VW has announced that it will display its ID.R electric racing car and it’s new ID.3 at the Essen Auto Show from 30 November to 08 December. Dr. Frank Welsch, Chief Development Officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars says that the development of the ID.R has led to reciprocal technology transfer between Volkswagen Motorsport and the production development.
VW says that their motorsport division has benefited from the production developers’ knowledge in building batteries and handling high-voltage components in the vehicle while production developers have learned from the Motorsport team and how to deal with Rapid charging Technology and how to best optimize energy recuperation. Volkswagen also says that the performance of the ID R With all the records that it is breaking at different Motorsport events has resulted in an increased popularity in the new ID 3.
The ID.R currently has the fastest electric vehicle lap record in the Nürburgring with a time of 6:05.336 which was previously held by the NIO EP9 with a time of 6:45.90. Romain Dumas, the man who drove the ID R in it’s record breaking lap was able to reach speeds of 169 mph and he also set a record in the ID.R for the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb with a time of 39.90
The ID 3 comes with three battery options, a 45 kWh battery for the Pure Version, a 58 kWh battery for Pro version and a 77 kWh battery for the Pro S version with corresponding WLTP ranges of 205 miles, 260 miles, and 340 miles. The motor has an output of 150 KW with 310 Nm of torque and a top speed of 160 km/h. Charging is either 7.2kw single phase or 11 kW 3 phase or 125 kW dc charging with a ccs charger.
Audi has announced that they have made adjustments to their drive system hardware and software to give the E-tron an extra 25 Kilometres (15.5) of range.
Audi claims that they have been able to achieve this by using a new type of wheel brake to reduce the residual brake torque and also by improving efficiency of the drive system by almost entirely disengaging the front electric motor from the electricity supply during normal driving conditions and only engage in it when the driver requires more power. The usable battery capacity has also slightly improved. Also while the previous e-tron had a usable battery capacity of 83.6 kWh, the new e-tron’s usable capacity is a little higher at 86.5 kWh.
Audi says that they have also made improvements to the thermal management and have reduced volume flows in the coolant circuit, hence allowing the pump to use less power. They have also improved the coasting recuperation system which is basically the amount of energy recuperated when the driver releases the accelerator pedal or when the brake pedal is pressed. Audi says that when braking from 100 km/h (62 mph) , the e-tron can recuperate up to 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW. The driver can also select the degree of coasting recuperation in three stages using the steering wheel paddles. At the lowest stage, the vehicle coasts with no additional drag torque when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal. At the highest stage, the electric SUV reduces the speed considerably and the driver can slow down and accelerate with just the accelerator pedal. This is what Audi means by the one pedal feeling as you don’t need to use the brake pedal to decelerate. Audi says that in its update there are more distinctions between the three stages but doesn’t go into detail as to what those distinctions are.
Audi also announced that the new exterior package for the S Line is now available and features 20 inch wheels, a sport air suspension, an S line emblem on the radiator grille, an S emblem on the aluminum door sill trims and bigger air curtains that extend below the headlights and improve airflow. The S line also comes with a spoiler and diffuser at the rear and there is also an optional black styling package to accentuate the side windows, bumper and exterior mirror housings.
The Audi e-tron is currently available in two models, the e-tron 50 quattro and e-tron 55 quattro but the e-tron 50 so far seems to be only available in Norway and Germany and there doesn’t seem to be any plans for the car to be launched in the US. In Norway, for the 2020 model the e-tron 50 is priced at $54400 for the launch edition and the e-tron 55 at $69700. The e-tron 55 in the US though starts at $74,800. However, in Germany, the Audi e-tron 50 quattro starts at €69,100 ($76,089). I’m not sure why it is more expensive in Germany than in Norway but I’m guessing it has to do with higher taxation in Germany.
The e-tron 50 has a 71kWh battery and an EPA estimated range of 150 miles and WLTP range of 186 miles but now with the improvements made Audi claims the WLTP range to be 208 miles for the standard one and 215 miles for the sportback which means that the e-tron 55 which previously had a WLTP range of 259 miles should now have a WLTP range of at least 275 miles . When it comes to power and performance the e-tron 50 has 230 kW of power, 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque, a top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph) and does 0 – 60 in 6.8 seconds. The battery system is also 120 kg lighter than the one in the e-tron 55.
The E-Tron can charge at a rate of 150KW using a DC fast charger until it reaches 80% after which the charge rate drops to around 80KW till it reaches 90% after which it drops to 50KW till it reaches 100% which means that if you were to charge with a 50KW charger you could charge at that rate from 0 up to 100%.
Bertrand Piccard, The man who piloted solar impulse on its around the world journey covering a distance of around 42,000 kilometers has now set a new world distance record for a hydrogen car by covering a distance of 778 kilometers driving through France and Luxembourg on a Hyundai Nexo without refueling. He says it is a world record but I’m not exactly sure what the details are of the record or who it is recognized by. I’m guessing it’s for the most distance traveled in a hydrogen powered passenger car with that quantity of hydrogen.
If you didn’t know the Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell powered car and has three fuel tanks with a total capacity of 156 liters, a 120kW electric motor and an EPA estimated range of 380 miles.
As far as hydrogen cars itself are concerned, there is a lot of talk as to whether they are better or worse than battery powered ones but countries like Japan China and South Korea have ambitious goals of having close to a million fuel cell electric vehicles in each of their countries by 2030 even though current sales are only in the thousands.
Also, China recently opened the world’s largest hydrogen fuelling station at the Shanghai chemical industry Park covering an area of 8000 sq.m with a hydrogen supply capacity of up to 2 tons per day with 35 MPa and 75 MPa hydrogen refueling. The station was built by a joint collaboration between SAIC and the Shanghai chemical industry Park.
In Japan, they plan to have around 160 hydrogen fuel stations by next year and build around 10,000 worldwide over the next 10 years. Japan’s Tokyo electric power company Holdings (TEPCO) and JXTG have also announced plans to build a large hydrogen fuel station in Tokyo with a capacity of 600 cubic meters per hour, which if my calculations are right equates to about 1.2 tons per day it which is like half of the China plant.
In South Korea, they have plans to build 3 hydrogen cities by 2022 with all of the energy requirements of these cities being met by Hydrogen. They plan for these cities to have 670 hydrogen fuel-cell electric passenger vehicles and around 30 hydrogen buses with a larger vision of having 10% of the country being powered by Hydrogen by 2030. South Korea also looks to have at least 65,000 hydrogen powered passenger cars and 300 plus charging stations by 2022.
In Europe, Germany Launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint train last year which was built by Alstom with a range of 600 miles and they also plan on adding another 14 more by 2021. France has also placed an order for 15 hydrogen power trains which they expect to be in service in the next two years . France also plans to invest more than $100 million into building around 100 hydrogen stations and they also plan to have at least 5000 hydrogen powered commercial vehicles on the road by 2023.
Peugeot showed off it’s new e-2008 SUV in its move to electric experience video that it uploaded on its YouTube channel. The video clearly shows Peugeot’s strong focus on China as it starts off by showing off the huge skyscrapers of Shanghai and then proceeds to feature a gorgeous Chinese couple driving around some beautiful parts of the city in the Peugeot e2008. The video itself does not give much information on the car itself other than how you can control things like the air-con and charging from the mobile app but it does have a feel good factor to it and does make you want to buy or at least learn more about the car itself.
Peugeot claims that you can charge the 50 kWh battery up to 80% in half an hour with a 100-kilowatt charging station and charging at home would take approximately 7.5 hours for full charge. The battery has an 8 year warranty or 100,000 miles for 70% of its charge capacity.
On the inside, the cockpit has a 10” touchscreen and a heads up display which gives information like the speed, range left and distance traveled. It also has a brake mode which limits the use of the brake pedal while charging the battery as you decelerate. It has two brake modes, “moderate” which Peugeot says will give you a feel similar to that of a gasoline car and “increased” for deceleration controlled by the accelerator pedal. Peugeot claims the e-2008 can do 0-60 in 8.5 seconds
It comes with a CCS socket, so it can be charged from either a Type 2 chargepoint, a domestic socket or a public rapid charger. Peugeot has also partnered with Pod Point to install a home charging system.
Buyers Would also be able to take advantage of the UK Government Grant that offers up to 35% or 3500 pounds off the list price for vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without any emissions.
Buyers will also be able to get 75% off or up to £500 off a purchase of a charging point for their home, under the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. The grant can only be claimed by OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) approved installers. They will also be exempt from the daily Congestion Charge payable if you enter the charging zone in central London.
Fisker has announced that reservations for the Fisker Ocean SUV are now open via either the Fisker app or website. The actual price of the SUV has not yet been revealed yet but people who are interested in the car can reserve it by putting in a $250 deposit which can either go towards the lease or a purchase of the vehicle itself. Fisker claims that the Ocean SUV will be priced below $40,000, will have a range of between 250 to 300 miles and will be available in 2022 although on their website it does say that the SUV will be revealed in 2020. But then again even though 2022 is more than two years away, Henry Fisker’s word on launch dates can’t really be taken seriously as he previously promised that the more expensive $129,000 Fisker Emotion EV (which by the way has an absolutely stunning interior) would be available this year which is clearly not going to happen.
The design of the SUV at least from the outside looks very good with it’s clean lines, subtle aggressiveness and it’s striking blue pattern at the top but that is to be expected from someone of Henrik’s background and caliber. The turn signals on the D pillar are very unique but at the same time aesthetic and pleasing to look at and they are supposed to offer “extra safety” when you change lanes although it isn’t clear exactly how; perhaps because of its higher up position people are more likely to notice it and hence not crash into you when you move into their lane?
The Fisker Ocean will come with an 80 kWh battery pack , two electric motors and optional 22 inch wheels. The Mercedes EQC also has an 80 kWh battery and has an EPA estimated range of 220 miles (although Bjorn Nyland has reported getting around 260 miles on a charge) while the Tesla Model X with it’s 75 kWh battery has an EPA estimated range of 238 miles.
Lease starts at $379/month for the Fisker Ocean and you also have to pay a one time activation fee of $3000 which will give you a yearly allowance of 30,000 miles and that also includes service and maintenance.
For those of you who can’t afford a real Nissan GTR Nismo, fear not as LEGO has just announced that they are adding the GTR Nismo to their LEGO speed champions collection which already includes the LEGO Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN2 Car & Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY as well as the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO & Urus ST-X. The model was unveiled today at an event in Yokohama.
The model itself looks very good especially the way they have replicated the tail light of the GTR Nismo and the little red seats, gear stick and steering wheel too add a nice touch. Of course it does not have the carbon fiber or the tuned suspension of the original one but you can still have a lot of fun building it and dismantling it and driving it with your hands.
The 2020 E speed champion set will be 25% bigger then that of the previous years so you can expect the the GTR Nismo to be bigger as well. According to LEGO, the Nismo took around 12 months to make and comes with 298 pieces. It is expected to be available globally in January 2020.
Yamaha today announced that their EC-05 electric scooter won the German design award 2020 by the German Design Council in the excellent product design category. Yamaha had previously won this award for their YZF -R1 sports bike, XSR900 motorcycle and 242LImited S sports boat. This is Yamaha’s fifth electric scooter having previously launched the Passol in 2002, EC-02 in 2005, EC-03 in 2010, and E-Vino in 2014.
The EC-05 scooter was developed in collaboration with Gogoro of Taiwan and was launched in Taiwan in August 2019. Yamaha predicts sales of 20,000 units of the EC-05 in Taiwan by next year August and They also have plans to launch it in India.
There is no information on the specs yet but it Is likely to be similar to the Gogoro 2 smart scooter that has a top speed of 95 km/h And a range of hundred kilometres with a power output of 8.3 hp.
Gogoro currently has more than 1400 battery swapping stations called GoStations in Taiwan and owners of the Yamaha EC-05 will be able to use this network to swap out their batteries.
Gogoro currently has a combined battery capacity of 560 kWh which is equal to about half an hour of electricity consumption in Taipei and they plan on increasing it up to 1 gigawatt hour by February 2020.
Also, Yamaha says that they plan to reduce their CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to their 2010 levels which clearly shows that their focus is towards producing more electric vehicles.
Xpeng Has announced pricing information for their P7 electric car which they put on display At the Guangzhou exhibition a few days back. The car which was reportedly developed In collaboration with the Porsche engineering team will be priced between RMB270,000-370,000 or $38k to $52k and will be available for sale in the chinese market sometime in mid 2020. The car has Reportedly received over 15k pre-orders since April 2019.
The P7 is a beautiful car to look at from the outside with its sleek and aggressive design and the interior does remind me of the Model S with the way the dash and ac vents are designed as well as the touchscreen and the shape of the steering wheel. P7 comes in both a single motor RWD and dual motor AWD version. The single motor has an output of 196kW and a max torque of 390 Nm (287 lbf-ft) with an NEDC rated range of 650+ km while the dual motor has an output of 120kW and 196 kW with a total max torque of 655Nm (483 lbf-ft) and a range of 550+ km. The dual motor model can also reportedly do 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds while the single motor is at 6.7 seconds. However, there is no information on the battery capacity or it’s charging rate. The p7 has an 18 speaker Dynaudio system and is ASIL-D rated which is the highest automotive Safety integrity level rating.
Xpeng Claims that the P7 is capable of level 3 autonomous driving on highways and that It can remember your favorite parking spaces and automatically Park at the end of your journey although I am yet to see any live demonstrations of these claims.
The car has something called an XUI fusion system that can reportedly read your expressions by detecting eye contact and respond to your needs. I am not sure exactly how this would work, whether it senses you are in trouble and stops the car and calls for help or whether it is related to functions within the car itself is unclear.
The company has so far raised $1.7 billion dollars in funding with 400 million of that coming from it’s recent series C round. Also, check out their promo video which is pretty cool and shows off it’s design as well some of its V2X capabilities (Vehicle to Everything).
Tesla finally unveiled their long awaited Cybertruck on Thursday at the Tesla design center in Los Angeles to a packed crowd. The event started off with a beautiful display of lights And a short intro by a hologram of a young girl in a short dress after which Elon Musk strolled in. The whole event had a very cyberpunk like feel to it with Musk’s assistants dressed like the actors in the Matrix with long trench coats and futuristic suits.
Now coming to the truck itself when I first saw it, I thought it looked futuristic but also quite comical as it looked more like a rendering of a futuristic concept pickup truck or something that I would expect to see in a video game but not in real life. However, by the end of the presentation, I felt like the oddness of its look has sort of grown on me and I feel like the fact that it looks so different from any other truck out there and that they have been so bold in their design without trying to play it safe is part of the appeal as well. It kind of reminds me of toothless from the movie How To Train Your Dragon in the sense that it looks cute but is still very powerful.
The presentation starts off with Tesla’s Chief designer Franz von Holzhausen showing off the strength of the Cybertruck’s external structure by swinging a sledgehammer first to a regular truck door and then to the Cybertruck’s. However, this wasn’t all that convincing as It was obvious that he hit the regular truck door a lot harder. Next was the “armor glass” test which ended up being a complete fail as the glass cracked when Franz tossed a steel ball onto it. However, I’m not sure if they didn’t expect this to happen or whether it was some kind of a marketing ploy but Elon did look a bit unsettled when it happened, so I can’t say. My favourite part of the whole presentation was when they brought in the ATV and loaded it onto the truck while showing off it’s retracting bed cover and adaptive suspension . That was really cool.
Construction And Exterior:
Coming to the truck itself, it’s construction features an exoskeleton instead of a body on frame that is found in most pickup trucks. The exoskeleton is made from cold rolled steel which supposedly can be up to 20% stronger than hot rolled steel. The armor glass according to Elon is bullet proof and can stop a 9mm bullet but based on the demo where the glass cracked with a steel ball, I have my doubts about whether it’s true. The truck has 100 cubic feet external storage and Tesla claims that it’s tonneau cover is strong enough to stand on. Payload capacity for the top model is at 3500 pounds which is good and better than the Ford F-150 but nowhere near as much as the F-450 (7640 LBS) or F-550 (12,730 LBS). The towing capacity for the tri-motor is at 14,000 pounds which is again better than and the F-150 (13,200 LBS). The suspension can be raised or lowered by 4 inches in either direction
On the inside, the truck can accommodate 6 people, 3 in the first row and 3 in the second with the center seat in the first row being foldable and there is also more storage space underneath the second row of seats. The 17 inch touch screen features a new user interface that looks very slick ok but it is unclear whether this interface will be implemented in Tesla’s other models. Also, there are no turn indicator stalks and no turn indicator lights in the prototype model that was shown, So it is unclear as to how that will be implemented as there is just a long strip of led lights in the front and back. Unlike in the model 3 and model S where you select the gear using the signal stalks, in the Cybertruck this is done using the touch screen and i’m guessing turning autopilot on and off will be done via the touchscreen as well.
People who have taken a ride in this truck say that there is plenty of headroom in the backseat even for a 6 footer with even more headroom in the front seats as the roof of the truck slopes towards the rear. The dash kind of looks strange and has some kind of a marble looking thing but isn’t clear what exactly it is made of.
Musk has stated on twitter that there will be an option to add solar power to the truck which gives it an Additional 15 miles of range per day with the possibility of adding solar wings that would possibly double the range to 30 miles per day.
The truck comes in three models single motor RWD, dual motor AWD and tri motor AWD. All models come with a 6.5” bed, 100 cu.ft of storage, autopilot, adaptive suspension and a 16 inch ground clearance. The tri motor has the best performance with a reported 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds, 500+ miles of range and 14,000 LBS of towing capacity . Prices are $39,900 for the single, $49,900 for the dual and $69,900 for the tri motor but you will have to pay an additional $7000 for full self driving.
Production for the single and dual motor is expected to start in late 2021 and for the tri motor in late 2022. You can book a Tesla Cybertruck now on their website by paying a $100 fully refundable deposit.
Lexus has introduced its first battery electric vehicle , the Ux 300e at the Guangzhou International automobile exhibition. The car is based on the GA-C platform which is shared by the Prius, Corolla, C-HR and of course the Lexus UX crossover.
The car is of course very similar in design to other UX models so you may not realize on first look that it is an EV car. The UX 300e’s motor has a max output of 150 kW (201 hp) which is on par with the Kia Niro EV 64kWh version and a max torque of 300 Nm (221 lbf-ft) which is lower than the Niro (391 Nm). The battery capacity is pretty decent at 54.3 kWh and charges at 6.6 kW on AC and 50kW on DC which isn’t that great considering both the Niro EV and Ioniq Electric can charge at 100kW DC. The range is NEDC rated at 400 km or 248 miles but as we know there is always a significant difference between the NEDC rating and real world performance and the EPA rating too is likely to be much lower. For example, the Ioniq Electric has an NEDC range of 170 miles whereas the EPA estimate is 124 miles. Charging from 0% to 80 % should take around 55 minutes with a 50kW DC charger or around 8 hours to fully charge on AC.
Owners of the UX 300e will also have a dedicated app with which they can check the battery’s state of charge and the driving range left as well as timer function to schedule charging and also functions to control the air con, seat heaters and window defrosters. . There are also monitoring systems to help prevent overcharging and managing the battery temperature. The car has insulation to suppress outside noises but also comes with active sound control to allow natural ambient sounds to filter in to have a better understanding of driving conditions
Lexus is yet to release any information on pricing or trim levels but they did upload a promo video which looks pretty cool.