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Fisker Launching All-New Battery-Car Company

Breakthrough battery promised; range could top 400 miles.

by on Oct.04, 2016

Henrik Fisker shown in Geneva before his earlier company, Fisker Automotive, collapsed.

If at first you don’t succeed…

If you’re Henrik Fisker, it seems, the next step is to start yet another car company. Three years after the collapse and bankruptcy of his original effort, Fisker Automotive, the Danish designer is back in business. The new Fisker, Inc. plans to launch a new line of long-range electric vehicles that will rival the likes of upstart Tesla Motors, as well as the more mainstream manufacturers now pushing into the battery-car business.

While specific details are limited, Fisker said the company is targeting a minimum range of 400 miles per charges, something that would allow a driver to go even further without interruption than with all but a handful of gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles.

Tech News!

“This is really the revival of the original Fisker, though it will be a completely new company,” the 53-year-old automotive veteran told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview.


Nissan Looking to Sell Battery Manufacturing Operations

Panasonic reportedly one possible buyer.

by on Aug.08, 2016

The Nissan Leaf has been the world's best-selling battery car since its late 2009 launch.

Nissan Motor Co. is reportedly looking to sell its battery manufacturing operations, with Panasonic Corp. considered the most likely buyer.

Japan’s second-largest automaker has made a major bet on electric vehicles, but, with the market for battery cars running slower than expected, it is seeking to unload its 51% stake in the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, or AESC, joint venture. The likely buyer, according to a report by the Reuter’s news service is Panasonic, which is the partner in Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant in Reno, Nevada.

Power Up!

“The report on Nissan and its battery business is speculation and is not based on any announcement by us,” David Reuter, a senior company spokesman, told TheDetroitBureau.com. But he also noted that the maker will “continuously evaluate our business strategy in pursuit of optimal products and business structure.”


Toyota Delays Launch of Plug-in Prius Prime

U.S. sales not planned to start until winter.

by on Aug.03, 2016

The plug-in Toyota Prius Prime made its global debut at the NY Auto Show last March.

(Ed. Note: Toyota has now clarified details of the U.S. launch. See details, below.)

Toyota Motor Co. is delaying the start of production for its new plug-in model, the Prius Prime.

The move is expected to push back the availability of the new model in the Japanese market. The U.S. launch, TheDetroitBureau.com has been advised, will begin in November, but will be slower than originally planned.

Stay Plugged In!

The exact reason for the delay hasn’t been stated, though spokesperson Kayo Doi was quoted telling reporters in Japan that, “We decided we want to take our time and more care before starting mass manufacturing.” The launch of production will be slower than original planned, a U.S. official added.


Delphi Launching Autonomous Fleet Test in Singapore

Project will supplement nation-state’s transit system.

by on Aug.01, 2016

The first of the Delphi autonomous prototypes will be a modified Audi SQ5.

Automotive mega-supplier Delphi is partnering up with the nation-state of Singapore to launch an ambitious autonomous vehicle test program meant to supplement the existing mass transit system.

The goal of the on-demand system is to make six battery-electric, self-driving cars available for rides on demand along three fixed routes to ferry people between their homes, offices and conventional mass transit stations. Backup “safety drivers” will remain behind the wheel initially, but by 2019 Delphi hopes to eliminate drivers – as well as back-up vehicles controls.

Breaking News!

The project “allows us to demonstrate we have the complete ecosystem of knowledge and capability in the vehicle,” explained Glen DeVos, vice president of the service business unit at Delphi, the one-time General Motors partsmaking unit now based in the U.K.


All New German Cars Must Be Emission-Free by 2030

Government hopes to boost lagging demand with new incentives.

by on Jun.20, 2016

The shape of things to come? A prototype of Porsche's Mission E battery-electric vehicle.

It may be the home of the Autobahn, with its largely unlimited speeds, but in little more than a decade, German motorists will have to manage both those highways and local roads driving zero-emission vehicles, according to a senior government official. All new vehicles registered after that date will need run on batteries or hydrogen.

While a number of countries, including the U.S., are taking steps to increase the use of battery and other alternative powertrain technologies, Germany is laying out plans for an aggressive shift away from gasoline and diesel, said Deputy Economy Minister Rainer Baake, speaking at climate forum sponsored by the Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin.

We Keep You Plugged In!

“Fact is there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” said Baake. “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”


Cadillac Unplugs the ELR Plug-In

Caddy shifts focus to upcoming CT6 plug-in.

by on May.18, 2016

Driving off into the sunset: Cadillac has given up on trying to salvage the ELR plug-in hybrid.

If you’re determined to drive something green that has plenty of luxury touches but a price tag significantly less than that of a Tesla, you might want to head over to your local Cadillac dealer.

The luxury maker quietly pulled the plug on the ELR, a high-line version of the Chevrolet Volt, due a decidedly weak response by American motorists. Though the Caddy plug-in hybrid has been out of production since March, “a very small quantity…remains available at dealers,” Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell told TheDetroitBureau.com.

Your Auto Insider!

Launched with high expectations just two years ago, the Cadillac ELR never seemed to charge up the market. Originally priced at $76,000, or nearly double that of a Volt, Caddy tried a number of tricks to build momentum including about $11,000 in price cuts.


Start-Up Faraday Future Picks Nevada for New EV Plant

Chinese-backed firm to invest $1 bil in plant near Las Vegas.

by on Dec.11, 2015

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval expects Faraday Future to generate 13,000 new jobs.

Secretive start-up carmaker Faraday Future has announced plans to invest $1 billion in a new assembly plant that it will erect in suburban Las Vegas.

Backed by the Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, Faraday is promising to build a pure battery-electric vehicle that will target, among other rivals, the products of California’s Tesla Motors. Coincidentally, Tesla earlier this year began setting up a $5 billion battery plant, the so-called Gigafactory, near Reno, Nevada.

The Last Word!

As with the Gigafactory, Faraday was lured to the gambling mecca by a large tax incentive – this one reportedly worth $250 million. In return , the North Las Vegas factory is expected to generate 4,500 jobs and should even boost tourism by offering plant tours and “other engaging experiences,” the budding carmaker promised.


Jaguar-Land Rover Not Ready to Plug In

by on Nov.25, 2015

A Jaguar F-Type with JLR CEO Ralf Speth and Tata Motors founder Ratan Tata.

When it revealed a trio of battery-based prototypes, collectively known as Concept_e, in September, Jaguar Land Rover appeared ready to join key rivals set to electrify their luxury line-ups.

But talk of plug-in and pure battery-electric SUVs and sedans may be a bit premature, according to JLR Chief Executive Ralf Speth. While “it is clear” the British maker will eventually have to go that route to meet tough new global emissions and mileage mandates, “it will take quite a while,” he told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview.

Global News!

“There is only one way you have to go” because of the new rules, said Speth, but JLR is waiting for improved batteries and an expanded charging infrastructure before it makes a serious push into electrification beyond the diesel hybrid Land Rover model it introduced in Europe.


GM Plugging in a Potential Game-Changer

New Chevy Bolt expected to see huge drop in battery costs.

by on Nov.11, 2015

The Chevy Bolt shown during its January 2015 debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

When it comes to electric vehicles, it’s all about the batteries. They determine range, charging time, performance and, of course, price. And the longer the range the higher the price tag.

But General Motors believes it’s close to the proverbial paradigm shift as it gets ready to bring its new long-range Chevrolet Bolt to market. The 200-mile battery-electric vehicle is expected to have the lowest-priced batteries available, breaking a target price many experts didn’t anticipate could be reached for at least five more years.

In the Know!

“We’re going to be at $145 a kilowatt-hour when we launch the Bolt,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development director, during a lunchtime interview.


Mysterious New EV Start-Up Plans $1 Bil Plant

Faraday Future plans to “create something the world has never seen before.”

by on Nov.09, 2015

The home page of mysterious auto start-up Faraday Future hints at its planned products.

Who or what is Faraday?

Like Nikola Tesla, the patron saint of battery-carmaker Tesla Motors, Michael Faraday was a pioneer in the fields of magnetism and electricity, and his name is now being used by another mysterious electric vehicle start-up, Faraday Future.

Emerging out of the blue, the company has set up shop in California and says it is looking to put up a new, $1 billion manufacturing plant But exactly where its money is coming from and what sort of cars it plans to build are far from clear.

Stay on Top of Fast Changes!

“When creating our vehicles, we began with four wheels but we are re-envisioning everything else,” Faraday Future declares in a newly launched website. “With backgrounds in automotive, aerospace, biomedical, consumer electronics, and others, our rapidly growing engineering team brings a uniquely diverse approach to the future of mobility.”