News: Fisker EMotion EV Introduced at CES

News: Fisker EMotion EV Introduced at CES

Look out, Tesla and Mercedes!

Henrik Fisker is back with a successor to the Karma, which he calls the Fisker EMotion. His new electric sports GT, which debuted at the CES in Las Vegas, will challenge the EV purveyors to the rich and famous when it debuts at the end of 2019.

Fisker EMotion

A design-forward re-entry to the EV business

The slinky, curvy four- or five-seat sedan will be built from carbon fiber and aluminum to save weight. The unique design features four butterfly doors with touch-sensitive sensors, for a dramatic effect and easy entry and exit. And you won’t forget your key—you can open the car with your smartphone.

The EMotion is expected to rocket from 0-60 mph in under three seconds, thanks to a 575-kW (780 horsepower) motor fed by a whopping 143-kWh battery.

New Battery Tech

This Tesla Model S competitor will up the ante with more than 400 miles of range on a charge. And those charges should be quick. Fisker claims the new battery will accumulate 125 miles of range in a mere nine minutes. For even greater convenience, in 2023, Fisker’s cars are slated to move to solid state batteries with two-and-a-half times the capacity of today’s lithium-ion batteries. These will offer incredible one-minute charging, per Fisker.

Fisker EMotion

Open for business–send cash

With five Lidar sensors and connected systems, the EMotion is expected to offer Level 4 autonomy.

Naturally, all is gorgeous inside. Under the electrochromatic tinted roof, leather is standard, but you can order a vegan-friendly interior. The driver gets three display screens, and rear passengers can enjoy their own screens, too.

Taking the Tesla marketing style as a model, the California-based Fisker, Inc. will sell cars directly to consumers through Fisker Experience Centers; eventually, the company hopes to build more than 400.

Plan on spending at least $129,900 for an EMotion. Send in your refundable deposit of $2,000 and you can be one of the lucky first buyers on the list. See https://www.fiskerinc.com for details.

Other CES Stories:

News: 2019 Hyundai Nexo FCEV

News: Byton Introduces Electric SUV

News: Kia Introduces Niro EV Concept

News: Kia Niro EV Showcased At 2018 CES

News: Kia Niro EV Showcased At 2018 CES

More Than Just an Electric Vehicle

Kia rolled into the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show yesterday to unveil a new all-electric concept car called the Kia Niro EV. The Korean automaker also laid out its electrified vehicle plans along with showcasing a number of advanced car technologies. The company says its green lineup will consist of a mixture of different electrified powertrains, from entirely battery-electric through hybrids and even a fuel-cell car.

“By 2025, we will offer a total of 16 advanced powertrain vehicles, with five new hybrids and plug-in hybrids, five new battery EVs, and an all-new mass-market FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle),” Dr. Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman and head of the Kia R&D Center, said. “Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia’s efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility.”

A Big Leap Beyond the Kia Soul EV

Kia Niro EV Concept

Leaping beyond Soul range

Scheduled for production in late 2018, the Niro EV, with a driving range of 238 miles, takes a big leap beyond the company’s 2018 Soul EV (with an EPA rated 111 miles of electric driving). The Niro EV is not simply a rebodied version of parent company’s Hyundai Ioniq EV, which has a 110-mile range.

To achieve that 238 miles in what Kia is calling its “next-generation electric powertrain,” the Niro EV’s range comes from a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack that supplies power to a 200 horsepower (150 kW) electric motor. If that 238-mile figure sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the rated range of the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Bolt EV’s drive motor is rated at 150 kW as well.

An Almost Production Version

Calling the Niro EV a concept car may be a misnomer. It is really a not-quite-production version of what an all-electric example of the Niro Hybrid and Niro Hybrid Plug-in would look like. Since the traditional grille is no longer required for cooling the engine, Kia’s designers have replaced it with an interactive display panel. The lights have been shrunk down, courtesy of new ultra-slim lamps.

Kia Niro EV Concept

Other than a few details, this looks like the Niro EV you’lll see later this year

It appears the Niro EV has a higher ride height, perhaps to disguise a larger battery pack that hangs a bit lower under the car. While the existing production Kia Niro has donated most of the styling appearance, designers apparently did additional aerodynamic work at the back, with sharp trailing edges easing airflow off the sides and what the company calls a “seamless rear aspect.”

Tech Advances

Inside, there’s a new wraparound design to the dashboard, finished in silver, grey, and bronze. It features a new human machine interface (HMI) with touch and gesture controls for the climate control system and a touch-sensitive steering wheel. Swiping along different areas of the wheel can control volume, track skipping, and climate settings. A digital display shows speed, powertrain and other trip information.

Kia Niro EV Concept

It’s CES, so the tech is front and center

Kia also envisages face and voice recognition being used in preference to a traditional key. Powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), it can track who is approaching and getting into the house, and then selectively control which aspects of control are available to them. For example, the Niro EV Concept could theoretically limit its maximum power if it recognized a teen driver behind the wheel.

A new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) builds on the combination of front-facing cameras by adding object recognition software and speakers mounted at the front of the Niro EV Concept. If the system spots a pedestrian or cyclist, it can sound an alarm targeted specifically at that person.

Finally, a practical technology is dual-zone audio. The system uses speakers in headrests along with active noise-cancelling to allow front-seat and back-seat passengers to listen to two different things simultaneously without disturbing the others, and without the use of headphones.

When the Kia EV production version finds its way into dealerships late this year, the concept’s electric drivetrain will remain intact and styling will most likely be a carbon copy. Pricing has not been announced, but with a driving range equal to the Chevy Bolt, expect it to be $2,000-$3,000 less than the Bolt. That would mean less than $30,000 after a federal tax credit.

Other CES Stories:

News: 2019 Hyundai Nexo FCEV

News: Byton Introduces Electric SUV

News: Fisker EMotion Introduced for High Rollers

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

Riad Test: 2016 Kia Soul EV

News: Hyundai-Kia’s Future Is Electric

Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

News: Byton Introduces Electric SUV

News: Byton Introduces Electric SUV

All-Electric SUV Features Massive Display Screen

Finally, it looks like one of the Chinese-financed, Silicon Valley-oriented electric vehicle startups appears to be paying attention to the current market. Byton, headquartered in Nanjing, China, but with design offices in Munich, a technology office in Silicon Valley and three other Chinese offices, introduced its first concept car at CES yesterday. It’s all-electric, of course, but more important, it’s a midsize SUV/crossover.

Byton Concept

The overall shape is not revolutionary, but the powertrain is–for a crossover

That exterior may be less important than the interior from Byton’s perspective, but more on that later. When Clean Fleet Report was on a tour of Byton’s Silicon Valley offices last month, the details offered on the car were sketchy, but intriguing. The company’s up-front partnership with key suppliers—Robert Bosch and Fuerencia—was highlighted. Those relationships, usually hidden or minimized by both OEMs and startup EV companies, were presented as proofpoints of the viability of the Byton operation. The technology, much of it coming from the Santa Clara, Calif., office, including huge display screens with sophisticated human-machine interface (HMI) options, an extensive use of facial recognition and a high level of autonomous technology. None of this was exception on its own (something shared by the car itself), but the total package appears to be Byton’s main value proposition.

Speaking of value proposition, the company said it expects the car to retail for about $45,000 when it comes to the U.S. in 2020. It will first be retailed in China, where it will be built. The platform architecture on which the unnamed SUV will be built will underpin the two following models, a sedan and a multipurpose vehicle (van in Chinese parlance) that will follow in 2031 and 2022.

Coming in Two Flavors

The 5-door SUV, which follows the basic shape and layout of its gas, diesel and hybrid competitors, will come in two flavors. The entry-level two-wheel drive model, which will start at $45,000, will have a single 268 horsepower (hp, 200 kW) motor driving the rear wheels and backed by a 71 kWh battery that delivers a promised 248-mile range. The four-wheel drive version will pack two motors with a total of 402 hp (300 kW) and a 95 kWh battery pack good for a 323 mile range. It’s pricing hasn’t been announced. Like most fast-charge capable EVs, the Byton will be able to recharge to 80 percent of capacity within 30 minutes at a rate of 12 kW/minute.

The whole package is in a 115-inch wheelbase, 191-inch overall midsize crossover, a slightly longer wheelbase than the category stalwart Lexus RX 450, but within a couple inches in overall length.

The Big Screen

Byton’s big news—and we aren’t throwing hyperbole this time—is inside. The front seat passengers will be confronted with a 49-inch wide, 9.8-inch high screen that will recognize the occupants and deliver personalized entertainment and information. It will respond to voice, gesture and touch. It’s augmented by an eight-inch screen in the steering wheel, another first, and two large screens on the seat backs for any rear passengers. The comparisons about cars becoming iPhones on wheels are becoming a physical reality. At the company’s Silicon Valley launch, executives

Byton Concept

Screens accompany you and interact with you throughout the Byton

The front seats from Faurencia swivel in 12 degrees to facilitate activities while the car is in autonomous mode. The initial models are expected to ship with Level 3 autonomy, similar to what is currently found in Teslas and the latest Cadillac, but Byton expects a Level 4 system to be enabled with a software upgrade by the time the cars come to America.

At the Silicon Valley headquarters launch, Dr. Daniel Kirchert, an automobile industry veteran who is president and co-founder of Byton, talked frankly about the financial aspects of a startup. While they have a Chinese plant with a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles/year under construction, they expect to use the driveable concept they just introduced (they had three on stage) as part of a fundraising campaign they’ll undertake at mid-year. Like many EV concepts we’ve seen during the past couple years, the Byton still has some ground to cover before it can join the rank of auto companies.

Other CES Stories:

News: 2019 Hyundai Nexo FCEV

News: Kia Introduces Niro EV Concept

News: Fisker Introduces EMotion for High Rollers

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

News: Lucid Motors Introduces High-end Electric Car    

News: Chrysler Hints the 5th Generation Minivan Could Be an EV

News: Chrysler Hints the 5th Generation Minivan Could Be an EV

Shows Portal Concept at CES

Chrysler Portal Concept

Plenty of room inside

While other electric car debuts during the past month have highlighted the vehicles’ speed and supercar-like agility, the Chrysler Portal Concept took a more gentile path. The all-electric concept, which provides hints of the styling and technology direction of the next generation of minivan, was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.

While the Portal was short on performance hyperbole, it was long on technology. Among its features:

  • 250 miles of range on a full charge.
  • Fast charge capability to add 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes.
  • An in-vehicle wireless network to integrate with mobile devices.
  • Level Three semi-autonomous driving technologies that could be upgraded to Level Four.
  • Technology partners, including Adient (seat supplier), Magneti Marelli, Panasonic Automotive and Samsung Electronics.

Millennial Target

Chrysler Portal Concept, interior

An all-tech interior

The target of the concept is the emerging majority segment of the population—millennials (people born between 1982-2001). Chrysler’s research said those folks wanted a vehicle that is personal, offers value and flexibility, integrates advanced technology and is socially responsible. In Chrysler’s mind that meant a minivan.

The minivan is family transportation and has been a key building block of the modern Chrysler (and its sister Dodge) brand going back beyond the birth of the first millennial.

Chrysler thinks millennials are moving into the life stage where a practical family vehicle might start making sense. The Portal mixes its practicality with some premium features like flexible thin-design seats. Since the Portal is all-electric, it allowed the designers to maximize interior space. That space included up to 10 docking stations that can be used to charge or secure mobile phones or tablets.

The Technology Underneath

Chrysler Portal Concept

Minivan’s future beyond the soccer field

The lithium-ion battery pack underneath the Portal’s floor, rated at 100 kWh, is integrated into the vehicle underbody. That increases structural rigidity as well as aiding handling. The front-mounted charging port allows fast-charging at 350 kW. Power flows to the wheels through a single front-mounting electric motor.

Autonomous technology (Level Three) incorporated the Chrysler Portal includes a variety of sensors (LIDAR/radar/sonar/vision) that monitor conditions outside and inside the vehicle. It builds on currently available tech and adds cloud connectivity and redundant steering and brake actuators, along with a redundant power source. The computer power of the car is also boosted.

Additional technologies in the minivan are:

  • Facial recognition and voice biometrics that recognize the user and can customize individual settings for the driver or passenger, including lighting, music and other audio, favorite destinations, etc.
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure communications designed to allow the vehicle to know about things such as intersection crash warnings, traffic sign recognition and emergency vehicle approaching.
  • Personal Zoned Audio that keeps the drive aware of surroundings by enhancing sound and directionality in the event of approaching emergency vehicles.
  • Seamless vehicle integration of personal devices, such as phones, tablets, cameras and wearables.
  • Community sharing that enables passengers to share music, images, videos and more.

The Chrysler Portal Concept package presents an early look at where the styling and technology of the next (fifth) generation of Chrysler minivans might be headed.