Weekly Electromobility News

California PG&E Offers a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate for Electric Cars; ChargePoint to Introduce 400kW DC Fast Chargers; VW Electric Concept Van I.D. Buzz Seen at 2017 Detroit Auto Show


California PG&E Offers a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate for Electric Cars

California Utility Company PG&E just started to offer a $500 Clean Fuel Rebate to its customers who drive an electric car. The rebate results from the State’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. PG&E gets credits from the state as its customers charge EVs using electricity at home and the company passes on the money to the customers through this new rebate program.

To apply, simply submit the PG&E account number and the EV’s registration card through the website.

PG&E recently also got the approval on spending $130 million to install 7,500 chargers in the residential areas it covers.

ChargePoint to Introduce 400kW DC Fast Chargers

According to Charged EVs, ChargePoint will roll out 400kW chargers in July this year. The system is called Express Plus. It will allow to charge the 200-mile Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 at maximum power rates.

ChargePoint also launched Express 250 fast charging system, which is capable of generating 90 miles of electro-range in half an hour.

VW Electric Concept Van I.D. Buzz Seen at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

According to Car Magazine, VW exhibited a new electric concept van named I.D. Buzz at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The all-electric van has eight seats and goes for 270 miles on one charge. It is capable of fully autonomous driving, in which the driver’s seat can turn and face back and the futuristic steering wheel can go into the dashboard.

I.D. Buzz is built on VW’s MEB electric car platform. A compact hatchback electric car with the platform will go on sale in 2020. VW expects sales of one million of electric cars per year by 2025. Fully autonomous driving is also “conceivable starting in 2025”.

Weekly Electromobility News

Faraday Future Introduced its First Production Car FF91; Second-Generation Nissan LEAF Will Have 200 Miles and Self-driving; World Largest Battery Factory Starts Production


Faraday Future Introduced its First Production Car FF91

According to Fortune, the EV startup Faraday Future introduced its FF91 model during the 2017 CES. The EV will have an electro-range of about 378 miles, a top speed of over 200 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 2.39 seconds.

The car will also be loaded with technologies. It can recognize passengers even when they are not in the car. There are two Internet hotspots to ensure continuous connectivity. FF91 will be highly customizable as well.

Potential customers can pre-order the car by putting a refundable $5,000. The delivery is expected to start in 2018.

Second-Generation Nissan LEAF Will Have 200 Miles and Self-driving

According to Green Car Reports, during the 2017 CES, Nissan Senior VP Takao Asami confirmed that the new LEAF would have an electro-range “at or above 200 miles” with at least one variant. He also mentioned that the company was trying to figure out whether or not to introduce different ranges in different regions like North America, Europe and Asia.

Furthermore, Nissan CEO Mr. Carlos Ghosn announced that the ProPilot self-driving technology would be available for the new LEAF. The feature will enable autonomous driving on a highway in certain circumstances. Mr. Ghosn said that the new car will be launched “in the near future”, but did not go any more specific.

World Largest Battery Factory Starts Production

According to Tesla, its Gigafactory began the production of Li-ion battery cells on Jan. 4. These cells will first go into Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy storage products. Starting in Q2, cells for the upcoming Model 3 will be built. By 2018, the factory will output 35 GWh/year of battery cells, which is close to today’s global cell production. Because of this high production capacity, Tesla expects that the “cost of battery cells will significantly decline”.

The Gigafactory is being constructed in phases. Right now, it is less than 30% completed, but production can be started in the finished sections already. Once done, it will most likely be the biggest building in the world.

Weekly Electromobility News

Used Electric Cars Come with Low Price Tag

According to Electrek, wholesale price for used electric cars coming off lease is quite low. The 2013 Tesla S has seen as low as $31,000 and the lowest price for the 2013 FIAT 500e is $4,200.

The wholesale price is for dealers to auction the used cars. Later, these cars will be put on market. For used FIAT 500e, the market price would be around $6,500. What is unclear is the condition of these low-priced used cars. Right now, a certified pre-owned Model S usually costs more than $50,000, which includes a new warranty.

15 More Days to Buy a Tesla with Free Fast-charging

2 months ago, Tesla announced that ordering a car with free fast-charging would run until the end of 2016 and after that the company would charge fees to new customers for using supercharging service. Now, according to Fortune, the free fast-charging included new orders have been extended for another two weeks, until Jan 15.

Continental Expects Jobs to be Shifted to EV

According to Reuters, auto parts supplier Continental’s CEO Mr. Elmar Degenhart  said the company’s shift to EV would cost jobs, but new jobs related to EV would offset the lost. He also said that it was unclear yet if the number of new jobs would be bigger or smaller. About 30,000 of 218,000 people at Continental work on combustion engines. Last month the auto parts giant announced that it would spend more on the EV components in next years.

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.