Off-course it is expected when Arnold Schwarzenegger buys an electric vehicle it will not be a Chevy Bolt, but damn the man knows how to get what he wants. The movie star turned politician unveiled his converted Mercedes Galant Wagen in Austria recently. The Kriesel converted G-Wagen SUV sports an 80kWh battery pack producing 482hp which accelerates the vehicle from 0 – 60mph in 5.6 seconds with an 185-mile range (296km).
The Chinese-owned NEVS, who acquired SAAB technology after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, announced this week that it received approval for its 200,000 unit plant in Tianjin. Earlier in 2015, the company declared that the Chinese Aerospace entity, Volinco, signed an intention to acquire 20,000 SAAB 9-3 sedans for its staff, in a transaction worth around $1 billion. The City of Tianjin is also a shareholder in National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS).
Three Californian utilities put forward a $1 billion proposal to electrify the State’s transport system in a bid to reduce pollution and lower the barriers to entry for electric vehicles. The three utilities, Southern California Edison, PG&E, and SDG&E, expects the cost to be carried by customers. The proposals vary from supercharging networks to rebates and electrification projects for delivery vehicles.
Big Oil is noticing the rise of electric vehicles and is preparing themselves to profit from the sector in a move that will help the electric vehicle snowball accelerate. The Financial Times this week reported that Shell would introduce fast charging stations at various European petrol stations, while Total is similarly studying the viability of including charging stations. It seems downstream oil business has changed their tune from being deniers in 2016 to the adage of “if you can’t beat them join them.”
A barrier to the electric vehicle sector has long been auto dealers and one reason why Tesla chose a direct selling model. Now Audi, a Volkswagen company, and automaker who is also betting its future on electric vehicles told dealers to get behind the technology. Auto dealers are blocking the technology because less moving parts will lead to fewer service calls, taking away annuity income. The President of Audi America, in his keynote address to the National Automobile Dealers Association, told the audience that the industry would be entirely electric in 10 years and they have to change their business models to remain relevant.