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Updated: 5 hours 37 min ago

Arsenal-BYD deal too good to be true

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 18:59

A sponsoring deal between London’s football club Arsenal and China’s BYD is likely to fall through. BYD is warning against an impostor in their own ranks that has been using their name to close deals without their authorisation.

If the allegations prove true, and it is looking very much so, both Arsenal and ourselves would have been fooled. An earlier article declared BYD the new sponsor of the premier league club.

Now the Chinese company have asked the police to investigate. In a statement they clarified that Li Juan and “Chen Zhenyu” neither are nor were employees of BYD even though they were posing as such. This means “BYD has never authorized the aforesaid persons to conduct businesses in the name of BYD or sign any contract on behalf of BYD,” according to the statement.

It has turned out that this affects the “contract” with Arsenal as well. Unfortunately so actually as Arsenal has one of the largest fanbases of any western football club in China, with 4.7 million followers on social media platform Weibo.

Therefore, Arsenal had happily announced the partnership in April, saying it had reached a deal with “the world’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer”.

As part of the deal BYD would receive pitch-side LED signage and branding on seats at the Emirates Stadium. It would also have access to Arsenal Legends for special promotional events in China.

On the latest revelations of fraud, Arsenal said it is “investigating while talking to senior management of BYD”.

In China, Shanghai police has arrested a woman on suspicion of contract fraud and faking company seals, BYD said.

bloombergquint.com, hkexnews.hk (BYD statement)

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NL: Defibrillator added to EV charging station

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 18:14

Good news reach us from the Dutch town of Delft where EVBox and City AED cooperate to offer defibrillators at EV charging stations. The life-savers do not depend on the charge column directly and a first installation demonstrates the principle.

The companies aim to encourage more municipalities to add Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to charging stations. AEDs are designed to allow first-aid helpers to provide defibrillation to victims suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

The idea builds on the situation in the Netherlands where there is a lack of publicly accessible defibrillators. The Delft-based organisation City AED decided to take action by equipping electric vehicle charging stations with an AED. Public charging stations are typically installed in easily accessible and central locations on the streets, making them an ideal choice.

For now, the Delft project is a pilot for City AED and EVBox. EVBox is supplying the charging station, while City AED is fully responsible for its functionality, installation, and maintenance. The defibrillator runs on an internal battery, which is not connected to the charging station and always keeps functioning independently.

evbox.com

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Hamburg: Deutsche Bahn using electric cabs of LEVC

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:58

Deutsche Bahn subsidiary ioki has launched an individual shuttle service in Hamburg. The on-demand offer complements the public transit by operator VHH and is included in their ticketing. The partners opted for the range-extended electric taxis made by British LEVC.

For LEVC, it is the second project in Germany as they recently launched their electric cabs in beige to serve as regular taxis reportedly.

The current project in Hamburg however is adding a new technology component. Deutsche Bahn subsidiary ioki relies on algorythms to “bundle” passengers wanting to ride similar routes in one cab. Moreover, the ioki offer is to tie in neatly into the existing public transport system and time tables as specified by VHH (Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein). From August, 8 however, the service will be available around the clock.

A ride may start at a designated station and end at any address within the service area or the other way around. Deutsche Bahn also wants to introduce additional “optimal stops” not unlike meeting points used when pooling passengers for an Uber cab.

For the moment, the service is available in the Hamburg districts of Lurup and Osdorf. The size of the fleet has not been disclosed officially but media reports counted ten electric cabs for a start.

LEVCs electric taxis convinced for various reasons but mainly through their size and connectivity. The TX offers space for 6 persons and also enables easy access for people using wheelchairs.

The electric cabs built in Coventry are also running in Scandinavia since LEVC signed an agreement with Fortnum reportedly. Moreover, LEVC say they have interest from taxi operators in France and the Netherlands. The company recently launched their second model, an electric van for inner city logistics as well (we reported).

In Hamburg, the ioki on-demand service is part of  a push to become a smart city. Deutsche Bahn is part of the initiative of the same name.

deutschebahn.com (in German)

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The Boring Company building “Lego” bricks (video)

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:27

Elon Musk is looking into the circular economy it appears as his Boring Company releases a video that points out an actual use for dirt dug up in their tunnels.

The tunnel digging Boring Company want to use the earth to make bricks that look like Lego. Only these bricks come in adult-size for constructing tall buildings potentially.

It is not just an idea though. In fact the Tesla associated company has made a machine to cut those bricks already and released the following video.

Bricks! pic.twitter.com/6fNROJ86sN

— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) July 13, 2018

The Boring Company has been a testbed for some of Elon Musk’s more ludicrous ideas such as the flame thrower campaign that has burnt its way into the collective memory of the cyberspace. Still, other initiatives have more substance to it such as the Chicago project. The Boring Company has been selected to build a “Loop” transit system between the O’Hare airport and the downtown area. 80 to 100 vehicles based on the Model X will be used in the underground system. The fully electric vehicles will then drive autonomously through a tunnel system at speeds up to 240 km/h.

What is most notable though, is that Chicago will not be paying for the system. The Boring Company will operate and take revenue from the service instead, essentially making them a private mass-transit company.

No clients have been named for the bricks yet, nor have they found concrete use cases. There was mention of the pyramids though.

electrek.co

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Electric buses by VDL heading to Rotterdam

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:07

VDL Bus & Coach has received an order from Rotterdam, where public transit operator Ret is expecting the arrival of 55 all-electric buses by 2019. The order includes charging infrastructure. Moreover, Ret is looking to buy 100 hybrid buses this year.

The electric buses will serve on shorter routes in Rotterdam, Schiedam and Vlaardingen. The hybrid buses will be deployed on longer, regional routes according to Ret.

VDL also delivered charging infrastructure so that the electric buses may charge at the depot overnight and also quickly during operation when the opportunity arises.

VDL Bus & Coach has been advancing electric mobility in its home country before. For example, they delivered no less than 100 electric bendy buses to Amsterdam. There they operate 24/7 on routes to and from Schiphol Airport reportedly. The buses of type Citea also run in Groningen.

The Netherlands want to halt sales of diesel buses from 2025 and aim for zero emission public transport by 2030. Operators have been getting ready and Ret makes not exception. They plan to gradually decarbonise the fleet and plan to add to electric buses once the existing order has been fulfilled. This means another 50 electric buses are scheduled to arrive by 2021 and 2024 with an option for another 110 in 2029.

automotiveworld.com

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Aston Martin & RR both envisioning luxurious air taxis

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:23

Aston Martin presents the Vision Volante Concept, a study of a premium VTOL with hybrid propulsion. Whether the three-seater will ever take-off on a mass scale is uncertain. Yet Aston is on to something as Rolls-Royce also issued their version of an air taxi.

In fact, many companies such as Uber, Audi and Airbus as well as Volocopter are looking into electrified air taxis for personal transport. So the move by both Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce appears almost natural and adds a notion of luxury to the flying circus.

Aston is currently showing their “flying car” at the Farnborough International Airshow in Great Britain. Like its conceptual competitors, the Volante Vision can take off and land vertically. Instead of all-electric, Aston Martin opted for a hybrid system to power the air taxi’s three propellors. The premium in the Volante is its ability to fly autonomously, says Aston Martin, and also points to a luxurious interior.

Despite the premium positioning, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has a more down-to-earth use for the air taxi: commuting. Says Palmer: “The distance we live from our workplace has been determined by the methods of transportation available. The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute (…). Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.”

The Volante has been produced in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce. The latter is adding their expertise in propulsion systems.

In fact, Rolls-Royce has entered the aerospace sector before as it is working with Airbus and Siemens on the E-Fan X. This 100-seater hybrid aircraft is to launch into regular service on regional routes from 2020 reportedly.

For the current air show at Farnborough, RR brought their very own vertical starter study.

Our hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) program will revolutionize the way we travel and the way we build cities in this fast-changing world. Find out more about our role in the future of electrification https://t.co/SpltqJG5cw pic.twitter.com/irMxI08lbc

— Rolls-Royce (@RollsRoyce) July 18, 2018

The EVTOL (Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) concept is large enough to carry up to five passengers. Despite the name, it would not be purely electric though, as gas turbines would produce the 500 kW needed to power the six propellers. It would run on electricity once airborne however at speeds of 400 kph at peak. Range is estimated at 800 km.

For now, the EVTOL is nothing but 3D renders. However, Rolls-Royce stresses that their air taxi concept is based on technology that either already exists or is about to be finished so that their hybrid VTOL may launch early on in the next decade.

astonmartin.com (Vision Volante), engadget.com (Rolls-Royce), rolls-royce.com (EVTOL)

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EPA rate Tesla Model 3 dual-motor performance version

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:50

The Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor version with and without performance trim received their range rating from U.S. authority EPA. This means the carmaker may now officially start deliveries to customers.

Both the Tesla Model 3 Performance and non-Performance Dual Motor versions have a range of 310 miles (about 500 km) on a single charge. This is as much as the standard Model 3 with rear-wheel drive.

They only differ in terms of efficiency that is at 29 kWh/100 miles for the performance trim – 3 kWh more than the standard Model 3, which consumes 26 kWh of energy per 100 miles (160 km).

The EPA is usually the last hurdle to be jumped to start deliveries. Tesla has successively opened the online configurator, prioritising orders of the higher priced performance version as they went (we reported).

In addition, the following video is further indication of the reality of the Tesla Model 3 with the dual motor set up.

insideevs.com, electrek.co

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New labels for Volvo XC60 suggest EV versions

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:26

Volvo has trademarked the XC60 B4 AWD and XC60 B5 AWD names, suggesting they are planning to issue two all-electric variants of the XC60 and an all-wheel drive. For the XC40, Volvo recently confirmed an EV version.

The new XC60 trademarks all point to electric cars as they stand in line with Volvo’s current naming structure. This sees diesel vehicles badged as D4, D5 or D6 for example, while those with petrol powertrains start with a T, like the plug-in hybrid T8.

There are currently no cars in the Volvo range bearing a ‘B’ but its is not hard to see this mark for Battery-electric vehicle, or BEV in short.

Swedespeed does point out that Volvo has used engines featuring the letter B in its past, when it stood for “Bensin” and designated the company’s petrol-powered vehicles. In 2010, Volvo switched from using B to using said T for these powertrains.

Moreover, Volvo already confirmed a line of all-electric models, beginning with the XC40. The XC40 EV will cost about 50,000 dollars (43,000 euros) when it launches in 2020, according to Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson. He also affirmed Volvo’s intention to electrify their entire model range. Expect the PHEV version of the XC40 later this year.

The XC60 has been conceived as a plug-in hybrid SUV from the start. It seems likely that this could grow into an all-electric vehicle in future. It could share technology with the Polestar label for example, that just confirmed the positioning of their Polestar 2 electric car (we reported). The Polestar 2 will have a base price of 40,000 euros – competitive to say the least, given it is all-electric. Moreover, the engineers in Sweden and China aim for a range of 500 kilometres, about as much as the long-range version of Tesla’s Model 3.

swedespeed.comcarscoops.commotor1.com

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Volkswagen I.D. Crozz & I.D. Buzz to be Made in America

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 12:54

Volkswagen is planning to produce their upcoming I.D. Crozz and I.D. Buzz in the States to wet local appetite. “For strong product momentum, they need to be produced in the USA,” says Hinrich Woebcken, who leads VW North America.

Hinrich added that their electric car and electric camper van would also be “Americanised” but failed to go into any detail. Volkswagen aims to create a “high-volume scenario” and “to localise electric mobility in the US,” according to the manager quoted by Autocar.

Both the I.D. Crozz and I.D. Buzz will be sold globally once they hit the market early in the next decade. Production is set not only in the USA, but also Germany and China. In the People’s Republic, Volkswagen is working with FAW and SAIC to introduce their global MEB platform by 2020 reportedly.

At a presentation in Berlin this July, VW had reaffirmed their plans for the I.D. family of electric cars. While the presentation hinged on the I.D. Vizzion, it is in fact the smaller I.D. marking the start for the electric era at Volkswagen, particularly in Europe. The I.D. Crozz, an electric SUV is due by 2021. The I.D. Buzz is scheduled to launch by 2022. Only then will follow the I.D. Vizzion that will be largely autonomous and designed to wow buyers in Asia and America first.

autocar.co.uk

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First sight: Electric car Uniti One spotted live on the road

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 21:07

The EV startup Uniti of Sweden has released a new video that shows its Uniti One in action on a real road for the first time. Uniti is backed by Siemens and one million dollars of crowdfunding and has started taking pre-orders.

A prototype of the Uniti One had been filmed before but only inside. The new clip though shows the mini electric car taking to the real road in southern Sweden. The outdoor location is probably close to Landskrona, where Uniti has both their headquarter and production facility. They are hoping to start deliveries next year.

uniti.earth

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Tritium bringing fast-charging to Hungary

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 20:48

Hungary’s National Utilities has ordered fast-charging stations from Tritium through its subsidiary NKM Mobilitas. Twelve DC- charging stations with 50 kW will be installed along main roads across the country and mark the start of more to come.

In total, NKM Mobilitas is planning to install a hundred charging stations in Hungary before the year’s end. The network will run under the label Mobiliti.

The EV market in Hungary is small but growing rapidly with EV sales representing 5.1% of all new car sales in quarter one of 2018. Owners of electric cars receive incentives from the Hungarian Government, including grants of up to €5,000 euros, free car registration and reduced or free parking.

“We want to establish a network covering the whole country. Although today, it is mainly companies that are buying electric cars, 80-85 percent of the charging takes place in homes or underground parking garages. Only approximately five percent of charging points are located on autoroutes or motorways with the rest in public areas,” says Szabolsc Balogh, Managing Director NKM Mobilitas.

The company turned to Tritium for chargers for fast charging along the main traffic routes. In addition, Mobiliti is looking into charging solutions for B2B customers.

For Tritium the order is another affirmation of their expansion in Europe. The Asutralian company has recently opened its new European office in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. It will serve as sales and training center but also includes testing facilities for carmakers reportedly.
Moreover, high power charging alliance IONITY have booked Tritium for the construction of 100 high-power charging sites across Germany, France, UK, Norway and Sweden. The electric vehicle charging stations will have an average of up to six user units, each capable of delivering 350 kW of power via the Combined Charging System (CCS). IONITY aims for its network to ensure electric car drivers have access to a high-power charging station within 120 km.

tritium.com.au

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Jaguar connecting with PlugSurfing for premium charging

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 20:22

Jaguar Land Rover has opted for Berlin-based PlugSurfing to offer a “premium charging service” for the I-Pace electric car and Range Rover PHEVs. The partnership includes 70,000 charging points across Europe to be accessed through JLR apps.

The inclusion in the Jaguar and Range Rover app will allow electric car drivers to pay for the service with their phone as well. JLR customers will also receive a universal charging card that allows them to use PlugSurfing’s 70,000 charging points in Europe.

Users can choose between two packages and either pay a fixed monthly fee or charge their electric Jaguar or Range Rover PHEV with Pay As You Go. Each package is available through the Jaguar and Land Rover dealer network.

Moreover, the apps also show Jaguar and Land Rover electric vehicle drivers whether a charging station is available or occupied. Drivers can choose to rapid charge before reaching their destination or charge at normal speed upon arrival.

Mick Cameron, Head of e-Mobility, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are aiming to simplify the charging process through simple accessibility, usability and payment in one solution. With the number of accessible charging points rapidly growing as new operators work with the PlugSurfing network in major markets throughout Europe, it helps our customers to be working with the leading provider.”

The idea of PlugSurfing as “leading provider” has recently been bolstered up when the startup was taken over by Finnish Fortum (we reported). The merger has now come into full effect as PlugSurfing users have been granted access the Nordic network Charge & Drive run by Fortum. This means the PlugSurfing charge key unlocks about 3,400 electric vehicle charging points across Norway, Finland and Sweden. Moreover, about 30 per cent of Fortum Charge & Drive charging stations are fast-charging enabled.

plugsurfing.com (JLR cooperation); Fortum news via email

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Germany: Tesla buyers must pay back plug-in grant

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 19:50

Close to a thousand buyers of the Tesla Model S have been asked by German authority BAFA to pay back the plug-in grant (Umweltbonus) at once. This follows a subsidy fraud that has since been cleared, but too late for most.

Last December, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) suspected Tesla of subsidy fraud. Back then, Tesla had indeed tried to outmaneuvre the rules and was found out.

This led BAFA to strike Tesla from the list of electric cars eligible for subsidies. But, this was only after they had granted the 4,000 euro plug-in grant to about 800 Tesla buyers in Germany. This means, anyone that has bought a Tesla Model S before March, 6, 2018 must pay back the plug-in grant now. This also includes about 250 open applications from before that date which have now been declined.

To explain their decision, BAFA says they have no choice but to follow the law. They also claim, they had not been able to find another solution despite having reached out to Tesla and giving them time until July. Tesla Germany had not released an official statement at the time of writing.

The initial issue had arisen due to limitations of the 4,000 euro plug-in grant, also known as “Umweltbonus” (environment reward). It only applies to electric cars that cost no more than 60,000 euros net. Therefore, Tesla had listed a base version of the Model S below that price but investigative reporters soon found out, that said trim level never existed in in reality. Too many essentials were missing, which the EV maker had packaged as optional “extras” such as the rearview camera, park sensors, or lane keeping assistant.

By now, a real trim level for 58,000 euros has been introduced and put the Model S back on the BAFA list of electric vehicles eligible for the plug-in grant (we reported).

bafa.de (in German)

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Norway: Hybrid aircraft by Equator on maiden flight

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 18:56

Equator Aircraft of Norway has launched a series of test flights using their hybrid aircraft P2 Xcursion. The plane is capable to take-off both on land and water with its low float wings.

The prototype that now managed its maiden flight in Norway utilises a propulsion system that has been in the making since 2010. It has a combined power of 97 kW and couples a 60 kW electric motor with a 57 kW diesel engine. The electric motor serves as generator.

The commercial version of the Equator P2 Xcursion will use a 6 kWh Li-ion battery. For the test flights though, the P2 took a LiPO pack with 18 kWh capacity on board that used a separate BMS and weighed in with a heavy 100 kilos.

The electric aircraft is a two-seater and Equator says it has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 750kg and a load of 240kg. It can fly up to a maximum cruising speed of 130 knots, that is about 240 kph. In economy mode, the Norwegian company specifies a range of a maximum of 1,565 kilometres. Impressive data and the reason why Equator considers hybrid flying as a “bridging technology, that can provide green flight, but still have suitable long range capability,” on their website.

During the test flights at Norway’s Eggemoen Technology Park, the P2 Xcursion took off at 70 knots and flew at 100 knots at an altitude of about 10 metres before landing.

Cleantechnica cites designer and CEO Tomas Brødreskift saying the first flight “marks the real beginning of the test program for the aircraft prototype. We are now looking forward to gaining actual flight data, not to mention looking forward to putting the aircraft on the water as soon as possible.”

For this they need money and the company is actively looking for investors to further develop their hybrid aircraft.

cleantechnica.comequatoraircraft.com

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TU/ecomotive making “most circular car” a reality

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 18:26

A fully recyclable and light-weight electric car made from flax and sugar – what had been no more than a concept a few months ago, has now grown into a prototype. Awaiting certification, the makers from the TU Eindhoven will then take it on tour in Europe.

When Noah had first been conceived, not much was known but the concept has developed since. Now dubbed the “world’s most circular electric car” due to the nature of its recyclable materials and a “fuel economy” of 1:300, the students will take it on tour to inspire others.

Built by team TU/ecomotive, Noah is an electric two seater built for city driving with its top speed of 110 kph. The battery is super light with 60 kilos but said to last for 240 kilometres nonetheless. Hence the 1:300 ratio that equals 300 kilometres to 1 litre of petrol, say TU/ecomotive. This range is also down to the low weight of Noah. Without batteries Noah weighs 360 kg, which is less than half that of comparable production cars. The total weight is 420 kg.

This is also due to the use of bio plastic, which can be made from sugar. The chassis and the interior are made of strong sandwich panels, mixing said bioplastic and flax fibre. The latter also forms the body, adding a bio-based resin. Moreover, TU/ecomotive claim that these bio and light-weight materials require up to six times less energy to produce than materials such as aluminum or carbon. Still, the students say they managed to create a crumple-zone-like structure.

Therefore the prototype awaits certification for use on public roads. Once complete, they will start touring Europe with their electric car. However, their aim is to set an example and to promote the circular economy. Production plans have not been made.

tue.nl

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Audi batteries storing energy in second-life setting

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 17:58

Audi has joined the ranks of carmakers finding new uses for old electric car batteries as energy storage. The station has been set up close to Nuremberg in the south of Germany. Capturing 1,000 kWh, the second-life installation is run by local utilities.

The stationary energy storage had been in the making over months with partners Wendelstein Bürgerkraftwerk GmbH, a community-owned utility belonging to the N‑ERGIE Regenerativ GmbH, and energy specialist Covalion having turned to Audi.

The carmaker supplied 84 batteries that had served their time in the first life. Combined these batteries can still store 1,000 kWh, enough to supply about a hundred households in the region. Mostly though, the stationary energy storage will serve to even out electricity supply at peak times in order to stabilise the grid, keeping it at a constant 50 Hertz.

According to the utilities, their set-up will last for 20 years. For Audi’s Reiner Mangold, who oversees the area of sustainable product development, the project in the town of Wendelstein is a “real-life use case” and will help Audi to go deeper into battery recycling and second-life applications.

Audi is not alone in their endeavour. While EV powerhouses such as BYD or Tesla consider themselves energy companies already, carmakers are increasingly seeking collaborators. In the case of Daimler, they opted for a compromise as they set up a subsidiary called Mercedes-Benz Energy. It has turned a coal power plant into an energy storage holding close to 2,000 electric car batteries for a combined capacity of near 10 MWh available to the energy market. However, the latest coupling of BMW and EVgo saw the latter equip one of their fast-charging station with a back-up made from reused batteries from the BMW i3. For now said stationary set-up is a standalone but EVgo say they are planning to expand such second-life applications in future.

n-ergie.de (original source, in German)

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C40 Cities & Climate Group kick-off ZEV Challenge

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 16:51

C40 Cities and the Climate Group have launched the ‘Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge’ in order to “massively accelerate” the adoption of electric vehicles. Initiators include cities like London, New York and Paris as well as industry partners.

The ZEV Challenge addresses carmakers in particular, asking them to scale up production of electric cars and to free money to invest in battery research so prices may decrease.

Apart from C40 members such as New York City, Paris, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Rome, Copenhagen and Mexiko City, Medellin, also the state of California and the regions of Australian Capital Territory and Navarra have signed up.

From the industry, enterprises such as EDF Energy, LeasePlan and Unilever have joined so far. They are also part of the EV100 initiative that aims to electrify commercial fleets and urges other businesses to join.

In addition, the ZEV Challenge members pledge to work towards banning sales of combustion engine vehicles. In support, they will ask carmakers to work towards a phase-out date for their own ICEs and to commit to selling a minimum number of zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

The idea to push the supply side is not new and here summarised by Tex Gunning, CEO LeasePlan: “Although we’re seeing the appetite for EVs rise every day, the vehicles, infrastructure or policies to meet this demand aren’t there yet.” In a similar note although from the side of demand, we had recently featured a more in-depth analysis of women as an ideal target group for electric vehicle sales and one who has been largely overlooked by carmakers. Another report uncovered delivery delays of electric cars from almost all carmakers and those like Volkswagen continue to be faced with “unprecedented demand” for the few plug-in models on offer.

Yet times are changing, knows Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board, who said: “The auto industry knows this is a global trend and many are racing to be part of it.”

Therefore the Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge is designed to accelerate trends fostering electric transport already underway in several nations, regions, states and cities. The most recent example is the ‘Plug-in Pledge’ by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). They aim to raise the number of plug-in vehicles in fleets from 50,000 today to 720,000 by 2025 reportedly.

theclimategroup.org

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Polestar taking position to rival Tesla Model 3

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 16:12

Volvo’s electrifying performance branch Polestar has revealed details on their first all-electric models. The Polestar 2 is shaping up to be particularly interesting as pricing and sizing will set it right on par with the Tesla Model 3.

According to AutoExpress, the Polestar 2 will have a base price of 40,000 euros – competitive to say the least, given it is all-electric and essentially a Volvo. Moreover, the engineers in Sweden and China aim for a range of 500 kilometres, about as much as the long-range version of Tesla’s Model 3.

Explains Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s chief executive officer: “Polestar 2 will join the competition with Tesla Model 3, so people should have an understanding of the size and the price tag as well. It will start around €40,000 (£35,000).”

The price will become even sweeter when looking at the planned subscription service from Polestar that is essentially an easy leasing offer. Buyers will pay a monthly flat rate that covers the cost of the car, servicing and insurance over two to three years. Once the contract terminates, the car is handed back to Polestar.

Moreover, the engineers in Sweden and China aim for a range of 500 kilometres, about as much as the long-range version of Tesla’s Model 3.

A date for the debut has been set as well so the Polestar 2 will see the spotlight in spring next year at the Geneva Motor Show. Production will start in early 2020.

The third model, an electric SUV aptly named Polestar 3, will hit the market by 2022. While the performance data is expected to remain largely the same, Polestar untlimateöy wants to establish their own design language with that model.
Like the Polestar 1, the third electric car will be produced at Polestar’s new facility in Chengdu, China. Here they appointed August Wu as the new president of Polestar China reportedly.

Also in their home market, Polestar is about to finish works on their new headquarters. Located in the Swedish Torslanda, near Gothenburg, the facility will house around 200 employees when it takes up operation, and will be on the same campus as the main facilities and the Volvo Cars factory (we reported).

autoexpress.co.uk (Polestar 2) autoexpress.co.uk (Polestar 3)

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Tesla Model 3 most profitable EV on market (video)

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:58

German engineers had found the Model 3 profitable before but now Tesla sceptic Munro & Associates have come to the same conclusion and say Tesla is onto a margin. It could be as much as 30%. This sets a new benchmark for electric cars.

Not unlike the German engineers that had analysed each and every bolt of the Model 3 earlier this year, Munro & Associates also disassembles new cars. For Tesla they had published damning findings this April, saying the EV was not only poorly made but also costly to built.

Now their opinion has changed, reversed in fact. Founder Sandy Munro has found that the Model 3 can be profitable and may even have the potential to make a 30 percent margin. This would set it apart from any other electric vehicle on the market to date.

In an interview with Autoline After Hours, Munro showed himself particularly impressed with the tight integration of circuit board components, which he calls “a symphony of engineering”. He also praised the efficiency of the battery. Munro also pointed to a comprehensive comparison of the parts and materials used by the Model 3, General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt, and BMW’s i3, in which the Model 3 comes out favourably.

This is the show in full.

The findings echo a similar report by German engineers. They had “dissected” the Tesla Model 3 and its battery and found that costs for materials and suppliers come down to no more than 18,000 dollars. They also analysed the battery chemistry in detail, coming to exact and similar results, thus concluding Tesla could be making real money from the Model 3.

The findings come amid Tesla ramping up the Model 3 production rapidly. The latest target had been announced earlier this week: the production rate for Model 3s is planned to be increased to 7,000 vehicles per week by the end of the year and to 10,000 per week by mid 2019 (we reported).

bloomberg.com

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Confirmed: 2019 Nissan Leaf to go stronger for longer

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:32

The long range Nissan Leaf is coming in 2019. It will not only have a bigger battery, possibly 60 kWh, but also more power, confirms Nissan’s head of EV marketing Brian Maragno. The so called Leaf E-Plus may appear this year.

Rumour has had it for months – Nissan will bring a bigger battery for the 2019 model year and it is most likely the Leaf will then feature a 60 kWh power pack reportedly.

While the exact size of the battery remains unconfirmed, Nissan EV marketing boss Maragno told at a Formula E event that the new Nissan Leaf will boast the “E-Plus” badge and get a boost in power from 110 kW to 149 kW. And, he confirmed that this power increase would be made possible by a bigger battery.

“When you have a bigger battery, with more capacity, it just opens up the door to be able to have more output,” he said according to Autoguide.

He did not specify the expected range but estimates revolve around 200 miles or 350 kilometres using the U.S. EPA cycle that is deemed pretty realistic.
Maragno declined to say anything more on the U.S. market and if they could expect the Nismo.

Apart from more power and longer, a bigger battery suggests longer charge times or faster charging as well. Nissan had battled a scandal dubbed #rapidgate on social media as Leaf drivers complained that the fast-charging significantly slows down after repeated uses over short time periods. This issue has been solved with a software update since, Nissan says.

Still, it is expected that the new 2019 Leaf will be able to charge twice as fast and also receive an upgrade for AC charging.

Nothing was said about the new pricing, yet estimates suggest it will linger around the 35,000 dollar or 29,000 euro mark as before.

For Nissan, the Leaf has proven a success over many years, particularly in Europe where they sell one third of the global allocation reportedly. By now, this amounts to over 100,000 Nissan Leaf having been sold on the continent and Nissan says about 37,000 of those were the 2018 model generation that is made at their Sunderland plant in the UK.

autoguide.com

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