The acceleration plan also includes assembly and localisation of electrification components in key Southeast Asian markets.
Nissan regional senior vice president and head of Asia & Oceania Yutaka Sanada said, "Nissan is taking leadership to drive awareness and embracing of electrified mobility in Asia and Oceania. We are creating excitement by bringing the new Nissan Leaf to more markets in the region and introducing in Indonesia and the Philippines is a key step. This allows customers to get first-hand experience with the benefits of electric vehicles for themselves and for societies."
The new Nissan Leaf is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company's vision to moving people to a better world by changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. With more than 400,000 units of Nissan Leaf sold since it went on sale in 2010, it is the world's best-selling 100% electric vehicle. Within the region, Nissan has introduced the electric vehicle this year to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
The introduction of the new Nissan Leaf, together with a series of e-Power models, marks an important step in the electrification of mobility in Asia and Oceania. e-Power is Nissan's proprietary technology that gives customers the benefits of electric vehicles, but without the need to charge. Nissan Serena e-Power will be the first e-Power model to be launched in the region, starting with Singapore this year.
"e-Power, we believe, is the most pragmatic step towards electrification," said Sanada. "In addition to introducing electrified mobility, Nissan is working on making them more accessible through electrification components assembly and localisation in key Southeast Asian markets."
The announcements were made at Nissan Futures in Hong Kong, a gathering in Hong Kong of industry leaders, government officials and media from across Asia and Oceania. The three-day event brought together influential speakers to discuss how to create a sustainable future through vehicle electrification, and how to make advanced driving technologies more accessible, under the theme "Transform the way we live and drive."
Alongside plant director Thomas Hahlbohm and works council chair Bertina Murkovic, Dr Thomas Sedran, Chairman of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Brand Board of Management, handed over the T6 to the hospital's chief physician, Professor Olga Kordonouri, hospital board executive assistant Amelie von Schintling-Horny and hospital clown "Socke".
Sedran said: "The ten millionth vehicle from our plant in Hannover is a symbol of a unique success story. And it's a success that we aim to continue going forward. To this end, we are completely realigning the plant – with new products and business models." He added that the brand was ensuring a sustainable future for the Hannover site and its employees.
Thomas Hahlbohm, Director of the Hannover plant: "Our employees in Hannover have been building this fantastic vehicle for 63 years as a multi-generational project. Our workforce does this job with pride, passion and loving attention to detail. I thank the men and women of our team for that with all my heart."
Bertina Murkovic, Chair of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles works council, said: "Ten million vehicles from Hannover – that's an impressive figure. Behind that lie generations of employees who have built these cars and in doing so made a living for themselves and their families. My special thanks to them all!"
Production of the T1 began at the newly built plant in Hannover-Stöcken on 8 March 1956. In addition to the generations of T-series vehicles, the LT, the Taro pick-up and, for a time, the Beetle were also produced there.
Today, the T6 – and soon the T6.1 update – and the Amarok are made in Hannover. Around 14,500 people are employed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, the brand's main site.
The technology will debut in European markets by 2022, Roel de Vries, Nissan Corporate Vice President, said at the Geneva International Motor Show.
e-Power has been a hit with consumers in Japan, where it's helped make the Nissan Note the country's best-selling registered car. Combining 100% electric motor drive with a gasoline engine that charges the battery, e-Power cars give customers instant, smooth acceleration and excellent fuel efficiency.
Introducing the technology in Europe will reinforce Nissan's leadership in electrified vehicles in the region, where the Nissan Leaf is already the best-selling electric car.
Building on the success of Leaf, e-Power will be among a suite of new technologies coming to Nissan's best-selling vehicles in Europe in the coming three years. By 2022 sales of electrified Nissan vehicles will increase five-fold, and by the end of that year will be double the market average.
"Already Nissan is the world's leader in mass-market EV technologies and a fully electrified Europe is now within our sights," said Roel de Vries, Corporate Vice President for Nissan Motor Company. "With e-Power arriving on European roads within the next two years, we will bring the benefits of Nissan Intelligent Mobility to more customers and keep moving people to a better world."
The e-Power system includes a gasoline engine with a power generator, an inverter, a battery and an electric motor. Used solely to charge the high-output battery, the gasoline engine always runs at an optimal speed. This leads to superior fuel efficiency and lower emissions compared with a traditional internal combustion engine.
Currently, e-Power is available in the Note and Serena models in Japan. More than 70% of Note sales and almost half of Serena sales in the country are e-Power versions.
EPA Energy Star certification signifies that the facilities perform in the top 25% of similar facilities for energy efficiency and meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. On average, Energy Star certified plants consume 35% less energy and contribute 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar non-certified operations.
"Earning these certifications are important since it is way to recognize Honda associates for their continued efforts to reduce energy usage at our manufacturing plants and office buildings," said Joanna Bambeck, who leads Honda's Green Factory efforts in North America. "This achievement also shows the progress that our plants are making towards realizing a carbon-free society and achieving our 2050 CO2 targets."
The Marysville and East Liberty automobile plants of Honda of America Mfg. continued to find new and innovative ways to conserve energy in 2018, furthering the company's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The 2.8-million square-foot East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP), which produces the Honda CR-V and the Acura RDX and MDX sport-utility vehicles, expanded its use of LED lighting, installing more than 850 new fixtures and saving more than 1.1 million kWh of electricity.
"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation's industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment," said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. "From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA's ENERGY STAR certification."
The 4.3-million square-foot Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), which produces the Honda Accord, Accord Hybrid and CR-V as well as the Acura ILX and TLX, saw improvements through the inception of a five-year plan to improve energy management. The initiative started with the plant's high-bay lighting with LED fixtures.
HMIN, which produces the Honda Insight as well as the Honda Civic and CR-V, has been Energy Star certified for each of the last seven years. The plant continued on its path toward greater energy efficiency through the phased conversion to LED lighting and increasing emphasis on managing non-production energy use, along with the implementation of a compressed air leak management program.
Ohio's AEP achieved energy savings by reducing the power needed to pressurise its compressed-air system. The plant also raised the temperature of its process water system, lessening the energy used by the plant's chillers. AEP opened in 1985 and has the capacity to manufacture 1.18 million engines per year, ranging from the turbocharged four-cylinder engines powering models like the Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V, up to the twin-turbo V6 powerplant found in the Acura NSX supercar.
More than 8 million Taurus passenger cars were built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant over 34 years of near continuous production.
“Taurus broke new ground at its start and we’re thankful for its role in our portfolio,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Vice President, US Marketing, Sales and Service. “Those same kinds of innovations will continue for today’s customers with Ford Explorer and the rest of our lineup.”
When introduced at the 1985 Los Angeles Auto Show, Taurus represented the latest in Ford engineering and design, developed to meet shifting consumer needs. Its sleek looks were a departure from the boxy sedan shapes of the time, setting a new bar in passenger cars. Its 140-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine featured multi-port fuel injection.
Taurus continued to evolve with the addition of the SHO model in 1989, which came equipped with a 220-horsepower high-performance V6. By 1992, Taurus had become America’s best-selling car.
Taurus went on to become a staple in American stock car racing when it entered NASCAR in 1998. The Taurus NASCAR was the vehicle of choice for numerous race teams and it delivered many championships for them and for Ford Motor Company.
The nameplate briefly ended in 2006 before it was revived as an all-new car in 2008.
Although Taurus production is ending in Chicago, Ford is investing $1 billion into its Chicago Assembly Plant and Chicago Stamping Plant, and adding 500 jobs to expand capacity to build the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer and Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which will continue the Taurus legacy of innovation, along with the all-new Lincoln Aviator.
Ford aims to replace 75% of its US lineup, including Escape, Explorer and F-150, by the end of 2020, building on its strengths in trucks, utilities, commercial and performance vehicles and investing in new propulsion and technology.
Like the original Taurus met changing consumer preferences, Ford is also expanding its lineup with new and returning nameplates tailored to today’s consumers, including the all-new Ranger, all-new Bronco, a yet-to-be-named rugged off-road small utility, a Mustang-inspired fully-electric performance utility and more still to come.
This new ambition builds on the brand’s 2017 aim of two-thirds of its sales to be electrified by 2025, and places it firmly at the forefront of Honda’s global electrification shift announced as part of its 2030 vision.
Speaking at the press conference, Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, said, “Since we made that first pledge in March 2017, the shift towards electrification has gathered pace considerably. Environmental challenges continue to drive demand for cleaner mobility. Technology marches on unrelenting and people are starting to shift their view of the car itself.”
Further proof of Honda’s electrification ambition was seen in the shape of the Honda e Prototype. Unveiled for the first time at Geneva, the car previews Honda’s first production battery electric vehicle for the European market. Positioned as an urban commuter, the car features a competitive range of over 200km and a ‘fast charge’ functionality providing 80% range in just 30 minutes. It also features trademark Honda driving dynamics with a sporty rear wheel drive configuration.
The production version of the Honda e Prototype will be unveiled later this year. Customers will be able to place a reservation for the car in selected European markets in early summer. To date Honda has received 15,000 registrations of interest for the Honda e Prototype.
Early in 2019, Honda successfully launched the all-new CR-V Hybrid, featuring its two-motor i-MMD full hybrid technology. Honda expects full hybrid technology to play a key role in meeting its aims of 100% electrification by 2025.
The Volkswagen Group is currently projecting a first wave of some 15 million pure electric vehicles based on the MEB. e.GO Mobile AG based in Aachen, Germany, is to be the world’s first external partner to use the electric platform to launch further electric vehicles in addition to Volkswagen’s model range.
A dedicated vehicle project is already being planned. Volkswagen will be highlighting the MEB’s variability even for small series with the ID. BUGGY on show at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, commented: “Our Modular Transverse Toolkit proved we are platform experts. Over 100 million of our vehicles are based on that particular platform. With the MEB platform, we are now transferring this successful concept to the electric era and opening it to other carmakers. The MEB is to establish itself as the standard for e-mobility. Based on the MEB, we will make individual mobility CO2-neutral, safe, comfortable and accessible to as many people as possible. Because the MEB even makes the cost-efficient production of emotional small-series vehicles like the ID. BUGGY possible. I am delighted that e.GO has become the first partner to use our electric platform as the basis for a jointly-defined vehicle project.”
Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh, CEO of e.GO Mobile AG, added: “We are extremely pleased the Volkswagen Group offered us this cooperation. We can contribute e.GO’s agile product development and our strength in building small-series vehicles based on extruded aluminum spaceframes. And the MEB platform will make us faster, more robust and cost-efficient.”
For Volkswagen, 2019 is a key year in its electric offensive, with the company stepping up the pace even further in the coming years. In Geneva, the Volkswagen Group will be showcasing numerous electric vehicles and studies, such as the Audi e-tron GT2, ŠKODA Vision iV1, SEAT Urban Car1 or the ID. BUGGY1, that will be making their debut with customers in the next few years.
Volkswagen is investing almost €44 billion ($50.16 billion) in electrification, digitalisation, mobility services and autonomous driving through 2023, of which €30 billion ($34.2 billion) is earmarked for e-mobility alone. Electric vehicles are expected to account for approximately one quarter of the model portfolio by 2025.
e.GO Mobile AG is a pioneer in e-mobility and was founded by Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh in 2015. Cutting-edge projects have been developed at the RWTH Aachen Campus. Agile teams at e.GO work on a variety of cost-effective and customer-focused electric vehicles for short-haul traffic.
The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. But realising that technology alone will not get it all the way to zero, Volvo Cars is now broadening its scope to include a focus on driver behaviour.
Research by Volvo Cars has identified three remaining concerns for safety that constitute so-called ‘gaps’ in its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding a very prominent one.
“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”
Apart from limiting top speeds, the company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in future.
“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behaviour, to tackle things such as speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Mr Samuelsson. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question, but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”
The problem with speeding is that above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. That is why speed limits are in place in most western countries, yet speeding remains ubiquitous and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.
Beyond speeding, two other problem areas constitute ‘gaps toward zero’. As obvious a problem as speeding (and as difficult to end) is intoxication. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in large parts of the world, yet it remains a prime reason for injuries and fatalities on today’s roads.
The other area is distraction. Drivers distracted by their mobile phones or otherwise not fully engaged in driving are another major cause of traffic fatalities. In many ways, they are equally as dangerous as drunk drivers.
Volvo Cars will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction at a special safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 20 March.