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

Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the Most Energy-Efficient Car; Formula E New York Races Start Ticket Sales; BMW, Nissan and EVgo Partner to Extend Coverage of Charging Stations

 

Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the Most Energy-Efficient Car

According to Green Car Reports, the all-electric 2017 Hyundai Ioniq achieves 136 MPGe on the EPA rating, which makes the model the most energy-efficient car in the US. It passes the 133 MPGe of the 2017 Prius Prime plug-in and the 124 MPGe of the 1st-gen BMW i3.

2017 Ioniq Electric has an electro-range of 124 miles. Moreover, the range will be increased to 200-mile tier by 2018.

The car will be on sale by end of 2017. The hybrid version will also be available in the same timeframe. The plug-in model will arrive in 2018.

Formula E New York Races Start Ticket Sales

Formula E on Wednesday started ticket sales for its first-ever races in New York, which will take place on 7/15 and 7/16 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The sales launch featured NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. The races are the Round 9 and Round 10 of the 2016-2017 season.

The tickets on sale are for the Pier 11 Main Grandstand. The price is $75 for adults, $47.5 for students and $37.5 for children aged 5-15. From 3/1, the price will increase. Tickets are available at Formula E website.

BMW, Nissan and EVgo Partner to Extend Coverage of Charging Stations

According to BMW Blog, BMW and Nissan are funding EVgo to install 174 DC fast-charging stations across 32 states and DC. 50 stations are planned for 2017. As a result of this partnership, EVgo will operate a total of 668 DC fast-charging stations, covering 50+ metropolitan areas and 90%+ of BMW and Nissan electric cars.

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

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

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

2016 e-Golf Leasing at $49/month; Audi Team To Race Formula E Series in 2017; Audi A9 e-tron Luxury Electric Sedan Expected by 2020

 

2016 e-Golf Leasing at $49/month

According to VW dealer Winn Volkswagen in California, the current lease offer for 2016 e-Golf SE is as low as $49/month for 36 months. Mileage restriction is 7,500 miles per year. The amount due at signing is quite high though – at $5,299. The state’s $2,500 Clean Vehicle rebate is on waiting list now. The lease offer ends on Sept. 6th.

Audi Team To Race Formula E Series in 2017

According to Fortune, Audi announced that it would form its factory Formula E team and race in the 2017-2018 season.

Formula E is the “electric car version” of Formula 1.  The series debuted in 2014 and the 2016-2017 season will kick off on Oct 9 in Hong Kong. Currently there are 10 racing teams, including Audi-sponsord ABT Schaeffler, and first-timer Jaguar and Faraday Future.

Audi A9 e-tron Luxury Electric Sedan Expected by 2020

According to Autocar, this A9 luxury electric sedan has been approved for production by the company. The car will have an electro-range of 500 km (311 miles), 11kW wireless charging capability and level 4 autonomous driving. The tuning of the drive management system on 4-wheel drive makes Audi EVs unique from other electric cars. A9 is considered to compete with Tesla Model S directly.

Three EVs will be made available by Audi by 2020 – A3 e-tron, Q6 e-tron and Q9 e-tron. Furthermore, by 2025, 25% of Audi models will be “battery-driven”.

Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Model 3 Launch to Receive Funding from New Stock Sell

Reuters reported that Tesla plans to raise up to $1.7 billion by new stock sell, to prepare its Model 3 launch. The company in a prospectus said that up to 8.2 million common stock shares will be sold at an expected price of $204.66 per share.

Tesla plans to advance its 500,000-unit production goal to 2018, which is 2 years earlier than the original plan. This adjustment was made in response to the encouraging 373,000 pre-orders of the Model 3. The new fund will mainly be spent on production expansion and supplies.

The 2018 goal is viewed by analysis and suppliers too aggressive. Tesla hired Peter Hochholdinger as VP of vehicle production last week. For Q1 this year, it posted a non-GAAP net loss of $0.57 per share and a GAAP net loss of $2.13 per share.

BMW Sued over i3 Allegedly Defected Range Extension Feature

MLG Automotive Law in a press release stated that it filed a lawsuit case against BMW North America on May 17th. The lawsuit is over alleged defects in BMW i3 with Range Extender. It is a national class action case.

As mentioned in the press release, allegedly in practice, when the range-extending engine operates, the car will speed down as the battery runs to low state of charge, if under significant load conditions like “going up a hill, or loaded with passengers”.

Similar issue was seen online more than one and a half years ago. BMW was reported to have an enhancement through software upgrade and other measures. There also is a recall for mount screw in the US.

Formula E Plans to Race in New York City Next Year

According to CNN, Formula E is trying to have NYC host one round of the championship next year. The CEO Alejandro Agag is “very optimistic” about its happening.

Formula E Championship uses open-wheel electric cars to race, kind of the electric car version of Formula 1. With a 28 kWh battery pack, the cars can output as high as 270 HP. The top speed can reach 140 mph.

The 2015-2016 season is the series’ second season. There are 9 teams and 19 racers to compete.