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BYD Opening New Truck Plant in Canada

EV maker owned, in part, by legendary Warren Buffett.

by on Nov.16, 2017

BYD is building a second facility in North America to go with its U.S. headquarters building in Los Angeles: a truck plant in Ontario, Canada.

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. is preparing to launch its second venture in North America — a factory building electric trucks in Ontario, Canada.

The Chinese electric vehicle maker has already opened a small factory in Lancaster, California, just outside of Los Angeles to build electric buses for the American market. The plans for the plant in Canada anticipate a surge in demand for electric trucks from municipalities and businesses, BYD Canada officials said.

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The goal is for BYD to open the plant and hire about 40 people to start, BYD Canada spokesman Ted Dowling told Bloomberg.  (more…)

VW, Navistar Partnering on New Electric Truck for 2019

Partnership expected to generation $500M in cost savings.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Cummins and Tesla will be joined in the electric truck market by an offering from VW and Navistar.

The battery-powered truck market is the new hotness as Volkswagen AG and Navistar International Corp. said they were partnering on a new EV truck that would hit the market in 2019.

Executives from the two companies said they would jointly produces a new medium-duty truck powered by batteries the end of that year, according to Reuters. They also said they would be producing next-gen “big bore” diesels.

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The two companies joined forces last year when VW took a 16.6% stake in Illinois-based Navistar. Executives said they expect the pairing will save $500 million in development costs during the first five years of the partnership. (more…)

Tesla Isn’t the Only Company Planning to Build Green Trucks

Daimler, Ford, several start-ups looking at battery, hydrogen power.

by on Jun.19, 2017

The Nikola One heavy-duty rig will be able to travel up to 1,200 miles on a fill-up, meaning Tesla's got some tough competition.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t content with his two current battery-electric cars, and has plenty of new options in the works to follow the production launch of the downsized Model 3 set for next month.

In an April tweet, Musk revealed plans to unveil a battery-powered semi-truck in September while also confirming long-rumored plans to add an electric pickup truck to the Tesla line-up, as well. But Musk isn’t the only one who wants to go clean and green in the truck market. Several competitors are laying out plans to launch alternative power models of their own.

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That includes both Daimler AG, which could deliver a battery-electric model through any of its five different commercial truck brands, as well as a Salt Lake City-based start-up – which, ironically, has also tapped Musk hero Nikola Tesla for its own name. Nikola Motors has a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered heavy truck it hopes to have in production within the next couple years. (more…)

Bright Automotive Pulls the Plug

Latest electric vehicle maker to shut down.

by on Mar.01, 2012

The Bright IDEA plug-in truck was designed to deliver 40 miles on battery, 36 mpg on gas -- and target a segment that generated nearly 1 million annual sales.

Ambitious electric vehicle maker Bright Automotive, which initially lured in the financial support of General Motors, has pulled the plug, the latest casualty in the shake-out of the still-emerging battery-car market.

Bright blames its demise on its failure to secure a Department of Energy loan needed to bring a planned plug-in hybrid delivery van to market.

The failure of the suburban Detroit start-up comes months after the collapse of Aptera, a California electric vehicle wannabe that had hoped to market an aircraft-like battery-electric vehicle.  Like Bright, it had failed to secure the necessary financing to translate its plans into production.

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Critics contend the nascent battery car industry is in danger of short-circuiting as the DoE reins in a once lavish program to provide funding for an array of battery car programs.  The government has provided some support to a handful of makers, including established automotive giants Ford and Nissan, as well as some start-ups, notably California’s Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive.

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GM Invests $5 Million To Charge Up EV Truck Maker

Maker plans to partner on development of high-efficiency commercial vehicle.

by on Aug.03, 2010

The Bright IDEA is designed to deliver 40 miles on battery, 36 mpg on gas -- and target a segment of nearly 1 million trucks annually.

General Motors’ new venture capital unit is investing $5 million to help a struggling Indiana start-up bring its high-mileage plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle to market.

Bright Automotive originally had hoped to launch sales of its IDEA truck by 2012 but got sidelined by the global economic crisis.   Now, with GM’s cash – and technology – the start-up company believes it can put the project back on track by 2013 or 2014, targeting a lucrative fleet vehicle market that accounts for nearly 1 million sales annually in the U.S. – and even more abroad, Bright officials say.

“Our program has been put on hold for some time, but our partnership will reinvigorate the IDEA,” said Bright Automotive Chairman and CEO Reuben Munger, during a joint teleconference with John Lauckner, the president of newly-formed GM Ventures.

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As originally envisioned, IDEA is a lightweight, highly aerodynamic plug-in hybrid that will yield nearly 40 miles on battery power alone and then get as much as 36 mile per gallon in gas-electric mode.   The new partners said they have not resolved some specific technical details of the updated commercial vehicle but Bright is now likely to turn to GM to provide one of its inline-four-cylinder engines for the project.

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