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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Summary of USA EV Sales H1 2017

Summary of USA EV Sales H1 2017

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Summary of USA EV Sales H1 2017

We look at the Top brands, Best and Worst Models and how the battle between battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technologies play out in the summary of USA EV Sales H1 2017.

The highlights for USA electric car sales in H1 2017 was:

  • USA EV Sales grew 39% Year-on-Year or by more than 25,000 units over the same period in 2016;
  • BEV outsold PHEV by a marginal 6.7% while having fewer models than plug-in hybrids;
  • Ten new models, most of them PHEV’s, were available to consumers in this quarter compared to the same period in 2016;
  • We saw no changes in the Top 3 EV Brands in the USA.

USA-first half 2017 ev sales per Month-Chart

The USA Top Electric Vehicle Brands 2017 H1


USA-H1-ev Brands

There are no surprises in the Top 3 EV brands with Tesla holding on to its lead over GM due to a 24% rise in Tesla Model X sales. GM could not dethrone Tesla even with a new model, the mass-market Chevrolet Bolt EV up its sleeve. Improved sales in the 2nd Quarter from the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi helped the brand retain its third position fighting off the strong performance of Toyota with the new Toyota Prius which was placed third at the end of the first quarter.

Most brands showed improved sales growth over the first half of the year with only Ford, Volvo, and Mitsubishi showing declining sales. The Volkswagen Group showed a declining trend as the year progressed and mustered the lowest growth. The declining fortunes of the German automaker can be attributed to the Volkswagen e-Golf not being able to compete on range with the new mass-market Chevrolet Bolt being sold in the same price bracket. Chrysler showed the highest growth after Toyota buoyed by the new Chrysler Pacifica and great specials on its compliance car, the Fiat 500e. The results might have been better for the US automaker, but the Chrysler Pacifica launch was delayed and then impacted by recalls and plant closure due to battery problems.

The USA Top Electric Vehicle Models 2017 H1

Most of the existing models showed growth lower than the overall growth due to the big number of new models to the market. Surprisingly the Ford Focus and Fiat pure electric models outperformed the market showing that the public is becoming more comfortable with range issues and the continuously improving charging infrastructure is starting to have and effect on top of the financial incentives making EVs appealing.



The USA Worst Electric Vehicle Models 2017 H1

European plug-in vehicles were the biggest losers in this half of 2017 with a number of the luxury PHEV models losing big. Volvo and BMW saw some of their relatively new models losing steam. Both the BMW x5 xDrive and Volvo XC90 T8, released in 2016, lost market share in favor of the Tesla Model X. The Tesla Model S sales have flatlined although it remained the top selling BEV model. It will be interesting to see how the new Daimler Smart ForTwo ED fares in the second half of 2017. The German automaker is relaunching the brand as electric only in the USA and Canada from this summer and will offer a slightly improved model at a marginally reduced $23,800 starting price before incentives.



The battle between BEV and PHEV models

Battery electric vehicles are still maintaining its lead over plug-in hybrids albeit at a lower margin. BEVs took six positions in the Top 10 EV sales for the USA in the first half of 2017. The ever increasing number of plug-in models benefits the technology in the short term as it competes with only a handful of pure electric models. The Plug-in hybrid category benefited mostly from the release of the new Toyota Prius and to a lesser extend the Chrysler Pacifica. The Tesla Models X and S constitute nearly 44% of all BEV models showing the company’s dominance in the sector. The commanding position will improve even more with the release of the Model 3 in the second half of 2017 which might add about 40,000 units depending on the production ramp-up. The release of the Tesla Model 3 and new Nissan Leaf, expected by the end of the year, should help pure electric vehicles outperform the more dirty plug-in hybrids in the second half.


Detailed breakdown of all electric vehicles sold in the USA for the first half of 2017

2017 H1 Tech Brand Model Units 2016 H1 Change Growth 1 EV TESLA Tesla Model S 11,195 1 0 -1% 2 PHEV CHEVROLET Chevrolet Volt 10,932 2 0 11% 3 PHEV TOYOTA Toyota Prius PHEV 9,692 25 22 22976% 4 EV TESLA Tesla Model X 8,945 4 0 24% 5 EV CHEVROLET Chevrolet Bolt 7,592 0 NEW 6 EV NISSAN Nissan Leaf 7,248 5 -1 25% 7 PHEV FORD Ford Fusion Energi 5,057 3 -4 -30% 8 PHEV FORD Ford C-Max Energi 4,409 6 -2 37% 9 EV CHRYSLER Fiat 500e 3,828 9 0 81% 10 EV BMW BMW i3 2,992 7 -3 4% 11 PHEV BMW BMW x5 xDrive40e 2,146 8 -3 -17% 12 PHEV AUDI Audi A3 e-tron 2,120 10 -2 9% 13 EV VW Volkswagen e-Golf 1,887 12 -1 30% 14 PHEV BMW BMW 330e 1,869 23 9 1484% 15 PHEV HYUNDAI Hyundai Sonata PHEV 1,415 13 -2 4% 16 PHEV CHRYSLER Chrysler Pacifica PHEV 1,407 0 NEW 17 EV FORD Ford Focus Electric 1,053 19 2 136% 18 PHEV PORSCHE Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid 978 14 -4 -16% 19 EV KIA Kia Soul EV 836 17 -2 36% 20 PHEV VOLVO Volvo XC90 T8 775 15 -5 -23% 21 PHEV DAIMLER Mercedes S550 PHEV 411 24 3 455% 22 PHEV BMW BMW 530e 399 0 NEW 23 PHEV KIA Kia Optima PHEV 390 0 NEW 24 EV DAIMLER Mercedes B250e 317 21 -3 2% 25 PHEV BMW BMW 740e 303 0 NEW 26 PHEV DAIMLER Mercedes C350e 288 0 NEW 27 PHEV DAIMLER Mercedes GLE 550e 268 27 0 1311% 28 PHEV BMW BMW i8 220 16 -12 -65% 29 EV HYUNDAI Hyundai Ioniq Electric 157 0 NEW 30 EV DAIMLER Smart ForTwo ED 57 20 -10 -84% 31 PHEV GM Cadillac CT6 PHV 42 0 NEW 32 PHEV GM Cadillac ELR 19 18 -14 -96% 33 EV CHEVROLET Chevrolet Spark EV 13 11 -22 -99% 34 PHEV BMW Mini Countryman PHEV 10 NEW 35 PHEV PORSCHE Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid 9 22 -13 -94% 36 EV MITSUBISHI Mitsubishi i-MiEV 6 26 -9 -70%

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

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