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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.

    Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Refresh now a match for Rimac [VIDEO]

    Following Rimac's recent video of their Concept One achieving 0-100 km/h in 2.6 seconds, it seems Tesla have that covered.

    Drag Times have tested a refreshed Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous where the 5 door sedan ran 0-60 MPH just 2.6 second.

    Sure, 60 miles per hour is only 96 kilometers per hour but it's close enough to make no difference.

    A leading theory is that those vehicles already feature software-limited 100 kWh battery packs capable of higher power outputs.

    Others speculate that Tesla developed new battery pack parts, like it did for the Ludicrous upgrade (new contactor and fuse), in order to optimize the upcoming 100 kWh pack and it introduced those parts in the existing packs before the release of the new one.

    3 phase AC Induction motors, as used by Tesla, can withstand huge 'peak' performance in short bursts. Most of the mind numbing acceleration happens within the first second, as can be seen in the graph below. The P90DL leaps to 1.35g within the first 0.5 sec and maintains 1g+ for 1.5 seconds. The old P85D achieved a peak of 1.05 g for 1.2 second.