The European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) awarded the new Nissan LEAF with a 5-star rating. (See full tests results here)
The LEAF is the first car to be assessed against Euro NCAP’s improved and extended protocols for 2018. The 2018 protocol sees the introduction of a raft of new tests which address key crash scenarios involving cars, pedestrians and now also the growing number of cyclists.
In these Euro NCAP tests, the LEAF earned a 93 per cent rating for adult safety and an 86 per cent rating for child protection. The safety rating is determined from a series of vehicle tests that, in a simplified way, reflect important real-life accident scenarios that could result in injuries.
New LEAF 5-star rating reflects the advanced driver assistance systems packaged on the car. Technologies such as camera and radar feature extensively to provide benefits such a pedestrian recognition and form the basis of Nissan’s acclaimed ProPILOT system for safer, more confident driving.
Gareth Dunsmore, Electric Vehicle Director, Nissan Europe, explained,
“The Euro NCAP announcement proves what we have known for a long time – that the new Nissan LEAF has exceptional safety standards and is a true pioneer in the EV space. This shows that our customers can fully trust our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we are on a path to transform the way we drive and the way we live”.
The announcement has been released just months after the Japan New Car Assessment Program also awarded the car the top 5-star grade following rigorous testing. In earning the top rating, the LEAF scored 94.8 points out of a possible 100 for occupant safety in a collision. The program is organized by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the National Agency for Automotive Safety and Victims’ Aid.
Electric BMW iX3 SUV set to arrive in 2020 – likely to be the first in a big line-up of all-electric BMWs
BMW has uncovered the next step in its grand electrification plan with the reveal of the Concept iX3 at the Beijing Motor Show. It’s an all-electricX3 SUV set to arrive in 2020 and will be built in China at the firm’s Shenyang plant.
The concept arrives as several premium manufacturers gear up to take on the Tesla Model X. Jaguar is first into the fight with the new I-Pace that will be available this summer, while Audi will join later this year with the arrival of the e-tron. Mercedes will muscle in on the act too, with an all-electric SUV called EQC arriving in 2019.
All change at BMW
The iX3 marks a significant shift in BMW’s electric car story, as unlike the i3 and i8 it’s a fully-fledged i model based on an existing car in the firm’s line-up. With BMW having trademarked iX1 through to iX9 it could be the first in a broad line-up of all-electric BMW SUVs. After the arrival of the iX3 in 2020, BMW promises that it’ll be able to fit any new series model with an all-electric powertrain thanks to flexible new platforms.
From a design point of view, the Concept iX3 reimagines the regular X3 with a number of unmistakable electric car styling features. At the front end of the car, the apron has been redesigned with slimmer ventilation and smoother surfacing, while the classic kidney grille is now filled in for aerodynamic benefit.
The EV charging port sits behind the left side front wheel arch, while fresh side skirts and a new rear bumper complete with an eye-catching diffuser arrive, both sporting trademark BMW i blue accents. It rides on a set of bespoke, lightweight wheels, which BMW says have been designed to be as aero-efficient as possible.
The overall changes compared to the regular car aren’t numerous then, but BMW says that these sorts of tweaks are to be expected going forward in its future electrified series models, and that the Concept iX3 highlights the level of design differentiation it believes will be enough to separate conventionally powered cars from all-electric counterparts at a glance. BMW has yet to issue pictures of the interior. Under the skin, the Concept iX3 features BMW’s latest and fifth-generation eDrive electric technology, grouping the electric motor, transmission and power electronics into a new, separate electric drive component. However, BMW says that one of the biggest advantages of its latest systems comes in the form of more powerful, denser batteries, saving weight and serving up packaging advantages.
The battery itself boasts a capacity of ‘over’ 70kWh, while BMW’s new-generation electric motor is rated at a claimed 266bhp. It’s unclear for now, but it means that if BMW plans to offer the iX3 with a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive drivetrain, total system power could come in at 532bhp. A claimed range of 249 miles under the tough new WLTP regulations is touted, which is on par with Audi’s e-tron but behind the Jaguar I-Pace. A 75kWh Tesla Model X 75D claims 259 miles, though under now redundant NEDC regulations.
Like the Audi e-tron, the iX3 will arrive ready to support 150kW fast charging thanks to clever battery cooling and temperature control tech. It means that an 80 per cent recharge will be possible in less than half an hour, when plugged into a charge point capable of delivering the super high voltage.
Costa Rican government cruises ahead with a fleet of Mitsubishi plug-in vehicles
The government of Japan has delivered a fleet of 20 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs and 29 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs to the government of Costa Rica, as part of the Overseas Development Agreement between the two countries.
The new vehicles will be used by 15 government agencies and universities.
Costa Rica is a land of rugged terrain and many unpaved roads – SUVs and trucks with high ground clearance dominate the vehicle market. The Outlanders are sure to be a hit in the country while the tiny i-MiEV city car shoul dbe fine in San Jose.
“We are very pleased to be able to support the Costa Rican government’s efforts to embrace cleaner automotive technologies,” said Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko. “We hope these vehicles will contribute to Costa Rica’s transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.”
Read more at Mitsubishi Motors.
Our friends at EO Charging have installed 40 EO smart chargers in London for the logistics firm Gnewt Cargo.
Gnewt Cargo, a last-mile city logistics operator that has its main depot in the Bow area of London, has commissioned a total of 63 EO smart chargers, connected by two eoHUBs, to keep its 100% electric fleet of around 100 vehicles on the London streets.
Gnewt Cargo worked with the Mayor of London’s office to develop a successful bid to Innovate UK, which provided a million pounds in funding for the new chargers.
As part of the project, EO Charging unveiled a number of innovations for its charging solutions, including advance load management, priority charging and demand-side response.
“Whilst the Gnewt Cargo fleet is currently unique, we know that this size of EV fleets will become commonplace in cities over the next few years,” said EO founder Charlie Jardine. “We’re fully aligned to [Mayor] Sadiq Khan’s vision of a cleaner, greener London and know that drastic action is required if we are to reduce poisonous emissions by more than half, by 2025, across the city.”
“Gnewt has been through a rapid growth phase, which in turn has put greater focus on the way in which our ever-increasing electric fleet recharges,” said Sam Clarke, founder and Head of Business Development at Gnewt Cargo. “I was impressed by how EO tackled this unique challenge and how the innovative yet cost-effective solution was presented.”
Contact Cables For Charging to learn how you could benefit from an EO based charging system for your EV fleet.
Here in the UK we have plenty of 4 by 4s on the road. From Range Rovers to smaller Audi and customers love them. When can we expect an AWD Tesla Model 3?
All-wheel-drive is a useful feature to have in wet, cold and snowy climates. – Like the UK.
In general, it’s kind of overkill in regions with a moderate climate and yet, Tesla made it standard for all its Model S and Model X vehicles.
Tesla achieves all-wheel-drive through having two electric motors, one on each axle, which enables them to have a greater control on the power output per wheel and optimize each motor for different uses.
Ultimately, it can result in a greater range with the same energy capacity thanks to a better efficiency, like it did when it was introduced to Model S. Of course, it also results in a greater power output for quicker acceleration.
The same thing is expected to happen with Model 3.
Now we get to see a great image of the dual motor configuration of Tesla’s latest electric vehicle thanks to some code sleuthing by Eaer from /r/teslamotors on the latest update of the design studio:
It confirms that like Model S, the Model 3’s front motor is much smaller and therefore, it’s likely going to have a lower power output.
Tesla says that the dual motor all-wheel-drive Model 3 will be available starting in “Spring 2018”.
We also have reports that Tesla are testing 4 Wheel Drive options on a select test fleet. How do we know? From the VINs. The Model 3 VINs are now in the 8,000s, but they are also telling us another interesting thing.
As shown by the Model 3 VIN decoder, the 8th digit represents the type of powertrain and the number 2 means a dual motor.
None had been discovered until now. We now know that 19 Model 3 vehicles with dual motor were registered by Tesla with NHTSA in the latest batch of new VINS recorded Jan 20th.
Spring is rather general phrase and Tesla have not been known to stick to schedules. It makes sense since Tesla has been going for higher margin vehicles first with the Long Range battery pack and the dual motor option would be the next logical step in keeping the price high while volume is constrained strategy.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa says that the Infiniti brand will offer mainly electrified vehicles after 2021.
All new Infiniti models launched after 2021 will either be all-electric vehicles or will rely on the parent company’s new range-extending electric motor-powered technology called ePower, Saikawa told an audience at the Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday afternoon.
EPower is an unusual type of electrified-vehicle system. It is not a plug-in technology. And unlike Toyota’s Prius, it uses its gasoline motor to recharge the battery, but not for propulsion. – This was the power choice in the first GM Volt.
The plan Saikawa outlined represents a rapid catchup for Infiniti. Its global luxury market competitors, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar already have unveiled similarly aggressively electrification plans.
Saikawa predicted that half of Infiniti’s sales by 2025 will be EVs or ePower vehicles.
The brand sold 153,415 vehicles in 2017, an increase of 11 percent.
Infiniti was one of the first luxury brands to propose an EV. In 2012, the company unveiled the Infiniti LE concept at the New York auto show — a model that would have been an upgraded variation of the Nissan Leaf. But that plan was canceled as Infiniti reconsidered its global product portfolio.
Saikawa said that the electrification strategy probably will have one exception — the company’s full-size body-on-frame QX80 SUV.
The announcement comes in the same week that Infiniti presented its latest design concept at the Detroit auto show, the Q inspiration. That concept suggests the look of the next Infiniti Q70, due in 2019 or 2020.
However, the Q Inspiration was described as running on Infiniti’s advanced new four-cylinder variable-compression engine, the VC Turbo.
Infiniti executives emphasized Monday that the VC Turbo engine is envisioned as a bridge technology to electrification, which they said was in the works.
Saikawa did not address what will happen to the new VC Turbo after 2021, when all new vehicles will be electrified.
One company source said it is possible that the four-cylinder VC Turbo might power the big QX80 after that time.
The QX80 currently is powered by a 5.6-liter V-8.
A company spokesman declined to comment on future plans for the QX80.
Nissan introduced ePower in Japan in late 2016 as an alternative powertrain in its Note, a hatchback version of the subcompact Versa. The technology uses a battery-powered electric motor to drive the car’s wheels, and a gasoline engine to charge the battery.
Nissan officials have said ePower is an alternative to a pure battery-powered electric vehicle.
A number of car companies showcased an interesting selection of pure and hybrid Electric Cars at last years show.
Here are some of the most striking examples.
Take away. The appetite for 100% Electric Cars from the main German manufactures is growing with plenty of excitement from all the main brands. VW Group, BMW and Daimler.
Smart EQ fortwo – Future of car sharing.
The smart vision EQ fortwo provides a new vision of urban mobility and individualised, highly flexible, totally efficient local public transport: the autonomous concept vehicle picks up its passengers directly from their chosen location. New individualisation options help users to recognise that it is “their” vehicle: by means of the Black Panel Grille at the front as well as large projection surfaces at the sides, the smart vision EQ fortwo allows unprecedented individualisation of the vehicle, ideal for car sharing. Freed from the task of driving, the passengers are able to relax in the large interior. The show car is the first vehicle from the Daimler Group to take the logical step of dispensing with a steering wheel and pedals.
See more on plans from Smart / Mercedes / Daimler at news room.
BMW X7 Concept iPerformance.
Starting from the front, the classic BMW double kidney grille and large air intakes give way to the elegant and flowing lines that slope over the panoramic glass roof, ultimately leading to the taut and narrow rear. Exaggerated contours accentuate the muscular proportions and continue the feeling of grandeur and dynamism the car was designed for.
Mini EV all-electric concept.
Mini has the existing Plug In and the 100% electric is scheduled for 2020.
Mini or rather BMW say.
The MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the perfect companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness.
Learn more and read the Press Release at BMW news.
We have the i3 and i8. What’s next. BMW say.
An amalgamation of the BMW i3 and BMW i8, the BMW i Vision Dynamics showcases how we envisage the future of electric mobility. The dynamic and progressive four-door Gran Coupé has a range of 373 miles, a top speed of over 120mph and an acceleration of 0-62mph in a staggering four seconds.
Read more about the EV plans from BMW at iVsion Dynamics.
The VW Buzz, part if the ID range.
The I.D. BUZZ is the next generation MPV. It is based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) and provides comfort and loads of space for long journeys. Its electric range as per the NEDC is up to 600 kilometres
I.D. is a highly automated electric car that will cover a distance of 400 to 600 kilometres on a single battery charge. The production version of the I.D. is due to be launched in 2020 at a price on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf.
For Volkswagen, the world premiere of the iconic I.D. in Paris – with its iconic, fresh design – marks a watershed. This car is as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago and the first Golf was 40 years ago – which went on to become two of the world’s most successful cars of all time. The I.D. has the potential to make history, too. It has been designed to be a compact all-rounder that will help to make electric cars the ‘everyday’ choice, with its impressive electric range and an attractive price.
Learn more at VW ID.
The Audi Elaine concept.
For its drive, the Audi Elaine uses a configuration that Audi will use in future production models with all-electric drive: One electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear power all four wheels, transforming the high-performance coupé into a quattro in typical Audi style.
320 kilowatts of power – which can even reach 370 kW in the boost mode – provide a fitting level of propulsion. Elaine sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.5 seconds. With the battery’s energy content of 95 kilowatt-hours, its range is in excess of 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) (NEDC).
See Audi Concept for more detais and informatioin on Audi’s Electrification plans.
Renault Symbioz demo car.
With SYMBIOZ Concept, your car is no longer separate from your living space. It has been designed as a genuine extension to your home. Shapes, colours, materials, features… Everything is designed so that you feel like you never leave your lounge while you are travelling. And when you do stay at home, your car becomes an additional room for your house. The welcoming interior and digital features are always at your disposal.
Learn more at Renault Concept Cars.
This weekend sees the start of the new Formula E season of Electric Car racing with a number of new players including Audi. Full race report to follow.
For the first time, Audi will be competing in motorsport as a factory team with a fully electric race car this weekend (December 2/3). The two races in Hong Kong form the opening event of the new Formula E season in which Audi is the first German automobile manufacturer to be involved. For Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Daniel Abt and Champion Lucas di Grassi will be at the wheel of the Audi e-tron FE04.
“The past few weeks were intensive and exciting for the whole squad,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. Our agenda included the meticulous preparation of the four race cars, computer simulations of diverse strategies and situations, fine-tuning of all processes and perfect preparation of the entire equipment, to name just a few items on the completed checklist. “Now, everyone is happy to finally be traveling to the race track and competing for points and trophies again.”
For the first time, a Formula E season will start with two races on one weekend, a so-called double-header. On Saturday and Sunday, the fans will experience two near-identical event days with practice, qualifying and races. Including the additional points for pole position and the fastest race lap, a total of 58 points will be awarded. “We aim to be perfectly positioned from minute one and manage a good start of the new season,” says Lucas di Grassi. The champion is looking forward to Hong Kong: “The city is great and the fans enthusiastic – the whole event is a fantastic spectacle.”
The 1.860-kilometer race track is routed directly along the waterfront and past the famous Ferris wheel. The temporary circuit uses streets that are normally public and has a very long straight that offers a good overtaking opportunity. It is followed by a technically challenging section with many tight turns. The track surface poses an additional challenge, as it changes from tarmac to concrete. On Saturday, 43 and on Sunday, 45 laps will be driven.
Driver Daniel Abt can hardly wait for the start: “We’ve been working hard in recent weeks – during tests on the track, in the simulator and in our preparations with the engineers. Obviously, we’ll only know in Hong Kong where we stand compared with the competition. But we’ve done our homework.” While his teammate as the reigning champion will be entering the race in car number one, Abt will keep his proven number 66. Celebrating his 25th birthday on Sunday will be additional motivation for him to achieve a good result.
In Formula E’s Hong Kong debut last year, the German team experienced a chaotic race. Both Daniel Abt’s and Lucas di Grassi’s race cars were damaged as early as on lap one. While Abt had to park his car, di Grassi fought back from the end of the field to second place. His comeback drive was possible thanks to a bold strategy of his team and sophisticated energy management.
Track Facts and figures
Date: December 2/3, 2017
Track name: Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit
Track length: 1.86 kilometers
Top speed: approx. 200 km/h
Fastest/slowest turn: approx. 95/30 km/h
Previous winner: Sébastien Buemi (2016)
Best result of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler: 2nd place, Lucas di Grassi (2016)
Lap record, qualifying: Nelson Piquet jr., 1m 03.099s (2016)
Lap record, race: Felix Rosenqvist, 1m 02.947s (2016)
VW convert T6 Van into an EV for ride sharing
MOIA, the mobility startup from the Volkswagen Group, introduces its comprehensive ride pooling concept just one year after its inception. The MOIA concept provides new mobility options that will significantly reduce traffic in major cities. The startup will present its ride pooling ecosystem with the mission “One Million Cars off the Road” at TechCrunch in Berlin, where the self-designed MOIA car, that is fully electric and optimized for ride pooling services, will make its debut.
MOIA wants to remove one million cars from cities
“We started one year ago at TechCrunch in London with the vision of partnering with cities to improve the efficiency on their streets. We want to create a solution for the typical transport problems that cities face, such as traffic, air and noise pollution, and lack of space, while simultaneously helping them reach their sustainability goals. In a short time, we’ve laid the groundwork to add a new mobility component to the urban mix. In 2018, we’ll be ready to launch our ride pooling concept internationally and take the first steps toward our goal of reducing the number of cars in major cities by one million in Europe and the USA by 2025,” says Ole Harms, MOIA CEO.
As a first project, the entire ecosystem including the newly designed car will launch in Hamburg at the end of 2018. “We’ll be able to offer the complete ride pooling value chain – as needed or just individual pieces,” says Harms. Various operator models will be possible and can be developed together with cities and partners.
The last missing piece that of the complete pooling system is the MOIA car, which will be presented to the public for the first time at TechCrunch. In addition to the car, the system consists of a customer app, which passengers use to book and pay for a MOIA. The app shows which cars are available and how much the ride will cost before a customer books a trip. A pooling algorithm groups passengers with similar destinations together in order to increase the capacity for each car and to avoid detours. A driver app and comprehensive fleet management complete the system.
The only worldwide electric ride pooling six-seater
The MOIA car is a fully electric car that provides space for up to six passengers to fit comfortably. The interior was designed to be spacious, with standalone seats, plenty of legroom, and enough space to move around and reach each seat with ease. The car was developed and designed exclusively for ride pooling services – every ride should be comfortable. Even those passengers who wish to have no contact with other passengers should feel comfortable onboard. The seats are equipped with convenience features such as dimmable reading lights and USB ports. Each car also offers fast WiFi for passengers. The optimized automatic door and handlebar make getting in and out of the car easy. And luggage can be stored in a spacious area next to the driver.
“The car represents total comfort and is a crucial piece of our consistent service experience. We developed it using our co-creation process, which involved multiple rounds of potential users of various age groups testing cars and providing feedback. Many of the ideas from this process went directly into the development of the car. We’re also working on other future versions as well,” says Robert Henrich, MOIA COO.
Record manufacturing time thanks to agile processes
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Osnabrück planned, developed and built the MOIA car in record time: ten months. The car has a range of more than 300 kilometers according to WLTP-standard and can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. “Together with MOIA and VW Osnabrück, we are redefining car manufacturing;” says Eckhard Scholz from the Executive Board of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “We are very proud of the fact that we were able to build a new car specifically tailored to the needs of ride pooling in just ten months.” This accomplishment was made possible through the use of agile processes in the Osnabrück plant. The car will make its debut on the streets of Hamburg next year.
MOIA has been testing its service in Hannover since October 2017 and continuously developing its components in real-time. The “MOIA co-creation process” is an integral part of this test, which consists of a fleet of 20 Volkswagen T6 Multivans.