On This Day In EV History: Electric Car Wins U.S.’ First Auto Race

*First race on a track

Electric vehicles are upsetting the racing apple cart, winning some pretty historic races. Perhaps the most significant was this year’s evisceration of the Pikes Peak record by Romain Dumas in the Volkswagen I.D. R. But fans (and historians) know that races were being won under the influence of battery power a long ways back. In fact, the first auto race held in the U.S. on a track, as opposed to cross-country events, was won by an electric car on this very day back in 1896.

Yup, before the 20th century cracked open, a race was held to promote automobiles and it was a pretty big deal. Over 60,000 people showed up at the Narragansett Trotting Park –  a horse racing track a mile in length – located in Cranston, Rhode Island on the outskirts of Providence, to watch two electric horseless carriages challenge five gasoline-powered ones.

According to History.com, the start was a slow one, with the crowds yelling the then-popular refrain, “Get a horse!” Before long, though, the entry by The Riker Electric Vehicle Company (Andrew L. Riker, proprietor) was ahead. At the end of five laps, the fastest of which it covered in 2 minutes, 13 seconds, the Riker machine was the first to cross the finish line with a total time in the neighborhood of 15 minutes. The other EV, from the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, trundled into second place followed by a petroleum-powered machine from the Duryea Motor Wagon Company: an outfit responsible for the very first automobile sales in the United States.

The event was great for Riker –  he won $900 (about $27,000 in today’s money) –  and for automobile race tracks, which immediately began springing up in cities around the country. As we know, though, the electric vehicle’s success of that era was short lived, ending for decades after, ironically, Cadillac introduced the first electric starter on a production automobile in 1912.


Source: History.com

Source: Electric Vehicle News

AUGUST UPDATE – 5 Automakers Closest To Losing The Federal Tax Credit

This year, the first manufacturers will hit cumulative sales of 200,000 plug-in electric cars in the U.S.

***UPDATE: Via it’s EV Incentive page, Tesla has confirmed the selling of its 200,000th vehicle in the U.S. Tesla has updated its phaseout chart to depict this. Here’s the chart as it stands now:

This impacts Model 3 buyers more so than Model S or X. Those awaiting the base Model 3 will now have to decide whether to wait it out at potentially a reduced credit, or pony up for a higher level version of the car at the full credit, which remains in place through the end of the year.

Hitting 200,000 will trigger the phaseout period of the $7,500 federal tax credit.

**UPDATE – This post has been updated to include sales through the end the August 2018.

Currently, all of the plug-ins vehicles sold in the U.S. are eligible for full federal tax credit of up to $7,500 (depending on battery capacity – see actual credit amount for each vehicle here).

But when a particular manufacturer sells 200,000 units, like Tesla already has, the full amount will be available through the end of that quarter and for the following quarter. Then, all new plug-ins from that manufacturer will be eligible for just 50% of the per-vehicle credit amount – for only two more quarters. After that, the credit diminishes even more until it’s eventually gone for that particular manufacturer.

As we explained in the past, this is how it all works.

“Each independent automaker’s eligible plug-in vehicles receive a federal credit (up to $7,500) federal credit – until the 200,000th plug-in is registered inside the US, when a countdown for phaseout of the credit begins.

At the time of the 200,000th sales, and so as not to disrupt/confuse those buying the EVs, that full $7,500 credit continues through the end of the current quarter and to the completion of the next quarter.  After this period ends the “phase-out” begins, meaning the credit is reduced to $3,750 for the next 6 months, then to $1,875 for the next 6 months before expiring completely.

During any part of the phase-out process (between sale #200,000 and the calendar expiry date), the OEM is free to BUILD AND SELL AS MANY EVS as they can/want, receiving the applicable incentive amount.”

And here’s the phaseout, as explained by the IRS:

The qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit phases out for a manufacturer’s vehicles over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009) (“phase-out period”).

Qualifying vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer are eligible for 50 percent of the credit if acquired in the first two quarters of the phase-out period and 25 percent of the credit if acquired in the third or fourth quarter of the phase-out period. Vehicles manufactured by that manufacturer are not eligible for a credit if acquired after the phase-out period.

Highly Related – 11,362 Est. U.S. Tesla Deliveries In June, IRS Language On 200k Unclear

There are six manufacturers most advanced in progressing towards 200,000, including 1 that has gone over.

5. BMW Group – 73,673


4. Toyota – 86,485



3. Ford – 109,634


2. Nissan – 122,950


1. General Motors (GM) – 189,758



Surpassed – Now In Phase-Out Period – Tesla – 244,333 (estimated, in-depth analysis/discussion from June by InsideEVs here)

Taking into consideration the numbers and pace of sales in the past months, Tesla hit 200,000 first, in the second half of this year.

General Motors should be second to the 200,000 level, but with the pace of sales slowed in the last couple of months, there still maybe 4 months left before GM enters the phase-out period.

It’s likely Nissan will be third, but with stalled sales of the new LEAF, this will be along ways off still.

After that, it’s not so clear which automakers will be next.

Top 15 FAQs on the Income Tax Credit for Plug-in Vehicles


We’ll update this list on a monthly basis as new sales figures come in. You can keep track of U.S. sales here and remember to check out our Compare EVs page for information such as federal tax credit amount, pricing, range and more.

*Eric Loveday contributed to this report

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Harley To Set Up Silicon Valley Facility For Electric Bike Development

With an eye toward expanding its portfolio into electric motorcycles, The Motor Company sets out for the California Republic

It’s been a pretty busy month or so for Harley-Davidson. First the company dropped a bomb on the motoring world with the announcement of new, decidedly non-Harley products like the Pan American, the Streetfighter, and the LiveWire. Then there was the 115th anniversary party, the new CVO bikes, plans for storefront-based brand outreach, the unveiling of the bonkers FXDR 114—all kinds of crazy stuff. Now, not content to rest on its laurels, the Motor Company just dropped some electrifying news on us about a new research and development facility in NorCal.

MORE: Harley Finally Enters the 21st Century with Big News

What’s this all about, then? Well, in the Big Announcement with the Pan America and all that, Harley also announced that the LiveWire would be the anchor for a whole product line of electric motorcycles bearing the orange and black livery. Thing is, building  small, agile electric dirt bikes and runabouts is way different than building a big bike like the LiveWire, let alone 45-degree V-twins in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. That’s why Harley has bowed to fate and announced the opening of a new high-tech research and development center out in Silicon Valley. Would you like to know more? Of course you would.

HARLEY: US built Harley Electric Bike Shown in Production Skin

Press Release Follows

Harley-Davidson, Inc. announced today it will establish a new research and development facility in Northern California to support its future product portfolio, including the company’s first complete line of electric vehicles.

That orange color is great, and we like the little fairing around the headlight.

“Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally,” said Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “This new R facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport.”

NEWS: Harley’s 115th Anniversary: The Milwaukee Party

In July, Harley-Davidson shared details of its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan. Through this accelerated plan, the company is expanding the Harley-Davidson community through new products, broader access and stronger dealers.

As part of that strategy, Harley-Davidson will launch its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire™, in 2019. That motorcycle will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed by the company. It will be followed by additional models through 2022 to broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible product options to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.

The new facility in California, which will serve as a satellite of the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Facility in Wauwatosa, Wis., is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. It will initially focus on electric vehicle research and development, including battery, power electronics and e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing. Long term, the company may consider expanding the center’s focus to an increased range of advanced technologies that uniquely leverage the rich talent in the Silicon Valley and support its most comprehensive and competitive lineup of motorcycles across a broad spectrum of price points, power sources and riding styles.

The company has already begun recruiting top talent in electrical, mechanical and software engineering, with experience in developing and delivering a wide variety of EV systems from design through production. The facility will initially employ a staff of approximately 25, most of which the company intends to hire from within the Silicon Valley area.

“This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, and it’s also an exciting time to join our company and help shape our future,” said Levatich.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Turvey on Nissan’s Formula E Driver Shortlist For 2018/19

Oliver Turvey is among the drivers Nissan e.dams is in talks with for the 2018/19 Formula E season, but team boss Jean-Paul Driot says “any possible drivers” are being considered.

Nissan has taken over from Renault as the FE manufacturer partner to Driot’s e.dams squad ahead of the 2018/19 championship, with Nico Prost leaving the team at the end of the season four.

It had been understood that Sebastien Buemi, who has raced with the team since the inaugural FE campaign in 2014/15, had a contract for season five, but the situation is less clear approaching the start of the new championship.

There has been speculation that Nissan could opt to place one of its contracted factory drivers with the squad, while established FE racers are also understood to be under consideration.

“We will take the decision during the course of September and so we will make an announcement by the end of September,” Driot told Motorsport.com. “We will make a full announcement, with both drivers.

“We have looked at any possible drivers that we think have the capability of doing the job – that’s it.

“Because we need to open our eyes to see who is available – [and] we have been discussing with some drivers, with their contracts.

“But it’s also in discussion with Nissan – it’s a new partner so it takes a little bit more time.”

NIO driver Turvey, who finished 10th in the 2017/18 season, has been linked to a Nissan e.dams switch.

Asked if the 31-year-old Briton was still under consideration, Driot replied: “We spoke with Oliver Turvey, yeah, we are speaking with him.

“We have not taken a decision yet.”

Buemi races for Toyota in the World Endurance Championship and it has been suggested this could complicate his arrangement with e.dams now Nissan has come on board.

Although Buemi is widely expected to continue with the team as per the contact he signed ahead of the Berlin round of the 2016/17 season, Prost was also given a contract that covered season five before he left the squad.

When asked if Buemi is going to be one of the two drivers announced ahead of season five official group testing getting under way on October 16-19, Driot said: “We are still in discussions.”

Source: Electric Vehicle News

This Japanese tilting electric cargo tricycle is as cute as it is functional

Electric bicycles used to be fairly multi-use vehicles, often designed for roles such as commuting, recreation, and even light cargo duty. But as e-bikes continue to grow in popularity, strong sales are encouraging designers to branch out with ever more specific-use designs that excel at certain tasks.

Now a Japanese company is showing off their innovative new electric cargo trike, which falls squarely into the utility category of electric bicycles.


Source: Charge Forward

Fortum Opens First HPC Fast Charger In Sweden

First high-power charging (HPC) launched in Sweden

In September, Sweden lived to see its first ultra-fast charging station opened, called high-power charging (HPC), installed by Fortum Charge & Drive in partnership with McDonald’s, at McDonald’s in Kristinehamn, some 270 kilometers west of Stockholm and midway between Oslo and Stockholm.

The press release doesn’t say what the power level of the charger is, though there is a note that it’s 7 times faster than standard 50 kW charger and can replenish 250 km (155 miles) of range in 10 minutes. That would be possible with 350 kW output and a car that can accept such power.

“At Kristinehamn’s HPC station next generation EVs can charge about 250 km range in only 10 minutes time. This is 7 times faster than on the quick chargers that are on the market today.

The new HPC charging station in Kristinehamn is part of the first High-Power Charging (HPC) corridor that Fortum Charge & Drive is building between Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. The corridor provides better charging possibilities for the long range (over 300 km) EV models with higher charging speeds. This means that the next generation electric cars will be able to drive from Helsinki to Oslo in the same amount of time as conventional cars.”

Annika Hoffner, Head of Public charging service and home charging in Fortum said:

“We started our high-power charging journey from Oslo in April. This is our second step in establishing a network that will make electric long distance travelling in the Nordics even more convenient. Additional HPC stations will be opened in Sweden and Finland in the coming months”

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Source: Electric Vehicle News