March 9, 2018 News of the Day: IONITY Reveals Ultra-Fast EV Charging Station Concept For Europe, Volkswagen Working on Premium EV Platform
IONITY Reveals Ultra-Fast EV Charging Station Concept For Europe
What will the electric vehicle charging stations of the future look like? IONITY has come up with a vision of what they might be. At this year's Geneva Motor Show, IONITY has revealed the design concept for its Pan-European High-Power Charging Network.
IONITY, the joint venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, intends to put 400 350 kW ultra-fast charging stations into use in Europe by 2020. IONITY is based in Munich, Germany.
The charging station are sleek and modern looking. As if it were floating, the light box sits like a roof over the slender vertical pylon, giving the charging station the appearance of a beacon, an effect, which is particularly striking at night. In keeping with the character of EMobility, the station's architecture conveys an open, light and warm sense of space.
Crisp, simple structures and surfaces, smart interfaces and a mixture of robust lightweight materials merge together into a seamless ‘charging experience'. In keeping with the IONITY logo, the colours represent the flow of energy during the charging process as depicted by the charge status.
The ultra-fast charging network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems.
"The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles. IONITY plans to providing customers with fast EV charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel," said IONITY Chief Executive Officer Michael Hajesch.
IONITY COO Dr. Marcus Groll said, "Our charging station design concept is a clear signal to our shareholders, partners and customers alike that this is the shape of things to come."
Volkswagen Working on Premium EV Platform
Volkswagen is working on a new, premium EV platform which will include Audi, Porsche and Bentley models. The vehicles will be built on stop-gap electric vehicle platforms.
The Porsche Mission E will roll on the Porsche-developed J1 architecture, while the Audi E-tron will sit on a modified version of the Audi-engineered MLB platform currently used for vehicles as diverse as the Audi A4 and Bentley Bentayga.
Audi technical development chief Peter Mertens has confirmed both J1 and the modified MLB will be replaced by an all-new premium battery electric vehicle platform.
Codenamed PPE, for premium platform electric, the new architecture will be used for battery electric Bentley, Porsche, and Audi models from 2022 onwards. Three variants are being developed, with Audi taking lead engineering responsibility for two, and Porsche, one.
"These are joint, co-located teams, bringing the best engineering knowhow of the two companies together to make it happen," said Mertens.
The decision to create PPE comes off the back of lessons learned during the four-year development of MEB, the dedicated EV platform that will underpin more than 15 mainstream VW Group products by 2025. PPE will leverage component and technology modules from both MEB and Porsche's J1, but will be optimized to suit larger, higher-performance luxury vehicles, particularly in terms of drivetrain and suspension, plus the voltage system and battery pack.
PPE marks a major u-turn for Audi, which had originally looked at turning the next-generation MLB into what is called a convergence platform—one single architecture that could package internal combustion, hybrid, and battery electric powertrains.
That strategy has been abandoned. "We have changed direction," confirms Mertens. "You give up too much potential if you have a platform that tries to do everything—it's too expensive, too heavy, it has proportions that do not fit with luxury brands."
General Motors Confirms Investment in South Korea Business Unit
SEOUL — General Motors confirmed details of a proposed investment in its loss-making South Korean business on Friday, but said it was subject to support from Seoul and GM's Korean union. GM Korea said that without new funding from its major shareholders it would have a first quarter "cash crisis."
Barry Engle, President of GM International, said in a company letter seen by Reuters, that the automaker would clean up GM Korea's balance sheet by converting into equity $2.7 billion in debt held by General Motors itself.
Engle said GM would "fund its portion of the $2.8 billion in investment required to bring products to market and update the tooling and equipment to build them."
The proposed plans are in line with details previously reported by Reuters.
GM Korea confirmed the content of the letter but said the carmaker's further investments would depend on a deal between it and other parties including the government and the union.
"GM has said it will only provide additional funding if there is agreement on the necessary shared sacrifices with the union, the Government and the KDB," GM Korea said in a statement.
KDB is South Korea's state-run bank that owns a 17 percent stake in GM Korea, which it said has approached five commercial banks to raise funding, but these has been declined.
Nearly two trillion won ($1.88 billion) of GM Korea's loans to its parent are due by end-March or early April, according to its regulatory filing and the company.
KDB said that Engle met its chairman on Friday and agreed to start a due-diligence on the debt-ridden Korea unit next week. The South Korean government says this is a necessary step to decide whether to provide financial support.
Mazda and Toyota Establish Joint-Venture Company Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. with $1.6 Billion Investment
Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have established their new joint-venture company named "Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc." (MTMUS) that will produce vehicles in the U.S. in Huntsville, Alabama starting in 2021. Toyota and Mazda are investing $1.6 billion towards this project with equal funding contributions from both companies.
The new plant will have the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicle per year. Production will be split between both automakers. 150,000 units of Mazda's crossover model that will be newly introduced to the North American market and 150,000 units of the Toyota Corolla. The facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs.
"We hope to make MTMUS a plant that will hold a special place in the heart of the local community for many, many years," said Mazda's Executive Officer Masashi Aihara, who will serve as President of MTMUS. "By combining the best of our technologies and corporate cultures, Mazda and Toyota will not only produce high-quality cars but also create a plant employees will be proud to work at and contribute to the further development of the local economy and the automotive industry. We hope that cars made at the new plant will enrich the lives of their owners and become much more than just a means of transportation."
"The new plant, which will be Toyota's 11th manufacturing facility in the U.S., not only represents our continuous commitment in this country, but also is a key factor in improving our competitiveness of manufacturing in the U.S.," said Hironori Kagohashi, executive general manager of Toyota and MTMUS's Executive Vice President.
"We are committed to realizing a highly competitive plant and producing vehicles with the best quality for customers by combining Toyota and Mazda's manufacturing expertise and leveraging the joint venture's synergies. Based on this competitiveness, we will make every effort to becoming a best-in-town plant that will be loved by our hometown," he added.
In collaboration with the state of Alabama and the city of Huntsville, MTMUS will soon begin site preparation for the new plant and full-scale construction of the plant is expected to start in 2019.
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