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Europe: Transport and energy groups call for intelligent EV charging infrastructure

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 06:09

In recently issued joint statement, transport and energy associations in Europe have sought support from European institutions for a rapid deployment of intelligent charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).

The European transport and energy associations that have issued the joint statement include the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers, the European Electricity Industry Association, and the umbrella organisation of European NGOs from the sustainable transport sector.

In their request to European institutions to support a speedy rollout of intelligent EV charging infrastructure, the transport and energy groups said that it is imperative to ensure that EV drivers have the requisite infrastructure for easily charging their vehicles at home, at the workplace, and along the motorways.

According to the involved associations, certain important legislation should be reformed appropriately by the policymakers. These legislations include the upcoming EU Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Act (AFID) and the EU Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The demand for intelligent EV charging infrastructure put forth by the European transport and energy associations calls for a widespread expansion of the strategically located infrastructure for intelligent EV charging across the European Union. The move, as per the involved associations, will enable EV drivers to “charge without seriously affecting or overloading European electricity grids,” and will thus offer “clear benefits for customers, the electricity system, the automotive industry and society as a whole.”

Region: EuropeBusiness: Auto SectorGeneral: FeaturedTNMCleanTech

Faraday Institution will award £55M to UK-based consortium for battery research

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 06:03

The UK’s Faraday Institution has announced that it will grant an amount of up to £55 million for battery research, so that battery enhancements for transport and grid storage can be accelerated in the country.

According to the announcement, the £55 million grant will be awarded by Faraday Institution to a UK-based consortium to undertake battery research. The consortium will be led by the University of Oxford, and will comprise five other university partners as well as six industry partners.

The consortium will undertake research on battery chemistries, systems, and production techniques. The key focus of the consortium will be on potential improvements in the production of electrodes in order to support the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries.

In reference to the £55 million grant for battery research, Faraday Institution CEO Neil Morris said that the dual objective behind the grant portfolio is to improve present-generation lithium-ion batteries and to shore up the commercialisation of next-generation batteries.

Highlighting the fact that the £55 million grant announced by the Faraday Institution will back scientists and innovators to collaborate on battery-research projects, Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said that the collaborative projects will help deliver “a brighter, cleaner future” on UK roads. Zahawi also added: “We are committed to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of developing the battery technologies needed to achieve our aim for all cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.”

Business: Energy SectorTechnology SectorCompanies: Faraday InstitutionRegion: United KingdomGeneral: FeaturedTNMCleanTech

CATL and its Brunp Recycling subsidiary are setting up JV for cathode materials

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:58

In a move which will enable Chinese battery manufacturer CATL to expand its raw material supply, a joint venture for cathode materials is being set up by the company with its subsidiary Brunp Recycling. CATL holds 28.5% of Brunp Recycling.

The joint venture will be called Ningbo Brunp CATL New Energy, and will be based in Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

According to the information shared by CATL, the share capital of Ningbo Brunp CATL New Energy will be 3.6 billion yuan (approximately EUR 457 million). Both CATL and Brunp Recycling will provide the share capital of the joint venture in full, though the exact distribution has not been revealed.

The key objective of Ningbo Brunp CATL New Energy will be research and development (R&D). In addition, the joint venture will also focus on the sale of battery materials as well as other “relevant materials” like cobalt and nickel. There is presently no timeline revealed by CATL about when the first products of the joint venture will be showcased.

CATL’s intent behind setting up the joint venture with its Brunp Recycling subsidiary is to consolidate the supply of cathode materials. Against the backdrop of the joint venture move, CATL Europe Co-President Matthias Zentgraf highlighted the company’s sustainability strategy, and said: “In line with the growing interest in e-mobility, we continue to strive to develop new and improved technologies that meet the needs of automotive manufacturers.”

Business: Company UpdatesEnergy SectorCompanies: CATLRegion: ChinaGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Chinese government aiming at 1 million FCEV registrations by 2030

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:54

According to a report by the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government is aiming for an ambitious target of getting 1 million fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) on the roads by the year 2030. Towards that end, an interim target of 50,000 FCEVs has been set by the government for 2025.

In order to achieve its ambitious FCEV registrations target, the Chinese government is planning to promote the adoption of FCEVs in the country by offering massive subsidies to potential buyers in several provinces.

According to the report, subsidies to the amount of 160,000 yuan (approximately EUR 20,300) per FCEV will be offered to buyers in 17 provinces in 2019. Buyers of commercial FCEVs in the 17 provinces will each get subsidies of up to 400,000 yuan (EUR 50,800).

In addition to the subsidies on the purchase of FCEVs, the construction of hydrogen filling stations will also be subsidized by local authorities in ten cities. The subsidy for each hydrogen filling station constructed in the ten cities will go up to 4 million yuan (EUR 508,300).

The Chinese government’s move to subsidize FCEV purchases is aimed at achieving the ambitious 1 million FCEV target by 2030. With only 1,791 FCEVs registered in the country in end-2018, the government apparently assumes that FCEV registrations will record a moderate growth to 50,000 units by 2025, and will grow rapidly thereafter to record a staggering number of 950,000 registrations in the subsequent five years.

Region: ChinaBusiness: Auto SectorGeneral: FeaturedTNMCleanTech

VW ID.3 special edition, limited to 30,000 units, is out of stock

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:46

In a recent statement released shortly ahead of the upcoming IAA event this week, German automaker Volkswagen (VW) has revealed that its limited special edition of the ID.3 is now out of stock.

The statement is noteworthy because it implies that VW ID.3 special edition has sold out even before the start of the IAA, the event at which the model is to be officially unveiled. The ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first new model with the brand’s new logo.

The ID.3 special edition or the ID.3 1ST was introduced by Volkswagen at a launch event held in Berlin in May 2019. The automaker plans to manufacture only 30,000 units of the special edition model, which will have a driving range of up to 420 km (WLTP). The model will be available with a ‘free to charge’ advantage for one year (or up to 2,000 kWh) at charging stations with VW’s WeCharge service.

In its recent disclosure that the ID.3 1ST edition is already sold out, Volkswagen said that it has registered more than 30,000 reservations for the special edition. Interested parties have been able to reserve the ID.3 1ST edition without the requirement of a EUR 1,000 deposit.

According to the details released by Volkswagen, the ID.3 1ST edition has chiefly been ordered by potential customers in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. Volkswagen will contact the reservation holders in autumn and spring, to enable them to make a binding order from the reservation at the dealerships.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: VolkswagenRegion: GermanyGeneral: FeaturedTNMProduct Launch

Porsche unveils final production version of ‘Taycan’ all-electric car

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:44

German automaker Porsche officially unveiled the final production version its first all-electric car -- the ‘Taycan’ -- on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The Taycan unveiling comes nearly four years after the introduction of the vehicle’s ‘Mission E’ concept version.

At the unveiling event, Porsche introduced two high-performance variants of the Taycan --- the Taycan Turbo and the Taycan Turbo S. The automaker has revealed that the cost of the 670 horsepower Turbo variant will start at around $151,000, while the 751 horsepower Turbo S pricing will begin at nearly $185,000. The deliveries of the Turbo and the Turbo S will commence by the end of 2019.

Porsche also said that other lower-cost and low-power variants of the Taycan will be launched later this year. In addition, the automaker will also offer an electric crossover SUV -- the Taycan Cross Turismo -- from late 2020.

In officially unveiling the high-performance Taycan versions, Porsche has revealed the features and key specifications of the forthcoming all-electric car. According to the details shared by Porsche, the Taycan specifications include a 93.4 kWh battery pack, two electric motors capable of producing up to 617 horsepower, 265 kW regenerative braking capacity, two-speed transmission, up to 450 km driving range (WLTP), and top track speed of 260 km/h.

The Taycan will have 270 kW peak charge rate, and 2.8 seconds 0-100 km/h acceleration. The electric car will have five driving modes --- Sport, Sport Plus, Normal, Individual, and Range.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: PorscheRegion: GermanyGeneral: FeaturedTNMProduct Launch

BMW to discontinue hybrid i8 production by April 2020

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:33

In a recent press release, German automaker BMW has indicated that it will stop producing its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car from April 2020.

The disclosure of the imminent discontinuation of production of the hybrid i8 sports car was announced somewhat discreetly by BMW in the press release. The automaker said: “The Ultimate Sophisto Edition will escort the world’s most successful plug-in hybrid sports car since its launch in 2014 onto the finishing straight; production of the i8 will come to an end, as scheduled, in April 2020.”

The press release by BMW largely focused on the new special models for the i8 and the all-electric i3. The pricing of the special models has not been revealed by the automaker.

According to rumors, the new special model of the i8 is likely to hit the markets in 2022. BMW will produce only 200 units of the special model, in coupe and roadster variants. The special model will also apparently be a plug-in hybrid vehicle, but will be outfitted with a more powerful 250 kW combustion engine and a 150 kW electric motor. It will feature 20-inch bicolour alloy wheels, a special paint finish, and ‘E-Copper’ color accents.

Meanwhile, the special model of the i3 in the RoadStyle edition will also come with 20-inch rims, along with E-Copper accents, ‘Fluid Black’ car paint, and interior based on the ‘Suite’ equipment. BMW will produce a “limited edition” of less than 1,000 units of the special i3 model.

Business: Auto SectorCompany NewsCompanies: BMWRegion: GermanyGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Fraunhofer ISE develops EV solar roof with highly efficient solar cells

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:28

Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) has developed solar roofing for electric vehicles (EVs), in an apparent effort to increase their driving range.

The solar roofing for EVs will be introduced by Fraunhofer ISE at the upcoming IAA event in Frankfurt this month. At the event, the Institute will present two solar EV roofs in different colors.

The EV solar roofing developed by Fraunhofer ISE -- located in Freiburg -- comprises highly efficient solar cells which can be incorporated into the pre-formed solar roof in an unnoticeable manner by coating the roof in any color. The cells can lead to a considerable increase in EV driving range, specifically over short distances.

According to the details shared by Fraunhofer ISE, the solar roof for EVs have a rated output of nearly 210 W/m². Therefore, on a sunny day, the roof can supply a mid-range EV with enough electricity to travel approximately 10 km. As per the Institute’s projections, the solar roof can extend the range of an EV by “about 10 per cent” over a year.

About the rationale behind the potential use of solar roofs in EVs, Fraunhofer ISE Director Andreas Brett said that it is important to “realise a CO2-free energy supply in all sectors.” Brett further added: “In the future, solar modules will be integrated into our already built environment even more, for example into vehicles.”

Business: Energy SectorCompanies: Fraunhofer ISERegion: GermanyGeneral: FeaturedTNMCleanTech

CNH Industrial invests $250M in e-truck start-up Nikola

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 05:25

In a recent statement, UK-headquartered capital goods company CNH Industrial has revealed that it is making a $250-million investment in US startup Nikola, which specializes in the production of electric trucks.

CNH Industrial is one of the biggest capital goods companies in the world. The company was created in 2013, as a result of a merger of GNH Global and Fiat Industrial due to the Fiat Group restructuring move. CNH Industrial’s commercial vehicle brands include Iveco Bus, Steyr, New Holland, Magirus, and Hueliez Bus.

The $250-million investment by CNH Industrial in Nikola is part of the US startup’s latest funding round. Nikola is looking to secure more than $1 billion in capital in the funding round.

Along with the financial transaction with Nikola, CNH Industrial’s commercial vehicle and powertrain brands Iveco and FPT Industrial will provide development and production expertise to Nikola to help the startup commercialize its planned fuel cell and battery trucks. The expertise will facilitate Nikola’s North America launch of its Nikola One and Nikola Two models, among other electric vehicles.

Furthermore, CNH Industrial and Nikola are also planning to establish a joint venture in Europe, initially for developing the ‘Nikola Tre’ fuel cell heavy-duty truck for the European markets. Nikola has revealed that the joint venture will integrate its fuel-cell speciality, technologies for hydrogen storage onboard, infotainment, control units, and the development of over-the-air upgrades.

Business: Auto SectorCompany UpdatesCompanies: Nikola Motor CompanyCNH IndustrialRegion: United StatesGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Evergrande cooperates with Benteler and FEV to advance its EV plans

Sun, 09/08/2019 - 04:25

According to Chinese media reports, the country’s renowned real estate group Evergrande is cooperating with two German companies to advance its ambitious electric vehicle (EV) plans.

The reports have revealed that the two German partners of Evergrande’s electric car subsidiary NEVS are Paderborn-based supplier Benteler and Aachen-based development service provider FEV Group.

The partnership with Benteler and FEV will enable Evergrande to gain access to an EV platform, thereby shortening its research and development (R&D) cycle for EVs by nearly three years. Evergrande and its NEVS subsidiary will be able to use the expertise from Benteler and FEV for materializing their plans to commence EV production as early as possible.

Evergrande’s cooperation agreement with Benteler involves the transfer of the intellectual property of Benteler’s world-class “3.0 chassis architecture” to the Chinese group. The cooperation will apparently promote further development of the ‘Electric Drive System 2.0’ which was presented by Benteler in April 2019, at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The details with regard to Evergrande’s cooperation agreement with FEV are not yet clearly known. FEV initially developed combustion engines, but, in recent years, the company’s focus has increasingly shifted to the development of new drive technologies. FEV is presently active in over 40 countries, and has efforts underway to expand its competencies to include body construction and overall vehicle development.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: EvergrandeRegion: ChinaGermanyGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Virginia plans Electrification of Public School Buses

Sat, 09/07/2019 - 14:28

In a recent announcement underscoring an environment-friendly move, the US state of Virginia has said that it is planning the electrification its public school bus fleets.

According to the announcement made by Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, the state has planned five-year initiatives for making a switch over to electric mobility. Under the planned initiatives, the electrification of public transport in the state will be undertaken in three stages.

Going by the details shard by Governor Northam, the first phase of school-bus electrification in Virginia will mark the transition of the first 50 school buses to electric by 2020. Subsequently, in the second phase, another 1,000 electric school buses will be electrified over the next five years. In the third phase, the state is “aiming for all electric by 2030.”

The initial investment cost for electrifying the public school bus fleets has apparently been ascertained by Virginia. In addition, the state has also calculated that the operating cost of the school buses will be reduced by nearly 60% in the long term, after the electrification.

To materialize the plans of electrifying the school bus fleets, the state of Virginia wants to ensure that the education system is not burdened with the bus-electrification costs. Hence, to facilitate the school-bus electrification move, the state will provide electric-bus charging stations and infrastructure to schools, free of cost.

Region: VirginiaBusiness: Auto SectorGeneral: FeaturedTNMCleanTech

Charter Plane Start-up Quantum Air will purchase 26 small electric aircraft

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 17:25

In a recent announcement, Los Angeles-based charter start-up Quantum Air has revealed that it has signed an agreement with Denver-based Bye Aerospace, for the purchase of 26 small electrically-powered aircraft.

According to the announcement, the 26 electric aircraft that Quantum Air has ordered from Bye Aerospace include 22 units of fixed-wing four-seat eFlyer 4 aircraft, and four units of two-seat eFlyer 2. In addition, the agreement also underscores Quantum Air’s commitment to purchase two other new electric aircraft that are currently being developed by Bye Aerospace.

The purchase of the Bye Aerospace eFlyers will enable Quantum Air to launch an air taxi service in Los Angeles.

About the imminent arrival of electric aircraft, Quantum Air CEO Tony Thompson said that electric aircraft will herald “a new Golden Age in aviation.” Further adding that, “Since the dawn of flight, point to point air travel has been a luxury available only to a privileged few,” Thompson said: “Quantum’s groundbreaking air taxi service will finally make point to point air travel widely available.”

As of now, the excepted timeline for the delivery of the 26 electric aircraft by Bye Aerospace to Quantum Air has not yet been officially announced. Bye Aerospace is presently completing the critical design review, and is hopeful of obtaining FAA FAR 23 type certification for the eFlyer 2 in 2021, and for eFlyer 4 in 2022.

Business: Aviation SectorCompanies: Bye AerospaceQuantum AirRegion: CaliforniaGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Hamburger Hochbahn floats tender for purchase of 530 electric buses

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 17:21

German public transport provider Hamburger Hochbahn is planning to purchase 530 units of electric buses between 2021 and 2025. The purchase will mark the next generation of the electric buses to be used by the company which plans to order only emission-free vehicles from 2020 onwards.

For the purchase of the electric buses, Hamburger Hochbahn has launched a Europe-wide tender, seeking proposals from interested electric bus suppliers. The company has also announced the details related to the technical specifications of the electric buses it requires.

According to the tender published by Hamburger Hochbahn, one of the most crucial aspects affecting the selection of the new electric bus models is the expected driving range of the buses. The company is looking for a 200 km range, though it will initially consider a 150 km range for the first 50 articulated buses because of higher weight.

In its specifications for electric buses, Hamburger Hochbahn has left open the tactical option of procuring buses that are pure hydrogen vehicles or the buses with fuel cells as range extenders.

Nonetheless, in the invitation to the electric-bus tender, Hamburger Hochbahn has clearly specified that the electric buses should have the capability to avail overnight charging in the depot. The company has also added alongside that “offers are also welcome which, in addition to the depot shop, also allow ‘opportunity charging’ (charging at the terminal stops) in order to increase the range.”

Region: GermanyBusiness: Auto SectorGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Seat Tarraco PHEV SUV will be showcased at IAA

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 17:58

Spanish Volkswagen subsidiary Seat has announced that it will soon introduce a plug-in hybrid variant of the Tarraco SUV model.

According to the announcement, the Tarraco model outfitted with a plug-in hybrid drive will be called the Seat Tarraco FR PHEV. The vehicle -- a petrol-electric SUV -- will be premiered by Seat at the upcoming IAA event.

The orders for the soon-to-be-introduced Seat Tarraco FR PHEV will likely be opened in early 2020. The cost of the vehicle has not been quoted yet.

Going by the details shared by Seat, the plug-in powertrain of the Tarraco FR PHEV comes mainly from Volkswagen’s Passat GTE, but with a higher system power. For comparison, the Passat GTE has 160 kW system output, whereas the Tarraco FR PHEV will have 180 kW system output.

Due to the high system output of the Tarraco FR PHEV, Seat has opted for a sportier design for the vehicle. With regard to the technical data, Seat has revealed that the PHEV will be equipped with a 13 kWh battery pack, an 85 kW electric motor, and a petrol engine with 110 kW power output. The high-voltage accumulator of the vehicle will have a capacity of 13 kWh.

The expected WLTP driving range of the Tarraco PHEV is nearly 50 km. However, the exact figures of the PHEV’s range have not been officially disclosed by Seat because the vehicle has not yet been homologated.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: VolkswagenSeatRegion: EuropeSpainGeneral: FeaturedTNMProduct Launch

New Compact SUV ES3 Coming from Chinese Electric Automaker Nio

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:52

Chinese electric car startup Nio is planning to introduce a new model before the end of 2019. The new model, marking the company’s third vehicle, will be another electric SUV called the ‘ES3.’

According to Nio, the forthcoming ES3 model will be a five-seater compact e-SUV. It is based on the same platform as Nio’s two bigger electric SUVs -- the ES8 and the ES6 -- which will be produced by the company in collaboration with JAC Motor.

The series production of the ES3 compact e-SUV is scheduled to commence at a Beijing factory in the second half of 2020. The target production for the ES3 by Nio for 2020 is 80,000 units, which will subsequently be increased to 150,000 units in 2021.

The technical specifications of the upcoming Nio ES6 e-SUV have not yet been officially disclosed. Nonetheless, reports from China have suggested that the vehicle will have a driving range equal to or more than the 500 km (NEDC) range of the ES6 model. The reported driving range of the ES3 evidently comes against the backdrop of the fact that the ES3 will be smaller and lighter than the ES6, despite the same platform.

Meanwhile, Nio has announced that the ES3 will be positioned as a high-end product above the standard market segment for compact SUVs. The compact SUV segment in China typically ends at approximately 200,000 yuan.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: NIORegion: ChinaGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Linde buys 10 percent stake in Green hydrogen producer Hydrospider

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 17:39

The Irish-domiciled industrial gases group Linde has revealed in a recent announcement that it has acquired a 10% stake in Swiss ‘green’ hydrogen producer and supplier Hydrospider AG. The move reaffirms the fact that Linde is committed to hydrogen mobility.

Hydrospider is equally owned by H2 Energy and Alpiq. The two companies have sold 5% of their stake each in Hydrospider to Linde. As such, H2 Energy and Alpiq now have a 45% stake each in Hydrospider.

Hydrospider is currently constructing the first commercial hydrogen production plant in Switzerland. The plant, located in Gösgen hydroelectric power station, will be opened by Hydrospider by the end of 2019. At the plant, Hydrospider will use 100% hydroelectric power to produce climate-friendly hydrogen.

The ‘green’ hydrogen produced by Hydrospider in Gösgen will be used for commercial operations, specifically for powering heavy-duty fuel cell trucks from South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company. According to a letter of intent signed by H2 Energy and Hyundai, the first 50 of the 1,600 planned fuel cell electric trucks powered by ‘green’ hydrogen will be brought on to the roads in Switzerland by the year 2025.

In reference to Linde’s acquisition of a stake in Hydrospider, Jens Waldeck -- Managing Director of the Linde Gases Division for Central Europe -- said that the move will give Linde the opportunity to “actively participate in one of the most attractive projects for green hydrogen and zero-emission mobility in Europe.”

Business: Company UpdatesEnergy SectorCompanies: Linde GroupRegion: IrelandEuropeGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Tesla upgrades Superchargers across Europe to 150kW capacity

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 16:07

US electric vehicle maker Tesla is upgrading its V2 Superchargers in Europe, increasing the charging capacity of the Superchargers to 150 kW from the current 120 kW. The V2 Superchargers are Tesla’s second-generation supercharging stations for electric vehicles.

Tesla’s move to update the European V2 Superchargers comes a few months after the company’s announcement about increasing the charging capacity of its Superchargers in the US to 150 kW earlier in 2019. The V2 Superchargers comprise a large part of Tesla’s fast-charging stations deployed worldwide.

In announcing the charging-capacity upgrade coming to the V2 Superchargers in Europe, Tesla has said that the upgrade will benefit almost all the V2 Superchargers which have been deployed at nearly 500 supercharger locations across the continent.

Against the backdrop of the increase in charging capacity of V2 Superchargers, Tesla has asserted that the Model 3 large-battery variants, as well as all the vehicles in the new Model S and Model X series, have the capability to charge at the new peak rate of up to 150 kW.

Moreover, with the ‘Performance’ and ‘Maximum Range’ versions of Model 3 already capable of accommodating up to 200 kW at corresponding non-Tesla fast-charging stations, Tesla has revealed that the deployment of the first European V3 Superchargers -- with up to 250 kW charging capacity -- by is being planned towards the end of 2019.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: Tesla MotorsRegion: EuropeGeneral: FeaturedTNM

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