Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Tata Motors to launch 4 new electric vehicles in India by 2021-end, Nexon EV to be one of them

Tata Altroz EV

Tata Motors will launch as many as four new electric vehicles (EVs) in India over the next 12 to 18 months. The announcement was made by Tata Motors Chairman N Chandrasekaran during an interaction with the shareholders at the 74th Annual General Meeting. Among the vehicles to be introduced are Altroz EV, Nexon EV, Tigor EV's fresh version and an undisclosed model.
As of now, Tata Motors offers Tigor EV in India, which is available in two variants -- XM and XT. Tata Tigor EV comes with a 72 V 3-Phase AC induction motor that makes 30 hp and 105 Nm of peak torque. It is offered with a single speed, automatic transmission. The car gets a 16.2 kWh capacity battery and has a range of 142 km. The vehicle comes with a standard warranty of three years or 1.25 lakh kms. The battery warranty is also for three years or 1.25 lakh kms. While Tigor EV XM is priced at Rs 9.99 lakh, Tigor EV XT costs Rs 10.09 lakh. Both the prices are ex-showroom and include TCS, DPCC incentive (in Delhi only) and government FAME incentive.
The carmaker had showcased Altroz EV at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show along with Altroz, Buzzard, Buzzard Sport and H2X Concept. The electric vehicle will get a permanent magnet AC motor with single-speed gearbox. Tata Motors is targeting a range of 250-300 km for Altroz EV, which might be priced over Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom) in India.
The 2019 Union Budget provided a major fillip to the EV sector in India with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing an additional tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loans taken for the purchase of electric vehicles. The GST rate on EVs has been reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. Besides, the tax rate on chargers or charging stations for EVs has been lowered to 5 per cent from 18 per cent. 

Chinese company discusses project to manufacture electric buses in Egypt

CAIRO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's Minister of Military Production Mohamed Saeid el-Asar and Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy discussed on Wednesday with officials from China's Foton Motor and IMUT (International Marathon United Technology) companies a new project for jointly manufacturing electric buses, official news agency MENA reported.Foton officials reviewed the characteristics and the capabilities of the buses to be manufactured in Egypt, the report said.
Foton said it is currently working on exporting the newest electric buses that are suitable for the operation and environment in Egypt.
"Manufacturing electric buses in Egypt is part of a government plan to upgrade the fleet of the public transport authority with an aim to ease the traffic congestion in the capital and the countries' largest cities," Shaarawy said.
The plan is also meant to localize the electric buses in Egypt and to improve services offered to citizens, he added.
Foton also reviewed what has been implemented from its side since the contract was signed in April.
A delegation from Foton has visited the Army 200 Factory in June to supervise the preparation of the production lines.
Some Egyptian engineers and technicians will be trained in Foton headquarters in Beijing in October, the report added, noting that two model buses will be delivered to Egypt in September for a pilot operation in Cairo.
Some 48 electric buses will be delivered to the Egyptian army factory in December 2019 based on the contract.
Governor of Cairo Khaled Abdel Aal said the electric buses are considered a civilized technological leap in Egypt because they are more secure and environment friendly with less maintenance expenses compared with the fuel operating buses.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Porsche Taycan EV seems to be on track to outsell the 911

Porsche Taycan prototype

Porsche has secured 30,000 deposits for the Taycan more than a month before the German automaker will unveil the all-electric sports car, numbers that suggest there’s enough demand to support the company’s plans to produce 40,000 units in its first year.
The latest reservation numbers were cited by Bloomberg and Porsche HR head Andreas Haffner in an interview with German business publication Handelsblatt
Porsche has secured 30,000 deposits for the Taycan more than a month before the German automaker will unveil the all-electric sports cars, numbers that suggest there's enough demand to support the company's plans to produce 40,000 units in its first year.

The latest reservation numbers were cited by Bloomberg and Porsche HR head Andreas Haffner in an interview with German business publication Handelsblatt.
Porsche initially targeted 20,000 Taycan electric vehicles for the first year of production. But interest in the vehicle prompted the automaker to double its planned annual production to 40,000 in its first year. Reservations require a €2,500 deposit ($2,785).
If Porsche is able to produce and then deliver 40,000 Taycans in its first year of production, the electric sports car would leap ahead of some of its iconic internal combustion models, including the 718 Boxster and the 911. Porsche sold 35,573 911s and 24,750 718 vehicles globally in 2018.
The Taycan would still trail Porsche's popular crossover models, the Cayenne and Macan.
The Taycan could also put pressure on the Tesla Model S, the popular luxury electric sedan that has long dominated this niche in the industry. Tesla combines Model S and X delivery numbers. In 2018, the company delivered 99,394 Model S and X vehicles.
The Model S has had a number of updates since production began in 2012, but it hasn't had a significant facelift since April 2016 when the front fascia was changed to look more like the Model X.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said earlier this month that the company doesn't plan to "refresh" its Model X or Model S vehicles. In automotive-speak, refreshed typically means small revisions to a vehicle model that extend beyond the typical yearly updates made by manufacturers. A refresh is not a major redesign, although there’s often a noticeable change to the vehicle.
The company will make minor ongoing changes to the luxury electric sedan and sport utility vehicle, Musk said at that time. Even with those continuous updates, potential customers could opt for the newer Taycan.
Porsche isn't resting on the novelty of its first electric vehicle to drive sales. The company is rolling out other incentives, notably plans to give owners of the Taycan three years of free charging at hundreds of Electrify America public stations across the United States. Electrify America is the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Monday, 29 July 2019

BYD ADL tops 100 electric double deck sales in UK with Enviro400EV


Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD Europe jointly announced that the companies’ electric vehicle partnership, which delivers the leading UK electric bus, has already topped 100 double deck bus sales.
ADL is a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers and BYD is a global leader in new energy vehicles, with more than 50,000 pure electric buses and coaches delivered, together with associated battery and other technology.
The news comes as BYD ADL receives another significant fleet order for its 100% emissions-free electric double deck Enviro400EV with National Express confirming 19 vehicles for its West Midlands bus operation in Birmingham.
These impressive figures for BYD ADL’s double deck include significant fleet deals with some of the UK’s major bus operators including Metroline, Stagecoach, National Express and RATP Dev London. The BYD ADL partnership has seen the move to electric mobility within the passenger transport sector gathering pace over the past 12 months as more and more operators realise the operational benefits of combining ADL’s stylish and comfortable bus design with 100% emissions-free, pure-electric operation. Importantly, BYD designs and installs charging infrastructure systems, to provide its customers with a complete one-stop-shop solution to fleet electrification.
– 37 on programmed delivery to Metroline for service on TfL’s Route 43 (Friern Barnet to London Bridge)
– 32 for Stagecoach Manchester scheduled for Q4, 2019 (routes including Manchester City Centre, Manchester Airport and Piccadilly Train Station)
– 29 for RATP Dev London in Q1, 2020 for use on TfL’s Route 94 (Acton Green to Piccadilly Circus)
– 19 for National Express West Midlands for operation in Birmingham, delivery planned for Q1, 2020
“This is a notable achievement by the BYD ADL team in the UK, underlining the strength and depth of the partnership,” said Arthur Whiteside, Managing Director, UK Sales at ADL, “We have achieved significant market penetration in just three years, while the uptake for the Enviro400EV has been extremely encouraging since we started production in February. The move to electrification is well underway and we’re pleased to be leading the charge. Operators appreciate the significant benefits the Enviro400EV offers – which combines 100% emission-free operations with the comfort, style and safety that make the Enviro400 the UK’s favourite double deck bus.”
“We see the demand for full electric mobility only increasing,” added Frank Thorpe, Managing Director at BYD (UK), “and for two good reasons – public demand and fleet productivity. An increasingly well-educated public is calling for a sustainable future and zero-emissions public transport can play a key role in helping people switch to an energy-saving mindset. Pure electric operation is having a truly dramatic impact on air quality in our towns and cities, and that’s good news for everyone.”
“For operators,” he went on, “electric mobility offers long-term productivity gains for scheduled-service bus fleets, regardless of their size, as proven by public transport operators right across Europe. We look forward to engaging further with UK operators in our mission to bring 100% emissions-free mobility to our streets.”

Lithium Industry Buildup Is Outracing the Electric-Car Boom

Lithium ore falls from a chute onto a stockpile in Widgiemooltha, Australia.


Lithium miners are bulking up for a booming future when electric cars go mainstream. But speed bumps loom, with prices tumbling on a burst of new production and demand growth slowing in China.
Between mid-2015 and mid-2018, prices for lithium, the soft, silvery-white metal crucial for rechargeable batteries, almost tripled as the world’s fleet of electric vehicles hit the 5 million mark, and the auto industry began to fret over the supply of raw materials.
That sparked the opening of six lithium mines in Australia since 2017 as companies raced to gain from an evolving technology. But while the EV boom is coming, it isn’t here yet. Sales growth is slowing in China, the top market, and the drive to fill the battery supply chain has cooled. The result: A 30% price plunge for lithium that’s spurring concern over where the bottom may lie.
“The latest EV data did reveal slowing growth, inferring that on top of excess supply, demand is now a problem,” Vivienne Lloyd and other analysts at Macquarie Capital Ltd. wrote in a report this month. “The key interest for investors should be who is likely to survive.”
On Monday, shares were largely down for lithium producers worldwide. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle Corp. fell 1% at 10:06 a.m. in New York trading, while Philadelphia-based Livent Corp. slipped 0.9%. The American depository receipts of Santiago-based Soc. Quimica y Minera de Chile SA fell 0.8%, while in Australia, Pilbara Minerals Ltd. fell 2.1% and Galaxy Resources Ltd. dropped 1.8%.
Mineral Resources Ltd. declined 2.6% after it confirmedthe price for material from its Mt Marion mine will fall this quarter.
Lithium producers face other pricing hurdles as well, including a slowdown in the world’s ability to convert mined ore into lithium materials. Some converters in China reported delayed expansion due to overly aggressive project time lines, extended periods to commission their facilities, and tightened credit, according to a July report by Orocobre Ltd.
In response to the delays, Perth-based Pilbara said in June that it planned to temporarily slow the pace of production.
Even though the long-term demand outlook still looks strong, some producers are lowering their earnings forecasts for the short-term. Earlier this year, Belgium-based Umicore SA, the world’s largest lithium ion cathode maker, lowered its earnings guidance through the end of 2019, citing weaker demand and the shutdown of energy storage systems in South Korea.
While Umicore said it expects “significant growth in revenues and earnings in 2020,” its previous projections of 100,000 tons of cathode materials sales in 2019 and 175,000 tons capacity by the end of 2021 are now on a 12 to 18 month lag.
Top lithium miner Albemarle Corp. and Livent Corp. also cited weakening demand and low prices as the cause of business headwinds and production delays.“There’s a tradeoff,” said Joel Jackson, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets.
Producers “see that electric vehicles will take off years from now, and they want to be the dominant players in 2023, 2025, 2030,” Jackson said by telephone. “So they’ll try to build out what they believe will be the supply needed to service lithium demand years from now, and they want to get their products out there first.”
By 2025, the market for mined lithium raw material may be worth $20 billion, compared with $43 billion for refined products and $424 billion for battery cells, according to a base case scenario outlined in a 2018 study published by the Australia-based Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.
By 2030, the supply of lithium-ion batteries will need to increase by more than 10-fold, BloombergNEF forecasts, with electric vehicles to accounting for more than 70% of that demand.
Morgan Stanley forecast earlier this month that lithium carbonate prices from South America would fall below the $10,000 per ton threshold. Different forms of lithium produced in different regions will continue declining and converge between $7,000 and $8,100 per ton by 2025, according to analysts led by Javier Martinez de Olcoz.
Not all lithium is equal either. Miners produce lithium with specific chemical properties, catered to the needs of each buyer. Negotiations to close contracts are confidential and typically take months.
“As the EV industry evolves, battery requirements are changing to address greater safety needs, range specifications, and energy density,” Martinez de Olcoz wrote in a report. The difference, he said, "has raised questions about the ability of lithium producers to keep up with the fast-changing demand profile.”
Lithium stocks will remain volatile, but producers who can adapt faster to the changing needs of their customers are likely to win in the race to dominate the market, de Olcoz said.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Jaguar F-Pace SVR out-growls the Jaguar EV



Conventional wisdom these days is that the next generation wants electric cars. Someone forgot to tell my neighbors.
When I arrived at their house with the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR, the supercharged V-8 shook the foundation like a California earthquake. Kids poured out the front door, practically dragging their father behind them.
The Jag super-ute is the latest twisted performance SUV to hit the market along with other five-door track monsters like the Porsche Macan Turbo S and Alfa Stelvio Quadrifoglio. The SVR is the most powerful missile this side of the insane, 707-horse Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Jaguar's 550 horsepower feed all four wheels for quick dashes to the, um, grocery store.
The kids piled three abreast into the F-Pace's spacious back seat. Their dad turned the key and the Jaguar exploded to life like a hungry zoo animal that had just been thrown a sirloin steak. GROOOOWWWRRRR!
Cheers from the rugrat gallery!
Dad rolled down the street, the big cat gurgling with menace.
When we hit Telegraph Road, father floored it and all hell broke loose. The SVR leapt forward on all four paws, the 5.0-liter V-8 howled in our ears while the eight-speed transmission snapped off millisecond-quick shifts. As the speedo rushed toward triple digits, my neighbor backed off the throttle and the quad tailpipes let out a Snap! Crackle! Pop! like firecrackers on the Fourth of July
Punch the accelerator pedal, and the electric cat pounces with instant torque. Silent. Stealthy.
"Just like a Tesla!" the neighbors said when I brought it by a few months back.
But if your ship has finally come in and you have $80,000 in the bank, do you want a Jaguar that sounds like a Tesla - or a Jaguar that growls like a Jaguar?
Conventional wisdom these days holds that, as more electric SUVs from Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, etc., flood the market, Tesla sales will fade. I have my doubts. As do customers, apparently.
Despite rave media reviews and a trophy case full of Best Car of Year honors, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace electric car sells just over 200 cars a month.
Brand matters and Tesla has established itself as a pioneering EV brand. Jaguar's brand is also very strong but for other reasons. For decades the nouveau riche have gravitated to Jaguar for its slinky designs, racing success and ... growl.
There's also the fact that the F-Pace SVR is not just emotionally more satisfying to the I-Pace (my neighbors are still grinning from their ride), but is superior in most other ways including cargo room, head room, and - crucially - range.
Open up the F-Pace SVR on the interstate and you'll drink gas so fast you will swear you can see the gas gauge needle moving. But there are filling stations everywhere.
Lead-foot the I-Pace and you won't get to your destination easily.
Unlike Tesla and its exclusive network of Level 3, 150-kilowatt DC superchargers, the Jaguar is dependent on independent charging networks like Electrify America. Even where 240-volt Level 2 chargers exist, I have found service to be spotty.
Such limitations could throw a wet blanket on the family vacation.
The gas-powered F-Pace, on the other hand, will not only get you anywhere you want to go - it'll do so with gusto.
Nothing sours the next generation on electric cars like limiting their vacation options. And from my own experience, nothing makes my wife more nervous than the idea that an electric car will strand us in the boondocks.
The F-Pace also comes with more affordable options than the electric I-Pace.
Halo cars like the F-Pace SVR are designed in part to bring folks into the dealership to whet their appetite. But if my $89,900 side of beef tester is too much for the bank account, customers can choose more affordable fare like the base, $44,900 F-Pace turbo-4 or the $60,000 turbo-6.
As a result, Americans are gobbling up about 1,200 F-Paces a month. If the electric I-Pace is your cup of tea, then it's a pricey cup of tea. Lithium-ion batteries are expensive to make and the EV SUV starts at $70,000.
For most families, the $45,000 F-Pace's handsome Jaguar grille and interior will do just fine, thank you very much. Like the TV ads with tennis star Kei Nishikori tooling around in an F-Pace shadowed by his alter-ego self in the original SVR, the F-Type two-door sports car, they will be content with the Jaguar image.
For the truly deranged (like yours truly) there is the 550-horse F-Pace SVR. So on your way to dropping the kids off at soccer practice you can prowl the stoplights for unsuspecting V-8-powered Dodge Challenger R/Ts.
Set launch control by depressing the brake pedal with your left foot. Then bury the accelerator pedal. Then release the brake.
WORRRAAAUAAGGH! Goes the V-8.
AWESOOOOOME! go the kids.
Sit back and watch the Challenger disappear in your mirrors as you hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. The Challenger will arrive after 5.1. I should note here that the I-Pace EV will clock the same zero-60 time as cousin F-Pace. But it'll use up a lot more range in doing so, and without a convenient charging station nearby.
And without that Jaguar growl.
___
2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Vehicle type: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, five-passenger SUV
Price: Base price $81,015, including $1,025 destination charge ($89,900 as tested)
Powerplant: 5.0-liter supercharged V-8
Power: 550 horsepower, 502 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Performance: 0-60 mph, 4.3 sec. (Car and Driver); top speed: 176 mph
Weight: 4,395 pounds
Fuel economy: EPA: 16 city/22 highway/18 combined; range: 489 miles
Report card
Highs: V-8 thrills for the family; long range
Lows: Pricey; infotainment system can be slow
Overall: 4 stars
2019 Jaguar I-Pace
Vehicle type: Electric, four-passenger luxury SUV
Price: $70,495 base including $995 destination fee ($86,895 First Edition as tested)
Powerplant: 90-kWh lithium-ion battery with twin electric-motor drive
Power: 394 horsepower, 512 pound-feet torque
Transmission: Automatic, single-speed
Performance: 0-60 mph, 4.5 seconds (mfr.); top speed: 124 mph
Weight: 4,784 pounds
Fuel economy: 240-mile range (189 miles on battery to cover 140 miles, observed)
Report card
Highs: Handsome looks; electric torque
Lows: Slow infotainment screen; lack of charging infrastructure
Overall: 3 stars

Georgia’s EU bid stepped up with new electric car manufacturing plant


The city of Kutaisi in Georgia hopes to put itself at the forefront of global automobile production with the opening of an electric car factory that plans to produce 40,000 vehicles a year.
A construction memorandum was signed in May by the Georgian industrial holding AiGroup and Changan, a Chinese state-owned vehicle manufacturer. The Changan corporation is the largest electric car manufacturer in the world, and has partnerships with Ford, Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p), Volvo, Mazda and Suzuki.
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, is enthusiastic about the project: “This factory will open a new chapter in our economic history. It will have a very positive influence on our economic structure, by creating more than 2,000 jobs and – at the same time – will help us to increase our export potential.”
The plant will be the first of its kind not only in Georgia but the entire South Caucasus region, and will sit on 100 hectares of land on the outskirts of Kutaisi. In addition to the manufacturing plant, it will comprise facilities for painting, welding and the construction of solar panels.
Initially the factory will contract 300 workers, with a view to producing 5,000 cars in the first 18 months. This will increase over time, with future plans to provide 20,000 cars to the domestic market and export another 20,000 to the European Union.
The green economyThe AiGroup is groundbreaking in the region for its environmentally friendly initiatives, and its various arms – AiCar, AiEnergy, AiPower and AiProduction – are responsible for, respectively, car sharing; charging stations; solar panels and power stations; and electric vehicles.
This focus on green projects has won the group a lot of support in the region, along with partial state-funding for the Kutaisi factory. The Prime Minister emphasised that “The green economy concept will be a driving force of the national economy,” while Minister of the Economy Natia Turnava said “The project is unique for us, and makes Georgia a pioneer in the region in terms of production of eco-friendly green technologies and electric vehicles.”
She also spoke of Georgia’s wish to replace its car fleet over time with these new and environmentally friendly cars, which will be rolled out in tandem with an expanded car-sharing service and further installation of solar-powered charging points around the country.
Georgia on the world stagePost-Soviet Georgia identifies very strongly as European, and has long had accession ambitions with regard to the European Union. With this in mind, production standards at the new factory will closely correspond to EU regulations.
Since 2014, the existence of an Association Agreement with the EU has meant closer bonds between Georgia and the member countries, with a pact on free trade. Positioned on the Black Sea between Russia and Turkey, the country is regarded as strategically useful as a gateway to Asia.
It has also, in recent years, become popular as a tourist destination, with more and more westerners discovering the country’s green mountain ranges, warm and welcoming people, superb food and wine, and a wealth of architectural styles spanning several centuries.
Low-cost international flights into Kutaisi’s airport have put the city firmly on the tourist map, as has the Gelati monastery, founded in 1106 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the 11th-century Bagrati cathedral. A large and vibrant food market is another major attraction for visitors, while just outside the city is the Prometheus cave, an extensive underground karst complex with 22 halls.
Kutaisi’s automobile heritageThe roots of the new Kutaisi factory were planted several decades ago, when the city was home to the Soviet Union’s first ever car manufacturing plant. Construction started on the factory in 1945, with the first truck, the ZIS-150, created in 1951.
The production of the AiGroup’s electric vehicles will mark a welcome return to the industry, honouring the local heritage with a superior product. Design plans for the first four models to come off the line were conceived by award-winning industrial designer Zviad Tsikolia, and while these are expected to become the best-selling of Georgia’s exports, they have also been developed to be affordable to local residents.
For Natia Turnava this is a rebirth of which the city can be proud: “Kutaisi is famous for its industrial traditions. By implementing this project Kutaisi will regain the status of a machine-building capital.”

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Kansas adds electric car charging at turnpike service areas


Electric charging stations have been introduced at the Topeka, Lawrence and Towanda services areas on the Kansas Turnpike.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the additions Wednesday, calling the charging stations "a game changer" for electric vehicle drivers, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
The Topeka Service Area, similar to the ones in Lawrence and Towanda, has three charging stations.
The charging station additions came as a result of an alliance between the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light.
Turnpike officials said the charging stations will help to eradicate "range anxiety," or the concern an electric car battery will run out of power before reaching a destination.
"Electric vehicle charging stations are something we've been asked about by customers," said Kansas Turnpike Authority CEO Steve Hewitt. "We're excited to make this request a reality for our electric vehicle customers."
Turnpike officials said each of the three locations will include two DC fast-charging stations and one Level 2 station. Typically, a DC Fast charging station can completely charge most electric vehicles in under 30 minutes.
Officials said those needing to recharge their vehicle's battery can drive to a charging station, connect the charging cable, then wait inside the service area while their vehicle is being charged.
With a growing number of electric vehicles on the road, the addition of the charging stations "allows us to be ahead of the game," Hewitt said.
Some electric vehicles can travel up to 200 to 250 miles on a single charge, though many average anywhere between 110 and 130 miles per charge, said Chuck Caisley, Westar Energy's chief customer officer.
Caisley noted manufacturers are expected to spend around $500 billion over the next seven to eight years on electric car development.
Electric vehicles signify "the next big step in transportation evolution," he noted

Saturday, 20 July 2019

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray



2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, aka the C8. You might know it as the mystical, magical, long-awaited mid-engined Corvette. Naturally, the bulk of the conversation around this new car will focus on where the engine sits within its chassis, but that's just the beginning of this near-reinvention for one of America's most iconic sports cars. The 'Vette has always had supercar aspirations. Now, it's a legitimate threat to the best that Europe and Japan have to offer. 
We'll start with the obvious: the engine itself. Welcome to the new LT2. It's still a 6.2-liter V8 and, at least in this initial flavor, it eschews forced induction. Where the base C7 made 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, however, this new one does 495 hp and 470 lb-ft -- or it will with the optional performance exhaust, at least. Without said exhaust, output numbers drop to 490 and 465, respectively. Dry-sump lubrication is standard, meaning a smaller oil pan and more consistent oil pressure on the track. That smaller oil pan sits the engine lower in the bay, which looks like it makes room for a supercharger in there. 
The bigger change, though, is what it's connected to. For the first time the 2020 Corvette will have an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission from Tremec. The good news is that means no more slushbox automatic. The bad news? No more three-pedal manual transmission. Yes, I have mixed feelings about this too, but when it comes to performance there's no doubt DCTs are quicker. How quick? The new C8 will have a 0-60 mph time of less than 3 seconds. Chevroletisn't quoting an exact time yet, but considering the outgoing ZR1 needed 755 hp to clock in at 2.8 seconds, that's mighty impressive.
But of course it's not all about acceleration. The new Corvette won't truly be considered a supercar-fighter if it lacks handling, and that's the main point of running the V8 amidships. Moving the heaviest part of the car into the middle makes for fundamentally better cornering, while a new, stiffer chassis and revised suspension are crucial as well.
Moving the engine rearward means moving the cockpit forward, specifically 16.5 inches. This positions the driver much closer to the nose and, since that nose is shorter, pilots will have a remarkable view of the road ahead. The car's center of gravity is now positioned directly next to the driver's hip, a hip cradled by one of three seat options: the comfortable GT1, the sportier GT2 or the track-focused and carbon-backed Competition Sport.
Seat selection is just the beginning of the far more comprehensive customization options available to buyers of the C8, another hint at its supercar aspirations. Twelve exterior colors are on offer, along with six separate interior color schemes, plus even a choice of seatbelt color and leather stitching.
That interior is far more driver-focused than before, and a bit more edgy, too. Chevrolet's designers name-drop the F-22 and F-35 as inspiration, but that giant column of buttons running down the right side of the transmission tunnel doesn't look particularly aeronautical to me. Of course, that's not really a transmission tunnel any longer, and indeed there's no more shifter, Chevrolet switching to a pushbutton-style selector for engaging Drive or Reverse. Paddles on the wheel, meanwhile, will give manual-missing drivers something to occupy their hands on the track.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Lotus’ $2.1 Million Evija Electric Hypercar Doesn’t Have Door Handles

relates to Lotus’ $2.1 Million Evija Electric Hypercar Doesn’t Have Door Handles
The 1,972-horsepower coupe will be the first developed under Lotus’s parent company, billionaire Li Shu Fu’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., which also controls Volvo Car Group, and will be the halo for the rest of the Lotus range that includes the Elise, Exige, and Evora.
Geely teased the Lotus Evija back in April at the Shanghai Auto Show as a “statement of intent” for the company over the next decade. “Electric is part of the strategy going forward,” Phil Popham, chief executive officer of Lotus, said at the time. “For Lotus, it has to be all about the driving experience—and electric will drive the value of every car we make.”
It will be the first all-new car from the English automaker in 11 years. The name, pronounced e-VI-ya, is derived from variations of Eve (as in “Adam and...”).
Evija has a one-piece carbon fiber monocoque chassis, a very low ride height of just 105 mm (4 inches) off the ground, and an electric powertrain developed by Williams Advanced Engineering, the same company known for motorsport success in Formula One and Formula E. The mid-mounted battery pack is located behind the two racing seats of the car, which weighs just 3,703 pounds—lighter than a Ferrari California.
From the outside, Evija looks chiseled to the bone with huge cut-out sides and massive front splitter. Its two dihedral doors are operated by the key fob instead of handles. (Did the now freelance Jony Ive have something to do with this?) The rear has a large wing and oblong laser taillights;  the car uses lasers for both main and dipped headlight beams as well. Little lenses that look like wings on the thin vertical headlamps form the daytime running lights and turn signals. They’re set off with 20- and 21-inch magnesium wheels in the front and rear, respectively.
Lotus engineers have given the four-wheel-drive car five drive modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport, and Track. It will be able to hit 62 mph in less than 3 seconds. Top speed will exceed 200 mph. The total driving range will be 250 miles on one charge of the mid-mounted 2,000kW battery—a power pack eight times stronger than that of a Formula E race car. Using a 350kW charging unit, it takes 12 minutes to charge the car to 80% of full and 18 minutes to get a full charge.
relates to Lotus’ $2.1 Million Evija Electric Hypercar Doesn’t Have Door Handles
Inside the cabin, Evija will be the first Lotus ever to contain full modern digital infotainment, which will receive periodic software updates much like Teslas. (Recall that Lotus, for its part, helped build the first Tesla Roadsters.) Drivers can use a new Lotus smartphone app to monitor the car from anywhere in the world, check the battery charge status, potential current driving range and other such things such as remotely turning on the heat or the air conditioning prior to them getting inside. At the track, a chronograph system in the app allows the driver to record lap times and then review the performance compared to past sessions.
Production of the Evija will be limited to 130 units and will begin next year in Norwich, U.K. Pricing starts at £1.7 million ($2.1 million), with a £250,000 ($310,500) deposit required to secure a production allocation.