Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 31 2017
TOP EV NEWS #1 – USA EV SALES FOR JULY
USA EV sales for July again improved on a year over year basis, show a 17% growth over July 2016 and standing at 35% higher for the year to date despite slumping 9% from June 2017. The drop in sales from June can be attributed to seasonal factors as 2017 and 2016 sales trends has been a carbon copy thus far. Pure electric vehicles are still the better seller, mainly due to Tesla, which contributes around 46% of all BEV sales, but plug-in hybrids are gaining on as more models have been introduced over the comparison period. By July 2016 BEVs were outselling PHEVs by 13% while by July 2017 BEVs only commanded a lead of 7.5%. The top 3 brands are unchanged but Tesla’s lead has shrunk as the Chevrolet Bolt and Volt sales grew. Ford remained at the third position but have seen its sales slipping about 6.5%.
We provide detailed tables below showing the brand, overall sales, and technology categories. We have created new pages on wattev2buy providing infographics ranking EVs range and price in the USA, UK and EU and also ranking EVs by efficiency in the USA. Please peruse share and comment.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – TOYOTA AND MAZDA JV PLANS EV PLANT IN USA
Toyota and Mazda this week announced that they would jointly develop a $1.6bln plant to produce Corolla and Mazda SUV EVs by 2021. The plant will have a capacity of 300,000 units per annum and create 4,000 US jobs. The move is in answer to the following factors:
- President D. Trump’s call for US manufacturing jobs;
- Smaller automakers like Mazda, Suzuki and Subaru not having the capital to go it alone in the EV race;
- Providing long range EVs to compete in the EV sector as Toyota moves to exit internal combustion (ICE) production by 2050.
The JV includes Toyota taking a 5% stake in Mazda, while Mazda will acquire a 0.25% share in Toyota.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – MERCEDES DROPS B250 ED
Mercedes announced that it would phase out its first generation electric vehicle, the B250 ED which went on sale in 2013. Mercedes will not replace the B250 ED assembled at the Rastatt plant in Germany as it focuses on preparing for the EQ EV series but will continue selling the diesel and petrol versions in Europe but not the USA. The B250 ED, which has not seen an upgrade since its launch has been lagging in sales against its peers such as the BMW i3.
I related news Daimler announced that it would start production of the worlds first light duty truck series, the Fuso eCanter light-duty electric truck, in Europe. The eCanter has been in the works since 2010 with pilot testing in Lisbon since 2014. Fuso is a brand of Daimler Trucks Asia and produced at a plant in Tramagal, Portugal.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – PROTERA BUILDS EV BUS PLANT IN CA.
US-based start-up heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Proterra has opened a new electric bus plant in Los Angeles, California with a capacity of 400 electric buses per annum. The plant, at the cost of $20 million is the strat-ups second after its plant in Greenville, South Carolina. The plant was opened by California Governor Jerry Brown. Protera, led by several former Tesla personnel, growth is being driven by municipal and regional transit agencies with mandates to replace aging diesel and natural gas buses with electric models.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – CHINESE SMARTPHONE GIANT PARTNERS WITH BAIC
Xiaomi Inc., the world’s 5th largest smartphone maker, has entered into a strategic partnership with Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC) to develop autonomous driving technologies. BAIC, a leader in EV development in China and tech company Xiaomi, are not the first courtships between the tech and automotive industries to gain an edge as in a market where the lines between the sectors are getting more blurred by the day. Companies such as SAIC Roewe and Alibaba are already on their way with developing the first internet connected cars. Xiaomi has been toying with self-driving tech since 2014 as the company registered various patents related to autonomous vehicles, there were even early rumors and spy shots a Xiaomi car which the company denied.
In related news, BAIC has completed an upgrade to its EV production capacity allowing the company now to produce 300,000 EVs per annum.