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.

Lucid Air announces competitive pricing

Lucid Air announces competitive pricing

Lucid Air announces competitive pricing

One of the few company’s being called a Tesla killer with a shot at it (however distant), the San Francisco-based Lucid Motors, today announced the pricing for its base model.

The base price for the Lucid Air will be $60,000 before Federal ($7,500) and State incentives, which compares extremely well with luxury ICE and PHEV vehicles such as Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes and delivers a superior performance being a fully electric vehicle. Some in the media billed the Lucid Air a Tesla Killer, much like Faraday Future also claimed, although FF’s claim seems very much like hot air then walking the talk. At least Lucid Motors management, beginnings, and the business plan seem much more grounded, and delivering an electric vehicle with a range of 240 miles below the Model S 60 which start at $68,000 for 218 miles seems like an aggressive shot across the bow. Lucid Air started off as Atieva, a developer of battery systems for electric vehicles.

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The features of the base model are listed as:

  • 400 horsepower;
  • Rear Wheel Drive;
  • Autonomous Drive ready, although no indication of the ability itself;
  • 32 cubic feet storage from two trunks;
  • 12-Way front seats;
  • Multi-lens LED headlights;
  • Four screens, three with interactive touch surfaces;
  • 5-seat configuration;
  • Ten advanced airbags;
  • Aluminum roof;
  • 19-inch wheels;
  • Ten speaker audio system;
  • over the software updates, similar to what Tesla offers.

The Lucid Air will be available in a number of options, all the way to what was presented in its Alpha show car, allowing it to compete in the large luxury car segment. The complete package will cost north of $100,000 and although final options were not released the company provided a glimpse on some of them, being:

  • 315 mile and 400-mile battery options;
  • All wheel drive twin motor configurations up to 1,000 horsepower;
  • Fully active suspension;
  • Glass canopy roof;
  • Rear executive seats with a 55 degrees recline;
  • 22-way front seats with massaging, heating, ventilation and dynamic bolsters;
  • 21-inch wheels;
  • 29-speaker audio system;
  • expanded leather trim.

The first 255 cars of the line will be Launch Edition vehicles, priced at over $100,000 and will also have unique colors and badging, signifying their special nature. 

It will take a lot to be a Tesla Killer in our viewpoint, but at least Lucid Air provides the consumer more options. No indication of a launch date has been provided, but interested customers can reserve a base model at $2,500 and the Launch Edition at $25,500 on the company’s website.