Weekly update

Mobilities for EU, BMW, Porsche, MAN, BYD and many more

Post from 09.02.2024: Mobilities for EU, BMW, Porsche, MAN, BYD, Continental, EHang, Honda, Fraunhofer

Post from 09.02.2024: Mobilities for EU, BMW, Porsche, MAN, BYD, Continental, EHang, Honda, Fraunhofer

The topics at a glance

Various studies on urban mobility, BMW's first electric BMW i5 Touring, and a facelift for the Porsche Taycan, along with awards for Continental and BMW, EHang's flying taxi, Fraunhofer 's hydrogen motorcycle, and more updates on alternative modes of transportation like e-scooters and cargo bikes – these are our Weekly News for week 6 of the year 2024. 

Various studies on urban mobility, BMW's first electric BMW i5 Touring, and a facelift for the Porsche Taycan, along with awards for Continental and BMW, EHang's flying taxi, Fraunhofer 's hydrogen motorcycle, and more updates on alternative modes of transportation like e-scooters and cargo bikes – these are our Weekly News for week 6 of the year 2024. 

The topics at a glance

According to a study by the ADAC, satisfaction with the local mobility situation in Germany is higher in Dresden than in any other major German city. This finding comes from the latest ADAC Monitor "Mobile in the City." As the study reports, the capital of Saxony stands out the most across all modes of transportation, followed by Leipzig and Munich. Satisfaction levels of drivers, public transport users, cyclists, and pedestrians were assessed. The ADAC recommends that cities consider all forms of traffic in their mobility planning. Municipalities should implement efficient parking space management to ensure accessibility by car. However, with the increase in cycling traffic, cities should also ensure a continuous cycling network. 

More information
(c) ADAC

A Deloitte survey reveals that two-thirds of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in Germany are open to dynamic charging rates at public charging stations. Particularly, environmentally conscious and flexible users are willing to accept larger price fluctuations. The study highlights the importance of transparency, simplicity, and predictability for the acceptance of such pricing models. Dynamic rates could not only help save money, but also improve access to charging capacities and contribute to grid stability. Moreover, the potential for bidirectional charging is emphasized, which could offer financial benefits for EV drivers and help stabilize the electricity grid. 

More information
(c) Adobe.stock.com

The EU research project "Mobilities for EU" kicked off in January 2024. It aims to showcase to showcase innovative solutions for urban mobility over a period of five years, and transform the urban transportation sector through electrification, automation, and connectivity. The focus is on innovative and cost-effective concepts for people mobility and freight transport, designed and implemented according to participatory and user-centered principles. Seven European cities, most of which have committed under the EU Commission's mission for "Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities" to become climate-neutral by 2030, are at the core of this project. They are divided into pioneer and replication cities. Two pioneer cities, Madrid (Spain) and Dresden (Germany), will test 27 innovative mobility solutions in eleven pilot actions, including autonomous electric buses and the development of a decentralized data ecosystem for automated driving. The five replication cities, including Ioannina (Greece), Trenčin (Slovakia), Espoo (Finland), Gdansk (Poland), and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), will then replicate the processes of the pioneer cities and develop their own adaptations of the tested solutions. To meet the needs of city residents and other local stakeholders, Urban Transport Labs (UT-Labs) will be established in all seven project cities to involve these stakeholders. 

More information
Steinberg EU Zentrum
(c) Steinberg EU Zentrum

In 2023, Europe opened 37 new hydrogen fueling stations, with an additional 12 in Japan, 29 in South Korea, and seven in North America. 92 percent of the new hydrogen stations in Europe are also capable of refueling heavy-duty vehicles. This is according to H2stations.org, an information service provided by the Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST), indicating that 40 countries have hydrogen refueling infrastructure operational or under construction. By the end of 2023, there were 921 hydrogen fueling stations worldwide, primarily located in East Asia including China, Japan, and South Korea, Central Europe, and along the East and West Coasts of the United States. In Europe, there were 265 hydrogen fueling stations by the end of 2023, with Germany leading the count with 105, followed by France with 51, the Netherlands with 22, and Switzerland with 17 stations. Most of the new hydrogen stations in Europe are designed to fuel heavy-duty vehicles, reflecting a shift in focus from fuel cell passenger cars to commercial vehicles, according to the information service. Germany is also upgrading existing stations to serve heavy-duty vehicles. Internationally, East Asia and the US are leading in the number of hydrogen fueling stations. 

More information
H2 Project
(c) H2stations.org

The ALRIGH2T project, funded with nearly ten million Euros by an international consortium of 21 partners from seven EU countries and Israel, aims to reduce the environmental impact of the aviation sector by developing airport infrastructures for LH2 (liquid hydrogen)-based aircraft propulsion systems. The research teams intend to develop innovative refueling technologies and processes for liquid hydrogen for use in aviation. Hydrogen becomes liquid at temperatures below -253 degrees Celsius, referred to as liquid hydrogen or LH2. Real tests are planned at the Milan-Malpensa International Airport and a reference airport in Paris. Salzburg Aluminium Group, the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, and Linde are among the participants. 

Hamburg Aviation
(c) Hamburg Aviation

BMW has unveiled the sixth model generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring, introducing for the first time a fully electric model. It will be available in two versions from the start. The BMW i5 M60 xDrive Touring features two highly integrated drive units at the front and rear axles, together creating an electric all-wheel drive system with up to 442 kW/601 horsepower. This model can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, with its top speed electronically limited to 230 km/h (143 mph). The BMW i5 eDrive40 Touring, with its rear-mounted electric motor, allows for a maximum output of 250 kW/340 horsepower, achieving acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds. These BMW models will be available in Germany and other European countries, as well as Japan, starting in May 2024, with additional markets to follow in June. BMW also announced the sales launch for the third fully electric model variant of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan in March 2024. Furthermore, there will be additional drive variants for the fully electric BMW iX2, the BMW X2, and the BMW XM in the future. 

BMWi5 Touring
(c) BMW Group

Porsche has extensively updated the Porsche Taycan, with improvements benefiting all three body variants – the Taycan sedan, the Taycan Cross Turismo, and the Taycan Sport Turismo. Four powertrain options are available, in configurations with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Depending on the body variant and powertrain, the range can extend up to 678 kilometers (about 421 miles), which represents a 175-kilometer (approximately 108 miles) or 35 percent increase over the previous models, according to Porsche. On long journeys, the models should also require fewer charging stops. The models can now charge at DC fast-charging stations with 800 volts at up to 320 kW, which is more than 50 kW higher than before. At the same time, the fast-charging window of the new performance battery has been significantly expanded, allowing for charging powers over 300 kW for up to five minutes. Even in cold temperatures, very high charging powers can be achieved more quickly. In comparison to their predecessors, all updated models are significantly quicker in accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), with the Taycan doing it in 4.8 seconds and the Taycan Turbo S in just 2.4 seconds. 

Mehr Informationen
Porsche Taycan
(c) Porsche AG

MAN Truck & Bus has claimed the top spot in the European market for electric buses. In 2023 alone, 780 MAN electric buses were registered in Europe. With a market share of approximately 13.3 percent, MAN Truck & Bus has become the number one brand. The sales figures for MAN electric buses in Europe reflect a similar trend: the commercial vehicle manufacturer sold a total of 771 electric buses in 2023, tripling the sales of the Lion’s City E compared to the previous year (263 electric buses in 2022). The markets in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Norway, and Belgium lead in numbers. Nearly 80 percent of all Lion’s City E buses registered in Europe in 2023 are operating in these five countries. The fully electric city bus, MAN Lion’s City E, was awarded “Bus of the Year 2023” and “Sustainable Bus of the Year 2024.” 

MAN Truck & Bus
(c) MAN Truck & Bus

BYD has announced plans to complete its first electric car factory in Europe, confirmed in December 2023, within three years in Szeged, Hungary. The company intends to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for producing a range of electrified BYD passenger cars for the European market. The construction of the plant will happen in several phases, with the first section expected to open and commence operations within three years. The facility is planned to produce several New Energy Vehicle (NEV) models. Additionally, BYD has announced its intention to leverage its expertise in integrated vertical supply chains to create "a green ecosystem" on-site. 

(c) Adobe.stock.com

Continental has been awarded Gold at the International Design Awards for its “UltraContact NXT” tire, which is made of 65 percent renewable, recycled, and ISCC Plus mass balance-certified materials, in the “Automotive & Transport / Cars Accessories” category. The jury particularly praised the tire's unique sidewall design. By 2030, the tire manufacturer aims to have over 40 percent of its tires made from renewable and recycled materials. 

(c) Continental AG

Additionally, the BMW Group Plant in Steyr has won the globally renowned INDUSTRY 4.0 AWARD in the “Discrete Manufacturing” category. This facility, which researches and produces the powertrains for tomorrow's BMW Group vehicles, has been focusing on digitalization for years and has implemented over 200 digitalization solutions. These range from simple data visualizations to complex AI solutions and generative AI approaches. The jury commended the innovative use of Industry 4.0 technologies in the manufacturing environment. The site's digital capabilities are consolidated in Steyr at an InnoLab, where new applications are tested and rolled out in production. The INDUSTRY 4.0 AWARD, given by the operations consulting firm ROI-EFESO, recognizes innovative solutions in digitalization and automation. 

Insustrie Award
(c) BMW Group

Chinese manufacturer EHang announced the sales launch of its electrically powered flying taxi, the EH216-S, which will be available in China from April 2024 for around 300,000 Euros. The two-seater passenger drone model, which completed its first commercial flight demonstrations in China in December, is designed to reach a top speed of up to 130 km/h (about 80 mph) and a maximum flight duration of 25 minutes. EHang plans to commercially deploy the EH216-S for low-altitude tours and sightseeing flights in the future. The company recently developed a specialized drone version for firefighting in high-rise buildings, designed to carry up to 150 liters of fire-retardant foam and six "firefighting bombs." 

(c) EHang

In December, Honda introduced a breakthrough in marine propulsion technology: the first outboard motor with a powerful V8 engine. This engine is expected to mark a significant advancement in the development of outboard motors. With a displacement of 4,952 cc and a power output of 350 horsepower, the V8 engine is designed to enable boaters to reach new speed territories. To optimize valve control depending on the engine speed, Honda adapted the VTEC™ technology, originally developed for Formula 1 race cars. Additionally, an integrated O₂ sensor continuously monitors the exhaust gases' oxygen content to minimize fuel consumption. 

(c) Honda

The Fraunhofer Institute IWU is working on a hydrogen-powered motorcycle, known as the "Hydrocycle." This project, conducted in collaboration with German and Czech partners, aims to provide a sustainable alternative to battery-electric motorcycles, particularly for urban delivery services and package delivery. The Hydrocycle is intended to offer greater range and shorter refueling times compared to current electric motorcycles, with the main challenge lying in integrating a complete fuel cell system into the limited space of a motorcycle. The goal is to develop a functional H2 motorcycle demonstrator by the end of 2025, which will comply with European registration standards and certification requirements. 

CVTUC Czech Technical University
(c) CVTUC Czech Technical University

Electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is expanding its lineup for 2024 with the Xiaomi Electric Scooter 4 Pro Plus. This new E-scooter is expected to deliver 960 watts of power and provide up to 60 km more range than its predecessors. Meanwhile, Reebok, primarily known as a sportswear manufacturer, is also introducing a range of e-mobility solutions in 2024. The company announces the launch of e-bikes, e-scooters, and sports helmets in Germany for 2024, with some products already showcased at ISPO 2023 in Munich, Germany. Additionally, Tenways, an e-bike manufacturer based in Amsterdam, has unveiled its first cargo bike, the Cargo One, capable of carrying a total weight of 250 kilograms. 

BYD is gearing up for the launch of a new compact electric SUV. BYD has released official images of the Yuan Up on its Weibo channel. It's a compact SUV measuring 4.31 meters in length and is set to join the electric car family of Yuan. 

Polestar has announced that the Polestar 4 is now officially available in Europe and Australia. Following its production launch and initial deliveries in China at the end of 2023, online sales have already started. Production for European markets is slated for mid-2024, with initial deliveries expected to begin in August. 

Hyundai is introducing the Hyundai Casper in Europe as an electric version. The compact SUV will hit the European market by the end of 2024, confirmed the company. 

Additionally, the US-based automaker Lucid Motors transformed the Air, its electric sedan, into police vehicles. The new series was unveiled at the World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia (February 4th to 8th). 

Further weekly updates at a glance