TOP EV NEWS #1 – LYFT TO GO ALL ELECTRIC
Ride-hailing company Lyft this week committed to a plan for it to transition its fleet to be 100% electric by 2030.
Without mentioning how much the plan will cost, the company said it would work with auto manufacturers to reach its goal. Like Uber, Lift drivers are only contractors to the company, using their personal cars to supply ride-hailing services. Thus, these gig workers expected to fork out the capital or lease cost associated with the vehicle and its operation.
To me, this is not such a big news story rather than proving what this platform and thought leaders such as Tony Seba have been saying all along. The lifetime of an electric vehicle is around five times that of a combustion vehicle, making it the obvious choice for heavy users such as Lyft riders. It is not strange to see more and more electric cars around airports where many of these gig workers operate.
Tony Seba, in his book Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, predicted that by 2030 car ownership will drop by 80% and that most passenger miles will be done by ride-hailing and other alternative mobility solutions. Tony Seba also tied the disruption purely to a financial decision.
The other impetus for the decision to change its fleet to electric is regulatory. For long ride-hailing companies have claimed that they provide a cleaner footprint than private road users, which are now being dispelled by various studies. City and state regulators are seeing ride-hailing companies as a low fruit for reaching clean transportation goals, and are in the process of planning EV mandates for these operators.
TOP EV NEWS #2 – A WEEK FOR ELECTRIC PICKUPS
There is certainly a lot of activity around the topic of electric pickups recently, which will be no different this coming week. Ohio base EV-startup Lords Town Motors will launch the Endurance Pick-up this Thursday.
Founded by ex-Workhorse CEO, Steve Burns, started Lordstown Motors in 2019. The start-up took over the GM plant for the Chevrolet Cruze in Lordstown, Ohio. A deal with Workhorse whereby the company leases the intellectual property for the Workhorse W15 introduced in 2017 enables Lordstown Motors to bring a vehicle to launch so quickly. NASDAQ listed Workhorse (NASDAQ: WKHS) gained a 10% shareholding in Lordstown Motors and will receive a royalty on the first 200,000 units sold as payment for the lease of the IP.
But all is not as it seems, Lordstown needs to raise capital to pay for the plant and its conversion, and the deadline is at the end of August 2020. After an initial payment of $20 million by Burns, GM still holds a mortgage on the plant of $40 million.
In related news, Ford will unveil the combustion version of the F150 this week, two years ahead of the electric version.
Should Lordstown succeed in bring ing its $52,000 Endurance EV Pickup to market in 2021 as planned, it will have a valuable headstart on Ford.
TOP EV NEWS #3 – EVs LAUNCHED THIS WEEK
GAC Automobile officially launched its third model from the Aion series, the Aion V. The pure electric GAC Aion V SUV is available in five versions and four battery/range options, priced between ¥159,600 and ¥239,600.
The Aion V is built on the new GEP2.0 platform.
If purchased before the end of August, buyers qualify for a zero down payment and interest offer. Also, the optional ADIGO 3.0 autopilot system is offered at a 50% discount.
The Aion V is called the world’s first 5G intelligent car. It is equipped with Huawei’s latest generation Baron 5000 5G chip, enabling “5G+V2X”. The ADIGO 3.0 autopilot is an L3 autonomous system.
Geely opened the order books for its first pure electric SUV this week. The Geometry C is available in two range options, a 400km and a 550km, priced form ¥139,800 after subsidies.
The Geely Geometry C is equipped with the SEM advanced battery management system, which utilizes an algorithm to increase the battery’s efficiency, ultimately optimizing the range a driver gets from the car. The battery pack has an energy density of 183Wh/kg.
Further optimizing the Geometry Cs efficiency is its lightweight and aerodynamic design. The drag coefficient of the car is only 0.273Cd.
Other energy optimizing enhancements include the Bosch IBOOSTER regenerative brakes, which can increase the range by 10%. The Geometry C is also equipped with an industry-leading heat pump aircon, which operates by absorbing temperature from outside of the car.
For a detailed review go to the model page on wattev2buy.
TOP EV NEWS #4 – MORE EVs EXPECTED IN 2020
GMs Chinese Buick unit registered the Velite 7 EV SUV for release later this year. The Velite 7 is based on the Chevrolet Bolt and looks strikingly similar to be the Bolt EUV that was spied earlier this year, see the image below on the right. The Chevrolet Bolt EUV is expected to be released next year.
The Buick Velite 7 is the company’s second pure electric EV and has an NEDC range of 500km (313 miles). The Velite 7 has a 130kW (174hp) electric motor with a top speed of 145km/h (91mph).
Citroen unveiled two pure electric models this week, the electric C4 compact hatchback and 9-seat electric SpaceTourer.
The Citroën ë-C4, pictured on the cover of the newsletter, will be presented in detail on the 30th of June, 2020, and released later the year.
The Citroen Ë-SPACETOURER all-electric MPV is available in 3 lengths, 2 range options, and 4 finish levels. The Ë-SPACETOURER comes in XS of 4600 mm long, M of 4950mm long, and an XL of 5300mm. The interior layout can accommodate up to 9 people depending on the four finish levels, Feel, Shine, Business and Business Lounge.
TOP EV NEWS #5 – VW GROUP INCREASES QUANTUM SCAPE SHARE
In its effort to gain an advantage in the EV sector VW Group this week increased its shareholding in US-based solid-state battery start-up, Quantum Scape.
Quantum Scape, founded by Jagdeep Singh in 2010, is a Stanford University spinout and is headquartered in San Jose, California. VW Group and Quantum Scape has been collaborating since 2012 and created a joint venture in 2018. Before the current investment of $200 million, VW has invested $100 million in the JV.
“Volkswagen is taking e-mobility to the mainstream. A strong position in the field of batteries is a decisive factor in this regard,” said Frank Blome, Head of the Battery Cell business, Volkswagen Group Components. “We are securing our global supply base with efficient producers, gradually building up manufacturing capacities and driving the development of cutting-edge solid-state battery technology. Our focus in this context is on long-term strategic partnerships.”
The partnership aims to commercialize solid-state batteries by 2025. Solid-state battery technology is seen as the holy grail for electric mobility, offering comparable “fueling” time and range to combustion vehicles.
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.