The German KBA has issued the latest sales date for electric and hybrid cars and March has broken the record in every respect. 3,792 electric cars were sold in Germany in that month alone, more than in any other month and 73.1% more than in February.
Hybrid cars registered similar growth with 10,784 having found new homes in March, up 45.4% compared to the same month last year. Among those are 3,018 plug-in hybrids, an increase of 31.9%.
Overall, sales of PEV in Germany stand at 57,549 units according to the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) responsible to register the plug-in grant called Umweltbonus in German. 33,318 people asked for support to buy an all-electric car with another 24,214 opting for a PHEV. Fuel cell vehicles do not play a role in the minds of German buyers as to date only 17 were sold.
kba.de (in German)
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China’s WM Motor has started producing its first electric model, the EX5. The all-electric SUV comes with a range of 600 kilometres and shall arrive at dealers in Q3 this year with prices to start at 200,000 yuan (26,000 euros).
WM Motor will start presales already this month though at its home show, the Auto China in Beijing. The EX5 targets Chinese buyers primarily and is to become available in autumn this year.
Range is key to the model and gimmicks like the logo being capable of indicating the state-of-charge underline this character.
The latest price expectation of 200,000 yuan is even lower than the initially predicted 300,000 yuan. Trading under the name of Weltmeister, German for world champion, WM Motor had recently aired plans to float the firm publicly but also said that there was no hurry as the initial financing stands.
After the EX5 launches successfully, WM Motor got two more EVs lined up before 2020. The startup reportedly aims to sell 100,000 cars a year within 3-4 years of the planned 2018 launch. The entire production is set at the company’s plant in Wenzhou, that will then run on its capacity limit if WM Motor manages to reach its sales targets for electric cars.
Tesla has increased production in Fremont by 40 percent in Q1 compared to last year’s Q4 as they build 34,494 electric cars. The Model 3 is now becoming a bestseller in the U.S. with output increasing fourfold in the last three months and more to come.
Tesla built 9,766 Model 3 in Q1 2017 as it managed to end Musk’s “manufacturing hell” in California and the EV maker says the production rate will climb rapidly throughout the current quarter. Only this week, they announced the lines were churning out 2,000 Model 3 a week.
To break it down, from 34,494 electric vehicles made in Q1, Tesla delivered 29,980 EVs, of which 11,730 (39%) were Model S, 10,070 (34%) were Model X, and 8,180 (27%) were Model 3. Demand for all three models remains strong, according to Tesla.
The government in Vienna has published the latest draft of its future climate and energy strategy. The plan runs throughout 2030 with electric transport being a main aspect, particularly in the utility vehicle sector.
With the decarbonisation of both mobility and the energy sector being key to Austria’s ‘Mission 2030’ strategy paper, the draft includes plans to increase electric transport across the board. Particularly the electrification of utility vehicles such as vans and trucks is to increase “significantly” while subsidies for private electric cars are to be continued.
At the moment, electric car incentives stand at 4,000 euros for all-electric cars, 1,500 euros for hybrids, 750 euros for electric bikes and 200 euros for wallboxes or smart charging cables. The government also wants to change the laws to make it easier to install EV charging stations in multiparty dwellings such as apartment blocks.
Furthermore, Austria is to strengthen electric car sharing and on-demand services as well as electric taxis, pedelec rental systems and zero emission courier services. For public transport, they plan to electrify 85 percent of all trains.
The #mission 2030 paper is to help Austria reach the EU climate goals, meaning the alpine republic needs to reduce its emissions by 36 percent compared to 2005 levels. To date, they managed to decrease them by no more than 8%.
The new document follows an initial plan by Austria’s ruling coalition of the conservative ÖVP and right-wing FPÖ. The parties pledged to stay on course to abolish nuclear energy and coal as the country aims to be powered by renewables only from 2030, particularly hydro power.
In the latest concept, the government estimates their measures could create 34,000 jobs and result in 3.1 billion revenue also through electric mobility. In concrete terms, electric cars now take a 2.25 percent share in all newly registered vehicles but still the overall percentage is well below, at only 0.39 percent of the total car market.
mission2030.info (in German)
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Tesla announced bankruptcy this April, but it seems nobody was paying attention to the date. The April fools joke was tweeted out from Musks personal account, and poked fun at detractors who have claimed that Tesla may be nearing its end.
Indeed, production difficulties have recently plagued the company. Last week Moody’s Investor Service cut Teslas credit rating to “junk status”, meaning that Musk will have to do a lot of “last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs” if he wants to turn things around.
The latest news on the matter says Model 3 production now stands at 2,000 units per week though. So that’s Tesla ramping it up.
The Scottish cities of Dundee and Aberdeen will be participating in the recently introduced European H2-bus project JIVE 2, which plans to bring another 152 fuel cell buses to 14 cities by 2023.
Dundee will receive 12 hydrogen buses as a part of the project, while Aberdeen will receive ten hydrogen powered buses to double their existing fleet. Under the leadership of Element Energy, JIVE 2 will be laying the trail for fuel-cell powered bus lines in 14 European cities.
The project is funded by the EU Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) with 25 million euros. JIVE 2 represents the second generation of the cross-border JIVE initiative, which plans to supply almost 300 H2 buses in 22 European cities.
JIVE made headlines in Germany in connection with WSW Mobil, a Wupptertal-based company, which started procurement for 63 fuel cell buses last year, functioning as a stand-in for public transport authorities in cities across Germany.
JIVE was started in 2017 and has a planned duration of 6 years. The goal is commercialize fuel cell buses though the joint purchase of the vehicles, as well as investment into hydrogen refueling stations. The project is further designed to garner public interest from communities and regions for the use of renewable energy vehicles in public transport, particularly in regard to subsidizing their use.
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BYD is planning to solidify its battery and photovoltaic business under a new banner, which will be listed separately on the stock exchange. The move is almost certainly to be seen as a declaration of war with battery suppliers.
Past November BYD already announced their intention to focus more closely on the battery business. Next to ramping up battery production, the company also first publicly considered entirely splitting off a dedicated battery company. The background is, that BYD’s profit margin is shrinking due to the lowering of EV subsidies in China and increasing competition.
In order to stop this, the company will be returning to its battery-producing roots with the split, as well as supply third parties with batteries in future. It was found last year, that the wholesale of batteries to external customers would be required for them to remain competitive.
According to Gasgoo, BYD could reach a production capacity of 28 GWh, putting some pressure on rival companies, such as CATL.
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Toyota is reportedly considering developing a battery exchange system, particularly for use in smaller EVs. The plan would entail the construction of a network of battery swapping stations all over Japan.
The report also states that the car manufacturer was planning on establishing the exchange stations at their dealerships. Toyota EV drivers would then be able to quickly and easily swap their empty car batteries for full ones. Currently the concept is mostly aimed at small vehicles and short distances, but Toyota is also still working on the details of the concept, leaving some room for growth.
Last year there were also rumors about a battery exchange system being set up by Tesla, after a patent was registered by Tesla for an automated battery pack exchange. This does not mean much for the immediate future however, as Tesla also introduced a battery exchange concept back in 2013, which has not been further developed into a serial production.
This marks Toyota’s first public announcement in connection with a battery swapping system. The hybrid vehicle pioneer announced in December that they plan to make a least half their income by selling electrified cars by 2030. They will also be expanding their partnership with Panasonic to include the production of batteries for BEVs, focusing on producing better prismatic battery cells.
The Chinese e-mobility startup Youxia Motors has managed to collect 800 million dollars in a round of financing. This is the first news we’ve heard from the company since their 2015 introduction of their Model S clone, the Youxia X.
After the prolonged quiet phase, which some had interpreted to mean the potential end of the startup, it seems Youxia was ready to prove its detractors wrong.
A dozen companies are on the list of new investors, including the China National Environmental Protection Corporation. The investment has pushed the valuation of Youxia to total around 1.9 billion dollars.
Youxia also announced their plans to begin construction of a factory in Huzhou, where they plan to produce 200,000 vehicles annually. The plan is to manufacture the Youxia X at the new factory as well. The vehicle has been criticized as being a knockoff copy of the Model S, and features 256 kW performance, which allows for a 460 km range thanks to an 85 kW battery pack. The company offers the vehicle with either a 40 kWh or 60 kWh battery.
The General Motors-owned brand Buick has announced two more electrified models for the Chinese market. The Buick Velite 6 will be sold as both a BEV as well as a PHEV.
The two Velite models will help expand the electrified vehicles offered by Buick in currently the largest EV market in the world. Currently Buick offers the Velite 5 with a range extender, the Regal Hybrid and the LaCross Hybrid.
The new duo will benefit from GMs electrification and networking technologies, and will be based on the Velite concept, which was introduced by Buick in November 2016. The Velite 6 will also be fitted with an entirely new propulsion system, but there have been no announcements as to what kind of technology will be used or when the car is expected to be released.
General Motors is planning to release at least ten new EVs on the Chinese market by 2020. Furthermore, the manufacturer is planning to release electrified versions of all their Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models by 2025.
The Chinese e-mobility startup has announced to invest approximately 2.4 billion dollars over a 5 year period in the Chinese city Suzhou. Among the investments will be a manufacturing plant, as well as a research and development center.
Singulato Motors is the 2016 introduced, english language name of the manufacturer Zhiche Auto. The company has made an agreement with the city government of Suzhou which will include R&D, manufacturing and industrial investment in the electric mobility sector. Among other measures, the plan includes hiring 2,000 to 3,000 researchers over the next five years, who will be working on future mobility concepts.
The manufacturing facility in Suzhou will be Singulato’s second factory of its kind, after the first factory was constructed in 2016 in Tongling.
The company recently announced their intention to release 6 purely-electric vehicles on the market. The first to be released will be the Singulato iS6, an electric SUV which will be configured to seat 5 and 7 seats and will hit the market at the end of this year. The NEFZ range is set at 400 km, according to the manufacturer. The second vehicle to follow will be a multi-purpose vehicle, with which the company hopes to reach a younger market segment.
About a year ago, Singulato presented 2 concept EVs, alongside its renaming, which each featured wing-doors. In July, it was also announced that Singulato was considering working together with an alliance of other Chinese e-mobility startups, including WM Motor, CHJ Automotive, Hongxing Automobile Manufacturing and Aiways, to share resources and technology in lieu of the incoming Chinese EV quota.
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The Tesla Model 3 has now reached a production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week, as was revealed in an email by CEO Elon Musk to Tesla employees. The congratulatory email also stated a somewhat cryptic: “If things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven-day period!”
While the weekly production rate is certainly a step in the right direction for Tesla, who has set themselves somewhat ambitious targets and battled with production difficulties until recently, it also means that the company is behind its 2,500 vehicle-per-week quota.
The milestone of 5,000 vehicles per week is set for the end of Q2, meaning that Tesla will have to produce more than double within the next months in order to keep up with its milestone plan. The milestones are also of particular interest to Musk, as his compensation package as CEO is directly tied to the achievement of the milestones.
Citing the Obama era EPA consumption standards for cars and light trucks as “too high”, administrator Scott Pruitt has announced the plan to implement “more appropriate” GHG emissions standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
In layman’s terms, this means they plan to simply lower the standards, as Pruitt has confirmed. Pruitt is mostly known as being one of the most vocal anti-EPA lobbyists, before the Trump administration hired him to take over the agency. The new policies have been a focal point of the lobbying group Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
The initial standards plan saw car manufacturers planning to double their fleet wide average fuel consumption to 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. Proponents of the plan had hoped to encourage growth and innovation in renewable energy transport sector, but the new plan will likely see a significant lowering of standards, allowing for US manufacturers to sell more polluting vehicles, somewhat counter to the EPA’s mission.
Criticism of the thinly veiled corporate handout has come from several directions, among which is also the Californian government, which has publicly clashed with the Trump administration several times already. The current legislation allows for states to impose higher standards than are federally mandated, which seems to be the next target for the EPA, as the agency said in a statement: “The California waiver is still being reexamined by EPA under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership.”
Further making his point, Pruitt added: “Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country”, and that the EPA looks forward to working with “all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard.”
Additional criticism also came from consumer protection groups, energy companies as well as industrial voices, such as the Aluminum Transportation Group.
A new powerful electric Tesla conversion has conquered a new type of track. This time a Tesla motor was placed in a dune buggy, and the buggy really takes off on its sandy race track.
Named the Tesla Sand Truck, the buggy has a peak capacity of 475 kW powered by a 22 kWh battery pack made of Enerdel li-ion batteries. The Tesla performance RWD drive unit was refurbished by HSR Motors. According to the owner, this sets the range for the vehicle around 25 to 30 miles driving on sand dunes, or about “20 to 26 runs down the drag strip.”
A post shared by Tesla Sand Truck (@teslasandtruck) on Mar 25, 2018 at 2:55pm PDT
The construction company Skansa has equipped its UK headquarters in Hertfordshire with 67 new chargepoints. They were installed in only 2 weeks by Pod Point and word is that the 7-kW chargepoints are only the beginning.
The construction also laid the infrastructure foundation for further chargepoints, allowing for the expansion of up to 243 units without any major construction efforts.
Hitachi, Mitsubishi and the French energy corporation Engie have introduced a new project which will use electric cars as an energy buffer for office buildings in a V2B model. The test run is taking place in the Dutch city of Zaandam.
The charging scheme is made possible using a V2X charger. The X signifies the adaptability of the too, which allows for kW, ΔkW, kWh and VAR charging varieties and can charge as well as de-charge EVs and feed the energy to the electric grid (V2G) or an individual building (V2B), as needed. The charger can also be connected with solar panels or an external battery.
The pilot project sees Hitachi providing the V2X charger, while Engie is optimizing the energy system in the building and Mitsubishi has provided its Outlander PHEV as the central testing vehicle. The declared goal of the partners is to solidify the use of vehicle batteries as a mobile energy source, which could, for example, absorb electrical overload from a solar facility, or supply a building with power in times when no power is generated on a large scale. The next phase of the project will see the partners test to what extent electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy management systems can be used to make buildings energy neutral.
In October Mitsubishi launched a V2G project in the Netherlends with NewMotion, Enel and TenneT, which also used the Mitubishi Outlander PHEV.
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Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) has been tasked with the delivery of electric drivetrains for the 4.4 million dollar DOE program, which will accelerate the introduction of electrified school buses in the United States.
The program, run by the US Department of Energy, has agreed to a deal with EDI to supply an unnamed, but known producer of school buses. The parts they will be delivering are the PowerDrive 7000EV, as well as its components. Based on the parts, the manufacturer will be developing electrified school buses, which will be V2G capable, among other things. Including subsidies and investment from private and public sources, the program will have a budget totaling 9 million dollars.
EDI presented its new drivetrain last October in Columbus, Ohio, at the National Association for Pupil Transit Industry Event (NAPT). With the development, EDI had correctly calculated on the USA updating their often outdated school buses into the age of electrified transport.
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The Ford-owned brand has presented a new look at its plug-in hybrid SUV at the New York Auto Show last week. It features three rows of seats and will be equipped with a new, but not yet specified plug-in hybrid motor.
The vehicle is slated to be released “as soon as next year”, however the presentation was largely scare on details, both technical and organizational. The last reports we received indicated that the Ford renewable strategy would be ready by 2022. The Lincoln spokesperson however did add, that the vehicle is “capable of using its twin-turbocharged engine if needed—easing range anxiety.” The implication is that the Aviator would use the traditional V6 engine, while no information regarding the plug-in hybrid powertrain is available at this point.
The vehicles design is based on the Navigator, however is significantly smaller. The interior is fairly standard for a modern luxury SUV and features a range of technological gadgets, including a forward scanning suspension that adjusts itself and driver assist technologies.
Tesla has started a massive recall: Globally they have asked for the return of 123,000 Model S vehicles due to a steering issue. The reason behind the problem are rusty screws installed in the power steering. The flawed parts came from Bosch.
The recall presents the largest of its kind for Tesla so far. As was seen in emails from customers, the Model S contained rusty screws, with varying degrees of corrosion. This was particularly the case in colder climates. The affected models were produced before April 2016, and the risks were at this point apparently not acute, and the faults have not caused any accidents.
The faulty screws were produced by Bosch, which has issued a statement saying they are working closely with Tesla to address the issue.
The Model S is Teslas highest selling vehicle. Alone in Europe, the company sold 16,132 models last year, while 45,060 were sold globally. According to ZSW statistics the total number sold by the end of 2017 was a global 193,660.
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The US American battery manufacturer Lithium Werks has announced their takeover of the Chinese factory of their competitor A123 Systems in Changzhou.
As part of the transaction, Lithium Works is also taking over part of the customer base of A123 Systems in China, Europe and the United States, as well as the employees working at the facility, the product design and the production process. A123 has announced their intentions to concentrate more explicitly on the automobile market, and will be producing applications for a variety of uses in EVs, including everything from mild hybrids to full on BEVs. Recently A123 purchased an undisclosed strategic investment in Ionic Materials, which invested heavily in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. A123 is aiming at commercializing the polymer-electrolyte technology from Ionic Materials for solid-state batteries in new products.
Lithium Werks is looking to take a global leading role in the lithium-iron-phosphate market through the take-over. The Texas-based company now owns factories in China and offices in the USA, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the UK and Norway. They are producing cells, modules and battery management systems for a variety of uses and markets.