Renault, China, FF, India, Greentech, Buick.
Renault home batteries: The French team up with British Powervault to introduce their own Powerwall. Unlike Mercedes or Tesla though, Renault wants to give its own EV batteries a second life and stationery home rather than building entirely new energy storage units. A pilot project is about to start in the UK, where 50 such batteries will go to houses and schools with a PV set up. The initiative makes twofold sense for the French group as it owns most of the powerpacks running the Zoe & Co. anyway.
electrek.co, autocar.co.uk, renault.com
NEVs in excess? China is to halt handing out permits for EV production, insiders reveal, after the government admits fears it would lead to an overpopulated market. So far 15 such licenses have been granted through the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) since March 2016 with VW’s being the last. The policy is under review and if a ban comes to pass, newcomers like LeEco would be excluded for the time being.
Talking about LeEco: Problems prevail for the business and so Faraday Future is looking for new backers. The EV start-up plans to raise no less than 1bn dollars and says it has already met with investors as well as advisors. LeEco boss Jia Yueting has over 300m dollars of his own money invested in FF but will not put anymore.
National e-bus making: India’s Tata Motors, Mahindra and Ashok Leyland plan to build electric buses together. They thus move away from the initial idea to cooperate in electric car development as the bus market is believed to be the more profitable playing field, especially as the Indian government shifts its support to public rather than individual transport.
Croatian EV in the making? Rimac may soon face a local competitor albeit one backed by Chinese money. Billionaire Karl Soong, CEO of Poly International Group, had wanted to take over Rimac some time ago but was rejected. He now plans to set up his own electric car production in Croatia under the Greentech Group label. Metkovic is his chosen site with its nearby port and the first phase of investment will be worth 10m euros given the local councils agree.
Mild-hybrid standard: Buick brings its 2018 LaCrosse with eAssist, a mild-hybrid as standard version. Prices in the States start from 30,490 dollars.