Honda, Lynk & Co, Bosch, Formula E, Sevcon, Alpine.
Honda’s hybrid from October: Tokyo will see the premier of Honda’s dedicated hybrid this autumn at the Motor Show before sales will start by 2018. It marks a reload of the company’s electrification efforts, that got off to an early start in 1999 with the Insight but have been rather lame in the years between. However, Honda is working on a long-range EV as well and got the Clarity left, after discontinuing both the Fit EV and the Insight. It can be hoped for the coming standalone hybrid to venture a bit further from mainstream to appeal. Details and most of all images are scarce but Honda did say it wants to settle production in the States.
Model 2: Geely’s dedicated electric brand Lynk & Co is about to unveil its third model. It sits between the SUV simply dubbed 01 and the sedan 03 so consequently no. 02 will be a crossover. The 01 SUV is set for launch before the year’s end in China before Europe and the USA will follow by mid-2019.
Bosch eBike Systems ventures into the land of pedelec pioneers Yamaha and Panasonic and wants to introduce its electric bicycle offering at the Tokyo Motor Show this autumn. Japan is the third presence in the Asia-Pacific region for Bosch after Australia and New Zealand. The chosen local service partner is Intertec and only the Active Line Plus qualifies for Japanese e-bike regulation as well as a market that traditionally values comfort over peak performance.
Formula E in NYC: Sam Bird from team DS Virgin Racing scored a double victory at the New York ePrix, making him the second driver to ever win a double-header Formula E event. Championship leader Sebastien Buemi was absent due to his clashing commitment for the WEC.
electricautosport.com, electriccarsreport.com, youtube.com (highlights race 1), youtube.com (race 2)
BorgWarner to swallow Sevcon: British maker of components for electrified vehicles aka Sevcon is about to be acquired by BorgWarner for 200m dollars allegedly. The merger has definitely been agreed and may be completed this year if all shareholders agree.
The SUV flood is about to swamp even Renault’s sports label Alpine comes 2019. At least, a PHEV and possibly EV variant is likely as well, Autoexpress suggests.
Reading tip: Since China announced subsidies for EV makers, suppliers are being overrun with often dubious inquiries. Sevcon has found a way to single out who to do business with: firms must have been building vehicles for 10 years and are working on eligible EVs that travel at least 62 miles.
Video tip: The Model S has been reviewed countless times but this “Ghetto Tesla Review” is truly different. Less rough than its name suggests but much funnier rather, it definitely got hustler potential.
Volkswagen, General Motors, Porsche, Qoros, Sevcon, Apple.
Electric statement: Volkswagen’s rumoured economy EV is becoming more concrete. Engineers are working on a dedicated electric car of the likes of the BMW i3. It will be the first to serially use the MEB platform, boast a range of more than 500 km (311 miles) and connectivity features, and most likely launch by 2019. VW CEO Müller has promised 20 electric or plug-in hybrid cars in the line-up by 2020.
Sharing to earn: General Motors considers sharing the Volt’s powertrain technology with other carmakers. A licensing model could create a win-win situation, as it enables smaller companies to electrify, while GM itself hopes to put some development cost of the Voltec system back its pockets.
Mission E launch: Porsche has started development of its electric model under the official codename J1. The all-electric sports car is due by 2020. The team is headed by Stefan Weckbach.
Qoros en route to electrification: The Chinese will present an electric car at the Auto China this April. Based on the Qoros 5, the model is set to enter the Chinese market as EV or PHEV in the coming 12 to 18 months. Meanwhile, the firm plans to open an R&D centre in Israel to build an electric smart car.
Controller meets charger: British Sevcon, maker of motor controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles, has acquired Italian Bassi. The latter manufactures fast-charging technology, which Sevcon thinks is “highly complementary” to its own products and will eliminate interoperability issues.
Employee poaching: Another Apple employee makes a move for Tesla, as Andrew Graham joins the Autopilot developers to add his sensor expertise. Graham follows Jim Keller who recently took the job as vice-president for autonomous hardware development.
LISSEN, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Alpha, Sevcon.
Energy density tripled: The EU-funded LISSEN project has developed a Li-S battery that offers three times higher energy density, enabling increased driving ranges for electric cars. The battery consists of a silicon-carbon composite anode and a nano-structured lithium sulphide-carbon composite cathode. Prototypes are undergoing further testing, while LISSEN’s industrial partners are looking into scalability and fabrication.
cordis.europa.eu, lissen.eu (partners)
Regaining rare earth: Two researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute developed a process to recover about 80 percent of rare earth materials from motors of electric and hybrid cars. They applied green chemistry principles and WPI has patented the technology provisionally while looking for licensees.
Fuel cell e-bike: The world’s first production hydrogen pedelec comes from France. The Alpha electric bike has a range of 100km but must be charged at H2 stations. Still, the French post office is considering buying them for its fleet. The first 100 units are to hit the road by 2016.
New motor controller: British automotive supplier Sevcon presents its new Gen5-series of AC controller for electric and hybrid vehicles. The on-road controller is currently being tested by 12 vehicle manufacturers, and will become available in early 2016.
Volvo, Sevcon, Cobi.
Volvo to downsize: The Swedish brand is developing a new three-cylinder petrol engine which can develop up to 180 hp, to be added to its Drive-E range. The new engine will be applied to the 40 and 60 series and could easily be used for plug-in hybrid variants as well.
Asian hybrids with UK controllers: British supplier Sevcon has signed an agreement with an unnamed carmaker from South-East Asia. The latter is to use controllers from Sevcon for a new line of hybrid 4-door sedans.
Connected Bike: German iCradle has come up with a device called Cobi which integrates all sorts of bike technologies like navigation or fitness applications in a smartphone which can be locked and charged on the handlebar. The company is looking for funding and the system also integrates well with e-bikes, namely their batteries.
kickstarter.com (campaign) via green.wiwo.de (in German)
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was our “Short circuit” showing the Dojo Pioneer, an Aston Martin Cygnet copycat from China.
Audi, Toyota/BMW, Mahindra, Chevrolet, Nissan, Sevcon, Aichi.
Audi taking on electric cars? German Autobild reports, the carmaker is working on a fully electric Audi Q6 with a said range of 700 kilometres to take on Tesla by 2017. Only a year later, an all new A2Q might follow with a 500-kilometre range to be pitched against BMW’s i3. The Audi EVs will be based on VW’s modular vehicle platform (MQB) but feature an independent design. E-xciting times ahead!
autobild.de (in German)
Toyota-BMW collaboration: The two manufacturers have been developing their joint sports car for two years and slowly it is taking shape. By 2017, Toyota will offer it as the Supra plug-in hybrid with three electric drives while the BMW version will succeed the Z4, possibly as Z5, and might feature a different drive.
Mahindra e2o line to be expanded: Mahindra is adding two new variants of its electric car. The T2O is equipped with power steering is already being offered online. Furthermore, a four-door version of the e2o to provide easier access to the backseats is under development.
Volt scores while Leaf crashes poorly: The ‘small overlap frontal crash test’ of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ended with an “acceptable” rating for Chevy’s Volt. The Nissan Leaf, however, got a “poor” with risks of injury for the driver but scored a “good” rating overall.
insideevs.com, transportevolved.com, iihs.org (with Video)
Six millions for Sevcon: The EV technology firm is asking its shareholders for 6 million pounds (10m dollars). The money is to expand the business by doubling the number of engineers to 80 and to recruit more Sevcon sales personnel globally.
Up to 30,000 dollars in incentives is what buyers of Toyota’s upcoming FCV might claim in the Japanese Aichi prefecture. If plans go ahead, one third would be coming from the municipality itself, while the other 20,000 is granted by the State of Japan (we reported).