Investigating Electric Car Myths & Facts: Video

Let’s work together to disseminate the truth about electric cars.

If you follow the EV segment, you’re likely aware that there’s a ton of misinformation out there. We were just talking the other day about the internet and social media’s ridiculous level of falsities. Clearly, people post much of the information to mislead the public and push agendas. On the other side of the coin, we can bank on this amazing ability to instantly put the correct information in front of millions of eyes.

YouTuber and tech enthusiast Matt Farrell takes advantage of the above concept by using his “Undecided” channel to help people make informed tech-buying decisions. So, what does he have to say about electric car myths and realities? Matt provides a solid list of the most common myths. While he admits the list is not exhaustive, he clearly spent a respectable amount of time and research on the following myths.

Electric car myths:

  • EVs take too long to charge
  • You can’t drive and EV in a blackout
  • Electric car batteries don’t last
  • Electric vehicles aren’t as clean as you think
  • EVs don’t have enough range
  • Electric cars are expensive
  • EVs are a fire hazard

Check out the video above for Matt’s in-depth take on the facts surrounding these potential concerns. Then, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Video Description via Undecided with Matt Ferrell on YouTube:

Electric Cars Myths vs Facts

Electric Cars Myths vs Facts. I dive into some of the most common arguments I hear about why electric vehicles are bad. Things like taking too long to charge, batteries not lasting, not being as clean as you think and being worse for CO2 emissions, and not enough range.

All citations are included in my writeup here: https://undecidedmf.com/episodes/2019…


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Jaguar I-PACE Outsells All Teslas Combined In The Netherlands

Jaguar I-PACE was #1 in December with 13.2% market share!

December, the last month before changes of BIK for BEVs in the Netherlands, brings pretty unusual car sales results. First of all, Jaguar I-PACE registrations surged to a record of 2,621, which is 98.3% of the total volume for the brand.

The I-PACE was the best-selling car of any kind for the month, with 13.2% market share.

The total number of I-PACE registrations for 2018 amounted to 3,495 (75.6% of the total volume for the brand), which is almost exactly the 3,500 expected by dealers. Thank’s to I-PACE, Jaguar car sales in the Netherlands increased in 2018 by 234%.

Interestingly, Jaguar outsold in December all Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X, which wasn’t easy at their record performances:

  • Model S – 1,558 (2nd best-selling car in December) and 5,633 in 2018
  • Model X – 652 and 2,966 in 2018

Overall, Tesla registrations stand at 2,210 for the month (plus 4 Model 3) and 8,599 for the year (plus 5 Model 3), which is a 162% increase year-over-year.

Source: RAI Vereniging


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla’s Secret Weapon: Intense Focus On Batteries

INSIDE TESLA’S SECRET, INTENSE FOCUS ON BATTERIES

By now, regular readers of this column are well aware that we (along with most other writers who focus on electric vehicles) consider the threat of the “Tesla killer” to be no threat at all. Yes, Big Auto is producing excellent EVs, some of which are in Tesla’s league, but they’ll never build more than they have to, and they’ll continue steering customers to their gas-guzzling, high-margin models. It’s what they do.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at one of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery cells (Instagram: @yancki87)

Even if the legacy automakers were to have a green epiphany and go all in on electrification, there’s another reason that they’ll struggle to catch up to the California carmaker. Tesla’s superior, cheaper battery packs give it a huge competitive advantage (just don’t call it a “moat”).

The US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), an industry group led by GM, Ford and Chrysler, has been working since 2013 to accelerate the development of EV battery technology. However, as Andrew Thomas points out in a recent Medium article, “Tesla’s battery is cheaper, higher capacity, more reliable, and more available than anything produced by USABC.”

“Tesla still uses commodity cylindrical cells, whereas other car manufacturers still use prismatic (Chevy Bolt) and pouch (Nissan LEAF) cells,” Thomas writes. In fact, Tesla is no longer using off-the-shelf “laptop batteries” – it has worked with partner Panasonic to develop new cells optimized for its vehicles. However, it has stuck with the strategy of assembling large numbers of small cylindrical cells into a pack.

The Chevy Bolt’s 60 kWh battery pack has 288 cells. The Nissan LEAF’s pack has 192. Tesla’s packs require many more cells – a Model 3 with a 50 kWh battery pack has 2,976 cells, and a Model S or X with a 100 kWh pack requires a whopping 8,256. Obviously the smaller cells are cheaper, but it stands to reason that it must be more difficult, and hence costlier, to assemble them into a pack.

Therein lies a mystery – Tesla is widely believed to have the lowest battery cost in the industry. But how does it manage to assemble all those tiny cells into a pack economically? As far as Thomas has been able to tell, no one outside the company knows.

“I can’t find a picture or video of the robots that assemble the cells into packs,” Thomas writes. “These robots would need to wire bond the batteries to the bus bars. For every battery cell there will be 2 wire bonds (positive and negative). So it’s a lot of work. The robots need to be very fast, otherwise Tesla would need a lot of them to mass produce battery packs and it would drive up their costs.”

One clue might be found in a 2017 Wired article by a former employee, who reports that the Model S and X battery packs are assembled on a “secret” second floor at Tesla’s Fremont factory.

Above: A Tesla battery pack sits in the floorpan of the vehicle (Source: Tesla)

Another clue comes from something Elon Musk said on the Q3 2017 earnings call: “We are pushing robots to the limit in terms of the speed that they can operate at, and asking our suppliers to make robots go way faster, and they are shocked because nobody has ever asked them that question. It’s like if you can see the robot move, it’s too slow. We should be caring about air friction like things moving so fast. You should need a strobe light to see it.”

So where are these speed demons? “There are some pictures from the Gigafactory, where the Model 3 battery pack is manufactured, but none where I see a robot wire bonding the battery cells,” writes Thomas. “I don’t see any machines that are close to moving so fast you would need a strobe light to see.”

Could those robots be doing their dizzying dance somewhere on the secret second floor in Fremont? And possibly in Nevada as well? Recent visitors from the media have found that the section of the Gigafactory where the cells are made is under heavy security – no photos or videos allowed – and also appears to be one of the most highly automated sections of the plant.

However, Tesla is pulling it off, there’s little doubt that its batteries are cheaper, and Thomas believes things will stay that way. “Even if incumbents decided to use cylindrical cells, it will be challenging to engineer a manufacturing process that is economical, and not time consuming. Packaging cylindrical cells is a process Tesla has been refining for over 10 years.”

Tesla’s industry-leading battery cost also has implications beyond the auto industry. Elon Musk has said in the past that the company’s stationary storage business could someday be bigger than its vehicles. Enrique Dans writes in Forbes that “battery manufacturing is set to become one of the most important industries on the planet, and whoever dominates it will occupy a privileged place in many ways, supplying a wide variety of industries from vehicles to household goods, as well of course as electricity generation.”

“Twelve years ago, when he described his company’s ‘secret master plan,’ Elon Musk spoke not only about making cheaper electric cars, but included a third point, which was providing the means to generate zero-emissions electricity, a point that many pundits missed amid the hullaballoo over Tesla cars,” Dans continues. “Today, with the company in the black, it turns out that battery production has been the key to its strategy: the reason why auto industry veterans like Bob Lutz could not understand Tesla’s road map was because Tesla isn’t a car company, it’s a battery company.”

“Tesla isn’t a car manufacturer competing with other automobile manufacturers…Tesla’s vehicles are consumers of the company’s main product: batteries,” Dans concludes. “Rethink your models and your spreadsheets: stop seeing Tesla as a carmaker and start understanding that the company has much more ambitious plans for the future.”

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Above: A look inside Tesla’s Gigafactory (Youtube: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Dans foresees the battery industry growing ever more important, and eventually overtaking an auto industry faced with shrinking demand for private cars. If such a future comes to pass, we all know the name of the company most likely to benefit. As Andrew Thomas puts it: “Big Auto is screwed.”

===

Written by: Charles Morris

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

California To Electrify Airport Shuttles By 2035

Airport shuttles are next on CARB’s list

As the transition to a 100% zero-emission public bus fleet by 2040 was secured, the California Air Resources Board is preparing another legislation for zero-emissions airport shuttles.

The idea is to require fixed route airport shuttles at California’s 13 largest airports to be zero-emission by 2035. There are almost 1,000 public and private airport shuttles operated at those airports.

Three steps are planned:

  • 33% of in-use fleet to be zero-emission by 2027
  • 66% of in-use fleet to be zero-emission by 2031
  • 100% of in-use fleet to be zero-emission by 2035

A public hearing for the topic is planned on February 21, 2019.

Source: CARB via Green Car Congress


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Audi DTM Driver Joins Formula E Team

Audi DTM driver Jamie Green will test for the manufacturer’s ABB Formula E squad at next month’s rookie test in Marrakesh.

Green, who was confirmed in Audi’s 2019 factory DTM line-up earlier in December, will drive in the one day test that follows the Marrakesh E-Prix on January 13.

“It’s official!” Green wrote on Twitter. “I’m back in a single-seater after a very long wait. I’ll drive for Audi in the 2019 FIA Formula E test in Marrakesh!”

Green’s running for Audi is expected to take place alongside the team’s regular test and reserve driver Nico Muller, who also drove in the test that followed the Ad Diriyah season opener earlier this month.

Audi had a single entry for that test as did it not run a female driver in its second car.

Green’s Marrakesh outing will be the first time he has driven a single-seater car since December 2004, when he tested a McLaren Formula 1 car alongside Lewis Hamilton and future IndyCar driver Alex Lloyd.

That appearance followed his last championship triumph, the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series, which he won by 52 points and finished ahead of future F1 world champions Nico Rosberg and Hamilton.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla surprisingly increases range of the Model 3 with Mid-Range battery

A day after decreasing the Model 3’s base price by $2,000, Tesla is also surprisingly increasing the advertised range of the cheapest version of Model 3: the Model 3 with the new Mid-Range battery pack. more…

The post Tesla surprisingly increases range of the Model 3 with Mid-Range battery appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

U.S. Tesla Sales In December 2018 Up By 249%

More than 25,000 Model 3 and Over 7,000 S/X is outstanding

In December, Tesla set its new monthly sales record in U.S. with roughly 32,600 electric cars delivered (InsideEVs’ estimation), which is also 249% more than year ago.

Our estimates stand at:

  • Model 3 – 25,250 (up 25-times)
  • Model X – 4,100 (up 24%)
  • Model S – 3,250 (down 35%)
  • Total: 32,600 (up 249%)

In effect, the rolling 12-month Tesla sales tally increased to over 191,000.

In 2018, Tesla delivered over 191,627 BEVs:

  • Model 3 – 139,782 (up 7788% – just in case you want to know)
  • Model S – 25,745 (down 5%)
  • Model X – 26,100 (up 22%)
  • Total: 191,627 (up 282% from 50,139)

Cumulative sales of all three models is now above 350,000:

  • Model S – 143,892
  • Model 3 – 141,546
  • Model X – 65,852
  • Total: 351,298

Next month, the Model 3 will be above the Model S.

Here’s how Tesla sales in the U.S. compare to global results:


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Road Test: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

SkyActiv Turbocharged Fun

It took Mazda quite some time to put a turbocharged engine in the Mazda6, but the wait was worth it. The Zoom-Zoom heritage continues with a well-balanced engine that offers performance and fuel economy. Add in sharp handling, and the 2018 Mazda6 Signature can handle those backroad curves and highway road trips with equal ease.

Driving Experience: Powertrain

Mazda tells us “exhilaration is just a step away” in the 2018 Mazda6 Signature, powered by a smooth and responsive 2.5-liter, turbocharged four cylinder engine. With 310 pounds-feet of torque, Mazda says that using 93-octane will deliver 250 horsepower, while opting for 87-octane drops that number to 227. So, it’s your choice if the extra 23 horsepower is worth the money spent on premium fuel.

2018 Mazda6

It’s a driver’s car, lacking one key feature

While a six-speed manual transmission is available with the 2.5-liter non-turbo engine, Clean Fleet Report’s Mazda6 Signature was equipped with a six-speed automatic–with paddle shifters and Sport mode-which is the only transmission available in the Grand Touring and Signature trim levels. The EPA rates the Mazda6 2.5T at 23 city/31 highway/26 combined miles per gallon. In 240 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving, Clean Fleet Report averaged 27.4 mpg. However, in a 179-mile all freeway run with Mazda’s radar cruise control set to 65 mph, we averaged a respectable 33.1 mpg.

Mazda achieved these numbers through its SkyActiv engine and vehicle design philosophy, a slick-shifting automatic transmission and a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.285.

Fuel economy numbers reported by Clean Fleet Report are non-scientific and represent the reviewer’s driving experience. If you live in cold weather, high in the mountains, spend time in the city or stuck in rush hour traffic, then your numbers may differ.

 Driving Experience: On the Road

Out on the road the 2018 Mazda6 will make driving enthusiasts smile. The sporty, confident nature of its handling comes from the MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link independent rear suspension and the rack-and-pinion, electric power-assisted steering. Clean Fleet Report’s Signature model, weighing in at 3,560 pounds, was equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels and shod with P225/45/R19 all-season Falken tires. Replace these with summer tires, and the grip + handling would improve to an even higher level.

2018 Mazda6

The Mazda6 suspension shines brighter the more challenging the road

With this combination, the ride is a bit stiffer than other midsize sedans, but such is the trade-off for an above-average handling car that can seat five passengers. As noted, enthusiasts will appreciate the cornering ability of the Mazda6. There is no body roll, with little torque steer or under steer, which is commendable from a front-wheel drive car. The driver-selectable Sport mode only affects the transmission shift points, so the handling is unaffected.

Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system is what they say achieves “the pursuit of Jinba-Ittai, the feeling of unity between driver and vehicle.” Mazda prides itself on being a company staffed with driving enthusiasts (but what about the six-speed manual for the 2.5T engine?) that put their hearts into design and technology. Starting with the accelerator pedal being hinged to the floor as opposed to being suspended, the ability to get on-and-off the gas is nicely sensitive to the foot. The driving dynamics for G-Vectoring basically help the front tires get into a corner more smoothly. Rather than walk through the details of G-Vectoring, let’s let Mazda do it here.

Stops were solid and consistent with a power-assisted braking system consisting of vented front and solid rear discs, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution. The latter adjusts brake proportioning to compensate for added weight from passengers or cargo, and even adjusts as fuel is consumed. This is invisible and instant to the driver and passengers, making for a comfortable and controlled ride.

Driving Experience: Exterior

2018 Mazda6

Chiseled features abound

The Mazda6 received subtle but tasteful changes for 2018; the chiseled exterior catches your eye from every angle. Clean Fleet Report’s Mazda6 Signature was painted in Snowflake White Pearl, which enhanced the distinctive design, one Mazda calls “mature elegance.” Starting with slim LED headlights and a new deep-set grille, the sculpted front fenders lead to a roofline that softly arches at the B pillar, then gently slopes to a short deck lid that has an integrated spoiler. The rear is finished-off with LED taillights, a chrome eyebrow framing the trunk lid, and twin bright exhaust tips. Overall, it’s a very stylish design that will hold-up well over its lifetime.

Driving Experience: Interior

The 2018 Mazda6 interior is all-new, with redesigned seats and a new dash. Clean Fleet Report drove the top-of-the-line Mazda6 Signature. The deep chestnut-colored Nappa leather seats with high-density, vibration-absorbing urethane foam provided comfort and support. The front seats are heated and ventilated. The driver’s is eight-way power adjustable (with lumbar) and two memory settings, while the passenger receives a six-way power adjustable seat.

Designed with the driver in mind, the freestanding 8.0-inch infotainment (information and entertainment) display erupts from the dashboard, providing data from the Mazda Connect connectivity system, including navigation. It also is where the 360º cameras for rear, front and overhead views are found. The large, round gauges are black with white lettering for easy viewing.

Mazda’s Active Driving Display includes the head-up display (HUD) which is projected onto the windshield, directly in front of the driver. Being able to keep your vision straight ahead is a major safety factor as it minimizes distractions. The HUD shows driving speed, the speed limit, a red box if you exceed the posted speed, and street signs (such as “Stop” and “Do Not Enter”) as well as lane departure and brake warnings. The HUD is very helpful and useful and should be standard equipment on all cars. A big pat on the back to Mazda’s engineers!

2018 Mazda6

Other than a few minor annoyances, the interior was a classy place to dwell

Clean Fleet Report’s 2018 Mazda6 Signature came equipped with a power moonroof and tasteful Ultrasuede and Sen Wood inserts on the dash and doors. The 60/40 rear seat seats three adults, but with the center armrest folded down two would be more acclimated to a long journey. The rear, dual zone climate control and air vents are a nice touch.

The infotainment system includes an excellent 11-speaker Bose sound system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX HD radio, USB input, SiriusXM (four-month subscription), Aha and Stitcher internet radio integration. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has mounted controls for Bluetooth that offers hands-free telephone and voice control. To manage the radio, Mazda has a wheel on the center console for changing channels, and a smaller one for volume control. We found the wheel cumbersome to use. It required multiple steps to control a single function, diverting the driver’s eyes from the road. Maybe in time it becomes a seamless, by-touch operation, but after a week and 300 miles, we did not get the hang of the system and found it more annoying than useful.

Convenience comes your way with power automatic keyless door locks, push button start/stop, power windows with one-touch up and down, rearview camera, auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink, tilt and telescopic steering column, rain-sensing windshield wipers that have a deicer, power and heated side mirrors with turn indicators, and an electronic parking brake.

Safety

The 2018 Mazda6 comes with an extensive list of standard and optional safety features including airbags, dynamic stability and traction control, hill launch assist, tire pressure monitoring system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert.

2018 Mazda6

The Mazda6 has no bad angles

In crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2018 Mazda6 received five stars (their highest rating) for overall crash protection, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Mazda6 its highest rating of Top Safety Pick.

Pricing and Warranties

Clean Fleet Report’s 2018 Mazda 6 Signature had a base price of $34,750. With optional equipment the MSRP came to $35,150. All prices exclude the $890 delivery charge.

The 2018 Mazda6 comes with these warranties:

  • New Vehicle                Three years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain                   Five years/60,000 miles
  • Roadside Assistance  Three years/36,000 miles

Observations: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

With consumers looking more and more to crossovers and SUVs, sedans are taking a beating in sales. It’s such a shame as there are some very nice sedans on the market, with the 2018 Mazda6 Signature being among the top models.

2018 Mazda6

Drivers welcome

Mazda has created the best-handling five-passenger sedan that isn’t considered a “sports sedan.” The 2018 Mazda6 Signature has a sleek, chiseled design that has evolved into a true driver’s car.

When at your local dealer, make sure to request (demand?) a lengthy test drive that will include high-speed highway onramps and maybe even a few mountain or country road twisties. The Mazda6 Signature wants to be driven, and the usual one-mile loop around the dealership isn’t going to give this car the justice it deserves.

Now, about the radio control and specing the six-speed manual with the turbo. One can only hope.

Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories and vehicle reviews.

Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!

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Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.


Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles

Tesla’s Q4 vehicle delivery numbers and $2,000 price reduction spook investors

Tesla announced production and delivery figures for the fourth quarter of 2018, and simultaneously announced that it would reduce the prices of all vehicles by $2,000 in order to compensate for the reduction of the federal tax credit for EV purchases.

“In Q4, we produced and delivered at the rate of nearly 1,000 vehicles per day, setting new company records for both production and deliveries,” Tesla stated. Production for the quarter consisted of 61,394 units of Model 3, “in line with our guidance and 15% more than Q3,” and 25,161 units of Models S and X, “consistent with our long-term run rate of approximately 100,000 per year.”

For the full year, Tesla delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles (145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Models S and X). The company wasn’t shy about pointing out the historic nature of this achievement. Tesla “delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.” The year’s almost threefold increase in sales “likely represent[s] the biggest single-year growth in the history of the automotive industry.” What’s more, “2018 was the first time in decades that an American car – the Model 3 – was the best-selling premium vehicle in the U.S. for the full year, with U.S. sales of Model 3 roughly double those of the runner up.”

Wall Street was not so impressed. Although the quarter’s production was in line with Tesla’s guidance, some analysts had been expecting more, so the financial press described the numbers as “a miss” and “disappointing.” Furthermore, suspicious minds saw the unexpected price reduction as a possible signal of flagging demand. On the first trading day of 2019, TSLA stock dropped sharply at the open, and remains down about 6% at this writing.

“Our Q4 Model 3 deliveries were limited to mid- and higher-priced variants, cash/loan transactions, and North American customers only,” says Tesla. “More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders. There remain significant opportunities to continue to grow Model 3 sales by expanding to international markets, introducing lower-priced variants and offering leasing. International deliveries in Europe and China will start in February 2019. Expansion of Model 3 sales to other markets, including with a right-hand drive variant, will occur later in 2019.”

 

Source: Tesla, Bloomberg


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Tesla switches Model 3 production to European version, first Chinese Model 3 spotted

With the new year, Tesla is already switching Model 3 production to the European and Chinese versions of the vehicle as it is about to make a big entry in those important markets. more…

The post Tesla switches Model 3 production to European version, first Chinese Model 3 spotted appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward