Fast lane

BladeGlider (above).
BladeGlider (above).PHOTO: NISSAN
Deep Blue electric drive systems (above).
Deep Blue electric drive systems (above).PHOTO: BMW
Inchcape opened its 10-storey integrated complex in Pandan Crescent on Thursday. Mr Stefan Bomhard, chief executive officer, Inchcape (second from far left) at the sake cask breaking ceremony.
Inchcape opened its 10-storey integrated complex in Pandan Crescent on Thursday. Mr Stefan Bomhard, chief executive officer, Inchcape (second from far left) at the sake cask breaking ceremony. PHOTO: INCHCAPE

Nissan BladeGlider in Goodwood

Seventy years after it launched its first electric vehicle, Nissan showed off its revolutionary BladeGlider at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last week. The three-seater, battery-powered sportscar was driven by Nismo racer Lucas Ordonezbecomer.

Nissan's electric story began in 1947 with the launch of the Tama. The four-seater was available as a passenger car and a van, and offered customers a range of 65km on a full charge. It was initially developed by Tokyo Electro Automobile, which later became part of Nissan.The BladeGlider was developed by Nissan in association with Williams Advanced Engineering.


BMW on water

BMW has extended its i electric car know-how to boats. Its high-voltage battery developed for the i3 will soon be powering emission-free watercraft made by Torqeedo.

The German marine drive system manufacturer is using the batteries for energy storage in its high-performance Deep Blue electric drive systems. Torqeedo is a leading supplier of electric and hybrid propulsion systems for motorboats.


Inchcape opens $55-million complex

Inchcape marked the 50th anniversary of fully-owned Borneo Motors by officially opening its 10-storey integrated complex in Pandan Crescent on Thursday.

The $55-million one-stop facility for Toyota, Lexus, Suzuki and Hino brands is the biggest Inchcape has built in the world, according to its chief executive officer Stefan Bomhard.

He described it as “a new heart in Singapore to look after our customers”.

The CEO also praised company employees. “In Inchcape, we know that our people are the most valuable resource,” he said. Just six months ago, Inchcape embarked on the  biggest retrenchment exercise in Singapore when it laid off more than 10 per cent of its staff. “In Inchcape, we know that our people are the most valuable resource,” he said.

The centre also serves as Borneo Motors’ corporate office and a regional training centre.


Electric cars’ power demand set to soar

Electric vehicles will send electricity demand soaring, according to Bloomberg. By 2040, more than half of all new cars sold will be plug-ins, according to a report from  Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That means electricity demand from vehicles will surge 300-fold from last year’s consumption, the data show.

Carmakers are shifting increasingly towards electrification, but electric vehicles will present a new challenge for utilities and regulators already working to add intermittent generation from wind and solar farms to the electricity mix without disrupting supply, according to Bloomberg.

Electric vehicles will account for 5 per cent of total global power demand in 2040, it noted. That means grid operators will have to take steps to manage the surge in electricity use.


France to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040

France, which announced a ban on diesel vehicles in Paris recently, is now planning to ban both diesel and petrol vehicles in the whole country by 2040.

The Independent newspaper of the United Kingdom quoted French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announcing this as part of France’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Part of the initiative will include subsidising lower income households, so that they can swop their combustion engined-cars for cleaner alterntives.


Baidu CEO investigated for riding a self-driving car

The head of Chinese online provider Baidu is being investigated for riding in an autonomous car on Beijing’s ring road, the BBC reported.

Mr Robin Li was in the passenger seat of the car. Such cars are not approved for use in China yet. Internet search giant Baidu has teamed up with up to 50 partners to make driverless cars.


Continental acquires Quantum Inventions

German automotive systems maker Continental has acquired Singapore-based mobility intelligence provider Quantum Inventions for an undisclosed sum. Continental said the move will bolster its intelligent transportation systems sector, specifically in the area of city data. Some 120 Quantum employees will be integrated into Continental with the acquisition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2017, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe