Automotive news

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Hits the Lebanese Market


IMPEX, the exclusive Chevrolet dealer in Lebanon, has announced the arrival of the brand’s award-winning electric car to the Lebanese market: the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV, during an event in its main showroom in Badaro on January 23rd 2019.

With its future-forward powertrain, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is smoother mechanically than a regular petrol car, with only about a tenth of the moving parts of a conventional automobile. This translates to less wear and tear, fewer trips to the service center and greater ease of maintenance, which means plenty of savings for the customer. It is also powered by a 60-kWh battery pack delivering 204 horsepower and 360 Nm of torque, which could be easily charged at home overnight.

Mounted along the vehicle’s entire floor, the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s battery pack contributes to a low center of gravity, vehicle stability and interior spaciousness. Tackling real-world conditions of city driving as well as long highway cruises, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is accomplishing the once conceptual idea of long-range, affordable electric mobility.


“Recently, the Chevrolet Bolt EV demonstrated its incredible 500+ km range as part of the 2018 Global Electric Vehicle Road Trip in the Middle East, on a single charge. With its fully electric and affordable capabilities, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a key step on our journey to a future of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. With the vehicle, Chevrolet gives consumers the chance to choose sustainable without sacrifice” quoted by General Motors executives.

Farid Homsi General Manager of Impex concluded: “It is with huge excitement and big expectations that we are launching today the new 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV which shows General Motors and Impex’s commitment for a brighter, cleaner future with zero emissions.”



Automotive news

Automobili Pininfarina, the World’s Newest Sustainable Luxury Car Brand

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., part of the $19 billion Mahindra Group, today announced the launch of Automobili Pininfarina, the world’s newest sustainable luxury car brand.

Automobili Pininfarina, promoted by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., will be based in Europe. The company will design, engineer and manufacture high technology, extreme performance, luxury electric vehicles for the most discerning global customers.


Automobili Pininfarina will combine Pininfarina’s legendary automotive design prowess with Mahindra’s growing electric vehicle (EV) expertise gained from its participation in the Formula E electric racing car championship. Automobili Pininfarina plans to launch its first model, a ‘Pininfarina’ badged electric hypercar, in 2020.

Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman, Pininfarina SpA, “We are pleased to welcome the new company, Automobili Pininfarina which represents an additional client for Pininfarina SpA, joining the list of the many prestigious car makers for which we will be designing cars in the future. This project helps me and my family to realize my grandfather’s dream of seeing outstanding innovative cars solely branded Pininfarina on the roads.” 

According to Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, “Italy’s renowned design expertise produces objects of true beauty and unique style. Drawing upon the pedigree and design vocabulary of the Pininfarina aesthetic heritage we will develop a rare collector’s item that only a handful of connoisseurs will ever own. It will be an innovative and pioneering product powered by high technology. The Mahindra Group has bet big on electric vehicles. They are the future, and when power, beauty and high end EV technology come together in one car – that will be the perfect luxury vehicle, that will give car lovers the freedom to roam without impacting the planet adversely.”

Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Chairman, Mahindra Racing, said, “We believe that this is the perfect me to launch Automobili Pininfarina, given Mahindra’s growing EV expertise from our participation in Formula E racing where we are currently second in the constructors’ and drivers’ championships, and Pininfarina’s design expertise that will allow us to develop stylish, extreme-performance, electric vehicles for global markets.”

Automobili Pininfarina will be led by Michael Perschke, as its Chief Executive Officer. Michael brings with him over 25 years of experience with premium German brands at both headquarter director-level as well as in various market roles. He was the Managing Director of Audi in India and a member of the Management Board of Volkswagen Group Sales India, from 2010 to 2013. Michael will play an instrumental role in developing the strategy for Automobili Pininfarina. He will be joined by Per Svantesson as Chief Operating Officer. Per brings with him relevant experience including his stints with the Volvo Group and NEVS.

Michael Perschke, CEO, Automobili Pininfarina commented, “Establishing Automobili Pininfarina as a leading sustainable luxury brand is our strategic vision and will be a dream come true. It will combine 88 years of iconic design heritage with leading edge electric vehicle competence of the Mahindra Group and Mahindra Formula E racing. It’s a powerful combination. I am honoured to lead Automobili Pininfarina and our ambition is to make it a respected and desirable brand recognized by connoisseurs who value design heritage, substance and sustainable high performance EV technology.”


Automotive news

A look back into the future: The classic Mini Electric

The classic Mini Electric combines the historic look of the world’s favorite small car with groundbreaking drive technology for tomorrow’s urban mobility. With this unique vehicle, MINI sends out a clear signal demonstrating its commitment to retaining the brand’s unmistakable character whilst embracing innovative zero local emission technology.

The classic Mini Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time, where the story of classic model is extended by a consecutive chapter. The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a sympathetic ambassador for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun.

The urban electro mobility landscape will soon benefit from the arrival of a brand new model, packed with charisma, individual style and driving fun. The MINI Electric Concept was announced at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and paves the way for the brand’s first all-electric vehicle which will be unveiled in 2019 – just in time for the 60th anniversary of the classic Mini.

MINI is once again assuming a pioneering role for sustainable mobility within the BMW Group. In 2008, the brand presented the MINI E – based on the predecessor model of the current MINI 3 Door, about 600 examples were produced and used in a field trial under everyday conditions. By contrast, the classic Mini Electric presented in New York will remain unique.


A late and carefully restored example of the classic Mini Cooper serves as the basis for this special vehicle. The exterior red paint is complemented by a contrast white roof and characteristic bonnet strip, with the yellow MINI Electric logo in the brand emblem and on the wheel hubs.

The electric classic remains true to the brand, both in terms of its visual appearance and driving characteristics. The spontaneous power of its electric motor provides a new dimension to the unmistakable go-kart feeling that helped propel the British small car in its original form to worldwide popularity.


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Nissan starts exchange program for Nissan LEAF batteries in Japan

Nissan LEAF owners in Japan will be able to exchange their cars’ old batteries for refabricated ones under a new, fee-based program.

Starting in May, owners of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF can turn in their used batteries and, for a fee, receive refabricated ones. Nissan is using the battery-refabrication capabilities of 4R Energy Corp., a company established through a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp., to offer the program.

As demand for electric vehicles grows, the number of used batteries will increase significantly. Nissan hopes that by reclaiming these batteries, it can help lower battery replacement costs and heighten the used-car value of electric vehicles. This will enhance the electric-car ownership experience, which in turn will help promote their use, ultimately contributing to lower CO2 emissions.


Nissan will initially offer 24-kilowatt-hour refabricated batteries for 300,000 yen apiece, with plans to expand the lineup. Exchange costs for brand-new Nissan LEAF batteries are 650,000 yen for 24 kWh; 800,000 yen for 30 kWh; and 820,000 yen for 40 kWh.

Nissan is the industry leader in zero-emission vehicles, having sold more than 300,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars. The company is working to create a sustainable-mobility society through the spread of electric vehicles, the enhancement of electric-vehicle infrastructure and the advancement of renewable energy.


Automotive news

Property Developers Urged to Add Electric Vehicle Charging Points to Apartment Buildings


The needs of electric car owners must be included in future plans for residential buildings, along with clear strategies for retrofitting existing homes with overnight recharging points, Hyundai’s top manager in Africa and the Middle East said today.

Mike Song, the carmaker’s Head of Operations for the region, says Hyundai has ambitious plans for low- or zero-emissions cars in the region, and that internationally it has a wider range of drivetrains than any other company, including fully electric, plug-in, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell.

While each technology has its advantages, Mr. Song says that fully electric vehicles, using batteries for energy storage, offer the fastest route towards zero emissions – as long as people can keep their cars charged. With current home design, that may not be possible.


“There is now very real consumer excitement around electric driving,” Mike Song said. “In our existing urban design, however, the only people who can realistically make that switch are those who live in a house or villa with an attached garage, because they are the only ones who can plug into a power supply to recharge overnight. If you park on the street, or even in basement parking for an apartment building, keeping your battery charged will be much more difficult.”

While cities worldwide are experimenting with kerbside recharging points for cars parked on the street, Mike Song says it will be down to property developers and managers, as well as homeowners’ associations, to make sure that residential carparks can provide a charging socket for each car that needs one, along with a system for billing the cost.

This will most likely need planning authorities, including governments and municipalities, to incorporate recharging points into their planning regulations – both as a standard requirement on new buildings, and with clear guidelines on upgrading existing properties.

“We must ensure that, if you have allocated parking for an apartment, you can expect to recharge an electric car as part of that parking,” said Mike Song. “Given time, consumer demand will ensure this happens, but the authorities can help drive the transition by including this expectation in building codes.”

Hyundai is quickly establishing itself as a leader for electrified drivetrains, with several eco-models across its global product range, and multiple drivetrain options. It’s a flexible approach that aims to provide a realistic pathway towards clean mobility, able to fit the needs of different customers and markets.

Current production models include electric versions of the IONIQ – which is also available as a plug-in and a hybrid – and now the KONA compact SUV as well. The company also offers a Sonata Hybrid, and was the first to offer a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as a mass-produced model with the Tucson FCEV in production since 2013. That is now due to be replaced by an FCEV-only SUV, the Nexo, which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.

Within the Africa and Middle East region, the company is already offering versions of the IONIQ eco-car in several markets. It is also introducing the Sonata Hybrid, particularly for taxi use.


Automotive news

Nissan showcases Electric Ecosystem designed to deliver the future of driving


Following the unveiling of its ambitious electric ecosystem just three months ago, Nissan has showcased the technology in action. The ‘Nissan Electric Ecosystem Experience’ was staged on the Spanish Island of Tenerife, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to Nissan Intelligent Mobility to transform the way people drive, and beyond the car, the way we can all live, creating a more exciting and sustainable future.

At the heart of the Nissan Electric Ecosystem Experience was the opportunity for VIP’s to drive the new Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling 100% electric vehicle, as well as an enhanced e-NV200, which gives users an extra 100km of range through its new 40kWh battery. Nissan also unveiled updates on its infrastructure and energy plans.


Kalyana Sivagnanam, President of Nissan Middle East and Regional Vice President Marketing and Sales for Africa, the Middle East and India, said: “Since launching the electric vehicle revolution almost ten year ago, Nissan has now sold more EV’s than any other manufacturer in the world. However, we are now looking beyond the car, towards a future of mobility that will transform the way we all live. Our investments in infrastructure and energy services are pushing the boundaries of the future of mobility and have paved the way for this electric ecosystem – all informed by our revolutionary Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision.”

Nissan partnered with the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER) to host the Electric Ecosystem Experience at ITER’s complex in Tenerife. With 25 years of experience in engineering and telecom, ITER has built a bioclimatic site powered by renewable energy from wind farms and solar panels.

The new Nissan LEAF

Headlining the Nissan Electric Ecosystem Experience is the new Nissan LEAF – the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. The world’s best-selling electric vehicle has a range of 378 km NEDC. The new Nissan LEAF is also the first car to undergo WLTP*.  It can now travel 270 km in a combined environment (city and highway) and 415 km in city conditions on a single charge, offering an exhilarating driving experience whilst minimising range anxiety.

The new LEAF is already a huge success for Nissan with in excess of 12,000 customer orders received to date despite the model not being in European showrooms until early February 2018.

The enhanced Nissan e-NV200 100% electric van

Another new product at the Nissan Electric Ecosystem Experience is the enhanced Nissan e-NV200 now fitted with a new 40kWh battery. It now offers a range of up to 280 km NEDC* – 60% more than previously – with unchanged cargo space and capacity and a single-shift transmission that makes driving easier and safer. The upgraded e-nv200 has been WLTP tested with results of 301 km on city cycle and 200 km on combined cycle. Crucially, it will support city centre transformation by making the 100% electric last mile delivery a reality for business and professional drivers everywhere.

Both vehicles are 100% electric, zero emission, enabling Nissan to bring to life its commitment to cut the level of CO2 around the world and build a more sustainable environment for everyone.

Nissan’s continuing commitment to EV infrastructure

At Futures 3.0, Nissan announced its plan to expand its existing outdoor charging network by 20% over the next 18 months. Working with EV fast-charging standard CHAdeMO, Nissan has already helped build Europe’s most comprehensive charging network, with more than 4,700 quick-chargers installed across the region.

Energy Partnerships ‘free’ energy breakthrough for EV drivers

Over the past year in Denmark, Nissan has been testing this revolutionary new way of driving. Going forward, this has become an offer open to all fleet customers throughout the country. Using Nissan bi-directional charging, customers can draw energy from the grid to power their car or van and then ‘sell’ it back to the grid for others to use. This means, once a nominal charge has been paid by the business for the installation of a V2G charger, there are no fuel or energy costs; just free power for their EV.

Nissan’s ongoing commitment on CSR   

The xStorage Home units, which have been installed at every house in ITER, will be part of a pilot project in a developing country in Africa. It will help providing sustainable energy to local communities in developing countries which do not have access to energy today. This will give communities better access to basic needs, such as education and healthcare.


Automotive news



Global EVRT has revealed the exciting list of events planned for its convoy of drivers during its 1217km Electric Vehicle Road Trip, including the UAE’s first drag race between electric and petrol vehicles.

The event, which sets off from Abu Dhabi on 18thJan, will take in stunning desert landscapes, twisting mountain roads and picturesque coastal drives as it makes its way across the UAE and Oman.

Event organiser, Global EVRT, has also now announced a fantastic line-up of sustainability focused events during the nine-day trip, which will see drivers and passengers get up close and personal with world-leading solar technology and meet the people helping to shape the future of energy in the region and beyond.


Members of the public are encouraged to join the convoy in their local area for their chance to test drive an electric vehicle and learn more about the fantastic financial and other benefits of owning one through the experts at Emirates NBD, who offer special rates through their Green Auto Loans. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Emirates NBD has taken the lead in green financing, in addition to being a strong supporter and diamond sponsor of the Global EVRT.

Setting off from Abu Dhabi, the fleet of electric cars, including a trio of the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as Tesla models S and X, will drive 120km for a guided tour of the innovative Shams 1 Solar Park in Madinat Zayed. As one of the largest solar power stations in the world it represents not only a huge step forward for commercial solar energy, but also a clean future energy source for the UAE.  

EVRT Middle East Road Trippers will then drive directly back to Abu Dhabi to charge before setting off for the 270km drive to Oman, passing through some of the UAE’s most stunning deserts and the ‘Garden City’ of Al Ain before arriving at the beautiful coastal city of Sohar after approximately three hours on the road.

The Oman leg of the journey will continue with a drive to the country’s picturesque capital, Muscat, visiting its Botanical Gardens, Sultan Qaboos University and the German University of Technology, where students will be given a chance to test drive the cars.

Day five of the road trip will bring together the key stake holders of Oman in the industries of transport and smart cities, for The Future of Mobility Roundtable discussion. The first event of its kind in Oman, this will be a unique chance for government and industry to explore the country’s successes, challenges and future plans in this sector, in this fast-evolving region.


When the cars return to the UAE, they will be put through their paces with a drive up the steep mountain roads that lead to the summit of Jebel Jais. However, while the energy sapping drive uphill may take its toll, the smart technology inside the cars means they will automatically recharge during the descent, with up to 40km worth of extra power added to their batteries.

That extra power will come in use for their visit to RAK Race Track where they will take part in a winner takes all drag race. In what is sure to be a fun and thrilling race, the very latest in zero-emission technology will go up against the best that traditional petrol power has to offer with famous drag racer Doug Herbert leading the challenge against the Global EVRT team.

Spectators will get to see first-hand the huge advancements made in the electric vehicle sector as the Chevrolet Bolt EV will race to 100km/h in just 7.3 seconds while the Tesla S, P100D, is expected to take the chequered flag as it can clock the 100km/h mark in just 2.7 seconds – faster than the majority of petrol cars on the market.   

On the final day of the journey the cars will arrive at Dubai’s The Sustainable City for the EVRT Middle East Grand Finale and the e-Mobility Showcase Day. The special event is not only a chance for the public to welcome the EVRT Middle East convoy, but also to find out more about the technology that has powered the cars across two countries through live test drives and showcasing opportunities. 

During the trip a list of VIPs will join the convoy including Formula E presenter Nicki Shields, Chris Ramsay, the first person to complete the Mongol Rally in an Electric Vehicle and Sushil Reddy, the world record breaker for cycling across the world using a solar powered bike.

A network of 18 permanent charging stations will be established along the route to power the convoy of electric cars taking part in the EVRT Middle East 2018. Five official opening ceremonies will take place when the cars reach key locations in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Sohar and Muscat – where there will be two ceremonies.

Anyone with an interest in EV technology is invited to take part in the road trip. Tickets are available for the full journey or for two individual stages with participants able to join for Abu Dhabi to Muscat (January 18th-22nd) or Muscat to Dubai (January 22nd- 26th). Driving experiences will also be offered to the public in Muscat, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Dubai.

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “The journey promises to be nine days of fun, educational and inspiring moments and activities that will not only clear up any misunderstanding amongst consumers about what these cars are capable of, but also showcase the natural beauty of this region.

“Driving an electric vehicle is the ideal way to discover the technology that is shaping the transport needs of tomorrow. By establishing a network of charging stations across the 1,217km route, the EVRT Middle East will demonstrate just how capable these vehicles are and how they are a real, practical, and fun option for car buyers today.”