TOP EV NEWS #1 – NISSAN AT THE TOKYO AUTO SHOW
Nissan expanded its e-Power family with the unveiling of the new Serena e-Power minivan/delivery vehicle, available for sale in Japan from early 2018. The Serena e-Power follows the Nissan Note e-Power unveiled in November 2016. E-Power powertrain is not a pure-electric car although it is 100% electric motor driven utilizing the motor and inverter from the Leaf it recharges through the engine, not a plug-in system.
Nissan also unveiled two concept vehicles with electrified powertrains at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017. The autonomous IMx zero-emission concept crossover with a complete autonomous range of 600km (375 miles) and a customized e-NV200 called the e-NV200 Fridge Concept. The IMx Concept was introduced with its signature sound, called “Canto” which Nissan says is the sound of the future and will be heard from all Nissan cars in the future.
According to Nissan, the IMxt utilizes it’s all new and dedicated electric vehicle platform married to twin motor power units that deliver 320kW power and 700nm of torque from a redesigned and re-engineered high-capacity battery offering increased energy density. The IMx give customers a glimpse to the company’s latest and future innovations aligned to its Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision. The core of the IMx’s technological features is centered around a future version of ProPILOT, offering fully autonomous operation. When ProPILOT drive mode is selected, the system stows the steering wheel inside the dashboard and reclines all seats
The Japanese automaker lifted the lid on its solution to urban delivery challenges with the unveiling of a modified, all-electric Nissan e-NV200 Fridge Concept. The Fridge Concept’s compact size is ideal for operating in cities where large delivery trucks are often prevented from going. The 24kWh battery of the standard Nissan e-NV200 will drive the motor, and an additional 12kWh in the cargo hold will provide energy to the refrigeration unit to store chilled foods.
In his speech during the launch introducing Nissan Intelligent Mobility at the Tokyo Auto Show, Danielle Schillaci, EVP mentioned that the 2018 Nissan Leaf’s sales in its first month equaled 50% of total sales in the prior year.
Nissan also announced that it will join the Formula E franchise from Season 5 starting late 2018. Although not explicitly announced Nissan would replace its Alliance partner Renault which is bowing out of the E-series to focus all its efforts on Formula One.The Renault e.dams Formula E team has won the first three seasons of the electric racing franchise.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – HYUNDAI GROUP UNVEILS POWERTRAIN STRATEGY
Hyundai Kia unveiled its next-generation powertrain strategy at its International Powertrain Conference in South Korea this week which will help the automaker to reach its long-term emissions goal. Hyundai showcased four engines and two transmission systems at the two-day event attended by 1,200 academics and engineers. By 2022, Hyundai Motor Group aims to develop an all-new Smart Stream powertrain line-up for ICE vehicles composing of 10 gasoline engines, six diesel engines, and six transmissions. Hyundai believes that combustion engines will be the dominant engine type up to 2025 after which PHEV and BEV powertrains start receiving wider acceptance. The automaker will also develop Fuel Cell EVs, Plug-in Hybrid EVs, and pure electric vehicles to respond to changing market needs.
In a strategy that favors combustion vehicles and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), Hyundai’s FCEV will be developed to have an 800km (500 miles) range and 163 horsepower output as it targets the largest hydrogen storage density of any fuel cell vehicle available.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – ELECTRIC TRUCK’s IN VOGUE THIS WEEK
There has been much focus the past weeks on electric commercial vehicles as automakers try an carve out a niche in new electric vehicle markets and benefit from the growing push to dispense with diesel and gasoline vehicles.
Isuzu, a latecomer to the EV race, unveiled an electrified version of its midsize N-Series light-duty truck at the Tokyo Auto Show. The Isuzu electric truck will be ideal for short-haul deliveries and services such as garbage collection. The e-truck will enter the market in 2018 and Isuzu will target the pricing so that operators can recoup upfront costs between three and five years according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The Isuzu electric truck will deliver a 100km range per hour of charge time.
Daimler Trucks subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) this week launched a dedicated brand for its electrified range of trucks and buses at the Tokyo Auto Show. The unveiling of the new brand, E-Fuso, was accompanied by the world premiere of the all-electric heavy duty truck E-Fuso Vision One with a range of 218 miles (350km). The Vision One follows the launch of the production version of the Fuso eCanter light duty truck a month ago. Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia claims the eCanter can save up to 1000 Euros in running costs per 10,000 km.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – NEVS AND CHINESE RIDESHARING DIDI PARTNERS
The Chinese equivalent to Uber and Lyft, DiDi Chuxing this week finalized a strategic partnership with NEVS to develop an electric vehicle fully optimized for the mobility services provided by ridesharing companies such as DiDi. DiDi recently estimated that there would be more than one million EVs on its platform by 2020. Stefan Tilk, the CEO and President of NEVS (previously SAAB), said: “With DiDi actively taking part in the design and development phase, we will make sure that the vehicles will be fully adapted for the needs of our customer.” The result of the strategic partnership will already be available in the upcoming release of the NEVS 9-3, expected in 2018.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – AUTONOMOUS NEWS FROM PAST WEEK
The UK automotive technology company, Delphi Automotive, this week acquired Boston based nuTonomy for a total purchase price of $450 million. According to a press release by the company the acquisition is to accelerate commercialization of its autonomous driving (AD) and Automated Mobility-on-Demand (AMoD) solutions for automakers and new mobility customers worldwide. Delphi is expected to have a fleet of 60 autonomous vehicles in Singapore and other pilot cities on three continents by year-end, with the goal to further accelerate global fleet expansion and technology development. The latest acquisition is the latest in a series of investments by Delphi to expand its leadership position in the new mobility space. Previous investments include that of AD software developer Ottomatika and data service companies Control-Tec and Movimento.
Nissan this week demonstrated a prototype of its most advanced autonomous driving technology which it is currently testing on public roads in an around Tokyo. The next-generation ProPilot kitted on an Infiniti Q50 is planned for release by the Japanese automaker in 2020. The NextGen ProPilot AI system uses inputs from 12 sonars, 12 cameras, nine millimeter-wave radars, six laser scanners and a high-definition map to analyze complex scenarios in real time and navigate through challenging city traffic.
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