Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 41 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 41 2017

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Production plans for the Chinese Internet Car company, Xiaopeng, has been finalized and is set to start this year. In a similar agreement as that of JAC and NIO, the Chinese start-up outsourced the production of its vehicles this week with the signing of an agreement with Haima to build 50,000 electric vehicles over the next four years. Haima has been involved with Xiaopeng since 2016 building a beta version of the first vehicle, the Xpeng Identity X crossover. The contract could not have come at a better time for Haima, which saw its sales drop nearly 30% for the year to date. The Identity X will be rolling of the Haima assembly line form this year. Earlier NIO entered into a $1.5 billion agreement with JAC to produce EVs on its behalf starting with the NIO ES8 expected in 2018.

Porsche gave an early indication of how sporty e-mobility can be and provide a glimpse into what is to come in 2019 with the launch of its Mission E. The company showcased an all-electric Porsche Cayman, the Cayman e-volution (pictured above), at the Electric Vehicles Symposium held in Stuttgart from the 9th to 10th of October. According to a press release by the German automaker, the Porsche Cayman e-volution with a range of 200km is a research vehicle with a charging voltage of 800 volts and accelerates from 0 – 62mph in 3.3 seconds.


Only a month after Chinese monthly EV sales set a new record of 53,000 units September sales set a new record of 58,000. Year to date EV sales in China which stands at 323K are now just shy of total sales in 2016 of 326K. At this rate we expect total EV sales for 2017 in China to reach 500K.


Other highlights of Chinese electric car sales in September were:

  • Chinese EV Sales grew by 98.7% Year-on-Year, selling 103,000 units more than January to September 2016.
  • September sales grew 7% over that of the record figure of August 2017.
  • Should the current growth rate continue, China will reach 1 million EVs registered by the end of the year. It is a foregone conclusion that China will reach its 2 million EV target by 2020 according to our forecasts.
  • More than four pure electric vehicles were sold for every plug-in hybrid. Of the three new vehicles that entered the market this month, none were plug-in hybrids.

A full 6-page report with all the stats is available in our shop.


The much-anticipated reveal of Tesla‘s Semi truck this month has been pushed back to November 16 as the company refocusses on clearing bottlenecks in the Model 3 production. This is the second delay of the Semi which was supposed to be unveiled in September. According to a tweet by Elon, there are no issues with the Semi itself causing the delay. Although Elon is known for missing ambitious deadlines, he is forgiven as the result never disappoints.

As we wait for Tesla to finally unveil its electric truck other automakers this week also announced their intentions to bring alternative fuelled trucks to the market by 2020. In a press release, Toyota announced that it is starting testing its hydrogen fuel cell truck in Tesla’s backyard. The FCEV truck, known as “Project Portal” will be undergoing testing between the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach terminals and the surrounding rail yards and warehouses. The class 8 load truck generates more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 lb.ft of torque from a relatively small 12kWh battery and two Mirai fuel cell stacks. The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 lbs., and its estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, which would be the daily test distance at the LA Port.


Volkswagen also announced this week that it would invest €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) in its truck and bus unit. The funding will go towards electric drive-trains, self-driving tech, and cloud-based systems. VW and its subsidiary, truck maker Navistar, aims to launch a medium-duty electric truck in the USA as early as 2019.

Other automakers that have already committed to electric trucks are Daimler and a host of Chinese manufacturers. Download our database of all Chinese electric trucks in our shop.


According to Reuters, the EU is expected to introduce a carbon credit system, similar to that of California, as opposed to its initial plans of quotas in reaching its emission reduction target of 40% by 2030. The EU is expected to set a reduction target of up to 35% in vehicle CO² emissions by 2030, starting in 2020 despite lobbying by the auto sector of only 20%. The credits are said to be based on performance against a benchmark for sales in ZEVs and credits would not be tradeable as in the Californian case. The proposal should be official by the 8th of November and would include the assistance of a billion euro for charging and battery infrastructure.


California is to relax rules for auto and tech companies testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. The intention was revealed in an announcement calling for comments by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on proposed changes to the regulations last updated in March 2017. The new regulations take into account comments from stakeholders on the March regulations. The changes will include the following:

  • From June 2018 test vehicles would be allowed without a driver behind the wheel;
  • Specify information that must be included in local notifications on planned driverless testing;
  • Creating a template for disengagement reporting which has been a sticking point for some automakers;
  • Identifying conditions that would trigger an amended driverless testing or deployment application to DMV.

Permit holders, of which there are 42 currently,  must still certify to meeting federal safety standards as a prerequisite for both testing and deployment. Transportation secretary, Brian Kelly said, “We are excited to take the next step in furthering the development of this potentially life-saving technology in California.”

Canadian auto parts company, Magna, this week became the third auto parts company to join the BMW lead consortium to develop autonomous vehicles. The Founding members of the consortium are BMW, Intel, and its newly acquired subsidiary Mobileye. Not only does auto parts companies such as Delphi, Continental and now Magna form part of the consortium to advance driverless tech but other automakers such as FCA recently joined the consortium.

GM this week secured Lidar development at its self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, acquired in 2016. GM acquired the Californian Lidar start-up, Strobe, for an undisclosed amount. According to the terms of the transaction, the engineering team would join the existing unit at Cruise. According to Cruise’s founder and CEO, Kyle Vogt “Strobe’s LIDAR technology will significantly improve the cost and capabilities of our vehicles so that we can more quickly accomplish our mission to deploy driverless vehicles at scale.” The news follows on GM revealing the world’s first mass-producible car designed with the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver last month.

In a bid to bring down cost and improve efficiencies Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) announced this week that it is to test self-driving delivery trucks in Germany next year. The test fleet would be developed in conjunction with ZF who’s ZF ProAI system would form the base of the self-drive system. According to a press release by NVIDIA, around who’s technology the ZF system is built, DPDHL’s fleet of 3,400 StreetScooter EV delivery vans can be converted to self-driving vehicles.



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