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Plug-in/Electric Car

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ‘Very Excited’ To Be In Auto Industry

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The company’s big investment in EV maker Rivian is deserving of excitement.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has expressed his enthusiasm for Amazon’s investments in Rivian and autonomous tech developer Aurora, as well as the overarching developments in the automotive industry.

“If you think about the auto industry right now, there’s so many things going on with Uber-ization, electrification, the connected car — so it’s a fascinating industry.” he said to a gathering of company employees. “It’s going to be something very interesting to watch and participate in, and I’m very excited about that whole industry.”

The investments in the two startups are part of Amazon’s $1.4 billion Q1 2019, ownership stakes in outside companies, the first time the figure crossed the $1 billion mark. In the case of Rivian, it is a major endorsement of the company’s promising electric vehicle technology by the world’s largest online retailer.

In related news, Ford has invested $500 Million in Rivian to build a new electric vehicle.

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Mini

MINI Rocketman Concept Is Being Developed

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The model will be developed and built in China by Great Wall and sold around the world.

Not long after unveiling its first all-electric, the Cooper SE, MINI might already be working on its second electric vehicle.

According to senior source at BMW that spoke with Autocar, the British automaker has approved the Rocketman concept for production. The new model will be built in China as part of a partnership between BMW and Great Wall Motors and should arrive by 2022.

“We’re advancing plans for a model along the lines of the Rocketman,” the source stated. “It’s a car we have been looking at for a long time, but to build it profitably at the price point we think customers are prepared to pay, you need a joint venture partner to share costs. Great Wall Motors has provided that opportunity with a shared electric car platform that will be used by Mini”

Ora R1 Electric Car

Although production will take place in China, MINI’s new electric car will be sold worldwide. Autocar speculates it will be a variation of the Ora R1, an electric car that’s cheaper than any new car sold in North America.

The cute little Ora R1 (pictured immediately above) looks like a Honda E and Smart ForFour hybrid. It is powered by an electric drivetrain that consists of an 30.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor rated at 47 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque, though buyers have the option of a bigger, 33-kilowatt-hour pack.

Mini hasn’t made anything official, but if the report is accurate, expect a vehicle that looks little like the Rocketman.

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Bentley

Bentley EXP 100 GT Is An Ultra Luxury Electric Car For The Future

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The British automaker celebrates its centianial with an excellent demonstration of extravagance.

Bentley turned 100 years old in 2019, and as part of it’s birthday celebration, unveiled a stunning electric car concept that looks to the future.

The EXP 100 GT concept is a vision of a Grand Tourer for 2035. It rides on an all-electric platform, provides a choice between fully autonomous operation and human-piloted driving, and features a flexible interior with three different seating configurations.

At 19-feet long and 7.8-feet wide, and with a curb weight of 4,188 pounds (1890 kg), the EXP 100 GT is a very large coupe with great visual presence. Designers blended proportions of Bentley’s historic grand tourers and futuristic elements to craft a GT car “for the world of 2035.” You will definitely notice the massive illuminated grille (it’s comprised of 6,000 LEDs) and round, beveled headlights.

The interior is flush with sustainable yet luxurious materials such as 5,000-year-old copper-infused riverwood, British farmed wool carpets, and embroidered cotton surfaces.

Power for the EXP 100 GT comes from four electric motors that can easily accelerate its large heft from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 2.5 seconds on route to a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h). The battery pack delivers an estimated driving range of 435 miles (700 km) and can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in only 15 minutes.

Since the EXP 100 GT is a vision of the future, autonomous driving technology is a centerpiece of it’s design. Drivers will have five self driving modes to choose from: Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live and Customize.

“The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future,” stated Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design. “Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”

Do you like how it turned out?

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Hatchbacks

Mini Cooper SE Is Mini’s First All-Electric Car

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The SE provides a modest range of up to 168 miles in Europe, and generous instant torque should make it a real hoot to drive around town.

After months of teasing, MINI has finally unveiled its first-ever all-electric car, the Cooper SE.

The company’s EV is essentially a Mini Cooper S with an electric drivetrain — more specifically, the same technology used by the BMW i3 — that lets it drive 235 to 270 kilometers (146 to 168 miles) based on Europe’s WLTP and NEDC test cycles. It will reportedly have an EPA-certified driving range of 183 km (114 miles) in the U.S., a figure that will not make it a direct competitor with the Tesla Model 3 and other 200+ mile electric vehicles.

A 32.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack energizes an electric motor that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque, allowing the Cooper Electric to zoom from 0 96 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

The production car seems to stay close to the concept that debuted back in 2017, featuring bright yellow accents and optional asymmetrical Corona Spoke two-tone 17-inch wheels. The interior features unique display and control elements.

According to MINI, the MINI Electric maintains the brand’s characteristic “go-kart feeling.” It weighs just 319 pounds more than the regular Cooper S two-door hardtop despite the added heft of the battery and has a 30 mm lower center of gravity thanks to the floor-mounted battery.

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