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VW and Xpeng Collaborate on Cost-Effective EV Platform for China

– Volkswagen has partnered with Chinese automaker Xpeng to create a new vehicle architecture, dubbed the China Electrical Architecture (CEA), aimed at making electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable in China.

– The CEA is set to be employed in VW-branded EVs developed in China starting in 2026.

– This new platform is expected to cut platform development costs by 40% compared to VW’s German-developed MEB platform, primarily by reducing the number of control units.

– The CEA design features a central computer and a zonal structure that simplifies the vehicle’s electronic systems, potentially reducing electronic control units by up to 30%.

– VW plans to introduce four entry-level compact cars using the CEA in 2026, along with two mid-range models, including an SUV, developed jointly with Xpeng.

– Volkswagen emphasizes the importance of the Chinese market by showcasing 44 models at the Beijing auto show, nearly half of which are EVs, including six global premieres.

– Last year, VW invested approximately $700 million for a 4.99% stake in Xpeng, with an agreement to launch two VW-branded EV models by 2026.

– As part of its efforts to reclaim market share in China, VW will invest 2.5 billion euros ($2.66 billion) to enhance its production and innovation capabilities in Hefei, Anhui Province.

– The company’s ID3 model has become one of China’s top-selling EVs following a price reduction of over $5,100.

https://evne.ws/4b255zB

2024 Lucid Air Grand Touring Improvements

– The 2024 model of the Lucid Air Grand Touring sedan now includes a heat pump, enhancing cold weather efficiency and reducing range loss. This is only the second model in the Air line-up to receive this feature, following the high-performance Sapphire.

– The addition of the heat pump is anticipated to boost energy efficiency during longer trips and in colder climates, addressing the common issue of reduced battery range in low temperatures.

– Lucid has improved the vehicle’s DC charging capability, stating it is now approximately 15-30% faster. This is aided by enhanced automatic battery preconditioning that prepares the battery optimally en route to charging stations, although manual preconditioning is also available.

– Technical improvements in the vehicle’s motors, battery cell chemistry, and thermal characteristics have been made to reduce waste heat. This allows the Grand Touring to maintain optimal performance during extended periods of dynamic driving.

– The Grand Touring maintains an impressive EPA-estimated range of 516 miles (830 kilometers). It remains priced at $111,400, which includes a mandatory $1,500 destination charge.

– This model stands above its siblings in terms of range, with the Air Pure at 419 miles (674 kilometers) and the Air Touring at 411 miles (661 kilometers).

https://evne.ws/3vVCSvI

Porsche Taycan’s Enhanced Efficiency Through Incremental Upgrades

– A new InsideEVs article based on interviews with Porsche engineers for the new Taycan was highly revealing.

– Porsche has transitioned the Taycan to a Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) 811 battery chemistry from the previous NMC 712, enhancing the nickel component for improved performance.

– Klaus Wipfler, a high-voltage battery engineer for the Taycan, noted that while both the new electric Macan and Taycan use NMC 811 cells, their specific chemical makeups differ slightly.

– Updates to the standard and Performance Battery Plus packs have increased their capacities from 71 kWh and 83.7 kWh usable to 82.3 kWh and 97 kWh usable, respectively.

– These battery enhancements have led to a 14 percent increase in range, as stated by Sarah Razvani, the project lead for the Taycan battery.

– To compensate for the added battery weight, Porsche has made several weight-reducing adjustments including lighter copper bus bars, fewer fuses, and replacing the steel undertray with a composite material.

– The weight of the Performance Battery Plus has been reduced from 633.9 kg (1397.7 pounds) to 625 kg (1377.9 pounds), while the total energy capacity has increased by 12 percent.

– Improvements to the thermal management system have expanded the optimal temperature range for battery operation, enhancing the fast-charging capability starting from as low as 15°C (59°F), significantly lower than the previous 35°C (95°F).

– The Taycan now features an upgraded heat pump and an 800-volt HVAC compressor, doubling the voltage from the previous 400 volts, which speeds up battery heating and cooling.

– New wheel designs and specialized “summer range” tires for 20-inch wheels contribute further to range improvements.

– Enhanced rear motor and inverter designs boost efficiency over the previous versions.

– The gauge cluster now displays battery temperature and the maximum charging rate, which is dynamically calculated based on various factors including temperature and state of charge.

– A new standard feature, the charging planner, navigates to suitable charging stations and preheats the battery for optimal charging, with the new Taycan supporting up to 320 kW charging compared to the previous 270 kW, allowing an 8 to 80 percent charge in just 16 minutes for the Taycan 4S with the larger battery.

– Regenerative braking capacity has been increased to 400 kW, up from 320 kW, with the potential to handle nearly 0.5 g of deceleration through regenerative braking alone.

– Porsche anticipates a 35 percent increase in range for both the base model Taycan and the high-end Taycan Turbo S.

https://evne.ws/49M335I

Tesla Cybertruck Sales Exceed Porsche Taycan in Q1

– Tesla Inc. sold 2,803 Cybertrucks in the U.S. during the first quarter, according to Kelley Blue Book data.

– These sales figures place the Cybertruck ahead of Porsche’s Taycan, which sold 1,925 units in the same period, marking a 26% increase in its U.S. sales.

– Despite its success over Porsche, the Cybertruck lagged behind other electric pickup trucks such as Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian’s R1T. Ford led the segment with 7,743 units sold, while Rivian sold 3,261 R1Ts.

– The starting price for the Cybertruck is $79,990, which is lower than the Taycan’s base model priced at around $100,000.

– The Cybertruck’s sales are modest when compared to Tesla’s own Model Y, which saw nearly 97,000 units sold in the same quarter.

https://evne.ws/3UlKHUF

Nio ET7’s 1,070 km Range Achievement

– Nio’s ET7 model, equipped with a 150-kWh semi-solid-state battery, has recorded a real-life driving range of 1,070 kilometers (665 miles) on a single charge.

– This performance was part of a range challenge involving the 2024 ET7 sedan, conducted on April 16, marking the first real-world test of the newly mass-produced ultra-long-range battery pack.

– Earlier in April, the first 150-kWh battery pack was produced for mass market use.

– The test included three 2024 ET7 sedans each equipped with the 150-kWh battery, taking different routes to assess performance.

– The specific ET7 that achieved the 1,070 km range was tested on the Kunming-Zhanjiang route with the following details:

  – Consumed energy at a rate of 12.7 kWh per 100 km (that’s around 4.4 m/kWh)

  – Driving duration was 12.8 hours, with the total test time being 15.9 hours.

  – Maintained an average speed of 83.7 km/h (52 mph) and reached a maximum speed of 118 km/h (73.3 mph).

  – Encountered temperatures ranging from 17.5 to 37 degrees Celsius during the test.

  – Carried a load of approximately 200 kg.

  – Overcame an altitude change of 1,875 meters during the drive.

https://evne.ws/4b3jtb7

Alfa Romeo Urges Focus on Industry Jobs Over Car Names

– Jean-Philippe Imparato, head of Alfa Romeo, has called on European politicians to prioritize safeguarding automotive industry jobs instead of focusing on the naming conventions of cars.

– This appeal follows a recent controversy where the Alfa Romeo Milano had to be renamed to “Junior” due to a claim by Italy’s industry minister, Adolfo Urso, stating the original name breached an Italian law. This law restricts geographic names to products manufactured in their namesake locations.

– The dispute arose shortly after Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares warned the Italian government against providing incentives to foreign firms for battery and car production in Italy.

– The Milano, now Junior, is manufactured in a Stellantis facility in Tychy, Poland, and shares its e-CMP platform with the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600e.

– Despite the renaming, which garnered significant public attention, Imparato highlighted that the car’s production location in Poland had been public knowledge for some time.

– Imparato also remarked on Alfa Romeo’s financial turnaround under Stellantis, noting that the company, which was losing “hundreds of millions of euros” annually before Stellantis’s formation in January 2021, is now profitable.

– He confirmed that the upcoming next-generation Stelvio SUV and Giulia saloon are set to be manufactured in Italy, scheduled for release in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

https://evne.ws/3UpfRuB

April Savings on BMW Electric Vehicles

– Throughout April, BMW offers significant rebates on their electric vehicle lineup, with discounts up to $7,500 on select models.

– The 2024 models of BMW i4 and i5 are available with a $5,000 rebate until the end of the month.

– Higher-end models like the BMW i7 and iX are eligible for a $7,500 rebate.

– Additional loyalty discounts are available, providing $1,000 off for i4, $1,500 for i5, and up to $3,000 for i7 buyers.

– Rebates are applicable across various purchasing methods, whether financing through BMW Financial Services, paying cash, or through other lenders.

– Leasing deals offer the most substantial savings, with a $7,500 lease rebate on the i4 and i5 models.

– For the i7 and iX models, lease credits increase to $9,900, with potential loyalty discounts pushing savings up to $13,000.

– Despite these offers, BMW’s electric vehicles are not eligible for federal tax credits.

https://evne.ws/3Umakok

Google Enhances EV Charging Station Accessibility in Maps

– Google is integrating real-time charger availability and speed data into its built-in vehicle maps to aid EV drivers in locating nearby charging stations more efficiently.

– The updated maps will proactively suggest where to charge on long journeys, taking into account the current battery level.

– Vehicles from eight automakers, including Volvo and Honda, are equipped with Google’s built-in technology, with more brands like Ford expected to join soon.

– To assist in locating elusive charging stations, such as those in multilevel parking garages, Google Maps will introduce AI-powered summaries derived from extensive user reviews.

– Google Travel is launching a new feature allowing travelers to filter for hotels that provide EV charging facilities, easing travel planning for EV owners.

– These enhancements are part of Google’s broader effort to reduce “range anxiety” among EV users by improving tools for efficient navigation to charging stations.

https://evne.ws/3xQ5WoL

LEVC Unveils L380 Luxury MPV Interior

– LEVC has introduced the interior design of its new L380 Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), marking a significant step in the company’s shift from premium taxi production to a broader focus on electric mobility solutions.

– The L380 interior is designed to emulate the luxury of airline first-class cabins, equipped to accommodate up to eight passengers.

– Passengers will enjoy first-class-style seating made from semi-aniline leather, which also folds down to create sleeping spaces.

– The vehicle’s interior is enhanced with high-end Alcantara fabrics and adorned with bright chrome and crystal accents, providing a lavish environment.

– Initially, the L380 will be launched in China, with plans to introduce the vehicle to the UK market within the next two years.

https://evne.ws/3Um5B61

UK Leads Europe in EV Adoption Suitability

– According to Geotab’s analysis in their “Taking charge: on the road to an EV future” report, the UK is the most conducive market in Europe for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), particularly for fleet operations.

– The study examined 1.3 million vehicles across seven European countries, finding that 66% of combustion engine fleet vehicles in the UK could be replaced with electric models without affecting their daily operational needs.

– This transition could result in substantial cost savings for UK businesses, potentially decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO) for vehicles.

– Over a seven-year period, UK organizations could save approximately £13,279 per vehicle by switching to electric, which translates to a total of £876,414 in savings for a fleet of 100 vehicles.

– Despite offering weaker national EV incentives than France, Germany, Italy, and Spain—countries which provide up-front purchase incentives—the UK still leads in EV readiness. The UK government had phased out the Plug-in Car Grant in 2022.

– Data from the report highlights that the average daily mileage for business vehicles in the UK is 52 miles (approximately 84 kilometers), a distance well within the range capabilities of modern EVs.

– Aaron Jarvis from Geotab noted that nearly half (49%) of the monitored vehicles did not exceed 250 miles (402 kilometers) in any single day of the study, emphasizing the practicality of EVs for the majority of business usage in the UK.

https://evne.ws/3Uo3EVR

Jeroen van Tilburg Appointed CEO of Ionity

– Jeroen van Tilburg is set to take over as CEO of Ionity, the fast-charging network, effective 13 May 2024.

– He replaces Michael Hajesch, who is departing from the role.

– Previously, van Tilburg served as Head of Charging at Tesla for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, where he significantly contributed to the expansion and evolution of Tesla’s Supercharger network.

– His background includes extensive experience in developing and expanding charging networks across Europe, providing him with a deep insight into the market’s dynamics and challenges.

– Jörg Hofmeister, Head of Charging & Energy at Ford Model e and representing Ionity shareholders, commended van Tilburg’s comprehensive track record and expertise in the charging infrastructure sector.

– Hofmeister expressed enthusiasm for van Tilburg’s future contributions to Ionity, particularly in terms of driving the company’s growth and advancing the digitalization of customer services.

– Ionity currently boasts a network of over 600 charging parks spread across 24 European countries, featuring more than 3,600 fast-charging points.

https://evne.ws/3Uma9JG

Tesla to Initiate Megapack Factory Construction in Shanghai

– Construction of Tesla’s new Megapack factory in Shanghai is set to commence in May, with plans to start mass production by the first quarter of 2025.

– According to a local media report from The Paper, the project details were confirmed by sources within Tesla China.

– Tesla has witnessed significant growth in its energy storage sector, with installed capacity increasing by 125% to 14.7 GWh in 2023.

– On April 9, 2023, Tesla inked a deal with authorities in Shanghai’s Lingang area to establish this Megafactory, focusing on the production of its Megapack energy storage units.

– This facility will mark Tesla’s first venture into manufacturing energy storage systems outside the United States.

– The factory aims to produce 10,000 commercial energy storage batteries annually, contributing nearly 40 GWh of energy storage capacity.

– The Megapacks produced will be distributed globally, supporting international energy needs.

– Each Megapack has the capacity to store over 3 MWh of energy, which is sufficient to supply electricity to approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

https://evne.ws/3UnDYK7

Tesla Proposes Reinstating Musk’s Major Compensation Plan

– Tesla is seeking shareholder approval to reinstate a substantial $56 billion compensation package for CEO Elon Musk, previously disapproved by a Delaware judge.

– The proposal will be voted on during Tesla’s annual meeting scheduled for June 13.

– Alongside Musk’s compensation, Tesla plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Texas from its current location.

– This move comes as Tesla faces various challenges, including declining global sales, decreased demand for electric vehicles, an aging vehicle lineup, and a significant 37% drop in stock price this year.

– Should the shareholders not approve the compensation package, Tesla has indicated the necessity to potentially negotiate an alternative arrangement with Musk, which could be time-consuming and costly due to the complexities highlighted by the recent Delaware lawsuit.

– The 2018 compensation plan, which is up for ratification again, does not include a salary or cash bonuses for Musk. Instead, it offers stock options contingent upon achieving specific company performance metrics, such as market value increases and financial targets.

– Despite the potential move to Texas, legal challenges could persist as Tesla would remain a Delaware corporation at the time of the vote, allowing for continued legal proceedings in Delaware courts.

– The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proxy statement does not cover Musk’s request to own 25% of Tesla shares, which he argues is necessary for pursuing projects in artificial intelligence and robotics at Tesla. Currently, Musk owns 20.5% of Tesla.

– Musk has indicated a preference to develop products outside of Tesla if he does not receive the 25% shareholding he desires.

https://evne.ws/4aYM7dh

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