BYD Cancels Canadian Truck Plant After Ontario Scraps EV Incentives

VP of BYD Canada insists that the change in government policy did not impact their decision

Last year, BYD announced plans to open a new electric truck assembly plant in Ontario. The facility was expected to open this year with roughly 40 employees. It would gradually expand over time similar to the company’s U.S. plant in Lancaster, California. That location started in 2013 with a mere 100 employees but has now grown to nearly 1,000 strong according to Reuters. So a future BYD facility was expected to give a positive boost to the Canadian economy.

At the time the plant was announced, Vice President of BYD Canada Ted Dowling said Ontario’s strong tax incentives and welcoming environment were key to choosing the province of Ontario. Last year the company stated:

BYD is a global company, but we like to localize. It doesn’t make sense to build everything in China and then ship it. It makes more sense to utilize the incentive programs and policy changes and create jobs in different markets.

Unfortunately, BYD’s trucks were approved for Canadian roads less than one month before the new conservative government took control in Ontario. With Doug Ford came the end of several clean vehicle initiatives. Now BYD has similarly ended their plans for electric truck assembly in Ontario. However, Dowling insists that the cancellation of the facility is not a reaction to Ontario dropping the strong EV incentives and the cap and trade program.

According to Dowling, “It’s just not happening right now, and we’re not necessarily waiting on anything to make it happen. When the business case makes sense, we’ll do it.”  No alternative explanation was given for the change of plans. But he did state they were landing more orders for electric buses than trucks.

Source: Reuters

Source: Electric Vehicle News

ChargePoint CEO talks about Tesla Superchargers, wireless and the future of public charging

Pasquale Romano, the CEO of ChargePoint, one of the world’s largest charging networks, sat down with EV writer Jim Motavalli at the recent Web Summit conference for a wide-ranging interview.

Romano discusses the accelerating growth of the EV market – in California, plug-ins now make up 5% of new-car sales, and in Silicon Valley it’s fast becoming a social faux pas to show up at a party in a gas burner. He also highlights the importance of workplace charging – across the US, drivers who enjoy the opportunity to charge at work are six times more likely to buy an EV.

ChargePoint is beginning to deploy chargers capable of charging at 800 volts, which means a vehicle could add 250 km of range in about 10 minutes. Motavalli notes that this sounds like a major tipping point – charging an EV can now be almost as fast as gassing up a fossil-powered ride.

Some of Romano’s most interesting comments have to do with Tesla’s Supercharger network. Tesla created its own proprietary charging standard because it was unwilling to wait for the rest of the industry to catch up. Romano says that, while the ultimate goal is to have a uniform standard for all automakers, Tesla made the right decision at the time.

“If I were Tesla, I probably would have done the same thing in building out a charging network when they did, because they were highly dependent on that, and the rest of the world was just not getting off the blocks fast enough,” says Romano. “Now they’ve proven that, if you take away that buying objection [charging], you can have a very high-demand car.”

Romano is optimistic about the future of vehicle autonomy, which he believes will reduce the cost of living in several ways. He also has some interesting comments about wireless charging, which he sees as just “a different cable.” He points out that ChargePoint is focused on software and the customer interface. “Our biggest value add is not…hardware. What we care about is, from a driver perspective, how we make it easy to find, access, pay for stations…all of the software problems associated with managing the charging ecosystem.”


Source: Web Summit

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

AxleTech’s highly integrated e-axle for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks

Sponsored by AxleTech

Widescale commercial vehicle electrification requires intelligent systems engineering

Electrification continues to gain traction throughout the commercial vehicle industry. Driven primarily by rapidly falling battery costs, and thus lower total operating costs, vehicle makers are racing to electrify existing models and launch all new electric vehicles. Tightening emissions regulations and corporate social responsibility targets also factor into the rise in electrification’s viability. Since commercial vehicles are a substantial source of greenhouse gas emission, they have become a priority segment for electrification – a trend spurred by diesel bans and zero-emission regulations announced inside major cities around the world.

As a result, the market value of industrial and commercial electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to increase considerably in the coming years. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, the electrification of the medium- and heavy-duty truck market is expected to grow by 48 percent by volume compounded annually from 2017 to 2025. In just the next six years, 11 percent of this entire market is expected to become electrified. If battery costs continue to drop at rates ahead of many projections, substantially larger adoption rates may be possible. Despite the projected EV growth, commercial vehicle manufacturers still face challenges to electrify fleets.

One significant barrier slowing the pace of commercial vehicle electrification, especially for large Class 6, 7, and 8 trucks, is the lack of viable electric powertrain alternatives. Although cost effectiveness and packaging remain a concern, the performance of many commercial vehicle e-powertrains currently falls below the capabilities of conventional diesel powertrains.

Early solutions have involved replacing the heavy-duty truck engine with a single, large electric motor and multi-speed gearbox. This configuration is referred to as a “direct drive” solution because it follows the traditional longitudinal drivetrain platform. However, this direct drive approach has noticeable drawbacks, including poor packaging, efficiency, cost, and compatibility of the major components. While this approach is certainly easier to implement, the lack of systems engineering experience often equates to performance and packaging concessions that fall below user expectations.

More recently, many companies have sought to engineer around these deficits by launching new commercial EV powertrains with very specialized configurations. Some of these solutions offer superior performance to diesel, but they contain varying degrees of customized chassis, suspensions, and e-powertrains that raise concerns of long-term supportability and cost. Consequently, successful Tier 1 suppliers must take a different approach to develop optimized e-powertrains that are efficient, reliable, and easy to implement and maintain. This systems-engineered approach will drive wide scale electrification of commercial vehicles.

Introducing an e-axle system for commercial vehicles

AxleTech has created a highly integrated e-axle for medium- and heavy-duty commercial truck applications. By fully integrating the motors and two-speed transmission into the axle, AxleTech’s solution provides the highest performance and efficiency in the smallest packaging, while fitting within the existing chassis, suspension, and wheel end envelope. With these crucial benefits, this EV system lowers the total cost of ownership, decreases the required battery size, and improves the regeneration capabilities versus a diesel or unintegrated e-powertrain. The number of moving parts in the AxleTech system also is much less than traditional drivetrains, so maintenance costs are lower.

Employing its unique approach, AxleTech will unveil its first product offering in early 2019. This product has been designed to exceed the power requirements of current diesels and fit in the same package space, on top of providing optimized efficiency and serviceability that is required of existing commercial trucks. Upon its release, the system will be the most powerful electric heavy-duty powertrain from a Tier 1 supplier, surpassing the performance of diesel and all other EV systems.

Power-dense, efficient performance

AxleTech’s commercial vehicle e-powertrain is expected to lead the industry in power and efficiency. The system features two high-speed electric motors, a multi-speed transmission, and eliminates the need for additional driveshafts and support structures. As a single axle, it meets, and in some cases exceeds, the power and capabilities of a 15-liter diesel engine, generating much more power per axle than the next best e-powertrain offering. While other Tier 1 solutions require two e-axles in a 6×4 configuration for Class 8, AxleTech’s solution can provide full Class 8 performance in 4×2 or 6×2 configurations. As a 6×4 tandem set, the solution will be the most powerful Class 8 powertrain in the world.

To optimize cost and performance for different customer and application demands, the system can be configured with one or two motors per axle, allowing customers to customize the desired performance level. For example, a 4×2 Class 6 e-axle will match diesel performance with a single motor, while a Class 8 customer can order a 6×4 with two motors on one e-axle and a single motor on the other. This flexibility is critical for cost since motors and inverters represent a large percentage of overall e-axle cost.

Unlike many of the current EV powertrains that use single-speeds that must trade off gradeability for top speed, AxleTech’s integrated multi-speed transmission helps ensure that there are no concessions in performance. Having two speeds also increases efficiency by allowing the electric motor to run in its most efficient operating zones. Compared to a diesel powertrain, the integrated e-powertrain is much more efficient.

Beyond these performance metrics, AxleTech’s e-powertrain provides the needed technical advantages to ease fleet operators’ transition to electric powertrains.

Compact packaging with standard parts

To support mass adoption of the technology, AxleTech designed its commercial vehicle e-axle to fit into the typical Class 8 truck chassis and suspension used by almost every global commercial vehicle manufacturer. The new EV system has a packaging size comparable to that of a standard tandem axle “between the wheels.” This allows for easy integration of the system into existing vehicle platforms as well as frees up space for the battery and ancillary components. Additionally, the company incorporated many industry standard parts and suspension locations, including mounting points, to make assembling the system into the vehicle via traditional manufacturing processes possible.

Ultimate flexibility

With many paths to electrification being forged, AxleTech strived to make its e-powertrain a fully flexible solution. The new technology is agnostic of the electrical power source – battery, fuel cell or range extender systems – and only requires power cables, cooling lines, and a control cable to connect to the vehicle. Furthermore, AxleTech designed its solution from the start to be modular, allowing for high part commonality between its Class 8 and Class 6 e-axles.

Enhanced driver safety and productivity

Adding to its performance and technical advantages, the new e-powertrain is beneficial to end users. Trucks will accelerate quicker, increasing vehicle safety by assisting drivers in more easily merging with traffic and keeping pace with lighter vehicles. There also is the option of one-pedal driving to improve the driving experience by reducing the risk of driver fatigue. Overall, the advanced solution will boost a truck’s ability to get places safer and faster, which will raise the productivity of drivers and fleet owners.

Looking ahead, AxleTech’s highly integrated e-powertrain technology has tremendous potential for additional applications in other heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The company is exploring future iterations of the product in vehicles with different power level requirements, such as school buses and trucks in Europe and Asia – which represent a bulk of new EV growth.

Contact AxleTech more information on its electric vehicle systems.



Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine

Heliox Introduces Multi-Standard Charging For Buses In Europe

Multi-standard charging now hits electric buses

The war of charging standards for electric cars expanded to the electric buses in Europe and at least temporarily, the remedy for the ailment seems to be multi-standard charging stations.

There are to two major (but not the only ones) overhead bus charging standards at the moment – OppCharge and the Bus-Up system. At first, there was only a single system (buses and stations) in the particular cities, but when at some point two incompatible standards will appear in one place or in one fleet, there is a need for a multi-standard charging stations (sort of CHAdeMO and CCS Combo in case of cars).

Here is one of the first examples of such multi-standard charging station, provided by Heliox in Luxembourg for the Sales-Lentz. One Heliox OC charger allows electric buses to charge with different interfaces: Bus-Up and Oppcharge.

The Bus-Up is kind of a pantograph type, while OppCharge is inversed pantograph. If we end up adding a few other standards in Europe and U.S. plus the wireless charging standards, we feel the industry has a lot homework to do.

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To amplify the change towards electromobility, Heliox has committed to anchor continuous innovation through its products and durable fast charging solutions that drive e-mobility. The new multi-standard charging system allows different e-buses independent of the interface they use for charging, to charge with one Heliox fast charger. This means that both the buses that follow the principles of Bus-Up and the buses that use the Oppcharge system use the same Heliox charger for their charging sessions and automatically switch from one to the other.

As Sales-Lentz has always been an early adopter of new technologies, it is no surprise that the new technology of Heliox is implemented in their bus depot in Bascharage, Luxembourg. “We understand our role as a public transport operator to trigger our suppliers, bus manufacturers, software developers, to deliver and develop technologies that meet the market needs. Being very close to public and private customers that require mobility solutions, Sales-Lentz sees itself as a development partner and an entrepreneur ready to invest in sustainable mobility,” General Director Sales-Lentz Technics, Georges Hilbert.

In June 2017, Heliox delivered its fast charging system to Sales-Lentz, comprising of 3 charging stations laid en route in the city of Differdange and in the bus depot. These buses charge via inverted pantograph system, with a wireless communication.

As Sales-Lentz will deploy new e-buses, which follow the Bus-Up system (roof-mounted pantograph), Heliox has engineered a multi-standard system, which allows both bus models to be charged with the same charging equipment.

“Thanks to the win-win partnership of HELIOX and Sales-Lentz that led to this development, the Grand Duchy is one of the front-runners of e-mobility in Europe. As in many other sectors, the Luxembourg government supports also new innovative technology in public transportation. We are happy to see that more and more cities are in fast pace moving towards sustainable transportation. Projects such as the multi-standard system push e-mobility further and contribute to a healthier, climate-and-environmentally-friendly society to preserve the quality of life for our citizens,” said Luxembourg’s Secretary of State of the Economy, Francine Closener.

Luxembourg is making major efforts to switch sensitive lines that run across living areas and city centers, where pollution levels are critical, to sustainable solutions with reduced or zero emissions.

“This project continues to support our forward-thinking approach in delivering innovative systems to the market that emphasize interoperability and the importance of open standards. We are proud to have been delivered this project together with Sales-Lentz for the future of Luxembourg. We are happy to see that transportation sector throughout Europe is turning further towards alternative forms of mobility and our reliable and robust innovations are well-received,” Koen van Haperen, Business Development Manager

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Leclanché To Supply Kongsberg With 45 MWh Batteries For Electric Vessels

Electric vessels need a comparable amount of batteries to 50 or even 100 cars

Kongsberg, which engaged in the electrification of the marine industry, picked up Leclanché as a battery supplier for nine projects of a total amount of 45 MWh (on average 5 MWh per vessel).

Leclanché intends to build the systems in Switzerland, while the cells will come from Leclanché’s Willstätt facility in Germany.

“The partnership contributes to KONGSBERG’s new generation of hybrid power solutions, which are set to deliver game-changing efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of transportation with cutting-edge autonomous and crewed vessel newbuilds.”

“The new partnership with KONGSBERG underscores Leclanché’s strategy of being a vertically integrated system supplier to growth markets such as merchant marine and fleet transportation, moving beyond being a ‘pure play’ cell producer. Leclanché made an early investment in developing a DNV GL certified battery system for marine applications, and is the first battery supplier to fully comply with the stringent 2015 regulations that are currently in force. DNV GL is an international accredited registrar and classification society for maritime vessels headquartered in Høvik, Norway.”

Currently, two projects were revealed. The first is Yara Birkeland autonomous and electric container vessel, while the second will be Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) hybrid.

  • The first project to be jointly executed will be Yara Birkeland, the world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel with zero emissions ordered by YARA, one of the world’s leading fertilizer companies and a provider of environmental solutions. Replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year, Yara Birkeland will eliminate NOx and CO2 emissions and improve road safety, whilst also reducing noise and dust emissions currently caused by trucks in a densely populated urban area.
  • The second project relates to vessels known as Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G). Grimaldi is one of the world’s largest operators of Roll-on/ Roll-off (Ro-Ro) and Roll-on/ Roll-off Passenger (Ro-Pax) vessels. The hybrid propulsion system delivered by Kongsberg includes supply and integration of shaft generators, frequency drives, energy management systems together with Leclanché battery systems. The GG5Gs will be the first in a new series of hybrid Ro-Ro vessels using fossil fuel during navigation, with batteries providing a peak-shaving function and electricity in port.

Frode Kaland, EVP Supply Chain for Kongsberg Maritime said:

“Leclanché’s ability to cover the complete value chain from design and production of lithium cells in Europe, to full battery systems certified for marine applications together with our proprietary hybrid power technology positions us together as a single, unified supplier of electrification solutions that will deliver lower operational expenditure and enable environmental sustainability for all vessel types”.

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché said:

“The partnership between Kongsberg Maritime, one of the world’s leading providers of electrification solutions to the maritime industry and Leclanché has the potential to be game changing as it brings low and zero-emission solutions to the sizeable and fast growing electric and hybrid marine market. Leclanché’s focus on maritime is an essential component of our focus on the electrification of fleets and maritime is ideally suited to both our superior battery systems and our partnership approach to deliver emissions busting solutions. We are seeing a paradigm shift in the maritime industry towards electric power and partnerships with world class industry leaders such as KONGSBERG further demonstrate that Leclanché’s opportunity is now.”

1st Electric Ferry in the world from Leclanché SA on Vimeo.

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Source: Leclanché via Green Car Congress

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Tesla’s Elon Musk Will Transform Civilization


Elon Musk remains a frequent target in the media. Clickbait journalists clack away at their keyboards and smear the Tesla and SpaceX CEO on a regular basis. Sometimes an outside perspective is needed — especially from someone who really knows science and space. To that end, CNBC sat down with renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to get his take on Elon Musk.

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

Above: Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson (Image: Interesting Engineering)

Considering the role that people like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk play in our everyday lives, CNBC asks which of this generation’s biggest tech luminaries will ultimately be remembered for having the greatest lasting effect on the world?

“As important as Steve Jobs was, no doubt about it — [and] you have to add him to Bill Gates, because they birthed the personal computing revolution kind of together — here’s the difference: Elon Musk is trying to invent a future, not by providing the next app,” deGrasse Tyson says.

“What Elon Musk is doing is not simply giving us the next app that will be awesome on our smartphone,” deGrasse Tyson continues. “No, he is thinking about society, culture, how we interact, what forces need to be in play to take civilization into the next century.”

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Above: Neil deGrasse Tyson weighs in on Elon Musk (Youtube: CNBC Make It.)

“People who own Teslas love their Tesla …” deGrasse Tyson says. “Anyone who knows and cares about space exploration knows and cares about Elon Musk.”

It’s understandable deGrasse Tyson would have a soft spot for Musk’s intergalactic ambitions. After all, the astrophysicist is also director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium and host of “StarTalk” on the National Geographic Channel. When it comes to Musk, deGrasse Tyson predicts, “[H]e will transform civilization as we know it.”

“Because there’s unlimited resources in space; resources that, on Earth, we fight wars over,” deGrasse Tyson tells CNBC. “In space, you don’t need to fight a war, just go to another asteroid and get your resources. A whole category of war has the potential of evaporating entirely with the exploitation of space resources, which includes the unlimited access to energy as well.”

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Above: Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the brainteaser interview question that Elon Musk has used to screen potential employees (Youtube: CNBC Make It.)

“[W]e’re on the frontier of the future of civilization, and no I don’t think he gets his full due from all sectors of society,” says deGrasse Tyson, “but ultimately he will when the sectors that he is pioneering transform the lives of those who currently have no clue that their life is about to change.”


Source: CNBC

*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

BYD Introduces Tang EV600 With 82.8 kWh Battery

BYD seems into big batteries now.

One of the latest new models from BYD at 2018 Guangzhou Auto Show is the all-electric version of Tang SUV, which so far was available as conventional ICE and plug-in hybrid.

The BYD Tang EV600 received a fairly decent 82.8 kWh battery and is expected to go up to 600 km (373 miles), but more realistically probably the maximum will be around 500 km (310 miles).

Dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain (360 kW total) enables acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds. Chinese manufacturer envisioned also 30-minute fast recharge.

The pure electric Tang will be available in five and seven-seat (2+3+2) versions.

Prices in China are to be around 260,000-360,000 RMB ($37,400-$51,800). The base price is twice higher than base conventional ICE and slightly higher than base PHEV version.

We are very interested in how well the new Tang BEV will sell as the PHEV is the top -selling plug-in model for the brand (over 6,000 per month).

BYD Tang EV600 specs:

  • 82.8 kWh battery
  • up to 600 km (373 miles), but real-world probably up to 400-500 km (250-310 miles) we assume
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds
  • system output 360 kW, all-wheel drive (two 180 kW and 330 Nm electric motors – one per axle)
  • fast charging in around 30 minutes

BYD Tang EV600

Source: BYD, Gasgoo

Source: Electric Vehicle News

UK Buyers Unlikely To Consider Electric: Here’s Why

60% are unlikely to consider EVs, but the remaining 40% maybe will

Earlier this month we received from Select Car Leasing a note about a study which reveals that some 60% of consumers in UK are unlikely to consider an electric car for their next vehicle.

Well, that sounds reasonable to us as the current plug-in market on average exceeds 2% in the UK – in October even over 3%. We have several years to encourage the remaining 40% to consider plug-ins before getting into the 60%.

The interesting part is the reasons why the 60% don’t consider electric cars.

According to Select Car Leasing, here are the problems and answers proposed by the company:

  • 47% said that charging infrastructure is not yet ready
    “There’s too few charging stations – Almost 47% of those who were unlikely to consider an electric vehicle stated that ‘charging stations are still a little hard to find’. However, the charging infrastructure has been built up across the world and it is now predicted that there could be as many as 14 million charging stations globally by 2030. In the USA, the number of charging stations has increased dramatically since 2008, and has more than doubled since 2013. In the UK, the number of charge points has almost tripled between 2013 and 2017.”
  • 39% said that charging time is too long
    “Electric vehicles aren’t good for long journeys – 2 in 5 people stated that a main limitation of electric vehicles was that ‘the slow recharge time meant that they weren’t suitable for long journeys.’ In 2011 the median range for electric cars was 73 miles, by 2017 this had increased to 114 miles, but with some vehicles being able to do as much as 335 miles. If you stick to the recommended guidance of having 15 minutes break for every two hours of driving, you should comfortably be able to manage road trips. See our tips for long distance driving.”
  • 38% said that electric cars are too expensive
    “Electric cars are too expensive – 2 in 5 people stated that they feel that electric vehicles are too expensive to buy. While the purchase price of electric vehicles still tends to be more expensive than their traditional fuel counterpart, there are other factors that bring the overall cost down. Most countries have tax incentives for electric vehicles – in the US, this is federalized with the best rate being Colorado that offers an additional tax credit of $5,000 on top of the federal subsidy of $2,500 to $7,500. Looking at running costs, running a vehicle on electricity is over 50% more cost-effective than running a car on gas, meaning the driver can make back the original expense and then some over the lifetime of the car.”
  • 27% said that reliability and performances are lame
    “Electric cars aren’t as reliable and have worse performance – 27% of people who are resistant to considering an electric car said that the lack of garages that can service or repair electric vehicles was a factor. As electric vehicles are still in their comparative infancy, this issue will be solved as electric vehicles become more widespread. Similarly, almost 1 in 5 saw the battery performance in hot and cold weather as a limitation. While electric vehicles do experience performance loss in very cold weather, they also have some clear advantages over traditionally fuelled vehicles.”
  • 21% said that there is not enough models
    “There isn’t enough choice – 1 in 5 people who wouldn’t consider an electric car stated that the limited choice of make and model were a limitation. This is becoming less and less true every year, while this is still a comparatively new market, the number of models available is increasing every year, as is the variety. In 2017 there were 25 electric vehicle models available in North America, with Porsche, Jaguar and Mini releasing models in 2019.”

The good news is that it seems that step-by-step all those issues are improving. Just eight years ago we started with the first volume models – Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt – and now we are getting accustomed to battery packs from 60 to 100 kWh and DC fast chargers rated for up to 350 kW are reality (7x the speed in 10 years). The number of models, prices, and other factors are better and better every year.

Source: Select Car Leasing

Source: Electric Vehicle News