This is your EV News Daily for Friday 23rd February 2018. On the podcast today… we’ll talk about the island Renault are taking over for an experiment with electricity, and how Williams F1 team could be making the next EV you buy.




Well as Steppenwolf wrote in 1969, get your motor running, head out on the highway.  If you ride a Harley Davidson, maybe you were born to be wild. But from next year you might be heading out on electrons instead. The first e-motorcycle from Harley is coming in 2019.


They’re spending between $25-50 million dollars on e-bike development but, on their recent earning call, weren’t ready to share more details.  All we’ve seen is their LiveWire concept but the specs weren’t spectacular a couple of years ago – 50mile range and 93mph top speed. For any Harley Davidson rider that is simply not good enough.


Big jumps in EV technology happened in the car world but there are surprisingly few really large bike makers moving forward with e-bikes.


New registrations of motorbikes in the US have been flat since 2008, the age of owners has also been getting older, so maybe a move to electrification with top performance, it might inspire a new generation or riders.




Next, how do you fancy a trip to a sunshine island which Renault is using as a proving ground for renewables and EVs? Porto Santo is where Renault have been allowed to install the perfect trifecta of climate friendly energy and transport – renewables, feeding into used EV batteries, which feed into your electric car.


Now this isn’t exactly desert island territory, there are over 5,000 residents but they find themselves in the same situation as the small islands in American Samoa, which you might have read about in 2016…when Tesla completed their purchase of SolarCity they wired up the island with Powerpacks to help reduce the diesel shipments they were reliant on for generators, and to keep the lights on.


Porto Santo will get 14 Zoes and 6 Kangoo vans, they’ll get 40 charge points, they’ll get V2G and even second-life battery packs for cloudy or non-windy days. Porto Santo will be a proving ground because if it works for 5,000 residents the technology could be scaled up.




Tis the season to unveil Formula 1 cars, with their V6 hybrid engines. But one of the racers, Williams, is unveiling a lot more.


Williams Advanced Engineering has a new lightweight EV platform, which is basically a skateboard design of batteries with 4 wheels, advanced suspension and a crash structure. It includes innovations in battery design and particularly cooling – which will need to be advanced if we want to increase charge rate – and in turn bring down rapid charging times.


Williams will make the platform available for others to build their own electric vehicles on top of.




Let me introduce you to another Frankenstein project – The Teslonda. Now we’ve seen these from people like Quest in the UK who made an estate / shooting brake Tesla but cutting the top off, and bonding on some carbon fibre. That was a less in design and engineering, it looked gorgeous and they’ve confirmed there’s more to come.


However this new project one, not so much along the same lines. This is a 1980s Honda Accord which has a Tesla drivetrain bolted inside and because of that the rear wheels have to be a lot wider than the original Accord body.  It’s fair to say, this isn’t exactly a looker, but boy does it go. It’s made for drag racing, and Jimmy (the man responsible) says 2.5 seconds 0-60 is achievable.


And the mash up get worse, or better, depending on your point of view, as it uses a Chevvy volt battery pack to move the salvaged Tesla powertrain.




Well moving onto Volvo, and according to, are accelerating their shift to EVs with a choice of new Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) powertrains. The new Volvo V60 will be on the market soon, and of course Volvo were one of the first to promise a form of electrification will be on every new model starting in 2019.


This new V60 comes with a choice of two engines. There’s a T6 engine giving you 336hp alongside the electric motor, and the T8 Twin Engine PHEV, for 386hp with electric motor. U.S. customers will only get the larger engine but both models will be all wheel drive. The European choices will include petrol engines but also Diesel engines as well.


That’s a curious decision in the week Porsche said they would no longer be selling diesels because their customers don’t want them.  In January 2018 for example, in the UK, the market share of diesel PHEVs was tiny.


The V60 will be up against the likes of the Audi A4, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 series.




Next we’re talking about battery prices and according to £100/kWh is the magic figure to get down to, which they’re predicting will be reached in 2025, that’s from £200/kWh at present. They say large cars and SUVs will be the first segments to reach price parity with internal combustion engines, whilst smaller city cars will require a price of $80/kWh to be price comparative.




And finally what’s the farthest you’ve driven an EV, and if you don’t have one but are thinking of it, what’s the farthest you’d go?  Well how about two explorers from Poland doing the first ever electric expedition across Africa.


Their journey just began using a first-gen Nissan LEAL. They say: Traveling across Africa is probably the hardest test for any vehicle, not only an EV,” said Fiedler. “Poor roads, limited charging infrastructure and dramatically diverse weather conditions – from equatorial storms to the scorching heat of the Sahara – these are just a few challenges that we’ll have to face during the expedition.


They say they’ve travelled over 4,000kms in Poland in the LEAF as a test.  The journey started in Cape Town last week and we’ll track their journey, as they travel across South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco.


None of those places exactly have fast chargers every 100 miles! Good luck to them, we’ll follow their journey, and update you on the podcast.




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