Alphabet adds FCVs to its fleet in Germany
BMW leasing subsidiary Alphabet Germany extends its fleet through acquisition of new fuel cell vehicles: 30 Toyota Mirai models are expected to arrive before the year’s end and shall serve as company and car pool vehicles in some of Alphabet’s major clients’ fleets over a three-year period. Weiterlesen
Elon Musk, Toyota Mirai.
Get in: Elon Musk details his plans to conquer Mars. The first humans may get on board the recyclable space ship by 2025 to travel for 80 days to reach the red planet. To be part of the ‘Interplanetary Transport System,’ one has to pay about 200,000 dollars. Sign us up, Scotty!
youtube.com (space ship), youtube.com (complete pitch), gizmodo.com, nationalgeographic.com
Video tip: Brian Cooley is on to real world driving and this time, his car of choice is the Toyota Mirai FCV. His review is packed with information and opinion.
Tesla Gigafactory, Mary Nichols and her Toyota Mirai.
Click tip: Want a sneak peek into Tesla’s new Gigafactory? The Reno Journal Gazette has some of the first footage from inside the 800,000 square foot factory. It is the first time that local media was allowed to see the manufacturing area.
Reading tip: Mary Nichols is the chairman of the California Air Resources Board, and a proud owner of a brand new Toyota Mirai. Los Angeles Magazine met up with Nichols to talk fuel cells and more.
Renault Zoe, Toyota Mirai, BYD, Honda, GM, Czech Republic.
More Renault Zoe: The French carmaker will scale up production of its compact EV at the Flins factory near Paris from 120 to 150 units a day by the end of November. One possible reason for the expected increase in demand is the recently extended French diesel scrappage scheme.
Mirai launches in California: Toyota’s fuel cell future is now officially on sale in California, where about 300 owners were handed ceremonial keys. More than 2,000 people have requested to buy a Mirai in the Golden State but Toyota only allocated 1,000 units to the U.S. this year. The waiting list is open.
BYD PHEVs for Europe: After just expanding its European bus business, the Chinese manufacturer ponders to enter the passenger car market, i.e. by bringing the hybrid Qin and Tang. BYD Managing Director in Europe, Isbrand Ho, put Great Britain on top of the list to test the European waters.
Honda delays plans for a new China plant by two years. The construction with JV partner Dongfeng may only start in 2017. The facility in Wuhan will then also produce electric vehicles from mid 2018.
GM to scale up EV production: The American carmaker plans to nearly double the number of employees its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant as it adds 1,200 jobs for a second shift early next year. The Chevy Volt and the Caddy ELR are both built at the Hamtramck facility.
Czech EV subsidies? The Ministry for Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic thinks about introducing a subsidy for electric and natural gas vehicles. A one-off payment of 40,000 Czech koruna (about 1,600 dollars) per purchased vehicle is on the table.
rozhlas.cz (in Czech)
Mannheim, Botoşani, UK, Cityscoot, Toyota Mirai.
Wireless charging in Mannheim: The German city has begun operating two electric buses and an electric service van with inductive Primove charging technology from Bombardier. Six bus stops along the route have been fitted with the technology to ensure the buses’ serviceability.
newstix.de, morgenweb.de (articles in German)
Committed to e-mobility: The Romanian city of Botoşani is getting serious about electrification, saying it wants all of its public transport to come with a plug. After having tested EVs in a pilot programme, the city now plans to purchase 48 electric trams and buses and apply to the EU for funding.
UK replaces Plug-In Car Grant: The scheme will run out by the end of the year and be replaced by a new tiered system. With it, the UK government wants to stronger promote zero emission vehicles with an electric range of at least 70 miles.
Another Paris scheme for London? After Bolloré brought its electric carsharing to the British capital, the Parisian scooter-sharing Cityscoot could follow. The service only started in France this month, but could go international if it proves a success.
Toyota looks to London: The Japanese carmaker says it will focus on fleets in London to sell it fuel-cell car Mirai. The reason is simple: the British capital already counts three hydrogen filling stations. The Mirai will hit dealerships there in the third quarter of this year.
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Terminator for Toyota.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is to drive a Toyota Mirai posing as pace car at the Sprint Cup series at Sonoma Raceway in California at the end of this month. All one can hope for is that he will not act as Terminator just because he sits in a car called future. Hasta la vista, Arnie!
Toyota Mirai, Lithium demand, Events.
Video tip: Toyota’s Fueled by Everything series shows how hydrogen can be extracted from the environment. The second episode is taking the Mirai to “Oil Creek” in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of America’s oil industry. What subtle way to promote a fuel cell vehicle.
Reading tip: By the end of the decade, factories run by Tesla, BYD, LG Chem, Foxconn and Boston Powers could more than triple production capacities of lithium-ion batteries, as shown by the graphic in the article below. Kirill Klip asks: Will there be enough lithium for all of that?
Events for the upcoming week: FIA Formula E, Round 9 (June 6; Moscow, Russia) ++ Webinar “Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles 2015-2030” (June 9) ++ EES Europe (June 10-12; Munich, Germany)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar
VW Golf GTE, Toyota Mirai showroom.
Video tip: Robert Llewellyn is taking (or granting) second chances as he re-runs the Golf GTE. This time round, the Fully Charged show allows for more detail on what the comedian thinks might become a true entry point to go electric as the plug-in hybrid’s appeal is in its closeness to conventional Golfs.
Click tip: Take a quick peak into the future as Matthew Klippenstein presents pictures from Toyota’s Mirai showroom in Tokyo which also boasts an hydrogen refuelling station.
EV charge point procurement guide, Toyota Mirai.
Download tip: The UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (UK EVSE) Association has published its first electric vehicle charge point procurement guide written by Cenex. It advises everyone thinking about installing EV charging equipment on how to do so.
ukevse.org.uk (guide after registration) via fleetnews.co.uk
Read & watch: Eric Evarts from Consumer Reports briefly tested Toyota’s Mirai and likes its quietness. It is not the first FCV he tested so he knows about refueling difficulties.
consumerreports.org (with video)
Fueled by Bullsh*t.
It looks like anything goes when promoting the Mirai. Toyota now launched a new video campaign that shows all the different sources one could make hydrogen from. Episode 1: bullsh*t, in the most literal sense.
Toyota Mirai production, Next-gen Nissan Leaf.
Video tip: With these five newly published videos, Toyota offers a rare behind the scenes look at the production of it fuel cell vehicle Mirai. Production was launched at the Motomachi Plant in Japan in November of last year.
Reading tip: Hybrid Cars may not have gotten to peek behind the curtain, but this article lists everything about the next-generation Nissan Leaf. The new model is rumoured to be a 2017 model and to offer significantly more range than the current Leaf.
Toyota Mirai, EVs in India.
Video tip: Toyota USA has issued new videos explaining the workings of the Mirai FCV. One deals with the fuel cell system while the other spot concentrates on driving experience.
youtube.com (system), youtube.com (drive)
Reading tip: Despite the Indian car market growing constantly, electric cars seem to play only a minor role. The New Indian Express takes a look at the reasons behind the slow EV uptake in the emerging economy.
Toyota Mirai, Lexus, BMW, Philippines, Mercedes.
Mirai on sale: Toyota began selling its fuel-cell car Mirai in Japan yesterday. About 400 pre-orders have been taken so far, according to the company. Toyota will mainly sell the “future” in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, where hydrogen stations are expected to be built.
New Infiniti concept: A first teaser image shows the latest concept by Nissan’s luxury brand. The Q60 Concept will debut at the Detroit Auto Show and give an outlook on what might become a sports coupé in the future. Infiniti has not given any information on drivetrain options yet.
BMW 3-series PHEV details: BMW’s plug-in hybrid 3-series is set to go to market by early 2016. The production model will then combine a 180-hp combustion engine with a 70 kW electric motor. Pricing is said to start at around 39,000 euros (about 50,000 dollars).
sueddeutsche.de (in German)
EV initiative on the Philippines: The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) is asking the government for an exemption from value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax for EVs until 2020 to get the industry off the ground. EVAP is claiming that the State got nothing to lose but much to gain.
Driving experience B-Class ED: CleanTechnica reader Kyle Field in his guest contribution details his very first month with the 2014 Mercedes B-Class ED. Switching from gas to electric offered a few learnings on home charging (recommended), public charging (mostly overrated), and a powerful regen mode that equals out the somewhat heavy weight and perceived low range (87 miles) of the B-Class.
Nissan, BMW, Saab, Toyota Mirai, Honda Grace, WEC.
More range for Nissan EVs? Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn somewhat unwillingly confirmed on Japanese television that the company could soon present an affordable battery, allowing EVs to travel at least 250 miles (400 kilometers). Nissan’s chief spokesman Jeff Kuhlman even said that Nissan will “very soon take the issue of range off of the table” with a “comparable range to today’s petrol vehicles”.
BMW to roll out more PHEVs: The carmaker announces that it will offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its main models due to tighter emissions regulations. The plans include the X5 sport-utility vehicle as well as the 3-Series sedan (we reported) and other “core-brand” models.
bloomberg.com, electric-vehiclenews.com, evfleetworld.co.uk
Is Saab back in the game? The Chinese Saab owner National Electric Vehicle Sweden says it has found an Asian carmaker that will purchase a majority stake in NEVS. The investment group also said it is in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop new vehicles, but didn’t identify either company. In August it was reported that NEVS had sat down with Mahindra.
saabsunited.com, bloomberg.com, businessweek.com
Handmade Toyota: The fuel cell model Mirai will be built in Toyota’s advanced Motomachi plant in Japan, also because a lot needs to be done by hand instead of highly automated machinery. That explains why the carmaker plans on producing only 700 units in the first year.
autonews.com, transportevolved.com, motorauthority.com
Sales of Honda’s Grace hybrid sedan kicked off in Japan. The Grace features Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD one-motor hybrid system that allows drivers to start the car in EV mode, increasing fuel savings. Pricing starts at 1,950,000 yen (16,436 USD) and Honda hopes to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Dramatic WEC finale: Porsche’s Neel Jani took the top spot in the World Endurance Championship finale in Brazil in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, while teammate Mark Webber was involved in a dramatic accident, but had a lucky escape. Toyota took home the WEC manufacturers’ title.
Wind Tree, Toyota Mirai.
Reading tip: French engineers have developed an artificial tree, called “Wind Tree,” which turns even the smallest drafts into energy. It could i.e. produce enough energy to power an EV charging station.
Video tip: Jeff Cobb, editor of Hybrid Cars, took the Toyota Mirai for a first spin. While he likes the feeling of the vehicle and the fact that it still does make a sound, Cobb acknowledges that lack of infrastructure is still a problem. He also talks to a Toyota engineer explaining the inner workings of the FCV.
Toyota Mirai, VW e-Golf, BMW i3.
Click tip: Inside EVs took a look at the Toyota Mirai at the LA Auto Show and brought home some pictures showing even what is underneath the chassis of the fuel cell sedan.
Video tip I: A new spot from Volkswagen strives to bring home the virtues of German Engineering as applied in the e-Golf to American buyers. A bit educational at times…
Video tip II: Meanwhile, BMW USA has issued a whole series of i3 videos in a similarly scholarly fashion as its German competitor VW and even explains where to find the manual.
Audi, BMW, Toyota Mirai, Mullen, India, Italjet, Bylot.
Audi fuel cell concept: The German carmaker will present the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro technology demonstrator at the Los Angeles Auto Show. More details on this new plug-in hybrid with hydrogen fuel cell will become available tomorrow.
Hydrogen BMW i5? We already reported that BMW plans to employ a revised version of fuel cell system used in the Toyota Mirai. “Autocar” now speculates that it might be used in a future i-brand model, possibly to be badged i5.
Mirai pricing: Toyota will sell its fuel cell model from 57,500 dollars in California next year and will offer a leasing at 499 dollars monthly. With subsidies, the Mirai will thus be available from 44,500 dollars. Units are limited to 700 worldwide in 2015 of which 200 will be allocated to the Golden State.
greencarreports.com, greencarcongress.com (technology), hybridcars.com (driving impressions)
Coda returns: The electric sedan by Coda will have its comeback at the LA Auto Show but there runs as Mullen 700e by the Mullen Motor Company. The new Coda is said to come with an increased range of 185 miles. Moreover, the Mullen 100e will be on display which looks exactly like the ZAP Urbee.
Toyota to bring more hybrids to India: Due to the success of its hybrid Camry of which the Japanese carmaker sold 541 units during the first year in India, Toyota is thinking about expanding its hybrid offering. The Camry is manufactured in India by the JV Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
EICMA’s hidden jewels: Technologic Vehicles has uncovered some forgotten pieces at the Italian bike show EICMA in Milan. Check out these stylish e-bikes and electric motorcycles by Italjet and Bylot’s e-formidable. Retro is en vogue once more.
technologicvehicles.com (Italjet), technologicvehicles.com (Bylot)
Toyota Mirai, Honda, Lexus, Tesla, Impossible Electric Bike, Korea.
Toyota’s future begins: The Mirai (Japanese for “future”) has now been officially introduced and marks the start of Toyota’s fuel cell era. On-sale is set in Japan already this year at a price of 7,24 million yen (63,000 USD) – before government subsidies. Europe will be next in early 2015, followed by California in summer next year before the Mirai will be made available in more U.S. states by 2016.
forbes.com, bloomberg.com (price), youtube.com (promotional video)
Honda’s future delayed: The Japanese carmaker unveiled its FCV model on home soil. However, instead of the expected production version Honda just showed a modified concept. Consequently, the launch has been pushed back from 2015 to March 2016 in Japan.
Lexus promises passion: Alain Uyttenhoven, VP of Lexus Europe, has confirmed a production version of the LF-LC concept, Auto Express reports. While he did not give any details on timing and drivetrain, the study which was first shown in Detroit in 2012 featured a 500-hp hybrid system.
Tesla discounts: As the new 2015 Model S range is just around the corner, 2014 Model S are to become increasingly cheaper, Consumer Reports quotes a Tesla insider. Discounts will apply to remaining Model S including display cars. The 2015 Tesla will be available with all-wheel drive, new power and range specs, and the so-called “Autopilot” function (we reported).
consumerreports.org via greencarreports.com
Folding e-bike: The ‘Impossible Electric Bike’ is said to weigh only 5 kilos and to fit in a backpack. The Kickstarter crowd seems inclined to believe the engineers’ claim even though the somewhat bizarre design is still missing pedals and a chain. Minor details when making the impossible possible…
Korea is to cut down hybrid subsidies after a recent budget revision. Instead of the originally allocated 40 billion won (36 million USD) only 32.5 billion won (29.5 million USD) will go to buyers of hybrids next year which will help finance 32,500 units. The government is further asked to provide EV infrastructure.