Weekly Electromobility News

Jaguar Land Rover’s First All-electric I-PACE Coming in 2018; Tesla and SolarCity Shareholders Vote for Merger; Toyota Starts to Invest More on Electric Cars

 

Jaguar Land Rover’s First All-electric I-PACE Coming in 2018

According to Fortune, Jaguar Land Rover Launched its first all-electric concept car – named I-PACE – during the Los Angeles Auto Show. The product version will be introduced in late 2017 and the company plans to bring it to market in 2018.

The I-PACE is a five-seat SUV, with a 90-kWh battery pack onboard. It is expected to have an electro-range of 220 miles. The 0-60 mph acceleration is roughly 4 seconds. The car is of course all-wheel drive, with dual electric motors. The design fuses the front of the C-X75 hybrid concept and the back of the F-PACE SUV. Mechanically, the cabin is placed more to the front and the wheelbase is extended, for better aerodynamics.

Tesla and SolarCity Shareholders Vote for Merger

According to Wall Street Journal, the shareholders of Tesla and SolarCity respectively approved the $2.1 billion all-stock merge proposed by Tesla. The integrated company will be selling electric cars, rooftop solar panels and home battery storage. Elon Musk will be the head of the new company.

Mr. Musk earlier showed a normal-looking roof solar tile product that the new company would launch. Before the merge, SolarCity has changed its business model and started to sell its solar panels rather than the previous leasing.

Toyota Starts to Invest More on Electric Cars

According to Fortune, Toyota will create an internal venture company to develop electric cars next month. The small company will have four members, each respectively coming from Toyota Industries, Aisin Seiki, Denso and Toyota Motor. Toyota thinks that this small structure will “enable it to implement unconventional work processes, leading to accelerated project progress and, thus, fast-to-market products”.

Different from many major car OEMs’ strategies on electric cars, Toyota had been rather in favor of fuel cell vehicles, which as compared with EVs, are longer range, faster fueling and better safety. Toyota launched world-first fuel cell model Mirai last year.

Toyota has tracking record of successful innovations with respect to Lexus and Prius. This makes one confident in the fuel cell adventure and the new EV venture company both of which Toyota is working on.

Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Starting to Charge for Using Supercharger in 2017; VW Introducing Longer-electrorange e-Golf at LA Auto Show; Formula E Defending Champion Buemi Got His 2nd Win of the Season

Tesla Starting to Charge for Using Supercharger in 2017

Tesla announced on Nov. 7 that the company would charge fees for new Tesla owners to use supercharging service starting in 2017. The existing customers as well as the potential owners who place the order by end of 2016 and take delivery before this coming April 1st will continue to enjoy the free service.

Starting in 2017, each new Tesla car will have free use of 400 kWh annually. Afterward, small but incremental fees will be applied to the account. The details of the program will be announced later, but the cost of charging will be lower than the cost of using gas.

Currently, a total of 4,600 Superchargers worldwide are supporting 160,000 Tesla drivers. The upcoming mass-produced Model 3 will sure put a lot of pressure on the network.

Tesla plans to sell 80,000 vehicles in this year. It is interesting to see if this plan can help boost the sales a bit and reach the company’s sales goal.

VW Introducing Longer-electrorange e-Golf at LA Auto Show

According to VW Vortex, VW will unveil the next-generation electric e-Golf along with the new Golf next week during the LA Auto Show.

The upgraded e-Golf is reported to be able to drive up to 186 miles per charge, which is a surprising significant improvement from the current range of 83 miles. It was expected earlier this year that the new-gen e-Golf would have an electro-range of 110 miles or so. This electro-range of 186 miles is nearing the new Chevy Bolt (238 miles) and putting the new 2017 BMW i3 (114 miles) far behind.

The new e-Golf will have a new look and a new infotainment system as well.

Formula E Defending Champion Buemi Got His 2nd Win of the Season

The 2nd race of Formula E 2016-2017 Series took place in Marrakesh on Nov. 12. It was the first such race in Africa. The track featured 2.97 km and 12 turns and the race had 33 laps.

The defending champion Sebastien Buemi continued his dominance by winning another title of the season. With the starting position of seventh, Buemi managed to pass the Pole Position winner Felix Rosenqvist on lap 28 and win the race. Sam Bird and Felix finished with the second and the third places respectively.

Team standings-wise, Renault e.dams is having a comfortable lead by 38 points, largely thanks to the 2 wins by Buemi.

Next, Formula E drivers will have a virtual race with 10 sim racing experts on January 7 in Las Vegas, for a $1million prize. The 3rd race of the season will take place in Buenos Aires on Feb. 18.

Weekly Electromobility News

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Has Changed Applicant Income Requirements; 2016 FIAT 500e Lease Offer at $49/mo; Model S “Exploded” After Fatal Crash in Indianapolis

 

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Has Changed Applicant Income Requirements

According to California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, three changes have been made – 1) new higher-income caps, 2) increased rebate levels for low-income consumers and 3) plug-in hybrids’ new range requirements. These changes apply to vehicles purchased/leased on or after Nov. 1.

For the higher-income caps, new requirements are $150 thousand for single filers, $204 thousand for head-of-household filers and $300 thousand for joint filers. These caps become more stringent by $100-200 thousand than before. The consumers above the caps are not eligible for the rebates, with the exception of fuel-cell vehicles.

For low-income consumers, the new rebate levels are an extra $2,000 on top of the standard, which reflect a $500 increase from before Nov. 1.

For plug-in hybrids, now they need to have an electro-range of at least 20 miles to be eligible for the rebates. Therefore, cars like BMW X5 xDrive40e and BMW i8 would not be eligible.

The rebates are limited to two purchases/leases per household.

2016 FIAT 500e Lease Offer at $49/mo

According to Santa Monica FIAT, 2016 FIAT 500e lease specials are as low as $49/mo plus tax for 36 months. The down payment is not specified on the website. The MSRP is $32,795. The deal will run until Nov. 15.

The electric car has a highway rating of 108 MPGe and an electro-range of 87 miles per charge. It is loaded with a 24 kWh battery. The car is eligible for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate of up to $4,500 as well as the HOV lane access.

Model S “Exploded” After Fatal Crash in Indianapolis

According to WTHR, the accident happened around 1am on Thursday, which caused the two occupants their lives. The Model S was “traveling at a high rate of speed” and “slammed into a tree”.

An eyewitness’s video recorded large flames and then an explosion. “It hit that tree and it bounced around and all of a sudden it just exploded,” described Al Finnell. The batteries onboard made firefighting different. Kevin Jones from the Indianapolis Fire Department described that some batteries fire off “almost like projectiles”. The firefighters have been trained to deal with crashes involving EVs. Tesla also posted firefighting instructions on how to avoid injuries to the rescuers.