Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Sunday 19th May 2019. It’s Martyn Lee here and welcome to another Saturday Special interview.
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.
Hello to new Patreon supporters – firstly on Patreon it’s just NATHAN. Plus thanks to new Producer PHILLIP STONE and Producer DR FRANK KEARNEY.
VOLKSWAGEN BRINGING 48V MHEV TO EIGHT-GENERATION GOLF
- The eighth-generation of the bestselling Volkswagen Golf bestseller will feature a 48V mild hybrid electric drive system. In 2018, Volkswagen announced at the Vienna
- The Group is now delivering on its promise and bringing the technology into series production this year with the eighth generation Golf, one of the best-selling vehicles in the world. Initially, the 48V hybrid drive will be available with the EA211 evo family, 1.0 and 1.5l displacement and dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).” reports Green Car Congress: “Compared to current Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV), for example in the Golf GTE and Passat GTE, the MHEV drive equipped with 48V technology offers a reduced range of functions, but is significantly more cost-effective. While the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) charges the battery via the grid with a plug, the MHEV does not have a battery that can be recharged via a plug, but is equipped with a 48V belt starter generator.”
TESLA INSURANCE INFO LEAKED
- InsideEVs says: “Our Twitter friends @TheTeslaShow have uncovered the very first bit of real information on Tesla’s planned car insurance program. This leaked bit of code has now vanished, but thanks to the quick work of @TheTeslaShow, we’ve got the info right here for you. Tesla (well, mainly Elon Musk) seems to think this insurance offering will be a huge addition for the automaker, though others disagree, as the insurance business is indeed a tricky one to conquer. Regardless, it seems Tesla is pushing forward with this and now we have some concrete proof.”
- “Introducing Tesla Insurance. Select Tesla Insurance for low rates and one seamless experience. Match your existing coverage or select a new plan with an instant quote.”
CHEVY BOLT EUV ELECTRIC CROSSOVER CAUGHT IN THE WILD
- “[GM has] said it will build another crossover alongside the Bolt, which is rumored to be called the Bolt EUV (as a trademark dug up by GM Authority could suggest), and is almost certainly what you see in the photos caught by our spy photographer, above.” according to Autoblog: “This definitely looks more like a legitimate crossover than the Bolt (which Chevy also, questionably, refers to as a crossover), but beyond its more upright stance, it’s hard to tell what this thing actually looks like under that thick cladding and camouflage. We expect it to be larger than the current Bolt, but it’s hard to tell by how much until some of the camo comes off. We can see that there’s no exhaust, and the video below confirms it runs silently as expected for an electric car. We don’t have official word yet, but based on intel and GM’s general timeline, we could likely see a production version of the vehicle you see in these spy photos come late next year.”
BOLT MOBILITY UNVEILS $9,999 ELECTRIC CAR
- “Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human, is backing an electric car startup based in Florida called Bolt Mobility. This past week, the company unveiled its first car, the B-Nano, which it says it has been working on in secret for the past two years.” reports Clean Technica: “According to AutoBlog, the B-Nano — which resembles the Renault Twizy in size and simplicity — is intended to be used much like the two wheeled vehicles used in bike sharing schemes. Short trips of between 2 and 15 miles are its design envelope. No maximum range or top speed is specified by the company. But the battery — whatever size it is — is engineered to be easily swapped out for fresh battery quickly and easily. Just who would be doing the swapping and where and for how much are questions with no answers at present. What is known is that the base model of the B-Nano will sell for a mere $9,999. Reservations are being accepted now for just $999.”
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
If I must make a decision, then it is imperative hardware is right at the outset. Once the car is in the field, it gets VERY expensive to fix, replace, or upgrade hardware. Software, thanks to OTA updates, can be fixed, and features can be added, but only to the limits of the hardware.
Hardware! Specifically, seats! Software can’t fix a terrible seat.
My analogy is that if you play cards, the hardware is the deck, and the software is the rule set. If the deck is missing half the cards, you can’t play a lot of games you want to play with it, and you have to invent some other game with a different set of rules. That new game may or may not be more fun, but it’s not the game you were looking for when you bought the deck in the first place.
Since you are forcing us to choose between hardware and software as being more important in our EVs, I’m coming down on the side of hardware.
Why? because hardware is the necessary basis/foundation for software. Without hardware to run on, software is useless.
However, the reverse is not true. Hardware is definitely useful without software as we can compensate for the lack of software with our wet/brain ware.
So, while software is nice, hardware is a must.
However, the combination of hardware and software is where it’s at and gives us the biggest bang for our transportation bucks.
I think the right answer, for where we are in the EV market evolution, is actually hardware. Assuming a starting point with comparable software capabilities, the right hardware in a car rolling off of the line today means that software improvements over the next 5-10 years can reach backwards to owners. Nothing builds brand loyalty like not being left behind and improving the resale value of my trade-in due to a high demand, used market.
since you aren’t allowing the correct answer it has to be Software that is more important. Great software can make bad hardware work, but really bad software can make even the best hardware unusable
Hardware is the most important part to get right on an EV. Hardware reliability provides value because the car will last longer. EV owners have to pay more upfront for their cars; they need to be durable over the long run. Software is easily updated; hardware is not.
This is a very easy one to answer, no fence sitting necessary. Hardware is king, it must be right from day one.
Software finessing and “polishing” can follow later with OTA updates. Tesla is of course the classic example- early release software in Teslas has at times had it’s issues, and of course critics, but it just keeps getting better and better. The Tesla you drive today will only be better in a year’s time. Imagine if you had to keep visiting the service centre for hardware fixes!
If your EV has FSD, then the hardware is more important. Simpley because it’s the hardware that allows the car to drive in FSD mode. Without the hardware FSD isn’t possible. And the hardware must be strong, rugged dependable to function perfectly, immatating what a driver can do only better.
Now… I can answer the same question about the importance of the software.
Software also plays an important part when it comes to FSD, without over the air updates, then the FSD will lag, and won’t run correctly, as designed.
So my answer is both Hardware and Software are important for the safest in functionality of an EV, especially pertaining to FSD. Software is important to the functionality of EVs in general.
An ICE car couldn’t even function as a self driving car.
After a lot of thought, on balance hardware – in particular the fitment of sensors and processing power allowing for additional functionality – is much more important than software.
Hardware changes post-delivery will likely be both difficult and expensive to fit and always require a dealer visit, whereas software can add capabilities to existing hardware as techniques are refined and “AI” knowledge iterates. It is also possible to do this OTA as well as being carried out at dealerships.
Hardware is the most important to get correct.
Software can always be updated relatively easily whereas hardware is not something that can be easily and cheaply swapped out. The cost of looking out say an autopilot hardware swap out must be sky high compared to the cost of pushing software over the air.
For cars like mine where there is no OTA updates it’s still cheap to do a software update as in effect it’s “only” the time to put the software onto an SD card and to put that in the car that causes costs.
The last 2 updates for my Ioniq I did myself after getting the software on an SD card from the dealer. It took 15 minutes.
Hardware is more important over software because software is cheaper & easier to update.
Software is easily more important because you can have the best hardware in the world and bad software will render it useless. If you have great software and poor hardware, the software is going to improve the hardware limitations. Just look at the YouTube videos where people cover cameras to see how well autopilot works. Autopilot mainly uses the front forward stereo cameras. Even with the others blocked it can still work.
Software is king.
HARDWARE is the most important thing to get right off the start.
Hardware is expensive to upgrade, and often can not be done.
I do however think that hardware should be designed to be as swapable as possible.
For example, as battery tech improves, we should be able to upgrade with minimal intrusion.
BTW-The Tesla Model 3 is not an easy battery to swap. The tech has to basically dismantle the interior of the car to get at fasteners. The S and X batteries were designed for easy replacement. I hope they Y has corrected this Model 3 shortfall.
This is a no brainer. Hardware is static; software is not.I drive a 2015 Tesla Model S with AP1 that I picked up used last year. That’s old hardware, but I keep getting OTA updates all the time that make it feel ‘new’.
You can’t change the number of cells in your battery once it’s sitting in your driveway. Autopilot software can be okay today but then gets incrementally better month after month until it’s great. I just reached 1 year in my Model 3 and the day after I picked it up I got a software update that added automatic wipers. Cabin overheat protection, Nav on Auto, TeslaCam, Sentry Mode, Atari games, dog mode……
28,000 miles later, the car keeps getting better!
And thanks to MYEV.com they’ve set us another Question Of The Week. Keep your comments coming in on email and YouTube…
Does the location of production influence your buying decions? And why?
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