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Well good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are in the world, hello and welcome to the Friday 14th September 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.
Thank you to MYEV.com for helping make this show, they’ve built the first marketplace specifically for Electric Vehicles. It’s a totally free marketplace that simplifies the buying and selling process, and help you learn about EVs along the way too.
“Due to a large increase in vehicle delivery volume in North America, Tesla customers may experience longer response times. Resolving this is our top priority.”
Good news on all fronts, that their hyper-detailed CEO is focussing on Customer Service, and also that must mean he’s not spending 20 hours a day fixing production issues.
AUDI WANT YOU TO NOTICE THEIR (CHARGING) SPEED
- Fresh from excitement about the Mercedes EQC, which looks incredible, today I want to go big on the Audi e-tron Quattro, a car i’ve raved about for months and now it’s days away, being revealed in San Francisco on Monday 17th September. We know it’s called Quattro, so that’s a dead giveaway to motors on the front and rear axle, for 4 wheel drive. In a previous test we also heard it has a boost mode for up to 8 seconds of full-banzai attack driving. The battery is a 95kWh pack so, on a heavy SUV, any range number over 200 miles in the real world on a cold, wet day would be good.
- If you’re Audi and you’ve been building your showpiece EV, the e-tron Quattro, it must be a bit annoying to lose out to certain performance specs like the Tesla Model 3 doing 0-60mph in 3.5secs (and quicker if you change the tyres), especially as performance is a pillar of the Audi brand. All we know is the e-tron will get to 60mph in under 6 seconds.
- There’s a new teaser called “electric has gone thrilling”.
- But that hasn’t stopped them promoting the speed of their first EV, but specifically the speed it charges. They say its the first series-production car to charge at 150kW.
- We’ll see the car unveiled next week without the camouflage. In advance of that, Audi announced a scheme for Audi e-tron Quattro owners to access a charging network of 72,000 chargers across Europe, and that includes the network they’re part of which is IONITY. IONITY has big plans for their 350kW chargers with 400 promised by 2020, however the handful out there at the moment are few and far between. The same goes for Electrify America which has a large rollout to do, very quickly, to start installing them in respectable numbers.
- Audi’s solution also isn’t quite as frictionless as Tesla because you need a special card at launch but they do have plans the fix that. To start with, the access card will handle all the billing across multiple networks, in 16 countries.
- Audi told us today: “Drivers who charge their e-tron overnight and set off the next morning with a full battery don’t have to worry about stopping at a charging station during their normal daily drive. The range of more than 400 kilometers (248.5 mi) in the realistic WLTP cycle enables electric driving without compromise. For longer distances, Audi offers a smart solution in the shape of the e-tron Charging Service, which handles the charging process swiftly and simply. The e-tron Charging Service builds confidence in our electric initiative. Following on from the Audi e-tron, in 2019 the Audi e-tron Sportback will be the second electric car to go on sale, followed in 2020 by the Audi e-tron GT from Audi Sport.”
- “From 2019 onward, charging will be even more convenient for Audi customers. This is when the plug & charge function will be introduced. It enables the Audi e-tron to authenticate itself at charging stations via state-of-the-art cryptographic procedures, after which it is authorized – a card will no longer be necessary. All Audi e-tron models rolling off the assembly line from mid-2019 will support this function as standard. Customers can also use plug & charge privately to unlock their connect charging system. This then eliminates the need to enter a PIN to protect against unauthorized use.”
- “Audi offers various solutions for charging in the garage at home: The standard compact mobile charging system can be used with either a 230 volt household outlet or a 400 volt three-phase outlet. The optional connect charging system doubles the charging power to as much as 22 kW. The second on-board charger required for this will be available as an option at some point in 2019.”
- My take: for Audi buyers they expect nothing less. No Audi owner wants a wallet full of membership cards or fobs for different networks driving across Europe. I can see VW Group using this technology on all their cars. Now I’ve heard it’s not a major faff if you have NewMotion and PlugSurfing cards but I’ve never driven across Europe myself, I really want to invite Beth Lily on the podcast who writes and blogs about her continental EV trips.
HYUNDAI FUEL CELL ELECTRIC TRUCK
- Hyundai have been busy of late promoting their hydrogen fuel cell technology. When they’re not flying the Fully Charged team to Korea to sample the NEXO, they’re tweeting today about their upcoming reveal of their Fuel Cell Electric Truck. The plan is to show it off at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover. What we got today was a render drawing of the truck which looks…well, pretty conventional. If they hadn’t told us there was a different powertrain in there it looks like any other truck. There are some differences, the rear wheels are covered, which they call a side protector. But don’t imagine it’s a radical design like the Tesla Semi of the Nikola truck.
BMW TRY THEIR LUCK AT PRE-ORDERS
- It’s going to take some beating for any car maker to secure the 400,000+ pre orders for an EV, and that’s people leaving deposits for the Model 3, but BMW had a crack at it this week. The iX3 is coming in 2020 and they advised potential purchasers to get their order in. So that’s exactly what 1,000 buyers have done. In Norway they opened pre-orders 13 days ago if you were happy to hand over 15,000 NOK/$1,800/€1,600.
- Pieter Nota, BMW AG Management Board member responsible for Sales and Brand BMW, told us via a statement: “In Norway, we’ve just launched a pilot project to pre-order the BMW iX3, which is due to start production in 2020, via an app. Within less than two weeks, around 1,000 Norwegian customers have already registered, including paying a €1,600 deposit on the first-ever pure-electric BMW core model”.
- So this is an SUV which will be in dealerships by the end of 2020, which by then we’ll have a much clearer idea of the Tesla Model Y.
ICELANDIC GOVERNMENT PLANS TO ABOLISH FOSSIL FUELS
- “The Icelandic government has a new action plan for environmental issues which calls for abolishing the use of all fossil fuels before the year 2050. All new registrations of diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned in the year 2030. The only possible exemptions are for remote areas in the country where it would be hard to use vehicles other than petrol or diesel fuelled ones” reports Iceland Monitor: “The action plans states that the Icelandic government aims to increase the number of environmentally friendly cars as soon as possible, and that the government will solely purchase such vehicles for their own uses. “
A LESSON IN BEING CAUTIOUS WITH WHAT YOU READ
- Here’s a lesson in critical thinking, questioning what you read etc. I’ve long been a watcher on YouTube of John McIlroy, a car expert and someone who they say drives 100 different cars a year. He’s a veteran journalist with strong opinions who’s well respected and listened to. I’ve probably spent many hours watching him, I’m a big fan.
- He has written for Ward’s Auto today and says this: “Up to now I had never spent more than 10 minutes in a Tesla. I got a brief chance to drive a Model S some years ago and got another brief drive in a Model 3 earlier this year. But a friend of mine recently let me take his Model X home for the weekend, and for me it was an eye-opener.”
- Here is someone who often comments on a Tesla and yet has no experience in one. You’d hope someone like him would have spent at least a couple of weeks in each of their models? So next time you’re reading something critical of EVs, do ask yourself, how do I know the writer even deserves my attention. He says Tesla don’t make cars available to people like him. Which is the opposite to me, presenter of a wildly unpopular podcast. When I was talking to Tesla’s head of PR over the Summer saying I’d never driven a Model X she said that’s something they can fix very easily. Also there are a ton of MOdel 3 reviews out there from journalists who got a car from Tesla. Why is there such a willingness to dismiss Tesla, and EV’s in general, from people who don’t know better.
- Back to John McIlroy: “Tesla soon will face formidable competition from the German juggernauts, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Audi. Technically they will be able to match everything Tesla has done. But will they be able to capture the fun, whimsical and sassy attitude that Tesla has created? Time will tell, but I don’t think it’s in their DNA.”
- So it turns out a veteran journalist and commentator, when given the chance to drive one, becomes a big fan. If he had never properly reviewed one, do you think the CEO’s of these major car makers have even driven one? Sure they made sure they bought some for their engineers to take apart, but I’d be keen to know what the competition is doing.
VW CEO WARNS OF HIGHER THAN EXPECTED ELECTRIC CAR COSTS
- “Volkswagen Group warned that its ambitious plan to offer an electrified version of each model will cost more than it estimated, forcing the automaker to deepen an efficiency push to meet the spending demands.” according to Automotive News Europe: “VW had originally earmarked the shift to battery power to cost 20 billion euros ($23 billion). Now CEO Herbert Diess says this will not suffice, without providing a new figure. The company needs to reduce expenses more to be able to invest in future technology and weather crises, he said. VW Group aims to launch 80 new EVs across its brands including Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat by 2025 and offer an electrified version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.”
- “The burden for our company, such as the cost of bringing to market electric cars, will be higher than expected,” Diess said in a joint interview with labor head Bernd Osterloh in VW’s internal newsletter. “This is particularly so since some of our competitors have been making more progress.”
BMW i3 CARS HELP STABILIZING THE ELECTRICITY GRID
- BMW say: “When the ChargeForward project was launched in 2015, around 100 BMWi3 drivers downloaded a ChargeForward app which allowed flexible vehicle charging from the electricity grid. This meant the charging process could be paused when the grid enjoyed particularly high demand and then restarted when the peak had tailed off again. Drivers would be informed of any charging pauses by a message to their smartphone. As a customer only rarely needs to use the whole time their vehicle is parked for charging, in many cases they would be able to benefit from periods when electric is available at lower cost. This would also present an easy way for the energy company to avoid grid overloads and ensure consistent and therefore efficient supply.”
- “Since 2017, the results of the second phase of the project have shown how a flexible charging strategy can contribute not only to stabilising the energy grid but also increasing the proportion of green energy sourced for electric mobility. Around EarthDay earlier this year, carefully managed charging in sunny California enabled greater use of electricity generated from renewable sources. Around 350 BMW i car drivers participating in the ChargeForward project were prompted to charge their vehicles’ high-voltage batteries during the day. In this way, they prioritised those periods when solar energy was available in particularly large quantities. This meant approximately 56 per cent of the power they fed into their vehicles during the test period could ultimately be sourced renewably – and more than half of the project participants’ mileage in their BMW i3carsduring the test was therefore completely CO2-neutral. By comparison, the average percentage of renewable energy for the US stood at just 22 per cent.”
And thanks to MYEV.com they’ve set us another Question Of The Week. Keep your comments coming in on email and YouTube…
Where do you go for information when considering buying an EV, or researching a specific make and model. Is there one trusted source you use, or do you use everything from news sites like InsideEVs, to YouTube vlogs to auto makers official website pages. What about when you want to know about things like charging or incentives?
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THE LIMOUSINE LINE SYDNEY
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