TOP EV NEWS #1 – TOKYO AUTO SHOW = CONCEPT WEEK
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.
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.
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.
Nissan and Mazda Concept Vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017
TOP EV NEWS #2 – VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS E-DELIVERY TRUCK
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 on 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.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – NORWAY PROPOSES TESLA TAX
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.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – NEXT GEN V2G SYSTEM FOR PV/EV/HOME BATTERY
The Japanese based electronic component manufacturer Nichicon unveiled its next-generation vehicle to grid energy (V2G) system named Tribid 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.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – AUTONOMOUS NEWS FROM PAST WEEK
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:
- Nexcar, testing a dashboard camera which is connected to the cloud for early warning;
- GM Israel, testing its autonomous vehicle;
- Mobileye, testing its latest developments;
- Innoviz, testing LiDAR remote sensing solutions;
- Argus Cyber Security, testing advanced connectivity with anti-hacking capability.
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