Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 30 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 30 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – FIVE NEW EVs LAUNCHED THIS WEEK

This week saw the launch of five new entrants to the electric vehicle market, three of which go on sale in the coming month and two available on pre-order.

The most anticipated release is, of course, that of the Tesla Model 3, which was held on Friday the 28th of July when the first 30 cars were handed over to their owners. The Tesla Model 3 is already sold out for the next year as over 400,000 people have placed the $1000 deposit for the pre-order. Tesla announced the specification and price of the Tesla Model 3 at Friday’s event. The mass-market EV is available in a standard and long range version, the standard with a range of 220 miles priced at $35,000 (before incentives) and a long range version for $9,000 more extending the range to 310 miles. A fully loaded Model 3 with all the bells and whistles will set you back around $60,000 before incentives. See the full spec-sheet here.

This week also saw the release of the first fully electric Sports Utility Truck, the Bollinger B1. The B1 is available on pre-order, but no price has been set for the no-nonsense all-electric SUT.

A German start-up Sono Motors unveiled its Solar EV, the Sion. The Sion has a range of  250km plus integrated solar that will provide a further 30km per day. The Sion is available for pre-order starting at €500 but only expected for release in 2019. The price for the Sion is set at €16,000 and excludes the battery which could either be leased or purchased at present value price of around €4,000. Production of the Sion is funded through a crowd funding campaign commencing on the 18th of August 2017 with test-drive events around Europe through to October 2017 to be held in 11 cities in 7 countries.

In China, the SAIC / GM / Wuling joint venture, Baojun launched its first electric vehicle, the Smart look-alike Baojun E100 city car. GAC also released its much anticipated GAC GE3 SUV BEV. Both vehicles will go on sale in August. The Baojun will sell for CNY35,800 ($5,300) and the GAC GE3 starting at CNY 150,000 ($22,200).

In related news, FIAT Chrysler and (former) EV naysayer, Sergio Marchionne, this week announced during an Investor event that all cars of its luxury marque Maserati would be electrified post-2019. Mr. Marchionne went further stating that half of Fiat Chrysler’s lineup, including Alfa Romeo, will be electric from 2022. The strategy will be formulated over the next year as the company enters its 3rd five-year plan in 2019.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 30 2017

TOP EV NEWS #2 – TOYOTA PERSUING SOLID STATE BATTERIES

A Reuters report lifted the veil on Toyota’s electric vehicle plans further this week. The Reuters report claims the Japanese automaker is developing a new electric vehicle platform, based on solid state battery technology to enter the market in 2022. The advantage of solid state battery technology is that it addresses range and charging shortcomings of current lithium technology.  A solid state battery can be charged in only a couple of minutes and has more storage capacity for longer range. Toyota, which has been lagging in the EV race is set to enter the EV market in China from 2019 with a mass market SUV based on the C-HR SUV. The C-HR EV will be developed using current lithium technology. Other automakers pursuing solid state batteries includes BMW who has set a 10-year plan to bring solid state EVs to market.

toyota-c-hr

TOP EV NEWS #3 – USA SELF DRIVING ACT PROGRESSING

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee this week advanced legislation designed to keep autonomous vehicles safe and promote the advancement of the technology. The self-driving act is billed as the PAVE Act, which expands the existing authorization of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to evaluate exemptions from federal motor vehicle safety standards only if there is no reduction in safety and increases the number of vehicles for which exemption may be granted. The exemption will help the advancement of the autonomous driving development by allowing the industry to collect data and help Government to recall self-driving cars for safety reasons. The act is becoming increasingly important as more and more companies and states get involved in the testing of self-driving technology. Ride hailing company, Lyft, this week announced that it formed a self-driving division and will establish a self-driving research facility, named Level 5 in Palo Alto, California.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – MERCEDES TO ENTER FORMULA E

While the 3rd season of the Formula E is ending this weekend in Montreal, Canada with Renault e.dams set to win it for the third season in a row, two racing car heavy weights this week announced that they would join the series in the 6th season from 2019. Porsche announced this week that it would quit the Le Mans race and join Formula E, following sister company Audi who left the well known 24-hour race in October 2016. The other automaker to join the Formula E circuit was Porsches’ German compatriot and recent Formula 1 champion, Mercedes, who also announced this week that it will join the 2019 series, leaving the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters to help with funding its participation in the emerging EV racing franchise.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – SHELL CEO BUYS INTO EVs

CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Ben Van Beurden, told Bloomberg in a televised interview that he is ditching ICE vehicles and buying an electric vehicle, all be it a plug-in hybrid Mercedes Benz S500e. The companies CFO already owns a BMW i3. Mr. Van Beurden said “The whole move to electrify the economy, electrify mobility in places like northwest Europe, in the U.S., even in China, is a good thing. We need to be at a much higher degree of electric vehicle penetration — or hydrogen vehicles or gas vehicles — if we want to stay within the 2-degrees Celsius outcome.” He went on saying “If policies and innovation really work well, I can see liquids peaking in demand in the early 2030s and maybe oil will peak a little bit earlier if there’s a lot of biofuels coming into the mix as well.”

The statement comes in the wake of the UK Government’s announcement that it will ban the sale of ICE and PHEV from 2040, joining countries like France, India, and Norway in such a move.

Shell is preparing itself for the shift away from fossil fuels by spending $1 Billion a year in its New Energies business unit.

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 17 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 17 2017

#1 – Peak in oil due to EVs confirmed by Big Oil

Record breaking sales in the first quarter of 2017 reaffirm the trend set by the healthy sales growth experienced in the sector during 2016. All expectations are that 2017 would even be better and that the deluge of new models reaching dealership floors by the end of the decade will sustain the growth into the next decade, causing many stakeholders to adjust their forecasts upwards. We have covered most of these forecast adjustments, but the one sector that is forever dissing the sector, Big Oil, has as recent as Week 9 2017 maintained that the disruption caused by EV’s is overstated.

Finally, this week during the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Conference voices from the sector came out signaling that EV penetration will hurt oil demand. Total SA’s Chief Energy Economist, Joel Couse, projected that the impact of electric vehicles would cause the demand for oil to flatten or even decline by 2030. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell shared the same sentiments recently as the company trimmed their forecasts, indicating that oil demand my peak by the late 2020’s. The reasoning behind the shift in outlook is sparked by electric vehicles being able to compete with combustion vehicles in both performance and price as battery prices decline.

Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, pointed out that there would be 120 models across the spectrum by 2020. He was quoted further saying what we already know – ”These are great cars. They will make the internal combustion equivalent look old fashioned.”

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Picture Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

#2 – VW continue to see electric vehicles only as a niche going into the next decade

The recent surge in Tesla‘s share price, which is close to the first target of $320 called by wattEV2Buy on the 3rd of April, has put a spotlight on traditional vehicle manufacturer electric vehicle strategies. VWs CEO, Mr. Matthias Müller, this week reprimanded the media for getting too carried away with the “New Beats Old” storyline. Mr. Müller was quoted by The Financial Times at the Vienna Auto Show on Friday, responding to Tesla‘s surge – “This has little to do wth the reality on our streets. The VW Group produced 10.3m vehicles last year – Tesla around 80,000, and the fact is, electric mobility continues to be niche. VW only see’s that one out of four of its vehicles would be electric by 2025.

The world’s largest automaker will spend around €20bn by 2022 on cleaner engines, of which only 45%, or €9bn, would be on alternative drive tech, which at least is a trebling over the amount of only €3bn spent over the last five years. The €9bn budget is less than the €11bn earmarked by fellow German automaker, Mercedes, over the same period. Analysts have been concerned over certain automakers conservative electric vehicle strategies in the face of Tesla and Chinas dominance in the sector.

#3 – Bollore exits the electric vehicle sector

The French industrialist, Vincent Bollore, one of the pioneers of the current electric vehicle revolution announced that he would retreat from the sector. Bollore introduced some of the first car-sharing schemes at the start of the decade, using its own vehicle the Bollore Blue Car, It created a second car, the Bollore Blue Summer, but contracted it out to Citroen, which sells it’s as the Citroen Mehari. Mr. Bollore cited that he can’t compete with only one car in the market as more and more players crowd it. Bollore will focus on its strengths, being battery technology, and will apply it in its grid storage and mass transit vehicles. Those who follows the data for France in our Global EV Sales section would have noticed that hardly any Blue Cars were sold in the country this year. Bollore uses a Lithium Metal Polymer Battery, which is not suited for cars, as the chemistry consume electricity even when off.

#4 – India to go all electric by 2030

India is set to introduce policies and support the country’s electric vehicle industry for three years as it targets to have a 100% electric fleet by 2030, in a bid to save on fuel import cost. The announcement was made by the country’s Energy Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal at the CII Annual Session in New Delhi.

#5 – Tesla shareholder to unveil its own electric vehicle

Tencent-backed Future Mobility is set to unveil its concept vehicle this year with the intent on starting production in 2019. Tencent recently acquired a significant stake in Tesla by purchasing 5% of the US companies stock in the open market, making one wonder how it will impact on the investment with which it aims to compete. The concept vehicle is said to be a midsized SUV priced around $45,000. Chinese internet companies such as Tencent and Baidu are increasingly becoming active in the vehicle market as the bounds between cars and vehicle are falling away. Baidu introduced it’s Appollo self-driving platform last week, opening it up to developers to join in its development.

85% of UK motorists consider buying an EV

85% of UK motorists consider buying an EV

The latest survey by Venson Automotive Solutions in the UK shows that 85% of respondents from a survey in the UK are now seriously considering buying an EV. Reading between the lines, wattEV2Buy finds it significant that range is no longer the deterring factor when prospective buyers are considering buying an EV. For long most respondents to such surveys cited range as overarching reason for not buying an EV. The considerably high percentage of respondents that considers buying an EV also dispell the notion by most auto manufacturers that there is not significant demand for such vehicles. Recently in the USA, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers wrote to President Donald Trump asking him to relax emissions benchmarks forcing them to increase EV production since there is no consumer demand supporting the demand for EV’s.

When one looks at the broader results of the survey, it is clear that a lot still has to be done to educate the general public on the advantages of EV’s. The only real deterrents are the lack of charging infrastructure. As can be expected, over 80% of female respondents cited the lack of charging infrastructure as the main reason putting them off from buying an EV, while only around 50% of males feels the same. A lot is being done by various stakeholders to address the lack of charging infrastructure and this hurdle would be a thing of the past by the end of the decade.

Below is a broader list of results from the survey and wattEv2buy’s take on dispelling the misconceptions.

[supsystic-tables id=188]

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 4 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories Week 4 2017

ONE

Off-course it is expected when Arnold Schwarzenegger buys an electric vehicle it will not be a Chevy Bolt, but damn the man knows how to get what he wants. The movie star turned politician unveiled his converted Mercedes Galant Wagen in Austria recently. The Kriesel converted G-Wagen SUV sports an 80kWh battery pack producing 482hp which accelerates the vehicle from 0 – 60mph in 5.6 seconds with an 185-mile range (296km).

TWO

The Chinese-owned NEVS, who acquired SAAB technology after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, announced this week that it received approval for its 200,000 unit plant in Tianjin. Earlier in 2015, the company declared that the Chinese Aerospace entity, Volinco, signed an intention to acquire 20,000 SAAB 9-3 sedans for its staff, in a transaction worth around $1 billion. The City of Tianjin is also a shareholder in National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS).

THREE

Three Californian utilities put forward a $1 billion proposal to electrify the State’s transport system in a bid to reduce pollution and lower the barriers to entry for electric vehicles. The three utilities, Southern California Edison, PG&E, and SDG&E, expects the cost to be carried by customers. The proposals vary from supercharging networks to rebates and electrification projects for delivery vehicles. 

FOUR

Big Oil is noticing the rise of electric vehicles and is preparing themselves to profit from the sector in a move that will help the electric vehicle snowball accelerate. The Financial Times this week reported that Shell would introduce fast charging stations at various European petrol stations, while Total is similarly studying the viability of including charging stations. It seems downstream oil business has changed their tune from being deniers in 2016 to the adage of “if you can’t beat them join them.” 

FIVE

A barrier to the electric vehicle sector has long been auto dealers and one reason why Tesla chose a direct selling model. Now Audi, a Volkswagen company, and automaker who is also betting its future on electric vehicles told dealers to get behind the technology. Auto dealers are blocking the technology because less moving parts will lead to fewer service calls, taking away annuity income. The President of Audi America, in his keynote address to the National Automobile Dealers Association, told the audience that the industry would be entirely electric in 10 years and they have to change their business models to remain relevant.