Tesla vehicles targeted in series of break-ins, owners try to find solutions

Tesla owners have been reporting on forums and social media recently that thieves appear to be targeting Tesla vehicles.

Dozens of break-ins have been flagged, especially in the Bay Area, in the last few weeks and owners are now trying to find some solutions to the problem. more…

The post Tesla vehicles targeted in series of break-ins, owners try to find solutions appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

VW Considering Electric Land Rover Rival

True off-road capable electric vehicle is on the table

Michael Jost, Head of Strategy at Volkswagen, said in Autobild’s interview that the company is considering an all-electric true off-road capable SUV, which would be similar to the Land Rover Defender.

Jost notes that there are no production models in such segment. The designers were apparently commissioned to draw sketches now.

“He said the car would return to the spirit of the original off-roader aesthetic with simple lines, hard-wearing interior and washable seat covers.”

We must add that off-road ready vehicles will appear on the market in the near-future, as the electric drivetrain is a perfect solution for such driving (provided you can afford a huge battery). Rivian R1S or Bollinger B1 are just examples of what’s coming.

Volkswagen probably will be able to build a big SUV using its general MEB platform in top configuration (over 100 kWh battery and dual motor all-wheel drive drivetrain). Having a universal platform not only enables VW to consider such cars, but even incentives to do it, as the development costs will spread out over more models.

Source: Automotive News


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Cadillac’s Pivot To EVs Might Be Last Ditch Effort To Save The Brand

The luxury electric vehicle will be sold globally and priced for wide reaching sales.

Late last week, Cadillac was appointed the technological leader for General Motors.  Just two days later, Cadillac president Steve Carlisle surprised the automotive press with a teaser of the first vehicle on the new BEV 3 platform. This new electric vehicle platform will be “highly versatile” with options for “front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive.”

“We can build CUVs, SUVs, and cars from one singular architecture.” Says Carlisle, “Cadillac will lead the corporation towards a zero emissions future by becoming GM’s lead electric brand.” This was not our first indication that Cadillac’s newly appointed president was interested in “new propulsion systems.”

Cadillac Canada’s managing director Hoss Hassani says the brand is looking for volume sales for the new EV. This means a more “affordable” luxury price:

Bringing out a $110,000 or $120,000 (CAN) vehicle is not our idea of transformation. Cadillac, being a luxury brand, will be looking to introduce Cadillacs that are vehicles that are going to have a certain level of reach, and the heart of the market is not a $110,000 or $120,000 car.

For those of us south of the Canadian border, the new electric SUV should start well under $82,000 USD. But this move is not merely a growth opportunity. It is as a survival tactic.

Cadillac needed a stronger brand identity.

Weak yearly sales in the United States have hovered around 150,000 in recent years. Cadillac missed out on the crossover craze and never embraced hybrids. Previous plug-in hybrids like the ELR and CT6 PHEV were sales duds. Earlier attempts to re-invent itself have found little success.

But growth in the Chinese market has been the brand’s sole bright spot this decade. Because of China’s focus on increasing electric vehicle sales, the move makes sense. If done right, the Detroit automaker can build a strong reputation among plug-in buyers at home and abroad. Within GM, it likely serves a practical purpose of moving the EV program towards profitability more quickly in addition to meeting Chinese compliance goals.

GM CEO Mary Barra hinted this week that the luxury brand is on the right track:

One of the things that’s going to make Cadillac, Cadillac again is leading in innovation and technology. We’re very intent on continuing aggressively to accomplish that … This is just the tip of the iceberg.

However, GM President Mark Reuss isn’t sugar coating the situation:

We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place. This is pretty much it. So we really have to hit the ball here. It’s my job to make sure we do.

All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now… and getting momentum back in Cadillac.

Source: Autotrader

6 photos




Video Description From The Wheel Network on YouTube:

Cadillac furthered its recent product blitz today with the reveal of the brand’s first EV. This will be the first model derived from GM’s future EV platform. GM announced on Friday that Cadillac will be at the vanguard of the company’s move toward an all-electric future.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

ARDA Power’s EV Charging DC Microgrid includes gas power, solar, battery storage and DC fast charging

Toronto-based ARDA Power plans to construct an EV Charging DC Microgrid at an Etratech manufacturing facility in Burlington, Ontario. The grid-connected microgrid will DC-couple 50 kW of solar generation, 10 kW of natural gas generation, 100 kWh of battery storage, LED lights and a 50 kW DC fast charging station that will use DC power input directly from the microgrid’s DC bus.

The microgrid will keep its existing import-only 15 kW interface to the utility grid in the form of a unidirectional AC-DC power converter. From the utility’s perspective, the microgrid will appear as a traditional 15 kW load, since all of the microgrid’s DC coupled distributed energy resources and loads will be electrically “hidden” from the utility grid behind the 15 kW converter.

The system is designed to operate seamlessly during power outages, and to allow the host site to avoid the additional demand charges that would normally be incurred by the use of DC fast charging stations.

“This system, by using ARDA’s modular DC-connected architecture, solves a major problem for EV fast charging – namely how to provide fast charging using renewable and distributed generation at an affordable cost without stressing an already stretched grid,” said Aleksey Toporkov, President of ARDA Power. “Initial customer conversations confirm that our EV Charging DC Microgrid will be extremely attractive to commercial/industrial customers driven by a desire to provide fast EV charging, while at the same time providing backup power for host properties, and reducing their ever-increasing demand charges. We look forward to completing this project in mid-2019, and welcome collaboration from industry partners during the implementation.”

“A typical station with multiple DC fast chargers requires a whopping 500-600 kW grid connect with significant capital costs,” said Tristan Jackson of consulting firm Advisian, which is assisting ARDA Power with planning for the project. “Once operational, it is subject to high energy costs due to demand charges. In some cases, it may also require the utility to upgrade grid equipment to support the increased load, adding to the interconnection costs. Distributed energy resources anchored by a battery energy storage system can lower the energy cost, but if they are AC-coupled, the capital cost and risk associated with obtaining utility grid interconnection permits is daunting. ARDA’s approach allows owners to get the best of both worlds, reducing the utility interconnect to a fraction of the 500-600 kW capacity required by an AC system, while lowering energy costs thanks to [distributed energy resources, or DERs].”

He continued, “In comparison with AC-coupled EV fast chargers and DERs, ARDA’s DC-coupled system offers superior efficiency by avoiding unnecessary conversion losses that result from going through multiple AC-DC and DC-AC converters and transformers.”

 

Source: ARDA Power


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Johnson Controls and Toshiba partner to pair Li-ion and lead-acid in dual-battery systems

Johnson Controls and Toshiba have partnered to develop low-voltage lithium-ion batteries, which they’ll pair with existing lead-acid batteries for dual-battery systems. Paired systems require fewer powertrain alterations than other electrified powertrains, and achieve up to eight percent better fuel efficiency than conventional systems, according to Johnson Controls. Global information provider IHS Markit forecasts that dual-battery vehicles will account for approximately 20 percent of new vehicles by 2025.

Johnson Controls’ plant in Holland, Michigan will manufacture the batteries.

“Low-voltage dual-battery technology is the next step in the evolution of vehicle systems that helps to strike a balance between consumer demands, increasing regulations and automaker economics,” said Johnson Controls Vice President Brian Cooke.

 

Source: Johnson Controls

 


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Tesla is being ‘obsessively’ benchmarked by Cadillac ahead of their first EV

GM’s electrification approach by using Cadillac as its ‘lead electric brand’ is being heavily compared to Tesla’s and the company accepts that as it admits to being ‘obsessively’ benchmarking Tesla ahead of the launch of their first EV. more…

The post Tesla is being ‘obsessively’ benchmarked by Cadillac ahead of their first EV appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Infiniti QX Inspiration Electric SUV At NAIAS: Photos & Videos

Infiniti is finally inspired to introduce electric cars

Infiniti unveiled at the 2019 NAIAS its all-electric QX Inspiration concept, which shows us what to expect from future production models.

The car was envisioned as long-range, dual motor all-wheel drive SUV with autonomous driving capabilities, but no details were announced. Most of the focus falls on the exterior and interior design. QX Inspiration shows the new face of upcoming Infinitis with no grill and a cool, big 3D logo, which is highlighted. Inside there is tons of space with a flat floor

The Infiniti QX Inspiration debut was unfortunate as the concept didn’t work before the show (see videos below) and wasn’t even introduced at the official presentation and press conference. Visitors can see the car at the static display though.

Here is a gallery of photos and videos of the electric Infiniti.

Infiniti QX Inspiration

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Teasers

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Technical problems

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Presentation without car

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Media reports

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Press blast:

INFINITI QX Inspiration concept: an electric INFINITI for the future

QX Inspiration concept previews an electric INFINITI for the future, combining an electrified all-wheel drive powertrain with SUV body and introducing a new INFINITI form language for the era of electrification
  • INFINITI plans to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles which offer range confidence with a design that underlines potency and character of electrified powertrains based on the principles of modern Japanese design and architecture.
  • New electric vehicle platforms enable the creation of spacious, relaxing, lounge-like interiors combined with new in-car technology that follows the Japanese omotenashi approach to hospitality, creating a welcome environment while assisting drivers and connecting occupants.

DETROIT – The INFINITI QX Inspiration is a midsize SUV concept previewing the brand’s first fully electric vehicle. As a company with technological and powertrain innovation at its core, electrification is a natural next step for INFINITI. This design study previews the brand’s plan to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles that promise an engaging drive and deliver range confidence. The INFINITI lineup of the future will consist of a range of electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid vehicles.

The QX Inspiration concept signals a new era for INFINITI design enabled by technology, with a form language hinting at the potency and character of electrified powertrains. The new concept sets a direct precedent for the company’s first fully electric production car, illustrating how new architectures and technologies are influencing modern INFINITI design. It also draws on the Japanese spatial concept of ‘Ma,’ demonstrating how open spaces between lines create tension and build anticipation.

This Japanese DNA continues into the cabin. The interior of QX Inspiration is hand-crafted using traditional techniques and a choice of materials inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. The development of new electrified vehicle platforms enables the creation of spacious, lounge-like interiors influenced by omotenashi, the Japanese approach to hospitality. The cabin incorporates technologies to create a welcoming environment while assisting drivers and connecting occupants to the world around them.

Electrification

Previewing INFINITI’s first fully electric vehicle

“The INFINITI QX Inspiration marks the beginning of a new generation of INFINITI cars and establishes a direct blueprint for the brand’s first electric vehicle. Based on a new, dedicated electric vehicle architecture and inspired by INFINITI’s Japanese DNA, the SUV concept previews a product portfolio which will offer high performance, ultra-low emissions and range confidence.”

Christian Meunier, President and Chairman, INFINITI Motor Company Ltd.

Electrification: a natural next step for INFINITI

  • QX Inspiration concept sets a direct precedent for the first fully electric INFINITI model
  • Future INFINITI models will offer buyers a mix of fully electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid powertrains

The QX Inspiration concept sets a direct precedent for the brand’s first fully electric car: a high-performance SUV offering range confidence. Electrification is a natural next step for the company, and, as a member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the industry leader in low- and zero-emission vehicles, a range of ultra-low emissions technology is available to INFINITI.

INFINITI’s future models will offer drivers a mixture of fully electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid vehicles. These powertrains will be matched with dedicated platforms and vehicle architectures, delivering the high performance, range confidence and low environmental impact that buyers are coming to expect from luxury car manufacturers.

“For INFINITI, our powertrain electrification strategy focuses on offering both high performance and range confidence. As the luxury brand within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, INFINITI can draw on a wide range of ultra-low emissions powertrain technologies to deliver driving pleasure and thrilling performance. We have previously explored this with the Prototype 9 and Prototype 10, and QX Inspiration shows how this philosophy will manifest itself in production: as a powerful electric SUV with a versatile character and luxurious interior.”

François Bancon, Vice President, INFINITI

High performance electrified all-wheel drive powertrain

  • High-performance and range confidence from INFINITI’s future electrified vehicles
  • QX Inspiration concept hints at the potential for an SUV with a powerful e-AWD system

With the planned electrification of INFINITI’s future product portfolio, the QX Inspiration concept signals the brand’s intention to produce a fully electric midsize SUV, based on an all-new vehicle platform, which could accommodate a powerful electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) system. The concept’s SUV packaging means the high-capacity battery pack can be located below the vehicle floor, feeding power to a pair of electric motors (one on each axle).

Future INFINITI products promise a power delivery which is instantaneous, with the e-AWD system enabling blistering off-the-line acceleration. Power is distributed intelligently between all four wheels, and the battery’s location ensures a low center of gravity, meaning the QX Inspiration concept inspires confidence in all situations – from high-speed corners to long-distance cruises – and weather conditions.

“Global demand for SUVs continues to grow, as does the number of drivers eager to make the shift to an electrified powertrain. QX Inspiration meets at the intersection of these trends and sets a direct precedent for the launch of a powerful all-electric SUV. INFINITI is a brand built on the idea of technological innovation, and the electrification of our product line-up is a natural next step for us. The QX Inspiration concept signals the direction we plan to take.”

Christian Meunier, President and Chairman, INFINITI Motor Company Ltd.

Exterior design

New form language for electrification, based on the principles of modern Japanese design and architecture

“The decision to electrify the INFINITI range was an inflection point for our brand. We started to understand the potential of new architectures and technologies and how they could influence a change in how we design our cars.

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.

INFINITI’s new form language

  • Electrified powertrain technology enables evolution of INFINITI form language
  • New aesthetic defined by straight lines, clean surfaces and concise graphics, taking hints from Q Inspiration sedan concept and Prototypes 9 and 10

The QX Inspiration concept signals a new era for INFINITI design, influenced by new powertrain technologies and architectures. The form language of the new concept car hints at the potency and character of the brand’s future electrified powertrains.

A reference point for the new SUV concept was the Q Inspiration sedan concept, which signaled INFINITI’s first steps towards establishing a new design language characterized by straight lines, precise forms for functional elements and clean surfaces. More technical in its design than any prior INFINITI, the Q Inspiration sedan combined simplicity with muscularity, inspired by modern powertrain technologies. Now, the QX Inspiration concept takes this further, echoing the sedan concept’s muscular form language while adopting certain details first featured on the Prototype 9 and Prototype 10 design studies.

The QX Inspiration’s form language is characterized by straight lines and sudden creases, finely balanced, smooth surfaces and organic shapes. This contrast gives the QX Inspiration concept a new tonality compared to earlier INFINITI designs, it is muscular, yet composed and less overtly aggressive, yet bold in its details.

“QX Inspiration is the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand. New technology has given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy – and this new vehicle communicates the serene strength at our core.”

Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI

Electrified by design

  • Proportions of concept hint at the car’s electrified powertrain
  • Balanced silhouette with a cab-forward stance and aerodynamic lines

“The INFINITI design aesthetic has always been linked to the powertrain. Where a V8 engine might move the interior rearward, electrification has allowed us to the move the interior forward and provides for a balanced profile. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t express a new kind of performance. The power of the electric engine is expressed through the robustness and fullness of the body.”

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.

The design of the QX Inspiration concept, from its dimensions to its details, hint at the potency and character of INFINITI’s future electrified powertrains.

INFINITI’s earlier SUVs, such as the iconic 2003 FX, have been characterized by their long hoods – a nod to their powerful V8 and V6 internal combustion engines – and a cab-rearward silhouette. The QX Inspiration concept proposes its own uncompromisingly modern silhouette, inspired by its fully electric powertrain. Without the need for a large engine, INFINITI’s designers adapted the proportions to accommodate a more balanced overall shape, a cab-forward design with short front and rear overhangs (855 mm and 945 mm, respectively) and a shorter hood. The concept’s overall length is 4,650 mm.

Locating the powertrain low down in the body and between the axles (2,850 mm apart) enabled INFINITI’s designers to create a bold and powerful lower body, blending its smooth, expansive surfaces with fascinating new proportions. The sleek, long roofline peaks at 1,630 mm in height, at a point directly above the front row of seats, then flows downwards into the car’s aerodynamically efficient Kammback rear.

Without the need for a large front grille to cool an engine, the QX Inspiration concept nonetheless retains shapes that define what would have been an air intake. The smooth surfaces replacing the grille feature an illuminated INFINITI logo, book-ended by channels that divert air over and around the body. A closer look at the thin headlamp strips reveal laser-like etchings, with a highly technical pattern echoed throughout the interior and exterior. The pattern is also featured in the wing-shaped light strip that spreads across the tailgate, adding a clean trailing edge to the rear of the car. Housed within wheelarches clad in contrasting black protective material are 22-inch wheels that feature a similar louvered pattern and an aerodynamic design to divert air along the flanks of the car.

Sitting in the sharply angled D-pillar is a vermilion signature line emboldened with a gold highlight. Surrounding it is a stylish quarterlight, which enhances the cab-forward profile.

Japanese DNA: designers inspired by Japanese design and architecture

  • Exterior design inspired by the Japanese spatial concept of Ma – a focus on the open spaces between lines
  • Body surfaces and creases influenced by origami, with design details drawing on elements of Japanese art and architecture

“We considered where we have been in our 30-year life, and where we want to go. We contemplated what it means to be Japanese, and how that resonates for INFINITI. One idea struck a chord with all of us – the concept of Ma, or the mastery of the empty space, which can be full of meaning and potential. Imagine someone clapping, the empty sound between claps is full of anticipation. In this way, the electrification of INFINITI will bring a new simplicity and excitement to the brand.”

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.

“With the QX Inspiration concept, we were inspired by the Japanese concept of Ma, a focus on the lines and the empty space in between. What is happening in that space between the lines – the free, natural flow of surfaces – is truly expressive. It’s the empty space between the edges that often carries the loudest message.”

Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI

Perhaps more so than any other INFINITI created during the company’s 30-year existence, the QX Inspiration concept explores and actively draws upon the company’s Japanese roots.

Underpinning the aesthetic of the exterior is the Japanese spatial concept of Ma – the mastery of empty space. For INFINITI’s designers, this meant adopting an approach which focused on the open space between the concept’s lines. They were drawn to the character of paper and the Japanese art of paperfolding, origami. Infused with Japanese DNA, the elegant exterior of the QX Inspiration is derived from the artistic coaxing, folding and slicing of paper into different shapes.

The QX Inspiration concept’s sharp lines and modern aesthetics are enhanced by a series of high-precision details, formed of a pattern repeated throughout the exterior and interior. The pattern is made up of thin lines and arranged into near-perpendicular forms, a modern interpretation of the historic architectural design of Japanese timber louvers used in construction. Traditional by nature, yet increasingly adopted in contemporary Japanese architecture, the louver-inspired lines appear in the front and rear lamps and on the surface of the 22-inch alloy wheels. Furthermore, the roof of the QX Inspiration is formed of louvered slats made of Japanese red cedar (or sugi), giving occupants a stunning view of the sky above and lending a sense of Japanese architectural modernity to the exterior.

Further reference to the vehicle’s Japanese DNA can be found in the three colors used across the exterior. The QX Inspiration concept is finished in Liquid White pearlescent paint, inspired by the winter snows of Mount Fuji. In addition, highlights on the D-pillar and wheels are finished with two new signature color treatments, gold and vermilion – inspired by Japanese urushi lacquerware and gold kintsugi ceramic work.

A soft, warm shade of red, vermilion was widely used in traditional Japanese lacquerware. If lacquered ceramics were broken, they were often reformed with the kintsugi technique: that of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered silver, gold or platinum. Together, vermilion and gold were often used in painted Japanese artwork to express the power and energy of the sun.

Interior design

New electric-vehicle platforms enable spacious, lounge-like interiors, rich in welcoming and assistive technology

New electric vehicle platform enables new lounge-like interior

  • QX Inspiration concept features abundance of cabin space and a flat floor for greater flexibility
  • Cabin designed like a lounge, with luxurious, unconventional materials and relaxing space for four

The interior of the QX Inspiration concept shows the potential for new electric vehicle platforms. Powered by a battery pack stored beneath the floor, with electric motors on each axle, there is no intrusion from driveshafts or transmission tunnels. The result is a spacious, lounge-like space, with flat floors and greater room for occupants and luggage.

The spaciousness enables the vehicle’s human-centered ergonomics and creates a welcoming, open atmosphere that invites occupants to relax in comfort. The cabin has a level of architectural modernity to it, with a highly structural layout that diverges from conventional automobile design. Like the exterior, the interior of the QX Inspiration concept draws upon INFINITI’s devotion to the Japanese spatial concept of Ma, which has meant a close consideration of the surfaces and open spaces as much the layout and design of seats, dashboard and driver controls.

Dominating the dashboard is a wide-screen monitor flowing from pillar to pillar, finished in polarized gold-tinted glass. The rectangular steering wheel, trimmed in soft brown and white leather, also features its own monitor. In place of a transmission tunnel, graceful arches, trimmed in brown leather, rise out of the floor beneath the dashboard, flowing into a Bianco Carrara marble center console which extends to the rear seats.

The instrument panel is trimmed in a luxurious grey cloth normally used to upholster furniture and finished with INFINITI’s patented dot-quilting effect. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting produces a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance. The idiosyncratic cloth extends from the front of the cabin and transitions into relaxing sofa-style rear seating area, generously proportioned for two passengers.

As seen from the outside, the headlining of the vehicle is replaced by a unique timber louver structure, inspired by Japanese architecture. Creating pleasant indirect lighting for occupants, the sugi cedar structure casts beautiful shadows throughout the cabin as the car moves. As the individual slats twist outwards, the wood gives way to white exterior painted surfaces.

The most open surface of all, the flat floor receives its own unique treatment. Upholstered in white suede panels in a variety of rhomboid shapes, it features kintsugi gold inlays, adding an additional element of lounge design to the cabin.

“We have taken advantage of the EV architecture to develop a lounge-like interior, enabled by the flat floor and the empty space below the dashboard and center console. So really, we’re not just designing the objects inside the car, we’re designing the empty space between objects. We’re trying to use that space to accentuate the design – you let the empty space talk as much, if not even more, than the forms and objects that are there.”

Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI

Technology that enables

  • QX Inspiration’s cabin fuses technology with a warm, minimalist design and typical Japanese hospitality, creating a seamlessly enabling, instinctive experience
  • Pillar-to-pillar widescreen displays information to driver and front passenger – a signature feature destined for future INFINITI models

“There’s a very natural coalescence of technology and hospitality in Japan, and this is something very appropriate for INFINITI. We want the technology in our vehicles to create an experience that seamlessly enables and enhances the drive, while also making life comfortable and natural. That’s what inspires us, and we worked with those principles when designing QX Inspiration.”

Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI

The QX Inspiration concept uses technologies to create a welcoming environment – one that assists drivers and connects occupants. INFINITI’s designers were influenced by the natural coalescence of technology, hospitality and warm minimalism that is unique to Japan. They focused on developing a vehicle which seamlessly and intuitively enables occupants, both through the application of its technologies and by creating a comfortable, relaxing and natural atmosphere.

Following the principle of omotenashi, the notion of Japanese hospitality, the interior draws occupants in from the moment the doors open. Illuminations in the base of the coach doors cast a subtle light over the ground, echoing the same thin line pattern found throughout the car, rolling out an inviting ‘carpet’ of light. The front seats rotate 30 degrees outwards, making for easier ingress and egress.

Where the electric vehicle architecture is a macro-enabler for the overall structure and design, the pillar-to-pillar widescreen serves as a micro-enabler for the minimalist interior. A signature theme that will eventually be reflected in future INFINITI vehicles, the widescreen system has facilitated a dramatic reduction in the number of buttons in the interior and a clearer dashboard-wide display of information for driver and front passenger. The customizable screens enable the front passenger to see and control a range of functions, from infotainment to cabin lighting, as well as heating and ventilation.

The proliferation of displays, including the center of the widescreen rectangular steering wheel, gives the driver easy access to important information. There are digital displays linked to the rear-facing door-mounted cameras, to navigation and traffic systems and vehicle diagnostics.

The center console transitions subtly from Bianco Carrara marble into a display surface at the base of the dashboard, creating a harmonic contrast between function and material form.

INFINITI has harnessed its driver assist technologies to further enhance the lounge-like atmosphere of the cabin. The steering wheel, pedals and driver displays maintain the all-important connection to driving, a feature which will remain common to all INFINITI vehicles for the foreseeable future. Yet, hinting at the full range of driver assist technologies that may one day be available, the steering wheel collapses into the dashboard and the pedals retract into the floor, releasing even more space should the driver wish to hand control over to the vehicle.

By contrast, the rear of the cabin is devoid of all technology, except for the QX Inspiration’s lighting, a deliberate move by INFINITI’s designers to create a relaxing, screen-free space.

“For the interior we followed the principle of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality. It’s a concept that we discussed a great deal during development of the INFINITI QX Inspiration. Technology is a window into broader horizons, and we want that window to be inviting, welcoming, enticing – staying true to our Japanese roots.”

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co.

Staying true to INFINITI’s Japanese roots

  • Handcrafted interior inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality
  • Draws on a uniquely Japanese appreciation of nature and technology

The artistic, hand-crafted interior and the choice of materials used in the QX Inspiration concept are inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. With technology central to its appeal as a lounge-like space, the careful selection of natural materials and soft colors found in the cabin has its roots in a uniquely Japanese appreciation of nature and craftsmanship.

The Bianco Carrara marble center console is a defining feature. While the material itself is European, the stone texture is reminiscent of Japanese artistic sensibilities, fusing technology in the front of the cabin with a more natural, authentic appearance. At the end of the marble table, between the two rear seats, sits a branch of ume no hana plum blossom. This blossom is associated in Japan with the notion of omotenashi hospitality and welcoming guests into the home. It is typically the first to flower in the spring, as the temperature warms up after winter.

This appreciation of spring is echoed further in the choice of colors that define the cabin’s soft ambient lighting and graphic displays. Flooding the cabin in a calming glow, the lighting takes on one of four colors: wakanae (a soft green, like new spring grass), torinoko (a pale yellow, and the same shade as a hen’s egg), akebono (the subtle pinks and reds of a breaking dawn) and shirafuji (the soft purple of Japanese wisteria blossom). The subdued tones of the graphic displays and lighting perfectly complement the soft greys, browns and whites of the interior’s upholstery.

The roof, finished in sugi, Japanese red cedar wood, further ties the cabin of the QX Inspiration concept to its natural roots. Adhering to the Japanese world-view of wabi-sabi, that of accepting imperfections, INFINITI’s designers have left the knot and grain of the wood on display, expressing the strength and life of the raw material. Traditional in its design origins, the roof is distinctly modern in its structure and appearance. Beneath, the white suede floor adopts kintsugigold inlay between panels, further instilling the vehicle with a degree of Japanese sensuality and craft tradition.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Bjorn Crowns Tesla Model 3 Efficiency King After High-Speed Test

Also shows its superiority at the Supercharger

Our favorite Norwegian electric vehicle YouTuber has just named the Tesla Model 3 the efficiency king. The coronation was made after Bjorn Nyland completed a couple more range tests in the Long Range Dual Motor version of the mid-size sedan. We have the video of the high-speed test above, and the “typical” speed run below. Nyland also put together a video discussing his findings with Supercharging the Tesla Model 3 (bottom). Last week, he had tested the Performance version.

Being world-famous — in the EV world, at least — has its privileges. Nyland was graciously given the use of a Solid Black example of the all-electric, sporting 18-inch wheels and the standard aerodynamic wheel covers. To underline the generosity of the loaner, they apparently drove it up from San Diego to L.A. for Nyland’s use over the next couple of weeks.

The first test saw the YouTuber take a battery-draining trip at an average speed of 90 kph (56 miles per hour). This was meant to simulate a mix of city and highway driving. The run saw him climbing to a significant altitude. Interestingly, the miles-long descent from those heights saw the car limit use of the brake regeneration. On this trip, he found the car capable of driving 560 km (348 miles) on a charge. Its official EPA range is 310 miles.

The high-speed test stayed a bit closer to the L.A. area, and the footage even includes a shot of the test hyperloop tube snaking along the shoulder of the highway near SpaceX in Hawthorne. It was at the end of this test that Nyland is pretty enthusiastic about the efficiency returns he got from the Model 3. At about 120 kph (75 mph) it demonstrated an efficiency of  176 Wh/km (283 Wh/mile), indicating a range at these speeds of 260 miles.

The Model 3’s only competitor in the efficiency arena appears to Nyland to be the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and he puts out a call to any L.A. owners to take part in an efficiency challenge. While we wait to see if anyone takes him up on his offer, we’ll just remind you that, while the South Korean car may demonstrate a higher efficiency, it’s also not burdened by a huge battery and enjoys a significant weight advantage to the Tesla.

In the video centered on the Model 3 at the Supercharger (bottom), Nyland points out that the car can handle all the power the equipment can dish out until it reaches a state of 50 percent of charge. Then, the charging rate quickly declines. It will be interesting to see how, or if, this changes with the introduction of Supercharger V3.

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

French Plug-In Car Market Sets Second Consecutive Monthly Record

3.4% of new passenger cars in France were electric in December

December 2018 was an exceptionally strong month for plug-in electric car sales in France. The number of plug-in (passenger and commercial) registrations increased some 35% year-over-year to an all-time high of 6,547!

The main force of growth is all-electric vehicles, as the plug-in hybrids are in retreat. In total, some 5,640 passenger plug-ins registered in December, translated into an all-time record market share of 3.4%!

  • Passenger BEVs: 4,434 registrations (up 63%) at 2.7% market share
  • Passenger PHEVs: 1,206 registrations (down 19%) at 0.7% market share
  • Light commercial BEVs: 907 registrations (up 48%)
  • Total: 6,547

Plug-in car sales in France – December 2018

Year 2018 closes with:

  • Passenger BEVs: 31,055 registrations (up 25%)
  • Passenger PHEVs: 13,439 registrations (up 25%)
  • Light commercial BEVs: 8,103 registrations (up 35%)
  • Total: 52,597 (including 39,158 all-electric)

There are now some 163,179 all-electric vehicles registered in France and probably around 200,000 including plug-in hybrids.

Renault ZOE takes 55% passenger BEV segment

Renault ZOE sales hit a new all-time record in France – 2,558 new registrations (up 55% year-over-year). In total, some 17,038 new ZOE were registered in 2018, which is almost 55% of all passenger all-electric cars.

The second-best for the month and for the year – Nissan LEAF – is far behind at 449 and 4,668 respectively.

It’s always worth noting that Renault Kangoo Z.E. is also first in the Light commercial BEVs – the 562 registrations in December and 4,176 are unmatched (51.5% of LCV BEV segment).

Source: L’Avere-France


Source: Electric Vehicle News