Posts Tagged ‘Daimler’
If you like the idea of German electric vehicles like the BMW i3 and i8, but you’re worried they may be more than you really need when they arrive next year, you’ll be glad to know that a more to-the-point EV auf Deutsch is on the way. Along with Munich’s Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), BMW, Daimler and 14 others are jointly developing the Visio.M urban runabout. While it should only muster the equivalent of 20 horsepower, it should be about 45 percent lighter than a Smart Fortwo — important when you want to use a small battery to keep the cost down. The project is also tackling safety and other chronic problems with tiny electric cars. TUM’s MUTE prototype (pictured here) is serving as the testbed for the technology being rolled into the Visio.M, although the €10.8 million ($ 14.2 million) in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research is expected to produce something more original when the EV project reaches its eventual close.
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Daimler AG is of course best known as the producer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, cars that usually sit toward the higher end of their respective classes. BYD, on the other hand, makes batteries, cellphones, and inexpensive cars that often look an awful, awful lot like other, rather more expensive ones. Strange bedfellows, these, but according to a “knowledgeable individual” quoted by The Wall Street Journal the two are getting closer to finalizing plans for an electric vehicle, freezing the design ahead of production to begin toward the end of 2012. The car is said to be called the GOLF, standing for Green, Oxygen, Light, and Friendship — though that L could also double for Lawsuit given VW already sells its Golf in China. This partnership is similar to what BMW is doing, working with Brilliance China Automotive to get a foothold into the potentially Chinese EV market, which is already starting to heat up and should only continue to do so over the coming years.