Citroën Enters EV Passenger Van Market

European car maker Citroën is going the small market for EV passenger vans with its all electric Spacetourer model.

The e-Spacetourer, up to 9 passengers, features an electric motor which puts out 134bhp and 192lb ft of torque. This replaces the original’s diesel engine. The e-Spacetourer employs a 50kWh battery pack. This gives it a WLTP-certified range of 143 miles and a top speed of 80mph.

The eSpacetourer also includes three driving modes to increase range. Its “Eco” mode drops the output significantly to 80bhp as well as the air-conditioner’s power draw. The “Normal” setting increases power to the mid-range of 107bhp. The “Power” setting give out the full 134bhp.

Citroën says the battery pack, with its under-floor position, takes up no space from the inside of the medium length Spacetourer (4.95m). The battery is has an 8-year, 100k mile warranty.

The e-Spacetourer comes standard with a Type 2 home charger with an 7.4kW wall box has an option The van can also rapid charge up to 100kW. This rapid charge can take the battery from zero to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Volvo Updates Two Popular Models to Electric Power Trains

Volvo’s S90 and V90 models just go an update including for the first-time mild hybrid power trains. These new mild hybrid power train is available now on every model in the Swedish’ carmakers line up. Volvo claims it offers up to a 15% savings in fuel and emissions.

The system uses a 48v battery with its own integrated starter, generator and energy recovery mechanism. It will be included across the S90 and V90 models and even on the V90 Cross county. This is the first time one of Volvo’s more sport utility models will be fitted with a hybrid system.

Each of the models in question here got some other small upgrades as well. Both models will be getting new, more stylish bumpers with fog lights and new LED taillights will be included on the V90. Models will include sequential indicator lights as well as new paint and wheel options as well.

Refreshed interiors come standard along with advance air cleaning technology which filters the cabin air and even gives an air quality report from the infotainment system. This is the system previously available only on models sold in the Chinese market.

Both models get rear USB-C charging ports (no more 12-volt power which surely some will miss) along with wireless charging being added as an option on many variants. For the audiophiles both the V90 and S90 will get new Bowers and Wilkins sound systems. For the interiors Volvo is offering many new leather-free options for materials.

Additional specs and pricing are not yet available.

VW Announces New Electric SUV and Sports Models

German automaker Volkswagen announced its new electric performance vehicle will be based on the ID 4 SUV which will include the gas model’s 4-wheel drive.

Volkswagen noted that these initial electric performance cars will be intended toward a different audience than long-time GTI fans. Using the ID 4 is then a good idea as with that dual motor set up that provides extra power and 4-wheel drive they can appeal to customers that would never be interested in a the single-motor, rear-wheel drive ID 3 format.

The first ID 4 offering will have just a rear wheel drive engine which will give the car 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque from a read electric motor. The 4-wheel drive model will follow, which will add a front motor and increasing output to 302bhp and 332lb ft of torque. These models will be available with several battery options, the best offering about 310 miles of range.

The ID 4s will be followed up with a coupe version, the ID 5. A GTX version of the ID 5 is in the works as well.

 

An Electric Vehicle With A Transmission Tunnel? Polestar Explains Why.

Polestar, the Volvo subsidiary, will release its first battery electric sedan with an unusual design element for an electric vehicle, a transmission tunnel. As one might suspect, this has nothing to do with an actual transmission.

It is a battery storage area which keeps a portion of the three-hundred and twenty-four pouch cells that power the Polestar 2.

Polestar engineers explained that this is both an aesthetic and functional design. Most EVs store their batteries flat and under the floor which is known as a “skateboard” design. This, however, adds to the height of the vehicle and gives way to pour aerodynamics and negatively effects driving range.

The engineers were able to create fast, sleek silhouette by removing batteries from the rear-seat footwells. This also allowed more comfort for these passengers by creating a cockpit design down the center of the vehicle with a raised center console.

The Polestar 2 will most likely reach US sales floors mid-2020 as they go into production next year.

 

 

Illinois Wants to Charge How Much to Register Your EV?

The state of Illinois is proposing what some are calling an outrageous hike for yearly vehicle registration fees for EV owners—from $17.50 annually to a jaw dropping $1000.

The proposal, intended to raise money for desperately needed road improvements and repairs across the state, would also double the gas tax in the state to 44 cents a gallon. It was raise the standard vehicle registration from $98 to $148.

The 60 times increase for electric vehicle registration would be a huge blow to a niche industry that already relies on government subsidies to attract early adopters.

Hybrids that use any kind of gasoline and plug-in hybrids will be excluded from the $1,000 annual registration fee.

So why the prejudice against pure EV vehicles and the justification for the 60 times increase in registration? EVs don’t provide the state with any gas tax money.

 

In New Business Move Toyota to Offer Access to 24k Patented EV Parts

Toyota’s electric vehicle department head revealed that the carmaker has got offers from 50 some companies since it made a recent announcement that the Toyota company would give free access to important patents for power control units and EV motors.

The potential partnerships are seen by Toyota Motor Corporation as a way to decrease outlays in expanding hybrid and electric car component manufacturing in Japan, China and the U.S.

Becoming a supplier to their rivals would increase, perhaps exponentially, the scale of production for such hardware like electric motors and controller units which are essential components of electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids and gasoline-electric cars.

The plan outlined by Toyota offers automakers and auto parts suppliers royalty-free access to some 24,000 technologies that are owned exclusively by Toyota Motor Company. Overall the company sees this as an opportunity to decrease cost and to create a new source of revenue.

Audi Developing Energy Generating Suspension

Think of all the things that cause loss of energy in a vehicle: mechanical friction, braking, aerodynamic drag, etc. As Audi enters the electric and hybrid market with the release of their first-ever plug-in hybrid, the A3 e-tron and their development of their so-called all-electric super car, the R8 e-tron, Audi seem almost obsessive on their “search and destroy” mission when it comes to energy drains. With this set of lenses Audi has turned it’s eyes to suspension.

Strangely enough, yes, suspension—Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi R&D chief, discussed the companies work on their “generator suspension that will hopefully make it into future productions.”

“What people don’t realize is that dampers get very hot,” he said. “When working hard over a bumpy road, the dampers are perhaps 100 to 125 degrees. This energy is wasted as heat into the atmosphere. So, we will replace the suspension with a generator.”

Audi is looking into the possibility of using a rotating generator inside each damper that could be spun during compression and rebound. Then, captured electrical energy could be directed to batteries for storage. This energy could provide power for an electric or hybrid’s drive system or electrical accessories. Bumps in the road could power your radio! Dr. Hackenberg even offered some ideas on how such a energy recycling suspension system to could benefit performance cars:

“Because we can send energy back into the damper, you will have an independently variable suspension. This can [mitigate body] roll.”

More Info: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/audi/87566/exclusive-audi-plots-power-generating-hybrid-suspension

Joe Victor

About the Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S was voted the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Let’s find out why, Jody.

So what sets this car apart? It’s quick and it’s … electric! The range is about 265 miles. But Tesla is putting in charging stations that will be free. The charging stations should recharge for 150-180 miles in 30 minutes. It has an mpg-e of 118.

Tesla Model S is top in its class for safety.

For more information, read the article. You can view a gallery of pictures here.

~ Joe Victor