Bosch has today stated that it is to invest €400 million ($508 million) annually in electric car powertrains (that is all-electric rather than hybrids). According to a press release issued today Bosch has 800 staff working on R&D for hybrid and all-electric vehicle technologies, is constructing two new production lines for these and is also a part of a joint venture with Samsung to develop Lithium-Ion batteries. However so as not to upset the establishment the
"Out of 100 million newly produced vehicles in 2020, Bosch expects to see some three million electric cars and plug-in hybrids, as well as six million hybrid vehicles. However, this figure may vary depending on future legal requirements, rising fuel prices, and progress in battery technology. In the long run, the future will belong to the electric vehicle. But these figures clearly illustrate that the combustion engine will remain the dominant powertrain for the next 20 years."
In a story that's been building for the last four days or so we've seen what started as a rumour about Tesla providing battery packs to Toyota for them to test for development develop into confirmation from Tesla (and subtly by Toyota) that they are producing battery plug-in versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus RX which will be delivered to Toyota later this month. This is the first example of cooperation between the two companies since Toyota bought a $50 million stake in Tesla earlier this month.More »
Audi has announced that it will run the prototype R8 e-tron at the upcoming Silvretta E-Auto Rally Montafon 2010 this weekend (8-11 July). The R8 e-tron is powered by four in-wheel electric motors producing 313 hp and a slightly outrageous sounding 3320 lb-ft of torque. At the wheel will be Michael Dick, board member of Audi for technical development and factory driver Lukas Luhr. The 104 mile route runs through the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, we also note that Mercedes are also due to run their AMG SLS E-cell electric sports car at the same event.
Tesla has announced yet another important senior executive hire, this time its former Apple and Gap executive George Blankenship. Mr Blankenship will come to Tesla as Vice President of Design and Store Development and his track record at Apple will no doubt be a huge boost to Tesla's aim to have the most unique and modern dealership network of any car manufacturer.More »
The Solar Impulse
HB-SIA solar powered aircraft has the profile of a glider, the wingspan of an Airbus A340, weighs just 1600 KG, features four electric motors, Lithium-Ion batteries and 12,000 solar cells on its wing surfaces. It just completed its first night flight, running from solar power and charging its batteries during daylight and running from them during the night. The next target will be crossing the Atlantic in a slightly different version of the plane.
Imperial College London spin-out company EVO Electric will demonstrate their 'DuoDrive' hybrid electric technology in a London 'Black Cab' at the Bridgestone Eco-Rally 2010 (a London to Brighton drive consisting solely of electric and electric hybrid vehicles). The special EVO Black Cab with it add-on electric motor and 5 Kw battery enable it to run either all-electric, series hybrid (diesel engine in tickover providing electricity for the electric drivetrain) or parallel hybrid (diesel and electric motors working together to power the drivetrain).More »
Robert Llwellyn of Scrapheap Challenge fame is also quite well known for his advocacy of electric vehicles. In a new online video series called 'Fully Charged' (available on YouTube and iTunes) he's taken a look at the hydrogen-fuel-cell electric Honda FCX Clarity (which demonstrates the primary issue with hydrogen power - the tank size) and the Smart-car-like plug-in electric Mitsubishi iMiev which he has as a part of the year long pilot project.
Renault has today revealed its latest concept electric car, the DeZir (desire) sports car. Although only a concept at this stage Renault claim the DeZir design of a 24 KWh battery coupled to a 110 KW electric motor (producing 226 Nm of torque) is good for 160 km. We're certainly pleased to see another new exciting electric sports car, even if it is a concept, to help dampen the slightly dowdy image electric cars have today.
Nissan USA has just posted a promotional video featuring seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. In it he talks about pollution from traditional motor vehicles and what that can be like as a cyclist. He’s obviously pretty pleased to be among the first to receive Nissan’s first plug-in electric car (and for them to be one of his sponsors).