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Zipcar plans all-electric fleet of over 300 Volkswagens in London

Zipcar is rolling out a fleet of 300 Volkswagen e-Golfs in London this year — in what the company is touting as the largest rollout of electric cars in a single English city. Details from the company are still sketchy, but Zipcar said the first electric vehicles will be available over the summer, with more hitting city streets throughout the remainder of the year. Zipcar expects the fleet to top out at 325 by the end of the year. The Boston-based company is offering those new e-Golfs under its Flex service, which allows customers to pick up cars and drop them off anywhere in London. They’re accessible via the Zipcar app, the company said. “With over 200,000 Zipcar members now in London, we are already seeing Londoners embracing car sharing rather than car owning in growing numbers. If we are to achieve healthier, cleaner streets, as set out in the Mayor of London’s latest Transport Strategy, this change away from car ownership and towards car access is essential,” said Zipcar’s U.K. general manager Jonathan Hampson, in a statement. For Zipcar’s partner Volkswagen, the deal is a way to burnish the company’s now-tarnished reputation in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that has cost the company roughly $25 billion billions and seen the company’s former chief executive indicted . “This is an exciting step for Volkswagen. Thousands of Zipcar members will experience electric driving, perhaps for the first time, and we know they will love the functionality and ease of use that the all-electric e-Golf provides,” said Alison Jones, managing director of Volkswagen U.K. “Inner-city residents are looking for alternatives to car ownership and this development of the relationship between Volkswagen and Zipcar offers the best of both worlds: on-demand driving and zero emission motoring across the U.K.’s capital.”

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SF Motors reveals first two EVs, aims to ship its first SUV by next year

SF Motors has revealed its first two models, electric vehicles aiming for 2018 production and 2019 street dates. The electric vehicle technology company with a headquarters in Silicon Valley, as well as a globe-spanning R&D footprint and manufacturing facilities in both China and the U.S., and it’s aiming to distinguish itself rom the established market with unique powertrains, autonomous features and shared technology development. Their first two cars are the SF5 and SF7, a smaller and a mid-sized all-electric SUV. The SF5 is aiming to have a pre-order date of 2018, and will also aim to ship in 2019 to customers if all goes to plan. They’ll feature “proprietary” powertrain technology that will achieve 1000 horsepower and a 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of under 3 seconds. Range is rated at over 300 miles by EPA standards, SF Motors says, thanks to a “patented” battery system that emphasizes safety through design. The automaker is also working on a future battery system that would incorporate battery units directly into the vehicle’s chassis, for a more streamlined design. gallery ids="1613830,1613831,1613832,1613833,1613834,1613835,1613836,1613837,1613838,1613839,1613840" A lot of SF Motors’ secret sauce comes down to in-house development of key systems, the automaker says, including its own in-house electronic controller design. It’s also testing “protective autonomy,” systems that use deep learning and LiDAR sensor perception to create a “safer ride,” with road tests in California, Michigan and China currently in progress as of earlier this month. The full extent of this system and how it works hasn’t been detailed, but it will automated driving tasks with “minimal human input” required, per SF Motors. The company is debuting its first target production vehicles today, but it’s also hoping to potentially provide its proprietary powertrain and battery tech design to other automakers via license, which could help it get over the early hurdles of production ramp that most young EV companies hoping to take on Tesla and other legacy automakers face.

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Volkswagen has locked down $25B in battery supplies for its electric vehicle push

 Automaker Volkswagen’s ramping up for its big EV push, with $25 billion in committed battery supplies and plans to outfit 16 factories to build electric cars by the end of 2022, up from three with that capacity in the VW stable right now. Thus far, Volkswagen’s focus is on battery suppliers in Europe and China, its two largest markets, and likely the two that will be most important… Read More

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