Friday, October 30, 2020

Electric joint venture for Audi and FAW

Two industrial giants, the Chinese automotive company First Automotive Works and the German Audi have recently signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a joint venture for the production of electric vehicles based on the Premium Platform Electric.

What does it actually happen? Audi will bring the PPE developed with Porsche to China and on its base, within four years, they will produce different fully electric Audi models to be released on the Chinese market. The current scenario is very positive: in the first nine months of 2020, Audi delivered 4.5% more of electric cars versus the same period of the previous year.

«The agreement – stated Qiu Xiandong, general manager of FAW Group – is a strong message about the further enhancement of the Chinese automotive industry and the strengthening of the international cooperation in the sector of green energy vehicles».

The German witness is as enthusiastic: «This decision – affirmed Markus Duesmann, president of Audi AG board of directors – underlines the strategic importance of the Chinese market that induces us to go on with innovations on a local scale».

Is there a city with only electric cars?

Yes, there is, the small Appy village, in the South of France. It is an isolated hamlet because there are only woods and meadows around it; place of an experiment signed by Renault in collaboration with Publicis: its 27 inhabitants can travel exclusively with electric vehicles thanks to a triennial project started at the end of July. How? Renault has lent an electric Zoe to all families with the aim of demonstrating that the full transition to electric mobility is possible not only in cities but also in peripheral realities.

Spotlights are cast on a vehicle with 395-km autonomy in WLTP cycle, able to recover up to 150 km of autonomy with half an hour recharge.

Moreover, the test will allow assessing the car in the particular conditions of the zone, characterized by hot summers and snowy winters, an area that will become ambassador of the 100% zero emission mobility.

Renault more and more at zero emissions

It is virtuous the engagement of Renault Group, committed to zeroing carbon emissions in Europe within 2050 and to reducing, within 2030, 50% of CO2 emissions versus 2010.

Ten years have gone by since when Renault introduced the first ZOE on the road. Today, there are 350,000 Renault electric vehicles that circulate in the world, subdivided into 8 different models. Besides, within 2022, all new marketed models will be equipped with an electric or electrified version in a market where, within 5 years, 50% of sold vehicles will travel in electric or hybrid modality.

What are, anyway, the latest novelties by Renault that let it stand out among the most electric brands in the world? Through a recent event, it has unveiled two new electric cars: the showcar Renault Mégane eVision, a compact dynamic sedan for a new generation of electric vehicles, and Dacia Spring Electric, which ranks among the most accessible electric vehicles in Europe.

Mégane eVision, fully electric, reinvents the compact sedan model, combining it with the codes of coupe and SUV, relying on the brand-new CMF-EV platform dedicated to the electric mobility. Dacia Spring Electric is instead the small city car featuring modern look that will be marketed since 2021.

The electric prototype of Mercedes

It is called Vision EQXX the new fully electric prototype announced by Mercedes, a model that is likely to be the zero-emission vehicle with the highest autonomy ever obtained, over 1,200 km. This achievement would allow travelling from Beijing to Shanghai with a single charge.

Behind the development of Mercedes Vision EQXX there is a team with headquarters in Stuttgart, supported by the British Group AMG High Performance Powertrain, specialized in design and development of electric motors for motorsport. Feather in the cap of this new model will be the efficiency level of the vehicle and of the powertrain. «We have – affirmed Markus Schafer, Research and Development Manager of Mercedes – set up a team of our engineers to undertake an extraordinary challenge: manufacturing the electric car with the highest autonomy and efficiency ever implemented. It is a wide project, researching for state-of-the-art technologies».

Vision EQXX demo car will be very important to improve further the electric cars of Mercedes EQ range, constantly widened.


SEAT, here is the new hybrid plug-in Leon

Few months after the release, SEAT Leon strengthens its offensive with the introduction in the price list of the two new hybrid plug-in 1.4 and-HYBRID 204 HP propulsion systems, absolute preview for Barcelona brand. The hybrid offensive by Leon includes also the second mild hybrid (1.0 eTSI) propulsion system to offer innovative propulsion technologies. The new hybrid proposals represent an important strategic element for the brand, in a market that in August registered the 22.4% weight of hybrid motors, unceasingly growing in last months, with over 200% increment versus the same period of last year.

The matching of 1.4 TSI petrol engine with an electric motor, a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and the DSG gearbox with six-speed double clutch allows the whole to develop 204 HP power (150 kW) and 350 Nm torque. The hybrid system of the new hybrid plug-in Leon is based on the coupling of a 1.4 TSI 150HP combustion engine and an 85kW electric motor with 12.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, all that coupled with DSG automatic gearbox. Besides, the hybrid plug-in version enables the drive in fully electric modality, and then with zero CO2 emissions, with autonomy of about 60 km, just exploiting the energy stored in the car’s battery.

The electric motor is mounted between the combustion engine and the gearbox and achieves energy from the battery pack with eight modules featuring 12 cells each, installed in front of the rear axle.


KiaCharge, a European recharge net

Due to the collaboration with Digital Charging Solutions (DCS), Kia offers the drivers of its BEV and PHEV vehicles the access to about 167,000 recharge stations in all Europe.

By signing up for KiaCharge, in fact, it is possible to gain access to the infrastructures of the primary energy providers through a single platform, to facilitate and to speed up the energy supply. Moreover, through the eRoaming, customers can manage recharge costs on the whole European network in a single monthly invoice, without having to stipulate additional contracts with multiple suppliers.

«The availability and the suitability of public recharge points –Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, affirmed – remains a hindrance for many potential buyers of electric vehicles. With the introduction of a complete accessible public recharge service from a single account, we are committed to making the use of an electric vehicle simpler, and then the choice more feasible».

Since October 6th, KiaCharge users will gain access to the DCS net through a single radiofrequency identification card (RFID) or an app at disposal on Play Store or App Store, and therefore they will be allowed browsing the information about prices in real time and choosing the stations that better suit their requirements, too.

KiaCharge plan is available, astride September and October 2020, in Italy, Poland, Spain, Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland; in the United Kingdom they will instead use it since the fourth 2020-quarter.


“Electrical” partnership for motor sports

The protagonists of a decennial strategic partnership are Polaris and Zero Motorcycles that together foresee the development of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. The intention of Polaris is proposing within 2025 vehicles with electric motor inside each of its main segments, with the first debut forecast by the end of 2021.

It is a revolutionary partnership that avails itself of two talented work teams, oriented to widen notably the offer of electric vehicles in the world of motor sports.

“Due to the progresses in results, price strategy and performances in recent years, and customers’ ever-rising interest –Scott Wine, president and CEO of Polaris, declared – it is now the time for us, thanks also to the collaboration with Zero Motorcycles strategic partner, to implement our rEV’d up programme and incisively accelerate our ranking in the electrification sector in motor sports.

The choice fell on Zero Motorcycles because it plays a pioneer role in electrification, with advanced technologies and notable know-how.

“Zero Motorcycles – stated Sam Paschel, CEO of the company  – is pleased and honoured to give birth to this strategic collaboration that will change the sector, while we are collaborating and developing the vehicle technologies and platforms that will enhance the electrification future in motor sports.

The great boom of Volkswagen e-up

It seems that in Italy Volkswagen has already run out the e-Ups at disposal for 2020 and at present the model cannot be ordered any more. The same in Germany where, due to the strong rise of the demand for electric vehicles, the automotive company has decided removing the e-Up temporarily from price lists. Germans have made a clean sweep of the small electric also thanks to the VAT decreased to 16% and to the eco-bonus: a mix of provisions that allow buying e-Up with just less than twelve thousand Euros.

News coming from the headquarters report that the sale is expected to restart by the yearend for 2021 shares.

A curiosity that honours the small electric Volkswagen: since last July, one e-Up has been also used by the 113 of Verona Police Headquarters, the first 100% electrical vehicle in this context intended for service in the old town. A couple of years ago, the same choice also to implement the car fleet of Centre Commissariat of Milan Police headquarters.



SEAT, the Learning Center for electric mobility is set up

At the core of Martorell factory, they have recently inaugurated a new training centre dedicated to electric mobility, in a space taking up 400 square metres specific courses that range from engineering to safety are at disposal of all SEAT collaborators.

The shifting towards electrical does not only concern products but also and especially the people who implement them: for this reason, the electromobility Learning Center (eLC) was born, a structure fully dedicated to the e-mobility.

Here SEAT is offering a complete course programme exclusively focused on electric vehicles; the target is relying on collaborators trained on all aspects connected with the new zero-emission technology. They organize sessions about the hybrid and electric technology, as well as on the importance of safety procedures in the management of electric vehicles. Moreover, the specialists who operate on the manufacturing line receive a targeted training, to learn how to connect and disconnect electric systems and to execute other operations with active high-voltage current.

This is completed by online courses, which have allowed 8,600 collaborators to gain higher awareness of electric vehicles also during lockdown periods caused by Coronavirus.

«The future is electricXavier Ros, Executive Vice-president Human Resources and Organization of SEAT, stated – and for this reason we are committed to training and developing our talents. Through the eLC we are going to provide our over 15,000 collaborators with all necessary instruments to face future challenges».

The new Learning Center dedicated to electric mobility is part of the 5-billion investment plan announced by SEAT, and consolidates its commitment to training as pillar on which the transition towards electric rests. Within 2021, SEAT and CUPRA will release five new electric and hybrid plug-in models, which will join the electric version of SEAT Mii, already on the market.

The awarded Design of electric Vespa

Style icon on the road, but also real lifestyle, Vespa is loved and it attracts also in its zero-emission “green” version. The electric model of Piaggio in fact – which represents one of Made in Italy myths in the world – has recently received a prestigious award: the Honourable Mention by the International Jury of the XXVI Gold Compass ADI prize, one of the most ancient and authoritative international awards dedicated to design.

Electric Vespa confirms the pioneering and innovative spirit of a brand, Vespa, unique and unmistakeable in the global mobility market”, explained Award Prizes managers, illustrating the reasons for such Honourable Mention for design.

Besides its shapes, what are the winning characteristics that characterize Vespa? Extraordinary connectivity, high customization, silence and – obviously – environment protection.