BMW i Ventures has announced a strategic investment into Chargemaster Plc, the UK’s leading provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition to this investment, Chargemaster and BMW i have entered into a wide ranging cooperation agreement whereby Chargemaster will provide a range of E-mobility services. Both parties will carry out joint electric vehicle (EV) marketing activities and will work together to promote the advancement of EVs and E-mobility services.
Thorsten Mattig, Managing Director BMW i Ventures: “We see Chargemaster playing an important role in preparing the way for E-mobility. This investment and wide ranging cooperation agreement will accelerate our activities as well as boost the synergies with some of our already existing services and investments, such as ParkatmyHouse, where Chargemaster equipment has already been installed.”
The five year cooperation agreement between Chargemaster and BMW i aims to ensure that suitable charging infrastructure is in place for the anticipated proliferation of EVs, with both parties working to establish ChargeNow, the public charging network for BMW i owners across the UK. Chargemaster will also provide charging equipment and sites for the BMW i car sharing service DriveNow.
Both parties are working together on making EV charging as accessible to consumers as possible. This includes working with another BMW i partner, ParkatmyHouse.com (PAMH), to roll out further charging points within the PAMH estate of over 30,000 private parking locations. This cooperation extends Chargemaster’s existing work with PAMH where Chargemaster has already been equipping London PAMH driveways with charging points.
BMW i and Chargemaster will be looking to bring new innovative charging technologies to the market. Under the Agreement, the two parties will be carrying out joint EV marketing activities to promote the practical advancement of electric cars and E-mobility services.
Commenting on the BMW i Ventures investment and cooperation agreement David Martell, Chief Executive Offer of Chargemaster said: “We are delighted to welcome BMW i as investor in Chargemaster. In addition, our selection as a partner to cooperate in the provision of charging programmes to assist the rollout of E-mobility services is an endorsement of Chargemaster’s premier position in the market. We look forward to working with BMW i in this exciting and fast-growing space as we expand our operations in Europe.”
During this year's Open Championship, Mercedes-Benz presented the "Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart". Hundreds of golf as well as automobile fans took part in an international competition by submitting their ideas for a golf cart of the future. This invaluable input provided the basis for a visionary golf cart design study created by the Mercedes-Benz design department. As well as reflecting the innovative and forward-thinking ideas and wishes of golf players, the study includes the characteristics and technologies of a Mercedes-Benz.
"The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart has a refined, simplified yet functional shape that fits well into our 'Sensual-Purity' design philosophy. The flow shapes create a 'sculpture on wheels' impression", says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. "I was very inspired by the idea of designing a golf cart, giving it a new shape and new sorts of meaning. Why not treating a golf cart like a car, and making it a 'Golf Car'".
Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz called upon golf and automobile fans from around the world to submit their ideas for a Mercedes-Benz golf cart of the future. So began the search to find the best, most unusual, most innovative and most promising concepts. A jury chaired by Gorden Wagener then selected the best entries from among all the submissions. The winners received an exclusive invitation as VIP guests to the Open Championship.
Building on the basis provided by these ideas and concepts, and due consideration to the Mercedes-Benz design strategy, the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, California, developed the Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart. The cart combines the aspects of Mercedes-Benz vehicles with the functionality of a golf cart. The diamond grille, for instance, was incorporated to give the cart a modern face that is unmistakably a Mercedes-Benz.
The idea of the competition was enthusiastically taken up by golfers from all over the world like Japan, South Africa and Germany, as well as North- and South America. The most frequently mentioned ideas and requirements were then incorporated into the design study that has now been presented.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart and its innovative features The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart is electric driven, powered by a battery that is kept continuously charged by a solar module integrated into the roof. Manual charging, as for a conventional golf cart, is also possible. The vehicle is controlled in innovative and intuitive fashion via a joystick mounted on the centre console, so making it possible for either passenger to drive the golf cart.
"It has the latest in modern technology. Using touch screen monitors, virtually all aspects of the cart can be controlled without extra buttons. Simplicity is the key. Intuition and pure form can maybe best describe the cart", says Margarete Wies, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, California.
The centre console also incorporates a multimedia panel that includes a rotatable docking station for an iPad or iPhone and a USB interface. Various functions that are available in the golf cart can be controlled from here, for example vehicle functions such as loudspeakers or the air-conditioning system, the head-up display, the music system or communication with the clubhouse and other golf carts.
If so required the head-up display integrated into the windscreen can also be used, when the golf cart is stationary, to show the course layout, the current status of the game or weather information. The digital speedometer is placed beneath the windscreen. One wish that came up time and time again, irrespective of country or language, was the possibility of being able to use a telephone. The cart thus also features Bluetooth, so allowing telephone calls to be made via the loudspeaker system while on the move.
An important issue is connectivity. Due to the iPad/iPhone connection to the cart it is possible to communicate directly with the golf club, for example to order drinks or food for the halfway catering. Current weather data and rain radars are available at any time. Working people have the possibility to write e-mails. In addition, users can share the digital score card or even photos from the golf game directly on social media channels.
The so-called "fore button" can be used to quickly warn other players of a misplaced shot. Pressing this button sends a warning to all other golf carts within the danger zone so that they, too, can issue a warning signal.
The interior takes its cues from the design of a Mercedes-Benz car. The elegant and ergonomically shaped seats, for example, are heated as well as ventilated and can be adjusted electronically using the Mercedes-typical controls on the side of the seat. The AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, first introduced in 2011 in the new SLK Roadster, is also envisaged as a feature of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart. AIRSCARF, as its name suggests, wraps the neck and shoulder area in warm air, so making it possible to drive the vehicle open, even in cooler weather. There is also an integrated air-conditioning system, so ensuring a pleasant ambience even on a very hot or cold day.
The optional lightweight doors are another special feature. A click-in function allows these to be very simply fitted if the weather is not so good, so providing protection against wind and rain. A retractable lightning rod is included for added safety in case storm clouds start to gather. In bright conditions the windscreen can be darkened at the touch of a button, while it also features windscreen wipers with rain sensors, thus ensuring that they activate as soon as it starts to rain. In addition, the space behind the seats is ideal for stowing umbrellas.
One very commonly expressed request from the international entrants to the competition was, quite simply, to have plenty of stowage space. The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart therefore includes a whole range of stowage facilities. As well as the trunk compartment underneath the stowage area for the two golf bags, there are two dashboard compartments. The centre console is also specially designed to accommodate golf balls and scorecards and have a sun glasses storage. There is a small fridge fitted beneath the centre console, while cup holders between the seats will keep drinks hot or cold. An illuminated vanity mirror was another request, from female participants in particular, and is located at eye-height for the drivers.
In addition to its use on the golf course, the golf cart is also able to run on normal roads. The designers have, for example, also included all the vital features such as indicators, headlamps and tail lights. Thanks to the LED headlamps, play can also continue when the light starts to fail, as they include a floodlight function.
Although the Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart is only a design study so far, there are no doubt many players who would like to see the cart become reality, bringing its fresh ideas and thus more fun, more innovation and more comfort to moving around on the golf course.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 100,000th zero-emission car.
Electric cars from Renault and Nissan have driven approximately 841 million zero-emission kilometers — enough to circle the earth more than 20,000 times. Together, they represent 53 million liters of oil saved and 124 million kg of CO2 that have not been emitted.
“The age of the mainstream zero-emission vehicle is here,” said Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “We expect demand to keep growing as the charging infrastructure develops – and we remain 100% committed to zero-emission technology for the long term.”
Renault-Nissan has sold more zero-emission cars than all other major automakers combined.
The very first EV from the Alliance is a Nissan LEAF owned by engineer Olivier Chalouhi in California’s Silicon Valley. He bought the LEAF when it debuted in December 2010.
The 100,000th customer was American graduate student Allison Howard, who became an owner of Nissan LEAF earlier this month and drives the car to Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
“It just drives perfectly. It’s so cool. I love it!” said Howard.
“The fact that it’s all electric and I don’t have to spend money on gas as a college student, that’s great,” she added.
Nissan LEAF best-selling EV ever
More than 71,000 people worldwide have bought Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. LEAF makes up more than half of all global sales of pure electric cars.
Nissan LEAF won the 2011 World Car of the Year, European Car of the Year 2011 and Car of the Year Japan 2011-2012 awards.
More than 80% of LEAF buyers globally exchange cars from other automakers, making the LEAF one of the industry’s most innovative “conquest vehicles.” The majority of customers say the LEAF, which consumes no petroleum whatsoever, has replaced their conventional car for daily use.
The top markets for Nissan LEAF are the United States with about 30,000 units, Japan with 28,000 units and Europe with 12,000 units.
In the United States, the LEAF is among the top 10 vehicles sold in San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu.
In Norway, the LEAF is one of the top 10 vehicles sold. The car is Nissan’s best-selling model in Norway, where more than 4,600 people have bought LEAFs since 2011. EVs in Norway are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and road tolls, and they have access to bus lanes and free parking.
Renault – Europe’s leader with full range of electric vehicles
Renault has sold about 30,000 electric vehicles since its first model, Kangoo Z.E., went on sale in late 2011. Kangoo Z.E. was voted International Van of the Year 2012.
Renault leads the electric vehicle market in Europe with a 61% share, including Twizy. Renault’s top markets in Europe are France, Germany and Italy.
In addition to the Kangoo Z.E., Renault also offers Fluence Z.E. sedan; the two-seat commuter vehicle Twizy; and the subcompact ZOE, launched earlier this year.
Twizy is Renault’s best-selling model with about 11,000 units sold since it went on sale in early 2012.
Renault ZOE has a range of 210 km (NEDC). The car retails from 13,700 euros in France after the government’s 7,000-euro incentive, excluding the battery. Renault began selling the ZOE in March throughout Europe and has sold about 5,000 units.
Translogic head back to the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas to check out Formula Sun.
The Formula Sun Grand Prix solar car race attracts college teams from across the globe to compete and promote clean energy.
Some of these teams will, no doubt, be shaking down their vehicles in preparation for the World Solar Challenge race across Australia in October.
BMW today announced pricing for the ground-breaking BMW i3 electric vehicle. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (without Destination & Handling) in the US will be $41,350, before any federal or state incentives. The Destination & Handling fee in the US is currently $925.
"The BMW i3 heralds the dawn of a new era for individual mobility and for the BMW Group. True to a genuine BMW, the BMW i3 has strong emotional appeal, outstanding product substance and a guarantee of sheer driving pleasure," said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing BMW. "With this leading-edge vehicle and attractive price, we will provide customers with a compelling offer for electromobility."
The BMW i3's 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque hybrid-synchronous electric motor, developed and produced by BMW, is electrified by a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, good for 80-100 miles of emission-free driving. Designed from the ground up to be an electric car, the BMW i3 uses the Industry's first mass produced carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell mounted on an aluminum chassis.
The BMW i3 will offer interior space comparable to the legendary BMW 3 Series on a shorter overall body. Its 32.3-foot turning circle and a relatively long wheelbase make it agile and engaging to drive, yet ideally suited to driving in dense urban areas.
Quick and convenient charging is possible either with the home charging station supplied by BMW i or at any public charging station that uses a Level 2 SAE J1772 charging system. DC fast charging, using the SAE DC Combo-Fast Charger, will be available as an option. From a public fast-charging station, it will provide an 80 percent charge from a fully depleted battery in just 20 minutes.
BMW i's commitment to sustainable urban mobility encompasses the i3 production facilities, where hydro-electric, wind and solar power are used to power the CFRP production facilities in Moses Lake, Washington and the Leipzig, Germany assembly line. Sustainable materials are also used for the BMW i3 interior upholstery and trim.
The BMW i3 will make its world debut at three simultaneous events in New York, London and Beijing on Monday, July 29. It will arrive in US showrooms in the second quarter of 2014.
The next-gen Mitsubishi Evo will allegedly feature a hybrid setup good enough for about 500 bhp (373 kW).
The standard Lancer will be globally launched sometime next year, while a plug-in hybrid model is already in the works. In addition, Autocar says Mitsubishi executives are also analyzing the prospects of a high-performance gasoline-electric variant with technology derived from the MiEV Evolution II Pikes Peak.
Although it's in an early development stage, the new Evo is expected to offer better all-wheel drive performance than its predecessor, as well lower CO2 emissions and the possibility of running on electric power. If green-lighted for production, the car's styling could be influenced from the 2008 Concept-RA.
Before a new Evo is out, Mitsubishi is planning a Lancer PHEV with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine working together with two 80 bhp (60 kW) electric motors. The setup should enable the car to return at least 150 mpg UK (125 mpg US or 1.8 liters / 100 km) with CO2 emissions of 50 g/km and a 40-mile (64 km) electric range.