Technology StocksThe Electric Car, or MPG "what me worry?"

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From: Eric9/28/2017 12:40:39 PM
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Electric Vehicles

Dyson Confirms Electric Car Plans in a Staff Email

Photo Credit: Dyson

The U.K. firm is investing $2.7 billion to launch an electric vehicle by 2020.

by Jason Deign
September 27, 2017

Sir James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, this week confirmed via a staff email that his company is working on an electric vehicle.

“I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020,” he said in a missive to Dyson’s 10,000-plus employees worldwide.

“We've started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry," Dyson wrote. "The team is already over 400 strong, and we are recruiting aggressively. I'm committed to investing £2 billion [USD $2.7 billion] on this endeavor.”

Peter Henderson, Dyson’s group PR manager, told GTM the staff email “is what we are releasing instead of a press release. We'll be talking more about the vehicle but not until nearer the launch date.”

Nevertheless, further details emerged in a press roundtable where James Dyson addressed a select group of journalists. The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported that Dyson was planning a “radically different” car design which has yet to be prototyped.

Dyson has already completed the car’s electric motor and is developing two possible battery systems, the report said.

Although research and development of the vehicle is taking place at Hullavington, a converted World War II air base close to Dyson’s headquarters in Malmesbury, England. Manufacturing of the car and its batteries would probably be moved to the Far East, The Guardian said.

Pricing for the car was not disclosed. But Dyson told reporters it would be expensive, perhaps emulating Tesla’s strategy of developing high-end products before gunning for mass-market automotive sales.

Speculation that Dyson might be developing an electric car has been rife since the company bought solid-state battery maker Sakti3 in October 2015.

At the time, Dyson claimed the purchase was intended to improve battery technology for home appliances rather than stationary energy storage or electric-vehicle applications. Last year, though, a U.K. government slip-up revealed Dyson was working on electric vehicles after all.

An entry in the Infrastructure and Project Authority’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016-2021 said “the government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire,” according to The Guardian.

The disclosure appears to have prompted a rewrite of the delivery plan, which now reads: “The government is providing a grant of up to £16 million [$21 million] to Dyson to support research and development for battery technology at their site in Malmesbury.”

Even following this week’s announcement, Dyson is keen to keep a lid on its EV plans. “The project will grow quickly from here but at this stage we will not release any information,” said James Dyson in his email to staff.

“Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential," he wrote.

The 70-year-old billionaire inventor did, however, reveal a longstanding interest in the automotive sector, which began after he read a 1988 U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health paper linking diesel engine fumes to premature death in lab mice and rats.

In 1990, he told staff, his company began developing a cyclonic filter that could be fitted to vehicle exhausts to trap particulates.

Working prototypes were available by 1993, but the project was dropped after automotive manufacturers including GKN and Volvo rejected the technology.

“Some years ago, observing that automotive firms were not changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies,” the inventor said. “I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem.”

James Dyson hinted that many of his company’s products, from the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer to the cord-free vacuum cleaner, may have benefited from research ultimately aimed at creating electric vehicles.

“We've relentlessly innovated in fluid dynamics and HVAC systems to build our fans, heaters and purifiers,” he said. “At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product."

“Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source," said Dyson.

My comments:

Sounds interesting but he still can't violate the laws of physics.

Electric cars are already very, very efficient.

It's still all about the batteries (battery cells that is!)...


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From: Eric9/28/2017 1:31:42 PM
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China Sets Tough Electric-Car Production Target

Auto makers will have to start manufacturing electric vehicles by 2019, after deadline was pushed back by one year

Chinese factory workers assembling cars at an auto plant of Jianghuai Automobile Co. in Hefei city, east China's Anhui province, in 2016.PHOTO: XU CONGJUN/MAGINECHINA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yoko Kubota in Beijing and

Trefor Moss in Shanghai

Updated Sept. 28, 2017 11:40 a.m. ET

China will force most car makers in the country to start manufacturing electric vehicles in 2019—a one-year reprieve from an earlier proposal that foreign auto companies had fought against, but still the strongest national initiative yet to spur alternatives to gasoline and diesel cars.

Under a long-awaited plan announced Thursday, China will set gradually escalating quotas for pure-electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars, as Beijing seeks to curb air pollution and nurture a domestic green-car industry.

The quotas will be enforced through a credit-score system in which auto makers will gain points for production of pure-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell cars.

In 2019, most local and foreign auto makers must earn points equivalent to 10% of vehicles they produce in China and import into the country, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement. That rises to 12% in 2020.

The plan applies to car makers that produce or import 30,000 cars or more annually.

China’s aggressive push for more electric cars in the world’s biggest auto market is having a ripple effect globally, compelling auto makers to pursue an electric agenda despite consumer reservations, according to industry experts.

China’s push, as well as recent scandals over auto makers falsifying fuel emissions data, have also spurred European regulators to consider tighter regulations.

“China has triggered the worldwide electric car festival,” said Takaki Nakanishi, an automotive analyst who heads Nakanishi Research Institute in Tokyo. “The adoption of electrification regulations is speeding up globally.”

In a partial victory for foreign car manufacturers, China agreed to delay implementation until 2019, instead of next year as originally envisioned in draft proposals. Among other objections, auto makers said they would be hard-pressed to build the needed manufacturing infrastructure by next year.

In another concession, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees the auto industry, said even if targets aren’t met the first year, auto makers won’t be punished. Any negative credits in 2019 can be carried over to the following year, it said, which means that actual enforcement starts at the end of 2020.

However, even in its watered-down form, the quota system is a daunting prospect for car manufacturers who must now retool factories and rush electric vehicle concepts into production.

“Even though the 2018 quota has been scrapped, this is still not an easy hurdle for us,” said Keitaro Nakamura, a China-based spokesman for Japan’s Honda Motor Co. Honda, which sold 1.25 million vehicles in China in 2016—none of which were electric cars or plug-in hybrids—plans to start selling made-in-China pure-electric vehicles in 2018.

China is notorious for air pollution in its major cities, which the government says it is committed to improving. The new quotas, the government said, are meant to further “alleviate energy and environmental pressures.” China recently said it plans to eventually ban traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles, but hasn’t set a timetable.

Foreign auto makers who build cars in China must do so through joint ventures with Chinese partners to avoid steep tariffs. Along with the deadline for implementation, foreign auto makers were concerned that the mandates would essentially force them to give away proprietary technology to their Chinese partners.

Chinese officials have denied claims that the plan was aimed at appropriating foreign technology, but the plan’s introduction comes amid heightened scrutiny of China’s trade practices. In August, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer launched an investigation into Chinese policies on intellectual property and technology transfer.

China’s auto sector is one of those in Mr. Lighthizer’s crosshairs.

While foreign auto makers have been struggling to interpret Beijing’s intentions in the months since the draft rules first appeared, Chinese auto makers, many of them state run, have long been privy to Beijing’s plans, said Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

“That has given them an unfair advantage in what should be a competitive market with a level playing field,” he said.

The same rules apply to Chinese auto makers, but most of them, at the government’s behest, already produce electric vehicles, and will easily likely meet the requirements, according to industry experts.

Anticipating the new rules, Ford Motor Co. , the Renault-Nissan Alliance and VolkswagenAG have all set up new joint ventures with local car makers in recent months that will specialize in pure-electric cars.

Volkswagen says its new JV with JAC Motors will be ready to produce 80,000 to 100,000 pure-electric cars next year—potentially enough to earn sufficient credits for the entire Volkswagen group.

In April, General Motors Co. said it would build 10 electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid models in China by 2020 with its joint-venture partner, SAIC Motor Corp. , at existing factories in the country. The company said it expects to sell about 150,000 electric vehicles and plug-ins in China annually by 2020, which likely would clear the new requirements. “GM looks forward to working with the government to increase acceptance of NEVs [new energy vehicles],” the company said in a statement.

Ford in August said it was pursuing a joint venture with Chinese auto maker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. to build and sell electric cars in China. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. The Dearborn, Mich., car maker plans to start building its first electric car in China, the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid, next year.

However, auto makers that solve the problem of building enough electric vehicles will face a second challenge, said Jing Yang, an associate director at Fitch Ratings: what to do with them all. “The major problem is finding a market for them,” said Ms. Yang. “They may want to start at the low end.”

Some auto makers are also setting up ride-sharing services, or are striking deals with fleet operators, to ensure the electric vehicles the government is forcing them to build will have a home.

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From: Eric9/29/2017 8:17:59 AM
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Check Out Audi’s New Formula E Car

17 hours ago by


Audi Formula E Car

Audi has unveiled its first factory-entered Formula E car ahead of the 2017/18 season, and has given it the e-tron name previously used on its LMP1 machines. The Germany manufacturer’s works entry into the electric single-seater series comes after two years as a supporting name to the Schaeffler-backed Abt operation.

Audi’s e-tron FE04 will utilise a single-speed gearbox as part of what Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass called “a completely new powertrain”.

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish has also been installed as team principal of the Abt-run outfit, having completed a season as a special advisor to Audi.

The e-tron FE04’s livery is a significant departure from last season’s red, yellow and green design.

Now the car features a white base with green, a nod to technical partner Schaeffler, and black additions.

Reigning FE champion Lucas di Grassi, who drove the car onto the stage at Audi’s official launch event on Wednesday night, will adopt the number one for the coming season.

His car will be adorned with Audi’s famous four rings logo atop a black rear wing and a white rollhoop.

Teammate Daniel Abt has been retained and elevated to factory Audi driver status – his car is differentiated by a red tip on the nosecone, as well as a red rollhoop and rear wing.

Audi board member for technical development Peter Mertens stressed the significant of Audi becoming “the first German automobile manufacturer to compete in Formula E”, with rivals BMW (2018/19) and Mercedes (2019/20) committing to later entries.

He also said the e-tron moniker, given to its R18 LMP1 machines from 2012, was to link the racing car to Audi’s family of electric and hybrid road cars.

Gass added: “Together with our technology partner Schaeffler, we have developed a completely new powertrain.

“You can immediately tell this by looking at the new carbon housing. The car also sounds different because we’re pursuing new avenues in technology.”

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From: Eric9/29/2017 8:19:38 AM
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BYD Hopes Super Cheap “Mini” Electric Vehicles Will Spur Sales, Lead To Mass Adoption

16 hours ago by Mark Kane


BYD New Energy Vehicles

BYD hints at its plan of producing new “mini and small-size” electric vehicles to better drive mass adoption of the tech in China.

These kei-sized plug-ins are expected to arrive on the market within two years, specifically marketed as the answer for budget transportation in poorer small towns and villages in China. In other words, ‘here comes the cheap EVs’!

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – July 2017

BYD’s Chairman Wang Chuanfu said that tiny EVs could eventually account for 75% of total company New Energy Sales, which means thousands every month.

Electric subcompacts (priced below 100,000 yuan / $15,000) would compete with the booming quadricycle segment of the market in both third- and fourth-tier cities in China. The advantage of offering a small electric car (over a bike) would be the eligibility for subsidies that quadricycles can’t qualify for.
“BYD’s existing EV models have been selling well in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. But in villages and towns, its cars have faced competition from battery-powered quadricycles.

Low-speed, inexpensive quadricycles are typically priced between 10,000 yuan ($1,500) and 30,000 yuan and have been selling like hotcakes in third- and fourth-tier cities. Major markets include Henan, Hebei and Shandong provinces.

Nationwide, quadricycle sales reached 1.2 million units last year, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers of China. That compared to 240,000 EVs, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Quadricycles have succeeded in part because they can be driven without a driver’s license. Moreover, they do not have to undergo vehicle inspections.”

source: Caixin Global

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From: Eric9/29/2017 8:23:28 AM
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Volkswagen CEO Believes In Diesels And Doesn’t See Tesla As A Threat

1 hour ago by Steven Loveday


Volkswagen ID at Frankfurt Motor Show this month (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Volkswagen bosses are starting to develop a reputation for contradicting themselves, and one another, on a regular basis. About two months ago, we reported that Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, said that VW has abilities that Tesla doesn’t have. He claimed that Volkswagen will be the company to stop Tesla and will go on to be the leader in the electric car segment:
“We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today.”
Almost precisely a month later, Diess admitted that Tesla has abilities that Volkswagen lacks:

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz II
“In the old world it is Toyota, Hyundai, and the French carmakers. In the new world it is Tesla.”

“Tesla belongs among the competitors which has abilities that we currently do not have.”
It seems the CEO of Volkswagen Group, Diess’ boss, Matthias Mueller, doesn’t quite feel the same. He doesn’t feel that Tesla poses any threat to Volkswagen, and he isn’t all about EVs. He told CNBC that he respects Tesla, but the future will prove who the real winner is. He added:
“We can’t compare apples with pears. Tesla is a company that sells less than 100,000 units and we sell 10 million. Currently, Tesla burns a 3 digit million amount and we’ve got results of 12 to 13 billion euros per year, so I think we have to be realistic here.”
Mueller still sees the diesel engine as having a positive future. He believes that it is partly automakers’ responsibility to assure that diesel isn’t banned. He told CNBC at the Frankfort Motor Show:
“The diesels we are offering today are clean. They comply with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) requirements and they meet the requirements and needs of our customers.”
It’s not a wonder that VW (and Audi) are regularly making electrification announcements, but much of the proof is still far off. VW plans to continue making diesel vehicles and then add in electric models. Mueller says that the customer can then make the final decision. He continued:
“There’s going to be a co-existence between combustion engines and electrified drive systems over the next 10 to 20 years, so against this background we should all be patient and relaxed and leave the decision to our customers, they should decide which concept they prefer.”

Source: CNBC

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From: Eric9/29/2017 8:27:54 AM
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Audi To Build Electric Cars At Multiple Plants Around The World, Including In Mexico & Hungary

September 28th, 2017 by James Ayre

Electric vehicles will be manufactured at multiple sites around the world amongst Audi’s global network, rather than just at one, the company has revealed.

The comments, which were made by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler at the company’s facility in Ingolstadt, seem to suggest that the company is at least somewhat serious about its plans for the electric vehicle market.

Stadler stated: “In future, electric cars will roll off the line in all of our plants.” That would include sites in Mexico, Belgium, and Hungary, as well as the sites in Germany.

Reuters provides more: “The Volkswagen-owned business last year awarded production of its first mass-produced electric sport-utility vehicle to a plant in Brussels, and has since been pressured by labor unions to allocate electric car projects to Germany.

“Besides Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in Germany, which employ two thirds of Audi’s 88,000 workers, the carmaker owns plants in Belgium, Mexico, and Hungary and uses a network of facilities run by Volkswagen (VW) and Skoda to build vehicles overseas.”

Separate to the comments from Stadler, the labor boss Peter Mosch stated that he expected company management to begin assigning EV production to German facilities very soon.

Mosch stated: “The workforce here wants to see results no later than by the end of this year. … We need clarity.”

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From: Eric9/29/2017 2:00:26 PM
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Tesla discontinues cheapest Model S option

Message 31285232

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From: Eric9/29/2017 2:02:30 PM
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Proterra and LG Chem co-develop new battery cell

Posted September 29, 2017 by Charles Morris & filed under Newswire, The Tech.

Electric bus builder Proterra and Korean battery giant LG Chem have partnered to develop a battery cell optimized for the heavy-duty vehicle market. The cell chemistry has been optimized for maximum energy throughput, charge rate acceptance and energy density.

Proterra claims its Catalyst E2 bus, introduced last year, offers the longest range of any electric transit bus on the market: 350 miles, long enough to meet the daily mileage needs of nearly every US mass transit route.

The E2 battery pack has a pack-level energy density of 160 Wh/kg and specific energy of 260Wh/L. Proterra’s new Burlingame battery production facility can produce over 500 MWh of E2 battery packs per year.

Proterra’s ISO 26262-certified battery management system monitors cell temperature and voltage with more than 70 sensors, which capture 160 diagnostic data streams from each pack. The E2 packs can be interconnected in various series and parallel configurations for heavy-duty and second-life applications.

“Safety is paramount to our battery design philosophy,” said Dustin Grace, Director of Battery Engineering at Proterra. “We have implemented redundant layers of passive and active safety features into the architecture of the battery in concert with the vehicle itself.”

“It is a pivotal time in the heavy-duty vehicle market as transit, delivery and refuse services wake up to the combined benefits of electric propulsion,” said Ryan Popple, Proterra CEO.

Source: Proterra

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From: Eric10/2/2017 8:24:18 AM
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Europe Plug-In Sales Strengthen In August: 22,000 sold

20 hours ago by Mark Kane


Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – August 2017

August is typically a difficult environment for plug-in vehicle sales in Europe, so we weren’t anticipated large gains to be made during the month. We thought wrong.

EV sales grew by roughly 68% to more than 22,300 registrations, good for a market share of 1.7%

2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

After eight months of the year, sales have now crossed the 180,000 mark, and have surely crossed the 200,000 level in ‘real time’.

While the best selling electric cars is still Renault ZOE, which ran away with the title months ago, the second best in August was the updated Volkswagen e-Golf, which moved an impressive 1,694 copies and is now storming the “top 10” sellers list for the region.

Top plug-in best sellers for 2017 YTD:
  • #1 Renault ZOE 2,152 (21,632 YTD)
  • #2 Nissan LEAF993 (13,456 YTD)
  • #3 BMW i3 1,149 (12,809 YTD)
  • #4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 1,204 (11,882 YTD)
  • #5 VW Passat GTE 1,352 (8,243 YTD)
  • #6 Mercedes GLC – 1,002 (8,053 YTD)
  • #7 Tesla Model S 766 (8,051 YTD)
  • #8 BMW 225xe Active Tourer692 (6,661 YTD)
  • #9 Tesla Model X577 (6,636 YTD)
  • #10 BMW 330e592 (6,556 YTD)
  • #11 VW e-Golf1,694 (5,874 YTD)
Compared to the U.S., sales in Europe are around 34% higher, and have also been gaining at a higher rate of late.

Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – August 2017

Source: EV Sales Blog

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From: Eric10/2/2017 12:41:35 PM
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Switzerland’s first auto race in 60 years – and it’s electric

Posted October 2, 2017 by Charles Morris & filed under Newswire, The Vehicles.

For over half a century, Switzerland has been a land with no auto racing. In 1955, the Swiss government banned racing after 80 people were killed at a disastrous crash at Le Mans in France. EVs to the rescue! The law was changed in 2015 to allow racing, but only if it is fully electric.

The FIA Formula E Championship will take advantage of the new rules to bring circuit racing back to Switzerland with the inaugural Zurich E-Prix on June 10, 2018. Zurich will join three other new destinations on the 2017/18 schedule: Santiago, Sao Paulo and Rome.

“Having a race in Switzerland is truly a dream come true,” said Renault e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi. “Thanks to Formula E we have managed to bring racing back to my country. Zurich is the biggest city and racing there will be incredible, I hear the track will look amazing and can’t wait to give it a go.”

“We have supported Formula E from day one, even before the first race took place in 2014,” said Boris Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer. “It is a trailblazer for the future of mobility, for technologies that enable a more sustainable world. Zurich has the ideal community to embrace this vision, with its dynamic cosmopolitan life and deep respect for the environment.”

Source: Formula E

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