Electric cars are one of the big things in the auto industry right now, and it looks like Jaguar will be joining the club soon.
Speaking to AutoGuide today, Ian Callum said an electric Jag is probably coming sooner than we would think.
“Within two years, we’ll have something that’s not driven by a petrol engine,” he said before joking that the car would be instead be powered by “just a couple of hamsters.”
A representative from Jaguar wouldn’t clarify what kind of electric car it would be, but did say it’s inevitable considering the direction the rest of the industry is heading. She also said we could probably guess which models will get electrified first.
Presumably, that would mean the F-Pace and the XJ will be first to go, while the F-Type is safe from battery power (at least for now). AutoGuide has also uncovered trademarks Jaguar filed for an I-Type and an I-Pace, which points to an electrified F-Type—and an electrified F-Pace—coming at some point.
Assuming Callum is correct, look for the first concept car to show up in the next year or so.
March 24th, 2016 § Comments Off on Will we See an Electric Jaguar by 2018? § permalink
February 15th, 2016 § Comments Off on VW electric car on the new MEB platform will have 311 miles of range for 2019 § permalink
Autocar is out with a new report today claiming inside information on Volkswagen’s first electric car to be built on the new MEB platform. MEB is the platform unveiled at CES last month and showcased in the company’s microbus concept: BUDD-e.
The platform will allow VW to bring to market electric vehicles made to be electric from the ground up. It is based on the now familiar concept of a large battery pack extending flat between the axles.
Volkswagen has apparently green-lighted the BUDD-e, or at least a version of the BUDD-e, for development into volume production, but the vehicle is not expected to hit the market before 2020. Autocar says VW aims to bring to market another electric vehicle on the same platform before the microbus, around 2019, and it will be closer in size to the automaker’s flagship Golf.
Yesterday we wrote about VW planning a longer range version (186 miles) of the all-electric e-Golf, but the vehicle Autocar is talking about would be an entirely new model understood to be around 4400mm in length compared to the Golf’s 4255mm.
The publication claimed the new model’s range will exceed 311 miles (500 km) on a single charge, though that’s likely based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is known to be less restrictive than the EPA standard. For example, Tesla’s Model S 85D, which is equipped with a 85 kWh battery pack, gets 270 EPA-rated miles, but 330-NEDC rated miles. “Real-world” range is closer to the EPA ratings.
Autocar also writes that Volkswagen plans to introduce cutting-edge connectivity and infotainment systems in the new vehicle. You can read the full report on their website.
December 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on Swatch says it has a better electric car battery § permalink
Swatch, the innovative Swiss company known mostly for its stylish watches, made an attempt to build an electric car way back in the 80’s. That effort was a dismal failure, mostly because the timing was all wrong. The only batteries available then were of the traditional lead acid variety. No one had even thought of using a lithium ion battery to power an electric car back then. » Read the rest of this entry «
November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan’s 60-kWh, 200-Mile Battery Pack: What We Know So Far § permalink
Will the next-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf offer an option that could provide 200 miles of more of real-world driving range?
Based on the concept car and prototype battery pack that officially bowed this past week, coinciding with the Tokyo Motor Show, it’s increasingly likely.
One of them is that it points to how a new generation of vehicles with autonomous-drive modes might look—and function with pedestrians, normally driven cars, and the immediate surroundings.
With the concept Nissan also dropped some hints about a potential styling direction for the next-generation Leaf electric car.
Furthermore, the concept officially threw in a 60-kWh battery—which, if it’s affordable enough, could be the key to stay competitive against a raft of rivals including the Chevy Bolt, and Tesla Model 3.
Although a Nissan official told us that 60 kWh isn’t a hard-and-fast capacity number, the approximate size is something that the automaker plans to offer in the next several years.
And that pack isn’t just concept-car fantasy. It exists (pictured above), developed internally by Nissan, and they’re calling the pack a working prototype, aimed at providing a 500-km (300-mile) range in the very generous European or Japanese driving cycles.
In all, it’s quite different than the currently available 24-kWh pack in the Leaf or its upgraded 30-kWh pack that’s going to be available beginning in a few months. The latter will offer an EPA-rated 107 miles.
At least for now, any claims that the automaker is planning to move to an external supplier are premature.
Lithium-ion battery pack of 2011 Nissan Leaf, showing cells assembled into modules
This past week, at the Nissan Technical Center at Atsugi, Japan, we were about to learn more about this pack from some of the team overseeing its development. Here are some key points of this next-gen, 200-mile battery:
The prototype moves from a nickel manganese cathode to a nickel manganese cobalt one. The anode remains made of graphite, and the electrolyte remains a lithium compound.
Flexible pack structure.
The current Leaf battery uses four cells per module (with 48 modules in the entire 24-kWh pack)—a structure that allows a uniform height and shape for the pack. But this one moves to a multiple-cell configuration; Nissan will be able to adjust the number of cell stacks (and thus height) depending on packaging and capacity demands. An official said that they were conservative with the number of cells per stack in the original battery design, but with essentially no failures or issues, they’re fine perhaps dramatically increasing that number.
Engineers have made an effort to reduce impedance, through the increased quantity of cells and a revised electrode material. This allows longer charging at maximum current—and will potentially allow faster-rate 100-kW charging versus the current 50-kW. Higher voltage is under discussion.
More weight, but a lot more power density. Using the 24-kWh pack as a baseline, Nissan says that the new 60-kWh pack weighs just 220 pounds more. So with that older pack weighing in the vicinity of 660 pounds, that ups overall weight to nearly 900 pounds. It’s impressive, considering the gain in kWh per pound.
Nissan made the original Leaf battery pack completely air-cooled, and while there were some early, isolated issues in very hot climates like Arizona, those seem to be largely solved today. Liquid cooling isn’t being considered for an entirely new, larger-capacity battery—at least in this prototype form. Forced-air cooling isn’t likely either.
Increased state-of-charge range.
That’s thanks to a wider voltage range—which runs at about 2.5 to 4.15 volts in the current battery.
Longer service life.
Nissan has revised the electrode material and optimized the lithium electrolyte (it won’t say how in either case), with the net effect being less of a performance drop over years and hundreds of charge cycles. Suppressed lithium corrosion will help durability, too. One of several charts we saw but were instructed not to publish, if to scale, suggested that instead of a standard capacity degradation to 80 percent after five years, it now might be 90 percent.
September 30th, 2015 § Comments Off on Volkswagen To Roll Out More Electric and Plug-In Cars By 2020 § permalink
Looking ahead, Volkswagen wants its cars to be able to function as smartphones on wheels — sending and receiving data as they drive.
The German manufacturer plans on joining the self-driving car market, but in the more immediate sense, it will roll out 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids – spanning compacts to luxury sedans – according to Bloomberg.
“We are in the process of reinventing Europe’s largest automaker,” said VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn prior to this week’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, as reported by Bloomberg. “By 2020, we will have transformed all of our new cars into smartphones on wheels.”
Winterkorn added: “At a time of major social and technological upheaval, people expect new answers, new solutions and new directions from us. The Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron quattro concept are nothing less than a quantum leap for our industry.”
With each of the aforementioned electric vehicles boasting a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles), Winterkorn said VW’s Tiguan GTE model exemplifies their “determination to systematically take the plug-in hybrid to further classes and segments.”
To that end, Volkswagen showed off its concept technology for charging electric cars in “V-Charge” in Frankfurt.
“We have the right cars. Now what is needed is the right framework for this key technology to really catch on,” Winterkorn stated.
VW certainly needs the boost, considering that Bloomberg is reporting that the manufacturer’s deliveries in the United States are declining and have also slowed in China, its largest market.
In addition to its vow to roll out with 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020, Volkswagen was recently one of the automakers that gained approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous cars on the steets of California.
September 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on Tesla Model S rival: Porsche Mission E electric saloon revealed at Frankfurt § permalink
Tesla Model S rival has over 600bhp and more than 300 miles of range – and a production version is on the way. Porsche has stolen the limelight at this year’s Frankfurt motor show with the unveiling of this spectacular new 600bhp plus electric-powered concept car – the Mission E.
Drawing on the electric drive and energy storage know-how gained in the development of the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race car, along with the lightweight construction and battery technology created for the 918 Spyder hypercar, the sleek new four-door concept is claimed to closely preview an innovative new
Telsa Model S rival that’s being readied for launch before the end of the decade.
911 Turbo pace
With a 0-62mph time to challenge the latest 911 Turbo and a claimed range of more than 331 miles, the Mission E holds true to Porsche’s practical performance mantra, while also taking a nod to the future with the latest in 800 volt recharging technology and full zero-emission compatibility.
“We always said that when we do an electric car, it would be a true sportscar. We also said it would offer the performance traditional Porsche buyers demand,” said Wolfgang Hatz, head of research and development, at the unveiling of the Mission E on Monday evening, adding, “We have achieved both goals, while providing it with everyday practicality and an exceptional range.”
Power for the four-wheel drive Mission E is provided by two electric motors – one mounted up front acting on the front axle and one at the rear providing drive to the rear wheels. Produced in-house, both units run in a permanent synchronous state for what Hatz describes as “uniform power development for reliably reproducible accelerative ability” and “greater scope for energy recuperation”.
The German car maker is yet to reveal the individual power loadings for each motor, but confirms a combined output of over 600bhp. This provides the new concept with at least 80bhp more than the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre six cylinder 911 Turbo – the fastest-accelerating production Porsche.
With a kerb weight of over 2000kg, the Mission E is claimed to hit 62mph from standstill in 3.5sec – or just 0.1sec shy of the 911 Turbo’s official time. Porsche also quotes a 0-200km/h time of less than 12.0sec for its new concept, which uses an on-demand four-wheel drive system in which the front wheels are driven only during acceleration, under hard driving or on slippery road surfaces. An electronically controlled torque-vectoring function also automatically distributes drive to each individual rear wheel for improved handling balance.
Hatz describes the handling of the Mission E as “typically rear biased”. He also says computer simulations suggest it is capable of lapping the Nurburgring circuit in less than eight minutes – a time that places it on a similar performance plane to the Cayman S.
With 682bhp, the £79,080 Tesla Model S P85D possesses a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.2sec.
September 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on #ev proud: Scotland hosts first electric car rally § permalink
The sixty mile round trip cost drivers around £1.50 compared to £9 for a petrol-powered journey.Sixty electric cars took part in a rally between Stirling and Glasgow over the weekend to celebrate the launch of a new electric vehicle (EV) subsidy.
The sixty-mile round trip, led by Scrapheap Challenge presenter Robert Llewellyn in his Tesla, cost drivers around £1.50, compared to £9 for a petrol-powered journey.
Taking place on Saturday, the convoy set off from George Square in Glasgow, and toured Stirling, before returning to Glasgow.
The rally was hosted to promote the recent launch of a £2.5m electric vehicle loan fund from the Scottish Government. Businesses can now receive interest-free loans up to £100,000 to cover the cost of an EV, with individuals qualifying for loans up to £50,000.
The new Scottish loan can also be used alongside the existing UK Government Plug-In Car and Van Grant scheme, which offers grants of up to £5,000 for those buying a new electric car and £8,000 for a van.
Scotland’s Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “It is fantastic to see so many enthusiastic participants and such a variety of cars taking part in Scotland’s first ever electric vehicle rally. With no dirty exhaust fumes or revving engines, this must be the quietest and most environmentally considerate rally spectators will see this year.
“This event challenges old perceptions about the range and performance of electric vehicles and may perhaps encourage those in the market for a new car to consider going electric.
“The recent launch of the £2.5million EV loan fund means we’re enabling even more people than ever before to make the switch and buy one – saving money, reducing emissions and making our communities greener, cleaner and healthier.”
The rally was born from the same concept as Formula E – using motorsport to help change perceptions of EVs. These tactics, along with subsidy support, saw UK sales of EVs triple in the first half of 2015, from 4,096 in 2014 to 14,126 in 2015.
Last month, a Government study also found that ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are increasingly being used like ‘normal’ cars. In households which own ULEVs, 82% use the low emission car as their main vehicle, while 20% of people who own electric vehicles use it as their only vehicle.
Electric vehicles are also steadily increasing in range, with Nissan announcing last week that its flagship LEAF model now has a single-charge range of 155 miles.
Since the Plug-In Car and Van Grant scheme was introduced in January 2011, more than 34,000 eligible vehicles have been registered across the UK.
April 20th, 2015 § Comments Off on yey: Volkswagen bus to be revived as an electric vehicle § permalink
The iconic “hippie wagon” may soon see a very apropos resurrection from the dead. Speaking at the New York Auto Show, Volkswagen board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser announced that the German auto company was working on a brand new camper concept — one that would run on batteries, rather than petrol, powering an electric motor driving the front wheels.
Talking to Autocar at the event, Dr Neusser said that the new car would maintain three iconic design principles of the original Type 2 microbus, first introduced in Germany in 1950. “First the wide, solid, D-Pillar,” he said; “Second the boxy design of the centre section; and, thirdly, the front end must have a very short overhang. The distance from the A-pillar to the front end must be very short.” » Read the rest of this entry «
August 27th, 2014 § Comments Off on Uber exciting: Nissan Leaf to get sharp new look and range upgrade to 186 miles! § permalink
Nissan is hard at work developing the next-generation Leaf, focusing on improving the range with new battery tech and – as our exclusive images show – a more conventional look. The new car is expected to be on sale late in 2016, with prices starting around £17,000.
Clearly, the introduction of Tesla’s Model S – and its claimed 312-mile range – has changed the electric car market, making the current Leaf’s real-world range of 85 miles seem a bit old-hat.
Nissan bosses are promising new battery technology is on the way, with better energy density for a more usable pure electric vehicle. A figure of about 186 miles is likely to be the target.
There’s a good chance Nissan will offer smaller battery packs with less range, like Tesla does with its 60kWh and 85kWh packs. The new battery technology and motor will be shared with Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, too.
The premium brand has already made steps towards developing an all-electric saloon – at April’s New York Motor Show, it unveiled the LE concept, which used the current Leaf’s underpinnings. This new model is now thought to be on track for a release in mid-2016.
» Read the rest of this entry «
2017: Next Nissan LEAF (mk3) to get a more ‘mainstream’ look & bigger capacity battery 300km/180miles?
May 11th, 2014 § Comments Off on 2017: Next Nissan LEAF (mk3) to get a more ‘mainstream’ look & bigger capacity battery 300km/180miles? § permalink
Nissan executives have shared some of their goal for the next version of the popular LEAF electric car. Top of the list are more “mainstream styling” and a new higher-capacity battery that “greatly increases its range”. In fact, they see greater range as key to higher sales.
“The battery chemistry is all about range and energy density. That’s where you see the technology moving very, very fast,” said Andy Palmer, executive vice president in charge of Nissan’s zero emissions and Infiniti businesses, in an interview last month at the Beijing auto show. “This really is the game-changing technology.”