Renault-Nissan, Dongfeng, BMW, China, Aston Martin, Ford.
Renault-Nissan & Dongfeng EV JV: The alliance has reached an agreement with Dongfeng to design and build electric cars together for the Chinese market. Called eGT New Energy Automotive, Nissan an Renault hold 25 percent each, while Dongfeng owns the remaining half. Already, an electric SUV is planned that will be made at Dongfeng’s facility in Shiyan from 2019. The factory has a capacity of 120,000 units per year.
New BMW i3: The face-lifted and trimmed i3 are making headlines and after we offered a sneak preview yesterday, some more links and pictures have emerged across the internet.
autonews.com, greencarcongress.com, bmwgroup.com
China’s EV sales quota is to thank for joint ventures like the one above at least in parts, especially now that Beijing is about to publish its final say on the matter. The initial draft spoke of an 8 percent target from 2018 but the German FAZ repeats rumours that a weakened version will come first.
indiatimes.com, faz.net (in German)
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Nissan to remain in UK: 20 percent more cars, among them the Leaf, shall be built at Nissan’s British facility in Sunderland. In order to deal with expected cost increases due to Brexit, the Japanese carmaker says it will procure more components from companies operating on the Isles.
Aston Martin electrifies: From 2025 every Aston Martin will come with the option to go hybrid. CEO Andy Palmer further promised to expand the electric offering so that by 2030 25 percent of the new models will be all-electric. First up is the RapidE in 2019, followed by an electric variant of the DBX SUV.
Ford is on the hybrid offensive as well and even sooner as it reportedly plans to include 13 electrified models in its range throughout 2022. Insiders now told Automotive News that the Ford Escape as well as the Lincoln MKC will come with a plug-in hybrid drive by 2019.
New Voltabox CEO: Jürgen Pampel now chairs the board of Paragon’s e-mobility subsidiary. With Pampel, Voltabox got an experienced manager that has been working at both Paragon and Voltabox, where he has been responsible for its electric transport business since 2011.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Maye Musk, Maxime Picat.
“It would at least need to be a plug-in hybrid. This would be a minimum requirement because for a car to be successful globally, you have to consider China. And China is now requesting plug-in hybrids with about 50km (31 miles) of electric-only range.”
According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of Mini at BMW, the Superleggera could become available as a plug-in hybrid. A fully electric version, however, doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
“He’s got cars to build and rockets to launch, so I don’t rush him.”
Even Elon Musk’s own mother, Maye Musk, has to wait for her Model 3 – just like everyone else. Even though she reserved late(r) and is therefore far down on the list, she says that she will not use her “connections” to jump the queue.
“We would definitely support the development of an electric car category.”
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Dan Dolev, Tobias Moers.
“We will launch a plug-in hybrid and we also need an electric Mini. But how, when and for which model hasn’t been decided yet by the boards.”
Peter Schwarzenbauer, brand manager for Mini talks about the planned realignment of the Mini model range which will also include electrified vehicle versions. Unfortunately he has nothing new or specific to reveal.
sueddeutsche.de (in German)
“Our detailed battery component cost analysis details a path to 50%+ reduction in battery pack cost to $125/kWh by 2020.”
According to a Jefferies analyst’s report, Tesla will be able to substantially drive down battery costs, among other factors thanks to Gigafactory scale benefits, cell chemistry and supply chain optimization. The cost reduction is crucial for Tesla in order to become profitable and to be able to sell its upcoming Model 3 from as low as 35,000 dollars.
“Even almost three years out of production the SLS Electric Drive is still the benchmark for the electric car technology with its pioneering tech but there’s no sense in making another one.”
Tobias Moers, Chief Executive of AMG, says there is no demand for a fully-electric Mercedes-AMG supercar. He rather wants to continue to focus on class-leading petrol hybrids.