There has been considerable buzz about electric vehicles this week. So let’s have a look at the latest EV-related news.
The German auto manufacturer announced an investment of 400 million Euros (or US$560 million) in the production of its first electric vehicle, the MegaCity. The car will be produced in the iconic company’s site in Leipzig, Germany. BMW anticipates its EV production will generate about 800 jobs. MegaCity is slated for a 2013 release.
“By producing the Megacity Vehicle in Germany the BMW Group is demonstrating a clear commitment to Germany as a high-tech location. With this vehicle we are revolutionising automotive design and production, and offering our customers the first purpose-built electric vehicle for urban areas. This will be the world’s first volume-produced car with a passenger compartment made from lightweight CFRP, as less weight enables a longer range,” said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, BMW’s management board chairman.
American batteries in Chinese EV model
Elsewhere, Massachusetts-based lithium ion batteries and systems developer A123 Systems announced it will be developing battery packs for a new passenger car due out in 2012 to be made by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the largest automaker in China. The move is part of a joint venture betweenA123 and SAIC called Advanced Traction Battery Systems (ATBS).
SAIC said it chose A123’s battery technology because of its “increased safety, extended life and exceptional overall performance”. According to a report in the New York Times, the new electric vehicle model will offer a “20-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a 100-mile range”.
Finally, RMD Technologies announced it has completed its first State of the Art Electric Utility Vehicle called Utility Terrain Electric (UTE). RMD says the vehicle is built with a 72 volt ADC motor controller and transaxle combination. The company claims UTE is “the first electric vehicle built using a high percentage of recycled materials, primarily recycled electronic waste.”
“With the ability to utilize recycled electronic waste in the manufacture of the Utility Terrain Electric, we are able to keep the price extremely competitive, with a base price of only $9,995”, said RMD’s CEO, Patrick Galliher.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.