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TOP EV NEWS #1 – BYD e-SERIES LAUNCHED

BYD launched its e-Series range which is dedicated to pure electric vehicles. The first model from the BYD e range of cars, the e1 will be launched on the 1st of April 2019. The BYD e1 with its electric range of 305km is loosely based on the BYD F0 compact car.

The BYD e-series will is positioned in parallel with BYD’s dynasty series and have an independent sales channel. BYD indicated that it would target the ride-hailing and taxi-market with its e-series car’s which deliver a better return on investment for such operators. The e-series will cover most market segments and range in price from RMB 550,000 to RMB 150,000 before subsidies.

BYD plans to produce 300,000 new energy vehicles at its Changsha plant, including the e1, e2, and e3.

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TOP EV NEWS #2 – NEW AND UPDATED MODELS

SAIC MG launched its compact SUV, the MG eZS and released images of the 2019 eMG plug-in hybrid release. The MG eZS is expected to be sold in Europe as mentioned in the Week 49 2018 newsletter. The order book for the SAIC MG eZS SAIC will open on March 30, 2019 with three trims available priced from ¥119,800 after subsidy. The MG eZS is equipped with an electric motor producing a  maximum power of 110 kW and its liquid-cooled 44.5 kWh battery pack provides a range of 335 km as measured on the NEDC cycle.

The 2019 eMG 6 TROPHY plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is equipped with SAIC’s “Blue Core” 1.5T engine, matching the new SAIC’s second-generation 10-speed EDU intelligent electric drive gearbox, with a maximum power of 224kW (304Ps) and a maximum torque of 480Nm, delivering a 0 to 100km/h acceleration time of 5.9 seconds.

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Neighbourhood electric vehicle manufacturer Tianjin Qingyuan Automobile this week teased two images of an A00 class EV and a larger Estate EV. The lesser-known Tianjin Qingyuan Automobile joins other NEV manufacturers crossing over to the highway capable segment as stricter regulations in the NEV market starts to bite. There was no more information available at the time of the two models teased.

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Electric vehicle legend, Henry Fisker, announced the planned release of a sub $40,000 electric SUV. The Fisker SUV will be revealed at the end of 2019 and available in the second half of 2021.

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Last week mentioned that Hozon is to unveil its second production vehicle, following on the NETA 01 A00 class car. This week Hozon revealed the HOZON “U” with a 500km (313miles) range. The Hozon U will be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in April at which time its pricing will be announced. The official launch of the Hozon U is set for the Guangzhou Auto Show later this year. The Hozon U is available in two power specs, a 2WD with an acceleration to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds and a more powerful 4WD with a maximum power of 270kW and a maximum torque of 615N·m delivering a 0-100km/h acceleration of 4.9s. The U is equipped with level 2.5 Advanced Driving Assistance aided bu 20 sensors including a mobileye Q4 chip.

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EV startup CHJ Auto announced that its first EV, the order book for IDEAL ONE would open on the 10th of April 2019 with a reservation deposit of ¥5,000 for Q4 2019 delivery. The Ideal ONE is positioned as a range-extended large 4WD SUV with a total operating range of up to 700km (438 miles). The Ideal One is available as a 6 or 7 seater and Advanced Driving Assistance labeled as Level 2.5. In 2018 it was speculated that the Ideal One would be priced at around ¥400,000 after subsidy.

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TOP EV NEWS #3 – XPENG OPENS FAST CHARGING STATIONS

EV start-up Xiaopeng unveiled its first fast-charging station capable of 180kW double DC fast charging delivering a maximum of 120kW to a single car, allowing for 30min fast charging. The Xpeng fast chargers have a maximum output current of 200A, with 500A planned for the future. Xpeng will construct 30 supercharging stations in five cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Wuhan. The Xpeng stations will provide up to 2 hours of free parking and super fast WiFi service. Xiaopeng Automobile has completed the signing of 100 supercharging stations in more than ten first- and second-tier cities and will operate nearly 200 supercharging stations in nearly 30 cities by the end of 2019.

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Also this week Xiaopeng Automobile Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng confirmed that Xiaopeng Automobile’s new intelligent electric coupe internal code E28 is under development and testing. The E28 is positioned in the mid-size smart electric coupe and will be powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier chip, which will be unveiled at the Shanghai International Auto Show in mid-April and will release more product information. This means that the E28 will have an advanced autonomous computing platform with a hardware base to support L3 autopilot.

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TOP EV NEWS #4 – BMW STRATEGY UPDATE

Earlier the week it emerged that BMW is said to put production of EVs on ice in China until there is certainty surrounding the trade war and tariffs. Today the BMW board provided further insight into the German automaker’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy which is now in its third year at the group’s Annual Accounts Press Conference and the BMW Group Analyst- and Investor Conference 2019 held in Munich.

Like most auto manufacturers BMW’s bottom line is under pressure due to the disruption in the industry due to mobility trends changing since with the advent of ride-hailing apps such as Uber, electrification and self-driving technologies which demand used investment in R&D and assembly lines. To a larger extent than in other regions, European automakers also have to deal with the significantly higher cost of complying with stricter CO2 legislation.

The impact of the disruption clearly shows on BMW’s finances, with it’s capital expenditure in 2018 increasing to € 5,029 million, 7.3% higher than the 2017 high of € 4,688 million, resulting in a Capex ratio of 5.2% (2017: 4.8%). R&D expenses in 2018 were significantly higher (12,8%) at € 6,890 million from € 6,108 million in 2017or equivalent to 7.1% of Group revenues (2017: 6.2%).

Our industry is witnessing rapid transformation. In this environment, a sustained high level of profitability is crucial if we are to continue driving change,” said Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance. “In view of the numerous additional factors negatively impacting earnings, we began to introduce countermeasures at an early stage and have taken a number of far-reaching decisions. Discipline and a clear focus on rigorous implementation are essential as we aim to emerge from these challenging times stronger than ever.”

BMW announced strategic steps to enhance its operating performance on a sustainable basis. As well as systematically implementing its strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, the company is also focusing on faster processes, leaner structures, and therefore greater efficiency. Some of these steps which relates to the electric vehicle sector include:

  • Shortening of development times up to a third through the implementation of digital simulations and virtual validation which will cut the need for around 2,500 expensive prototype vehicles by the year 2024
  • Through consolidation of technology, BMW will from 2021 onwards eliminate 50% of its current drivetrain variants as the company transition to more sophisticated and flexible vehicle architectures.
  • From April 1, 2019, the BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce brands will be combined into a single sales division gaining cost savings through leaner processes and more efficient structures.
  • Going forward, the BMW Group will be capable of manufacturing models with all-electric (BEV), hybrid-electric (PHEV) and conventional (ICE) drivetrains on one production line.

BMW’s product line-up is seeing more electrification with the new plug-in hybrid versions (PHEV) of the BMW 3 and 7 Series, and BMW X5 and BMW X3. By the end of 2020, the BMW Group will have more than ten new or revised models equipped with fourth-generation electric drivetrain technology (“Gen 4”). Starting with the all-electric MINI Electric manufactured at the Oxford plant from 2019 and, from 2020, the BMW iX3, which will be produced for the world market in Shenyang, China. Together with the pioneering BMW i3, the BMW i4, and the BMW iNEXT, the Group will have five all-electric models on the market by 2021, and the number is scheduled to rise to at least twelve models by 2025. Including the rapidly growing range of plug-in hybrids, the BMW Group’s product portfolio will then comprise at least 25 electrified models.

BMW will equip Level 3 automation in its cars from 2021, starting with BMW iNEXT which will also be Level 4-enabled for pilot projects.

BMW and Daimler are creating a new global player that provides sustainable urban mobility. The two companies are investing more than one billion euros to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport. The cooperation comprises five joint ventures: REACH NOW (multimodal), CHARGE NOW (charging), FREE NOW (ride-hailing), PARK NOW (parking) and SHARE NOW (car-sharing).

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TOP EV NEWS #5 – GEELY GEOMETRY A LAUNCH A SUCCESS

In the Top 5 EV News Week 11 edition I introduced the Geely Geometry A which went on sale the past week. Within the first 6 hours of Geely received orders for 3,786 units, including 395 orders from overseas. The Geely Geometry Ais designed according to European standards and aims to compete with the Tesla Model 3. The order book for the Geometry A included orders from Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America. Local sales for the Geometry A consisted of 1816 units from Beijing and 1575 from the rest of China. The Geely Geometry A is available in two battery/range options priced from ¥150,000 to ¥170,000 after subsidies, or $22,000 but foreign buyers won’t qualify for the subsidy pushing the price up by over $10,000.

The Geometry A includes Advanced Driving Assistance (ADAS) of level 2 as measured by the SAE nut the company labels it 2.5. The Geometry A also includes advanced technologies such as heads-up-display (HUD).

The Geely Geometry A is developed on the company’s PMA platform from which ten new models will be launched by 2021.

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