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Updated: 13 hours 21 min ago

USA: Daimler investing millions into Proterra

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 18:40

U.S. busmaker Proterra has closed a funding round under Daimler’s lead with 155 million dollars. While the investment of Daimler is undisclosed, it is confirmed that the deal has the potential to whirl the electric school bus market up to new heights.

The investment includes a cooperation agreement between Proterra and Daimler. They want to develop electric school buses together, at least in America. Proterra will lend its battery and drive train expertise. Daimler is to help with scaling manufacturing.

Martin Daum, who oversees Daimler Trucks & Buses for the Mercedes Board, expects the cooperation with Proterra “to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive. In this way, we are broadening our scope in particular concerning the key technology of the battery – also with regard to North America.”

In concrete terms this means, Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division may soon be using Proterra’s battery and drive train technologies in the North American school bus market.

Overall, Proterra collected 155 million dollars in this latest round of funding. The round was co-led by Daimler and Tao Capital Partner. Neither a timeline for the development nor details on the investment have been provided.

techcrunch.com, daimler.com

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MAN presents wide-ranging electric truck portfolio

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 18:22

MAN Truck & Bus has a whole range of electric commercial vehicles on display at the IAA in Hanover. Their portfolio includes the eTGE electric van, the brand new electric CitE truck, the eTGM and, an electric bus prototype.

Clearly, the Volkswagen label MAN is to cover all classes of city logistics, be it light, medium or heavy duty (3 – 26 tons) with a zero emission vehicle. Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Executive Board at MAN Truck & Bus AG confirms, “We believe that the future of goods and passenger transport in the city is electric”.

Let us start light with an electric van that has been presented before but is now ready to go serial. The eTGE is in fact MAN’s first series electric vehicle and will be produced in Poland, alongside the eCrafter and the regular Crafter.

This brings us to the next EV, MAN’s eTGM, an all-electric distribution truck. The 26 ton electric truck features a motor with 264 kW power and 3.100 Nm peak and will likely be made in Poland as well as it features the same performance as said eCrafter.

Entirely new at the IAA Comercial Vehicles is the CitE, an electrically driven city truck, which MAN considers the “highlight of the show”. The 15-tonne vehicle, which was developed in just 18 months, was designed for inner cities and has a range of 100 km. The low entry height and especially wide doors allow for easy access in crowded conditions.

Last but not least, MAN is showing a close-to-series model of their electric city bus. The MAN Lion’s City E has a central motor on the axle, which frees space for passengers. The batteries are mounted on the roof and allow for a range of up to 270 kilometres and can be charged in just three hours, according to MAN.

A demo fleet of electric buses will be tested in different European cities in every day use from 2020, before series production of the battery-electric version of the new MAN Lion’s City will finally begin.

To find MAN at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, feel free to download our comprehensive guide to all things e-mobility here >> The electrive E-Mobility Guide (pdf)


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Samsung’s robot charging unit EVAR (video)

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 15:13

Electric car enthusiast Bjørn Nyland has tracked down a robot that is a bit bizarre. The Electric Vehicle Automatic Recharging (EVAR) device serves at the Samsung C-lab in South Korea, and of course, there is a video.

The name EVAR, or the Electric Vehicle Automatic Recharging (Robot, we may add) says it all. The little machine serves to recharge a parked electric car when called via app.

In order to do so, EVAR connects to a special EVSE adapter that must be attached to the number plate. The robot then offers 7.4 kW of single-phase charging from a 10 kWh battery.

Needless to say, this is a concept for now, if proof of it, is another question.


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Ford Transit PHEV debuts in Hanover

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 14:58

Ford has taken the wraps off their Transit Custom PHEV at the IAA Commercial Vehicles. The van is now ready to go seriial and Ford aims to start volume production in the second half of 2019.

While the presentation in Hanover marks the public and official debut of the plug-in hybrid van, production-near specimens of the Ford Transit PHEV have also been used since last year for fleet trials in London and the Spanish town of Valencia reportedly.

This mean we have known about the technicalities for some time. The Ford Transit PHEV has an electric range of 50 kilometres but the idea is to use the electric drive as much as possible. Ford calls this their EcoBoost technology not unlike Nissan’s ePower system. Ford couples a 1.0-litre petrol engine that tends mainly as as range extender to the liquid-cooled battery. According to the latest information by the manufacturer, the total range will be more than 500 km, and the PHEV model retains the load volume and 1-tonne payload capability of the diesel-powered van.

The market launch of the Ford Transit Custom PHEV is planned for the second half of 2019.

It shares the spotlight in Hanover with an updated Ford Transit Custom range that has the option of a 48-volt mild hybrid drive (mHEV) – a first in this segment, says Ford.

As far as investments in electrified vehicles are concerned, Ford has bigger plans: By 2022, the carmaker wants to invest 11 billion dollars in development and production. 16 pure electric and 24 hybrid vehicles are to be brought on the market reportedly.

Moreover, Ford had recently increased their efforts in China and agreed to look into electric car sharing together with its local partner Zoyte there.

In Europe, Ford also expanded its cooperation with Deutsche Post/DHL and some of their larger StreetScooter vans. The electric vans are now available at Ford dealerships for third parties to buy (we reported).


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BYD pushing to increase battery production capacity

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 14:25

BYD has announced their plan to construct a battery factory with an annual capacity of 30 GWh in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Its size will place it among the country’s “super factories” and is part of a wider push by BYD to increase production.

The new battery factory in Xi’an will cost BYD 1.75 billion dollars (12BN RMB) to build. Once completed, its 30 GWh annual capacity will make it into a “super factory” even by Chinese standards.

It is their second new factory after they had signed an agreement with the city of Chongqing for a battery factory with an annual capacity of 20 GWh this August.

Talking of which, the facility is part of a larger investment. BYD is planning to increase their annual capacity from the currently expected 28 GWh this year to 48 GWh in 2019 and up to 60 GWh in 2020. As a comparison: CATL is planning to increase their battery cell manufacturing to 88 GWh by 2020.

The BYD batteries will not only be used for their own electric vehicle models, but also sold to third parties. In the case of Changan, the carmaker decided to have a hand in the battery production as well. The Chongqing-based joint venture by BYD and Changan will produce up to 10 GWh of batteries and sell as well as recycle those. Particularly the will to jointly recycle batteries makes sense in light of China’s plans to force vehicle manufacturers to introduce battery recycling. This August, the Traceability Management Platform went live to manage the process (we reported).


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Renault presents robo-pods for last-mile deliveries

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 13:56

Renault presents EZ-PRO at the IAA Commercial Vehicles. The concept consists of a bunch of connected robo-pods and while they are autonomous, Renault envisions a human leader of the pack coordinating last-mile deliveries.

The EZ-Pro builds on Renault’s EZ-Go, a driverless shuttle service for passengers they presented in Geneva earlier this year. Now in Hanover at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, their latest idea is “focused on delivery solutions,” explains Laurens van den Acker, Senior VP for Renault’s Corporate Design. She adds that this concept “places people at the heart of its solutions.”

And indeed, the pack of robo pods is designed to have a human leader which Reanult calls their “human concierge”, who may focus on value-added tasks, such as supervising the itinerary planning and driverless robo-pods, or in-person delivery of groceries or fragile objects.

All other tasks may be taken over by the remaining fleet of driverless robo-pods. These electric vehicles can either follow each other by platooning or can move independently. Moreover, the EZ-PRO modules can be customised to meet various needs of business customer.

Yet despite the specialisation, Renault wants to group them in order to share resources better. The press release gives the example of a convoy of pods leaving from the same hub and managed by the same logistics operator. It can carry different types of goods and merchandise, each pod having its own paymaster, theme, clientele and delivery place. They are however operated by the same electric and autonomous platform. In the same manner, a pod can make a series of deliveries for one online store and another series for a different store.

As for the clients receiving the goods, they may schedule their delivery via app. They will then meet the concierge or else access what Renault calls self-service lockers in the driverless robo-pods.

Nothing has been said about timing for this electric vehicle concept to become a reality. Last time we heard of the EZ-Go, the rough timeframe was 2030. For the EZ-Pro it is likely to be the same.

To find Renault at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, feel free to download our comprehensive guide to all things e-mobility >> The electrive E-Mobility Guide (pdf)


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Ferrari’s first SUV Purosangue confirmed hybrid

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 12:58

Italy’s foremost sports carmaker is looking to launch their first SUV. The Purosangue which Ferrari prefers to call a Crossover or “FUV” is set to hit the market by 2022. Despite its name it will not be so pure blooded though as Ferrari has a hybrid drive lined up.

The Ferrari Purosangue, which is Italian for thoroughbred, is right in line with the firm’s plan that 60 percent of all sales are to be made from hybrid vehicles in 2022. In other ways however, it is a new breed for Ferrari not only in terms of drive but also their usual offering.

Internally, they call the new model their “FUV” for Ferrari Utility Vehicle. Accordingly CEO Louis Camilleri said, “I abhor hearing SUV in the same sentence as Ferrari,” at a presentation. He added, “SUV just does not sit well with Ferrari.”

Still, the Purosangue has four doors and will challenge Ferrari to find the right balance between space, namely legroom, which can make or break a car in China, and performance, that is agility. This challenge is also the reason why the company has pushed back the launch by two years. Said Camilleri: “We have to get it perfect, we just need a bit more time.”

Not much has been said about technology other than the Purosangue will utilise Ferrari’s front-engined vehicle architecture that is to allow for AWD and electrification.

The latter has been in the cards for the fuel-happy firm for some time. The first Ferrari hybrid had been hinted at by the deceased CEO Sergio Marcchionne in March reportedly. Already then he concluded that an SUV will effectively raise Ferrari’s volume and thus put them under regulatory pressure for fleet emissions. While Marchionne has been an outspoken sceptic of electrification, he had last shown readiness to adapt, when saying “once we are selling more than that it will become an issue.” He went even further, adding “We will embrace electrification. It will become a mainstay in our portfolio.”  It appears this vision is here to stay under the new leadership at Ferrari. Only if and when the Italians will build a purely electric car remains unsaid.


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Tesla faces probes over Musk’s plan to take it private

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 12:30

The U.S. Justice Department are investigating Tesla after CEO Elon Musk had stated publicly his plan to take the company private. He has since revoked the statement but has been asked to hand in supporting documents.

Tesla has reacted to the probe saying they had received a “voluntary request for documents” from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that they had been cooperative. In addition, a civil probe led by the Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholder lawsuits is ongoing.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Tesla emphasised that this is a quest for information rather than a formal legal proceeding: “We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received.”

The investigations by both the DOJ and SEC follow a tweet Tesla CEO Elon Musk had published in August, in which he had not only voiced his plan to take the company off the stock exchange but also claimed he had secured funding. The latter is a matter that needs proof or else may be seen as a misleading or false statement. The issue is of alleged market manipulation as the tweet had sent Tesla shares surging initially.

Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018

The investigations are in the early stages and might take months. And, they may not even result in prosecutors bringing any charges. For example, the SEC generally allows companies to use social media to disseminate news as long as they have told shareholders they might use those channels in addition to regulatory filings. Tesla told investors in a November 2013 filing to follow Mr. Musk’s Twitter feed for “additional information” about the company.

Moreover, Elon Musk has since revoked his plans to take Tesla private, after the Board and powerful investors such as Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley intervened (we reported).


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BorgWarner to supply EV and hybrid drives to China

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 20:23

BorgWarner has announced it is to supply its electric and hybrid drivetrains to three Chinese automotive players, among them Great Wall and its EV brand ORA. The other two OEMs have not been named so far yet overall the deal is huge for BorgWarner. 

But first to what is certain: BorgWarner’s contract with Great Wall of China. The state-owned company wants to utilise Borgwarner’s electric drive module eDM for their upcoming C30 electric vehicle. It will then be the first new energy vehicle in China to use the drive.

The eDM provides primary or secondary propulsion for either pure electric or hybrid vehicles and delivers up to 315 Nm of torque. This means it can be used in different vehicles and Great Wall said they may also equip cars of their brand ORA with the BorgWarner system at a later date.

Accordingly, BorgWarner President Dr. Stefan Demmerle said they “anticipate flourishing growth in China’s EV market amid the electrification trend of the broader auto industry.”

This statement is supported by the second announcement to come from BorgWarner. They are to supply the P2 drive module and electro-hydraulic control unit for hybrid vehicles to two major Chinese automotive manufacturers that remain unnamed.

The P2 unit is a transmission system that can be bolted onto any internal combustion engine (ICE) and allows the vehicle to switch between ICE, electric and hybrid power according to the power demands required. By placing the electric motor directly between the internal combustion engine and the transmission, the P2 system can be compatible with various architectures, and thus caters for all sorts of hybrid vehicles.

Frédéric Lissalde, President and CEO, BorgWarner explains: “Our in-house development expertise and extensive hybrid product portfolio provides us with the flexibility to offer customers a wide variety of solutions customized to fit their individual needs.”

Such flexibility will be needed in a market pushed to electrification. Late last year the Chinese government announced their new EV sales quota that large car manufacturers must meet in order to be allowed to sell cars in China. To that extent these three contracts BorgWarner has won enables the companies in question to meet their legal mandates.

borgwarner.com (P2), borgwarner.com (eDM)

Edit: Nora Manthey

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Mennekes charging solutions comply with “Eichrecht”

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 19:20

Mennekes’ electric vehicle charging solutions have received the new calibration certification from the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB). The conformity assessment follows the country’s updated Weights and Measures Act (Eichrecht).

For the electric transport industry, this means there are now more solutions available for AC charging which measure the flow of electricity accurately. Other examples than Mennekes, which have recently received PTB approval, include a solution called SAM. Developed by EBG compleo for E.ON, it enables the utility to accurately calculate the price of electric car charging both per minute and kWh. Also Ubitricity offers such a system. Their intelligent charging cable integrates a mobile electricity meter that conforms to legal standards, including a GSM and storage unit. The startup calls this “legal-for-trade mobile metering”.

But back to Mennekes. The company stresses that they now have a modular product portfolio that is “geared towards transparency and conformity throughout the entire process chain”. In other words and unlike other market participants, Mennekes individually certifies the measuring components. These components can therefore be easily exchanged or certified within the scope of the recalibration obligation again. This helps to keep the effort to a minimum because it allows to recalibrate only some components, in case of a software update for example, rather than an entire unit.

Mennekes also say they want to make it easier for existing customers to retrofit their hardware and software to the legal standard. Suitable retrofit kits will soon be available for the “Premium” and “Smart” charging stations which are on the market already. All new Mennekes charging stations ordered in future will already conform with calibration law, that is Eichrecht in German.

On another note, Jaguar Land Rover selected Mennekes as charging infrastructure partner for the I-Pace electric car. The cooperation will kick off with Mennekes installing wallboxes at 80 JLR stores and garages in Italy reportedly. Jaguar opted for Mennekes premium version of the Amtron charger. The charging stations will be installed indoor and outdoor and can use solar power.

Information via email

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Europe: Kia confirms e-Niro range as close to 500 km

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 18:00

Kia has received the official WLTP range data for the European version of the all-electric Niro, which will be called e-Niro. The crossover electric car will make its first apearance on the continent at the Paris Motor Show and hit the market shortly after.

While the International version of Kia’s press release states that the e-Niro will reach the first clients before the end of 2018, customers in Germany may have to wait until early 2019.

The same for all however is the range measured according to the WLTP testing cycle. And, the performance is impressive for the compact Korean. The e-Niro with a top-trim 64 kWh battery and 150 kW motor reaches a range of up to 485 kilometres in the combined cycle. For city driving alone, WLTP homologated the range at 615 km even.
The basic e-Niro with 100 kW and the standard 39.2 kWh battery still has a range of 312 kilometres.
Total consumption is at 13.9 kWh for the smaller version and 14.3 kWh on the larger battery per 100 km. These are the same values as the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Kia also specified the charge power. At a 100 kW charger suing CCS, it takes less than an hour to charge the bigger battery to up to 80 percent.

The new e-Niro joins existing hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Niro of which more than 200,000 have sold globally since its introduction in 2016, according to Kia. To date, Europe has accounted for more than 65,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.

In South Korea Kia has started sales of the electric Niro reportedly. It is the second purely electric car from Kia after the Soul EV that is sold globally as well. After the market launch in Europe starting in late 2018, the e-Niro will come to North America in the first quarter of 2019.


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Download: E-Mobility Guide IAA Commercial Vehicles

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 16:33

Are you planning to visit the IAA Commercial Vehicles? Our guide may help. We point you to everything there is to see in electric transport be it electric trucks, the latest concept vehicle or new charging equipment – all at a glance.

This year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles will have more electric transport options than ever. We have therefore scanned all relevant news, catalogues and press releases in order to be able to present you this comprehensive overview.

Our pdf guide includes all e-mobility exhibitors, products and their locations on one compact map so that you may make the most of your visit in Hanover.

Download our E-Mobility Guide IAA Commercial vehicles.

The IAA Commercial Vehicles takes place in Hanover from September, 20 – 27. We hope you will enjoy the show!

The electrive E-Mobility Guide (pdf)

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JV for electrified trucks by Traton and Hino

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 15:40

Traton, formerly Volkswagen Truck & Bus, and Hino have announced new details of their strategic partnership. They intend to pool their strengths when it comes to electric transport and are also planning to set up a joint venture for procurement.

In the field of e-mobility, Traton and the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer want to share their research in order to accelerate time to market for products.

An initial framework agreement for a strategic cooperation with Toyota’s utility subsidiary Hino Motors had seen VW declare their plan to include hybrid and electric systems in their cooperation options before.

More so because the companies are working in complementary sectors. TRATON is focused on heavy-duty applications with vehicles from Volkswagen brands MAN, Scania and the Brazilian truck and bus division, while Hino focuses on light- and medium-duty trucks. Joining forces will strengthen the innovation power of the partners, according to a press release. By leveraging the cooperation, both companies also plan to expand their positions in their local markets.

The authorities still have to approve the agreement. The joint venture could start operations for electric trucks in the second half of 2019.

volkswagen-newsroom.com, greencarcongress.com

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VDL presents new batteries and ultra-fast charging options

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 15:17

VDL Bus & Coach widens their electric bus range as they add a 12 and 12.9 metre low entry model of the Citea Electric. This expansion also includes a new battery as well as charging option via pantograph.

According to the manufacturer, the new low-entry variants are suitable for urban and interurban traffic and available with various door configurations. The interior can also be flexibly configured.

Both versions carry the new 216 kWh battery pack as a standard with there being an option for a 288 kWh battery pack that offers a range between 100 to 200 kilometres during service. VDL has also refined the battery technology for the Citea Electric series to the extent that the capacity of the basic battery pack has increased by 20 percent to 216 kWh, according to the manufacturer. Both systems are air-cooled and can withstand charging powers between 300 and 450 kW.

For this ultra-fast charging capability, both the 12 and the 12.9 metre long variants have a CCS connection. Plus, a roof-mounted or inverted pantograph with an intake of up to 450 kW can be installed as an option. VDL says they developed a new charging connection which already complies with the soon-to-be expected European standard.

vdlbuscoach.com (Citea), vdlbuscoach.com (Pantograph)

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Saudi Arabia investing $1BN in Tesla rival Lucid Motors

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 14:47

It is confirmed, PIF, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, who Elon Musk had banked on to help him taking Tesla private, is investing in Lucid Motors. The sheiks are ready to spend over a billion dollars to launch the Air EV.

Different from previous plans though, Lucid Motors first electric car is now scheduled to launch in 2020 and not in 2019. Funding can be considered secure now that the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia has confirmed their investment. The one billion dollars (£759.7 / €855.5 million) will help build Lucid Motors’ factory in Arizona and also to complete testing, according to a press release.

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) also holds about 5 percent in Tesla worth an estimated three billion dollars and was reportedly in talks to help Elon Musk to take the company private. While those plans have since been cancelled, PIF has come to an agreement with Lucid Motors.

A spokesperson for PIF said: “By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development, and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

While one billion dollar sounds like a lot, the fund is worth an estimated 250 billion dollars and clearly out to diversify its oil-heavy portfolio a little. The authorities still have to approve the transaction.

For Lucid Motors the money is crucial in order to drive their electric vehicle forward which are behind schedule. Initially, the electric carmaker had wanted to present a production version in 2018. The launch of the Air has then been pushed to 2019 and now 2020.

Once the lines in Arizona will be ready to roll, the target is to churn out 10,000 units of the electric sedan a year. Production is to increase six fold to 60,000 units later, that is about half of the maximum capacity of 130,000 electric cars the plant can produce annually (we reported).


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Audi presents their first electric car e-tron in California

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 07:33

Audi has put a lot of effort into the e-tron and it looks like it has paid off. Their first electric car premiered in San Francisco today and has what it takes to truly rival Tesla. Moreover, the model sends a message from VW saying, they can do more than just cheating on emissions.

Nine years after the introduction of the Model S, manufacturers from the land of “Das Auto” seem to have regained their voice to answer finally. Different from the Mercedes’ EQC though, that reutilises a platform for ICEs, Audi developed the e-tron from the ground up as an electric car, much like BMW did the i3 years ago.

Different from being quirky or a show of what is possible though, Audi’s electric SUV is designed to deliver in the segment. A feat only achieved by Jaguar with the I-Pace before. Of course, a Tesla Model X can provide even more seats and the Californians have set up a suitable infrastructure already while IONITY is only in the making. Nevertheless, the Audi e-tron looks well thought-out from start to finish and the spec presented at the launch event supports this impression.

The electric drive

The two electric motors made by Audi provide a maximum output of up to 300 kW, thus delivering 165 kW on the rear axle and 135 kW on the front axle. The latter is an optional push, resulting an a max torque of 664 Nm. Audi has not (yet) said anything about the permanent performance of the system but did specify the top speed at 200 kph.

Audi offers seven different driving modes with various acceleration. Those wanting to save some energy best opt for mode D with a system performance of up to 265 kW and 561 Nm. Then the two electric machines accelerate the electric SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds but for no longer than 60 seconds.

The battery

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with a standard capacity of 95 kWh is located between the two axles. Divided into 36 modules, each is equipped with twelve 60 Ah pouch cells. Yet, the story may continue as Audi says they have an option for using other forms such as prismatic cells, similar to Jaguar.

In its current form, the battery weighs 700 kilograms. To compare, Mercedes’ 80 kWh battery weighs 650 kg, meaning Audi has managed to create a battery that is lighter in relation to its capacity. While the EQC weighs 8.13 kg per kilowatt hour, the Audi e-tron weighs only 7.37 kg at system level.

Detailed information is also available on thermal management. A cooling system made of flat aluminium that is divided into small chambers, ensures continuous operation of the battery. The heat exchange between the cells and the cooling system works with a heat-conducting gel pressed under each cell module. The resulting waste heat is evenly transferred via the battery housing to the coolant.

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3.5 million new EV charging points by EVBox & ChargePoint

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 21:53

EVBox and ChargePoint announced they would install some 3.5 million EV charging points between them by 2025. For both companies, this means a huge increase of their networks and for ChargePoint, the pledge is part of the ZEV Challenge by the C40 Cities and Climate Group.

Speaking at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, CEO of EVBox, Kristof Vereenooghe, announced the company’s commitment of “having at least 1 million charging points by 2025.” This is from a current 60,000 EVBox charging points the company has in place at present.

Also at the summit, rivals ChargePoint announced that they would install a further 2.5 million charging points around the world in a similar timeframe from a baseline of 53,000 worldwide.

For ChargePoint, the pledge is part of the ZEV Challenge, an initiative set up by the C40 Cities and the Climate Group in order to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. Initiators include cities like London, New York and Paris as well as industry partners.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, welcomed the initiative of the provider when saying that “charging infrastructure is a key part of the zero carbon vehicle eco-system” and that the commitment by ChargePoint “will really go a long way”.

For both companies the new charging points amounts to a huge commitment in increasing their networks and thus investment. While EVBox CEO Vereenooghe pointed a “a global scale” of their expansion, ChargePoint stated that “the majority will be evenly split between Europe and North America, with smaller percentages in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand).”

For ChargePoint this follows a forecast of 20 million EVs that will be on the road in North America and Europe by 2025.
EV Box too bases their plan to increase the number of charge points by 1,500 times in just seven years on forecasts of global growth. The company quotes Bloomberg’s Electric Vehicle Outlook that estimates 11 million electric vehicles in 2025, leading to a total of more than 30 million electric cars on the road by then.

None of the the two charging equipment providers went into any more detail on how exactly they will drive their expansion though. EVBox however has been seen striking collaborations lately, for example with the German distributor Memodo or when buying EVTronic of France.

In the case of ChargePoint, the firm has invested in software and also expanded their portfolio to include other electric vehicles such as electric planes or trucks reportedly so that their growth may be driven by diversity as much as numbers.

chargepoint.com, evbox.com

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Electrification of Amsterdam Pride yielding results

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 21:09

Just a few weeks ago, we reported on a joint initiative of EV Box, the City of Amsterdam and utility NUON for the Amsterdam Pride parade. They dressed the town’s charging station in fancy rainbow colour and promised to donate all profits made on this day to an LGBTQ* organisation. This has come out of it.

Amsterdam Pride is one of the world’s largest parade for gay rights. This year, it saw a new campaign dubbed “Power for the Heroes” during which all public charging stations in the Dutch capital showed the rainbow.

The idea was to donate all profits made by the 256 public charging stations to the LGBTI advocacy organisation COC. The results have been tallied at 3,500 euros in donations, as well as many rainbow-coloured charging stations to brighten up the city. We think it suits the charge columns rather well.

evbox.com (in Dutch)

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Wabco to premier recuperating electric trailer

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 19:57

Wabco will present the prototype of its first electric trailer at the IAA Commercial Vehicles this week. The eTrailer has an intelligent electric motor control and can recuperate energy in order to support a towing vehicle or to operate equipment.

The aim was to maximise operating efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, according to a press release. Wabco estimates fuel savings of up to 20 percent on short distances and up to 10 percent on long distances. For electric vehicles, the eTrailer would then serve as a range extender. In addition, the energy generated by the Wabco eTrailer can also power electrical equipment in the trailer.

Wabco holds one percent of the US start-up Nikola Motors, which recently presented the first prototype of its fuel cell truck planned for 2020. At the end of 2017, the Brussels-based supplier invested 10 million euros in Nikola. In addition, the two companies agreed on a partnership to develop safety technologies specifically for electric commercial vehicles.

For now Wabco has a prototype of the eTrailer and the supplier has not given a timeline for production or commercialisation.


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Germany: First fuel cell train takes up regular service

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 19:02

A hydrogen fuel cell train built by Alstom has taken up regular service in Germany – a world’s first, the company claims. They had tested the Coradia iLint since 2017 and the train is now ready to carry passengers across Lower Saxony as a regular service.

Two fuel cell trains have been deployed and will serve between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude, a route that spans 100 kilometres. Operator EVB thus starts replacing their existing diesel train fleet.

For now, the two Coradia iLint trains will refill at a mobile hydrogen station in form of a steel container standing next to the tracks at Bremervörde station. With one tank, they can run all day, thanks to a total range of 1,000 km. A stationary filling station on EVB premises is scheduled to go into operation in 2021, when Alstom will deliver a further 14 fuel cell trains to LNVG. The latter is the transport authority of the county and stands for Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen. Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Economy and Transport supported LNVG’s purchase of another 14 hydrogen trains with more than 81 million euros.

Considering plans for a fleet of a total of 16 fuel cell trains, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO of Alstom had every right to exclaim: “This is a revolution for Alstom and for the future of mobility.” The company says it is ready for serial production at their facility in Salzgitter. Moreover, Alstom says they signed letters of intent for 60 trains with other German states.

For LNVG chief Carmen Schwabl, whose authority organises the rail passenger transport between the North Sea and the Harz mountains and therefore pays annual compensation of around €300 million to Deutsche Bahn, fuel cell technology is a strategic decision. “We also do this because about 120 diesel trains in our vehicle pool will reach the end of their lifetime within the next 30 years, meaning we will have to replace them. The experience gained with this project helps us find a sustainable and practical solution.”

To make the deployment of the Coradia iLint possible for other operators as well, Alstom offers a complete package, consisting of the fuel cell train and maintenance, as well as the whole hydrogen infrastructure constructed by partners.


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