BMW’s Oxford factory in England is currently the favored location for building an electric version of the Mini despite Britain’s planned departure from the European Union, two sources familiar with the company’s thinking told Reuters on Wednesday. Any decision by the German carmaker to commit to further spending at Oxford would be a boost to the British government, which has been warned by businesses at home and abroad that Brexit will hit investment.
London Taxi Company (LTC) has relaunched as LEVC, marking the next stage in the company’s transformation. Underpinned by an investment totaling £325m, LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has the single-minded ambition to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of choice for cities around the world. Chris Gubbey, CEO, LEVC said: Today is an incredibly exciting day for the company, for the world’s cities, for the air we breathe and for the drivers of commercial vehicles. The launch of LEVC marks Britain’s leadership as a first mover in creating the world’s only dedicated electric vehicle company for the urban commercial market.
BMW will decide whether to build its new electric Mini car in Britain or elsewhere by the end of September, its board member for sales told Reuters, in a test of the country’s ability to continue to attract investment as it leaves the EU. Mini makes around 70 percent of its approximately 360,000 compact cars at its Oxford plant in southern England but the car industry is concerned about the effect any loss of unfettered access to the EU, its largest export market, could have on plants after Brexit.
Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin is today confirming that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019. Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model. As such it spearheads development of the brand’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy laid out by Aston Martin’s President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, in the company’s Second Century Plan.
The London Taxi Company (LTC) today announced the official opening of the UK’s first car plant dedicated solely to the production of range -extended electric vehicles. This new, state-of-the-art, vehicle plant in Ansty, Coventry, is where the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi will be built. LTC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has invested more than £300m in the new site and the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced at the plant and exported around the world. The investment and expansion of LTC has created more than 1,000 new jobs, including 200 engineers and 30 apprenticeships.
The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. This is a production preview of the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed next year and on the road in 2018. Jaguar’s engineering and design teams have torn up the rule book to create a bespoke electric architecture, matched with dramatic design. The result is a no-compromise smart, five seat sports car and a performance SUV in one.
MINI USA introduced today the biggest, most adventurous MINI ever, the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman. Additionally, for the first time ever, a MINI model will be offered as a plug-in hybrid, combining the best of both worlds. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 will be powered by both a three-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology gasoline engine and an electric hybrid synchronous motor. All three of the new MINI Countryman variants will make their World Premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show at a press conference on Wednesday, November 16th, at 11:50 am PDT. The all-new MINI Countryman has been completely redesigned and reengineered from the ground up, yet still is instantly identifiable as a MINI. Now incorporating BMW Group engine technology and vehicle architecture, the all-new MINI Countryman offers an all-turbocharged engine lineup with outstanding acceleration and the […]
Morgan Motor Company is pleased to announce that it will lead a £6m project to develop new powertrain technologies, in collaboration with UK companies Delta Motorsport and Potenza Technology. With funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre, the consortium will develop hybrid and electric powertrain systems which will significantly reduce vehicle CO2 emissions and deliver best-in-class fuel economy. The technologies developed through this project will be introduced progressively on Morgan’s range of hand-built sports cars from 2019, with hybrid propulsion available on all of its models by the end of the decade. The advantages in terms of performance, fuel economy and refinement are expected to increase demand across its most important markets in UK and across Europe. This will result in a growth of the workforce at the Malvern factory and within the partnering companies. Morgan Managing Director, Steve Morris […]
A new, hybrid-powered State Review vehicle was used for the first time on Thursday, when Her Majesty The Queen presented New Colours to the Royal Welsh Regiment in Cardiff. The Queen is Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment. Based on a long wheelbase Range Rover, the new vehicle features a diesel hybrid engine, which enables it to run at times purely on electric power. The State Review was designed by Land Rover Design and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations department. This is the fourth State Review vehicle which Land Rover has provided, starting with a 1953 Land Rover Series 1. The new hybrid replaces the previous Range Rover State Review vehicle, which dates from 2002. Jaguar Land Rover is the only automotive company to hold all three Royal Warrants, from HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and […]
UK auto site Autoblog.com has a great, and hilarious, story on what must me one of the oddest match-ups since Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple. Actually, I guess this predates them, but you get the point! What we have then is a hybrid Jaguar Morris Minor Traveller. Well, to be precise, a Jaguar XK120 Morris Minor Traveller; that is also probably full of fur. The car was created to haul the owner’s dogs. To make matters even worse, they named the car the “Foxbat”. What? What the heck is a “foxbat”? Quoting from the original article, “it was stitched together by chemist and Jaguar enthusiast/butcher Geoffrey Stevens. To give him some credit, it’s claimed the XK was in pretty horrendous condition when he started, so he’s done a decent job making the front end look good, at least.” […]
The British Steam Car team has rebounded from last week’s aborted test with two successful runs, the last shakedowns before the 25-foot car is shipped to the United States for its attempt to break a land speed record set 103 years ago. Team Steam hopes to achieve 170 mph when it challenges the land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle and says everything is on track. The car fired up like a Russell Hobbs teasmade and proved the water-filtration issue that stymied last week’s test have been solved. The car hit 60 mph on Wednesday, before test driver Don Wales pulled the chute to end the first run. The second test went even better: Wales achieved 80 mph. “The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it,” Wales said in a […]
MUNICH — BMW plans to export nearly 500 electric versions of its Mini car to California, company sources said. The electric Minis are being built at the Mini factory in Oxford, England, without engines, gearboxes or fuel tanks, then shipped to Munich, Germany, where they are being fitted with electric powertrains. BMW sources told Automotive News Europe that 490 of the Minis will be leased to selected customers in California and 10 will be used as show cars. The electric Minis are painted silver and have yellow roofs, the sources said. BMW engineers working on the electric Minis are part of a new division called Project i established by the automaker to develop low-emission city cars. The electric Minis will help BMW to meet new California regulations that will require carmakers selling cars in the state to offer zero emission […]
While I am as green as the next person, or maybe even more so, this just seems wrong on so many levels. The British cabinet is debating replacing their Jaguars with the hybrid Prius. As the Financial Times reports, “Gordon Brown’s cabinet clashed yesterday over whether to replace British-built ministerial cars with Japanese Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles, amid new evidence that the government is failing to live up to its green rhetoric. John Hutton, the business secretary, led the criticism of the plan to import more cars from Japan rather than use traditional British vehicles, saying it sent out a bad signal to domestic manufacturers.” Sad, very sad. You can read the full article at the Financial Times site.
Bentley is pinning its green future on more efficient gasoline engines powered by biofuel combined with lighter-weight body construction, rather than a radical switch to diesel or hybrid powertrains. “We don’t think our customers, particularly in North America and Europe, are ready for a diesel Bentley, said Uli Eichhorn, Bentley chief engineer, on Tuesday at the Geneva motor show. Although Bentley Chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen refuses to rule out a diesel powertrain, Eichhorn said: “Not ruling it out does not mean it is our top priority.” Hybrid powertrains don’t fit the typical usage cycle of a Bentley, according to Eichhorn. “(Hybrids) are very good in cities and stop-start driving, but that’s not where out cars are used.”
It looks like a regular Opel (Saturn) Astra, but the car that’s pictured is completely different. This vehicle is Lotus Engineering’s first attempt at creating a hybrid vehicle, and represents the launch of a branch of the British firm dedicated to engineering and developing hybrid and electric vehicles. Underneath its hood, Lotus Engineering has fitted a small 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine featuring a turbocharger that’s mated to a mild hybrid drivetrain system. The 12 kW electric motor adds power, but not at the cost of fuel economy, and because it isn’t a full hybrid system that allows the car to run on pure electrical power, it poses a price advantage. Lotus has also taken a load off of the main engine by switching over the water pump and the fuel pump to items that are purely electrical, a change that […]
Morgan Motor Co., the tiny British automaker so old-fashioned it still uses wood frames, is stepping well into the future with LifeCar, a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid it says will prove “a zero-emission vehicle can be fun to drive.” Morgan will unveil the hand-built aluminum-bodied coupe next month at the Geneva Auto Show, and although there’s no word on whether LifeCar will ever be more than a one-off concept, the company hopes to show hydrogen is a viable – if distant – alternative to fossil fuels. Morgan has spent more than two years working with a British defense firm, two universities and a hydrogen supplier to develop a car it promises will “minimize the fuel cell cost and provide the fuel economy for a 200 mile range.” As impressive as the LifeCar is, what makes it truly remarkable is a […]