Dale Vince Talks Ecotricity’s Electric Highway In Fully Charged

Ecotricity installed 300 fast chargers in the UK.

It’s been quite some time since British provider of renewable electricity, Ecotricity, started installing charging infrastructure for electric cars in 2012.

Today, the company’s Electric Highway network consists of around 300 fast chargers. Fully Charged took opportunity to talk with founder and CEO of Ecotricity – Dale Vince, about the recent issues with electric vehicle charging (CCS glitches) across the UK and Europe and general progress.

As it turns out, the network already is used by some 50,000 members (which seems to be less than a third of total cumulative plug-in cars sales in UK – BEV/PHEV).

Every month chargers provide electricity for more than 1.3 million miles (the number constantly grows), but in fact – chargers are used for only 4% of the time (which sounds like 1-2 fast charging sessions a day).

Dale Vince didn’t hide that the charging business is a money-losing one. For the first few years, chargers were free to use and later – when fees were applied – revenues still did not match costs. But that was expected as the entire project was to break the chicken and egg case. Let’s hope it will pay off in the long term.

Other than that, Dale Vince believes that CCS plug-standard will prevail in the coming years over CHAdeMO, but of course as of today, the company provides DC chargers with both plugs.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Volkswagen Hits Electric Car Speed Bump, Delays I.D. Hatch Launch

Volkswagen MEB-based EVs are delayed.

It seems that mass-production of Volkswagen‘s MEB-based electric cars is already delayed by at least a few months, as the company now states market launch in 2020, from the previous projection of late 2019 (likely November), according to media reports.

Production of the first model, Volkswagen I.D. hatchback in Zwickau, Germany still is expected to hit 100,000 units in the first year, but it’s now unclear whether the Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ (scheduled for 2020) will be delayed a little bit too, which would mean that market launch in the U.S. might then move to 2021, maybe.

A reason for why production will not start in late 2019 wasn’t provided by the automaker.

“Production of the automaker’s first highly touted MEB vehicle won’t begin until 2020, rather than 2019 as originally planned.

Volkswagen says it’s first new-generation battery-electric vehicle based on the upcoming MEB platform, the I.D. hatchback, won’t reach the market until 2020, rather than next year as originally planned.”

Volkswagen I.D. lineup

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Volkswagen: Rolling Chassis with the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) - First pure EV platform for high volume

Source: wardsauto.com


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Arcimoto Kicks Off Production Of Pilot Run Of Electric FUV

Arcimoto moves from Beta to Pilot production.

Arcimoto, the Oregon-based manufacturer of the three-wheeler electric vehicle – Fun Utility Vehicle – announced that it has completed first drives of its 15-unit FUV Beta Series.

Betas will be used for rental purposes (5 in Oregon, 5 in California) or were purchased by Arcimoto Pioneers, a group of key, early pre-order customers.

“The Company expects that the Beta fleet will be used primarily as rental vehicles. Five are planned for use at an Arcimoto rental location, expected to open in the fourth quarter in Eugene, Oregon. Five are planned for use as rentals by the Company’s partner, HulaCar in San Diego. The final five FUVs have been purchased by Arcimoto Pioneers, a group of key, early pre-order customers.”

As the Beta hits the road, the company began manufacturing its new 25-unit Pilot Series. The last step will be series production for customers.

“The Pilot Series, now in production, marks the transition to semi-automated manufacture of all custom frame and chassis components completely in-house at the Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant. These vehicles represent the final production series of the FUV before Retail Series production begins, expected by the end of 2018.”

Arcimoto says that demand for FUV is strong with more than 3,000 pre-orders (at $100 refundable deposits each). The average price of FUVs is expected to be $15,000.

Mark Frohnmayer, President and Founder said:

“On-roading the Beta Series is a huge step forward for Arcimoto. Our pace of production has improved between the Signature and Beta Series, from more than a year for the ten Signatures to just over a quarter for the first drives of fifteen Betas. We expect a similar increase in pace with the Pilot Series. With each FUV we build, we learn invaluable lessons on how to refine and streamline our manufacturing process as we march toward Retail Series production, expected later this year. The starting line is in sight, and we couldn’t be more amped.”

In the 12-month period following its September 21, 2017 IPO, Arcimoto has:

  • Tripled the size of its staff, which now totals 77 full-time employees.
  • Moved operations from a bodega design studio to the Arcimoto Manufacturing Plant (AMP).
  • Improved manufacturing capabilities, demonstrating the ability to produce a finished vehicle from raw materials entirely in-house at the AMP.
  • Completed production of ten Signature Series FUVs and begun a 15-unit Beta Series production run, reducing build time while improving vehicle quality.
  • Announced the first two Arcimoto rental locations to open in Oregon and California, anticipated in Q4, 2018, which will combine rental operations and customer options.
  • Grown pre-orders of the FUV to more than 3,000 units and counting.
  • Demonstrated the FUV across the country, including major commercial auto shows, electric vehicle industry events, consumer ride-and-drives, and investor conferences.
  • Rung the Closing Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in April 2018

Arcimoto  Fun Utility Vehicle spec

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Skoda Vision RS Concept: Paris Videos Galore

Skoda Vision RS Concept focuses on performance and emotive new design.

Škoda presents at the 2018 Paris Motor Show its spectacular-looking plug-in hybrid concept – Skoda Vision RS – that apparently heralds design language of new models from the Czech brand (Rapid successor for sure).

The Vision RS will remain just a study, but several plug-ins are coming within a few years and that is very good news as Skoda targets affordable cars with a good value to money ratio, which could open electrification to a wider customer base than in the case of Volkswagen (parent company).

A look into the future with the ŠKODA VISION RS
The ŠKODA VISION RS concept study demonstrates how ŠKODA envisages future sporty RS models and also a future compact vehicle. The ŠKODA VISION RS combines the sportiness of an emotive new design language with a high degree of sustainability by using recycled carbon fibre and vegan materials, for example. Apart from the carbon fibre, a high-tech material that is well known from motorsport, the interior is also dominated by cut crystal glass that is illuminated and animated. The electric powertrain guarantees driving dynamics and efficiency.

Skoda Vision RS Concept spec:

  • up to 70 km (43.5 miles) of all-electric range
  • 13 kWh battery (9.9 kWh usable)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.1 seconds
  • 210 km/h (130 mph) top speed
  • system output: 242bhp – 148bhp from 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 75 kW from electric motor
  • charging: in 2.5 hour
  • 4.3 m long, 1.8 m wide and 1.4 m high. It has a 2.6 m wheelbase
  • boot space of 430 litres
Skoda Vision RS Concept

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Holden Presents Stunning Time Attack Electric Concept Racer

Holden Time Attack Concept Racer does 0-62 mph in 1.25 seconds, at least virtually

GM’s Holden presents probably the most groundbreaking concept racing electric vehicle that we’ve ever seen – the Holden Time Attack Concept Racer.

With 1 MW of power from four motors (all-wheel drive and torque vectoring), four three-speed gearboxes and weight of just 900 kg, it’s expected to go 0-100km/h (62 mph) in 1.25 seconds! The battery is small, just 25 kWh as the vehicle is envisioned for single-lap time attack (simulated Mount Panorama Lap Time is 1:29.30), however it can be charged in 90 seconds at 1 MW of power!

There are a lot of systems in the car that in the automotive industry are fantasy, like the four Cyclo-gyro fans, with actuated blades enabling variable thrust direction and force for ultra-high downforce levels (powered by 4 Switch Reluctance Motors (SRM), each up to 50kW, 50,000rpm). The other thing is a special powertrain cooling system with liquid-to-gas phase change materials that change phases, while absorbing heat.

Everything sounds cool, that is until we read it’s just a digital advertisement for the advanced skills, capability and technology of the GM Holden team.

Holden Time Attack Concept Racer spec:

  • 0-100km/h (62 mph): 1.25 sec
  • Top Speed: 480km/h (298 mph)
  • Reconfigurable Graphene Hybrid Power Pack – 90 MJ (25 kWh) of usable capacity
  • Full charge in 90 seconds (1000kW, 800V, 1250A)
  • 1 MW (1,000 kW) / 1,340hp of power and 3,240 Nm of torque, all-wheel drive with full programmable Torque Vectoring Traction Control at each corner. Four 250 kW Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Electric Motor Drives x 4 (Inboard mounted), 5,000 rpm maximum eevolutions
  • Four Gearboxes: 3-Speed Planetary Automatic Shift Gearboxes x 4 (Ratios 1st 2.97:1, 2nd 1.7:1, 3rd 1:1). First gear ratio enables 9620Nm total axle torque at launch.
  • weight of 900 kg (without driver)
Holden Time Attack Concept Racer

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Press blast:

GM HOLDEN DESIGNERS RACE INTO THE FUTURE WITH BATHURST ‘TIME ATTACK CONCEPT’ RACER

  • Stunning virtual ‘Time Attack Concept’ racer conceived and executed entirely in-house by GM Holden Design and Engineering staff
  • Highlights the advanced technology and capability of the GM Holden Design team
  • Futuristic and cutting-edge Time Attack Concept racer created to honour the 50th anniversary of Holden’s first Bathurst win

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Holden’s first win at Bathurst in 1968, GM Holden’s Design Team has explored the technological potential of the future through the stunning virtual ‘Time Attack Concept’ racer – conceived and executed entirely in-house at GM Holden.

Unlike the conventional format of the current endurance race cars, the Holden Time Attack Concept racer is envisioned as a single-lap tearaway, pitted against the clock. This type of racing is commonly known as Time Attack in motorsport circles.

The Holden Time Attack Concept racer was developed entirely virtually, using sophisticated simulation technology and driven by the world-class expertise within GM Holden’s Melbourne Design Studio.

GM Holden’s Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo explains: “The technology we employ today has transformed the way we design cars. We have the ability to simulate a car’s appearance, technology and dynamics in convincing animations, which enables us to deliver better designs in a shorter time. A large part of our work is Advanced Design and we use this technology to develop concept designs for our parent company, General Motors. This concept is a digital advertisement for the advanced skills, capability and technology of the GM Holden team”.

Holden has a long and storied history of creating crowd-pleasing concept vehicles dating back to the iconic Holden Hurricane concept of 1969, with traditional motor shows the typical platform for debuting them to Australia. As times have changed, so has Holden’s approach to developing concept vehicles.

“The cessation of Motor Shows in Australia left a hole in our automotive culture in some ways and we lost a forum to showcase our passion and creativity to the Australian public with physical concept cars. However, with the realism and detail achievable through modern technology, I felt we could still deliver uniquely Holden concepts via virtual technology and digital media,” said Ferlazzo.

Ferlazzo set a challenge for his talented design team to explore a futuristic race car using the latest emerging technologies around the world and was impressed with the proposal from Lead Designer, Ewan Kingsbury.

“Ewan perfectly captured the essence of what we wanted to achieve; an expressive, futuristic design which also displays innovative engineering solutions. Concepts are always meant to push the boundaries but are even more impactful when they are feasible and this concept is plausible as an advanced racer of the future,” said Ferlazzo.

The concept was developed with technical input from GM Holden’s Engineering team and the final design was validated with a digitally-printed 3D model. The finishing touch is a stunningly realistic video, created by GM Holden’s in-house Design Visualisation team, of the Time Attack Concept racer lapping the iconic Mount Panorama circuit. The video will debut on Saturday October 6 during the telecast of the Great Race, and will then be available for everyone to see.

“Automotive Design and Engineering remains a core strength and competitive advantage for Holden and for Australia. The Time Attack Concept racer is an illustration of how we can utilise cutting-edge technology to develop transportation solutions for the future. You can see from the extremely detailed approach to incorporating the advanced technology in our Time Attack Concept racer that this is more than just a visual exercise. Holden’s recent announcement of the expansion of 150 new engineers to our Advanced Vehicle Development team means we have the talent, resources and technology to continue delivering to that charter,” concluded Ferlazzo.

Technical Highlights

Weight:

900 kilograms (without driver)

Performance:

Simulated Mount Panorama Lap Time: 1:29.30

0-100km/h: 1.25 sec

Top Speed: 480km/h

Maximum Lateral G-Force: 6.5G

Maximum Braking G-Force: 6G

Powertrain:

Motors:

250kW Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Electric Motor Drives x 4 (Inboard mounted)

Total output – 1000kW (1Megawatt) / 1340HP

3240Nm Total Motor Torque

5000RPM Maximum Revolutions

Enables full programmable Torque Vectoring Traction Control at each corner

Gearboxes:

3-Speed Planetary Automatic Shift Gearboxes x 4

Ratios 1st 2.97:1, 2nd 1.7:1, 3rd 1:1

First gear ratio enables 9620Nm total axle torque at launch

Gearbox casing integrated into Chassis structure

Power Source:

Reconfigurable Graphene Hybrid Power Pack

1MW power output, 90MJ Usable Charge Capacity

Fast Recharge: Fully recharged in 90 seconds (1000kW, 800V, 1250A)

Motor Cooling:

Longitudinal Heat Exchangers x 2

Liquid-to-Gas Phase Change Cooling, low drag, full pass-through

Brakes:

Carbon/Carbon Hydraulic Discs x 4

Electrical Heating of pad and rotor in pits and on out-lap to conserve energy

Full Regenerative capability on all axles, can provide up to 2.0G braking force

Structure:

Chassis:

Carbon Fibre composite with cellulose Honeycomb Core

Full Integrated safety cell and crash structure, utilising stressed powertrain components

Suspension:

Carbon Fibre Double Wishbone all-round, aerodynamically engineered profiles

Titanium CNC’d Uprights with bushed underbody mounts

Pushrod / bellcrank activated Hydraulic Active Suspension Actuators. Computer controlled programmable ride height adjustment, anti-dive, anti-squat, anti-roll

Electric Power Steering

Body:

Carbon-Fibre/Kevlar Composite panels with Polycarbonate Graphene Coated Upper

Underbody:

Full Carbon Fibre / Kevlar Composite quad-venturi underbody, with flexible co-moulded membranes at Body and Chassis junctions

Underbody is structurally mounted to Suspension uprights at all 4 corners, enabling full aero load to be applied directly to each wheel

Torsional twist capability enables underbody to maintain consistent relationship to ground even with extreme road camber change

Wheels:

310/700 R18 Slick tires all round

Carbon Fibre Composite Rims

Active Wheel Fairings support low drag or brake cooling positions

Wheel Fairing supported by a Kevlar/Elastane woven skin enabling consistent low drag performance whilst supporting full wheel steering and suspension movement

Aerodynamics:

Low Frontal Area with all powertrain components on centre-line in Driver’s frontal area ‘shadow’

Full Active Downforce Generation via Ground Effects technology

Ultra-high Downforce levels achieved via electrically powered Cyclo-gyro fans

Rubber Skirts control air-bleed and enhance Ground Effect

4 Individually controllable Fans accelerate airflow through 4 venturi tunnels to enhance downforce at lower speeds

Fans enable programmable and constantly tuneable centre-of-pressure

Cyclo-gyro fans with actuated blades enabling variable thrust direction and force

Fans powered by 4 Switch Reluctance Motors (SRM), each up to 50kW, 50,000rpm, 92% efficient

Hydraulically actuated variable-position rear wing with air-braking capability

Lift-drag Ratio of underbody aero components in excess of 90:1

Miscellaneous:

Front Lighting:

Active Matrix Laser Units with yellow ‘Endurance’ Tint

Rear Lighting:

LED Matrix display – programmable pixels

Driver Assistance:

Augmented Reality Helmet: 3D graphics projected onto helmet visor to enable graphics overlay in real-time. Essential technical information provided in addition to racing line and braking zone benchmarks.

Integrated full steering wheel inputs to control all mechanical and aerodynamic systems via presets.

Six Point safety harness.

Telemetry and Camera mast to enable constant uplink and data transmission and in-car filming


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Watch Electric Audi RS3 Drag Race Huracan Performante, 911 GT2 RS

It’s almost competitive.

Electric powertrains have a considerable potential to change how performance cars operate. Instant torque makes acceleration a breeze, and it puts other supercars on notice. The pinnacle of EV racing is Formula E. Schaeffler, a major sponsor of the Audi Sport ABT Formula E team, decided to show off its electric powertrain by cramming it into an Audi RS3. Called the Schaeffler 4ePerformance, the modified Audi now has an incredible 1,180 horsepower (880 kilowatts) on tap, capable of hitting 124 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour) in less than seven seconds. That’s stupid fast. 

To prove just how capable the electric RS3 is, it competes against two devastatingly quick supercars – the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. The Lamborghini packs a 5.2-liter V10 producing 640 hp (470 kW) and 442 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. The 911 GT2 RS sports a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six engine producing 700 hp (521 kW) and 553 lb-ft (749 Nm) of torque. 

On paper, the electric RS3 is far superior to the Lamborghini and Porsche, besting them 540 hp and 480 hp, respectively, and the power difference is noticeable. Neither can best the Audi. The first race against the Huracan has the Audi getting a sizable lead off the start, continuously putting distance between it and the Italian supercar. The race with the Porsche starts much closer, with both staying equal throughout much of the race. However, the Audi pulls away as the finish line approaches, crossing the finish line first by about three car lengths.

EVs can be powerful while packing enormous performance. We can marvel at our EV future and the sheer amount of performance that will come with it. 

The video above is long – we skipped to the six-minute mark just before the first race begins. 


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Gets Fancy New Trim Options

The best, just got better.

The best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in the UK, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, now has two new trim levels.

The 5h and 5hs will set at the top of the Outlander PHEV range, building on the high specification of the recently-launched 2019 4h and 4hs models, which both have LED headlamps, Daytime Running lights, fog lamps; a heated windscreen; 360° parking camera; heated steering wheel and front seats; keyless entry and a power tailgate (plus Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Mitigation on the 4hs).

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5h and 5hs

The 5h and 5hs adds additional luxury features like, quilted Nappa leather upholstery in Claret Red, Porcelain Cream or Gunmetal Grey, a matching premium mat set; Alpine audio system, heated rear seats, LED mood lighting and an Outlander bonnet badge.

What’s more, the two new models will also get the same 2019 tweaks that the rest of the Outlander PHEV range benefits from, including 135 bhp 2.4-litre ‘Atkinson’ cycle petrol engine and enhanced EV powertrain, and sharper handling thanks to new shock absorbers, a quicker steering rack and a revised S-AWC vehicle dynamics system.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5h and 5hs

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is also one of the first plug-in hybrids to announce its WLTP figures, which are 139 MPG (159.5 NEDC), an EV range of 28 miles (33 NEDC) and CO2 emissions of just 46g/km (40.3g/km NEDC). That means it remains classified as a category 2 Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, which makes it eligible for the UK government’s £2,500 plug-in car grant.

Prices for the new 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5 and 5hs start at £41,000, making it £500 lower than the outgoing equivalent, despite its additional equipment. Both variants are available to order now.

Source: Motor1 UK


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: Videos Galore From Paris Motor Show

Production Audi e-tron debuts in Europe.

Two weeks after its unveiling in San Francisco, Audi presents its first all-electric SUV, the e-tron 55 quattro, at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

It’s the first opportunity for the general public to compare, in one place, three new contenders in the high-end segment – Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-PACE and Mercedes-Benz EQC (see photos/videos here) that could take a chunk of Tesla Model X sales.

We like the look of the e-tron, especially the gray looks fabulous (see the second video below). Hopefully, soon we will get an opportunity to see the first deliveries and to hear customer feedback.

Audi e-tron specs:

  • 0-60 mph – 5.5 seconds
  • Top speed – 124 mph
  • over 400 km (250 miles) expected under WLTP test cycle
  • 95 kWh battery (36 cell modules, each module is equipped with 12 pouch cells, nominal voltage of 396 volts)
  • battery pack weight: 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb)
  • dual-motor all-wheel drive – up to 300 kW and 664 Nm in S mode (boost) or up to 265 kW and 561 Nm in D mode. Front motor is 135 kW, the rear is 165 kW (S mode).
  • Maximum tow rating – 4,000 pounds when properly equipped
  • 9.6 kW on-board charger (240 V, 40 A) in U.S. and 11 kW or 22 kW three-phase in Europe
  • DC fast charging up to 150 kW: 0-80% in 30 minutes
Audi e-tron 55 quattro

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Mercedes Electric Trucks Show Up At Fastned Station

Electric trucks need to recharge from time to time too.

Dutch fast charging company Fastned noticed at one of its stations a surprising visit of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, that are not yet available – the prototype eActros truck and eSprinter van.

The Fastned charging stations can handle all kinds of vehicles, even trucks that normally would not be able to use general fast chargers in some tight parking lots.

Also, the power output in many stations was increased to 175 kW (compared to the standard 50 kW), which should be enough to keep charging time reasonable for high-capacity battery packs. In the case of eActros, Daimler said three hours are needed at 80 kW DC charging. We are not sure how high power can be accepted, but 240 kWh, in theory, should be able to use the full 175 kW.

Mercedes-Benz eActros spec:

  • two versions – 18 or 25 tonnes
  • 240 kWh battery pack
  • up to 200 km (125 miles) of range
  • ZF AVE 130 twin-motor drive axle – the system output stands at 250 kW and 970 Nm
  • fast charging at 80 kW it takes three hours (at least 11 hours at 20 kW)

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter:

  • 41.4 kWh batery or 55 kWh battery
  • around 115 km (71 miles) with 41 kWh or around 150 km (93 miles) with 55 kWh when conditions are unfavourable
  • payload of 900 kg (55 kWh) or 1,040 kg (41 kWh) and maximum cargo volume is 10.5 m3
  • 84 kW and 300 Nm of torque
  • top speed of 80 km/h conserves energy and increases the range (alternatively, it can be configured for a top speed of up to 120 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz eActros

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

Mazda EVs, Tesla numbers, and questions about EV profitability: The Week in Reverse

2018 Tesla Model 3Will automakers be able to turn a profit on all the electric vehicles under development? And how many Model 3 sedans, again, did Tesla deliver just last month? This is Green Car Reports’ look back at the Week in Reverse, for the week ending October 5, 2018. Friday, we looked at a test of semi self-driving systems from Consumer Reports, and…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews