EV NEWS, LONDON gets its first black electric cab in over 120 years ! Is the Nissan Leaf going to be the next duel motor EV? Plus the boiger truck arrives for just $125,000
London is taking its first real steps toward electrifying its ground-based taxi fleet.
The aptly named Dynamo Motor Company has deployed its first all-electric, zero-emission taxi cab. The cab itself is based on Nissan e-NV-series passenger van and sports an 80-kilowatt (107 horsepower) electric motor that produces 187 pound-feet of torque. Power comes from a 40-kwh battery pack, which Dynamo says is good enough for 174 miles of range on a single charge.
174 miles may seem like a decent range for an urban EV, but taxi miles add up quickly. With 50-kilowatt charging capacity, drivers might not be in a position to recharge often during working hours. Even Dynamo acknowledges that the cab is best for those serving densely packed urban areas.
“Dynamo Motor Company are respectfully and humbly entering into the licensed Hackney carriage market,” Dynamo said in its announcement. “The Dynamo Taxi isn’t for everybody, but for those who ply their trade in the City, for those who are open to change and can see the benefits of Electric, it fits perfectly.”
As the Guardian points out, Dynamo’s entry is the first licensed all-electric cab in London since 1899, when the Bersey failed to win acceptance over horse-drawn carriages.
Dynamo quite a few advantages over its predecessor. Thanks to a government dead-set on reducing CO2 and particulate emissions, Dynamo’s taxi is significantly cheaper to operate than its fuel-burning peers, and its up-front cost is heavily subsidized as well.
Given Nissan’s enthusiasm for picking up taxi markets with its NV vans, it’s surprising that the automaker hasn’t pushed harder to get its electric variants into more cab fleets. Not even the cargo variant is available stateside, and it appears DHL is going to get a leg up in that regard with its StreetScooter line of small electric utilities.
NEWS ITEM 2
When Nissan launched the updated 2018 Leaf, company representatives told Green Car Reports that a dual-motor variant was still off the table. What you see before you, then, shouldn’t be possible. And yet…
This prototype’s front and rear motors combine for more than 300 horsepower and almost exactly 500 pound-feet of torque, which is quite a bit for a Leaf. Fortunately, two motors means two sets of driven wheels, so there’s enough tire to at least do this powertrain’s output some degree of justice.
Nissan is pitching this engineering exercise as a demonstration of the performance capabilities of its upcoming scalable electric powertrain. By utilizing regenerative braking on both the front and rear axles, and combining that with existing brake and chassis control tech, Nissan can make its Leaf prototype accelerate, brake and corner almost flat without stiffening the ride.
What was missing from the announcement were any references to range, weight, or actual performance figures, leading us to believe that Nissan doesn’t have any genuine interest in building a dual-motor Leaf. Instead, we suspect that this prototype is Nissan’s way of letting us know that its next generation of electrification is just about ready for prime time.
The real beneficiary of this proof-of-concept will likely be Nissan’s forthcoming IMx-inspired crossover, just this month teased as the Ariya concept at Tokyo. That includes a 0-60 time of less than 5.0 seconds and a 300-mile range. Unfortunately, there’s another number that’s not so promising, and that’s 2022—the now-anticipated model year of its production debut.
Nissan originally planned to debut its new EV some time in 2020, and despite previewing the new car to dealers, it’s reportedly pushed back its launch until at least late 2021.
NEWS ITEM 3
Bollinger announced Friday a starting price for its exclusive B1 electric SUV and B2 electric pickup: $125,000.
According to the Detroit-based company, buyers who want first dibs on the trucks can reserve a build with a refundable $1,000 deposit.
The B1 and B2 are both back-to-basics trucks in the style of a vintage Land Rover or Land Cruiser—done all-electric. Both have two-speed transfer cases and locking differentials for no-nonsense off-road capability.
This may seem high, Bollinger says, compared to what you get with most ICEs, but unlike fuel-burners, the Bollinger’s electric motors don’t need to maintain an idle speed. Each motor generates more than 315 pound-feet of torque from the word “go,” Bollinger says, so there’s plenty of grunt to go around, especially once you factor in the low range.
Both the B1 and B2 have a standard electronically controlled, variable hydropneumatic suspension with what the company calls “virtual” sway bars that behave similarly to what you find on some supercars, relying on hydraulic connections between opposite sides of the vehicle to regulate body roll.
They also boast removable doors, roof panels, windows and windshields—so think Wrangler, too, just in a much larger truck. They’re also equipped with individual heated captain’s chairs front and rear, and all offer identical adjustment (including thigh support). They’ll be offered in cloth, leather and vegan leather.
While Bollinger has no intent to become a mass-market brand, the company promised that it plans to make the buying and ownership experiences as convenient as possible, assuring a global network of independent dealers and service departments will be established to support its two vehicles.
“We’re going to production with all of the components and features that our team developed from the start; we’re staying true to our DNA,” says founder Robert Bollinger, promising that its offerings would deliver performance that won’t be matched by any current or forthcoming competition.
The Bollinger B1 and B2 are still a bit more than a year away. The trucks will go into production here in the United States later in 2020, the company said, with customer deliveries starting in early 2021.
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