France’s Aura Aero Unveils 19-Seat Electric Aircraft Development Plan
French aerospace firm Aura Aero is intending to develop a 19-seat electric-powered regional aircraft
, as it looks to certify its two-seat Integral R light single. It unveiled the plan as it inaugurated an assembly line at Toulouse Francazal for serial production of the Integral R, which first flew in June last year. The maiden flight of the 19-seat electric plane is planned for 2024 with services being started in 2026.
Electric aviation - like electric maritime craft - is starting to take flight (if you’ll excuse the pun.) The issue at the moment is that the number of actual planes flying using electric propulsion is quite small and - those that do fly - are limited in both their range and their payload. With a move like this, a 19-seat plane (with a cargo option) will immediately corner the market in a huge portion of the small aviation market (which makes up a significant proportion of the aviation sector as a whole)
Motor Fuel Group Unveils £400m Investment Into Ultra-Rapid EV Charging
The group is to install around 3,000 150kW and 350kW EV chargers at its forecourts by the end of 2030. MFG will self-fund, build and operate its own EV charging hubs, with each hub to consist of between four and eight ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers.
This is one of those good news/ bad news articles.
Any company that is committed to providing a network of readily accessible fast chargers has to be commended. MFG has already opened two new hubs with 6 - 8 chargers in each location. They’ve been well received and are always welcome.
But it’s always worth remembering that MFG’s business model is selling fossil fuels. At no point in any press release is there any stated intention to reduce the number of fossil fuel pumps in use. In fact, the chargers have been implemented - at the moment - in addition to the petrol pumps.
So, good news/ bad news.
A Federal Bill Would Give USPS $6 Billion for a Larger EV Fleet
A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the fact that President Joe Biden has stated that all US government vehicles will be electric by 2050. One huge area that this includes is the USPS. They have recently awarded a contract to replace their ageing fleet of postal vans but have elected to go with a company that will only provide 10% electric at most.
Last month, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers it would take an extra $ 3-4 billion to make the postal fleet 90 percent electric. 17 House Democrats are introducing legislation that would give USPS $6 billion to purchase between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles over the next 10 years
. As a requirement, 75 percent of the fleet needs to be made of electric or zero-emission vehicles. The bill also requires that at least 50 percent of medium and heavy-duty vehicle purchases be electric or zero-emission through 2029 and after January 2040, all USPS vehicle purchases must be electric or zero-emission.
DeJoy is playing a political game here. He was appointed by Trump, and Biden is everything he doesn’t like. In a non-political world, he would have mandated electric everything. But because Biden has gone for this he won’t.
But - also because he’s political - DeJoy is asking for additional money to move the USPS to electric. Luckily he’s getting it. I would imagine this needs to be managed and monitored closely.
The new KIA EV6 GT is released
As we were going to press this morning KIA announced their new EV6 GT. This is the first dedicated EV provided by KIA (as opposed to an EV fitted to an existing fossil fuel vehicle). The release video KIA have produced
is a mix of marketing hyperbole and comforting images alongside some genuine groundbreaking tech and statistics. The race between the stodgy, SUV-shaped KIA and 5 supercars - including the Maclaren 570S, the Merc-AMG GT, the Ferarri California T, the Porsche 911 Targa 4 and the Lamborghini Urus was a highlight - especially as this family car wiped the floor with all the contenders apart from the Maclaren.
It’s built on Hyundai Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and promises a 77.4-kilowatt-hour long-range battery and dual-motor electric all-wheel drive. Combined thrust is estimated at 577 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. The EV6 GT will sprint to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and onward to a top speed of 162 mph. 4.5 minutes of recharge will get you 60 miles of range with the right charger. Overall WLTP range for the EV6 GT is 252 miles but lower-spec versions can reach 316 miles (WLTP)
Not bad for a Korean ‘family’ car.
Arrival Unveils Electric Van With Over 200 Miles of Range
Arrival, the company that attracted Hyundai and Kia as investors and received an order for up to 10,000 electric delivery vehicles from UPS, has recently unveiled its Van
, hinted at several months ago.
It’s an all-electric delivery van, designed from the ground up as an EV to “set a new standard for commercial vehicles”.
Depending on the length, the battery capacity and WLTP range will vary from 67 to 133 kWh and 180 km (112 miles) to 340 km (211 miles). According to the press release, the lowest battery capacity might be as low as 44 kWh.
Arrival continues to impress with their products (albeit many of them are still vapourware)
The specs on this look good and there will certainly be a market for them. In my own personal experience, a ‘chassis only’ version of this with a range of 150 miles should be enough for most grocery delivery routes in the UK (given they generally do 16 hours of delivery in a day with only a thirty-minute break in the middle to replenish)