TOP EV NEWS #1 – AIWAYS U5 DOCKS IN EUROPE
This week, the first batch of electric cars produced by the Chinese EV-startup, Aiways, docket in Europe. Unfortunately, this batch of Aiways U5 SUV EVs is not designated for private sale, but part of the ‘Electrify Corsica” program.
The Corsican operator of Hertz Rental Cars, Filippi Auto, acquired 500 Aiways U5s and aims to transform its fleet to being 70% electrified by 2022.
Aiways will use a direct-to-customer sales model in Europe, with private sales starting in the second half of 2020 for countries such as Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and Norway. Ownership options are limited to lease and short to long term rentals.
In China, the Aiways U5 is available in four battery options, ranging from 250 (400km) miles to 389 miles (623km), as measured on the NEDC test cycle. The U% is priced between $29,000 and $42,000 when converted from the Chinese Yuan to $. Aiways claims that it’s Battery Management System uses AI to optimize range efficiency.
The batch of Aiways U5s is not the first Chinese EVs to arrive in Europe, but one of the most aggressive efforts to date. Many Chinese OEMs have indicated that they will enter the European market, including BYD. It will be interesting to see how the European market responds to Chinese electric cars. Your thoughts?
TOP EV NEWS #2 – CHINESE FUNDING FOR JLR
The chickens are coming home to roost for many auto companies who have been struggling financially before the Covid-19 pandemic. JLR, owned by Tata of India, secured 5 billion yuan (ca $700 mln) in term funding from a consortium of Chinese banks.
JLR has been struggling to sell the Jaguar I-PACE in the volumes it anticipated. Currently, dealers in the USA are offering huge discounts, up to $20,000, to offload stock from 2019 still standing on the dealership floor.
JLR is also looking for various forms of financial assistance from the UK Government, including tax breaks, grants, and direct aid. JLR is the crown jewel in the Tata Motors stable, which acquired the British car manufacturer in 2010 from Ford.
JLR will use the funds to streamline its business in China, which accounts for around a quarter of its sales.
I think Tesla’s technical lead over the competition, its product offering, and rapid production expansion will exert more pressure on the auto sector in the coming months and years. Legacy automakers are between a rock and a hard place. They have to invest heavily in electrifying their strategies and shifting consumer demand and legislation favoring demand away from their core products.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – A PEEK AT THE NEW QIANTU K50 AND K20
Some images emerged in the past week of the Qiantu‘s new model line up for 2020/21. The photos revealed the K50 upgrade and the K20 in camouflage.
The 2020 Qiantu K50 does not differ in design from the 2018/19 model, shown in the cover image of the newsletter. The only visible difference in the 2020 model is the bold use of color combinations to make the Chinese electric sports car stand out. No technical specifications have been released to date, so it uncertain if Qiantu will improve the current 280kW (375hp) drive train.
Spy images of the K20 undergoing road testing emerged at the end of last week. The K20 was first introduced as a concept car at the Beijing Auto Show in 2018. The K20 is a sporty coupe designed for a younger generation and those who can’t afford the K50s $105,000 price tag. No specifications or release date is available, but I suspect that the K20 will be released before the end of the year.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – PEUGEOT e-TRAVELLER MPV LAUNCHED
Peugeot this week launched its answer to the Mercedes EQV electric MPV. The Peugeot e-Traveller seven-seater is one of a few pure electric MPVs to compete with the Mercedes EQV in the segment. The e-Traveller, albeit underpowered compared to the EQV, fills a gap in the market for tour operators and corporates that wish to go electric in its people carrying fleets.
The Peugeot e-Traveller is available in two range options and three chassis lengths. The long-range e-Traveller, with a 75kWh battery, can travel 330km (205 miles) as measured on the WLTP testing cycle, while the smaller 50kWh battery option delivers 230km (143miles). The chassis comes in a Compact (4,609mm), Standard (4,959mm), or a Long (5,306mm ) variant. Customers can choose between a VIP or two or three sliding benches, which provide seating options from five to nine people. The VIP model has only four independent seats facing each other in a lounge style.
The e-Traveller electric shuttle has no shortage of privacy with its over-tinted (70% opacity) and extra-tined (90% opacity) windows. The VIP Business model trim (6 or 7 seats) offers three-zone air conditioning and a concealable blackout glass roof. The Combispace trim (5 to 8 seats) for families provides flexibility with its removable and sliding seats. The second row has aviation screens. The rear window can be opened if the tailgate can’t.
The Peugeot e-Traveller is equipped with a reinforced drive system with Grip Control, for traveling off the beaten track. The traction mode on the dashboard can set the Grip Control traction mode for snow, all-terrain, ESP, or sand. Information is integrated and shared in the Peugeot e-Traveller through a central screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto protocols can connect with the MPV through ts MirrorScreen Compatibility.
It is fantastic that we are allowed more choice in the different segments, and not be limited to a few electric vehicles, which sometimes would not have been our first choice if more options existed, boding well for EV adoption. No pricing or an exact sales date is available yet for the Peugeot e-Traveller, which will be available before the end of 2020.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – TOP SELLING BEIJING EU5 UPGRADE
The 2020 EU5 is the second EV in the Beijing stable to carry the new “BEIJING” badge. The appearance of the compact sedan is modernized with a stretched front closed grille, and unique double-C type daytime running lights. Beijing Auto improved the performance of the EV through the use of a new high-performance lithium battery pack from CATL, which is equipped with an intelligent bionic temperature control system (IBTC ), extending the EU5s range at constant speeds to 525km and 635km, and energy consumption as low as 11.5kW·h/100km.
A high-efficiency permanent magnet synchronous motor produces 160kW maximum power and 300N·m maximum torque, accelerating the EU5 to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds, comparable to a 2.0-liter turbo combustion engine car. The EU5 carries a “CN95 certification” issued by the China Automotive Research Institute, which is figuratively the vehicle carrying an N95 mask in the COVID-19 era. The EU5 is equipped with a 12.3-inch high-definition digital instrument panel, and a 9-inch floating central control screen, for the infotainment and navigation system.
BEIJING Automotive is the first in the industry to launch the “three-lifetime warranty” policy, providing a lifetime warranty on batteries, motors, electronic controls, and core electrical components. To date, BAIC has sold around 120,000 units of previous generations of the EU5, making it one of the top-selling EVs in the Chinese market.
Top 5 EV News Week 28 2020: It has been a busy week in the EV market. I look at nine new models from this week.
In this week’s Top 5 EV news | BYD launch Tang in Europe | Volta Electric Truck pilot | Byton bites the dust
Top 5 EV News Week 26 2020 | California pushes the world to electric trucks, Britain fast tracks 100% EV adoption, new EV models launched this week.