Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 18 2018

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – FORD SHIFTS A THIRD OF BUDGET TO EVs 

Last week Ford caused a minor stir when the company announced that it would stop producing passenger cars, except for the Focus and Mustang. This means that the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion will be discontinued, although no specific timing has been given for the move. The strategy shift is part of the company’s realignment to focus on electric vehicles and the profitable SUV and Crossover segment. The automaker announced that it would shift one-third of its budget to electric vehicles.

Part of Ford’s strategy to make up for lost ground is to create partnerships in China and India while also shifting to mobility solutions. This week Ford Smart Mobility LLC and Chinese automaker Zotye signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture (JV) to provide smart, customized all-electric vehicle solutions to fleet operators and drivers in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market.

Many operators in China’s ride-hailing market are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. According to Boston Consulting Group, the local ‘e-hailing’ market is expected to grow by 19 percent annually through 2022, with an overall fleet size potentially reaching up to 26 million.

This week Didi, the largest ride-hailing company in China announced that it would up its use of EVs from the current 250,000 to 10 million EVs in 2028.

As part of Ford’s commitment to building smart vehicles for a smart world, and to pave the way for a future of V2X and autonomous vehicles, the new JV will also engage with local governments and cities to support the development of integrated transportation solutions covering data connectivity and software systems to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance the commuter experience.

Top-5-ev-news-week-18-2018-ford-and-zotye

TOP EV NEWS #2 – PSA PLANS TO MAKE DS AN EV ONLY BRAND

DS Automobiles, the French luxury brand founded in 2014 by the PSA Group expanded on its EV strategy last weekend at the Paris e-Prix. The company which is to launch its first EV, the DS7 Crossback E-Tense SUV plug-in hybrid, announced that it would only develop and sell EV models from 2025 onwards. DS model series will be available either as PHEVs or BEVs or both, The petrol-electric DS7 4×4 which is expected soon has a 30-mile range and 300hp engine. DS will also unveil its firts full EV at the Paris Auto Show in September.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – AFRICA TO GET SECOND EV ASSEMBLY LINE 

BAIC announced at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing that it will start assembling EVs in South Africa, following BYD which is constructing an EV assembly plant in Morrocco. BAIC was the top-selling EV manufacturer (pure EVs) globally in 2017, beating Tesla and Nissan.

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The Optimal Energy Joule

Most of BAIC’s sales came from the popular BAIC EC180. BAIC did not expand on its plans on how it will deal with the lack of charging infrastructure in the Southern African country. The backward thinking South African government had an opportunity to back one of the first EV manufacturers, the local Optimal Energy Juole, but decided against supporting the company partly because the management was white. Currently, there is only a hand full of EV charging stations in the two of the major centers with Nissan and BMW selling a few of the older generation Nissan Leaf and BMW i3’s. The country is also yet to decide on a charging standard as the two car’s are using two different standards. Nissan also called on the South African government last week to do more to catch up with the rest of the world on its plans for electric cars or risk being left behind.

BAIC chairman Xu Heyi indicated that it will start setting-up a plant with a capacity of 100,000 vehicles at the end June. He did not indicate what level of the assembly will be done locally.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – VW TARGETS CHINA IN A BIG WAY

VW expanded on its e-mobility plans last week at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing. CEO of Volkswagen Group, Dr. Herbert Diess announced that it would have six factories producing electric vehicles for its brands in China by 2021. Volkswagen Group China will spend €15 billion through 2022 to support People’s Mobility in China and launch 40 new energy vehicles in the country over the next eight years.

This week at the VW Group AGM it was announced that the Group had secured forward battery supply agreements of €40 billion ($48 billion), doubling the amount announced in March. To put VW’s EV strategy in perspective the value of the battery supply agreements is equal to Tesla’s market cap this week when it released its Q1 figures. Dr. Herbert Diess told shareholders at the VW AGM that the company plans to manufacture 3 million EVs per year by 2025.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – KIA NIRO EV UNVEILED

KIA unveiled the much anticipated KIA Niro EV SUV at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. The KIA Niro BEV and Hyundai Kona is the first mass-produced economy SUV’s (outside of China). The SUV EV is inspired by the KIA Niro Concept EV unveiled at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas earlier in the year. The KIA Niro EV is available in a short and long-range option ranging between 240km/150mi and 380km/238mi. The Niro EV features a charging portal in its radiator grille, futuristic air intake, arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights and muscular wheel arches. The KIA NIRO will go on sale in H2 2018 in Korea. The international unveiling is at the Paris Auto Show in September after which it will be introduced in other markets.

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 46 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 46 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – CHINESE EV STRATEGY PAYING OFF

The Chinese Governments aggressive program to support (enforce) the adoption of electric vehicles, or new energy vehicles (NEVs) as its locally known, is paying dividends. With the implementation of strict EV production and sales targets approaching in 2019 various companies, such as GM have in the last couple of months announced China-specific EV plans. The latest international automaker to announced its China EV strategy is the VW Group, who this week announced the investment of €10 billion ($11.8 billion) up to 2025 to develop and manufacture NEVs in China. Reuters reported this week that the German automaker aims to sell 400,000 new EVs by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025 along with its joint venture partners. The company aims to bring fifteen NEVs with a range of up to 600km to the Chinese market by 2020 and a further 25 after that. Although VW Group currently has around ten imported NEV models available in China sales of most imports except for GM and Tesla have been very slow.

Toyota also clarified its NEV plans for China this week. To date, the company only announced the introduction of two PHEV models for the Chinese market, namely the Corolla and Levin which is expected in 2018. In a press release this week Toyota announced that it would bring a new EV under its brand to China in 2020. It announced further that it would expand its Fuel Cell study in China to include commercial vehicles such as buses. Compared to Tesla, GM and VW’s plans Toyota’s seem very tame and summarises the claim by Toyota’s Chairman to German publication Der Spiegel this week. Mr. Takeshi Uchiyamada was quoted saying “Battery-powered cars with a long range are very expensive, and it takes a long time to charge them, such cars do not fit in our program.” He went further saying “Tesla is not our enemy and not our role model, I think it’s the German manufacturers that rather see Tesla as a competitor.”

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Toyota-Mirai-TMEC Hydrogen Station in China

In the meantime, Bloomberg reported that the Chinese Government is considering the extension of its EV production permitting program which was created to protect the market against an oversupply of EVs. The program allowed for only 15 EV production permits of which JAC was the last to receive in May 2017. The extension of the permitting program is rumored to commence in 2018 and based on recent comments is expected to allow wholly owned subsidiaries of foreign companies to partake.

TOP EV NEWS #2 – AUTO BRANDS EXTEND EV DEVELOPMENT

Appart from plans to produce EVs for the Chinese markets some of the major international automakers this week clarified their EV strategy for other parts of the globe.

GM CEO Mary Barra told Automotive News that the US-based company would launch its next-generation EV platform in 2021 and hope to have EV sales of one million vehicles per annum by 2026. According to Mary Barra, the company aims for at least 20 EVs and FCEVs by 2023. The next generation platform will be modular, at least 30% cheaper and have a range of over 300 miles. The improved platform will have the battery cells integrated into the architecture.

VW Group announced in a press release that it would invest €34 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by the end of 2022 in support of its Roadmap E strategy, the most comprehensive electrification campaign in the automotive industry. The plan will kick off with the shifting of the production of combustion vehicles away from its plant in Zwickau (Saxony, Germany) to allow for the increased production of electric vehicles on its MEB platform. Group CEO Matthias Müller said “We are reinventing the car. To achieve that, we are making targeted investments to provide the necessary funds from our own resources.”

According to Roadmap E around one in four new vehicles by VW Group will be a battery-only electric vehicle by 2025, which could mean up to three million e-cars a year. The Company is planning to electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030, which is more than 300 models. To this end, VW has invited tenders for one of the largest purchasing volumes ever, with plans to spend over €50 billion on battery cells.

Toyota and Suzuki this week signed a memorandum of understanding for the introduction of EVs into India. According to the MOU Suzuki will produce EVs for the Indian market and supply some to Toyota, while Toyota will provide technical support. The MOU is signed with the backdrop of the Indian Governments “Made in India” and aggressive EV programs.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – MAZDA TO DEVELOP RANGE EXTENDED EVs

The Japanese automaker Mazda is planning to launch electric vehicles (EV) with range-extender rotary engine technology in Europe and the United States from 2019 onwards, reports Nikkei Asian Review. Rotary engine technology, which was first developed back in 1967 by Mazda, can double the range of an electric vehicle and is based on triangular rotors instead of pistons and cleaner to comply with stricter environmental laws globally. Mazda will not be the first to use rotary engines as a range extender, BMW‘s i3 REx also uses rotary technology.

Week 46 top 5 ev news

TOP EV NEWS #4 – TESLA SEMI LAUNCH SURPRISES US ALL

The much-anticipated launch of the Tesla Semi did not fail to impress and exceeded most expectations, it even helped Tesla’s share price jump $10, which looked more than a selling opportunity in hindsight. Elon Musk unveiled the truck with the acronym of BAMF (Bad Ass *&)%$#*) due to its insane performance when compared to conventional trucks. The market view prior to the launch was that the Tesla Semi would be able to reach a range of 300 miles on a charge, which is far short of the 500 miles announced by Elon Musk on the 16th of November. See the full specs and pictures here. Pre-orders was set at $5,000 with Walmart already announcing that it booked 15 Tesla Semi trucks.

Tesla-Semi-and-Roadster

Spicing up the launch was the new Tesla Roadster delivered from the trailer of the Tesla Semi on stage. The new Roadster is the fastest production car yet on paper with an acceleration to 60mph in just 1.9 seconds. The Roadster has a range of 620 miles from its 200kWh battery. See the full specs and pictures here.

Both the Tesla Semi and Roadster will be available from 2019.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – AUTONOMOUS NEWS OF PAST WEEK

In her presentations at the Barclays 2017, Global Automotive Conference in New York GM CEO Mary Barra gave a glimpse of GMs plans to monetize services embedded in its smart connected vehicles. According to Barra GM will launch a marketplace application in its connected vehicles which will be simpler to use than current smartphones. Like other carmakers, GM is exploring how it can gain value from its 13 million connected cars which create 3 petabytes of data per year.

FreshPatents.com reported that Ford Global Technology registered a patent for an off-road autonomous driving system. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) has granted Ford a patent for an off-road autonomous driving system. This could be handy functionality while farming or hunting. I can see a hunter call his truck to get him at a location after the hunt (if there is cell connectivity).

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 27 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 27 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – DAIMLER AND BAIC TO DEVELOP EVs IN CHINA

Daimler and Chinese BAIC Motors this week agreed to increase the investment in the Sino-German Joint Venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC), to manufacture electric vehicles. The partners agreed to a further investment of 5 billion yuan (655 million euros / $735 million) at a signing of the heads of agreement in Berlin in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The investment by the German automaker is a further commitment to electric vehicles as it implements the aggressive electric vehicle strategy. BBAC is the localization of the Mercedes-Benz brand and will see its first electric vehicle rolling off the production line in 2020.

In June 2017 both partners agreed to strengthen their strategic collaboration through investments for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China. As part of the investment agreement, Daimler announced its intention to acquire a minority share in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the purpose of strengthening strategic collaboration with BAIC in the NEV sector.

The investment will be used to extend the BBAC plant in Beijing, established in 2005 and already Daimler’s largest Mercedes-Benz passenger car production hub, to become a BEV production hub in China. The establishment of a BEV production hub will commence with the building of an eBattery factory, which would be Daimler’s first foreign location of its global battery production network. Daimler plans to invest one of the ten billion euro earmarked for its electric vehicle strategy in the global battery production network for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The network already includes the site in Kamenz, Saxony, built in 2010, where a second state of the art battery factory is being built with an investment of around 500 million euros. Mercedes-Benz will source the cell for its battery plant in Beijing from Chinese suppliers.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 27 2017 daimler battery china

TOP EV NEWS #2 – ELON MUSK SHOWS TESLA MODEL 3 SN1

Tesla‘s Elon Musk announced last Sunday that production of the Tesla Model 3 would commence on Friday the 7th of July, two weeks ahead of schedule. Late Saturday evening Elon posted a tweet showing two pictures of the historic vehicle with serial number one that came off the production line. According to Elon Musk, the rule at Tesla is that the first person to pay the full price will get the first Tesla Model 3 SN1. He responded to a tweet that he has the first Roadster and Model X but not the first Model S. The average sales price for a Tesla Model 3 is estimated to be around $50,000 before incentives.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 27 2017 tesla model 3 sn1

TOP EV NEWS #3 – JUNE EV SALES POWER AHEAD IN TWO KEY MARKETS

Electric car sales in the USA and Norway showed healthy gains over the same period in 2016. US EV sales increased 16% over that of June 2016 while in Norway sales jumped 62% for the same period. Electric vehicle sales in Norway now stands at a record 42% of new vehicle sales. Total US EV sales for the year so far stands at around 90,000 units, 39% more than in the first half of 2016. Read our detailed breakdown of EV sales for H1 2017 in Norway and the USA by clicking on the following links.

Summary of EV sales in Norway H1 2017

Summary of USA EV Sales H1 2017

TOP EV NEWS #4 – DONGFENG TO FOCUS ON EVs & SUVs

The state-owned Chinese automaker Dongfeng, a top four vehicle producer in China, which primary strategy has historically been the production of localized cars of various international auto companies such as the PSA Group, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, and Kia. The company’s in-house developed vehicles are sold under the Dongfeng Fengshen brand which up to now had little EV models. On the 3rd of July, the GM of Dongfeng Fengshen announced during the unveiling of its AX4 SUV that the company will focus on SUVs and EVs from now going forward. The GM, Mr. Lui Hong, did not specify if the vehicles will be based on the new AX4 SUV, AX7 or the E70.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – VW DEVELOPING ROBOTS TO CHARGE EVs

VW and robotics firm Kuka this week signed a new co-operation agreement to develop robot-based innovations for all-electric and autonomous automobiles. The new agreement will expand the existing e-smart Connect project which includes a practical and user-friendly solution for charging high-voltage batteries of electric vehicles pictured here charging the VW GenE research vehicle. The Kuka developed charger is a charging solution developed for parking garages.

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 27 2017 vw robots chargingThe Volkswagen Group is planning a strategic e-mobility offensive in the course of realigning its drive strategy. By the end of 2018, more than ten new electrified models will be launched on the market. A further 30 models will follow by 2025. These will be all-electric battery-powered vehicles. In parallel, Porsche will manage the ongoing expansion of infrastructure for quick-charging stations. The Volkswagen Group is providing a vision for autonomous driving of the future with the “Sedric” concept car. Audi recently established Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH for self-drive systems. This company is carrying out work for the entire Volkswagen Group.

 

KUKA AG is one of the biggest providers of intelligent automation solutions and is the world’s leading manufacturer of production plants in the automobile industry. The Group’s own Research Department headquartered in Augsburg lays the technological fundamentals for innovations in industrial production and service robotics.

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