TÜV SÜD is participating in the construction of a battery test centre near Bangkok in Thailand. The German testing and certification service provider has now signed a corresponding cooperation agreement with the local Ministry of Industry and the Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI).
The German manufacturer Torqeedo has delivered the first electric propulsion system for ferries in Thailand. The electric passenger ferry picked up operations in Bangkok as part of the city’s efforts to improve air quality.
BMW will produce high-voltage batteries for plug-in hybrids in Thailand together with the Dräxlmaier Group. The batteries, made in a new production facility near BMW’s Rayong plant, will help power the PHEV versions of the 5 and 7 series and the X5.
The Thai Metropolitan Electricity Authority and Nissan have agreed to join forces to establish battery charging infrastructure in the nation before the Leaf goes on sale in Thailand, which will be latest by March 2019.
German FEV has setup a Thai subsidiary in order to offer their engineering and development services in Thailand. FEV Thailand is to support the local industry in the development of vehicles and components such as electric motors, including batteries and fuel cells.
China’s major new energy vehicle maker BYD is heading into Thailand. They delivered 101 electric cars of type e6 to Bangkok and a thousand more are yet to come. The new EVs will serve as VIP taxis and as part of a car sharing service in the Thai capital.
The plans by the Thai energy provider for the construction of a lithium-ion battery factory are slowly taking a more definitive shape: The project will begin this year and take place with a joint venture partner in two phases.
Nissan and Honda have received official permission from the Thai government to produce hybrid vehicles and batteries in the SE Asian nation. They are not the first to open up business there; Toyota, BMW and Daimler area already manufacturing hybrids in Thailand.
Toyota plans to build a battery factory in Thailand to produce power packs for its hybrid vehicles from 2020. Unnamed sources say the Japanese corporation expects PEV sales to rise in the country due to tax incentives and that it also needs to fulfil its own forecasted demand.
A major Thai vehicle distributor has turned to China’s BYD to deliver a total of a thousand electric cabs to Thailand. The first 100 EVs are scheduled to arrive this year and are said to have a range of 350 km.
Daimler is advancing its global EV offensive as it incorporates its Thai facility into its network of production hubs. Together with local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) they will invest 100 million euros in Bangkok.
Nissan’s newest vehicle, the BEV Leaf, has been slated for release in a total of 7 additional countries, alongside the already announced market nations, paving the way further to the goal of offering the vehicle in up to 60 countries around the world.
First glance at Skoda EV: In 2020 VW subsidiary Skoda plans to hit the road with its first pure-electric vehicle called Vision E. By publishing a teaser image the carmaker whets our appetite for the planned presentation of its coupe-like concept car at next month’s Shanghai Motor Show. Skoda has technology at its disposal – namely Volkswagen’s MEB global platform – and says is will dedicate “an all-new model” rather than electrifying an existing car. autoexpress.co.uk
BYD to build electric buses in France: China’s EV maker will invest 10m euros to set up its first electric bus assembly plant in Western Europe. The planners finally selected Allonne in the Hauts-de-France region. The new facility is to occupy an existing 32,000 sqm building and shall start production in the first half of 2018 with an annual capacity of up to 200 buses. Later on, the Chinese group wants to add an after-sales unit for maintenance and repairs, along with a logistics centre for spare parts. nordfranceinvest.com
15 percent PEV rule in California: The most populous state in the U.S. will not follow Trump’s new vehicle pollution standards but will uphold Obama’s (basically its own) ruling instead. Californian regulators voted to push ahead stricter rules for the period from 2022 to 2025 – inclusive the obligation for carmakers to sell 15 percent EV, FCV, or PHEV by 2025. The current rate is around 3 percent. forbes.com, autonews.com
Buick’s strategy for China: In 2017 Buick seeks to impress its largest market by adopting GM’s proven extended-range electric vehicle technology in new or updated models. The brand presented its Velite Concept with plug-in hybrid technology for the Chinese market recently and the next two years will see more BEV and PHEV from Buick there. greencarcongress.com, gmauthority.com, media.gm.com
Thailand to attract PEV production: Demand for EV and HEV in Thailand is to receive a boost through a new promotion scheme and tax incentives. The latter shall support manufacture of electrified vehicles with applications for hybrids due this year and for EVs by 2018. The scheme will be submitted for cabinet approval tomorrow. reuters.com
China does it quicker: Carmakers hoping to drop ICEs in China have to adjust quickly, as a draft suggests that the country will introduce ZEV mandates. Modelled after California’s legislation, 8 percent of cars are required to be electric by 2018. One year later, 10% need to be EVs and 12% by 2020. If a manufacturer fails to sell enough electric models, it must buy credits from those who cleaned up their act more successfully. China’s latest roadmap accounts for 40% of newly registered cars being PEVs by 2030 as well as for 80m charge points. sueddeutsche.de (quota, in German), ecns.cn (roadmap)
Next electric BMW will be a SUV: The German carmaker decided that the next all-electric model will be an SUV, Autocar reports citing insiders. Market entry is not scheduled before 2021, as BMW expects electric car technology, including autonomous driving, to develop further first. autocar.co.uk
Mahindra looks to electrify across its portfolio. After recently resenting the four-door e20 Plus, the Indian company may offer an electric version of its Scorpio SUV. The focus is on full electrification, not hybrid vehicles, Mahindra says. hindustantimes.com
Thailand update: Bangkok has officially launched its three-stage EV initiative. Concrete measures include 200 electric buses to serve in the Thai capital by the end of 2017. Within the same period, 100 EV charging stations will be erected, which are part of the up to 800 chargers to be installed by 2036. bangkokpost.com
Rally Renault: The British take on the French EV is racy. English company eRally presented a Zoe converted for rally competitions as it strives to introduce all-electric rallying for juniors within 2 – 3 years. autocar.co.uk
UK pricing: Hyundai released prices for its Ioniq. It is now available on the Isles with the hybrid variant starting at 19,995 pounds and the electric version at 24,495 GBP after incentives. Pricing for Toyota’s C-HR hybrid starts from 23,595 GBP. fleetnews.co.uk (Hyundai), carscoops.com (Toyota)
How electric will Norway be? A while ago, Norway wanted to ban gas guzzlers by 2025 but a report by German dpa has just been denied. Rather than a ban, the government “wants to encourage more environmentally friendly vehicles by using the carrot instead of stick,” a spokesperson said. Yet, the National Transport Plan also includes proposals to reduce emissions from ships and airplanes. There still is much to discuss, it seems. spiegel.de (in German), reuters.com (carrot & stick), autoblog.com
Thai EV cooperation: Thailand’s largest utility PTT Plc signed agreements with BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Volvo. The carmakers are to develop or deliver electric vehicles while the state-owned utility is to take care of EV infrastructure. 20 EV charging stations shall stand by 2017. reuters.com, thaivisa.com
Many Toyota hybrids for China: GAC Toyota and FAW Toyota plan to launch numerous hybrids by 2020. The GAC Toyota joint venture alone says ten new models are in the making as the Japanese aim for 40 percent market share in the People’s Republic. chinadaily.com.cn
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This Tesla test drive went wrong as a Model S caught fire. The passengers managed to leave the car after a message warned of problems with charging, albeit while driving. The accident happened in French Biarritz and the ride was part of Tesla’s Europe promotion dubbed the Electric Road Trip. electrek.co, jalopnik.com, insideevs.com
BMW 330e review: Anthony Lim went to Munich to take a close look at the BMW 330e PHEV. His report is rich in details and technicalities but he did not only read the specc but drove for 340 km, 22 of which were made in electric mode. paultan.org
New round of grants: The British government has earmarked 30m pounds for bus operators and local authorities to purchase clean energy buses and corresponding infrastructure. A total of 326 electric, hybrid and biomethane buses will benefit from the grant. eandt.theiet.org, gov.uk
Gewofag electrifies: The Munich-based housing association Gewofag has purchased 27 VW e-Up! to replace part of its old fleet. Its fleet now includes 31 EVs and is said to be totally electrified in the coming years. sueddeutsche.de, gewofag.de (articles in German)
E-carsharing with Tesla X: Starting in August, Green Commuter will offer a fleet of Tesla Model X in Los Angeles for people to use for ridesharing to and from work, as well as regular carsharing. How many electric SUVs will hit the road, has yet to be announced. greencarcongress.com, prnewswire.com
Fighting range anxiety: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is looking to erect six 50 kW fast-chargers along Interstate 90 by the end of the year. Each of the stations will cost about 30,000 dollars plus installation. Another six locations will follow “in the near future.” equipmentworld.com
Oil company pushes electrification: Thai oil company PTT is looking to install 20 EV charging stations in 2017. PTT already has four chargers in the ground, all including a DC, an AC and a normal Schuko connection. thaivisa.com
Solar chargers for Utrecht: Renault, the Dutch city of Utrecht, ElaadNL, and LonboXnet have signed a letter of intent to test solar smart charging stations. Some 1,000 units could be installed, where ElaadNL would be in charge of the infrastructure and Renault would supply 150 Zoe Z.E. through 2017. The project’s second phase could see the construction of a V2G system. v2g.co.uk
Thailand’s three step plan: To push EV uptake in the public sector, the country will start regulating EV costs, making sure prices will not exceed those of natural gas vehicles. In a second step, those measures will also apply to electric passenger cars, while Thailand will also cut tax rates, push local battery production and develop charging infrastructure. The third step (2020-2036) will see the installation of up to 800 chargers for an estimated 1.2m electric vehicles. bangkokpost.com
Seattle’s 15,000 EV plan: To cut the city fleet’s emissions in half by 2025, Seattle’s mayor is calling to include more electric vehicles – a total of 15,000 purely electric cars are said to roam the city’s streets in ten years. Moreover, the EVs will all be powered with clean energy, as Seattle produces enough hydropower. seattletimes.com
Proterra prepares for rising demand: As more and more transport agencies are looking to include electric buses in their fleets, manufacturer Proterra wants to nearly double production capacity in 2016. It therefore placed a follow-on order with UQM Technologies for PowerPhase HD electric systems, to be delivered this year. greencarcongress.com
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. reuters.com
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. twitter.com, my.teslamotors.com
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. forbes.com
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. bangkokpost.com
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. electriccarsreport.com, greencarcongress.com
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. autoblog.com
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. eco-business.com
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. drive.com.au
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)
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. jalopnik.com, greencarcongress.com
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. bangkokpost.com
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. indianautosblog.com
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. youtube.com
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. indianautosblog.com, autoevolution.com
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. thainews.prd.go.th
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. reuters.com
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)