South Korea, Australia, NuTonomy, Texas Instruments, Charging Corridor.
Futuristic expressway: South Korea wants to build a network of “smart” motorways for self-driving electric cars by 2020. These are said to include stretches where the EVs can be charged inductively while driving. By 2018, all major rest stop along the country’s expressway will be equipped with chargers.
Fuelling the future: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has already ordered 20 units of the next Hyundai fuel cell model, said to hit the road in 2018. The cars will be part of a project that is looking to use excess wind energy to produce hydrogen to fuel more than 1,000 FCVs.
Expanding the autonomous fleet: Start-up NuTonomy that recently began testing autonomous taxis in Singapore (we reported), wants to also trial its electric cars in other cities. It will add three Asian cities to the mix from 2017 and wants to expand to a total of ten locations by 2020 – then also including cities in Europe and the U.S.
Wi-Fi enables chargers: Texas Instruments presented a reference design of an EV charger with Wi-Fi connection, to allow EV owners to i.e. charge at non-peak times or monitor charging from a distance. The technology can be used for home and public chargers.
Charging corridor: A total of ten fast-chargers are to connect Quebec in Canada with the U.S. city of Portland, Oregon. When the project will be completed is not clear, but on the Quebec side, a number of charger have already been installed. Two other U.S.-Canadian corridors are still up for discussion.
Tesla, FEV, McLaren, Texas Instruments.
Tesla drivetrain fail? Green Car Reports reports that the Tesla Model S built in 2012 and 2013 could be subject to a drivetrain failure. An analysis by Plug-In America of 327 Tesla owners showed that two-thirds of these early models will need to have drivetrains replaced within the first 60,000 miles.
Plug-in battery pack: German FEV has developed a plug-in battery pack complete with a 10 kWh battery and the BMS. The technology is ready to hit the market and can help different vehicles to drive as far as 50 km purely electric.
automobil-produktion.de, fev.com (in German)
No new McLaren P1: The manufacturer has stopped production of its hybrid supercar after exactly 375 models – just as planned. Those interested in owning the car will have to look on the used-car market. Each vehicle took 17 days to complete on average.
electriccarsreport.com, autocar.co.uk, worldcarfans.com
Li-ion monitor: Texas Instruments’ newly developed bq76PL455A-Q1 provides highly accurate cell-voltage monitoring for large batteries with up to 256 cells in a series and can enable a more intelligent battery management in electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and grid energy storage systems.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was Nissan’s plan to present its inductive charging technology at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
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Kia, Mojo Mobility, Texas Instruments, CEC, Saft, Works Electric.
Kia to go wireless: The Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center and Mojo Mobility are developing inductive charging technology at 10 kW. The project is supported by a grant from the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies programme. It is still at a testing phase and no launch date has been set.
TI for hybrids: Texas Instruments launched a 120-V automotive grade half-bridge gate driver, offering negative voltage handling capability for hybrid vehicles. Its 120-V bootstrap diode allows for N-channel MOSFET control, thus eliminating the need for external discrete diodes.
10 million dollars have been granted by the California Energy Commission for four projects looking at battery and fuel cell electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses for public transport and school buses. Initiatives in disadvantaged communities were prioritised.
Saft on Mars: The battery maker has secured a 1-million euro deal from Airbus Defence and Space Ltd (UK) to develop and test a lithium-ion pack with solar panels to power the ExoMars Rover vehicle, which is supposed to look for extinct life on the red planet.
Off road scooter: Works Electric delivers a stand-up scooter for trails. Based on its tar hugging Rover, the B14 comes with more power (4,000 W), fat mini tires and up to 25 miles range at 35 mph. The handle folds up, but the price of almost 6,000 dollars might be harder to deal with.