TOP EV NEWS #1 – NEW EV MODELS
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.
As we enter September in the coming week we look forward to the release/unveiling of the following Evs:
- September 6, the worldwide launch of the new version of the worlds top selling EV, the Nissan Leaf, which is already dubbed in chat rooms as the ‘300-mile Leaf‘ based on rumors about its range.
- September 14, Frankfurt Auto Show, will see the unveiling of the 2018 BMW i3S Performance and 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.
- September will also see the unveiling of the ~200-mile Tesla Semi truck.
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.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – INDIAN GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR 10,000 EVs
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.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS THIS WEEK
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.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – JVs AND CORPORATE ACTIONS THIS WEEK
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.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – SELF DRIVING NEWS OF THE PAST WEEK
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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