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July 6th, 2017 News of the Day: Toyota opens HQ in Texas, France could end fossil fuel cars by 2040

Author: Claire   

Toyota opens $1 Billion Headquarters in Texas

Japanese auto giant Toyota opened its new North American headquarters in Texas today.

Since announcing the new facility three years ago, Toyota has spent around $1billion on the construction and moving thousands of employees there. The grand opening arrives as Toyota celebrates its 60-year anniversary in the U.S.

The move will bring different branches together in the building, including quality engineering, sales, marketing, financial services and corporate functions.

"We believe this will inspire greater collaboration, innovation, and fast decision making as we turn to and lead the future of mobility, all with an eye on our customers." Toyota's North America CEO Jim Lentz said.

BMW's i3 battery now used for Torqeedo's e-boat motors

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BMW's i3 high-capacity batteries which are used in its i3 compact EV, has now been supplied to German boat propulsion system company Torqeedo for its Deep Blue aquatic electric drive systems.

BMW says the adoption of the battery is to testify its ability to produce high voltage batteries for a range of applications in transport efficiency. The current version of the i3 battery has a 44 kWh capacity, providing 50% more charge with the same size and weight of the previous generation.

France could end fossil fuel vehicle sales by 2040

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France's Minister of the Environment Nicolas Hulot has detailed a plan in an interview with the Financial Times, which includes ending the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040. The ban will be implemented with a few financial incentives for alternate fuel cars, and increased tax on older, internal combustion engine vehicles.

The climate plan also includes adding a carbon tax, and ending the issuing of new licenses for discovering local sources of oil. For renewable energy division, the plan will help make sure that EVs are powered by a grid that itself is mostly maintained by green energy sources.

VW Credit plans to invest in AutoGravity

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Volkswagen Credit Inc. announced on Thursday that they plan to make an equity investment in AutoGravity, which has developed a car shopping and financing mobile and Web platform.

With the company's platform, customers can shop for a car, select a nearby dealership, choose from finance or lease offers and get preapproved for financing.

The investment is currently waiting for regulatory approval, and "aligns with VW Credit's goal to create a digital experience for its customers." VW Credit said in its company statement.

According to an insider familiar with the matter, the amount of the investment is $30 million.

Continental to push autonomous tech with EasyMile stake

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German automotive supplier Continental said on Tuesday that it will take a minority stake in French autonomous driving company EasyMile, meanwhile partnering with it on environmental sensors, braking systems and driving safety technologies.

"Continental is pushing ahead with the development of every variant of assisted and automated driving on highways and for automated parking scenarios," Ralph Lauxmann, head of the automated driving project at Continental, said in a statement.

As the top-tier supplier that produces original-equipment automotive parts, Continental achieved annual sales of $32.6 billion in 2016. In June, The company partnered with Baidu to work on autonomous technology.

The financial details of the EasyMile investment have not been disclosed.


Claire
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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