Toyota establishes joint research institute with Tsinghua University; hydrogen and advanced mobility

Toyota Motor Corporation and Tsinghua University are establishing the Tsinghua - Toyota Joint Research Institute (Joint Research Institute). The two plan to conduct various research together over the next five years through the institute. By establishing the Joint Research Institute, Toyota sees an opportunity to further contribute to the development... Read more →


Daimler AG has acquired a minority equity stake in US battery material specialist Sila Nanotechnologies Inc. (Sila Nano) (earlier post) as part of Daimler’s research and development activities in support of electromobility. Founded in 2011, Sila Nano is a developer of new battery materials which outperform existing lithium-ion technologies. Along... Read more →


Volkswagen is planning an extensive model offensive in China; the brand will double its SUV range by 2020. During Auto Shanghai 2019, Volkswagen announced that the share of SUVs is expected to rise to up to 40%. Volkswagen is targeting the traditional part as well as the growing e-mobility sector.... Read more →


Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Solid Power (earlier post) to develop all solid-state batteries (ASSB) for next-generation electric vehicles. The announced partnership will focus on further developing ASSBs toward automotive requirements. Solid Power’s solid-state technology combines a cathode, metallic lithium anode, and a safe, inorganic solid electrolyte layer.... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars lays foundation for a battery factory at the Untertürkheim site

At the site of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in Germany, the construction of the battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant has begun with the symbolic foundation-laying ceremony. By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce high-efficiency traction batteries for future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles of the EQ product and... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group and Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. (GFL) registered in Jiangxi (China) have signed a memorandum of understanding on long-term lithium supplies for battery cells. Under the agreement, Ganfeng will supply lithium to the Volkswagen Group and its suppliers for the next ten years. Volkswagen is thus already securing... Read more →


Toyota announced that it will grant royalty-free licenses on nearly 24,000 patents it holds (including some pending applications) for vehicle electrification-related technologies. Also, Toyota will provide fee-based technical support to other manufacturers developing and selling electrified vehicles when they use Toyota’s motors, batteries, PCUs, control ECUs, and other vehicle electrification... Read more →


Daimler and Geely Holding form global JV for smart; new generation of electric models

Daimler AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group , the German and Chinese automotive groups, have formed a 50-50 globally focused joint venture to own, operate and further develop smart, the pioneer of small urban vehicles, as a leader in premium-electrified vehicles. Under the joint venture agreement, a new generation of... Read more →


Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will develop the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud together. Both companies announced a multi-year, global agreement jointly to develop this project. In the future, the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine the data of all machines, plants and systems from all 122 facilities of the Volkswagen Group.... Read more →


GM to invest $300M in Orion Township plant for new Chevrolet EV

General Motors is investing $300 million in its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The new Chevrolet electric vehicle is in addition to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV and will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current Bolt EV architecture.... Read more →


Toyota and Suzuki lay out details of collaboration

Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation have agreed to begin considering concrete collaboration in new fields. Toyota and Suzuki have been considering the concrete details of such collaboration since having concluded a memorandum of understanding toward business partnership in February 2017. (Earlier post.) Toyota and Suzuki, in addition to... Read more →


Hyundai Motor announced that the new generation Sonata, scheduled to go on sale later this month, is based on the new third-generation vehicle platform. Hyundai says that the new platform will improve the market competitiveness of Hyundai’s newest Sonata and future vehicle models with greater flexibility for vehicle development—which enhances... Read more →


SEC charges Volkswagen AG, former CEO Winterkorn with defrauding bond investors during emissions fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Volkswagen AG, two of its subsidiaries, and its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for defrauding US investors, raising billions of dollars through the corporate bond and fixed income markets while making a series of deceptive claims about the environmental impact of the company’s “clean... Read more →


Toyota bumping US investments up to nearly $13B over 5 years; focus on advancing electrification

Toyota announced it will exceed its 2017 pledge to invest $10 billion in the US over five years with a new commitment to reach nearly $13 billion over the same period. Of that, Toyota announced nearly $750 million in five different states, with more to come. The new investments include... Read more →


The BMW Group is the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to join the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI). This independent platform, launched in March 2018 by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, aims to improve measures, transparency and awareness relating to the issue of ship recycling. The SRTI adopts a voluntary market-driven approach... Read more →


Volkswagen suggests launch edition of ID. EV may sell out before introduction in September; pre-booking opens 8 May

Volkswagen’s ID. electric vehicle, the first to be based on the MEB, will be presented at the IAA later this year, with pre-bookings for the launch edition opening on 8 May. “Given the interest in the ID. family shown by our dealers, I think it is possible that the launch... Read more →


Volkswagen Group now planning 22M EVs in ten years; 70 new electric models by 2028

The Volkswagen Group is now planning to launch almost 70 new electric models in the next ten years instead of the 50 previously planned. As a result, the projected number of vehicles to be built on the Group’s electric platforms in the next decade will increase from 15 million to... Read more →


Volvo Cars to limit all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph); geo-fenced limits possible in future; proposals coming on intoxication and distraction

Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph) from 2020. The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group Components brand will be showcasing the near-series design study of its flexible quick charging station at the Geneva Motor Show. With compact dimensions, it can be installed wherever there is demand or where there is still no charging infrastructure. Connected to the grid or even off-grid, the... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is opening its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) developed in recent years to other manufacturers. The purpose is to achieve a significant reduction in the cost of e-mobility through the widest possible deployment of the MEB and the associated economies of scale, thus enabling broad access to individual... Read more →


BMW Group electrified vehicle US sales down 42.7% in February; X models account for 55.5% of BMW brand sales

BMW Group sales of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the US totaled 1,110 in February 2019, a decrease of 42.7% over the 1,936 sold in the same month a year ago. The company said that model changeover has limited the current BMW Group electrified lineup to five models... Read more →


Volkswagen is setting up a pilot plant for Li-ion battery recycling at Salzgitter factory, south-west of Braunschweig, Germany. (Earlier post.) Batteries can be recycled here as early as 2020—initially 1,200 tons per year. This corresponds to 3,000 vehicle batteries. A further increase in capacity is envisaged for subsequent years. However,... Read more →


Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, Inc. (TRI-AD) and CARMERA, Inc. are conducting a joint proof-of-concept project to develop camera-based automation of high definition (HD) maps for urban and surface roads. This is the first step towards realizing TRI-AD’s open software platform concept known as Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) to support the... Read more →


BMW, Volvo invest in Zūm; ride-sharing for children

BMW i Ventures and Volvo Cars Tech Fund each have invested in Zūm, a fast-growing on-demand ride sharing service for student transportation for school districts and working families. The company, which celebrates its fourth birthday this month, aims to become the world’s safest and largest child transportation provider. The new... Read more →


Daimler AG and BMW Group partner to develop next-generation technologies for automated driving

Daimler AG and the BMW Group are to partner on automated driving. Initially, the focus will be on advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and parking features (up to SAE Level 4). The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding jointly... Read more →


Daimler Buses acquires a 5.25% stake in IVU AG; strategic partnership for integrated mobility

Daimler Buses (EvoBus GmbH) is acquiring a 5.25% stake in Berlin-based software solutions provider IVU Traffic Technologies AG. The seller of the equity stake is the charitable foundation Gerlind & Ernst Denert-Stiftung established by IVU’s previous CEO, Prof. Ernst Denert. The transaction also involves a strategic partnership between IVU and... Read more →


FCA to invest $4.5B to expand production capacity in Michigan, electrify Jeep vehicles with PHEV, possible BEV models

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. will invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and will work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars develops blockchain prototype for sustainable supply chains

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Icertis, a leading provider of enterprise contract management solutions in the cloud, have developed a blockchain prototype for consistent documentation of contracts in the supply chain. Daimler requires its direct suppliers to pass on and control standards and contractual obligations with regard to working conditions, human rights,... Read more →


BMW Group and Daimler AG invest more than €1B in joint mobility services provider

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility for customers. The two companies are investing more than €1 billion (US$1.13 billion) in total to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and... Read more →


NEVS and Koenigsegg form strategic partnership; electrification and hypercars

Swedish car makers NEVS AB and Koenigsegg AB are forming a strategic partnership, enabling the development of parallel vehicle models in slightly higher volumes with emphasis on electrification, as well as strengthening growth opportunities in the hypercar segment. NEVS is investing €150 million, thereby taking a 20% minority stake in... Read more →


Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading one-stop transportation platform, announced a new joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., an affiliate of BAIC. BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co. Ltd (JingJu) aims to combine the two companies’ strengths in new energy fleet operation and AI transportation solutions to develop next-generation connected-car... Read more →


Volkswagen Group Components to start series production of flexible fast charging station in 2020; replacing heat exchanger production

Volkswagen Group Components—the new brand within the Volkswagen Group that supplies components including engines, gearboxes, electric drive systems, steering systems and seats towards e-mobility—will begin series production of the flexible fast charging station (earlier post) from 2020 onwards. This station, based on the principle of a powerbank, can charge up... Read more →


Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Read more →


Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Together with the Beetle (21.5 million units) and Golf (35 million units), the Passat is one of the three most successful Volkswagen models, with global sales of more than 29 million... Read more →


During its Capital Markets Day presentation, GM said that Cadillac will be GM’s lead electric vehicle brand and will introduce the first model from the company’s all-new global battery electric vehicle architecture (BEV3), GM’s foundation for an advanced family of profitable EVs. The mission of the new architecture is 1)... Read more →


Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys becomes Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH

As of January 2019, fully owned Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys GmbH will operate under the name of Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH. Fuel cell technology is an integral part of our drive system strategy. Zero local CO2 emissions, long ranges and short refuelling times, plus a wide range of applications from cars... Read more →


The BMW Group and Daimler AG are planning the next steps for their joint mobility company (earlier post), following approval by the responsible authorities. The basis for this is the approval of the US antitrust authorities, which was received on 18 December 2018. All antitrust authorities involved have now given... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 75.1% majority stake in the Swedish telematics specialist WirelessCar from Volvo with a view to making further advances in fleet connectivity. The sales price amounts to SEK 1.1 billion (US$122 million). Completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2019 and... Read more →


Volkswagen bundling all intelligent driver assistance technologies under new umbrella brand IQ.DRIVE; heading to autonomy

Volkswagen is bundling its entire range of intelligent driver assistance technologies under the new umbrella brand IQ.DRIVE. Before Christmas, Volkswagen will be launching a 360° marketing campaign for the new brand in Germany, consisting of TV commercial and posters as well as printed and online advertisements. Other European markets are... Read more →


Hyundai Motor outlines FCEV Vision 2030; $6.7B investment in fuel cells by 2030; 700K fuel cell systems annually by 2030

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), which includes automotive brands Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation, announced its long-term roadmap for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology: FCEV Vision 2030. Aligned with the roadmap, Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) will boost its annual fuel-cell systems production capacity to 700,000 units by 2030... Read more →


Volkswagen brand to spend more than €9B on electrification over next 5 years; expansion of platform model

In total, the Volkswagen brand will invest more than €11 billion in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services from 2019 to 2023, of which more than €9 billion (US$10.2 billion) will be spent on Volkswagen’s electrification offensive. The brand currently has two fully-electric cars in its program. This number... Read more →


Audi plans to spend approximately €14 billion (US$15.9 billion) in electric mobility, digitalization and autonomous driving from 2019 until the end of 2023. This includes investments in property, plant and equipment as well as research and development expenditure. Overall, the company’s total projected expenditure for the planning period of the... Read more →


Groupe Renault partners with NEOLINE, designer and operator of cargo sailing ships; targeting two ships

During the Les Assises économie de la Mer maritime conference, Groupe Renault announced the signing of a three-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain. Nearly 60% of the Group’s... Read more →


Working with Fermata Energy, a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems company, Nissan North America is launching a new pilot program under the Nissan Energy Share initiative which leverages bi‑directional EV charging technology to partially power its North American headquarters in Franklin, TN, and its design center in San Diego, CA. Bi-directional charging... Read more →


GM restructuring; changing product development, production; 5 NA & 2 international plants shutting next year; staff reduction

General Motors on Monday outlined a series of major restructuring steps that it said would accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, to capitalize on the future of personal mobility and to drive significant cost efficiencies. These... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group is acquiring a 49% stake in diconium, strengthening its digital business capabilities. diconium will be a technology partner for the development of business models and digital added-value services in the nascent Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. The completion of the participation transaction is still subject to approval by the... Read more →


Over the coming five years to the end of 2023, the Volkswagen Group will be spending almost €44 billion alone on the e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization in its vehicles and at its plants. This represents approximately one-third of total expenditure for the 2019-2023 planning period and... Read more →


Daimler plans to build the Research and Development Tech Center China with a total investment of more than 1.1 billion RMB (approximately €145 million). This marks the further expansion of the company’s footprint in its single largest market and will be its second major R&D site in Beijing, following the... Read more →


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi invests in Transit to advance multi-modal transportation

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has invested in the latest round of funding in Transit, a multi-modal transportation mobile app company based in Montreal, Canada. This marks the latest technology investment by Alliance Ventures, launched earlier this year to support start-ups, early-stage development and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of next-generation systems for the... Read more →