Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018



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Last week Ford caused a minor stir when the company announced that it would stop producing passenger cars, except for the Focus and Mustang. This means that the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion will be discontinued, although no specific timing has been given for the move. The strategy shift is part of the company’s realignment to focus on electric vehicles and the profitable SUV and Crossover segment. The automaker announced that it would shift one-third of its budget to electric vehicles.

Part of Ford’s strategy to make up for lost ground is to create partnerships in China and India while also shifting to mobility solutions. This week Ford Smart Mobility LLC and Chinese automaker Zotye signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture (JV) to provide smart, customized all-electric vehicle solutions to fleet operators and drivers in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market.

Many operators in China’s ride-hailing market are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. According to Boston Consulting Group, the local ‘e-hailing’ market is expected to grow by 19 percent annually through 2022, with an overall fleet size potentially reaching up to 26 million.

This week Didi, the largest ride-hailing company in China announced that it would up its use of EVs from the current 250,000 to 10 million EVs in 2028.

As part of Ford’s commitment to building smart vehicles for a smart world, and to pave the way for a future of V2X and autonomous vehicles, the new JV will also engage with local governments and cities to support the development of integrated transportation solutions covering data connectivity and software systems to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance the commuter experience.



DS Automobiles, the French luxury brand founded in 2014 by the PSA Group expanded on its EV strategy last weekend at the Paris e-Prix. The company which is to launch its first EV, the DS7 Crossback E-Tense SUV plug-in hybrid, announced that it would only develop and sell EV models from 2025 onwards. DS model series will be available either as PHEVs or BEVs or both, The petrol-electric DS7 4×4 which is expected soon has a 30-mile range and 300hp engine. DS will also unveil its firts full EV at the Paris Auto Show in September.


BAIC announced at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing that it will start assembling EVs in South Africa, following BYD which is constructing an EV assembly plant in Morrocco. BAIC was the top-selling EV manufacturer (pure EVs) globally in 2017, beating Tesla and Nissan.


The Optimal Energy Joule

Most of BAIC’s sales came from the popular BAIC EC180. BAIC did not expand on its plans on how it will deal with the lack of charging infrastructure in the Southern African country. The backward thinking South African government had an opportunity to back one of the first EV manufacturers, the local Optimal Energy Juole, but decided against supporting the company partly because the management was white. Currently, there is only a hand full of EV charging stations in the two of the major centers with Nissan and BMW selling a few of the older generation Nissan Leaf and BMW i3’s. The country is also yet to decide on a charging standard as the two car’s are using two different standards. Nissan also called on the South African government last week to do more to catch up with the rest of the world on its plans for electric cars or risk being left behind.

BAIC chairman Xu Heyi indicated that it will start setting-up a plant with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles at the end June. He did not indicate what level of the assembly will be done locally.


VW expanded on its e-mobility plans last week at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing. CEO of Volkswagen Group, Dr. Herbert Diess announced that it would have six factories producing electric vehicles for its brands in China by 2021. Volkswagen Group China will spend €15 billion through 2022 to support People’s Mobility in China and launch 40 new energy vehicles in the country over the next eight years.

This week at the VW Group AGM it was announced that the Group had secured forward battery supply agreements of €40 billion ($48 billion), doubling the amount announced in March. To put VW’s EV strategy in perspective the value of the battery supply agreements is equal to Tesla’s market cap this week when it released its Q1 figures. Dr. Herbert Diess told shareholders at the VW AGM that the company plans to manufacture 3 million EVs per year by 2025.


KIA unveiled the much anticipated KIA Niro EV SUV at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. The KIA Niro BEV and Hyundai Kona is the first mass-produced economy SUV’s (outside of China). The SUV EV is inspired by the KIA Niro Concept EV unveiled at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas earlier in the year. The KIA Niro EV is available in a short and long-range option ranging between 240km/150mi and 380km/238mi. The Niro EV features a charging portal in its radiator grille, futuristic air intake, arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights and muscular wheel arches. The KIA NIRO will go on sale in H2 2018 in Korea. The international unveiling is at the Paris Auto Show in September after which it will be introduced in other markets.



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Record sales puts BAIC in the top 3 EV producers of all time

Record sales puts BAIC in the top 3 EV producers of all time

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BAIC displaces Renault in the Top 3 EV producers

The Chinese automaker BAIC, with the help of its BAIC EC180 mini-car, shattered a couple of EV records this year. Not only is BAIC the top-selling EV brand for 2017 (pure electric EVs only), it also kicked Renault out of the 3rd position of pure electric vehicle producers in the modern EV era. BAIC’s EV strategy of focusing on pure electric vehicles instead of hybrids has paid off and is fast becoming the Top EV producer in China with a 98% year-on-year increase in sales.

BAIC became the first automaker to sell more than a 100,000 pure electric vehicles in a country, narrowly beating Tesla‘s total sales for 2017. BAIC has been the top-selling BEV brand in China for the past five years and is looking well placed to dethrone BYD on total EV sales in 2018.


The BAIC EC180, which was launched in December 2016, became the first EV model to sell more than 10,000 units a month in a single country during October 2017 and kept on doing so since then. BAIC delivered 77,355 units of the EC180 city car in 2017 with over 40,000 units being sold in Q4 2017 which is another record. BAIC’s EV sales are made through a dedicated sales network of 235 EV specific sales stores with another 65 to be rolled out shortly, making it the largest EV network in China. Read our report on the BAIC EC180 here.

The company announced in December 2017 that it would produce only pure electric vehicles from 2025 and only sell EVs in Beijing from 2020 onwards. BAIC is part-owned by Daimler who acquired a 12% shareholding in the Chinese Government owned auto manufacturer in 2013. BAIC has announced a further investment of 100 billion yuan (ca $15 billion) to support its new energy vehicle strategy. The company has been involved in the development of 46,000 public charging stations and 32,000 private charging points.

The company’s current success is based on eight years of innovation and development of its own EV technologies such as:

  • EDS – integrated powertrain,
  • PDU high voltage system for charging,
  • A high performance “Supermotor” electric motor.

BAIC won the 2017 China Automotive Industry Science and Technology Award, and its third generation EV technology meets the European EVDP2.0 standard which includes the international ETVS test standard and ETSM Safety Management System.

BAIC has international export aspiration and qualified for the TÜV Rheinland Certification, the Asian Quality Excellence Award and EU Export Certification allowing it entry into Asian and European markets. BAIC’s new EV brand, Arcfox, launched its first model recently, the lightweight Arcfox LITE previously known as the Arcfox 1. The personalizable Arcfox Lite, for which BAIC obtained an EU export certificate, with its innovative five-screen display is the first artificial intelligence pure electric car with its own social network.


While the record sales in 2017 can largely be attributed to one model, BAIC announced that it would launch five new models in 2018. The range will include the new BAIC EC+, BAIC EX, BAIC EU and BAIC ET SUV “Gemini” with a range of 400km. BAIC will also enter the delivery vehicle market with 407EV MPV.

BAIC is sure to boost the international EV market with its affordable range of mass-produced electric vehicles, providing necessary competition to shake traditional Western brands out of their slumber.


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