CAM study finds Tesla most innovative automaker
The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) has analysed the innovative strength of 32 car manufacturers looking at 291 innovations in the field of electric mobility. Tesla remains by far the top innovator in the technology field but is tracked by VW.
Tata Power invests in charging infrastructure
The Indian energy provider Tata Power plans to expand its network of smart EV charging points in India from the current approx. 170 now to over 700 by end of the financial year under the subsidiary brand name of Tata Power EZ Charge.
CAM study reveals: German carmakers are most innovative
According to the study conducted by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM), when it comes to innovative strength, German carmakers maintain an international lead. Volkswagen is placed at the top of this ranking. This latest comparative study is the result of research among 38 car manufacturers.
India shops abroad for EVs
The Indian government has issued a contract for multiple electric vehicles, however instead of going for vehicles from their home market, such as Mahindra or Tata, the government decided to opt with Hyundai’s Kona, which costs about twice the amount as Indian competitors.
Tata Motors announced electrification of current models
The Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors announced that they are working on electrifying the majority of their current lineup. Currently, Tata only offers a single fully electric passenger car; the Tigor. Next they plan to release an electric version of the Tiago.
Honda, Renault-Nissan, Tesla, Alta Motors, Korea, Tata.
Two Honda BEVs to come: This autumn, Honda intends to introduce a fully electrified vehicle based on the manufacturer’s new EV platform. More details have not yet been provided, but it will likely be the Clarity BEV and it will most likely debut at the IAA in Frankfurt. For the Chinese market, Honda is to launch an additional BEV in 2018. Furthermore, the Japanese carmaker confirmed that by 2030 it wants two-thirds of its global sales to be made up of electrified cars. This strategy also includes research on fast and wireless charging systems.
Renault to challenge utility companies? Renault-Nissan and British Powervault recently announced their cooperation to give EV batteries a second life and stationery home. Now the French carmaker goes a step further and plans to team up with energy storage specialist The Mobility House in order to build a huge power storage plant in Europe reusing batteries from EVs. With a capacity of 100MW, the “mega battery” shall be big enough to power 120,000 homes and could thus replace a coal power station. The project is at “study phase” according to Renault to determine where to build the plant.
Semi serious: Serial production of Tesla’s electric truck Semi could start in 18 to 24 months, states Elon Musk with the prototype to go on display this September as planned. Meanwhile, the EV maker’s stock reached another record high with shares being worth 360 dollars each. It thus comes as no surprise, Tesla made it on the Fortune 500 list of companies with the highest-revenue worldwide.
electrek.co (Tesla Semi), electrek.co (shares, Fortune 500)
New capital for Alta Motors: The Californian electric bike manufacturer raised a total of 27m dollars in its latest rounds of financing. The funds shall be invested in an expansion of a manufacturing and R&D facility in Brisbane and in further research of the company’s light electric vehicle technology.
Number plates for EVs in Korea: BEVs and FCVs shall be easy to identify in South Korea and that is why they get to bear blue number plates. Thanks to sensors recognising the colour, drivers of these vehicles are supposed to automatically pay less parking and toll charges.
Electric Tata Tiago? Tata Motors’ first EV reaching market maturity could be an electric version of the Tiago hatchback, Autocar India has learnt. More details have not been revealed, but it seems obvious that India’s recent push towards electric vehicles has hurried Tata’s plans to launch an electric line-up.
BMW, NEVS, Tesla, Volvo, Tata, Mitsubishi.
BMWi on price par with ICE: BMW wants to sell its electric vehicles at a similar price to comparable gasoline-powered cars comes 2020, Bimmertoday reports from a symposium in Vienna. In order to lower costs, the Bavarians bet on nickel manganese cobalt batteries and a highly flexible architecture to enable an output range of 90 to 250 kW. Meanwhile the BMWBlog reports that the future iNext, due by 2021, will be a crossover similar to Jaguar’s I-Pace. It focuses on autonomy starting at level 3 but with the capability to allow for level 5, which essentially is full-autonomy, i.e. hands and eyes off.
bimmertoday.de (in German), bmwblog.com (iNext)
See the first Saab EV 9-3: Saab’s parent company NEVS is readying its the production version of its all-electric 9-3 to launch this June at the CES Asia in Shanghai. First spy shots already emerged and show a very Saab-like EV. Apart from the electric version with 300 km range, there may also be a 9-3 hybrid. The first 150,000 electric Saabs have reportedly been sold to Chinese Panda New Energy already.
carnewschina.com (with photos)
Tesla rethinks line-up: After teasing its upcoming electric truck Semi recently, Tesla added a few details. The Semi will utilise many Model 3 components, e.g. the electric motor, in order to enable high gross margins. Meanwhile, Elon Musk doubts his idea of an electric mini bus programme for future sharing services. His judgement builds on his previous prediction that in a fully autonomous environment, shared electric cars will essentially make large parts of public transport redundant.
electrek.co (Semi), electrek.co (mini bus)
Volvo’s first EV is going to be a compact model, specified R&D leader Henrik Green. It will be based on the compact car platform CMA and have the size of Volvo’s 40 series. Launch is set for 2019.
Tata to electrify its Nano? After the Indian carmaker introduced its sub-brand Tamo with a sports car in Geneva, it wants to add an electrified small car to the line-up, reports Autocar India. Tata’s Nano could thus get an electrified twin, earlier photos of a corresponding prototype suggest.
Mitsubishi training certified: The Japanese group designed a three-day course to provide its UK dealer network with the tech knowledge required to work with hybrid and electric vehicles. The carmaker cooperated with the IMI to elevate the course to an industry-recognised qualification.
Tata, Scotland, Volkswagen, Starship Technologies, Chevy.
Tata shows electric buses: The Indian manufacturer presented a whole series of buses with alternative drivetrains. Next to the Starbus Electric and Starbus Hybrid, available in nine and twelve metres, Tata also unveiled the country’s first fuel-cell-powered bus. The only bad news: there are no concrete production plans.
Scotland outlines climate goals: The Scottish government announced that it wants to lower CO2 emissions by 66 percent by 2032 (compared to 1990). The climate plan also outlines that 40 percent of individual cars and transporters, as well as 50 percent of public buses will need to be electrified until then. 30 percent of public ferries will also receive a hybrid drivetrain in the next 25 years.
e-Golf for Japan: According to Nikkei, the German carmaker wants to introduce its EV to Japan in June or July. It would be VW’s first all-electric undertaking in the country and is also part of a move to repair its image damaged by the diesel scandal.
The mothership: Daimler invested in company Starship Technologies, taking part in a 16.5m euro financing round. Starship develops ground-based, autonomous delivery robots that could be featured in Daimlers (all-electric) delivery vans in the future. A mothership concept combining the two had already been shown in September.
Chevrolet Bolt review: The Chevy Bolt feels a lot like a normal car at first glance, Darrell Etherington from Tech Crunch writes. “But it feels fast, and fun.” Especially when turning on the regenerative breaking, “the car’s character really starts to shine through.” Etherington concludes that the Bolt ist he first EV he would consider owning.
techcrunch.com (with video)
Nissan, Audi, Honda, Tata, Volkswagen, Tesla.
Another Leaf: Nissan considers expanding its Leaf offering, Autocar reports, citing Nissan executive vice-president Trevor Mann. It is likely to be a compact SUV, but no details have been confirmed. Nissan is currently working on its next-gen Leaf, said to have nearly double the range.
New Audi A3 variant? The German carmaker plans on introducing an A3-based MPV to compete against the likes of the BMW 2 Active Tourer and the Mercedes B class. The mini van could hit the market by 2018 and would utilise the motor line up of the A3, which also includes a plug-in hybrid drivetrain for the e-tron.
Baby NSX: Honda is working on a smaller version of its hybrid NSX sports car and already filed a design patent. The junior NSX will also receive a hybrid drivetrain, however a less powerful one – 400 hp compared to now 550 hp. It will probably be produced alongside the NSX (Acura) in Ohio.
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Hubject publishes the Open InterCharge Protocol 2.0: the latest version of the eRoaming protocol OICP is now available to download for free for all intercharge partners and other interested parties. The protocol describes the fully automated communication between charge point operators, providers and eRoaming platforms. More information under www.hubject.com
Electric CV by Tata: Indian Tata Motors has confirmed its plans to introduce hybrid and electric versions of its small commercial vehicle Ace. When these will be ready to hit the market has not been confirmed.
e-Golf review: The electric Golf is gold, thinks Peter Braun, who tested Volkswagen’s electrified best-seller and claims it to be the best EV he has ever driven. His only worry is the range and limited motor power when overtaking on a highway.
Tesla is taking orders for the Model X Down Under. While the new EV is to be unveiled soon in the USA, Australian buyers will have to wait until this time next year to get it. To reserve a Model X, a fully refundable deposit of 6,000 dollars is required.