Smart, Detroit Electric, Chery, China, Pirelli.
Smart envisions a shared future as it reveals the Vision EQ Fortwo, an electric model in line with Daimler’s strategy to grow Car2Go massively until 2030. Level 5 autonomy and connectivity shall make the concept fit for a time when EVs collect passengers from any location and Smart says one of its small cars is hired every 1.4 seconds around the world already. The brand thus predicts car-sharing will increase fivefold by 2025 to more than 36.7m customers. For now, the Vision EQ Fortwo carries a rear-mounted electric motor and 30kWh lithium-ion battery for a range of around 300km.
autocar.co.uk, electrek.co, autoblog.com
Detroit Electric EV family: The revived brand wants to build a whole range of electric cars with the help of Chinese Far East Smarter Energy Group that poured 1.8bn into the firm based in Britain recently. The new EVs will be presented at the Cenex Low Carbon Conference but shall go into production over the next three years in both China and the UK. They will join the SP:01 electric sports car.
autocar.co.uk, greencarcongress.com, insideevs.com
Chery too is working on a whole line-up of electrified cars reportedly and has revealed the design of the founding father or mother. The electric SUV is scheduled to go on stage at the IAA and marks the start of the new model line.
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EV sales quota delay? Shortly before the due date, it looks as if Beijing is giving in to pressure to soften its EV sales quota. Reuters quotes four insiders, all saying the 8 percent bar may fall but only to be implemented a year later, by 2019. A final decision will be made within days or weeks.
Special tires for Fisker: Pirelli will develop the tires for Fisker’s EMotion Electric Vehicle and promises low rolling resistance and comfort due to tall sidewalls. Produced in Georgia, USA, they will be ready in time for the EMotion launch in late 2019.
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BMW i3 Update, Ford, Smart, Sono Motors, Dethleffs, Renault.
Sneak Preview: BMW presents the i3 and its sporty brother i3s on our German edition electrive.net before it will go on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The i3s will offer 10 kW more output and the Bavarians got a few more updates in stock.
electrive.net (all infos and pictures)
Ford under pressure in China: The American carmaker needs an electric car JV in China urgently, if it is to keep in line with the upcoming EV sales quota, and so Ford is speaking to three potential partners, apparently at the same time. With two of them, Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors, Ford already has alliances but in terms of producing electric cars together, no agreement has been reached yet, China Daily learnt. Seen in this light, the MoU Ford signed with Zotye could be no more than a maneuver to take some pressure out of the negotiations with the other parties. In any case, the Ford-Zoyte joint venture will expire if they do not sign a definitive agreement by the end of the year.
Sono Motors seeks investment: The Munich-based start-up has turned to Seedrs and Wiwin for new investors to provide providing debt or equity. The plan is to start building their solar-powered minivan Sion from 2018 that shall sell from 16,000 euros, excluding the battery.
Electric mobile home: Dethleffs has made a motorhome that drives electric and presents its e.home concept at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. Its base is the classic Iveco Daily Electric but with an 80 kW electric drive. Power comes from various sources including supercaps and ultra-thin solar cells. The main battery is made from Sodium Nickel Chloride and runs all onboard amenities.
The electric Twingo remains an option it seems. Renault UK’s Vincent Tourette told Autocar that the French would be ready, “when demand is there” and that the compact car had been built with electrification in mind.
Audi shuffles its board: Following diesel gate, Audi has appointed four new board members to take care of finance, distribution, production, and HR from September. CEO Rupert Stadler however will remain at his desk despite allegations of his involvement in the emission fraud.
Hyundai, Audi, Future Mobility, Mercedes, Mazda, Smart
Hyundai’s new FCV: The Koreans have presented their latest fuel cell SUV in Seoul, which will hit the shelves by 2018. The FCV comes with 120kW while range is given at 580 kilometres. In total, Hyundai and Kia have lined up 31 electrified models until 2020 – eight all-electric ones, eleven PHEV, two FCV as well as ten simple hybrids.
koreaherald.com, koreatimes.co.kr, paultan.org
Audi is running the e-Tron for real as these first spy shots from testing reveal. Launch is set for 2018 and the electric SUV will be the German carmakers first attempt to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model X or Jaguar I-Pace. The e-Tron range is said to be 500 kilometres.
200m dollars for Future Mobility: A start-up led by former BMWi Manager Carsten Breitfeld and already backed by Foxconn and Tencent has generated another 200m dollars in a new round of funding. Future Mobility Corp (FMC) wants to use the money for R&D mainly and has scheduled its first model, an SUV, for next year’s CES. Once it launches by 2019, it is to cost 300,000 Yuan (45.000 dollars) and FMC plans two more models until 2022.
Mercedes’ diesel scrappage scheme is now available to buyers in the UK. Those willing to swap their old diesel guzzler for a hybrid or even the new electric Smart will receive a 1,000 (Smart) or 2,000 pounds throughout 2017.
Mazda cleans its act: Mazda is working on new petrol engines labelled Skyactiv-X, which are supposedly more fuel efficient. Comes 2021, the motor may also work in combination with an electric drive, Autocar learnt. An all-electric Mazda model may hit the road even sooner though, 2019 that is, and it may include a range extender too.
The New Smart ED is off to a rough start in the States as the EPA gave it a range of a combined 58 miles only. That is 10 miles less than the previous Smart Fortwo Electric Drive despite the battery having stayed the same. So it must be an issue related to weight and/or aerodynamics.
Are you tough enough?
This Smart campaign got it all – a story, a puppy, and a chance for change. But the stakes are high in Daimler’s “Carsino” where you can press your gas guzzler into a dice of junk for the chance to win a Smart ED. And those not so lucky ones, they still got that doggy.
youtube.com (puppy love), daimler.com
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EU-Quota, Smart, Volkswagen, Tesla, Hyundai, Renault.
EU electric quota this year? The EU commission is about to introduce EV sales quota among a new set of rules to reduce CO2 emissions from transport, sources around EU Energy Commissioner’s Maroš Šefčovič’s cabinet table said. New proposals could be introduced before the year’s end and while no details have been given yet, it is at least likely the EU will take China’s spirit as an example. There, the announcement of an 8-percent sales quota had both the industry and policy makers on alert and ultimately showed some effect early on.
energate-messenger.de (in German)
Smart in Germany solely electrified? Daimler wants to offer its next-gen Smart as ED version only, Manager Magazin has learnt. Due by 2020 or 2021, the conventional Smarts would prove a burden to the carmaker’s CO2 balance in Germany. In the States however, the shift towards all-electric power is about to be made this September already.
manager-magazin.de (in German)
Two more I.D. models: It looks like Volkswagen may launch five rather than three electric models sharing the MEB platform between 2019 and 2022, a photo suggests. Beside the well-known I.D., I.D. Cross and I.D. Buzz, the picture of unclear origin shows the introduction of two further models called I.D. Lounge und I.D. Aero. The latter shall target the market in China and the States.
groen7.nl via carscoops.com, motor1.com
Tesla confirms talks with China: The EV maker and Shanghai are negotiating about a production plant Tesla would like to erect in an industrial area next by. Nothing is fixed yet, despite recent media reports, and Tesla said details about its China production plans will not be published before the year’s end.
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV pricing: The Ioniq exists in three versions with the latest line-up extension being the PHEV that German dealers offer from 26,615 euros including the federal incentive. The Ioniq PHEV can drive electrically for about 63 km.
auto-medienportal.net, motorzeitung.de (in German)
Kangoo Z.E. reaches wider: After having presented the new Kangoo Z.E., Renault publishes further details about its wide-reaching model. Its heart is a 44 kW electric motor and a 33 kWh battery that increases the car’s range from 170 to 270 km (NEFZ). Also new is the AC charger with 7 instead of 3.7 kW.
electriccarsreport.com, greencarcongress.com, media.renault.com
Supercharger, Porsche, CHJ, Smart, Cadillac, Adomani.
Tesla delays deadline: Supercharger use will remain free for all customers buying a Model X or S through December, 31. This is the third delay of a change in policy that will see Tesla charging customers for using their network once their use exceeds 400 kWh. This latest move is likely to prevent potential buyers from waiting for the Model 3 rather than buying a Model S or X now. After all, free supercharging for a lifetime is a good argument for those that can afford the premium price.
teslamag.de, electrek.co, teslarati.com
Porsche has got an eye on the Formula E with a top tier management delegation having met FE CEO Alejandro Agag at the ePrix in Monaco and later in Berlin. Chances depend on technical rules like the car swap but also Porsche’s final decision on the WEC that is currently under revision.
Cheap commuter EV: Chinese start-up CHJ plans to enter the new energy vehicle market with a targeted approach. Its first micro EV model aims at commuters and shall hit the shelves by March 2019 already with exchangeable batteries. As a mobility device mainly, the price is set at a low 7,000 – 8,000 euros, thus placing it in competitive range of electric scooters. CHJ’s main market is China but the firm did not rule out a launch in Europe, only here the compact EV would serve in ride sharing offers.
Talking small electric cars, Smart has announced UK prices for its ED range. The Fortwo model starts from 16,420 pounds, while the Forfour will cost about 500 pounds more with 16,915 GBP. Finally, the Fortwo Cabriolet is the top of the three, starting from 18,650 pounds, all after the 4,500 GBP incentive.
Cadillac XT4 PHEV? New spy shots of Cadillac’s XT4 hints at what may be a charge connector under heavy disguise. It would make sense, given that the Cadillac CT6 is already available as a plug-in hybrid. The XT4 is set to debut by mid-2018.
Close to 10m dollars worth of finance has been gathered for retrofit hybrid and electric buses or trucks by Adomani. The company has just gone public and sold more than 2.5m shares at 5 dollars each, amounting to 9.2m dollars in its IPO. Adomani is now listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ADOM.
Denza, Skoda, Audi, Jaguar, Smart.
Cash injection: Daimler and BYD both want to invest 500m yuan (72.6m dollars) into their indebted EV joint venture in China. Shenzhen Denza New Energy Automotive Co. will thus recapitalise to 3.36bn yuan, up from 2.36bn in order to strengthen its brand and distribution. To date, Denza has failed to turn a profit since its first and only jointly developed EV hit the market in 2014. Since then, BYD and Daimler increased the range to 400 km last year but apparently to little avail.
Electric super Skoda? Volkswagen’s Czech subsidiary is eyeing a sports EV, Auto Express reports. It will fit into the planned line-up of no less than five electric cars by Skoda although it will be most likely be the last in line by 2025. All electric Skoda will utilise VW’s MEB platform.
Austria is next for Audi after the brand opened its order books for the e-tron quattro in Norway first. Alpinist may pay a 1,000 euros to secure their place on the waiting list. A launch is only due by the end of next year, although a concept appeared as early as 2015. Audi told electrive.net about its plans to add an 11 kW on-board charger to charge the 95 kWh battery that is to last for about 500 km.
electrive.net (in German)
Jaguar I-Pace is making the rounds in Monaco where the brand’s first EV was caught bare. More revelations had to be made by Jaguar CEO Ian Callum on Twitter, where he admitted the I-Pace’s inability to tow a trailer unlike its opponent the Tesla Model X.
electrek.co (images), insideevs.com (trailer)
U.S. pricing Smart ED: The next-gen Smart for two ED will be 1,200 dollars cheaper than its predecessor. Prices start from 23,800 dollars in the USA , where sales are to begin this summer.
Nissan, Nio, Detroit Electric, Smart, Berlin, Alstom, NTL.
New Leaf on sale in 2017: Nissan will launch the 2018 Leaf this September with sales opening before the year’s end. Owners whose lease is about to end will receive an offer to extend the lease for up to three month free of charge until the launch of the next-gen EV. Specifications however, are yet to be delivered but a 60 kWh battery is certain.
Nio reveals self-driving EV: Nio, formerly known as Next EV and for its electric hyper car EP9, has brought an electric and autonomous car to the SXSW conference. The Nio Eve is primarily a vision but parts may make it into mass produced autonomous EVs in the States by 2020.
electrek.co, forbes.com, nio.io
1.8bn for Detroit Electric: Chinese Far East Smarter Energy Group poured 1.8bn dollars in the EV maker. 370m were earmarked for Europe alone, where the electric roadster SP:01 is to be build in England. Next in the pipeline is an electric SUV (2018) and an electric sedan before the decade’s end.
greencarcongress.com, electrek.co, autocar.co.uk
The order books opened for the new electric Smart range. Prices for the Fortwo and Forfour ED start at 21,940 and 22,600 euros respectively before incentives. Deliveries are set to begin in June.
Berlin will replace Brussels in the Formula E and will thus host a double-header ePrix this summer. The Berlin ePrix will take place at the former Tempelhof Airport as before but the track layout has been completely redesigned.
eBus based on tram design: Alstom and NTL presented a prototype of the Aptis electric bus. Its design borrows from streetcars with equipment including a pantograph for charging mounted on the roof. The 12m EV offers space for up to 95 passengers. Power output is at 180 kW and top speed 70 kph. Aptis shall be tested from April in and around Paris.
Smart Fortwo ED, Mercedes.
Video tip: Autogefühl is German for “auto feeling” and a show that reviewed the Smart Fortwo ED. Over 27 min they come to the conclusion that the little EV is indeed tiny but a lot of fun in a town.
youtube.com via insideevs.com
Reading tip: Mercedes proves a pioneer in utility vehicle electrification with this electric van that debuted 45 years ago. The LE 306 electric van was not only a concept but was used during the 1972 Olympic Games under the slogan: “Mercedes-Benz – eco-friendly thanks to electric drive.”
Smart, Seat, Range Rover, Ferrari, Honda.
Smart ED details: Daimler has revealed it all, technology and accessories of the electric versions of the Smart Fortwo and Smart Forfour, which will be available from March, 10. Prices start at 21,940 and 22,600 euros before incentives. The new Smart Fortwo ED convertible will hit the market this summer, while autumn will see the introduction of fast-charging at 22 kW.
Seat is moving swiftly on electrification as it plans to present an EV prototype at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next Monday. The electric model that may be a Mii shall serve in a car sharing pilot project for Seat employees in the Catalan capital.
Range Rover PHEV(s) in Geneva: Jaguar Land Rover published the first official picture that shows the Range Rover Velar SUV due to debut at the Geneva Auto Show. A plug-in hybrid variant is likely. Not official but photos nonetheless emerged of the Range Rover PHEV that will go on sale next year.
autocar.co.uk (Velar), autocar.co.uk (Range Rover PHEV)
LaFerrari special edition? Patent drawings hint at an anniversary model, created by Ferrari’s Special Projects division. It primed the familiar LaFerrari shape but with futuristic styling elements such as thin headlights and larger air intakes.
Electric Ariel Atom: Honda filed a patent for a minimalistic sports car that resembles the 2015 concept Ariel Atom. It looks as if the racer will have an electric drive.
Chrysler, Renault, Lexus, France, Smart, UK.
Electric Chrysler in Vegas? Insiders apparently told Bloomberg that Chrysler will show an all-electric car based on the Pacifica (which is already available as a PHEV) at the CES in Las Vegas in January. An electric Maserati sports car will also be on display – probably some form of the Alfieri scheduled to hit the road in 2020 (we reported).
Renault gives Kangoo more range: After giving its Zoe a battery upgrade, Renault will also increase the range of its Kangoo Van Z.E., fitting it with the same technology as the former EV. Technical details are expected to be released at the European Motor Show in Brussels in January, but given the 41 kWh battery pack, the Kangoo’s range is expected to double to 270 km on one charge.
greencarcongress.com, autovolt-magazine.com/, insideevs.com
Lexus shows LC production version: Lexus presented its LC Coupé, which will become available in the U.S. in spring and Europe in summer. With the LC 500h, the two-door car will also be offered as a hybrid variant. The hybrid powertrain will boast 354 hp, pushing the Lexus from 0 to 100 kph in less than five seconds.
France tackles pollution: French environmental minister Ségolène Royale wants to extend EV subsidies, offering the 10,000 euro scrappage fee not only to private, but also commercial drivers, such as i.e. taxis. Moreover, anyone purchasing an electric scooter from January 1st, 2017, will receive a 1,000 euro bonus.
Smart renting: The Daimler brand kicked off its scheme “Smart ready to rent” in select French and German cities. It enables customers to rent the full Smart model range between one day and three months, essentially closing the gap between leasing a vehicle and its carsharing offer car2go. Electric variants will also be available from next year.
ICE ban in the UK? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is considering a proposal to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK, meaning all new cars would be electric, hydrogen- or methane-fuelled. Approximately ten years after the ban were to be enacted, Britain could prohibit all combustion engine cars on its roads.
EPA, Tesla, Solarstratos, Smart.
EPA pushes emission standards: In a rush to affirm the 2025 fleet emission standards of 54.5 mpg before Donald Trump takes office, the EPA decided to leave them in place. Carmakers had hoped for further negotiations until 2018. While the president could change the standards at a later date, it would neither be easy nor quick.
insideevs.com, autonews.com, greencarcongress.com, epa.gov
Designers wanted at Tesla: It looks like the Model Y and other ideas are slowly taking shape. There are several jobs posted at the Tesla Design Centre in Hawthorne and while descriptions remain vague, interesting tasks lay ahead. Elon Musk only recently mused on the Model U for example.
Tesla made in India? Indian steel-to-power group JSW is to venture into electric cars next year. Government subsidies make the idea particularly attractive for the debt-laden company. There has been talk of Tesla technology but neither Tesla nor JSW would confirm any cooperation.
To soar to the edge of space on solar power alone is the plan of Swiss Raphaël Domjan. The Solarstratos plane by PC-Aero is just 8.5 meters long and runs on a 32-kW electric drive and 20 kWh Li-ion battery. The hangar and aircraft will be presented next week with take-off set for 2018.
First drive Smart ForTwo: The electric 2017 mini Mercedes clearly is a European invention, Jeff Jablansky found out, when taking the city slicker to Miami. There, fuel is cheap, cars are large and roads are wide. Luckily, the little Smart ED convertible stood out and may make a great second car.
Smart, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Tesla, Buick.
Electric Smart revealed: Just ahead of the Paris Auto Show, Daimler officially presented its Smart ED models. All three variants will feature a 60 kWh motor and 17.6 kWh battery pack now allowing for 160 km of range. An on-board fast-charger with double the charging capacity as the previous version will also come standard, while a 22 kW on-board charger option will be added from 2017. The small EVs will hit European roads early next year.
Electric VW preview: Volkswagen is showing first drawings of its electric car study ahead of its presentation in Paris. The front is reminiscent of the facelifted Tesla Model S, while the car is also part VW e-Golf, part BMW i3. Technical details will be released when the Salon de l’Automobile opens its doors.
Daimler starts with electric SUV: According to German Auto Bild, Mercedes will unveil the EQC in Paris. The five- and seven-seater electric crossover is said to become available in 2019 and be fitted with two electric motors. The 70 kWh battery pack will allow for 500 km on one charge.
autobild.de (in German)
Comprehensive solution a la Tesla? Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the carmaker will presents its combination of Tesla solar roof, Powerwall 2.0 and new charging unit on October 28th. While no further details are known, Musk seems ready to release the next generation of the home energy storage device. And the Tesla Semi is also taking shape. According to Electrek, a number of engineers from Daimler’s SuperTruck programme have joined the EV maker.
electrek.co, twitter.com, electrek.co (Tesla Semi)
Electric Buick for China? According to media reports, GM is looking to release the Chevrolet Volt in the form of the Buick Velite in China. While the Velite will share the same drivetrain components as the Volt, it will be slightly more luxurious. The EV could make its debut at the Guangzhou Auto Show in December.
Smart, Tesla, VW, Nissan, Mitsubishi.
New Smart ED infos: Daimler is testing the 2017 Smart Fortwo ED in Arizona. The new-gen urbanite features the same drive as the previous one but updates are to enable a range of up to 85 miles at shorter charge times. Furthermore, the sales model will not include battery leasing any longer.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (data in German), greencarreports.com (test report)
Tesla in lose-win situation: The EV maker posts a 293m dollar loss for this second quarter while making 1.3bn dollar revenue, a 33 percent plus. Deliveries stood at a total of 14,402 units, 9,764 of which were Model S. The plan is to send another 50,000 EVs out until the year’s end. Priorities in the future remain the launch of the Model 3, autonomous driving, and ultimately the Model Y. Yet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed to the planned electric van and truck. Production could start 2018 at the earliest.
greencarcongress.com, autoblog.com, shareholder.com, electrek.co (new models)
VW EVs Made in China: More than half of all electric Volkswagen will emerge in China by 2025, board member Jochem Heizmann said. They will stand on three EV platforms, according to VW engineer Matthias Erb. He did not go into details but our guess is the third platform is for electric CV.
welt.de (China, in German), autonews.com (platforms)
Radical e-racer preview: Nissan and Williams Engineering presented the BladeGlider concept. This time round, it is a working prototype. Two in-wheel motors in the rear that develop 130 kW each drive the three-seater. Power comes from a high-performance lithium ion battery pack mounted towards the rear of the car.
Electric Mitsu crossover? Mitsubishi will debut the XM Concept at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show later this month. Although based on the fully electric eX Concept, it is unclear if the new study will have an electric drive.
BAIC, Daimler, GM, Smart, Faraday Future, Toyota.
Sino-Japanese EV alliance: BAIC and Panasonic want to build a EV component factory in the Chinese city of Tianjin. BAIC will hold 54 percent of stakes, Panasonic the remaining 46%. The facility is part of BAIC’s plan to increase the production of electric and hybrid cars to 400,000 units per year by 2020.
Investing billions in electrification: Daimler announced that it will invest a total of 14.5bn euros in research and development. More than half has been earmarked for alternative drivetrains, like the new platform for electric cars and the expansion of its batter facility in Kamenz, Germany.
GM invests in autonomous EVs: General Motors wants to increase the number of engineers at its facilities in Canada from currently 300 to 1,000. The extra manpower will be used to further develop electric and self-driving vehicle technologies.
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E-Smart to premiere in October: Smart will show the electric versions of the Fortwo, Forto Cabrio and Fourfor at the Paris Salon d’Automobile in October. The EVs will first go on sale in the U.S. towards the end of the year and will become available in Europe at the beginning of 2017.
FF announces new arrival: As reported, former Ferrari Manager Marco Mattiaci has joined the Faraday Future team. He will take over as Global Chief Brand & Commercial Officer and will be in charge of branding, communications, sales and customer experience.
Toyota Camry hits dealerships: The Japanese now offers its updated Camry in the U.S. Though some trims now have more standard features, the price of 26,790 dollars remains. All versions of the 2017 model year will be equipped with ten airbags and i.e. brake assist.
The Tesla appeal.
A reader sent us a picture of a Smart ED plugged into a Supercharger, where it got stuck. It came with a note asking the Tesla team to please call the owner once it freed the tiny EV, so it could be towed to a suitable charger. It seems Tesla appeals even to the Smart-est.
facebook.com (note and picture)
Daimler subsidiary Moovel wants to give the electric Smart a actual ‘Green Skin.’ The planting has been going on for a while and testing is to commence in Stuttgart soon. If successful, the mossy Smart could filter about 7 kilos of CO2 from the air annually. A tree manages 2.6 tons/year, so forestation projects may still be slightly more effective.
automobilwoche.de (in German)
Smart, Mercedes, PSA, Porsche, Opel, Mini.
New electric Smart to use Renault tech: At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Daimler and Renault-Nissan announced that they will further strengthen their partnership. Under the new agreement, the upcoming all-electric versions of the Smart Fortwo and Smart Forfour, which will go on sale late 2016, will use a modified version of Renault’s electric motor currently used in the Zoe. The battery of the new Smart EVs will be produced by Daimler’s subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive in Kamenz, Germany.
autocar.co.uk, greencarcongress.com, renault.com
Mercedes confirms Tesla competitor: Speaking to Automotive News, Daimler’s head of product development, Thomas Weber, confirmed plans to develop an all-electric model to compete with Tesla. Weber said that Mercedes-Benz plans to begin selling an electric vehicle with a range of 400 to 500 kilometers (250 to 310 miles) by possibly 2018.
PSA goes all-electric: Peugeot-Citroën will develop an electric vehicle, set to launch in 2020. For it, the carmaker will be working together with its Chinese Dongfeng Motor, says PSA’s Gilles Le Borgne, while continuing its cooperation with Mitsubishi on current-generation EVs.
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Will Porsche challenge Tesla? Porsche has yet to decide if its electric Mission E concept will go into production. According to Porsche CEO Matthias Müller, a decision will be made this autumn and the production version of the all-electric Porsche could hit showrooms by the end of the decade.
wirtschaftsblatt.at (in German)
Opel EV confirmed: General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that GM’s European subsidiaries Opel (Germany) and Vauxhall (Britain) will introduce 29 new models by 2020, including an electric vehicle. Barra added that GM will also introduce a new electric vehicle in Europe, which will not be based on the Chevrolet Bolt.
No electric Mini: A new all-electric Mini is “a possibility, but not in the near future,” Ralph Mahler, head of the brand’s product management, said at the Frankfurt Motor Show. He went on explaining that Mini currently sees only one European market with high demand for EVs – Norway.
Toyota, Aston Martin, Smart, Tesla, FDG Electric Vehicles.
Olympic push: Toyota plans to introduce a number of new models in order to present its interpretation of future mobility as part of its sponsorship of the Olympic Games in 2020. In addition to the next-gen Prius, the i-Road, and the Mirai (which is said to receive a facelift in 2018), Toyota reportedly also plans to launch its Taxi Concept (first shown at the 2013 Tokyo motor show), fuel cell versions of the Lexus LS (2017) and Toyota Crown (2019) as well as a new hybrid minivan called Alphard (2020).
Electric duo: Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer confirmed to Automotive News that the British carmaker aims to launch an all-electric version of its Rapide in two years, followed by an electrified DBX crossover. The latter would be introduced around 2019 as a plug-in hybrid as well as an all-electric version.
E-Smart axed: Production of the Smart Fortwo´s current electric version has been discontinued, according to a Daimler spokesperson. The electric successor is scheduled for the end of 2016.
tagesspiegel.de (in German)
Big bets on Tesla: In a report published on Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas increased the price target for Tesla Motors from 280 to a whopping 465 dollars a share. The analyst believes that the Californian electric car pioneer is uniquely positioned to dominate the emerging world of “shared mobility” and expects fully autonomous and shared electric cars to be launched within ten years from now.
FDG gets cash injection: Asia’s richest man Li Ka-Shing has bought a minority stake in the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery developer FDG Electric Vehicles. The China-based company sold a total of 800 million shares worth 368 million Hong Kong Dollars (49 million USD).
BMW, China, Smart, Toyota, Nissan, CarCharging.
BMW update: New BMW boss Harald Krüger is keeping up the electric vibe, as he plans a longer-range version of the i3, a stronger i8, and an all-electric SUV, writes German Handelsblatt. All three models should be presented to the board next month. That would mean that the Bavarian continues to move into an era of electric mobility – maybe not at warp speed, but consistently.
handelsblatt.com (paid content)
High-end support: China’s government will foster high-end manufacturers, including those making electric cars. The companies will receive financial support and are asked to acquire firms overseas.
Smart ED update: Buyers based in the U.S. will have to wait until 2017 to get the chance to buy the latest Smart ED. In Europe, the electric mini Daimler is due to launch one year earlier, in 2016. In the States, only the Smart fortwo is available.
Low interest in the future: Toyota received up to 60 Mirai inquiries per day in the first ten days of its online ‘Request Portal.’ To that into perspective: When Nissan opened its pre-order portal for the Leaf, 2,700 customers managed to reserve an EV in the first 3 hours.
Nissan update: The new 300-km range Leaf will be launched in Japan this year already. The increased range for the best-selling EV will be reached via battery upgrade.
yomiuri.co.jp (in Japanese)
New boss: CarCharging appointed Mike Calise as new CEO. Calise has longstanding experience in the EV sector and formerly headed North America EV Solutions at Schneider Electric. He also founded EVadvise that developed plans for large scale EV charging infrastructure.
Fully Charged, Ecotricity, Smart.
Video tip: Entertaining as it is, Fully Charged got a serious backer as the show is sponsored by Ecotricity. Robert Llewellyn paid his tribute by guiding viewers through using the charging stations of the Electric Highway network. Always a good laugh, yet mostly informative.
Reading tip: Canadian Stephen Grinwis has been with his electric Smart for a year now and here provides an update on the state of affairs. Expect being faced with “honest” cost of ownership, range, etc.
Toyota, Pateo, Croatia, Smart, Kia, Chevrolet.
Toyota EV for China: The Japanese carmaker, together with its JV Partner GAC, is planning to release an all-electric model in China under the Lingzhi brand this year, Nikkei reports. Furthermore, Toyota will start building hybrid cars in China this fall and aims at a 30 percent hybrid share there by 2020.
Chinese Sports EV: Pateo, a telematic and car connectivity provider from China, presented its Project N concept at the Auto Shanghai. The all-electric sports car sits two and is said to have a 650-kW motor, while going for 800 kilometres on one charge. Autonomous driving is a given, too.
auto-news.de (in German)
Croatia continues EV scheme: The Ministry of Environment of the Eastern European country has renewed its incentive programme for electric and hybrid vehicles. Up to 40 percent of the total vehicle price is available but capped at 9,200 euros for EVs and 6,600 euros for hybrids. In 2014, a total of 340 electric and hybrid vehicles were co-funded with 1.48 million euros from the Croatian government.
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Smart recall: Daimler is asking 5,058 Smart fortwo models from 2014 and 2015 back to the garage in the States due to possibly faulty bolts used to attach the steering gear. Electric Smarts are affected too.
Kia Optima hybrid: Kia brought its new K5, a version of the Optima for the Chinese market, to the Auto Shanghai show. The sedan also comes as a hybrid variant and is built by the Korean’s JV in China, Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia. Sales in China is set for later this year.
Chevy clearance: Chevrolet is offering ever higher discounts on its current Volt in the U.S. and now raised the rebate by 1,500 dollars to 2,500 dollars. Leasing is becoming more affordable too as rates start at 249 dollars now with just 500 dollars due at signing.
LG Chem & Smart, e²-Lenk, Voltabox & Triathlon, Dalhousie University.
LG Chem supplies Smart batteries: It is official – the next generation of the Smart will be electrified in 2016 and be powered by batteries from LG Chem. In addition to Daimler, automakers Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Audi, Chevrolet, Kia, and GM use LG Chem batteries for EV applications.
Steering EVs: In their joint research project “e²-Lenk,” the Karlsruher Institute for Technology and Schaeffler want to develop a new assisted steering concept for electric vehicles. It would require less system components, leading to savings in terms of weight and energy in EVs.
Voltabox partners with Triathlon: Paragon subsidiary Voltabox Deutschland has formed a strategic partnership with Triathlon Batterien for the European market to supply Li-ion batteries for use in intralogistic solutions like electric forklifts. The revenues over the next five years are expected to reach a double-digit million euro range.
Electrolyte additives: Researchers of the Canadian Dalhousie University report that the performance of lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt pouch cells can be greatly improved by adding blends of electrolyte additives, which also increase a cell’s lifetime.
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Most clicked link on Monday was Inside EVs‘ overview of battery technologies.
Honda, GM, VW Golf GTE, Smart, Mullen 700e.
Honda shows FCV concept: Unveiled in Tokyo last year, the concept now made its North American debut in Detroit. The hydrogen-powered vehicle is said to have a 300-mile range and will become available in Japan in March of next year. Furthermore, Honda announced a plug-in hybrid and all-electric car for 2018, without giving any further details.
just-auto.com, automotive-business-review.com, nytimes.com
Drive of Fame: Unveiling the next-generation Volt at the Detroit Auto Show was not enough for GM. It also presented the plug-in hybrid to a group of Hollywood stars. The goal is to use their influence to promote greener vehicles. And to make sure they are also seen driving one, GM also loans them the vehicle.
Golf GTE priced in the UK: 28,035 pounds (42,700 USD) after a 5,000 pound government rebate is what the car will be selling for there. Unlike Volkswagen’s other plug-ins, the car will not only be sold by a specialised network of EV retailers, but be available at all of the carmaker’s dealerships.
Honda hybrid for Japan: The carmaker will offer a hybrid model of its Jade (JDM) on its home market, though the car had originally been developed for the Chinese market. It can seat up to six and comes with a 1.5-liter hybrid motor and seven-speed DCT as seen in the Honda Vezel and Fit hybrids.
Smart fortwo freshened up: Daimler’s “little” sister shows a new edition of its small cabrio. The edition flashlight features a black or white body that is accentuated by bright orange safety cell and mirrors. The style is available for all versions, including the electric Smart. Deliveries start in April.
Mullen 700e reviewed: This is “a sedan that seems destined to a life of rejection and lost opportunities,” the author writes. Despite a new battery, it is still the same car it was seven years ago. After numerous delays, bankruptcy, and a buy-out, even the new battery and 180-mile range can do little to keep up with Tesla or Nissan.
Tesla, Renovo, Puritalia, JAC, Smart.
Merry Christmas to Tesla Roadster drivers: Via twitter, Manfred Hillinger from Tesla Club Austria asked when Tesla Roadster drivers can expect update details. The answer came from Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally – apparently, the carmaker will make an official announcement this week!
Renovo at CES: Renovo Motors will show its all-electric Coupé at the upcoming 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. The Shelby Daytona-bodied Renovo Coupé debuted at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and is on sale now in limited quantities. Shipping will begin in 2015.
Puritalia plans hybrid sportscar: Just as the sports car start-up unveiled the production version of its first model 427, it announced the upcoming GTQ hybrid, where the front is powered by an electric motor and the rear by a mid-mounted V8. The hybrid sports car is expected to be available by 2018.
JAC iEV5 update: Car News China takes a closer look at the EV, which will become available in the Anhui region only in early 2015. The iEV5 will offer a range of up to 250 kilometers and will be available for 110,000 yuan (17,700 USD) after subsidies, which amount to nearly 50 percent of the sticker price.
Testing the Smart e-bike: It is heavy! That´s the first conclusion the Guardian reporter Helen Pidd comes to. She concludes that although it may be big and burly, there’s a lot to like about the Smart ebike – like a “fantastic” inbuilt lighting system and a display panel that calculates “everything”.
Electric X-mas shopping.
Forget about the good old sledge powered by red-nosed reindeers. Santa Claus has entered the 21st century in a Brabus Smart ED. The clever idea was showcased at the Galleries Lafayette in Berlin, were a rather young Santa and his sexy lady helper loaded their X-mas shopping into the compact EV.
Infiniti, Peugeot, Volvo, Toyota, Porsche, Smart.
Inspirational Infiniti: As announced, Nissan’s premium brand is showing the Q80 Inspiration at the Paris Motor Show. Though, the future of the luxurious V6-hybrid car is uncertain, as Johan de Nysschen has left Infiniti. The former Audi manager had rushed through the development of the Q80 in just two years before he left for Cadillac.
greencarcongress.com, hybridcars.com, nytimes.com (de Nysschen)
Quartz SUV concept: Peugeot has chosen his home show in Paris to present its Quartz concept. The plug-in hybrid features a 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors – one at each axle – boosting the system performance to 500 hp. While it is unlikely that the car will ever go into production, the rocky exterior design surely is exciting.
Volvo relaunch: With the launch of the new Volvo XC90, the Swedish carmaker hopes to stop the downward trend of its SUV sales in the US, which has been continuously declining for 11 years. That the limited First Edition of 1,927 units sold in just 47 hours, certainly is a good sign. In its top configuration, the Volvo XC90 T8 will feature an all-wheel plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
just-auto.com (relaunch US), carbuyer.co.uk (First Edition)
Hybrid crossover coupe: Toyota is showing the C-HR Concept in Paris, which represents Toyota’s new design language. The crossover coupe, which would possibly be best positioned below the RAV4, features a hybrid drive but no specs or production plans have been revealed yet.
The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid has its world premier these days in Paris. The facelifted version of the Cayenne not only got updated with the plug-in hybrid drive but also features minor interior and exterior changes and modifications for better aerodynamics.
All new electric smart: When talking to Auto Express in Paris, Dr. Annette Winkler, head of Smart, said that the new version of the electric Smart will feature a complete redesigned powertrain, where “everything will be new.” Both the two and four seater will be available with the new electric drive in 2016.
Smart USA, Lars van der Wansem.
That is all you need to text in San Francisco today to get picked up a by smart ED and driven to any location you want. The latest campaign of Smart USA is aimed at the tech-savvy users of the Yo app and to show how easy it is to park the smart in cities like San Francisco.
“It’s really exploded the last six or seven years. The Netherlands, Denmark, the north of Germany is at the forefront.”
Lars van der Wansem, product manager of ‘Bike Europe’ magazine, on the surging e-bike sales in Europe.