Auto news: Tesla sued, Nissan’s drone companion and a VW e-van

23 Sep 2016

Electric car. Image: Shutterstock

The increased use of technology in cars has seen manufacturers head in many different directions. That’s probably why Tesla is getting sued, Nissan has put a drone in with its latest pickup and Volkswagen has built an electric van.

Norwegian Tesla owners are apparently looking for financial compensation from the electric car manufacturer, alleging their ‘insane mode’ just isn’t as insane as previously stated.

According to Bloomberg, 126 owners in the Scandinavian state have felt the need to go down the legal route after the Tesla Model S p85D reached 469 horsepower – a full 231 horsepower below what the company pledged.

Electric vehicles

Lacking power

Bloomberg was told that the car “has too low horsepower,” according to the car owners’ lawyer Kaspar Thommessen. “And of course, it affects the car’s performance, according to the consumers.”

It appears that Tesla could spend quite some time traversing through various legal systems. News emerged that it was suing US state officials after finding out it could not sell cars direct to customers.

Forced to sell through a dealer, Tesla instead filed a lawsuit against Michigan officials in a bid to overturn the practice.

Staying with electric vehicles, Volkswagen has revealed a new e-Crafter van, something one board member calls the company’s “new benchmark”.

“Equipped with ‘connected van’, ‘CarNet’ and ‘App connect’, the new Crafter is one of the best connected vehicles in the industry,” said Andreas Renschler.

Emissions scandal

There has never been a better time for Volkswagen to pump up its e-car options, after a series of emissions scandals brought huge embarrassment, disgrace and cost to the company in recent years.

By 2025, Volkswagen estimates that 25pc of all of its annual revenues will come from electric vehicles, and it plans to launch 30 purely battery-powered vehicles over the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, Nissan’s new EnGuard concept car is ploughing its own furrow towards some sort of smart search and rescue future, armed with a companion drone to help out in the field.

With battery packs, an electricity generating 2.3litre engine, as well as ports and sockets situated throughout the vehicle, Nissan’s interesting use of power and storage is what they consider its primary appeal.

“Our prototype EV portable battery pack reveals how Nissan will integrate its world-renowned EV battery technology and expertise into new sectors in the future,” said Nissan’s Philippe Guerin-Boutaud.

However, it’s the DJI Phantom 4 drone in the pickup’s armoury that’s the most eye-catching.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic