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

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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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From: Eric10/2/2017 1:35:26 PM
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Electric car owners 'can drive for free by letting energy firms use battery'

Savings from a new scheme will cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging a Nissan Leaf, says electricity supplier Ovo

Ovo will offer the ‘vehicle-to-grid’ service to buyers of the Nissan Leaf from next year. Photograph: Okauchi/Rex/Shutterstock

Adam Vaughan


Monday 2 October 2017 16.30 BST First published on Monday 2 October 2017 16.16 BST

Electric car owners will be paid for letting an energy company use their vehicle’s battery in a pioneering scheme to increase take-up of the cleaner vehicles and help power grids manage the growth in green energy.

Nissan and one of the UK’s biggest challenger energy suppliers, Ovo, will offer the “vehicle-to-grid” service to buyers of the Japanese carmaker’s new Leaf from next year.

After installing a special charger in a customer’s home, the supplier will take over the management of the car’s battery, with owners able to set a minimum amount of charge they want for driving the next day. Ovo will then automatically trade electricity from the battery, topping it up during off-peak periods when power costs about 4p per kilowatt hour (kWh), and selling it at peak times for about four times as much.

James Dyson to invest £2.5bn on 'radically different' electric car

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The Ovo chief executive, Stephen Fitzpatrick, said the savings would cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging an electric car. “Being able to feed back into the grid will mean that customers will be able to drive for free,” he said.

There are about 100,000 plug-in cars in the UK, but National Grid has warned their rapid growth will require the equivalent of a few new nuclear power stations.

However, the cars’ batteries could also help energy networks cope with the increasing but variable wind and solar power on the system, by returning power to the grid at times of peak demand and smoothing out inconsistencies in energy supply.

The government recently launched a £20m fund for research into such vehicle-to-grid technology, which has previously been confined to private pilots, but will now be open to consumers.

Fitzpatrick predicted that while the technology would initially have a “relatively modest” impact on the take-up of electric vehicles and easing pressure on the grid, it was “the thin end of a very important wedge”.

In future, the flexibility provided by allowing power grid managers to draw on millions of electric cars would be “transformational”, he said. As well as avoiding the need for costly grid upgrades, paid for through energy bills, it could reduce the number of new power stations that need to be built, Fitzpatrick added.

Nissan and Ovo have also collaborated to sell a £4,800 home battery system to households with solar power, similar to the Powerwall made by Elon Musk’s Tesla. The battery is pitched as a way for buyers to make more money from their solar panels, and Ovo will pay owners about £350 a year for allowing it to offer services to the power grid.

My comments:

V2G is coming.

In just a few decades it will be used everywhere.


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From: Eric10/3/2017 7:59:48 AM
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  • Business
  • Technology

  • GM lays out plan for 20 electric vehicles by 2023

    Originally published October 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm Updated October 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    A GM Chevrolet Bolt is surrounded by nine electric and fuel-cell vehicles covered by tarps. GM announced Monday that the company will produce two new electric vehicles on the Bolt underpinnings in the next 18 months and 20 electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles by 2023. (AP)

    General Motors said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader plan toward what the company says is its ultimate goal of an emissions-free fleet.

    The New York Times

    DETROIT — In a push to produce cars powered by batteries or fuel cells, General Motors on Monday laid out a strategy to vastly expand the number of electric models in the marketplace.

    GM said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader plan toward what the company says is its ultimate goal of an emissions-free fleet. The two models will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that GM plans to bring out by 2023.

    The announcement came a day before a long-scheduled investor presentation by Ford Motor that was also expected to emphasize electric models. After the GM news emerged, Ford let loose its own plan, saying it would add 13 electrified models in the next several years.

    With governments from China to California considering stiff regulations to encourage the production of emissions-free vehicles, other major automakers are also stepping up efforts to broaden their electric offerings. German automaker Volks­wagen has pledged to introduce a number of new battery-powered models in the next few years. And the electric carmaker Tesla is ramping up production of its new Model 3 sedan, which has generated huge interest in the form of $1,000 deposits from hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.

    GM’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, announced in September that the company, the United States’ largest automaker, expected the industry to move aggressively toward an automotive future with zero emissions, traffic accidents and highway congestion.

    The company has set no time frame for an all-electric portfolio of products and expects to continue making cars and trucks powered by gasoline engines for an indefinite time.

    Mark Reuss, the company’s chief of global product development, said Monday that GM would introduce two new all-electric vehicles derived from its current battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt sedan.

    “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Reuss said at a media event at the company’s technical center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.”

    He declined to specify what type of new models will be built off the Bolt’s underpinnings, but the chief of GM’s electrification strategy, Pam Fletcher, said the company is focusing on the development of sport-utility vehicles and car-based crossover models.

    Fletcher said the Bolt, a compact hatchback that was introduced late last year and is now on sale nationwide, has helped GM “see what is possible” in a future lineup of all-electric models.

    Ford said it intended to accelerate development of electric cars as part of a broader business strategy that will be laid out Tuesday by its new chief executive, Jim Hackett.

    Ford already fields several slow-selling hybrid, battery-powered and plug-in models, and has said it would spend $4.5 billion during the next five years to add to its offerings. It also plans to add hybrid versions of big SUVs, like the Ford Explorer.

    Now the company has formed a group it calls Team Edison to focus on pure battery-electric cars, said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification.

    By 2020, Ford plans to produce an electric car that can go 300 miles before needing a recharge, Marakby said. “That’s a big change,” he said, compared with the early electric models that could go fewer than 100 miles, making them impractical for many consumers.

    Reuss, of GM, said that achieving a zero-emissions future would require more than battery technology, and stressed that his company was also moving forward with hydrogen-fuel-cell equipment that can generate electric power.

    “There is a transition going on,” said Reuss, adding that GM has no set timetable to eliminate gasoline engines from its vehicles. He said that by the 2023 target date for the new electric models, GM will still be building cars, trucks and SUVs with internal-combustion engines.

    The electric-vehicle news gave GM’s stock a jolt, boosting it 4.4 percent Monday.

    Reuss said the company was not expecting job losses based on a shift away from gasoline engines, which currently account for a vast majority of the company’s production. And he said GM did not expect to be hurt financially by a move toward electric models, which can carry higher price tags than comparably sized gasoline-powered vehicles.

    “The future will be profitable,” he said.

    Behind Reuss during his presentation were nine vehicles covered with tarps that the company said were among the 20 to be unveiled by 2023, The Associated Press reported. GM pulled away the tarps on three of them, clay models of low-slung Buick and Cadillac SUVs and a futuristic version of the Bolt that looked like half of an airport control tower glued to the top of a car body. The rest remained covered.

    The company wouldn’t allow photographs of the vehicles, and it wouldn’t say if any of the vehicles it showed were the ones coming in the next 18 months.

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    From: Eric10/3/2017 8:16:23 AM
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    With some all-electric buses, Metro Transit rides into the future

    King County Metro’s battery-powered electric buses, operating on two routes on the Eastside, connect to an overhead docking device that recharges their batteries in about 10 minutes. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

    Originally published October 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm Updated October 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Working with other transit agencies, manufacturers and utilities, we are accelerating the transition to a clean-energy future, not only in King County, but across North America

    Rob Gannon
    Special to The Times

    Rob Gannon is general manager of Metro Transit.

    EARLIER this year, King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered 120 new all-electric buses for Metro Transit — the largest such purchase in the nation to date. Metro released a plan to transition to an entirely zero-emission bus fleet — powered by renewable electricity — no later than 2034. And Constantine secured an agreement to help Puget Sound Energy generate more clean wind electricity — meeting nearly all current county needs in PSE service territory with green energy by 2019. Next up is sourcing renewable electricity for the needs of our battery bus fleet as it grows.

    A lot more needs to happen to make a successful jump to the next generation of transit powered by clean electricity. As the nation’s fastest-growing transit agency, we challenged the electric-bus manufacturers to develop larger, articulated buses and longer-range buses, and to standardize charging stations.

    Last week, we brought together transit agencies from across the nation and Canada along with utilities, regulators and other partners to meet these shared goals and chart a path to transit electrification.

    There is much good news to share. The electric-bus industry is growing, making impressive technical strides.

    If you want to ride the future today, we have battery buses operating on Routes 226 and 241 on the Eastside, serving some of the region’s densest job centers including Microsoft and downtown Bellevue. With a range of 25 miles, these buses are quiet, clean and need only a 10 minute charge before returning to service.

    Metro Transit battery buses operate on two routes on the Eastside. (King County photo by Ned Ahrens)

    We are continuing to test new models. By the middle of next year, riders in South King County will ride on six battery buses from three different manufacturers, all with an extended range of 140 miles. In addition, we will roll out four 60-foot articulated buses from two manufacturers. We’ve chosen South King County as a focus area for the first big wave of battery-bus deployment because we know these communities face disproportionate air pollution and health impacts, and so we want to bring the benefits of zero emissions buses there first.

    Metro Transit battery buses operate on two routes on the Eastside. (King County photo by Ned Ahrens)

    While battery technology continues to evolve — a bus on a test track recently drove more than a thousand miles on a single charge — standardization of charging systems remains elusive. We can’t be saddled with multiple, incompatible charging systems, so we’re continuing to insist on a universal system that works with all battery bus types.

    We are also working with our local utilities to plan charging infrastructure and make sure we have reliable backup for Metro and Sound Transit bases in case of a power outage. We need confidence that we’ll be able to provide essential transportation services, no matter what.

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    From: Eric10/3/2017 8:36:46 AM
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    Electric Vehicles

    General Motors Commits to an ‘All-Electric Future’ With Sights Set on China

    Photo Credit: Chevrolet

    GM announced it will launch at least 20 new electric and fuel cells vehicles by 2023.

    by Julia Pyper
    October 03, 2017

    General Motors is going all in on electric vehicles. Eventually.

    The American automaker announced yesterday that it's transitioning to a "zero emissions future," starting with the launch of two new all-electric vehicles in the next 18 months. These vehicles, based off of lessons learned from the Chevrolet Bolt EV, will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles GM will launch by 2023.

    In this case, "all-electric" refers to more than plug-in cars. Due to customers' various needs, hitting new targets will require a two-pronged approach to electrification that includes both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, according to GM.

    GM has been developing fuel cell technology in partnership with Honda for nearly four years, but has yet to launch a production vehicle. Automakers have long touted the long range and fast-fueling benefits of hydrogen over battery power. But although Honda, Toyota and Hyundai each offer a fuel cell vehicle in California, those sales numbers barely register. Plus, hydrogen infrastructure has proven to be very expensive and time consuming to build.

    GM plans to begin producing fuel cell vehicles in 2020 at its Brownstown Battery Assembly plant south of Detroit, Autoweek reports. New plug-in vehicles models will feature an "all-new battery system" that GM featured briefly on Monday at its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. The presentation came a day before Ford's new CEO Jim Hackett was scheduled to deliver a strategic update.

    For GM, the shift to all-electric vehicles is part of broader vision of a world with "zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion" -- a vision CEO Mary Barra outlined earlier this month in Shanghai.

    That vision seems to be aimed specifically at the Chinese market, where policymakers are considering a ban on combustion engine vehicles. GM will roll out at least 10 "new energy vehicles" in China by 2020, Barra said. And by 2025, nearly all models from GM’s global brands in China -- Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet -- will offer electrification technology. To accommodate that growth, the SAIC-GM joint venture will open a new battery assembly plant in Shanghai this year.

    In yesterday's announcement, GM did not explicitly say if or when it plans to cease production of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. Nonetheless, the leading global automaker's enhanced commitment to vehicle electrification is significant, given GM's size and reach.

    Last year, GM sold 10 million vehicles of all vehicle sizes and fuel types worldwide. Converting just a fraction of those sales to electric cars would grow the EV market exponentially. All automakers collectively sold just under 550,000 EVs worldwide in 2016, according to Inside EVs.

    GM already sells several electric cars, including the plug-in hybrid Volt and all-electric Bolt. In the U.S., sales of the Bolt, which boasts a 230-mile range, have been growing steadily as availability has increased. But despite being an early innovator in vehicle electrification, GM was cautious this week in describing how it would transition to a fully-electric fleet.

    “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of GM's product development, purchasing and supply chain, in a statement. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs.”

    Several other automakers have announced they're going big on electric vehicles, perhaps most notably Volvo. When the company said every Volvo launched from 2019 would have an electric motor, it was reported as though the automaker was swearing off of fossil fuels. But the reality is a little more nuanced.

    Volvo specifically committed to launching five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, along with 48 gas and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid models. So while this represents a one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker, conventional fossil fuel engines will still be part of Volvo's product strategy for many years to come.

    Policies will remain one of the primary drivers of electrification. China, India, France, the United Kingdom are all are considering plans to limit or ban gas- and diesel-powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040. California is also on that list, although the U.S. is lagging on sustainable transportation policy at the national level.

    The Trump Administration is currently conducting a mid-term review of Obama-era fuel economy standards and is expected to try and weaken them. But even if regulations loosen at home, GM -- which now sells more cars in China than the U.S. -- can't escape the policy forces pushing the company toward EVs.

    “China is their biggest market,” said Michelle Krebs, analyst at Autotrader, told the Los Angeles Times. “If China decides to go electric, they have to do it.”

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