France, China, Apple & BMW, Tesla, Faraday Future, Thailand.
La mobilité électrique: France passed a law on the energy transition, including measures to promote electric mobility. Half of all public busses and transporters will be electrified by 2020, reaching 100 percent by 2025. The law also includes plans to install 7 million chargers across the country by 2030 as well as a scrappage bonus of up to 10,000 euros when replacing a diesel-powered car with an EV.
klimaretter.info (in German), lcp.fr (in French)
China follows California: According to Xu Heyi, head of the state-owned Bejing Automotive Group and member of the communist party, China wants to implement measures to promote EV uptake based on California’s example, such as ZEV credits for manufactures. Consumers would get credits based on the distance they drive in full electric mode. Both measure could be implemented in the first half of 2016.
Apple-BMW update: According to German Manager Magazin, Apple wants to use BMW’s i3 platform for its own electric car project. Initial negotiations in autumn 2014 were fruitless, but the two parties agreed to continue their dialogue. New BMW head Harald Krüger is reportedly also planning new versions of the i3 and i8 as well as a convertible version of the i8.
manager-magazin.de (in German)
New entry-level Tesla available: Tesla´s 70 kWh rear wheel drive Model S can now be ordered from 70,000 dollars before incentives. That’s 5,000 dollars less than the previous entry-level AWD model.
FF production plans: Californian start-up Faraday Future wants to pick a production site for its electric vehicles within this quarter. U.S. states California, Nevada, Louisiana and Georgia are being considered.
EVs from Thailand: Kwaithong Motor wants to invest 5 billion baht (about 143 million dollars) to build an assembly plant for electric vehicles in the country. Kickoff is planned for mid-2016 with electric buses. Kwaithong wants to sell some 5,000 units in Thailand and Asean countries by 2018.
BMW, Chevrolet, Thailand, Changan, Maxus.
New 7 series unveiled: BMW has now officially presented its new luxury flagship, which will hit the market this October. The wait for the plug-in hybrid version 740e will be a little longer as it is only expected by mid-2016. Then, it will be also offered in long-wheelbase BMW 740Le form and as 740Le xDrive with all-wheel drive. The 7 series PHEV will produce a total system output of 326 hp and BMW says it can be driven electrically at speeds of up to 120 km/h and with a range of up to 40 kilometers.
Chevy Bolt caught testing: Spy shots show a heavily camouflaged Chevrolet Bolt EV which apparently is getting ever more production-ready. However, the Bolt might need a new name as GM has been running into issues with the Bolt trademark nameplate.
Thailand electrified: The South-East Asian country plans to become the region’s leader when it comes to solarpower and electric vehicles within the next ten years. 100,000 houses are to get solar panelled roofs within the next five years. Furthermore, the ‘Electric Vehicles Promotion Scheme’ is to boost the Thai market for electric vehicles and EV production.
BMW fuel cell racer? BMW is to return to Le Mans in 2018 with a brand new hydrogen race car, which might take a spot in the ‘Garage 56,’ Drive reports. It may also precede a production ready fuel cell vehicle which could go serial by 2020. Apparently, a fleet of fuel cell prototypes is already being tested.
Chinese electric vans: Two new electric vans are scheduled for China by 2016. The Oushang EV by Changan will cost 150,000 yuan (about 24,000 dollars) including incentives and has a claimed range of 200 kilometres. The EG10 by the SAIC subsidiary Maxus will cost 230,000 yuan (37,000 dollars) and features a strong 150-kW electric motor.
carnewschina.com (Changan), carnewschina.com (Maxus)
Apple, Daimler Trucks, Toyota, Mercedes, Thailand, Kia.
New iCar rumours: According to German Manager Magazin, Apple’s electric car business model stands. Apparently the company wants to impress clients with the best software and digitalization concept, as well as the best battery pack. Apple is allegedly already talking to “top shots” of the automotive industry.
manager-magazin.de (in German)
Hybrid super truck: Daimler Trucks North America showed its Freightliner SuperTruck featuring a hybrid system at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The drivetrain combines an 11-litre diesel engine and an electric motor. Daimler says it improved fuel economy by 115 percent compared to current trucks.
15 percent: That is how much less fuel the next generation of the Toyota Prius could use compared to the current model due to Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota recently provided an update on its progress with TNGA, which is said to not only lower costs but also help reduce fuel consumption.
hybridcars.com (Prius), greencarcongress.com (TNGA)
Daimler pickup planned: Mercedes has a pickup in the pipelines, the first one from a premium manufacturer. It could be ready for sale as soon as 2017. For now, a hybrid variant is not being planned, but German magazine Automobil Produktion believes it could be offered at a later date.
automobil-produktion.de (in German), greencarcongress.com
EVs made in Thailand: The country’s Energy Ministry wants to make Thailand a hub for electric vehicle production. It also plans to amend laws and regulations to allow EV chargers at petrol stations; a move that should increase sales and attract carmakers to use the country as a production site.
New Kia Optima unveiled: One day after only partially revealing the new hybrid, new spy shots emerged on the web, showing the car from all angles. The new Kia Optima will make its official debut at the New York Auto Show starting this Friday.
If it itches, you must scratch.
A video gone viral shows an elephant in Thailand that must have had one big itch. A poor Mercedes (and its driver) served as a scratching tree. We might deduct the elephant wasn’t too happy with the job, since it ripped a few pieces off the car before leaving for the bushes.
Honda Grace, Thailand, Daimler & MV Agusta, Honda FCX Clarity.
New Honda hybrid in Japan: Honda will launch the “Grace” hybrid in its home market on December 1st. It will reportedly be the Honda City, being produced in India, Thailand and Malaysia, with a new powertrain, most likely the Sport Hybrid i-DCD coupled to a dual-clutch transmission.
Electrifying Thailand: The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Loxley Public Company have signed an agreement to push for more EV development in Thailand. The focus is on research and development of batteries and charging systems, as well as electric buses that are supposed to replace the current CNG bus fleet in about two years’ time.
Daimler goes Italian: The German carmaker gets on board of Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta, buying 25 percent of the shares. The companies aim to collaborate in terms of marketing and sales. And Daimler probably has an eye on the compact engines that could be used in its hybrid cars.
Driving the Honda FCX Clarity: Transport Evolved took the fuel cell car for a short spin to answer the question, “what does driving a hydrogen fuel cell car feel like?” The answer – a lot like any other electric car, “smooth, refined and relaxing.”
transportevolved.com (with Video)