Germany in August – Electric vehicles crushing it at record 13.2 market share

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Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw a record 13.2% plugin electric vehicle market share in August 2020, up over 5× from the 2.6% result of August 2019. This comes immediately after July itself broke new ground at 11.4% market share. The overall auto market in August was down 20% from an unusually high August 2019.

Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plugin hybrids (PHEVs) contributed fairly evenly to August’s plugin result, with 6.4% and 6.8% of the market, respectively. The year-to-date division of labour is 4.3% BEV and 4.8% PHEV, giving a cumulative plugin market share of almost 9.2% so far in 2020, up from 3.0% in full year 2019.

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VW unveils charging butler robot concept for electric cars

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Volkswagen has unveiled a new concept for a charging butler robot that can charge electric vehicles in a parking garage using mobile battery packs.

The German automaker says that “mobile robots will charge electric vehicles completely autonomously in the future.”

Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components, commented:

“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistorey car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures. It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right”,

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Volkswagen demonstrates first successful real-world use of quantum computing to help optimize traffic routing

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A quantum computer from D-Wave. Copyright: D-Wave.

Volkswagen AG has successfully demonstrated the world’s first live use of quantum computing to help optimize traffic routing. During the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal, nine public transit buses used a traffic management system developed by Volkswagen scientists in the United States and Germany, powered by a D-Wave quantum computer, to calculate the fastest travel routes individually and in near-real time. (Earlier post.)

For more than two decades, advanced computing has held the promise of untangling the increasing traffic flow in modern cities. Today, modern navigation software can easily provide an individual vehicle with the shortest path by distance or time to any given destination taking existing traffic into account. But those calculations can’t take other vehicles’ navigation choices into account, so that when a system tells vehicles to re-route around a backup, it can create another cascading set of backups by directing too much traffic through chokepoints.

Volkswagen experts helped developed the Quantum Routing algorithm and data management system that runs on the D-Wave quantum computer in house, collaborating with specialists Hexad and PTV Group to round out the project. (Earlier post.)

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Driverless cars ‘don’t make business sense’

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The Waymo car (above), formerly the Google self-driving car project, at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the annual trade show CES earlier this year. Companies such as Google and Uber have spent billions of dollars developing driverless vehicles.

 

Developing fully autonomous cars will take another five years and is an expensive undertaking with no clear returns, says Volkswagen’s head of commercial vehicles.

GENEVA • Fully autonomous vehicles will take at least another five years to perfect, with the cost and complexity of rolling out the technology globally serving to undermine the business case, Volkswagen’s head of commercial vehicles said.

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