London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021, London Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed today. The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the ULEZ in Central London.
The expansion will affect large numbers of polluting vehicles. Estimates speak of 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries that will have to comply with tighter emission standards or else pay a fee on top of the existing congestion charge.
For citizens, the mayoral office says 100,000 residents will no longer be living in areas exceeding legal air quality limits once the ULEZ comes into effect in October 2021.
The expanded zone will be managed in the same way as the central London ULEZ. The latter is being delivered in April 2019, 17 months earlier than planned. Cameras will enable the city government to charge drivers on top of the congestion charge that is already in place. The ULEZ will apply 24/7 and all year long.
Drivers within the expanded zone using gas guzzlers will pay a daily ULEZ charge of 12.50 pounds. The charge applies even to motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards. Petrol cars and vans must meet Euro 4 standards at least while diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards must pay for entering the zone.
Moreover, while London’s fringes are to get a little cleaner, the centre of the capital considers to go zero emission from 2020. A call has been made by business and boroughs to move the planned Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) from 2025 to 2020 (we reported). These are areas of the British capital were no fossil fuel powered vehicles may enter.
In anticipation, car free days are being considered and could be introduced in certain boroughs before the year’s end with the potential for city-wide car-free days in 2019. East London already decided to introduce similar zones across certain streets during rush hour this year reportedly.
The ZEZ and ULEZ form part of London Environment Plan that reaches ahead to 2050. The aim is for the former “Big Smoke” to turn into a zero-carbon city eventually.
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China’s battery powerhouse CATL has succeeded instantly on the stock exchange. Shares in Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd soared 44 percent on their debut in Shenzhen as investors seek to embrace clean energy.
That’s a debut – CATL only got listed on the stock exchange this Monday and sold 217 million new shares, or 10 percent of its enlarged capital, at an initial price of 25.14 yuan ($3.92) each. The battery maker is now listed with a market capitalisation of 12.3 billion dollars.
The investors’ enthusiasm is well founded. CATL has recently climbed the ranks of the world’s top battery makers and is chasing Panasonic for dominance reportedly. Already CATL have managed to convince major automakers from Europe to enter battery supply agreements. Daimler, Volkswagen and most recently Nissan and Renault have all turned to China in order to secure their supply for their upcoming electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Moreover, CATL has been moving fast and decided to set up battery production in Europe. The German town of Erfurt has been chosen, according to our sources and there are benefits to this location. For one, the nearby Volkswagen factory in Zwickau is easily reached and next to BMW and Porsche in Leipzig. Furthermore, the region has a fairly high number of well-educated specialists with key skills for the manufacturing, including the knowledge cluster in Thuringia.
CATL was founded in 2011 as a spinoff of the Hong Kong based Amperex Technology. This first IPO made CATL the biggest company on China’s ChiNext list that is comparable to Nasdaq. Their most recent statements indicate that CATL is aiming for an output of 30 GWh in the coming year, and 50 GWh by 2020. In 2017 it was 23 GWh. The money from the stock exchange will help CATL finance a new 24 gigawatt-hour battery factory in Ningde.
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Electric car startup Byton has closed its latest round of financing. It collected half a billion dollars from investors, the latest being CATL that joins the likes of China’s FAW. Byton, led by former BMWi manager Breitfeld, is about to present their second concept EV.
It has been round B of financing for Byton and this time another big name from China got on board. While the EV startup would not disclose the size of CATL’s investment it made it big news. CATL declined to comment. Still shares in the battery powerhouse soared 44 percent on their debut in Shenzhen today, the maximum allowed for newly listed stocks on their first day of trade.
CATL is not the only grand company from China placing its hopes in Byton. The startup had been set up from the start to cover multiple markets. It has got offices in California’s Silicon Valley for R&D, Germany’s Munich for design and of course multiple sites in China for electric car production.
Says Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder, BYTON: “We aim to build Byton into a global premium brand with ‘China Root, Global Reach’ as the core of our development strategy.”
It appears to be a safe bet, given that Byton is in fact a label of Future Mobility, an outlet backed by Foxconn and Tencent.
Byton last year raised 240 million dollars in an earlier round of funding from investors including Chinese retailer Suning and Fullshare Holdings. Chinese state-owned FAW was among the first investors as well and this time round spent 260 million dollars according to Byton (we reported).
Byton is about to unveil their second concept electric car at the CES Asia this June. Expect our report live on site.
Furthermore, Byton officially opened their HQ in Nanjing, China. In terms of electric car production, the company’s first batch of prototype models is set to roll out in April 2019 for testing, with the pilot production programme starting in the first half of 2019. Byton will first offer their electric cars in China before expanding to Europe in 2020.
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Tesla has reached a milestone as their network of electric car charging stations now includes more than a thousand sites with over 10,000 Superchargers installed worldwide. Still the EV maker is a little behind schedule but says they are catching up quickly.
Tesla released the official figure of having set up 10,000 Superchargers across the world. 10,021 to be exact, deployed at 1,261 locations. The EV maker had wanted to reach that milestone already last year, effectively doubling the number of Tesla charging columns available at that time (we reported).
Whilst Tesla gave no explanation for the 5 month delay, they say they are adding new Supercharger stations as you read. An updated map on the Tesla website now also includes those locations destined for Superchargers. Most of those planned EV charging stations are in Europe, China and the USA. Other regions have to wait. Some too long like Australia where Tesla owners set up their own network reportedly.
Furthermore, CEO Elon Musk had taken to Twitter last month teasing an improved Supercharger with up to 250 kW charging power. It is expected this summer.
This new force may also be necessary to keep up with competition by an industry that gears up for charging rates of 350 kW such as Ionity. Tesla has been named among those carmakers negotiating with the high power charging (HPC) consortium but to no avail so far. The Ionity network is still in its early stages though – of 400 required construction permits to install the high speed charging network across Europe, IONITY has only managed to accumulate 20 so far.
Also Electrify America, VW’s subsidiary and redemption machine for diesel gate, is getting to work in the States. They will deploy more than 2,000 DC chargers across 484 sites and that is just the first step (we reported).
Kia wants to keep its Soul lineup exclusively electric in Europe. The decision was made against the backdrop of falling sales of the fossil-fuelled versions of their little car. A turbo Soul called the Final Edition marks the change.
Kia have made up their mind and so there will be no other Soul but the Soul EV be available at dealerships across Europe. For the Koreans the switch reflects the reality of a market, where most people opted for the all-electric version, particularly at a time when there were not many EVs on sale. But also today, sales are strong. Of 2,245 Kia Soul sold this year in Germany 1,899 had an electric drive.
Moreover, Kia is about to release the next generation, this time sitting on the same platform also used for the Kona and Niro plug-ins. The new Soul EV will have two battery options. The standard pack with 39.2 kWh as well as the larger 64 kWh power pack that is to last for close to 500 kilometres. The current Soul EV runs on a 30 kWh battery, so even the new standard is an upgrade to a range of up to 300 km. Kia has also been working on wireless charging reportedly but has not made any serial plans yet.
Through the Alliance with Hyundai, the Koreans want to offer 14 electric models by 2025, adding to the portfolio of Hyundai’s Ioniq EV and Kia’s Soul EV (we reported).
Source: press release via email
Buying a Tesla in Israel just got more expensive as the government raises taxes for luxury electric and hybrid vehicles by about a third. The order comes as a surprise, possibly to avoid any excessive stocks or last minute sales.
Israel’s new tax on electric and hybrid vehicles applies to premium cars, which cost more than ILS 300 000, about 71,000 euros.
Previously, EVs bought in Israel would face a purchase tax of 20 percent, while hybrid vehicles would face a tax rate of 30 percent.
After the tax increase, buyers of electric cars must now factor in 34 percent and 44 per cent tax for those opting for hybrid vehicles.
Estimates say that at least half of the plug-ins sold in Israel actually fall into the high end bracket of the market so that this tax increase could lead to real revenue for the government. It also reflects the taxation principle applied to conventional premium cars but still electric cars and hybrids benefit from lower rates.
The order is to take effect from next month.
The VW subsidiary has contracted both black & Veatch as well as the SAI Group to manage the design, permissions and construction of EV ultra-fast charging station sites at highway and community locations across the US.
The subcontractors will then be responsible for the site design and deployment of more than 2,000 DC chargers across 484 sites in the USA. Kansas City based Black & Veatch will cover site design and construction in 24 states from the Pacific Northwest to the southeast USA. The SAI Group will cover 16 states within the northeast, mid-Atlantic, south-central and southwest regions of the country.
“Black & Veatch and SAI Group have exemplary safety records and a consistent history of completing complex projects,” said Brendan Jones, chief operating officer of Electrify America. Considering the scale of the plans by Electrify America, it makes sense that the company would hire some extra help. By 2027, the company plans to have invested about 2 billion dollars in ZAV, including 1.2 billion in Califronia alone.
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The Belorussian manufacturer Belkommunmash has received an order for 60 electric buses from the capital Minsk. The first 17 electric buses will be delivered this year, with the other 43 following by the end of April 2019.
The order asks for two different bus varieties – 28 units of the Vitovt Max, also known as the E433, and 32 units of the E321. The first model has a performance of 163 kW and a top speed of 60 km/h, and features space for 153 passengers. The second model is based on the trolleybus from Belkommunmash with the same name, with about 12 m length, three double doors and space for 101 passengers.
In Minsk, about 400 of the buses are in use, according to the manufacturer. The company is one of the largest electric bus manufacturers in eastern Europe, and has been playing with the idea of establishing another factory in Georgia.
Recently the company made headlines for the delivery of 40 trolleybuses to the Russian city of Togliatti. This had been the largest electric bus order to Russia in the past three years. In 2017, the Serbian capital Belgrade also ordered an electric bus for testing. There are multiple signs that the city is planning to order 60 electric buses in the near future. The Belorussians plan to secure the order with lower prices than the competition.
Ryder, one of the largest US American fleet management companies for utility vehicles, has ordered another 500 electric transporters from the Californian startup Chanje. The startup was founded by former Tesla employees.
The order is a follow-up from a previous fleet order of 125 units of the V8070 electric transporter. The 2017 introduced vehicle is mainly designed for large fleet operators. The transport capacity is set at 2.8 tonnes, and the vehicle features a 160 km range. This is enabled by a 70 kWh battery, which is charged using an integrated 7.2 kW charger. The electric motor features a 148 kW performance allowing for a top speed of up to 130 km/h. In a data sheet, the manufacturer outlines further information surrounding the transporter.
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The energy provider Engie has fitted a fleet of 50 Kangoo Z.E. with fuel cell range extenders from Symbio, in Rungis, near Paris, for their employees. A hydrogen fuel station was also installed at the location.
Technicians from the company will be using the vehicles in future for external jobs on a daily basis. Generally, they have to remain mobile in the whole of the Ile-de-France region, in order to do maintenance and installation work on commercial enterprises.
The hydrogen fuel station has a starting capacity of 20 kg of H2 per day, which will be upgraded to 80 kg per day before long. The energy company is also planning on producing their own hydrogen for the fueling station. In order to regeneratively produce hydrogen, the required electrolyser will be only be fed with renewable energy. The project is funded by the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).
The research cooperation between the two companies in the area of quantum computers is showing its first results. VW announced that they had first succeeded in simulating the structure of industry-relevant molecules on a quantum computer.
The simulation is relevant for the development of more powerful batteries, particularly in the area of EV batteries. Long term, the partners plan to be able to simulate the entire chemical process of a whole battery on a quantum computer. The goal is to develop a “tailor-made” battery; a configurable blueprint ready for production. The simulation requires particularly powerful computing.
Florian Neukart, the principle scientist at Volkswagen’s CODE Lab in San Francisco, stated: “We are working hard to develop the potential of quantum computers for Volkswagen. The simulation of electrochemical materials is an important project in this context. In this field, we are performing genuine pioneering work.” He added that he believes that the market will quickly catch up in developing more powerful computers, “open[ing] up previously unimaginable opportunities.”
Last November, the internet giant and the vehicle manufacturer announced their cooperation. The duo is also planning to work on traffic optimization, using new machine learning process projects to further advance artificial intelligence.
Kreisel Electric has developed a high performance battery, which allows for a high speed of up to 50 knots (93 km/h) on the purportedly fastest serially produced electric boat in the world. The motor for the SAY29E Runabout Carbon has a peak performance of 368 kW.
Energy storage is covered by a liquid-cooled battery system with a solid 100 kWh capacity, which is also built by Kreisel. Head designer Markus Kreisel said that this marks the first case of serial production of the technology in the marine area. He also iterated that he was very proud that their product fit into a high performance segment.
The Say29E Runabout Carbon was built by the Swiss yacht shipyard Portier, seated at the Zurich lake. According to the manufacturer, the boat is 100% made of carbon, which allows for a great weight to performance ratio. The rump of the speed boat weighs in at a relatively light 400 kg. The following video, shows the yacht in action, commented in German.
Kreisel Electric is usually known as a system solution supplier for personal vehicles, utility vehicles, airplanes and stationary battery storage units, as well as charging infrastructure, but has also expanded to electrify combustion vehicles. At their HQ in the Austrian Rainbach, Kreisel opened a research and development center with its own prototype workshop and a completely automated production line for batteries.
General Motors and Honda have announced a battery cooperation for future electric vehicles. Both manufacturers want to work on the development of next generation battery components and technology.
The declared goal of the cooperation will be the development of battery cells with improved chemistry. The cooperation deal also includes access for Honda to GM’s new battery modules. The cooperation is mainly aimed at development for the north American market, and the duo has already begun with a cooperation on fuel cell systems.
Reports indicate that this particular battery cooperation may have a major impact on battery prices and manufacturing costs for EVs over the coming decade. The new battery is called EME 1.0, and was first mentioned past Fall. The battery is a smaller module than the current battery commonly seen in EVs, and can charge faster while maintaining a higher energy capacity. The report also mentions that GM is planning to halve the costs of battery manufacturing, which currently stand around 10,000 dollars and make up the most expensive component for EVs in GMs manufacturing line.
The battery cell supplier will likely be LG Chem. Apart from the cell component, the EME 1.0 battery is mainly based on internal GM designs. The Americans also plan to lower the cobalt portion of the batteries, and increase the nickel proportion. This is a measure that several initiatives are currently attempting. The GM batteries could begin production by 2021.
While GM is focusing on the north American market with Honda, more and more projects are aiming towards the Chinese market. Just days ago, General Motors opened a battery factory in Shanghai to supply batteries for the growing automobile production the nation. The factory is run by a joint venture between GM and SAIC. GM is planning to release at least 20 EVs on the market by 2023, including two BEVs based on the Chevy Bolt.
Renault has begun with the delivery of the Master Z.E. in Europe. The first two vehicles were delivered to the Dutch post, who will integrate a total of 17 Renault Master Z.E. into their fleet by end of the year.
The postal company named PostNL has stated the goal to deliver exclusively using electrified transport by 2025 in 25 Dutch city centers. The first cities will be Utrecht and Leeuwarden, where the first two Master Z.E. will find their homes.
As of February, details regarding the market launch in other European countries have been announced: In Germany, the electric transporter will be sold at a starting price of 59,900 euro netto, including the battery. It will be a box car of the L1H1 variant. In France, the battery has to be rented separately. In general, six variants of the vehicle will be offered, for different sizes and purposes, with a load volume ranging between 8 and 13 cubic meters.
The technical basis for the BEV is the Renault Master, which features a combustion engine and front-wheel drive in the class from 2.8 to 4.5 tonnes. The drivetrain is taken from the Kangoo Z.E, as is the 33 kWh lithium-ion battery. The vehicle is powered by a 57 kW electric motor with a 225 Nm torque. A top speed of 100 km/h was also named for the transporter, which should easily be sufficient for urban areas. According to NEFZ, the range is set at up to 200 km, however Renault has stated that closer to 120 km is probably more realistic.
High speed charging is unfortunately not possible with the vehicle. The battery itself can be charged with a type 2 charger up to 7.4 Kw, with a maximum charging time around 6 hours. Ideally, the transporter will be charged at night, before resuming daytime use.
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It was announced in February that the World Rallycross Championship (WRX) will only be using electric vehicles as of 2020. Now the World Motor Sport Council has decided on the regulations regarding the new vehicles.
The series will maintain its current format regarding the number of teams and events per year, with both manufacturers, as well as private teams being eligible to take part.
Teams will be required to drive cars utilizing a standardized chassis and battery setup. As part of an initiative to save costs, teams will be issued a “generic car model” chassis by the FIA. Williams has been designated as the official battery supplier for the event and ORECA was selected to supply the carbon monocoque chassis.
Both manufacturers and private teams will install their own powertrains into the single-make four-wheel drive chassis, based on FIA regulations, which were stated to be “derived from those applicable for Formula E cars, with some restrictions aimed at controlling costs and development.
The cars will use a pair of axle-mounted motors, producing 500 kW for the races. The racing series will be restricted to two-car teams, which will be able to compete for two championships: One for manufacturers, and one for drivers. The calculation for the manufacturer championship was described thusly: “four best results among cars from each manufacturer per event to count towards the manufacturers’ championship classification.”
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The Californian EV startup Faraday Future has announced updates for their Hanford factory, which is scheduled to start serial production of the electric SUV FF 91 this year. The company has also started a recruitment drive for specialists.
Permission by the city council of Hanford for the reconstruction of the former Pirelli factory has already been granted, and the construction company Bernards has been tasked with the heavy lifting.
The factory will house up to 1,300 employees in a triple shift system. To kick start the recruitment process, Faraday has already announced several training programs. In cooperation with local institutions they will attempt to guarantee that as many local residents as possible will be hired.
The decision to select Hanford as the production location was made last August. Originally, Faraday was planning to set up a billion dollar EV factory in North Las Vegas. After the leadership around CEO Jia Yueting decided against this plan, the lease for the former Pirelli factory was acquired. The factory has about the same size as the planned facility in Vegas, with between 700,000 and 800,000 square meters.
Faraday has reaffirmed in their recent press statement, that the time plan for the FF 91 serial production remains on target, around the end of 2018. The FF 91 is the first serial model by the Chinese-American company, and is designed for autonomous driving capabilities and features a four-wheel drive with 782 kW performance and an NEFZ range of 700 km. The vehicle was presented at the CES 2017.
After the announcement, Faraday was plagued by negative headlines, particularly regarding financial difficulties and legal problems. More recently, there has been more positive news and indications that the company had found a new major investor. Furthermore, Faraday hired Michael Agosta as the new head of finance.
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The German government has received unpleasant news from Brussels: After the recently announced lawsuit from the EU commission regarding the overly high NOx emissions, this time the charging infrastructure has been found to be lacking.
Specifically, the EU commission found that Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg will be required to completely implement alternative energy charging infrastructure, including EV charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations.
The ruling found that the countries were supposed to follow through the infrastructure installation by the 18th of November, 2016. The three countries have clearly not been on the ball for some time in this regard. The commission has now decided to follow the normal procedure in such cases and started a contract infringement proceeding, which will give the three countries another two months to catch up on their implementation.
A contract infringement proceeding is basically a slap on the wrist from Brussels, but can be expanded to an actual lawsuit, if required, which could cost the offending nations a pretty penny. The carbon dioxide levels were found to be too high recently involving several nations, which also began as an infringement proceeding, before escalating to a full lawsuit. Currently France, Germany and the UK are being sued for not doing enough to effectively decrease CO2 levels within a preferable time-frame, as was outlined by the EU requirements. In conclusion, it seems that bad news from Brussels rarely comes alone.
Porsche has announced the name of their first fully electric serial model, which was previously known as the concept Mission E. The first e-Porsche will be named the Taycan; which means “spirited, young horse” according to the manufacturer, leveraging Porsche’s main emblem.
The technical details surrounding the vehicle scheduled for 2019 release have also been confirmed by Porsche: The Taycan will be powered by twin electric motors with a system performance of more than 440 kW, and can accelerate to 100 km in “considerably less than three seconds”, reaching 200 km/h in around 12 seconds. The maximum range is set at 500 km via NEFZ, and thanks to an 800 volt architecture, the battery can draw enough power from an HPC unit for a 100 km range in only four minutes.
Porsche’s debut EV is being handled as a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, and will reach the markets next year. The only nation where reservations are currently possible is Norway. According to Porsche, the factory in Zuffenhausen is also being refitted for the production of the Taycan. Specifically, the painting rig has to be updated for the needs of the vehicle, as well as the integration of a new assembly line and a conveyor bridge for the transport to the finishing stations. The manufacturer has stated that the production of the Taycan will create 1,200 new jobs.
Porsche will be investing an amount of six billion euro for electrification by 2022. Originally, the amount was set at about half of the sum, before Porsche CEO Oliver Blume announced the change in tactics in February. 500 million euros alone are earmarked for the development and production of the Taycan, and more than a billion euros will flow into the electrification of existing vehicle models.
In Japan, the green light has been given for a publicly funded demonstration project about V2G technology. The goal is to set up a vehicle to grid charging network for BEVs and PHEVs at multiple locations in Japan.
Next to the testing of technical components, the venture will also address economic questions. A business model will be developed, which is supposed to outline a sustainable model for renewable energy sources and the stabilization of power networks.
Financially, the initiative is supported by the ministry for economy, traffic and infrastructure, which also includes subsidies from the FY2018 Sustainable open Innovation initiative.
Project locations will include Mitsubishi’s factory in Okazaki, the Japanese prefecture of Aichi and the Shizuoko location of the Shizuoko Gas company. The project is being headed by the Japanese energy company TEPCO.
The Hamburg-based VW subsidiary MOIA has announced further details to their planned shuttle service with EVs: The service will start towards the end of 2019, and by the end of 2020, the fleet will maintain 500 vehicles.
Reports indicate that the service will start with a double-digit number of electric minibuses, based on the VW Crafter. Soon after the start of the service, the number is planned to expand to around 200 vehicles. Within two years, the service will feature a fleet of 500 vehicles.
By 2021, another 500 electric shuttles may follow. At the start of the year, the VW subsidiary still planned to start the service within this year, however the delay has become evident. In April, the city of Hamburg officially gave permission for the venture to take off.
The basic idea behind the service is to ferry passengers with similar destinations. The MOIA vehicles will then be called via an app to virtual pickup locations. The price will be somewhere between that of a bus ride and a taxi.
The declared goal of the company is to take pressure off Europe’s and America’s roads – by about 1 million vehicles, to be exact. CEO Ole Harm sees an opportunity between public transport and personal vehicles.
MOIA was founded by VW towards the end of last year, and helped adapt the vehicles, in cooperation with VW Utility Vehicles and VW Osnabrück, to meet the demands of car-pooling services. The vehicle features six seats, a 300 km range, according to WLTP and can charge to 80% capacity within 30 on a CCS plug. Planning, development and testing took place over a period of only 10 months.
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