TOP EV NEWS #1 – NEW EV MODELS GEARING FOR GENEVA
With the Geneva Auto Show on the horizon (8 to 18 March 2018) some auto brands have started releasing teasers and announcements of product launches during the annual event. We already know that Rimac will unveil the Concept Two which it intends to produce this year at the event. VW, Peugeot, Ssangyong, and Volvo have all primed the press for their upcoming unveilings during the show.
VW will unveil its fourth I.D. series concept electric car, the I.D. Vizzion, which will provide a glimpse into how the company prepares itself for a self-driving future. VW will introduce its autonomous vehicles equipped with I.D. Pilot from 2025. The I.D. Vizzion is a seven-seat luxury MPV and has no steering wheel. For full specs, please see our dedicated page here.
Ssangyong teased images (below) of its fifth electric concept EV, the SsangYong E-SIV, to be unveiled at the 2018 Geneva auto show. The Korean automaker is yet to deliver a production-ready electric vehicle and only plans to start producing EVs from 2020. E-SIV is short for “Electronic Smart Interface Vehicle,” and the concept promises a range of 280 miles. For full specs, please see our dedicated page here.
Previous electric concept cars presented by Ssangyong, a Mahindra Mahindra subsidiary were the KEV1 (2010), KEV2 (2011), e-XIV (2012), and the Tivoli EV-R (2015).
Peugeot will launch the striking 508 D-Class sedan, a plug-in hybrid model which will be available from 2019. The revamped Peugeot will unfortunately not be available in the USA. Peugeot’s design chief, Gilles VIDAL, had the following to say about the Peugeot 508:
“The design of the new PEUGEOT 508 completes an entirely revamped range. It benefits from all the stylistic features we included in our latest concept cars like the PEUGEOT Exalt and the PEUGEOT Instinct. The i-Cockpit® in the new PEUGEOT 508 is actually taken directly from the Exalt concept car.”
Volvo will launch two plug-in versions of its 2019 V60 wagon, the Volvo V60 T6 Twin Engine AWD Estate PHEV, and Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Estate PHEV. Volvo says the V60 Estate is one of the safest cars on the road. The Volvo V60 wagon sports a luxurious interior, increased levels of space, advanced connectivity, plus Volvo Cars’ latest driver support systems and other safety technology. The Volvo advanced driver assistance system, Pilot Assist, supports the driver with steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked roads up to 130km/h. The Pilot Assist has been upgraded with improved cornering performance in the V60 Estate. The V60 also includes Run-off-Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and other steering assistance systems. The optional Cross Traffic Alert with auto brake further improves safety for people inside and outside the car.
Mitsubishi will introduce its technical prototype, the Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept to the European market. Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept illustrates the strategy of the company incorporating its strengths of SUV, EV, and connected mobility systems. The Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept was first introduced at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2017.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – INDIA EV MARKET READYING FOR 2030
India is yet to set an EV policy to create a conducive environment for its target of converting to 100% electric public transport and 40% private electric cars by 2030. Currently, the Government provides tax incentives through its FAME program, but no clear EV policy exists. The Indian government this month called for inputs on its draft National Auto Policy which seeks clean and safe mobility to comply with global emissions benchmarks by 2028. The plan further aims to propel the Indian auto sector to be one of the top 3 in the world while being a major contributor to the country’s GDP. Hopefully, the Policy will include an EV policy. In the meantime, the Indian governmental entity overseeing the EV program, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, is expected to bring a global tender for a further 10,000 EVs by the latest April 2018, giving foreign companies a chance to start operations in India.
The EV sector in India is surely hotting up in anticipation of the boom equal to that underway in China. In August 2017 we reported on the ambitions of Indian energy company, JSW Energy to get involved in the production of EVs. JSW Energy this week signed an agreement with the state if Maharashtra to construct EV and energy storage manufacturing facilities. JSW Energy plans to invest $550 million in the development of an EV by 2020.
Mahindra and Mahindra announced in October 2017 that it would provide $600 million towards developing its EV capabilities. This week the company earmarked $139 million of the budget towards upgrading its plants in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka to manufacture EVs and components such as batteries.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – UPGRADES OF EXISTING EVs
The Geneva Auto Show will be the venue for the global premiere of the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The main improvements of the Outlander PHEV 2.0 are:
- A 2.4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine replaces the previous regular Otto cycle 2.0 liter. It allows for higher torque, smoother operation, and overall higher efficiency.
- The generator output is increased by 10%.
- The rear motor output is increased by 10%.
- The drive battery capacity is increased by 15%.
- The drive battery output is increased by 10%.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also is longer than its the previous model. The Outlander also gets two extra drive modes, a Sport and Snow driving mode complimenting the NORMAL and 4WD LOCK modes.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – MERCEDES eACTROS TRUCK GOES LIVE
Mercedes announced that it would pilot ten of its eActros electric trucks with customers. At first, the focus will be on inner-city goods and delivery traffic, as the Mercedes-Benz eActros is well capable of covering the ranges required in this sector. The pilot customers will test the vehicles in real operations for twelve months, and the trucks will then go a second round of customers for a further twelve months. The innovation fleet will, therefore, be in operation until at least mid-2020. The aim is to achieve series production maturity for economically competitive electric trucks for heavy inner-city distribution operations from 2021.
The Mercedes eActros Truck has a range of 200km provided through a 240kWh lithium battery and is charged through a system with more than 400V and a 1000A current.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – AUTONOMOUS NEWS FROM PAST WEEK
Waymo is the first company in the USA to get a permit to operate a commercial driverless taxi service. The State of Arizona issued the permit to Waymo. Waymo is reading itself to start the service later the year.
Nissan to test self-drive system with DeNa in Tokyo on a 4.5km route between the Japanese company’s headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. The two companies will also test the mobility mobile app Easy Ride’s service functions where passengers can instruct the car via text, voice or from a menu of recommended restaurants, or places of interest.
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