TOP EV NEWS #1 – ASTON MARTIN SHOPPING FOR CHINESE PARTNERSHIPS
A year after Aston Martin‘s disastrous partnership with LeEco the British automaker is returning to China shopping for new partnerships. The failed partnership with LeEco, owner of Faraday Future, caused the delay of the delivery of Aston Martin’s first EV, the RapidE, from 2018 to 2019. In an interview with Bloomberg the CEO of Aston Martin, Andy Palmer, indicated that Aston Martin is not looking to produce EVs with its badge for the Chinese market but rather to collaborate on materials and technologies to improve the performance of its EVs. To this end, Aston Martin announced a 5-year trade and investment drive worth $860 million (£600 million). Palmer further indicated that it is considering using China’s largest battery maker, CATL, as the supplier for the RapidE. CATL this week raised $2 billion in a bid to become the worlds largest battery maker for EVs.
Hopefully, Aston Martin learned something from its misadventures with LeEco as its investments in the EV sector could only see returns from 2025.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – DONGFENG EV STRATEGY UPDATED
Nissan‘s local partner in China, Dongfeng (DFL), announced its updated new midterm strategy named “DFL Triple One” this week for the period through 2022. Part of the RMB 60 billion plan, which aims to increase sales to 2.6 million units, is to develop more than 20 electric models with plug-in and pure electric powertrains across all brands over the five-year period which will equate to 30% of all DFL sales. The rollout will start with six models in 2018 and 2019 across the Nissan, Venucia and Dongfeng brands. INFINITI will have 25% of its portfolio electrified in 2022, transitioning to 100% by 2025.
The”DFL Triple One” plan will also target Leading Intelligent Mobility technology advancement through deploying Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), ProPILOT, e-parking and connectivity technologies in all brands in China. It is expected to introduce level 1 and level 2 autonomous driving technologies starting with the Venucia brand in 2019, depending on the relaxation of regulations by the Chinese Government.
DFL TRIPLE ONE Plan aligns fully with DFG Plan 2020 as well as Nissan’s midterm plan, Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – NEW EV MODELS
Hyundai Motor has released a teaser image of its first fully-electric subcompact SUV ahead of the official unveiling on February 27 at the Geneva Auto Show. Hyundai Motor will release the Kona EV SUV in the summer of 2018 becoming the first automotive brand across Europe to make an all-electric subcompact SUV available to everyone. The All-New Kona Electric will feature two different powertrain versions offering customers one of the most powerful electric engines on the market with a class-leading range of almost 470km/293miles (internal target under WLTP regulations). The 2018 Hyundai Kona will include a wide range of convenience and connectivity features as well as active safety and driving assistance technologies.
Polestar, the Volvo performance brand, announced the release date and pricing data for the Polestar 2 pure EV sedan targeted at the Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 and the Polestar 3 SUV will be available in left and right-hand drive form. Polestar will launch the Polestar 2 in the second half of 2019 and production will begin around the start of 2020. Around 50,000 units of the EV sedan will be produced annually and sold through exclusive Polestar stores and the internet at a price of around €40,000 (£35,000).
Automotive News China reported that SAIC would launch an electric crossover targeted at the Tesla Model X by the end of 2018. The SAIC Crossover will accelerate to a speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) within 4.9 seconds and will be equipped with such as features automatic parking, according to information SAIC disclosed on its website.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – MERCEDES BENZ eSPRINTER
Mercedes Benz launched the 3rd generation of its popular Sprinter LDV this week. The Sprinter sold over 3.4 million vehicles in 130 countries and will now be available from 2019 with an electric drivetrain as the Mercedes eSprinter LDV. The new eSprinter which can be configured for over 1,700 custom purposes and is standard equipped with Mercedes PRO connect solution providing fleet managers with a tool to connect with all drivers and vehicles in his/her fleet.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – EV SALES DATA 2017
Renault announced that the cumulative EV sales for Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi from 2010 is 540,623 with Nissan leading with more than 300,000 vehicles since December 2010 and Renault following with 150,000 units, making the alliance the global leader for 100% electric passenger cars and light commercial electric vehicles. Sales for 2017 was up 11% from the year before reaching 91,000 units for the year, short of BAIC and Tesla. Already the new Nissan LEAF received over 40,000 orders globally including 13,000 orders in Japan; 13,000 reservations in the United States; and over 12,000 orders in Europe. Nissan also announced the launch of the Leaf in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The company is also exploring introducing the zero-emission car in other markets in the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines.
Toyota announced that it sold 1.5 million electrified vehicles in 2017, up 8% from 2016. The figure is however misleading as only 51,000 is attributable to the Prius PHEV, the only EV according to our definition off electric vehicles. A further 2,700 units are attributed to the Mirai FCEV. Note the lack of pure electric EVs.
TOP EV NEWS – AUTONOMOUS NEWS FROM PAST WEEK
Aurora, the company which already partnered with VW and Hyundai to develop self-driving systems this week joined the list of suppliers for the Byton Concept EV unveiled at the 2018 CES. At the time Byton announced that the first models will be partially autonomous, providing advanced driver assistance systems, with full autonomy to be enabled from 2020 through a software upgrade. Aurora was co-founded by Chris Urmson and Sterlin Anderson, the former heads of Alphabet Inc’s Google’s self-driving program and Tesla’s autopilot program.
Lyft, the American ride-hailing company, expanded its self-driving program by opening offices in Munich where it will develop advanced localization and geometric mapping technologies.
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