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Sunday, November 29, 2015

2016 Audi R18 celebrates world premiere in Munich

The new Audi R18 made its world premiere on the occasion of the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center Munich on Saturday. Audi Sport has fundamentally re-designed the Audi R18 for the 2016 season.

The LMP1 race car that will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2016 features innovative aerodynamics; represents the next stage in lightweight design; and has a modified hybrid system with lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, plus an efficiency-optimized TDI engine. The 2015 R18 e-tron quattro racer featured an encapsulated WHP flywheel energy storage system that sat in the cockpit alongside the driver.

The 2016 R18 retains the 4.0L TDI engine. The 2016 R18 will race in the 6MJ class; the 2015 R18 raced in the 4MJ class, up from 2MJ the season before.

Further technical details will come later.

In the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that will start at Silverstone (Great Britain) on April 17, Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding two new Audi R18 cars. In the interest of cost efficiency, Audi and its Volkswagen Group sister brand Porsche, have both agreed to each compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the WEC season’s pinnacle event, with only two instead of the most recent three cars.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tesla Model S P85D 0-100km/h & motor sound [VIDEO]

No other car currently on the market is able to capture the curiosity of the greater public like the Tesla Model S P85D. It is a means of transport like no other, breaking a few world records in the process.

  • 2015 Tesla Model S P85D
  • Dual electric motors
  • 193kW + 375kW and 967Nm
  • Single-speed, all-wheel drive
  • 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds (as tested)

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015

    Bombardier’s Battery Powered Tram Sets Range Record

    Bombardier Transportation has successfully completed a 41.6 km catenary-free test run using a Bombardier-built tram, powered entirely by its PRIMOVE battery in combination with BOMBARDIER MITRAC. The test run was conducted in the German city of Mannheim on the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) network.

    RNV began using SuperCaps energy storage systems in 2009, and has integrated this technology into 30 of their trams. This provided sufficient energy for short CFO distances. However, the latest generation of Bombardier’s PRIMOVE battery system has been specifically developed for use with CFO where greater distances need to be covered.

    In addition to application in Germany, the PRIMOVE battery and MITRAC propulsion equipment combination has been in successful revenue service on the Hexi line in Nanjing, China since August 2014. Six trams, built by CRRC Puzhen under Bombardier license, operate without overhead cables on 90 per cent of the lines. The batteries are charged seamlessly during passenger service via the pantograph, statically at tram stops, and dynamically during acceleration. On this demanding route, the CFO propulsion system has proven its suitability for almost any tram line worldwide.

    The innovative PRIMOVE battery system builds upon Bombardier’s many years of experience with energy storage systems. The system combines high power capacity and exceptional battery life with high reliability and has been designed to maximize performance using the latest developments in nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) Li-Ion cells. The advanced PRIMOVE thermal conditioning unit maintains the battery’s ideal temperature and enables rapid charging and full braking energy recovery while extending their lifetime to up to ten years.

    BMW Reveal eRR Electric Super Bike Concept

    BMW Motorrad has a long tradition in pointing out new ways and thoughts for the topic „mobility on two wheels“. For that, again and again many studies were presented in the past giving views to the future. The experimental vehicle eRR, created as a project with the Technical University of Munich, embodies an idea of an electric powered supersport motorcycle made by BMW Motorrad.

    Already a couple of years ago, BMW i showed the BMW Group’s visionary and sustainable approach with the vehicles BMW i3 and i8 and their revolutionary design principles (aluminum chassis and passenger cabin made from carbon fibre) and BMW Motorrad’s C evolution proved, that zero emission, riding fun and practicability do not exclude themselves.

    With presenting the experimental vehicle eRR BMW Motorrad goes one step forward and shows the possibilities of an all-electric drive in a supersport motorcycle. Regarding design and chassis technology the eRR leans on the supersport motorcycle S 1000 RR, however using an all-electric drive.

    Stephan Schaller, Head of BMW Motorrad, emphasizes: „Since their market launch, the RR is giving the creeps to motorsport athletes. If acceleration, handling or topspeed – the RR is setting standards. However, if acceleration on the first metres, up to 50, 60 kph, is the point, the RR’s 199 bhp have to admit defeat by another BMW product: the C evolution with its electric drive.

    We asked ourselves: What happens when combining a sport motorcycle and an electric drive? The experimental vehicle eRR brings the topic zero emission and electric drive on a new, more fascinating level."

    BMW Motorrad will announce technical details of the eRR at a later date.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Samsung SDI to invest $1 Billion in EV Battery Gigafactory

    In order to acquire the dominance and leadership in Chinese EV market, Samsung SDI became the first global battery manufacturer to construct an EV battery plant and initiate mass production in China, beating LG Chem who broke ground on a similar plant in China a year ago.

    The Xi’an plant has initiated its operation from September. It has finalized battery supply agreements with 10 local personal and commercial vehicle companies and is already delivering the goods. Some of these companies include Yutong, the leader of China’s and also the world’s bus industry and then Foton, the leader of China’s truck industry.

    The finalized Samsung SDI Xi’an Plant is a cutting-edge production line that can manufacture high-performance electric vehicle (in standard of pure EVs) batteries for an amount of approximately 40 thousand cars a year. The plant is capable of carrying out the whole production process of EV battery cells and modules. Preparing for increased market demand in the future, Samsung SDI will invest – by adding production line, etc. – 600 million USD into the Xi’an battery plant until 2020 and aim to achieve 1 billion USD in sales.

    Samsung SDI CEO Cho Nam Seong said in his welcoming address, “Xi’an is a starting point of Silk Road and is also a focal point of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.” He added, “To go hand in hand with China’s time-honored tradition and future development strategy, we will bring up Xi’an plant to become the world center of EV battery industry.”

    Anqing Ring New Group Chairman Pan Yi Xin said, “By integrating our expertise in the automotive business with Samsung SDI’s advanced technical capability, we will promote Xi’an Plant as the number one production base of EV battery.”

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    Nissan IDS Concept: Autonomous 60 kWh Next Gen LEAF [VIDEO]

    Today at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled a concept vehicle that embodies Nissan's vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emission EVs: the Nissan IDS Concept.

    Presenting at the show, Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: "Nissan's forthcoming technologies will revolutionize the relationship between car and driver, and future mobility."

    After leading the development and expansion of EV technology, Nissan once again stands at the forefront of automotive technology. By integrating advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), Nissan is among the leaders developing practical, real-world applications of autonomous drive technology.

    In August 2013, Ghosn said that by 2020 Nissan plans to equip innovative autonomous drive technology on multiple vehicles. Progress is well on track to achieve this goal.

    Nissan Intelligent Driving is Nissan's concept of autonomous drive technology and represents what Nissan believes next-generation vehicles should be. "Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver's ability to see, think and react. It compensates for human error, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents. As a result, time spent behind the wheel is safer, cleaner, more efficient and more fun," continued Ghosn.

    By 202X, expect to see Nissan Intelligent Driving technology deployed on cars in cities around the world.

    The Nissan IDS experience

    Some have compared a future with autonomous drive to living in a world of conveyer belts that simply ferry people from point A to B, but the Nissan IDS Concept promises a very different vision of tomorrow. Even when the driver selects Piloted Drive and turns over driving to the vehicle, the car's performance — from accelerating to braking to cornering — imitates the driver's own style and preferences.

    In Manual Drive mode, the driver has control. The linear acceleration and cornering are pure and exhilarating. Yet behind the scenes, the Nissan IDS Concept continues to provide assistance. Sensors continually monitor conditions and assistance is available even while the driver is in control. In the event of imminent danger, Nissan IDS Concept will assist the driver in taking evasive action.

    In addition to learning, the Nissan IDS Concept's AI communicates like an attentive partner. From information concerning traffic conditions, the driver's schedule to personal interests, Nissan IDS Concept's AI has what is needed to help create a driving experience that is comfortable, enjoyable and safe.

    Design — Together, we ride

    "A key point behind the Nissan IDS Concept is communication. For autonomous drive to become reality, as a society we have to consider not only communication between car and driver but also between cars and people. The Nissan IDS Concept's design embodies Nissan's vision of autonomous drive as expressed in the phrase together, we ride," says Mitsunori Morita, Design Director.

    Two interiors enable two ways for the driver to enjoy the experience. Together, we ride is clearly demonstrated in the interior design. "The Nissan IDS Concept has different interiors depending on whether the driver opts for Piloted Drive or Manual Drive. This was something that we thought was absolutely necessary to express our idea of autonomous drive," says Morita.

    Even though it is a hatchback, the Nissan IDS Concept's long wheelbase enables comfortable seating space for four adults. But the cabin becomes even more spacious when the driver selects Piloted Drive. In this mode, the steering wheel recedes into the center of the instrument panel and a large flat screen comes out. Various driving-related operations are handled by AI, voice and gestures from the driver. The interior, which is comprised of natural materials such as mesh leather, is illuminated by soft light. All four seats rotate slightly inward, facilitating easier conversation. It's like relaxing in a living room.

    When the driver selects Manual Drive, the roomy interior transforms to put the driver in control. All seats face forward. The steering wheel, which takes styling cues from reins for horse riding, appears along with driving meters and a heads-up display that shows route and other driving information. Interior lighting switches to blue, stimulating the ability to concentrate. Nissan's use of hollow-structure A-pillars helps ensure excellent visibility by reducing blind spots and also contributes to the feeling of open space.

    "In every situation, it is about giving the driver more choices and greater control. And the driver will remain the focus of our technology development efforts," Ghosn said at the show.

    The transformation to Manual Drive can be carried out with ease through a switch between the front seats called the PD Commander. This is the only control the driver can physically operate when the car is in Piloted Drive: when the driver is ready to take over driving, a physical action should initiate the change.

    Exterior design

    For autonomous drive to be widely accepted, people need to fully trust the technology. Through its innovative communication capabilities, the Nissan IDS Concept promotes confidence and a sense of harmony for those outside the car as well. Various exterior lights and displays convey to pedestrians and others the car's awareness of its surroundings and signals its intentions. The car's side body line, for example, is actually an LED that Nissan calls the Intention Indicator. When pedestrians or cyclists are nearby, the strip shines white, signaling that the car is aware of them. Another electronic display, which faces outside from the instrument panel, can flash messages such as "After you" to pedestrians. This natural, harmonious system of communication signals a new future with cars.

    Advanced aerodynamic performance for greater driving range

    Design Director Mitsunori Morita says: "By the time Nissan Intelligent Driving technology is available on production cars, EVs will be able to go great distances on a single charge. Getting to this point will, of course, require the further evolution of batteries, but aerodynamic performance is also very important. We incorporated our most advanced aerodynamic technology in the design of the Nissan IDS Concept."

    The height of the full carbon fiber body was constrained to 1,380 mm, sharply minimizing aerodynamic drag (Cd). Positioning the tires close to the corners of the body maximizes interior space while enabling a wrap-around cabin design. Nissan selected large-diameter wheels for high-performance and sportiness, but used very thin 175-size tires to minimize air and roll resistance. The wheels have a layered design suggestive of thin fins that create tiny vortexes of air flow on the wheel's surface. This design further contributes to smooth air flow.

    The icicle pattern on the Nissan IDS Concept's grille symbolizes a pure and clean design — perfect for an EV. Shaped like a stack of ice blocks, the grille pattern appears transparent. The car's bluish satin silver body color heightens the impression of a comfortable and secure cabin space.

    Highly evolved EV technology for long-distance driving

    At Nissan's annual shareholders meeting in June, Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto said: "Our zero emission strategy centers on EVs. We are pursuing improved electric powertrain technologies, such as motors, batteries and inverters, which will enable us to mass produce and market EVs that equal or surpass the convenience of gasoline-powered cars."

    The Nissan IDS Concept is fitted with a high-capacity 60 kWh battery, and thanks to its outstanding aerodynamics, low stance, flowing form and reduced weight due to its full-carbon-fiber body, the vehicle is designed to also meet the need to drive long distances. Other technologies on the Nissan IDS Concept include Piloted Park that can be operated by smartphone or tablet, and wireless charging technologies. Through these, the driver can leave parking and charging to the car.

    Nissan's targets — Zero traffic fatalities and zero emissions

    In order for our car-based society to be sustainable, complex issues ranging from sustainable energy supplies to climate change, air pollution and traffic safety must be addressed. At Nissan, we have set zero fatalities and zero emissions as aspirational targets in our mission to help create a sustainable car-based society.

    Over 90 percent of traffic accidents are caused by human error. Nissan IDS Concept's extensive system of sensors and AI are designed to provide enhanced safety performance compared to a human driver. This technology brings us a step closer to the goal of zero traffic fatalities.

    EVs produce no CO2 emissions and their batteries can store energy from renewable sources and turn it into electricity for homes and buildings. As the number of EVs increases, entire communities will be able to harness their power as part of a sustainable energy plan. Then, as EVs come to play a central role in energy supply, we will come that much closer to becoming a zero emission society.

    Nissan believes that the Nissan IDS Concept will evolve into a leading innovation for next generation mobility and our quest for making these "two zeroes" a reality.

    Featuring Nissan's most advanced safety, driving-control and EV technology — all taken to a new level by AI — the Nissan IDS Concept is a compelling showcase of a promising future.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Dyson acquires Sakti3 for $90M plans $1 Billion battery factory

    Dyson, the U.K. company famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners, has acquired Michigan-based solid-state battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and announced plans to build an important $1 billion battery factory to mass produce the next generation battery technology.

    This is the second important solid-state battery technology acquisition in a short period of time – Bosch recently bought Seeo Inc. to bring their battery technology to market. Solid-state batteries are thought to be a lot safer than common li-ion cells and could have more potential for higher energy density, but we have yet to see a company capable of producing it in large-scale and at an attractive price point.

    Sakti3 made the headlines last year when it announced that it had produced a solid-state battery cell with 400 Wh/kg energy density, compared to Tesla’s cells believed to be around 230 Wh/kg.

    Dyson had already invested $15 million in Sakti3 before now buying the company.

    Founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry will join Dyson as an executive and lead development of her battery technology for the company. When she first unveiled her technology and was trying to attract investors, Sastry said that the company’s solid-state cells aimed at the electric vehicle industry.

    Dyson says that they remain open at licensing the technology and the cells could eventually find their way into electric cars, but for now the plan is to integrate the technology into Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners. The company expects to start producing its systems with the new batteries within a year or two.

    “If we are to continue to create new and disruptive technology we must develop more advanced core technologies,” said Dyson founder James Dyson. “We have invested nearly $310 million into the research and development of the Dyson digital motor, a technology that now powers our most successful machines. We will do the same with batteries. Sakti3 has developed a breakthrough in battery technology, and together we will make this technology a reality.”

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    Volkswagen announce 500 km AWD Electric Phaeton Tesla clone

    In the wake of the ongoing diesel-emissions scandal, Volkswagen has announced that an all-electric Volkswagen Phaeton sedan is in the product pipeline.

    "The Volkswagen Phaeton has embodied the brand's technological competence and brand ambition from the first generation onward," Volkswagen AG said in a statement. "The future generation of the Phaeton will once again be the flagship for the brand's profile over the next decade."

    The Phaeton EV will lead a new VW product portfolio that features "plug-in hybrids with an even greater range, high-volume electric vehicles with a radius of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), a 48-volt power supply system (mild hybrids) as well as ever more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG concepts," VW said.

    VW talking up its zero emissions technology is no surprise, with the Porsche Mission E and Audi E-tron Quattro proving the requisite technology is being developed within the group.

    Wolfsburg insiders with knowledge of Volkswagen's future model plans suggest it will share its platform architecture, electric drive system and battery technology with the upcoming Audi Q6 etron – as previewed by the etron Quattro concept at the recent Frankfurt auto show.The four-wheel drive etron Quattro uses three motors – one mounted up front sending drive to the front wheels and the remaining two sited at the rear acting on the rear wheels. Nominal power is put at 230kW, although a boosting function made available in the more sportier of two drive modes temporarily increases its maximum output to 370kW. It is accompanied by peak torque of 800Nm.

    Energy to run the etron Quattro's electric motors is drawn from a liquid cooled 95kWh battery bolted to the floor below the passenger compartment. Hinting at its modular nature, Audi says the lithium-ion unit is suitable for other future electric models.

    On a full charge, the battery is claimed to provide the new Audi with a range of over 500km based on the criteria used in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test procedure.

    Bosch working on 50 kWh battery packs weighing only 190 kg

    Bosch is researching batteries that will make it possible to drive longer distances without recharging, and will also cost less than current batteries. “Our battery experts are playing a key part in paving the way for electromobility,” says Dr. Michael Bolle, president of the corporate sector for research and advance engineering at Robert Bosch GmbH. As early as 2020, Bosch batteries should be capable of storing twice as much energy while costing significantly less. The market forecasts are correspondingly bullish: ten years from now, Bosch expects some 15 percent of all new vehicles worldwide to have an electrical powertrain. As a result, Bosch is investing 400 million euros a year in electromobility.

    Current challenge: heavy weight, low energy density

    Dr. Thorsten Ochs, head of battery technology R&D at the new Bosch research campus in Renningen, explains what will be necessary for progress in battery technology: “To achieve widespread acceptance of electromobility, mid-sized vehicles need to have 50 kilowatt hours of usable energy.” With conventional lead batteries, this would mean increasing the weight of the battery to 1.9 metric tons, even without wiring and the holder. That is the same weight as a modern-day mid-sized sedan, including occupants and luggage. At a weight of 19 kilograms, a conventional lead battery – as found today in nearly every car for powering their starters – stores a comparatively low 0.5 kilowatt hours.

    The goal: a weight of just 190 kilograms, recharged in 15 minutes

    Today’s lithium-ion batteries are superior in this respect. They store more than three times the amount of energy per kilogram. At a weight of 230 kilograms, the battery of a modern-day electric car provides approximately 18 to 30 kilowatt hours. But to achieve the desired 50 kilowatt hours, a battery weighing 380 to 600 kilograms would be necessary. With his colleagues around the world, Ochs is therefore working on energy storage media with even better performance. Their goal: to pack 50 kilowatt hours into 190 kilograms. In addition, the researchers are looking to significantly shorten the time a car needs to recharge. “Our new batteries should be capable of being loaded to 75 percent in less than 15 minutes,” Ochs says.

    Ochs and his colleagues firmly believe that improved lithium technology will make it possible to achieve these goals. “There is still a long way to go when it comes to lithium,” Ochs says. To make progress in this area, his team in Renningen is working closely with Bosch experts in Shanghai and Palo Alto. And as a further measure to advance lithium-ion battery research, Bosch has established the Lithium Energy and Power GmbH & Co. KG joint venture with GS Yuasa and the Mitsubishi Corporation.

    More space for electrical power – thanks to start-up technology from Silicon Valley

    In theory, the solution sounds simple: “The more lithium ions you have in a battery, the more electrons – and thus the more energy – you can store in the same space,” Ochs says. But because researchers need to improve cells at the atomic and molecular level, putting this into practice is a challenge. One of the main keys to achieving this goal is to reduce the proportion of graphite in the anode (the positively charged part of the battery), or do without graphite altogether. Using lithium instead of graphite would make it possible to store up to three times as much energy in the same space. Ochs and his colleagues have already developed many approaches for removing the graphite and replacing it with other materials. The Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner recently presented a prototype solution at the IAA. Thanks to its purchase of Seeo Inc., a start-up based in Silicon Valley, Bosch has now acquired crucial practical expertise when it comes to making innovative solid-state batteries. Such batteries have one other decisive advantage: they can do without any liquid electrolyte. Such an electrolyte is to be found in conventional lithium-ion batteries, where, in certain circumstances, it can pose a safety risk.

    Advantages in a number of areas

    Improved lithium-ion batteries would benefit not only drivers, but also all other applications that employ this technology, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, cordless household appliances and tools, and many more products.

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    Tesla Model S P85D Versus a Bathurst spec Holden V8 Supercar [VIDEO]

    Perfectly timed for the world famous Bathurst 1000 endurance race this coming weekend at Mt Panorama, the guys at have set up the ultimate drag race.

    It's the world's fastest four-door sedan, the Tesla Model S P85D, against Australia's fastest four-door sedans, the Supercheap Auto Racing Holden Commodore V8 Supercar and the Walkinshaw Performance W507 HSV GTS.

    The Tesla Model S P85D rockets from 0-100km/h in just 3.3-seconds, while the V8 Supercar does it in 3.4-seconds, but weighs just 1400kg with the driver.