Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 42 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 42 2017

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The Tokyo Auto Show will be hosted from the 27th of October to the 5th of November, and we can expect a bunch of combustion and electric concept vehicles from regional producers with the least amount of production electric vehicles. Hopefully, we will see an auto show in Japan in the near future brimming with production-ready electric vehicles, in the meantime here are some of the concept electric and autonomous vehicles which would be displayed at the 2017 event.

Mitsubishi Concept Vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017

Mitsubishi will showcase its “new flagship concept vehicle,” the MITSUBISHI-e-EVOLUTION SUV Coupé, which includes a 4WD electric powertrain and AI. The Japanese automaker’s sister company, Mitsubishi Electric, will also showcase its vision for smart mobility in the future through the EMIRAI 4 Smart Mobility Concept Car which features next-generation self-driving technologies, an electric drivetrain and connected system.

Top 5 EV news week 42 mitsubishi concept

Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept and EMIRAI 4 Concept

Toyota Concept Vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017

Toyota will display its vision for the future, the Concept-i Series, which includes the Concept-i four-wheel first showcased at the 2017 CES in Vegas. Toyota will introduce two more members of the Concept i-series family, the Concept-i RIDE city car, and the Concept-i WALK, an autonomous 3-wheeler which will lead to less walking and need for legs. In all fairness, Toyota identified the ride-sharing services at sightseeing spots as one of the potential uses for the i-WALK,

The Toyota Concept-i series combines technologies that “LEARN,” “PROTECT” and “INSPIRE” and aims to start roadtesting some of these elements in vehicles from 2020 onwards. All three vehicles are electrified with ranges of 300km, 150km, and 20km respectively.


Toyota Concept-i series | Concept-i, Concept-i RIDE, Concept-i WALK

Honda Concept Vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017

Honda is set to unveil its new Sports concept, combining AI and electrification which is built on the same platform as the Honda Urban Concept. Honda announced in Week 37 that it intends to produce the Honda Urban Concept in 2019 for the European market as it tries to hasten its EV strategy for the EU.

Honda will also showcase its vision for autonomous electric mobility with the Honda NeuV which explores autonomous car sharing as an application.

The Japanese carmaker is also a popular motorcycle manufacturer and will unveil the electric Honda Riding Assist E at a World Premiere event during the Tokyo Auto Show. According to Honda, the Riding Assist-e features its unique balance control technology, developed through humanoid robot research. The motorcycle automatically balances itself at very low speeds, reducing rider load.

Top 5 ev news week 41 2017 Honda Concept vehicles

Honda Sports EV Concept, Honda NeuV, Honda Riding Assist-e, Honda Urban EV Concept

Nissan and Mazda Concept Vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017

Other vehicles expected at the Auto Show is Nissan‘s Electric SUV and the Mazda 3 for 2021, which could be available with an electric drivetrain.

Top 5 ev news week 41 2017 Mazda Concept vehicles

Mazda 3 Concept


Volkswagen unveiled the e-Delivery electric distribution truck during the Innovation Day event in Hamburg this week. The-Delivery truck, which is to be assembled at Volkswagen Caminhões e Onibus in Brazil in 2020 is one of the results of the German company’s new focus vw-e-delivery-truckon alternative drive platforms coupled with autonomy and connectivity. The Truck and Bus unit is also making significant progress in last mile EV solutions. Dr. Scholz, CEO of VW Commercial Vehicles said “The eCrafter is a high-performing van with a range of up to about 200 km. The vehicle will be shipped to selected customers by the end of 2017. The VW I.D. Buzz Cargo, a compact van that runs on electricity, is also being developed, its design and suitability for day-to-day life reminiscent of those of the classic VW Bulli.” The model is set to be launched in 2022.

Navistar, VW’s partner in the USA is also to use the new electric platform for distribution trucks from 2019. In Europe, MAN is said to start rolling out a test fleet of nine electric distribution trucks to customers in Austria as soon as the end of 2017, targeting retailers, brewers, and haulers. MAN will follow the test phase with a limited release of trucks from the end of 2018.


With nearly 60% of all vehicle sales in September being EVs Norway represents the first market where electric vehicles are the norm. The result of EVs being the norm brings other factors than just zero emissions in play such as the impact of vehicles on congestion and damage to road infrastructure. The Financial Times this week reported on a proposal by the governing party in Norway to tax EVs over 2 tonnes for their impact on the road infrastructure. With EVs being a big proportion of vehicles on the road benefits such as allowing EVs on bus lanes are becoming counterproductive.

Generous Norwegian EV subsidies which can save you close to $60K (NKr 450K) on a Tesla Model X P100D will be rolled back between $4.5K and $10.5K (NKr 36K – NKr82.8K) should the proposal pass. The tax would have the biggest impact on Tesla which makes up most of the sales of vehicles above the proposed 2-tonne threshold. Fierce opposition by other political parties might make it difficult for the proposal to pass through the legislator.

Norway is not the first to propose taxes on EVs for their impact on the transport system. In April this year California, another pro EV territory, proposed a $100 registration charge and an annual tax based on the value of the EV from 2020 to compensate for the impact on the transport system.


The Japanese based electronic component manufacturer Nichicon unveiled its next-generation vehicle to grid energy (V2G) system named Tribrid Electricity Storage SystemTribid Electric Storage System. The system efficiently connects solar cells, EV/PHEV batteries and storage batteries, creating a total energy system that provides a DC link to three batteries enables the movement of electricity between storage batteries and EV batteries. As a result, when an EV is not present, the power from solar cells can be stored in storage batteries. When the EV returns, the stored power can be transferred from the storage batteries to the EV, enabling carbon-free vehicle operation. Also, in the event of a power outage, the storage battery and the EV’s large-capacity battery can be used as a backup, providing even greater peace of mind. This system enables an extremely high level of self-sufficiency based on solar power generation for both homes and vehicles.



Daimler this week demonstrated the use of automated snow removal at the former Pferdsfeld airbase with four Mercedes Benz Arcs tractors. The demonstration builds on the automakers innovative Highway Pilot and Highway Pilot Connect systems presented earlier the year which allows for truck platooning. Clearing snow at airfields is a high precision task and a perfect application for autonomous driving. The development of the “Automated Airfield Ground Maintenance“ (AAGM) project was established in close cooperation between Lab1886, the Daimler innovation incubator, Daimler Trucks and Fraport AG, which operates one of the largest air traffic hubs in the world. The AAGM is guided by Daimler’s corporate strategy named CASE – connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric powertrains (Electric).


Globes, an Israeli publication, reported that the government there opened a 1.5km three-lane highway exclusively for the testing of autonomous technologies. The Ministry of Transport invited five companies to test self-driving projects on the highway north of Herzliya over the next two months. The five companies are:

  1. Nexcar, testing a dashboard camera which is connected to the cloud for early warning;
  2. GM Israel, testing its autonomous vehicle;
  3. Mobileye, testing its latest developments;
  4. Innoviz, testing LiDAR remote sensing solutions;
  5. Argus Cyber Security, testing advanced connectivity with anti-hacking capability.


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Renault gives second-life to EV batteries

Renault gives second-life to EV batteries

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Renault and Powervault, the UK-based energy storage system manufacturer, announced a partnership to re-use electric vehicle (EV) batteries in home energy storage units. The saving to Powervault will make its storage system 30% cheaper, allowing its home storage system to become a financially viable solution to households across the UK.

Electric vehicle batteries are typically used until it depletes 20% of its capacity, after which it needs to be replaced, leaving a healthy portion of battery left for static battery applications, which are less demanding on the technology than the harsher requirements of transport applications. Typically an EVs battery can handle between 2,000 and 5,000 cycles or more depending on which supplier and what cell chemistry is used in the battery. BAIC models, for instance, using a LiFePO4 (Lithium Phosphate) based battery, guarantee 2000 cycles while the first Chevrolet Volt’s listed 5000 cycles. The Chevrolet Volt, however, electronically limits that only 65% of the battery is made available to the car to protect the battery, so to compare apples to apples, it would be better to compare throughput as appose to cycles.

Renault has already sold over 100,000 electric vehicles between its Zoe, Twizy, Kangoo and Fluence models, of which 25,000 are older than four years. Renault’s EV business model includes leasing its batteries to customers. Extending the usage of its batteries through a second-life application will provide Renault with a better return on investment and hopefully in future bring down the price of batteries faster.

According to the press release, Powervault will place 50 units on trail at existing customers who already have the company’s solar panels installed. The trial will explore the technical performance of second life batteries as well as customer reaction to home energy storage to help develop a roll-out strategy for the mass-market. The trial will be run with eligible customers of M&S Energy, plus social housing tenants and schools in the South East.

The relatively high cost of Home Storage Systems has until recently made little financial sense, with payback periods from savings overshooting the useful life of the system. Bringing system cost down to an acceptable payback of between five and seven years is seen as the holy grail for system manufacturers and homeowners.

Other EV manufacturers have already pursued business plans for second life batteries in Battery Home Systems with or without Solar. In June 2016 Nissan and Eaton installed an Energy Storage Solution in France, created from “second life” Nissan Leaf batteries. Nissan installed the Energy Storage Solution at WEBaxys, a data center. In the same month, BMW announced that it would follow Daimler, Nissan, and Tesla in creating second life energy storage systems for residential and commercial use. Second life battery systems would not have the same warranties as new systems.

Extending the life of EV batteries will also result in lower recycling related cost and overall optimize the use of the battery. Second Life applications and applications such as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), where an EV owner sells power back to the grid, makes electric vehicles much more appealing and blows in the face of the technologies detractors.


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