Friday 20th April 2018.

Coming up today but we’ll start with three luxury cars. 

AUDI E-TRON QUATTRO NÜRBURGRING VIDEO

  • Firstly the new Audi e-tron Quattro has been seen on the track! What has been called just the Audi e-tron for a long time looks like it’s now e-tron Quattro as they use e-tron for lots of cars. So this is the SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE challenger and the latest electric offering from VW.
  • There were plenty of them at the Geneva motor show ferrying around journalists and they were looking pretty finished and new video shows one being driven at speed around the Nürburgring race track
  • Stats on this as a reminder: 95kWh pack with is smaller than the very top Teslas, but charging speeds of 150kW which bests the I-PACE at 100kW, that’s80% charge in half an hour. And I think that’s realistically 250miles ish of range, some say 300, either way it’s up there at the top end of anything you can buy in the next couple of years.
  • And three motors will provide that intelligent 4 wheel drive system. I can’t wait to try it, I used to own a very quick Audi TT four wheel drive which used Audi’s famous Haldex system for transferring power from front to rear, and it was good. But I bet it’s norhing compared to the instant power offered by electric.
  • The delivery date is still set for the end of this year, which surely means production is starting soon. The starting price is 80.000 euros but it’s never easy to do a direct translation due to taxes.
  • Almost 250 prototypes will in the meantime complete a testing programme covering a target of over three million miles of real-world driving ? equivalent to 125 linear trips around the world. Some markets can already pre-order one.

 

POLESTAR ONE VIDEO OF ARCTIC WEATHER TESTING

  • Let’s stay with road testing gorgeous EV’s which are on our wish list. The Polestar 1. It is a very beautiful car, it’s not a full BEV but a PHEV and it’s officially launching next year. The engine is not only supercharged but turbocharged for good measure. They’re going for a pair of motors on the rear axle and that will provide the all-wheel drive. Just an aside ? I heard from a motor journalist friend today that’s how the next gen VW Golf will do all wheel drive: motor up front, and electrified rear wheels, on something like the new Golf R. I’ll dig into that.
  • Back to Polestar: “Our test drivers have given us some enthusiastic feedback on the handling and dynamics especially,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said in a press release. “This is a driver’s car. We have now passed a major milestone in the development of the Polestar 1, and prototype testing continues throughout 2018.” The electric range is pretty good too, they say and official range of 93 miles which is way above the typical PHEV luxury car, which even for the next gen models is around 20-30 miles.
  • These tests, which you can watch on the short video Polestar posted, are all about matching the right parts together for best performance. Test drivers spent a fortnight in the Arctic, driving at -18F or -28C to try suspension parts.
  • If you thought the Audi was pricey, the Polestar is $150,000, although I’m still a little confused. I thought it was only available on Volvo’s new subscription service. Then again if I walked in ? although I’m not sure where ‘in’ would because it’s all online ? but if I had 150k in cash I’m sure they wouldn’t kick me out of bed for farting. 7,000 potential customers have expressed an interest.
  • Remember as well, Polestar 2 and 3 will be full BEVs.

 

NISSAN’S INFINITI TO USE E-POWER HYBRID

  • Nissan’s Infiniti brand, much like Toyota’s Lexus, aims to capture the top end of the market and that still counts for EVs. And they plan to increase sales in China which can only mean one thing ? electric versions. They want to go from 50,000 to 150,000 vehicles a year in China with 4 new models.
  • From 2021 every Infiniti model launched will be either an all-electric car or so-called “e-Power” hybrids The e-power models Nissan make for China are selling really well; e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high-output. So there’s no plug, like the way Toyota have laid out their stall for the future.
  • The e-POWER system features full electric-motor drive, meaning that the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor. The power from a high-output battery is delivered to the e-POWER’s compact powertrain comprised of a gasoline engine, power generator, inverter, and a motor. In conventional hybrid systems, a low-output electric motor is mated to a gasoline engine to drive the wheels when the battery is low (or when traveling at high speeds). However, in the e-POWER system, the gasoline engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery.
  • China traditionally buys Mercs, BMW’s and Audis so it’s a big time for Nissan’s Infiniti.

 

NISSAN VAN GETS THE BIGGER BATTERY

  • And staying with Nissan, but at the other end of the scale I think the e-NV200, apart from having a slightly stupid name, is an underrated gem. In van or people carrier body styles, the only thing that has started to date the van is being stuck with the original LEAF battery.
  • Until?now. One of the best things about the battery is the thermal management which lacks on the LEAF and makes it very usable. Now Nissan are adding the 40kWh pack into the van, with an official range of over 180 miles.
  • I reached out to YouTuber Ian Sampson, who has posted videos about his van, to ask for help on realistic range. He reckons 120 miles, at 60% motorway and 40% B roads. Thank you Ian.
  • Deliveries will begin by the end of the year, I can’t tell you any more about US or European prices, it launches in the UK in 5 days’ time, so we can do some crude conversions when I know the price.
  • I think a 120 mile, 7 seater EV, made by Nissan is the ideal taxi. I can’t begin to tell you how yesterday, in the heatwave we had in the UK, all those London black cabs sitting at the train stations just idling and pumping out diesel, we need 2 or 3 realistic choices for taxis and not just the official black cab from LEVC.
  • The Nissan Press Release says: “A full charge in eight hours, even with higher capacity The Nissan e-NV200’s standard-equipment normal charger now has a capacity of 6 kW, up from 3 kW. By adding a wall-mounted 6kW normal-charging system, the 40kWh battery can be fully charged in about eight hours ? roughly the same as the previous standard charger ? at places such as a customer’s office or shop. Power Plug is now standard equipment in all models – a 100-volt outlet, can provide electricity for tools and equipment. 1000 watts of power from the Power Plug can be accessed for up to 15 hours, up from eight hours in the current model. With the optional EV Power Station installed, the Nissan e-NV200 can even supply electricity to offices and shops and serve as a backup power source during blackouts and emergencies.

 

CLARIFICATION ON CHADEMO CHARGERS AT ELECTRIFY AMERICA

  • A quick correction on InsideEVs, and in turn, I guess a good clarification on this show, I told you how the Electrify America chargers would feature 50kW CHAdeMO plugs as well as 150kW or 350kW CCS plugs. But I never made the connection that they were in any way, dissing CHAdeMO. But Electrify America felt the need to issue a statement to InsideEVs: “The CHAdeMO connectors are certified at 100kW at 200 amps, however we have de-rated those connectors to 50kW.  The CHAdeMO connectors will stay de-rated until testing with all vehicles and adaptors are successfully completed.
  • The intent is to offer 100kW for electric vehicles in the future. As a clarification ? all dual-CHAdeMO and CCS chargers are capable of 150kW on the CCS-side and capable of a 100kW on the CHAdeMO-side. 
  • As previously explained the CHAdeMO is de-rated to 50kW. (And that is for ABB, BTC Power, Efacec and Signet).  Since the de-rating is done by software, we will enable the 100kW CHAdeMO connectors at new and existing chargers after sufficient testing.”

 

ELECTRIFY AMERICA ADD CHARGERS TO WALMART

  • Electrify America and Walmart announced a new partnership that will see the installation of fast charging stations at Walmart stores across the country” says Slashgear “Specifically, Electrify America plans to install its fast chargers at more than 100 Walmart locations in 34 states across the US by June 2019. In today’s announcement, Electrify America said that this initiative will more than double the number of Walmart locations in the US that offer EV charging stations.”

 

CHARGING MADE FRICTIONLESS

  • What’s the worst thing about charging? Many would say having a card for every network, or fob, or contactless not being rolled out enough yet.
  • German company Hubject has developed a solution which enables customers to access charging stations by means of a digital certificate: Plug&Charge via the international standard ISO 15118″ says Green Car Congress: “The smart owner registers with the electricity supplier once using the Plug&Charge ID; the smart EV identifies itself as soon as it is plugged into a compatible charging station and charging starts automatically. Plug&Charge handles the authentication and billing. In conjunction with smart charging, tariff information provided by the charging station is used to optimise the charging process. Daimler AG has been a shareholder of Hubject GmbH since 2012, along with the BMW Group, Volkswagen Group, Bosch and others. In addition to the shareholders of Hubject, all market players worldwide across all industries can now join Hubject’s ISO 15118 ecosystem. And surely that’s the dream for EV’s when they become truly mainstream, lots or chargers in car parks or workplaces, and you just plug them in. That’s it. That does seem like a more ‘2018 solution’ if you get my drift, it’s more like tapping my phone on a contactless reader to pay for shopping. But actually even easier, it’s like the shop knowing it’s me when I’m shopping without ever having to tap my card anywhere.

 

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