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BMW’s CEO, Oliver Zipse, has announced that electric BMWs will be the benchmark in charging, range and, pricing, during a conference call with analysts. This statement is in line with BMW’s plan to become a leader in the electric vehicle market, by expanding its electric lineup and investing heavily in research and development of new technologies. BMW’s new Neue Klasse (“new class”) EV platform, which was previewed at CES, includes new cylindrical cells that are expected to improve energy density, charging speeds, and overall range by 20-30% compared to its current battery tech, and BMW is also investing in solid-state battery technology to further improve its EV offerings.
In other EV News
Hertz and Uber announced a European expansion of their successful North American partnership. Hertz will make up to 25,000 EVs available to Uber drivers in European capital cities by 2025 with models from Tesla and Polestar.
In 2022, Audi increased deliveries of all-electric cars by 44% with high demand for the all-electric models Audi Q4 e-tron, Audi e-tron GT quattro, and Audi e-tron. A new model, the Audi Q8 e-tron, is set to launch in spring 2023.
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Happy Thursday. This week, we have another great newsletter with news on Tax Credits, Tesla’s Charging Network, Lucid, Ola Electric, Xiaomi, and much more.
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Since it was signed this week, there are immediate changes to EVs and the available tax credits. If you plan on buying a Kia or Hyundai next week, you may be a little too late. Here is the list of the now eligible EVs including the Audi Q5, the BMW 3-series Plug-In, the BMW X5, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, and the Chevrolet Bolt EV. There are additional changes that will take effect on January 1, 2023.
In other EV News
Tesla’s Shanghai plant has manufactured its 1 millionth EV as its main export hub.
EV adoption may start with pole-mounted electric chargers. With pole-mounted chargers, EV charging can become more accessible. A city in Massachusetts has installed 16 chargers recently throughout town, making it the first place on the east coast to implement pole chargers.
Startup EExion has created technology able to charge electric vehicles in just five minutes. The company’s “Energize-N’-Go” storage technology can achieve this once impossible feat, encouraging further EV adoption.
EV of the Week
It’s Monterey Car Week and we had conflicts this year and aren’t able to attend (my wife is having a baby today or maybe tomorrow), but that doesn’t mean we aren’t there in spirit. We could be jumping the gun on this one, but there is a strongrumor going around about a new Lucid being revealed at The Quail gathering on Friday. Supposedly the new Lucid will be a tri-motor version with around 1,400 horsepower. Expect the new Lucid to still have 5 seats and cost north of $150,000. More to come on Friday, but what the heck, we like new EVs, and thus the new tri-motor Lucid is the EV of the week.
-John @ Mobility EVo
Although all autonomous lift trucks will significantly reduce the need for human operators, robotic software will still need humans in a support role. Robotic lifts may be formulated to conduct certain functions to lower costs.
In other AV News
A BMW iX testing session on public roads was interrupted when the vehicle swerved out of its lane and hit two other cars. The AV had five people on board; all five were injured, while four other people in other cars were injured, and one person was killed. BMW confirmed that the vehicle wasn’t self-driving at the time of the crash.
Xiaomi is testing 140 autonomous vehicles throughout China. The company has put $490 million towards the development of AVs.
Indian automaker Ola Electric is working on an EV projected to arrive in 2024. The car will have a range of 500 km per charge and can reach 100 km/h within 4 seconds.
DeepRoute.ai completed its first autonomous vehicle testing session, with the vehicles performing above average. The AV successfully maneuvered around double-parked cars and busy intersections and was able to change lanes and make unprotected left turns.
EPG and Mobility EVo
Mobility EVo is brought to you by EPG. EPG is an electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle recruiting and staffing company. We created Mobility EVo to bring you the latest news on the Electric Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicle industry through our newsletter. Whether it’s Tesla, Ford, Mobileye, Cruise, Waymo, GM, Rivian, we bring it to you. We also have some electric vehicle merch too. Check out our EV hats, EV Shirts, EV Hoodies, etc… We have something for everyone.
Do you know the average miles of range added by a Level 1 charger per hour? Or the average savings in ownership costs for an EV owner versus a medium sedan owner? We know the readers of InsideEVs are a well-informed group of people that know a lot about EVs but do you know as much as you think?
At EPG, we used our electric vehicle testing and staffing experience to develop an online electric vehicle educational course and we wanted to give you a sample of some of the information that you’ll learn by taking our course. It teaches most people a new thing or two about EVs by covering the topics of nomenclature, how EVs work, the battery, charging, cost of ownership, government incentives, performance, features, safety, benefits, and concerns.
Like many things, the electric vehicle world has been in limbo for the last few months. Many OEMs are still currently on track for new model releases but, as expected, many are also delayed. With canceled auto shows, cash flow issues, closed proving grounds, and shuttered production facilities, we’ve seen announcements, R&D, and plant construction come to a virtual standstill. These unexpected *speed bumps* are detrimental to schedules that are meticulously put in place well before a vehicle is scheduled to be in a customers’ hands.
Of the EVs slated to be released in the next year or so, these are some of the more interesting ones that have provided further details about their current state of affairs.
Markus Baumann, Head of Test and Digital Commissioning at BMW, recently told Austrian Industry Magazine that the i4 “is at the moment completely in the green area.” Meaning the vehicle is still on its original testing, validation, and production schedule, and that the vehicle should be released as promised in 2021.
Back in January, Byton announced that the U.S. launch for the M-Byte would be pushed from 2020 to sometime in 2021. Now the company has put “about half” of its 450 staff members in Santa Clara on furlough. The end of May was the target timeline for people to return to work but there have been no reports of this going into effect. A spokesperson told Electrek that the “production timeline will no doubt be impacted.” While all product testing is currently done in China where no workers have been furloughed, it’s possible that the timeline for the M-Byte to be delivered in the U.S. will be pushed back again.
One of the bigger EV debuts of the year is Ford’s Mach-E which is still on track to arrive in late 2020 for the US (Europe is delayed). As reported by CNN back in April, Ford engineers took home more than a dozen pre-production vehicles to continue making improvements in order to keep the original delivery dates on track.
General Motors has confirmed for now that it’s electric vehicle program is still on schedule with the Hummer, Lyriq, and GM’s Cruise Launches Origin, A Fully Autonomous Vehicle, expected to be released next year. The unveiling of these vehicles has been postponed for now but the work on these vehicles is said to still be pushing ahead. Details have not been given on how the development is pushing forward with a remote workforce, but one program is said to even be ahead of schedule at this point.
Karma announced that its all-electric vehicle the Revero GTE will be released in the Spring of 2021. A few weeks ago, Karma said that it had started prototype testing of the new model. Stating that “Karma engineers recently conducted dynamic testing at California’s exclusive Thermal Club race track, among other performance circuits and conditions.”
Lordstown Motors, a maker of light-duty work trucks, said that it has moved plans back to deliver the first vehicles to customers to January 2021, one month later than the original delivery date. The automaker recently announced that due to the canceled North American International Auto Show, the unveiling of the Endurance will now take place virtually on June 22nd. Included in that announcement was an update on the progress of the conversion of GM’s former plant into an EV production facility, which appears to be on schedule.
Lucid has trudged ahead with the construction of its production facility in Arizona and is actively hiring for all types of positions. It has also been giving a behind the scenes look at its beta prototypes that have been immobile for the last few months. Normally “these vehicles would be racking up long-distance miles on the highway or circling a test track as [Lucid] refine and validate the Lucid Air’s advanced engineering and game-changing performance.” For now, they are awaiting the opportunity to get back out on the road for testing and validation. The production unveiling that was originally scheduled for the New York Auto Show, has not been rescheduled, and production dates of late 2020 are still on track, according to CEO Peter Rawlinson.
The highly anticipated release of the R1T by Rivian has been pushed back to 2021 from late 2020. While a few workers have been on-site the last few months prepping the plant in Normal, Illinois for production, testing has effectively come to a halt. However, the plant has recently started reopening on a larger scale using a phased approach. Rivian’s Amazon delivery truck is still on track for its first deliveries next year.
In other Rivian news, Lincoln canceled its all-electric partnership with Rivian citing “[g]iven the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform.”
Volkswagen has been running into software issues with the ID3 causing delays of deliveries until September of this year, a delay of a few months. These delays date back to December of last year. The ID3 is viewed as a vehicle that will be around for the long term for VW so a few delays should not impact their larger electrification plans for the future.
BloombergNEF recently published its yearly outlook for the electric vehicle (EV) market with some intriguing findings. We’ve highlighted the facts and predictions that stood out to us most but you can see the full report here:
As some states slowly look to lift restrictions related to COVID-19, we still look to other countries that are ahead of the US in terms of lifting restrictions such as China to see what the future may hold. In a time when social distancing may become a new norm, what does this do to mass transportation and the future of private car sales?
In a recent study completed by Ipsos, before COVID-19 hit China, 34% of respondents used their own private car and 56% used the bus or metro. After the COVID outbreak, 66% planned on using their own private car vs. 24% now planned on using the bus or metro. While there was a slump in sales while the outbreak was occurring, there may be a larger demand for private cars after restrictions are lifted. In the survey by Ipsos, 66% of the people that responded planned on purchasing a car within the next 6 months due to the fear of infection from mass transportation.
In the US, we’re still in the midst of the COVID outbreak but we are starting to see some states lift restrictions. We would expect that there may be a shared view of mass transportation and a major sentiment to drive a personal car. While ICE and EV sales are expected to be 50% of what they were in April 2020 vs. April 2019, according to CNBC, a bounce-back in the near future looks likely.
For EVs specifically, sales were strong prior to COVID. According to InsideEV, they were up 16% compared to the previous year. COVID has thrown a wrench into the car sales industry and it’s yet to be seen how sales will be affected post-COVID. People are enjoying cleaner air and quieter roads, which can be partially attributed to fewer cars on the road. Both of these benefits could be enjoyed more with an increase in EV market share, as noted in our previous article. We see this as a speed bump to the EV industry, but we believe that sales will bounce back as people experience the benefits of EVs.
Car manufacturers have also dedicated billions of dollars to R&D for new EV models and we expect this trend to continue. For example, Volvo recently told Automotive News that they will cut some R&D and design budgets but will keep their EV budget intact. CEO Hakan Samuelsson remarked, “electrification, autonomous driving, and our future technology development are an absolute priority.”
How sales occur may change as well. Right now, car dealerships are offering to deliver cars to your house, or you can make an appointment at a dealership to test drive a car with minimal human interaction. Of the responses in the previous survey, 79% preferred this method after the outbreak. We expect dealerships to continue with this approach in order to ensure the safety and health of customers, but also their employees. Closing the transaction may be a new experience as well. Instead of signing the mounds of paperwork that you typically would at a dealership, you may just sign electronically. The future may be researching online, having a vehicle dropped off at your house, negotiating the price over the phone, and then finalizing the paperwork digitally. Time will tell if this will be the new norm. For now, we will enjoy test driving an EV next weekend with minimal interaction with a salesperson. Stay tuned for more about this adventure next week.