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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Thursday 24th January 2019. It’s Martyn Lee here and I’ve been through every EV story I can find today, and picked out the ones I think you need to know about.
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.
NISSAN UPDATES LEAF SOFTWARE FOR ALL AFTER #RAPIDGATE
- First up a public service announcement, following all of Nissans troubles over the last 12months. We first heard about a software fix from Bjorn Nyland who tested a newer LEAF 40, and it took a higher charge speed whilst being pretty hot. He raised questions over the long term health of the battery, but it was an anecdotal story of someone contacting their dealer for the fix, and being turned away which concerned me. If I were Nissan I would be on a PR offensive to superserve my customers.
- Well now we have more details on the story thanks to Electrive.com: “Nissan is now offering a software update for Leaf models with a 40 kWh battery to correct the significant reduction of the DC charging power that occurred under the so-called Rapidgate.” says an article today: “A Nissan spokesman told electrive that they would offer the for all Leaf models produced between 8 December 2017 and 9 May 2018. Electric vehicles with a later production date already have the current software version.”
- I was never able to test it, so i never commented on it at the time, despite a fair few complaints and people saying I was ignoring it because I was in Nissan’s pocket. I like to think of it as not defaming a company for something I had no personal proof over, but hey, you feel free to get yourself sued.
- However as time went on there was a general reluctance from Nissan to hold their hands up and say it was a fault, but instead they recognised the issue and it was expected behiviour. However Electrive did test it themselves: “Our editors put this to the test and could confirm the problem. According to the Japanese carmaker, the Leaf has “safety precautions” to protect the battery during repeated rapid charging processes. These are important for the service life of the powerpack, not least due to a lack of thermal management.”
- And of course the Nissan warranty is unaffected.
- Is that good enough, LEAF drivers? What else would Nissan realistically do? Should the LEAF be thought of a town car, with very occasional long drives, if this problem rears up on the 62kWh car? And if so, why carry around such a heavy battery on a town car, when a lighter car would be more efficient?
TOYOTA AND PANASONIC CONFIRM JV FOR EV BATTERIES
- “Toyota Motor Corp and Panasonic Corp said on Tuesday they will launch a joint venture next year to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries, leveraging the heft of one of the world’s largest automakers and battery makers to expand their EV push.” confirmed Reurters today: “Toyota will own 51 percent of the joint venture, and Panasonic the rest, the two companies said in a joint statement, confirming previous reports.”
PEUGEOT 2008 COMING AS A FULL EV
- “Peugeot will follow up the imminent launch of its new 208 supermini with a new 2008 crossover, due to be revealed in the autumn.” reports Autocar: “The most significant change brought about by the new platform is that Peugeot will offer the 2008 as a fully electric model for the first time. Expected to be launched in early 2020, not long after the conventional petrol and diesel variants, the electric version follows on from the platform-sharing 208 and will adapt that car’s electric motor and lithium ion battery pack. Details of the electric 2008’s range and performance haven’t yet been revealed.”
PEUGEOT WARNS UK DEALERS TO READY FOR EV REVOLUTION
- “Peugeot has told its UK dealer network to prepare themselves for the coming EV revolution. During its 2019 National Dealer Conference at the NEC in Birmingham, the carmaker spelled out how its sees the growth of EV adoption will change the face of dealership service required by consumers.” according to today’s report by Paul Myles for TU Automotive: “David Peel, managing director of Peugeot UK, told dealers to ‘be prepared’ for the energy transition especially with the brand committing to electrifying its entire product range over the next five years.”
TESLA SAYS IT RECEIVED BATTERY QUOTES FROM LISHEN BUT NO DEAL AGREED
- “Tesla Inc said on Tuesday it had received quotes from Tianjin Lishen to supply batteries for its new Shanghai electric car factory but had not signed any agreement with the Chinese firm.” according to Business Report: “Reuters earlier on Tuesday reported, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, that Tesla and Lishen had signed a preliminary agreement and were working on the details.”
HONDA TEASES NEW EV PROTOTYPE AHEAD OF GENEVA DEBUT
- Yesterday I talked how the Honda Urban EV won the Readers Vote for the What Car? Car Of The Year Awards, despite still being a prototype. Well today, “Honda confirms the rumors about the world premiere of a new EV prototype at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The Japanese manufacturer revealed a design sketch of the prototype and said that the production version will go on sale later this year.”
VW: SMALL ELECTRIC CARS MAY BE UNAFFORDABLE FOR SOME
- This is a strange story next. Let me give you basics and we’ll work out what it means.
- “The move to electric vehicles will make cars significantly more expensive, meaning they may become unaffordable for people on low incomes in the future, the chairman of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) said in an interview published on Sunday.” according to Reuters.
- Hans-Dieter Poetsch told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: “We have the clear goal of making electromobility accessible to a broad section of the population, that is to make it affordable. The current price level cannot stay the same if these cars are equipped with electric motors. Therefore, it will inevitably lead to significant price increases in the small car segment.”
- And then: “Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess warned that the European Union’s proposed emissions target for 2030 is too demanding and the resulting push to EVs could make motoring too expensive for some consumers.” which was picked up by Automotive News Europe: “Diess said VW Group will be able to comply with the EU’s average fleet carbon dioxide emissions of around 60 grams per km by 2030 by boosting sales of its full-electric cars to between 45 percent to 50 percent of the group’s total volume. But he warned: “I am not sure how many customers could afford it.” As examples, Diess said the retail price of a VW Up minicar that could rise in price by about 3,500 euros to 14,500 euros to be compliant with the 2030 emissions target. The price for the small Polo model could rise by 4,000 euros, he said.”
- So this is where I’m at a loss. Europe has very stringent emissions rules coming in for 2030, it’s based on the total fleet of cars you sell and it’s CO2 they’re measuring. VW say they’re going to be an electgric leader and will be making enough EVs by then not be affected by the rules. The first point about EVs being more expensive than piston cars is something you can’t comment on unless you have access to VW finances. But a 40kWh pack would add $4,000 dollars when prices come down to $100/kWh. So for a VW Up that size battery would be overkill. Maybe add $1,000 dollars for the motor and ancillaries, so you start at $5,000 and have to build the car on top of that. But this is by 2030 – and remember can’t compare 100 year old piston technology to battery technology, in the last 10 years alone the cost of battery’s has come down from roughly $1,000 to $150 per kWh. Imagine what tech will be like in 11 years!
- Remember CEO’s don’t say things like this for no reason, they have a game plan. And when you’re so high up the food chain, pretty much every public comment you make will be politically driven to influence someone.
- As for the comment that emissions regulations will mean small cars get more expensive to meet those demands. But hang on, aren’t we always being told VW will make so many EVs by 2030, the way I see it, that will easily offset the total fleet emissions. So sell a bunch of EVs and which allows you to keep selling the last few piston cars.
- Final thought – 11 years ago you had never heard of Tesla. The automotive industry relies on stability, and to them it’s natural to talk with certainty about 2030. At best it’s a projection, at worst it’s fantasy guesswork. Truth is, nobody knows what the car industry will be like 2030 and which incumbents have long since gone bust because they didn’t move to EV quick enough.
INNOGY EMOBILITY UK APPOINTS NISSAN’S KARL ANDERS AS MANAGING DIRECTOR
- “Former Nissan Fleet national EV manager Karl Anders has been appointed as managing director of innogy eMobility UK.” says FleetNews: “Innogy eMobility UK acts as a technology and service provider with an eMobility hardware and software portfolio. The company is a supplier to several major automobile manufacturers and has already started the roll out for the Audi UK dealer network.”
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