Volkswagen Group unveiled a massive push to drive down the cost of producing batteries for its electric vehicles in the hopes of speeding the transition away from gas-powered cars. The automaker, which is the second largest in the world based on sales, said it would reduce the costs of producing its batteries by up to 50 percent, build multiple battery factories around the world, expand its network of charging stations, and eventually transition to solid-state technology that would cut costs and boost efficiency. The ultimate goal is to make electric cars with longer ranges and quicker charging times -- two of the biggest barriers to mass EV adoption. The race for huge improvements in battery technology is one of the most expensive and hotly contested on the planet right now. Practically every automaker is betting that electric vehicles will be the future, with some of the largest countries (and largest auto markets) in the world moving to phase out gas-powered cars and trucks.
Volkswagen claims it's "not afraid" of the threat posed by any Apple Car and released this shadowy teaser image that may represent why. The image is a teaser for Project Trinity, an electric sedan that CEO Ralf Brandstätter called "our software dream car." Like any pie in the sky concept it of course is designed in anticipation of advanced self-driving capabilities, long range electric propulsion systems and fast charging battery tech, but that software bit is where it shows the plans in place. According to VW the plan is to start production on this car in 2026, as part of a vehicle lineup with fewer variants and where everything is standardized. What that means is that instead of building multiple versions of the same car with varying capabilities, they'll build one version with everything included, but only unlockable "on demand" -- and likely for a fee.
Volkswagen's commitment to electric vehicles just got even larger, both in its scope and the size of the vehicles. Volkswagen Group, the parent company of big-name automakers like VW, Audi, and Porsche, just outlined plans to electrify bigger vehicles like trucks and busses. VW Truck & Bus division head Andreas Renschler told Bloomberg the Group will commit 1.4 billion euros (about US$1.7 billion) by 2022 to develop EV drivetrains and other tech, along with autonomous systems and cloud-based fleet management. The news came during Volkswagen Group'sInnovation Day event in Hamburg, Germany, which showcased the latest developments from the Truck & Bus division. The heavy-duty vehicles expand VW's EV offerings beyond the buzzy Microbus and sporty Tesla-killer concepts we've seen from its brands thus far.
In April 2019 our partner Schneider Electric launched EcoStruxure Workplace Advisor, a smart building application aiming to increase the efficiency of managed office facilities. In this posting I want to outline the general architecture of this application which is based on Trinity RDF: our enterprise .NET API which enables developers without RDF experience to build knowledge graph applications. For anyone interested in increasing the productivity and flexibility of knowledge graph development teams I would like to advertise my talk on Tuesday where I will share more details about the case. The industry use case I will be presenting is Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure Workplace Advisor. Using this service one can derive actionable insights about a building through intuitive dashboards that analyse and integrate data from numerable IoT sensors and systems.
Buzz electric Microbus concept a reality by 2022, giving VW fans, EV enthusiasts, and modern day hippies alike a good reason to mark their calendars. The production model all-wheel drive Buzz will offer drivers more than just a blast from the past. The batteries will be mounted in the vehicle floor, and Volkswagen says the Buzz's compact electric drive components mean that there's even more space inside than previously possible with gas-powered bus designs. Volkswagen has another all-electric car concept, the I.D., slated for a 2020 release, and other automakers are doubling down on EVs for their future designs.