GreenWay will be opening a series of 31 fast charging stations across Poland during July and August. The move will expand the company’s presence in Poland and Slovakia to around 100 charging stations.
So far, GreenWay owns 33 stations in Poland and another 30 stations in Slovakia. The infrastructure expansion will enlarge the network by around a third. The first 30 days after the stations go live will be free of charge. The expansion is also being funded by an EU project named Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The locations will belong to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) after completion.
In January, GreenWay made headlines with the installation of a so-called GridBooster System for EVs. The system was installed at a shopping mall in Bratislava, and, according to GreenWay, is the first battery-supported fast charging system for EVs in eastern Europe.
The Israeli company ElectReon Wireless, who is developing a solution for EVs to charge inductively while driving, through integrated chargers in roads, has entered a cooperation with the automobile manufacturer alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
The cooperation will provide ElectReon with an electric vehicle from the alliance, in order to integrate the system and test it out with smart road technologies. The Israelis don’t simply want to integrate the technology in personal vehicles, and plan to include electric bus concepts for the development process. ElectReon entered a separate cooperation with several other companies for this end, including the Israeli bus company Dan and the French Hutchinson.
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In the research project MovE2China, which is funded by both the German and Chinese governments, engineers from the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the Tongji University Shanghai will work to validate electrified motor systems for FCEVs.
The teams from both institutes will focus on the question, how standardized methods for cooperative technology development can be used in decentralized locations. The goal is to develop validation methods and environments which can function over distances, as well as locally. Unlike traditional methods, technology plays a more fluid role, as virtual and physical tests will not be separated under the method. The researchers explained that a fuel cell located in the Karlsruhe facility could thus be tested by the Shanghai team without having to fly components across the world.
Between the KIT and the Tongji University the partnership has been going on for some time. This also includes a teaching cooperation, for example. The Shainghai university is regarded as one of the most important centres for fuel cell research in China.
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Mercedes-Benz has announced an expansion of their battery offensive for the near future. In particular, the locations in Singelfingen and Untertürkheim will receive the newest facilities in Mercedes’ global battery production network.
While the location in Sindelfingen will be receiving their first battery packet manufacturing facility in the next decade, the Untertürkheim location will receive not only the planned battery production facility, but another additional battery factory in the Hedelfingen area. According to Mercedes, this will quadruple their local battery production capacity. The move will add the newest technology to the Mercedes assembly lines, according to Markus Schöfer, member of the Mercedes board. Mercedes is investing more than 1 billion euro in the global battery production capacities.
In Sindelfingen, Mercedes laid the cornerstone for expansion in February, stating that the new assembly hall, named Factory 56, would be the most “modern facility in the world”. Starting in 2020, Mercedes is planning on manufacturing EVs for the upper and luxury classes, as well as autonomous taxis. This includes the newest S-Class generation, as well as the planned EQ vehicles.
The Untertürkheim location will be the second battery factory owned by the company, next to Daimler’s Kamenz battery production location. In terms of battery production planning, the company now has one factory built, with five more locations planned on three continents. In Kamenz, battery packets have been in production since 2012, while a second factory is being constructed nearby. The cooperation with the Chinese partner BAIC will also produce a factory in Beijing, while Mercedes is planning on additionally upgrading their factories in Tuscaloosa, USA and Bangkok, Thailand.
The Indian government has lowered the VAT tax for separately sold batteries designated for electrified vehicles from 28 to 18%. The tax rate for batteries already integrated into their vehicles is still clearly lower though, standing at 12%.
The arrangement contains some hidden criticism about the future of Indian plans for exchangeable EV batteries. The goal of the tax rebate is to lower EV prices, as well as to support local battery industry. The import tax for EV batteries remains at 20%.
India is making great strides to grow its own native EV industry. For example, in May, the government announced special license plates for EVs and a special driver’s license for 16-year olds to drive an electric scooter, in order to help motivate drivers to switch to electric.
Furthermore, the second phase of the FAME subsidization programme, which launched in 2015, will have not only a wider range of subsidies for the purchase of buses, taxis, two wheelers and cars, but also includes a scrapping bonus for scrapping your old combustion vehicles, as well as investment grants for manufacturers of EV components. FAME stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric vehicles. The first phase of the initiative was extended by another six months in April. The government is considering that the next version of the plan, called FAME 2, might be ready by then, meaning the new plan could enter on the 30th of September.
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Japan has now officially announced their goal to produce only electric and hybrid vehicles in the country as of 2050. The government plans to reach the goal with a system of subventions for the development of batteries and motors for electrified vehicles.
The most interesting announcement attached to the new plan is that Japanese automobile manufacturers plan to set up a joint venture to procure cobalt. The resource procurement will be set up as a cooperative initiative between the competitors, which is an extraordinary measure, and may likely be a strategy to compete with tuhe larger Chinese market.
The agreements were struck in a forum that was established in April for representatives from politics and industry. The overhanging goal was to limit emissions from the transit sector, as agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement, which require lowering CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 (personal vehicles: 90%!). The reference values for the undertaking is the climate data from 2010.
One step to achieve these goals is to successively stop producing combustion vehicles, which will be completely prohibited by 2050. “It is a goal that can only be set by Japan, a country that boasts the world’s top-level auto industry,” Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy, trade and industry, told the panel meeting. “It will send a message that will have a great impact on the global market.”
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The new Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne and his team colleague Andre Lotterer received an unusual fine at the season finale in New York. Both drivers were fined €5,000 for wearing what FIA considers “noncompliant underwear” during the qualifiers.
At the bottom of the scandal however, is not a sponsorship issue or a question of indecency, but a question of health and safety.
The energy provider was charged by the Italian Ports Association to install 300 public EV charging stations in the areas managed by Italy’s 15 port authorities. The deal is part of a plan to set up around 7,000 charging stations by 2020, and 14,000 by 2022.
The corresponding declaration of intent was signed by Enel X, the company subsidiary responsible for EVs and the Assoporti association. The deal covers multiple years and an expansion phase.The chargers themselves will have a variety of capacities to deal with different traffic models: inner cities will have 22 kW stations, while “extra-urban” areas will receive 50 and 150 kW charging stations
Enel X will handle applications for concessions in the selected areas together with the authorities, as well as the connection, management and maintenance of the charging infrastructure. Zeno D’Agostino, President of Assoporti, followed up the agreement stating: “The Association has been focusing on the sustainability of ports, promoting research and studies in this area. This memorandum of understanding brings this effort into the field, with targeted actions at ports to encourage the use of electric cars. I am very pleased with the signing of this accord, because it will spark a process of environmental renewal.”
Enel is one of the energy companies that managed to quickly realize the potential of the mobility revolution and has managed to position themselves centrally, as a result. In October 2017, the company purchased the US American charging infrastructure specialist eMotorwerks via their subsidiary EnerNOC. The take-over allowed Enel to enter the US energy market, at the same time as profiting from the expertise from eMotorwerks. The company is also working on a variety of infrastructure projects across Europe.
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Through a cooperation with the retailer Kohnan Shoji, Nissan will expand their electric car sharing Mobi to 100 new locations in Japan. The service lets customers order and rent a Nissan Leaf or Note e-Power for a short period.
The short-term rental deal allows drivers to rent a car for as little as 15 minutes, as well as providing EV chargers at the store locations. One third of Kohnan Shoji store locations in Japan will receive the new vehicle service by March 2019, with the aim to popularize EVs by reaching consumers who do not own a vehicle, but need one to transport larger goods from the retailer.
The Mobi program will also be expanded further as part of Nissan’s M.O.V.E. plan for 2022. The plan calls for expansion to 500 locations around the country by the end of the current fiscal year.
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The energy provider will cooperate with the Spanish Compañía Española de Petróleos to outfit their petrol stations with up to 100 HPC charging points in Spain and Portugal. The first chargers will go into operation by the start of 2019.
The Spanish gas station operator will identify relevant locations to install the EV charging stations, as well as providing energy from 100% renewable sources for them. Cepsa, who runs an extensive network of around 1,800 service stations in Spain and Portugal, will be the first company in Spain to offer supercharger services.
The charging stations themselves will use the CCS format, and have capacities up to 350 kW. Héctor Perea, Cepsa’s Director of Strategy and Corporate Development, says that the agreement “reflects the company’s commitment to providing solutions in the field of mobility, covering all energy needs and offering a fast, quality service, assured by IONITY.”
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The Californian startup has presented a new electric motorcycle called the City Slicker, which will cost only $1,995. The 74 km/h top speed is designed for city use, as is the 100 km range, powered by a 2,160 Wh battery.
Most electrified two-wheelers of similar performance cost closer to the $4,000, which really sets this bike apart. Priced closer to e-bicycles, but with a performance that does not have to hide behind its competitors is sure to shake up the bike market in the USA.
It does bear mentioning, that the range is estimated at 60 km if the driver is going 60 km/h, while the 100 km range can only be guaranteed if you drive at 32 km/h. While this should easily be sufficient for city usage, it is unlikely that the City Slicker bikes will make many appearances at race tracks.
With a standard (110 V) wall outlet, the battery can be charged in 6-8 hours. A HPC charger would presumably shorten the waiting period, however considering the price, we can probably forgive the manufacturers. Another unusual feature for an EV is a mid-drive motor, rather than the more popular hub motors, which removes the necessity for a chain, making the bike even more quiet.
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Toyota has presented the cornerstones of their mobility concept for the incoming 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. The autonomous e-Palettes will be used, as well as the Toyota Concept-i BEV as well as a variety of FCEVs such as the Mirai and the Sora bus.
In total, Toyota is planning on providing more than 3,000 vehicles for the Olympic fleet. The focus will be on hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as fuel cell vehicles. The vehicles will partially be publicly available, with some reserved for athletes, media representatives and organizers.
Toyota will have to hurry on the e-palette development, which does not look quite road-ready yet. The fully electric multi-purpose vehicle were only presented by the company at the start of the year. In two years, it is planned to be in use as an autonomous shuttle for the Olympic village.
The agreement for Toyota to be the official mobility partner for the Olympic and Paralympic games was struck in 2016. The deal will apply for the period 2017-2024.
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Techeetah has confirmed their partnership with DS Automobiles for the coming Formula E racing season. The team will be introduced alongside the drivers on the 1st of October. Techeetah has worked as Renault’s tech partner for two years prior.
Techeetah was only barely beat by Audi in the past fourth Formula E season in the team evaluation. With Jean-Eric Vergne the company will be starting the current driver champion on top. It is considered likely that both Vergne and Andre Lotterer will be driving in the fifth season of the Formula E, which starts in mid December.
The Virgin racing team will start as an individual team, after three years at DS Automobile’s side. A new technical partner will be introduced soon, while it is considered practically confirmed that the Brits will receive their motors from Audi in future.
In their last season together, DS Virgin Racing managed two wins and six podium placements by Sam Bird in the third season. While Bird managed to reach third place in the total rankings, his teammate Alex Lynn only reached 16th.
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Audi has officially begun with serial production of electrical motors in Hungary. The production capacity at the Győr factory is around 400 motors per day, and is planned to be successively increased.
The 8,500 m² facility in Győr is run by a subsidiary company, Audi Hungaria, who is following a production concept called modular assembly. This means there is no linear production line, instead making way for a series of production “islands”, which enables a higher degree of flexibility for manufacturing. Transport between the stations is covered by autonomous transport vehicles.
The upgrade of the facility, which Audi claims only took them a year, also cost the company investment sums in the double-digit million area. The factory will start with 100 employees working in a single-shift system to manufacture the motors. By the end of the year, Audi plans to hire another 30 employees, and set up a three-shift system “soon”.
In order to maximize efficiency, a new winding and inserting center will ensure that the optimal amount of enameled copper wire is inserted, as well as optimizing space usage for other components. Audi Hungaria also set up three motor assessment stations.
The first electric motors from the factory will be used in Audi’s debut BEV, the e-SUV e-tron, which will begin serial production at the end of the year in Brussels. To be exact, Audi is delivering two electric axle-motors per vehicle, as the e-tron will have front- and rear-wheel drive systems. At this years Auto Shanghai, the Ingolstadt company showed off their e-tron Sportback concept, which will follow their first EV a year later.
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The Trump administration has found another bone to pick with their opponents at home: This time, the administration will attempt to remove state emissions standards and force California to accept the weaker federal regulations recommended by the EPA, formerly led by Scott Pruitt.
This would mean a serious knock to the emissions standards California has been trying to set for itself. California was also one of the states to publicly distance themselves from Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement. The EPA and the federal transportation department will unveil a proposed legislation for the state, which will then be open for debate, before the agency makes a decision. Meanwhile, California has announced that the state plans to take legal action to fight the intrusion into their state politics. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that he is “ready to use every legal tool at our disposal to protect the current vehicle emission standards.”
California’s path being different from the federal standard has been a thorn in the eye of the administration for some time, which ordinarily celebrates states rights to self-determination. In January, government Jerry Brown signed a decree requiring at least 5 million EVs on California roads by 2030. This is accompanied by a 2.5 billion dollar programme spread over 8 years which will continue state subsidies for electrified vehicles, as well as set up a total of 200 hydrogen fuel stations by 2025 as well as 250,000 charging stations (10,000 of which are designated to be DC fast chargers). Before the announcement, the official target was to bring 1.5 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2025.
In April the EPA had already threatened California over their Obama era ability to determine their own emissions standards. Scott Pruitt, the disgraced former head of the EPA said: “California is not the arbiter of these issues.” California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, “but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.” The Obama administration had enacted a rule allowing California to set up separate environmental standards from the rest of the country, as the south-western state was more ambitious than some of its neighbors.
The Golden State is not the only one who does not like the federal mandate, which has seen Pruitt slashing regulations and loosening industry standards, before his scandal-ridden departure from the agency three weeks ago. In June, nine states made a public statement against further development of combustion vehicles, which had been the plan for the Trump administration. Next to California, the states included Oregon, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As a counter-plan to the federal administration, the team of states created a new e-mobility action plan, that contains 80 recommendations for local regulations, automobile manufacturers, salespeople and energy providers. The goal of the plan is to pave the way for more battery-electric vehicles and hybrids by 2021.
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For a brief moment, tens of thousands of documents from major automobile manufacturers, including industry secrets, were openly available online. The leaks affected VW, Toyota, GM, Ford and Tesla.
Whether anybody took advantage of the leak is still unclear. The security researcher who found the tens of thousands of sensitive corporate documents said that it included material from more than 100 companies that had interacted with a small Canadian company, Level One Robotics and Controls.
“That was a big red flag,” said Chris Vickery, the researcher who found the data. “If you see NDAs, you know right away that you’ve found something that’s not supposed to be publicly available.”
Brose and Shimano have introduced new motors for e-mountain bikes; the Drive S Mag (Brose) and the E7000 (Shimano). While one is designed for the more athletic tours, the other is designed with an affordable price in mind.
The Brose portfolio consisted of three motor systems so far: The Drive T for city and touring pedelecs; the Drive TF for fast S-pedelecs and the Drive S for mountain bikes. Now the addition of the Drive S Mag, which features a magnesium casing, unlike the aluminum used for the Drive S, making it 15% smaller and lighter. At the same time, the maximum support offered by the new system is up to 410% from the 380% on the Drive S. The continuous rated power is 250 W, peaking at 500 W.
Shimano’s new motor system is decidedly banking more on affordable pricing: The E8000 system is not affordable for everyone, which prompted Shimano to offer a cheaper version. The systems have the same size and weight, but the torque on the E7000 is 60, compared to the 700 Nm on the more expensive version. The continuous performance is rated the same as the Drive S Mag, but two different battery options will involve either a 418 or a 504 Wh power source.
Torqeedo has fitted a total of 15 tourist boats in a new holiday resort in Hoi An with electric propulsion systems. The batteries used are the lithium-ion batteries also used in the BMW i3.
The 9 meter-long boats were constructed by the company Song Lo from Nha Trang, while Torqeedo delivered electric motors of the Deep Blue 80 variety. The fully electric watercraft will be used for river tours. David Hunter, responsible for the region Asia and Pacific at Torqeedo, stated: “We are seeing increasing demand for electric and hybrid boats in Asia. Across the region, fleet operators and government bodies are actively pursuing green technologies to reduce air and water pollution.” He added that Torqeedo is also working on several projects surrounding electric boat motors in China and southeast Asia.
The company is banking on BMW as a technology partner for the effort. Last year, the company owned by Deutz adapted the i3 batteries for energy supply in boat motors.
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France has announced sharper regulations for the ecological tax, and will lower the threshold for acceptable emissions. The previous 120 grams/km will now be lowered to 117 grams per kilometre, starting in 2019.
Another lowering by another 3 grams per year is planned as well. The penalties will affect 27.6% of vehicles currently on France’s roads, instead of the estimated 16.5%. At the same time, the average cost for offending vehicles will rise from 50 to 145 euros. Vehicles with more than 140 grams/km can expect to pay 1,050 euro, with more than 5,000 euros for vehicles with 154 g/km, up to a maximum of 10,500 euros penalty for vehicles with more than 185 g/km.
On the other hand, owning clean vehicles, with battery electric vehicles ahead of the pack, is being rewarded. The exact numbers for 2019 have not been made public yet, however it is estimated that only 1.3% of current vehicles will benefit from the carrot side of the bonus-malus system.
The UK has confirmed the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act in parliament. The law will require gas stations to install EV chargers, as well as standardise the payment system.
The law is designed to provide the government with new powers to help ensure that highway stops have sufficient charging options for electrified vehicles. The law goes as far as allowing mayors to require local gas station operators to install charging options.
The initiative will also “improve consumer confidence in charging their vehicles by making sure that public chargepoints are compatible with all vehicles,” according to the British transport ministry.
This month, the British government also released their awaited Road to Zero Strategy. The rumored goal to ban all new combustion vehicles as of 2040 was now confirmed. What is new, is a milestone goal that aims to ensure that half of new personal vehicles and 40% of transporters will produce only ultra-low emissions.
These goals will be reached with a series of measures designed to improve the national EV charging infrastructure. In future, newly constructed houses and street lights will have to feature charging points for EVs, although the law added a “where appropriate” caveat, likely taking some teeth out of the measure. The government will also provide a 400 million pound fond for companies to manufacture and install charging infrastructure in the country. A 40 million pound programme to research and test cost-effective inductive charging technology was also set up. A further subsidy programme is aimed at private persons, who will receive a bonus up to 500 pounds for installing home charging points.