Honda Reveals The Price of its E Electric Car

It’ll start at £26,160 pounds or around $32,000 in basic trim.

Honda’s E electric car is officially here and the production model has kept nearly all the charm and gadgets of the original concept. At the same time, Honda has unveiled pricing and specs for the urban EV, and that’s where things get interesting.

As the company revealed last week, the Honda E will be available in Europe (and not the US, I’m sorry to say) with a 137-mile range, making it more of a city runabout than a highway cruiser.

That’s down to a smallish 35.5 kWh battery, making it more competitive with EVs like the Renault Zoe than the Tesla Model 3. The Honda E supports chargers up to about 75 kW (Honda didn’t say exactly how much) that will let you charge from 10 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.

For urban and suburban use, it should be a kick to drive. The Honda E’s electric motor delivers up to 152 horsepower and 232 foot-pounds of torque, meaning it should accelerate like a demon given the EV’s small size.

If you’re looking more for economy, it’ll also come in a cheaper 134 horsepower flavor that will still be relatively quick.

Inside, the E will be a futuristic car, as Honda has managed to retain most of the fun stuff from the original concept. Rather than side mirrors, it will have a camera mirror system with two six-inch screens mounted (legally for the US) at the extreme left and right side of the EV.

That’s a first “in the compact segment,” Honda said in a press release, and gives the car smoother lines, better aerodynamics and an improved driver field of view.

Other features carried over from the concept include the flush pop-out door handles and a five-screen, full-width digital dash. That includes dual 12.3-inch LCD touchscreens in the front that act as primary infotainment displays.

It’s also equipped with Honda’s Personal Assistant that will let you control certain functions by saying “OK Honda.” You’ll also get the My Honda+ smartphone application, with features like charging point navigation, remote climate control and vehicle condition reports.

Now for the rub. The Honda E will cost £26,160 in the UK for the 134 horsepower version, including the UK’s EV rebate (£29,660 without the rebate) rising to £28,660 (or £32,160 pre-rebate) for the more powerful model. (It’ll also be available on finance starting from £299 per month.)

That translates to a starting price of about $32,000, or $35,500 for the high-end model, with rebates included, or $36,700 and $39,800 before rebates.

By way of comparison, the Renault Zoe costs about £26,000 before the rebates but comes with a much larger 52 kWh battery and 182 mile range. The Nissan Leaf, meanwhile, is £36,000 with a 62 kWh battery, pre-rebate.

Honda is demanding a bit of a premium for what is essentially a city runabout, given the battery size. It’s no doubt hoping that the buyers will be attracted to the cute styling and futuristic tech, but there’s a reason that both Renault and Nissan increased battery life over the last few years.

Still, there’s a ton of public interest in this car, so a lot of people will be very interested in how it sells when it orders open in early 2020. The Honda E will start to ship later in summer 2020.

Honda E Electric Car
Honda E Electric Car


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Honda reveals pricing for its lovable E electric car

VW First Electric Car

Volkswagen took the wraps off its ID.3 electric vehicle — one that will be available in Europe and starts at roughly $33,000 for the base model — just ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show yesterday.

Why it matters: The compact EV, which will start deliveries in mid-2020, could be a big step toward production of moderately priced battery-powered cars for a mass market.

“Everything about the ID.3, from its size and styling to its battery range and pricing, is aiming for the mass-market category,” TechCrunch notes.

It’s the first vehicle built on VW’s electric modular production platform.

That’s the system that Ford, under a recent agreement with VW, plans to use for building 600,000 EVs for delivery in Europe over the next 6 years.

What they’re saying: IHS Markit analyst Tim Urquhart, in a note, says the stakes are very high for the German automaker.

“VW needs the ID.3 to present a compelling choice for buyers that would never before have even considered buying an EV, a true electric people’s car,” he said.

Urquhart also notes that the 4-door hatchback is the tip of the spear for VW’s “hugely ambitious” EV strategy, so it “needs to be ‘right’ straight out of the box,” without quality glitches.

Meanwhile, the auto news site Jalopnik calls it “likely their most significant car in decades.”

Of note: While it’s not for sale in the U.S., the automaker plans to start selling an MEB-produced ID Crozz, a crossover vehicle, here next year (and more info seems to be trickling out this morning).

By the numbers: The vehicle’s battery options start at 45 kilowatt hours (kWh) with a range of 205 miles.

There’s also a 58 kWh version with a 260-mile range, and a 77 kWh battery pack that provides up to about 342 miles of range, VW said.

What’s next: There’s plenty on display — from production-ready cars to concepts — at the show that opens this week, including the production-version of the Honda E.

VW first electric car ID3
VW first electric car ID3


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Volkswagen makes its move in the electric vehicle race

McDonald’s Goes Electric Car

The fast-feeder is catering to growing number of electric-vehicle drivers in the country.

In Sweden, McDonald’s is catering to the growing numbers of electric car drivers by turning its classic Golden Arches restaurant signs into signposts letting people know where they can charge their vehicles.

The company has charging stations at 55 restaurants in the country, making it the largest restaurant chain for electric car charging. Ultimately it wants to offer the service at every drive-thru restaurant. Responding to a survey in which 48 per cent of people said it was difficult to find out where charging stations were located, McDonald’s is now making them even more prominent.

Created via agency Nord DDB, the first signs have been installed by McDonald’s restaurants in Mjölby and Munkedal. In addition to the current price for charging, the signs also display the prices of Big Macs and Happy Meals, gas-station style.

“McDonald’s has a strong history of being involved in the development of charging infrastructure along Sweden’s roads,” said Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director at McDonald’s Sweden in a statement. “More and more people are choosing to travel by electric vehicles, and we want to be a part of this trend by inspiring good choices. Our sign is a new and fun take on a classic way of doing just that.”


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In Sweden, Golden Arches now double as signposts for electric car charging

New Electric Car Battery Can Be Recharged in Six Minutes

A NEW battery technology which is being prepared for commercialisation which will allow for mobile phones and electric car recharging to drop to six minutes.A new battery technology company is preparing to commercialise new technology which could lead to rapid charging times.

Echion Technologies, the Sawston-based battery specialist born out of Cambridge University, is looking to bring the battery tech to both smartphones and electric cars. The firm claims that the recharging times could drop to as little as six minutes. Currently, rapid charging times are around 45-minutes or in some exceptions 30-minutes for a decent amount of range.

This is significantly longer than it takes to top up a petrol or diesel car.

If this technology could be commercialised then it could revolutionise travel on the go allowing cars to be extremely quickly charged up.

The new technology involves graphite with a new material says, Dr Jean De La Verpilliere who won’t reveal exactly what it is but it could be compound, reports Cambridge Independent.

Verpilliere created a material that could be used in lithium batteries two years ago when he also founded Echiom.

The focus of the company is on high performance materials innovations for lithium and n lithium-ion battery technology.

According to the report, materials are simply ‘dropped in’ to a lithium battery infrastructure.

“The powders are the central component of a lithium battery,” Jean says.

“This is a new kind of powder which allows you to recharge in six minutes, not 45 minutes. This includes a car, so your electric car is almost as easy to charge as it is to refuel conventionally.”

“The problem with the usual powders is that when you fast-charge them they can cause an explosion. With the new material – which I can’t tell you any more about – it will accept fast-charging with no safety hazard, unlike graphite.”

Currently, the company, who has benefited from some funding by Cambridge Enterprise, can produce 1kg of powders a day, which is equivalent to the amount needed for a car battery.

However, the company said it is working on scalability to enable higher volumes to be produced.

“We’re working on methods to make powders which are scaleable and where 1,000 tonnes could be made quite easily in factories,” says Jean.

“We have a prototype now and are moving towards commercialisation early next year.

“The tests have to be validated beforehand.”

Newable’s investment director Alex Sleigh said: “As an investment team, we felt the product that Echion was producing was superior to anyone else in the market, particularly with regards to the time required to charge the batteries.

“Furthermore, the support that Echion received from a world-class institution in the form of Cambridge Enterprise gave us huge confidence, allied to our view that the majority of autonomous vehicles in the future will be powered by battery technology.”


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Why Consumers Avoid Electric Cars?

Like technology fans itching to try the latest and greatest, electric-car owners are early adopters. EV sales remain paltry in the US despite tax credits and other discounts, but a new study aimed to uncover the major factors the internal-combustion engine reigns supreme.

According to the latest findings from Autolist, the reasons aren’t that shocking. Electric cars’ overall range, their price compared to a traditional car and charging infrastructure are the top reasons why consumers shun an EV. The time it takes to charge an electric car and an overall lack of knowledge rounded out the top five reasons why consumers aren’t interested in an electric vehicle.

Electric cars often have a higher priced attached to them as they are not at a price parity with vehicles powered by an internal-combustion engine. It’s not exactly known when electric vehicles will reach that price parity, either.

What’s perhaps most interesting about the survey are the realistic expectations consumers have when it comes to price. When asked what kind of range they’d expect from a $35,000 EV, most agreed between 250 and 300 miles was acceptable. That largely falls in line with the market today with most mainstream electric cars priced around $37,000 before tax credits or local incentives. Think the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and upcoming Kia Soul EV. In fact, the majority of respondents (69%) said they support credits, incentives and other perks from the federal and local governments.

Where things fall off is the upper end of the spectrum. When asked what kind of range a $70,000 EV should provide, the popular answer was more than 500 miles. No electric car on sale provides such a range figure, even the most expensive models from Tesla, Audi and even upcoming models.

It’s clear the biggest boon to EV adoption will be general education if consumers’ expectations already match the reality of mass-market EVs. Although the sample size of 1,500 respondents was relatively small, it does provide a snapshot of consumers at large and their feelings. The more consumers understand electric cars, the more likely they’ll be to purchase one — over half said an EV would be their primary vehicle if they purchased one today.


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Senators To Spend Billions on Electric Car Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Republican and Democratic senators have agreed to pump billions of dollars in federal funding into building electric car charging stations and other infrastructure for low-emission vehicles.

Under an appropriations bill released by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Monday, the Transportation Department would distribute $3.5 billion over the next five years for projects that reduce carbon emissions from transportation.

It would also hand out $1 billion in grants for infrastructure supporting vehicles powered by electricity, hydrogen or natural gas along designated sections of highway.

“This bipartisan legislation includes the first-ever climate title in a highway bill and would invest $10 billion in policies and innovative projects aimed at reducing emissions and enhancing resilience,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said in a statement.

The bill also calls for $4.9 billion in funding to protect roads and highways from natural disasters including hurricanes and wildfires, which scientists believe could increase in quantity as the planet warms.

The climate change-related funding was a relatively small part of a $287 billion transportation bill, the majority of which will go to repairing the nation’s aged highways and bridges over the next five years. The committee said it was the largest highway funding bill in history.

“By modernizing our roads and bridges, we can make the roads safer for every family driving on them,” Sen. Tom Barrasso, R-Wyo., said in a statement. “The bill cuts Washington red tape, so road construction can get done faster, better, cheaper, and smarter.”

Republicans and Democrats have been at odds over electric vehicles, which represent a threat to gasoline and diesel demand in the decades ahead as drivers make the switch. Barrasso introduced legislation in October to end tax credits for electric vehicles, saying the program “largely benefits the wealthiest Americans.”


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BP Aims to Fully Charge Electric Cars in 5 minutes by 2021

UK oil giant British Petroleum has plans to make charging an electric car as close as possible to refuelling a regular fossil-fuelled vehicle.

In a recent interview, BP’s head of technology David Eyton said that it wants to provide batteries for electric cars by 2021 that can charge to 100% within just five minutes.

BP, like fellow oil and petrol majors Shell and Caltex, know that in the very least, they must embrace the shift to electric mobility, and as such are making strategic investments to grab a piece of the growing charging infrastructure market.

In the electric vehicle playing field, BP has made two investments in the past 12 months or so with which it hopes to position itself: the purchase of UK charging infrastructure provider BP Chargemaster and an investment in an obscure but promising Israeli lithium-ion battery developer called StoreDot.

The buyout of BP Chargemaster, which currently manages 6,500 charging points across the island nation, is part of a larger goal to remain a main player on the global fuel provider (BP is installing 60kW fast-chargers in China, and 150kW chargers in Germany and the UK).

However, the funds injection into StoreDot has a related but different goal.

Speaking with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Eyton says that BP’s focus for EVs is on how fast people can charge their cars.

UK oil giant British Petroleum has plans to make charging an electric car as close as possible to refuelling a regular fossil-fuelled vehicle.

In a recent interview, BP’s head of technology David Eyton said that it wants to provide batteries for electric cars by 2021 that can charge to 100% within just five minutes.

BP, like fellow oil and petrol majors Shell and Caltex, know that in the very least, they must embrace the shift to electric mobility, and as such are making strategic investments to grab a piece of the growing charging infrastructure market.

In the electric vehicle playing field, BP has made two investments in the past 12 months or so with which it hopes to position itself: the purchase of UK charging infrastructure provider BP Chargemaster and an investment in an obscure but promising Israeli lithium-ion battery developer called StoreDot.

The buyout of BP Chargemaster, which currently manages 6,500 charging points across the island nation, is part of a larger goal to remain a main player on the global fuel provider (BP is installing 60kW fast-chargers in China, and 150kW chargers in Germany and the UK).

However, the funds injection into StoreDot has a related but different goal.

Speaking with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Eyton says that BP’s focus for EVs is on how fast people can charge their cars.

Per StoreDot’s own description:

Using a unique multifunction electrode (MFE), StoreDot’s FlashBattery combines two benefits of energy storage solutions, incorporating the high-power rapid-charging rate capability with the high-energy storage ability.

This optimized charging ability is achieved through an innovative electrode structure containing proprietary organic polymers with Metal Oxide compounds of the cathode that trigger the redox reactions.

This solution enables ions to flow from a modified anode to a modified cathode at a speed that is much faster than existing technologies. Together with a proprietary separator and electrolyte, this new architecture delivers a high current and low internal resistance, with enhanced energy density and a prolonged battery life.

What this means in essence is that should StoreDot’s vision come to fruition, BP could remain not only a mainstay in powering mobility, but also possibly become a battery provider to automakers.

When the investment into StoreDot was first announced in May 2018, BP chief Tufan Erginbiglic said in a statement that, “Ultra-fast charging is at the heart of BP’s electrification strategy. StoreDot’s technology shows real potential for car batteries that can charge in the same time it takes to fill a gas tank.”

“With our growing portfolio of charging infrastructure and technologies, we’re excited by our opportunities to develop truly innovative EV customer offers. We are committed to be the fuel provider of choice – no matter what car our customers drive.”


Published on and written by Bridie Schmidt

Oil major BP aims to fully charge electric cars in 5 minutes by 2021

Electric Cars In Europe Will Triple By 2021

After several years of timid growth, carmakers in the European Union will be offering 214 electric car models in 2021 – up from the 60 available today, according to data from industry source IHS Markit.

The analysis, published by Brussels-based environmental NGO Transport & Environment, concludes that the number of car models will triple in just three years because of intense recent work work by automakers who must meet EU requirements to lower the average emissions from their fleets.

“Thanks to the EU car CO2 standards, Europe is about to see a wave of new, longer range, and more affordable electric cars hit the market,” said Lucien Mathieu, transport and e-mobility analyst at T&E.

“That is good news but the job is not yet done,” he added. “We need governments to help roll out EV charging at home and at work, and we need changes to car taxation to make electric cars even more attractive than polluting diesels, petrols or poor plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

92 fully electric car models will be brought to market in 2021, in addition to 118 plug-in hybrid models. According to the analysis, by 2025 22% of vehicles produced in the EU will have a plug. If this is the case, it would be more than enough for EU carmakers to meet the CO2 emissions limit that year.

The biggest production centers for electric cars will be in Western Europe, led by Germany, France, Spain and Italy. In the east, Slovakia is forecast to produce the highest number of electric vehicles per capita by 2025, followed by Czechia and Hungary.

The uncertainty over no-deal Brexit is dampening the prospect of any significant investment in electric car production in the UK, according to the analysis.

Some in the auto industry have said uncertainty over the availability of charging stations, and the reliability of batteries, make the widespread deployment of electric cars unfeasible.

They have said the better area of investment would be alternative fuels that could work with existing auto structures.

But the analysis finds that production plans for other alternative drivetrains are almost non-existent. Only 9,000 fuel cell cars in total are forecast to be produced by 2025 compared to four million electric cars.

The production of compressed natural gas cars is even set to decrease, accounting for fewer than 1% of vehicles produced in Europe by the mid-2020s.


This article was published on and written by Dave Keating

Electric Cars In Europe Will Triple By 2021 – Report

Renault Invests In China Electric Vehicle Sector

  • Worldwide electric car sales hit 1.98 million in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • Renault says the venture will look to “further promote the development” of China’s electric vehicle industry.

Auto maker Renault and the Jiangling Motors Corporation Group (JMCG) have officially set up a joint venture for electric vehicles in China.

In an announcement Wednesday, Renault said that the venture would look to “further promote the development” of China’s electric vehicle industry.

Renault will increase its share capital by around 128.5 million euros ($144.1 million) to become a major shareholder of JMEV, a subsidiary of JMCG. Renault’s stake in JMEV will increase to 50%.

Francois Provost, senior vice president and chairman of the China region for Groupe Renault, described China as a key market for the firm. “This partnership in electric vehicle business with JMCG will support our growth plan in China and our EV capabilities,” Provost added.

Worldwide electric car sales hit 1.98 million in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with global stock reaching 5.12 million.

China’s electric car market is the biggest on the planet, the IEA says, with Europe and the U.S. following behind. There were 2.3 million electric cars on China’s roads last year, according to the IEA, representing roughly 45% of the world’s total.


This article was published on and written by Anmar Frangoul

TOP 10 Electric vehicles in the US

Tesla was the electric-vehicle sales leader in the US by a wide margin during the first half of 2019, according to estimates from the electric-vehicle website InsideEVs.

It sold around 83,875 vehicles in the US between January and June, InsideEVs estimated, over 10 times the number of vehicles sold by General Motors, which came in second in the rankings.

While Tesla sells three fully-electric models, more than most other automakers, Tesla’s best-selling vehicle, the Model 3 luxury sedan, outsold every other vehicle by at least 750%, according to InsideEVs.

But electric vehicles account for just 1% of the US automotive market and remain unprofitable for Tesla and many of its rivals, which means traditional automakers may not yet be motivated to sell them in large numbers.

These are the 10 best-selling electric vehicles in the US during the first half of this year, according to InsideEVs.

The website’s estimates are based on factors like vehicle identification numbers and automaker sales data, though some are based more heavily on the judgement of InsideEVs’ staff.

  • 10. Smart EQ fortwo – 2019 US sales through June: 496
  • 9. Jaguar I-Pace – 2019 US sales through June: 1,309
  • 8. Audi e-tron -2019 US sales through June: 1,835
  • 7. Volkswagen e-Golf – 2019 US sales through June: 1,893
  • 6. BMW i3 – 2019 US sales through June: 2,207
  • 5. Nissan Leaf – 2019 US sales through June: 6,008
  • 4. Tesla Model S – 2019 US sales through June: 7,225
  • 3. Chevrolet Bolt EV – 2019 US sales through June: 8,281
  • 2. Tesla Model X – 2019 US sales through June: 9,000
  • 1. Tesla Model 3 – 2019 US sales through June: 67,650


This article was published on and written by Hollis Johnson

Toyota To Test Solar Panels for Electric Cars

What’s not to like about this concept: high-efficiency solar cells gifting electric cars with mileage.

Bertel Schmitt, The Drive, said, “The solar roof could morph from mostly a marketing-device to a helpful feature.” He noted that, referring to plug-ins, “On a fair-weather day, the juice would be provided by the sun, a big improvement especially for people who don’t have their own garage.”

Toyota has ambitions over the concept and is to start testing an onboard solar recharging system where the hood, the roof, and back are covered with cells. The solar roof can charge while the car is on the move.

It did not escape Interesting Engineering’s notice that the new solar battery cell can fit a larger surface. “The solar battery cell is a thin film about 0.03 mm thick. Because it is so thin, it can fit the curves of the vehicle including the roof, hood , and rear hatch door,” said the report.

Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch, said at center stage was the new and improved version of the solar power cells previously launched on the Japan-exclusive Prius PHV.

The Toyota news release said “the demo car employs a system that charges the driving battery while the vehicle is parked and also while it’s being driven.” This was seen as an interesting development expected to lead to improvements in the electric car’s cruising range and fuel efficiency.

“Previously, the Prius PHV charged the driving battery only while the vehicle was parked. However, with improvements in power generation output, the demo car employs a system that charges while the vehicle is being driven. This is expected to boost the BEV-mode cruising range and fuel efficiency significantly,” said Toyota.

NEDO, which is a national research and development organization, Sharp and Toyota are to start some road trials where the electric cars will be equipped with solar batteries. NEDO and Sharp will share a selection of trial data results, said Toyota.

Those presiding over the tests are going to see the power generation output of the solar panel. Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo, and other areas are the sites planned for the test, where weather and driving conditions will vary.

Etherington commented that the car’s prototype cells being able to convert solar energy at 34 percent and up was better than the existing commercial version’s numbers.

Reports noted the solar cells were extremely efficient. According to The Drive, the solar Sharp-made solar cells are of the triple-junction compound type, sporting a conversion efficiency of 34 percent, and occasionally more.

Etherington: “The new system will provide up to 44.5 km (27.7 miles) of additional range per day while parked and soaking up sun, and can add up to 56.3 km (35 miles) of power to both the driving system and the auxiliary power battery on board, which runs the AC, navigation and more.”

All in all, Elektrek offered its take on the news:

“As we always like to point out with these solar car efforts, a car’s roof is not the most ideal place to install solar cells. They would most likely be more efficient installed on the rooftop of a home and then, you can use the power to charge your vehicle. However, there’s something appealing about your vehicle producing its own energy and it is starting to get more attractive with the specs Toyota is talking about now.”


This article was published on an written by Nancy Cohen

Toyota to test solar panels for electric cars

New Electric cars Will Emit Noise to aid safety

New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under an EU rule coming into force on Monday.

It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach.

All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine.

A car’s acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) must sound when reversing or travelling below 12mph (19km/h).

The EU says the cars are most likely to be near pedestrians when they are backing up or driving slowly, although drivers will have the power to deactivate the devices if they think it is necessary.

The charity Guide Dogs – which had complained it was difficult to hear low-emission cars approaching – welcomed the change, but said electric vehicles should make a sound at all speeds.

Roads minister Michael Ellis said the government wanted “the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone” and understood the concerns of the visually impaired.

“This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road,” he added.

From 2021 all new electric cars must have an Avas, not just new models.

The government has announced plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars and vans being sold by 2040.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles made up 6.6% of the new car market in May, compared with 5.6% during the same month in 2018.


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Lightyear One debuts as the first long-range solar-powered electric car

lectric cars are better for the environment than fossil fuel-burning vehicles, but they still rely on the grid, which can be variously dirty or clean depending on what sources it uses for its energy. The new Lightyear One is a prototype vehicle that would improve that by collecting the power it needs to run from the sun.

Lightyear, a startup from the Netherlands born as Stella, has come a long way since it won a Crunchie award in 2015, with a vehicle that now looks ready for the road. The Lightyear One prototype vehicle unveiled today has a sleek, driver-friendly design and also boasts a range of 450 miles on a single charge – definitely a first for a car powered by solar and intended for the actual consumer market.

The startup says that it has already sold “over a hundred vehicles” even though this isn’t yet ready to hit the road, but Lightyear is aiming to begin production by 2021, with reservations available for 500 additional units for the initial release. You do have to pay €119,000 up front (around $136,000 USD) to secure a reservation, however.

Lightyear One isn’t just a plug-in electric with some solar sells on the roof: Instead it’s designed from the ground up to maximize performance from a smaller-than-typical battery that can directly grab sun from a roof and hood covered with 16 square feet of solar cells, embedded in safety glass designed with passenger wellbeing in mind. The car can also take power directly from regular outlets and existing charging stations for a quick top-up, and again because it’s optimized to be lightweight and power efficient, you can actually get around 250 miles on just one night of charging from a standard (European) 230V outlet.

enter production, however, and even when it does it’ll be a fairly expensive and small batch product, at least at first. But it’s an impressive feat nonetheless, and a potential new direction for EVs of the future.


Lightyear One debuts as the first long-range solar-powered electric car

Indian Automobile Market Set to Go Green with Electric Vehicles

Kia motors is thinking of launching low cost electric vehicles in India next year as Indian automobile market is gearing up for the launch of a slew of EVs this year.

Electric vehicles are set to change the Indian automobile market in 2019-2020. These vehicles are fuel free, clean and environment friendly as compared to petrol and diesel ones. Indian automobile industry has been reeling under the lack of any long range electric vehicles. In a bid to boost electric car adoption in India, the government has proposed waiving off road tax on electric vehicles in India.

Kia Motors has announced that it is considering launching a low cost electric vehicle for India in collaboration with Hyundai Motors. Currently the cost of electric vehicles is very high for Indian Market so they want personal usage for EVs to be included in FAME 2 scheme in India. Indian automobile market is getting ready for a slew of other electric vehicles set to launch in 2019 and 2020. Here are the most anticipated electric vehicles set to launch soon.

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Motors is going to launch Kona Electric in India on 9th July 2019. It will be the first long range electric vehicle to be sold in India. It offers options for fast charging along with powered driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, cruise control and a host of other features. It is priced between Rs 20 to 25 lakhs and is available in two versions based on battery pack.


MG EZS will be their first all electric SUV in India. It’s expected to launch in December 2019 as rival to Hyundai Kona. It will be imported as completely built unit and is expected to cost nearly 25 lakhs. It is expected to have iSmart connected tech such as remote engine start, remote AC control, over the air updates, geofencing and more.

Maruti Wagon R EV

Maruti Suzuki recently announced its plan to launch electric vehicles in India by 2020. It will be launched at Rs 7 lakh price range. This price would include the subsidies that have rolled-out to all electric and hybrid vehicles under the FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles scheme. The new electric vehicle is expected to be spacious and have different design.

Mahindra EKUV100

Mahindra is the frontrunner in the budding electric vehicle market in India. It is expected to go on sale in India by mid 2019. It is priced around Rs 8- 10 lakh. Technical details are not fully available but it is claimed to have range of 140km with fast charging in just an hour.

TATA Altroz EV

The TATA Altroz was revealed at 2019 Geneva International Motor show and revealed some swanky features like front grille without vents and a flat floor that increases cabin space. The electric vehicle is expected to launch after April 2020. It is priced around 14 lakh.

The cost for electric vehicles is very high in India. As a country we lack proper infrastructure and need government policy to make it affordable. We need government support to ease out the policies especially for long range vehicles. Globally electric vehicles are evolving the automobile market and Indian cities are in dire need of fuel free vehicles.


This article was published on and written by Nazreen Nazir

Indian Automobile Market Set to Go Green with Electric Vehicles

Mini Launches Electric Car on July 9

BMW is no stranger to electrification, having released several plug-in hybrids and the diminutive i3 range-extended electric hatchback. Its budget brand Mini is in the same boat, as its current lineup does offer some electrification, and in just a couple weeks, we’ll see its first electric car.

Mini announced on its website this week that the first electric Mini will debut on July 9. It will land in a fair few markets, according to Mini’s site. Right now, preorders are open for France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. There is also a “stay in the loop” link available for buyers in Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.

We first drove the 2020 Mini Cooper SE, which will likely be the name it sports in production guise, back in March. The prototype we drove rocked the same sheet metal as the average Mini, albeit with bumpers lacking exhaust cutouts and a grille. The interior was covered, so we can’t tell you much about it, except for the fact that it has an electronic parking brake. The battery pack lives in the transmission tunnel, so it doesn’t eat into interior space, which is already at a premium in these baby Bimmers.

Mini hasn’t divulged any specifics about the powertrain yet, but we do know that most of the electric running gear is plucked from the latest version of the BMW i3 electric city car. 60 miles per hour should arrive in between 7 and 8 seconds, and a DC fast charger will bring a depleted battery up to 80 percent in about 40 minutes.

The automaker only gave us a quick spin in the prototype, but it left us wanting seconds. It was nimble through the autocross course Mini put together, with some nicely weighted steering, easy-to-module brakes and — of course — plenty of all-electric torque that can be conjured up at a moment’s notice. We can’t wait to take a crack at Mini’s EV once the camouflage comes off. Sales should start in the US by the end of the year.


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Mini will unveil its first electric car on July 9

China Cuts Support For Electric Carmakers

China has become the biggest electric car market in the world, thanks to government support in the form of subsidies — but things may change as subsidies are being reduced.

Experts and industry insiders warn that there could be consolidation in China’s electric vehicle market and weaker investor sentiment.

Still, Chinese electric carmakers like Xpeng and WM Motor are remaining bullish despite potential short-term blips in the market.

If you walk around Shenzhen, one of China’s big technology hubs, you’ll notice all of the taxis are electric. In other major Chinese cities, so-called new energy vehicles are commonplace — with Tesla cars and other models from the dozens of domestic manufacturers on the roads.

China is after all the world’s largest electric car market by volume. It got there with the help of heavy government support in the form of subsidies to auto firms. But Beijing is starting to wind down the support, hitting investor sentiment and prompting experts to warn of failures among the dozens of electric car start-ups.

Subsidies are slated to be cut by about half next week on June 26. The cuts range between roughly 45% and 60%, and have been completely scrapped for vehicles with ranges below 250 kilometers per charge.

That will lead to consolidation in China’s electric car market, analysts say.

“It’s always fragmentation before concentration … there will be companies that don’t make it. The weaker ones will be rooted out pretty quickly,” Bill Russo, CEO of Automobility Limited, told CNBC.

Low-end players to take hit

Some of China’s electric automakers that are now beginning to deliver their first cars, are confident they can survive and feel lower end players could get hit.

“In general, I would say that, apart from a short-term blip, I think it’s actually good for the industry because traditionally … the companies that really take advantage of the subsidies are low-end manufacturers not focused on making the product — they are focused on collecting subsidy from the government,” Brian Gu, President of Xpeng Motors, told CNBC in an interview last week.

The CEO of WM Motor, Freeman Shen, echoed the same sentiments, saying his company could get a boost as consumers look higher up the value chain.

“The consumers who (are) looking at the low-end market products will have to go up and look at the products like WM Motors,” Shen told CNBC in an interview last week.

‘War of attrition’

Despite the current uncertainty in the market, the overall sector appears to be moving in the right direction. While the sales of passenger cars fell 15.2% year-on-year in the first five months of 2019, new energy vehicle sales were up 41.5% in the same period, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In May, electric cars represented around 6.6% of total passenger vehicle sales in China.

Carmakers are currently chasing market share, by looking to ramp up production, open show rooms and deliver products. Some, like Xpeng, are even trialing their own ride-hailing service.

The focus for these companies is not on profits. For example, Nio, which is listed in New York, lost $390 million in the first quarter of the year. Xpeng and WM Motor are both private companies and do not release financials.

In looking to boost their market share, Chinese carmakers are raising huge amounts of money from high-profile investors.

WM Motor completed a 3 billion yuan ($434.5 million) funding round in March led by Chinese technology giant Baidu. Tencent-backed Nio raised $1 billion in its initial public offering in September. While Xpeng told CNBC it’s seeking a “comparable amount” of funding to the nearly $600 million it raised last year. Xpeng counts Alibaba among its investors.

But investor sentiment toward electric carmakers has soured, particularly in the public markets. Shares of Nio are down over 60% year-to-date while American rival Tesla is more than 32% lower.

“I think the general macro environment in sort of trade as well as in EV (electric vehicles) sector in general, the public company trading performance … has not been stellar. That has a … (dampening) effect, I think, on investment sentiment,” Xpeng’s Gu said.

“But I think the investors tend to still be drawn to, I would say, top companies in the sector. So I think it will create probably more trouble for the followers, people who does not have a product in the coming month(s) or years,” he added.

Automobility’s Russo said that costs incurred by electric auto companies will rise given that they will continue to release new models, increase production, open showrooms and build infrastructure. That could lead to the race between these automakers being all about stamina.

“Will there be consolidation? Yes, because the cost of not only building a product, but having to support the infrastructure to present their product to the market, is pretty high,” Russo said.

“And how deep are the pockets of investors? Are they willing to sustain loses for a long period of time? In some cases, the answer is yes. They see the long term potential for this market becoming exponential,” he said. “But to get there, you have to survive a number of years of losing money. It’s going to be a war of attrition for some of the companies in this space.”


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As China cuts support for its electric carmakers, auto firms could face a ‘war of attrition

Tax Credits for Affordable Electric Vehicles Gain Speed

As Congress begins to turn toward tax policies to help clean energy manufacturing, electric vehicle tax credits aimed directly at more affordable vehicles are gaining speed, just as a previous Forbes column and a Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) white paper urged several months ago.

The question now is will EV advocates in Congress, the U.S. auto industry and labor unions get the message and reform tax incentives to benefit middle-income Americans.

Such revised tax credits focused on more affordable EVs will increase the chances new incentives become law, and will better allow the U.S. to reap the remarkable economic, health, manufacturing and environmental benefits of EVs.

Yet as of now, new EV tax credits have been left entirely out of a so-called “tax extenders” outline circulating among House Ways and Means Committee members.

But a series of new developments are demonstrating that tax credits focused on affordable vehicles are gaining momentum.

Canada announced a new $5,000 EV tax credit but only for EVs priced under $45,000; not surprisingly, in response Tesla, which otherwise would not have qualified for the new credit, lowered the price to $44,999 of its base Model 3 offering in Canada to make it eligible.

Fiat Chrysler and Renault announced a merger plan to form the world’s 3rd largest automaker, and though the deal fell through due to demands from the Renault shareholding French government, the plan is still widely viewed within the industry as fueled by an opportunity to quickly make Chrysler one of the world’s largest EV producers and capture the huge new EV market, set to grow from fewer than 2 million EVs produced last year to more than 30 million a year around the world by 2030.

Major President candidates like Joe Biden proposed expanded EV tax credits, while candidate Gov. Jay Inslee’s electric vehicle proposal contained several major elements of PPI’s “Winning the Global Race for Electric Cars” white paper including new EV tax credits focused on more affordable models; a “cash for clunkers” tax credit for the trade-in of oil-burning vehicles and purchase of a new EV; and a requirement that all new federal government vehicles be EVs where feasible.

Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), along with U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Driving America Forward Act, legislation to expand the electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell tax credits by raising the cap for additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer to be eligible.

The bill is supported by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Edison Electric Institute and scores of clean energy corporations and environmental NGOs, but has not been included in the current “tax extenders”

But this legislation was not only left out of the recent outline of tax extenders. Republicans, after handing $2 trillion to the richest American in their stunning tax giveaway bill, have decided to pretend to take the populist approach by criticizing current and these proposed EV incentives as mostly benefiting the rich. George Will wrote a column entitled “Concerned that government is rigged in favor of the rich? End this tax credit” supporting efforts by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Jason T. Smith (R-Mo.) to repeal the tax credit.

A coalition of 34 right wing interest groups urged Congress not to extend the electric vehicle tax credit. In a letter, the groups argued that “subsidies for electric vehicles overwhelmingly benefit the rich.”

The letter falsely claims that EVs are dirtier than gasoline-powered cars. Environmental and consumer advocates point out that Republican EV opponents are purposing ignoring the more than $3 billion in annual federal taxpayer subsidies for oil companies, since big oil is providing the lion’s share of their donations to GOP members of Congress.

Advocates contrast this amount with the far smaller $670 million the EV tax credit cost in 2017.

Never to be outdone when it comes to hypocrisy by anyone, President Trump, who opposes even current EV tax credits, tweeted prematurely about a possible deal between GM and a fledgling company called Workhorse, to build a small number of electric trucks at the shuttered Lordstown plant near Youngstown, Ohio.

Yet no company could use robust EV tax credits more than Workhorse, a company with fewer than 100 full time employees who had less than $500,000 in revenue last quarter.

Trump is offering a pathetically inadequate response to the huge EV opportunity, while the Chinese he complains so much about continue to dominate the global market with more than 40% of global sales.

Trump’s trade war response is self-defeating. Instead of advocating a policy to beat the Chinese in manufacturing of EVs, he is threatening to erect a trade barrier specific to EVs, which will only add costs on all cars for Americans and US automakers. As it is, China produced more than 1.2 million EVs last year, while the US manufactured fewer than 400,000, Chinese production is growing much faster.

Moreover, Trump’s EPA is set to rollback fuel economy standards, in part by arguing a lack of demand for the EVs who tax credit it is attempting to end thus lowering demand.

All of this argues for a system that provides higher EV tax credits for lower priced cars, as PPI has proposed, to spur larger EV fleet growth, benefit middle income consumers most, cut cost of driving, oil imports and greenhouse gas emissions, and face down the faux-populist arguments from the right.

In terms of climate change, Transportation is now the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, driven almost entirely by oil consumption in vehicles.

Any serious plan to cut America’s climate change emissions must replace oil burning engines with alternatives, like EVs. Additional benefits of lower oil consumption include ending reliance on imported oil, and lowering our trade deficit.

Fortunately, America’s electricity system is getting much cleaner very quickly, so EVs will be increasingly low-emitting. Coal’s share of US electricity production has dropped in half in the last two decades, and continues to fall rapidly.

Meanwhile, remarkably, ALL new U.S. electricity capacity last year had lower emissions than oil—with wind (46%), natural gas (34%), solar (18%), and other renewables and battery storage (2%) accounting for all of it.

As for consumers, the costs of owning and operating electric vehicles is lower than oil-based cars already, with fewer repairs and no gasoline costs, which means that when production reaches scale and sticker prices come down, total costs of EVs will be lower than oil-burning cars.

The average price per gallon of gasoline is more than $2.50 nationally while it costs less than half that–$1.10 per “eGallon”–to charge an electric car, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Moreover, polling shows that EV tax credits are broadly popular with Americans, including Republicans. Strong majorities, including 71% of Republicans, say a $7,500 tax credit would increase their likelihood of going electric. And 44% of voters planning to replace their wheels in the next 5 years will consider going electric, but they need incentives to do so.

Meanwhile, research by MIT’s David Keith and Christopher Knittel notes that” that even if every U.S. vehicle sold were electric starting today, it would take until 2040 for 90% of vehicles in use to be electric.” This suggests that getting started as soon as possible with more effective EV tax credits that reach average consumers will be critical to decarbonizing US transportation.

New tax credits might also include a mechanism to allow those who lease, rather than buy, EVs to gain tax benefits. In addition, tax credits of some type ought to apply to fleet operators who buy electric vehicles to offer rides to consumers.

As EV become increasingly cheaper to operate per mile traveled, ride-hailing services will be among the first to switch, and can impact broader consumer markets.

As GM has suggested, Congress in infrastructure legislation ought to create incentives to deploy electric chargers in the places they make the most sense, and to lower the cost of charging stations by scaling them: “drivers who park on the street or who live in apartment buildings without charging don’t have an easy way to use a home charger.

Congress ought to create federal incentives to deploy charging stations in multi-unit buildings, in malls, at grocery stores, and so on. Congress should especially create incentives for employers to deploy charging stations for their employees at work.”

All of this should be discussed when the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing later this week on plans by the Trump Administration to rollback increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, even as the carmakers themselves sent a letter to President Trump asking for him to compromise with California and others states and find CAFÉ increases all can support.

And as the Economist has noted, “China’s plans for making cars…use industrial policy to overtake the West on the road to the future. Mark Wakefield of AlixPartners, a consulting firm, identifies a key component of this as a “strategy to dominate” electric vehicles.”

Trump’s trade war won’t work. And his opposition and those of some Republicans in Congress to thoughtful EV tax credits and fuel economy increases are only holding back U.S. industry while China and others pass us by. The U.S. needs a serious EV policy – of effective tax credits aimed at the middle class, and charging infrastructure build out, so that EVs can reach scale and benefit consumers and the nation more quickly.

And we need them soon, before it’s too late for America to compete.


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Tax Credits for Affordable Electric Vehicles Gain Speed, But Legislation Must Avoid Stop Signs

Will Indian Govt Give Bigger Tax Breaks On Electric Vehicles?

Existing GST levied on electric vehicles is 12%

A proposal to reduce GST on EVs is expected to be put forward in the upcoming GST council

Indian EV industry has recorded sale of 7.59 Lakh units in India in FY2019

Indian government might slash down the goods and services tax (GST) levied on the sale of electric vehicles in the upcoming 35th GST council on June 20.

It is reportedly being proposed to bring down GST on electric vehicles to 5% from the existing 12%, which is relatively less than 28% GST for traditional vehicles.

“There is a proposal to cut tax rates on EVs among other issues,” according to an ET report which cited government officials.

Electric vehicles have been the prime focus for Modi government, which has announced multiple electric vehicle focused policy over the past five years. After the initial announcement of lower GST rates for EVs in 2017, this further slashing down of taxes can be a push for the global manufacturers to enter the Indian market.

Also recently, government think-tank NITI Aayog had proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold in India by 2030. In a cabinet note, the think-tank had asked the road transport and highways ministry prepare a framework which will help cut out on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Further, it also proposed piloting an ehighway programme with an overhead electric network to enable trucks and buses to ply on select national highways. The proposal also includes a plan to manufacture 50 gigawatt hour (Gwh) batteries by 2030.

EV Sales in India
The Indian electric vehicle industry recorded sale of 7.59 Lakh units in India in FY2019 as opposed to 56K (excluding three vehicles) in FY2018. This included the sale of 1.2 Lakh two-wheelers, 6.3 Lakh three-wheelers and 3,600 passenger vehicles

However, in April, right after the announcement of central government’s FAME II scheme, the sales of electric two-wheelers had gone down to near-zero. EV industry had attributed this slowdown to the lower availability of vehicles in the market due to the FAME II recertification rules of all existing EVs.

FAME II has mandated all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to get their electric two-wheeler models certified by recognised testing agencies. Only after the recertification process, the vehicles were to be eligible for incentives under FAME II.



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Is The Govt Considering Bigger Tax Breaks On Electric Vehicles?

New Study Shows Spike In Bay Area Electric Car Sales

Electric cars may be accelerating our path in the tech future as sales surge in the Bay Area, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

As first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, electric vehicles accounted for 13 percent of new passenger vehicle registrations in 2018 compared to 7 percent the year before. The Tesla Model 3, the company’s least expensive model, is partly the cause of the electric car upswing, reported the paper.

“Oh we love it! Yeah, it’s great,” said Tesla Model 3 owner Stephen Taylor. “We wanted to move to helping the world move to transition to electric vehicles.”

Taylor bought his Tesla eight months ago and said he will never go back to a gas-powered car again.

Prithiv Subramaniam, who bought his Tesla Model 3 just three months ago, said he plans to get rid of his gas-powered car.

“As a human, we have to save the environment,” he said.

Both Tesla owners believe electric cars are the wave of the future and that eventually gas-powered cars will be few and far between.

But could they right?

According to the Council, San Jose ranked the highest in the United States — at 21 percent — for electric vehicle registered owners.

The Council said the surge is also in part to the decrease in prices for electric vehicles, as well as the incentives for buying one, like the federal tax credit.

“I haven’t met an owner that doesn’t love their car,” Taylor said.


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New Study Shows Spike In Bay Area Electric Car Sales

Porsche Thinks You Will Want Your Next Car to Be Electric

Look at the cars around you in traffic today and one commonality stands out. Virtually all have tailpipes, meaning internal combustion engines. That is about to change dramatically.

Tesla has made inroads, but now I believe we are approaching a turning point. In coming years we will see more widespread adoption as volume producers including General Motors, Nissan, and VW join with premium brands like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche to launch numerous battery-only models.

As more Americans experience the instant power and sporty handling that electric cars provide, more will want this new generation of electric vehicles.

Electronic vehicle (EV) sales in the U.S. last year totaled 361,307 — a fraction of more than 17 million new cars and light trucks but an increase of 81 percent year-on-year, according to industry figures. Where does the trend line go next?

Some researchers, including at the International Monetary Fund, predict EV adoption will follow the model of a century ago, when cars displaced horse carriages on American streets within 15 years.

Other experts see the U.S. remaining an island of internal combustion engines in a world gone electric.

Deloitte made headlines by predicting that consumer disinterest would cause a glut of 14 million unwanted EVs globally over the next decade.

Consumers will soon embrace EVs

It’s no surprise, then, that a common question I hear about the new EVs coming to the U.S. is, “Will anyone buy them?” I believe the answer is unequivocally yes.

Technology transitions are, by their nature, hard to forecast in advance. But with more than 20 years of automotive industry experience, I see clear market indicators that American consumers are about to embrace EVs as their daily drive.

First, Tesla has proven there is significant demand for cars that combine sustainability with performance and design. Last year, the Model 3 outsold any other premium sedan in the U.S. We know that American consumers embrace new technology, especially if it delivers a new experience.

And once a technology catches on, consumers respond well to expanded choice as competitors enter the field. Just look at how many models of SUV you can buy today, or the proliferation of smartphones since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007.

Read more commentary:

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Second, a national charging infrastructure is now taking shape. For several years there has been a chicken-or-egg conversation about which should come first: large-scale adoption of EVs or large-scale development of charging points. It turns out that both are happening.

Electrify America, with whom we are partnering, is already building hundreds of charging dispensers in cities and along highways from coast to coast by July 1, with more to follow. Other networks are also growing, including ChargePoint and EVgo.

And Shell recently acquired Greenlots, which provides hardware and software to operate charging stations, suggesting that oil companies see a future in adding energy for EVs to their fuel business.

Third, electric vehicles are cleaner than they have ever been. According to new data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, driving on electricity in the U.S. today is the equivalent, on average, of driving a conventional gasoline car that gets 80 MPG.

The nation’s electric grid is also getting cleaner, with reliance on coal declining by almost 20% over the past decade and renewable power like wind and solar increasing by about 10%.

Lastly, we are already seeing strong customer demand for the first all-electric Porsche, the Taycan, which will launch late this year. Since last August, we have been collecting preregistrations from customers through our dealers.

These are people who are serious enough to visit a local dealership and register, sometimes with a deposit. It’s not a binding sales contract, and the numbers are proprietary, but I can say this: We already have enough interest to account for all the Taycans we expect to deliver in the U.S. in the first year, through late 2020. That’s powerful, given that the final production model has yet to be unveiled.

And the market potential is so strong that we just announced we will switch our best-selling model, the Macan compact SUV, to all-electric in the next few years.

Expect EVs to become common on streets near you

Let’s be clear: We believe EVs will quickly become commonplace in the U.S. new car fleet, not that they will fully displace internal combustion engines.

Porsche is committed to a three-power train strategy for at least the next 10 years, meaning we’ll produce EVs and plug-in hybrids as well as internal combustion engines. I don’t believe these are mutually exclusive for many consumers.

For example, fewer than half of the customers who have registered for a Taycan in the U.S. are current Porsche drivers.

But of those who are, the biggest single group own 911s, our iconic sports car. The fact that someone can love the sound and feel of an exhilarating flat-six gas engine and also be attracted to the silent power of a performance EV says volumes about the capacity of the U.S. market for this new power train.

Frankly, EVs are fun to drive. That should mean something coming from someone like me who is immersed in the Porsche heritage of 70 years of gas-powered sports cars.

Electric motors provide instant torque for quick acceleration, and the lower center of gravity from battery packs will reinforce the sporty feeling.

So don’t be surprised when all of this truly catches on in the near future. Quickly and very quietly, electric vehicles will go from being an occasional sighting in your rear-view mirror to filling the lanes around you — to maybe even parking in your garage.

Klaus Zellmer president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.


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Porsche thinks you’ll want your next car to be electric

Colorado Auto Dealers are Peddling Misinformation about Electric Vehicles

At Plug In America, we represent the more than 1 million Americans who have switched to electric vehicles (EVs). We also train and support many auto dealers who recognize that more and more consumers want EVs because they are fun to drive, offer greater convenience and are cheaper to fuel and maintain.

This is why we were surprised and baffled by the recent opinion piece by Tim Jackson, CEO and president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. While we respect Jackson and his opinion, we question his arguments, many of which cite outdated, misleading and factually incorrect information about plug-in electric vehicles. Here we correct and update this information so that Colorado consumers can have the choice of vehicle they deserve and make more informed decisions about these vehicles that are widely recognized as the future of the automobile industry.

Jackson declares that the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) guidelines now under consideration by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission “would actually place a financial penalty of several thousand dollars or more on those who, for whatever reason, find that an electric vehicle doesn’t fit their needs.” This is false and misleading. Let’s be clear: under the proposed guidelines, there are no penalties for consumers who do not purchase electric vehicles.

Adoption of the ZEV guidelines increase consumer choice by giving Colorado residents greater access to the electric vehicles that they want. The guidelines do not take away access to vehicles without a plug and they have no impact on pricing of conventionally powered cars and trucks.

He also notes that the Tesla Model S runs in the $75,000–$96,000 range, seemingly to indicate that electric vehicles are too expensive for the average consumer. He fails to note that the Model S is outsold 10-to-1 by the Tesla Model 3, which starts at just $39,900 before incentives, of which there are many, that lower the price even more. Other popular plug-in models cost even less, including the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and Nissan LEAF.

Jackson then cites very limited data from five years ago to support his claim that EV incentives go mainly to the wealthy. There are presently more incentives available to all income levels. Most EV drivers, as many as 80 percent and particularly those who are low- to middle-income, lease their vehicles. In these cases, the federal EV tax credit is awarded to the lienholder and often passed along to the driver through reduced lease payments, making EVs more affordable for consumers. However, because these consumers do not receive the tax credit directly, they are not included in the study Jackson cites. Nor does this study consider Colorado’s tax credit of up to $5,000, which also makes EVs more affordable for families.

He also argues that “electric vehicles come up short” in regards to SUVs and pickups. While it’s true that there are not yet any electric pickups available, you can walk into a Colorado auto dealer and purchase the Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander, Audi e-tron and Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid SUVs today at a competitive price point from a total cost of ownership standpoint. Details on these and other electric vehicles can be found at Many more models, including pickups, are coming soon.

We agree wholeheartedly that “Colorado’s new car dealers are in the business of selling cars, no matter what technology they use.” Considering EV sales in Colorado increased by 70 percent in 2018 over 2017, we couldn’t disagree more with Jackson’s assessment of EVs, or his willful misuse of outdated and highly suspect facts to support his arguments. While we respect Jackson’s viewpoint, as a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization representing the voice of EV customers and the dealers that serve them, we are compelled to set the record straight.

Jackson should be excited that consumers are visiting Colorado’s auto dealers to purchase these new vehicles.


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Colorado Auto Dealers are peddling misinformation about electric vehicles

Lithium Mining for Green Electric Cars is Leaving a Stain on the Planet

In 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) made a prediction that had the potential to disrupt the auto industry: by 2030, there would be nearly 125 million electric vehicles owned by people around the world, they said. That was a significant increase compared to the 3.1 million electric vehicles globally owned in 2017.

“The uptake of electric vehicles is still largely driven by the policy environment,” the IEA said in the report. “The 10 leading countries in electric vehicle adoption all have a range of policies in place to promote the uptake of electric cars.”

Cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all carbon emissions in the United States, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Fossil-fuel vehicles emit an average of 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases for every gallon of gas consumed. On the surface, emission-free electric cars might seem a significant improvement.

Yet other regions of the world will suffer as humanity transitions to electric cars. Specifically, mining for lithium — the essential element for batteries used in many electric cars, as well as other portable electronics — is wreaking havoc on the world’s deserts.

Lithium is found in the brine of salt flats. In order to obtain lithium, holes are drilled into the flats to pump the brine to the surface. This allows lithium carbonate to be extracted through a chemical process.

Last week, Bloomberg published a report detailing how the boom in lithium mining is irreversibly destroying the local environment of northern Chile’s Atacama desert. Mining for lithium means means removing large amounts of water, which means depleting the water supply for locals.

According to the report, the Tilopozo meadow in Chile used to be a shelter for shepherds traveling at night, yet has become barren due to lack of grass or water. That puts a severe strain on local farmers.

“We’re fooling ourselves if we call this sustainable and green mining,” Cristina Dorador, a Chilean biologist, told Bloomberg. “The lithium fever should slow down because it’s directly damaging salt flats, the ecosystem and local communities.”

Cairn Energy Research Advisors estimates the lithium ion industry is expected to grow from 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual production in 2017 to 800 GWhs in 2027—not only as a result of electric cars, but also because lithium is used in batteries to power various electrical and electronic goods, including mobile phones.

Much of this will be mined from the South America’s Lithium Triangle, which spans across Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, an area that is said to hold more than half the world’s supply of the metal beneath its salt flats. Another major deposit comes from Australia.

One of the biggest environmental problems caused by our endless hunger for the latest and smartest devices is a growing mineral crisis, particularly those needed to make our batteries,” Christina Valimaki an analyst at Elsevier, told UK’s Wired.

One of the side effects of lithium mining is water pollution: the process of mining can affect local water supplies, potentially poisoning communities. Yet chemical leakage is also a major concern when it comes to lithium mining. The lithium carbonate extraction process harms the soil, and can cause air pollution. There are also concerns around how to recycle it. Eco-nonprofit Friends of the Earth notes that lithium recycling is fraught, as the metal is “toxic, highly reactive and flammable.”

“It tends to be incinerated or ends up in landfill due to very low collection rates and flawed waste legislation,” Friends of the Earth states in their lithium factsheet. “Low collection rates, the low and volatile market price of lithium, and the high cost of recycling relative to primary production have contributed to the absence of lithium recycling.” The organization recommends further social and environmental impact assessments should be made.

Yet does that mean that electric cars are equally destructive as fossil-fueled ones? Not necessarily. But the idea that electric cars, or anything with lithium batteries, is “green” might be a farce. And as demand rises, the hidden costs will become more apparent.


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Lithium mining for “green” electric cars is leaving a stain on the planet

Toyota Has Done a U-turn on Electric Vehicles

The man charting Subaru’s course in New Zealand is excited by the potential of an electric vehicle partnership announced with Toyota.

Subaru, Suzuki and potentially Mazda are the beneficiaries of a newly-unveiled plan that also ultimately also takes Toyota deep into the zero emissions EV-sphere – a space NZ’s largest car brand has so far ignored.

Everything’s now changed, with Japan’s dominant brand announcing that it will now create pure electrics not only for itself but also for other Japanese marques in which it has tech agreements.

Toyota has unveiled a new platform with enough flexibility to entertain what could be a very wide span of different kinds of vehicle – from small city cars to large sports utilities – using a “next step” solid state battery it also racing to get into production.

As a starter, it has agreed with Subaru to jointly develop an all-electric platform for midsize and large vehicles and jointly develop an electric crossover.

That vehicle, which will be sold separately under each brand, will debut in the early 2020s and, though the US is cited as a main target market, other countries where Subaru performs well might also stand a chance.

That leaves NZ in the box seat – Subaru ownership per head of population here is particularly strong.

Subaru NZ managing director Wal Dumper is excited by the potential for this. Even though his brand’s priority is to get hybrid versions of the XV and Forester into the market, he would nonetheless be highly interested in a full-blown EV bearing a Subaru badge.

“From my perspective, anything they do, I want – I want the technology,” he said in response to the future potential of, say, an all-electric Outback.

“I’ve never been scared of taking new technology and we’ve always tried to have our cars with as much specification as we can get.”

Toyota is also working with Suzuki and Daihatsu to jointly develop a compact EV.

It says its new platform will initially underpin six variations in all – a large SUV, a medium SUV, a medium crossover, a medium minivan, a medium sedan and the compact. Styling concepts of these proposals were presented at a forum on June 7.

Toyota NZ has declined to comment on what implications the EV programme has for its operation here – though it seems highly likely the operation would be keen to take at least some pure electrics.

The sector is growing yet it is largely been left in the cold. Requirement to make the cut as an EV in NZ is simple: external recharging functionality is a must-have.

This hurts TNZ. Even though it has battery-involved cars across the Toyota and Lexus line-ups that have a degree of regenerative capability, only one – Prius Prime PHEV – counts as an EV.

Accordingly, Government departments and companies looking to include EVs in their fleets would conceivably bypass Camry, Corolla and Prius hybrid cars and would also ignore the latest RAV4 in its hybrid format.

Subaru NZ expects to have its hybrid XV and Forester here early next year.

Mr Dumper, who by happenstance was in Japan last week during the announcements, says he has some questions about how many EVs the national infrastructure can ultimately cope with. But if Subaru is heading there, it could not have a better partner than Toyota.

“From my point of view, Toyota seems to be a really good partner; the model development seems to be exciting and when Subaru is struggling to make enough cars to meet demand, it makes sense.

“In saying that, I’m also really happy with the hybrid cars we will have in NZ next year. We have run customer clinics about hybrids and our customers are very accepting of what they will offer.”

He is still of the mind that hybrids make more sense in NZ than plug-in models. He also identifies that some people cannot distinguish the differences in technology and simply think that any kind of car using a battery for drivetrain assistance or economy and emissions benefit is “an electric.”

“There is so much confusion. Most people call an EV anything that is not running purely on petrol.”

Toyota Motor Corporation says its EV deployment plans will not slow down its hybrid imprint.

Yet TMC has also acknowledged a “sudden surge” of international EV popularisation – and the repercussion of increasingly stringent emissions requirements in China and Europe – has meant it has to reconsider its thinking, which until now has been that electrics are an unnecessary step between its petrol-electric hybrids and the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles it still sees as being the ultimate cars of the future.

Accordingly, it cites that of the 5.5 million battery-assisted vehicles it aims to build by 2025, almost one million could be pure EVs.

Shigeki Terashi, Toyota’s research and development chief, says TMC wants to unveil a solid-state battery for electrified vehicles ahead of next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo. A technology which promises lighter, more powerful and safer batteries, could be a breakthrough in popularising EVs.

It plans to start making EVs in China next year, the first being a very of the CH-R, on its way to releasing as least 10 BEVs (battery-powered models) worldwide by the early 2020s to immerse into an aim of having electrified versions of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025.

The new dedicated EV platform it has developed with partners is dubbed e-TNGA, a play on the company’s new-generation Toyota New Global Architecture modular platform used by Corolla, Camry and RAV4.


This article was published on an written by Richard Boselman

Toyota has done a U-turn on electric vehicles


BASF Becoming a Leader in Electric Car Battery Materials

A family on two continents, brought together in a 600 kilometer journey. See why we’re optimistic about the future of e-mobility.

By 2025, our innovations in electric car battery materials aim to double the driving range of midsize cars from 300 to 600 km on a single charge. Batteries will be halved in size and their lifespans will be extended. Best of all, drivers could expect to get a full charge in as little as 15 minutes – no longer than it takes to enjoy a quick cup of coffee. There could be as many as 5 to 10 million full battery cars being produced by 2025. BASF’s battery materials innovations will be in many of these electric cars.

Where will our battery materials take you?

Through chemistry our scientists are constantly developing and introducing sustainable solutions to address some of the planet’s biggest challenges. We believe the continous development of advanced emission control technologies and the increasing demand for electric powered cars will help reduce emissions and increase air quality on a global scale.

Fewer emissions will make our world a better place to live by reducing the impact of air pollution in inner cities and creating a positive effect on the health of the population.

Environmental driven regulations by European, Chinese and other governments around the world, will remain the primary driver for industry growth. We are confident that these regulations combined with our experience in creating unique proprietary solutions for cleaner air, will help address some of the climate change challenges society faces today.“ Jay Yang, Vice President of Battery Materials Asia Pacific, Shanghai, BASF (China) Company Ltd.

Our reportage features a real Chinese-American family. Grandfather Ker is a retired engineer and lives in Shanghai. His son Richard and granddaughter Torrey live in the US and will soon move from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Therefore, father Richard and grandfather Ker want to give a gift of optimism to concerned little Torrey. They decide to write an encouraging message across the city-scapes of LA and Shanghai, using nothing but their electric vehicles and GPS tracking technology.

The film follows both Richard’s and Ker’s car journeys as they travel across their respective cities. The combined distance of these two journeys is 600 km, which is the distance that a midclass e-car will be able to make on a single charge by 2025.

Using GPS technology, we map the cars’ journeys as they drive through the cities, ‘writing’ an optimistic message on the map as a gift from Ker and Richard to Torrey: “Keep being optimistic”.


Two e-cars – one global message.