China curtails building of new ICE vehicle factories

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In September 2017, a top Chinese official said that the country would set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel vehicles in the country. No details were announced, and we’ve heard little about the plan since.

Now, China has implemented new rules that seem to make it almost impossible for automakers to invest in new ICE auto factories.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission told journalists that the country will no longer charter new companies that make only ICE vehicles. Furthermore, for existing carmakers to expand manufacturing capacity for non-electrified models, they’ll have to meet a list of requirements, demonstrating that they offer a mix of models heavy on new energy vehicles (NEVs, defined as hybrids, PHEVs, EVs and fuel cell vehicles) and that they spend at least 3% of revenue on R&D, among other conditions.

As Quartz sees it, the bar has been set so high that only a few large firms, such as Geely and SAIC, can expect to meet the conditions. The new rules favor the largest companies, many of whom are state-owned.

China will also be implementing an emissions cap-and-trade system that will replace existing cash subsidies for the EV industry. All automakers will need to meet EV production quotas, which will increase every year. (As with California’s ZEV program, companies that don’t meet the quota will be able to buy credits from those that do.)

Sales of plug-in vehicles are growing in China, as ICE auto sales are levelling off. However, while over a million NEVs have been sold this year, they still only made up some 0.6% of all vehicles on the road as of June, according to China’s Ministry of Public Security.

 

Source: Quartz


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Electric Vehicles Need Dedicated Sales Organizations

Should legacy automakers develop an independent brand for EVs and approach sales from a different perspective?

It is well known that Tesla sells its electric cars with a combination of online and Tesla-store ordering. Delivery of a Tesla vehicle can take place at a Tesla store or service center, or possibly at the buyer’s home or business. Eight U.S. states do not allow Tesla to sell its cars in those states because they are not sold at a legacy car dealer.

Also, it is well known that legacy car dealers are not good places to sell electric cars for several reasons:

  • Electric cars (EVs) are very different that internal-combustion-engine (ICE) cars. Sales persons have to spend much time learning about the electric cars that they can sell. There are two kinds of electric cars: Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs, such as the Prius Prime) and battery-electric cars (BEVs, such as the Tesla Model 3).
  • Some customers who are seeking to buy an electric car often know more about the EVs they seek than a sales person knows. Other customers need much time with a sales person to learn about electric cars.
  • A large fraction of the profit of legacy car dealers comes from maintenance after sales. Since EVs, especially BEVs, require much less maintenance than do ICE cars, legacy car dealers obviously are not as interested in selling EVs as they are in selling ICEs.

So, it is obvious why Tesla does not want to sell its BEVs through legacy dealers. In fact, it is obvious that legacy car manufacturers need to set up dedicated EV dealerships to sell their EVs.

Volvo has figured out a way to do that by establishing a new car brand only for EVs, the Polestar. A Polestar can be ordered online similar to the situation for Tesla cars. According to Motor1:

That means customers can research, configure, and order cars online. If customers want to see a car before ordering, they can do so in a franchised Polestar Space. Here, customers will interact with non-commissioned product experts (not sales personnel) who will provide any information they need. These “spaces” will also offer pick-up and delivery servicing so customers won’t have to wait at a dealerships service center while their vehicle is being serviced.

Polestar is also offering a subscription service for customers, much like Care by Volvo. Here, customers can cover nearly all the associated costs of ownership through the service, including insurance, maintenance, repairs, and car payments. All customers have to pay for is gas.

The main difference between how Tesla sells EVs and how Polestar does is that the sales locations for Polestar are owned by franchised businesses instead of by Polestar.

Plugstar.com is a good place for EV customers to view details about available EVs before approaching a legacy dealer about buying or leasing an EV.

All EV manufacturers need to either sell their EVs as Tesla does or as Polestar does. The Smart Columbus Experience Center in Columbus Ohio where EVs from several legacy car dealers are on display and are available for test drives is a baby step toward separating EVs from ICEs for sale.

L. David Roper, roperld@vt.edu, http://www.roperld.com/personal/roperldavid.htm

*Above web address is not secure.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Renault Sold Record 7,000 Electric Cars In December

Renault ends year 2018 on a high – records everywhere

The end of the year for Renault was pretty significant as French manufacturer reports sales of 7,000 all-electric cars in December, which is not only 77% more than a year ago, but also an all-time record – over 500 higher than previous from November.

Outstanding results are the fruit of record sales of both, the ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. Here are numbers for December and the full year (excluding Twizy):

Renault electric car sales – December 2018

As the overall sales in 2018 increased by 37% year-over-year to 49,620, BEVs now account for about 1.9% of passenger Renault sales and 2.5% of light commercial Renault sales (globally). In Europe (where almost all Renault EVs were sold) the share in total volume is 3.5% (PC) and 3.2% (LCV) respectively.

In 2018 Renault’s share in all-electric car segment in Europe amounted 22%.

Separately, in South Korea, Renault – through Renault Samsung Motors – is also selling all-electric cars, the SM3 Z.E. In 2018, 1,235 SM3 Z.E. were sold (down 39%).


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Continues To Take More Risks, As Most OEMs Are Playing It Safe

AS THE REST OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY PLAYS IT SAFE, TESLA PILES ON MORE RISK

After years of record sales and huge profits, legacy automakers are preparing for leaner times ahead. The US Big Three have killed off most of their sedans to concentrate on trucks and SUVs. GM is shuttering plants and laying off workers, and has pulled out of Europe and Russia. Ford has announced a substantial restructuring of its European operations as well.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla Model 3 fleet in parking lot (Image: InsideEVs)

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Gigafactory in Shanghai, where he hopes to be producing cars within the year. The Californians are also bringing Model 3 to Europe, and pushing full speed ahead on new projects, from Model Y to the Tesla Semi to a jet-propelled flying Roadster.

As Detroit’s automakers contract into their comfort zone, what is Tesla doing? Taking on even more risk (tempered slightly, however, by recent job cuts). Matthew DeBord, writing in Business Insider, noted the jarring contrast between Musk’s China plans and Big Auto’s ongoing announcements of austerity. However, he believes both sets of players are simply doing what comes naturally to them.

“Before 2009, big car companies would count on brief recessions and robust recoveries, reliably stalling on difficult strategic decisions,” but they no longer have that luxury, DeBord writes. “The arguments in favor of these [downsizing] moves aren’t complicated: when times are good and profits are rolling in, as they have been for years, make the tough calls. Then batten down the hatches when the bad weather sets in, as it always does in the highly cyclical car business.”

Above: Some automakers are moving away from sedans in favor of trucks and SUVs (Flickr: Tino Rossini)

There are alarming developments afoot in the industry. The biggest, says DeBord, is an economic slowdown in China, which is now the world’s largest market. Automakers are also keeping a wary eye on demographic trends that may presage lower demand for cars, and on the massive investments that they will soon be making in electrification.

Not only the Big Three, but also the Japanese, Germans and South Korean automakers are all “wisely de-risking,” while Tesla is doing just what it’s supposed to do: “gobbling up risk, front-running it while the rest of the industry is happy to sit on the sidelines.”

Tesla is taking on significant risk by building a new factory when the rest of the industry is closing them, but the Shanghai Gigafactory could signal a major turning point for the company. “Although Tesla makes some fantastic vehicles, its real product is risk,” writes DeBord. The legacy auto industry avoids risk whenever possible, and that’s why Tesla, incredibly, has a bigger market cap than GM. “For investors, risk equals payout, and that applies to longs and short sellers.”

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Above: Tesla’ breaks ground on its first overseas Gigafactory (Youtube: South China Morning Post)

While the voice of reason might argue that Tesla should be consolidating its gains instead of committing to a new factory, “unfortunately, Tesla can’t afford to wait out a downturn and defer its expansion. If and when the China market starts to grow robustly again, Tesla wants to be well-established in the country.”

Besides, DeBord concludes, “where would Tesla be without risk? You have to be true to your principles – and risk is what’s made Tesla the first successful new car company to arrive in decades.”

===

Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Business Insider

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

In 2018 Almost 2% Of New Car Sales In Germany Were Plug-Ins

Overall year 2018 was positive as registrations increased 24% to 67.504

December brings a decrease of plug-in electric car sales in Germany, completing a run of four weak months (after the required WLTP certification, which eliminated many PHEVs). In total, new registrations decreased by 9% to 5,711, but market share remains relatively solid – 2.4%.

  • BEVs: 3,836 – up 12% at ≈1.6% market share
  • PHEVs: 1,875 – down 35% at ≈0.8% market share

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – December 2018

The top-selling model in December was Renault ZOE with 944, but noteworthy is 528 Audi e-tron. Relatively good results were set also by BMW i3 (534) with a high advantage of BEVs (497) over REx (37), and the Volkswagen e-Golf (529).

The StreetScooters all-electric delivery vehicle registrations decreased in December to just 97 (4,214 YTD).

The year 2018 closed with 67,504 new plug-in electric car registrations (up 24% year-over-year) at an average of 1.96% market share.

  • BEVs: 36,062 – up 44% at ≈1.05% market share
  • PHEVs: 31,442 – up 7% at ≈0.92% market share

With new models on the market in 2019, we remain optimistic about the continuation of growth.

For the year, again the top model was Renault ZOE, which is kind of interesting in a rank consisting mostly of German cars:

  • Renault ZOE – 6,360
  • Volkswagen e-Golf – 5,743
  • BMW i3 – 5,095

The detailed model rank was provided by EV Sales Blog:


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Check Out This List To See If Your Electric Car Has Been Recalled

LIKE OTHER TYPES OF CARS, EVS CAN BE AFFECTED BY SAFETY-RELATED RECALLS.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30 million vehicles were subject to safety-related recalls during 2017. That includes the massive – and still ongoing – recall campaign regarding vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

Unfortunately, millions of motorists are putting themselves at risk by continuing to drive cars that have open recall notices. According to the title-search company CarFax, one out of every four cars and trucks remain on the road with yet-to-be-remedied recalls.

Whenever a safety-related recall is issued the automaker is required to contact every owner of record for that particular model by mail. However, it can be difficult or downright impossible for a manufacturer to contact second or third owners, which helps explain why older models typically have the highest percentages of uncorrected recalls.

Electric cars are no exception to safety-related recalls. We’re listing posted recalls below for all EVs sold in the U.S., both current and since discontinued. But be aware that not all cars for which a recall notice has been issued in a given model year were, in fact, recalled. Often the actual scope of a given recall is limited to versions having specific equipment, or those that were built within a certain timeframe.

Fortunately, NHTSA maintains a free online database at www.safercar.gov that’s searchable according to a specific model’s vehicle identification number (also known as a VIN). This handy tool allows consumers to determine if a car they currently own – as well as one they’re considering buying in the resale market – is subject to one or more uncorrected safety-related recalls.

Owners can also register their vehicles with NHTSA and be contacted automatically if a safety issue is discovered via a downloadable app for Apple iOS and Android phones. The app also enables motorists to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with their vehicles.

BMW i3

2014-2018: During a frontal impact, unbelted, small adult drivers could be at a higher risk of neck injury.

2014-2016: A possible fuel vapor leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

2014-2015: In the event of a vehicle crash, an air bag may not deploy properly.

CHEVROLET BOLT EV

No recalls.

CHEVROLET SPARK EV

2014-2016: The front air bags or seat belt pretensioners may fail to deploy in the event of a crash.

FIAT 500E

2013-2016: Possible loss of motive power can increase the risk of a crash.

2013-2015: An electric propulsion system shut down will cause a stall-like condition.

2013-2014: If the service fuse blows, the vehicle would have a loss of propulsion while driving.

2013: The half shaft joints may loosen and separate causing noise and a loss of driving capability.

FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC

2015-2016: A fractured transmission pinion shaft could cause a loss of motive power and loss of the park function.

2012-2014: A powertrain control module software problem may result in a stall-like condition.

2012-2013: A failed door chime may lead a vehicle owner to exit the vehicle without being reminded that the vehicle is still operational, leaving the vehicle susceptible to theft.

HONDA CLARITY ELECTRIC

No recalls.

HONDA FIT EV

2013-2014: In the event of a crash, the inflator in either front airbag could rupture with metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants.

HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC

2017: Possible defects within the electronic power control unit may allow coolant to contact the unit’s circuit board, which may result in a stall.

HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC

No recalls.

JAGUAR I-PACE

No recalls

KIA NIRO EV

No recalls.

KIA SOUL EV

2015-2016: The pinion plug may allow the pinion gear to separate from the steering gear assembly, causing a loss of steering.

MERCEDES-BENZ B-CLASS ELECTRIC DRIVE

2014-2015: Due to a possible communication error within the electric drive system, the electric powertrain unit may shut down.

MITSUBISHI MIEV

2012 and 2014-2017: A possible airbag inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants.

2012 and 2014: Possible failure of the brake system vacuum pump could affect braking distance and force required to stop the car.

2012: The side and curtain air bags may not deploy in a crash.

2012: Due to an increased resistance in the impact sensor for the air bag system, the frontal air bag may have a delayed deployment and/or the side and side-curtian airbags may not deploy at all.

NISSAN LEAF

2015-2017: In the event of a crash, the front passenger air bag may not deploy properly.

2016: A possible disconnect of the wiring harness may cause the passenger air bag not to deploy during a crash.

2013-2015: A possible failure of the brake system relay could cause longer distances or additional brake effort to stop the vehicle.

2013-2014: A possible failure of the occupant classification system could deactivate the passenger airbag.

2014: Missing welds may affect the vehicle’s integrity in the event of a crash.

2014: Due to a problem with the motor control circuit board, the inverter may fail, causing the vehicle to shut down.

SMART FORTWO ELECTRIC DRIVE

2014: The steering gear mounting bolts may break, affecting vehicle handling.

TESLA MODEL 3

No recalls.

TESLA MODEL S

2012-2016: Possible loss of power steering assist would require a higher steering effort, especially at lower speeds.

2016: If the parking brake gear breaks during parking brake release, the vehicle will not be able to be moved. If the gear breaks during parking brake application, the parking brake may not adequately hold the vehicle, potentially resulting in the vehicle rolling.

2012-2016: Possible loss of power steering assist would require a higher steering effort, especially at lower speeds.

2012-2015: If the seat belt is not correctly attached to the pretensioner, it may not properly restrain the seat occupant in the event of a crash.

2013: A possible overheated charging adapter, cord, or wall outlet could increase the risk of burn injury and/or fire.

2012-2013: An airbag inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants.

2013: In the event of a crash, the left hand seat back may not stay mounted, increasing the risk of injury to passengers.

TESLA MODEL X

2017: In the event of a crash, the left hand seat back may not stay mounted, increasing the risk of injury to passengers.

2016: If the parking brake gear breaks during parking brake release, the vehicle will not be able to be moved. If the gear breaks during parking brake application, the parking brake may not adequately hold the vehicle, potentially resulting in the vehicle rolling.

2016: The third row seat back may move forward under load such as in a frontal collision, with an increased risk of injury to an occupant in the event of a crash.

TESLA ROADSTER

2010: A possible short circuit and electrical arcing could lead to a fire in the right front headlamp area.

2008: The rear hub flange bolts on some of these vehicles may become loose, leading to degradation in vehicle handling and a possible loss of driver control.

VOLKSWAGEN E-GOLF

2016: Vibrations, such as those created by opening and closing a vehicle door, may cause the rear child door locks to disengage, allowing a child to open a rear door and fall from the vehicle, increasing their risk of injury.

2016: In the event of a crash, the air bags and/or the seat belt pretensioners may not inflate or function properly.

2015-2016: Oversensitive diagnostics for the high-voltage battery management system may falsely detect an electrical surge resulting in the vehicle’s electric drive motor shutting down unexpectedly.

2015: Modifications made while the vehicles were in an internal evaluation period may cause the affected vehicles to not comply with all of the applicable regulatory requirements.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

First “BYTON Place” Retail Store Opens Today in Shanghai, China

Meet “BYTON Place”

BYTON took another big step to legitimacy today as they celebrated the grand opening of the first “BYTON Place” retail store in Shanghai, China.  This announcement comes off the mobility startup’s successful appearance at CES a couple of weeks ago in Las Vegas, where they were one of the highlights of the automotive sector.

The Shanghai location will then be followed by the second BYTON Place, which is scheduled to open mid-2019 in Chongqing. BYTON is planning to have 25 to 30 retail locations open in China by the end of 2019, when they launch their first offering, the M-Byte SUV.

The opening of BYTON Place in Shanghai is another milestone for BYTON,” said Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder of BYTON. “This is a crucial addition as we now have product development, plant construction, as well as our sales and service models in full swing to achieve on-schedule deliveries of our first production vehicle, the BYTON M-Byte.

 

A look inside the BYTON Place retail store, in Shanghai, China

A hybrid direct-sales approach to bridge the gap with customers

BYTON is adopting a hybrid direct-sales approach, that they claim maximizes value for their customers. It combines a full suite of online channels with offline channels including BYTON Places, Full Function BYTON Places, and BYTON Service Centers. Full Function BYTON Places will provide a comprehensive range of services including pre-sales, sales, delivery, and after-sales, while Service Centers will exclusively handle vehicle delivery and after-sales. While this doesn’t sound exactly like Tesla’s strategy, there are definitely enough similarities to draw the comparison.

BYTON states that they will also have BYTON Partner stores, to expand their brick-and-mortar sales and service network. These partners will use their own infrastructure and personnel to provide the same consumer experience as in the direct-sales stores. BYTON will use consistent pricing across China and will be the sole, direct contracting party for customers. It’s unclear who BYTON is targeting to be partners, or if this partnership model will also be used in the US and Europe. Since BYTON is marketing themselves as a mobility provider, and their vehicles as “the next generation smart device,” perhaps they will approach potential partners like Best Buy, instead of traditional automotive brands.

BYTON Place Shanghai is our first offline space to connect with our customers,” said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, President and co-founder of BYTON. “It kicks off the official building of our hybrid sales model that combines direct-sales store with BYTON (Retail) Partner store and is part of our effort to put the customer at the center of everything.

The BYTON app has a configurer, and allows for no-money-down reservations.

BYTON Place connects people to a smarter lifestyle and warms to technology

Unlike traditional dealership models that focus on product display and sales, BYTON Place is designed to connect customers to the BYTON lifestyle and be a nexus of the latest high-end technologies. Customers can immerse themselves in the innovative UI and experience firsthand BYTON’s intuitive and convenient multi-dimensional human-machine interface through AR, VR, and Shared Experience Display simulators. Guests can speak face-to-face with the management, engineers, and designers at BYTON. -Press Release

BYTON’s hybrid sales approach includes not only direct sales from their website, BYTON Places and Partner stores, but also from their smartphone apps (Apple app) (Android app).  The app has BYTON news and insights, allows potential customers to reserve a BYTON (no money down) and even offers basic configuration functionality for things like exterior color, interior and wheel options.

BYTON will introduce the production M-Byte in June, and claims they are on schedule to begin “mass production” before year’s end. Initial deliveries will be limited to China, with US deliveries beginning in Q3 of 2020, and European deliveries shortly thereafter. The M-Byte SUV will come standard with a 71 (usable) kWh battery, which BYTON estimates will have a 250-mile range, and command a starting list price of $45,000. A 95 kWh battery option will also be available, provide up to 323 miles of range. Pricing on the larger battery option has yet to be announced.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Colombia’s Medellín Orders 64 BYD Electric Buses

South America sets an example for North America… sort of

BYD won its largest order for electric buses in Colombia, and the second-largest fleet in Latin America. The city of Medellín will get 64 BYD’s 12.5-meter K9G buses in August.

According to the press release, the buses will be capable of covering more than 300 km (186 miles) daily, with a capacity of 80 passengers. Fast charging is expected to take less than 2 hours a day – “there will be charging points in different areas of the city to support their operations”.

The Chinese manufacturer already delivered to Colombia 18-metre articulated bus, BYD K11 (in the photo above), as well as smaller K7 models and a fleet of electric taxis. The K11 is apparently covering 5,800 km (3605 miles) per month.

“Metroplús bought the city’s first 18-metre pure electric articulated bus, BYD K11, as early as 2017. The articulated bus obtained excellent results during its operations over the last 9 months, in which it covered more than 50,000km. In addition, it demonstrated a 60% saving in costs as well as a 75% saving in maintenance compared to a standard diesel-powered articulated bus. The K11 travelled more than 5,800 km per month, far exceeding daily mileage requirements. Metroplús chose BYD again because of the bus’s excellent economic performance and long range.”

“Considering the development of BYD in Colombia, it is not difficult to see that the green dreams of the two are highly compatible. In September 2013, the largest pure electric taxi fleet in Latin America consisting of 45 e6s officially hit the streets of Bogota. In September 2015, a BYD pure electric bus was commissioned at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport, and in December 2015, another BYD electric bus entered the SITP transit system in Bogotá, becoming the first pure electric bus in the country’s bus sector. From 2016 to 2017, BYD delivered two K7 model buses to the Medellin Power Company named EPM. The operation lasted for more than 2 years and received a good response. What’s more, in April 2017, BYD signed an agreement with Localiza, Colombia, to deliver seven e6 taxis, giving Colombia 80 pure electric taxis in total.

BYD has also seen growing demand for its eco-friendly public transport solutions across Latin America. In November 2018, the company received an order for 20 electric buses from Ecuador, and one month later helped the Chilean government launch a fleet of 100 pure electric buses – the region’s largest pure electric bus fleet – in Santiago, the capital of Chile.”

Mayor Federico Gutiérrez said:

“We will turn Medellín into the capital of electric mobility in Latin America. The tender for electric buses is ready for Metroplus and the city. There will be 64 electric buses, to be operating in August, making this the largest electric bus fleet in the country. We are working together with the rest of the C40 cities to battle climate change,” Mr. Gutiérrez added while making a reference to C40 Cities, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, of which Medellín is a member.

BYD recently delivered also 100 electric buses to Chile:

The ceremony for the arrival of 100 BYD K9FE electric buses in Chile


Source: Electric Vehicle News

5 Favorite Electric Motorcycle Designs Of 2018

Imagination knows no bounds

The wonderful thing about electric motorcycles is just how creatively funky some designers get when it comes to giving the segment a shot. After all, the usual components such as the clutch and transmission levers, the exhaust system or the multiple fluid conducts aren’t in the way, allowing companies a lot of freedom and space for creativity when it comes to designing their ideal e-bike.

This has given birth to some pretty funky, physics-defying designs that give us a peek into the future of motorcycles and what they might evolve to look like. Sometimes, it’s scary, but other times, it’s awesome. Here are five of the best electric bikes designs we’ve seen in 2018. Which one was your favorite?

SASUGA Concept

This design looks more like a Star Wars battle droid than an electric motorcycle and that’s what makes it so cool. No gas tank, no problem! Why not design the handlebar to fit under the tank-like feature and eliminate the headlight altogether?

The coolest part? The rear AND front swingarm suspension. Forks are so 2018. Sticking out like v-twin cylinder heads on each side of the bike are the battery compartments. The SASUGA is the work of L.A.-based designer Matt Tkocz who got stung by the riding bug but didn’t want to a commit to the expensive hobby. So instead, he designed his own concept bike to get it out of his system.

SOL Pocket Rocket

All rocket jokes aside, this isn’t your run of the missile e-bike. This German design has been stripped down to the essential with a saddle and a handlebar mounted on a cylinder that’s mounted on wheels. It hardly gets more basic than this and we’re not mad at how minimalistic it is.

All things considered, it isn’t even that expensive, with a starting price set at $6,000 that gets you the entry-level version able to reach a top speed of 30 miles per hour and a range of 30 miles. The bigger battery pack gets you 50 and 50 instead.

RMK E2 Concept

We know, we know, it’s easy to go funky when the bike doesn’t actually have to hit the production lines, but we can appreciate innovation, right? This Finnish design takes the path of the hub-less with the E2 concept.

Fans of the Tron bikes, assemble: we could one day see hub-less motorcycles on the streets. The RMK E2 has a more traditional motorcycle silhouette with the battery tucked between the legs of the rider. However, the motor doubles as the rear wheel, meaning that no belt is required to send power at the back and propel the bike. Neat huh?

The bike even already has specs: RMK is expecting the E2 to weight in at a small 236 lb and to be able to reach a top speed of 100 mph while providing a 120 miles range.

Saroléa Manx7

What is Belgium popular for? Waffles. Frites mayonnaise. Beer. The Manneken Pis (little peeing dude fountain). We can now add a really sweet-looking electric motorcycle to the list. Twin brothers Torsten and Bjorn Robbens bought the Saroléa name in 2010 and continued to make history with it by entering their first electric bike, the SP7, that placed 4th at the Isle of Man TT.

The Manx7 is the street-friendly version of the SP7. The café racer-looking bike has got the looks and even the tune: its note might not be as delightful as a proper café racer, but it will go the mile: depending on the battery chosen, the Manx7 will travel as far as 200 miles! Of course, it also has a price to match and you won’t get away without spending less than $50,000 to get your hands on one.

Yamaha Nazo

As the only representative of the Big Three in our list, Yamaha makes us proud and shows us where the boundaries of motorcycle designs can be pushed when most of the usual components aren’t required.

The Nazo concept is only a design study so don’t expect to see it show up at EICMA ready to roll out in the 2019 lineup, but how cool is it? The floating seat and horizontal “H” shape frame are an innovative way to use the space and creative negative space between the components. The swingarm and forks look like parts borrowed from a robot. When you hear what animal inspired the design, it somehow makes sense. Care to take a guess?

If you’re thinking Harambe, you are right! The shape of a gorilla is what inspired this design and we love that idea.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

GAC Sets Up Shop In Detroit To Focus On EVs

Going global.

China’s GAC Group unveiled a research and development (R&D) center in Detroit, the biggest city of Michigan. This is the third R&D center the automaker has built in the U.S., the other two are located in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

Covering a total floorage of over 4,500 square meters, the newly-unveiled R&D center is situated at the core industrial zone of Detroit which not only boasts a complete traditional industry chain and abundant resources for vehicle tests, but also sports some powerful facilities for autonomous vehicle tests such as “American Center of Mobility” and “M-City”.

GAC Detroit R&D center, GAC global R&D network, China automotive news

As a crucial foothold for GAC Group’s globalization strategy, the Detroit-based center is designed to shore up the domestic capability in vehicle R&D and strengthen the development of models targeting North American market by absorbing superior international technologies and deeply integrating GAC Automotive Engineering Institute’s product development and technology innovation systems.

From the time being, GAC Group has formed a R&D network globally consisting of spots in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Detroit, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Its advanced design center in Shanghai focuses on research and design of advanced technologies and digitalized development, coordinating with the innovation work of its Guangzhou headquarters.

In addition, the Silicon Valley R&D center specializes in big data, AI, autonomous driving, cybersecurity, new energy vehicle technology and the advanced design center in Los Angeles works on cutting-edge car design, human-machine interaction and localized design for the U.S.-targeted models.

GAC Detroit R&D center, GAC global R&D network, China automotive news

Additionally, the automaker plans to set up another R&D centers in Germany and India in the future, said Wang Jiujing, president of the GAC Automotive Engineering Institute, when he was interview by a Chinese media outlet. GAC Trumpchi will launch the first model for the U.S. market next year.

Source: Gasgoo


Source: Electric Vehicle News