Wednesday 21st March 2018.

 

NEWS IN BRIEF

  • First up some headlines. The Tesla Semi prototypes are continuing their real-world tour of the United States. The silver one has just been spotted at the Dallas, TX service centre. Where will it turn up next?
  • The New York Times says: Prosecutors in Munich searched BMW’s headquarters on Tuesday as part of their continuing investigation into an emissions-cheating scandal. Munich prosecutors said in a statementthat they were investigating whether the software in some BMW diesel models functioned like so-called defeat devices”. BMW said in a statement: “In the course of internal testing, the BMW Group realized that a correctly developed software module had been allocated in error to models for which it was not suited,”
  • Nissan LEAF sales are closing in on 10,000 per month and 100,000 yearly if you were to do a crude multiplication by 12. February numbers are looking strong with almost 4,000 in Japan and Europe each, coming in at 6.5% of all Nissans sold in Europe. Add in almost 1,000 more in the US that’s heading towards 10,000 in February alone. If Tesla can’t sort their issues, it could be the Model 3 in 2018, which would have been unthinkable last year. I’m still banking on Tesla getting to 5,000 cars a week from July so that would push Model 3 way in front. Playing devils advocate, you could say Nissan has three factories, Japan UK and US, with established supply chains and experience, so 3,000 per factory in a month doesn’t blow your socks off.
  • In the UK the Plug In Car Grant of £4,500 off the price of a new BEV STILL officially ends in 10 days time, with the government saying something will continue from April onwards. This is just embarrassing now.
  • Next week will see a panel discussion on whether California should ban all combustion cars from 2040. It’s being chaired by the GreenBiz and Verge writer Katie Fehrenbacher, and she’s asking for your opinion if you’re a Californian podcast listener ? send your thoughts to katie@greenbiz.com
  • Hyundai IONIQ pure Bev sales were down in February, with 1,531 sold worldwide. It’s hard to work out why, demand is pretty high for it judging by anecdotal evidence. They could be building slowly, or deliberately holding back because there’s a long range IONIQ BEV coming before the end of 2018. Or maybe there’s no conspiracy theory, and Hyundai are just busy, because the Kona deliveries are dues to start in their domestic market of South Korea in April.
  • Pedro from Push EV’s published an article saying the current 40Kwh LEAF was a stop gap, which I thought was harsh, but he has good reasoning. Old cell chemistry, no thermal management, AESC now being an external battery supplier since Nissan sold it, all pointing towards a very conservative BMS which throttles rapid charging to be on the safe side. And today in my timeline I’ve seen two examples of new LEAF owners charging very slowly on rapids, when it’s only 2 or 3 degrees Celsius here right now. Rapid charging isn’t essential, look at the Zoe and how well it sells, but it’s something I’ll watch.
  • And finally for news in brief, the Model 3 Owners Club tweeted a new option that has appeared in the Model 3 configurator. The 20″ sport wheel and Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber is available for $4000 extra.

 

WILL YOU GO EV FOR EARTH HOUR?

  • The WWF say: “climate change is the biggest future threat to people and nature around the world, especially in the polar regions. If we don’t up our action on climate change, we could lose almost 50% of species from the world’s most precious places by the end of this century.”
  • That’s why they’re asking you to mark Earth Hour with a pledge to make your next car an EV.
  • And if you own an electric car, why don’t you let a friend use it for a journey they would otherwise take in an ICE car during the earth hour? Get then insured for the day, and give them a taste of the power, silence and efficiency of an EV.

 

ELECTRIC CARS THE NEXT BIG THING

  • According to Bo Bai, CEO of the private equity U.S.-China Green Fund, electric vehicles is the next big investment: “Solar technology has been there for a long time. China has gotten wholeheartedly into it. Reduced the cost to a ridiculous level right now to break even on many areas, many regions. Electric vehicles, it’s similar. The technology has advanced to a certain stage with mass production and logistics management. The cost is reducing very substantially,”
  • He predicts a ripple effect that’s coming very soon, as price levels come down to a level that’s low enough.

 

WHEN DID THE EV REVOLUTION START?

  • Last week Tesla celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the start of Roadster production. But when do you think the beginning of the modern era of electric cars was? According to CarBuzz, the Geneva Motor Show this month was the real start to the mainstream era of EVs.
  • 12 new electric cars were showcased, not concepts or pretty sketches. These are production-ready cars from car companies a lot bigger that Tesla. Well, bigger in terms of how many cars they make, even if not the share price!
  • The best news about the I-PACE is that production has started and models will soon be shipped around the world. The Audi e-tron is months away from production ? or whatever I’m meant to call it. The most recent name seems to be the e-tron Quattro SUV, which highlights not only size and propulsion, but also because Audi are using e-tron for their next electric cars. So I must stop calling it just the Audi e-tron. Honda confirmed the Urban EV won’t be a million miles from the concept and the suicide doors will stay. My favourite, the Hyundai Kona, was showed off with it’s 64.5 kWh battery, LG Chem cells with thermal management so rapid charging should be OK, and we heard that from July the first 2,500 will be heading to Norway first.
  • I would disagree that the VW VIZZION is coming soon, it’s didn’t have an interior and was basically four lovely seats from the IKEA catalogue and some very thick shagpile carpet. VW say it’s the future of motoring, I say the carpet looked nicer than the one in my bedroom.

 

TOSHIBA NEXT GEN BATTERY

  • Toshiba recently unveiled a li-ion battery which they claim charges fully in just six minutes, delivering a 200-mile range on a full charge. Toshiba’s next generation SCiB lithium ion battery replaces the conventional lithium titanium oxide anode with a titanium niobium oxide anode. The new battery maintains the longevity of the previous older configuration, promising a life cycle of 14 years, assuming a full charge and discharge cycle per day. 

 

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