NextEV gets support for its autonomous car the NIO EVE

NextEV gets support for its autonomous car the NIO EVE

NextEV gets support for its autonomous car the NIO EVE in the same week in which a funding crisis ankle taped another aspirational EV startup from China, Faraday Future, backed by a Chinese internet company, LeEcoBaidu Inc, the Chinese search engine this week led an investment round estimated at $600 million into NextEV. NextEV, a global startup as it calls itself, with offices in China, Germany, UK and the USA launched it’s auto brand NIO, in December 2016 in London. NextEV is also one of the first participants of the Formula E franchise held in various cities around the world to promote electric vehicles. NextEV has its roots in racing, founded in 2004 by the Chinese Minister of Sports with the intent to be a Chinese contender in A1 Grand Prix. The NextEV TCR team eventually ended up being one of the first teams to compete in Formula E, winning the driver’s title in the first season but came last in the second season. The exposure nonetheless is a good testing ground for technologies, gaining experience and marketing. NextEV’s Formula E team lies at a respectable fourth position in the overall team standings after the third round in the third season, held in Buenos Aires Argentina during February 2017.

NIO unveiled its autonomous vision, to be released in the USA in 2020, the NIO EVE, at a world premiere event during the SXSW 2017 in Austin Texas. The NIO EVE is a Level 4 Automated electric vehicle for the US market, anticipated for release in 2020. NextEV partnered with MobilEye, recently acquired by Intel, NVIDIA and NXP Semiconductors to develop its autonomous vehicle. Along with the release of the NIO EVE, U.S. CEO Padmasree Warrior showed a video of the NIO EP9 completing the first historical feat of racing around the America‘s Track in Austin Texas without a driver, reaching a top speed of 160mph. The vehicle also broke a lap record with a driver.

Baidu, looking for new growth areas, created a $3 billion investment fund, Baidu Capital, found the fast-growing electric vehicle market attractive at a time when the vehicle and the internet are moving closer to each other. NextEV raised $500 million in 2016 from investors such as Tencent, who is also invested in Future Mobility, Hillhouse Capital, who also invested in UBER,  Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital.

Judging from the interest in NextEV‘s offering from investors consumers can certainly look forward to being wowed by NextEV while it pushes the boundaries, not being tied to the red tape associated with most Big Auto companies.

Read more on the Chinese internet billionaires investing in the fast-growing electric vehicle market at the following link.

 

 

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 11 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 11 2017

ONE

Detractors of EV startups might claim press releases for intentional models potentially available two to three years down the line, such as the FF91, Lucid Air and lately the NIO EVE, means nothing until they are brought to production. But hell man, isn’t it just inspirational to see these companies trying to push the envelope of imagination, technology, risk financing and the stale products beautified by big auto’s marketing departments? It makes the heart swell and brings tears to your eyes (at least mine). This week at its world premiere event at the SXSW event Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 11 2017in Austin Texas NextEV unveiled its vision for its Level 4 Automated NIO EVE for the USA market in 2020. The brain and heart behind the NIO EVE are Nomi, the driver companion through autonomy and artificial intelligence. NIO USA partnered with Mobileye, NVIDIA, and NXP to bring its vision to life.

Along with the release of the NIO EVE, U.S. CEO Padmasree Warrior showed a video of the NIO EP9 completing the first historical feat of racing around the America‘s Track in Austin Texas without a driver, reaching a top speed of 160mph. The vehicle also broke a lap record with a driver.

The release was not without its controversy as competitor; Faraday Future claims the design stole from its own FF91 released at the CES 2017 in Las Vegas earlier the year.

TWO

Lucid Motors this week placed a shot across the bow of luxury automakers such as Volvo, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and even Tesla by announcing the pricing for the Lucid Air. The San-Francisco based startup introduced a starting price for the base model at $60,000 before Federal and State incentives. Read wattEV2Buy’s blog post on the press release to see what is included in the competitive pricing.

THREE

President Donald Trump may be a good thing for electric vehicles. In the same week as the President acted to review the emission standards set by the EPA on automakers, as a sign of defiance as much as 30 US cities jointly asked automakers indications on providing 114,000 electric vehicles. Bloomberg reported that the move, coordinated by Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, requested vehicles which included police cars, street sweepers, and trash haulers to prove the demand for EV’s. The move by President Trump was part an election promise and part a request by Big Auto to slow the march of electric vehicles which caught them unawares. Big Auto in a letter to President Trump, claimed the demand for electric vehicles were not sufficient enough to justify the EPA emission standard. It has become a national past time to defy the new President. wattEV2Buy first reported on the attack on electric vehicles in a blog post, called controversial by some, on the 1st of March.

FOUR

Intel acquired the Israeli autopilot company, Mobileye for an incredible $15.3 billion. Mobileye partnered with Tesla on its first generation Autopilot but had a very public fallout round about the time of the first fatal crash in a Tesla Model S using Autopilot. At the time the CEO of Mobileye criticized Elon Musk for being too aggressive with the implementation of autonomous systems.

FIVE

Tesla retires its Model S P60 while the company raises $1.4billion to fund the manufacturing of the Model 3. Tesla announced this week that it would retire the 60kWh battery and upgrade all existing orders to the 75kWh model. Filings with the SEC showed the capital raising for the Tesla Model 3 was done through a stock sale for $350 million at a price of $262 per share. The balance of $850 million was raised through the issue of convertible notes.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 10 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 10 2017

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ONE

Bloomberg printed an article this week named “The Electric Car Rush Started Too Early” following BMW‘s release of its financial statements, showing a profit margin of only 8.9%, which was the lowest since 2010.  The reason for the pressure on some automakers bottom line is the heavy investment required in research and development for the strategy shift towards new mobility trends, including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, connected (focus on secure), and shared mobility options. In BMWs case, the investment so far is $4.3 billion. The article also criticized EV’s real environmental cost by the hand of a graph (below) from the website shrinkthatfootprint.com showing that EV’s carbon emissions, when charged from coal, can be as much as four times higher than when charged from green sources such as hydro and other renewables.

TWO

Next EV‘s CEO announced this week that it plans to commercially launch an affordable Level 4 Autonomous electric vehicle in the USA by 2020. The model will be released under the company’s newly minted NIO brand. NIO is partnering with Israeli Mobileeye (camera-based autonomous systems), Nvidia (AI chip) and NXP semiconductors on the autonomous system.

THREE

The Mercedes parent, Daimler AG invested in ChargePoint, the operator of a network of charging stations. The investment is in line with the German automakers push into electric vehicles.

Another significant investment this week was by the Shanghai Listed Far East Smarter Energy Group in the UK based Detroit Electric. The investment totaling £1.5 billion will eventually lead to the creation of 400 jobs at the company’s Leamington Spa facility for the production of its SP:01 EV.

FOUR

Although light on new commercial electric vehicles the Geneva Motor Show this week offered some great eye candy in the form of new concept vehicles, which included:

Nissan announced the unveiling of the new version of its popular Leaf EV expected in September, with commercial sales shortly after that. The Leaf is expected to have a range of 200 miles and some autonomous driving ability through its ProPilot system.

Techrules from China unveiled their four wheels three seater production sportscar, the Techrules REn, which features range extender technology.

FIVE

On the regulatory front. In the east a ministerial meeting was called in India, chaired by the finance ministry to setting standards for the country’s electric vehicle future. In the west, the British Budget failed to give anything new to the electric vehicle sector. Some market observers expected guidance on emissions and carbon taxes. Chancellor Hammond did, however, confirm £270 for EV’s AI and robotics.

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