Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak In The Eyes Of Fully Charged: Video

Volkswagen I.D. R – the king of Pikes Peak race to the clouds.

Fully Charged takes us back to the summertime by presenting an episode about the Volkswagen I.D. R win at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado. It’s already the second video from Colorado, after the Tesla Model 3, by Jonny Smith.

Romain Dumas set the new record of 12.42-mile (19.99-kilometer) track at peak of 14,110 feet (4,300) meters above sea level: 7:57.148. It’s not only a minute faster than any previous EV, but also faster than any ICE ever (previous best for ICE was 8:13.878 and for EV 8:57.118 set by eO PP100 in 2016).

Volkswagen I.D. R spec:

  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.25 seconds
  • two electric motors with total of 500 kW of power and 650 Nm of torque
  • AWD
  • curb weight 1,100 kg

More videos:

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla urges customers to buy new Mid-Range Model 3 now to get the full tax credit

With the end of the year and the first reduction of the federal tax credit for Tesla buyers coming, the automaker is urging customers to buy new Mid-Range Model 3 now if they want to get the full $7,500 federal tax credit. more…

The post Tesla urges customers to buy new Mid-Range Model 3 now to get the full tax credit appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Living A Car-Free Life With The Assist Of Jetson Journey E-Bicycle — Part 1

Gliding easily down the street with my backpack full of groceries, my e-bicycle from Jetson seemed safe enough. I was biking on a street with sparse traffic flow. The new Jetson Journey Electric Bike whizzed lightly and intuitively down the street on the edge of the slightly gentrifying neighborhood
Source: CleanTechnica Car Reviews RSS Feed

News: Daimler Breaks Ground on New EV Battery Plant in Alabama

To Source Battery Packs In-House

Mercedes-Benz is one of the brands that will be taking part in the dramatic electrification—several electric truck models are already on the road; they’ll be joined by the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV from Daimler (parent company for Mercedes-Benz cars and a portfolio of trucks) in a year. All those electric vehicles need batteries.

Daimler battery plant

With more Mercedes plugging in, Daimler opted to build its own battery plant

Earlier this month, Daimler broke ground on its new electric-vehicle (EV) battery factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The factory represents part of Mercedes-Benz’s latest $1 billion investment into its Tuscaloosa facilities.

The new facility will be used to produce battery packs for a wide range of upcoming Mercedes-Benz hybrid and electric vehicles, both in North America and Europe, and should be operational in 2019.

Export-Oriented Plant

“The widely export-oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain. “We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission.”

Daimler battery plant

The Alabama plant could supply batteries for the upcoming EQC

Since 1995, more than $6 billion has been invested in the Tuscaloosa plant, however this newest contribution is a clear statement by Mercedes-Benz that it is investing heavily in an electric future (at lease that is the image they are going for). Currently the plant produces three SUVs (the GLS, GLE and GLE-Coupe as well as the C-Class sedan.

While official details have not been released, the battery packs created at the new factory will most likely be used in Daimler’s new EQ vehicle lineup. The EQ platform (somehow standing for “Electric Intelligence”) will be featured in all Mercedes-Benz EVs over the next few years; the first of which will be an SUV called EQC.

A direct competitor for the Tesla Model X, as well as the soon to be massive EV SUV segment, the EQC is expected to go on sale sometime in 2020.

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The post News: Daimler Breaks Ground on New EV Battery Plant in Alabama appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.

Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles

The secret to healthy public charging infrastructure: give it business model vision

Sponsored by ABB.
Download a PDF version of this article.

Leave the ‘project’ mentality behind and give it business model vision.

The critical path to healthy public charging infrastructure is planning for all aspects of experience and operation. Most unforeseen challenges can be overcome with the right formula from the start.

Charging infrastructure should never be viewed as just a procurement and installation project; and healthy public charging infrastructure planning should always be viewed through a business model lens. With the right planning and vision, it can be a great enterprise, but it demands attention to some key success ingredients.

How EV drivers need to engage with charging infrastructure, beyond the delivery of electrons to batteries at varied rates, shouldn’t be a secret. Fortunately, ABB is several years into many EV infrastructure deployments around the world, and we have learned some very key things along the way.

It may sound odd coming from a large hardware manufacturer like ABB that charging infrastructure is much more than hardware, but we absolutely see it that way. The adage that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ holds extremely true when it comes to EV charging infrastructure.

Don’t misunderstand, choosing the best hardware is the first foot forward. Bias notwithstanding, ABB makes fantastic, future-proof equipment and we have crafted intelligent software for the most advanced, connected DC fast charging technology available anywhere in the world. But no equipment nor software will do well with unengaged site hosts, or non-solvent, reactive network operators; nor will it be as healthy on closed, proprietary networks that lock-in owners and sites with no flexibility to choose the best possible solutions.

We’ve seen projects that start with a ‘build it and they will come’ planning philosophy. The good news is that yes, they will come. EV drivers are increasing every month with hockey stick projections over the coming years. But when they arrive, what will they find? A station that is well managed on a healthy, player-engaged network with a 24/7/365 philosophy for driver satisfaction? Or a station managed by a host who figures out that he or she doesn’t want to deal with a 24/7/365 business? Or a network operator that only cares about collecting payments, while relying solely on warranties rather than proactive planning, maintenance, parts and systemic operations?

Examine 360 degrees around the charger

What’s all part of that 360 degrees? It’s the overall business vision, siting, connectivity, reliability, user experience, services, maintenance, site engagement and partner solvency. All of these aspects stack up and equate to a positive driver experience. These pieces of the puzzle will draw in multiple entities working harmoniously to achieve the same positive outcome:

  • the hardware manufacturer who engineers the charging technology and connectivity solution
  • the network operator who will be the face to the consumer, enabling the payment interface and perhaps membership plans
  • the charging equipment owner, who may sometimes also be the network operator and sometimes the site host
  • the automaker who works closely with hardware and technology providers to ensure compatibilities; and may work with dealers and networks to promote consumer engagement
  • the local utility is a critical partner for connecting charging stations to the grid; but also may also support the installation, and work closely with owners and sites on issues of managing demand; the utility may also be an owner and/or operator in markets where utilities may engage that business model
  • the maintenance and service team(s) who may be affiliated with any of the aforementioned players; or a contracted specialist of the owner; either model can be equally effective
  • the site host who may support all of these companies with the location’s administrative support, as well as general consumer and driver-specific engagement

Interoperability means choice

Interoperability is a major key to infrastructure health, especially in the DCFC deployment game. One should never agree to be locked into a single vendor or a single technology. Industry accepted best practice protocols such as OCPP allow deployment planning that can leverage the best fit among hardware, networks, back-office systems, consumer payment experiences, data ownership philosophies and site management options.

Any company that says, “We can do it all for you but we choose everything for you,” is not a future-proof partner for infrastructure planning. Beware of the company that claims to be good at everything, as the list of players in the charging infrastructure value chain comprises varying disciplines and specialties.

For example, being the best at charging technology, safe, grid connected systems and device connectivity does not make a hardware company good at developing consumer-facing payment systems. Likewise, the experts on back office accounting systems, app development or consumer membership engagement are rarely going to be electrical engineering powerhouses. Even the most ubiquitous real estate entities may not have the on-site staff at every location for maintaining sophisticated electrical equipment.

This is not to say that there can’t be areas of specialty overlap with potential. When an owner is also an operator, we have seen very successful models where capital investment and operational plans are intrinsically tied to consumer engagement and success. Still, the principle of interoperability among all these layers of value gives rise to the most market choice, as well as the most future-proof, competitive and healthiest systems seen in the market.

Healthy versus unhealthy public charging

There are key issues in the public EV charging space that are of high interest. Sometimes they are heatedly debated for a reason: because they really do impact EV drivers and consequently, EV adoption. These points of consideration that point to best EV charging deployment practice include:

  • Hardware
  • Business models
  • Deployment philosophy
  • User experience
  • Data management
  • Service models


Key points of infrastructure planning will set the tone for success or failure for any charging deployment.

Click to expand

Recipes for success

There’s no single, precise recipe that will hand anyone an automatic win, guaranteeing that session revenue will roll in without any operational cares in the world. Yet understanding what should be embraced and what can be avoided early on will give infrastructure developers a significant head start against the worst outcomes. Successful charging enterprises then also benefit the whole EV industry. As EV adoption grows, drivers will rely more and more heavily on public infrastructure for range enablement and consumer confidence. Done the right way, everyone can benefit from a bigger and more economically sound electrified transportation future ahead.


Download a PDF version of this article.



Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Mazda to partially electrify all its vehicles by 2030, rotary-powered range extender in the works

Mazda Motor Corporation has unveiled several new electrification and connectivity strategies for its “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030″ goal (Yes, that’s really its name). The company intends to gradually electrify its vehicles while continuing to improve internal combustion technology. By 2030, it aims to have 95% of its fleet partially electrified with the other 5% being battery-electric.

As part of this plan, Mazda will develop a fully battery-powered vehicle as well as a range-extended one equipped with a rotary engine. This rotary-powered range extender will have a high power-to-size ratio and is claimed to be unusually quiet. It will be powered by liquefied petroleum gas and is designed to act as an alternate power source during emergencies.

“They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars.”



Source: Mazda via Green Car Congress

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Cruise Struggles But Progresses Toward Autonomous Chevy Bolt EV’s

Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs likely to reach many major cities in “single digit years, not decades”

GM CEO Mary Barra recently spoke with The Atlantic at City Lab Detroit about the future of autonomous and electric vehicles. There she again made a call for a national ZEV program. She also re-iterated the need for government – industry partnerships to maintain America’s EV leadership.

The electric transition is inevitable and current Chevrolet models like the Chevy Volt and  Chevy Bolt are just the first steps. Barra says as infrastructure improves and automakers achieve profitability, “Customers are very rational. And they’ll make the right decision. So we need to move on that path. ”

In order to prepare for this, a culture change needed to occur at GM. This has happened over the course of years as they rid themselves of outdated thinking. “There were individuals within the company that challenged – and this was more than a decade ago – the science of global warming. But clearly with the expertise we have in the company, when I’ve been on the leadership staff in the CEO role, we’ve never questioned. So we knew we were on the path towards electric vehicles.”

Barra says their recently announced partnership with Honda for a purpose built autonomous platform is where things get exciting for Cruise. “When you don’t need to have a steering wheel and pedals you can really change the way people move. Make it a more productive space for them.”

That is not to say a steering wheel free model will be the first to hit the streets. Or that steering wheels will go away anytime soon. Future local and federal regulatory requirements are an open question. “Right now, motor vehicle safety standards require a steering wheel, brake and accelerator pedal.”

Cruise Autonomous Chevy Bolt

Like other automakers, GM is still struggling to tame full self driving

Mary Barra says her company already has the ability to scale to mass production of the Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs. However automakers can not take the immense technological challenge lightly. Their own high safety standards ensure that they will not launch prematurely.

In fact, some former GM and Cruise Automation employees say that things aren’t progressing as quickly as the company would hope. Primarily in the difficulty of identifying whether objects are in motion or stationary. The software sometimes fails to recognize pedestrians, sees phantom bicycles, and will subsequently brake suddenly.

These are similar issues to those seen on other partial and fully autonomous systems. One GM source claims that “Nothing is on schedule,” including mileage targets and tech milestones.

GM President Dan Ammann said in an interview with Reuters that this is the “engineering challenge of our generation.” But he believes the company is still ahead of the competition. “Right now we are in a race to the starting line,” Said Ammann. “Getting stuck on one particular parameter, or one particular scenario, is missing the fundamental point of what is the total overall performance of the system.”

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt knows the company is making progress and is in it for the long haul. A market ready fully autonomous service will not happen overnight. But he told Reuters that they’re still on track to hit their 2019 goal.

“With 10 engineers, you can bolt a bunch of sensors onto a car and put a computer in it and get it to drive around the block,” Vogt told Reuters. A commercial product is “about 10,000 times harder.”

Interested in the full talk? Check out the Facebook Live video below!

Source: Facebook Live, Autoblog

Source: Electric Vehicle News

This Mercury Coupe Is The Electric Sleeper Of Our Dreams

Still crazy ’bout it.

Amid myriad displays of chromed-out custom cars filling the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center where the 2018 edition of SEMA is currently taking place, sits a 1949 Mercury coupe that looks like it would be more at home sitting up on blocks in a scruffy neighborhood. No, it isn’t lost. It is, rather, a master class in automotive deception; a sleeper that would startle any and all comers at the traffic light Gran Prix; an electric vehicle that looks like anything but. Behold the latest and greatest entry into the Derelict collection produced by ICON and their electrification partners, Stealth EV.

Beneath the exterior of the naturally oxidized patina of the antique bodywork hides a beast of high-voltage proportions. Lift that long hood, and instead of the expected V8, you’ll find a set of blindingly bright chromed controllers — one for each of the twinned AM Racing induction motors lurking low in the transmission tunnel — set up in the traditional V-shape of an eight-cylinder engine. Bolted to a custom Art Morrison frame, the drivetrain can summon 400 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque while supping, as it does, from an 85 kWh Tesla-sourced battery.

To recharge, the car is equipped with a CHAdeMO connector hiding behind the front license plate. Under the gas cap, you’ll find a Tesla connector for what we assume is for AC charging. Once full of electrons, it is said to be able to get you 150 to 200 miles down the road.

Faithful InsideEVs readers may remember this car from the time we featured it as it was being put together. Back then, just the raw potential made us crazy ’bout this Mercury. Now, with the finishing touches in place, we’re straitjacket nuts about it. The seats, though similar to period correct, are freshly upholstered in high-end material. Most, if not all of the handles, switches, bezels are custom pieces. If the devil is in the details, it’s like we died and went to hell: one warmed by the roasting of tires instead of brimstone.

Official presser and photos follow.


Jonathan Ward Continues To Infuse Vintage Styling With State-Of-The-Art Technology

CHATSWORTH, CA As with all ICON projects, the latest one is all about pushing the limits and challenging the status quo. When approaching a 1949 Mercury Coupe Derelict project, ICON co-founder/lead designer Jonathan Ward asked, “Why are all production EV vehicles devoid of heart and soul? Why is the aftermarket EV-conversion industry so slow to evolve and provide comprehensive systems and solutions? Why can’t you have the best of both worlds: the style and quality of a vintage vehicle with modern performance and functionality? We say you can have your cake and eat it too!”

As background, the purpose behind ICON’s Derelict line is to celebrate and preserve the original patina and exterior trim on the car. This 1949 Mercury Coupe was sourced from the original owners, and it has been in Southern California since new. ICON forensically disassembled the body, replaced all rubber, added insulation and sound-deadening products everywhere, then reassembled it in a manner that tried to make it look like nothing had been touched. A robust 4-wheel-independent chassis was developed with Art Morrison Enterprises alongside Brembo brakes.

The powertrain is all-modern and was a co-engineering exercise between ICON and Stealth EV. The dual electric motor, transmission-less design provides 470 lb-ft of freight-train torque and the equivalent of 400 horsepower, with no shifts all the way up to the Merc’s 120 MPH top speed. A full Tesla Performance 85kWh battery array is strategically fit throughout the vehicle for exceptional weight balance. It is capable of an estimated 150- to 200-mile range and has 1.5-hour full recharge capability. ICON positioned a CHAdeMO 125A fast-charger plug behind the tilting front license plate frame and also converted the original gas filler into a Tesla supercharger plug to expedite in-transit charging. A pioneering EV management system protects the batteries from overcharging and also provides thermal management and a host of capabilities and protections.

ICON had a bit of fun with the engine bay. Since the electric motors fit where the old transmission once resided, Jonathan Ward thought it would be fun to reference vintage V-8 speed equipment. The custom aluminum “engine” actually houses the battery controllers and a few of the Tesla modules – designed in a traditional V-8 array with a polished and media-blasted finish for a decidedly vintage aesthetic. Then ICON had custom cloth-braided sheathing made for the wires under the hood, referencing the original wiring loom.

In the interior, ICON wanted to keep the materials vintage-appropriate and light. Fabric from Knoll Textiles and hides from Moore & Giles and Relicate Leather realized the exact design that Jonathan Ward envisioned. Power windows operate via the original analog window cranks; tapping twice on the driver’s side drops or raises all windows at once. While all gauges are modern digital Andromeda, the design strongly references the original analog units, down to the typeface and background. Other significantly redesigned elements include in-dash A/C vents (not to mention electric A/C), and all custom switches and bezels are inspired by the originals but support modern components and functions.

To ICON, the smallest details are never superfluous. The 1949 Mercury EV Derelict was commissioned by a longtime client, who gave ICON the go-ahead to push the boundaries of design and engineering. The result is what makes an ICON Derelict a piece of rolling sculpture. SEMA 2018 attendees can see the ICON 1949 Mercury EV Derelict in the Optima Battery booth #20323.

35 photos

Source: ICON

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Faraday Future can’t catch a break as it’s seemingly on the brink of failure again

Faraday Future’s story has been a roller-coaster. Once seen as the number one EV startup, it has since been crippled by severe financial and management problems.

It seems like the startup was finally out of the woods after a large Chinese holding company promised a massive $2 billion investment in Faraday Future, but after a fallout with the investors, the company recently had to lay off employees and cut salaries. more…

The post Faraday Future can’t catch a break as it’s seemingly on the brink of failure again appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Waymo can now test driverless cars in California, planing ‘opportunities’ for the public

Earlier this month, Waymo announced that its autonomous vehicles have driven 10 million miles since 2009 across 25 cities in the United States. Now, California has just authorized the Alphabet division to begin driverless testing on public roads.


The post Waymo can now test driverless cars in California, planing ‘opportunities’ for the public appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward