Monday 12th March 2018.

 

MODEL 3 SOFTWARE COMPLETE

  • Few customers of an expensive car would be happy to know they’re beta testers, but that’s exactly what Tesla Model 3 owners still are, and you have to admit more Tesla owners wear it as a badge of honour.
  • And I’m not just talking about the fit and finish problems which are inevitable in a new car, compared to the build quality of cars like the German VW Golf which has been made since 1974, giving it 44 years to sort out the gremlins
  • In the case of the Model 3 software, early owners knew the software was not complete. Delivering cars to employees and friends of Tesla is fine, but you would think by the time public deliveries began in December 2017 they might get it ready.
  • Not so, until today. Tesla just pushed an update for all its cars and the mobile app which officially completes the Model 3. Tesla now let you control the frunk and trunk with the mobile app, plus they’re still squashing bugs regularly. There have been a string of stories about the usual little bugs on the Model S and X but, as Elon pointed out, all the resource was on Model 3 for a long time.
  • Next up are revamped maps, which seems to be close according to an Elon Tweet, and new Autopilot updates which could be a little while longer.

 

TO PLUG OR NOT TO PLUG

  • Of all of lifes hardships, plugging in has never been one for me. I have a workmate that likes to extoll the virtues of the wireless Qi charger for the new iPhone, and the time it saves plugging in. I’m not sure it’s exactly needed but the charger does look like a nice piece of desk furniture.
  • Next up is wireless charging for EV and it’s been kicking around for years with little public adoption, however it seems a lot of work going on which we don’t know about.
  • From early systems where you had to align the car with the charge pad almost millimetre perfect, the latest EV wireless chargers have come a long way. And as WiTricity point out, at domestic voltage levels up to 240volts there’s no difference in efficiency between plugs and wireless.
  • One of the stories I missed from Geneva was the Hyundai Kona being ready for wireless charging. It’s such a big deal I figured it was perhaps only a prototype they had on display but it seems to be the real deal.
  • I’ve watched several YouTube videos from Geneva and they don’t mention it. One of the reviews even talks about the flap in the grill which will get dirty, but could have pointed out that wireless means you’d not be opening that flap much.
  • The only article I could find was in Korean which, thanks to Google Translate, called WiTricity Witty Citty through the article, which would also have been a great name for a company! There were no details on the charge speed or cost, so I’ll keep an eye out. It a mainstream car like the Kona really does have the option of wireless charging, that might be interesting to see if anyone uses it.

 

YOURS TO OWN

  • Finally in France, owners of the domestically produced Renault Zoe get to own the car, the whole car and nothing but the car! I’m talking about the battery lease scheme which had originally been setup to lower the cost of the new car and to offer reassurance about the longevity of the cells.
  • Here in the UK we’ve had the option to lease or buy the battery with the car, but it looks like something I never knew, in France the only option was to go for the battery lease.
  • When you add the battery price the Zoe will start at 32,600 Euros which is almost a 9,000 Euro premium over the lease option.

 

BATTERY PRODUCTION SPREADS

  • Ground has been broken on a new site for cell production in Hungary by SK Innovation, with the aim to supply batteries to car makers from early in 2020.
  • The 430,000 m2 site is about 110km Northwest of Budapest. They said: “The batteries to be produced in SK Battery Hungary will be third-generation EV batteries, which give an EV 500km range with one charge. The company had announced in September, 2017 that it would start mass-producing of the world’s first medium-to-large NCM (nickel:cobalt:manganese) pouches. SK Battery Hungary is expected to work as an important bridgehead for expanding its business area into the European market. Once all the production lines are installed, the factory’s production capacity will reach 7.5 GWh per year. SK Innovation is currently producing pouch type-batteries for EV at its Seosan battery factory in Korea, which produces 3.9 GWh annually”

 

SSANGYONG SHOW US THE E-SIV

  • According to TopSpeed.com, one of the interesting cars at Geneva which didn’t get all the headlines is the Ssangyong e-SIV. They’ve been showing off EV concepts for many years and now, and this time say their cars of the future will include autonomous tech in their future SUV.
  • They say: “In terms of performance, the e-SIV EV is powered by an electric motor and a 61.5 kWh battery pack that combine to produce 188 horsepower. It’s unclear if this is the kind of setup SsangYong is planning for its 2020 zero-emission production model, but it did say that under its configuration, the e-SIV is capable of reaching a top speed of 93 mph with 280 miles of range under its belt.”

 

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