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Found 221 results

  1. We are in the Golden Age of Auto's with a revolution that will see the gentle passing of ICE Auto's as they are replaced by the EV Auto. With today's small 2% plus market share, the EV auto is having a major impact on auto suppliers. According to the director of product development, filtration and engine peripherals J.D. Kehoe of Mahle Filter Systems of North America, the ICE downsizing, 48V Hybridization and electric traction motors are affecting the development of future powertrains. Mahle's corporate strategy is to keep on top of all trends supporting the wide variety of options and yet that also comes with the added danger that if you make the wrong call, a company could be on the hook for millions of dollars in parts cost if they build and support the wrong tech version of any given powertrain. You have the success of the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla making up the 2-3% of global deliveries today and by 2023 the auto industry expects to have 205 EV models on the market replacing many ICE models. Manufactures have a wide range that specify from 200V to 400V based on the battery packs with each electric motor up to 134HP depending on vehicle design. Mahle has grown their EV portfolio to off EV-oriented technology to OEM customers from high-voltage liquid cooled electric traction motors that operate in the 400V to 800V range with power output up to 240HP with unlimited lifetimes as they are brushless designs that require little to no maintenance and they are working to increase their motors power density to have offerings up to supercar level. Mahle offers 48V IPM synchronous electric motors that can operate in a range of 42V to 52V to meet the needs of various designs for mild hybrid applications. Areas of instant growth that Mahle and other auto suppliers are hiring for is in needs of electric AC and heater systems that are low voltage demanding along with leak detection devices as all the new closed system EV systems have a new wave of monitoring to optimize performance / efficiency. Example of this is the need to monitor battery-cell electrolytes that must not come in contact with water or humidity from the cooling system. While powertrains are expected to reduce as much as 75% in complexity and parts compared to ICE powertrains, electronics are expected to expand greatly in the various uses from monitoring subsystems to safety and occupant comfort. As auto companies look to reduce weight, use new technology material like carbon fiber and high strength plastics the needs to adjust and change quickly means the nimble suppliers will win the evolving change in consumer / commercial auto's. Wards Auto Story Mahle web site
  2. We know that the current Volkswagen Beetle will soon be heading off to the great parking lot in the sky sometime next year, and that a direct replacement will not happen. But there is talk about bringing back the Beetle as an electric vehicle. Volkswagen's design chief Klaus Bischoff revealed to Autocar that he has already made a sketch of a possible Beetle EV, but it will be some time before the automaker makes a decision whether to move forward with this or not. Some of this comes down Volkswagen wanting to get the bigger-selling electric cars into production first (see I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz) before moving onto the 'emotional' models. “Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion,” said Bischoff. If Volkswagen does give the green light for a Beetle EV, what could it look like? According to Autocar, the model could grow in size and get two extra doors. “The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupé or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche. If you look at MEB, the shortest wheelbase [possible] is the ID [hatchback]. If you took that and did the Beetle on it, you have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality any more. So it could be a very attractive car,” explained Bischoff. We know there is a fan of an electric Beetle, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess. “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle," Diess told Car and Driver back in October. Source: Autocar View full article
  3. William Maley

    Volkswagen Beetle Could Be Reborn As An EV

    We know that the current Volkswagen Beetle will soon be heading off to the great parking lot in the sky sometime next year, and that a direct replacement will not happen. But there is talk about bringing back the Beetle as an electric vehicle. Volkswagen's design chief Klaus Bischoff revealed to Autocar that he has already made a sketch of a possible Beetle EV, but it will be some time before the automaker makes a decision whether to move forward with this or not. Some of this comes down Volkswagen wanting to get the bigger-selling electric cars into production first (see I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz) before moving onto the 'emotional' models. “Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion,” said Bischoff. If Volkswagen does give the green light for a Beetle EV, what could it look like? According to Autocar, the model could grow in size and get two extra doors. “The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupé or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche. If you look at MEB, the shortest wheelbase [possible] is the ID [hatchback]. If you took that and did the Beetle on it, you have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality any more. So it could be a very attractive car,” explained Bischoff. We know there is a fan of an electric Beetle, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess. “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle," Diess told Car and Driver back in October. Source: Autocar
  4. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar
  5. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  6. You find yourself in the showroom, ready to drive away in a new Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, or Tesla Model S. But there is one big question that needs to be decided, do you buy or lease it? According to a report from Bloomberg, most buyers of EVs tend to lease. In the U.S., almost 80 percent of electric vehicles on the road are leased according to their report. It also says that 55 percent of plug-in hybrids are leased. More than 80 percent of BMW i3s are leased as an example. The key reason comes down to the belief that electric vehicles will continue to improve and buyers can simply trade them - similar to purchasing a new smartphone. "When there’s new technology coming out, and it’s coming out so rapidly, and you’re improving on it so constantly, typically people only want to lease it,” said Steve Center, a vice president of American Honda Motor Co., back in April. This bet seems to be paying off as the range of electric vehicles has been increasing, while prices of batteries have been going downward. “If you look at what can happen across the lifetime of a lease, you’re really talking about doubling the range of these vehicles,” said Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo. The imbalance between leasing/buying an electric vehicle has also made used EVs to become a steal. According to auto analytics firm Black Book, compact electric vehicles sold in 2014 only hold 23 percent of their original sale price. A comparable internal combustion vehicle holds about 41 percent. Doing a quick search on Cars.com, we were able to find low mileage 2015 Nissan Leafs ranging $14,000 to $16,000. The big question is will this trend continue down the road, considering the likes the Model 3 and models coming from German automakers. Source: Bloomberg
  7. You find yourself in the showroom, ready to drive away in a new Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, or Tesla Model S. But there is one big question that needs to be decided, do you buy or lease it? According to a report from Bloomberg, most buyers of EVs tend to lease. In the U.S., almost 80 percent of electric vehicles on the road are leased according to their report. It also says that 55 percent of plug-in hybrids are leased. More than 80 percent of BMW i3s are leased as an example. The key reason comes down to the belief that electric vehicles will continue to improve and buyers can simply trade them - similar to purchasing a new smartphone. "When there’s new technology coming out, and it’s coming out so rapidly, and you’re improving on it so constantly, typically people only want to lease it,” said Steve Center, a vice president of American Honda Motor Co., back in April. This bet seems to be paying off as the range of electric vehicles has been increasing, while prices of batteries have been going downward. “If you look at what can happen across the lifetime of a lease, you’re really talking about doubling the range of these vehicles,” said Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo. The imbalance between leasing/buying an electric vehicle has also made used EVs to become a steal. According to auto analytics firm Black Book, compact electric vehicles sold in 2014 only hold 23 percent of their original sale price. A comparable internal combustion vehicle holds about 41 percent. Doing a quick search on Cars.com, we were able to find low mileage 2015 Nissan Leafs ranging $14,000 to $16,000. The big question is will this trend continue down the road, considering the likes the Model 3 and models coming from German automakers. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  8. Secret "ALEC" in Big Debate between Oil and Electric for Subsidies! Not many of us have heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), yet this group of Utility companies clashed recently with the oil industry that wants to kill all EV subsidies and yet Oil takes in billions in subsidies from the federal government now. This group has clearly been an ultra conservative group till recently where it has split into two camps, those that are backed by big oil and their desire to kill subsidies and those utilities that have gone very green and want to increase offering subsidies to buyers of all things electric. At the spring meeting, the new Green Utilities put forth a measure that would offer subsidies for non-gas auto's. This included electric, natural gas, biofuel, propane, bio diesel auto's and subsidies for said fueling infrastructure. The interesting part is that this new resolution was put forth by the Koch brothers, oil magnates as well as Ebell's CEI and the conservative group Americans for Prosperity in addition to EEI "The Edison Electric Institute". These groups believe that utilities offering subsidies that would in some cases reduce to zero cost installation of home fast chargers, reduced kWh rates and rebates on EV / Plug-in Hybrid auto's would help spur additional sales of electricity increasing the expansion of a better electrical grid across north america. On the other side you have representatives from Texas, Duke Energy and some folks from Trump's EPA transition team lobbying against it. This was confirmed by EEI. Since this was at a tie in voting, it looks to be brought up at the fall meeting again for a vote. If this goes through, one can only wonder how big the rebates on auto's could be in addition to the charging systems, etc. Check out the two links below for more info. Think of states like California that have fed rebates, state rebates and if utilities offer rebates, this could push EV auto's to very low cost to own. Utility Drive Green Car Report
  9. Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe. “It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss. “We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.” Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain. Source: Autocar
  10. Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe. “It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss. “We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.” Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain. Source: Autocar View full article
  11. We've known that Bentley is planning to do an electric vehicle, most likely using the platform underpinning the Porsche Mission E. What is still up in the air is what shape that vehicle could be? “The next step for sure is an electric, unique Bentley that isn’t based on an existing car but a completely fresh and new development, with electric propulsion and obviously different proportions following the function. It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company,” said Bentley design director Stefan Sielaff. “It will happen not so far in the future.” Auto Express believes the model in question is a four-door coupe, partly due to Sielaff's comments. “It should be a four or five-seater and it should also have the possibility to carry a little bit of luggage, maybe not for five people. I think we need to make sure that this family member is obviously new, and not imitating another concept we have already in the portfolio. But definitely more than two seats; that’s something I am convinced of,” said Sielaff. “But nevertheless I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.” This seems to line up with a rumor back in November where it was reported that Bentley was planning a four-door coupe possibly named Barnato. Source: Auto Express View full article
  12. William Maley

    Bentley's Design Director Talks EV

    We've known that Bentley is planning to do an electric vehicle, most likely using the platform underpinning the Porsche Mission E. What is still up in the air is what shape that vehicle could be? “The next step for sure is an electric, unique Bentley that isn’t based on an existing car but a completely fresh and new development, with electric propulsion and obviously different proportions following the function. It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company,” said Bentley design director Stefan Sielaff. “It will happen not so far in the future.” Auto Express believes the model in question is a four-door coupe, partly due to Sielaff's comments. “It should be a four or five-seater and it should also have the possibility to carry a little bit of luggage, maybe not for five people. I think we need to make sure that this family member is obviously new, and not imitating another concept we have already in the portfolio. But definitely more than two seats; that’s something I am convinced of,” said Sielaff. “But nevertheless I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.” This seems to line up with a rumor back in November where it was reported that Bentley was planning a four-door coupe possibly named Barnato. Source: Auto Express
  13. William Maley

    BMW Not Planning Mass Production of EVs Until 2020

    BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  14. BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  15. Last summer, Volvo made a stunning announcement as it plans to electrify its entire lineup. This plan includes 5 electric vehicles, two from Polestar and the rest from Volvo. We've already know about Polestar EVs plans (a midsize sedan and SUV), but we haven't heard anything concerning Volvo. That changed this week as a report from Autocar says Volvo's first EV will be a compact hatchback that will draw inspiration from the 40.2 concept shown in 2016. This makes some sense as the 40.2 concept used Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that was built with electrification in mind. The 40.2 concept had an overall range of 217 miles. But when Henrik Green, Volvo’s head of R&D spoke to the publication about their general EV plans, he said they were aiming for a range of 310 miles. “That’s the area [of range] we’re aiming at. We’re in the middle of development and we are constantly chasing new steps. It’s quite different to developing a car compared to five or 10 years ago. You set a prerequisite three or four years before a car’s launch and you ran towards that target, and if you did that well, you came out with a competitive offer," said Green. Green also said the automaker will offer an entry-level battery, but hasn't decided on the range. Expect to see Volvo's first EV in 2019. Source: Autocar
  16. Last summer, Volvo made a stunning announcement as it plans to electrify its entire lineup. This plan includes 5 electric vehicles, two from Polestar and the rest from Volvo. We've already know about Polestar EVs plans (a midsize sedan and SUV), but we haven't heard anything concerning Volvo. That changed this week as a report from Autocar says Volvo's first EV will be a compact hatchback that will draw inspiration from the 40.2 concept shown in 2016. This makes some sense as the 40.2 concept used Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that was built with electrification in mind. The 40.2 concept had an overall range of 217 miles. But when Henrik Green, Volvo’s head of R&D spoke to the publication about their general EV plans, he said they were aiming for a range of 310 miles. “That’s the area [of range] we’re aiming at. We’re in the middle of development and we are constantly chasing new steps. It’s quite different to developing a car compared to five or 10 years ago. You set a prerequisite three or four years before a car’s launch and you ran towards that target, and if you did that well, you came out with a competitive offer," said Green. Green also said the automaker will offer an entry-level battery, but hasn't decided on the range. Expect to see Volvo's first EV in 2019. Source: Autocar View full article
  17. China will soon be introducing regulations where automakers have to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles. This has caused a number of automakers to introduce new models and plan new alliances. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Mazda is planning to develop a new electric vehicle with their Chinese partner, Changan Automobile Group. The model is expected to be an SUV. Changan will provide the majority of the electric drivetrain while Mazda will produce the bodies. Mazda and Changan have been in a 50:50 joint-venture partnership since 2012, but the two have been working together since the 2000s. Currently, the venture builds the CX-3, CX-5, and Axela hatchback and sedan. This isn't only partnership Mazda has in terms of developing electric vehicles. Last year, Mazda and Toyota announced a new partnership that included plans for developing electric vehicle technologies. Source: Nikkei Asian Review
  18. China will soon be introducing regulations where automakers have to sell a certain amount of electric vehicles. This has caused a number of automakers to introduce new models and plan new alliances. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Mazda is planning to develop a new electric vehicle with their Chinese partner, Changan Automobile Group. The model is expected to be an SUV. Changan will provide the majority of the electric drivetrain while Mazda will produce the bodies. Mazda and Changan have been in a 50:50 joint-venture partnership since 2012, but the two have been working together since the 2000s. Currently, the venture builds the CX-3, CX-5, and Axela hatchback and sedan. This isn't only partnership Mazda has in terms of developing electric vehicles. Last year, Mazda and Toyota announced a new partnership that included plans for developing electric vehicle technologies. Source: Nikkei Asian Review View full article
  19. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date.
  20. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date. View full article
  21. As lawmakers continue to work on comprehensive tax reform, one item related to the automotive industry on the table was the tax credit for electric vehicles. The credit, which can be up to $7,500, was dropped in the House version of the bill but kept in the Senate version. The credit was started in 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package as a way to encourage investment by auto manufacturers in the development of electric powered or assisted vehicles. The the current version of the bill in reconciliation keeps the credit. Analysts estimate that scrapping the credit would save $200 million over the next 10 years. The credit is capped at 200,000 qualifying vehicle per manufacturer, which no automaker has yet reached. Most manufacturers have announced billions of dollars in investment for sweeping changes to their lineups with many models gaining plug-in hybrid variants over the next 5 to 7 years. Related: GM Launching 20 EVs by 2023
  22. As lawmakers continue to work on comprehensive tax reform, one item related to the automotive industry on the table was the tax credit for electric vehicles. The credit, which can be up to $7,500, was dropped in the House version of the bill but kept in the Senate version. The credit was started in 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package as a way to encourage investment by auto manufacturers in the development of electric powered or assisted vehicles. The the current version of the bill in reconciliation keeps the credit. Analysts estimate that scrapping the credit would save $200 million over the next 10 years. The credit is capped at 200,000 qualifying vehicle per manufacturer, which no automaker has yet reached. Most manufacturers have announced billions of dollars in investment for sweeping changes to their lineups with many models gaining plug-in hybrid variants over the next 5 to 7 years. Related: GM Launching 20 EVs by 2023 View full article
  23. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  24. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  25. When Subaru launched their new modular global platform in the Impreza, they said the platform was designed to accept different powertrains such as hybrid and electric. According to a report from Autocar, Subaru's first electric model is just around the corner. Subaru's chief designer, Mamoru Ishii told the outlet that the electric vehicle would be a variant of one of their current models and will launch in 2020. “Subaru cars are designed to support people’s lifestyles, so it should not be a case of designing the car for the powertrain. If customers want change we’ll respond - our cars are about customers loving using them how they are designed - but we are not going to change our design focus just to highlight a new way of powering the car,” said Ishii. Ishii declined to say how far Subaru is in development of the EV, but sources tell Autocar that crash tests have started to determine if the battery location is safe. If we were to guess what model Subaru is using for their electric vehicle, the Impreza seems like a safe bet. Source: Autocar View full article

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