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MG will take on the challenge to drive fossil free – indefinitely

With 360 brand new solar panels on the roof to power our entire battery factory, we’re eager to put them to the ultimate test. MG will join the Frisian Elfwegentocht: a province wide challenge to drive entirely fossil free for two consecutive weeks. However, we’ll try it one step further – aiming for indefinitely.

The Elfwegentocht

The Elfwegentocht is an initiative from local students dreaming of a sustainable Friesland and eager to prove it’s already possible to travel fossil free. That’s why they’ve set up a challenge for everyone to move with sustainable means of transport within the borders of the province, from 1 to 14 July 2018.

Meeting new demands

Be it on foot, (e-)bikes, electric cars, green gas buses or even trains on sustainable power, it’s a 14-day-long demonstration to drive without a drop of petrol. And quite an endeavour, as it will pose a challenge for the participants and infrastructure alike to meet these new demands.

Major contribution

We’re very much in favour of this plan and trying to participate in any way we can. Our brand new 360 solar panels on the roof will make a major contribution to power our five electric cars and one electric bike. In addition our other cars will be provided with blue diesel.

Indefinitely

These adjustment will enable us to meet our target for the Elfwegentocht. However, this is only the beginning, since we feel a fortnight is not nearly enough. We haven’t set an end date, but instead will try to continue driving fossil free for as long as we can – indefinitely. So here’s a challenge: are you ready to join us?

MG powers first Mexican electric public service bus

Fighting pollution in Mexico

With high levels of pollution in most of Mexican cities, zero emission vehicles are the only way to make a difference, according to industrial designer Alfonso Hernandez. Automotive industry is shifting toward electrification, but when this only concerns new vehicles, it can take decades to clear the air. That’s why Hernandez took it upon himself to help Mexico take the first big step to clean public transportation.

Converting old buses into all-electric vehicles

His company APV international is dedicated towards exploring the opportunities of renewable energy, by turning old combustion engine buses into all-electric vehicles, thereby reducing emission to zero and saving up to 80% in costs. As a proof of concept, Hernandez took on the challenge to convert a 13-year-old diesel-powered public transport bus.

Lithium-ion in stead of lead acid batteries

Ten months ago we received a phone call from Mexico. Hernandez and his team had managed to build complete their prototype and were testing it at the moment. They used a big lead acid battery bank to power the 250 kW electric motor from TM4. They knew this wasn’t the best solution, due to the large volume, high weight, short lifetime and poor performance. What they needed was a lithium-ion battery solution that could seamlessly be integrated in the test bus.

The system

To be more precise: that meant 700 VDC voltage and a capacity of approximately 85 kWh. We provided an 84 kWh Lithium-Ion battery system with liquid cooling, consisting of 48 battery modules. Each has its own slave BMS and is connected to a MG Master HV 800V/600A that makes up the main BMS of the battery system.

On the one hand, the MG Master HV communicates with all battery modules and monitors their values. At the other side it communicates with the vehicle CAN-Bus, which consists of an advanced color display and the TM4 Neuro vehicle controller. We adjusted the CAN-Bus communication protocol to speak the same language as the TM4 Neuro. This makes the integration of the different systems even more simple.

The first

We are proud to have contributed to developing Mexico’s first public service battery bus.

We challenged ourselves with the toughest goal, knowing that once achieved, any other project would be downhill. That’s why we developed our prototype with the strongest system we could think of. This opens roads for future markets like cargo transport in short range. This way we can start moving faster towards a cleaner transport solution where everybody wins.