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TOP EV NEWS #1 – RAMP UP OF PRODUCTION, CHINA SEES RISKS

Tesla’s Europe Gigafactory goes to…

We have been expecting concrete announcements on the locations for Tesla’s next Gigafactories since Elon Musk mentioned that the company would announce the location of up to four Gigafactories around the Globe early in 2017. The company moved a step closer to its factory in Shanghai in May. Tesla registered Tesla (Shanghai) Co Ltd after the Chinese Government gave the green light for international automakers to set up shop in the country without forcing local partners on them. The brewing trade war between the US and China might jeopardize these plans after Trump escalated the war this week. In a tweet mid-week, Elon Musk mentioned that the European factory could be placed in a central location in Europe, potentially southern Germany. Elon clarified that Tesla’s European headquarters would remain in the Netherlands.

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The Times of India reported that Mercedes is considering an EV assembly line at its facility in Chakan in Pune, India. According to the article, Mercedes identified India as a key market for electric mobility.

“As the Indian market moves towards electrics, we will be investigating local manufacturing here. As part of our long-term perspective (on India), we want to manufacture here,” Mercedes-Benz India VP (sales & marketing) Michael Jopp told TOI. “When it happens, we would certainly manufacture them at our plant in Chakan, alongside the combustion engine vehicles.”

Mr. Jopp went further saying that the plans are dependent on the Indian Government following through with its support for the industry, a sentiment also voiced by Nissan Chairman earlier this year.

Changan Auto this week broke ground on it’s 240,000 unit EV plant in Jiangning District, Nanjing. The RMB 20 billion EV plant is expected to be put into operation in June 2020. Changan will discontinue the production of combustion vehicles in 2025.

While the international market now slowly wakes up to the growing demand for electric vehicles the leading market, China, identified the blind rush to EVs in that country as a risk. According to Reuters a spokesperson for the state planning agency said that the Chinese Government is ready to take action to stop the overcapacity in EV production. The May batch of approved EVs (batch 307 in the database from our shop) had nearly 2,000 EVs consisting of buses, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles from well over a 100 manufacturers. In 2016 the Government introduced a permit system, only allowing ten automakers to be permitted to produce EVs. The list was increased to 15 in 2017. In 2018 there are more than 20 start-ups busy with the construction of EV plants. The sales data though does not paint a pretty picture so far for the new entrants who battle to sell EVs at the same volume as the established brands.

TOP EV NEWS #2 – RIMAC GETS BIG BROTHER

VW Group’s Porsche announced this week that it acquired 10% in the niche EV producer Rimac, famous for its Concept One hypercar crashed by ex-Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. Based in Croatia Rimac was founded in 2009 30-year-old Mate Rimac EV pioneer. Rimac unveiled the C Two production car capable of a top speed of 412km and a range of 650km at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year. Porsche valued Rimac’s expertise in electromobility and hope to foster a closer working relationship with the company.

Mate Rimac said, “This partnership now is an important step for Rimac on our way to become a component and system supplier of choice for the industry in electrification, connectivity and the exciting field of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.”

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In related news, the Volkswagen ID R supercar set the fastest time at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado qualifying for the race this Sunday the 24th of June. The VW ID R set a time of 3:16.083 minutes, 11.049 seconds faster than the closest combustion vehicle. The time was achieved on the qualifying lap which is only 8.3km of the 19.99km course of the main event.

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TOP EV NEWS #3 – NEW MODELS ADDED TO EV INVENTORY

The following new models entered the EV market this week.

Volvo revealed its mid-size premium sports sedan, the S60, in the USA. The Volvo S60 has two plug-in hybrid versions, the Volvo S60 T6 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp, and the award-winning S60 T8 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that delivers 400hp. The Volvo S60 is the first car by the Swedish brand manufactured in the USA, at a plant in Charleston, South Carolina. The T8 PHEV is also available with a Polestar upgrade and is the first Volvo series that does not have a diesel version.

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Chinese brand JAC will launch a 390km city EV on the 26th of June. The sporty upgrade of the JAC iEV6E which has sold around 50,000 to date will be launched live on-line targeting its younger market segment. The JAC iEV6 can reach a maximum distance of 390km at a constant speed of 60km/h or 310km in NEDC terms. The A00 class car is also equipped with DC fast charge allowing an 80% charge in 30 minutes. For its full specs click here.

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The world best selling small EV of 2017, the BAIC EC180 will get an upgrade in Q3 2018. BAIC is expected to launch the BAIC EC3 in the coming quarter. The BAIC EC3 was first introduced at the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year. The BAIC EC3 has an NEDC range of 261km.

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TOP EV NEWS #4 – MORE ROYAL SUPPORT FOR EVs

It seems the British Royal family has come out batting for electric vehicles the past month, with Price Harry using an EV for his wedding while it is reported that Prince Charles was spotted in a Jaguar i-Pace and testing a Tesla Model S delivered by Elon Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk (pictured in the cover image above). There is also talk of the Royal family considering a plug-in Range Rover. Prince Charles, however, has been promoting green vehicles for a much longer time. In 2011 the British Monarch’s son was seen test driving a SAAB Concept EV while being involved with the planning of an eco-village 40 miles from Glasgow complete with charging stations for EVs. It was reported at the time that the Prince was considering installing a charging station halfway between Edinburgh and the eco-village in Knockroon. Maybe some of the British readers can confirm what happened to this project.

It is great for EV adoption to have this kind of high profile support.

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TOP EV NEWS #5 – ACCORD TO BOOST EV ADOPTION

A new accord for the adoption of EVs was signed by a host of Fortune 100 companies, including automakers and utilities. The Transportation Electrification Accord invited NGOs and businesses to sign onto the Accord and to use it for policy design, education, and outreach. The Accord outlines how transportation electrification can be advanced in a manner that benefits all utility customers and users of all forms of transportation, while supporting the evolution of a cleaner grid and stimulating innovation and competition for U.S. companies. GM‘s director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy, Britta Gross was quoted saying “We envision a world with zero emissions. That’s the future, and the Accord lays out the essential building blocks for a compelling energy infrastructure that we can all rely on for decades to come. Innovations in transportation electrification will benefit society as a whole – and cross-industry, multi-stakeholder cooperation is key.” Other signatories included Honda, Plug-in America, and the Sierra Club.

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