From electric rickshaws to Jaguar I-Pace – the OATS EV round-up

Electric rickshaws join the global EV race as Jag reveals its luxury I-Pace and Sweden builds a re-charging road.

Jaguar I-Pace

The new I-Pace revealed Image: Jaguar Cars Ltd

According to Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal: "Three-wheelers are a vital means of transportation and a source of livelihood for millions of people every day.  It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities."

Following its recent Nagpur success, the company is hoping to expand its rickshaw EV fleet to three other undisclosed Indian cities.

At the other end of the luxury scale, Jaguar revealed its new all-electric I-Pace at the Geneva Motorshow. In talking to YouTube Channel Fully Charged, the Jag team offered a comprehensive, ground-up explanation of the car's design.

Meanwhile, Automobili Pininfarina will challenge Bentley and Range Rover when the company launches a stand-alone brand specializing in full-electric SUVs as a subsidiary of Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra. The new range will sell for about €150,000 which would make them rivals to models such as the Bentley Bentayga and high-spec versions of the Range Rover.

In Europe, VW Commercial Vehicles is set to debut its all-electric zero emission eCrafter at the 2018 CV show at Birmingham's NEC in the UK.  The start of May will see real-world testing with UK selected fleet operators at Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Southwark.

A collaborative design with customers, the model has a 134hp power output and a range of 100 miles. Top speed is limited to 55mph.

The UK's EV charging infrastructure is also continuing to grow strongly with Q1 2018 showing sales of 12,825 new plug-in vehicles, a rise of 13.5% on the same period in 2017. This despite disappointing figures at the start of the year. An additional 7,600 domestic chargepoints have been installed this year, according to estimates from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

More than 85,000 homes have chargepoints, representing more than 90% of the UK's charging network installed in private locations. Public charging locations are much thinner on the ground leading to entreupreneurial moves to maximise private charging points with a 'sharing economy' approach, similar to driveway parking.

German-based Akasol is manufacturing lithium-ion battery systems for Daimler subsidiary EvoBus, with an electric Citaro bus set to launch at the IAA Commercial Vehicles event in September.   Akasol’s battery systems are able to charge rapidly, meet the demands on operating range and also supply additional units such as air conditioning and electrical systems. Between six and ten of Akasol’s battery packs are mounted in the buses, partly on the roof, but also in the rear, where they take up the space that was once intended for the diesel engine.

And finally, Sweden has designed a road which will allow both commercial and passenger vehicles to be recharged while driving. The eRoadArlanda project is part of the Swedish Transport Administration’s pre-commercial procurement of innovation.

The solution is based on conductive technology that uses an electric rail installed in roads to power and recharge vehicles during their journey, transferring  energy to the vehicle from the rail through a movable arm. The arm detects the location of the rail in the road and as long as the vehicle is above the rail, the contact will be in a lowered position.  The electrified road will be used by electric trucks developed as part of the project.