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Updated: 21 hours 4 min ago

New York cooperates with Ubitricity for charging network

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:30

The Berlin-based company Ubitricity was awarded the win for the Local Climate Action Tech Competition in New York. Now the administration behind mayor Bill de Blasio is checking potential cooperations with the company in all five boroughs.

Ubitricity is mostly known for their development of a mobile electricity counter, which would allow for a simple upgrade of existing street lights to additionally function as vehicle chargers. In June a test installation was set up in New York. Now the talk is about a potentially multi-year pilot-project in all five of New York’s boroughs.

The Local Climate Action Tech Competition was first announced in 2017, after which the Berliners managed to prevail against 30 other competitors. The contest was started in cooperation between the New Yorker Chief Technology Office, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, NYC’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and NYC’s Department of Transportation. “Ubitricity’s innovative solution could be instrumental in helping the City’s achieve its climate action goal while simplifying the needs of electric vehicle users and future adopters,” said Jeremy Goldberg, a representative from the Mayor’s Office.

Recently, Ubitricity has been able to score internationally in London and more locally in Dortmund. Only in their home town of Berlin, the company does not seem to be gaining any traction. This may change soon, however: according to information from electrive.net, there are efforts to upgrade a large amount of street lanterns with the technology as part of the clean air initiative by the state, which has set funds aside for low-cost infrastructure and has several potential applications for mobile metering charge points.

cityofnewyork.us, press release (PDF)

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Düsseldorf company presents extendable BEV iEV X

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 18:01

The Düsseldorf company iEV1 GmbH has presented a single-seated mini BEV named the iEV X, which can extend itself thanks to flexible vehicle architecture. At full length, it can house two persons and luggage. Currently the company is in the middle of a crowd-funding campaign to fund production.

The iEV X is extendable in the truest sense of the word: the “short” configuration has the vehicle standing at 78 cm width and 1,60 m length. This is six to seven times smaller than conventional personal vehicles.

While the width is not variable, a motorized mechanism extends the mini BEV to a length of up to 2,20 m, where the body is split with a hollow space in the middle. The hollow space is not contained by the chassis, however, as can be seen in the following video.

Regarding technical specifications, the developers had this much to say: The basic model will feature a 48 volt battery, allowing for a 40 – 60 km range. Top speed was clocked in at 45 km/h, and a solar panel on the roof contributes additional power on the road. Charging the battery takes about 3 hours, according to the manufacturer. The vehicle price has been set at 3,850 euro.

A more powerful version of the vehicle, named the iEV X+ will have a 72 volt battery, allowing for a range of 80 to 120 km, and a top speed of 60 km/h. Further additional options include an automated charging system, and a pedal system to further extend the range. The price of the iEV X+ has been set at 7,850 euros.

newsatlas.com, cleantechnica.com, kickstarter.com

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University of Graz presents robot controlled charging system

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 17:08

Researchers from the Technical University of Graz have developed a robot-controlled fast charging system for electrified vehicles in cooperation with industry partners. The special thing about the system is that is allows for serial charging of vehicles in different parking positions.

Thanks to a camera system, the robot, who uses a conductive CCS charging system, can find the charging plugs for the vehicles and autonomously charge them.

Project leader Barnhard Walzel underlined that the robot was capable of doing so without the need for vehicles to be especially adapted to the technology. The system even worked when vehicles were not parked in an exact position, solving most problems associated with stationary vehicle positioning and autonomous charging. The charging system is a “complex mechatronic system consisting of sensors, robot kinematics and robot control elements,” according to a university statement. Furthermore, the system works in different lighting conditions, meaning it could be used both indoors and outdoors.

The system was developed by the team from the Graz institute with their colleagues from the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision from the TU Graz as well as industry partners BMW, Magna Steyr, the Linz-based automation specialist KEBA, as well as the Austrian Society of Automotive Engineers (ÖVK) in Vienna.

The concept of developing an autonomous charging system is not new: Volkswagen and Kuka cooperated on a similar project last year, which also focused on the automation of the charging process. With both projects robots are being used to bridge the more flexible charging requirements.


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SQM hands over Argentina project to Ganfeng

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 14:29

The Chilean lithium supplier SQM will sell their 50% stake in the Cuachari-Olaroz project in Argentina to the Chinese company Ganfeng Lithium for 87.5 million dollars.

The agreement also stipulates that Ganfeng will pay an additional 50 million dollars to SQM if the projects lithium-sales targets are met. The transaction will likely not be completed before the final quarter of the year. The Cauchari-Olaroz project is currently surveying an 82,500 hectare area in the north of Argentina, bordered by two salt lakes, among other features. The lithium production is expected to begin there in 2020.

Canada’s Lithium Americas Corp (LAC) also announced in a separate statement that the deal would see their part of the project grow from 50% to 62.5%.

SQM is one of the largest lithium producers on the planet. In mid May it was announced that the Chinese Tianqi Lithium Corp would be buying in to the Chilean company with a 4 billion dollar ticket. According to Reuters, the transaction has yet to receive official permission before going ahead, however. In March, the government had warned against selling SQM shares to China, as they considered it would give China an unfair advantage in global resource procurement for electric vehicles. The government agency Corfo published a 45 page warning at the time, with the core statement, that Tianqi Lithium’s entry to the market would significantly distort competition.

reuters.com, ft.com, miningweekly.com

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Henrik Fisker joins Motec Ventures advisory board

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:54

Henrik Fisker has joined the advisory board of Motec Ventures, an innovation platform based in Berlin and funded by German Automobile and Mobility consultancy e&Co and the Austrian venture capital firm Venionaire Capital.

Fisker, who is known as a successful vehicle designer and industrialist, “will support managing directors Berthold Baurek-Karlic and Geza Brugger through regular discourse on technical and entrepreneurial issues.” The initiative is focused on a stronger cooperation between small and medium companies, global OEMs and suppliers to lower production costs and set up a more intelligent scaling.

Fisker himself sees his role on the board in finding new personnel and technological innovations around the world, who can contribute to the next level of mobility development. He is particularly looking close to home and said the following on the subject: “There is a great deal of investors in Germany, the hotbed of automotive leadership, that would like to find promising new technology suppliers without having to cross the pond to places like California – and we see a wealth of these undiscovered entities in Europe alone.”


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Nio seeks public investment

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:25

The Chinese EV startup is looking to enter the stock market and is aiming for an investment sum of 1.8 billion dollars. The application paperwork is currently underway.

Nio is also not the only Chinese EV manufacturers currently looking to gather fresh capital for expansion and development ahead of the expected EV boom.

The first reports concerning the public investment plans by Nio were published in early March. At the time, talk was of 2 to 3 billion dollars, which the company hoped to collect in financing. The Shanghai based company then planned to finance their expansion and invest in areas such as autonomous driving technology and batteries.

At the end of last year, Nio presented their debut model for the Chinese market: The ES8 is an electric SUV with seven seats and an exchangeable battery. The successful market launch set Nio ahead of their competition, many of whom are still stuck in the concept stage.

In November 2017, Nio also manage to gather 1 billion dollars in a financing round, pushing their net worth to about 5 billion dollars. The money was partially invested by previous investor Tencent. Furthermore, Nio also announced founding a joint venture with the Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC).

Simultaneously, Electra Meccanica is also launching efforts on the stock market: The Canadian manufacturer of the three-wheeled BEV Solo, has announced their intention to sell about 2.3 million shares at $4.25, aiming to raise about 10 million dollars. The company plans to use the fresh capital to finalize serial production for their debut model.

auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com, cnbc.com, bloomberg.com, canada.autonews.com (Electra Meccanica)

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Nissan-Dongfeng JV plans 20 EVs by 2022

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:02

The joint venture owned by Nissan and Dongfeng at 50% each, has announced a green roadmap, which contains plans to develop and launch 20 new electrified vehicles by 2022.

The document effectively outlines the joint venture’s strategy for the next five years. A core point of the plan is to launch 20 new electrified vehicle models between their four subsidiary brands. Some will be fully electric, while some will take advantage of Nissans e-Power technology. The companies plan to make 30% of their profits by 2022 from these electrified models.

The JV is also working on new regeneration technology for batteries, in order to help minimise waste. What exactly they are working on was not stated, however. The spokesperson said that the recycled batteries would find use in commercial energy storage systems to help provide grid stabilisation for communities and industry.

To boost production, DFL (Dongfeng Motor Company Limited) will be introducing energy saving techniques, as well as constructing three solar parks and the establishment of a “smart” water system. The explicit goal in these measures is to reduce energy consumption by 20% and water consumption by 35%, as well as a corresponding lowered CO2 production level. The joint venture also has calculated investments of 1 billion Yuan (130 million euro) to modernise their paint shops and to reduce volatile organic compounds emissions by 50%.

The results of the cooperation can already be seen in shape of the Sylphy Zero Emission. In June, the Japanese automobile manufacturers opened the books for the BEV presented in April at the Beijing Motor Show. The vehicle was developed in cooperation with Dongfeng and will be the first electric Nissan vehicle available in China. The basic price after subventions is at 166,000 Yuan, or 22,000 euro.

newsroom.nissan-global.com, greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, autocarpro.in

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Audi fitted with a Tesla Powertrain

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:17

In another vehicle hacking attempt, the Powertrain was taken from a Tesla Model S and integrating it into the Audi S5.

While the conversion managed to fit all 16 battery modules, some had to be split between the front and the rear of the vehicle. Engineer Rich Rebuilds also checked out the car, giving his full approval.


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Alpiq launches EV subscription model in Switzerland

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:48

The Swiss energy company Alpiq has now begun offering a subscription model for electrified vehicles in Switzerland in cooperation with clean-tech incubator Oyter Lab. The vehicle partner for the Juicar initiative is BMW Switzerland.

The subscription model is designed somewhat similarly to Netflix business model: Customers pay a monthly premium, which will provide access to a BMW i3, a home charging station, a charging card for public stations and an electric flat rate for 12,000 to 15,000 km per year, as well as the required taxes and insurance. The program was set to start in early July, and is planned to expand to other regions before long, as well as the rest of Europe.

A pilot testing phase in Germany took place at the start of this year, and the program is designed to lower entry barriers for private EV use, particularly regarding every-day applications, according to the company. The mobility package can be tweaked according to individual needs and can be cancelled at any time.

The development of the package deal was done by Oyster Lab, who then handed it over to Alpiq for realization. The Lab is researching with an international team to provide future energy services on the European market. The lab is headed by former Zalando innovation head Bastian Gerhard.


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Blacklane integrates Tesla models into chauffeur service

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:38

The Berlin startup Blacklane has expanded their chauffer service by a new section: Green Class. Effective immediately, they offer the extra class in 20 cities around the world, now also utilizing Tesla BEVs. The only German city with the service is Munich.

Blacklane is currently active in 260 cities with their services. The options previously available were business class, business van/SUV and first class.

This palette has now been expanded to include a green class, which includes Model S and Model X vehicles. The green class is initially being offered in Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Austin, Basel, Birmingham, Denver, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Lisbon, London, Milan, Montreal, Munich, Paris, Phoenix, Sydney and Zurich, with more to follow later.

“We welcome battery-electric chauffeur-quality vehicles from all premium automakers to our fleet. Supporting business and leisure travelers with green travel options is essential to a healthy planet,” said Jens Wohltorf, CEO and co-founder of Blacklane. The company is looking to not only expand their service area, but also plan to offer increased vehicle variety for their customers.


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UQM Technologies delivers FC compressors to China

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:28

UQM Technologies has received a 3 million dollar order from China. Specifically, the company will be exporting their fuel cell compression system for multiple customers, including “a large OEM”.

According to the US American company, the orders include more regular customers as well as new ones. The delivery will take place this and next year.

UQM’s fuel cell compressor systems (FCS) utilize the UQM permanent magnet motor and controller, paired with an Eaton compressor. The result is a more efficient system for supplying air to fuel cell stacks, capable of powering a variety of vehicles. The system accommodates a voltage range between 270-800 VDC, a pressure ratio ranging between 1.0 to 2.2, and airflow between 100 to 500 kg/h, which is sufficient for the majority of fuel cell vehicles on the market.

UQ has been orienting towards China for some time now: In December 2017, the company stated a joint venture with the China National Heavy Duty Truck Group and Sinotruk Global Village Investment Limited from Hong Kong. The joint venture, named Sinotruk Qingdao Zhongqi New Energy Automobile Co., will produce electric drive systems for utility vehicles on the Chinese market. The capacity is planned to be around 50,000 systems per month, starting in 2019.

businesswire.com, uqm.com

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Narke presents battery electric Jet-ski

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:07

The Hungarian firm has presented their concept fully electric jet-ski. First tests on the Balaton have already been completed, according to Narke. The price and the release date have not been announced yet, however.

The jet-ski contains a motor developed in-house by Narke, which features 45 kW performance and a top speed set to 55 km/h. The exchangeable lithium-ion battery pack is said to be sufficient for 1.5 hours of “normal” use, and chargeable to 80% capacity within two hours. The design is notably square with clear-cut corners, while the acoustic experience offered is significantly quieter than conventional jet-skis.

Narke is not the first company with the idea to electrify small watercraft – Hyundai showed off a concept called the Kite Concept Car, which is capable of driving both on land and in water, as the vehicle can transform from a two-seated electric buggy to a single-seat jet-ski in a few short moments. Another more recent example is the electric surfboard developed by Swedish company Awake, that eliminates the need for waves entirely.

electrek.co, newatlas.com, narke.com

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TVS Motor to reveal hybrid scooter iQube

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:43

The Indian manufacturer TVS Motor will likely be presenting their new hybrid scooter later this month, called the iQube. They also plan to invest in another Indian manufacturer named Ultraviolette Automotive.

The hybrid scooter may be presented as early as the 23rd of August, indicated by press invitations for the date. The reveal itself has not been announced explicitly, but indications are strong that the vehicle has entered serial production.

It was also announced that TVS Motor will be investing a sum of 60 million rupees (765,000 euro) in Ultraviolette Automotive. Ultraviolette is based in Bengaluru and is a provider of electro mobility solutions. Ultraviolette is also working on an electric motorcycle, and plans to expand their development section with the fresh capital.

deccanchronicle.com, zeebiz.com, overdrive.in, zeebiz.com (iQube)

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Porsche to make up billions in investment for EVs

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:24

The EV offensive by Porsche will cost the German automobile manufacturer billions, without a quick return on investment. For this reason, CEO Oliver Blume has announced a plan to save/make back several billion over the next three years.

The exact sum to be saved is 6 billion euros, according to the plan. The plan is to employ process optimization techniques as well as add new digital business models to help balance the expected deficit before the EV strategy fully takes hold.

The six billion euro figure is not random: This is the exact sum Porsche also plans on investing in their EV strategy. Two weeks ago, Blume announced that his vision for Porsche includes every second vehicle sold by 2025 being electrified. The fully electric Taycan will hit the market towards the end of 2019, taking up 500 million euro in development costs for variants and derivatives alone. Another billion have been calculated for the electrification of existing models as well.

In order to balance the books, Porsche is making efforts to save or bring in some cash on the other side. Particularly increasing efficiency in product development and manufacturing, as well as lowering material costs will save the German company the money, rather than letting go of employees, according to their statements.

In the first half of 2018, Porsche booked a turnover of 12.3 billion euros, which is a plus of four percent compared to the previous year. The operative income was lower, rising only 1% to 2.2 billion euro.

electrive.net, stuttgarter-zeitung.de, automobilwoche.de (All in German)

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Horiba takes over FuelCon AG

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 16:41

The Japanese company will be taking over the German Fuelcon, which is specialized on battery and fuel cell testing. The company is based in Barleben near Magdeburg, and has specialized on building test tracks for NEVs. Several larger corporations are among their customers.

Should the deal be officially approved, FuelCon will be adding their capacities to the Horiba Automotive Test Systems, a subsidiary service provider for motor, brake and emissions testing.

Horiba vice president Dr. George Gillespie said this regarding the arrangement: “Horiba needed to find a suitable industry leader who offered a range of technical solutions that complement our existing automotive test systems business and our position of global leadership in emissions measurement. In FuelCon we have found the perfect partner.”

Mathias Bode, managing director of FuelCon added that the global outreach presented by Horiba would also help boost FuelCon’s work: “[Horiba] will give us that international reach and with their track record in the manufacture of complex test and measurement solutions, they understand our need to continue to be able to respond promptly to complex customer demands.”

Bode himself will remain in charge of FuelCon together with Ingo Benecke, albeit under the roof of Horiba in future. The 2001 founded company will continue to work independently from their current location in Germany. They will be expanded, however how many more employees beyond the current 70 will be hired has not been finalized yet.

fuelcon.com, horiba.com

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VinFast orders e-bus components and technology from Siemens

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:54

The Vietnamese startup VinFast has signed an agreement with Siemens to supply technology and components for the manufacture of electric buses. The first complete bus is expected to roll off the assembly line by the end of 2019.

Two contracts supporting as much were signed by Siemens Vietnam and the subsidiary of Vietnam’s largest private company, the Vingroup JSC. VinFast further plans to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles, electric vehicles and combustion vehicles in their Haiphong City facility.

In front of this backdrop, the development service provider EGAD received the order to develop the first electric vehicle specifically for the Vietnamese market. VinFast is planning to supply south east Asia with fully electric city vehicles. The first design for the vehicle was already presented by EGAD.

Recently, VinFast also struck an agreement with GM where GM signed over almost their entire business in Vietnam to VinFast. Now the startup is exclusively selling the Chevrolet models by GM in Vietnam, among other things.

tribune.com.pk, auto.ndtv.com

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Tesla gearing up to bring Model 3 to Australia, NZ

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:39

Now that production has stabilised in the USA and roll-out is beginning to look more routine, Tesla has announced their next step in international roll-out: The tour that was done across Europe to help popularise the vehicle will also take place down under.

The event will be exclusive to Tesla customers, and the company sent out an invitation to Model 3 reservation holders via email. However a caveat in the phrasing of the email does make it sound like Tesla is potentially considering opening the event to the wider public, as they ask reservation holders to confirm “as spaces are limited”.

The Model 3 itself is not expected to be delivered in Australia for approximately another year. Earlier this year, the roll-out schedule was updated and Musk promised that the Model 3 would be hitting the left-hand drive markets in Europe and Asia during the first half of 2019. The right-hand drive version will “probably” follow middle of the year.

teslarati.com, electrek.co

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Nio charging van requires diesel rescue

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:13

In a somewhat embarrassing event, the Nio charging van, which is supposed to save stranded electric vehicles on the road had to be rescued by another vehicle when it ran out of juice.

The cherry on top is that the savior was a diesel, which hurts a little.The diesel powered Foton flatbed then loaded up the van on the back and took it away for recharging. It seems the team behind the battery rescue van need to plan their trips a little more carefully.


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Optare to contribute 21 electric double-deckers to London bus fleet

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 20:29

Ashok Leyland’s British subsidiary Optare will be delivering 21 fully electric double-decker buses to London. The contract is part of a larger order, which contains a total of 68 new vehicles for London’s fleets.

As of summer 2019 the double deckers will be in use on London’s streets. This was announced by mayor Sadiq Khan in the middle of June. The order also will be served by ADL and BYD, next to Optare, however it is unclear how many vehicles will be provided by each individual manufacturer. Concerning Optare, we now know that the company will provide half of the vehicles.

The vehicles will be used for London’s public transit fleet. The company plans to have 240 electric buses in operation by next year. Two bus lines, specifically the 43 and 134, will be exclusively serviced by electric buses following delivery.

autocarpro.in, business-standard.com

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Virginia utilizes VW payments to set up charging network

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 20:17

The US state of Virginia has decided to use their funds from the Volkswagen diesel scandal to set up a new vehicle charging network. The partner chosen to implement the initiative is EVgo.

EVgo is seated in Los Angeles and is currently operating more than 1,000 charging stations in 34 US states. Exactly how many will be built in Virginia has not been published yet, however it has been stated that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is allowed to 15% of the 93.6 million dollars that VW will be paying to the state for EV charging networks. This corresponds to about 14 million dollars.

The 8.5 million resident state currently operates about 100 fast charging DC stations, but the state plans an EV rate of about 15% by 2027.

governor.virginia.gov, wtop.com, augustafreepress.com, virginiabusiness.com

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