Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 19 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 19 2018

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – MARKETING EFFORTS FOR THE EQC UPS A GEAR

The marketing efforts for the 2019 launch of the Mercedes EQC notched up a gear this week with the release of “Spy” images. Mercedes announced that winter testing for the EQC would start in January 2019 in Sweden followed by high-temperature testing in Southern Europe in the summer. The company also released videos of testing of the EQC in the Black Forest, Germany.

Top 5 EV News week 19 2018

TOP EV NEWS #2 – AUDI EV RELEASE DATES

AUDI announced that it would host the world premiere of the much anticipated Audi e-tron SUV on the 30th of August this year at the Audi Summit in Brussels. The VW company made the announcement to shareholders at its 129th Annual General Meeting in Ingolstadt while explaining the company’s transformation after the diesel gate fiasco. Audi’s Board of Management informed shareholders that one of the objectives of its Action and Transformation Plan is to sell 800,000 electrified vehicles per annum by 2025 from 20 electrified models. The company will expand its current portfolio to include plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in each model range by 2025. Audi also aims to generate €1 billion through providing digital services via the myAudi customer portal by the year 2025. The E-tron Quattro EV SUV will be the first to provide the service whereby customers can book various functions online via the service. The Audi Quattro will be equipped with a 150kW fast charge system and have a range of 400km (250mi) in WLTP driving cycle. Not only will the Quatro E-tron be a zero-emission vehicle, but it will also be the first premium car to be produced in a certified CO2-neutral high-volume production facility. AUDI plans to transform all its production sites worldwide CO2 neutral by 2030.

The Management Board plans to invest €40 billion to support the company’s shift to e-mobility, self-driving, and digitization to develop products such as the AUDI Aicon presented the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2017. AUDI this week announced that the pilot program for the AUDI AICON A-EV would commence in 2021. The second EV following on the Quattro e-tron will be the Audi e-tron Sportback in 2019, followed by the Audi e-tron GT from Audi Sport and an electric model in the premium compact segment in 2020. The premium VW brands, Audi and Porsche, are working together to implement the premium-architecture electrification for mid-range, full-size and luxury-class electric cars.

Audi-Aicon-Concept-AEV

AUDI Aicon Concept A-EV

TOP EV NEWS #3 – NEW NISSAN LEAF WINS ANOTHER AWARD

The Nissan Leaf keeps raking in the awards, winning yet another Top EV Award, in this case, awarded by British DieselCar and EcoCar awards. The Nissan Leaf also came out tops at the World Car Awards, receiving the “2018 World Green Car” award. The new Nissan Leaf started its winning spree in November 2017 receiving two honors in the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Best of Innovation awards.

  • CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology
  • CES honoree for Tech for a Better World.

Both EcoCar and CES sited the 2018 Nissan Leaf’s ProPILOT (known as ProPILOT Assist in North America), bi-directional charging and e-Pedal technologies.

The Leaf EV is the first EV to be tested against the Euro NCAP’s extended safety protocols making it also the first car to achieve the maximum 5-star rating.

Nissan recently delivered 100 2018 Nissan Leaf’s to the City of Montreal. The 2018 Nissan Leaf will soon be launched in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Uruguay.

Top 5 ev news week 19 2018 Nissan-Leaf-wins-award

In related news, the Nissan Renault alliance partners signed a supply agreement with the Chinese battery maker, CATL, to supply them with electric car batteries for the new Nissan Sylphy, which is exclusively for the Chinese market, and the Renault Kangoo Z.E. MPV van. CATL is one of the worlds biggest battery makers and will command nearly 7.5% of all battery production by 2020 with the completion of its 24GWh plant.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – ZOTYE TO STOP PRODUCING EVs

I reported last week on the EV JV between FORD and Zotye, one of the top-selling EV brands in China during 2016. Zotye announced this week that it would stop producing electric vehicles, shifting all the EV business to the new Ford JV company. Zotye will from now on only focus its EV related efforts to R&D, manufacturing, and marketing of EV components. It was not immediately clear if existing models such as the Zotye SR7 Compact SUV, E20 and Cloud 100 will be moved to the JV or discontinued. Zotye sold over 70,000 EV between 2016 and 2017 but sales tapered off with the company recording less than 3,000 units sold for the first three months of 2018. The slide can be attributed to the company not keeping track with competitors moving into the A0 class segment, once dominated by Zotye.

In related news, FORD seems to be victim number one of the escalating trade war between China and the USA. The automaker reported a sales drop of 26% YoY as its vehicle shipments are delayed in Chinese ports. The 26% figure is across all of FORD’s JVs while Changan Ford reported the highest slide, 38%. Ford’s lack of electric vehicles can partly be attributed to the loss in market share as passenger sedan sales dropped on a month-on-month basis in China for the second consecutive month while EV sales continue to expand.

BYD was also victim to changing EV regulation as the company reported an 83% slide in profits due to a cut in government subsidies to plug-in electric vehicles.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – ASTON MARTIN TO UNVEIL EV SUV IN 2021

Aston Martin announced the creation of its new luxury EV brand, Lagonda, during the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year with the unveiling of its Vision Concept model. The British automaker provided further insight into the new brand this week announcing that the first car from the stable would be an electric Luxury SUV, pictured below, to be unveiled in 2021. Aston Martin added that the Lagonda SUV EV would be built around near-future technologies including an advanced battery system leading one to speculate that the Lagonda SUV will use a solid state battery. The Lagonda SUV is expected to reach the market in 2022.

Lagonda-SUV-Press-Release-week-19

TOP EV NEWS – AUTONOMOUS NEWS FROM PAST WEEK

The ride-hailing start-up from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab announced that it would start the first on-demand self-driving transportation service in the city of Frisco, Texas, following in Waymo’s footsteps which rolled out its service in Arizona. The California-based Drive.ai and Frisco Transport Management Association (FTMA) will co-operate on a pilot project to offer rides to 10,000 people in a geofenced area of the city. The pilot will run for six months, commencing with two fixed drop-off and pick-up locations.

Top 5 autonomous news week 19 2018

The State of Ohio Autonomous vehicle testing program announced last year commenced this week.

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – FORD SHIFTS A THIRD OF BUDGET TO EVs 

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.

Top-5-ev-news-week-18-2018-ford-and-zotye

TOP EV NEWS #2 – PSA PLANS TO MAKE DS AN EV ONLY BRAND

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.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – AFRICA TO GET SECOND EV ASSEMBLY LINE 

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.

top-5-EV-News-Joule-EV

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.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – VW TARGETS CHINA IN A BIG WAY

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.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – KIA NIRO EV UNVEILED

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.

KIA-NIRO-EV-Model-Top-5-EV-news-week-18

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 45 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – BMW to unveil new electric vehicle in Los Angeles

BMW announced the world premiere of a new electric vehicle during the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. The German automaker committed to bringing 12 pure electric vehicles and 13 PHEV to market by 2025. The press conference for the unveiling will be on the 29th of November at 8:50 AM. The company gave no further information on the new vehicle. BMW will also unveil the BMW i-Vision Dynamics Concept, the Mini Concept and the new BMW i3S to the US market.

The BMW i-Vision is a pure-electric four-door Gran Coupe with a range of 373 miles and a top speed of 120 mph. The Mini Electric Concept which would pave the way for the production model expected by 2019. The BMW i3S, a sportier interpretation of the BMW i3 would be available in the US market after the launch in November. Although there is talk of a bigger 120Ah battery for longer range the BMW i3S launched in November 2017 will still have the 94Ah battery of the current BMW i3 but more power through its 184hp electric motor delivering 199lb-ft of torque. The greater power of the BMW i3S will see it accelerate from 0 – 60mph in 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 100mph.

BMW-mini-Concept-and-BMW-i-Vision-Dynamics-Concept

TOP EV NEWS #2 – Lamborgini Terzo Millennio unveiled

Last week Lamborghini of the VW Group teased a picture of its exciting vision vehicle prior to its launch on the 7th of November. The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio, packed with space age was unveiled with its development partner MIT.

LAMBORGHINI-terzo-meillennio

The Terzo Millennio is an electric super sports car showcasing radical innovative energy storage and lightweight materials of the future. Lamborghini is set to develop a supercapacitor to bridge the gap with today’s batteries, allowing for the improved energy and power densities required by a super sports car. Nanomaterial technology will be used to diffuse nano-charges in CFK panels to store electric energy and form the body and structure of the car, saving weight. The material used on the body will also be able to monitor its own health so it can detect cracks in the carbon fiber structure. The powertrain would be in-wheel electric motors built on a system made only of wires.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – Ford and Zotye formalizes partnership

In Week 40 Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett unpacked his plans to get the US carmaker back on track after an investor revolt led to his predecessor’s replacement. One of the pillars of his plan was leveraging partnerships, in particular with Zotye to develop a new line of low-cost all-electric passenger vehicles in China. This Week the two companies signed a definitive JV agreement for the formation of Zotye Ford Automobile Co. Ltd., a 50/50 partnership that will produce stylish yet affordable electric vehicles for the Chinese market. Zotye Ford is yet to announce the new brand for the JV’s strategy. The joint venture will require an initial investment of 5 billion RMB (~$750 million) which will be utilized to establish a manufacturing facility in Zhejiang Province. The JV is Ford’s 3rd in China and will include exploring innovative and connected mobility services. Ford’s other Chinese JV’s are with Changan and JMC.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – India to follow the world’s biggest EV tender with an even bigger tender in 2018

In September the Indian Government’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) awarded the world’s biggest EV tender of 10,000 EVs to Tata Motors. India’s other big carmaker, Mahindra & Mahindra, got a concession allocation to deliver 3,000 of the total 10,000 units. The tender to replace the Indian Government’s fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles over the next four years is to kickstart the Indian EV sector to reach its ambitious goal to get the country off fossil fuels and 100% EV based by 2030. Tata will supply its Tigo EV, and Mahindra is expected to include its KUV100 Crossover EV which is expected in 2018. According to the Financial Express sources, this week said that the EESL is preparing a second even bigger tender of 20,000 vehicles early in 2018. Speculation is that international EV manufacturers could get a slice of the pie to further develop the Indian EV sector through this new tender. The value of the tender is expected to be in the region of Rs2,300 crore (~$350 million), which equate to $17,500 per vehicle.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – Autonomous news of the past week

After eight years of developing autonomous driving systems, Waymo entered a new chapter in the race to bring the first self-driving vehicle to market by starting the testing of driverless cars without safety drivers at the wheel. The testing is conducted on public roads in Phoenix, Arizona with a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans and follows relaxation of the autonomous testing rules by the authorities in October. According to Waymo through a post on Medium, the company will also invite members of the public to take part in the testing in the next few months.

Siemens and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are conducting the company’s first e-highway demonstration in the USA on a stretch of road between Long Beach and Los Angeles. According to the company, the cost of the project amounted to $13.4 million.

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