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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Volkswagen debut I.D. concept electric car with 600 km range

Volkswagen is embarking on its journey to the future at the Paris Motor Show with the world premiere of the visionary I.D., a highly automated electric car that will be able to cover a distance of 249 to 373 miles 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 models. Volkswagen is looking even further ahead with this concept car: in “I.D. Pilot” mode, it is capable of fully automated driving, a technology that should be ready for series production in 2025. Volkswagen has also set itself the goal of selling a million electric cars a year by 2025 and the production version of the I.D. will make a decisive contribution towards this ramp-up of e-mobility.
Volkswagen has made electric mobility and fully automated driving conspicuous with its innovative exterior design language and with the interior, too: the conventional driving environment has been transformed into the interactive center of a mobile lounge, or a supremely versatile Open Space. The spaciousness of this area and the intuitive, clear functionality allow you to experience mobility in a completely new way.
The I.D. represents the world  “the day after tomorrow”. But the latest generation of the e-Golf, with a zero-emissions range of up to 186 miles (on the European cycle) and new gesture control, will be on the road “tomorrow”. The world of “today” is also visible in state-of-the-art Volkswagens like the new Tiguan, which launched interior digitalization with its Active Info Display and head-up display. The Tiguan, the e-Golf and the I.D. concept car together point the way from the present to the future on the Volkswagen booth.
The I.D. is the first vehicle to showcase Volkswagen’s iconic new design language for compact electric vehicles. The exterior and interior design preview the year 2020 because while the vehicle is currently a concept, the I.D. is expected to be on our roads within the next four years, and its fully automated driving capability gives us a glimpse of the year 2025. Thus, the I.D. is a standard bearer for the progressive Volkswagen brand strategy called “Think New”. This strategy is based on four central areas of innovation, which are also reflected in the new Volkswagen design approach for electric vehicles:
  • Smart Sustainability: Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric cars
  • Automated Driving: Volkswagen is going to make cars even safer and more comfortable thanks to automated driving
  • Intuitive Usability: Volkswagen has put its focus on vehicles that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts;
  • Connected Community: Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity in future
A vehicle concept for a new era
The I.D. is Volkswagen’s first compact concept car based on the new MEB vehicle architecture. MEB stands for Modularer Elektrifizierungsbaukasten (“Modular Electric Drive kit”) and it was conceived for pure electric vehicles. The ground-breaking MEB thus corresponds with the key mobility requirements of the future. This is why the newly defined vehicle architecture of the I.D. is considered to be a milestone in car development by Volkswagen AG, while at the same time providing the basis for the development of many more all-electric cars. The concept behind the I.D. guarantees the best possible ride comfort, optimum use of space, maximum safety and ground-breaking sustainability, thus redefining the parameters of “drive”, “space” and “comfort”. This is underlined by:
  • The long wheelbase with very short overhangs
  • The front end structure that, in addition to the giving the highest level of safety, allows the front wheels to turn sharply and give a small turning circle of 32.5 feet
  • The flat lithium-ion battery that is  integrated in the floor lowers the center of gravity and results in an ideal axle load/weight distribution
  • The multi-link rear axle with an integrated drive unit and decoupled subframe gives optimum driving dynamics and ideal acoustics
For Volkswagen, the world premiere of the iconic I.D. in Paris marks a watershed. This car is as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago and the first Golf was 40 years ago, vehicles that 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.
The driver can activate the fully automated “I.D. Pilot” mode just by touching the Volkswagen logo on the steering wheel. With this, the electrically adjustable and retractable steering wheel disappears into the dashpad to form a single entity flush with the dashboard, boosting the lounge feel inside the car.  The Open Space concept is an all-new interior layout because the architecture of the rear-mounted electric motor and the high-voltage battery in the floor of the vehicle liberates more space and allows greater flexibility and more freedom than was ever possible in a car that’s just over 13 feet long. The I.D. is positioned as a compact electric car with which Volkswagen aims to expand its range of high-volume models in parallel to existing global bestsellers such as the Polo, Golf, Tiguan and Passat.
Connected Community – the new Volkswagen ID
Anyone who drives a Volkswagen in the future will be given their own Volkswagen ID. The ID is an individual profile, in which the personal seat and air conditioning settings, your favorite radio stations and songs, the sound system settings, the configuration of the navigation system, and the type of ambient lighting, as well as the contact details of the driver’s friends and business associates, are saved. This profile can be securely accessed via the cloud, enabling the I.D. to recognize the legitimate user by their smartphone—the Digital Key—and know who is about to get behind the wheel.
With the I.D. you’ll be at home on the road because, with Volkswagen Home-Net, it will be possible to interconnect your car and home. For example: using cameras in your house you will be able to check whether everything is OK at home from the car. If a family member has forgotten their key, all you need do is call and look into the camera, and I.D. sends the picture to the Active Info Display, so that the driver can open the front door using an app.
It could even become perfectly normal to receive parcels on the road, since the new Delivery Service in the trunk of your car can act as a mailbox. Studies show that millions of parcels sent in Europe could alternatively be delivered to the trunk of a Volkswagen parked anywhere between Helsinki and Lisbon. If the car owners aren’t at home, I.D. would be able to receive parcels simply and efficiently, or allow them to be collected. The parcel delivery agent is able to locate the car by GPS and is granted temporary permission to open the trunk via an app. The car’s owner is then notified via an app or e-mail as soon as the parcel has been delivered and the trunk is locked again. Volkswagen is currently working with international logistics service providers to implement this innovative concept.
“Before we first put pen to paper for the I.D. project, we debated the topic of 'Mobility in the future' at length,” says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design, Volkswagen Brand. “It is clear that the car of the future, and thus the mobile space, will be a place of communication more than ever before. The Open Space in the I.D. is just such a place.”
“The electric powertrain gives our designers far greater freedom. We have shrunk the cooling grilles to a minimum, shifted the axles far outwards and created breathtaking proportions, as demonstrated by the I.D. —an icon of the future. We had the unique opportunity to guide Volkswagen into a new era, and with the I.D we have taken this opportunity.”
From every angle, the I.D. adheres to a new design language for compact Volkswagen electric cars. Cars like the I.D. aren’t mere machines, but cars that react interactively. Everything is neatly laid out: ample space, maximum precision, a charismatic front end, iconic C-pillars, flowing, sculpted surfaces and expressive wheels are just a few of the design signatures for Volkswagen electro-mobility.
An electric car doesn’t need large cooling intakes, which changes everything when it comes to front-end design. Interactive LED lights are framed by a C-shaped light signature, and react to other road users. The large, sculpted bumpers and “Anodized Blue” diffusers also give the I.D. a unique appearance. The transparent illuminated Volkswagen logo in the front section emphasizes the I.D.’s quality.
From the side, the design is characterized by precision. The voluptuous, flowing surfaces of the side profile merge elegantly into a single, homogeneous surface below the character line. The new design DNA  corresponds with innovative technical solutions, such as a lack of B pillars. The front and rear doors form a protective unit when closed. The rear doors swivel backwards, showcasing the Open Space. Door mirrors have been replaced by cameras, which are integrated in the front fenders. The powerful silhouette is perfectly rounded off by white and blue 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with blue low-rolling resistance tires.
The trunklid, which extends across the full width of the car, is contrasted in black. At the sides, the large rear window is framed by vertical aerodynamic fences and at the base by the strikingly narrow horizontal LED taillights. The I.D.’s bumper is a prime example of the avant-garde design of Volkswagen’s future electric cars, which looks as if it were made out of a single piece of aluminum or a translucent block of ice. Right at the bottom of the car’s rear section is a neat and tidy blue diffuser, mirrored by the narrow strip of LED taillights that wrap around to the flanks and the illuminated Volkswagen logo between them.
The four-door I.D. is 161.4 inches long, 6 inches shorter than a Golf. This concept car is 70.9 inches wide and 60.2 inches high. The I.D. has a 108.3-inch wheelbase, which is 5 inches longer than the Golf, so the proportions are even more attractive.
The I.D. communicates with its environment using light. The LED headlights interactively mimic the human eye (interactive spotlight), with the headlights reacting to their environment: for instance, they look in the direction of the driver as he approaches the I.D.
  • Parked. If all of the I.D.’s systems are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. On a parked I.D., all you can see is a narrow little strip of LEDs in the headlights.
  • Startup. When the I.D. is “woken up”, it greets its driver and the passengers with an all-new 360-degee light show: the transparent Volkswagen logos at the front and in the trunklid light up in white. This is then followed by blue lighting in the front bumper diffuser, the side sills and the rear diffuser. In the final stage of this light show, the I.D. opens its “eyes” and, last but not least, white light shines in the four door handles.
Over and above that, Volkswagen’s designers and engineers have come up with different light scenarios for each operating mode:
  • Charging. While the batteries are charging, the blue light panels on the diffusers and side sills pulsate or “breathe”, while the headlights remain in sleep mode
  • On the road. In conventional drive mode the Volkswagen logos, the LED Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights are on. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature
  • Autonomous Driving. To signal that it is in fully automated mode (from 2025), the laser scanners on the roof—which are now extended—the front and rear diffusers and the side sills are also lit in blue. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” look ahead, giving the car a sporty appearance
  • Communicating with surroundings. Over and above this, the “eyes” are interactive in fully automated mode. If, for instance, the I.D. wants to turn left or right, the LED headlights look in the direction that the car is going to turn. What is more, if the I.D. notices people at the side of the road it looks at them. This very human form of interaction draws the attention of pedestrians and cyclists to the I.D.
  • Shut down. This starts with the DRLs being deactivated and the door handle illumination being activated; then the blue lighting of the diffusers and side sills and the white light in the door handles go out. Finally, only the Volkswagen logos are illuminated. They stay on until the driver and passengers walk away from the car. Now the I.D. is in standby mode.
Open Space
As soon as you approach the car, the white light in the surface of the door handles illuminates. If the person’s hand comes up close to the handle, the line of light pulsates and the handle extends from the body and the door can be opened.
Passengers on board the I.D. are in a mobile space that has been completely rethought and redesigned. Volkswagen calls it the Open Space—a pure, airy, space. The sculpted, flowing structures of the surfaces are inspired by nature, using bionic design instead of cold engineering. The design, with its organically shaped surfaces and gentle radii, emphasizes the impression of space. Another defining design trait is that the interior is enclosed by a Möbius strip, a geometric shape that owes its name to the German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius, who first described this twisted shape—where the inner surface becomes the outer surface and vice versa—in the middle of the 19th century. Most people will be familiar with the Möbius strip from the artwork by M. C. Escher. The simplicity of the interior, where switches and control stalks have been replaced by new digital solutions, results in a new, intuitive, operating environment.
There are four separate integral seats, with the headrests and seatbelts harmonically integrated into the backrest. The structural design of the seats appears very light. Flowing, restrained light grey satin fabric (“Jacquard Heather”) and a reduced seam underline the floating impression of the seats. The seats in the back can be folded up like cinema seats to save space, making room for large items such as folding bicycles or picture frames. The “dive down” function also allows the rear seats to be lowered to floor level, turning the trunk and rear seat area into a single large, flat cargo area.
Depending on the seating configuration, the I.D. has up to 33.9 cubic feet of luggage space. Between the left and right seats there is a utility box in the front and a folding center armrest in the back, both of which slide fore-and-aft and can be removed. A box for shopping can also be fitted in the front-seat passenger area. The Open Space is flooded with daylight through large windows and a panoramic sunroof. If the sunshine is too bright, the transparent roof can also be darkened electronically.
The MEB architecture and the digitalization of the display and control elements permit an entirely new interior layout for driver and passengers. The driver’s space blends in with the rest of the interior; the mobile space in the I.D. has been transformed into a multi-variable lounge, yet every driver will get to grips with it straight away as the I.D. is controlled with self-explanatory touch displays in the doors, capacitive keypads, and voice and gesture control.
The center of this car consists of an electrically adjustable and retractable multifunction steering wheel, a new Active Info Display, an electronic interior mirror (e-Mirror), an Augmented Reality (AR) Head-up Display and newly designed door panels. A central infotainment system in the middle of the dashboard is a thing of the past, as those menus are also available to everyone in the car, thanks to the four individual door panels.
The middle of the steering wheel has its usual Volkswagen logo, except that in this case it is an illuminated button with which the driver can switch from manual to fully automated (“I.D. Pilot”) mode. By pressing the Volkswagen logo for three seconds the electrically adjustable steering wheel retracts and interlocks with the dashpad. When the steering wheel reverts from fully automated to manual mode, an illuminated display appears in the rim of the steering wheel for a few seconds to indicate that it is changing mode. Aesthetics and functionality make the I.D.’s electrically adjustable and retractable multifunction steering wheel a highlight, both visually and haptically. The steering wheel has six rounded corners, creating a control island in the lower part of it to reduce the complexity of operation. From here the driver controls the car’s main functions, such as the “P”, “R”, “N” and "D” drive positions and the turn signals, using illuminated capacitive keypads. Four more capacitive keys adapt to functions like taking a phone call, while two capacitive sliders allow the driver to scroll intuitively through functions like the playlist and the sound system.
The I.D. has a new evolution of the head-up display. Information such as the directions given by the satellite navigation system are, for the first time, projected as virtual images that appear to be between 23 and 49 feet ahead of the car. The effect is amazingly realistic: arrows are projected via augmented reality to show where the driver and the I.D. are heading. Thanks to the AR-Head-Up Display, the navigation instructions are part of driver’s three-dimensional surroundings.
A 10-inch Active Info Display shows information to the driver and can also be used to view content like the media library and menus such as the satellite navigation, or to control the multifunction steering wheel. The Active Info Display gives the driver great freedom. For instance, the full 10 inches of the screen can be turned into a 3D navigation screen. The display uses three transparent layers to display the various types of information. At the bottom, on the first layer there is the navigation map; the digital content retrieved using the Volkswagen ID is displayed on the second layer; and the third layer, at the top, is used to display driving data such as the car’s speed and range.
Conventional rear-view mirrors are a thing of the past in the I.D. But habit is difficult to change, so in place of the rear-view mirrors there is now a system that looks exactly the same and performs the same function. The e-Mirror combines data from three external cameras on a monitor. The images are transmitted from the door mirror cameras on the left and right-hand sides of the car as well as a rearward facing camera. Doing away with the mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The only button in the I.D., for the hazard warning lights, is to be found in the base of the mirror.
Information and controls that have previously only been available to the driver and the front-seat passenger are now available to the rear-seat passengers too, thanks to the new door panels. These white and partially transparent control islands are ergonomically mounted in the trim of the four doors, where they appear to be suspended in mid-air. It is evident from the shape of the panels that they also act as the interior door handles and house loudspeakers. The door panels can be used to control the air conditioning, the infotainment and navigation, the interior lighting, the electric windows and the central locking. The door panel can even be used to receive phone calls. These functions are all controlled on a white touchscreen with black icons as well as a capacitive slider on the side, which is used to regulate the temperature and the HVAC fan speed. The information displayed on the door panel changes as soon as the door is opened or the driver switches to the fully automated “I.D. Pilot” mode. The driver can also restrict the range of functions of the other door panels so that children can’t open the doors while moving, for instance.
As soon as there is someone in the driver’s seat the steering wheel, which is retracted into the dashpad in parking mode, comes out and the multifunction displays light up simultaneously. At the same time, the I.D. triggers the Active Info Display and the AR Head-up Display. Ambient lighting and the Active Info Display greet the driver with a welcome routine. Close the doors, belt up, press the brake, select a driving mode and the I.D. is ready for off. The Start/Stop button is a thing of the past. “D” and “R“ are activated by gently pressing the corresponding button on the multifunction steering wheel, and the I.D. is switched off by pressing the “P” on the steering wheel, which causes the steering wheel to retract flush with the dashpad again.
Automated Driving
I.D. is the first Volkswagen that is capable of fully automated driving. Activating the fully automated “I.D. Pilot” mode is easy: the driver just has to press the Volkswagen logo on the steering wheel for three seconds to switch from manual to fully automated mode. The I.D. indicates that it has changed mode with a range of optical signals: the ambient light changes from clear blue light, designed to focus while driving, to a relaxed ambience, with a selection of colors. During the transformation from manual to fully automated mode the light in the Volkswagen logo on the steering wheel pulsates, too. The light distribution of the ambient lighting expands to illuminate the back, and the I.D. signals via the Active Info Display and the AR-Head-up display that it is ready to take control. As soon as the driver takes their hands and feet away from the controls the steering wheel retracts into the dashpad and the fully automated “I.D. Pilot” mode is active.
In fully automated driving mode the four roof-mounted laser scanners are active. They protrude from the roof of the I.D. in “I.D. Pilot” mode, but are also visible thanks to indirect blue lighting, like the diffusers and side sills, indicating that the I.D. is in fully automated mode. The I.D. is capable of detecting other road users not only using its laser sensors, but also with ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. Traffic data is also constantly collected and compared with the vehicle data via the cloud.
Fully automated mode is deactivated by pressing the brake or accelerator pedals. The I.D. indicates that the driver has to take control again by changing the color and distribution of the ambient lighting, pulsing the light in the Volkswagen steering wheel logo on the steering wheel, and posting alerts on the Active Info Display and the AR-Head-up Display. The steering wheel then comes out of the dashpad again, reactivating manual driving mode. Visual clues include the illumination of the accelerator and brake pedals and a light pattern in the steering wheel.
The color scheme and mood of the ambient lighting change along with the manual and fully automated mode. The door panels, the areas under the seats, the seat surfaces and the lower section of the instrument panel are indirectly lit. The ambient lighting also floods into the cabin through a kind of woven mesh that extends between the A-pillars parallel to the windscreen and around the instrument panel. Form and function blend into one here: if a pedestrian appears beside or in front of the I.D., for example, a warning for the driver is projected on the illuminated mesh.
The I.D. doesn’t only drive itself or be driven. It can find a space in a parking structure, all of its own. All the driver has to do is stop the I.D. in a specially marked zone in the entrance to a structure that has the necessary infrastructure and activate the “Pilot for multi-storey car park” using the Volkswagen app. As with the fully automated “I.D. Pilot” mode it is able to detect other cars as well as pedestrians. To ask the I.D. to leave the parking space again, all the driver has to do is tell the Volkswagen to return to its starting zone again via the app.
Technical Details
The I.D. is the first compact Volkswagen based on the newly developed Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) that is designed as a purely electric vehicle architecture. This approach to the design results in a range of advantages, in particular the packaging. The I.D.’s zero-emissions drive system consists primarily of the electric motor, power electronics and transmission integrated in the rear axle, a space-saving high-voltage flat battery in the floor of the car and ancillary equipment integrated in the front of the car.
The electric motor has a power output of 168 horsepower (125 kW), giving the I.D. zero to 62 mph acceleration in less than 8 seconds and a top speed of 99 mph.  Subsequent production versions could also be offered with more or less powerful electric motors. In parallel, the concept also hints that it will be possible to configure the I.D. with different battery capacities. This would allow the drive system to be modified to suit the owner’s individual needs. The I.D. will have a range of between 249 and 373 miles on a single charge, under European test conditions.
The high-voltage battery used in the I.D. is located in the chassis. As a crucial link, the power electronics control the flow of high-voltage power between the motor and the battery, converting the direct current (DC) stored in the battery into alternating current (AC), while a DC/DC converter supplies the on-board electronics with 12-volt power. Power is transferred from the motor to the rear axle via a single-gear transmission. The motor, power electronics and transmission form one compact unit. The position of the battery has a positive effect as it gives the I.D. a very low center of gravity, like a racing car’s, and neutral handling. The I.D. is also characterized by an optimal weight distribution of 48:52 percent, front to rear.
The battery can be charged by cable or using an inductive charging interface in the front of the car. To charge by cable, a separate charging plug is needed to connect the car to an electrical outlet. For inductive charging, all the driver needs to do is park the I.D. over a so-called charging plate, with a little help from the electronics to make sure it is in exactly the right position. Over and above that it will be possible to send the car to an inductive charging station, too. Thanks to the rapid charging system the battery is 80 percent charged after just 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Volkswagen launch pure-electric e-Crafter with up to 400km range

Volkswagen have unveiled a 100%-electric version of its Crafter delivery van at the Hannover commercial vehicle show in Germany.

The electrically powered Crafter Concept vehicle demonstrated is near production-ready with a cargo capacity of up to 1.7 tonnes

Powered by a 100 kW / 290 Nm electric motor fed by a 43 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the e-Crafter concept can travel up to 200 km between charges.

The batteries can be charged back up to 80% in 45 minutes using a 40 kW DC charger.

Anticipating future battery developments, the e-Crafter's design will allow a reconfigurable range of up to 400 kilometres when new technology becomes available.

Volkswagen's battery research and development efforts to-date include:

  • Targeting a 66% cost reduction by using a common cell design across all brands
  • High specific energy lithium-ion cells with up to 380 Wh/l
  • Solid state batteries with up to 1,000 Wh/l

    First vehicles on sale in 2017

  • Apple offers $2.5B for McLaren Technology Group

    Less than a fortnight after reports that Apple had laid off a large number of employees from it's Titan Automotive project, the Financial Times reports Apple has been linked with a £1.5bn (AUD$2.5bn) deal to buy McLaren Technology Group, the Formula One team owner and supercar maker, citing three unnamed sources.

    Apple has been attempting to develop its own car for a while now with the car team said to boast upwards of 800 members before the recent layoffs took effect, so this would appear to be a huge change of direction.

    As far as electric vehicle IP is concerned, McLaren have good form. Not only have they built and raced their own A123 based KERS system in Formula One since 2009, and manufactured the McLaren P1 hybrid hyper car since 2013 but McLaren are also the official powertrain (motor, gearbox & power electronics) supplier for Formula E powered the entire field in 2015. On the embedded electronics side they also supply a control ECU to several motorsport championships including Formula One and NASCAR.

    So far both companies have denied the story but there are obvious similarities between this potential tie-up between Apple & McLaren and the route Tesla Motors followed to get it's first car into production, working with another Formula One team with a sports car business, Lotus.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016

    1965 VW Beetle Black Current III sets new EV world record [VIDEO]

    A 1965 model Volkswagen beetle is now the quickest Electric Car in the world. UK based Current Racing recently set a 1/4 mile time of 8.282s @ 159 mph at Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire, England.

    The new for 2016 powertrain in Black Current III now runs 3x 9" brushed DC motors, a 2 speed gearbox and a Ford 9" diff. Power is supplied by 864x Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCo4) Battery cells via 2x 440 volt Zilla controllers.

    Source: Current Racing

    Saturday, September 3, 2016

    BYD Electric Bus enters service at Sydney Airport [VIDEO]

    Sydney Airport has unveiled Australia’s first electric airport bus, as part of a $5 million investment in environmentally friendly ground transport technology.

    The Electric Blu bus is the first of a fleet of six electric buses to be operational by the end of this year, replacing the airport’s existing diesel bus fleet servicing the shuttle route between the T2/T3 terminal precinct and the Blu Emu Car Park.

    “We’re proud to be the first Australian airport to introduce electric buses to our Parking and Ground Transport operations, which will reduce our carbon footprint and enhance the passenger experience,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.

    “These state-of-the-art electric buses can make up to 100 transfer journeys on a single charge, providing a clean and sustainable transport option for the two million travellers, visitors and airport workers who use the Blu Emu shuttle service every year.”

    The fleet of Blu Emu electric buses will deliver carbon emission reductions of approximately 160 tonnes per year and improve local air quality through zero tailpipe emissions. The fleet will also lower external noise levels, reduce waste fluids to zero and decrease the amount of toxic material generated during servicing.

    Electric Blu is a ‘Toro’ model electric bus, created by Carbridge in a joint venture with the world’s leading global electric bus manufacturer BYD.

    “Carbridge is delighted to deliver to Sydney Airport this country’s first electric airport bus and in partnership with BYD we are excited to be at the forefront of electric bus manufacturing in Australia,” Carbridge Chief Executive Officer Luke Todd said.

    The Electric Blu bus has a carrying capacity of 70 passengers, features purpose-designed luggage storage racks and has a range of 400km on a single charge. Sydney Airport has invested in charging stations and other ancillary equipment to support the deployment of the new electric bus fleet.

    The airport is also currently trialling electric cars as part of its ground transport fleet and investigating solar-powered charging stations to further decrease carbon emissions, while research and development is underway for recycling and reuse of batteries and other components.

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    Inside the Rimac Concept_One [VIDEO]

    The Million Dollar Rimac Concept One attended Monterey Car Week & PebbleBeach Concours d'Elegance in California for the first time this year.

    While in the USA Rimac Automobili founder and CEO Mate Rimac gave Youtuber "alexsmolik" a full run-down on the technology in his electric hypercar, including a brief demo of torque vectoring and 0-100 km/h in 2.6 seconds.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Samsung SDI to build $358M car battery plant in Hungary by 2018

    South Korea's Samsung SDI plans to invest about 400 billion won ($358 million) to build a plant to make electric vehicle batteries in Hungary, joining the race to build capacity and tap European demand.

    Samsung SDI, whose customers include BMW, said on Tuesday that the proposed factory near Budapest would start production in the second half of 2018 and it would be able to produce batteries used for 50,000 pure electric vehicles (EVs) annually.

    The plant will "help us save logistics costs and quickly cope with demand from customers, as European companies have manufacturing bases around Hungary," Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

    The company currently produces batteries for BMW's i3 in South Korea. Samsung SDI last year started production at its factory in China, the world's biggest EV market, but subsidy regulations have hampered its sales.

    Cross-town rival LG Chem plans to build an EV battery plant in Poland to meet rising demand from European automakers, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters in April.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Tesla Announce P100D Model S the World's Quickest Production Car

    Tesla have announced the Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode claiming it as the third fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5* seconds. The only remaining production road cars a Tesla Model S can't beat are the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.

    However, both were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

    The 100 kWh battery also increases range substantially to an estimated 315 miles on the EPA cycle and 613 km on the EU cycle, making it the first to go beyond 300 miles and the longest range production electric vehicle by far.

    The larger battery pack is also available on the Model X, making the world’s quickest SUV even faster. Model X P100D with Ludicrous mode accelerates to 60 mph in 2.9* seconds and travels up to 289 miles EPA estimated and 542 km EU on a single charge. Model X is also a pure electric SUV and can seat up to seven adults.

    Model S and Model X are engineered to be the safest cars on the road and to have the highest ratings from NHTSA. Both have access to the Tesla Supercharger network for the freedom to travel long distance for free. And every Tesla will improve over time with free over the air upgrades.

    Tesla customers who have ordered a P90D Ludicrous, but not taken delivery, can upgrade to the 100 kWh pack for $10,000. Existing P90D Ludicrous owners can also upgrade to a 100 kWh pack, but for $20,000, as their used 90 kWh pack will have to be recycled.

    While the P100D Ludicrous is obviously an expensive vehicle, Tesla want to emphasize that every sale helps pay for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3 that is in development. Without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, Tesla says they would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development.

    Early adapters form an orderly queue here... Tesla

    * Expected value using max power mode and Motor Trend benchmark

    Below is a list of every production car capable of 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds or less.

    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    Mercedes-Maybach 6 to run 4x Motor SLS E-Cell powertrain?

    Daimler has unveiled the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 – an electric-powered behemoth it says represents the ultimate in luxury.

    At the Maybach’s heart is its electric powertrain. Power being the operative word here, with a 738hp output from four permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, each powering a separate wheel. This spec sounds exactly the same as the most powerful production AMG model of all time, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive.

    Based on the SLS specs we know the Maybach will have a combined maximum torque of 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft) with permanently active torque vectoring allowing for selective distribution of forces for each individual wheel. The intelligent distribution of drive torque greatly benefits driving dynamics, handling, driving safety and ride comfort.

    Each individual wheel can be electrically driven and electrically braked, depending on the driving conditions, thus enables optimum use of the adhesion potential between the tyres and the road surface in all driving conditions, thereby extending the critical limits of the vehicle's driving dynamics.

    For its size, the Maybach 6's 80kWh battery capacity is smaller than the largest pack available in a Tesla Model S (90kWh), but is enough for around 500 kilometres range according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA)

    Quick charging is on the cards, with a DC Combined Charging System plug allowing an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres. Provisions for wireless charging are also included.

    Friday, August 19, 2016

    Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 EV concept [VIDEO]

    Four compact electric motors, all-wheel drive, 750 hp and an underfloor 80 kWh battery

    Every August classic car fans from around the world converge on Pebble Beach in California for a very special beauty contest. This gathering of magnificent classic cars is the perfect place to premiere the exclusive Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a sensational luxury-class coupé. The 2+2‑s eater is a homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés and consciously carries this tradition forward into the future. The coupé reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extreme way, following the Mercedes design philosophy of sensual purity.

    The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six metres in length, is designed as an electric car. The drive system has an output of 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery allows a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

    The large coupé is set to make its debut at Monterey Car Week, which will take place on the Monterey Peninsula between 16 and 21 August 2016. The final event on 21 August will be the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elégance.

    With its sensual, emotional design (“hot”) and intelligent details (“cool”), the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 represents the ultimate in luxury. The classic aesthetic proportions of the show car – the extremely long bonnet, the low roof line and the rearward positioning of the greenhouse – recall the aero coupés of days gone by. But this is not retro design – this is a reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles.

    At the same time the design is something unexpectedly new – cool, technoid and reduced. This is exemplified by the aerodynamically intelligent basic shape. Even without aids such as spoilers, the airflow hugs the contours of the vehicle body and only breaks away very late at the tail end of the vehicle. Then there is the surprisingly technoid character of the narrow lights, the partially transparent rims and the split rear window.

    “Our glamorous coupé, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, represents the ultimate in contemporary luxury. It is hot and cool”, states Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its intelligent appeal and reduced, technoid look, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and our pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency”.

    Reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles: the exterior design

    Clearly defined contours and organically formed wings stand in contrast to the sharply drawn, extended feature line on each side which defines the upper vehicle body from the radiator grille across the entire length of the vehicle to the rear. Below this, the main body has a bulging, muscular look, extending across the entire flank. There is also a striking contrast between the Maybach red paintwork and the chrome strips which sit above the wheel arches and in the centre of the bonnet and boot lid.

    A reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit. The radiator grille rests on two aerodynamically shaped supports on the outer right and left of the bumper.

    The distinctive 24-inch wheels are a development of the aero rim from the Concept IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile). A transparent shield in the vehicle colour provides a view of the aluminium spokes behind it.

    A further highlight is provided by the gullwing doors, a hallmark Mercedes design element which has been brought up to date. They underline the sporty character of the vehicle’s silhouette and feature innovatively designed aluminium trim. The exterior mirrors designed as cameras are supported on the wings.

    The extended, round “boat tail” format of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6’s rear recalls a luxury yacht, and narrow tail lights which emphasise the width of the vehicle are integrated in its outer edges. Above this sit the two extremely shallow rear windows (“split window”). Further distinctive features at the rear include the diffuser with aluminium frame and the air outlets behind the wheel arches.

    Luxurious 360° lounge featuring new materials: the interior design

    The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a synthesis of intelligence and emotion and combines traditional Mercedes-Benz values with a new high-tech experience.

    The dashboard wing curves across the door trim into the seat landscape, creating a 360° lounge. The new “inside out” spatial design adds a particular touch of finesse. The sitting surface forms a horizontal, which transitions into the vertical of the doors and finally becomes the underside of the dashboard wing.

    In addition to the flowing contours, the material composition produces a luxury experience of the highest order. Authentic materials and colours such as rose gold are used to create luxurious accents. The interior, with its high-quality leather trim, has a cool colour scheme which perfectly underlines the digital innovations. The sitting surfaces have a Chesterfield look. In the doors and dashboard the traditional wood trim softens the appearance of the digital control and display interfaces. As a contrast to the digital world of the displays, elm is used in the floor area, creating a refined yachting look. Elm is the palest open-pore wood which Mercedes-Benz is currently working on for series use.

    In the front luggage area of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a set of two suitcases, exclusively created for the vehicle. Here too the designers have followed the sensual, pure design idiom of Mercedes-Benz. Plenty of space has also been provided for further additions such as picnic accessories or personal items.

    Dipping into the future: a fusion of analogue and digital experience

    Ever since Mercedes-Benz invented the car 130 years ago, driving has been a source of enjoyment and delight. With the increase in digitisation comes a simultaneous need for sustainable analogue solutions, the design of which has been emphasised and in places exaggerated in the concept car. In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 this can be seen above all in the “hyperanalogue” instruments with needles and circular, crystal-look displays.

    The classic circular instruments are combined with deep displays and act as a reference to the unique history of Mercedes-Benz. In contrast, other display elements are digitally integrated into a continuous glass trim part. Information about the seat, for example, can be shown on this digital strip. Map information is also shown in the front area of the strip. Menu content is extended along a digital line which extends to the sides as far as the occupants, who can set their own content ergonomically using touch control.

    The front windscreen serves as a transparent display: driving-related data and geographical information is shown across its full width, augmenting the outside world with additional information. This information can be controlled and adjusted by the occupants using gestures.

    The luxury padded leather upholstery is a particular highlight. Its traditional look is combined with future technology here – the buttons which would normally be trimmed in leather have been replaced in the upholstered surfaces by miniature “body sensor displays”. These scan the passengers and monitor, for example, their vital functions. As a result, comfort features such as seat climate or the massage function, for example, can be activated or the seat settings adjusted to the passenger. The sensors embedded in the upholstery also record the incidence of light, the colour of the occupant’s clothing and the ambient temperature. This information can be used to trigger new, emotional lighting effects in the interior.

    The concept car aims to embody the ultimate in luxury, and this is underlined by the fact that the driver can switch to digital/autonomous mode. Another highlight is offered by the floating, transparent centre tunnel, which visualises the drive system’s electrical energy flow for the occupants.

    Emission-free driving: electric drive system generating 550 kW (750 hp)

    The side sills, illuminated by LED light strips, clearly underline the fact that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, it features all-wheel drive. The output of the drive system is 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery has a usable capacity of approx. 80 kWh. This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0‑1 00 km/h in under four seconds, top speed electronically governed at 250 km/h) but also a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

    Vision: add an extra 100 kilometres to the range in just five minutes

    The quick-charge function is also visionary: as a result of DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres.

    The battery can either be charged via a cable connection at a public charging station or a conventional domestic outlet or, for even more convenience, it can be charged wirelessly, via an electromagnetic field.

    The wow effect: visionary show cars with long-term prospects

    With its impressive dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 (length/width/height: 5700/2100/1328 millimetres) is the first luxury coupé in the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. These include the Vision EnerG‑Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and Vision Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time these show cars are looking far into the future.

    Mercedes-Maybach: perfection blends with exclusivity

    Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. The target group is made up of status-oriented customers. The current vehicles include the Mercedes-Maybach S 500 and S 600 models, launched in February 2015, which blend the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S‑Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. A special protection version, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard, is the world’s first passenger car to meet the highest ballistic protection level for civilian vehicles, VR10.

    The most recent model is the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman with face-to-face seating. Launched at the beginning of 2016, it adopted the mantle of absolute top-of-the-line model.