• Tesla posts higher Q2 sales

    July 2, 2015

    Tesla delivered 11,507 vehicles during the second quarter of 2015, marking the best three-month stretch in the company’s short history.
    Tesla announced on Thursday that it delivered 11,507 units of its Model S sedan during the second quarter of 2015, marking a sharp improvement over the 10,030 units it delivered during the first three months of the year. Q2′s sales tally set a new company record for quarterly sales.

    At the mid-way point of the year, Tesla has delivered 21,537 vehicles. Tesla has previously stated that it plans to deliver 55,000 units by year’s end.

    Although well off the pace of that sales goal at the current time, Tesla should get a significant boost later this year when it introduces its highly anticipated Model X SUV. If all goes according to plan, the Model X will hit retail outlets during the third quarter.

    Late last year Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated that the company planned to produce about 23,000 units of the Model X in 2015. However, the project has faced some delays since then, so it’s unclear how many units Tesla will actually be able to produce. But even at half of its projected production rate, the Model X should ensure that Tesla hits its 55,000 unit goal.

    Wall Street reacted favorably to Tesla’s strong second quarter with shares in the EV maker up around two-percent in early trading.

  • Ford recalls Escape, Focus to fix ignition system

    July 2, 2015
    Ford has issued a safety compliance recall for approximately 433,000 new vehicles, including the 2015 Focus, C-Max and Escape.
    The company has discovered a problem with the body control module that allows the engine to keep running after the driver has turned the ignition key to the ‘off’ position or pressed the start/stop button.

    The company is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, however the behavior runs afoul of federal safety regulations regarding theft protection and rollaway prevention.

    “My Ford Escape 2015 wouldn’t shut off … I didn’t realize [the] car was on after I had [parked] … without the keys in the ignition,” reads one complaint published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    The company will update the body control module software in affected vehicles to resolve the apparent glitch.

  • JLR to tap Magna Steyr for extra production

    July 2, 2015
    Jaguar Land Rover has announced a new partnership with Magna Steyr that will see the contract manufacturer building future JLR products at its plant in Graz, Austria.
    JLR currently operates three manufacturing plants in the UK, but those facilities will soon be running at full capacity. The accord with Magna Steyr will allow JLR to keep up with its volume goals.

    “The UK remains at the center of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities,” Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering.”

    Speth added: “Today marks another step towards building our global footprint. This agreement will allow us to expand our award-winning model range as customers around the world demand ever-more innovative vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover.”

    JLR didn’t specify which vehicles will be built in Graz. The automaker also didn’t give a timeframe for the start of production.

    Magna Steyr has produced a wide range of vehicles for various automakers at its Graz plant, including the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW X3 and Aston Martin Rapide. The plant currently builds the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Peugeot RCZ, and the MINI Countryman and Paceman.

  • GM’s ‘phone-cooling’ tech chills stowed smartphones

    July 2, 2015
    General Motors has developed a simple technology to help prevent smartphones from overheating while stowed in vehicles.
    Engineers decided to figure out a phone cooling system after their mobile devices experienced trouble when charging in a hot prototype vehicle during extreme-condition tests. Smartphones experienced thermal-protection modes to prevent overheating, either suspending charging or turning off altogether.

    GM points out that a phone’s thermal protection interventions can be particularly inconvenient for drivers who use their smartphones for navigation assistance or streaming music.

    The company decided to solve the problem by routing the car’s air conditioning and ventilation system through the wireless charging bin. The simple solution automatically activates when drivers engage the HVAC system to cool down the interior.

    Active Phone Cooling will make its debut on the 2016 Chevrolet Impala and Malibu outfitted with wireless-charging pads, before heading to the 2016 Volt and Cruze.

    “Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” said Impala engineer Dan Lascu. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.”

  • VW hints at 186-mile range for upcoming EV

    July 2, 2015
    Volkswagen appears to be growing confident that its investment in next-generation battery technology will soon pay off.
    Speaking to German outlet Bild, VW chief Martin Winterkorn claimed the company was working on a “quantum leap” in energy storage for future electric vehicles.

    “VW is researching a super-battery in Silicon Valley in California, that is cheaper, smaller and more powerful,” he said, as translated by Autocar. “An electric Volkswagen that can travel 300 km (186 miles) on electricity is in sight.”

    The executive did not elaborate, but the comments appear to be a reference to QuantumScape. Based in San Jose, California, and founded by Stanford University researchers, the startup is developing solid-state batteries that store electricity without traditional ion charge carriers. Compared to lithium-ion technology, the experimental batteries are claimed to handle many more charge cycles while inherently protecting against overheating and fires.

    Winterkorn previously claimed the solid-state tech would allow EVs to drive for more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) on a single charge. The latest comments cut the promise in half, but the estimate is still more than double the e-Golf‘s 83-mile official range.

    QuantumScape’s claims are likely to be met with skepticism, and other battery startups have been caught exaggerating claims of technological breakthroughs. It is unclear if the company’s solid-state battery technology has been validated for production viability. Outside of the lab and prototype testing, success or failure will likely be dependent on the ultimate per-kWh cost for mass production. Another solid-state startup, Sakti3, is hoping to reach around $100 per kWh, or approximately $7,000 for the battery found in the Tesla Model S 70D.

    Winterkorn’s claims appear to fall within the scope of existing lithium-ion technology, even if the investment in QuantumScape does not bear fruit. Tesla promises its Model 3 will deliver more than 250 miles of range with deliveries starting late in 2017, while General Motors is said to be eyeing an even sooner launch window for its 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt. Both are expected to sell in the mid-$30,000 range, not far from the current e-Golf’s $33,450 price tag.

    Whatever technology VW chooses to power its next-generation EVs and hybrids, the company intends to develop a common modular battery design to help slash costs by up to 66 percent across all of its brands.

  • BMW TecDay mit Plug-in-Hybrid, Wassereinspritzung, Brennstoffzelle, technische Daten

    July 2, 2015
  • Honda HR-V im Test mit technischen Daten und Preis zur Markteinführung

    July 2, 2015
  • Porsche Macan Turbo und Diesel S von Mansory mit technischen Daten

    July 2, 2015
  • Peugeot 308 GTi: Das kostet der Gegner von VW Golf GTI und Co.

    July 2, 2015
  • Smart Forfour und Fortwo mit DCT-Getriebe im Test mit technischen Daten und Preis zur Markteinführung

    July 2, 2015