Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox reflects upon a time when electric vehicles were considered by many to be ill-fated. "Seven or eight years ago I attended a conference in the UK and an engineer from a very well-known German group was pouring a huge amount of scorn on electrification," Willcox says. The engineer, presumably from Volkswagen, was "basically saying, 'Consumers don't want it. Consumers don't need it. The technology has no durability and therefore it's doomed to fail,'" adds Willcox. Now, Nissan leads the EV market, while VW is scrambling to catch up in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal. Read more at Automotive News Europe.

BMW's venture capital unit is moving to Silicon Valley and expanding its funding. BMW i Ventures is creating a venture capital fund of up to €500 million (about $533 million) over the next decade, with plans to invest in a wider range of technologies, particularly through startups. "These days, more and more innovations come from the startup scene," says Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of BMW AG's Board of Management. "Venturing allows us to tap into this potential at an early stage." BMW says the unit's most recent investment – Carbon3D, which manufactures 3D printers that use photochemical technology – reflects the wider scope of ventures it will seek out in coming years. Read more from BMW.

A study of fuel cell buses by the US Department of Energy (DOE) shows them to be 1.4 times more fuel efficient than their diesel counterparts. While diesel buses average about 4.2 miles per gallon, fuel cell buses average about 6 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. The analysis also shows them to be 1.9 times more efficient than natural gas buses. DOE and the Federal Transit Administration have set a fuel economy target of 8 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. Read more from the DOE, or at Green Car Congress.


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