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Updated: 13 hours 25 min ago

Cadillac to focus on electrification instead of diesel

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 18:05

GM’s label Cadillac announced they have put their diesel development on hold as the market appears to be “changing more quickly than we anticipated,” said new Cadillac President Steve Carlisle. Their focus is on electrified drive trains.

What may appear natural to us here is a more surprising step for Cadillac. The GM label had continued to pour resources into “clean” diesel development but now felt the change of times.

Automotive News quotes Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, speaking last week at the XT4 compact crossover launch. Carlisle said: “We have been working on diesel, but the markets may be changing more quickly than we anticipated. Going forward, we will focus on electrification.”

Yet, he maintained that the strategy has come “under scrutiny” and the programme on hold rather than dead. Still a revival appears unlikely, latest since Cadillac’s diesel development partner Opel had been sold off to PSA. Opel/Vauxhall is now following their PACE! strategy and plan to offer all models with an electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain by 2024 in Europe.

A similar development is in stake for Cadillac. GM had announced before that the brand is to take the lead in the group when it comes to electrification, particularly in China. Johann De Nysschen, who was succeeded by Carlisle as Cadillac President, back then specified that “technologies will debut in Cadillac first and then cascade down to the other brands,” making it a “technology lead brand” for General Motors as it has been in the past (we reported).

As a corporation, GM is working on a novel platform due to launch by 2021. The new architecture is supposed to make electric vehicles profitable and shall be used across several market segments and GM brands (we reported), much like Volkswagen’s MEB. Overall, GM targets global sales of one million EVs per year by 2026.


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The end of a lifetime of free Supercharging

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 15:59

Tesla has ended the offer of free charging at Superchargers for a lifetime for new buyers. Those getting their hands on a Model 3 or S or X must pay extra for charging from now on. That is, if they get their car at all as CEO Elon Musk has found Tesla to be in “delivery logistics hell” for the time being.

Charging really fast for a lifetime – it is a promise matched only by the Golden Ticket of a time when American Airlines offered unlimited first class flights – for a very short time. Tesla too has now revoked the appealing incentive in light of a growing queue of electric cars in front of their Superchargers.

The move had been expected for some time and already buyers of the Model 3 had never been offered the option. Instead, the new model Tesla introduced is based on pay-per-use or PAYG. This means paying per kWh charged from a Supercharger station or per minute of using a station at locations where Tesla may not officially “sell” electricity due to local restrictions. This means prices depend on location.

While this may appear like a stick, Tesla has also been working on offering the carrot as the EV maker is introducing other options such as Tesla’s workplace or urban charging. They follow a similar model as Tesla’s Destination chargers, that is slower charging, where standing times are implied anyway.

Talking about slow – the Model 3 has hit another bottleneck. This time is not the production floor causing delays but deliveries. Elon Musk on Twitter called the situation “delivery logistics hell” but hopes that this time, the issue will be resolved more quickly than the last “production hell”.

Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but this problem is far more tractable. We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2018

Yet, there were some good news too for those already owning a Tesla. Musk has been thinking aloud to bring “most collision repairs in-house” as he blames third-party garages for delays.

Tesla is bringing most collision repairs in-house, as outside firms take weeks to months for repairs, driving Tesla owners (and us) crazy

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 16, 2018

Tesla recently announced to improve their services around the world.

engadget.com (end of free Supercharging), reuters.com (delivery hell), insideevs.com (in-house repairs)

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ZF electric drive axle for zero emission buses arrives in UK & US

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 14:57

London’s red double-decker buses will soon approach silently. Busmaker Optare has ordered the AxTrax AVE electric portal axle from ZF to equip 31 buses. Also in the States ZF announces a new chapter in their existing partnership with New Flyer as they are to equip 100 buses with ZF’s technology.

ZF introduced their electric portal axle AxTrax AVE for the first time in 2012. It can be combined with all kinds of low or zero emission technology such as a hybrid, fuel cell or battery powered electric bus.

This latest orders are for electric buses that are to run in major cities in the UK and USA. In both cases, ZF is working with partners to install their solution in their electric vehicles.

First in London, where Ashok Leyland subsidiary Optare will build the electric axle into 31 units of their Metrodecker EVs.
The buses are part of a city-wide push for electric transport. Already next year, Transport for London (TfL) aims to run 240 electric buses and wants to ensure that all double-deckers will run on electricity by 2020. The electrification of the whole fleet including the lower coaches is scheduled for 2037.

London has also decided to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021. The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the ULEZ in the city centre, which will come into full force by April 2019, 17 months earlier than planned (we reported).

Across the pond, ZF has been working with New Flyer for over 20 years. The bus maker now ordered the AxTrax AVE for a total of 100 buses from the Xcelsior CHARGE model series. Once built, the electric buses will be delivered to public transport companies in several U.S. cities by 2020. The order includes operators in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and Minneapolis.


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Porsche presents modular fast-charging solution

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 14:29

Porsche Engineering has developed a fast charging system with modular building blocks so that it fits charge parks of various sizes and takes into account the grid and visitor frequency. It builds on the 800-Volt technology also used in their high power charging solution.

The solution by Porsche Engineering has been designed for charge parks with different demands and constraints. It consists of the usual components but Porsche has managed to repack them in a way that enables greater flexibility in installing the fast-charging station for electric cars.

First, there are the FlexBoxes (120 x 120 x 130 cm), weather-proof housings designed to hold all other components and that can be installed out of sight from customers. These boxes can cover the transformer for example, in charge parks where a connection to the medium-voltage grid exists. A transformer converts this medium voltage (AC) into low voltage (local grid level). The Porsche design of the transformer also allows to fit the galvanic isolation inside rather than adding it to each individual charging pole, where it takes up space and drives up costs.

Getting closer to the actual fast-charging station, there is what Porsche calls the PowerBox. Here, the low-voltage alternating current from the transformer station is converted into direct current (DC) needed for fast-charging.
This part can be equipped with two sets of power electronics and supply two charging points. The system utilises silicon carbide (SiC) modules, resulting in lower conduction, switching losses and space requirements.

For charging parks with a less powerful grid connection, the ChargeBox contains an additional buffer storage battery in addition to a power unit. It is available as an entry-level model with a 70 kWh battery and a 160 kW charging station. For more highly frequented locations, for electric vehicles with higher charging capacities or as a subsequent retrofit, there is also a fully equipped version with 140 kWh and two 160 kW charging stations, combinable for 320 kW.

Moreover, all components are designed to accommodate a distance of up to 200 meters between the transformer station and PowerBox and up to 100 meters between the PowerBox and the charging station.

Last but no less important especially for high power charging is the CoolingBox. It provides liquid cooling for the charging poles and power electronics. Every CoolingBox can accommodate two cooling units, each of which can cool multiple charging points under all operating conditions, says Porsche. The CoolingBox may be installed at some distance from the charging stations as well.

For operators with limited space at the charge park, Porsche Engineering as designed the ComboBox, a power unit with a cooling unit combined and sufficient for one fast-charging point for electric cars each.


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VW presents MEB platform pushing ‘Electric For All’ plan

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 13:57

Volkswagen presents their dedicated platform for electric vehicles, MEB, at their ‘Gläserne Manufaktur’ in Dresden today. The launch is underway with the motto: “Electric For All”, meaning affordable electric cars, that are to turn VW into a volume EV manufacturer.

It has taken VW some time to digest the diesel-scandal and to jump onto the electric drivetrain. Yet things are rolling with the launch of their MEB architecture designed to underpin all kinds of electric Volkswagens starting next year. Moreover, the company confirmed the Roadmap E with bold numbers.

++ With the event in Dresden just underway, we will be updating this report regularly today. ++

In Dresden, all attention was on the technology that underpins a push for mass market and shift at Volkswagen. A series-ready MEB rolling chassis was on display next to a prototype of the Volks-Wallbox.

Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich then likened the MEB project “to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.”

Ulbrich added: “Some 10 million vehicles across the Group will be based on this platform in the first wave alone.”

This is in line with the corporation’s Roadmap E strategy that lines up 50 electric cars to be launched by 2025 and is turn VW into a volume manufacturer of electric cars. Apart from the the new, more bullish undertone above, VW also set a new intermediate target.

Said Christian Senger, Head of the E-mobility Product Line: “By the end of 2022, four Group brands will be ramping up 27 MEB models worldwide, ranging from compact cars to the lifestyle Bulli.”

Back to the first I.D. that Volkswagen is proud to brand as an “electric car made in Germany”. The begin of production has been confirmed with the I.D. to roll off the lines starting late next year at the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau, Saxony, that will then become a pure EV plant. Dealers and customers may get their hand on the electric Volkswagen from Spring 2020.

Zwickau is not the only plant to be involved. Also the Volkswagen Group Components sites in Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Kassel will have a hand in the making of the I.D. model. In Braunschweig alone, VW is ramping up to to be able to build up to half a million battery systems per year in future. This factory already builds the batteries for the e-up!, the e-Golf and the Passat GTE plug-in hybrid. Overall, Volkswagen is investing €1.3 billion of a total €6 billion budgeted for e-mobility at these three sites.

With the MEB platform however, the I.D. will only be the start of a whole new family of electric cars as we reported from the I.D. launch in Berlin earlier this Summer. Moreover, the family is to run on a new battery system designed by VW’s components unit. Naturally, it will be fast-charging.

For home charging, Volkswagen is currently designing their own device dubbed the Volks-Wallbox. A prototype is on display in Dresden.


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California governor signs more than a dozen environmental bills

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 18:46

California governor Jerry Brown has signed a series of environmental bills in a direct challenge to the Trump administration, which aim to boost EV use among economically challenged groups and reinforce the state’s fight against climate change.

The programmes include a variety of environmental issues and directions, including forcing companies to embrace emissions-free fleets and provide additional incentives for private citizens who are looking to purchase used EVs.

Citing that “nearly half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions [come] from the transportation sector”, money was also set aside to expand the network of charging stations and to provide rebates for purchasing EVs. “Whether we travel by car, bus, or boat the need to move to zero-emission transportation is urgent. These bills will help get more clean cars on the road and reduce harmful emissions,” Brown said in a statement.

Among the total of 16 measures signed were:

▪ Senate Bill 1014, by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which gives state regulators authority to establish emissions reduction targets for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The bill originally would have required the companies to provide all of their rides in zero-emission vehicles by 2029, but it was scaled back amid opposition from the tech industry.

▪ Assembly Bill 2885, by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, which directs the state to prioritize low-income applicants for electric vehicle rebates.

▪ Senate Bill 957, by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, which allows low-income Californians to obtain carpool lane stickers for clean cars bought secondhand.

▪ Assembly Bill 193, by Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, which provides rebates for replacement batteries and fuel cells in used vehicles.

Further bills included efforts to ban dangerous pollutants in industry and research methods to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial buildings. Brown also had some strong words directed at the US American president, who has done much to dismantle environmental regulations, alongside withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords.

Critics of the governor allege that he is too closely tied to the oil industry, and that the measures are purely symbolic and too little, too late. Protesters demanded that the governor place a limit on oil production in California, which they claim would do more to improve the environment in the state than the electrification measures enacted. Brown defended his actions, stating “Without a doubt, California has the most aggressive green energy plans in the Western Hemisphere.”


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MAN delivers electric truck eTGM to nine customers

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 18:32

The utility vehicle manufacturer has completed production and handed over the first nine electric trucks of the eTGM line to member companies of the Austrian council for sustainable logistics (CNL) In the coming months, the XXL BEVs will be trialed in daily use.

Originally, the handover was supposed to take place at the end of 2017. Yet the selected companies Gebrüder Weiss, Hofer, Magna Steyr, Metro, Quehenberger Logistics, Rewe, Schachinger Logistik, Spar and the Stiegl brewery just now received their electric trucks for trial.

Specifically, the order includes four cooled vehicles, a beverage truck, three vehicles for interchangeable flatbeds and a semi-trailer truck. According to MAN, “the vehicles form a representative cross-section of the most common distribution transport tasks in urban logistics”.

The basis for the truck is provided by the MAN TGM truck model. The motor has a 264 kW capacity, with a maximum torque of 3,100 Nm and powered by lithium-ion batteries. In the 26 tonne variant, twelve battery packs are mounted, allowing for a 200 km range. The two-axle variant has up to eight batteries, allowing for a 130 km range. Charging can be completed via AC charging with 22 or 44 kW, as well as DC current with 150 kW.

Real world testing is part of the Megawatt project, funded with 3 million euros from a national programme to fund e-mobility in Austria. Ahead of the field testing, MAN has stated that they are looking to gain insights about charging strategies and optimised tour planning. Based on the lessons learned, MAN then plans to manufacture a small series of 50 to 100 vehicles, before launching into larger serial production by 2022. The small series will begin production this year, however the launch delay will likely see a similar delay with production as testing needs to be completed first.

The manufacturing of the test vehicles was done in the Austrian MAN factory near Steyr. There the production of the regular TGM series as well as TGL vehicles takes place next to the Truck Modification Center, which is a unit to manufacture small series and individual vehicles. In order to prepare the factory for a large-scale electrified production, MAN has invested a double-digit sum in the millions.

Furthermore, the electrification strategy will also include the development of an e-bus prototype by the end of the year, named Lion’s City E. This will be launched on the market in 2020, after a delay for an original plan to launch in 2019.


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Project Esprit bets on compact mini EV

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 17:13

As part of the EU funded project Esprit in Scotland (Easily Distributed Personal Rapid Transit) a compact, space-saving sharing system was developed with small EVs designed for short rides in heavily frequented areas.

The vehicles of the fleet will have a max speed of 30 mph (about 48 km/h) and a range of about 50 km. A sharing system with set stations is planned, from which the city EVs can be picked up from a line similar to shopping carts. It is also possible to link up to 8 of the miniature vehicles in a kind of train.

Prototypes of the vehicle have now been presented in Glasgow. The parties involved in the project include the University of Aberdeen and the transport group First. Esprit is part of the Horizon 2020 program by the European Commission.

bbc.com, heraldscotland.com

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ElringKlinger to enter IAA with new products

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 17:04

ElringKlinger is ready to show new product innovations at the IAA Commercial Vehicles, particularly in the battery and fuel cell technology areas. An example is their PEM fuel cell stack with 260 cells. The supplier also packed new electric drive units to go on display. 

They will also bring a show truck to the IAA to demonstrate their new line-up in action. Also their new fuel cell stack is already in use with a reduced cell count in forklifts , according to ElringKlinger. It features metallic bipolar plates and the new version will have an output of 115.4 kW, and can perform as a FC battery hybrid system or be used as a range-extender in vehicle systems.

ElringKlinger will also present a battery system for plug-in hybrids in Hannover, as well as an electric drive unit that can be integrated into various platforms. The PHEV battery system is built on prismatic lithium-ion cells and holds about 40 kWh with a nominal voltage of 400 volt.

The drive unit, built in cooperation with Hofer powertrain, uses a differential and a two-stage spur gear. Hofer powertrain is bringing the development expertise in the cooperation, while ElringKlinger is concentrating on serial manufacturing capacities.

The IAA Commercial Vehicles will take place from September, 20 – 27 in Hanover, Germany.


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BMW presents the Vision iNEXT – production by 2021

Sun, 09/16/2018 - 16:16

BMW has presented a new look at their future technological direction with the iNEXT concept, which will enter serial production in 2021. The SUV is fully electric, highly automated and fully networked.

The iNEXT was presented as the next step in the direction of their Project i, which began in 2007, leading up to the 2013 market launch of the i3. After a lengthy development break, the next step is the full integration of the strategic innovation fields of automated driving, connectivity, electrification and services (ACES) in one vehicle.

The serial model of the iNEXT will be built in the Dingolfing factory as the next flagship for the company. It will be the first vehicle to bundle the competencies under one roof.

The design is decidedly BMW with a new take on the classic grille as well as some boldly shaped side windows. The blue highlights also strongly reminisce of the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics, while the door mechanism is more closely related to the BMW i3. The manufacturer also set up cameras instead of mirrors on the exterior. The heavy chassis, which is more than 5 metres long, reminds us more of the X5.

The interior is set up for future autonomous driving capacities. It has two basic modes: the “boost” mode allows for drivers to take the wheel themselves, while an “ease” mode allows drivers to lean back and let the vehicle manage the road by itself. According to the press release, the interior space can then be used in a variety of manners, from entertainment to relaxation or business.

Technical details to the vehicle have not been released, however the space set aside for batteries would theoretically allow for anything from 80 to 100 kWh or even more. The range has been reported to be set at more than 600 real kilometres with the largest battery pack option.

The vehicle will take a central role for the development of components and platforms in the future. The BMW Group plans to use the new vehicle architecture to decide what and how many models will be electrified, or released as a PHEV or combustion vehicle.

By 2025, the BMW Group plans to offer a total of 25 electrified models, 12 of which will be fully electric. 2019 will see the production launch of their first fully electric Mini, which will be joined by the iX3 in 2020, before the 2021 launch of the iNEXT serial production.


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Design patents attest Tesla Semi is unique

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 18:13

After Nikola Motor had issued a patent infringement claim against Tesla for “substantial” design inspiration, which they came from the Nikola One, Tesla has now received official design patents for the Semi.

Effectively, this means that Tesla’s design has been found not to be stolen from Nikola, and unique enough to merit it’s own design patents. This definitely does not help Nikola Motor’s case, but the lawsuit is still ongoing.

The Nikola One is a fuel cell truck planned for 2021 by the Utah-based startup. The lawsuit specifically addresses six design patents – one for the wind shield, the door, the rump, the fenders, the side paneling and the whole design of the Tesla Semi. Furthermore, Nikola Motors alleges that Tesla attempted to steal their head engineer. The damage done by the alleged patent fraud is estimated at more than 2 billion dollars by Nikola Motor.

Both companies are competing in the field of alternative energy trucks, however Tesla has a head-start of about two years with their Semi. In Spring, Nikola Motor announced that they would refund all down-payments for the Nikola One, without buyers losing their “place” in line when deliveries begin. This was interpreted as a move against Tesla, who requires a down-payment of 20,000 dollars for the Semi

At the same time, it was also announced that Tesla would be losing another important manager: Justin McAnear, who was responsible for global finance, will be leaving Tesla on the 7th of October for another company. Only recently, head accountant Dave Morton announced his resignation.

electrek.co, cnbc.com

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Ikea to accelerate electrification in five cities

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 16:55

Ikea has announced an accelerated time plan for their planned switch to electrified vehicles. Already in 2020, deliveries in the inner city areas of Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai will be conducted in a fully electric manner.

By 2020 the Swedish furniture shop will also offer charging stations for electrified vehicles at all their locations in 30 nations. The plan for 2025 is then to ensure that all last-mile deliveries by the company are all done electrically. Head of the Ikea Group, Jesper Brodin, added that sustainable development is important to the company, “that’s why we’re speeding up the transition to EV in five inner city areas.”

As a member of the e-mobility initiative EV100, Ikea plans to be an early adopter of new energy vehicles. In Germany, Ikea is further adding HPC chargers at their locations, and has begun testing cooperations with Hertz and SAIC in Frankfurt and two other German locations.

reuters.com, prnewswire.com

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Tesla gets involved in hurricane help again

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 16:05

After Elon Musk swooped in to help hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico after the devastating storm and lackluster response from US authorities, Tesla is now again helping people escape the clutches of natural disaster.

In order to support people fleeing areas affected by Hurricane Florence, superchargers have been temporarily made free to use, and the software limitation of battery capacity will also be taken out. Tesla has set a precedent with the move and plans to continue with such initiatives in future: “In any natural disaster situation like this, our policy is to make Superchargers free of use in order to optimize evacuation routes for affected customers”.

electrek.co, autoblog.com, insideevs.com, twitter.com

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Hertz offers 45 EVs on Mallorca

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 19:05

The Hertz car rental agency has added to their “Green Collection” on Mallorca, expanding their EV fleet based at the airport to a total of 45 EVs. Another expansion is set to follow in the coming months.

The vehicles currently available include 25 BMW i3 and 20 Renault Zoes. Furthermore, the rental agency plans to introduce electrified vehicles to their other fleets on the Spanish islands.

Hertz also expanded their EV fleets in Germany with e-transporters, where they support Ikea in Frankfurt and Kamen. They plan to add a third German location before long as well. Hertz currently has rental agencies at a total of 45 Ikea stores.

electrive.net, hertz-presse.de (Both in German)

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Battery Alliance to enter serial production in 2020

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 18:54

There is news from the Battery Alliance initially announced in February: the partners Saft, Siemens, Solvay and Many have announced that they would enter serial production of an improved lithium-ion battery format utilising high-density liquid electrolytes in the first half of 2020.

The alliance has also already announced plans for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries to follow in 2022. “The performance levels we are targeting are very much better than what we have today. We are looking at performance levels that are 50 percent better in terms of energy density,” said Jean-Baptiste Pernot, Saft’s director of operations.

The goal of the quartet is to establish a European battery alliance to research, develop and industrialize new battery technology. The initiative is set to run for seven years, and is part of the initiative to set up battery manufacturing capacities in Europe, which can rival American and Asian manufacturers.

Saft is a subsidiary of the French oil company Total and manufactures batteries for a variety of uses. The Belgian chemical company Solvay is bringing experience with polymer material and electrolyte solutions to the table. Manz is adding battery cell and module assembly capacities, while Siemens has software and automation specialization under their belt.


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Volvo Trucks presents autonomous e-truck

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 18:32

Volvo Trucks has presented a new truck concept named Vera, which comprises a fully electric system, as well as autonomous driving capabilities. They aim to serve companies with regular transport between fixed logistics locations.

The self-driving truck without a drivers’ cabin was presented at the Volvo Innovation Summit in Berlin. It shares the same electric motor and battery packet with other electric Volvo trucks. The autonomous driving capacity is provided by networking with a cloud-server, which provides Vera with real-time updates, in combination with a central control centre.

Vice president of autonomous solutions at Volvo, Mikael Karlsson, said: “Our system can be seen as an extension of the advanced logistics solutions that many industries already apply today. Since we use autonomous vehicles with no exhaust emissions and low noise, their operation can take place at any time of day or night. The solution utilises existing road infrastructure and load carriers, making it easier to recoup costs and allowing for integration with existing operations.”

Vera is initially designed to perform routine transports with a high degree of repetition, but Volvo included room for potential growth to be adapted for further uses in future. To begin, Volvo Trucks plans to test and develop the vehicle with select partners.

At the Berlin summit, Volvo also presented another concept: The LX2 is an electrified construction concept, which will be used on the construction site of the future. The compact forklift is a prototype of the second generation, and part of a corresponding project between Volvo CE and Skanska.

greencarcongress.com, newatlas.com, autoblog.com, volvotrucks.com (Vera presentation), volvogroup.com (LX2)

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New e-mobility initiative finds warm welcome

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 18:03

The e-mobility initiative Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge, which was launched in July by the international Climate Group network and C40 cities has made some major steps: 26 additional states, cities, regions and companies have agreed to join the e-mobility effort.

The programmes presented by the initiative include everything from the full electrification of company fleets by 2030, up to cities who plan to solely purchase electric buses by 2025. The climate alliance now compromises a total of more than 60 members.

The newest members include the Basque region, Broward County (Florida), Catalonia and Navarra (Spain), Drenthe (Netherlands), Emilia Romagna and Lombardi (Italy), Quebec (Canada), Scotland (UK), Washington and California (USA), as well as the cities Birmingham, the Greater Manchester area, Honolulu, Medellin, Oslo, Oxford, Rotterdam, Santa Monica, Seoul, Tokyo, Warsaw and West Hollywood, and the companies Clif Bar and Delta Electronics.

As reported in July, the two international networks the Climate Group and C40 Cities had launched the Zero Emission Vehicle Challenge together to help accelerate the introduction of electrified vehicles. The first members included major cities New York, Paris, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Rome, Copenhagen and Mexico City, as well as the companies EDF Energy, LeasePlan and Unilever.

fleetnews.co.uk, theclimategroup.org

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8,000 Microlino reservations worth €100 million

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 17:43

Micro Mobility Systems’ Microlino mini-BEV has already garnered 8,000 reservations, worth about 100 million euros. The majority of the orders came from Germany. Production of the first 25 pre-serial units has also begun.

The first model will roll off the assembly line in early October, according to Micro Mobility Systems. The first 25 models will serve to refine production processes, before serial production begins in December.

Reservations for the compact BEV with Isetta design came from all over the planet, however more than half are from Germany (3,257) and Switzerland (1,657). The market launch will begin in Switzerland, before it will be expanded to other countries including Germany next year. The individual configuration of vehicle models will be possible on a website before production begins.

In July, the vehicle received official permission to ride on public roads. The official range during preliminary tests was set at 126 km with the small battery option (8 kWh), with a 202 km range with the larger battery (14.4 kWh). The two-person vehicle was initially presented in Zurich last January, and will be offered for a basic price of 12,000 euros.

The vehicle is being manufactured by production partner Tazzari. The Italian e-mobility pioneer also holds half of the stock behind the Microlino.

electrive.net, handelsblatt.com, focus.de (All in German)

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Volkswagen boosts stake in QuantumScape

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 17:14

Volkswagen has now completed their planned stock increase of QuantumScape. The Germans have invested 100 million dollars in the battery specialist, with whom VW intends to establish mass production of solid-state batteries.

Volkswagen is now also the largest shareholder behind QuantumScape, giving them a seat on the board. Furthermore, the Wolfsburg-based automobile manufacturers and Quantumscape has founded a joint venture to develop solid-state batteries. The market watch authority CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) has officially permitted the transaction. The San José based company was initially founded by Stanford University, and holds more than 200 patents and patent applications regarding solid-state batteries. Volkswagen previously owned five percent of the company – how much they hold now is still unknown.

What is clear however, is that the partners aim to set up a factory for serial production of solid-state batteries by 2025. As the Volkswagen corporation plans to offer an electrified option for each of their 300 vehicle models by 2030, the consolidation of battery manufacturing capacities is a vital step for them. Early development steps in the solid-state battery direction by QuantumScape were already tested by VW for automotive use.

Volkswagen corporate research head Axel Heinrich stated back in June, that his belief was that the solid-state battery technology would mark a milestone in EV history, and would shake up the market considerably. He added that Volkswagen considered QuantumScape an innovative partner, with whom they plan to secure access to solid-state battery development through strategic cooperation.


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PSA’s DS 3 Crossback technical details announced

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:21

The first fully electric vehicle by French manufacturer PSA will be launching in the second half of 2019. The technical specifications have now been announced to prepare the market launch for the vehicle.

The DS 3 Crossback will feature a 100 kW electric motor, powered by a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery. This puts the compact premium SUV at a range of 300 km according to WLTP standards. The battery can also be charged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes, and features a braking system for energy recovery. It can also be charged using a wallbox (5 hours), standard household plugs or a fast charger up to 100 kW capacity.

The electric motor boasts 260 Nm torque, and can accelerate from 0 to 50 km/h in 8.7 seconds, with a top speed of 150 km/h. The vehicle also features partially autonomous driving, with the DS Drive Assist the vehicle can automatically remain in a driving lane, as well as adapting speed (down to a complete standstill), while the driver can take back control of the vehicle at any time.

Recently, PSA’s other subsidiary Citroën revealed their SUV C5 Aircross hybrid concept at the Paris Motor Show, which shows a glimpse of the hybrid plans by the company. The vehicle will be launched on the market in 2020, which is a slight delay from the original plan. The hybrid concept combines a 180 hp combustion motor with an 80 kW electric motor.


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