Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

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The EV sector is expected to hot up in the last quarter of 2017 as we near 2018, with some long awaited new EVs to being unveiled or upgrades of existing models introduced.

This week saw Mercedes unveiling it’s Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The 80kWh concept EV has a range of over 500km (NEDC) and a drive system with a 550kW output. The ultra luxurious six-meter long concept vehicle is designed to anticipate the needs of its passengers and to provide the required information and solutions in real time.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

As we enter September in the coming week we look forward to the release/unveiling of the following Evs:

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 34 2017

World leading research and education group, WMG, the University of Warwick, and design company Astheimer unveiled a lightweight prototype delivery vehicle, the DELIVER-E this week. According to a press release by Warwick University advanced battery experts, at WMG fitted the vehicle with a powerful 48V 6.5kWh battery system, increasing its peak power from 12 kilowatt to 36 kilowatt – helping it to cope with an increased weight of goods, and to conserve energy despite the start-stop nature of deliveries. DELIVER-E will be showcased as a demonstrator, at a number of events through the year. WMG and collaborative partners will also use it when undertaking research around electric vehicles.


The Indian SOE (State Owned Enterprise), Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) called for international auto companies to bid to supply 10,000 EV sedans, starting with 1,000 that would be used by government departments. The winning bid should be able to provide an EV with a 150km (94 miles) range. EESL also called for bids to 4,000 charging points. India is trying to fast track the use of EVs through its National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The plan which has a first target of 400,000 EVs by 2020 battles to gain momentum. Local manufacturers Tata and Mahindra Mahindra has been slow to supply EV models due to economic viability and low subsidy support from the Indian Government. An incentive scheme was introduced in April 2017 as part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) program.


The UK company, ULEMCo, this week announced that it developed a fuel cell range extender module for the Nissan e-NV200 MPV. The module will extend the range of a fully laden delivery vehicle by 240km (150 miles).

The scientific journal, Nature Communications, this week published a paper on a breakthrough in Magnesium rechargeable batteries, delivering an energy density of 400 mAh/g. According to the paper magnesium, an abundant metal, have the potential to offer high-energy density, safety, and low cost. Researchers found a way to overcome a stumbling block in the technology by altering the design a magnesium battery cathode.


Skoda Auto DigiLab and its Israeli commercial partner, Champion Motors agreed to open a technology center in Tel Aviv to collaborate with start-ups and universities on emerging automotive tech.

WM Motors, China’s Tesla, and German sports-car design company, Isdera announced this week that it plans to partner on building EVs. WM Motors joins a list of Chinese automakers either partnering or establishing research facilities with Western companies and countries on EV development.

Ford and the Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye this week announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a 50/50 JV to develop electrified passenger vehicles in China. The JV is the second such JV announced by Ford, which is experiencing sales declines in the Chinese vehicle sector. The Detroit based company and another Chinese domestic JV partner, Changan, announced in April that they would offer PHEV and BEV versions of all the vehicles they manufacture by 2025.


Germany which has adopted its self-driving law in May 2017 this week announced guidelines for autonomous vehicle software. According to Reuter’s the ethical guidelines of the rules is set to protect people at all cost above property or animals. Autonomous vehicle software is not to determine between sex, health or age of a person in deciding what to do in the event of avoiding an accident.

Tata Motors of India joined the UK’s autonomous drive testing project, named ‘UK Autodrive.’ The UK Autodrive program is conducted in Milton Keyes and Coventry and includes other automakers active in the UK market, including Tata, Jaguar Land Rover, and Ford. Tata is using its Tiago vehicle in the trials.

Hyundai will deploy an autonomous fleet for the 2018 Winter Olympics which is held in the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea during February 2018. The self-driving software will utilize Hyundai’s subsidiary, MnSOFT’s ultra-high-precision HD Map, with a margin of error of only 10cm as opposed to the 30 meters of previous maps. According to South Korean IT publication, etnews, Hyundai will supply a fleet of self-driving fuel-cell based SUVs and buses to ferry people over the 126km between the capital and the event venue.

According to the Korea Post Hyundai and it’s sister company Kia is testing V2X technology in partnership with the City if Hwaseong on a 14km section of road to test V2X (Vehicle to everything) systems. V2X technology is where the vehicle communicates on a real-time basis with the road on which it travels and includes traffic signals, other road users such a pedestrians and other vehicles.

Ford‘s new CEO, Jim Hackett, previously the Chairman of the US automakers Smart Mobility unit, sees a slower transition to completely autonomous vehicles. In an interview with SFGate, Jim Hackett said that he does not see the company’s vehicle revenue threatened by a sudden shift to robot cars leading to fewer vehicle sales. Although the Ford CEO remained committed to a 2021 target by its predecessor for Level 4 ride hailing vehicles he sees a more a more progressive transition than a sudden shift. He added that Ford believes vehicles will become smarter, allowing it to tap more revenue streams from its 100 million “users.” Ford recently acquired SF based ride-sharing company, Chariot, and autonomous tech company, Argo AI, to ensure that it remains relevant going into the future. In line with its 2021 strategy Ford also announced this week that it would include commercial delivery vehicles in its self-driving offering by 2021.


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Sneak peek of the Skoda Vision E’s futuristic interior

Sneak peek of the Skoda Vision E’s futuristic interior

The Czech automaker today gave a further glimpse into its Vision E Concept, the platform it intends to use for its electric vehicle strategy available for production in 2020. The automaker released details and artist impressions of the Skoda Vision E’s futuristic interior, called “Simply Clever.”

The Vision E’s interior sports four elevated shell-shaped chairs with the ability to electronically rotate up to 20 degrees. The cabin is spacious and modern with no middle tunnel, due to its battery powered drive train. The cockpit has various screens for the driver and passengers to operate the functions and services of Skoda Connect. Each occupant can charge his or her smartphone and connect individually to the entertainment system of the electric vehicle. Ten lighting variations provide ambient lighting through strips in the door and below the dashboard.

Access is gained through electronically operated counter-opening doors, very much like the BMW i3. From wattEV2Buy’s experience test driving the BMW i3, counter opening doors looks cool but is very impractical. Hopefully, the rotating chairs will make access easier, but it does not solve getting in the car in a parking bay, especially if it’s the driver and rear passenger. The Skoda Vision E also sports ample storage in its boot.

Skoda’s CEO, Bernhard Maier, announced at the unveiling that the company’s aim is to have electric vehicles as 25% of its model lineup by 2025. The Vision E will officially be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, to be held from 19 to 28 April.

Skoda Vision E interior

Skoda announces Electric Vehicle strategy

Skoda announces Electric Vehicle strategy

Skoda announces Electric Vehicle strategy. The Volkswagen company, headquartered in the Czech Republic, will release its electromobility strategy, called the Vision E Concept at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2017. Skoda is the last if the Volkswagen Group of companies to unveil its electric vehicle strategy. The company benefits from research and development of the Volkswagen Group and will build its electric vehicles on the German automakers MEB Platform.

Skoda’s strategy will kick-off with a plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2019, the ŠKODA SUPERB PHEV. The company will produce five fully electric vehicles by 2025. The Skoda Vision E will include self-driving technology and be classified as a Level 3 Autonomous vehicle, inline with the company’s expectation that 15% of all vehicle to be self-driving by 2030.

The specifications for the Vision E Concept, a five-door SUV are as follows:

  • An electric range of 500km / 312 miles;
  • Level 3 self-driving capability;
  • Dimensions:
    • 4,645mm long,
    • 1,917mm wide,
    • 1,550mm tall
  • System Output 0f 225kW
  • Top Speed of 180km/h / 112mph
  • Two electric engines, four wheel drive.

The new strategy is a deviation from the strategy announced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016, named the Vision S. The Vision S was based on a PHEV version of the SKODA KODIAQ, a six-passenger SUV with the full-electric version expected in 2020.

skoda VISION-E

skoda VISION-E