Well good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are in the world, hello and welcome to the Wednesday 11th July edition of EV News Daily. It’s Martyn Lee here with the news you need to know about electric cars and the move towards sustainable transport.
An update on a story I mentioned briefly yesterday…with many news outlets confirming the news such as Bloomberg saying “Nissan Motor Co. said it will investigate instances of misconduct involving falsified data about exhaust emissions and fuel economy, the second controversy in less than a year for the automaker whose vehicle-inspection scandal had led to the recall of about 1.2 million vehicles. The data falsification…occurred on 19 models across five plants in Japan. During the checks, Nissan found out that employees misrepresented temperature and humidity data in the testing chamber and manipulated emission data on carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The automaker has hired a law firm to investigate the matter further.”
TESLA TO BUILD GIGAFACTORY IN SHANGHAI
- We knew it was coming, just a matter of when not if, and it has just been confirmed Tesla will build a factory in Shanghai, the city government announced.
- WSJ said: “The electric-car maker will set up a plant with an annual capacity of 500,000 vehicles, the Shanghai authorities said in a statement. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk was in Shanghai to sign a memorandum of cooperation with Mayor Ying Yong”.
- But why build a factory there? Once Tesla Shanghai has the new Gigafactory at capacity, they’ll be building half a million cars for the Chinese market without paying the new import duties. Plus they could move the cheaper cars, like base Model 3 and base Model Y to be built there with lower costs, to increase margins. We know that Freemont is full and Elon has said in the past the Model Y won’t be built there.
- Tesla said in a statement to Bloomberg: “We expect construction to begin in the near future after we get all the necessary approvals and permits. From there, it will take roughly two years until we start producing vehicles and then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up to produce around 500,000 vehicles per year for Chinese customers. Tesla is deeply committed to the Chinese market, and we look forward to building even more cars for our customers here. Today’s announcement will not impact our U.S. manufacturing operations, which continue to grow.”
- “Tesla’s lone car-assembly plant is in Fremont, California, where it’s built about 88,000 cars through the first half of this year, and it has a giant battery factory in neighbouring Nevada. After moving ahead in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, Tesla has said it will reveal plans toward the end of 2018 to build a plant in Europe.”
- Although this isn’t a financial podcast and I never pretend to understand the finer subtleties of a balance sheet, TEsla has $2.7bn in cash at the end of Q2 2018, with a plan for the Model 3 to make them profitable between now and the end of the calendar year. China has been an investor in Tesla before, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. spending $1.8 billion to buy a 5 percent stake in March 2017.
MERCEDES ECITARO IS AN FULLY ELECTRIC CITY BUS
- At a major launch event yesterday, Mercedes revealed their all electric eCitaro bus. They said the powertrain has electric motors at the wheel hubs. Lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of up to about 243 kWh provide the power. The range is 150km. They are modular in design: the batteries are split between up to ten modules, each supplying around 25 kWh. As well as two battery modules on the vehicle roof, the standard equipment includes four modules in the rear of the bus. In the eCitaro, these are taking the place of today’s powertrain combination of combustion engine and transmission. Depending upon customer requirements, another two or four battery modules are mounted on the roof of the eCitaro. They’re using prismatic cells.
- Mercedes-Benz cools the batteries to ensure that they remain at the ideal temperature, thereby ensuring maximum charging capacity, performance capability, and service life. This cooling is undertaken by a separate battery cooler mounted on the roof. At extreme outside temperatures, the standard passenger-compartment climate control system is used to boost the cooling of the batteries.
- They see an upgrade path too as battery technology increase: “transport operators will even be able to increase the range of the existing eCitaro buses by swapping out the batteries at a later time and thereby further increase the operational flexibility.”
- They are also talking about solid state batteries, which they predict will offer a 30% increase from 243kWh to 400kWh from 2020. However due to design these won’t be swappable with the Li-Ion batteries but sold as a different range.
VOLKSWAGEN EXPANDS “ROADMAP E” ? AN E-MOBILITY ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE IN CHINA
- On Monday 9th July Volkswagen Group China signed a “Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)” with JAC and SEAT in Berlin, to establish a new “Research & Development” center with a focus on developing electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies, as well as a competitive platform for battery electric vehicles (BEV). SEAT brand will be introduced to China by 2020/2021.
- This new Memorandum of Understanding will play a key role in Volkswagen Group’s e-mobility plans for China, in order to meet the demands of Chinese customers. Together with JAC and SEAT, Volkswagen Group China will establish an R&D center to develop electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies specifically tailored to the Chinese market, including relevant parts and components and core technologies, with completion planned for 2021.
CHINA’S CATL TO BUILD ITS FIRST EUROPEAN EV BATTERY FACTORY IN GERMANY
- “Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) will build its first production site in Europe in Germany, agreeing a major contract with BMW to supply lithium-ion batteries.” according to a report from Reuters, which adds to more of what we’ve previously reported on this story:” A contract to build the new plant was signed on Monday during a visit to Germany by China’s Premier Li Keqiang. Around 240 million euros (S$379 million) will be invested in the first phase of the project, Wolfgang Tiefensee, Thuringia’s minister of economic affairs, told journalists. BMW plans to source 4 billion euros of battery cells from CATL over the next few years, with 1.5 billion euros coming from the new site in Erfurt in eastern Germany, the carmaker’s purchasing head, Markus Duesmann, said. CATL, the world’s largest maker of battery cells for electric vehicles, said the new factory was just its first step in Europe.” says BusinessTimes.com.sg: “The CATL factory will create about 600 jobs and reach production of 14 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2022. CATL reached shipments of 12 GWh in 2017.”
- Deussmann also added: “BMW had invested in some of the costs for the CATL factory in Erfurt, but declined to say how much. Duesmann said BMW was investing in cell research but a decision on whether to produce battery cells itself had not been made. “I don’t rule it out,” he said. BMW is “very comfortable” with two suppliers of battery cells at the moment, but could add a third and is in talks with eight manufacturers, he added”.
NOW ANYONE CAN CONFIGURE A MODEL 3
- LA Times reports: “Anyone can access the Tesla’s Model 3 “online configurator” and lay down a non-refundable $3,500 cash payment; the delivery date is determined after the money’s been transferred to Tesla.” I tried it here from the UK, but with my US VPN connected, and the TEsla.com site hadn’t updated. “The stated wait time a Model 3 runs from immediate delivery to as many as nine months for the company’s long-promised $35,000 base price version. But each customer is informed individually about his or her specific delivery date.”
- Tesla replied to a request for comment with this: “”Tesla has always required this deposit for all of its vehicle orders, including Model S and Model X, given that we build cars to our customers’ specifications. That deposit goes towards the purchase price of the vehicle.”
- We heard at the start of July, when Tesla confirmed they had made 5,000 MOdel 3’s per week, that the official number of outstanding orders was 420,000.
DHL OFFERING NEW YORKERS FREE ZERO-EMISSION RIDES
- DHL, the Official Logistics Partner of Formula E, is offering New Yorkers a free eShuttle service from key locations across Manhattan this week in an effort to reinforce the global logistics company’s commitment to drive progress in sustainability and e-mobility. DHL has teamed up with Nissan ahead of the 2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix to roll out a fleet of 14 Nissan Leafs that will be available for the public to take free zero-emission rides.
- The DHL eShuttle service will be running from July 11 through July 13 in the lead up to the New York City E-Prix taking place in Red Hook, Brooklyn, this weekend. The service will be offered from 10am to 4pm at three different locations
- The service is open to members of the public who download the DHL Mobility Quest app.
SKODA IS PREPARING ‘E-RS’ ELECTRIC CAR HALO EVS TO MIRROR VRS
- Skoda is to make a performance variant of its upcoming all-electric model, based on the Vision E Concept from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show and should be on sale by the end of 2020.
- Tim Pollard, writing for the always-excellent CAR Magazine here in the UK reports that: “Skoda is working on a range of performance electric vehicles loosely dubbed e-RS to indicate the EV equivalent of the Czech company’s vRS go-faster brand. Global sales and marketing chief Alain Favey told CAR magazine that Skoda is planning performance spin-offs of its future EVs, which are in development and ready to launch from next year. First up is the e-Citigo, basically a Czech-branded Volkswagen e-Up testbed, due for launch in late 2019; but this is just the warm-up act for the main event – the new bespoke EV crossover due a year later in autumn 2020, which will be the first to get Skoda’s proposed new e-RS derivative.”
- Favey said to CAR: “There will be an e-RS,the logic is the same as for vRS. It’s not about performance as such? it’s more about the look, the sporty seats, the experience. That’s the spirit of vRS.’
- “Expect a 300-mile range, design consistent with regular Skodas, a fast-charging network at main dealers, new, floating instrumentation and the very latest in connectivity, according to Favey.”
VW EYES GOODWOOD RECORD WITH ITS I.D. R PIKES PEAK ELECTRIC RACER
- “Hardly content with shattering the all-time record at Pikes Peak, Volkswagen wants its I.D. R Pikes Peak electric race car to be the one to beat on other tracks. It’s taking the racer to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the south of England this week, with designs on setting not only the electric car record at the Goodwood Hillclimb, but perhaps the overall benchmark too.” according to Engadget: “The Goodwood festival marks the competitive debut of VW’s car in Europe, while it will also host the European debut of Tesla’s Model 3.”
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV REMAINS UK’S NUMBER ONE PLUG-IN VEHICLE
- “The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continues to be the UK’s best-selling plug-in electrified vehicle. Sales of Mitsubishi Motors’ petrol/electric plug-in hybrid SUV totalled 537 units in June and 3,732 units so far this calendar year, ahead of every other pure EV and plug-in hybrid on the market” as reported yesterday by Automotive world.
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