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

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.

Weekly Electromobility News

Audi Quitting Dominant 24 Hours of Le Mans in Favor of Formula E; Tesla Turned Profitable in Q3; Audi Rolls Out Plug-in A6 in China

 

Audi Quitting Dominant 24 Hours of Le Mans in Favor of Formula E

According to Audi MediaCenter, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced on this past Wednesday that the brand would “terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season”. The new focus for the motorsport department is the electric Formula E series.

Audi has been dominating the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the 18 years of participation, the team won the title 13 times. Teams like Porsche and Toyota are still active in the WEC.

Currently, in Formula E, Audi sponsors the team ABT Schaeffler. The brand will form its factory Formula E team and race starting the 2017-18 season.

Tesla Turned Profitable in Q3

Tesla released Q3’16 Update Letter on this past Wednesday.

The company earned a net income of $22 million for the quarter (second such quarter in its history) on the GAAP basis. In Q3, Tesla collected revenue of $139 million from the sales of ZEV credit.

24,821 cars were delivered, which include 16,047 Model S units and 8,774 Model X units. The score is a 114% increase from the same period of last year. Tesla’s goal of delivering 80,000 units in 2016 seems under control, with a bit over 25,000 deliveries to go for Q4.

Audi Rolls Out Plug-in A6 in China

According to Automotive News China, Audi has started the production of the plug-in hybrid version of its A6 sedan, at the FAW-VW joint venture in China. The model is named A6L e-tron. The total range is 500 miles, of which about 30 miles are on electric.

The car will go on sale during the Guangzhou Auto Show in Nov. 19. Audi sells is plug-in A3 e-tron currently in China and will introduce Q7 e-tron there later in the year.

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

Anticipated EV Startups Released First Photos of Their Cars; Top-speed Corvette C7 Electric Starts Pre-order at $750,000; $10,000 Electric Car Project is Seeking Crowdfunding

 

Anticipated EV Startups Released First Photos of Their Cars

EV startups Atieva and NextEV have received a lot of attention for their big plans and large investment, but are largely running in stealth mode. Now, first photos of their cars in the making are seen online.

A side view of Atieva’s first car is available on Recode. The car is named Atvus and is a 4-door sedan. The company has been testing the powertrain with a van dubbed Edna. The van can do 2.74 seconds for 0-60 mph.

NextEV is building a supercar. Its photo is available on Motor Authority. The horsepower is over 1000 and the car is capable of 0-60 mph acceleration under 3 seconds as well. Motor Authority reported that the car was developed in Germany and has been tested in the UK. The debut would be on Nov 21 in London.

NextEV 1000-HP supercar reminds one of another popular EV startup Faraday Future, which showed its 1000-HP concept supercar FFZero1 during CES 2016.

Top-speed Corvette C7 Electric Starts Pre-order at $750,000

According to Autoblog, the Maryland-based Genovation Cars plans to build 75 GXE electric cars, based on the C7 Corvette Grand Sport. The company has built GXE based on another Corvette model C6 Z06. This car owns the title of the “fastest street-legal electric vehicle”, reaching 205.6 mph.

The new GXE will possess 660 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. It has “50/50 weight distribution” and 130 miles of electro-range. The interior will be unique for each individual car.

The reservation fee is $250,000 and the delivery will start at the end of 2019.

$10,000 Electric Car Project is Seeking Crowdfunding

According to Fortune, Storm Sondors is seeking $1million crowdfund to build a $10,000 three-wheeler electric car. Dubbed Model Sondors, the car will be good for 3 occupants. There will be three electro-ranges, i.e. 50, 100 and 200 miles. An all-wheel drive system will also be available. A prototype will be introduced in one year from the closing.

As of Oct. 15, nearly half a million has been raised. The offering is $12 per share with the minimum amount of 10 shares.

Sondors had his first crowdfunding succeed in his fat tire E-bike project where he raised $6million instead of the initial $75,000 target. Now he is the largest distributor of E-bikes in the US.

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

BMW Will Add Electric Version to Its X3 Lineup and Mini Brand; Mercedes Unveiled Generation EQ Electric Concept; New Renault ZOE Electric Car Increases Its Range to 250 Miles

 

BMW Will Add Electric Version to Its X3 Lineup and Mini Brand

According to Bloomberg, customers will see the electric Mini in 2019 and the electric BMW X3 in 2020, mentioned by BMW CEO Harald Krueger. Mr. Krueger also said that the electric cars would be “competitive” in terms of electro-range and price.

Earlier in May, Mr. Krueger commented that the company would launch i NEXT electric flagship model in 2021, during the company’s 96th Annual General Meeting.

Mercedes Unveiled Generation EQ Electric Concept

According to Fortune, Mercedes-Benz showed an electric concept car dubbed Generation EQ during Paris Motor Show. The carmaker indicated that the car was a “close-to-production” concept crossover.

The electro-range is 312 miles and the 0-62 MPH acceleration is less than 5 seconds. The car is loaded with advanced technologies as well – mirrorless feature, no door handles, concealed windshield wipers, touch-based controls and a floating 24-inch display.

Mercedes is creating a new electric brand EQ with the lineup covering vehicles, charging services and home energy solutions. The electric cars will be sharing a “scalable architecture” and cover from compact class to SUVs.

New Renault ZOE Electric Car Increases Its Range to 250 Miles

According to Renault press release, the new electric car ZOE will have a record range of 400 km (250 miles) based on NEDC drive cycle. The real-life range will be around 300 km (186 miles). The upgrade is through the use of a larger ZE 40 battery. MSRP starts at 13,995 euros. Sales start on October 1st.

Renault ZOE has been the top best-selling electric car in Europe. It reaches the sales of 100,000 units in September this year.

Nissan LEAF – also produced by Renault-Nissan Alliance – has an electro-range of 107 miles currently. There is rumor that next-generation LEAF will have a range of 200 miles and come out in 2018.

Weekly Electromobility News

California Resumes EV Rebates and Green HOV Decal Issuance; smart Goes Electric for all of its 2017 Models; China New Energy Car Market Growth Stays Strong

 

California Resumes EV Rebates and Green HOV Decal Issuance

According to Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, $133 million was approved by the state on Sept 14, to continue funding the rebate project. The fund will be used to cover applications on the waiting list since June 11 as well as new applications in FY2016-17. The qualified applications are expected to start receiving rebate checks in December.

Moreover, according to California DMV, the state removed the 85,000 limit on Green HOV Decals on Sept 13. The green decals allow plug-in hybrids to use carpool lane during rush hours. The applicants on the waiting list since December 2015 and new applicants will receive the decal. The application fee was raised to $22 from the previous $8. The green decals expire on Jan 1, 2019.

smart Goes Electric for all of its 2017 Models

According to TechCrunch, Daimler’s smart will make all-electric an option to all of its 2017 lineup, including fortwo, fortwo Cabrio and forfour.

These electric cars can run 99 miles (EP rating) on a single charge. fortwo Electric Drive will arrive in spring 2017 and the fortwo Cabrio will be available later in the summer. smart will introduce its EVs at Paris Motor Show in October.

Current, 2016 smart fortwo Electric Coupe is available. MSRP starts at $19,990 before incentives. Leasing is as low as $139/month.

China New Energy Car Market Growth Stays Strong

According to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT) , the new energy car August sales in China are 38 thousand units, an increase of 92.2% from last year. Specifically, all-electric car sales are 28 thousand units (106.4% increase) and plug-in hybrid sales are 10 thousand units (61.0% increase).

Up to August this year, total new energy car sales in China are 245 thousand units, an increase of 115.6% from last year.

In addition, from January to August, the total car sales in China are 16.7 million units.

Weekly Electromobility News

2017 BMW i3 with Upgraded Range is Available Now; 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is Rated at High 238 Miles Per Charge; Toyota Expects Strong Sales of 2017 Second-Generation Prius Prime Plug-in

 

2017 BMW i3 with Upgraded Range is Available Now

According to BMW USA, the starting MSPR is $43,600 for the all-electric model and $47,450 for the range-extended model, respectively. These numbers are roughly $1,000 higher than the 2016 models. The lease offers are $299/mo (all-electric) and $339/mo (range extender).

The biggest upgradation of the new models is the increase of electro-range, from 81 miles to the new 114 miles, roughly 50% farther. With the range extender, total range comes to 180 miles, up from the previous 150 miles. Moreover, the Eucalyptus Wood dashboard becomes available in lower-end Giga World. Moonroof and parking assistant are available as well.

BWM i3 is the first mass-produced car using carbon fiber reinforced plastic, which is 50% lighter than steel but as strong. Last but not least, the electric car is really fun to drive – it is one of the fastest BMW cars, with the instant 184 lb-ft torque acceleration giving a sense of “pin-you-to-the-back-of-your-seat”.

2017 Chevy Bolt EV is Rated at High 238 Miles Per Charge

According to GM, the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV has got an EPA-estimated electro-range of 238 miles. The electric car will be the first affordable EV capable of going 200+ miles on a single charge. The EPA rating came out with a large margin from 200 miles.

The MSRP starts at less than $37,500 before incentives (Final MSPR has not been decided yet). With US federal tax credit of $7,500, the actual cost of the car would be below $30,000.

Bolt EV is equipped with a large customizable 10.2” touch-screen and has “One Pedal Driving” feature. 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto are also available. Safety features are enabled by radar- and camera-based systems.

The model will be on sale in late 2016.

Toyota Expects Strong Sales of 2017 Second-Generation Prius Prime Plug-in

According to Reuters, the second-generation plug-in Prius Prime will be available later this year. The car has an electro-range of 22 miles and total range of 600 miles, with best-in-class 120 MPGe.

Although in the Prius family, Prius Prime is a different car from regular Prius hybrid – Unique front/rear end, LED lighting, carbon-fiber rear hatch, 11.6-inch touch screen and seats of 4.

Toyota hopes that the plug-in Prius can copy the success of the hybrid Prius and sell 1 million units over the second-generation life cycle. The electro-range doubles that of the first-generation at 11 miles.