Geneva 2010 - Valmet Automotive Eva concept

Today marks the conclusion of the 80th edition of the Geneva Motor Show but we could not let this remarkable episode end without mention of one final electric city car: the Eva concept by Valmet Automotive. The contract constructor, whose Finnish facility fabricates the Th!nk City, the genteel Garia golfcart and will soon furnish Fisker with the Karma, took it upon themselves to engineer their own vehicle as a way of exhibiting their expertise in this area as well.


Valmet Automotive leading the way in going green

Valmet Automotive, a Finnish service provider for the automotive industry, has successfully renewed its strategy and service offering. In addition to being an expert on premium cars and convertibles, the company is today a forerunner in the field of electric vehicles.

For the Geneva Motor Show Valmet Automotive has developed an innovative electric concept vehicle "Eva" to illustrate its capabilities in concept car development and complete car engineering. The company also presents three other vehicles which represent its cooperation with innovative green automotive companies.

"The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fisker Karma, the THINK City urban electric car and the Garia LSV Concept Car are the best evidence of our successful partnerships", Mr. Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, said in a press conference today. "Despite of the challenging global financial situation we have signed new engineering and manufacturing contracts."

The engineering and manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles is a rapidly growing field at Valmet Automotive. The manufacturing of Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars represents the company's track record in the production of premium vehicles.

"We have anticipated the change in the automotive industry and renewed our strategy. Today, the engineering services, originally an integrated part of manufacturing, are also available on stand-alone basis. In addition to engineering and manufacturing we provide our customers with business services preceding engineering and following manufacturing. This way our customers can best benefit from our 40 years of experience in the automotive business."

By developing an own electric concept vehicle Valmet Automotive aimed at developing new innovative solutions for body structures as well as powertrain and control systems and recharging of electric vehicles.

According to Mr. Korhonen, the idea was not to start manufacturing an own brand, but to develop Valmet Automotive's knowhow in a way that benefits the company's current and future customers. "Our aim is to offer a variety of tailor-made services from concept development to manufacturing of electric vehicles."

"We started the project over a year ago with a market analysis and a concept study. We set a target to create a concept of a new urban electric vehicle for environmentally conscious European and American individuals and families, a car for driving not only for showing", Mr. Korhonen said.

As a result of the analysis, a 2+2 seat urban electric vehicle for families with a range of 160 km and top speed of 120 km/h was created.

The aluminum space frame of "Eva" is optimized for an electric vehicle and the modularity makes it easily adaptable to different types of vehicles. A direct drive motor simplifies the vehicle's mechanical structure and increases efficiency. The HMI (Human Machine Interface) indicates the future communication needs between the driver and the electric vehicle. The powertrain control systems have been developed in cooperation with universities.

Valmet Automotive invited a dozen of innovative companies and universities to bring their expertise to the project. The partner companies are Fortum, Nokia, NAVTEQ, Vacon, Nokian Tyres, Idis Design, Cadring, AXCO-Motors, Hybria, Powerfinn, Convergens, Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and RLE International.

Fortum is a leading energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic Rim area. Its activities cover the generation, distribution and sale of electricity and heat and the operation and maintenance of power plants. Fortum's vision is to be the benchmark power and heat company excelling in sustainability.

Fortum has in cooperation with UTU ELEC developed a charging station, which starts and ends charging of an electric vehicle by SMS. There are four different outlets in the charging station: Nordic Schuko, Mennekes pre-standard 0–63 A, Caravan outlet and 3-phase factory standard outlet.

Nokia is showing a new technology to allow its smartphones to connect to and exchange information with the in-car infotainment system. If adopted as an industry standard this technology, called Terminal Mode, would allow the full range of smartphone features, services and applications to be accessed through a car's own speakers and displays. Just as importantly it also allows the smartphone to access performance and other data from the vehicle itself.

NAVTEQ is offering a broad range of features and attributes geo-referenced to its high quality digital map that enable more advanced use cases beyond navigation and routing. Electric and hybrid cars such as the concept vehicle by Valmet Automotive, use knowledge of the road network to regulate speed and acceleration to maximize range of the vehicle in the most eco-efficient way, as well as calculate point of no return or to identify reachable charging stations and calculate routes. With information on sharp curves or steep hills for example, as provided by NAVTEQ, eco-friendly driving and routing can be enabled and improved.

CHAdeMO Association aims to increase quick-charger installations worldwide indispensable

CHAdeMO suggests drinking green tea while recharging your electric car

CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "charge for moving", and is a pun for "O cha demo ikaga desuka" in Japanese, meaning "Let's have a tea while charging" in English. This logo means smiles which associate a bright future and happiness with a combination of the circuit symbol of battery representing "Charge", and a dynamic curving line representing "Move". This ecological green is the color of "Green Tea"

Establishment of CHAdeMO Association

March 15, 2010

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (Toyota), NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY (Nissan), MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION (Mitsubishi Motors), FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES Ltd. (Fuji Heavy Industries), and THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INC.(TEPCO), have formally established "CHAdeMO Association" under the resolution of its general assembly held today. The five companies above have become its executive members.

CHAdeMO Association aims to increase quick-charger installations worldwide indispensable to further diffusion of electric vehicles and to standardize how to charge the vehicles. Last August, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries, and TEPCO started a preparatory committee. Then, TOYOTA joined the committee and the Association has been established with the five companies as its executive members.

As of today, 158 business entities and government bodies including 20 foreign companies are expected to join the Association, such as automakers, electric utilities, charger manufacturers, charging service providers, and other supporting groups.
Electric vehicles(including Plug In Hybrid electric vehicles) can contribute enormously to reduction of CO2 emissions in the transportation sector. The Association is going to promote the electric vehicles through the efforts of technical improvements of quick chargers, standardization activities of charging methods, and international extension of our knowledge related to quick-charger installations.

General Outline of "CHAdeMO Association"

1. What is "CHAdeMO"?

"CHAdeMO" is a trade name of quick charging method that this Association is proposing globally as an industry standard.
"CHAdeMO" is an abbreviation of "CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "charge for moving", and is a pun for "O cha demo ikaga desuka" in Japanese, meaning "Let's have a tea while charging" in English.

This logo means smiles which associate a bright future and happiness with a combination of the circuit symbol of battery representing "Charge", and a dynamic curving line representing "Move". This ecological green is the color of "Green Tea".

2. Structure of the Association
President: Tsunehisa Katsumata (Chairman, THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC.)

Daimler and BYD's new electric vehicle will be sold under a new brand

The electric vehicle partnership between Daimler and BYD will spawn an electric car sporting a new brand badge in China. The two companies will also set up a research and development center in Shenzhen to work together on this new vehicle. A timeline for the vehicle's introduction remains a secret (if it even exists). A fleet made up of 100 units of BYD's first electric vehicle, the e6, is operating in Shenzhen as taxis.

Earlier this month, Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche said that Daimler's EV architecture and BYD's battery technology and electric drive systems were "a perfect match." In May, 2009, Daimler entered into a partnership with Tesla Motors.

Second-gen Toyota Prius

Toyota's full release is available after the jump, but the gist of it is that the things Sikes said happened don't seem to mesh with what the Toyota engineers were able to observe and analyze (earlier, we heard pretty much the same thing from the Department of Transportation). The engineers looked at the components involved and downloaded data from the vehicle, but did not find any diagnostic trouble codes. Then there's this:

Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.


Toyota Offers Preliminary Findings From Technical Field Examination of Alleged 'Runaway Prius' in San Diego

Toyota Engineers Conclude Two Days of Investigation; Driver's Account Of Event Inconsistent With Initial Findings

SAN DIEGO, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference today, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. offered key preliminary findings of technical field examination and testing that were performed on March 10 and 11 regarding an alleged "runaway Prius" event dramatically covered by national news media.

Toyota engineers completed an investigation of the 2008 Prius driven by Mr. James Sikes that was the subject of a 911 emergency call on Monday, March 8. The driver reported that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, the accelerator pedal was stuck, and that the vehicle was out of control and could not be stopped. The emergency operator repeatedly instructed the driver to shift the car into neutral and turn off the power button.

A California Highway Patrol officer intercepted the vehicle and instructed the driver to press firmly on the brakes, apply the emergency brake and turn off the car, at which time the Prius came to a safe stop.

While a final report is not yet complete, there are strong indications that the driver's account of the event is inconsistent with the findings of the preliminary analysis.

Toyota engineers employed data download/analysis, static and dynamic testing as well as thorough inspections of all relative components. In addition, they retraced the reported driving route taking into account driving time and accounts from the 911 recording.

The investigation revealed the following initial findings:

* The accelerator pedal was tested and found to be working normally with no mechanical binding or friction. It should be noted that the Prius is not subject to a recall for sticking accelerator pedals and the Prius component is made by a different supplier than the one recalled.
* The front brakes showed severe wear and damage from overheating. The rear brakes and parking brake were in good condition and functional.
* A Toyota carpeted floor mat of the correct type for the vehicle was installed but not secured to the retention hooks. It was not found to be interfering or even touching the accelerator pedal.
* The pushbutton power switch worked normally and shut the vehicle off when depressed for 3 seconds as the 911 operator advised Mr. Sikes to do.
* The shift lever also worked normally and neutral could be selected. The neutral position is clearly marked and can be easily engaged by moving the lever left to the "N" marking.
* There were no diagnostic trouble codes found in the power management computer, nor was the dashboard malfunction indicator light activated. The hybrid self-diagnostic system did show evidence of numerous, rapidly repeated on-and-off applications of both the accelerator and the brake pedals.
* After examination of individual components, the front brakes were replaced and the vehicle was test driven, during which the vehicle was observed to be functioning normally.
* During testing, the brakes were purposely abused by continuous light application in order to overheat them. The vehicle could be safely stopped by means of the brake pedal, even when overheated.

The Prius braking system uses both conventional hydraulic friction brakes and a regenerative braking system which switches the electric drive motors into brakes to generate electricity. The system features a sophisticated self-protection function which cuts engine power if moderate brake pedal pressure is applied and the accelerator pedal is depressed more than approximately 50 percent, in effect providing a form of "brake override."

This function, which is intended to protect the system from overload and possible damage, was found to be functioning normally during the preliminary field examination.

Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.

These findings suggest that there should be further examination of Mr. Sikes account of the events of March 8.

NHTSA investigators were present during Toyota's examination, and are conducting their own investigation of the vehicle and its performance. Toyota's examination was also observed by a congressional staff member.