New Land Rover Hybrids

Land Rover is looking to trade out the V8 turbodiesel in the Range Rover Vogue and RR Sport with new six-cylinder mild hybrid diesel engines. Land Rover is already using four-cylinder mild hybrid engines in the new Discovery Sport and Evoque. The new six-cylinder diesels plus the Discovery Sport and Evoque will form the base of Land Rover’s high end stable.

No details have been confirmed but the rumor is the engine will be 220kW 3.0-litre six-pot mild hybrid. It will be available on the higher end versions of the Range Rover Sport. The expectations of this new powertrain include big fuel savings and better stop/start because of the integrated belt starter.

The more advanced version of that engine will give you 257kW and is likely to end up in the HST variants. This will replace the 4.4-litre diesel V8 from Ford. Rumors speculate this engine will provide 700Nm of torque and 0-100 time of around 6.5 seconds for the Range Rover Sport.

These engines will both be used in the larger Range Rovers. It is also thought these two engines will end up in the Jaguar F-Pace eventually.

Porsche Claims 911 May Never Go All Electric

Porsche, the world-renowned luxury automaker from Germany, stated that it expects to increase sales of its all electric vehicles in the coming years. However, fans and customers should not expect an electric vehicle version of the company’s celebrated 911 sports car in the near future if at all.

Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO, that the 911 would absolutely be the last of their models to be modified for full electrification if it ever becomes electric at all. Porsche seems to stand firm on its declarations about the future of 911 even amid announcements they will plan for about 80% of their vehicles to be electrified by 2030.

Porsche called the 911 their “icon.” Porsche stated during a recent press conference that the concept of the 911 doesn’t allow for it to become fully electric and remain a 911. Specifically they stated the read mounted engine as the primary reason, that they weight of the batteries in the rear would be make the car undriveable.

Porsche reported 17% percent of its global sales were electrified last year. A third of those sales were in Europe.


Tesla’s Fremont, CA Plant Experiences Another in a Series of Fires

Fremont Fire Dept. firefighters responded to a “working fire” at the Fremont, CA Tesla plant according to a statement by the Department.

No civilians or firefighters were injured according to the Fremont Fire Department.

The report stated the fire occurred in an area of the factory under construction. This is Tesla’s primary assembly plant in the U.S. although they are building a second in Austin, TX.

While the plant had recently shot down for at least two days due to parts shortages, this is just the first in a series of costly fires at the plant. Including multiple fires in its paint shop.

The factory is known to have received “notices of violation from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The EPA is also reviewing the factory for possible violations of the Clean Air Act.

This time the fire was contained to vehicle manufacturing stamping machine. The cause of the fire was determined to be “molten aluminum and hydraulic fluid.”


Volkswagaen’s 2026 Project Trinity to Change EVs Forever?

In 2026 Volkwagen’s Project Trinity will roll out as a innovative electric vehicle. It will include autonomous driving and introduce a new business model that includes new functions for the vehicle as a downloadable service.

It has previously been described as “highly efficient” and as having an “iconic design.” The glasshouse style of the concept (likely used to display the LED focused interior) will not likely influence the look of the first production car.

Volkswagen, under its Accelerate plan, will release one new EV per year.

The Trinity EV will be based on some elements from the MEB EV platform but will include new powertrains and more advanced software. The software will provided increasingly advanced systems in terms of connectivity, technology and driving.

Volkswagen looks to set new standards with both distance and charging—the goal to have charging take no longer than a typical fuel stop.

The New Tesla Model S Won’t Have a Shifter?

Tesla and fonder Elon Musk have announced that the new Model S will have no shifter as the car will “guess” which direction the driver wants to go based on what it sees with its sensors, its navigation map and the context of the data. Basically, the Model S is making an educated guess on whether to go forward or backwards.

Electrek reported that the car will use its Autopilot sensors to decide, intelligently and automatically, the intention of the driver and chose a drive mode for the vehicle. As an example, if the Model S is facing a garage wall the computer will detect this and automatically shift to reverse once the driver presses the break.

According to Musk drivers will be able to manually override this feature and shift the car themselves from the main touchscreen. Though Musk stated he believes after a few days of driving people won’t want to go back to having to use a shifter.

Tesla no longer keeps a communication or PR department so these details cannot be confirmed.

One big change to the new model is a yoke-style steering wheel. It was originally though this new steering wheel was part of the new AI shifting system but that now does not seem to be the case.


Bentley to Research Recycling Rare Earth Magnets for Use in Their EV Engines

Bentley is starting a three-year long research project to try to develop recyclable and sustainable electric motors.

Bentley, Crewe luxury car brand, hopes that the result might be that recycled rare-earth magnets would be used in select motors for the first time ever. The new project came after Bentley’s commitment to offer only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026.

The RaRE (Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines) study will build on work that was already completed by researchers at the University of Birmingham in developing methods of extracting magnets from waste electronics.

The goal for Bentley is to scale the research so they can extract magnetic material to be used in building new, recyclable magnets for use in their electric motors.

Bentley hopes that the RaRE project promises change by steps in electrical engine recyclability—while on upside of electric vehicles has been the lack of emissions but the waste created by the scraped cars have been an issue because of rare earth metals, batteries, etc.



Lyft and Toyota Team Up to Offer Ride Share Drivers Hydrogen Car Rental

Toyota and Lyft have created a partnership to offer a limited of ride-hail drivers in Vancouver, BC access to hydrogen cell Mirai sedans. Lyft drivers in the city will be able to rent one of just 24 Mirais for $156 a week. The price was described as very competitive by Lyft’s general manager for BC.

The Toyota-Lyft partnership is part of Lyft’s efforts to have their platform be emissions free by 2030. Toyota benefits in the partnership as it gets to introduce consumers to hydrogen cell cars which are fueled by the universe’s most common element. Toyota stated that because of this program everyday consumers who sit in the back seat of a Mirai will get to experience a hydrogen car in a way Toyota couldn’t achieve on their own.

For Toyota the partnership is also a proof of concept. They get to test their hydrogen vehicles in very-much real-life use. While the Mirai is six years old, Toyota has only sold about 11, 100 of them due to concerns over the lack of fueling stations or resale value.

Vancouver, BC has three of British Columbia’s four hydrogen stations making Vancouver an ideal testing ground.

Mercedes-Benz EQA–their first full-electric compact.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQA is the German car maker’s first full-electric compact car.

The EQA 250 is currently for sale with a starting price of about $49,000 for the Sport and $51,000 for the AMG Line trim. The EQA 250 Sport comes standard with cruise control, a back up camera, adaptive high-beam headlights, sports steering wheel and other driver aids standard. The AMG Line includes 20 inch alloy wheels, faux leather sport seats and beautiful interior trim.

The AMG Line can be upgraded with a package that includes twin-spoke alloy wheels, augmented reality navigation system and panoramic sunroof, upgrade sound system and wireless phone charging.

The EQA 250 all electric is just one of six EQ models to be launched by 2022. Mercedes is also planning a seven seat EQB.

The interior of the EQA, like much of the car, is based on the GLA. The interior of the EQA is basically unchanged—but the interior trim is now in rose-gold color along vents, seats and key hole in addition to new backlighting.


Xpeng Motors Gears Up New OS Updates to Challenge Tesla

Xpeng Motors, Chinese electric carmaker, has begun to release their new highway driving features for their autonomous cars to eligible customers as they set their eyes on challenging Tesla for control of the self-driving market.

The new electric vehicle announced its new NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot) this month. The feature lets drivers allow the car to change lanes, speed up, slow down and overtake other vehicles as well as entering and exiting highways.

This is a part of their next series of Xpeng’s XPILOT 3.0, which is their advanced driver-assistance system. Customers who bought the option on Xpeng’s P7 sedan which they can download while connected to WiFi.

This is part of a broader, over-the-air update that owners download on WiFi. The process is like updating a smartphone.

What Could Apple’s Future Role in Autonomous Vehicles Be?

Apple has made many false starts getting into the autonomous vehicle market—they continue their efforts both by themselves and through potential partnerships.

Many believe that Apple’s future as a tech giant will be to expand beyond phones and computers, which they have conquered already. Some believe that either a role in self-driving cars or in improving health care are their best bets.

Hyundai has made a public confirmation that they have been talking to Apple about the two companies working together in some form. Hyundai’s role could be in manufacturing and with battery technology. A product could be available as soon as 2024.

Additionally, Apple sought and received the OK from California regulators to test self-driving cars on city streets. They have a handful of vehicles equipped with a variety of sensors including radar and lidar which have been spotted on the roads of Silicon Valley.

Lastly, Apple has been hiring and invest in their own business even amongst staff cuts, leadership changeups and new strategies.