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BYD To Launch Seal U (Utility) In Europe
BYD’s Song PLUS EV Champion Edition is set to make its debut in the European market, with an official unveiling planned for the Munich Auto Show in September.
The vehicle will be marketed under the name “Seal U” in Europe. The letter “U” stands for “Utility,” indicating the vehicle’s multifunctional nature. This is the same wheelbase and length as an ID.4.
The Seal U’s design and interior will remain consistent with the domestic model, featuring a 15.6-inch rotating central control screen.
The vehicle will offer a single power system in the European market, with a maximum power of 160kW. It will be available with two battery capacities, 71.8kWh and 87kWh, offering a range of 420 kilometers (261 miles) and 500 kilometers (310 miles) respectively under the WLTP standard.
Sporting a ‘Dragon Face’ aesthetic, the BYD Seal U features a more refined front design, distinct high-low beam modules, and sleek DRLs. The vehicle also flaunts a unique blanked-off grill with active cooling for the battery.
The charging is 11 kilowatts on AC and DC charging allows for up to 140 kilowatts. This means it can charge from 30% to 80% in around 28 minutes.
The interior of the car boasts dual wireless charging pads, a Crystal mode selector, a large digital driver screen, physical button controls, and a head-up display. There’s a 360 degree camera and panoramic glass roof.
Currently, BYD has launched five models in the European market, including the Han series, Yuan PLUS (ATTO 3), Tang series, Dolphin (launched in July), and Seal (to be launched in September).
BMW Kicks Off i5 Production
BMW has officially started production of its first electric 5 series sedan, the BMW i5.
The BMW i5 has been in the works for over six years and was previewed at BMW’s annual conference in March by CEO Oliver Zipse.
The 5 series has been a significant contributor to BMW’s success, being the brand’s second-best-selling vehicle.
The i5 is a slightly larger, all-electric sedan compared to its previous generation. It is equipped with BMW’s latest tech and software, including the automaker’s latest-gen OS 8.5.
Production of the i5 has begun at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, Germany, which is BMW’s largest vehicle production site in Europe.
The i5 is the third all-electric model produced at the plant, joining the BMW iX and BMW i7. BMW expects the share of EV production to increase to over 40% next year.
The BMW i5 will be available in two all-electric variants: the eDrive40 and the M60 performance version. The 2024 i5 eDrive40 starts at $66,800 for 335 hp and a 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 secs. The performance M60 includes 590 hp to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and starts at $84,100.
Tesla’s Extended Financing Terms
Tesla has introduced a new financing term option for EV customers, extending the payoff period to 84 months. This move aims to provide more financial flexibility to vehicle owners.
Before this, Tesla offered financing terms of 36, 48, 60, and 72 months for customers planning to buy their cars.
While longer loan terms can be more expensive due to the interest accrued over the loan’s life, they offer certain advantages to the buyer.
The new financing option could potentially increase demand for Tesla’s vehicles, especially among those who are interested but may be slightly cash-strapped. By decreasing the monthly car payment amounts, Tesla’s vehicles become more affordable.
Despite the potential increase in orders due to this new financing option and the Full Self-Driving transfer policy, Tesla expects a slight decrease in production in Q3 due to widespread factory upgrades.
Interest rates are currently at a 16-year high of 5%-5.25% due to the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes since March 2022.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously expressed concerns about the impact of these rate hikes on the economy, suggesting they could push it into a recession.
U.S. Model 3 Now Available from $37,940
Tesla has applied further discounts to its new inventory of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. A new Model 3 with zero miles can now be purchased for as low as $37,940.
Discounts on Model 3 range from several hundred dollars to over $5,000. Model Y discounts are less significant, up to $2,770, and mostly apply to Performance variants.
With the full $7,500 tax credit, a new Model 3 can be obtained for only $30,440. After delivery and order fees, the purchase price comes out to $32,080.
Tesla is likely trying to clear as much existing Model 3 inventory as possible before the launch of the new version later this year.
The new Model 3 is expected to be revealed in Q3 2023, and production should begin soon after. A Model Y update is expected to follow given its similarities with the Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 for Less Than $15,000
A California resident claims to have bought a new Tesla Model 3 for $18,525 after taxes and fees by combining inventory discounts with local and federal incentives.
Zohar purchased the rear-wheel-drive Model 3 with 18-inch wheels, midnight silver paint, and a white interior. He received an inventory discount of $4,120, reducing the sticker price to $37,120. A $500 referral further reduced the price to $36,620.
Zohar qualified for top rebates in each program for low-income individuals. He maintained a good credit score, and his income increased this year, making him eligible for the $7,500 federal clean vehicle credit.
Here’s a list of subsidies he obtained: $7,500 from California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, $4,000 from the Electrify Your Ride Program from Central Coast Community Energy, $4,000 from Monterey Bay Air Resources District – Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, and $7,500 from the Federal clean vehicle credit. This totals $23,000 of incentives.
Excluding taxes and fees, his Model 3 cost him just $13,620. With the $1,390 destination charges and 9.25 percent ($3,515) tax rate in his area, the effective price of his new Model 3 is just $18,525.
Ford: High Inventory Isn’t a Problem
Ford Model e’s vice president of electric vehicle programs, Darren Palmer, says it’s premature to worry about EVs piling up in inventory.
Despite a record in EV sales in the US in the second quarter, with nearly 300,000 units sold, more EVs are sitting on dealership lots. The days’ supply of EVs was over 100 this past month, compared to the industry average of around 53 days.
Palmer explained that the automaker had been constrained on production since launching each of its EVs, the Mach E, F-150 Lightning, and E-Transit.
Palmer claimed, “We’re just loading up dealers” with EV inventory. Until now, every Mach-E and Lightning was backordered and people had to wait months for them. Now, they’ll have more and have better deals.
Ford decided to build capacity relatively quickly, and the “volume is just about to come online.” They’re also introducing a new LFP battery and making other changes that will allow them to move the price points to a new area and offer other derivatives in a completely new price range.
After raising the prices of its popular Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning several times last year due to overwhelming demand, Ford joined in with significant price cuts of its own.
The Electric Truck Race: Dealers Risk Losing
In the electric truck market, buyers are placing bets on what will arrive first, and dealers are likely to be the ones left in the lurch.
Tesla’s Cybertruck is finally leaving the factory, placing yet another contestant in the race to consumer’s driveways. While startups like Rivian have struggled to complete orders, and legacy companies like Ford and GM have slower production on their electric trucks, Tesla has an opportunity to deliver its trucks more efficiently.
The biggest losers will end up being dealers who have taken early customer orders, said Karl Brauer, an automotive analyst for iSeeCars. If a Lighting or Hummer order arrives and the customer has already taken delivery of a Rivian, for example, the dealer now has that electric truck sitting on their lot without a guaranteed buyer.
Some Ford dealers who spoke with Insider recently said that they’re already turning away some electric vehicle allocations as demand for the cars dries up. And Ford isn’t alone. Even Tesla, as it rolls out the Cybertruck, has struggled with bloated inventory this year.
Dealers also have more to lose than the manufacturers. Car companies that use dealers book revenue on a car once it leaves the factory. Holding unsold inventory on their lots costs dealers money, and getting rid of a slow-seller usually means they’ll have to take a loss with discounts.
As EVs make up more of the market – they’re heading toward 10% of the US within the next few years – the kinds of customers EV sellers are dealing with are going to change. That will create more risks, said Jessica Caldwell, and automotive analyst for Edmunds.
Ford’s EV Battery Deal with China Under Investigation by US Lawmakers
US lawmakers are investigating Ford’s new EV battery deal with China. They’re concerned that a new manufacturing plant in Michigan could avoid restrictions on Chinese-made electric vehicle components.
According to Reuters, two separate House of Representatives committees will be looking into the $3.5 billion deal Ford made to build a battery plant in Michigan using technology from CATL.
Jason Smith and Mike Gallagher, Republican chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Select Committee on China, wrote a joint letter that “demanded” Ford answer questions about the deal with the world’s largest battery maker.
The committees assert that several hundred of the 2,500 jobs at the plant will be filled by CATL employees from China who will be in charge of setting up and maintaining the plant. The committees are also concerned about CATL’s alleged former stake in a company was a history of human rights issues.
Eaton to Introduce Tesla’s NACS Connector for New Chargers in 2024
Eaton officially announced that it will add Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector option to its Green Motion EV chargers.
In the case of Eaton, the NACS charging connector option will become available for new chargers in 2024. The company also confirms that will provide NACS retrofit options for its existing installed AC Level 2 units. Interestingly, there is no word about the retrofit options for older DC chargers (CHAdeMO or CCS1).
Until SAE International completes the standardization of the Tesla-developed charging connector EVSE manufacturers must rely on direct agreements with Tesla and materials provided by Tesla.
The Dolphin: A New, Affordable EV from BYD Making Waves in Australia
Chinese automaker BYD has launched its new electric vehicle, the Dolphin, in Australia at a price under AUD 39,000 (approximately USD 26,000.
The Dolphin’s price is significantly lower than other models on the market, making it a major competitor to global giants like Tesla in Australia.
I’m closely watching to see if the Dolphin’s impact on pricing in Australia will have a ripple effect on pricing overseas.
BYD, based in China, has already become the second-best EV seller in Australia, holding 15% of the market share, with Tesla still leading.
The Australian Electric Vehicle Association’s national president, Chris Jones, noted that Chinese manufacturers have the advantage of volume, with the majority of their products being sold in the vast Chinese market, allowing them to make low-margin vehicles viable.
The Dolphin is a hatchback similar to a Corolla and is expected to be delivered to Australian buyers in October. It can do about 0-60 mph in seven seconds and will travel about 265 miles on a charge.
NIO’s Power Move: Launch of V2G
NIO is continuously upgrading its battery swap function. In the third quarter of this year, it will introduce features like battery preparation beforehand and parallel battery swaps, as well as a one-click parking function to speed up the swap process. The “non-stop battery swap” feature will be available in the fourth quarter.
Mercedes-Benz Targets China For EV Drive
Mercedes-Benz is planning to make China, the world’s largest auto market, the focal point of its electric vehicle (EV) campaign starting in 2025, according to CEO Ola Kaellenius.
Kaellenius emphasized the need for Mercedes-Benz to master electric propulsion and digitalization to meet customer expectations.
Starting from 2025, all new vehicle platforms from Mercedes-Benz will exclusively produce EVs, as part of a strategy the German luxury automaker outlined in 2021.
EV Sales Accelerate in China’s Countryside
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are gaining momentum in rural areas of China, with automakers looking to overcome hurdles to expand into this new market.
The Chinese government has been promoting the use of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in rural areas since 2020 to improve traffic safety, reduce carbon emissions, and stimulate consumption. This year’s promotional campaign started last month and will run until December.
Despite the popularity of NEVs in Chinese cities, where they accounted for 25.6% of total vehicle sales in 2022, NEV sales in rural areas only made up 4% of total sales. However, with a combined population of over 500 million people, rural areas are seen as a huge potential market for NEVs.
BMW’s Innovation Hub in Shanghai: A New R&D Center Opens
BMW has inaugurated a new Research and Development (R&D) Center in Shanghai, China, expanding its R&D presence in the country. China is already home to BMW Group’s largest R&D network outside of Germany, with facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Nanjing.
The new center consolidates all of BMW’s R&D functions in China into one facility. BMW believes that China is key to the future of mobility and has centralized all development functions under the leadership of Dr. Robert Kahlenberg.
The new center employs 3,200 R&D associates who are working on developing products for Chinese customers. For instance, in the BMW Operating System 9, 70% of the functions are tailor-made for Chinese customers.
Biden’s Clean Energy Cash: A Dilemma for Small-town GOP Officials
The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes significant funding for green energy, is causing a divide among Republicans. While some see the financial benefits of renewable energy projects, others are resistant simply based on politics, irrespective of the benefits of jobs and investment in their local areas.
The law aims to shift the economics and politics of green energy by making renewable options financially more attractive than fossil fuels. However, its success relies heavily on cooperation from local and state officials, many of whom are Republicans.
The law has led to a surge in proposed renewable energy projects, but also a backlash. State and local lawmakers have blocked 547 solar and wind projects this year already, a nearly 15% increase from last year’s total.
The legislation is projected to reduce carbon emissions by about 780 million tons per year by 2030. But that number could fall by as much as 260 million tons per year, or roughly 30%, if the pace of solar and wind deployment slows amid local opposition.
D.C.’s Big Bet on EV Range-Boosting Tech Goes Bust
In May 2023, the District of Columbia signed a $680,000 contract for a mystery device called the Energy Management Module (EMM). The EMM was touted as a device capable of doubling the range of electric vehicles by rejuvenating the battery.
However, the government contract was cancelled recently, following an investigation by WUSA9 into why the government was spending over $16,000 per device on a car that costs about $27,000 to begin with. It seems nobody could provide any details about how exactly the EMM is supposed to work.
Government officials stated that they were investigating new technology to extend the life of their vehicles, work more efficiently, and keep maintenance expenses down. They learned about the EV Technologies modules when the company made a presentation during the 2022 Washington Auto Show.
High-Speed Chase for a Charge: EV Driver Hits 100mph to Reach Charging Station
A driver in Wiltshire, UK, was caught speeding at 101mph. When questioned by the police, the driver explained that they were rushing home to charge their electric car because it was running out quickly.
The police pointed out to the driver that the faster an electric vehicle travels, the more power it uses. The police explained to boy genius that wind resistance is proportional to the square of the speed. If you double your speed, you’re not just doubling the wind resistance you face, but it actually increases four times. The air pushes back increasingly hard, not in a straight line, but exponentially, as we go faster. If you triple your speed, the air pushes back nine times (3 squared) as hard, and so on.
The driver is now facing a hefty fine for speeding.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
PORSCHE OF THE VILLAGE CINCINNATI
AUDI CINCINNATI EAST
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
OCTOPUS ELECTROVERSE – GLOBAL PUBLIC CHARGING MADE SIMPLE WITH ONE APP AND ONE MAP.
LEASEPLAN ELECTRIC MOMENTS – PROVIDING ALL THE TOOLS AND GUIDANCE EV DRIVERS NEED
DAVID AND LISA ALLEN
JUKKA KUKKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
BATTERY REPORTS FOR EVS AT RECURRENTAUTO.COM
ANDY NANCARROW AND LILIAN KASS
COLIN HENNESSY AND CAMBSEV
GARY A HAMMOND
IAN ‘STILL WATERS UK’ BENJAMIN
IAN (WATTIE) WATKINS
JAN FROM EMOBILITYNORWAY
JOHN VAN DEVOORT
JON AKA BEARDY MCBEARDFACE FROM KENT EVS
LAURENCE D ALLEN
NEIL E ROBERTS FROM SUSSEX EVS
PETER & DEE ROBERTS
REALTORS CHOICE PHOTOGRAPHY
ROB FROM THE RSTHINKS EV CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE
THE PLUGSEEKER’S EV YOUTUBE CHANNEL
THOMAS J. THIAS