TOP EV NEWS #1 – RIVIAN GETS BIG BACKERS
Speculation was rife last week that GM could acquire the electric car start-up Rivian. While those rumors are still swirling around Rivian announced this week that Amazon took part in a $700 million funding round. The investment by Amazon makes it the tech company’s second mobility associated investment the week, following a $530 million investment in autonomous drive start-up Aurora.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas put out a note on Thursday Tesla or Rivian “could be a serious problem for the Detroit-based traditional automakers.” Jonas warned that traditional players such as Ford could lose its first mover advantage with the arrival of compelling vehicles such as a Tesla pick-up or Rivians RiT pickup and R1S SUV.
The latest funding round into Rivian increase at shareholder base which currently consists of Japanese company Sumitomo Corp the Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Ltd.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – NEW AND UPDATED EV MODELS
Renault is to launch a pure electric version of the KWID in China later this year. The Renault KWID EV is expected to have a range exceeding 250km (156 miles).
Mitsubishi UK launched a commercial version of the Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Named the Outlander PHEV Juro Commercial the vehicle is classed as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle making it eligible for the UK government’s Plug-In Van Grant resulting in a saving of £7,900 resulting in an on-the-road price of just £25,113 (excluding VAT including the PiVG, VED, and First Registration Fee).
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a WLTP fuel economy combined cycle figure of 139mpg (159 NEDC), a WLTP EV range of 28 miles (33 NEDC) and CO2 emissions of just 46g/km (40g/km NEDC).
The 2020 KIA Soul received its official EPA rating, coming in at 243 miles (389 km). The 2020 KIA Soul, therefore, will more than double the range of the current 30kWh model which has an EPA rating of 111 miles (178km).
TOP EV NEWS #3 – CRAZY DEMAND FOR NEW EVs
Automakers globally are experiencing a broadly declining market fueled in part by the persistent weakness in key markets such as China and America. VW Group recorded a sales decrease of 2.9% in China and -5.2% in North America for January. The trend, however, is not playing through to the electric vehicle segment which saw 2.1 million sales in 2018, nearly double that of 2017. The market is hungry for new models with Audi reporting that it has already pre-sold 20,000 units of the Audi Quattro e-tron which is available from March 2019. Another VW Group company Porsche is also seeing substantial interest in its upcoming Taycan EV.
According to Bloomberg VW, this week adjusted its EV sales forecast up by 50% to 15 million by 2025 by which time it would have released 20 EV models.
Mercedes (down 6.7% in January 2019) also announced recently that it already had sold its first year of production for the EQC SUV. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said “We are sure that we will not be able to meet the demand in 2019 and probably not by 2020. But we do everything we can to achieve the maximum capacity.”
TOP EV NEWS #4 – BYD LAUNCH EV ASSAULT IN 2019
Fresh from its success in 2018, selling nearly a quarter of a million electric vehicles BYD is to launch ten electric vehicles in 2019. Three of the new models are brand new cars, being the e1 small EV, e2 compact SUV, and e3 compact sedan while the rest improved or electrified models of current combustion series.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – WHAT EVs TO EXPECT AT GENEVA AUTO SHOW – PART 3
Polestar teased the second picture (right below) of its upcoming pure electric vehicle, the Polestar 2 and announced the digital reveal of the vehicle on the 27th of February, a week before the Geneva International Auto Show. Previously the company announced that the production capacity for the Polestar 2 would be around 50,000 units. The Polestar 2 is available in early 2020 and priced around the €40,000 / $46,000 mark.
Audi unveiled sketches of the upcoming Q4 compact electric SUV concept which it will unveil at the Geneva International Auto Show early March. The Q4 EV is expected to be launched as a 2022 Model following the launch of the combustion model this year in Europe and as a 2021 model in the USA.
Over the next four years, ŠKODA is investing around two billion euros in alternative drive systems and new mobility services and will have introduced more than ten electrified models by the end of 2022. To that end, the Czech based auto company developed the VISION iV concept as the design study for its future electric vehicles. The ŠKODA VISION iV is a four-door crossover Coupé based on the VW Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB)
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