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High voltage in Autoeuropa



Alta tensão na Autoeuropa

The end of polluting car sales by 2035 is putting pressure on car manufacturers in Portugal. One of the most notorious cases is Autoeuropa, given the weight of the Palmela plant in the Portuguese economy (see text above). For now, a source at the company points to a $500 million investment made late last year for the next five years to adapt the production plant to the new generation T-Roc, which should already have a hybrid version. . plugin.

The idea of ​​Brussels to aim at 100% elimination of emissions from passenger cars or light commercial vehicles with an internal combustion engine has received a negative opinion from the Portuguese government. The position was endorsed by the general secretary of Automóvel Portugal (ACAP): “The Portuguese government – ​​together with Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia – even took a favorable position because it was trying with four more countries to get an extension of legislation by 2040 to give our manufacturers time for this transition”, stating that this scenario “will be the most positive”. However, the opposition of these four countries, including Portugal, was not enough, since the ban received the approval of all other member states.

And the proposal of the European Commission has already been approved by the European Parliament.

So, is the future of Autoeuropa at stake?

For now, according to former minister Mira Amaral, who brought the company to Portugal under Cavaco Silva’s government, the group will be interested in making the investment profitable, and only then will it think about the future.

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“I believe that changing the platform to electric models is not yet possible until the amount invested now is reimbursed. But this is a question that will inevitably arise in four or five years.” In an author’s article published by an economist in Sunrise, in 2021 Mira Amaral has already left the future of Autoeuropa open. “Successive governments have concluded successful investment agreements with Autoeuropa. Will VW continue to bet on internal combustion engine (VCI) vehicles and after T-Roc will there still be a future for another VCI at Palmela, or will production have to be gradually adapted to hybrids and electric vehicles (EV)? these questions will determine the future of the Palmela plant.”

However, the economist regrets that Portugal continues not to talk about this topic, while Spain is already switching its industry to electric vehicles.

An opinion shared by Daniel Bernardino, coordinator of the working committees of the Industrial Park – satellite companies that supply Autoeuropa – in ensuring that both manufacturers and the Portuguese government do not expect this change. “We have been concerned about this issue, not least because we see a neighboring country with large investments in car electrification, and Portugal, from our point of view, is left behind in the face of competition from other countries,” he says Sunrise. And that is why he has already asked for meetings with the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Labor, but has not yet received any answer. This structure also calls for the intervention of the central trade unions. “We want everyone to walk in the same direction with us despite this numbness.” Read more: A source close to the industry is optimistic, assuring that Autoeuropa has a production plan for this model until 2027, and from then on it will be a strategy that builders will determine. But it leaves a warning:_“The blockade is only in Europe, brands continue to sell cars to South America, Africa and Asia. Only in Europe will we see this restriction in 2035.”

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Daniel Bernardino also says that for the moment he has information that until 2030 the Palmela plant will continue to produce combustion engine vehicles and even a hybrid, acknowledging, however, that the plant “obviously needs to be prepared with investments and companies “. the industrial park will obviously have to invest in new electric models or hydrogen models.” And he adds that since Autoeuropa has become a mass production plant, with the transition to the production of 300 thousand cars per year, Portugal is already considered a car manufacturing country, also remembering that the PSA in Mangualda helped Portugal achieve this status and which announced last week, which invests in an electric model. An advertisement that he believes “is an encouragement to the industry”.

Earlier this month, Stellantis Group President Carlos Tavares guaranteed that the Mangualda plant would start producing cars with an electric motor. A solution that can guarantee the future of this plant, which employs about 900 people, for decades to come. “Teams in Mangualde are already preparing this transition so that if necessary, the plant has the flexibility to respond,” the manager said, also reassuring that “Mangualde’s cost levels and competitiveness” were key factors justifying the transition. solution.

Spain wins the race

Daniel Bernardino, despite the information he has, says that the German group may be making preparations so that Portugal can also be part of the trams so that it does not fall behind, and regrets that the country “does not make such investments as those that have already been made in Spain” – on the example of a battery factory in Valencia. “Unfortunately, we do not have this news, but we have already understood that there will be investments in the lithium plant in Setúbal, and this is a good indicator.”

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But the examples don’t end there. The coordinator of the industrial park committees also reported on the announcement two weeks ago that Ford announced two electric models for Valencia, thus guaranteeing 25,000 jobs over the next 10 years. In Portugal, we have no news of this kind. Naturally, we cannot compare ourselves with Spain in terms of the automotive industry, but at the moment Germany itself is already concerned about what Spain is doing, ”he admits.

According to the official, the country lacks “lobby in the positive direction of the Portuguese government towards the European Union and car manufacturers so that we can be more attractive.” And emphasizes: “Obviously we lack the infrastructure for import and export, which makes us more air-conditioned, unlike what happens in Spain.”

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BMW asks not to drive or charge iX and i4 trams due to fire hazard – Observer



BMW asks not to drive or charge iX and i4 trams due to fire hazard - Observer

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BMW and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the local authority responsible for road safety, have advised consumers in the United States that should urgently stop driving or recharging their electric BMW iX and i4, and the NHTSA also provides advice on the best places to park your car. As always, it is the American market that is quicker to respond to security concerns, despite the fact that all iX and i4 in circulation are currently made only in Germany, including those sold in Portugal.

Like other builders, BMW also has to deal with battery-related safety issues. In particular, with cells used to form packagewhere possible risk of short circuit in a high voltage circuit may cause a fire.

The elements in question are not produced by BMW, a manufacturer that has not yet invested in these capacities, but are purchased from two external suppliers, namely the South Koreans from Samsung and the Chinese from CATL, anything that indicates they may have a manufacturing defect. The cells are imported and then the cells are generated. packages which will be fitted to vehicles near the factories where they are produced: i4 at the Munich plant and iX at the Dingolfing plant, both in Germany.

In addition to public notices through website NHTSA which we reproduce here, BMW will contact each of the owners directly. And the fact that this is a call to the workshop marked “urgent” will certainly deserve the attention of those who are interested.


The number of vehicles participating in this revoke very small because BMW’s electric SUV and sedan have only recently begun to be offered in the US market. The brand estimates that only 83 units (56 iX and 27 i4) are at risk. The number of units sold of these two models in Europe is much higher. even in Portugal, for which there is no information.

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California regulator accuses Tesla of misleading consumers



California regulator accuses Tesla of misleading consumers

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said Tesla advertised its autopilot and autonomous driving technologies as more efficient than they actually are, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The company “has made or published false or misleading statements that are not based on facts,” according to a case filed July 28 with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Tesla vehicles could never “and never can operate as autonomous vehicles,” claims DMV. The regulator did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

Tesla’s website describes its autopilot as having “fully autonomous driving.” “All the driver has to do is get in the car and tell them where to go,” the company says, promising that “if you don’t say anything, the car will check your schedule and take you to your intended destination.” “

The ruling in favor of the California regulator could have serious repercussions for the electric car maker, including the potential revocation of licenses that allow Tesla to make or sell its cars in the state, according to the Times.

However, a DMV spokesperson told the newspaper that what the agency really wants is for Tesla to better inform consumers about its autonomous vehicles and acknowledge the limitations of its technology.

Tesla vehicles equipped with self-driving software have been involved in 273 crashes in the United States, according to a report released in June by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating the company.

In June, Tesla owner Elon Musk stressed the importance of fully autonomous driving, saying that without it, the value of his company would be “close to zero.”

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XBUS Camper, Ultra-Efficient 2 Person Electric Mini Camper



Imagem da minicaravana elétrica XBUS

Electric vehicles are taking over the roads and in the near future every class of vehicle will be available on electricity. From light to heavy, passing through the transport of people, to commodity, brands are hard at work preparing the transition. We say this emphatically because even the most unusual proposals are already thinking about electrical efficiency. A luxury case is the XBUS Camper motorhome.

This offer is for a super efficient electric mini caravan for 2 people. Relax in nature with maximum comfort.

XBUS: a mini caravan that does not harm the environment and your comfort

The proposal is based on some sustainability criteria. One small car with solar panels and it can accommodate two people. Thus, the camper version of the XBUS will have a length of 3.95 m, the minivan offers space for the comfort of passengers.

One retractable cab at the rear creates a 130 x 210 cm sleeper. There is also a mobile kitchen unit on board, which can be used outside the vehicle if necessary, as well as TV, refrigerator, fresh water tank and sink.

In a fully equipped version the price of the XBUS Camper with convertible roof should be around 30,170 euros.. At present, the prototype machine is still in early production at the German firm based in Rossbach. The first models are expected to reach customers in 2024.

The camping version is equipped with four electrically controlled wheel motors that together deliver up to 56 kW (76 hp) at full power for a top speed of 100 km/h.

Picture of XBUS electric mini caravan

Converting solar energy into electrical energy

The battery in the basic version has a capacity of 15 kWh and can be increased up to 45 kWh with additional battery packs. Depending on the battery configuration, range must be between 200 and 600 km. Charging takes three to five hours from a standard 220V outlet, or correspondingly faster from an 11kW charger.

Like other XBUS variants, the XBUS Camper is available in both standard and off-road chassis versions with increased ground clearance. A 5 m² photovoltaic panel is installed on the roof. Under optimal conditions, a vehicle should be able to generate an additional range of 30 to 50 km per day from solar energy on average per year.

This technology is especially relevant for camping in sunny regions. Thanks to car charging technology, campers can also use their own solar power from the car's own 220-volt socket.

With a curb weight between 500 and 800 kg, depending on equipment, the XBUS belongs to the category of light electric vehicles. In the future, XBUS customers will be able to choose from nine options. Whether it's a pickup truck, van, bus or motorhome, they all take a modular approach.

Faced with increasing traffic congestion, we need smart, versatile and sustainable concepts that enable individual mobility and adapt to personal lifestyles: sustainable, modular and affordable. That's where we come in with XBUS.

Said Ralph Haller, founder of the company.

Modular to adapt to any type of offer

The modular principle can be a big advantage of this proposal. For example, with just two modules, a van can be temporarily converted into a motorhome for the next vacation.

Approximately 270 dealers in Germany and more than 800 in Europe make this quick and easy conversion possible. It is also planned to rent modules.

Company policy regarding XBUS, ElectricityBrandsthis concept and product is based on environmentally friendly production methods and short delivery routes, as well as the use of cobalt-free batteries.

Our goal is to be able to reuse as many individual parts as possible. We achieve this by using unblended materials and components, which are generally 100% recyclable. Green from start to finish, that's what the global concept is for.

concluded Ralph Haller.

Portugal is already included in the list of countries that will be able to get this car.

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