Weekly Electromobility News

Audi Quitting Dominant 24 Hours of Le Mans in Favor of Formula E; Tesla Turned Profitable in Q3; Audi Rolls Out Plug-in A6 in China


Audi Quitting Dominant 24 Hours of Le Mans in Favor of Formula E

According to Audi MediaCenter, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced on this past Wednesday that the brand would “terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season”. The new focus for the motorsport department is the electric Formula E series.

Audi has been dominating the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the 18 years of participation, the team won the title 13 times. Teams like Porsche and Toyota are still active in the WEC.

Currently, in Formula E, Audi sponsors the team ABT Schaeffler. The brand will form its factory Formula E team and race starting the 2017-18 season.

Tesla Turned Profitable in Q3

Tesla released Q3’16 Update Letter on this past Wednesday.

The company earned a net income of $22 million for the quarter (second such quarter in its history) on the GAAP basis. In Q3, Tesla collected revenue of $139 million from the sales of ZEV credit.

24,821 cars were delivered, which include 16,047 Model S units and 8,774 Model X units. The score is a 114% increase from the same period of last year. Tesla’s goal of delivering 80,000 units in 2016 seems under control, with a bit over 25,000 deliveries to go for Q4.

Audi Rolls Out Plug-in A6 in China

According to Automotive News China, Audi has started the production of the plug-in hybrid version of its A6 sedan, at the FAW-VW joint venture in China. The model is named A6L e-tron. The total range is 500 miles, of which about 30 miles are on electric.

The car will go on sale during the Guangzhou Auto Show in Nov. 19. Audi sells is plug-in A3 e-tron currently in China and will introduce Q7 e-tron there later in the year.

Weekly Electromobility News

Mini’s First Plug-in Hybrid May Come Out Next Year; Infiniti Became Serious About Building an Electric Car; Tesla is One Step Closer to Join the Uber Club


Mini’s First Plug-in Hybrid May Come Out Next Year

According to Green Car Reports, it seems that Mini is going to launch its first plug-in hybrid Countryman soon. The car will be all-wheel drive, with the motor powering the rear and the engine powering the front. The powertrain will be the same as the one used in BMW 225xe Active Tourer.

The new Countryman can have its debut next month in Los Angeles Auto Show and the plug-in hybrid version may come a bit later than other models.

The plug-in hybrid Countryman will be Mini’s first mass produced electric car. During 2009 and 2011, BWM was testing the electric drive system through a leasing program with Mini E – a modified Mini Cooper with a 35 kWh battery. In addition, all-electric Mini will come out in 2019.

Infiniti Became Serious About Building an Electric Car

According to Bloomberg, Infiniti boss Roland Krueger mentioned that “we are discussing this internally constantly what is the right timing for Infiniti to have such (electric) vehicles”. He also added that the brand could move “very fast” after deciding to go for it, thanks to the EV technologies available at the parent company Nissan as well as the alliance company Renault. Moreover, the EV market in China weighs in significantly on the decision. In fact, China would be “the first market to launch (an EV)”.

Infiniti in 2012 did show a “production intent” concept electric car named LE (stands for Luxury Electric). The concept features things like wireless charging and connectivity.

Tesla is One Step Closer to Join the Uber Club

According to Reuters, Tesla is preparing a ridesharing services program Tesla Network. The news came from a disclaimer from Tesla on new Model S self-driving. The new vehicles will be built with the hardware that can support full automation once the software becomes ready, according to Elon Musk, and Tesla will run a fleet in cities with low levels of car ownership.

Tesla’s interest in ridesharing services was mentioned in Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux back in July. To have such services is further expanding the company’s vertical integration all the way from the battery Gigafactory.

Weekly Electromobility News

Anticipated EV Startups Released First Photos of Their Cars; Top-speed Corvette C7 Electric Starts Pre-order at $750,000; $10,000 Electric Car Project is Seeking Crowdfunding


Anticipated EV Startups Released First Photos of Their Cars

EV startups Atieva and NextEV have received a lot of attention for their big plans and large investment, but are largely running in stealth mode. Now, first photos of their cars in the making are seen online.

A side view of Atieva’s first car is available on Recode. The car is named Atvus and is a 4-door sedan. The company has been testing the powertrain with a van dubbed Edna. The van can do 2.74 seconds for 0-60 mph.

NextEV is building a supercar. Its photo is available on Motor Authority. The horsepower is over 1000 and the car is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration under 3 seconds as well. Motor Authority reported that the car was developed in Germany and has been tested in the UK. The debut would be on Nov 21 in London.

NextEV 1000-HP supercar reminds one of another popular EV startup Faraday Future, which showed its 1000-HP concept supercar FFZero1 during CES 2016.

Top-speed Corvette C7 Electric Starts Pre-order at $750,000

According to Autoblog, the Maryland-based Genovation Cars plans to build 75 GXE electric cars, based on the C7 Corvette Grand Sport. The company has built GXE based on another Corvette model C6 Z06. This car owns the title of the “fastest street-legal electric vehicle”, reaching 205.6 mph.

The new GXE will possess 660 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. It has “50/50 weight distribution” and 130 miles of electro-range. The interior will be unique for each individual car.

The reservation fee is $250,000 and the delivery will start at the end of 2019.

$10,000 Electric Car Project is Seeking Crowdfunding

According to Fortune, Storm Sondors is seeking $1million crowdfund to build a $10,000 three-wheeler electric car. Dubbed Model Sondors, the car will be good for 3 occupants. There will be three electro-ranges, i.e. 50, 100 and 200 miles. An all-wheel drive system will also be available. A prototype will be introduced in one year from the closing.

As of Oct. 15, nearly half a million has been raised. The offering is $12 per share with the minimum amount of 10 shares.

Sondors had his first crowdfunding succeed in his fat tire E-bike project where he raised $6million instead of the initial $75,000 target. Now he is the largest distributor of E-bikes in the US.

Weekly Electromobility News

Maserati is Joining the Electric Car Club; Formula E Third Season Kicked Off in Hong Kong; Henrik Fisker is Coming Back with an EV “Spiritual Successor to the Fisker Karma”

Maserati is Joining the Electric Car Club

According to the Car and Driver, Maserati wants to build an EV by 2020. This news came out from Maserati/Alfa Romeo’s engineering head Roberto Fedeli.

The electric Maserati is expected to be “a sleek grand-touring coupe”. One of the interesting tasks is to give the electric car the Maserati identity – the brand is proud of its fine-tuned signature engine sound. There even is a composer working at the company. It becomes tricky since electric cars sound very different (in any words, quiet).

Another task is to make the car enjoyable to drive. EVs are heavy from the weight of battery. Fedeli said “Torque and power are interesting for a very few seconds but then the weight does not let you enjoy the car on a normal road.”

Formula E Third Season Kicked Off in Hong Kong

Formula E – The electric version of Formula 1 – kicked off its 3rd season. The Round 1 HKT Hong Kong ePrix raced on Oct. 9, first-ever waterfront ePrix. The circuit is about 2 km, with 10 turns.

In this eventful race, the defending champion Sebastien Buemi (Renault e.dams) got the title, although he started at the fifth place. Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport’s Lucas di Grassi had a great race too, catching up from the 19th place to finish at 2nd. Renault is leading the team standings with 37 points.

Next round will be in North Africa Marrakesh on Nov 12. Formula E has expanded to 10 teams this season, with the addition of Jaguar and Faraday Future. Carmakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have plans to build teams for the 2017 season.

Henrik Fisker is Coming Back with an EV “Spiritual Successor to the Fisker Karma”

According to Fortune, Henrik Fisker, the creator of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid (and also BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage), said he was launching Fisker Inc. to build a new electric car. The new car will be a “spiritual successor to the Fisker Karma” and have “the world’s longest electric range of any production car previously developed,” Fisker said.

The car will run 400 plus miles on electric, supported by a different battery chemistry developed in-house. Moreover, the car “will include dynamic, never-before-seen design features, combining advanced materials with the use of the latest optimization software. The car will have more rear legroom and headroom than any of its closest competitors”, according to Fisker’s press release.

Fisker plans to unveil the EV in the second half of 2017.

Weekly Electromobility News

BMW Will Add Electric Version to Its X3 Lineup and Mini Brand; Mercedes Unveiled Generation EQ Electric Concept; New Renault ZOE Electric Car Increases Its Range to 250 Miles


BMW Will Add Electric Version to Its X3 Lineup and Mini Brand

According to Bloomberg, customers will see the electric Mini in 2019 and the electric BMW X3 in 2020, mentioned by BMW CEO Harald Krueger. Mr. Krueger also said that the electric cars would be “competitive” in terms of electro-range and price.

Earlier in May, Mr. Krueger commented that the company would launch i NEXT electric flagship model in 2021, during the company’s 96th Annual General Meeting.

Mercedes Unveiled Generation EQ Electric Concept

According to Fortune, Mercedes-Benz showed an electric concept car dubbed Generation EQ during Paris Motor Show. The carmaker indicated that the car was a “close-to-production” concept crossover.

The electro-range is 312 miles and the 0-62 MPH acceleration is less than 5 seconds. The car is loaded with advanced technologies as well – mirrorless feature, no door handles, concealed windshield wipers, touch-based controls and a floating 24-inch display.

Mercedes is creating a new electric brand EQ with the lineup covering vehicles, charging services and home energy solutions. The electric cars will be sharing a “scalable architecture” and cover from compact class to SUVs.

New Renault ZOE Electric Car Increases Its Range to 250 Miles

According to Renault press release, the new electric car ZOE will have a record range of 400 km (250 miles) based on NEDC drive cycle. The real-life range will be around 300 km (186 miles). The upgrade is through the use of a larger ZE 40 battery. MSRP starts at 13,995 euros. Sales start on October 1st.

Renault ZOE has been the top best-selling electric car in Europe. It reaches the sales of 100,000 units in September this year.

Nissan LEAF – also produced by Renault-Nissan Alliance – has an electro-range of 107 miles currently. There is rumor that next-generation LEAF will have a range of 200 miles and come out in 2018.