Weekly Electromobility News

LEAF Lessees Get Option to Extend Lease with 3-month Courtesy Payments from Nissan; Lucid Air Luxury EV Will Start at $60,000; Tesla to Discontinue Model S 60 and 60D Starting on April 17

 

LEAF Lessees Get Option to Extend Lease with 3-month Courtesy Payments from Nissan

According to Green Car Reports, Nissan on Mar. 9 tweeted on Twitter that “many LEAF owners can extend their lease, get 3 months of courtesy payment & get on the list for the next Nissan LEAF”. This applies to the leases with the expiration date of Apr. 1st and later.

The offer is related to the release of the second-generation Nissan LEAF. The global release will be in this September and the new LEAF will be on sale by this year.

Lucid Air Luxury EV Will Start at $60,000

According to Autoblog, EV startup Lucid Motors set its first electric car Air starting at $60,000, before government incentives. The base model will have an electro-range of 240 miles and 400 horsepower. It will also be equipped with a 10-speaker sound system, 12-way power seats, “lots of” touch screens, etc. There will be upgraded 315 mile and 400 mile models. Additional options include a dual-motor system with 1000 horsepower, glass roof, 22-way power seats with massage, 29-speaker sound system, reclining rear seats, and so on.

The first 255 Launch Edition models will include many upgraded options, plus unique colors and badging. They will be around $165,000.

Tesla to Discontinue Model S 60 and 60D Starting on April 17

According to Teslarati, Tesla will soon stop selling its base models Model S 60 and 60D. Customers can still order these models until April 16. The price starts at $68,000 and the electro-range is between 210 miles and 218 miles with different motor configuration. This will make Model S 75 become the base model. Model S60 and 60D also have the option of upgrading to 75 kWh battery over the air.

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

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

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

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

Nissan Wants to Sell Its Stake in Batterymaker AESC; Tesla Released 2016 Q2 Financial Results; Straddling Electric Bus Took Road Demonstration in China

Nissan Wants to Sell Its Stake in Batterymaker AESC

According to Reuters, Sources indicated that Nissan was talking to companies including Panasonic regarding the possible transaction of its 51% stake in the batterymaker.

The Nissan/NEC joint venture supplies batteries to Nissan LEAF. It was reported that Nissan was switching to use batteries from LG Chem. Nissan’s alliance Renault uses LG Chem as well.

The scale of EV sales has not met expectation, which keeps battery cost high. Purchasing batteries from other suppliers would be lower cost.

Nissan commented that the talk of AESC transaction “is speculation, and is not based on any announcement by us”.

Tesla Released 2016 Q2 Financial Results

The results were released on Wednesday. 18,345 cars were produced in Q2, a 43% increase from the same period of last year. The company is targeting 50,000 deliveries for the second half of the year.

Non-GAAP Q2 revenue was $1.6 billion, a 31% increase from the same period of last year. Non-GAAP loss was $150 million, or $1.06 per share, versus $0.59 loss per share expected by analysts.

Tesla expects a 30% increase in 2016 non-GAAP operating expenses and 2016 capital expenditures of about $2.25 billion, largely related to Model 3 production plan.

Straddling Electric Bus Took Road Demonstration in China

According to NY Times, the prototype bus drove on the street of Qinhugngdao in China on Aug 2. It is 72-ft long and 26-ft wide, and has open space as high as 16-ft at the bottom to allow vehicles to pass. The bus is made by Transit Elevated Bus.

A full bus in the future would be capable of carrying as many as 1,200 people on board. It is powered by electricity – either through intermittent charging at the stops or through power lines. The technology is intended to address traffic congestion and save energy.

Weekly Electromobility News

VW Unveiled New Group Strategy “TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025”; Plug-in Electric Car Sales Hot in China; Nissan Targets 2020 for Would-be First Ethanol Fuel Cell Vehicle

 

VW Unveiled New Group Strategy “TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025”

According to VW website, VW CEO Matthias Müller presented the strategy in Wolfsburg in May 16. The 2025 strategy has an emphasis on electrification. There will be over 30 “new e-vehicles” by then, with unit sales targeted at 2-3 million per year.

“TOGERTHER – Strategy 2025” is considered the company’s “biggest change process” in its history.

Plug-in Electric Car Sales Hot in China

Automotive News China Reported that 35,000 units of plug-in electric cars were sold in May in China, a 128% increase as compared with the same period last year.

In the first 5 months this year, electric car sales in China have reached 126,000 vehicles, or a 134% increase. As compared, electric car sales in the US are 52,404 for the same period.

Nissan Targets 2020 for Would-be First Ethanol Fuel Cell Vehicle

According to Reuters, Nissan is working on fuel cell technology that uses ethanol as the fuel. The company plans to launch the system in 2020.

Ethanol fuel cell can be cheaper than hydrogen fuel cell, since “ethanol is very easy to procure, it is safer to store and lower cost”.

The technology would enable a range of about 800 kilometers, which is more than the range of a regular gasoline car.

Second-life Applications Could Help Reduce the Cost of EV Batteries

High battery cost keeps the cost of electric vehicles (EV) high. As a result, carmakers still are relying on government incentives to sell EVs at somewhat more acceptable price. It was recently reported on Forbes that the cost of battery pack in the new 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt would be significantly reduced to under $300/kWh (The packs will be supplied by LG Chem). It is interesting to notice that some existing battery replacement plans/warranties have already put the $/kWh well below 300.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra drives the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV onto the stage Monday, January 11, 2016 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. GM Executive Vice President Product Development Mark Reuss rides in the passenger seat. The Bolt EV offers more than 200 miles of range on a full charge at a price below $30,000 after Federal tax credits. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
(Photo: Barra Drives Chevrolet Bolt EV Into NAIAS Spotlight, on January 11 2016. © General Motors.)

More than 3 years ago, Tesla introduced a warranty option to replace the 85 kWh battery pack for $12,000; That equals to $141/kWh. In 2014, the Chevrolet Volt 16 kWh battery pack was seen sold at $2,994.64 or $187/kWh. In the same year, Nissan announced the battery replacement plan for LEAF. The cost is $5,499 including $1,000 for trading-in the old battery. The $6,499 total cost leads to $271/kWh. (More data on cell/pack price can be found at our homepage.)

The gap in battery cost can be partly filled by the batteries’ second-life applications.

EVs have stringent requirements on their batteries. To name a few – 1) EV batteries need to be weigh/space efficient to fit into a car, meaning high energy densities; 2) EV batteries need to be cycled in wide SOC windows (60-80%) to drive a long enough range on one charge; 3) EV batteries need to be able to deliver enough (like 70-80%) energy as battery ages, so drivers do not get angry with decreasing range; 4) EV batteries need to be able to deal with difficult load conditions like acceleration and fast charging.

That being said, end-of-life EV batteries are not dead batteries really. They can still serve well in less stringent conditions anywhere from huge MWh front-of-the-meter grid stationary storage to tiny portable power bank for your phone.

In any of these cases, high energy density is no long a must, batteries can be cycled in a narrow SOC window, batteries can retain less energy and the load conditions can be relatively mild and constant.

In November 2015, Daimler announced the plan to build a 13 MWh grid storage unit in Germany. It uses repurposed batteries from the electric car Daimler smart. The project was claimed to be the largest of its kind (with second-life batteries).

Nissan partners with Green Charge Networks to reuse its EV batteries for electrochemical energy storage (EES) applications. The behind-the-meter battery system can store electricity when the demand is low and produce electricity as the demand spikes. So users can save on demand charges. There was rumor that these old batteries would cost around $100/kWh.

Tesla reportedly has plans to give its EV batteries a second life as well. The residential energy storage product Powerwall sells for $3,000 per unit of 7 kWh. Can there be second-life batteries utilized?

For now, second-life applications can help reduce the price for battery replacement. How they can benefit EV buyers from the very beginning can be a quite interesting area to explore.

Moreover, battery reliability during the life span of an all-electric car or a plug-in hybrid lacks enough real-life data to support, since most of popular models came in after 2010. There were reports on cars like Nissan LEAF that the energy retention after a few years of driving was better than originally projected. Whether these cars need to replace the battery at all or not still would be an open question. And this would have an impact on how we see used electric cars.

It feels like electric car is but only a new technology, but also can change many things in our lives when they prevail.