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

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

2017 Karma Revero Available Now With the Second Highest Starting MSRP Among Electric Cars; VW to Launch e-load up! Electric Van This Month; National Drive Electric Week Kicks Off on September 10

 

2017 Karma Revero Available Now With the Second Highest Starting MSRP Among Electric Cars

According to Autoblog, Karma Revero was launched on Sept. 8th. It is a luxury plug-in hybrid sedan, built upon the previous Fisker Karma model. The MSRP starts at $130,000, next to the starting MSRP of BMW i8 at $140,700.

For Karma Revero, the electro-range is 50 miles and the total range is 300 miles. The car can accommodate 4 people. Karma Revero has two industry firsts – A solar roof that can generate 1 mile of energy per day, and a hand-painted badge that makes each car unique.

The car can be ordered now at Karma dealership. Online order will be available by the end of this month.

VW to Launch e-load up! Electric Van This Month

According to Reuters, VW will present the e-load up! Electric micro van this month during the Hanover trucks show. The van is targeting small business owners who use this type of vehicles for daily work. Eckhard Scholz, head of the company’s commercial vehicle unit, did express concerns over the lack of incentives from potential customers.

The concept of e-load up! was unveiled 3 years ago. VW also showed its BUDD-e electric minivan concept in January this year.

National Drive Electric Week Kicks Off on September 10

This year, there are 231 events on electric vehicles during the week of Sept. 10-18. The majority of them are in the US, but some also are in Canada, Denmark, China, Croatia, Italy and New Zealand. These events include test drive, exhibition, parade etc. A lot of EV owners are part of the events as well.

The National Drive Electric Week started in 2011 as National Plug In Day, with 29 participating cities that year. It grows fast ever since and has turned into an international celebration apparently.

The information regarding the National Drive Electric Week and this year’s events can be found at the official website.

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

NHTSA Opens Evaluation into Autopilot Performance in a Fatal Tesla Model S Crash; VW Likely To Build One of the First Battery Plants in China; NextEV Set to Unveil Its Electric Supercar This Year

NHTSA Opens Evaluation into Autopilot Performance in a Fatal Tesla Model S Crash

According to Tesla Blog, NHTSA is looking into the Autopilot performance in a fatal Model S crash in Florida on May 7, 2016. The regulators are determining if “the system worked according to expectations”.

With Autopilot on, the Model S crashed into a tractor trailer which was making a left turn. The car drove under the trailer and the roof was sheared off. The crash killed the driver and only occupant Joshua Brown of the Model S.

VW Likely To Build One of the First Battery Plants in China

According to Automotive News Europe, a person familiar with VW management said “China is likely one of the first” that VW is building a battery plant in.

VW unveiled 2025 group strategy 2 weeks ago, with an emphasis on vehicle electrification. 150 GWh of batteries are projected to be needed, which is a huge procurement challenge for the carmaker. The source indicated that VW was planning roughly 10 plants with a total investment of 20 billion euros.

 

NextEV Set to Unveil Its Electric Supercar This Year

According to Autocar, the debut of NextEV’s first electric supercar will be “somewhere in Europe” this year, a comment made by the startup’s president Martin Leach, former president of Ford Europe.

The supercar is in advanced development and has managed to produce more than 1 MW, or 1341 HP. It is targeting the performance comparable to McLaren P1 and LaFerrari. The price tag will be around 1 million euros.

NextEV currently sponsors a Formula E team.

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.