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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class

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The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in the USA this month in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.


Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor

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Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.


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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 

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Volvo calls for standardized EV charging infrastructure

Volvo Cars believes the global automotive industry should strive toward the introduction of a standardized charging infrastructure for electric cars, says Dr Peter Mertens, the company’s senior vice president for research and development.

To support this drive toward a global standard for electric car charging, Volvo Cars has decided to throw its weight behind the Charging Interface Initiative, a consortium of stakeholders that was founded to establish their Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered vehicles.

Volvo Cars is one of the leading makers of plug-in hybrid cars and will offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every new model as it replaces its entire product portfolio in the coming years. It will introduce a fully electric vehicle by 2019, based on its modular SPA vehicle architecture.

In order to cement the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and ensure that customers fully embrace the technology, Dr Mertens argues that a simple, standardised, fast and global charging infrastructure is needed.

“We see that a shift toward fully electric cars is already underway, as battery technology improves, costs fall and charging infrastructure is put in place,” said Mertens. “But while we are ready from a technology perspective, the charging infrastructure is not quite there yet. To really make range anxiety a thing of the past, a globally standardized charging system is sorely needed.”

The Combined Charging System, which will offer both regular and fast charging capabilities, makes electric car ownership increasingly practical and convenient – especially in urban environments which are ideal for electric vehicles.

It combines single-phase with rapid three-phase charging, using alternating current at a maximum of 43 kilowatts (kW), as well as direct-current charging at a maximum of 200 kW and the future possibility of up to 350 kW – all in a single system.

The Charging Interface Initiative is currently in the process of drawing up requirements for the evolution of charging-related standards and certification for use by car makers around the globe.

“We are very happy to support and be involved in the setting of standards for electric vehicle charging systems. The lack of such a standard is one of the main obstacles for growing electric vehicles’ share of the market,” said Mertens.

23 March 2016


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