Tuesday 24th April 2018.

The current Model 3 Tracker from Tom Randall and Dean Halford, as updated on 16th April, shows 19,675 cars produced, and a current rate of 2,673 Model 3’s being built per week.

  • A quick heads up, in the UK the Commercial Vehicle Show starts today for 3 days. The new long range e-NV200 will be on show, with the 40kWh battery which should allow for around 110-120 real world miles of use for the van / people carrier.
  • VW says they can’t keep up with demand for their Plug Ins, the Golf GTE and Passat GTE, so much so they’re closed the order books for now as factories are flat out. And I saw a tweet today from someone in the know that Hyundai IONIQ waiting time in Germany is almost a year! If anyone from Hyundai is listening please contact me and tell me that’s wrong, and that people can get it quicker.
  • And lots was happening on Earth Day last weekend, including Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser welcoming a fleet of 14 new pure EV Protera buses to start service on May 1, carrying 4.8million passengers a year. Plus City Furniture tweeted on Earth Day they had ordered 5 Tesla Semi Trucks, the first furniture retailer in the US to go electric.

 

TESLA BACK IN BUSINESS

  • Elon Musk’s recentl all-staff email confirmed the rumours, both Gigafactory 1 and Fremont were to shut down for a planned 3-5 days to upgrade equipment and systems needed to unlock the next wave of production targets, up to 6,000 Model 3’s per week by the end of June.
  • And it looks like that shutdown is over, because 5,170 new Model 3 VINs have been registered. A reminder that tracks VIN numbers is one of the metrics used by the Bloomberg tracker I mention at the start of the show. However it’s only one way of measuring and, at times, not the most accurate.
  • Previous weeks have seen them register between 3,000 and 4,800 VINs with NHTSA so this is large batch.
  • This could well keep them going for the next 2 weeks, if the tracker figures are correct of 3,000 Model 3s per week.

 

FERRARI’S SILENT FUTURE

  • Two years ago Ferrari said never to an electric car. Bossman Sergio Marchinne is not a fan! Fast forward to today and they’ve been testing a hybrid at their own test track in Maranello. We reported on the video last month which showed, according to the YouTuber, a Ferrari taking off in silence.
  • Bloomberg say: “Next year, Ferrari will start offering the technology in a sports car, its first model that can run entirely on battery power for any significant distance. The hybrid engine will soon be an option on all new models, and from 2020 the carmaker will use it as the sole drivetrain for its first sport-utility vehicle, which Marchionne says will be the fastest SUV on the market.”

 

ABB BRING THE TERRA

  • Maker of charging stations and sponsors of Formula E, everyones favourite Swedish-Swiss tech company ABB is busy this week showing off some new toys. Although with other charging groups such as CHAdeMO, they’re at an industrial technology show in Hannover all this week and attendees are getting a glimpse of their 350kW Terra chargers.
  • The CEO of ABB, Ulrich Spiesshofer said in Hanover: “This high-power fast charger provides electric vehicles with up to seven times more range in the same charging time than with previous models”
  • You may remember, if you’ve listened to previous podcasts, these are the chargers chosen by Electrify America for the 2,000 new chargers in almost 500 locations to be rolled out this year and next.
  • They’ll cater for all options, CCS and CHAdeMo, although the CHAdeMO side will be software limited to 50kW whilst tests are ongoing, and then they’ll be delimited to 100kW.

 

VOLVO TO SHARE THEIR EXPERTISE

  • Volvo said yesterday they want to share as much as possible when it comes to their battery technology, to keep down R&D costs across its brands, which include Japan’s UD Trucks, Scania and Mack Trucks in the US.
  • Battery technology is not only the differentiator for the most part, but the biggest cost of many EVs.
  • Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer at Volvo Group Trucks Technology, told Reuters: “”We’re really striving to reuse a lot when it comes to expensive components, which are expensive when it comes to development and production costs … not only between the truck brands but also the bus brands and construction equipment. The benefit of the group is that we can get high volumes when we re-use components across the group.”
  • We recently covered the story of Volvo’s first battery powered medium-duty trucks for deliveries and refuse collection. They joined Mitsubishi’s Fuso all electric truck which is already in use in the USA and Europe, and VW aren’t far behind with theirs too thanks to an alliance with Toyota, with the aim of using scale to reduce costs.

 

A GLIMPSE INTO AN ELECTRIC FUTURE

  • London had a remarkable drop in air pollution on Sunday, in fact is was down by 89%. What could cause pollution to plummet like that for such a specific time period? The answer is people who choose to run 26.2 miles on a Sunday morning and for some of them, that’s their idea of a good time! Marathon runners are mad, and I know because I’ve completed the London marathon, but my knees thanks me for moving in Triathlons.
  • King’s College London took air samples during the London Marathon on Sunday when combustion-engined cars, buses and trucks area banned from the centre of the city to make room for runners. It’s the particularly harmful NOx Nitrogen Oxides which fell almost 90%. And it gives us a glimpse into the future of what the most polluted cities will be like when only EVs are being used for personal and public transport, a change which can’t come quick enough.
  • And all thanks to 40,000 runners. Which, incidentally, is the same amount of people who die prematurely from emissions every year in Great Britain.
  • For any cities watching on, maybe those who have announced their own permanent bans on petrol and diesel, the results will show how quickly the air quality can start to improve, and give them the confidence to move forwards with only allowing EVs on the roads.

 

CHINESE BATTERY FIRM REPORTED TO BE SETTING UP ON VW DOORSTEP

  • For anyone who doubts the Chinese are coming to make your cars, just like they make that mini-computer you have next to called a mobile phone, or cell phone, just take a look at the news happening almost daily now. They have big plans for the USA and Europe, and not just with their own brands, but with the parts used to power other makers as well.
  • Chinese battery maker Tianjin Lishen are looking to open a sales office in the land of the luxury European car, Germany, so it can supply them with the batteries needed for all their EVs.
  • Reuters claim: “A source close to Volkswagen said the company is in advanced talks with Tianjin Lishen on lithium-ion battery supply contracts, but agreements have not yet been signed. Any new office would be located near Wolfsburg, where Volkswagen has its headquarters, the source at Tianjin said, declining to give more specific detail.”
  • What does that mean? Well VW want to sell 3million electrified vehicles annually by 2025 and each of their 300 models will be electrified by 2030. As supply chains go, on the numbers VW work with, those deals will indeed be in negotiations.

 

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