ZF, Visedo, Toray, UQM Technologies.
Central drive for e-buses by ZF: The German supplier has pulled off what it calls a plug and drive solution for all-electric buses in time for the Busworld. The CeTrax concept, a central drive unit, had been presented by 2016 but has now been implemented in a real world application and can be “retrofitted into existing vehicle platforms without any larger modifications to the chassis, axles, statics or differentials,” according to Dr. Jochen Witzig, who was responsible for the development. Maximum output of the CeTrax is at 300 kW which gives it a climbing ability of 25 percent.
Visedo brought a novel electric motor for buses to Belgium too and the Finnish solution praises itself of having the highest efficiency in the market. Matter of factly, the PowerDRUM S managed a 10 percent increase in power output as well as better cooling.
300m for separator production: Toray has yet again raised its stakes in battery production as the Japanese material producer frees 350bn Won (262m euros) to invest into its separator production for Li-ion batteries in South Korea. The step follows growing demand for electric vehicles and the investment due by 2019 and 2020 will increase capacities by 50 percent. Toray recently drew up plans to build up separator facilities in Europe and the States.
Collaborating for Ford: UQM Technologies will team up with Lightning Systems to support their beta programmes for the Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) programme by Ford. The latter certifies suppliers that retrofit its vehicles with hybrid drives for example.
NEVS InMotion, ARRT, GyroDrive, Visedo.
NEVS presents autonomous EV: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has revealed its eye catching concept car InMotion at the CES Asia. The futuristic prototype represents an all-electric autonomous vehicle with different seating configurations for idle “drivers”. Next to it, NEVS put its long awaited electric Saab models, the 9-3 and 9-3X on display.
carscoops.com (InMotion), motorauthority.com (9-3 and 9-3X)
Mix of electric bus and tram: The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ARRT) of Chinese company CRRC is a new mean of transport powered by electricity and made for autonomous driving. It looks like a hybrid of bus and train, yet does not run on rails but on wheels along designated paths. Each carriage can fit about 100 people. The first ART line is currently under construction in the city of Zhuzho with completion set for 2018.
Another wild mix for future mobility comes from the Czech Republic. Airborne, the GyroDrive is basically a mini helicopter for two passengers, but on the street the prototype turns into an electric vehicle albeit one that does not reach more than 40kph. Pricing starts from 57,000 euros.
Alliance for electric ship propulsion: Finish propulsion specialist Visedo is to partner with Kongsberg Evotec and Veth Propulsion in order to electrify marine applications. Visedo and Veth already developed the Integrated L-Drive together, an electric drive with a power range of 300 to 1,325kW.
OSVehicle, Kamag, Visedo, Sisu Auto, SolarStratos.
OSVehicle introduces modular EV: Known for its open source platform Tabby, the company presents a self-driving EV called EDIT. Its modular design shall attract B2B clients (e.g. car sharing providers or delivery services) as the car is easily adaptable to different usage requirements. That also applies to the interior space with its autonomous driving tech reaching from level 1 to 5.
charged.io, geekreply.com, osvehicle.com
Headless shuttle for heavy loads: Kamag introduced its E-Wiesel AGV pallet, an autonomous electric transporter that lacks a driver’s cab and thus can be loaded from both sides with up to 30 tonnes. Navigation is handled through sensor technology and loading and unloading is automated too.
Hybrid power for heavy trucks: The Finnish companies Visedo and Sisu Auto developed a hybrid electric power system for the heavy road transport sector. The parallel hybrid drive relies on an electric motor as well as a diesel engine and shall provide up to 850kW and more than 5000Nm torque.
Insights of Elektra-2: The SolarStratos project reported the maiden flight of its ultra-light solar aircraft two weeks ago and now has details. Weighing 420 kilo with a wing span of 25 metres, Elektra-2 uses technology from the DLR spin-off Elektra-Solar. It aims to fly 20 km high with a payload of up to 100 kg.
Terra E, Podbike, Visedo, TECO, Hyundai.
German battery cell production: Terra E is the name of a consortium that consists of ThyssenKrupp, M+W and Manz who reportedly want to team up with battery assembly firms like Litarion, BMZ and StreetScooter to establish large scale battery cell production in Germany. Varta may join the partners’ endeavour and BMW has been mentioned as first automotive customer. The first task for Terra E will be to find 150m euros before applying for further funding from the federal government.
tagesspiegel.de (in German)
The Podbike is designed to deal with Norwegian weather as it is a pedal-assisted quad, so neither bicycle nor car. It is not actually a pedelec either, at least none that works with a chain. Instead the passenger pedals to power a generator that in turn activates the two in-wheel electric motors in the rear. While the size of a very small car, it is light enough to be “parked” upright. Production of 600 pieces may start next year but expect to see a prototype within this quarter.
podbike.com via pedelec-elektro-fahrrad.de (in German)
New heavyweight emerges: Visedo and TECO join forces to electrify heavy vehicles in Asian markets particularly. While TECO means access to the ASEAN zone to Visedo, it will profit in turn from the Finnish firm’s technology and expertise in large electric drives for ships and buses.
Patent diggers: Hyundai is working on wireless charging, while Lucid Motors plans to have its own battery system and Toyota manages energy anew for plug-in hybrids. All this and more was dug out by our colleagues over at Inside EVs, who scanned the latest patent filings.
Moto GP, KTM, Visedo, Kenworth.
Moto GP comes together: The electric motorcycle racing series planned by promoter Dorna is taking shape. Four manufacturers agreed to deliver 18 electric race bikes with a speed of around 200 kph. They shall last for at least ten laps in each of the five Moto GP races starting from 2019.
Street-legal KTM e-bike: Electric racing series such as the Moto GP may well aid sales of bikes like this KTM. The E-Duke would be the Austrian brand’s first dip into road legal territory and is at prototype stage. Production is not yet underway, because battery prices are still too high.
Föri the electric ferry: Finland’s oldest ferry has been rejuvenated with an all-electric propulsion from Visedo. The 113 year old vessel now silently glides back and forth on Aura River and charges overnight. The Visedo system is eight tons lighter than the diesel set up it replaced.
SoCal’s ports’ electrification progresses fast as with US Hybrid another maker jumps on board the hybrid truck market after Kenworth. Its Class 8 port drayage truck features a fuel cell and will be operated at the harbours of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Waymo, Mitsui Chemicals, Visedo, Symbio.
New Google partner? Honda is in talks to partner with Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving spin-off, apparently. While Fiat already sent a hundred modified Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, it is unclear which vehicles Honda may offer.
Growing demand for Li-ion batteries led Mitsui Chemicals and partner Formosa Plastics to raise capacity at their plant in Chinese Ningbo from 1,500 to 5,000 tons/year. The plant shall work at full capacity by the end of 2017.
Expansion: Finnish manufacturer of e-drives, Visedo has collected 20m euros (US$21m) for its international growth plans. Visedo supplies electric powertrains and components for heavy-duty machinery, CV and the marine industry.
Hydrogen-powered skateboard: To mark its first appearance at the CES in Las Vegas, Symbio will present a fuel cell skateboard prototype. It shall however point to the firms much larger applications for buses, trucks or boats.
Leclanché & Visedo, Wrightspeed, TU Eindhoven, Lithium-sulphur.
Swiss-Finnish electric bus bonding: Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché and Finnish Visedo Oy have agreed to develop and distribute electric drive systems for electric buses together. An undisclosed European city is said to have pre-ordered 30 to 50 electric drives and batteries to be delivered from 2016.
Range extender for commercial EVs: Wrightspeed introduced a new range extender for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Fulcrum turbine generator delivers 80 kWh and is said to be 30% more efficient. It is used to recharge the battery pack and Wrightspeed’s geared traction drive.
Formic acid to hydrogen: For his PhD thesis, a student from the TU Eindhoven developed a catalyst in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) can form formic acid quicker than usual and reverse it to hydrogen just as fast. The discovery could make hydrogen tanks for FCVs much safer. However, researchers have to increase energy density first.
New Li-S cathode material: Researchers from Berkeley report to have found a high-rate, long-life lithium-sulphur battery. The cathode consists of lithium sulfide and graphene oxide, which is then covered in a shell of carbon layer.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the news that Aston Martin’s electric concept DBX is scheduled for 2019.
Albemarle, Rockwood, SAE J2601, CiA 454, Visedo.
Billion dollar chemistry deal: The U.S. chemistry industry just sealed what is said to be its “biggest deal” ever, as Albemarle bought Rockwood for 6.2 billion dollars. The latter is the biggest among four companies which currently control 90% of the world’s lithium market. Albemarle sees the potential of the automotive industry as being especially attractive and expects a steep demand increase around 2017.
Hydrogen fuelling standard: SAE International published its first standard for safe and quick refuelling of FCEVs. The SAE J2601 harmonises the protocol for hydrogen fuelling stations worldwide for both 35 MPa and 70 MPa systems.
Future-safe LEV standard: The EnergyBus organisation has issued an update of its communication interface standard for e-bikes and other light electric vehicles. The new version of the CiA 454 open communications standard is a commitment to all future developments, which are supposed to be compatible with older types of for example the charge-lock plug.
E-bus made in Finland: Manufactures of electric buses like French Safra or the Finnish VTT use drivetrains from Finnish Visedo. In a recent comparison organised by Veolia in Helsinki, these buses did stand out with impressive efficiency numbers, the company says.
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Most clicked link on Wednesday was Tesla’s decision to call its Model E the Model III.