Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 13 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 13 2018



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The Jaguar I-Pace became the first luxury electric car in Waymo’s autonomous testing program as the two companies entered into a long-term partnership this week. The aim of the strategic partnership is to develop the world’s first premium autonomous vehicle. Jaguar will test around 20,000 of its new I-Pace electric models in the program over the next two years after which the I-Pace will become part of Waymo’s commercial fleet from 2020 onwards. The partnership will extend to future projects as Jaguar strives to become a leader in autonomous, connected and future electrified technologies as the Tata-owned company committed to invest heavily in the strategy. The image of the Jaguar I-Pace wth Waymo’s self-driving test system looks quite striking.


SF Motors, the Chinese owned EV automaker, recently collaborated with one of the fathers of the modern electric car, Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard to develop an EV or the US and Chinese markets. SF Motors this week unveiled the much anticipated premium crossover, the SF5. The SF5 is expected to include Level 3 autonomy from 2020 and will compete with the likes of Byton, the NIO ES8, and Faraday Future. The company expects to bring the SF5 to market in 2019 and plans to open pre-orders by the end of this year. For more information and specs please go to the SF Motors and Sokon dedicated pages on the website.



In 2017 CHJ Automotive of China announced with great confidence on CNBC the development of its SEV (small electric vehicle) priced below $8,000 to revolutionalize the EV sector. The landscape is moving fast and incentives and competition which made such a project viable at the time has changed. Since 2017 EV subsidies in China are more focused on long-range technology making the CHJ SEV business case obsolete. Competitors such as the SAIC-GM Wuling also brought the Baojun E100 to market for less than $5,000 after incentives. Other companies followed suit, and more companies such as ZhiDou have sub $5,000 EVs in the market. Subsequently, the Li Xiang, co-founder of CHJ and NextEV this week announced that the company would scrap the SEV project and focus on its collaboration with ride-hailing company Didi with which it is to develop a clever EV and the development of CHJ’s SUV EV.



Even before the delivery of the first NIO ES8 EV expected later this year, the NextEV, company announced the specs for an upgraded model in 2021. The 2021 model will have a range of 600km. NIO is expected to unveil the follow-up model, the ES8 with a range of 500km (NEDC) later in 2018. The ES6 will also employ new battery technology by utilizing VDA rectangular battery cells providing more charging cycles.


Every week I try and include one cornerstone article which ties related news stories together in one take based on my own view of the market to create more flesh around the Top 5 newsletter. This week I spend most of the time updating one of the most popular pages on wattEV2buy, the Chinese EV plant map. I invite you to have a look at the map which now consists of over 80 EV brands. It is the only map of its kind and provides a host of insights. I have also created a more granular map of the EV factories down to city level for the professional user.



After the blowback experienced by the autonomous vehicle sector last week following the fatal crash caused by Uber’s self-driving program, the sector experienced another torrid week. This week Tesla confirmed that its autopilot system was active during a fatal crash in Mountain View California, sending the share price lower. (In fairness, the news came after investor jitters caused by the company’s cash position created a sell-off). Though not enough information is available yet to blame technology instead of human error the timing was unfortunate.

The Uber crash is still causing a ripple in the sector as Nvidia temporary halted its self-driving program in Japan, the USA, and Germany. Geely owner, Li Shufu, also cautioned against the speed at which companies try and bring the technology to market. Li Shufu said at a Volvo event in Beijing, “One accident can kill the whole industry… So we must move with caution.”



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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 8 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 8 2018



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With the Geneva Auto Show on the horizon (8 to 18 March 2018) some auto brands have started releasing teasers and announcements of product launches during the annual event. We already know that Rimac will unveil the Concept Two which it intends to produce this year at the event. VW, Peugeot, Ssangyong, and Volvo have all primed the press for their upcoming unveilings during the show.

VW will unveil its fourth I.D. series concept electric car, the I.D. Vizzion, which will provide a glimpse into how the company prepares itself for a self-driving future. VW will introduce its autonomous vehicles equipped with I.D. Pilot from 2025. The I.D. Vizzion is a seven-seat luxury MPV and has no steering wheel. For full specs, please see our dedicated page here.

VW ID Vizzion Top 5 EV News Week 8 2018

Ssangyong teased images (below) of its fifth electric concept EV, the SsangYong E-SIV, to be unveiled at the 2018 Geneva auto show. The Korean automaker is yet to deliver a production-ready electric vehicle and only plans to start producing EVs from 2020. E-SIV is short for “Electronic Smart Interface Vehicle,” and the concept promises a range of 280 miles. For full specs, please see our dedicated page here.

Previous electric concept cars presented by Ssangyong, a Mahindra Mahindra subsidiary were the KEV1 (2010), KEV2 (2011), e-XIV (2012), and the Tivoli EV-R (2015).

Ssangyong E-SIV Concept

Peugeot will launch the striking 508 D-Class sedan, a plug-in hybrid model which will be available from 2019. The revamped Peugeot will unfortunately not be available in the USA. Peugeot’s design chief, Gilles VIDAL, had the following to say about the Peugeot 508:

“The design of the new PEUGEOT 508 completes an entirely revamped range. It benefits from all the stylistic features we included in our latest concept cars like the PEUGEOT Exalt and the PEUGEOT Instinct. The i-Cockpit® in the new PEUGEOT 508 is actually taken directly from the Exalt concept car.” 

Peugeot 508 Concept EV Top 5 EV News Week 8 2018

Volvo will launch two plug-in versions of its 2019 V60 wagon, the Volvo V60 T6 Twin Engine AWD Estate PHEV, and Volvo V60 T8 Twin Engine AWD Estate PHEV. Volvo says the V60 Estate is one of the safest cars on the road. The Volvo V60 wagon sports a luxurious interior, increased levels of space, advanced connectivity, plus Volvo Cars’ latest driver support systems and other safety technology. The Volvo advanced driver assistance system, Pilot Assist, supports the driver with steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked roads up to 130km/h. The Pilot Assist has been upgraded with improved cornering performance in the V60 Estate. The V60 also includes Run-off-Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and other steering assistance systems. The optional Cross Traffic Alert with auto brake further improves safety for people inside and outside the car.

Volvo V60 wagon PHEV Top 5 EV News Week 8 2018

Mitsubishi will introduce its technical prototype, the Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept to the European market. Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept illustrates the strategy of the company incorporating its strengths of SUV, EV, and connected mobility systems. The Mitsubishi e-Volution Concept was first introduced at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2017.



India is yet to set an EV policy to create a conducive environment for its target of converting to 100% electric public transport and 40% private electric cars by 2030. Currently, the Government provides tax incentives through its FAME program, but no clear EV policy exists. The Indian government this month called for inputs on its draft National Auto Policy which seeks clean and safe mobility to comply with global emissions benchmarks by 2028. The plan further aims to propel the Indian auto sector to be one of the top 3 in the world while being a major contributor to the country’s GDP. Hopefully, the Policy will include an EV policy. In the meantime, the Indian governmental entity overseeing the EV program, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, is expected to bring a global tender for a further 10,000 EVs by the latest April 2018, giving foreign companies a chance to start operations in India.

The EV sector in India is surely hotting up in anticipation of the boom equal to that underway in China. In August 2017 we reported on the ambitions of Indian energy company, JSW Energy to get involved in the production of EVs. JSW Energy this week signed an agreement with the state if Maharashtra to construct EV and energy storage manufacturing facilities. JSW Energy plans to invest $550 million in the development of an EV by 2020.

Mahindra and Mahindra announced in October 2017 that it would provide $600 million towards developing its EV capabilities. This week the company earmarked $139 million of the budget towards upgrading its plants in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka to manufacture EVs and components such as batteries.


The Geneva Auto Show will be the venue for the global premiere of the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The main improvements of the Outlander PHEV 2.0 are:

  • A 2.4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine replaces the previous regular Otto cycle 2.0 liter. It allows for higher torque, smoother operation, and overall higher efficiency.
  • The generator output is increased by 10%.
  • The rear motor output is increased by 10%.
  • The drive battery capacity is increased by 15%.
  • The drive battery output is increased by 10%.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also is longer than its the previous model. The Outlander also gets two extra drive modes, a Sport and Snow driving mode complimenting the NORMAL and 4WD LOCK modes.

Renault will introduce its improved ZOE EV with the R110 electric motor with 80kW. The R110 produces 12kW more than the R90 currently in use.


Mercedes announced that it would pilot ten of its eActros electric trucks with customers. At first, the focus will be on inner-city goods and delivery traffic, as the Mercedes-Benz eActros is well capable of covering the ranges required in this sector. The pilot customers will test the vehicles in real operations for twelve months, and the trucks will then go a second round of customers for a further twelve months. The innovation fleet will, therefore, be in operation until at least mid-2020. The aim is to achieve series production maturity for economically competitive electric trucks for heavy inner-city distribution operations from 2021.

The Mercedes eActros Truck has a range of 200km provided through a 240kWh lithium battery and is charged through a system with more than 400V and a 1000A current.

Mercedes eActros truck Top 5 EV News Week 8 2018


Waymo is the first company in the USA to get a permit to operate a commercial driverless taxi service. The State of Arizona issued the permit to Waymo. Waymo is reading itself to start the service later the year.

Nissan to test self-drive system with DeNa in Tokyo on a 4.5km route between the Japanese company’s headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. The two companies will also test the mobility mobile app Easy Ride’s service functions where passengers can instruct the car via text, voice or from a menu of recommended restaurants, or places of interest.

Nissan self-drive Top 5 EV News Week 8 2018


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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 45 2017

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.


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.


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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