Wednesday 18th April 2018.

TESLA PAUSES PRODUCTION FOR UPGRADES

  • A shutdown of the Tesla Model 3 production line seems to have caught everyone by surprise, including those working at Tesla! However the secrecy is totally understandable given how much is at stake and how so many publications want to bash the brand. Saying that, I’m not sure too many people like being told you have to take the next week off work, out of our annual holiday allowance!
  • Tesla “says the shutdown is intended to resolve some of the problems that have contributed to the numerous delays in getting the cars to hundreds of thousands of reservation holders” according to The Verge.
  • “Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesperson told The Verge. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”
  • Model S and X production will continue unaffected.

CHINA LOWERS THEIR WALL

  • Up until now there were only two options for foreign carmakers to get into the lucrative, and frankly enormous, EV market in China. Either pay a 25% Import tax on ever car you import into the country or partner up in a Joint Venture with a domestic company at least 50/50 ownership. The aim of that was to bring knowledge into China.
  • Last week on the podcast we talked about new rules coming in allowing foreign owners more flexibility in China and now we have more details Quartz points out: “the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), announced that that the country will scrap foreign investment limits for car manufacturing, beginning with new energy vehicles this year, a category that includes both hybrid and fully battery-run vehicles. One immediate beneficiary of the rule change might be a company that’s been trying to set up a manufacturing hub in China for several months now?and is already quite popular there despite the hefty duty its cars attract. While the timeline from the NDRC doesn’t mention Tesla, and any foreign electric vehicle maker can potentially benefit, the announcement comes after Tesla has several times in recent months expressed its interest in manufacturing in China, the company’s second-largest revenue generator.”
  • The country will scrap the limits on firms making fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018, commercial vehicle firms in 2020 and lift restrictions on the wider passenger vehicle market by 2022
  • Shares of German car makers all gained on the news, reversing earlier losses. China accounts for about half of Volkswagen’s (VW’s) namesake brand sales, while the world’s biggest car market is also the most significant buyer of luxury Mercedes, VW’s Audi unit and BMW vehicles. VW rose as much as 1.2%, and BMW and Mercedes-maker Daimler rose about 0.5%.

USA VS CHINA

  • The difference in preference between US and Chinese buyers is also interesting. Not only does China buy a lot more EVs but they prefer ppure BEVs. 555,300 plug-in vehicles were sold in China last year vs. US sales of just under 195,591, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday.
  • China saw an 81% share of put BEVs whereas in the US BEVs accounted for just over half (53%).

PORSCHE TO HAVE 500 800-VOLT RAPID CHARGERS

  • We heard the news recently that Porsche will be installing their 800-volt ultra rapid chargers at 189 dealerships in North America, and now CNET reports they’re going further. By the end of next year, the VW-owned company wants 500 od them forming a countrywide network.
  • For comparison Tesla’s Supercharging network is 1,2000 stations, whilst Porsche will win on speed giving you 250 miles of range in under 20 mins.
  • The partners are likely to be EVgo, Chargepoint and Electrify America, which makes sense, as that last one is where money from the VW dieselgate settlement is being spent.
  • As for the ones at the dealers, they’ll be footing the cost for those and each one is over six figures, plus they’ll need a battery buffer to both even out the load and potentially avoid upgrading the grid connection.
  • The network isn’t going to be limited to fast chargers, either. The automaker is also considering more traditional chargers at various points of interest, including hotels and golf courses.

10,000 EVS FOR OLA

  • Indian ride-hailing firm Ola, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group will launch 10,000 electric three-wheelers in the country over the next 12 months as part of a broader electrification plan, the company said in a statement on Monday. “Mission: Electric”, with a commitment to place 10,000 E-rickshaws and Electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months. The company will develop “Mission: Electric” as a platform to bring one million electric vehicles on the road by 2021.

ARC SOLAR CHARGING FOR PARKS AND REC

  • Envision Solar Announces the Delivery of EV ARC? Solar Charging Stations to California
  • Department of Parks and Recreation. The EV ARC? products are providing workplace charging at the agency’s Bay Area District Office and public charging for park. EV ARC? products will allow park users, employees, and fleet vehicles to plug in and drive on sunshine in remote locations and/or where circuit deficiencies exist. The agency also appreciates the capability to move EV ARC? EV chargers if necessary to optimize usage visitors at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz. 

FORMULA GETS POWER BOOST

  • Formula E’s 2018/19 car will use 200kW as its primary race power mode with a second mandatory-use setting at a “significantly” higher level, according to series boss Alejandro Agag” reports InsideEVs. “The Gen2 FE car has increased battery storage compared to its predecessor and drivers will no longer have to swap cars mid-race. But the series and the FIA were keen to retain an element of strategy and the mandatory use of two power levels during FE races was confirmed by the governing body’s World Motor Sport Council.”

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