Pages with tag Electric Cars
- "DRIVETHEARC" EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in Northern California: From Monterey to Lake Tahoe, 50 New EV Fast Chargers to be Installed at over 20 Locations
- "Every Jaguar and Land Rover Launched from 2020 will be Electrified"
- "Future-type Concept: Jaguar's vision for 2040 and Beyond"
'Audi on Autopilot Future: The Audi Vision of Autonomous Driving'
Audi's Elaine electric SUB coupe, and Aicon four-door 2+2, are meant to show that highly automated driving is around the corner. The Aicon has no steering wheel, no pedals, and can (within a designated area) automatically drive itself to a parking space in a parking garage.
- 'Electric Jaguar e-Type Zero debuts at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Test'
- 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV First Drive Review -- Transport Evolved: Can General Motors be trusted with electric car production since they axed the EV1. GM's first attempt to remedy that reputation was the Chevy Volt (with a V). The Chevy Bolt is their second attempt, and does a reasonably good job of being a great electric car, and remedying that reputation. It has a 7 kiloWatt AC charging system for an 8 hour recharge time. The DC Fast charging system is a $750 option, stupidly.
2017 Honda Clarity EV begins arriving at California and Oregon Honda dealerships
Honda, nice try, if you'd delivered this in 2011 or 2012 or even 2013 there'd be a market for this car. Today, you're competing against the Chevy Bolt EV, the Tesla Model 3, the 2018 Nissan Leaf, etc, all of which have more range than what you're offering. As we point out elsewhere total driving range autonomy makes one car more valuable than another. By offering an 80ish mile range Honda is not making a competitive offering versus the other automakers.
2017 Honda Clarity PHEV achieves class-leading all-electric range
Plug-in Hybrid's with significant range are rare - specifically, the BMW i3 REX, the Chevy Volt, and now the Honda Clarity PHEV. Most PHEV's have a paltry electric range of 20 miles or less. The longer the range, the less often the car owner will have to hit the gasser engine, and the more often they can drive on electricity. The 40 mile threshold is enough to cover most driving since the average driver travels less than 40 miles a day on average. With a 47 mile electric range, the Clarity PHEV should handle an even higher percentage of drives on electricity.
The recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts says this car has a 6 kW on-board charger that would give 20-25 miles range per hour of charging. This is higher power than other PHEV's.
- 2017 VW e-Golf offers improved range and fuel economy: This is a significant improvement over the current VW e-Golf. Improved driving range will be the common theme the next couple years. While they aren't announcing the MSRP it's possible VW will do as Hyundai, and instead of going for 200+ miles range at a $30-35,000 MSRP, they'll go for a lower MSRP instead.
2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid pricing announced - $33,400 MSRP:
If Honda had brought this to market in 2011 or 2012 or 2013 we'd be jumping up and down excited about this. As it stands, this isn't any more capable than the Chevy Volt except in two ways -- first, the electric range is a smidgeon longer -- second, and this is actually very important, the charging rate is 6 kiloWatts versus the 3 kiloWatts for most other Plug-in Hybrids. You calculate this by dividing the battery capacity (17 kWh) by the charging time (2.5 hours) and you end up with a number close to 6, meaning it's a 6 kW charging system. Or maybe 5 kW. The point being that the more powerful the charging system the more degrees of autonomy the driver has. Conceivably a driver taking a longer trip might feel more encouraged to plug in and charge the car during the trip, because of more miles of range gained per unit of time, than with a lower-power charging system.
Because it's not 2011-13, this car is (to me) an interesting curiosity. Honda wants us to believe they're really interested in green and minimizing the harmful pollution from the vehicles we drive. But they're behind the game on electric vehicles and instead spent a few years working on fuel cell vehicles rather than battery electric.
This price, base MSRP $33,400, also leaves me a little underwhelmed. At not that much more dollars one can buy a 200 mile range battery EV and not have to put up wth stinking gas car attributes like oil changes and gasoline stations. If that sentence made one say "hey wait a minute, gasoline isn't all that bad, and it lets me take long trips" then this car is for you since it'll let you continue using gasoline as the means to long trips. I apologize, but my point of view is the necessity of switching completely to electricity.
- 2018 Nissan Leaf makes North American Debut
24 Hrs. With A Chevy Bolt: In-Depth Look By A Tesla Owner:
A Tesla Model S owner managed to snag a Chevy Bolt EV for 24 hours. He isn't doing a comparison between the cars because the Model S and Bolt EV are very different market niche's. What he's doing is an in-depth examination of the Bolt EV.
- ABB and Nova Bus announce collaboration on electric transportation.
- ABB brings electric hybrid bus charging to Luxembourg City
- ABB delivers Bulgaria’s nationwide fast charging network
ABB helping Iceland beef up fast charging network:
Iceland has wanted to exploit its significant geothermal electricity resources to produce clean electricity to power a clean electric vehicle fleet. ABB and Iceland have teamed up to expand Iceland's fast charging infrastructure to better serve the growing electric vehicle fleet on the island.
Countries like Iceland have a big incentive to switch to renewable energy due to the high cost of importing fossil fuels from elsewhere. Electricity generated from Iceland's abundant geothermal resource is a fraction the cost of imported oil or coal. Twenty years ago Iceland's goal was to be the first full-fledged Hydrogen Economy, but the underlying fuel cell technology is completely impractical for vehicles and is still 5-20 years away. Obviously Iceland has decided to go with electric vehicles to solve their fuel price problem, instead of Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
The plan is to install fifteen Terra 53 dual-protocol DC Fast Charging stations along Iceland's main highway. This highway rings the island and clearly will allow drivers the freedom to drive on electricity pretty much anywhere in Iceland. A trip from Reykjavik to Vallanes, at the other end of Iceland, is about 650 kilometers, and therefore the trip would require several charging stops.
- ABB powers 450kW fast charging for electric buses in Gothenburg
- ABB powers e-mobility with launch of first 150-350 kW high power charger: Competition is coming to high speed DC fast charging. Tesla's primary advantage is a ubiquitous DC fast charging network running at 120 kiloWatts or more, with credible plans to increase the power levels. The problem is that Tesla's network is proprietary and works only for Tesla's cars. The other manufacturers use standardized charging protocols (CHAdeMO and CCS) but have been limited in the maximum charging rate. With this new charger, standards-based charging networks can now begin to offer a charging rate high enough to compete against Tesla.
- ABB supports Sri Lanka’s renewable energy commitments with EV charging network
- ABB to charge the largest single network of 101 electric buses in Europe
- ABB to energize Singapore’s autonomous electric bus project
- ABB unveils Smart Charging solution for bus depots at Busworld 2017: ABB is showing a new fast charging solution for electric buses. Meant to be installed in a bus depot, the system is designed to charge the bus overnight. It can schedule the charging of three buses, charging one after another after each bus finishes its charge cycle. The system is also upgradeable from 50 kiloWatts to 100 kiloWatts and even 150 kiloWatts.
- AeroVironment Unveils New TurboDX Next-Generation Global EV Charging Solution for Commercial, Workplace, Utility, Residential Customers
Audi goes Electric: All-Electric Audi E-Tron SUV unveiled, US Customers can place reservations:
Audi began talking about the E-Tron in 2011, IIRC, and has shown several different cars under this name. They've settled on this, an all-electric luxury SUV. This car has a lot going for it, with plenty of cargo space, to a high power drive train, a dual motor drive train with very good performance, high power 150 kiloWatt fast charging, and a 95 kiloWatt-hour battery pack. Curiously this press release keeps reiterating ways Audi engineers designed-in energy saving features to extend driving range. Why would that be? What's going on. The Audi E-Tron should equal the Tesla Model X in luxury, capabilities, driving range, charging speed, though not quite in raw performance. Unfortunately, Audi designed in a huge flaw: the E-Tron is only available on special order. Therefore, Audi is not serious at this time in competing with Tesla. If Audi were serious about this they'd simply take the E-Tron to production and go head-to-head with Tesla.
Audi renewable electricity, charging station installation, and charging location designs:
With the newly unveiled Audi E-Tron, Audi is showing off several EV charging connections. In a deal with Arcadia Power, E-Tron buyers can make a deal to buy renewable energy via a Community Solar program. In a deal with Amazon, E-Tron buyers can have charging stations installed by Amazon Home Services. Finally, Audi showed a concept charging facility design in San Francisco.
- Audi unveils E-Tron FE05 for new Formula E Season
Available in August, Honda announces 2017 Clarity Electric lease price at $269 a month:
The Honda Clarity Electric may be a waste of time - 2011 called, and they want their electric car. That is, the Honda Clarity Electric has specifications (80 mile range) that were hot in 2011, but are has-been today given the 200+ mile range of the Chevy Bolt EV or the Tesla Model 3. This lease price means you're not getting a lower price in exchange for sub-par capabilities.
At the same time we must recognize that Honda has until now refused to deliver a credible electric car in anything but "compliance car" quantities. Just enough Honda Fit EV's were made to produce enough electric car sales to earn enough ZEV credits so they could stay in the business of selling gasoline vehicles. This new car perhaps represents a change in tune for Honda given their long term focus on fuel cell vehicle research. Except that we see in the press release below that the Honda Clarity Electric, just as the Fit EV, is limited to California and Oregon, and is therefore a "compliance car" until proven otherwise.
Another item of note is that it supports fast charging -- using the Combo Charging System. This is the first time for a Japanese automaker to be selling (er.. leasing) a car with Combo Charging System. The Honda Fit EV was not delivered with fast charging. In general the Japanese Automotive Market requires CHAdeMO, because that system was developed in Japan long before the Combo Charging System (CCS) was developed. CHAdeMO charging infrastructure in Japan is ubiquitous, but the technology failed to take off in the market largely because the Society for Automotive Engineers choose to take a different direction. See
BMW Brilliance Automotive opens battery factory for BMW 5 Series Plug-in Hybrid in Shenyang:
BMW is building a battery factory, but it doesn't appear to be on the scale of a proper Gigafactory. This factory is based in China, and is positioned as producing battery packs for the BMW 5 Series Plug-in Hybrid for the local market, meaning China. In other words, sales volume for that vehicle may not be that significant and therefore the factory described below is likely to be at a much smaller scale than a Gigafactory. On the flip side, a BMW Board Member is quoted discussing the planned expansion of BMW's electrified vehicles to be 15% to 25% of global sales. It may be this new battery factory is intended to expand battery production capacity to meet that future demand.
Bottom line is that Tesla Motors has demonstrated that to move electric vehicles to the mass market requires building a massive increase in global battery production capacity. Whether we are to perceive BMW as being serious about electric vehicles depends in great measure on how big they go in battery production.
- BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group plan joint venture for ultra-fast charging along major highways in Europe: German car companies, plus Ford Motors, join together to promote a much higher charging rate for DC Fast Charging. So far the highest rate is Tesla's 120+ kiloWatt Supercharger. These companies propose a 350 kiloWatt rate for the Combo Charging System. Doing so would cut charging time to 10 minutes or so for a complete recharge, which would begin to support proper road trips.
BMW starts building second-life battery farm at BMW i3 factory in Leipzig:
In the 4+ years since BMW started mass production of the BMW i3, sales have reached nearly 100,000 electric and plug-in-hybrid BMW i3's, and yearly production capacity stands at around 25,000 vehicles. By comparison, that is one quarter of Tesla's production capacity for the Model S and Model X, meaning that Tesla Motors has achieved a faster production growth velocity than BMW. In any case the BMW i3 is a fine electric car, and BMW has achieved a significant milestone.
One step taken to mark the occasion is innauguration of a second-life battery facility at the BMW i3 factory in Leipzig. The phrase "second life" means that after a battery pack's first life as the traction battery in a car, it can be repurposed as an energy storage unit.
What happens to an electric car battery pack that's depleted to 80% usable capacity? That battery still has significant usable capacity, and can be reused. In theory. Hence the "second life" concept.
The facility being built by BMW will hold 700 BMW i3 battery packs, some recycled from old cars, the others from newly produced packs. It is to be paired with wind turbines on the site, to time-shift some of the electricity produced by those turbines to being used at other times of day.
- Bjorn Nyland's review of the 2019 Kia e-Soul (Norway): The 2019 Kia e-Soul is the first version of the Soul EV with a 60 kiloWatt-hour battery pack. This gives about 180 miles up to 240 miles of range (or thereabouts). Lots of improvements have been made over the previous models, such as a wider infotainment screen that is more customizable. It has driver assist features like maintaining speed to the car in front. The e-Soul is longer than previous models, and that has given the cargo area a much-needed oomph in cargo space. One big concern is ground clearance, since the larger battery pack hangs lower. As a bonus, this post contains several other videos by Bjorn about the e-Soul.
- Bolloré awarded City of Los Angeles contract to launch BlueLA, a revolutionary electric car sharing service: Bolloré offers car sharing services, using their own electric car, in Indianapolis, Paris France, and elsewhere. They're now bringing electric car sharing to Los Angeles.
- Chevrolet delivers first Bolt EVs to customers: The long-awaited Chevy Bolt EV is starting to be delivered, with the first three being delivered through a Chevrolet dealership in Fremont. That dealership has a large solar panel system out front with integrated electric car charging, FWIW. Coincidentally it's located within spitting distance of the Tesla Motors factory also in Fremont.
Domino's and Ford begin consumer research of Pizza Delivery using self-driving vehicles
One of the long-predicted primary uses for autonomous self-driving cars is all kinds of delivery services. You could order a pile of lumber from Home Depot, and rather than rent a truck by the hour to drive it to your house on your own, Home Depot could send it in a self-driving truck. In this case instead of a human pizza delivery agent (a job I had myself over 30 years ago), Dominos would instead send the Pizza in a self-driving car. How does Domino's expect to get the Pizza upstairs to, for example, the second floor of a college dormitory? Or inside a hospital to a surgery team that's about to start an operation? Or elsewhere in that same hospital to a mother that just gave birth? Or upstairs in an apartment complex? Or to a hard-to-find apartment in a house that's been divided into aprtment units? There's all kinds of special situations I recall as a Pizza delivery driver that aren't satisfied by driving a car up to the front door and tooting a horn and expecting someone to come outside to retrieve the pizza.
Domino's has long been exploring alternate vehicles. Back in the 1990's they hired Corbin Motors to build a special version of the Corbin Sparrow where the rear end was designed for pizza's. Those cars are affectionately known as the Pizza-Butt Sparrows. Amongst the select few of us who know Corbin's history that is. You can imagine that a large cost center in Domino's financials is the salary and fuel costs for their current pizza delivery system -- humans driving gasoline powered cars. And, no, I did not work for Domino's. Instead I worked for Archies Pizza, a Pizzeria in Lexington KY that went out of business years ago but made really nice high quality pizza's from all kinds of fresh ingredients. There was a Domino's a half-block away from our store, of course.
I foresee this being a difficult service to develop because of all the special delivery situations that exist. One way it might work is to have a van with a mobile pizza kitchen. The raw pizza would be assembled at the store, then the delivery agent loads those pizza's into ovens in the van, and manages the cooking process while the van is driving the delivery route. That would be tricky to implement, but would give a human delivery driver tasks to do while the van is driving from place to place. And the pizza could plausibly be deliveried more freshly cooked...? Which would address one of the key issues of pizza delivery -- keeping the pizza hot while driving to the customer's residence.
First In-Depth look at the Tesla Model 3 | Model 3 Owners Club:
We're intensely interested in the Tesla Model 3 and whether it will live up to the hype. The guys running The Model 3 Owners Club got this chance to make an in-depth evaluation of the Model 3, giving an hour of video going over all kinds of details.
First automated vehicle in New York, an Audi:
What Audi has done is achieve the first license for automated vehicle testing in New York. They held a technology demonstration in Albany NY, of the Audi Highway Pilot technology, showcasing their "Level 3" capabilities.
- Ford announces ambitious China electrification strategy; confirms two new EV's for China, broad range by 2025: Ford Motors routinely makes big claims about plans to electrify their vehicle line-up. The details are important, because Ford rarely means fully battery-electric vehicles but instead a hybrid or plug-in hybrid drive-train. In this case one of the two new EV's is a PHEV (plug-in hybrid) rather than BEV (battery EV). While this is a step towards the goal of a fully electric (no fossil fuels) the vehicle fleet, that's nowhere near what Ford is promising. When Ford promises 'to electrify 70% of Ford nameplates sold' in China, that simply means 70% of their vehicle line will have an option for an electric something-or-other in the drive-train, which could mean a simple hybrid drive-train. It doesn't even promise 70% of their sales will have electric components in the drive-train, but 70% of the vehicle line.
Ford furthers global electrification expansion; signs MOU in China with Zotye Auto to explore all-electric vehicle JV
For Ford, "electrification" means any kind of electric assist including mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric. In this case Ford is exploring a partnership with Chines automaker, Zotye Auto, to maybe sometime in the future possibly build some electric cars.
Ford learns 'if you build workplace charging they will charge' :
After home charging, workplace charging is the most convenient place to charge an electric car. The 4 hours for a full recharge doesn't matter if you're inside the office working. Your personal involvement is the time to plug the car in, and the time to move the car when charging is complete. Having charging facilities at the workplace obviously will make folks more amenable to driving electric if only because the total driving radius is greatly expanded.
Ford Motors says they've learned, after installing 200+ charging stations at 50 facilities, that Ford's employees are more open to buying a plug-in electric car knowing they have charging available at the office.
This isn't exactly an earth shattering ground breaking research result. This result has been seen by others over the years, and it is an intuitively obvious result. It's nice to see the intuitively obvious verified by actual research results. And, it's nice to see that the results of this study will convince Ford to triple the number of workplace charging stations at Ford facilities. Maybe it will finally start sinking into the collective knowledge at Ford Motors that Electric is the direction we all need to take.
Last thing to note is that Ford's charging facilities expansion is meant to enable bad charging etiquette. The press release says the burden of moving ones car after it's fully charge is a major downside to electric car ownership. I can imagine certain office campus situations where that would be true. However, it means the folks who plug in to charge in the morning will be hogging the charging station all day. That a car is parked in front of a station tends to make it impossible for another car to use that station. Bottom line is that electric car charging facilities are a scarce resource that we must learn to share. This plan instead gives folks the idea they do not have to share charging facilities.
- Ford, Virginia Tech, go undercover to develop signals that enable autonomous vehicles to communicate with people
- Fremont City Council approves Tesla Motors factory expansion plans: Tesla Motors is preparing their factory for the jump to 500,000 cars per year in order to satisfy Tesla Model 3 sales demand.
- Fully Charged tests the 40 kiloWatt-hour Renault Zoe: Robert Llewellyn (Fully Charged) test drives the new Renault Zoe in Portugal. Where the original had a 24 kWh pack, the new version has a 41 kWh pack, giving it over 180 miles in the summer, and 120 miles in cold conditions. The bigger battery fits in exactly the same footprint and they'll even allow the new battery to be used in the older Renault Zoe.
- GM advances self-driving vehicle development with acquisition of LIDAR developer
GM outlines All Electric path to Zero Emissions:
The last few months several carmakers have announced plans to go fully electric. General Motors, the company that killed the EV1, has announced their own plan. You'll notice that details are lacking below just what is meant, and that the announcement curiously includes discussion of a fuel cell prototype vehicle platform. Fuel cell vehicles are driven by electric motors, but it's hard to call them "electric" since they do not plug in to a power socket to recharge. Remember, "It's not electric if you can't plug it in".
Call me hopeful but skeptical. The image GM included with the announcement is obviously meant to convey several vehicles in the R&D stage waiting to be unveiled.
GM outlines possibilities for flexible, autonomous fuell cell platform:
Earlier this week GM announced a plan to transition to all-electric vehicles. Curiously the only vehicle mentioned in the announcement was a fuel cell autonomous vehicle platform, which is a non-electric hydrogen powered vehicle type. Here is the announcement concerning that fuel cell vehicle platform, and the fact that it's targeted at the military and heavy duty trucking sectors.
The military faces a deadly problem with "regular" military vehicles, because of the necessity to deliver fossil fuels to the field. The delivery process exposes more soldiers to harm because delivering fuel to remote outposts requires driving convoys through possibly hostile territories. The military has been interested for several years in other energy systems if only to reduce the risk to soldiers. You might think that instead of invading countries willy nilly for unclear reasons and terrorising the population so badly they want to fight back, that the best choice would be to pull out and say we're sorry and try to make amends. But the political leadership we have instead wants to keep the war going and obviously I've flown off into tangent land.
That tangent was meant to explain why the press release stresses "minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm." Clearly this Association of the United States Army meeting will include some attention on the issue of mitigating risks from delivering fuel to dangerous territory.
I don't understand why General Motors thinks this is a solution to the named problem. Fuel cell vehicles require pure hydrogen. Since it's difficult to deliver fuel to a remote outpost in hostile territory, how does switching to hydrogen fuel make any difference? The hydrogen still has to be delivered to the field.
- GM path to an All-Electric, Zero Emissions future
GM produces first round of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles:
For the first time, autonomous self-driving cars have been built using mass-production methodology. As we can tell via the pictures released with this press release, they built some kind of assembly line for this purpose. The assembly line clearly isn't "high-end" (no robots), but it's an assembly line, letting them claim to have used mass-production methods. GM is deploying the 130 vehicles to test fleets in San Francisco, Scottsdale and Detroit.
Another thing to see in these pictures is that these cars have many sensors, including a whole sensor package mounted on the roof, and some sensors at the side near the front. The press release talks about LIDAR, cameras and other sensors, as well as computing equipment.
GM's assembly line for producing Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV Test cars:
Yesterday GM released news that a hundred or so Self-Driving Chevy Bolt EV's were being manufactured on an assembly line, and being shipped to test fleets around the USA. They described this as a milestone, as the first self-driving car to be built with mass-production techniques. We've found a video that goes over the assembly line.
This is clearly not a robotized modern assembly line. Instead of an building the cars from scratch, they are attaching parts to a pre-built chassis. It looks like Engineering team members are doing some of the assembly.
The other thing to note is the size of the computing cluster, and that it takes up a significant amount of cargo space. As advanced as their self-driving technology surely is, they still haven't shrunk the equipment down to where it fits into the woodwork.
- Going global - ABB celebrates extended reach of Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure
- Honda Electrified! Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric unveiled at 2017 New York International Auto Show
Ionity plans 350 kiloWatt fast charging network across Europe:
Europe is pushing ahead on electric vehicle adoption, and this plan is poised to make European electric car manufacturers relavent in the face of advances by Tesla Motors. Tesla has been building its proprietary Supercharger network aiming to have a ubiquitous fast charging network that can only be used by owners of Tesla's automobiles. That network makes Tesla's cars far more attractive than cars built by other automakers. By leapfrogging to a 350 kiloWatt charging rate, these automakers (all of them Combo Charging System proponents) will have a network offering potentially higher speed charging than Tesla's Superchargers. Except, nobody is making a car capable of a 350 kiloWatt charging rate. Going by the number of installed stations, Tesla's Supercharger network is way ahead of this plan which will see a paltry 20 stations installed by the end of 2017, and only 400 stations by the end of 2020. Any expansion of the fast charging network is good.
- Is General Motors' Policy on DC Quick Charging Slowing Chevrolet Bolt EV Adoption Rates? (Transport Evolved): Chevy Bolt EV sales are not taking off like a rocket making people think the car is a failure. On Transport Evolved, Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield suggests the cause is GM's lackluster support for building charging infrastructure. Clearly Tesla's big sales advantage is that the Supercharger network is so well developed. CCS fast charging infrastructure is at least 3 years behind other DC fast charging methods. Since it is not as widely available, the CCS fast charging standard is less attractive than either CHAdeMO or Supercharger which are much more available. GM doesn't help by steadfastly refusing to participate in building fast charging infrastructure.
- Kia's Futuron concept proposes an illuminating new design for an electric SUV Coupe
Lamborghini announces stunning all-electric sports car, the Terzo Millennio:
Italian supercar maker Lamborghini has announced an intriguing all-electric supercar, the Terzo Millennio. Large portions of the car will be made of Carbon Fiber with unique new properties. The CF will act as an "accumulator for energy storage", meaning the shell of the car will be part of the battery pack. Further, it will continuously monitor the carbon fiber structures for cracks or damage, and use "self healing chemicals" to perform self healing of the vehicle. It's claimed this will reduce to zero the risks of small cracks propagating further in the carbon fiber structure. It will be an all-wheel-drive car with one electric motor per wheel, and obviously Lamborghini will strive to implement torque vectoring for superiour handling at high speed. They are talking about this as an all-electric super sports car, that's made for future sports car enthusiasts, who will want to take this to race tracks, and who will really appreciate any handling benefits Lamborghini can implement with four-wheel-drive.
Marc Tarpenning - Tesla's High Speed Innovation at 2017 Product Leader Summit
If you pay closely to your electric vehicle history, you may be aware that Elon Musk is nothing more than a co-founder of Tesla Motors. Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning started Tesla Motors, with Elon Musk joining shortly afterward as the Angel Investor. This talk is by Marc Tarpenning talking at Stanford University to a group of entrepenuerial people.
Martin and Marc had built and sold a previous company, and were looking for a new challenge. They decided to look at the Oil industry, that is to disrupt the Oil Industry out of existence. The primary place Oil plays is transportation, specifically for cars and light trucks. It's unrealistic to use biofuels -- for example corn-based-ethanol would require more arable land than exists in the USA to fuel the vehicles used in the USA. On the other hand, electric cars can be powered by the solar panels on the roof of the house. See Solar/Electric Vehicle Nirvana
They chose to build a sports car first because it's an area where they could more easily compete than other market segments. The electric drive was able to outpace gasoline powered cars because of "100% torque at 0 RPM". The Roadster doesn't do so well at a race track because they knew high speed wasn't so important for daily driving, and instead the 0-60 miles/hr time was most important.
The real plan was to make an extremely compelling attractive car at the high end, and then move towards the Sedan market.
Mazda announces electrification and connectivity strategy for cars that invigorate mind and body:
Mazda is all about engines, and therefore one should not be surprised to learn their "electrification strategy" is "compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine". As Mazda puts it, internal combustion engine vehicles are expected to be in the majority of new cars for years to come. Either Mazda is stuck in engines, or they're aptly pointing out the conversion to fully electric drive will take years to accomplish.
- Mercedes-Benz reveals EQC, the all-electric SUV with which it hopes to challenge Tesla: Has Mercedes-Benz designed a Tesla-killer? There is a lot to tackle in challenging Tesla, because of the range of services Tesla offers beyond just selling cars. To offer an all-electric luxury SUV indicates Mercedes-Benz is feeling the heat from the Tesla Model X, and is seeking to do something in response. MBZ is well known for luxury cars, and we can assume Tesla will be challenged by the EQC on that front. On performance metrics, the MBZ is very powerful, delivering a very good sub-five-second 0-60 miles/hr time, but the performance Model X of course beats that time. Also, the battery pack is smaller at 80 kiloWatt-hours, and the charging system is less powerful at "only" 110 kiloWatts, meaning that EQC owners will have slightly less autonomy than Model X owners. Finally, the production rate is not specified. Will MBZ try to build as many cars as does Tesla? If not, MBZ will be left in the dust wondering what happened.
Nissan Leaf spyshots helps Transport Evolved make educated analysis
A Transport Evolved viewer in Europe happened upon a Nissan Leaf in the wild, that happened to be at a charging station, shared the pictures with the show, letting them make educated guesses about the car. The Nissan Leaf still has dual charging ports, still sporting CHAdeMO, but the AC charge port was larger implying that Nissan a switch to the Type 2 port for Europe instead of the J1772 port. Doing so will make the Leaf more compatible with Europe's charging infrastructure.
The other detail is that this car seemed to allow a maximum 160+ miles range, implying it has a 40 kiloWatt-hour battery pack. Hurm... is Nissan going to wait on offering the 60 kiloWatt-hour battery size required for a 200+ mile range?
The competition is over what? Will more market share be had with a lower priced car that still offers a significant range boost? What if a 160-180 mile range 40 kWh Leaf can be bought for significantly less than the 238 mile range 60 kWh Chevy Bolt EV or the Tesla Model 3? Would that mean more Leaf buyers because it's much less expensive?
On the other hand, Nissan has long talked about offering multiple battery pack capacities, and has shown promo videos of a Leaf with a 60 kWh pack. It's far more likely that Nissan will offer both 40 kWh and 60 kWh capacities on the Leaf.
- Nissan announces U.S. pricing for 2019 LEAF: The Nissan Leaf is still one of the most affordable electric cars available. However, how can one justify a Leaf when for about the same price GM offers the Chevy Bolt with a larger range. Having a 150 mile range in the Leaf is a big step forward over the 72 mile range on the 2011 Leaf, but the competition has a 238 mile range for not much more. Surely this is why GM is selling more Bolt's than Nissan is selling Leaf's.
- Nissan builds EV test car with twin-motor all-wheel control technology
Polestar announces new management team to develop electrified performance brand for Volvo Cars
Volvo is spinning off a new company intended to enter the Electric Performance Car market.
Porsche definitively enters the electric era with the new Taycan:
Porsche is throwing down quite a lot of money and investment - new employees - new production facilities - for the purpose of "electrification". Notice in the title for the press release Porsche used the word "electric", but in the body they used the word "electrification". However they are describing a fully electric sports car and the advantages of moving to an 800 volt drive-train. It's a matter of physics, with the same wiring thickness Porsche can move double the wattage with their 800 volt system versus a 400 volt system. This enables ultra-fast charging at 350 kW, and higher power delivery for all subsystems.
Study of an Ultra-Stylish Luxury-Class Cabriolet - Mercedes-Maybach electric car concept
Mercedes-Benz has decades of experience building luxury cars. Give them the opportunity to design a luxury electric car, and sure of course they'll do a good job with the luxury car side of the thing. For a few years they owned a chunk of Tesla Motors, and worked with Tesla on at least two electric cars including the Mercedes B-Class Electric.
- Tesla Model 3 spoted 'testing' on I-280 near Tesla HQ: A blue Tesla Model 3 is filmed in the wild, if nothing else letting us know these things actually exist. Going by the road signs this is I-280 near Tesla's headquarters. Not much to say, but for those of us waiting to place our orders this is a good sign.
- Tesla raises cash for Model 3 launch, from Chinese company Tencent: Tesla Motors has to spend $2.5 billion before July to launch the Model 3. As with the Model S and Model X launches, Tesla Motors is going through deep cash burn for capital expenditures to build up capacity to launch the new model. Making ends meet requires selling stock to raise capital from investors. This time that included Tencent, a large Chinese company. That company is backing a self-driving-car startup, Nio. Tesla Motors is advanced into developing this technology of course, so does Tencent intend to drive a merger? Tencent spent $1.78 billion buying their stake in Tesla.
- Toshiba Develops Next-Generation Lithium-ion Battery with New Anode Material: The battery-breakthrough-of-the-week comes from Toshiba. They're announcing an update to the SCiB battery using a new battery anode doubling the storage capacity of the batteries. Energy stored (kiloWatt-hours) per unit of volume is double that of the previous generation SCiB, and the maximum recharge rate is high enough to support a 6-minute recharge time. They claim the battery can withstand 5000+ discharge/recharge cycles while retaining 90% of its original capacity, and that it works well in cold weather. If all this pans out it can be a real game changer in the electric vehicle industry, as energy storage capacity and recharge time are key concerns. On the other hand a 6 minute recharge time is unlikely to be implemented for the general public because it requires a 500 kiloWatt or more charging station.
U.S. Energy Department Announces $15 Million for Batteries and Electrification to Enable Extreme Fast Charging:
The US Department of Energy is pushing for even faster charging time. The agency is ponying up $15 million in R&D grants to develop batteries and infrastrcture supporting 400 kiloWatt charging and a 15 minute recharge time.
Volkswagen accelerates e-mobility for the masses:
Volkswagen has been making big claims for years, that VW would be the prominent electric vehicle seller offering a full range of EV's. Here they are again making a big claim. VW is asking us to believe that during 2010 they'll sell 150,000 electric cars of which 100,000 will be the VW I.D. and VW I.D. SUV. VW plans to jump from zero ID sales to 100,000 per year over the next 2 years. But, how will that be done?To do that VW has developed the MEB vehicle architecture.
Volkswagen and Google to collaborate on Quantum Computing for improved cars and driving:
Volkswagen and Google are announcing a plan to do some kind of research using Quantum Computing. The focus of the research is said to be "traffic optimization" meaning aids to drivers navigating through cities, "high-performance batteries" meaning using computing resources to guide R&D of high performance battery materials, and "machine learning" as applied to the artificial intelligence required for autonomous driving. It's not clear from the press release how "Quantum Computing" is used in relation to this sort of research. Each of those tasks does require extremely high computational capabilities, and perhaps the team is looking to quantum computing to implement super-computer capabilities within the space constraints of a family car. The autonomous cars I've seen were dominated by the computing equipment being carried on-board, which obviously would be unacceptable for a regular car, meaning that some kind of magic computational wizardry will be required to shrink the enormous computational requirements into a tiny box.
Volkswagen had previously used a Quantum Computer for traffic optimization of 10,000 taxi's in Beijing, China. The are looking at the Google universal quantum computer and are looking to develop algorithms to optimize travel times across an entire city, as well as assigning access to charging stations and parking spots. With such a system, traffic in a city could automatically route around major events, optimize the flow of traffic, and eliminate traffic congestion.
Another development area concerns developing chemical structures in advanced batteries. Computationally designing battery chemistry could conceivably lead to better designs with optimum weight/performance ratios for various target scenarios.
The last area of effort, machine learning, is rather general. The phrase refers to the capability of a program (or system) to link data, analyze relationships and make predictions on this basis. Machine learning is widely used in modern artificial intelligence techniques. Advanced AI systems are a prerequisite for advanced autonomous driving capabilities.
Volkswagen takes bold decision to put I.D. Buzz Electric Concept to Production
A few years ago the Volkswagen Group showed the I.D. Buzz concept car. Think the iconic VW Microbus modernized with various things including an electric drive-train. Now that Volkswagen was found guilty of defrauding emissions regulation systems around the world by faking emissions results in Diesel cars, they're looking to launch more electric vehicles. In this case they're bringing the I.D. to production, with it going on sale in 2022.
Volkswagen teases all-electric race car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb:
Volkswagen is announcing a return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2018, driving a custom-built four-wheel-drive all-electric race car. It will have been 31 years since Volkswagen's last attempt at that race, in that case with a highly modified VW Golf that failed to reach the finish line. Pikes Peak is a very dangerous race course, climbing up to the top of the 14,000+ foot Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs CO. As you might expect, the course includes many stretches of road carved literally out of a cliff face, and a single mistake can send a racer plunging down a thousand-foot high cliff.
In recent years electric vehicles have made a significant showing. In 2015 electric cars won outright, taking both 1st and 2nd place. In 2012, Lightning Motorcycles won the motorcycle field outright, beating the entire motorcycle field by 20 seconds.
Racing is one place where electric vehicles will prove themselves to the public. The stereotypical die-hard petrol-head fast-car-fanatic will need to see concretely that electric cars can serve their need-for-speed. To the extent that these people are influencers, the more who convert from fast-petrol-cars to fast-electric-cars the more successful will be this project of converting to electric vehicles.
Volvo Cars to supply tens of thousands of autonomous-drive-compatible cars to Uber:
Uber is taking a step closer to eliminating those pesky humans driving cars for Uber. Volvo is supplying a fleet of cars to Uber, which Uber will use to develop self-driving cars. At the same time Volvo will use the same base vehicle for its own autonomous car development work. What Uber looks to do is to develop cars that drive themselves around a city, so that Uber doesn't have to hire humans to do that work.
Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely partner on electric vehicle technology companies
Volvo Cars and Geely Holding are announcing two joint ventures to rapidly develop next generation electrified vehicle technology. GV Automobile Technology will be 50/50 owned, with operations in China and Gothenburg Sweden. The LYNK car line will be manufactured by LYNK & CO, a newly formed JV between Volvo and Geely.
According to Reuters, they'll be sharing engine technology as well, and that Geely purchased Volvo from Ford seven years ago.
This is not about Volvo switching to an electric-only strategy. In July, the company said it would fully electrify its model line by 2019. This announcement with Geely obviously sets Volvo on that path. However the key word is ELECTRIFY, not ELECTRIC. That word lets an automaker weasel around, making it sound like they're moving to an electric drive train, when in reality an ELECTRIFIED drivetrain could be a gasoline engine with mild electric assist.
It is a big deal that Volvo's total model lineup will have some kind of electrification. It would have been far more significant if Volvo had announced an all-electric-only plan. Instead, they'll stick with plug-in hybrid or even more mild electrification for now. The company is pledging to launch five all-electric vehicles over the next few years.
Why you shouldn't buy a battery-electric car? Doesn't hold water
This Chevy Volt owner (note - Plug-in Hybrid) tells us he is frequently asked why he doesn't own a Tesla. In other words, why not own a battery electric car, and why instead to own a plug-in hybrid? The obvious first answer is that the Volt and other PHEV's are nowhere near as expensive as a Tesla Model S or Model X, and therefore regular folks can buy a Volt. That's a completely understandable answer, though will change later this year as the Tesla Model 3 comes on the market.
Next reason - usable driving range for road trips. That is, when the Volt runs out of battery power you just keep on driving because the gasoline engine kicks in. You can even never touch the charging port and drive forever on gasoline. Or, that's what the guy in the video says. Too bad that's an incorrect idea.
Gasoline vehicle owners can have range anxiety because they can be just as stuck on the side of the road having run out of fuel. It's called "running out of gas" and happens to people all the time. For more information on Range Anxiety see: A brief history of Range Anxiety
It boils down to refueling time, effective trip speed, and refueling/recharging infrastructure. Gasoline does have a very fast refueling time and therefore effective trip speed is high with gasoline. Effective trip speed means the distance traveled divided by travel time factoring in everything including pee breaks, food breaks and refueling breaks. As more DC fast charging infrastructure is built, electric car effective trip speed will increase. The guy is right that currently the balance tips towards plug-in hybrids if your primary goal is optimum trip speed on road trips. To understand the calculations see EV Charging Rates
For most of us road trips are a secondary use of our car, and the primary use is around-town driving. That means we don't need to optimize for road trip effective speed, but we need to optimize for around-town driving. See Charging rate needed
What about battery swapping as the solution for increasing charging time? It's not a good choice that failed in the market. See Battery swapping
- Winter test of Kia Soul EV - Bjorn Nyland: Bjorn Nyland, best known for his many videos about Tesla Model S ownership in Norway, recently tested the Kia Soul EV in Norway's harsh winter.
- Winter test of Renault Zoe 210: Bjorn Nyland, best known for his many videos about Tesla Model S ownership in Norway, recently tested the Renault Zoe in Norway's harsh winter.
- Winter test of the VW eGolf 24 kWh - Bjorn Nyland: Bjorn Nyland puts the eGolf through its paces in the Norway winter.
- Wireless Charging System Developed On Kia Soul EV: Kia and Mojo Mobility have jointly developed a wireless charging system offering charging speeds up to 10 kiloWatts, at 85% efficiency. Wireless charging does not require the car be plugged into a wired connection for charging, of course, simplifying the charging experience. Instead of transferring electricity over a wired connection, wireless charging uses electromagnetic fields to send electricity to a receptor coil mounted on the car. Five Soul EV's were used in the project, which saw real-world durability, safety and performance testing.