Brands + News


Toyota, Tesla, Bolt EV, GAC, BMW, Tianjin FAW

Toyota to produce EVs in China: From 2019 Toyota plans to make all-electric vehicles in and for China. The first model will be based on the C-HR SUV and a second EV is set to follow only a year later by 2020. While demand will ultimately determine the annual output, Toyota won’t go below a thousand units. The Asahi daily report does not name sources, but Toyota did confirm that electric cars will be a fixture in its Chinese line-up “in a few years” time but would not commit any more detailed plan.,

No more Model S 75: Tesla will scrap the entry-level version of its Model S by the end of the year and replace it with the Model S 75D. That new standard will cost 5,000 dollars more and thus serves to set it apart from the Model 3. Henceforth, both the Model S and X will be dual motor all-wheel-drive only.,

Bolt production to double after summer? The extended shutdown at Chevy’s plant for the Bolt EV is just the calm before the storm, says former GM employee Don Lockrey. While previous reports linked the closure to low demand for GM’s EV, Lockrey tells a contrary tale of redone assembly lines ready to roll out twice as many EVs in order to accommodate for nationwide deliveries from the end of August.

gac-motor-ge3-elektroauto_300x150pxGAC’s first electric SUV has arrived in China, where it is available from 19,000 euros. The GE3 utilises a novel EV platform that hosts a battery with a range of up to 310 km. For GAC, their medium to high-end SUV is the first step on the firm’s trail to sell 200,000 new energy vehicles a year from 2020.,

200m euros more shall secure the future of BMW’s plant in Leipzig, that already houses the manufacture of the i3 and i8. Building works will start early next year with completion set for 2020. While the factory will be extended overall, the central concern is the paint shop with regard to sustainability.

Electric sedan: Tianjin FAW is to introduce an all-electric version of its Junpai A70 this August in China. The electric motor powers the Junpai A70E with 80 kW for up to 280 km.

Number of the Day

2,030 public charging stations

Denmark’s 2,030 public charging stations now outnumber the country’s 2,028 petrol stations. Still, EV sales continue to be low with only 182 electric cars sold to date in 2017, down from 4,605 in 2015. Account this steep decline to the government’s reintroduction of sales tax and incentives still being (too) slowly phased back in.

Research + Technology

TerraE, Faraday Challenge, Fisker, Tesla,

BMZ-Rundzellen-Pack_300x150pxTerraE plans two Gigafactories in Germany: TerraE-Holding has been busy since its formation this May and now leads a consortium of 17 partners from business and academia charged with the planning for mass production of Li-ion cells. Previous reports mentioned only one “Gigafactory” but TerraE is now looking for two locations in Germany. Where exactly the plants will stand, or who those consortium members are has not been disclosed, yet the holding says it is about to begin talks with other potential partners looking for cells made in Germany and who are willing to invest. (in German)

Competitive battery development: The British government will give away 246m pounds through the so-called Faraday Challenge that seeks to bring state-of-the-art batteries for electric cars and other applications to market. The first leg calls for a virtual ‘Battery Institute’ and the winning bid will have 45m pounds to incorporate its plan into base-level reality, that is to build an actual R&D centre in the UK. Promising research developed here, may then be moved closer to market with industrial partners led by Innovate UK. The four year programme consists of competitions divided into the fields of research, innovation and scale-up, and thus addresses designers, developers and manufacturers alike.,

Fisker’s graphen battery has just become more unlikely as Nanotech Energy steps back from the planned joint venture that was to focus on said energy storage. In order to keep Fisker’s tight timing for the EMotion, the graphen specialist would have had to concentrate “on that and that alone,” a move Nanotech CEO Jack Kavanaugh rejected. Fisker’s resurrection will thus run on Li-ion cells by LG Chem.

Tesla of the Seas is too tempting a name not to use it for Norway’s first electric and self-sailing containership currently under construction. The renown collaboration between fertiliser firm Yara and Kongsberg has now been priced at 25m euros. Further details show stages of autonomy that will essentially see the bridge move first from ship to shore for remote operation before the Birkeland is to sail the 37 miles down a fjord on its own in 2020, still under supervision on shore.,

Quotes of the day

Jim Lentz, Christophe Sapet

Jim-Lentz“At gas at less than $2 a gallon, no [I’m not worried].”

Said Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz when asked if the Tesla Model 3 poses a threat to his core business. He bases his “no” on a 0.5% EV share and while that may be so at the moment, the latest research from Goldman Sachs expects oil to peak by 2024 and the global electric fleet to grow more than 40-fold by 2030. (Lentz), (Goldman Sachs)

anonym“Of course we will go head to head with Uber, Mercedes and the others, but we’ll be faster.”

This is Navya CEO Christophe Sapet carefully unleashing his inner bull. The French have been making testing grounds with their autonomous shuttle but the next idea is a small car made in Asia that would see Navya step into competitive territory indeed.

Fleets + Infrastructure

London, Munich, Poland, Santa Monica, AA Trust

BYD and ADL are on a roll in London where they have just written their third electric bus order since June. Operator Metroline expects 23 single deckers to electrify the entire Route 46 by summer 2018. Only GoAhead and RATP Dev made their calls for the delivery of a total of 66 electric buses before. Still, it was Metroline that has been operating the world’s first electric double deckers since 2015, when BYD shipped five pilot models from China to the British capital as proof of concept.

SWM-Zentrale-Sommer-Foto-Stefan-Obermeier-e1500904200698_300x150pxMunich wants more e-buses even before the arrival of two electric buses from Ebusco next month. They had been ordered back in 2015 and this time, Stadtwerke München have prepared their next tender already. Wanted are two 18m bendy buses, again all electric, and ideally fit for service before the end of 2018. They could then join other single electric buses Munich’s transport provider MVG plans to buy next year. Its strategy is to go a 100% electric bit by bit and so MVG has become part of the e-bus buying group which Berlin’s BVG and Hamburg Hochbahn initiated. (in German)

Inside Poland: Warsaw joins the club of cities that order electric buses repeatedly and this time, Poland’s capital selected local supplier Solaris to deliver ten Urbino by Q1 2018. The acquisition follows the earlier introduction of six hybrid and two electric buses, but Warsaw wants to put 800 new buses into operation by 2027 and the majority of them to be low and zero-emission, i.e. hybrid, CNG and electric.

Today may see Santa Monica City Council approve 29 EV charging stations across the city. ChargePoint wants the City to buy and install 55 new ports at a cost of 229,077 dollars, plus 13,075 dollars a year for four years and has won over officials with experience rather than pricing.

Free EV training: The AA Trust has launched Drive Electric, an EV training course free of charge. It follows an AA survey of 16,239 drivers which found that 32% of respondents were interested in a free one-hour driving lesson in an electric car in their local area.

Service + Suggestions

Nissan, Tesla’s Gigafactory

Click tip: This close to its September launch, sightings of Nissan’s next-gen Leaf increase. The most interesting snapshot shows the SOC at 99% and the corresponding range displayed as 265 km. It’s a realistic value for the 40 kWh battery pack and so the expected 60 kWh option remains yet to be spotted.

Video tip: Tesla’s Gigafactory is a montage in progress in this professional clip that merges aerial footage to track the building works. The treat is in the additional information though as Genscape estimates daily battery production and measures the plant’s electric power consumption. (progress), (production)

Short circuit

Unworldly attempt at Bolt promotion

With the Model 3 launch looming later this week and the Chevy Bolt EV stacked on shelves, GM prefers to look back at old times, when its engineers worked on roving the moon. Fast forward 45 years and a start-up (strictly speaking) not only prepares for a manned-mission to Mars but managed to charge an electric car with the promise of a bright future.