Electric Vehicles

Jaguar Land Rover joins ElectriCity wireless car charging infrastructure program

The new program allows taxis to charge will still in their route area.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Charging on the go can be one of the biggest obstacles in electric vehicle adoption. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has entered into a public-private partnership with the City of Oslo, Norway to support their high-powered wireless taxi program.

The partnership is part of a larger initiative called ElectriCity, which includes Nordic taxi operator Cabonline (NorgesTaxi AS), the region's largest charge point operator Fortum Recharge, U.S. technology developer Momentum Dynamics, and the City of Oslo. ElectriCity's goal is to build a wireless, high-powered charging infrastructure for taxis in the Norwegian capital. JLR will provide 25 all-electric Jaguar I-PACE models to Cabonline, the largest taxi network in the Nordics.

Jaguar I-PACENorway has heavily incentivized electric vehicle adoption.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

ElectriCity will produce the first wireless high-powered charging system for electric taxis in the world.

According to a release, engineers and technicians from Momentum Dynamics and JLR engaged to help in testing the solution, and Cabonline signed up to operate the fleet as part of Oslo's ElectriCity program. Fortum Recharge will support the installation and electrification efforts.

The Jaguar I-PACE, the brand's first all-electric vehicle, has been designed to enable Momentum Dynamics' wireless charging technology.

According to research, both electric taxi and driver efficiency can be maximized when charging does not require taxis to leave their route. In order to make wireless charging work, wireless charging plates, rated at 50-75 kilowatts each, are installed in the ground in series at pick-up-drop-off points.

Jaguar I-PACEThe induction charging system works similarly to an induction stovetop.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

This allows each equipped taxi to charge while queuing for the next fare. The system, which uses no cables and situated below ground, requires no physical connection between charger and vehicle, engages automatically and provides on average 6-8 minutes of energy per each charge up to 50kW.

Each taxi can receive multiple charges throughout their shift.

When the chargers are installed, Oslo will be the world's first metropolitan area to install wireless, induction-based high-powered charging stations for electric taxis, in a bid to make its cab system emission free as early as 2024.

Per capita, Norway has more electric car owners and drivers than any other country in the world. The country has highly incentivized and regulated the adoption of the vehicles. Norway is mandating that all new cars sold in the country by 2025 are zero emission vehicles.

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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The EQB lands this summer with a not-so-bad starting price.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electrification goals. Following the release of the EQS flagship electric sedan last year, the automaker is readying the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats. Today, Mercedes announced pricing for the vehicle, and it's surprisingly reasonable. Two trim levels will be offered for the EQB in the United States: Exclusive and Pinnacle, and wecould see an AMG variant at some point down the road.

The EQB comes in two variants, including the EQB 300 and EQB 350, both of which come with all-wheel drive. The EQB 300 offers 225 horsepower and the 350 delivers 288 ponies. Those aren't super-serious numbers and they don't have to be. The EQB competes with vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, so mind-blowing performance isn't exactly the goal. Mercedes hasn't given range estimates yet, but they should fall in line with the competition.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQBThe EQB will come in two powertrain variants, each with two trims.Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes standard with a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Mercedes includes a good list of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and active brake assist. Additionally, the EQB's navigation system routes the vehicle for the best efficiency and can help locate charging stations.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 starts at $56,800, including a $1,050 destination charge. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is available for $59,350. The EQB 350 starts at $60,350. Mercedes says the SUV will go on sale in summer 2022.

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