Weekly Electromobility News

“Group Buy” Programs Have Ridiculously Low Price for EVs; Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Model Starts to Deliver in California; Swatch Eyes on Manufacturing EV Batteries


“Group Buy” Programs Have Ridiculously Low Price for EVs

EcoWatch reported that through such “group buy” programs, the price of available EVs can be discounted by thousands of dollars, on top of all the government incentives. For example, a Nissan LEAF can go for less than $12,000!

The “group buy” discount is the result of bulk purchase. Dealers are willing to offer lower prices in exchange of large-quantity purchase. Individual consumers can participate in such programs. Currently, “group buy” is available in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, DC and Utah.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Model Starts to Deliver in California

According to Green Car Reports, the first delivery of 6 cars was made on Dec. 19, at Honda’ Torrance campus.

Clarity has an EPA range of 366 miles per fill and can accommodate 5 people inside. As compared, the earlier Toyota Mirai FCV has 4 seats.

Now Clarity is available at 12 locations in Southern California, the Bay Area and Sacramento. The leasing is at $369/mo for 36 months, with $2,868 due at signing.

Swatch Eyes on Manufacturing EV Batteries

According to Reuters, the world’s biggest watchmaker Swatch plans to launch an EV battery and make $10-15 billion sales by 2020. The sales target is greater than the watch sales of $8.36 billion in 2015.

Swatch is developing the battery at Belenos Clean Power, a joint venture with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Swatch Renata battery unit is working on prototypes near Basel. The battery technology was reported to be based on a vanadium oxide cathode and a new electrolyte system.

Weekly Electromobility News

Formula E Appears in EA’s Real Racing 3; Kansas City Power and Light Provides A $10,000 Rebate on Nissan LEAF; First Electric Chevy Bolt Delivered in the Bay Area


Formula E Appears in EA’s Real Racing 3

According to Formula E website, mobile racing game Real Racing 3 added a Formula E track and a Formula E car into the game. The track is the Hong Kong ePrix street circuit, which is the first stop of the 2016-2017 season. The players now can get to experience the electric open-wheel racing car with 140 mph in the Hong Kong waterfront circuit.

This update to the game is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Kansas City Power and Light Provides A $10,000 Rebate on Nissan LEAF

According to Fortune, Kansa City Power and Light provides a $10,000 rebate for purchasing a Nissan LEAF and the rebate is available until Jan. 3rd of 2017. Up to $7,500 of federal tax credit also can be applied. It means that the price for the 2016 base model is as low as $11,510.

Now that the 2016 models reportedly are “wiped out” at dealers, the 2017 models cost $1,200 more, which is still unbelievable good deal.

First Electric Chevy Bolt Delivered in the Bay Area

According to Fortune, the first 3 Chevy Bolt electric cars were delivered at Fremont Chevrolet dealership on Dec. 13. Interestingly, the dealer is only 3 miles away from Tesla factory.

Chevy Bolt can do 238 miles per charge and starts at $37,495 before incentives. GM is rolling out Chevy Bolt in California and Oregon this month. Next, the model will reach Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in early 2017. By mid-2017, the electric car will be available nationwide.

Weekly Electromobility News

Daimler Eyes China for Producing its Electric Cars and Batteries; Tesla Started its Biggest Showroom in Europe; Lucid Motors Will Use Batteries from Samsung


Daimler Eyes China for Producing its Electric Cars and Batteries

According to Reuters, Daimler’s board member Hubertus Troska mentioned that the company was considering the possibility of manufacturing electric cars and batteries in China, to promote local production and cater the world’s largest automobile market.

It is “among the options in the room” to setup a battery plant in China, as Mr. Troska disclosed. He also mentioned that “the strategic plan by the (Chinese) authorities is to push battery electric vehicles. We continue to invest in both battery electric cars and hybrid.”

Mercedes’ sales in China are strong this year. “Sales of the C-Class in the past year were phenomenal and we cannot build enough GLCs,” Mr. Troska said.

Tesla Started its Biggest Showroom in Europe

According to Forbes, Tesla opened its largest European showroom in Chiswick, London, on this past Friday. Here customers get to see the available options and customize their order.

Tesla is expanding in the country. After setting up its first showroom three years ago, the company owns 16 showrooms now. There are also 144 Superchargers along the corridor between Exeter and Edinburgh as well as to Kent area.

Lucid Motors Will Use Batteries from Samsung

According to Fortune, EV startup Lucid Motors (previous Atieva) will use batteries from Samsung in its upcoming electric cars. Both companies formed the partnership to development high-performance cylindrical batteries. The batteries “exceed current performance benchmarks in areas such as energy density, power, calendar life, and safety. Significantly, this jointly developed cell achieves breakthrough tolerance to repeated fast charging.”

Lucid plans to show its 1,000-HP Atvus sedan on Dec. 14. At least one model will support an electro-range of 400 miles, as mentioned by the company’s CTO Peter Rawlinson, who was a VP at Tesla previously.

Weekly Electromobility News

EV Charging Network in Europe Getting Boosted; NextEV Will Build Six of Its $1.2 Million NIO EP9 Electric Supercar; Maserati Alfieri Electric Will Start Production by 2020


EV Charging Network in Europe Getting Boosted

According to Reuters, six carmakers, including VW, Audi, Porche, BMW, Daimler and Ford Europe, have signed a memorandum of understanding to fund the installation of thousands of ultra-fast charging stations by 2020, as part of the effort to increase EV sales.

The charging stations will be using CCS (combined changing system) protocol, which is currently adopted by most of EV models from European and US carmakers. The ultra-fast charging network under the agreement will be capable of outputting 350 kW, much higher than the state-of-the-art 50 kW.

NextEV Will Build Six of Its $1.2 Million NIO EP9 Electric Supercar

According to Fortune, the EV startup NextEV unveiled its first model NIO EP9 electric supercar recently in London. The car took on “the Green Hell” track of Nuerburg-Ring and finished it in 7 minutes and 5.12 seconds, slashing the previous track record by nearly 17 seconds. This result may help justify the supercar’s $1.2 million price tag. And there will be only six of them.

NextEV will introduce a volume production model in China next year.

Maserati Alfieri Electric Will Start Production by 2020

According to Motoring, Maserati confirmed it would build the electric version of its Alfieri by 2020. This detail follows the initial comment by Maserati’s engineering head Roberto Fedeli about 2 month ago. Fedeli mentioned that the tasks would be to give the EV the Maserati identity and to make the car fun to drive.

The electric Alfieri is planned to roll out one year after the twin-turbo V6 version. Maserati has plans to build the electric models of its Levante SUV, Ghibli and Quattroporte, as well.

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.

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.