2018 EV Recap: The Year Of The Electric Vehicle And Tesla Prevails

TESLA RISING: A YEAR-END ROUND UP OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE NEWS FOR 2018

2018 could well go down in history as “the year of the electric vehicle,” as several events that had been heralded as important tipping points occurred during the year. The millionth EV was sold in the US, Tesla reached the final phase of its master plan to bring EVs to the masses, legacy automakers began to introduce electric SUVs, and massive new investments in charging infrastructure promised an end to the dreaded range anxiety. However, 2018 also saw the enemies of the EV beginning to mobilize against the growing threat, and despite the rapid advance of technology, the eventual electrification of transportation is still by no means inevitable.

*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: Tesla’s Model 3 (Image: InsideEVs)

Several news outlets, including E&E News and The Driven, ran roundups of the year’s top EV stories, and Plug In America published stories from some of the really early adopters about their experiences at the dawn of the modern EV era. Here are some of the happenings that we consider the most important EVents of 2018.

MODEL 3 TRIUMPHANT

Although the first Model 3s were delivered in July of 2017, it took another year for Tesla to announce that it had met its production goal of 5,000 cars per week. As the company worked through its backlog of orders, Model 3 set one sales record after another. It is now by far the top-selling plug-in car in the US, and the best-selling car of any kind by revenue. In October, Bloomberg reported that Model 3 was the fifth best-selling sedan in the third quarter.

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Above: Tesla just released a video showcasing increased efficiency and speed on Model 3’s production line (Youtube: Tesla)

Volume delivery of Model 3 represents the culmination of Tesla’s original master plan, and the victory was particularly poignant as it followed what some have called the company’s Summer of Needless Drama. The mainstream press rewarded Tesla for its remarkable achievements by painting the company as Public Enemy Number One, and Elon Musk added fuel to the fire with poorly thought-out tweets and rambunctious rock star behavior. As the year draws to a close, the focus seems to be returning to Tesla’s vehicles, and TSLA stock remains in healthy territory.

Looking ahead to 2019, the big stories will be the beginning of Model 3 deliveries in Europe, and the long-delayed introduction of the promised $35,000 base version. Tesla will also start construction of Gigafactory 3 in China, which has enormous implications for the future growth of the EV industry.

ELECTRIFYING SUVS

A common complaint about the EV market is that there aren’t enough different types of vehicles available. Trucks and SUVs are what buyers want, and Tesla can’t change the world alone. 2018 saw the launch of the first viable crossovers from legacy automakers – namely the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron. Judging by recent events, it doesn’t appear that their makers intend to sell them in any serious volume, but both appear to be excellent vehicles, and the fact that they are available represents a major milestone, and some healthy competition for Model X.

Above: A look at the all-electric Rivian (Image: InsideEVs)

The star of the Los Angeles Auto Show in November was a pair of prototypes from startup Rivian – an electric pickup truck and an SUV. The vehicles look great, and the specs are impressive, rivaling those of Model X and leaving comparable gas-powered trucks in the dust. Rivian’s vehicles won’t arrive until 2020 at the earliest, and while the $69,000 base price would be competitive in the luxury EV market, it’s a reason for skepticism when it comes to the pickup truck (a comparable Ford F-150 sells for around half that price). However, as the first truly exciting electric pickup to make it to the prototype stage, the Rivian R1T represents a big step forward. Elon Musk seems to have noticed – he’s been talking about the Tesla pickup a lot, and in December he tweeted, “I’m dying to make a pickup truck so bad…we might have a prototype to unveil next year.”

CHICKENS AND EGGS

Tesla realized from the beginning that drivers need to be able to make long road trips, and the Supercharger network has been a major driver of the brand’s success. Within the next couple of years, ordinary EV drivers will also be able to hit the highways with more confidence, as several massive fast charging networks are under construction in the US and Europe.

Above: Even oil giant Shell has started installing electric vehicle chargers at its gas stations in Europe (Image: Electrive)

VW’s new subsidiary, Electrify America, began building a vast charging network that will span the highways of the US. The company has two billion dollars to invest over the next ten years. EA’s plans are very future-oriented – it recently installed the first fast charging station capable of delivering 350 kW of power – a level that only the new Audi e-tron is capable of handling so far. A separate VW fund, which will be administered by individual states, could funnel an additional $265 million to EV charging.

Much more investment in charging infrastructure was announced in 2018. In May, three major power companies in California got approval to invest $738 million in public charging, by far the largest spend in the US to date. Across the country, utilities announced plans to invest large sums: $20 million in Massachusetts; $10 million in Ohio; $250 million in New York; $104 million in Maryland; $364 million in New Jersey. In total, utilities committed to $1.1 billion for EV charging in 15 states in 2018. Proposals representing $1.5 billion in 18 states are in the pipeline for 2019.

In Europe, a joint venture called Ionity, supported by automakers including BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, has plans for a continent-wide fast charging network that are comparable in scale to those of Electrify America. Meanwhile, electric utilities and petroleum giants have been acquiring or investing in EV charging companies: Royal Dutch Shell invested $31 million in an EV battery-swapping startup, and BP agreed to acquire UK charging network Chargemaster.

CREEPING ELECTRIFICATION

Several of the legacy automakers announced bold plans for electrification in 2018. Ford announced in January that it plans to offer 40 electrified models by 2022, and will invest $11 billion in plug-in technology by that date, more than double its previous estimate. Even Fiat Chrysler has stopped kicking and screaming – it said in June that it would invest $10 billion in EVs and hybrids by 2022. Volkswagen has been talking very big indeed, saying that it will earmark $50 billion for electrification, and even predicting that it will launch its last generation of fossil-fuel vehicles in 2026.

Above: Even EV hold-outs like Fiat finally announced plans to push forward with more electric cars in the future (Image: Fiat 500 USA)

Of course, talk is even cheaper than gas these days, and we’ve heard a lot of talk about electrification over the last few years, especially from Ford, which has announced and then dropped numerous plans for new EVs, and VW, which has been called “the king of EV press releases.” But let’s be positive and compare Big Auto’s EV efforts to the proverbial rising tide on a beach – the waves come in and go out again, but each one rises a little higher than the one before.

The bigger story is that electric technology is steadily creeping into every nook and cranny of the transport industry. This isn’t a case of some headline-friendly milestone being reached, but rather of steady progress that accelerated in 2018.

Transit buses are getting charged around the world. In October, your correspondent attended the christening of two electric buses in St Petersburg, Florida, and similar ceremonies are taking place every week around the world. The California Air Resources Board has enacted a new rule requiring all transit buses in the state to be electric by 2040. Dozens of major cities, including ChicagoTorontoMontrealLondonand Berlin, are deploying electric buses. The wave is even spreading to South America – Chile ordered 100 electric buses from a Chinese builder in December.

Heavy-duty trucks will soon be going electric too. The Tesla Semi has competition from startups Nikola Motor and Thor Trucks, and Volvo and Daimler are getting into the act as well. School busesmining equipmentferries and airplanes – the list of vehicles getting charged continued to grow in 2018.

A global ecosystem of equipment manufacturers and suppliers has grown up to serve the rapidly growing EV industry. Startup companies are popping up, merging, getting bought out and (of course) going bankrupt, in a lively swirl of activity that’s reminiscent of the 1990s internet boom. Scientists and engineers around the world are tweaking and improving every aspect of the EV ecosystem – not just big-ticket items like batteries and motors, but also the specialized chips and high-tech metals, materials and chemical goos that go into vehicle components, and the manufacturing processes used to build them.

AND NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS

2018 will probably be remembered as the year in which the enemies of the EV started taking the threat seriously, and began to mount counterattacks on several fronts. The US EPA, enthusiastically supported by the legacy automakers, is pushing to roll back federal fuel economy and emissions standards, and it’s now looking like a done deal. In 2019, the battle will move on to the question of whether California can continue to impose its own more stringent standards. The struggle may well end up in the US Supreme Court, and if the decision goes the Administration’s way, it’s possible that US automakers will drop the ambitious electrification strategies they trumpeted in 2018.

Above: GM’s Chevy Volt will be discontinued (Image: The Ignition Blog)

In November, GM announced that it will cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce – almost 15,000 employees – and close down five factories in North America. Following the leads of Ford and Chrysler, GM will discontinue most of its sedans, including the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. Wearers of rose-colored glasses saw good news in a vague announcement that GM would increase investment in electric and autonomous vehicles. However, while trade wars and shifts in consumer preferences were surely the main reasons for the cutbacks, it didn’t take long for the naysayers to make the link between the rise of EVs and the disappearance of US auto industry jobs. “They’ve changed the whole model of General Motors. They’ve gone to all-electric. All-electric is not going to work,” the US Climate Change Denier-in-Chief fulminated to Fox News.

An array of petroleum-financed advocacy groups stepped up their efforts in Washington and state capitals in 2018, lobbying against the federal EV tax credit and other incentives, and working with the media to manipulate public perception of EVs. The defenders of the status quo describe current fuel-efficiency standards as “a relic of a disproven narrative of resource scarcity” (according to the American Legislative Exchange Council), and electric cars as “expensive luxury or performance vehicles that only the wealthy can afford” (per the American Petroleum Institute).

We live in interesting times, and it’s anybody’s guess how things will play out over the next few years. The growing anti-EV mobilization by the richest and most powerful industry in human history is an ominous trend. On the other hand, it’s hard to be too pessimistic when you read about the sheer amount of activity going on in the EV world. “I don’t see any slowdown by the OEMs and charging vendors,” said Phil Jones, Executive Director of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification. “They’re all as busy as heck.”

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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

Cumulative Tesla Model 3 Production Estimate Exceeds 150,000

Tesla closes the year 2018 with roughly 150,000 Model 3 produced cumulatively.

According to Bloomberg’s Tesla Model 3 Tracker, cumulative production of the Tesla Model 3 stands now (as of December 31, 2018) at 154,791.

The number consists of officially announced production results in previous quarters and estimated production rates in the current quarter, which translates into the uncertainty of at least a few thousand.

The average weekly production output based on the available unofficial data is now 4,611 per week, but again, we don’t know if that’s exactly accurate either. We didn’t see a production pace above 5,000 in the Tesla Model 3 Tracker for prolonged times, which makes us wonder why, if there was a goal to reach 7,000 by the end of November?

Compared to 193,556 registered VIN numbers (according to Model 3 VINs), around 38,765 VIN numbers (8 weeks of 5,000/week worth of production) are ready for use.

Production and deliveries of Model 3 in previous quarters thus far:

  • 2017’Q3 – 260 produced, and 222 delivered
  • 2017’Q4 – 2,425 produced and 1,542 delivered
  • 2018’Q1 – 9,766 produced and 8,182 delivered
  • 2018’Q2 – 28,578 produced and 18,449 delivered
  • 2018’Q3 – 53,239 produced and 56,065 delivered
  • 2018’Q4 – already 60,523 produced (estimated)

Source: Tesla Model 3 TrackerModel 3 VINs


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Electric Autonomous Roborace May Join Formula 1 Too

The autonomous racing series Roborace is not limited to running alongside Formula E and would be open to demonstrating its driverless car technology alongside Formula 1 and other series.

Roborace’s inaugural season is due to commence next spring, with its ‘Season Alpha’ calendar running partially alongside FE as both categories are all-electric.

However, Roborace CEO and 2016/17 FE champion Lucas di Grassi told Motorsport.com that the series is not restricted to running alongside its electric cousin.

He said he would be happy to work with other categories, including F1, to showcase technology and boost its profile.

“It won’t be at all the FE events,” di Grassi said. “Some races will be with Formula E, and some on our own.

“There are no limitations to partnering other championships. If Formula 1 wants to showcase with us to show artificial intelligence, we can do that.

“Or WEC, we could create a series where you can race 24 hours with one driver and artificial intelligence alternating in the car in the future.

“We’re not limited to FE. We can spread towards different categories.

“We like FE because we’d like the future to be fully-electric. [But] we’ll talk with series in the US, like IMSA, and in Japan, like Super GT.”

The series will use an evolution of the development car that can also be driven by a human.

‘DevBot 2.0’ retains the LMP-inspired design of the original Roborace test mule but will be rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive and has updated styling and hardware.

The new DevBot will be used for the first two seasons, known as ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ after the nomenclature used by developers for software testing ahead of a full release.

After evaluating how the concept will work in those seasons, Roborace plans to switch to the Robocar for the category’s ‘full release’ and first proper season in 2021.

The current Robocar, launched officially in early 2017, is completely autonomous and has a bold, unique design with no cockpit, but this is likely to change because Roborace wants the final car to be able to be controlled by a driver.

Di Grassi, who has said the 2021 car would be “like the son of Roborace and DevBot together”, said Roborace was focused on building something unique.

“It’ll be more of a show, less of a competition in the first few seasons,” said di Grassi.

“It’s a tech event, for tech companies to showcase what they are developing.

“We will not compete with any existing series. We want to create our own area of motorsport.”


Source: Electric Vehicle News

BAIC Aims To Sell 220,000 Electric Cars In China Next Year

Nearly a quarter of a million targeted.

Even though the phasing out of new energy vehicle (NEV) subsidies may post great challenges to the market, BAIC BJEV is still optimistic about the market’s future. The automaker’s 2018 annual sales target of 150,000 units is within reach and it aims to sell 220,000 new energy vehicles in 2019, Li Xiuyi, vice general manager of the automaker said at a conference.

With the phasing out of subsidies and the improvement of technology threshold, NEVs will be granted less subsidies or no subsidy at all. But at the same time, the government has adopted multiple ways to support the development of the industry, such as no traffic restrictions, no parking fee and preferential electricity price. Without subsidies, the market will give more play to its advantages in driving the industry’s development.

The market without subsidies will require NEV companies of quicker response, efficient actions and richer product portfolio. Free from dependence on subsidies, the company will become more market-driven and more focused on the consumption trends. Apart from products, BAIC BJEV also plans to make improvement in technology, business model, and service, including the Darwin system, the separation between vehicle and battery, and its efforts in ride-sharing segment.

By the end of November, the NEV automaker has sold a total of 128,000 vehicles. According to Zheng Gang, general manager of BAIC BJEV, battery supply shortage is the main constraint on its sales. Currently, there are about 20,000 EU5 orders to be delivered. Zheng thought the battery shortage is the pain of the whole industry.

Source: Gasgoo


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Elon Musk hints at ‘soon’ groundbreaking Tesla Gigafactory 3 in China

Despite catching a break over the increasing tariffs in China for the first few months of 2019, Tesla is moving forward with its accelerated plan to build Gigafactory 3 in the country and Elon Musk now hints at groundbreaking “soon”. more…

The post Elon Musk hints at ‘soon’ groundbreaking Tesla Gigafactory 3 in China appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Road Test: 2018 Kia Optima PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid)

When You’re Not Quite Ready For A Battery Electric Car

Surveys show that more and more American drivers are considering battery electric vehicles (BEVs) but are still hesitant in making the purchase. There are several reasons, one of which is still “range anxiety.” That’s the fear of depleting the battery’s electricity, leaving one stranded in the middle of who knows where.

If you like the idea of an electric vehicle but are holding back, you should consider a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV). It’s two cars in one; a short range electric vehicle and a hybrid vehicle. That means when the battery is depleted a gasoline engine automatically takes over and operates as a standard gasoline-powered hybrid. Thus, range anxiety is no longer an issue.

Yes, like an electric car the battery needs to be recharged, either from a standard electric outlet or home charger or, from a public charging station. If the battery is no longer delivering electrons, just keep on driving and fill the gas tank until you can recharge.

2018 Kia Optima PHEV

The Kia Optima plug-in was introduced for the 2017 model year. For 2018 there are no major changes; just paint and trim colors.

2019 Kia Optima PHEV

A little electric, but a lot more miles overall 

Like last year, the 2018 Kia Optima PHEV is thousands of dollars less than other similar models in the segment including the Ford Fusion Energi. Although only one trim level exists for the car, the EX trim, it’s at a level that most buyers will be looking for.

When combining the plug-in Optima’s electric driving range with the hybrid range, the car can travel up to 610 miles. On just electric power alone, it can go as far as 29 miles before needing a recharge. On gas-powered performance, it’s EPA rated at 40-mpg combined city and highway, while its electric power economy is 103 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon equivalent). That alone is a good enough reason to check the car out and take a test drive.

As a plug-in hybrid, the 2018 Kia Optima PHEV has two power sources: a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine with 154 horsepower and a 66 horsepower electric motor. Under acceleration, the engine and electric motor pool their resources to provide a combined system output of 220 horsepower. That puts it right in line with traditional gas-powered vehicles in its segment.

What distinguishes the Optima plug-in from other PHEVs is its six-speed automatic transmission, a relative anomaly some drivers will prefer over a continuously variable transmission (CVT) more common to hybrids. While other carmakers have gone so far as to simulate stepped gearing in their continuously variable automatic transmissions, Kia offers the real thing, making the vehicle feel much like a conventional gas-powered car.

Exterior and Interior

When Kia redesigned the Optima in 2016 they took a step back from the forward-looking, forward-thinking example of daring and aggressive design of the previous version. The look is conservative and mature. With the Optima PHEV, the automaker put form in the service of function — better aerodynamics that matches the Tesla Model S electric sedan’s drag coefficient of just 0.24 Cd.

From the outside, the plug-in Optima’s shapely hood, elongated dimensions, sloping roofline, and curves hint at a sportier mission. The car has Kia’s recognizable sporty honeycombed front grille along with chrome-accented exterior trim.

2019 Kia Optima PHEV

Great for people; less so for cargo

Inside, the conservatively laid out driver’s quarters features simply arranged buttons and knobs, and occupant space front and back that is roomy and comfortable. However, the sloping roofline cuts into rear head space, but wide door openings help taller passengers enter and exit without much fuss. There’s just enough head room for six-footers, but taller passengers may want to consider calling shotgun—or taking the keys altogether.

I gave the plug-in Optima a big demerit for cargo capacity. There is less cargo space in the trunk than on most compact hatchbacks — just 9.89 cubic feet. If it’s meant to be a family car, it’s for one that doesn’t need to carry any baby stuff beyond a diaper bag.

2019 Kia Optima PHEV

This Optima has plug power

Specification levels are high with the single EX trim level. Offerings include cruise control, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, heated steering wheel and leather seats with heating for the front row and 10-way power adjustment for the driver.

The 2018 Optima Plug-in Hybrid continues Kia’s knack for creating strong showroom appeal by including hot-button features as standard. These include Kia’s UVO’s infotainment telematics system with an eight inch display screen. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone linking, satellite radio and a rear-camera display. Add to the list an auxiliary audio jack and a USB interface for iPods and other digital media, plus a tilt/telescoping steering wheel fitted with audio, Bluetooth, and cruise controls. A bonus is the standard Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system.

For those who want the latest in comprehensive safety tech, there’s the Optional Technology Package. It adds autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision mitigation, rear park assist, LED headlights with dynamic bending light, panoramic sunroof and LED interior lighting. You also get ventilated front seats, a 10-way power front passenger seat and heated rear seats.

On the Road

Driving the 2018 Optima Plug-in Hybrid is a soothing respite to the bustle and hubbub of city traffic — nicely soundproofed, luxuriously appointed and pleasant to drive. Kia’s reason for choosing an automatic transmission rather than the more common hybrid continuously variable transmission (CVT) was to address the complaint that hybrids were boring to drive.

2019 Kia Optima PHEV

Plenty of power when you need it

Mash the throttle and the six-speed transmission winds nicely toward top rpm, shifting each time somewhere around 6,000 rpm, when the full tug of torque seems ready to run out. So it would seem that Kia’s goal of achieving a driving experience that closely parallels a conventional car is accomplished.

As for handling, the car has balanced agility for the hybrid sedan class and the suspension keeps everything secure. The ride is composed and comfortable with the suspension soaking up potholes and rough pavement.

My favorite aspect of the Kia’s road manners is its responsive steering. It has a quick and precise feeling, is balanced and firm, but never twitchy. Regenerative and hydraulic braking play a role in the electric hybrid system and the brake pedal felt firm and easily hauled down speed.

Accelerating moderately and keeping pace with 70-75 mph freeway traffic, after diving 236 miles in our EX test car nearly equally between city and highway driving we averaged 42.8 mpg. What likely helped beat the EPA rating was the hybrid system’s ability to travel on electric power at 70 mph, something I found fairly easy to do.

In the Marketplace

The 2018 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid faces off against several mid-size sedan competitors. These include Kia’s sister company’s Hyundai Sonata PHEV, Toyota’s Prius Prime, the Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Clarity PHEV and Chevrolet’s outgoing Volt.

At $35,210, the 2018 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid is priced competitively. Hyundai’s Sonata PHEV is priced from $33,250 to $38,850, while the Prius Prime prices range from $27,300 to $33,300. Ford offers three trim levels for the Fusion Energi with a price starting at $33,400 to $41,400.

Honda’s Clarity PHEV comes in two flavors, Base and Touring, with a sticker price of $33,000 for the base trim and $36,600 for the Touring. Chevrolet is ceasing producion of the Volt next February, so expect closeout prices soon. In the meantime the Volt has a price of $33,220 for the LT trim and $35,570 for the Premier trim.

2019 Kia Optima PHEV

Competition’s out there, but Kia has an edge

Each of the above PHEVs have different electric-only driving ranges as well as different hybrid-only driving ranges as well as different standard and optional features. So, it’s important to check out the details.

But the 2018 Optima Plug-in Hybrid offers a compelling reason to  buy — Kia’s warranty. Basic coverage is five-years/60,000-miles bumper-to-bumper, and 10-years/100,000-miles for the hybrid powertrain, which includes the battery pack, electric motor, gear drive unit, electric power control unit, onboard charger, the works.

Then there’s the warranty knockout punch—a lifetime warranty for the battery pack. If the lithium polymer battery fails, Kia will replace the battery and cover recycling costs of the old battery pack free of charge to the original owner.

That’s impressive and reassuring. If for no other reason than the warranty, if you have decided it’s time to move to a plug-in hybrid, the 2018 Kia Optima PHEV should be on your shopping list.

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.”

Related Stories You Might Enjoy—the PHEV Challengers

News: 2019 Ford Fusion Energi Gets More Range

News: 2018 Hyundai Sonata PHEV Gets Price Cut, More Range

Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Flash Drive: 2018 Toyota Prius Prime

Road Test: 2017 Ford Fusion Energi

Road Test: 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

Road Test: 2019 Chevrolet Volt.

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

Behind The Scenes Of Audi E-Tron Development: Video

The Audi e-tron – a making of

Audi released a new documentary on the development and production of the e-tron, its first electric SUV, which is also one of the most expensive projects in company’s history.

Development of a first all-electric model for series production is always demanding. Audi went through a lot of testing and the video shows us many new things from behind the scenes.

Because it’s Audi, and Audi is not too fond of Tesla, around 15:55 you can hear a little bit about the competition in the EV segment. Like how Tesla’s production problems damaged its image, and that established manufacturers (Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche) are moving quickly.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Here are the new all-electric vehicles coming in 2019

With every year, buyers have more all-electric vehicle options and 2019 is not going to be an exception.

Here are the new all-electric vehicles coming in 2019. more…

The post Here are the new all-electric vehicles coming in 2019 appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Global November Sales: New Record Of Over 237,000 Electric Cars

If December will bring at least 272,000, total sales in 2018 will be 2 million

November 2018 was another great month for plug-in electric car sales around the world. A new all-time record was set the third time in a row, and we are waiting for the fourth in December.

EV Sales Blog estimates that, in total, some 237,553 plug-in electric cars were sold last month (up 73%). More than two-thirds (67%) of sales are BEVs.

See more our sales reports for November 2018 here.

The tally for 11 months of 2018 is 1,728,629 at an average of 2% market share. We are almost certain that more than a quarter million people will start driving electric (purely electric or partially electric) in December.

Tesla Model 3 is the winner that takes it all – the best result for the month (19,255) and for the year (120,836).

The second best in November was BAIC EC-Series with 14,205 sales and it will overtake the Nissan LEAF in second place in December as the Japanese model noted “just” 8,276 sales per month. Overall, those are the top three all-electric (and in general plug-in) models.

As you can see on the table provided by EV Sales Blog, there are five different BYD models in top 20! On the other hand, Tesla has three, but those three are in top 7 (with a chance for top 6, including #1).

The new model in #20 is the new all-electric BYD Yuan with a decent 6,188.

In November, BYD sold the most plug-in cars, followed closely by Tesla. BAIC is not able to keep the pace of the top two, which will close the year with more than 200,000 sales (Tesla already did).

  • Tesla: 27,606 (204,885 YTD)
  • BYD: 28,742 (192,437 YTD)
  • BAIC: 18,315 (137,133 YTD)

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Arcimoto Gets $4.5 Million In Funding For Electric Trike

The electric trike manufacturer plans to begin full-scale production in early 2019.

The charge into the future continues. Arcimoto has announced receiving a $4.5 million investment in the company to amp up production of its FUV electric trike for early 2019.

The FUV, which is an acronym for “Fun Utility Vehicle,” is another three-wheeler that toes the increasingly grey line between car and motorcycle. Unlike vehicles like the Polaris Slingshot, the Arcimoto FUV retains handlebars and motorcycle controls, putting it squarely into the motorcycle category from an operational and legal point of view. Yet features such as bucket seats, seat belts, and a roll cage that can also enable the interior to be enclosed, it provides some of the amenities of a car as well.

Arcimoto has been working on prototypes for the FUV, formerly called the SRK, for years. President and Founder Mark Frohnmayer took delivery of the first production vehicle last year. The second one went to actor Nathan Fillion, who considers it to be the spaceship he’s always wanted. (Hopefully, he named it Serenity.)

This latest funding comes from FOD Capital, LLC. This will be used to set up the production lines to build the FUV on a large scale, fulfilling 3,250 customer pre-orders as well as deploying rental fleets.

“This financing will allow Arcimoto to take the next critical step: the semi-automated manufacture, assembly, and delivery of our first retail vehicles,” said Mark Frohnmayer. “With global demand for electric vehicles accelerating, we are confident that Arcimoto’s vision of a capital efficient enterprise producing affordable, efficient, small-footprint EVs designed for everyday driving is well-timed.”

Arcimoto isn’t the only electric vehicle company finding funding these days. Dutch electric scooter manufacturer Etergo recently secured about $11 million from an unnamed auto manufacturer to put its AppScooter into production. Taiwanese manufacturer Gogoro partnered with Yamaha to deploy not only its own electric scooters but also an extensive battery swap network. Arcimoto’s FUV is no scooter, but that’s a good thing for American customers who expect superior performance. Its dual-motor front-wheel-drive design will take you from zero to 60 in 7.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 80 mph. This, plus its 130-mile maximum range, should make the FUV a viable option for American consumers. We look forward to seeing the real thing.


Source: Electric Vehicle News