to start in Rome on April, 14, 2018 and the Formula E just released the track map. sportbusiness.com, electricautosport.com (Rome)
Paris – Amsterdam in 30 min? Europe shall see the first Hyperloop by 2021 if plans by Hardt Global Mobility come to pass. The Dutch start-up had won the Hyperloop competition and has since completed a first test track with backing from the Technical University of Delft, Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen, and construction company BAM. The real thing shall start within the next 4 years and could reduce travel time between the Dutch and French capital to 30 minutes. thenextweb.com
Norwegian dreams: The ‘Future of the Fjords’ is an all-electric ferry destined to move in and out the cliffs from April next year. Two 300 kW motors powers the catamaran currently under construction. Upon completion it will be able to carry 400 passengers at 16 knots. thelocal.no
Ballard convinces China: A new bulk order from Chinese Broad-Ocean has been received in Canada. The contract is worth 18m dollars for Ballard and includes fuel cell systems to electrify buses and trucks. The first part of the order had already been received last February, when the partners agreed on 200 FCVeloCity system. Now, another 400 will follow. greencarcongress.com, newswire.ca
More hydrogen truck news reach us from Scania who scored a (much smaller) contract with Asko from Norway. The grocer now officially ordered four trucks with HyPM-HD90 system, which will be tested on routes over 500 km (we reported). greencarcongress.com, globenewswire.com
E-mobility goes commercial: Daimler unveiled the Urban e-Truck at the IAA, which can cruise electrically with up to 26t of load on board. Also on display is the third generation Fuso eCanter, which will be launched in a small series by 2017. A year later, Daimler says it will put fully electric buses based on the Citaro into serial production. They will be joined by another fully electric transporter. automotiveworld.com, daimler.com
More electric commercial vehicles were presented by MAN and Scania in Hanover. MAN’s Lion’s City bendy bus, a study in modular systems, was presented next to the TGE electric truck. An electric bus is to hit the production lines already this year. On display at Scania are both a hybrid truck and bus. volkswagen-media-services.com, corporate.man.eu (MAN details)
It is Volkswagen’s eCrafter concept, however, that stole the show at the IAA. The transporter boast a 100 kW power output and a 43 kWh battery pack for about 200 km range. Production of the eCrafter is scheduled to begin by mid-2017 but the number will be limited at first. carscoops.com, automotiveworld.com
Compact H2 bus: Hyundai debuted its H350 Fuel Cell Concept. The hydrogen shuttle is said to last for more than 400 km with a 100 kW power output bringing it up to speed of 150 kph. It has room for 14 passengers but when it could go into service remains unknown. hyundai.news
Audi Q5 almost there: Amidst all the IAA noise, Audi teases its new Q5 set to premier at the Paris Motor Show. A plug-in hybrid variant is a given with an electric version rumoured at least. autocar.co.uk
Dyson EV ever more likely: Hoover maker Dyson is feeding rumours around an upcoming electric car. The British family firm hired Ian Minards, formerly responsible for product development at Aston Martin, to continue his profession at Dyson. autocar.co.uk
LG does business in Iran: LG International Corp. has signed a tentative agreement with the Iranian government to help develop electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the country. According to local media, the deal includes the development of 20 EVs for manufacturer Iran Khodro by 2018, as well as to set up charging stations in Tehran and produce a total of 60,000 EVs by 2023. mehrnews.com, greencarcongress.com
Apple invests in ride service: Apple has invested 1bn dollars in Chinese Uber competitor, Didi. Apple will help build up the platform, which already services 11m riders a day. Moreover, if Apple is already working with Didi on an IT level, it could make sense for them to include the iCar in its fleet once it hits road. bloomberg.com,hybridcars.com
Powered by the sun: Peugeot Design Lab has designed a solar energy charging station for EVs, called the DRIVECO Parasol. The wooden structure is fitted with 88 solar panels and Li-ion batteries to store extra energy. Up to seven vehicles can charger there simultaneously. Paris has already commissioned one DRIVECO Parasol, and Ajaccio will likely commission another. automotive-business-review.com
Delivery for Madrid: Volkswagen Group’s Scania will begin delivering 51 hybrid buses to Madrid starting in June. The buses meet EU suburban and short distance Class II regulations and will be used by seven operators, including Alsa, Samar, Avanza, and DBlas. greencarcongress.com
Swedish hybrid truck: Scania developed a 18-ton hybrid truck combining electric and biodiesel operation. It can drive solely on electric power for up to two kilometres and could thus decrease noise at night or early dawn when making deliveries in urban areas. scania.com
Delivery drone: Workhorse Group and the University of Cincinnati have obtained permission by the FAA to test their jointly developed electric unmanned aerial vehicle. The HorseFly drone reportedly is to support drivers of electric trucks with their deliveries. bizjournals.com, ttnews.com
Fuel cell flight: German Aerospace Center (DLR) is developing a four-passenger plane powered by a hydrogen fuel cell battery system. The HY4’s electric motor has an output of 80 kW. Depending on velocity, altitude and load, a range between 466 to 932 miles is possible. It could take flight by mid-2016. greencarcongress.com
Converted school bus: Adomani and A-Z Bus Sales agreed to partner in the conversion of electric and hybrid school buses. A-Z is to handle distribution and service of the electrified vehicles. stnonline.com, prweb.com
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the demonstration of the next level of fast-charging as CharIn showcased CSS charging technology and vehicles with 150-kW. charinev.org
Swedish eHighway: Siemens and Scania will conduct a joint demonstration project of a catenary system for hybrid trucks. The contract was awarded by the Swedish Transport Administration to the County Council of Gävleborg and means the electrification of a two-kilometer stretch of the E16 highway north of Stockholm. The core of the system is a pantograph which hooks up to the catenary system and disconnects automatically at speeds of up to 90 km/h. Two hybrid trucks by Scania will be used in the demonstration phase. siemens.com
EU aims for more range: The project JOSPEL is set to develop a novel energy efficient climate control system for electric cars to help reduce the energy used for passenger comfort by at least 50 percent. The project is funded with 6.7 million euros through EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. greencarcongress.com, europa.eu
Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, together with ETH Zürich and road sweeper manufacturer Bucher Municipal have developed a natural gas-electric hybrid powertrain for road sweepers. Compared to conventional sweepers, the energy consumption has been halved. A concept study to investigate possible commercialisation is currently under development. empa.ch
New magnet: Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University were able to synthesize a powerful new magnetic material that could replace rare earth magnets. The new material consists of nanoparticles containing iron, cobalt and carbon atoms with a magnetic domain size of roughly five nanometers. greencarcongress.com, vcu.edu
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the report by German WirtschaftsWoche on BMW allegedly planning an all-electric SUV to take on the Tesla Model X.
Scania to charge inductively: Together with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Scania will be testing a plug-in hybrid bus in the Swedish city of Södertälje from June 2016. The bus is based on the Scania Citywide and will be charged inductively at a bus stop. greencarcongress.com, scania.com
Autonomous electric ATV: Rogue Rovers from Oregon has completed a prototype of an autonomous EV which could be used in agriculture to i.e. apply pesticides without a human driver. Potential customers could start testing the electric ATV by January. bizjournals.com
Supercap investment: Lomiko Metals will invest in a new venture named Graphene Energy Storage Devices. Graphene ESD has been formed to commercialize graphene-based supercapacitor technology. digitaljournal.com, greencarcongress.com
Lithium-Sulfur research: Researchers from Cambridge and Beijing have devised a three-dimensional hierarchical sandwich-type graphene sheet sulfur/carbon composite to address performance-related issues in Lithium-sulfur batteries such as low efficiency and capacity degradation. greencarcongress.com, alphagalileo.org
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was the new electric mini bus service that now travels through the Old Town of Geneva, Switzerland. thelocal.ch
Scania shows hybrid powertrain: The Swedish manufacturer will present the technology integrated in its new hybrid bus, the Scania Citywide, at the IAA in Hanover in September. The company will also show an updated version of its Eco-roll technology, which lets the vehicle determine whether to roll down hill in neutral gear and with an idle engine. greencarcongress.com, scania.com
ElringKlinger takes over 75% of the fuel cell specialist New Enerday. Their solid oxide fuel cell systems generate electrical energy directly from fossil fuels such as natural gas, LPG, bioethanol or diesel. The unites are intended for the on-board power supply of boats and recreational and commercial vehicles. The deal is said to be finalised in the third Quarter of 2014. elringklinger.de
Bodo looks west: Chinese EV-maker Bodo Electric Vehicle Group wants to bring its e-bike brand “Rank” to Europe. A warning shot for local manufacturers, since Bodo can produce up to three million electric two- and three-wheelers at its four manufacturing sites. bike-eu.com
Tesla priced at 81,070 dollars in China: Add to that shipping and handling as well as local taxes and VAT, and the price tag reads 121,370 dollars. That is not including any option. And one option that is not available in China yet, is an on-board GPS, since Google Maps is not supported there. The carmaker says it is working on a solution to come later this year. chinaev.wordpress.com
Driving the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: It is an SUV “to silence the SUV-bashers,” says The Green Car Website, while it is currently “the only option for guilt-free SUV ownership.” Overall, the verdict on the vehicles performance is positive. And also the price convinced the driver, saying that “the heavy premium usually associated with hybrids is a thing of the past.” thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
Scania tests electric trucks: The Swedish carmaker is trying out different methods of charging with electric trucks. At the Siemens test track in Groß Dölln, Germany, the EV is charged conductively via pantograph and overhead wires, while in Mannheim, Germany, Bombardier installed a 200 kW-inductive charging system. scania.com
Connected, urban & electric: AKKA technologies unveiled its link&go 2.0 platform in Geneva earlier this month. The electric car is a concept of an autonomous-driving car which is connected to the cloud and social media platforms to encourage car pooling. designboom.com
The ultimate e-bike? American manufacturer M55 claims to have built the fastest electric bike to date. The ‘Terminus’ features a 2,000 Watt motor that can bring a pedaling rider up to a speed of 75 mph. The battery is said to last for 50 miles and to be 80% charged in just an hour. The price for the Terminus starts at 27,000 euros (38,000 dollars). cleantechnica.com, youtube.com (video)
French research institute: The French VeDeCoM Institute announced its launch as ‘Energy Transition Institute.’ It will look at new transport in terms of electrification, connectivity and user-vehicle relationships. PSA and Renault are among the ten founding members. ifpenergiesnouvelles.com, greencarcongress.com