Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz combines electricity and hydrogen in EQ Power

Generation EQ, Exterieur, Studio  Generation EQ, exterior, studio

GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction: world’s first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery powertrain

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL as the next milestone on the road to emission-free driving. Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electricity. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, along with short refueling times, will in future make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a range of up to 437* km in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a range of up to 49 km in the NEDC thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, Daimler is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, emphasizes: “Our many years of experience with fuel-cell technology pay dividends in the new GLC F-CELL: its long electric range, short refueling times and everyday practicality of an SUV will make it the perfect vehicle. This is made possible by the compact construction of our fuel-cell system. Another genuine world first is the combination with a large additional lithium-ion battery, which can be conveniently charged using plug-in technology.”

Fuel-cell technology is a firm element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. Under the EQ product brand, the company is pooling its know-how related to intelligent electric mobility while offering a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem of products, services, technologies and innovations. EQ is therefore a key part of the company’s strategy for the mobility of the future, known at Daimler as “CASE.” The four letters stand for the strategic future pillars of networking (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric), which are being systematically further developed and intelligently combined by the company. Between now and 2022, Daimler intends to bring out ten battery-electric vehicles, globally, with the GLC F-CELL representing an important landmark.

Unique: two electric energy sources

The vehicles unveiled at the IAA represent a world first in which a fuel-cell-operated electric car uses a lithium-ion battery as an additional energy source that can be externally charged by means of plug-in technology. Through intelligent interplay, the two energy sources drive the electric motor while offering locally zero emissions driving pleasure. The long range, short refueling time, an output of 197 hp and the latest generation of assistance systems with powertrain-specific features demonstrate, based on the models on show, that the GLC F-CELL will be a family-friendly electric vehicle of high everyday practicality.

For this world first, the Mercedes-Benz engineers cooperated closely with partners from the Daimler competence network to develop a completely new fuel-cell system. Compared with the B-Class F-CELL, which has been on the market since 2010, the overall drive system offers around 40 percent more output. The fuel-cell system is around 30 percent more compact than before, can for the first time be housed entirely in the engine compartment and is installed on the usual mounting points like a conventional engine. Also, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent. This conserves resources while lowering the system costs – with no compromises in terms of performance.

The lithium-ion battery in the preproduction vehicles on show has a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. For the first time, it can also be charged externally using plug-in technology. An intelligent operating strategy in combination with the fuel-cell/battery system offers maximum efficiency and comfort. Just like the drive motor, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV. By means of the 7.2 kW on-board chargers, it can be conveniently charged from a standard household power socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. The charging time is around 1.5 hours if the full capacity is used.

Two carbon-fiber-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold around 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardized 700 bar tank technology, the supply of Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes to refuel a car with an internal combustion engine.

The F-CELL vehicles on show at the IAA are powered by an asynchronous machine with an output of 197 hp and a torque of 258 lb-ft. As the electric drive requires no propeller shaft, this makes room for one of the two hydrogen tanks, while the second tank is installed under the rear seat bench.

Coordinated: operating strategy with unique variety of combinations

Like the GLC Plug-in Hybrid, the fuel-cell variant comes with various operating modes and drive programs. The drive programs of the GLC F-CELL will include ECO, COMFORT and SPORT. ECO is optimized for low consumption. COMFORT is geared not only for comfort, but also provides ideal climate control. SPORT optimizes the hybrid powertrain for sporty performance.

While the drive programs change the behavior of the car and therefore the driving experience, the operating modes influence the interplay between fuel cell and high-voltage battery. The combination of drive programs with operating modes is presented for the first time in this form in a fuel-cell vehicle.

Freedom of choice: four operating modes HYBRID – F-CELL – BATTERY – CHARGE The innovative plug-in fuel-cell powertrain combines the advantages of both emission-free technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, constantly ensures that the use of both energy sources is optimally adapted to the particular operating situation.

In HYBRID operating mode, the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range. The intelligent operating strategy means that the characteristics of both energy sources can be ideally exploited. In F-CELL mode, the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Driving almost exclusively on hydrogen is the ideal mode if the intention is to keep the electric range in reserve for certain driving situations. Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand In BATTERY mode, the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel-cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.

In CHARGE mode, charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refueling with hydrogen. This mode also creates power reserves for uphill or very dynamic driving.

In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store it in the battery.

Safety first: getting there safely Daimler applies extremely high safety standards in all its vehicles. This is true of both vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine and also those with an alternative drive. This means that the vehicles comply with all legal standards and regulations. However, the internal safety requirements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles go one step further. The battery and all hydrogen-containing components are governed by particularly stringent safety standards typical of Mercedes. Alongside safety in the event of a crash, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at system level that go far beyond the usual tests. The powertrain components and hydrogen tanks of the F-CELL preproduction vehicles are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as under the floor.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the fuel-cell vehicles, too, are exemplary in terms of active and passive safety. With Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Lane Tracking Package with Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with 360° camera or COMAND with traffic sign recognition, the GLC F-CELL will come with safety and comfort built in as standard.

Self-assured: with the DNA of a genuine Mercedes The GLC F-CELL models on show at the IAA demonstrate the high expectations on a Mercedes-Benz and all Mercedes-Benz brand values in terms of comfort, sustainability, safety, quality and design. When it comes to loading capacity and occupant comfort, the electric SUV will offer excellent everyday practicality. The only differences will be a minimal step in the luggage compartment, familiar from the GLC Plug-in-Hybrid, and the slightly raised rear seat bench due to the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand positioning of the hydrogen tanks. Climate comfort in the GLC F-CELL will also be totally on a par with that in a conventional vehicle. Automatic air conditioning with pre-entry climate control as well as heated seats and mirrors are included as standard. At cooler temperatures, the vehicle will make energy-efficient use of the waste heat from the fuel cell in order to optimize the energy balance of the vehicle.

The series-production vehicle, like the preproduction models, will be equipped with coil springs on the front axle and with single-chamber air suspension with integral automatic level control on the rear axle. This means that, even when the vehicle is carrying a load, there is no change in spring travel on the rear axle, which guarantees balanced vibration characteristics with a virtually constant natural frequency of the body, including when the vehicle is loaded. Unmistakable: Touches in the style of EQ Power The F-CELL models on display at the IAA embody the current Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The design premises include features that emphasize the special status in general and within the GLC family in particular. These design premises are the formal on-road attributes and the technical modifications to the exterior and interior as well as the control and display concept. Blue touches on the radiator grille and light-alloy wheels, side skirts and rear bumper on the one hand, as well as classy style wraps with F-CELL inscription on the other, provide a clearly visible indication of the fuel-cell drive. Specifically styled bumpers, with an enlarged air inlet at the front, as well as aerodynamically optimized 20-inch wheels are the hallmarks of the vehicles on show at the IAA. The interior impresses with its high-grade look & feel and flowing forms as a reinterpretation of contemporary luxury. The center console features elegant trim with flowing lines exuding unique exclusivity in a piano-lacquer look or versatile modern wood surfaces.

Precision-styled details and the choice of authentic materials by using open-pore wood as trim and a high proportion of wool and linen for the fabric covers, make for an agreeable ambience while contributing to the classy overall impression of the interior.

The cockpit will be further enhanced by the instrument cluster in the form of a full display with 12.3-inch diagonal. Information from the COMAND system is presented on the 10.25-inch central display. The menus and indicators on the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand displays are geared to the functionality of the combined fuel-cell/battery powertrain. The new-type design style clearly differentiates the fuel-cell vehicle from the conventional GLC. New in the GLC F-CELL is the multifunction touchpad with handwriting recognition, which celebrates its world debut at the IAA in the unveiled preproduction vehicles. This newly developed feature allows telematics functions to be controlled by single- or multi-finger gestures (so-called Multitouch). The touchpad thus offers a full-function and innovative input option over and above LINGUATRONIC in combination with COMAND. The touchpad also makes it possible to enter letters, numbers and special characters by means of handwriting. Further control options are offered by Touch Control buttons on the left and right of the steering wheel as well as by voice control. Timed to perfection: on the road to series production

Daimler is systematically working to prepare for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL. With the current test fleet, the Mercedes-Benz engineers are taking the final key steps on the road to production start-up. Market-specific sales concepts, including a rental model, are being evaluated at present. Like the conventionally powered GLC, this family-friendly SUV of high everyday practicality will be produced in Bremen. During development and production of the innovative fuel-cell drive, Daimler is able to call upon its global competence network. The centerpiece of the technology, the fuel-cell stack, was developed in Vancouver, Canada, together with partner Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture. Production takes place directly nearby at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC). The entire fuel-cell unit and the hydrogen storage system were developed by the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys in Kirchheim/Nabern in Baden-Württemberg. The Daimler parent plant in Untertürkheim is responsible for fuel-cell system assembly, also in Nabern. The hydrogen tank system, consisting of carbon-fiber-encased tanks, is produced at Daimler’s Mannheim plant, while the lithium-ion battery comes from the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, Saxony.

Infrastructure is key A nationwide infrastructure is essential for the success of electric mobility. The spread of both charging stations and hydrogen filling stations is proceeding apace around the world. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping  there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to H2 infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has already drawn up a concrete action plan. The network of H2 filling stations is scheduled to reach 100 by the end of next year.

By 2023, there will be a network of up to 400 hydrogen filling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan. Systematic approach: Daimler opts for electric mobility with fuel cell It all began back in the 1980s, when Daimler researchers turned their attention to cold combustion. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first fuel-cell vehicle to the global public – the NECAR 1. Many further vehicles followed, including the A-Class F-CELL fleet. In 2011, special attention focused on the F-CELL World Drive, the first round-the-world journey in fuel-cell vehicles. In 2015, the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car presented an F-CELL plug-in hybrid drive system, designed for 1,100 kilometers of zero emissions motoring. To date, fuel-cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including the B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid urban bus, have together covered over eighteen million kilometers, thereby demonstrating the maturity of the powertrain concept. The next technological advance is now imminent: the GLC F-CELL.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2017 Frankfurt International Auto Show in September, and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2019.

Technical data of preproduction vehicles (IAA) CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
H2 range in Hybrid mode (NEDC): 437* km
Battery-electric range in Battery mode (NEDC) 49 km
Drive system: Electric motor
Battery: Lithium-ion
Fuel cell: PEM (polymer electrolyte fuel cell)
Rated output: 197 hp
Max. torque: 258 lb-ft
Top speed: 99 mph (electronically limited)
H2 tank capacity: 4.4 kg (usable for SAE J2601, 2014 or new)
Battery capacity (gross/net): 13.8 kWh /9.3 kWh

Volvo Cars to go all electric

 Volvo C30 Electric Car 2011 image

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.

 The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification and highlights how over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.

 “This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

 Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.

 It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.

These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.

 This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.

 “This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

 The announcement underlines Volvo Cars’ commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.

 The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately-branded electrified global high performance car company. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars, will lead Polestar as Chief Executive Officer.

Source: Volvo

Aston Martin Confirms Production of RapidE Electric Car

Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin has confirmed that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019.

Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy laid out by Aston Martin’s President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, in the company’s Second Century Plan.

RapidE sees a continuation of the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering who worked on the original RapidE Concept. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, Williams Advanced Engineering will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration.

Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, RapidE will deliver four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide S powered by an all-electric powertrain replacing the six-litre V12 engine. More information will be revealed about the RapidE’s all-electric powertrain in due course. Thhe instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.

Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said of the RapidE: “Having unveiled the RapidE Concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production. RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it. The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come. RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.”

Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering said: “Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions. For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles. This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.”

ChargePoint Raises $82 Million to Pave the Way for e-Mobility in Europe

Daimler leads funding round, underscores collective commitment to establishing the continent’s most comprehensive electric vehicle charging network ever developed

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced it has secured an initial $82 million in funding, part of a larger multi-million dollar fundraise, led by Daimler. The first close of the company’s latest fundraising round is the largest in the Silicon Valley company’s history. The investment will support the expansion of the company’s charging network into Europe, enabling the region to complete the shift to e-mobility.

Existing investors BMW i Ventures, Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures also participated in this latest fundraising round. To date, ChargePoint has raised more than $255 million, a testament to ChargePoint’s proven business model that underscores a collective commitment to electric mobility worldwide. As more types of vehicles become electrified, such as trucks and buses, this new funding will help ensure ChargePoint is ready.

“The automobile industry is at an inflection point, with more vehicles coming onto the market offering highly advanced electric powertrains than any other time in the world’s history,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “The significant investment by our lead investor Daimler and others not only underscores a collective commitment to e-mobility around the world, but lays the groundwork for Europe’s most comprehensive charging network.”

ChargePoint already makes it easy for drivers in North America to charge an EV everywhere they go, with more than 33,000 charging ports where they can refuel. Thousands of drivers have selected ChargePoint to meet EV charging needs with more than 6,500 companies selecting the brand for their employees, customers, fleets and tenants. Now, ChargePoint is committed to bringing EV drivers in Europe the same level of convenience that makes the charging experience effortless.

ChargePoint also announced the appointment of Daimler AG executive Axel Harries to the company’s Board of Directors. Harries has a deep history with Daimler, serving in a number of management roles including Vice President of Quality and Director of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH, as well as on teams including Commercial Vehicles and e-Business. In his current role, Harries is responsible for shaping the newly established CASE-unit within Daimler (Connected, Autonomous, Sharing & Services, and Electric Drive), charged with developing technologies and innovations for next generation Mercedes-Benz vehicles, particularly the new electric product brand, EQ.

“While pursuing the systematic expansion of our CASE ecosystem based on our new product brand EQ, we also remain open and ready for partnerships and cooperation at the highest level. ChargePoint is a company of experts in the field of electric mobility charging solutions with a great deal of know-how in both hardware and software. Together we will be able to significantly expand the product portfolio in the area of intelligent charging solutions and provide the customer with an all-embracing premium offer for electric mobility,” he said.

ChargePoint is the only company that offers a charging solution for every part of an EV driver’s life—at home, at work, around town and on the road. This comprehensive product portfolio positions ChargePoint to offer the right innovation for each market in Europe and meet a variety of driver needs. Painstakingly engineered by EV charging experts, ChargePoint hardware and software solutions make it easy for drivers to charge and simple for station owners to manage with custom access controls, pricing and reporting tools, among other smart features. In addition to advancing e-mobility in the region with innovative technology, ChargePoint will build on its long history in North America of promoting EV-friendly policies through partnerships with policymakers, utilities and automakers in Europe.

More than 20 European countries already provide attractive incentives for purchasing EVs, which has helped make Europe the world’s second-largest EV market. As more EVs hit more European roads, the need for a comprehensive charging network is more important than ever. Currently, there are dozens of providers of EV charging hardware, software and driver networks in a fragmented market. They all work differently and often require drivers to sign up for separate accounts, which creates a confusing and cumbersome charging experience for EV drivers.

ChargePoint is committed to being the first company to introduce a complete charging solution that serves EV drivers in Europe everywhere they go. By collaborating with innovative companies like Daimler, one of the largest producers of premium vehicles and a world leader and pioneer in automotive electrification, ChargePoint will be able to lay the foundation for Europe’s most comprehensive and intelligent charging network.

Total planning EV charging points at its French stations – CEO

 total2

French oil and gas giant Total is planning a network of electric vehicle charging points at its petrol stations across France, the company’s Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Tuesday.

“We plan to do it. We are thinking of how to equip our stations with electric charging points,” Pouyanne told journalists at the sidelines of the SER renewable energy conference in Paris.

Pouyanne said the company was looking at installing the charging points mostly outside city centres and was talking to car makers such as PSA.

“Our plan consists of looking at how to create a charging point network around French highways to have charging points every 150 or 160 km (100 miles),” he said, adding that there was demand from clients.

“We are preparing the investment for it,” Pouyanne said, adding that Total is targeting about 300 petrol stations. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Geert De Clercq)

Source: Reuters

 

Faraday Future unveils electric vehicle in Las Vegas to kick off CES

A Faraday Future FF 91 electric car is displayed on stage during an unveiling event at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future showed off in Las Vegas on Tuesday a prototype of a vehicle set for production next year as the China-backed company strives to win credibility in the crowded sector and weather its funding challenges.

The “FF 91”, described by its designer Richard Kim as “weird-pretty”, is a luxury electric SUV Faraday executives say will be the most technologically advanced on the market when it goes into production in early 2018. Advance reservations for the car – which insiders say will retail for about $180,000 – are being taken for $5,000.

“You’re about to witness day one of a new era of mobility,” said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development. “We’re going to show the first of a new species.”

But cash shortages and a recent spate of executive departures have raised questions about the company’s prospects.

Faraday is funded and controlled by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive officer of China’s Leshi Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco (300104.SZ), which is showing its own prototype electric car, the LeSee Pro, at CES. He is also an investor in California-based Lucid Motors, a competing electric vehicle start-up attending CES this year.

Faraday debuted at CES last year with a concept car not intended to be produced, raising eyebrows over the company’s legitimacy and Jia’s overall strategy. A cash crunch at LeEco and Faraday’s missed payments to a contractor working on its $1 billion Nevada factory have spurred more questions in recent months over Faraday’s financial situation.

In late December, LeEco said it was in talks to secure 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) from an unidentified strategic investor.

Faraday executives would not comment on the company’s financials.

“We’re hoping to … convince people that we’re real, we are doing a real product, it’s not just a vaporware Batmobile to create attention, but we now have a serious product,” Sampson told reporters during a tour of Faraday’s headquarters in Gardena, California, in December.

Executives say the car’s modular architecture and flexible battery layout will allow for a faster rollout of future models. The car will have a range of about 378 miles (608 km) per charge. Its electric motors will generate a combined 1,050 horsepower.

The FF 91, a long, low, futuristic SUV with a roomy interior has no handles, as doors will open as a driver approaches. Holograms will be projected on the windshield to alert drivers of needed information.

 

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Paul Lienert in Las Vegas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: Reuters

Tesla Makes Reno a Critical Stop on Way to Las Vegas and CES

 Investors invited to exclusive tour of Elon Musk’s Gigafactory

  • Driving down battery costs is key as Model 3 production nears

As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno.

The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling Nevada plant where it makes batteries and energy storage packs. Tesla Motors Inc.’sinvitation-only “investor event” will take place Jan. 4, as the tech and automotive industries swarm into Las Vegas for CES 2017. Though self-driving technology will be in the spotlight this year at CES, Tesla typically skips large industry trade shows, preferring to announce products separate from the pack.

Tesla Gigafactory 1

Source: Tesla Motors

“We are excited to see the scope and scale, not just of the facility itself, but in the levels of automation and potential advancements in manufacturing,” said Joe Dennison, associate portfolio manager of Zevenbergen Capital Investments in Seattle. Dennison said he’s eager to learn more about Tesla Energy products and hear any updates on timing or battery-cost reductions ahead of the Model 3 introduction.

While visitors have to pay their own air fare and hotel costs, they’ll get some time with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, according to guests who have received invitations. Tesla may need the good graces of Wall Street and investors this year as it spends heavily to expand production to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018, some 10 times the number of vehicles delivered in 2015.

Battery Demand

The $5 billion Gigafactory 1 plant was born out of Tesla’s massive need for lithium-ion batteries both for its vehicles — including the Model 3 due in late 2017 — as well as energy storage-devices such as the Powerwall. Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic Corp., is working to collapse its battery supply chain and drive down costs. In its third quarter letter to shareholders, Tesla said “the Gigafactory remains on track to begin cell production later this year.”

A vehicle charger, right, in the lobby of the Gigafactory 1.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Reno has clawed its way back from the recession, embracing tech and the arts alike as the city sheds its image as a second-tier destination for gamblers and visitors to Lake Tahoe. The hope is that Tesla’s gigafactory will attract other manufacturers and help to transform the region.

Musk has said that he expects the fourth quarter to be profitable. It will be the first earnings period that includes SolarCity Corp., the solar-panel installer it bought for $2 billion.

Machinery inside Gigafactory 1

Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg

Tesla boosted a credit linewith Deutsche Bank AG by $200 million, according to a regulatory filing last week. The company has the potential to add another $50 million to that agreement and increased a separate credit facility by another $300 million. Musk surprised investors in October by saying Tesla didn’t need to raise equity or borrow money this quarter, when some analysts were projecting it might soon need $2.5 billion to cover the company’s ambitious growth plans.

CES is heavy on autonomy this year and includes an opening keynote from Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Tesla supplier Nvidia Corp. Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3 sedan will be equipped with hardware to enable full self-driving, and Musk hopes to showcase an autonomous cross country drive from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.

Source: Dana Hull. Bloomberg Business

INSTAVOLT POWERS UP FOR GROWTH WITH £12M INVESTMENT PACKAGE

instavolt

Electric vehicle charging company InstaVolt is powering up its ambitious growth strategy thanks to a £12m equity investment from Zouk Capital.

InstaVolt, which provides the rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, plans to use the funding to achieve its target of introducing rapid charging points in more than 3,000 locations by 2020.

It follows news unveiled in November’s Autumn Statement that the Government is to invest £80m in boosting the country’s ultra-low emission charging infrastructure.

Colin Campbell, Partner at Zouk Capital said: “Our confidence in InstaVolt’s experienced management team combined with the company’s distinctive open access rapid charging model lead us to believe that InstaVolt will be one of the frontrunners in this fast growing space. In our view, the rapid charging market is a very important part of the electric vehicle revolution and improving air quality.”

CEO of InstaVolt, Tim Payne, said: “We are fiercely ambitious and rightly so – the electric vehicle market has the potential to dramatically reduce pollution in the UK and this is recognised by the Government through the fact it is investing millions in improving charging infrastructure. The funding from Zouk will allow us to bring our five-year growth plan to fruition, introducing more than 3,000 rapid charging points in the process.”

InstaVolt, headquartered in Basingstoke, aims to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions by making the UK an easier place to drive an electric vehicle. According to Government statistics, one of the biggest barriers that deters people from buying electric vehicles is the fear of not being able to recharge. InstaVolt aims to change this by introducing thousands of rapid charging points all over the country.

Unlike many other providers, InstaVolt’s ‘open charger’ model allows anyone to use its charging points on a pay-as-you-go basis. The 50kW rapid charging units can provide an 80% charge in just 30 minutes and are listed on popular website, zap-map.com, so they are easy to locate.

The company is working with local authorities, businesses and land owners across the UK to install the rapid charging points, which deliver a financial return for those who house them. Among the organisations embracing InstaVolt’s unique solution is Mid Devon Council, which is in the process of installing several charging points across its land.

InstaVolt is able to install its charging points almost anywhere, including at the roadside and in supermarket car parks. It provides a full service, from design and installation to maintenance and monitoring.

To find out more about the company visit www.instavolt.co.uk

Chargemaster signs two-year Formula E deal as Official Charging Infrastructure Supplier

2015/2016 FIA Formula E Championship. London ePrix, Battersea Park, London, United Kingdom. Sunday 3 July 2016. Nicolas Prost (FRA), Renault e.Dams Z.E.15, Sebastien Buemi (SUI), Renault e.Dams Z.E.15 and the Renaults eDams team celebrate on the podium. Photo: Zak Mauger/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image _79P3094

Chargemaster will be supporting the wireless charging on the official safety and medical cars and be providing legacy charging infrastructure to the cities visited by the series.

Following the growth of the FIA Formula E Championship – the world’s first fully-electric single-seater racing series – and a successful first year’s partnership, Chargemaster is delighted to announce a new two-year contract as the Official Charging Infrastructure Supplier to Formula E including the support of wireless charging of the official course cars.

Ahead of this weekend’s race in Marrakesh, Chargemaster’s announcement is hot on the heels of three major vehicle manufacturers – Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-AMG – confirming that they will intend to have factory-backed teams joining the series. Growing in stature, the 2016/17 calendar consists of 12 rounds, starting last month in Hong Kong and finishing in Montreal, Canada in July 2017.

As part of the two-year deal, Chargemaster’s technicians will support the wireless charging of the official course cars, including the BMW i8 Qualcomm Safety Car and the BMW i3 medical car. This is paramount to ensure each is fully charged, and can be on-hand to support the race as soon as required.

In addition to assisting with charging on-site at Formula E race events, Chargemaster works directly with local cities to establish charging infrastructure in each location. Each hosting city is offered a number of Chargemaster units, boosting awareness and making it easier for local EV drivers to stay charged and on the go.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said “We are delighted to renew our existing partnership with Chargemaster to assist with wireless charging infrastructure for our official course cars. Formula E is a series dedicated to promoting pioneering technologies, and with the support of Chargemaster we are able to provide course cars with innovative wireless charging capabilities.”

“The recent announcements from major car manufacturers proves that Formula E is a genuine game-changer, and helps make electric vehicles appeal to a new breed of enthusiasts and drivers,” said David Martell, Chargemaster Chief Executive. “I have always been a strong believer in the power of Formula E to bring sustainability to motorsport, and I am delighted to announce our new partnership. We’ll have technicians on hand to support and continue to leave charging points in every city we visit – an amazing legacy for Chargemaster, too.”

Chargemaster is the UK’s largest provider of EV charging infrastructures. At present it operates a 5,500-strong public POLAR network, and has supplied over 30,000 homes with its Homecharge units.

About the FIA Formula E Championship

The FIA Formula E Championship is the world’s first fully-electric single-seater racing series, competing on the streets against the backdrop of some of the most iconic cities – including Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Buenos Aires, Monaco, Paris, New York and Montreal. The championship represents a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions. Future seasons will see the regulations open up further allowing manufacturers to focus on the development of motor and battery components, which in turn will filter down to everyday contemporary electric road vehicles.
The 2016/17 FIA Formula E Championship sees 10 teams and 20 drivers go wheel-to-wheel in 10 cities spanning five continents in the fight to be crowned Formula E champion. The inaugural season of Formula E sparked into life in September 2014 around the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing. The third season of the electric street racing series gets underway on October 9 in Hong Kong, with the season finale double-header in Montreal on July 29 & 30.

Source: Chargemaster

 

Chargemaster named among top tech companies for third year running

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Chargemaster in Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 for third year in a row
• Tech Track 100 lists UK’s fastest-growing technology companies
• The EV charging point supplier has supplied more than 50,000 units

The UK’s premier electric vehicle (EV) charging point supplier, Chargemaster has featured on the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 list for the third consecutive year, meaning that it has once again posted exceptional sales growth.

The league table lists the UK’s top 100 fastest-growing private technology companies, based on their sales over the last three years. Chargemaster first appeared on the table in 2014, and is ranked 66th on this year’s list.

Chargemaster’s third consecutive appearance on the Tech Track 100 list demonstrates the impressive sales success that it has enjoyed in recent years. Its UK manufacturing facility now produces 2,000 EV charging units each month, with the company supplying its 50,000th charger this year.

The company’s focus on quality products and services has meant that it is well-placed to serve the growing EV market, partnering with a number of electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Mitsubishi, Nissan and Tesla. It has also joined forces with the AA, to educate motorists about the benefits of owning an EV.

David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, commented: “To be included in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list for a third time in three years is an exceptional achievement, which we are hugely proud of. Chargemaster continues to go from strength-to-strength, thanks to a focus on product quality and reliability, as well as a strong EV market in the UK and Europe.”

The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 is compiled by Fast Track and was published in the Sunday Times on September 11 2016.

Source: Chargemaster