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The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive goes on sale in Europe on November 3, with deliveries starting before the end of the year. Developed with the help of Tesla, the new electric B-Class offers more than 132 kilowatts (177 horsepower) and 250 pound-feet of torque. It features Economy Plus, Economy and Sport driving modes. An optional radar support system uses the collision prevention assist sensors to help make smarter decisions about when and how to use the regenerative braking. The B-Class Electric Drive also offers an optional Range Plus button, which can unlock more battery capacity when charging for the occasional longer drive. Learn more in the press release below.

Racing returns to the streets of Miami for the first time in more than a decade for the Formula E Miami ePrix on March 14, 2015. Formula E has revealed the track layout, which takes the race around the Miami Heat's home court, American Airlines Arena, along the Biscayne Bay. "This event will help to make Miami more of a sports city," says Mayor Thomas Regalado. "In addition, we will show the younger generations that you may have motor racing without noise or pollution." Read more about the event at the Formula E website and see the track layout in detail here.

Hyundai has delivered the first ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to customers in the UK, including clean energy company ITM Power. ITM is responsible for three of the hydrogen refueling stations being built around the EU as part of the Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles project - the same project that helped bring the Hyundai ix35 (also known as the Tucson) Fuel Cell to Europe. ITM's 700-bar hydrogen stations will be built in London by Spring 2015, each with its own electrolyzer system on site. In the meantime, ITM will use the ix35 for commutes between London and Sheffield, refueling at a site that uses wind-generated electricity from an on-site turbine to power the electrolyzer to make the hydrogen. Learn more in the press release below.

Demand for aluminum is expected to climb as China builds more electric cars. Aluminum supplier Novelis says demand will likely increase 30 percent annually for the next 10 years in China, Japan and Korea, and possibly more depending on how China's plan to increase EV use and decrease air pollution shakes out. Read more at Bloomberg.

Barcelona and Madrid have received their first all-electric taxis in the form of Nissan Leaf EVs. The electric cabs are meant to help ease air pollution in Spain's two largest cities. The Leaf taxis also have the benefit of not contributing any extra noise to the bustling city centers. Says taxi driver Antonio Berzal Prieto, "In addition to the environmental benefits, the costs of ownership are highly competitive and the car's performance is excellent." Read more in the press release below.
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The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: Electric driving without compromises

With its torquey electric motor, the B-Class Electric Drive offers lively and effortlessly superior fun at the wheel over a range of around 200 kilometres - all locally emission free. Full climate control for the interior as standard and some innovative optional extras, such as the recuperative braking system with radar support or the RANGE PLUS range extender, add to the car's ride comfort and everyday practicality. The B-Class Electric Drive will be available to order from 3 November, with deliveries starting before the end of 2014.

The new B-Class Electric Drive surprises with an especially dynamic driving experience: it provides noticeably powerful acceleration and glides almost noiselessly along country roads. The new electric Mercedes offers the driver and up to four passengers the familiar high standards of ride comfort in a high-class, spacious and precision-designed interior. The B-Class Electric Drive combines dynamism and driving pleasure with zero local emissions.

Powerful drive with brisk acceleration

The electric B-Class was developed by Mercedes-Benz in collaboration with TESLA Motors. The two companies share many years of cooperation in the field of electric mobility. The battery for the predecessor model of the smart fortwo electric drive, for instance, comes from TESLA. For the B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz is once again availing itself of the extensive know-how available from the electric car pioneer and is using the TESLA drive system in its own vehicle.

Quiet, locally emission-free motoring is ensured by an electric motor generating more than 132 kW. Typically for an electric drive system, this develops its maximum torque of more than 340 Nm straight away from idling speed. This is approximately equivalent to the torque from a modern, naturally aspirated three-litre petrol engine. The result is noticeably powerful acceleration from a standstill. For the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h, too, the electrically powered B-Class requires only 7.9 seconds. Effortlessly superior driveability and exhilarating driving pleasure with a high level of dynamism are thus guaranteed in every situation.

According to whether the driver wishes to drive economically or perhaps with more emphasis on comfort or sportiness, there is a choice of three driving programs. The driving programs at a glance:

- E+ (Economy Plus): This driving mode is configured for a defensive driving style and lends itself to driving at a constant, steady speed. The output here is reduced to around 65 kW, whereby the top speed falls to around 110 km/h on the flat. With kickdown, however, an output of 132 kW and a top speed of up to 160 km/h remain available.
- E (Economy): The philosophy here is a comfortable driving experience. The output is restricted to 98 kW, although of course even in this driving program, kickdown will summon up as much as 132 kW.
- S (Sport): Maximum output for maximum acceleration is the motto behind this mode, configured for sporty driving. Accordingly, the engine can call upon 132 kW.

Range sufficient for everyday use, audible warning system

In the interests of optimising the range, the top speed is electronically limited to 160 km/h. Depending on the driving cycle, the vehicle has a range of around 200 kilometres. This permits emission-free motoring not just in city traffic and on short journeys, but also over longer distances - such as those covered by many commuters on a daily basis.

The instrumentation of the B-Class Electric Drive is rounded off by functions that are specific to electric vehicles. One of the striking features is the power display in the right-hand circular instrument. When full power is demanded by the driver, the instrument pointer moves in a clockwise direction from the green zone towards the red zone, dropping back below the zero line when the vehicle is feeding energy into the battery through the recuperation feature.

As protection for pedestrians and cyclists, a specific Mercedes-Benz sound is generated (optional extra) at speeds of up to 30 km/h. Once over 30 km/h this is no longer necessary, as wind and tyre noise then begin to dominate.

Radar support provided as an option: intelligent recuperation

On the road, the electric drive makes its own contribution to a favourable energy balance by recovering energy under overrun conditions as well as by converting the kinetic energy produced during braking into electric power and feeding it to the battery. This process is controlled through the energy management system. The level of recuperation and thus of drag deceleration can be influenced by the driver via the brake pedal (approx. 10% of pedal travel). The potential recuperation performance depends, among other factors, on the state of charge and the temperature of the high-voltage battery.

Particularly effective energy recovery and thus an extension of the vehicle's range are made possible with the optional extra of a radar-supported, recuperative braking system. The system also supports the driver in controlling proximity and speed. The system uses the data from the radar sensors of COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS to increase or reduce to zero, as appropriate, the level of recuperation and thus of deceleration.

If the system detects a slow-moving or slowing vehicle ahead, it triggers an increase in recuperation torque and thus a reduction in speed. If, on the other hand, any vehicle it detects is far in the distance or accelerating away, the vehicle will switch into energy-saving "sailing" mode, without recuperation. This is particularly useful in town or on fast roads with a slight downhill incline. When driving downhill in "sailing" mode or on a steep slope, an increase in recuperation will restrict acceleration. The effect here is comparable to changing down a gear. In conjunction with COMAND, the regulation is extended to take account of information supplied by the traffic sign recognition system as well as of speed limits stored in the navigation system.

With this optional equipment item, the driver is also able to use the steering-wheel gearshift paddles to switch between four stages of recuperation - from "sailing" through to a high level of recuperation with a sporty accelerator pedal curve. The following four recuperation stages are available:

- D+: "sailing" mode, no recuperation
- D: moderate recuperation
- D-: high recuperation
- DAuto: recuperation according to the traffic situation

Quick charging; RANGE PLUS range extended upon request

The power supply to the electric drive comes from a high-performance lithium-ion battery (capacity 28 kWh), which is compactly and securely fitted in the underfloor area between the front and rear axles, known as the ENERGY SPACE (see corresponding chapter).

The charger for the battery is located in the engine compartment. Charging is as straightforward as refuelling. Once the socket flap has been opened, the charging cable is connected to the vehicle and the power source, for example to a domestic socket, a public charging point or a Wallbox. With the latter, a full recharge of the battery is possible in just three hours or so (400 V, 3-phase, 16 A). At a normal domestic socket (230 V, single-phase) it is normally possible to recharge the B-Class Electric Drive overnight. With 16 A circuit protection, this only takes about 9.1 hours.

The control light on the vehicle socket will remain illuminated throughout the charging process. The vehicle cannot be started or moved during this phase. Information about the current state of charge is shown in the multifunction display. Following completion of the charging process, the charging cable may be removed.

The optional RANGE PLUS extends the range of the vehicle by as much as 30 km.

Activating the RANGE PLUS button in the upper control panel extends the chargeable capacity of the battery the next time it is charged i.e. more capacity is released. As over-frequent use of this function can reduce the lifespan of the battery more quickly, it should only be used when a long trip is planned or when there is only limited availability of charging points.

Each battery is certified by Mercedes-Benz as a guarantee of performance. This ensures that any technical malfunction within a period of eight years after initial delivery or registration, or up to a mileage of 100,000 kilometres, will be corrected by Mercedes-Benz.

Convenient pre-heating or cooling as standard

The thermal management system of the B-Class Electric Drive encompasses on the one hand the air conditioning for the vehicle interior and on the other hand the cooling of the electric drive. This ensures that all components perform to full efficiency even on long uphill slopes or in high outside temperatures. The high-voltage battery is cooled via a low-temperature circuit. At very high temperatures this can be boosted by the coolant circuit of the air-conditioning system. For low temperatures, a battery heater is available.

For heating and cooling of the interior, the B-Class Electric Drive is equipped as standard with THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control. This uses a high-voltage PTC heater and a high-voltage air conditioning compressor. Using "Mercedes connect me", the driver can pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle - depending on the temperature - in readiness for an individually defined departure time – see corresponding chapter.


ITM Power takes delivery of Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle

ITM Power,(AIM:ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to announce that it has taken delivery of one of the first Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicles to arrive in the UK.

The vehicles being rolled out are a result of the pioneering £31m Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFive) project funded by the FCH JU under the EU Framework 7 program. The project which brings together vehicle manufactures, commercial hydrogen fuel suppliers and government departments aims to make hydrogen vehicles a viable and environmentally friendly choice for motorists across Europe.

HyFive will see a total of 110 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles rolled out to various European locations including Bolzano, Copenhagen, Innsbruck, Munich, Stuttgart and London. These vehicles will be supported by clusters of hydrogen refuelling stations, twelve of which are already in existence, and a further six to be deployed.

Three of these new stations are currently being built by ITM Power and are set to be deployed in London by spring 2015 and each will include both on-site electrolyser systems and 700 bar refuelling capacity.

Until this time, the Hyundai ix35 will be used as a commuter vehicle, covering the 158 miles from Sheffield to London using the cleanest fuel possible, hydrogen. Because the vehicle has a range of 369 miles, it will mean it will only require one tank of hydrogen to make this round trip.

The vehicle refueller will be located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The site is very close to exit 33 of the M1 junction with the M18 and will be an important part of the UK hydrogen infrastructure roll out. Planning permission for the site has been granted and the commissioning process is now underway.

The hydrogen station will form a Hydrogen Mini Grid (HMG) facility consisting of a 225kW wind turbine and an ITM Power electrolyser and 220kg of hydrogen storage, enough to refuel 40 fuel cell vehicles. This approach allows the hydrogen to be produced on site, from just electricity and water, resulting in the Hyundai ix35 vehicle running on the cleanest hydrogen fuel available.

Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power PLC, commented: "We are delighted to be one of the first to run a fuel cell vehicle on the roads in the UK. This move helps to highlight that the motor manufactures are serious about rolling these vehicles out, which in turn signals the growing demand for hydrogen refuelling stations"

Tom Finnegan-Smith, Transportation and Highways Design Manager for Rotherham Borough Council commented: "Being one of the first regions within the UK to have a fuel cell vehicle is very exciting. The Council is an enthusiastic supporter of hydrogen as a clean fuel solution for South Yorkshire and we will utilise the opportunity to showcase the vehicle and the refuelling station to neighbouring districts".

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK commented: "Making the first UK customer deliveries of hydrogen-powered cars is a huge landmark for the industry. Hyundai is the first company in the world to start series-production of a fuel cell vehicle and is committed to rolling-out this technology in line with government plans to grow the refuelling infrastructure."


NISSAN DELIVERS FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC TAXIS TO BARCELONA AND MADRID

Delivery marks significant milestone in the expansion of zero-emission transportation to Europe's city centres

Madrid and Barcelona (Tuesday 21st October) - The era of the 100% electric taxi has arrived to Spain's two largest cities, as Nissan delivered its first 100% electric taxis to Madrid and Barcelona. The introduction the Nissan electric vehicles - the Nissan LEAF to Madrid's taxi fleet, and the e-NV200 taxi for Barcelona - brings the option of quiet, zero-emission travel to these bustling city centres.

The Barcelona deliveries served as an important step in the execution of an agreement between Nissan, the City of Barcelona, and the Barcelona Metropolitan area which brings the Barcelona-built e-NV200 to the streets of the city where the revolutionary electric van is produced.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe, welcomed the news, commenting: "Declining air quality levels are a top concern across Europe and it's great to see Madrid and Barcelona taking such positive steps in improving air quality through the incorporate of Nissan's all-electric cars into their taxi fleets. These taxi bring a huge benefit not only residents but also for the drivers - thanks to the ultra-low running costs only an electric car can offer. This scheme demonstrates that sustainable transportation is easy and affordable for everyone."

These initiatives reinforce Nissan's continued commitment to electric vehicles as the market continues to develop. September was also the month in which 2014 sales of the pioneering family hatchback passed the 2013 total, with three months still to go.

Madrid:

Madrid has now its first 100% electric Nissan LEAF taxi, the best-selling electric vehicle in the world with more than 142,000 units sold globally. The event was held at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where the "Zero KM" the measuring starting point of all the Spanish roads is located.

Antonio Berzal Prieto, the first 100% electric taxi driver in Madrid to choose electric technology for his business, declared "When I heard that the Nissan LEAF had been approved as a taxi for the city, I quickly looked into all the options it offered me. In addition to the environmental benefits, the costs of ownership are highly competitive and the car's performance is excellent."

Barcelona:

The delivery of the first three Nissan e-NV200 Taxis took placed during the Expo-electric Formula-e event, one of the most important meetings on sustainable mobility in Europe. Marco Toro, Nissan Iberia Managing Director and Antoni Vives, Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat at Barcelona City Council, attended the event

The development and introduction of these first three e-NV200 Taxis units is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between Nissan, the Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, which set out a number of different and significant measures to promote and to sustain the rollout of sustainable mobility in Catalonia Region. The e-NV200 began production in Barcelona in May, with the Catalan city building the electric commercial vehicle for the global market.

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About Nissan in Europe

Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 695,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.

About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 267,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal year 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

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