Friday 18th May 2018.
On tomorrows show something different ? one story, arguably one of the biggest EV stories of the week ? and one guest from the company behind it. I’ll tell you more at the end of this show.
And before we get started, just a note it’s the London Motor Show 2018 this week with everything from the Tesla Shooting Brake you might have seen which comes from my native Norfolk, to the brand new iconic electric Black Cab, to the world’s first production EV kit car the e-rod. You can search for the hashtag #LMS2018 if you’re interested in seeing more.
1000S OF SUPERCHARGERS ARE IN PERMITTING/CONSTRUCTION PHASES
- First up we’ll dive straight into InsideEVs and Elon has been busy on the build again. This time is it Model 3? No! Model S or X? No! SpaceX? No! Tesla Energy, something about the Solar roof? No! The latest in a long line of positive announcements is about the Supercharger network. Already a huge incentive to get into the Tesla walled garden, he now says an updated Supercharger map is coming in the next few days.
- Responding to a question from new Model S owner Kevin Mitnick on Twitter about any superchargers coming to Woodland Hills, Elon replied: “Yeah, there are thousands of Supercharger locations going through permitting/construction, including that area. Will publish an updated map in the next few days.”
- So what does “thousands” mean? At the basic level, it means 2,000 or more. And I presume he’s talking Worldwide because there are many in the planning and permits stage even here in the UK.
- Oh and another reason this is the top story today, and it’s got something to do with that ‘walled garden’ I mentioned. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another auto maker to cave in and pay Tesla for access, especially a smaller, more boutique brand without the means to build their own network. For now Tesla is burning cash and doing whatever it required to build out the network, whilst the Superchargers are never going to be used as a profit centre of Tesla owners.
- However, let me remind you of something from the earning call when he took questions from the blogger Galileo, who is a fan of Tesla having an exclusive club of chargers which others can’t access, as that makes them more valuable to investors. Elon said that he can see a time in the future when it’s opened up to other manufacturers, indeed Tesla has even offered, but nobody was ready to be their customers just yet.
- And you can understand why, with huge auto makers wanting to do it their way, on their terms. However I can see a time when at least one major car maker in the medium term calls it quits on their own tech and licences EV technology from Tesla. Given Elon’s mission is not to stop until all vehicles are electric, and also looking for new revenue streams, why wouldn’t someone like Ford decide the best way to avoid total collapse is to licence the drivetrains from Tesla?
ELECTRIC BUS FLEETS
- Earlier this week the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SF Muni) Board of Directors passed a resolution to begin procuring zero emission battery buses to replace electric hybrid vehicles by 2025, with a goal of achieving a 100 percent electric bus fleet by 2035″ reports EcoWatch.
- Meanwhile, in South Korea, the government wants all buses and trucks to run with zero emissions by 2030. Electrive says: “The new plan released by the government also wants to introduce small electric two-wheelers for postal deliveries by 2020. Around the same time Seoul will also start to mass-produce and supply hydrogen and electric buses in earnest.”
- And let me put both of those wonderful targets in perspective with a tweet from Colin McKerracher, Head of Advanced Transport, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). In 2018, “Shenzhen: May 1st: all new commercial light duty trucks = EVs. From July 1: Only EVs allowed in ride hailing. By Dec 31: replace all remaining taxis with EVs. Build 5,200 EV chargers for taxis. Retire 20,000 diesel light duty trucks. City policies will reshape auto markets.”
RECORD EV SALES FOR SOUTH KOREA
- Well let’s stay in South Korea for a bit longer. “The number of electric vehicles sold in South Korea so far this year is already more than double the sales recorded for the whole of last year. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, electric vehicle sales rose from five-thousand-900 units in 2016 to 13-thousand-800 last year. It says more than 30-thousand EVs have been sold in South Korea since the turn of 2018, including preorders” according to some insight from KBS World.
BMW UNVEIL SHAPE OF iNEXT
- Yesterday at the annual shareholders meeting for BMW in Germany they presented their vision for the iNext EV. The iNext is designed to be a technology showcase for BMW: electric propulsion, full self-driving, and advanced interfaces, said BMW CEO Harald Krueger. According to Green Car Reports: “It is supposed to be available with three different battery sizes: a 60 kilowatt-hour battery with 280 miles of range, a 90-kwh battery good for about 342 miles, and a range-topping 120-kwh battery with 435 miles of range. That last figure is longer than most gasoline cars.” These types are things are never really about the car, but more about what they think they will focus on. So they say it will have Level 3 self-driving, equipped for Level 4, advanced gesture control.
BMW HAS SOME PRODUCTION TIPS FOR TESLA
- As Tesla struggles to meet the mahoosive demand for Model 3’s I’m sure what will really help is BMW chipping in with some advice. And it’s this: “embrace human labor, be flexible and focus on the details.”
- At that same annual meeting, Oliver Zipse from BMW said: “”Producing cars in cycles of 60 seconds: That is the deciding factor” BMW makes Tesla’s entire 2017 output once every two weeks. “To fully automate the assembly process is not our goal, because the human being with its unique properties is unbeatably flexible.”
- “Maybe there’s more leeway in the top-end market segment above 100,000 euros ($118,000), but as soon as you enter market segments with volumes like the 3- or even in the 5-Series, keeping costs under control is paramount,” BMW’s Zipse said. “You can’t allow yourself to have inefficiencies there.”
EAST COAST STATES UNITE TO ADVANCE EV CHARGING
- States on the East Coast of the US, from Virginia to Maine, have announced support for the release of the ‘Northeast Corridor Regional Strategy for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure’ to advance public and private investments in EV charging” according to Renewable Energy Magazine: “As part of a legal settlement between the federal government and Volkswagen addressing Clean Air Act violation claims, the Northeast Corridor states, from Virginia to Maine, have up to $108 million that may be invested on charging and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure for electric cars. Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary, is investing $2 billion to promote electric vehicles, which will include substantial infrastructure investments in the Northeast Corridor.”
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