Electric Cars

Denmark sets milestone for EV charges

The Danish market for electric vehicles set a milestone with more than 1 million charges and 36 million miles since 2014, a utility provider said Thursday. German utility company E.ON said it’s leading in the Danish market with its 1,300 charging points. Since 2014, the company said more than 1 million drivers charged up their vehicles at E.ON stations and it’s now working on partnerships to build more stations at car parks, fast-food chains and retail service stations. “Denmark is now one of the most developed e-mobility markets in Europe,” the company said in a statement. The Germany utility company in November said it was supported by $11.6 million in funding from the European Commission to team up with service provider […]

Tesla lines up buyers for electric semi-truck

14 Dec 2017   Electric Cars

Reuters reports that the food and beverage giant has reserved 100 of the trucks, the largest reported corporate purchase plan thus far. Walmart has reserved 15 trucks and the trucking company J. B. Hunt Transport Services has also placed orders, among other buyers. Overall reservations to date are at 276, according to Reuters calculations. PepsiCo confirmed the order to Axios. “These trucks will be deployed across our snacks and beverage businesses,” a spokesperson said. Big picture: If automakers like Daimler and Tesla can eventually succeed in making electric heavy trucks more than just a tiny portion of U.S. and worldwide commercial fleets, that would bring the world closer to a peak in oil demand. The projected growth of petroleum demand for heavy trucking is a primary reason why the International Energy Agency’s most recent World Energy Outlook does not show a peak in worldwide crude consumption by 2040, the […]

Ford Will Build Electric Cars in Mexico, Shifting Its Plan

12 Dec 2017   Electric Cars, Mexico

Ford says it will build driverless vehicles at a Michigan plant previously designated for electric car production. Almost a year ago, after heavy criticism from President-elect Donald J. Trump, Ford Motor Company canceled plans to build a $1.6 billion car plant in Mexico and announced that it would instead equip a Michigan factory to make electric and hybrid models. Now the automaker is changing its plans again, saying it intends to assemble new battery-powered cars in Mexico, not Michigan. But the Michigan location will get an even larger investment than previously planned and will focus on making a range of self-driving cars. The switch comes as the Trump administration has been pushing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Few industries are more heavily affected by the accord than the auto sector, […]

Investors wean themselves off oil as electric future beckons

European oil shares, having been for so long the dividend darlings of income funds, are losing their pulling power as investors take another look at the long term future of energy companies focused on fossil fuels. A proposal by the world’s largest $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund to ditch its oil and gas shares because of the volatile oil price, has highlighted the risks of being exposed to a sector which analysts say is in long term decline. Investors are pulling money out of exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking global oil and gas stocks. Net assets in oil and gas ETFs fell to their lowest in a year in November, to $21.9 billion, from a high of $24.4 billion in March, ETFGI data showed. […]

China Will Lead an Electric Car Future, Ford’s Chairman Says

Fords at an auto show in Guangzhou, China, last month. Ford Motor said Tuesday that it planned to introduce 15 models in China by 2025 that run at least in part on batteries. SHANGHAI — The world’s automakers are just starting to bet on an electric car future — and already, one of the most powerful people in the industry says that future belongs to China. The Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday that it planned to introduce 15 battery electric or plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid car models in China by 2025. Speaking in Shanghai, William C. Ford Jr., Ford Motor’s longtime executive chairman, outlined why in an unusually blunt comment. “When I think of where E.V.s are going,” he said, using an abbreviation for electric vehicles, “it’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in E.V. development.” Ford Motor is far from alone. General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler […]

Honda installs new bi-directional charging technology at European R&D center

Honda has invested in advanced bi-directional charging technology at its European R&D site in Offenbach, Germany, which is helping to balance demand and store energy more efficiently across the facility. The new charging system incorporates renewable energy generation, and is a test bed for hardware that will be available to private households in the future. The technology installation in Germany follows the debut of the domestic Honda Power Manager Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. ( Earlier post .) The concept previewed a fully-integrated energy transfer, which takes power from the grid and can return stored energy from electric vehicle (EV) batteries through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology. This latest trial installation at Honda’s Offenbach site applies the same principles on a […]

Ford ramps up electric vehicle push in China amid slowing sales

Ford Motor Co ( F.N ) will launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, including 15 electrified vehicles, the U.S. firm said at an event in Shanghai on Tuesday, as it looks to rev up sales growth in the market and shift towards cleaner electric cars. Ford’s sales in China have been weak in recent months, and the company is scrambling to come up with electric and hybrid vehicles to comply with strict Chinese quotas over production and sales for so-called new energy vehicles, or NEVs. The U.S. automaker is undergoing a broad review of its China operations, part of a strategic re-think under new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, which will likely see the company focus on electric commercial vans as […]

FastCharge consortium evaluating ultrafast charging; 450 kW anticipated

5 Dec 2017   Electric Cars

The German FastCharge project, inaugurated in July 2016, is investigating the limits of fast charging systems for the future. Participants of the three-year project are Allego GmbH, the BMW Group as the consortium leader, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, as well as Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and Siemens AG. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is supporting the FastCharge research project with €7.8 million (US$9.3 million). The National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Organization (NOW) is supervising and coordinating the compliance with the grant requirements. The charging time of electric vehicles depends primarily on current and voltage: the higher the voltage and amperage, the faster the battery can be filled. However, in real life application, these factors cannot be increased at will. The FastCharge project focuses on the study of the technical and physical limits of all components and systems involved in charging, both in […]

Graphene balls for lithium rechargeable batteries with fast charging and high volumetric energy densities

1 Dec 2017   Electric Cars

Improving one property without sacrificing others is challenging for lithium-ion batteries due to the trade-off nature among key parameters. Here we report a chemical vapor deposition process to grow a graphene–silica assembly, called a graphene ball. Its hierarchical three-dimensional structure with the silicon oxide nanoparticle center allows even 1 wt% graphene ball to be uniformly coated onto a nickel-rich layered cathode via scalable Nobilta milling. The graphene-ball coating improves cycle life and fast charging capability by suppressing detrimental side reactions and providing efficient conductive pathways. The graphene ball itself also serves as an anode material with a high specific capacity of 716.2 mAh g −1 . A full-cell incorporating graphene balls increases the volumetric energy density by 27.6% compared to a control cell without graphene balls, showing the possibility of achieving 800 Wh L −1 in a commercial cell setting, along with a high cyclability of 78.6% capacity retention […]

GM Aims for Self-Driving Taxi Fleet by 2019

1 Dec 2017   Electric Cars

General Motors Co. said the robotaxi service it is developing could potentially eclipse the profits it earns in the core automotive business within a decade, an ambitious target based on the company’s strategy of lowering its reliance on manufacturing by providing high-margin services. GM executives, speaking at an investor conference Thursday, said the company aims to run a large-scale fleet of driverless cars in big cities by 2019. GM is among the first major driverless-car developers to attach a timeline to the commercialization of autonomous vehicles, and the 109-year-old automaker is racing big tech companies and Silicon Valley startups to lead the reinvention of the way people own and operate cars. GM last year earned about a profit margin of 7.5% on its $166 billion in annual revenue from the global car […]

General Motors aims to run fleets of self-driving taxis by 2019

1 Dec 2017   Electric Cars

General Motors aims to launch a public ride-sharing service across several cities that uses fully self-driving cars by 2019, potentially becoming the first traditional carmaker to deploy autonomous technology at scale in the real world. Describing self-driving cars as “the biggest thing since the internet”, the company said it expected to make profit offering rides to the public for as little as $1 a mile. Carmakers are racing to develop self-driving cars to use in fleets of robo-taxis in order to tap into a potentially lucrative new market and gain first-mover advantage over rivals in an industry that McKinsey says will be worth $1.5tn by 2030.

But companies face stiff questions over how to make profits from such a cost-conscious service, which also sees them move beyond their traditional skills by running a network that matches customer demand with available cars, and is likely to see carmakers themselves assume significant costs such as vehicle depreciation. GM said it had not yet decided whether to offer its own service or use a partner such as Lyft, the ride-booking app in which GM invested $500m during 2015. In setting a 2019 start date for its service, GM has claimed a lead over some of its closest competitors. The date is two years before arch-rival Ford intends to bring a self-driving car to market, and the same year that Uber will begin buying vehicles with self-driving potential from Volvo Cars to use in its own on-demand service.

Tesla most popular global electric vehicle brand between January and September 2017; EV sales accelerating

30 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has accelerated as policymakers across the globe pass regulations to reduce emissions of air pollutants, according to the latest analysis by JATO Dynamics. 2017 represents a turning point in the adoption of electric cars, with sales in key regions increasing significantly. The industry is at an important moment in the development of the segment, with the majority of car brands placing various forms of electric vehicles at the heart of their future plans; announcements being made this week at the LA Auto Show reinforce that point. For the first nine months of 2017, electric passenger car and LCV sales were up 21% in North America to 67,000 units; up 24% in Japan and Korea to 19,000 units; up 42% in Europe to 100,000 units, and up 126% in China to 227,000 units, according to JATO. Tesla was the most popular electric vehicle brand […]

Why Battery Cost Could Put the Brakes on Electric Car Sales – Bloomberg

29 Nov 2017   Electric Cars
Why Battery Cost Could Put the Brakes on Electric Car Sales – Bloomberg

Battery prices need to drop by more than half before electric vehicles will be competitive with cars powered by internal-combustion engines, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, whose two-day Future of Energy summit in Shanghai concludes on Wednesday. That’s likely to happen by 2026, when the cost for lithium-ion battery packs is projected to fall to about $100 per kilowatt hour, speakers at the summit said.

The Tech Race

The focus of the industry has moved from lithium-ion batteries using liquid electrolytes to solid-state ones, which address the need for safer and more powerful energy storage. Toyota Motor Corp. has said it’s working to commercialize the technology in the early 2020s, and Dyson Ltd. says it will build an electric car using solid-state batteries in three years. The British company plans to invest one billion pounds ($1.3 billion) to develop the car, plus the same sum to create solid-state batteries for it. That investment would outpace those made by other major EV makers such as Tesla Inc.

Major Players

Panasonic Corp. of Japan, BYD Co. of China and South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. are the top manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries for EVs, according to BNEF. Shares in companies such as lithium-salt maker Stella Chemifa Corp. and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, which mines chemicals including lithium, are on the rise.

As demand rises for metals used in batteries, beneficiaries include companies such as Japan’s Tanaka Chemical Corp., which manufactures and sells components for the storage devices.

Samsung’s Graphene-Based Battery Charges In 12 Minutes

28 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

The Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) created “graphene balls” to increase battery capacity by 45 percent and charge up to five times more quickly. The company says the innovation could allow the new battery to charge fully in just 12 minutes, making it suitable for cell phones and electric cars alike. Electronics manufacturers have taken to graphene, raising its status to a “miracle material” due to its strength, conductivity, and elasticity. “It is a great technology with various potential applications but it will take a long time for graphene-based batteries to be mass produced,” Kim Young-woo at SK Securities told the Financial Times. “The key is who can commercialize the technology first. It won’t be easy to apply the minute processing technology for large-scale production of high-quality, electronics-grade graphene.” Samsung has had to invest heavily in battery research since the exploding Note 7 fiasco of 2016. […]

Tesla truck will need energy of 4,000 homes to recharge, research claims

28 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

One of Europe’s leading energy consultancies has estimated that Tesla’s electric haulage truck will require the same energy as up to 4,000 homes to recharge, calculations that raise questions about the project’s viability.  The US electric carmaker unveiled a battery-powered lorry earlier this month, promising haulage drivers they could add 400 miles of charge in as little as 30 minutes using a new “mega-charger” to be made by the company.  John Feddersen, chief executive of Aurora Energy Research, a consultancy set up in 2013 by a group of Oxford University professors, said the power required for the megacharger to fill a battery in that amount of time would be 1,600 kilowatts. That is the equivalent of providing 3,000-4,000 “average” houses, he told a London conference last week, ten times as powerful as Tesla’s current network of “superchargers” for its electric cars.  Tesla declined to comment on the calculations. Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, has previously said the megachargers would be solar-powered but the company has not confirmed whether they will also have a grid connection for when it is not sunny. Many of Tesla’s current superchargers are powered in part by renewable energy. The company is also experimenting with storage batteries to ease demands on the grid.

SolidPower: The Solid State Breakthrough EVs Are Looking For

28 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

SolidPower researchers in Colorado developing solid state lithium batteries The current generation of lithium-ion batteries have given us day-long cellphones, hours-long laptops and 200+ mile electric cars. Now solid-state batteries are about to dramatically improve duration and even charge times; and Colorado-based SolidPower is aiming to lead that charge. When you think about, the cylindrical batteries that power Tesla’s coveted electric cars are a serious waste of space. Really, how many can you pack together with all that empty space around them? Worse, each cell is stuffed inside a tiny steel can that also adds weight. Ganging them all together adds further complexity and cost. What if you didn’t have to use those cans and could just leave all that useless space out of your battery pack? Even more importantly, what if you could eliminate the liquid electrolyte inside the cell: that jelly-like substance that facilities the movement of […]

Driverless cars may kill off the world’s deadliest invention

28 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

We often make lists of the best inventions of all time. But which are the worst? The nuclear bomb would be up there. The AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle also has a particular claim to infamy. The World Bank has estimated that there are about 75m such guns in circulation, causing tens of thousands of deaths a year. But one other invention has killed many, many times more people than both of those weapons put together: the motor car. About 1.25m people are killed in road traffic accidents a year, accounting for 2.2 percent of all deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization. Accurate data on how many people in total have been killed by cars in the past century are hard to find.

But 50m seems a fair guess. That compares with the 123m in all wars in the 20th century. If that level of carnage were not bad enough, cars have also contributed massively to environmental pollution and adverse climate change. As an additional malus, the car’s thirst for oil has handed billions of dollars in revenues to some of the world’s most regressive regimes: Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela. Fortunately, the end of the human-driven, petrol-fuelled car may be in sight. Some computer scientists describe driverless car technology as essentially a “solved problem”, even if huge challenges remain before car companies are confident enough to launch fully autonomous passenger vehicles on to the road.

Protocols still need to be worked out to determine how one driverless car will interact with another and how to prevent hacking. But human, rather than technological, resistance seems likelier to be the biggest brake on the driverless car revolution. Whether we are behind the wheel or thinking about new technologies, humans remain inherently erratic. For the moment, governments are putting in place regulations to encourage the adoption of driverless, electric cars and manufacturers are experimenting fast.

IONITY partners with Shell, OMV, Tank & Rast and Circle K on sites for high-power charging network; 18 countries, >200 sites

28 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

IONITY , the joint venture of BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen with Audi and Porsche that is developing and implementing a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for EVs across Europe ( earlier post ), has formed initial strategic partnerships for the realization of its HPC network. IONITY has formed strategic partnerships with Shell, Tank & Rast, OMV and Circle K for the realization of its European fast charging network and is thus entering the exploration and realization phase in 18 European countries. By teaming up with the four partner companies, more than 50% of the 400 sites planned between now and the year 2020 have already been covered. The installation of HPC charging stations directly on the major thoroughfares will make electromobility significantly more convenient and the charging capacity of up to 350 kW is expected to reduce the waiting time for customers to a minimum. By joining forces with […]

A Low-Cost Alternative To Lithium-Ion Batteries

27 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Forschungszentrum Juelich researchers with American Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have now successfully observed with nano-scale precision how deposits form at the iron electrode during operation. A deeper understanding of the charging and discharging reactions is viewed as the key for the further development of this type of rechargeable battery to gain market maturity. Iron-air batteries promise a considerably higher energy density than present-day lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, their main constituent – iron – is an abundant and therefore quite a low-cost material, The Forschungszentrum Jülich scientists are among the driving forces in the renewed research into this concept that was discovered in the 1970s. Schematic of the measuring method: the tip of the in situ electrochemical atomic force microscope scans the surface of the iron electrode. Laser-beam deflection reveals spatial irregularities, which can be compared to each other over the course of several cycles. For reasons including insurmountable technical […]

Tesla’s Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries

25 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Elon Musk knows how to make promises. Even by his own standards, the promises made last week while introducing two new Tesla vehicles—the heavy-duty Semi Truck and the speedy Roadster—are monuments of envelope pushing. To deliver, according to close observers of battery technology, Tesla would have to far exceed what is currently thought possible. Take the Tesla Semi: Musk vowed it would haul an unprecedented 80,000 pounds for 500 miles on a single charge, then recharge 400 miles of range in 30 minutes. That would require, based on Bloomberg estimates, a charging system that’s 10 times more powerful than one of the fastest battery-charging networks on the road today—Tesla’s own Superchargers. The diminutive Tesla Roadster is promised to be the quickest production car ever built. But that achievement would mean squeezing into its tiny frame a battery twice as powerful as the largest battery currently available in an electric […]

UK launching £400M vehicle charging infrastructure fund; putting extra £100M to support for buying EVs

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. Among the elements in the budget are the launch of a new £400-million (US$530-million) Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund and the provision of an extra £100 million (US$133 million) towards helping people buy battery-electric cars. The government is also committing to electrify 25% of cars in central government department fleets by 2022. The UK government is investing £200 million in the charging infrastructure fund; the remaining £200 million is to be provided by matching private investment. The government will also make sure all new homes are built with the right cables for electric car charge points. Continue Reading “UK launching £400M vehicle charging infrastructure fund; putting extra £100M to support for buying EVs” Thirteen environmental groups working on clean transportation solutions sent a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS) urging it to select plug-in […]

Global Electric Car Sales Jump 63 Percent

22 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

China made more than half of EV purchases in the third quarter Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects 1 million sold this year Electric vehicles sales surged to a record in the third quarter, largely driven by strong demand in China. Sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids exceeded 287,000 units in the three months ended in September, 63 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago and up 23 percent from the second quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China accounted for more than half of global sales as its market for electric cars doubled amid government efforts to curb pollution. “The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales,” said Aleksandra O’Donovan, advanced transport analyst at BNEF and one of the authors of the report. “One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and […]

Is Tesla’s E-Truck A Game Changer For Energy Markets?

22 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla is facing a real crossroads in its future as it runs behind schedule for the affordable, 220 mile range Tesla Model 3 reaching mass market. Why would the company also commit to entering a drastically different market with its Tesla Semi commercial truck launch? There is some real market demand for it, Musk said, with truckers and fleet operators exploring their options for achieving fuel cost savings and cutting other operating expenses. There’s also steep demands being made by governments in the U.S., China, and Europe for trucks to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Tesla revealed its electric semi-truck at a long-awaited Los Angeles unveiling on Thursday night. Musk bragged that the Tesla Semi will go 500 miles per charge, with 400 of those miles capable of being charged in 30 minutes. An even faster charge may be coming, too. The heavy-duty truck will be able […]

India opens first-ever EV charging station

21 Nov 2017   Electric Cars, India

Choking from high levels of air pollution, a state-owned oil company in India opens the nation’s first-ever charging station for electric vehicles. In announcing a first, a state-owned oil company in India said charging stations for electric vehicles can address some fundamental pollution issues. State-owned Indian Oil Corp. and online transportation network company Ola said they took a “big leap” toward a greener India with the launch of the country’s first-ever electric vehicle charging station in Nagpur, the largest city of central India. Murali Srinivasan, the oil company’s executive director, said the partnership is a first step toward a re-imagined India. “EVs have the ability to solve some of the key issues we are currently facing with respect to vehicular pollution and air quality; and as a large-scale mobility platform,” he said in a statement . As of Monday afternoon local […]

Is China making U.S. irrelevant to the future of automobiles?

21 Nov 2017   China, Electric Cars, USA

The first automobile was invented in Germany in 1885 by Karl Benz, but it was the U.S. that led the building of the global 20th-century automobile industry. Through the turn of the current century, the U.S. new-vehicle market was the world’s largest, and General Motors was for decades the world’s largest car company. Neither of those is still the case—and an increasing number of analysts, commentators, and industry executives have worried that the U.S. may become less relevant to the future of automobiles in the 21st century. DON’T MISS: China developing timetable to end sales, production of gasoline cars The volume of concern increased after the stunning early-September announcement that China is developing plans to end the sale of new vehicles with combustion engines. It has long been that country’s government-industrial policy to dominate […]

Mercedes-Benz will offer electric drive on all commercial van lines; electric eVito now available to order, eSprinter in 2019

21 Nov 2017   -, Electric Cars, Germany

Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer electric drive options on all its commercial van model lines. This will start with the mid-size eVito, with deliveries commencing in the second half of 2018. Further model ranges will follow, starting in 2019. The eVito, the second all-electric production model from Mercedes-Benz Vans after the 2010 Vito E-Cell, starts at €39,990 (US$47,000) (in Germany excl. VAT). The exclusive pre-ordering phase for the mid-size van begins today in Germany, with market launch scheduled for the second half of 2018. The first 1,000 orders on the microsite will also be rewarded with a service package including Wallbox. The eVito will be followed in 2019 by the eSprinter. The line-up will then be rounded off by the Citan. The […]

Musk’s “Hardcore Smack-Down” To Gasoline Vehicles

20 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

The electric semitrailer would have a 500-mile range and will roll out in 2019, if all goes according to plan. On top of that, Musk surprised the crowd gathered at the event with a new version of the Roadster, the high end sports car that originally got Tesla going about a decade ago. The new Roadster would have a range of 620 miles and is due out in 2020. Musk said the Roadster would have a zero to 60 miles per hour time of 1.9 seconds. “These numbers sound nutty,” Musk said at the unveiling on Thursday. The truck will also have Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system, which will help assist drivers and also have the ability to drive autonomously with other trucks. The convoy system would allow a lead truck to guide a group of other autonomous trucks to follow close behind, a system that would save on labor […]

Tesla Investors Are Losing Patience

20 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

I have covered advanced biofuel companies for more than a decade, and just about all of them made implausible claims about their technologies. They consistently overpromised and underdelivered, until they finally ran out of money and declared bankruptcy. I am not sure that electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla will share the same fate, but management is demonstrating the same pattern. Tesla CEO Elon Musk frequently says grandiose things to investors that ultimately fall far short of his projections. Thus far, this tactic has helped to prop up Tesla’s share price. I previously covered Tesla’s second-quarter earnings in Tesla Shares Surge Following Its Largest Loss Ever . Tesla reported a record loss, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk has an uncanny way of reassuring investors that everything is just fine. As he did so in the previous earnings call, Tesla shares moved higher. But investors may finally be running short on […]

The Hidden Cost Of Electric Cars

20 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

EU electric car producers got a fresh lease on life last week as the European Commission proposed caps on vehicle emissions as a way to fight against global warming—and to help close a technological gap with China. The Asian nation is the world’s biggest supporter and producer of electric vehicles, and this year it overtook the U.S. in terms of the number of EVs on the road, with new registrations increasing 70 percent year-on-year to around 350,000 units, while Europe saw sales rise by only 7 percent. In an effort to catch up with Beijing in a rapidly expanding market, EU lawmakers threatened financial penalties on carmakers that fail to cut tailpipe emissions by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030. On the face of it, this might sound like a smart move, and one supported by international institutions. The International Energy Agency chimed in earlier this year, showing that […]

Tesla Truck Could Threaten Big Chunk of Oil Demand, If It Works

20 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Freight vehicles account for about 20% of world fuel use Future demand growth is dominated by medium and heavy trucks Tesla Inc. ’s unveiling on Thursday of a new electric truck showed Elon Musk can match Steve Jobs’s ability to wow the tech crowd with a glimpse of the future. If he can equal the manufacturing prowess of Apple Inc.’s current Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, he might just clobber the oil industry too. That’s a big if, given Tesla’s current inability to meet manufacturing targets on the mass-market Model 3 electric car. But if the company really can deliver a battery-powered big rig with a 500-mile range and lower lifetime costs than diesel vehicles, then a big chunk of future oil demand growth is in peril. Road freight accounts for about a fifth of world oil consumption, mostly diesel, according to the annual World Energy Outlook published by […]

Despite Big Push From Beijing, Electric Cars Struggle in China

18 Nov 2017   China, Electric Cars

Electric vehicles aren’t yet living up to the hype, automakers in China are finding, as they churn out more EVs than they can sell to satisfy government directives. Beijing tempts buyers with subsidies and the construction of a vast charging network—and pushes consumers to buy electric cars in crowded cities. The policies have made China a driving force in worldwide development of EVs, and left foreign automakers scrambling to keep up. Yet at the Guangzhou Auto Show, companies are reckoning with the challenge of attracting buyers—and generating profits—while meeting Beijing’s requirement that electric vehicles account for roughly 3% to 4% of their total output in 2019. Volkswagen AG aims to build 400,000 EVs by 2020 to meet the green-car targets […]

Tesla Plays the Long Game With Semi Truck

18 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla’s Elon Musk says the Semi will be able to travel 500 miles on a single charge. Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk is taking on the commercial truck market with an approach that defies conventional expectations: an all-electric vehicle capable of traveling for hundreds of miles on a single charge. Commercial truck makers trying electrification initiatives have largely focused on smaller trucks for short-run duties, arguing the battery range, weight and cost of long-haul electric trucks makes them impractical. With the Semi, unveiled this week and due out in 2019, Mr. Musk is promising a vehicle that can travel 500 miles on a single charge—enough to cover most regional freight deliveries—and is cheaper to operate than diesel trucks. Some potential customers said they are willing to give Tesla a try. Retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday it has preordered 15 Tesla trucks to test. J.B. Hunt Transport Services […]

Tesla’s Electric Semi Truck Gets Orders From Wal-Mart and J.B. Hunt

18 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk introduced the Semi electric truck Thursday. Some of the country’s biggest trucking fleets are among Tesla Inc.’s first customers for its all-electric big rig. J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which operate thousands of trucks, said Friday they had reserved Tesla’s truck, which Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed at an event in Hawthorne, Calif., on Thursday. The first highway-ready vehicles aren’t due out until 2019, but the company is taking $5,000 deposits. Truck leasing and fleet management company Ryder System Inc. R -4.34% “is in the process of placing its initial order for a fleet of Tesla semi-trucks,” Dennis Cooke, the company’s president of global fleet management solutions, said in an email. Ryder declined to specify the size of the order. The Semi is designed to run up to 500 miles on a single charge, and incorporates Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system, […]

Tesla Truck Could Threaten Big Chunk of Oil Demand, If It Works

18 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Freight vehicles account for about 20% of world fuel use Future demand growth is dominated by medium and heavy trucks Tesla Inc. ’s unveiling on Thursday of a new electric truck showed Elon Musk can match Steve Jobs’s ability to wow the tech crowd with a glimpse of the future. If he can equal the manufacturing prowess of Apple Inc.’s current Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, he might just clobber the oil industry too. That’s a big if, given Tesla’s current inability to meet manufacturing targets on the mass-market Model 3 electric car. But if the company really can deliver a battery-powered big rig with a 500-mile range and lower lifetime costs than diesel vehicles, then a big chunk of future oil demand growth is in peril. Road freight accounts for about a fifth of world oil consumption, mostly diesel, according to the annual World Energy Outlook published by […]

Volkswagen Group to spend >$40B over next 5 years to develop electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization

The Volkswagen Group will spend more than €34 billion (US$40 billion) by the end of 2022 on the development of electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization. Most of this investment will go into the electrification and hybridization of all Group models. This marks another move to advance the Roadmap E electrification offensive which was announced in September; the goal is to electrify the entire model portfolio by 2030. ( Earlier post .) We are reinventing the car. We are making targeted investments in digitalization, autonomous driving, electric mobility and new mobility services by providing the necessary funds from our own resources. We are, however, doing so without sidelining existing technologies and vehicle projects, since this is how we will […]

Musk unveils Tesla Semi; 500-mile range at highway speed with 80,000 lbs GVW; next-gen Roadster appears

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Emphasizing “BAMF” performance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Semi in an evening event. The sleek electric truck, with a 0.36 coefficient of drag (supported by intelligent flaps that support a range of trailers), will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds, charge up a 5% grade at 65 mph, and deliver 500 miles of range, Musk said. According to Musk, 80% of truck routes are less than 250 miles; the Tesla Semi thus in theory could make a round trip on those routes without charging, he suggested. Taking a page from Toyota’s presentation book, Tesla ran animations comparing the acceleration of the Tesla Semi vs. a conventional diesel truck. (For the reveal of its Class 8 hydrogen […]

Tesla unleashes supercar from newly launched truck

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla stunned attendees at what was billed as an unveiling of its move into haulage trucking by revealing a revamped Roadster, which founder Elon Musk said would be the “fastest production car ever made, period”. As the first car to go from 0-60mph (0-96kph) in under two seconds, the new Tesla Roadster will have a range of almost 1,000km when it goes into production in 2020, the group said. “The point of this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” Mr Musk said. “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Tesla’s new sports car is a throwback to its first vehicle, the Lotus-designed Roadster. The supercar zoomed out of a trailer that had been towed by the new articulated lorry that Mr Musk had revealed minutes earlier. With its prototype electric truck on Thursday night, Mr Musk, Tesla’s founder and chief executive, had already opened a new front in the war on the internal combustion engine. The heavy haulage vehicle will have a range of 800km when it goes into production towards the end of 2019, said Mr Musk, and will be “impossible” to jackknife.

Tesla Reveals Semi Truck With 500-Mile Range, New Roadster Car

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk on Thursday revealed the company’s first all-electric semitrailer truck and a $200,000 super car, his latest attempt to stir excitement for his vision to upend transportation as the company struggles to mass-produce an affordable sedan. The Semi, due out in 2019, is designed to go 500 miles on a single charge, Mr. Musk said. It is also equipped with Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system that will assist drivers and allow the trucks to travel autonomously in convoys with the company’s other big-rigs. In a surprise, Mr. Musk also unveiled Tesla’s newest Roadster, a sports car he said would have a range of 620 miles on a single charge and be available in 2020. The car, Mr. Musk said, will be the quickest production car ever made, going from zero to 60 miles an hour in 1.9 seconds, and topping speeds of 250 miles […]

PPG partners with SiNode Systems to commercialize high-energy silicon-graphene anodes

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

PPG has entered into a partnership with SiNode Systems to accelerate the commercialization of high-energy silicon-graphene anode materials for advanced battery applications in electric vehicles. The 30-month project will enable the partners to rapidly develop and demonstrate anode materials that will store more energy than conventional lithium-ion battery materials, enabling electric vehicles to travel farther on a single charge or to have a lighter-weight battery. In 2016, SiNode was selected among several competitors to receive a contract for the project from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), which is providing 50% of the project’s funding through the US Department of Energy. ( Earlier post .) Project partners are funding the remaining 50%. SiNode technology utilizes a composite of silicon and graphene in a layered structure, which was developed, optimized, and patented in collaboration with researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory. Whereas current graphite-based anodes offer […]

Fisker has filed patents for solid-state batteries

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

It seems that we’re on the cusp of a solid-state battery revolution. The latest company to announce progress in developing the new type of battery is Fisker . It has filed patents for solid-state batteries and it expects the batteries to be produced on a mass scale around 2023. Though Fisker is a very small car company that is currently taking deposits for its upcoming EMotion electric sedan , there are reasons to believe that the company could fulfill this promise. One of the members of the battery-development team was a co-founder of Sakti3 , a company that formed to develop new batteries and announced its research into solid-state technology back in 2011 . That company was purchased by Dyson , the vacuum cleaner company, which also intends on producing electric cars that AutoExpress reports will feature solid-state batteries in 2020. Toyota is also expected to have solid-state batteries […]

New Battery Design Could Crush Tesla

17 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

We all know the story behind Fisker, it was one of the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2008, and even had a legal spat between Tesla, but shortly after in 2012 the company crashed and burned in bankruptcy. Last year, Henrik Fisker decided to relaunch his brand. He thought that one failure wasn’t enough—-just like Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets. During Fisker’s relaunch, he made a shocking comment that caught the attention of Musk and it was on the claims of a new breakthrough in battery technology using graphene-based hybrid material that would revolutionize battery storage and make Musk’s batteries appear obsolete. Thirteen months passed, and Musk wrote off Fisker’s claims, as Musk decided to focus on other things like his Boring company. That might of been Musk’s fatal flaw, because Fisker just came out and dropped a bombshell on the electric vehicle (EV) industry: ‘New Fisker Batteries […]

Elon Musk Plugs New Truck Even as Model 3 Faces Delays

16 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla has been teasing images of the truck it plans to unveil on Thursday. ‘It can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte,’ Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter about the upcoming vehicle. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk will find himself in a familiar place on Thursday night, pitching an unconventional idea to capture the imagination of investors—while his company Tesla Inc. TSLA 0.84% is grinding through “production hell” with the Model 3 sedan. This time, Mr. Musk will be promoting an electric semitrailer truck, which he has been trumpeting on Twitter for months. “This will blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension,” Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, promised in a tweet Sunday ahead of this week’s demo event in Hawthorne, Calif. Tesla shares the next day soared 4%—the kind of pop that continues to fuel Tesla’s […]

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center to study societal acceptance of connected and automated vehicle technologies

16 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced five new research projects focused on better understanding how drivers use and respond to advanced vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems. The new projects, undertaken in partnership with five US research institutions, will launch as part of CSRC Next, the Center’s new five-year program designed to support and inform a safe transition to future mobility. Emerging vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems, offer tremendous promise to help improve road safety, but important questions remain about the most beneficial interaction with drivers, and how drivers can be educated about their safe operation. Four of the five research projects will focus on societal acceptance and generate data-driven […]

Ipsos RDA study finds traditional US dealerships often not prepared for EVs

16 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

A new study by market research company Ipsos RDA has found that the EV sales process at traditional brand dealers who sell EVs alongside other vehicles, has, in many instances, has not been differentiated from the traditional process and is, in effect, passive. The availability of inventory, as well as critical EV ownership information in-store (from the sales staff or marketing materials) and online, is concerning and leaves shoppers with unanswered questions. This, by contrast, is not the case with Tesla sales staff, who, advantaged given their EV-only product line, exude a passion for electric vehicles and are equipped with the information needed to help consumers make informed decisions. The inaugural Ipsos RDA Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales […]

EVs Won’t Stifle Oil Demand Anytime Soon

15 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

There will be 280 million EVs on the roads in 2040, up from 2 million today—but even this increase won’t be able to stifle crude oil demand, the International Energy Agency says. This increase will come from government policies aimed at tackling climate change and from the industry’s apparent determination to go electric. Even so, the IEA said , global oil demand will continue growing in tune with supply, to hit 105 million bpd in 2040, driven by petrochemicals and fuel for trucks, ships, and aircraft. The IEA notes that although current fuel efficiency policies cover about 80 percent of the global passenger sales today, it only covers half of truck sales. The IEA, however, does not mention electric trucks in its World Energy Outlook. Daimler earlier this year showcased the world’s first fully electric truck. Tesla will unveil its own e-truck, the Semi, on Thursday, and Elon Musk […]

China’s electric car push set to trigger ‘war of attrition’

15 Nov 2017   China, Electric Cars

New Chinese rules mandating a boost in electric vehicle production are raising fears of a glut of battery-powered cars that carmakers will be hard pressed to sell. Regulations adopted in September require EVs to account for up to 8 percent of sales by 2020. But this far exceeds current demand in China, where electric vehicles accounted for just over 1 percent of sales last year. Now industry experts are voicing concerns that this will hit profits — and that some carmakers may not survive. “There will be pain in a coming war of attrition,” said Michael Dunne, an analyst based in Hong Kong who believes the mountain of government-mandated EVs could spark a shakeout in the industry as companies lose money. The wealthier EV producers and those with access to state funds would remain, he said, “while the less well-endowed fall away”.  Bernstein, the brokerage, said in a report last week that the new rules adopted in September would push car brands in China — including global groups such as VW and GM — to produce more than 2m EVs by 2020, compared with 336,000 passenger EVs sold in 2016.

Goldman: Automated Trucks To Cost 300k Jobs Per Year

15 Nov 2017   Electric Cars, USA

Silicon Valley startups, technologists, and venture capitalists see great potential in the technology—even more than most traditional trucking companies are supporting. For months, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has put out teasers that the electric carmaker will soon reveal an electric semi-truck with autonomous capabilities. That announcement may take place this week, on November 16. Embark, a Silicon Valley start-up, is scheduled to release details next week on its self-driving technology for trucking. The automated system has tested in partnership with truck-leasing company Ryder and Electrolux, an appliance manufacturer. Trial runs are exploring the potential of transporting trailers to Electrolux’s California warehouses with autonomous trucks. CB Insight, which tracks venture capital, reports that companies will place about $1 billion in commercial truck autonomous systems this year, 10 times the level of spending three years ago. The $700 billion trucking industry continues to be an integral part of the U.S. economy, […]

DRIVEtheARC EV fast charging corridor opens in Nor Cal; 55 new fast chargers at 25 locations

15 Nov 2017   Electric Cars, USA

DRIVEtheARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, announced the completion of the chargers’ deployment and its official grand opening on the one year anniversary of the project’s official launch. ( Earlier post .) A collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization), and the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo, DRIVEtheARC encourages longer and more frequent trips with EVs by increasing the ease of long distance travel along one of California’s most frequented travel routes. All CHAdeMO EVs and Combo EVs can […]

Fisker files patents on solid-state battery technology; anticipating automotive-ready from 2023

14 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

Fisker’s scientists, including a co-founder of solid-state battery start-up Sakti3 (acquired by Dyson, earlier post ), filed patents this week (under a non-publication request) on flexible, superior energy density solid-state batteries. The patent includes claims over novel materials and manufacturing processes that are critical in achieving the required energy density, power and cost targets required for the widespread use of electric vehicles. Fisker’s solid-state batteries will feature three-dimensional electrodes with 2.5 times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Fisker claims that this technology will enable ranges of more than 500 miles on a single charge and charging times as low as one minute—faster than filling up a gas tank. Fisker anticipates the technology to be automotive production grade ready from 2023 onwards. This breakthrough marks the beginning of a new […]

Are Electric Cars As Clean As They Seem?

13 Nov 2017   Electric Cars

The concept of bunking the traditional engine for a non-gas guzzling counterpart has been here for decades, but creating an ecosystem for battery charging and bringing vehicle costs down was a challenge for decades. The sheer force of Elon Musk’s vision is building the infrastructure needed to sustain millions of electric cars in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. Most major manufacturers have joined the enthusiasm to ditch old-school engines to construct the international fleet of tomorrow. But this new step doesn’t solve all of the world’s environmental pollution issues related to transportation. The extraction of rare earth minerals, the disposal of lithium-ion batteries, and the sourcing of the energy that powers charging stations are all issues that plague the future of the green argument for electric vehicles. As Wired notes in an article from last year, electric vehicles are most efficient when they’re light. That way, […]