Friday, May 3, 2024

Mercedes shows Sustaineer e-van/e-bike delivery concept

Mercedes-Benz Vans has worked with Berlin based cargo bike maker Onomotion on its Sustaineer (Sustainability Pioneer) technology demonstrator “providing an insight into what sustainability could look like in the delivery transport of the future”.

The electric van based on the already on sale eSprinter combines “a variety of innovative concepts for decarbonising the entire vehicle life cycle, reducing resource consumption, and increasing the circular economy, as well as improving the quality of life and well being of the driver”.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

What’s sending first-generation electric cars to an early grave?

A growing number of early electric car adopters are scrapping or replacing their cars when batteries that are no longer under warranty go haywire. Repairing batteries can be dangerous. It’s more expensive and technical than working on gas engines, and there are very few technicians trained to do the work. 

Carmakers, like Tesla, often recommend full replacements, rather than trying to extend the life of an older battery. That’s leading some drivers, like Barnes, to get rid of otherwise perfectly good cars.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Bentley launches Bentayga Mulliner to offer the "ultimate in comfort and space"

Bentley's bespoke commissioning division, Mulliner, has unveiled its flagship SUV that aims to combine the performance of a supercar with the comfort of a limousine. Designed to offer the "ultimate in comfort and space", the Bentayga Mulliner builds on the brand's focus on prestige, presence and personalisation.

The car aims to provide high levels of comfort while giving drivers full off-roading capabilities as well as supercar performance from its 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Combined with the car's driving and handling performance - it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 180 miles per hour - its extended wheelbase creates more internal cabin space than its luxury competitors.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Aston Martin debuts new Vantage at Cheltenham Festival

Aston Martin celebrated its debut as The Jockey Club’s first high-performance car partner by bringing its spin on horsepower to the Cheltenham Festival. The British marque made its presence felt with the public debut of its 2024 Vantage and a fleet of DBX707s, the fastest SUV in the world.

Cheltenham is the first major event on the UK’s horse racing calendar and the busiest for helicopter services in the UK. Everyone flying into the pop-up heliport had the chance to experience the DBX707 as they helped transport owners and VIPs to and from the hospitality sector throughout the four days.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

On the Move - March 11 - 17

Mercedes-Benz Chief advocates for lower tariffs on Chinese EVs, championing open competition

Mercedes-Benz's CEO, Ola Kaellenius, is making headlines with his bold call to Brussels for a reduction in tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, a move that contrasts sharply with the European Commission's considerations of increasing duties amidst investigations into China's alleged car industry subsidies. Källenius argues that welcoming competition from China will spur European carmakers to innovate and improve, suggesting that protectionist measures would be a step in the wrong direction. His stance comes at a time when fears of Chinese EVs flooding the European market are growing, particularly among French carmakers with minimal presence in China. However, German manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, with significant sales and profits deeply intertwined with the Chinese market, fear retaliatory actions from Beijing could harm their standing in the world's largest EV market. Källenius's advocacy for lower tariffs and an open market economy reflects a broader debate on the future of global car manufacturing and trade relations.

Hertz gears down on EVs with CEO switch-up

In a strategic realignment away from electric vehicles, Hertz announces the departure of CEO Stephen Scherr, after a costly foray into the EV market. Scherr, who took the helm post-bankruptcy and headed an investment in EVs through a $3bn deal with Polestar, will pass the baton to Gil West, a former COO at GM's autonomous vehicle unit, Cruise. Hertz's shift in direction comes amid selling about 20,000 EVs and a broader industry recalibration, evidenced by price slashes, aborted IPOs, and Apple putting its electric car project on pause. This move reflects the persisting demand for ICE vehicles and marks a significant change in Hertz's strategy amidst the volatile landscape of the EV industry.

Stellantis outpaces Volkswagen with a survivalist twist

In a major shift within the automotive industry, Stellantis has overtaken Volkswagen in market value, a feat underscored by nearly 30% share price growth since January. This increase reflects Stellantis's adaptable strategy amidst the automotive sector's challenges, including the transition to electric vehicles, the pressure from Chinese competition, and geopolitical uncertainties. By adopting a "multi-energy" approach allowing flexible production lines for hybrid, petrol, and EVs, Stellantis contrasts sharply with VW's more rigid, EV-focused factories. Additionally, Stellantis' manoeuvres in China and a lean, remote-working corporate culture highlight its resilience and investor confidence, encapsulating a survivalist ethos rooted in the company's composite history of overcoming adversity.

Honda and Nissan unite in electric venture to combat Chinese competition

In a strategic move to stay afloat in the rapidly evolving EV market, Japan's automotive giants Honda and Nissan Motor Corporation are setting aside their longstanding rivalry to collaborate. This partnership aims to bolster their positions against the surge of high-tech, affordable EVs from Chinese manufacturers, who have been gaining ground with their advanced battery technology and car making expertise. The alliance between Honda and Nissan will focus on developing core EV components, software, and auto intelligence technology, marking a shift in strategy as they prepare to face the challenges posed by cheaper and more technologically advanced competitors from China. This collaboration demonstrates the pressing need for traditional OEMs to adapt and innovate in a market increasingly dominated by next-generation EVs.

Europe warms up to innovative hot rock batteries for greener future

Europe is set to embrace a shift towards decarbonisation with the introduction of electro-thermal batteries, an innovative technology designed to utilise rocks and bricks heated by electricity to store energy. This new solution targets one of the most significant challenges in the energy transition: delivering high temperatures required in the production of food, beverages, paper, chemicals, and more, which currently accounts for a substantial portion of global fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Electro-thermal batteries offer a cost-effective alternative by capitalising on the cheapest electricity available during the day, potentially slashing electricity costs by 30 to 40% with the promise of further reductions as renewable energy sources become more prevalent. As the technology advances, with competitive pricing and the ability to meet high-temperature demands, hot rock batteries herald a new era of energy efficiency and sustainability in Europe's industrial sectors.

Volkswagen eyes partnerships to forge affordable electric vehicle path against Chinese rivals

Volkswagen is actively exploring partnerships with other automotive giants to introduce a cost-effective EV for the mass market, aimed at competing with the anticipated influx of cheaper Chinese models. Amid the pressing challenge of manufacturing EVs that cost less than their combustion counterparts – a crucial factor to entice consumer transition and fend off lower-priced Chinese alternatives – Volkswagen aims to unveil a sub-€25,000 EV. This strategy includes potential collaborations to share the financial burden of development and production, as highlighted by company executives during a press conference in Berlin. The move reflects a broader industry trend of forging alliances to mitigate the high costs associated with electric vehicle production, particularly in the compact car segment where profitability remains elusive.

Xiaomi shifts gears into electric vehicles as apple pumps the brakes

In the dynamic landscape of electric vehicles, Xiaomi Technology seizes a unique opportunity to forge ahead as Apple's automotive ambitions dwindle. With its extensive technological arsenal, cultivated through years of innovation in the smartphone sector, Xiaomi is well-positioned to disrupt the EV market. The launch of its first electric vehicle, the SU7, heralds this shift, boasting impressive capabilities like a 0-100km/h sprint in 2.8 seconds and a range of up to 800km. Amidst a fiercely competitive market dominated by giants like Tesla and BYD, Xiaomi's venture into electric vehicles not only exemplifies its adaptive strategy but also leverages its technological prowess and established consumer base, offering a glimpse into a future where smart technology and mobility converge seamlessly.

On the Move by Fiona Meenagham 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Honda & Nissan agree to work together in developing EVs & AI

Nissan and Honda have announced that they will work together in developing electric vehicles and auto intelligence technology, sectors where Japanese automakers have fallen behind.

The details of the non-binding agreement are still being worked out, both sides said. The executives said the companies will develop core technologies together, but their products will remain different.

Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida stressed that speed is crucial for the companies in developing technological solutions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

What the UK Government must do to increase EV uptake

The recent report from the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee on the progress of the UK’s EV transition is damning. The UK Government’s EV strategy, the report warns, ‘needs a rapid recharge’. 

Anybody remotely involved with EVs, and electrification, will have seen relentless anti-EV narratives in the media over the last two years. Some papers run an anti-EV story every day - literally. This misinformation, mainly written by those who have never owned, and often, never driven an EV, has slowed adoption and cemented a litany of mischievous myths in the public consciousness. No wonder EV sales to private drivers have slowed.

<< Read the full article here >>

Monday, November 13, 2023

Asda to acquire Tesla’s ultra-fast chargers

Petrol station giant EG Group has announced it is to acquire ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) chargers from manufacturer Tesla.

EG, run by Asda owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa, said the chargers will be branded evpoint and will be available to all electric vehicle drivers.

Tesla will provide the charging hardware and technology for EG to install.

<< Read the full article here >>