Auto News (6-7 June)

Volvo’s EX30 Electric SUV Hits the Market, Prioritizing Affordability

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Volvo Cars has introduced its latest fully-electric small SUV, the EX30, with a starting price of approximately €36,000 ($38,500) in a bid to compete with Tesla and make electric vehicles (EVs) more accessible to consumers.

The EX30, unveiled in Milan, is Volvo’s smallest SUV to date, following the launch of the larger electric EX90 last November. By offering a lower starting price compared to Tesla’s Model 3, which starts at over €40,000, Volvo aims to tap into the growing demand for affordable EVs.

The company, targeting 50% of its sales to be EVs by the mid-2020s and complete electrification by 2030, considers the EX30 a significant business opportunity.

The model has two battery choices: NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) batteries, which provide a longer range of up to 480 kilometres (198 miles), and LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries, which are less expensive and more suited for city driving.

The EX30’s total cost of ownership, according to Volvo, is cheaper than that of its other electric vehicles and several rivals in the small SUV EV market.

This move by Volvo challenges the higher price points of electric SUVs from premium European brands such as BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, which typically cost at least €56,000.

The EX30’s entry price is similar to the electric version of Jeep’s Avenger small SUV.

Get Ready for the Next Level: Hero MotoCorp Teases Upgraded Hero Xtreme 160R Ahead of June 14 Debut

Hero MotoCorp has given a glimpse of an upcoming motorcycle set to launch on June 14, 2023. Speculations suggest that it will be an enhanced version of the Hero Xtreme 160R, a popular 160 cc sports commuter.

The Xtreme 160R is expected to receive significant upgrades, including OBD compliance, USD front forks, a revised instrument console, fresh color choices, and Bluetooth connectivity, possibly featuring turn-by-turn navigation.

Currently priced between ₹1.18 lakh and ₹1.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Xtreme 160R competes in a competitive segment with rivals like the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and Bajaj Pulsar NS160.

The anticipated upgrades may raise the motorcycle’s price by around ₹10,000-15,000.

Hero MotoCorp has more releases planned for the latter half of the year, including the rumored Karizma XMR 210.

Further details on these upcoming models are eagerly awaited.

Get Ready to Ride: Simple One Electric Scooter Deliveries Kick Off in India – Here’s What You Need to Know

Bangalore-based electric vehicle (EV) company, Simple Energy, has begun delivering its Simple One electric scooter in India. Priced at ₹1,45,000, the Simple One debuted in May 2023 and is equipped with advanced engineering and state-of-the-art battery technology, aiming to revolutionize urban mobility.

Simple Energy’s Founder and CEO, Mr. Suhas Rajkumar, expressed his delight at the commencement of deliveries, starting with customers in Bengaluru. He highlighted the team’s dedication in creating a sustainable and efficient transportation option, aiming to provide a delightful ownership experience and contribute to a greener future.

The Simple One boasts a driving range of 212 km and offers advanced safety features and smart connectivity options, positioning it as a futuristic mode of transportation. It can accelerate from 0 to 40 kmph in just 2.77 seconds and is the first e-scooter to feature a thermal management system developed in collaboration with IIT-Indore.

Simple Energy is dedicated to providing top-notch customer service and facilitating a seamless delivery process. The company intends to develop a network of 160–180 retail locations by expanding its retail operations to 40–50 cities with the help of a strong distribution network and authorised dealers. With a capacity of roughly 10 lakh units per year, Simple Energy opened its manufacturing facility, Simple Vision 1.0, in Shoolagiri, Tamil Nadu, earlier this year.

Revolutionary Chinese EV Battery Technology Solves Winter Range Anxiety Issues

A groundbreaking battery technology called the Phoenix battery has been developed, featuring superconducting materials and an advanced thermal management system. This innovation enables the battery to heat from -15 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius in just five minutes, offering improved driving range and enhanced safety compared to current electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The thermal inefficiency and range reduction of EVs in cold weather have been significant concerns for manufacturers. Freezing temperatures can cause EVs to lose up to 35% of their range. While some companies like Tesla have employed heat pumps and battery preconditioning to mitigate the impact of cold temperatures on battery performance, these solutions are costly.

The Phoenix battery, on the other hand, claims to provide a 200 km range with just five minutes of charging and can reach an 80% charge in only eight minutes. It will debut in GAC’s Aion V LX Plus, an SUV boasting over 1,000 km of range on a single charge. The startup behind the technology is also in discussions with other car manufacturers interested in adopting the new battery pack.

To develop this ultra-fast charging and thermally efficient technology, the startup collaborated with electric vehicle manufacturers and battery technology developers such as CATL, BYD, and Gotion High Tech, among others. This collaboration highlights the industry-wide effort to address the challenges associated with EV performance in cold weather conditions.


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