Thursday, September 23, 2021

Renault, beyond innovation frontiers

Renault Group continues its electric race and it accelerates the strategy by proposing competitive, sustainable and popular electric vehicles, with the target of releasing the greenest mix in the European market in 2025 and 100% electrical vehicles in 2030. «What we announce today – stated Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group during the recent Renault eWays event- is a historical acceleration of Renault Group’s and of ‘made in Europe electric strategy. Renault ElectriCity is a compact electric eco-system, able to offer efficiency and high technology in northern France, but also a mega factory dedicated to electric motors in Normandy. We will train, we will invest and will establish partnerships with renowned, but also rising, players, each in the forefront of its competence sector».
Ten new electric models will be released on the market and up to one million electric vehicles will be produced by 2030, from urban cars at competitive prices up to high-end sports models. Moreover, the Group will cover 100% of future releases of its electric vehicles, in all segments, availing itself of NMC (Nickel, Manganese and Cobalt) chemistry and of a standard-cell architecture, which will allow it to implement up to one million of electric vehicles. Going into technological details, Renault will progressively integrate new technological ameliorations starting from 2024 on its wound-rotor synchronous motor: fork stator, glued motor stack, hollow shaft and brushless rotor, to decrease costs and to improve the motor efficiency. Moreover, the Group will be pioneer with an electric axial-flux motor on a broad scale starting from 2025 and it is working also on a more compact powertrain, renowned as “all-in-one” system, which houses electric motor, reducer and power electronics in a single unit.

Mercedes Benz, the fully electric is close

The automotive brands that announce their complete conversion towards electric are increasing. Among the latest news, there is also the one concerning Mercedes-Benz player that will complete this course by the end of the decade, where market conditions will allow it.
Within 2022, Mercedes-Benz will rely on battery electric vehicles (BEV) in all segments where it operates. Since 2025 onwards, all new vehicle architectures will be exclusively electric and customers will have the opportunity of choosing a fully electric alternative for each model offered by the company.
«The transition towards electric vehicles – declared Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG – is speeding up, especially in the luxury segment, to which Mercedes-Benz belongs. The turning point is getting close and we will be ready when markets will shift to the fully electric by the end of this decade. This step marks a deep reallocation of the capital. Managing this accelerated transformation and safeguarding our profitability targets, we will assure the durable success of Mercedes-Benz. Due to our highly skilled and motivated manpower, I believe that we will be successful in this new exciting era».
After reorganizing its powertrain activities to manage the planning, the development, the purchase and the production under the same roof, Mercedes-Benz will deepen the level of vertical integration in manufacturing and development and will achieve the electric transmission technology. This shift includes the takeover of YASA electric motor company headquartered in the United Kingdom.
Moreover, Mercedes-Benz will need a battery capacity of over 200-Giga-watts hour and plans to create eight Giga-factories for the production of cells, together with its partners worldwide.

Geely, new brand into premium electric segment

The brand for the Chinese mass market Geely Auto has recently announced the formation of a new company, Zeekr Company Limited, a new electric mobility technology and solutions company based in China that will serve growing global demand for premium electric vehicles.
The first Zeekr vehicles are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2021, with production being undertaken by parent company Geely Holding under a light asset strategy.
Zeekr aims at delivering a new electric vehicle to market each year in the coming five years.
Zeekr will create a new ecosystem that is focused on the full integration of the end user into a new super ecosystem focusing on the full service of end user requirements with an innovation as standard approach in terms of sales and servicing.
The Chinese name of Zeekr has been confirmed as Ji Ke.
Zeekr will become the latest electrification initiative within the wider Geely Holding Group, in which other companies such as Volvo have recently announced ambitious zero-emission strategies.
Other electrified vehicle brands within Geely Holding, including Lynk & Co, Polestar, LEVC, Geometry and Lotus Cars are also continuing to expand in different market segments, providing consumers with a wide range of electrified products and unique business offerings.

The new Hypercar Fulminea will have 4 electric motors

Automobili Estrema has recently revealed the details of its fully made in Italy electric hypercar that will be available starting from the second half of 2023: 61 cars in all at the cost of 2 million Euros each.
Its name is absolutely self-explanatory: Fulminea, which will be able to deliver the super-power of 1.5 MW, therefore over 2,000 HP and to sprint from 0 to 320 km/h in less than 10 seconds.
The battery pack has a capacity of 100 kWh and the autonomy expected according to the WLTP cycle is 520 km.
«Automobili Estrema – Gianfranco Pizzuto, founder and Ceo of the brand, explained – is a reality established around one year ago in Modena, where the factory is under construction, and in Turin, where our design and modelling teams work. Our challenge is entering the Italian electric mobility world as absolute protagonists and we start doing that by presenting Fulminea, a vehicle with all the characteristics of a racing car: high performances, forefront technologies and premium materials like carbon, but with a full electric state-of-the-art propulsion, unique in the world. Fulminea is meant as a new made in Italy, made in Modena excellence, where engineering and assembling phases are performed, and made in Turin, city where, thanks to the collaboration with studio Epta Design, Ucif Modelli and Est Mobile the styling and the modelling of our hypercar have been implemented».

The Horse towards the e-mobility: here is Ferrari 296 GTB

When Ferrari automotive company speaks of novelty, the world’s spotlights are cast on the Horse logo. This time, Ferrari 296 GTB is at stake, able to match a new V6 twin-turbo 2.9 with 663 HP with 167 HP electric motor with rechargeable battery.
The great novelty resides in the technological setup: a return to six-cylinder V-shaped architecture given up at the end of 1973 and powertrain with plug-in hybrid system that releases 830 HP.
MGU-K 167 HP electric unit is powered by 7.45 kWh battery positioned in the bottom part of the car. An actuator (TMA-Transition Manager Actuator) allows the management of the powertrain that, therefore, permits to use the entire electric-thermal group to achieve the highest power. Concerning instead the zero-emission performance, the travel autonomy is 25 km.
Regarding performances, the announced ones of Ferrari 296 GTB highlight over 330 km/h for the top speed, 2”9 for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and 7”3 for acceleration to 200 km/h from standing start. Record specific power: 221 HP/l.

One thousand engagements in Motor Valley thanks to Faw supercar

After an investment worth one billion, the Chinese Faw, in joint venture with the Americans of Silk EV, will give birth to Hongq S9, the electric supercar designed by Walter de Silva.

Made in Emilia, precisely in Reggio Emilia, this luxury production will enable 1,000 new employments in the Motor Valley.

An outstanding industrial challenge that consistently focuses on the construction of the new manufacturing plant of the electric supercar on an area taking up 300,000 square metres, close to the motorway and the high-speed station.

Everything will be accomplished at the beginning of 2023, but already today the establishment in Emilia of Silk-Faw production pole represents a precious opportunity to attract new talents and new competences.

Supercars’ electric motor…. for all

For over 20 years, the British company Integral Powertrain has been committed to the development of innovative technologies, including also electric motors for cars, especially on high-performance units, like the ones used in supercars and in hyper cars that compete in Formula E.
Recently, its Integral e-Drive division has presented a new series of very interesting electric motors: CTSM242, anyway intended for all vehicles, even if with characteristics for cars featuring much higher performances. It is a motor range based on a particular architecture, the Core Technology, which strategically combines the design of the electromagnetic part with a thermal management system that cools both the stator and the rotor.
This feature allows achieving a compact but extremely performing motor: with a weight of just 30 kg, it can reach a power peak of 400 kW, corresponding to 544 HP, and a maximum torque of 520 Nm, for a peak power exceeding 12.5 kW/kg, and a maximum rotation speed of 15,000 revolutions and efficiency approaching 97%.
This kind of motor is defined off-the-shelf by English people, that is to say produced upon buyer’s demand, and compatible with a large variety of other components, in the specific case transmissions and inverter.

Only electric Fiat from 2030

It is a strong message indeed, which leaves no doubt about the future of electric motors and their hegemony in the automotive field: starting from 2030, the range of Fiat cars will be available in electric version only. This is, in fact, the announcement released by Olivier Francois, CEO of Stellantis Italian brand, on the occasion of the World Environment Day 2021, last June 5th. «Our duty is offering the market, as soon as possible and compatibly with the reduction of batteries’ cost, electric cars that do not cost more than combustion ones. Gradually, from 2025 to 2030, Fiat range will become only electric and this will be a radical change for Fiat».
Only when electric will be accessible for all, it will be possible for Fiat to shift fully to electric, then the symbolic vehicle of this transformation could only be the legendary “500”: «Our icon in the Fifties made mobility accessible to all. Now, in this new scenario, it has the new mission of creating sustainable mobility for all».

Incoming all-electric SUV for Subaru

Every day at least one automotive brand announces good news in the research and development ambit towards a future of real electric mobility. Concerning this, among the news there is Subaru Solterra, the innovative electric SUV developed with Toyota, which will use the shared modular e-Subaru Global/e-TNGA platform.
The SUV name evocates nature: “sol (sun)” and “terra (earth)” and it will be marketed within the half of 2022 in various markets, including Europe, Japan, United States and China.
The e-Subaru Global platform, which has been jointly-developed by Subaru and Toyota, enables to roll out various types of EVs efficiently by combining multiple modules and components, such as the front, center and rear of a vehicle. While the two companies have brought together their knowledge to create a completely new platform, Subaru have aimed to realize superior passive safety and vehicle stability, which Subaru has always been pursuing, also in this BEV dedicated platform.
Not only the platform, the SUV “SOLTERRA” has also been jointly-developed by Subaru and Toyota, and wide range of collaboration includes product planning, design and performance evaluation. In this development, the two companies combine their respective strengths, such as Subaru’s long-accumulated all-wheel-drive technology and Toyota’s outstanding vehicle electrification technology, to create a new SUV with attributes that only an all- electric vehicle can offer.
A brief summary: it seems that for the first time the symmetric integral traction of Subaru might be implemented with a non-mechanical scheme, with two motors, a front and a rear one managed by purposely implemented software and through the e-Subaru Global Platform dedicated to Battery electric vehicles (BEV), specifically designed to assure utmost flexibility.
The capacity of batteries, which will be mounted under the floor, will vary from 50 to 100 kWh for autonomies included between 300 and 600 km.

Gordon Murray Group: investments towards advanced innovative electric vehicles

Professor Gordon Murray, South African engineer, former designer of Formula cars, has recently announced a notable expansion plan for the next five years and relative investment– amounting to £300M – for its future growth.
The last creature born from its Gordon Murray Automotive, founded in 2007, is the supercar T.50 and today his focus addresses electrification more than ever: new division Gordon Murray Electronics being created to help entire Group put sharper focus on designing and engineering advanced innovative electric vehicles. Moreover, the ambitious expansion includes significant investment in Gordon Murray Design; the globally leading design and engineering business is already in the early phases of creating a revolutionary, lightweight, ultra-efficient electric vehicle architecture for future urban passenger vehicles and delivery vans.
Gordon Murray Design is also directing substantial investment towards a “superlight” Research and Development facility to further progress weight and complexity reduction of both vehicle architectures and manufacturing processes. An additional facility at Dunsfold, Surrey is being planned to manufacture “superlight” frames for Gordon Murray Design, and Gordon Murray Automotive vehicle programmes.
A new business unit, Gordon Murray Electronic which is being formed by newly appointed CEO Richie Sibal, will support GMD in developing advanced electrified powertrains for global automotive manufacturers and technology companies.
«While recently – stated Professor Gordon Murray, Chairman Gordon Murray Group – the global spotlight has been on Gordon Murray Automotive and the T.50 models there has been extensive progress and developments made within the wider Group. Today we are taking this to a new level announcing new investments, a strengthening of our leadership team, enhanced R&D, a new Division and a reaffirmation of our philosophy. Core competencies that differentiate us and set us apart in the industry as we build the Group to meet the challenges of the future. “The Gordon Murray Group has a clear mission: pushing automotive and technology boundaries to be the best there is. These new developments are dedicated to pursuing this ambitious agenda. We are building a philosophy and enhancing a team for increased growth and future success, staying true to our vision».
The Gordon Murray Group is set to move its global headquarters to a new site in Windlesham, Surrey, UK where a new technology campus, Heritage and Customer Centre, and bespoke design and engineering facilities are being created. Construction will commence in July 2021 and the first facilities will be ready in 2022, with the entire project completed in 2024.