EV round-up - lubes, vehicles and technology

Fast and furious – new EVs on the market and with them, more technology, more products.

New on the block from Maserati will be the company’s first hybrid and battery-powered models, including an electric sports car and a new SUV. While remaining coy about the details, the Italian luxury car maker has revealed the new sports car will be built at its Modena factory in northern Italy. Early 2020 should see the start of production of the midsize SUV in Cassino, central Italy, where the plant will have a new production line for electrified cars.

The Tokyo Motor Show will see Nissan release a full-electric, self-parking city car concept named the IMk.  "The IMk fuses a modern, clean look, driven by its Japanese heritage, with cutting-edge EV technology," according to Satoru Tai, Nissan's Executive Design Director.  The company is aiming for its full-electric or ePower gasoline-generator and electric-motor system to account for 30% of global sales by March 2023.

In India, Tata Motors has announced ‘ZIPTRON’, new technology which will power a range of EVs.  ZIPTRON comes with a long list of benefits, according to Tata, including an efficient high-voltage system, lively performance, long range, fast charging capability, battery warranty of eight years and adherence to IP67 standard.

VW ID3 charging
                                                     VW ID3 (Image:VW Group)

VW has also released a major new EV to its range, the ID.3, on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show. There will be three battery variants to choose between; an entry level 45 kWh model with 205 mile range, mid-spec 58 kWh version with 261 mile range, and flagship 77 kWh pack allowing a 342 mile range. Charging is possible at up to 100 kW DC via a CCS inlet.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is on its way with Fiat Chrysler setting up an experiment involving as many as 700 EVs.  During peak hours, the energy stored in car batteries will be available to power grid operator Terna.  The company is planning to start with the electric Fiat Cinquencento and is aiming to reach the 600-700 vehicle target by 2020-21.

Finally, Valvoline announced the launch of its EV Performance Fluids range, which includes EV Heat Transfer Fluid, EV Drive System Fluid, EV Brake Fluid and EV Grease. The globally available products are not the first EV-specific fluids to be released by the company which has, according to Valvoline, been producing “widely used EV fluids for years”.  US-based EV registrations doubled from 2017 to 2018 — with an estimated 1.1 million EVs expected to be sold nationwide by 2025, according to an April 2019 IHS Markit report.