Weekly Electromobility News

Toyota Recalls All of Its Mirai Fuel Cell Sedans; smart Will Only Sell Electric Cars in North America; Buemi Won Formula E Race in Buenos Aires and Got a Hat-trick in Titles

 

Toyota Recalls All of Its Mirai Fuel Cell Sedans

According to Reuters, Toyota announced on Wednesday that all of its Mirai were being recalled for fuel cell output voltage problems. Under “unique driving conditions”, the voltage from the boost converter can possibly go above maximum voltage. During the recall, the software will be updated free of charge and the process will be around half an hour.

There are roughly 2,840 Mirai FCVs on the road worldwide, from the start of sales late last year.

smart Will Only Sell Electric Cars in North America

According to Green Car Reports, Mercedes-Benz USA in a letter to its dealers announced that the smart brand would only sell electric models in the US and Canada starting from the 2018 model year.

Currently, 2016 smart Fortwo Electric Coupe sells for $19,990 before government incentives, which is the first electric car below $20,000 in the US. The convertible Electric Cabriolet has a MSRP of $22,990.

Last year, Daimler announced that all of 2017 smart models would have the all-electric option, including fortwo, fortwo Cabrio and forfour.

Buemi Won Formula E Race in Buenos Aires and Got a Hat-trick in Titles

According to Formula E, Formula E’s 3rd race of the season took place in Buenos Aires on Feb. 18. Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi finished with the first place again, making a hat-trick winning streak on all 3 races so far. Now Buemi became the first drive in Formula E history to obtain three race titles in a row. TECHEETAH’s Jean-Eric Vergne and ABT Audi’s Lucas di Grassi are the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

The Buenos Aires ePrix also made history with two self-driving “DevBot” electric race cars running in a “Roborace”. Formula E hopes that it will grow into a 10-car race and each team makes its own software.

Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Shuts Down Factory to Prepare Model 3 Production; Honda and Hitachi Plan to Form a JV for EV Motor; EV Insiders Believe Battery Cost Will Be Less Than $100/kWh Before 2020

 

Tesla Shuts Down Factory to Prepare Model 3 Production

According to Reuters, Tesla announced that this month it would shut down its Fremont factory for one week, to increase capacity of the paint shop and perform general maintenance. The shutdown is intended to prepare the factory for Model 3 production starting in July.

The test run of Model 3 production will start as soon as 2/20. The status should be updated in the shareholder report on 2/22. On the other hand, minor design changes could still be underway.

Separately, according to Fortune, workers at Tesla factory are trying to unionize. United Automobile Workers (UAW) union said workers at Tesla had approached the union and it would greet them with “open arms”.

Honda and Hitachi Plan to Form a JV for EV Motor

According to Fortune, Honda and Hitachi Automotive Systems will form a joint venture in July, to produce electric car motors. The investment is 5 billion yen (or $44.69 million). Hitachi will hold 51% of the JV and the remaining 49% ownership will go to Honda.

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo commented that “producing motors is capital intensive, so rather than just manufacturing them for our own purposes, we would like to produce in large volumes with the possibility of supplying a variety of customers.”

Just last week, Honda and GM formed a JV Fuel Cell system Manufacturing LLC to make fuel cell power systems for both companies.

EV Insiders Believe Battery Cost Will Be Less Than $100/kWh Before 2020

According to a blog on Wards Auto, during the 2017 CES, EV experts expressed their confidence on future battery cost cut. They believe the cost of the battery will be less than $100/kWh before 2020, which would bring electric power system cost down to the internal engine level and thus makes EV cost competitive. Furture, they think $80/kWh will be reached “not long after that”.

Weekly Electromobility News

Honda and GM Join Forces on Fuel Cell Vehicles; Oil Companies Shell and Total Are Installing Chargers at Their Gas Stations; Tesla Motors Changed Its Name to Tesla

 

Honda and GM Join Forces on Fuel Cell Vehicles

According to Reuters, Honda and GM formed a joint venture Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC to produce fuel cell power systems. Companies will together put $85 million to build a production line for this purpose at a GM plant in Michigan. The companies target around 2020 to start production and share the power systems in car models from both companies.

Honda currently sells its Clarity fuel cell sedan in both the US and Japan. GM does not have any fuel cell model at the moment.

Oil Companies Shell and Total Are Installing Chargers at Their Gas Stations

According to Green Car Reports, Shell and Total decided recently to include EV charging stations at their gas stations. Shell will add this function in both the UK and the Netherlands later this year, while Total is considering its domestic areas.

They are not the only oil companies that show interest in EV. Ricker’s Oil in Indiana added 9 DC fast-charging stations at its gas stations in 2015.

Tesla Motors Changed Its Name to Tesla

According to Reuters, Tesla Inc dropped “Motors” in its old name on Feb 1st. The change reflects the company’s move into new energy technologies from electric car products.

Besides the electric car lineup, Tesla also has businesses covering the Powerwall home battery storage systems, solar cell roof tiles, solar energy services (with SolarCity) and batteries from the Gigafactory.