Electric Vehicles


2019 Audi e-tron reservations open to U.S. customers on September 17th

You won’t have to wonder any longer when Audi will be taking reservations in the US for their new all-electric e-tron SUV, as that date has been set for September 17th, 2018. All you’ll need to do is head over to and plop down a refundable $1,000 deposit to secure your place in line.

Audi already has a line of e-tron badged hybrid vehicles, but this will be their first ‘all-electric’ vehicle and it will be coming in an SUV format. The new e-tron will be making its global debut in San Francisco, the same day reservations open and it is expected to go on sale in the first part of 2019.

Purportedly equipped with a 95 kWh battery pack, two electric motors bringing 320 kW of total output and 150 kW fast charging and a range of 250 miles.

Hopefully we will have all the remaining details in just a few more weeks.

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BMW GroundPad wireless charger now available for iPerformance vehicles

The BMW Wireless Charging option was shown off last year and we’ve been waiting for the 530e iPerformance model to drop with it ever since. Now it can be ordered as a lease option for those looking to get into the 530e starting in Germany, but will be followed by the UK, US, Japan and China. The wireless charging setup consists of a GroundPad which is on the floor of your garage or outside, as well as a CarPad which is on the underbelly of the vehicle. Once you begin the process of parking, a WiFi connection is established between the GroundPad and the vehicle which then guides you over the GroundPad from a Top Down view.

Once you’re established over the GroundPad and key off the car, the charging process will begin automatically. Inductive charging will happen between coils on the GroundPad and Carpad at 3.2 kWh and will fully charge a depleted battery within 3.5 hours. BMW says this method has an 85% efficiency, so its worthwhile to note that this is about 5% less efficient than standard plugin methods. It is yet to be seen if you’ll spend more time trying to get centered over the base plate than you would simply sticking a cord into the car.

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Autonomous TechBMWEVs

BMW outlines their Autonomous driving roadmap

Dramatic changes are coming for transportation and the way the technology is intertwined with the vehicles we drive is taking another massive step forward with autonomous driving. These autonomous capabilities range on a scale from 1 to 5 and BMW does a good job breaking this down along their timeline.

The Level 1 driving capability has been deployed by BMW for some time in the form of Active Cruise control featuring Stop and Go technology, collision and distance warnings.

Level 2 is currently in the field with newer 7 and 5 series and X3 which allows a driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel briefly.

Level 3 should arrive around 2021 and will allow a driver to completely remove their attention away  from the road, but will need to be available to take over at any moment.

Level 4 should arrive also in 2021 in the form of a pilot test and this may allow a driver to completely ignore the road but still be able to take over if necessary.

Finally, Level 5 will bring full autonomy and there will no longer be a driver, only passengers.


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Autonomous TechEVsFormula E

Ryan Tuerck takes on DevBot Autonomous car on the Formula E Rome street circuit Roborace

There has been a lot of news lately regarding AI and we have suddenly come to realize that our current impressions of Siri and Alexa are not close to what state of the art AI is capable of currently. Ryan Tuerck, a Pro Drifter goes to the Formula E Rome street circuit to participate in Roborace to take on DevBot, an autonomously controlled electric race car. Ryan does a pretty good job handling the massive torque this machine puts out considering the little seat time he was given and manages to navigate his way to the finish line. DevBot on the other hand performed amazingly, but in the end comes up short allowing humans to retain superiority, for now.


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BMW will use InnovizOne solid-state lidar technology

For those who have seen various self-driving vehicles roaming around, you may have noticed various sensors and spinning objects located on the sides or top of the vehicle. These are lidar sensors which is a light based mapping technology that provides accurate depth based mapping information. This is very useful when combined with other ultrasonic based proximity sensors and cameras. The 3D sensing lidar technology is a third sense if you will, as the alternative is to derive depth and other vital factors from the cameras alone which can carry their own limitations. The biggest problem with lidar sensors outside of their bulky packaging is their cost.  This new partnership with Magna and Innoviz Technologys may solve one or two of those issues due to the solid state nature of the InnovizOne.
Solid-state means there are no or virtually no moving parts inside, which translates to smaller packaging, lower prices and typically less complexity and higher reliability. The price is being projected at under $1000, which is good because the Chevy Bolt EV would require five of them.

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BMW unveils the iX3 at 2018 Beijing Motor Show

The electrification of everything with wheels continues as BMW has unveiled its all-electric version of the existing X3 SAV dubbed, the iX3. This is a major milestone for BMW since it will be the first all-electric vehicle with a long range, previous electric models have relied on Range Extenders or hybrid powertrains of some sort. Sporting a 200kW electric motor and a 70 kWh battery pack, the iX3 should be able to carry you and your belongings approximately 250 miles, according to BMW.

This transition to long range, all-electric comes with the deployment of the fifth-generation eDrive powertrain which has consolidated the MGU(motor-generator unit), transmission and controller into a consolidated unit and contains no rare elements.


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BMW releases electrification road map, expect hybirds and full EVs starting in 2021

Manufacturers have been climbing the electrification ladder and BMW is no exception with their previous releases of the BMW i3 and i8. By 2025 BMW Group intends on having 25 different electrified models, which include the already announced i8 Roadster and electrified Mini. The iX3 will likely be the next BMW to have the covers pulled and perhaps even an i9 model.

BMW’s modular battery packs for plug-in hybirds will come in three different sizes also designated in the model name, “30e – 60 kWh, 40e – 90 kWh, 50e – 120 kWh” allowing ranges up to 70 miles. The 50e battery packs will be exclusive to the Luxury class vehicles, likely due to the range issues presented by their weight and size.


All wheel drive is optional on the ‘regular’ models while the performance models have it standard, with a torque vectoring option.

Electric power can range from 100 kW (136hp) to 300 kW ( 408hp) and accelerate from 0-100 km/s in less than 3 seconds. It also appears certain models will also be able to charge at speeds above 150 kW.

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BMW Group outlines their 5th generation electrification strategy for 2021

This new video has been released by BMW which demonstrates the modularity of their new battery packs and combined motor and transmission unit. With ranges up to 700km (434 miles) and 100km for plug-in hybirds, they clearly have the sectors they wish to compete in carved out already. It would be assumed that they will be releasing an i5 model at some point, but it is unclear what they have planned for the larger battery packs as currently the i3 and i8 are both plug-in hybrids. One would think that eventually they will release an i5 which may suit more people in terms of vehicle size, and the idea of an all-electric model wouldn’t be too far off, particularly with the i Vision Dynamics concept which was announced recently.

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Tesla Semi test mule caught on video for the first time

Elon Musk had originally announced the Tesla Semi was set to be unveiled in September, then later he pushed it back to October 26th due to reallocating resources for fixing Model 3 production bottle necks. So while we wait for the next big thing in the commercial trucking industry, we have came across a close up of the Tesla Semi test mule caught in action. These are not your ordinary diesel highway tractor sounds:

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