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Get Hands-on with EVs at Nationwide Drive Electric Week, Starting Sep 23
Drive Electric Week kicks off this Saturday and runs through to October 1, with events not just in the U.S. and Canada, but also one in Mexico City. The event is a joint initiative led by organizations including Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, EVHybridNoire, Drive Electric USA, and the Sierra Club. With over 200 events scheduled—ranging from intimate parking lot meetups to expansive festivals—the initiative aims to accelerate EV adoption across North America.
One of the main highlights is the chance for prospective EV buyers to interact directly with current owners. This offers invaluable, firsthand insights into the experience of owning an electric car. The events, largely in-person and mapped out on the Drive Electric Week website, are organized by local EV advocates. These events vary in size and format but share the common goal of promoting and educating the public about electric vehicles.
Jaguar EVs to Integrate Tesla Supercharger and NACS Ports
Jaguar Land Rover has revealed plans to integrate Tesla’s Supercharger access into its existing and future electric vehicle (EV) lineup in North America. Starting in 2025, next-gen Jaguars will feature Tesla’s NACS charge ports as standard in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, eliminating the need for adapters. Land Rover models are expected to follow suit.
The adoption of the NACS port will entirely replace the current CCS Combo 1 and separate J1772 ports, making future Jaguars exclusively reliant on NACS for charging. This change will require I-Pace owners to either acquire new home chargers compatible with the NACS system or opt for adapters. Though Jaguar has committed to sourcing these adapters from Tesla, details on their availability or inclusion in new I-Pace models are still pending.
Further streamlining its EV lineup, Jaguar will discontinue the I-Pace model by 2025. The automaker underscores Tesla’s Supercharger network as a fast and reliable charging option and views the shift to NACS as a strategic move to bolster a global EV ecosystem.
Strict EV Sales Quotas Persist Despite Petrol Ban Postponement
Although the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles has been delayed, automakers must still meet aggressive electric vehicle (EV) sales quotas. Starting next January, at least 22% of cars sold must be electric, with the aim of reaching an 80% threshold by 2030. Failing to hit these targets will incur hefty fines of up to £15,000 per vehicle. Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch confirmed the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate will remain in force, incrementally requiring automakers to hike their EV sales each year to hit the 2030 goal.
Some companies might even consider cutting prices to meet these quotas, as suggested by Auto Trader. Yet, the mandates create a challenging environment for automakers. One major car manufacturer told the BBC that the dual pressure of maintaining sales targets for EVs, while also navigating the delay in banning petrol and diesel cars, makes selling electric vehicles more challenging. Lastly, market analysts speculate that as the pool of available new fossil fuel vehicles shrinks, their prices could rise, making electric vehicles more financially appealing to consumers.
2024 Audi Q4 E-tron Models Get Performance and Range Boosts
Audi is revamping its Q4 E-tron and Q4 Sportback E-tron with significant upgrades that align them with recent changes to Volkswagen’s ID 4 and ID 5. Central to these updates is a new rear-mounted synchronous electric motor, built by the Volkswagen Group. The 400V motor features an optimized cooling system for the stator and a redesigned gearset for its single-speed transmission.
Performance-wise, the rear-wheel-drive Q4 45 E-tron, which replaces the older Q4 40 E-tron, will offer 281bhp—an 80bhp increase. On the other hand, the dual-motor, four-wheel-drive Q4 55 E-tron Quattro, sees a 40bhp boost to a total of 335bhp, overtaking its predecessor, the Q4 50 E-tron Quattro.
Both models get a standard 77kWh lithium-ion battery. Notably, the Q4 Sportback 45 E-tron has improved its range by 17 miles according to WLTP testing, now boasting a total of 349 miles. As for charging, the rear-wheel-drive variant maxes out at 135kW, while the four-wheel-drive version can go up to 175kW. A new pre-conditioning feature also speeds up battery charging for both models.
Tesla Model 3 & Y Less Likely to be Stolen, Says HLDI Data
Recent data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows that Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y are among the least stolen vehicles between 2020 and 2022. A significant factor contributing to their low theft rates is Tesla’s Sentry Mode. This advanced security feature activates when someone approaches the parked car too closely and continues to operate even when the vehicle is off. Using in-cabin cameras, Sentry Mode captures any suspicious activities, making identification easier. Owners can access and share these recordings with law enforcement via the Tesla app.
Another layer of security comes from Tesla’s built-in GPS functionality. Available through the Tesla app, this feature allows owners to track their cars on a detailed map, leaving thieves with little room to hide.
China Unveils Updated EV Charging Standard with Cross-Compatibility Claims
China’s regulatory authorities have approved ChaoJi-1, the upgraded version of the GB/T electric vehicle (EV) charging standard. The new standard features enhanced specifications including high-power charging capabilities of up to 1.2 megawatts and a new DC control pilot circuit for increased safety. One of the major updates is its designed compatibility with CHAdeMO 3.1, a latest-generation fast-charging standard. This is a significant shift from earlier GB/T versions that lacked compatibility with other fast-charging frameworks.
However, France, which was foundational in developing the original CHAdeMO standard, has decided not to adopt the new version co-developed with China, opting instead for the Combined Charging Standard (CCS). This move echoes Nissan’s 2020 switch to CCS for new EV models, despite being a long-time CHAdeMO user and partner with French automaker Renault.
The CHAdeMO 3.1 standard itself is under testing in Japan after pandemic-induced delays. Related to the CHAdeMO 3.0 version released in 2020, which supports up to 500 kW charging, the new 3.1 version claims to be backward compatible with CCS when using the appropriate adapter.
VinFast Preps for European Entry with VF8 Shipments Amid Potential EU Tariffs on Chinese EVs
Vietnamese automaker VinFast is setting its sights on the European electric vehicle (EV) market. With the European Union considering tariffs on Chinese EVs, VinFast plans to ship 3,000 units of its VF8 crossover to Germany, France, and the Netherlands in the last quarter of this year. Manufactured at the company’s northern Vietnam factory, the VF8 has already been greenlit by a European regulator, confirming its compliance with EU standards and allowing its sale in all 27 EU member states. In addition to meeting these standards, VinFast is on the verge of obtaining a Euro NCAP safety rating for the VF8. Should the EU decide to impose tariffs on Chinese-made EVs, VinFast’s offerings could become more competitively priced in the European market.
BrightDrop’s Zevo 600 Vans Join Ryder’s U.S. Fleet
As of September 20, 2023, Ryder’s U.S. fleet has been bolstered by the arrival of BrightDrop’s Zevo 600 electric vans. Delivered to Ryder’s facilities in California, Texas, and New York, these vans offer a comprehensive package for renters. In addition to flexible insurance coverage, Ryder’s Zevo 600 vans come with round-the-clock roadside assistance and consolidated maintenance services. Further sweetening the deal, these vans are equipped with geotagging features, allowing for real-time tracking and usage monitoring.
ZF Unveils Electrified Semi-Trailer Concept at NUFAM Trade Show
German automotive supplier ZF recently showcased its innovative eTrailer at the NUFAM commercial vehicles trade show in Karlsruhe, Germany. The eTrailer comes with its own electric drive system, designed to adapt to the driving behavior of its attached tractor unit. The goal is to offload the tractor, enhancing road freight efficiency. The eTrailer employs ZF’s AxTrax 2 electric axle integrated with a modular battery box for energy recuperation and traction support.
This electrified trailer concept is a game-changer for trailer manufacturers and fleets, especially with looming local decarbonization laws. In terms of environmental impact, the eTrailer, when solely relying on energy recuperation, can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 16% when paired with a diesel tractor. Adding an external charging option raises these savings to as much as 40% based on 80,000 km of annual regional distribution travel. Furthermore, in a fully electric setup using either a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), ZF claims the eTrailer could even extend the vehicle’s range.
Hertz and NYC Collaborate to Boost EV Adoption and Infrastructure
Hertz and New York City have joined forces in a public-private partnership to speed up electric vehicle (EV) adoption and bolster the city’s EV charging infrastructure. Under the banner ‘Hertz Electrifies New York City,’ the car rental company will roll out more than 1,700 EVs in its NYC fleet, creating 100 new jobs in the process.
The collaboration isn’t unique to New York; Hertz has similar arrangements with other cities. A key component involves education—Hertz will collaborate with local high schools, offering EV-focused educational programs and hands-on training. To facilitate this, Hertz will donate five EVs for practical training.
In partnership with BP Pulse, Hertz will also establish fast-charging hubs across the city, starting in midtown Manhattan. These hubs will feature ultra-fast chargers exceeding 150 kW capacity, catering not only to Hertz customers but also taxi and ride-share drivers, as well as the general public. However, the company’s announcement stops short of specifying the total number of chargers, their locations, or when they’ll be operational.
ZEEKR Joins Forces with Plugsurfing for European EV Charging Network
Emerging EV maker ZEEKR is teaming up with Plugsurfing, a key e-mobility service provider in Europe, to offer ZEEKR Charge—a specialized public EV charging service. The collaboration comes on the heels of ZEEKR’s European debut earlier this year with its luxury models ZEEKR 001 and ZEEKR X in Sweden, the Netherlands, and more recently, Germany. Customers slated to receive the first vehicles later this year will get a ZEEKR Charge welcome pack, which includes a charging card and crucial information.
Plugsurfing, known for its expansive network of over 550,000 charge points, will be an asset to ZEEKR. The service is backed by a cross-border payment platform, granting ZEEKR users seamless access to more than 500 charge point operators in 27 European countries.
Volvo Leads European Auto Industry in Abandoning Diesel
Volvo has declared it will cease diesel vehicle production, setting the pace among European carmakers in the shift away from diesel technology. This decision aligns with Volvo’s broader strategy to concentrate on electric and low-emission technologies, reaffirming its commitment to sustainability. Although the company hasn’t specified a timeline for halting diesel production, the announcement is impactful given diesel’s significance in the European market.
As an early adopter of electric technology among traditional manufacturers, Volvo’s move may set a precedent for others in Europe. This transition is expected to further accelerate Volvo’s focus on electric vehicles and hybrids, potentially reshaping its future vehicle lineup. The decision is not only poised to affect the European market but could also have implications for Volvo’s global vehicle portfolio, including a reduced availability of diesel options worldwide. While financial details remain undisclosed, the move symbolizes Volvo’s adaptive strategy in a landscape increasingly tilted toward environmental responsibility.
Nio’s New Smartphone: More Than Just a Phone for EV Owners
Chinese EV giant Nio has broken new ground by launching its own Android smartphone, priced between $900 and $1,000. This move not only makes Nio the first high-end Chinese EV brand to enter the smartphone arena but also offers a device that’s around $150 cheaper than comparable Huawei models. Designed to dovetail with Nio’s electric cars, the phone features a unique button that doubles as a car key, ensuring a seamless transition between the vehicle and mobile device, especially during online meetings.
Interestingly, Nio’s customer base is pretty evenly split when it comes to smartphone preferences: over half are iPhone users while the rest lean towards high-end Android devices like Huawei. This venture into smartphones took about a year to develop and aligns with the Chinese EV industry’s focus on enhancing in-car entertainment and connectivity as key selling points. On the R&D front, Nio is far from frugal, investing about $500 million per quarter, particularly in battery technology and brand expansion.
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 NEVO.IE AND THE NEVO 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
RICHARD AT RSEV.CO.UK
JUKKA KUKKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
BATTERY REPORTS FOR EVS AT RECURRENTAUTO.COM
JAN TORE GJØBY
ANDY NANCARROW AND LILIAN KASS
BRENDAN MCCARTHY AT NORTHFORK IRONWORKS
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