Show #730

 

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Friday 27th March 2020. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.

 

PSA DENIES FCA MERGER AT RISK FROM VIRUS FALLOUT

“PSA Group said it remains committed to a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after French media reports said the tie-up could be threatened by economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, which has sharply reduced the market capitalization of both companies.” reports Automotive News: “The terms of the deal, which has been described as a merger of equals by both companies, might need to be reviewed, the French financial daily Les Echos said.”

 

https://www.autonews.com/automakers-suppliers/psa-denies-fca-merger-risk-virus-fallout

 

STIMULUS PACKAGE WILL GRANT AUTOMAKERS A LIFELINE

“President Trump signed a roughly a $2 trillion stimulus package into law, hours after House lawmakers hustled back to the Capitol to pass the aggressive response to the coronavirus pandemic that has staggered the U.S. economy.” reported the Wall Street Journal today.

But what about news for carmakers? “Auto industry officials, especially at General Motors, were eager to avoid the appearance of a federal bailout. Sales suffered and the No. 1 U.S. automaker was nicknamed “Government Motors” after its $50 billion bailout in 2009. The final stimulus package contained no benefits targeted specifically at automakers. By contrast, U.S. airlines are set to receive $25 billion for payroll costs in cash grants that do not need to be paid back.” says Autoblog: “GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) have halted North American vehicle production until at least March 30, and people briefed on the matter said they plan to extend that into April.”

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-lawmakers-race-to-washington-to-ensure-coronavirus-stimulus-passes-11585318472

 

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-stimulus-package-detroit-automakers/

 

2020 GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19

“THE GOODWOOD Festival of Speed has become the most recent motoring event to be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to take place from July 9 to 12, the festival is one of Britain’s most popular motoring events, attracting 200,000 fans annually, from more than 70 countries.” according to Sunday Times Driving.

 

2020 Goodwood Festival of Speed postponed due to Covid-19

 

TESLA REPORTEDLY CLOSING SUPERCHARGERS IN SPAIN DUE TO COVID-19

In Spain, Superchargers are being shut down because they are in establishments that stop operating due to the pandemic. At the time of writing, the following Tesla Superchargers are closed in Spain:

 

Getafe, Madrid: Hotel Ramada by Wyndham

Fuengirola, Malaga: Hotel Higuerón

Tarragona: Hotel La Boella

Burgos: Hotel Landa. Open between 8 and 22 hours only

 

CORONAVIRUS SLOWS U.S. PUSH TO PRODUCE LITHIUM FOR ELECTRIC CARS

“The coronavirus pandemic is hobbling U.S. efforts to produce lithium, rare earths and other materials used in electric vehicles and high-tech equipment, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s plan to curb Chinese control of the strategic minerals sector.”  sayts Autoblog today: “The pandemic is just the latest headache for the lithium industry, with prices for white metal down 37 percent in the past year due to oversupply concerns, according to data from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence.”

 

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-slows-us-rare-earth-mineral-projects/

 

ELECTRIFY AMERICA WAIVES MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP FEES DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

From Tom at InsideEVs: “Electrify America and Electrify Canada have just announced in a tweet that they will be waiving the $4.00 per-month subscription fee for their Pass+ members indefinitely. The tweet cites the fact that since people are traveling less during the COVID-19 crisis, they won’t need to charge as frequently, so they won’t need the Electrify America network as often an they usually do.”

 

https://insideevs.com/news/406179/electrify-america-waives-monthly-fees-coronavirus-crisis/

 

GM AND FORD’S EV PRODUCTION PLANS FOR THE US HAVE LEAKED

“despite the grand gestures and proclamations of an electric car-centric future from American automakers General Motors and Ford, the two companies’ actual production plans for North America are still centered on large, internal combustion-powered vehicles. According to detailed production plans from GM and Ford that were viewed by Reuters, the two biggest American automakers will be making 5 million petrol-powered SUVs and pickup trucks in 2026, and only 320,000 electric vehicles.” says Teslarati: “Putting it mildly, a production target of 320,000 electric vehicles in 2026 is a joke. Both companies, after all, have been insisting that they are all-in on an electric car push. Ford and GM’s upcoming electric cars risk becoming yet another generation of compliance cars. This is a shame, as some EVs announced by the two automakers have the potential to cause some serious disruptions in the auto market. “

 

GM and Ford’s EV production plans for the US have leaked, and they are a joke

 

Is it just the ev pres though? Well no. From Autobblog; “detroit has tried to latch onto the consumer and investor excitement over electric vehicles made by Tesla, whose market value is double that of GM and Ford combined, even though its sales are much smaller. GM executives have been repeating a “zero emissions” mantra since 2017, and the company’s website features a prominent commitment to its “all-electric future. GM and Ford expect to produce about 320,000 pure electric vehicles — powered solely by a battery — in North America in 2026. That is nearly 10 times the 35,000 they have planned to build in 2020, but fewer than the 367,500 Tesla delivered last year.”

 

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/03/26/gm-ford-truck-suv-sales-electric-cars/

 

And what about Electrek’s take? “Reuters hits the nail on the head, although understating the case: “That may be good for automakers’ finances, but probably not for the environment.” From the looks of things, the Detroit automakers are content to let Tesla own the EV market for most of this decade. That may be good news for Elon Musk, but terrible news for climate change and the air we breathe.”

 

https://ww.electrek.co/2020/03/26/gm-and-ford-plan-to-make-320k-evs-in-2026-less-than-teslas-output-in-2019/#aprd

 

VOLKSWAGEN ID.3 STILL SUFFERING FROM SOFTWARE ISSUES

“Alleged software problems with the VW ID.3 development have been treading the rumour mill recently. Now a spokesperson officially confirmed the issues, while insider information reflects a more dire reality.”  writes electrive: “Volkswagen will probably only release a toned-down version of the ID.3 due to continuing problems with software, local media reports. The company wants to stick to the long-communicated schedule with the start of deliveries in summer – VW CEO Herbert Diess had repeated this when presenting the annual figures last week. Now other tones are coming from Wolfsburg: “one or the other planned function” will first be cancelled and then later be delivered via an update, a VW spokesperson confirmed. “Things are not going great”, the spokesman said.”

 

https://www.electrive.com/2020/03/26/volkswagen-id-3-still-suffering-from-software-issues/

 

From the newspaper: “Company insiders quoted by the paper apparently consider this an understatement. “It’s no longer a laughing matter,” they write. The car is far from being ready for the market, according to the source. Another source is also of the opinion that the company is “not even close to an industrial production process at ID.3”. VW CEO Diess will definitely have a few cars to show this summer, “but we’ll tinker them by hand so that something is there.” This has nothing to do with series production.”

 

2021 BMW 3 SERIES GETS PLUG-IN HYBRID WITH INCREASED EV RANGE

“BMW adds  a new plug-in hybrid 330e and 330e xDrive to its portfolio of electrified cars, offering up to an estimated 22 miles of all-electric driving in the 330e; the 330e xDrive with all-wheel drive is estimated at 20 miles.” reports Cars.com: “The 330e and 330e xDrive both use the same combination of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine, electric motor and battery producing a total system output of 288 hp. When operating on electric power only in Hybrid mode, the 330e can move at speeds up to 68 mph and when in fully electric mode, the 330e can travel at speeds up to 87 mph, increases of 19 and 12 mph, respectively.”

 

https://www.cars.com/articles/2021-bmw-3-series-gets-plug-in-hybrid-with-increased-ev-range-419858/

 

NISSAN LEAF AS HOME ENERGY DEVICE: WALLBOX WILL SOON ENABLE IT IN THE U.S.

“By the end of the year, there should at last be an entry in the U.S. capable of taking advantage of the Leaf’s potential as an energy device for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) schemes. The Quasar will cost about $4,000—possibly subsidized to less by utility partnerships—and made its premiere for the U.S. at CES in January.  It will be available here later in 2020, according to Wallbox, but it will only be initially usable by those who have a vehicle with native CHAdeMO DC fast charging, like the Nissan Leaf” so says Green Car Reports

 

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1127590_nissan-leaf-as-home-energy-device-wallbox-will-soon-enable-it-in-the-u-s

 

NISSAN LEAF RESTORES POWER TO 7-ELEVEN STORES TO PREP FOR DISASTERS IN JAPAN

“In the past two years, more than 8 million households in Japan have experienced power outages due to natural disasters. In response, Nissan developed a system that uses vehicle-to-grid technology that allows customers to use the Leaf’s battery pack to power buildings.” writes electrek: “Since September, the system has been tested using renewable energy stored in an old Leaf battery pack, repurposed for stationary use, and then supplied to 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture. The system is expected to come to market by the end of 2020. In the trials, the Leaf can directly power the building, or the repurposed battery can be charged via solar to either power a building later, or to recharge the car. It’s a multi-directional system.”

 

Nissan Leaf restores power to 7-Eleven stores to prep for disasters in Japan

 

CHEVROLET BOLT EV DISCOUNT OFFERS NEARLY $10,000 IN MARCH 2020

“For the month of March, a Chevrolet Bolt EV discount reduces the price of select 2020 models by up to $9,833, while a second, separate offer includes a $4,750 rebate plus interest-free financing for both 2019 and 2020 models. Notably, the deals are very similar to the incentives offered in January and $6,000 discount offered in February.” according to GM Authority: “Shoppers will be pleased to know that both offers appear to be available nationwide. It’s also worth noting that the headlining incentive is even more generous than the $8,500 discount in December.”

 

https://gmauthority.com/blog/2020/03/chevrolet-bolt-ev-discount-offers-nearly-10000-in-march-2020/

 

ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY PRODUCTION IN EUROPE GETS BOOST

“”The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €480 million loan agreement with LG Chem Wroclaw Energy, the Polish subsidiary of the LG Chem Group that was established to develop the group’s battery production facility in Europe. The financing will be used for the construction and operation of highly automated and innovative manufacturing facilities for advanced lithium-ion (li-ion) cells and batteries for battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs).” reported by Automotive World

 

Poland: Electric vehicle battery production in Europe gets boost thanks to EIB loan of €480 million to LG Chem Wroclaw Energy

 

AUDI IS CONSIDERING BATTERY ASSEMBLY IN GERMANY

“Audi is planning an assembly plant for electric car battery packs near its plant in Ingolstadt. The cells for this are to continue to come from LG Chem. LG Chem has been a partner of Audi for many years, and the carmaker uses cells from the Korean manufacturer in many PHEV models from Ingolstadt. However, LG Chem is not the only battery supplier for Audi: While the battery in the e-tron 55 quattro consists of LG cells, the e-tron 50 quattro (and its sportback counterpart) uses cells from Samsung SDI.” as reported by Chris at electrive

 

https://www.electrive.com/2020/03/26/audi-reportedly-considers-battery-assembly-in-germany/

 

FIRST-EVER TESLA MODEL 3 RESPONDING TO TRAFFIC LIGHTS

“Kyle Conner (Out of Spec Motoring), the head of our new InsideEVs YouTube channel had a very unique experience today. He was able to ride in a Tesla Model 3 that has the update that allows it to “see” and respond to traffic lights. It’s one of the updates that Tesla shared will be coming as part of Full Self-Driving Capability soon.” says Steven Loveday: “Apparently, the feature also stops for stop signs. In addition, it lets you know that it has “seen” the light and will be responding so you don’t have to wait and wonder.”

 

https://insideevs.com/news/406403/video-tesla-model-3-responds-traffic-lights/

 

TESLA INTRODUCES POKER GAMES TO ITS ARCADE FEATURE

“Tesla have just announced a partnership with China’s biggest developer Tencent, to bring online casino games to the Arcade. It is not yet known exactly which games will be available, but it is thought that this will include the popular Chinese game Mahjong, as well as a form of poker, with the most likely variants being either Texas Hold ‘Em or Pot-limit Omaha.” says Motor1.com

 

https://www.motor1.com/news/406386/tesla-poker-game-arcade/

 

TESLA CONTRACTS GERMAN POWER COMPANY E.ON FOR GIGA BERLIN PROJECT

“Tesla has reportedly hired Germany’s largest electric utility company, E.ON, to design the energy solutions for the company’s new Giga Berlin production plant located in the state of Brandenburg. The announcement that the two companies would work together was made by E.ON’s CEO Johannes Teyssen on March 25. E.ON will be responsible for designing the energy solutions that will power Giga Berlin while utilizing Tesla’s sustainable energy products, according to Reuters.” and reported by TEslarati today.

 

Tesla contracts German power company E.ON for Giga Berlin project

 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

 

How can the EV community all come together at this time to support each other?

 

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