McLaren electric supercar must last at least 30 minutes on the track, says CEO

2019 McLaren Senna, Portugal Media Drive, June 2018

McLaren Automotive has every intention to move away from cars powered purely by internal-combustion engines, but it’s not ready to go fully electric just yet. And that’s because battery technology simply isn’t where the brand needs it to be.

The supercar and sports car manufacturer’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published last week that battery technology for an electric supercar Continue reading “McLaren electric supercar must last at least 30 minutes on the track, says CEO”

Ferrari reclaims Spa record with F1 race car

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the 2018 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix

Porsche made headlines in April when its 919 Evo tribute/time attack car trekked to Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps in an effort to lay the smack down on the track record. Driver Neel Jani ripped off a 1:41.770, which bested the prior track record of 1:42.553 set by a 2017 Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 race car driven by Lewis Hamilton.

Well the F1 world wants its track record back, and Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel have done just Continue reading “Ferrari reclaims Spa record with F1 race car”

Would You Trust Part Worn Tyres?

Investigations by TyreSafe in partnership with Trading Standards over the past five years have revealed a staggering 139 of the 152 part worn outlets visited were selling illegal and unsafe tyres to unsuspecting motorists. That leaves just 13 dealers selling roadworthy tyres from inspections spanning from Scotland to London.

Tyres are an essential factor in road safety as the only part of a vehicle in touch with the road. Tyres provide the grip which both braking and steering systems Continue reading “Would You Trust Part Worn Tyres?”

Bosch reveals ‘Perfectly Keyless’ digital car key app

New smartphone app called Perfectly Keyless could spell the end for car keys, granting access via a smartphone

Physical car keys could soon be a thing of the past as Bosch has developed a new smartphone-based app designed to replace them.

Called Perfectly Keyless, Bosch says the app carries over all of the functionality of a physical key but is much safer due to the significantly reduced risk of theft and key cloning.

• Smartphones could soon replace car keys

Each digital key is Continue reading “Bosch reveals ‘Perfectly Keyless’ digital car key app”

New Renault Arkana coupe-SUV revealed in Moscow

Renault pulls the covers off its new C-segment crossover, but the Arkana won't be coming to the UK

This is the all-new Renault Arkana. It’s a new coupe SUV from the French firm that has been revealed at the Moscow Motor Show, and it will go on sale in Russia later in the year.

Renault has described the model as a fresh crossover and a new ‘global model’, although the brand confirmed the SUV won’t go on sale in Britain as there are no plans to launch the model in European Continue reading “New Renault Arkana coupe-SUV revealed in Moscow”

What is a no claims bonus?

For many drivers a no claims bonus is the ticket to cheaper car insurance. We explain what it is and how to earn it

Drive a car in the UK, and one essential piece of paperwork that you will need is car insurance – it’s the law. Like fuel and road tax, it’s an outgoing expense that you can’t avoid, but you can make it cheaper by accumulating a no claims bonus (NCB). Essentially, the NCB is a reward that’s given by insurance providers to drivers that don’t make a claim on their insurance over Continue reading “What is a no claims bonus?”

What is temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance is handy if you need short-term insurance cover on a car fast. Here we explain what it is and how to get it

Temporary or short-term car insurance is a type of car insurance cover that allows you to drive a car for a brief period without having to take out an annual insurance policy.

It’s an alternative to amending somebody else’s existing insurance cover, preventing unnecessary extra costs due to direct debits continuing long after the named driver has finished Continue reading “What is temporary car insurance?”

Used DS 3 review

A full used buyer’s guide on the DS 3 featuring the Citroen DS3 (2010-2016) and DS 3 (2016-date)VerdictThe DS 3 might be nothing more than a rebadged Citroen, but does that matter when it is appealing on so many levels? The metamorphosis from Citroen DS3 to standalone DS 3 didn’t fool anyone, but by the time the brand’s smallest car was facelifted in 2016 it looked sharper and brought some useful updates. While range-topping DS 3s are costly to purchase new, they can be better value as a Continue reading “Used DS 3 review”

Russia’s Yandex offers free robotaxi rides to win over Moscow

August 29, 2018 15:46 CET

MOSCOW — Internet company Yandex is offering citizens of a remote Russian city free rides with self-driving cars as it seeks to convince the government in Moscow that autonomous vehicles are safe and indispensable for future transportation.

Yandex.Taxi runs two driverless vehicles in Innopolis, a city of 3,000 people, 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of the capital. With an engineer in the passenger seat, locals ride to and from residential areas and the business Continue reading “Russia’s Yandex offers free robotaxi rides to win over Moscow”

Chinese EV maker Nio aims for valuation topping $8 billion with U.S. IPO

August 29, 2018 13:11 CET

Nio, the Chinese electric-car maker backed by Tencent Holdings, is planning a U.S. initial public offering that would give it a valuation topping $8 billion as it gears up to take on the likes of Tesla.

The company is aiming to raise as much as $1.3 billion, offering 160 million American depositary shares at $6.25 to $8.25 each, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday in the U.S. That would give the company a market capitalization of about $6.4 billion to $8.5 billion.

Nio is among Chinese electric-car companies raising money to fund aggressive product development and expansion amid the auto industry’s seismic shift toward alternative-power and autonomous vehicles. China’s government is also pushing to increase the use of battery-powered cars to cut pollution and reduce dependence on imported oil, spawning a clutch of startups in the nation aiming to take on Tesla and legacy automakers.

Nio plans to use proceeds from the offering for r&d, sales and marketing, and building manufacturing facilities and the supply chain, the company said in the filing.

Shares are expected to price on Sept. 11 following a roadshow that starts Wednesday in Hong Kong, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg.

Concentrated power

The offering has been structured to ensure voting rights remain concentrated with founder William Li and technology company Tencent. After the IPO, Li will own 14.5 percent of the EV maker and have 48.3 percent of the voting power through Class C shares. The Class B stock owned by Tencent and related entities after the offering will represent 12.9 percent of NIO and 21.5 percent of the voting power, according to the prospectus.

As much as 5 percent of the ADS, each representing one Class A share, has been reserved for directors, officers, employees and other individuals associated with company, it said. Including an overallotment option, the IPO could raise as much as $1.5 billion.

After meeting investors in Hong Kong on Wednesday and Thursday, the Nio management will be in Singapore on Friday, according to the deal terms. The roadshow will continue next month in London and the U.S.

Nio’s move for the U.S. listing comes amid Tesla’s plan to set up a Gigafactory in Shanghai. The U.S. company, which has a market capitalization of $53 billion, is among foreign automakers trying to make inroads in the world’s biggest EV market.

Nio, formerly known as NextEV, is one of several startups to have sprouted in China after the government introduced incentives. In January, Byton, a Nanjing-based company started by former BMW executives, became the first Chinese automaker to hold a large-scale unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Others like WM Motor Technology and XPeng Motors, backed by funding from Alibaba Group Holding, are also developing new models.

First vehicle

Nio’s founder Li, also known as Li Bin, plans to transfer 50 million shares, accounting for about one-third of stock he owns in the company, to a trust at an “appropriate time in the future,” he said in a letter included in the prospectus. Li will retain voting rights to the stock, while Nio users will discuss and propose how to use “economic benefits from these shares, through certain mechanisms to be implemented in the future,” he said.

Nio began selling its first vehicle, the ES8 utility vehicle, in December, about three years after the company was founded, and deliveries started on June 28 this year. The vehicle is priced at 448,000 yuan ($66,000) before subsidies.

As of Aug. 28, Nio had delivered more than 1,300 ES8s and had reservations for another 15,700 more, according to the prospectus. The company plans to begin selling another electric SUV, the ES6, by the end of 2018, with initial deliveries in the first half of 2019.

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