Weekly News Roundup - 05/04/19
- Ford announced their upcoming line-up of electrified vehicles at a special “Go Electric” event in Amsterdam earlier this week. 16 electrified vehicles were announced in total, half of which will be on sale in the UK by the end of the year. The announcements included:
- The all-new Ford Kuga SUV, which will be the first Ford to feature mild-, full- and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
- 48-volt mild hybrid systems, which Ford calls ‘Ecoboost Hybrid’, will be coming to the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Ford Transit Custom.
- The Ford Puma is returning for the first time since 2002; this time as a compact crossover and also featuring ‘Ecoboost Hybrid’ technology.
- The new all-electric Ford Transit will be available in 2021.
- Ford also announced the all-new Ford Explorer, a Mustang-inspired all-electric performance SUV with seven-seats and 370-mile range. However there was no mention of this coming to the UK.
- In other Ford news, the company has also announced it will end production of the Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max in Europe by the end of Q2 this year.
With the ongoing demand for crossovers and SUVs, the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer is another compact MPV which is due to cease production and will do so at the end of this month, being replaced in the lineup by the C5 Aircross SUV.
- Daimler has agreed a deal with its majority shareholder Geely, that will see the Chinese company take a 50% stake of its Smart brand.
The new deal will move car production from France over to China and allow Smart to expand its model line-up to include a B-segment range, rivaling the likes of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo.
- Since acquiring Opel-Vauxhall from General Motors in 2017, PSA group (which also includes Peugeot, Citroen and DS), are now allegedly in talks with FCA Group (which includes Fiat, Jeep and Alfa Romeo) to form a partnership and develop electric vehicles together.
This partnership could see the two companies speed up and streamline the development and research of new technology and help them meet the CO2 targets set by the European Union, which all car manufacturers have to meet by 2021.
- Innolith AG, a Swiss startup company, is developing a high-density 1000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery that could provide 600 miles of electric-only range on a single charge.
Manufacturing costs are said to be reduced by the avoidance of using current “exotic and expensive materials" and unlike the EV batteries used in cars of today, the Innolith battery uses a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte; thus removing the primary cause of battery fires in electric cars.
Upon completion, Innolith AG plans to bring the battery to market with an initial pilot production in Germany and follow this up with licensing partnerships with major battery and automotive companies.