It’s Thursday 31st May 2018 and this is your EV News Daily. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening! Wherever you’re listening around the world, a very warm welcome from London, UK. Here is today’s news about electric cars and the future of transport. My name is Martyn Lee and I go through every EV article online so you don’t have to.
TESLA MODEL 3 WINS CONSUMER REPORTS BLESSING AFTER BRAKE FIX
- Getting a B+ in a school test is not the end of the world, but what if your teacher allowed you to come back a week later and fix up that one question you got wrong, and give you an A+ with flying colours?
- That’s pretty much the last week in the world of Consumer Reports and Tesla.
- They say: “Consumer Reports now recommends the Tesla Model 3, after our testers found a recent over-the-air update improved the car’s braking distance by nearly 20 feet. In an email to CR, a Tesla spokeswoman said that the company improved the software for the Model 3’s antilock braking system to adapt to variations in how the brakes might be used and to respond to different environmental conditions. The improved braking distances raised the Model 3’s Overall Score enough for the car to be recommended by CR, but our testers had other areas of concern as well. They found issues with the Model 3’s wind noise, stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat. Last week, Musk told CR in a conversation that the automaker has already made changes to its production line to address those three issues.
- One of the most experienced of Tesla writers, Dana Hull, for Bloomberg: “Tesla’s Model 3 sedan won a coveted recommendation from Consumer Reports after an over-the-air software update improved braking by almost 20 feet. The new software addressed variations in braking styles and environmental conditions, a company spokeswoman told Consumer Reports. Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, described the improvement as unprecedented. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars, and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update,” he said in a statement.
- The updates are being rolled out now. Elon Musk tweeted: “”Improved windshield for aero noise & suspension for ride comfort are major ops. Unless you’re really bothered by them, don’t replace. Best way to improve ride is drop tire pressure to ~39 psi. 45 psi is best range, but lower comfort.” Electrek say: “The hardware update to the suspension has reportedly started rolling out in December and owners can have it retrofitted at a Tesla’s service center.”
AUDI E-TRON EV GETS SIDE CAMERAS INSTEAD OF MIRRORS FOR AERODYNAMICS
- Wing mirrors are something I would put into the category of solved problems. A bit like sinks – they were a solved problem. Sinks works. Then fancypants hotels started installing sinks like flat slates with funky taps, and the next thing you know, it splashes everywhere and you’ve wet your crotch. Just me? OK.
- Now Autoblog says Audi is ditching mirrors for cameras on the forthcoming Audi e-tron Quattro. I presumed it would be one of those concept car things which never made it’s way onto the car. “The optional cameras are mounted to little winglets where the standard side mirrors would have been. As for where you see the cameras’ views, there will be an additional screen in the area to the left of the instrument cluster for at least the left camera. Audi wasn’t totally clear about the screen for the right-hand camera.”
- Back in 2016 Autonews were talking about this issue “cameras capture a wider angle of view and can see blind spots usually invisible with mirrors. They can also improve visibility by digitally compensating for glare, darkness or even rainy weather. The pathway to mirrorless cars was cleared late last year when the United Nations’ World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations approved the use of cameras that meet certain specifications in place of mirrors.”
- North America is expected to follow suit later in 2018 in allowing them.
HYUNDAI SET TO ENTER BATTERY BUILDING BUSINESS
- According to Korean Media, Hyundai could be about to make their own EV batteries in an attempt to ease the bottlenecks which have slowed up sales, and they aim to reduce the dependency on LGChem and SK Innovation. Electrive say: “a Hyundai spokesperson confirmed they were working on battery production lines but denied any plans they would use them for their own electric vehicles.”
2019 HYUNDAI IONIQ ADDS MORE ACTIVE-SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- Staying with Hyundai and “The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq range will receive a handful of technology updates for the new model year, with improvements in safety and infotainment. This is the third model year for the Ioniq Electric and Hybrid, though only the second year for the Plug-In Hybrid version.” reports CNET. New for 2019:
- Driver Attention Alert and High Beam Assist safety features now available
- Enhanced, natural-language, server-based voice-recognition and POI-search database provided by HERE?
- Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Smart Cruise Control added to SEL
- Standard remote charge management for Plug-in and Electric models via Blue Link®
- “The Ioniq Electric and Plug-In Hybrid will include remote monitoring of battery charging as standard from within the cars’ associated Blue Link telematics smartphone apps. The 2019 versions of all three Ioniqs will be in dealerships this summer.”
- But what about the battery range? I can’t find anywhere online which says they will upgrade the current 28 kWh battery pack with 124 mile driving range.
- The move comes despite long-standing speculation in media reports that the Ioniq EV could receive a battery upgrade to boost its range to 200 miles or beyond.
- I’ll post a link to the Hyundai Media Center on the show notes but key paragraphs are: ” The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid provides an estimated all-electric range of 29 miles, 119 MPGe in EV mode and 52 MPG in hybrid mode, powered by a potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.”
- and? “The Ioniq Electric has an estimated 136 MPGe rating, the highest efficiency rating of any electric vehicle sold in the U.S. market. The Ioniq Electric offers pure electric mobility with a 28.0 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery for an estimated driving range of 124 miles.”
SIGHTINGS OF FUTURE EVS
- “Ford’s new Kuga SUV, set to arrive in showrooms in 2020, will be available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time.” according to AutoExpress who have spy spots of the Plug In Hybrid version testing, in heavy camo, in North America. Although if you’re listening to this in North America, this is the Ford Escape. Since the 2013 model year, the European designed Kuga has been rebadged as the Escape, and it’s a popular car selling over 300,000 last year. “This new Kuga is still a few years away, however, as evidenced by the substantial camouflage hiding the new car’s refreshed design. It’s likely that the next Kuga will share its platform with the new Focus, which has been designed with electrification in mind. As well as allowing Ford to develop petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and electric cars on the same platform it also means a slight increase in size is on the cards, as hinted at by the longer rear overhang and extended wheel arches of the prototypes.”
- LeftLaneNews say: “Overall this prototype looks nearly identical to the one that was spotted back in April, but there is one major difference ? look closely at the front fender and you’ll see what looks like a fuel door. But Ford hasn’t moved the Escape’s gas tank to the front end, what you’re looking at is actually a door to conceal a charge port.”
NISSAN HOME ENERGY SYSTEM LAUNCHES IN UK
- Dominik Wilde at Motor 1 has some great news for those in the UK wanting to add solar and storage, for a great price, from Nissan. “The new setup involves solar panels and reused batteries from the company’s EVs, allowing homeowners to generate electricity even while they’re not in the house and either sell it back to the grid at peak times or use it themselves. The whole thing is managed by a sophisticated computer system to best meet each household’s requirements.
- “Starting from £3,881 ? which includes the supply and installation of a six-panel solar system, home energy management system, and VAT at 5 percent ? the package also uses battery storage (xStorage Home) as well as the solar panels and energy management to reduce energy bills by up to 66 percent. It also has the ability to charge Nissan EVs.”
- There’s a link to the article in the show notes if you want to read more.
FOR HIS LAST ACT, MARCHIONNE WILL OUTLINE AN EV/HYBRID ROADMAP THIS WEEK
- “Fiat Chrysler (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne is expected to outline new plans for electric and hybrid cars in a strategy presentation on Friday, aiming to ensure the world’s seventh-largest carmaker remains in the race in the absence of a merger.” is the news from Reuters: “Marchionne had long refused to jump on the electrification bandwagon, saying he would only do so if selling battery-powered cars could be done at a profit. He even urged customers not to buy FCA’s Fiat 500e, its only battery-powered model, because he was losing money on each sold.”
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