Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dakar, Audi electric challenge

Electric sports forefront incoming: the four-ring Brand has unveiled its commitment in one of the most demanding motor challenges in the world: the Rally Dakar run in Saudi Arabia.
The 2022-edition is scheduled from 2nd to 14th January 2022.
The sportif character, which Audi Brand expresses in the Motorsport world through advanced technologies to be transferred on the road, now results in the official participation in Dakar as pioneer that takes part in the rally raid with an alternative powertrain.
Stéphane Peterhansel, 14-time winner of Dakar, will be member of Audi crews who will take part in the next rally raid with the innovative electric Audi RS Q e-tron prototype.
Dakar is the coherent synthesis of the two worlds that represent the pillars in the sportif history of the Brand: endurance and rallies.
Audi RS Q e-tron is equipped with three powertrains derived from the single-seater Audi e-tron FE07 of Formula E: two MGU (Motor Generator Units), one in correspondence of each axle, will perform the traction, whereas a third unit acts as generator to share in the high-voltage battery recharge, especially while braking. As it is not possible to derive energy from the desert, Audi has opted for an on-board solution: the accumulator is replenished while driving by the action of a range extender. Function, the latter, entrusted to the performing four-cylinder TFSI – turbocharged with direct petrol injection – derived from DTM, German Tourism Championship.

Innovative welding technology to produce Mercedes electric SUV

By the Austrian manufacturing site of MAGNA, at Lebring, they will implement a fully automated ladder frame production line for the electric variant of SUV. The technological player that has been entrusted in the third 2021-quarter with the design, delivery and assembly of everything is KUKA.
The design sees as protagonist Innovative welding technologies: the components, some of which are very large, are welded together automatically in various stations on the state-of-the-art KUKA arc welding system. In the future, several KUKA robots will take over the welding of the front and rear structure, as well as the machining in the ZSB line and in the finish. KUKA’s powerful KR 1000 titan robot is used for component handling in the ZSB line. The special feature of this new system: the use of innovative welding technology that is perfectly adapted to the new needs and production processes of electromobility.
The words by the CEO of Kuka Systems, Gerald Mies: «Electromobility requires special welding technologies, for which KUKA already has the appropriate automation solutions in its repertoire. We have a longstanding successful cooperation with MAGNA Presstec, which we are further expanding with this important future topic».

Everything ready to produce the electric truck by Iveco-Nikola

Two years after the announcement of the joint venture between IVECO (CNH Industrial) and Nikola Corporation, at Ulm the manufacturing plant of Nikola Tre electric heavy trucks is ready. By the end of 2021, then in the 50,000 square metres of the factory, the production will start and in 2022 the first vehicles will be delivered to selected customers in the United States.
It seems that in the first phase the production will be focused on the Battery Electric Vehicle, BEV, model but the evolution reserved to the modular heavy platform of IVECO and Nikola is already ready. It is a prototype of Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicle, FCEV, intended for leaving German assembling lines by the end of 2023.
A platform, expressly designed for an electric native project, will be used. The two companies’ target is taking jointly the leadership in the ambit of the short and long haul electric heavy transport, to be neutral from the point of view of the climatic impact.
Among the first applications of the joint-venture, it is worth highlighting the agreement with Hamburg port authorities, which provides for the start of tests in the port of BEV vehicles by Nikola Tre for transport and logistic operations, together with high-performance recharge solutions.

Milano Design Week: electric is highly fashionable

In these days, international spotlights are cast on Milan and on its Design Week, the international event in the Lombard capital city attended by visitors interested in design from all over the world, both for the visit to Fiera Salone del Mobile and to Fuorisalone. Limestone of how much the vehicle is trendy today and of its ever-rising popularity is Audi Fuorisalone, which from 5th to 27th September, in via della Spiga 26, opens the doors to the public with an exclusive fitting out created by Marcel Wanders studio.
Spiga 26 intends to be the new metropolitan “creativity district”, meant as place of interexchange among innovation, culture, inspiration and influence, and it has been deemed as the perfect location to house Audi City Lab, a hub that will welcome histories and personages that embody the idea of Audi progress to celebrate new future prospects and concepts. Tomorrow’s digital sustainable connected mobility so matches daily life, giving birth to new unexpected relationships.
Through an immersive experience, visitors can discover, in Italian premiere, Audi A6 e-tron concept, the electric high-end sedan presented at Shanghai exhibition last April. Forefront electric prototype with Sportback bodywork, Audi A6 e-tron concept anticipates the stylish features of the future high-end models by Audi.
Characterized by the new electric PPE platform, it combines technical versatility, reference habitability, all-wheel drive and power of 476 CV. The spaces of the hub will house also Audi RS e-tron GT. Audi presence in Spiga 26 location, after the Design Week, will continue for the whole month of September, also on the occasion of the further Milanese meetings scheduled and held during the MiArt/Art Week and the Fashion Week.
For the whole period, the compact electric native Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron will be on show along via Montenapoleone, due to the partnership with Montenapoleone District that for years has connected the Four-ring company with Quadrilatero della Moda.

At the customs more and more severe controls for electric motors

Ship 117 of Guardia di Finanza, Lake Iseo

This topical news underlines how much the higher popularity of the market of electric motors is going hand in hand with a rise of controls and a growing severity in conformity with bureaucracy.
Recently, almost 600 electric motors have been stopped at Ravenna Port, with inherent maxi-fine for a company headquartered in Forlì territory. The control was carried out with the collaboration of the officers of Excise, Customs and Monopoly Agency at the terminal container of the Byzantine port: militaries have subjected 588 electric motors to administrative detention because they were not provided with instructions in Italian language, with suspension of customs clearance and simultaneous reporting to Mise as market surveillance Authority.
A further control has highlighted that the importer has never provided for the registration in the specific register of the companies that import and market electric and electronic systems. Successively, only after the assessment of the occurred enrolment in the suitable register and the prearrangement of the instructions in Italian language, the man has received the consent for the release on the market. However, the administrative sanction was anyway issued, with possibility of lodge on appeal: over 34,000 Euros if paid within 60 days.

High-performance lithium-ion batteries

The company Cellforce Group, joint venture between Porsche and Customcells, has chosen BASF to collaborate exclusively in the development of cells for state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. The agreement establishes that BASF supplies the active materials of the high-energy NCM HEDTM cathode to share in the production of battery cells with fast recharge and high energy density. High-performance batteries will be then produced by Cellforce Group, with headquarters in Tubingen, in Germany. It is foreseen the factory starts the production in 2024 with initial yearly capacity of 100 MWh, able to power 1,000 vehicles for high-performance motor sports.
«With its in-depth knowledge in the field of active cathode materials, BASF supports us in a key area for the development of battery cells – added Markus Gräf, Managing Director of Cellforce Group. Its active materials of the cathode show high stability and they are excellent, especially for the fast recharge: precisely the characteristics Cellforce was looking for. Moreover, BASF has been committed to adapting its active cathode materials to the requisites of state-of-the-art silicon anodes. Last but not least, also in the manufacturing area we have processed, together with BASF colleagues, a project to collect rejects and to introduce them in the close-circuit recycling, to preserve resources, to protect the environment and to save in costs».

The great advance of Rimac manufacturer

The Croatian manufacturer of electric supercars and hi-tech solutions for e-cars, Rimac Automobili, has taken over Bugatti, the iconic French brand that since 1998 had been part of Volkswagen Group and that since the current year had been managed by Porsche. It is an unbelievable piece of news indeed, if you think that in just 10 years, Rimac Automobili has risen from the setup of a single-man workshop to takeovers of such level. Today, Bugatti Rimac merges into Rimac Group, which will be the primary shareholder with 55% share, while the remaining 45% will still be of Porsche, with joint venture formula.
The development, the production and the supply of battery systems, transmissions and other components for electric battery cars for which Rimac is appreciated as supplier of many automotive manufacturers, will be separated and integrated into a new entity: Rimac Technology, which will be 100% owned by Rimac Group. Rimac Technology will remain an independent company that collaborates with many global automotive companies.
«This is a really exciting time in the short, but rapidly expanding, history of Rimac Automobili – stated Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili. – This new adventure establishes a completely new level for things. I have always liked cars and I can recognize in Bugatti where the passion for cars can arrive. I am enthusiastic of the potential of these two brands that will combine knowledge, technologies and values to create some really special designs in the future».
A feather in the cap of RImac? The new Nevera with four electric motors able to offer 1,914 HP in all with 2,360 Nm torque that assure acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds (1.85 for 0-60 mph) for a maximum speed of over 400 km/h.

How converting a mini-digger into electric

The two protagonist companies are Honda, with its extractable batteries for bikes, and Komatsu, producer of heavy construction vehicles, that are collaborating for the joint development of electrified micro excavators powered by swappable Mobile Power Pack batteries and the establishment of a battery-sharing system for the civil engineering and construction industry.
Through this joint development, the two companies will electrify the Komatsu PC01 micro excavator by equipping it with Honda MPPs and an electrified power unit (eGX). Among various construction machines Komatsu offers, the PC01 is most likely to be used for various functions at worksites near people, trees, flowers and ornamental plants, including pipe-laying, landscaping and agricultural and livestock work. The two companies will strive to introduce the electrified Komatsu PC01 before the end of the current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2022.

Ready kits for electric aircrafts

The American MagniX, specialized in zero-emission solutions, has implemented two products for aviation, two ready-to-use electric motors for propellers.
The first is the electric propulsion unit Magni350-EPU, with 350 kW of maximum power, torque that ranges from 1,410 to 1,610 Nm and 500 power supply.
The rotation speed varies from 1,200 to 2,300 RPM for an operational altitude of 35,000 feet.
The second more powerful motor is Magni650-EPU, with precisely 650 kW of maximum power, same rotation speed, but torque from 2,820 to 3,020 Nm and unchanged power supply and operational altitude compared to its smaller brother.
The kit already includes the control electronics that encompasses inverter and controller, and it supports both analogue controls for conversion of old aircrafts but also Fly-By-Wire. Associated units are two in the case of Magni350, while they rise to four for Magni650, 170-kW each.

Honda: 100% electric production by 2040

The goal that the new managing director, Toshihiro Mibe, has recently communicated and personally defined as “challenging but in line with the brand’s ambitious targets” is reaching a production of fully electric vehicles and nitrogen motors by 2040.
Before, other intermediate steps: the increase up to 40% of the percentage of electric vehicles and double power supply cars, to rise then to 80% in 2035 and to 100% in 2040.
To hit the target, Honda has allocated for its R&D about 5,000 billion yens, accounting for 38 billion Euros, for the next 6 years.