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

BMW to Recall Its i3 With Range Extender; Tesla Started a Video Contest After a Fifth-grader Suggested So; EPA is Expected to Re-review of 2022-2025 Fuel Economy Targets

 

BMW to Recall Its i3 With Range Extender

According to Green Car Reports, starting on April 3rd, BMW will recall all of i3 with range extender that it has sold in the US, totaling 19,130 units from 2014 model to 2017 model. According to NHTSA, the fuel-tank vent line of i3 with range extender may tear and cause leak. During the recall, the vent line will be inspected for wear and replaced as needed. A clip will also be installed to prevent the tear.

Tesla Started a Video Contest After a Fifth-grader Suggested So

According to Fortune, Tesla officially launched a video commercial contest on this past Saturday, soon after 10-year-old Bria Loveday made the proposal in a letter to Elon Musk. The project is named after the young girl as “Project Loveday”.

Now contestants can submit 90-second videos on Tesla website. The content should be related to Tesla’s products or its commitment to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. Top 10 winners will be featured on the company’s social media channels. The participant with the highest score will be introduced at a Tesla’s future launch event.

The contest is open until May 9 and the results will be announced around May 22.

EPA is Expected to Re-review of 2022-2025 Fuel Economy Targets

According to Reuters, EPA is expected to release soon that it would re-review of 2022-2025 vehicle fuel economy targets. This is related to the efforts by automakers to urge President Trump to reverse the decision under former President Obama.

Former President Obama and automakers in 2011 agreed to reach a company average fuel efficiency (CAFE) of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Last July, EPA estimated that CAFE would be between 50.8 and 52.6 mpg in 2025. Carmakers are feeling pressure on these targets. In the past 2 years, fuel efficiency increase has been stagnating partly due to low gas price.

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.

Weekly Electromobility News

Tesla Starts to Sell the Longest-range Electric Car; California PG&E Turns to its Customers to Fund EV Projects; Faraday Future FF91 Would Cost “Less Than $300,000”

 

Tesla Starts to Sell the Longest-range Electric Car

According to Electrek, Tesla has made available its Model S 100D version. It is loaded with a 100 kWh battery pack and has an EPA rating of 335 miles – a new world-record of electro-range for a mass produced pure electric car.

The MSRP starts at $95,000, which is only $3,000 higher than the price for the 90D version but $35,000 lower than P100D. Also available for Tesla is the Model X 100D, with a range of 295 miles.

New customers will not be able to enjoy free Supercharge access though.

California PG&E Turns to its Customers to Fund EV Projects

According to The Mercury News, California utility company PG&E announced a plan to facility the use of EVs in the state, and its customers would pay on average 28 cents more per month to help fund the $253 million proposal.

PG&E’s plan is intended to support the conversion of large- and medium-sized vehicles to EV and to expand fast-charging stations. The rate increase would be over a five-year period and PG&E thinks that the long-term benefits will offset it for the customers.

On its EV efforts, the utility is installing 7,500 chargers in the residential area and offering a $500 clean fuel rebate.

Faraday Future FF91 Would Cost “Less Than $300,000”

According to Electrek, Faraday Future FF91, which debuted a few weeks ago at CES 2017, would cost “less than 2 million yuan”, said Jia Yueting during an interview. That amount is equal to $290,000. Jia Yueting’s LeEco is the financial backer of Faraday Future.

FF91 received over 64,000 within 36 hours of its debut.

 

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

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

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.