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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Thursday 23rd September. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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.
Saturday Special – listen this weekend for Ian Johnston from Osprey Charging talking about the future of fueling up, and the innovative load-sharing solutions he’s bringing to the UK.
VW EV PRODUCTION IN ZWICKAU NEAR CAPACITY
A graph published by VW shows the production output of their Zwickau plant has been rising since the start of 2021. The MEB-based cars are all electric such as the ID.3. But a total of 6 models from various VW brands will be made there, such as the ID.5 which hasn’t stated production yet. The production capacity is 330,000 EVs per year from this one facility, about 20% of VW’s 1.5million EVs they are on track to make every year by 2025. Now we see the daily run rate hitting 1,200. When it gets to 1,500 that’s capacity for a 5 day week with some weeks for shutdown every year.
So the chip shortage hasn’t affected the MEB cars out of Zwickau. It will definitely be affecting VW ICE cars tho so that suggests they are willing to sacrifice ICE to make EVs, to hit CO2 targets in order to avoid fines, and also we know the MEB-based cars are profitable too.
HERBERT DIESS: “THE MAIN BENCHMARK IS TESLA”
Herbert Diess appeared on a German podcast yesterday morning called The Pioneer Morning Briefing. For my German listeners, this is what he had to say about the speed Tesla works at, and yes I’ll try to translate after this clip.
Something like: “The true benchmark is really Tesla, the speed yes, with the same suppliers Tesla manages to do product development with the same suppliers in half the time which is much more aggressive. They can of course take a lot more risk than we can.”
But what about Cybertruck, long overdue Semi Truck, the Roadaster 2? It doesn’t feel VW wants to be more like Tesla because that kind of -ship-it-now-and-fix-it-later style is not the German way, but there’s definitely capital to be gained by saying ‘hey look at what these guys are doing, we need to change’. It helps his political battle to push through reform at VW.
LUCID REGISTERS 10,000 VINS
“It appears that Lucid Group has already registered approximately 10,000 Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), around 10K reservations for the Lucid Air EV. It’s important to remember that each road-legal car has its own VIN, which is a string of 17 characters containing the vehicle’s unique identifier. This advancement is a critical one in the long process of bringing the much-anticipated Air EV to market. ” reports Finbold.com: “Lucid will open the doors of its Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-1) in Casa Grande to the media, financial community, policymakers, and a select group of customers. The series of events for the week of September 27th, 2021, will see a small group of guests have the opportunity to observe manufacturing methods for Lucid Air and learn more about Lucid’s revolutionary EV technology from Lucid’s top engineers.”
Along with the 520 miles of EPA range, Lucid appear to be ticking all the boxes to be close to those first deliveries.
LOTUS’ NEW 872-HP EV PLATFORM
“The upcoming two-seat electric sports car will be based on the Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture, which is designed to fit different chassis with up to three configurations” writes Hazel Southwell for The Drive: “what’s going in the mid-engine slot is the battery, essentially occupying the back seat of the two-seater with the motor-generator unit tucked up against the rear axle where it delivers the power and also recovers it under regenerative braking. There’s a 64.4kWh battery pack option in the truly lightweight option or you can go up to 99.6kWh for the dual-motor, maximum horsepower edition. There’s also a configuration for a four-seater car, where the battery is packed into the base of the chassis as it is in skateboard-style platforms.”
evo magazine adds: “Both layouts have their inherent pros and cons thanks to where the mass sits within the chassis, but whereas you might think models fitted with a stacked battery pack might be at a disadvantage thanks to a higher centre of gravity, many engineers continue to struggle with developing ride and handling packages that deal with the physics associated with a driver being sat directly above, not in the midst of so much weight. The stacked batteries will also allow lotus engineers to mount the seat much lower than in a car, again mimicking the weight distribution of traditional IC cars.”
VW ID.4 EARNS IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ AWARD
” After completing crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has bestowed the electric VW with the Top Safety Pick+, the IIHS’s highest safety award.” says Autoblog: “These ratings are nearly identical to fellow Top Safety Pick+ award-winner the Volvo XC40 Recharge as well as the Tesla Model 3, with both having all their headlights rated Good. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is only rated a Top Safety Pick (no +) due to the Select and California Route 1 trims’ headlights being rated “Marginal.””
AUDI Q4 E-TRON EV IS CHEAPER THAN A Q5
” The 2022 Q4 e-tron will start at $44,995, which is less than the gas-powered Q5 crossover and only a few thousand dollars more than its downmarket sibling, the VW ID.4.” says Car and Driver: “The more powerful Q4 50 e-tron starts at $50,995 and adds all-wheel drive courtesy of an additional front electric motor that increases total power output to 295 horsepower. Audi has only shared range estimates for the 50 models so far, which sits at 241 miles according to the EPA. We anticipate the 40 model will achieve a slightly higher range number, as the ID.4’s AWD configuration takes a slight range hit compared with its RWD counterpart.”
MERCEDES-BENZ EQS US PRICING REVEALED
“US pricing for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, the automaker’s flagship luxury sedan, has been confirmed, and it’s unexpectedly good news if you’re in the market for something other than a Tesla. Headed to US dealerships in fall 2021, the new EQS will start from $102,310 (plus destination), Mercedes confirmed today.” according to Slashgear: ” Eligible buyers may be able to get the $7,500 federal tax incentive for EVs, however, and any state and local incentives and rebates they could qualify for. The 2022 EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan, meanwhile, will start at $119,110 (plus destination). That adds a second electric motor for all-wheel drive. There’ll be three trims on offer, starting with Premium, then rising to Exclusive, and then finally Pinnacle. All three will be offered on both the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC versions of the car.”
Also included 2 years of Electrify America charging.
RENAULT BEGINS RETOOLING DOUAI PLANT FOR ELECTRIC MÉGANE
“Preparations are underway at the Renault plant in Douai for series production of the Mégane E-Tech Electric, due out in the first half of 2022. Renault Group says it is investing more than €550 million in the production facilities there and in improved workplace ergonomics.” says electrive.com: “The first step in this transformation has now been the conversion of an assembly line that can now produce numerous models from various vehicle classes, including the Mégane E-Tech Electric. A central component of the site’s electromobility strategy is the on-site battery production and assembly that was officially announced in the summer. This is based on a partnership between the Renault Group and Envision AESC. Renault officially speaks of a planned “Gigafactory” with a capacity of 9 GWh by 2024 and 43 GWh by 2030 (of which Renault intends to purchase 24 GWh).”
GM REVEALS THREE NEW MOTORS THAT WILL POWER ITS FUTURE EVS
“The first of the motors is specifically designed for front-wheel drive applications, it makes 180 kW (241 hp). It is a permanent magnet motor that is said to offer excellent torque, according to GM, although no actual torque figure has been provided yet.” according to InsideEVs: “The most powerful of the three motors is the 255 kW (341 hp) that will find its way into the upcoming GMC Hummer EV; it will have three of these motors for a combined output of 1,000 horsepower, according to the manufacturer. The third motor is not a permanent magnet motor, but an induction motor instead. It only makes 62 kW (83 hp), and it’s designed to be used in an all-wheel drive EV. General Motors describes it as an assist motor, and from what we understand, since it is an induction motor, it can easily coast when not powered and when power is required, it can provide it without having to mechanically clutch and then declutch.”
WULING MINI EV TO GET A MAJOR UPGRADE
“Hidden in last week’s MIIT announcement of new cars is a heavily updated version of China’s most popular EV, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. The current version sells over 30,000 units per month and sits firmly in the sales top 10.” says Car News China: “The new version is not yet announced by Wuling but is significantly different from the current one. The car’s wheelbase is stretched by 70 mm (2010 mm instead of 1940 mm), increasing the length of the car by 77 mm to 2997 mm. This will provide the rear seats with more legroom, but the real reason for the exercise is under the floor. The current Mini EV comes with 9 or 14 kWh batteries. the Long-range version has an LFP battery of 26 kWh”
There’s alos a 30kW motor, that’s a 50% increase.
Car News China adds: ” The current Mini EV does not qualify for government incentives because its range is too short. The minimum requirement is an NEDC range of 300 km. So the Long-range version will most likely qualify for an incentive up to RMB 16,200 (about €2,000 or $2,500), negating the increased cost of the larger battery.”
KEN BLOCK SIGNS WITH AUDI
“Ken Block announced today he has signed on with Audi to help develop the brand’s electric portfolio. The news comes less than a year after the 53-year-old rally driver and Hoonigan exec revealed his split from longtime partner Ford.” reports Road And Track: “Neither Audi nor Block have revealed any specifics regarding the projects they plan to work on together, but considering the Head Hoonigan in Charge is involved, we expect exciting things.”
GM WORKS ‘AROUND THE CLOCK’ TO ENSURE ITS NEW HUMMER EV DOESN’T INHERIT DEFECTS THAT CAUSED CHEVY BOLT FIRES
“As General Motors scrambles to repair defects that caused fires in at least 13 Chevrolet Bolt EVs, the automaker is aggressively working to ensure the same problems don’t seep into its next-generation Ultium batteries and its highly anticipated relaunch of an all-electric version of the Hummer this fall.” says CNBC: “officials throughout GM have aggressively been working “around the clock” to fix the issues and ensure future electric vehicles such as the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq — two of the first GM models to use its Ultium batteries — don’t have the same problems. They’re also working on wireless technology that will enable GM to detect potential defects sooner. GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson recently said GM engineers are working with LG Chem, which makes the batteries, to “clean up the manufacturing process” and implement some “GM quality metrics” at LG’s plants.”
ELECTRIC VOLKSWAGEN ABT E-TRANSPORTER JOINS MOBILE SERVICE CLINIC FLEET
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has introduced the ABT e-Transporter van onto its Mobile Service Clinic fleet to provide remote, zero-emission, expert servicing to businesses as part of the brand’s ‘Working with You’ promise.
Following its debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2021, the Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter conversion will be in operation later this year, bolstering the brand’s fleet of Mobile Service Clinics.
The zero-emission van boasts a 75-mile range on a single full charge allowing Volkswagen trained technicians to reach businesses all over London, including those located in zero-emission zones, and reduce their downtime.
The panel van is kitted out with an array of on-board tools including compressed air jacks and even a hand wash basin.
The ABT e-Transporter conversion features solar panels fixed to its roof that sustainably power the vehicle’s interior electrics with no requirement for an additional battery unit.
CITROEN AMI COMES TO UK
Citroën is pleased to announce that Citroën AMI will launch in the UK during spring 2022.
More than 12,000 UK customers have already registered their interest in this exciting new vehicle.
With the introduction of AMI, Citroën UK accelerates its quest to deliver affordable and clean mobility solutions that are accessible to all.
The all-electric Citroën AMI addresses future urban mobility needs and boasts a zero-emissions range of up to 46 miles.
UK versions of AMI will remain left-hand drive – allowing the driver the benefit of exiting the vehicle kerbside when parking at the roadside in city centres.
A full UK driving licence will be required to drive Citroën AMI in the UK, as with traditional passenger cars.
From yesterday (Wednesday 22 September), over 12,000 customers who previously registered their interest on the Citroën.co.uk website will be able to secure their AMI with a £250 refundable reservation fee. From Monday 27 September the reservation system will be open to everyone.
From Citroen.co.uk: “New Citroën AMI 100% ëlectric is daring response to the challenges faced in today’s cities and urban environments. As a 100% electric vehicle, the AMI emits zero emissions and has a 5.5kWh battery that recharges in just three hours from a standard electric socket. With a range of 43 miles and a top speed of 28mph, the AMI is a modern solution for modern mobility needs, like nipping around cities or popping to your local supermarket with zero fuss. AMI is the mobility solution for today, and tomorrow.”
QUESTION OF THE WEEK WITH EMOBILITYNORWAY.COM
Either how long have you waited, OR, how long would you wait, to have an electric vehicle once you’ve decided to purchase?
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PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
PORSCHE OF THE VILLAGE CINCINNATI
VOLVO CARS CINCINNATI EAST
NATIONAL CAR CHARGING ON THE US MAINLAND AND ALOHA CHARGE IN HAWAII
DEREK REILLY FROM THE EV REVIEW IRELAND YOUTUBE CHANNEL
RICHARD AT RSEV.CO.UK – FOR BUYING AND SELLING EVS IN THE UK
DAVID AND LISA ALLEN
BOB BOOTHBY FROM MILLBROOK COTTAGES – 5* GOLD SELF CATERING COTTAGES
DARIN MCLESKEY FROM DENOVO REAL ESTATE
JUKKA KUKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
ALEXANDER FRANK @ https://www.youtube.com/c/alexsuniverse42
ANDY NANCARROW AND LILIAN KASS
COLIN HENNESSY AND CAMBSEV
DON MCALLISTER / SCREENCASTSONLINE.COM
IAN (WATTIE) WATKINS
JOHN VAN DEVOORT
JON AKA BEARDY MCBEARDFACE FROM KENT EVS
LAURENCE D ALLEN
NEIL E ROBERTS FROM SUSSEX EVS
PETER & DEE ROBERTS FROM OXON EVS
ROB FROM THE RSTHINKS EV CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE
THOMAS J. THIAS
THE PLUGSEEKER’S EV YOUTUBE CHANNEL