Renault-Nissan head Carlos Ghosn arrested, ousted as Chairman

Ghosn LEAF

Carlos Ghosn, the head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and one of the global auto industry’s most prominent proponents of electrification, has been arrested in Tokyo over “financial misconduct.”

Along with Nissan Director Greg Kelly, Ghosn was arrested for “reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.”

Reuters reported (via Japan’s Jiji news agency) that Ghosn under-reported nearly 10 billion yen, or $88.6 million, in compensation as around 5 billion yen.

Nissan said Ghosn and Kelly will be fired from their executive positions and removed from the company’s Board of Directors.

It’s a tragic fall from grace for Ghosn, who oversaw an impressive comeback at Nissan, led a global partnership with Renault and Mitsubishi, and pushed the automakers to take an early lead in electrification with the production of the successful Nissan LEAF and Renault Zoe.

Ghosn LEAF 2

The news casts doubt on the future of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Automotive News reports that Ghosn had been expected to step down as Chairman of the alliance in the coming years, and had been working to create a structure that would continue the carmakers’ partnership.

Other news outlets speculated that these allegations could be the result of a coup staged by Nissan’s old guard. Financial Times reports that Ghosn was “the driving force behind the merger plans, which met with fierce resistance from Nissan’s board.”


Source: Reuters, Financial TimesAutomotive News, Electrek,


Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Tesla Model 3: prepare for winter with tires, mats, and more

It’s going to be the first winter with the Tesla Model 3 for many owners and with some new concerns over how the car holds up in cold weather, here are some tips and accessories that can help you prepare your Model 3 for the winter. more…

The post Tesla Model 3: prepare for winter with tires, mats, and more appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Range Riddle: Kilowatt-Hours To Drive 184 Miles In A Chevy Bolt?

There’s a lot we don’t know about real-world EV range.

Ever since I started driving a 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt, my third electric vehicle, I haven’t given much thought to driving range. I began leasing the 2017 Bolt in June of last year, and its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack was a big step up from my previous 2014 RAV4 EV’s 42-kWh pack granting 120 miles of range – just as that discontinued Toyota electric SUV was a bump from my 2011 Nissan Leaf’s pipsqueak 24 kilowatt-hours that eked out 84 miles on a charge. That’s a big leap in range in only six years. I rarely take road trips in the Bolt, so I recently embarked on regional trips in the Bay Area to learn more about my EV’s real-world range. The results of one particular trip were perplexing. I hope that you can help solve the range riddle.

My Bolt’s dashboard range indicator always seems low. It rarely registers more than about 160 miles of estimated range after a full, overnight charge even though the official range is 238 miles. So I reached out to FleetCarma, the EV division of the Geotab fleet management company, and they graciously loaned me a device that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics port. Data from the vehicle – such as state-of-charge, location, and driving speeds – are all registered in an online account.

With my wife along for the ride, we set out under blue skies and 60-degree weather from Berkeley to northern Sonoma County in what mapped out to a 180-mile round-trip drive. With the battery pack at 99-percent state-of-charge, I noted that the Bolt’s estimated range on the dashboard was only 155 miles. It also showed that over the past 8,000 miles I had averaged an efficiency of 3.8 miles per kilowatt hour. Logic would suggest that, even if I drive faster than I should for maximum efficiency, I would have plenty of juice for the 180-mile planned journey. In other words, I blew off the car’s 155-mile estimate and hit the road with trust in the EPA’s estimate of 238 miles on a single charge.

The first leg of the trip from Berkeley to Sonoma wine country, mostly along Highway 101, was brisk but not faster than the rest of traffic. My FleetCarma account later showed me that I averaged 50 miles per hour – with a top, momentary speed of (ahem) 82 miles mph. Lo and behold, after an 80.5-mile drive to Healdsburg, the dashboard revealed that the amount of remaining estimated range was only 65 miles, not even enough to make it back home much less complete the loop back through Napa Valley that I had planned. This leg consumed 23 kilowatt-hours, about a third of the pack and yet my data device indicated the battery state-of-charge at 41.2 percent. Explain that. The data and the dashboard suggested my efficiency was about 3.5 miles per kilowatt-hour.

Opportunity charging in Healdsburg, Calif.

Fortunately, just as we pulled into Healdsburg, I found a bank of Level-2 chargers at a private business, which amazingly allows anybody to charge free after office hours. So we plugged in and took a delightful stroll through quaint downtown Healdsburg. Ninety minutes later, the battery had taken on 9.5 kilowatt-hours of power (with 1.15 kWh in charger loss), and the Bolt’s pack was back up to 62 percent state of charge. Unfortunately, I didn’t note the estimated range was at that point, but with more than a half a pack, I felt certain that I had enough range for another 100 or so miles.

Six miles (and 1.4 kWh) down the road, we stopped at the lovely Quivira Vineyards and discovered – another lucky stroke – a free Level 2 charger in the parking lot. See the photo at the top of this page. After a one-hour stroll through Quivira’s gardens, the Bolt was supplied with another 7.5 kilowatt-hours of energy (with 1 kWh lost to the charger) and my car’s state-of-charge was up to 74.9 percent.

**Data from a day of driving. A new line is created with every key-start (when the car is turned on).

The rest of the road trip was completed in one stretch. It took us up to Geyserville, through the rolling hills of Calistoga and St. Helena, down through Napa and finally back to the congested East Bay. It was a 94-mile leg that consumed nearly 22 kilowatt-hours of energy – an efficient 4.2 miles per kilowatt hour in 72-degree weather with an average speed of 40 miles per hour. Those are ideal EV conditions.

**My four charging events over the course of 24 hours.

By the time we reached back home, the dashboard’s energy bar graph showed that the car was down to one-quarter of its capacity, which roughly matched the computer’s reading of a 21.2 percent state-of-charge. The estimated range on the guess-o-meter was an uncomfortable 35 miles. It was good to be home.

I ended the day with 35 miles of estimated range.

The total day’s journey was 183.4 miles in which I used 46.61 kWh of energy. The computer data and the dashboard were an identical match on daily efficiency at 3.95 miles per kilowatt-hour. I had added 17 kilowatt-hours of juice while on the road. Back home, I plugged the car into my Level 2 home charger, set to delay the flow of electrons to the wee hours when electricity is cheap. The next morning the Bolt was back to a 100-percent state-of-charge after adding 34.83 kilowatt-hours of energy (with charger losses at 4.18 kWh).

What lessons can be gleaned from this Sunday drive? (Besides perhaps that I don’t know how to add. I trust readers will point out where my numbers are wrong.) How do the numbers relate to the Bolt’s 238-mile of EPA estimated range? What if I had driven faster or slower – or didn’t have the benefit of the NorCal’s temperate climate? I’m sure the numbers from the drive contain a multitude of range riddles for us to ponder.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

VW Outlines New Electric Car Offensive For China

Those unfamiliar with Volkswagen’s past, current, and future efforts in China may be quite surprised.

Just recently, Volkswagen surpassed 30 million cars delivered in China thus far. This is quite a feat as it started moving into the country in 1985, with a “whopping” 2,000 deliveries. We joke about whopping since that may seem trivial, but only 5,100 vehicles hit the Chinese driver market that year in total. By 1992, VW had reached some 100,000 cars delivered in the area. When 1997 arrived, VW had some one million Chinese customers, and the story continued to a point that VW made an exponentially significant presence in China. Needless to say, the country has become a huge market for the German automaker.

Today, VW has beat all odds and delivered over 30 million cars in China. Now, it announces a whole lineup of upcoming electric vehicles to add to the mix. Volkswagen says it will offer three battery-electric vehicles and two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for China in the not-so-far future. In fact, Volkswagen plans to release these vehicles in China in 2019. It already has partnerships formed with FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC VOLKSWAGEN to make this happen as soon as potentially possible.

CEO of Volkswagen Brand China Stephan Wöllenstein shared:

Together with our joint ventures, we also will step up our efforts with our NEV offensive in 2019—introducing 3 locally-produced battery-electric versions of well-known Volkswagen models. We will also introduce one more locally-produced PHEV and the Touareg PHEV from Volkswagen Import.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Panasonic’s Only Profitable Electric Car Battery Deal Is With Tesla

Tesla is the most valuable battery customer to Panasonic.

According to Nikkei’s article, a source affiliated with Panasonic says that Tesla is “just about the only place it can secure solid profitability in car batteries.”

Panasonic is supplying lithium-ion batteries to multiple carmakers in Japan, Europe and North America, but it seems that the volume and prices in Tesla deals are the most satisfying.

So far, Tesla relied only on Panasonic, which produced cells for the Roadster, Model S and, Model X in Japan, and produces cells for the Model 3 at the Tesla Gigafactory. The production goal potential for the Gigafactory in Nevada is set for 35 GWh annually by the end of this year.

The topic about Tesla and Panasonic arose after Elon Musk said that the new Tesla Gigafactory 3 in China will have multiple cell suppliers, including Panasonic.

“Tesla will manufacture all battery modules & packs at China Giga, as we do today in California & Nevada. Cell production will be sourced locally, most likely from several companies (incl Pana), in order to meet demand in a timely manner.”

It changes the situation for the Japanese manufacturer, which now maybe will have to compete with other manufacturers for Tesla contracts, at least in some markets.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, EPA chief, faster Tesla Superchargers, giving thanks: Today's Car News

Lime launches car-share service in SeattleWe get our first drive in the extra-efficient 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. President Trump plans to make acting EPA head Andrew Wheeler official. Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans more and faster Tesla Superchargers. And our Twitter poll asks readers to give thanks. All this and more on Green Car Reports. We get a first drive in the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 battery cells have a 20% cost advantage over LG, new report says

Tesla has long been saying that it is leading competition in terms of battery costs, but now a report is backing up their claims as UBS says that Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 batteries made by Panasonic have a 20% cost advantage over LG. more…

The post Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 battery cells have a 20% cost advantage over LG, new report says appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Musk announces more and faster Tesla Superchargers on the way

Tesla Supercharger site in Rocklin, California, before expansion    [photo: George Parrott]Tesla CEO Elon Musk is tweeting again, this time about expanding and potentially upgrading the company’s Supercharger network. On Monday, Musk tweeted that the company will start deploying “much faster” Version 3 Superchargers early next year. The news comes on the heels of Tesla’s announcement that it will ship Model 3s to Europe and Australia…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews

Tesla Teams With Auction House To Increase Used Car Sales

Now that Tesla has a multitude of used cars coming in, it’s high time to ramp up its used vehicle sales.

The Tesla Model 3 has attracted an enormous amount of attention to the Silicon Valley electric automaker. Some half a million people have a reservation for the company’s new, small, lower-priced sedan. However, we’ve learned that there are just some people that are not willing to wait for their delivery, which makes perfect sense since depending on your global location, it may still be awhile.

It comes as no surprise that some people have splurged and bought a Model S or even a Model X instead. Moreover, a used Tesla may be a solid option, and since Tesla offered some lease options on the Model S and Model X in the past, these used cars (lease returns and trade-ins) are continuing to stream in. Buyers could try to grab up a used Model S for the time being and then take delivery of their Model 3 down the road, or even wait a bit longer in hopes of securing a used Model 3.

In order to facilitate the above situations, Tesla has teamed up with Manheim and Adesa KAR Auction Services, which is owned by Cox Enterprises. We are already aware that Tesla is buried in operational “hell.” So, dealing with used cars is just another piece of the pie that can’t be getting easier for the electric automaker. However, selling as many of them as possible is a key strategy that arguably needs to happen, and sooner rather than later.

People familiar with the situation have revealed that Tesla is turning to these second-party auction services for assistance. The companies will help Tesla to deal with inspecting, reconditioning, and selling its used vehicles. Those aware of how Elon Musk and company operate may be surprised by this news, since the automaker tends to try to keep everything “in-house.”

The reality is that we may begin to see these type of partnerships pop up more readily as Tesla grows. While its business model doesn’t necessarily lend itself to this, there comes a point that it just makes sense, especially as Tesla always aims to put the customer first, added to the fact that it has openly admitted that in its attempt to follow that model, some customers have surely suffered. We can only imagine that Musk, and Tesla as a company, want to make every effort to right any undesirable situations.

The recent report cites a Tesla employee who revealed that about half of the vehicles that go to such partners return to Tesla ready to sell as CPO vehicles. In addition, these cars can be utilized as service loaners or employee cars immediately. The remainder of cars are actually sold by the auction houses.

The aforementioned auction companies and Tesla have not officially commented on this new situation.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Source: Electric Vehicle News

New Drone Flyover Of Tesla’s Massive Lathrop Facility

Progress at the Tesla Lathrop facility is clear from this flyover video.

The latest flyover videos at the newest Tesla Lathrop facility reveals that the progress is swift (compared to 8 days earlier). The roof is still being installed, but soon it should be completed.

It’s expected that the 870,000 sq ft building under construction will become Tesla’s distribution hub to handle growing production of Tesla Model 3. On the sides of the facility, you can see a line of openings, which probably will be used by semi-trailers loaded with Teslas.

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Source: Teslarati

Source: Electric Vehicle News