Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 15 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 15 2018



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Reuters reported that Tesla had issued a Request for Information (RFI) to suppliers for the production of the Model Y, a mass-produced crossover built on the Model 3 platform. Elon Musk indicated that the EV producer aims to eventually assemble one million units of the Model Y per year leading some commentators to believe that some of the production would take place at a different plant than the current base in Freemont, possibly China. According to the Reuters report, Tesla will start producing the Model Y late 2019.

Top-5-EV-news-week-15-2018 tesla-model-y


The 2018 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2018) is around the corner, and the excitement is brewing with some auto brands already teasing images and clues of new electric cars that will be launched at the event which is held from the 25th of April to the 5th of May 2018.

Great Wall Motors new luxury brand WEY will showcase it’s Level 5 autonomous electric SUV. Appart from an all-new connected system the WEY Concept SUV with its vertical brake light will also include 3D holographic video.


Nissan is to showcase three electric cars in Beijing this year. The Japanese automaker will show the new Nissan Leaf, and the IMx Kuro electric crossover concept first unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show to the Chinese public. The main attraction, however, will be the unveiling of a new EV developed for the Chinese market. Nissan’s press conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning, April 25.


GM’s Buick brand announced that it would showcase the new all-electric concept, the Enspire SUV, in Beijing a week after its launch during the Buick Brand Night on April 17 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang.

 Top 5 EV News electric Buic enspire suv


Daimler held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this month allowing us to gain some insights into the companies EV strategy which forms part of its second strategic area, named CASE (Connectivity, Autonomous, Shared mobility and Electric mobility). Daimler started down the path of transforming from an auto manufacturer to a mobility provider a decade ago and to do so recently partnered with BMW to combine their mobility services.

Zooming in on the German Group’s EV plans, Chairman of the Board, Dieter Zetsche said Mercedes-Benz would offer at least one electrified version in each segment by 2022, equating to 10 new EV models. smart is already completely electric in North America, and the changeover will take place in Europe by 2020. “At the same time, we are electrifying our vans, trucks, and buses. And we have many more plans – also going beyond our products,” added Zetsche.

Interviews following the AGM provided further insights into what can be expected. Autocar quoted Mercedes Head of Large Cars that the concept of the electric S-Class has already been developed and that production of the EQS will start early 2020.


The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT) announced this week that as much as 39 automakers need to buy NEV credits based on their 2017 sales, meaning they are penalized for not selling the minimum required amount of new energy vehicles. The report indicated that 99 automakers produced nearly 22 million passenger cars of which 37.4% needs to supplement their credits by purchasing from automakers exceeding their quotas. BYD produced 13.4% of the 1,690,000 NEV credits, followed by BAIC with 12.9%. 29 International brands created 106,000 NEV credits from importing new energy vehicles with Tesla taking the lion’s share with 85,000 credits. At the cost of RMB 1,000 per credit, a company such as Changhan Ford is to spend RMB 288 million ($42 million) to make up for its underperformance.

In related news, its seams the escalating trade war is resulting in some concessions from the Chinese President. Press Xi Jinping indicated this week that the country is looking at lowering its tariffs on imported vehicles by a huge margin. The biggest winners will be German and Japanese importers, not US-based companies, which mostly already produce most of their models locally. Tesla, however, is to benefit, announcements related to the trade war resulted in huge swings in the company’s share price the past couple of weeks. Rumors have also circulated that the foreign ownership of automakers which currently is limited to 50% will also be addressed.

Meanwhile, Chinese EV sales nearly doubled on that of February and now contributes nearly 2.6% of passenger vehicles sold. For a full breakdown read the following report.

China-EV-Sales-March 2018


Tencent and Changan entered into an agreement to form a joint venture company to produce ICVs (intelligent-connected vehicles), and it plans to launch the first model this year already.

In related news another large Chinese tech company, Baidu (or China’s Google as its known in the west) signed an MOU with Great Wall Motors collaborate in four major areas, namely intelligent-connected vehicles (ICVs), autonomous drive, ride sharing and big data. The MOU will be the two companies second collaboration, following the 2016 agreement where they joined forces on the development of map positioning technology. The latest MOU will see GWM’s i-Pilot self-driving system connect with Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving platform which will see GWM models with Level 3 autonomy on Chinese roads from 2020.


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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 15 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 15 2017

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Increased support by ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Ola are becoming a big impetus for EV sales globally. This week Uber launched a program to incentivize many of its drivers to switch to electric vehicles. The program, driven by Uber owned leasing company, Xchange Leasing targets leasing up to 10% of all vehicles in Oregon as electric vehicles by 2019. The program follows on similar efforts in other countries by the company. In London, Uber is building a charging network to support a fleet of 150 electric vehicles, in Cape Town and Johannesburg the company deployed a fleet of BMW i3s on its uberGreen platform. UberGreen projects are also piloted in Lisbon, Madrid, and Paris. Uber is estimated to employ over a million drivers globally via its platform, a target of 10% will add a 100,000 electric vehicles, or just under 5% of the current EV fleet.

Other ride-hailing companies, such as the Softbank backed Ola in India, started to include electric vehicles in their business models. Ola CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal last week announced a pilot project for a large-scale rollout of electric vehicles. Ola’s pilot project includes thousands of EVs and a charging network. An indication of the magnitude of the project can be gleaned from a statement by Softbank Chairman, Masayoshi Son, made in December 2016, saying that Ola will roll out a million EVs over a five year period.


Various states in the USA had recently levied taxes or fees on electric vehicle owners, and more are expected to follow. The trend, which some claim to be a bid to recover investments in electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure, or due to pressure from lobby groups opposing electric vehicles. The most recent, and most surprising have been California, which will start levying a fee on electric car owners from 2020. Almost 50% of all electric vehicles in the USA is sold in California, and the state has been a big promoter for the adoption of the technology. The fee will consist of a $100 registration charge and an annual tax based on the value of the vehicle.

The fee, which the California legislature says is to fill the gap it would lose from lost gasoline taxes, in our opinion will not have a negative impact on EV sales when it is introduced in 2020. By the turn of the decade, EV prices will be very affordable, and the total cost of ownership is expected to remain below that of combustion vehicles.


The New York Auto Show, from 14 April to 23  April, showcases all 30 electric vehicle models available in the state. Electric vehicles at the new York Auto Show 2017 includes the Plug-in Honda Clarity, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Concept, and the Lucid Air, a luxury sedan which achieved an eye-watering 217mph on a recent test run.
New York recently announced a $2,000 rebate, totaling $55 million, as part of a $70 million incentive by Mayor Cuomo tp promote the adoption of electric vehicles. The state targets a goal of 40% emission reduction by 2030.

The BMW i3 was awarded the title as the World’s Best Urban Car, beating the Citroen C# and Suzuki Ignis.


The Shanghai Auto Show starts this week on the 21st and will run until the 28th of April. Electric vehicles at the show will include the Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e, the Skoda Vision E-SUV Coupe, Buick Velite 5 PHEV which is based on the Bolt, the NIO EVE autonomous vision by NextEV, SAIC Roewe i6 compact, VW Concept SUV, and the Hybrid Kinetic H600. Also at the Shanghai Auto Show would be Isreali and Chery JV company Qoros, which will unveil the Qoros Model K-EV, built on the same hybrid electric powertrain as the Koenigsegg Regera supercar. Do you also find that the naming of the model is eerily similar to that of Tesla?

Volvo is also expected to unveil the Volvo XC40 at the Shanghai Auto Show, its latest PHEV SUV, which aims to compete with the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1.Volvo this week announced that it will produce its first electric vehicle in China, ready for the international market by 2019. Volvo is owned by Chinese automaker Geely since its acquisition from Ford in 2010. Geely last year launched a new brand, Lynk & Co, and accompanying model the Lynk & Co 01 SUV PHEV. Volvo will manufacture its new electric vehicle at the same plant as the Lynk & Co 01 SUV in southeast China. Volvo 90 and 60 series are also manufactured in China.


Apple joined the growing number of companies authorized to test autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads. Tech companies have recently encroached on automakers territory, with 11 of the 21 companies on the list of permit holders authorized by the California DMV now being from the sector. Uber, a tech company, lost its permit in February 2017.

According to the permit Apple, based in Paulo Alto, is allowed to test three 2015 Lexus RX450h vehicles on public roads. According to the rules of the autonomous testing program, each vehicle should have two drivers, usually engineers, at all times in the vehicle.

It is not yet clear what Apple’s self-driving strategy is, news over the last two years have been conflicting, ranging from the company either following the Google route of not building car’s but only systems to the Tesla route, building an Apple iCar. The world’s most valuable tech company tagged its self-driving efforts as Project Titan.

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