This week’s green car news includes both electric and hydrogen car developments:

  • Monday 22nd July: BMW have teased their new steering wheel which will feature on its 2021 iNext model, as pictures from Autoblog show. The iNext will have self-driving features, meaning that the polygon shaped steering wheel was chosen because is better suited to switching between driving and autonomous mode.

  • Monday 22nd July: Inside EVs discuss a new type of electric motor which has up to 98% efficiency, compared to the 90% efficiency of current electric car motors. This motor, from Magnax in Belgium, also weighs less than traditional motors - with the magnet weighing 2.7 lb (1.2 kg), around 40% less.

  • Monday 22nd July: Toyota have partnered with Shell and NYSERDA to to sponsor innovations in the infrastructure and supply chain of hydrogen technology, as NYU’s press release reports. Various hydrogen improvements were unveiled, including fuel cell improvements from companies Celadyne and Ecolectro.

  • Monday 22nd July: Electrek report that VW’s entire Zwickau factory is being converted to electric vehicle production, with 330,000 fully electric cars expected to be produced each year (up from 250,000 internal combustion cars currently). VW are also committed to making the production process have “zero emissions” as part of their (new) commitment to green energies.

  • Monday 22nd July: Motortrend have done some really useful, detailed testing on the Tesla V3 supercharger (using a Model 3 performance model). Charging speeds hit 254 kW and stabilized at the slightly-lower 250 kW, which is the advertised speed. However this dropped after a few minutes, to a low of 130 kW. This is somewhat expected, and a 0-100% charge time of 1 hour and 15 minutes is quicker than V2 supercharger speeds - but not quite double the speed, as Tesla’s blog claimed.

  • Tuesday 23rd July: Another interesting article is from Electrek who say that Tesla has built a “giant machine” which will produce the upcoming Model Y crossover’s body in a single piece. This will be achieved via patented technology which outlines a way of creating “A multi-directional casting machine for casting a frame of a vehicle”, and it is reported that this new approach will lead to significant build cost reductions as it will reduce the number of parts (and thus assembly of those parts) from 70 down to just 1.

  • Wednesday 24th July: A press release from BMW says that the BMW group (which includes Mini) are aiming to double battery production at their Spartanburg plant; batteries which will be used in their PHEV BMW X5 and X3 models. This comes from an investment of “around ten million US dollars in a new battery assembly line” according to their Senior VP of Electrification Michael Nikolaides.

  • Wednesday 24th July: The UK’s Zap Map, an EVSE car charging network, is planning to build 2,500 rapid EV charging points (which will double the UK’s current 2,300 rapid chargers) via their Drive Energi network, which will offer pay as you go access via contactless card payments.

  • Wednesday 24th July: CNBC report on Tesla’s Q2 2019 earning report which seemed positive at first glance, but led to Tesla share price falls after investors digested its contents. Whilst their all-important cash situation improved, revenues were slightly lower than expected and the quarterly loss was also a bit bigger than expected. Tesla have re-iterated that they still expect to hit their end of year targets, though, via a stronger Q3/Q4.

  • Wednesday 24th July: India are planning on using electric cars to beat pollution and hit emissions targets, according to the BBC. India had previously lagged behind some other parts of the world in terms of electric car sales and production, but their finance minister wants them to become a “global hub of manufacturing of electric vehicles”.

  • Thursday 25th July: After Tesla’s mixed Q2 earnings report, it has been reported by Autoblog that their electric battery expert (and CTO) - J.B. Straubel - is stepping down. This is a blow for Tesla as Straubel is seen by many as the quiet but very effective ‘behind the scenes’ engineering master within Tesla.

  • Thursday 25th July: Inside EVs report that Tesla will open a European Gigafactory in 2021, with the exact location currently undecided but Germany being the favorite country right now. This will save Tesla time and money compared to building cars in America and Asia and shipping them overseas. Elon Musk said that “Our plan is to source cars to greater Europe area from Fremont, California until we have [the] European Gigafactory operational… it’s probably 2021 before we have an operational Gigafactory in Europe”.

  • Thursday 25th July: Mercedes’ upcoming EQS all-electric car has been spied in external camo, as Autoblog show in their picture gallery. It looks to be a hatchback which is slightly shorter than the Mercedes S-class, and it will have a low-down hood to maximize visibility.

  • Friday 26th July: Honda have demonstrated the powerful new dual touchscreen which will feature in their upcoming Honda e all-electric prototype car. The simple to use screens are similar to a phone’s touchscreen, bringing a new familiarity to our cars - as the below YouTube video shows:

  • Saturday 27th July: The Bangkok Post report that India’s push for green cars is growing, via cuts to their goods and services tax on electric vehicles and EVSE car charging installs (from 12-18% down to 5%). This is to tackle their status as the third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and they are aiming to have 30% of consumer sales be electric within the next decade.

  • Saturday 27th July: Tesla and Elon Musk have sent out a few tweets (shown below) which annnounced (1) the addition of a chess game in the on-screen Tesla Arcade, (2) the ability to stream YouTube and Netflix when the car is stopped and (3) the ability to stream them when the car is in auto-pilot: but only after regulators approve this:

  • Sunday 28th July: A French newspaper in Quebec, Canada seemed to report that a Hyundai Kona blew up, literally blowing the roof and garage door off the garage. This has now been picked up by CBC showing pictures of the devastation. The Kona was not charging at the time of the explosion, and investigations carry on to determine the cause.