Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Proposed to Buy SolarCity; Faraday Future Joined Self-Driving Road Test Club; China Manufactured 1.76 Billion Lithium-ion Batteries in First 4 Months

 

Tesla Proposed to Buy SolarCity

According to Wall Street Journal, Tesla made an acquisition offer to SolarCity on Tuesday. The deal values SolarCity at as much as $2.8 billion, which is with a premium of more than 20% over its current stock price.

The deal, if going through, will allow Tesla to integrate its electric car and battery business with SolarCity’s solar panel business.

Tesla’s market value is about $32.7 billion, which is more than 15 times the size of SolarCity ($2.1 billion).

Elon Musk serves as both companies’ chairman and largest shareholder. He recused himself during the decision making process. The deal needs approval of shareholders.

Faraday Future Joined Self-Driving Road Test Club

According to Reuters, California DMV approved Faraday Future to test its self-driving cars on road, confirmed by DMV’s spokesperson on Tuesday. The company has plans to start road test later this year.

Faraday Future is building a $1 billion EV factory in Nevada and also negotiating another 157-acre manufacturing site on Mare Island.

The DMV has so far approved 14 companies to perform road test on self-driving technologies, including BMW, Bosch, Cruise Automation, Delphi, Drive.ai, Faraday Future, Ford, Google, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, VW, Zoox.

China Manufactured 1.76 Billion Lithium-ion Batteries in First 4 Months

According to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, in January-April 2016, 1.76 billion lithium-ion batteries were produced in China, an increase of 14.3% over the same period of last year. 0.5 billion were made in April alone, an increase of 11.1%.

In January-April, China manufactured 8.695 million e-bikes, an increase of 12.3%.

Weekly Electromobility News

VW Unveiled New Group Strategy “TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025”; Plug-in Electric Car Sales Hot in China; Nissan Targets 2020 for Would-be First Ethanol Fuel Cell Vehicle

 

VW Unveiled New Group Strategy “TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025”

According to VW website, VW CEO Matthias Müller presented the strategy in Wolfsburg in May 16. The 2025 strategy has an emphasis on electrification. There will be over 30 “new e-vehicles” by then, with unit sales targeted at 2-3 million per year.

“TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025” is considered the company’s “biggest change process” in its history.

Plug-in Electric Car Sales Hot in China

Automotive News China Reported that 35,000 units of plug-in electric cars were sold in May in China, a 128% increase as compared with the same period last year.

In the first 5 months this year, electric car sales in China have reached 126,000 vehicles, or a 134% increase. As compared, electric car sales in the US are 52,404 for the same period.

Nissan Targets 2020 for Would-be First Ethanol Fuel Cell Vehicle

According to Reuters, Nissan is working on fuel cell technology that uses ethanol as the fuel. The company plans to launch the system in 2020.

Ethanol fuel cell can be cheaper than hydrogen fuel cell, since “ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost”.

The technology would enable a range of about 800 kilometers, which is more than the range of a regular gasoline car.

Weekly Electromobility News

Mercedes-Benz Will Unveil Its First 310-mile Electric Car During Paris Motor Show in October; GAC and LeEco Form Joint Venture; 11,539 CHAdeMO DC Quick Chargers Have been Installed; Tesla Favored to Grow to $700 Billion By Investor

 

Mercedes-Benz Will Unveil Its First 310-mile Electric Car During Paris Motor Show in October

According to Reuters, Mercedes-Benz Chief Development Officer Thomas Weber disclosed that a prototype electric car with range of 500 km (or 310 miles) would be displayed in Paris in October this year, during a journalists event in Stuttgart.

Mr. Weber this time did not say a specific launch date. A Car Magazine article in December 2015 wrote the company would launch a long-range electric sedan in 2018, with the size between C-class and E-class. The sedan will be followed by two crossovers and one limo.

GAC and LeEco Form Joint Venture

According to Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) website, GAC, LeEco and Urtrust Insurance formed a joint venture (called Dasheng) in Guangzhou China, on June 8th.

GAC is one of the top carmakers in China (which is also true for plug-in hybrids). LeEco is a Chinese technology company often viewed as the Chinese Netflix. LeEco is the backer of Faraday Future.

Dasheng is a car O2O company. In the JV, GAC, LeEco and Urturst own 45%, 40% and 15% respectively.

11,539 CHAdeMO DC Quick Chargers Have been Installed

CHAdeMO updated the number on June 6th. There are 6,469 chargers in Japan, 3,178 in Europe, 1,784 in the US and 108 in the rest of the world. Compared to the numbers in April, there is no change on the number for Japan, but 248 chargers have been added outside Japan.

CHAdeMO also announced the even faster 150kW version on June 1st. First installations are expected next year. 350kW is under study as well. Current CHAdeMO Quick chargers are rated at 50kW.

 

Tesla Favored to Grow to $700 Billion By Investor

According to Bloomberg, Ron Baron, whose investment company owns Tesla stock worth about 1% of the market value, implied that the EV maker would be as large as $722 billion in 10-20 years. The market responded by a 6.2% increase in share price on Tuesday.

Tesla’s market cap currently is around $34 billion. Baron said Tesla could become a global top company and it would stay ahead of electric car competition.

Not everyone is as optimistic. A month ago, Mike Jackson, AutoNation Chairman and CEO, called Tesla’s 500 thousand vehicles ramp-up plan “mission impossible”.

Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Superchargers Will Not Be Free for Model 3; Faraday Future Starts to Negotiate on Second Manufacturing Site; Battery Caused Fatal Explosion in a Battery Factory in China

Tesla Superchargers Will Not Be Free for Model 3

According to Wall Street Journal, Elon Musk said that Tesla would charge the owners of “its lower-cost vehicle” for using the Superchargers. This allows the company to decouple the charging cost from the vehicle cost.

Musk commented that the rate would be “very cheap” and there would be an option for purchase for accessing the charging network “free long distance for life”.

Faraday Future Starts to Negotiate on Second Manufacturing Site

According to Los Angeles Times, on May 31st, Faraday Future (through its FF LLC entity) got approved by the Vallejo City Council on an “exclusive negotiating agreement” with the purpose of purchasing “a 157-acre parcel of land on Mare Island”, near Silicon Valley. The land formerly was a naval shipyard.

This latest move follows the start of construction of the company’s 900-acre factory in Nevada less than 2 months ago.

Faraday Future was founded in 2014. It presented an electric concept supercar FFZero1 during 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

Battery Caused Fatal Explosion in a Battery Factory in China

According to itdcw.com, in May 31th, battery manufacture Highstar in Jiangsu, China had an explosion accident. The explosion has killed 2 people and injured 18 more.

Investigation indicated that the explosion could be caused by a defect battery. The battery could have an internal short-circuit which led to thermal runaway. It propagated to nearby batteries and caused explosion.

Production has since been stopped on site.