This week’s automotive headlines – 14 May 2022
14 May 2022
Autovista24 looks at automotive headlines from the past seven days. In this week’s round-up, Hyundai’s new robotic horizons, Stellantis expands electric vehicle (EV) charging network, Fablink Group launches Streamline Automotive, ZipCharge announces new strategic partnerships, and lights, camera, micromobility!
Hyundai’s new robotic horizons
Hyundai New Horizons Studio, a unit focused on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs), will open a new research and development centre in Bozeman, Montana, US. The initiative is part of a $20 million (€19.2 million) investment in Hyundai’s ‘Progress for Humanity’ vision, and will be housed within Montana State University’s Innovation Campus. Arguably the most eye-catching aspect of the Korean carmakers’ initiative is the Elevate concept, complete with robotic legs, intended to go where wheels cannot. More generally, the Hyundai New Horizons Studio is estimated to create over 50 jobs and build vehicles for future customers who want to travel over terrains which are too challenging for conventional ground vehicles. The potential applications for UMVs include natural resource management, disaster response, logistics, construction, mining and space resource development. ‘Montana is quickly becoming a hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs with a growing talent pool of skilled labour in the field of engineering, research and natural science,’ said Dr John Suh, head of New Horizons Studio and vice president of Hyundai Motor Group. ‘Bozeman is a thriving and economic micropolitan city. Nestled near dozens of off-road trails with more than 150 miles (241km) of terrain and mountain access for UMV testing – it is the perfect fit for our new research and development lab.’
Stellantis expands public charging network
Carmaker Stellantis and TheF Charging are expanding their public charging network, via an agreement with the FS Italiane Group through Metropark. The deal will see the installation of 600 EV charging points at Italian railway station carparks managed by Metropark. This latest agreement builds on a collaboration established in October 2021, focused on a European public charging network. ‘This agreement supports the decarbonisation strategy we announced as part of the Dare Forward 2030 long-term strategic plan,’ said Anne-Lise Richard, global head of the Stellantis e-mobility business unit. ‘That way, the option of offering public charging solutions and intermodal road and rail transport to our customers will facilitate the dissemination of the Stellantis range of electric vehicles. It will also have a positive impact on the reduction of pollutant emissions, to protect the environment.’
Fablink Group launches Streamline Automotive
Fablink Group has announced the creation of Streamline Automotive and sub-brand Streamline E-Mobility. As a new division within the British Tier 1 supplier, it will meet the growing demand for low-to-medium volume manufacturing and clean build assembly services. It will supply premium OEMs, specialist brands, and emobility startups. Streamline Automotive will use Fablink Group’s manufacturing base and supply-chain management experience to support customer engineering teams. This will include span from first concept study, to full-scale manufacturing, including product development, prototyping, and manufacturing tooling and design. Streamline E-Mobility will provide EV companies, start-ups, and emobility companies with manufacturing solutions for mixed material architecture including body panels, lightweight chassis and bonded structures as well as complete vehicle assembly. Richard Westley, founder and CEO of Fablink Group commented: ‘With the support of Fablink’s engineering, development and manufacturing resources, Streamline Automotive will provide customer engineering teams with comprehensive support from initial concept to full-scale manufacture, making us uniquely positioned to provide a turnkey solution with the breadth of our unmatched in-house expertise and capabilities.’
ZipCharge announces new strategic partnerships
Portable EV charging network ZipCharge has announced partnerships with three UK-based businesses as part of the development of GoHub, a portable charging infrastructure solution for shared, public use. ICEE Managed Services and Graphite will assist GoHub’s development, production and market introduction, which will host multiple ZipCharge Go EV powerbanks. This expanded infrastructure is expected to provide public EV charging points for a diverse number of locations, including on-street, car parks, work places and private environments. It will form part of the global roll-out of the ZipCharge energy point network, with the ambition to deploy 100,000 GoHubs around the world by 2030. ‘We are delighted to have found two strategic partners in ICEE and Graphite,’ commented Jonathan Carrier, ZipCharge co-founder. ‘Together we will deliver the GoHub, a revolution in public charging provision, providing a community-based solution that can be installed anywhere, at a much lower cost and at a much faster rate, while enabling any parking space to be a charging spot. The ability to roll-out electric vehicle charging infrastructure at speed is essential to allow national and local governments to deploy it at a faster rate where it is needed the most to support mass EV adoption.’
Lights, camera, micromobility!
UK-based zero-emission vehicle manufacturer Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV)have kicked off a micromobility vehicle trial in conjunction with UK film and television facilities company BTFS. The EAV2Cubed is a miniature EV with a capacity of two cubic meters. It features a load capacity of up to 200kgs, and a range of up to 40 miles (64km) on a single charge, which is estimated to be more than ample for working on film sets. The model will be deployed across the UK at various productions over the coming few weeks. The value of using micromobility to move items such as costumes, cameras, lighting rigs, or sound equipment from the operating base to the filming location will be assessed throughout the trial. ‘BTFS was recently awarded official supplier status by ‘albert’, which is the decarbonisation initiative from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts,’ said Brian Baker, chairman and managing director at BTFS. ‘All productions in the UK are now required to register with the albert initiative and use a carbon calculator to determine the carbon footprint of their production. Using the EAV2Cubed for short van journeys on location should see a reduction in carbon output with no loss of efficiency or delays to the production schedule.’