One in three motorists cannot afford even the cheapest electric car, warn experts in blow to Government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030

By Tom Payne

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A third of motorists are unable to afford even the cheapest electric car, experts warn
  • Figure equivalent to ten million households, shows ordinary family will struggle
  • Middle-earning households may not be able to afford cheapest electric cars
  • Analysis shows drivers need to be spending at least £2,100 on their current car  

The figure – equivalent to ten million households – highlights how many ordinary families will struggle to finance the switch from petrol and diesel cars being pushed by ministers.

Continue reading… “One in three motorists cannot afford even the cheapest electric car, warn experts in blow to Government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030”

Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look in a decade

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Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look by the time new petrol and diesel vehicles are banned – and it can convert into a living room on wheels at the push of a button

  • Mini has unveiled an electric and self-driving compact car concept it sees as a vision for vehicles sold in 2030
  • At a turn of a switch, the Urbanaut mini-MPV doubles as a relaxing sanctuary for drivers and passengers
  • It features a comfortable sofa in the rear, fold-down dashboard day-bed, rotating chairs and a dining table
  • The windscreen swings open from the top hinges to provide what designers have called a ‘street balcony’

Continue reading… “Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look in a decade”

Germany in August – Electric vehicles crushing it at record 13.2 market share

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Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw a record 13.2% plugin electric vehicle market share in August 2020, up over 5× from the 2.6% result of August 2019. This comes immediately after July itself broke new ground at 11.4% market share. The overall auto market in August was down 20% from an unusually high August 2019.

Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plugin hybrids (PHEVs) contributed fairly evenly to August’s plugin result, with 6.4% and 6.8% of the market, respectively. The year-to-date division of labour is 4.3% BEV and 4.8% PHEV, giving a cumulative plugin market share of almost 9.2% so far in 2020, up from 3.0% in full year 2019.

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Study finds global tipping points for EVs: 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, $36,000

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To achieve mass adoption, the average electric car will need to offer 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, and a base price of $36,000. Those three factors comprise a global tipping point for EVs, according to a new study commissioned by oil company Castrol, which is looking to sell so-called “e-fluid” lubricants for EVs.

Findings are based on surveys of 9,000 consumers, 750 fleet managers, and 30 automotive industry professionals in 8 countries—the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, India, China, and Japan.

Consumers surveyed ranked price as the most important factor in the potential purchase of an electric car, followed by charge time and range. Most car buyers seem to expect some breakthrough in battery technology soon, as 61% are adopting a “wait and see” approach, according to the study.

Fleet managers appeared cautious as well. While 58% said they felt “personally motivated” to go electric due to potential environmental benefits, 54% are waiting for competitors to make the switch before they do, according to the study.

Continue reading… “Study finds global tipping points for EVs: 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, $36,000”

Welcome to the age of the all-electric hypercar

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Boasting up to 2,000bhp with no fuel cap, a trio of new releases from Lotus, Pininfarina and Rimac are here for when your Ferrari just isn’t fast enough

Same old story. You wait ages for one 2,000bhp, all-electric hypercar to arrive, and then three come along at once. Three underdog brands with very different backstories, three cars that are almost impossible to resist comparing, each with startlingly similar statistics and almost identical price tags that sound more like government furlough bill

In Cambiano, the 1,900bhp Pininfarina Battista will become the most powerful Italian road-legal car ever — itself quite a record — and the first to be badged by the coachbuilder and design house behind some of the most beautiful sports cars of the 20th century (the Ferrari 250GT, Cisitalia 202 and Fiat 124 Spider among them), now launching as a carmaker in its own right.

In Norfolk, the £2.2m Lotus Evija is about to enter production as the most powerful road car in the world, in what is the latest comeback chapter for the British sports car maker that is impossible to introduce without using the word “plucky”.

And in Croatia, Rimac is the no-bullshit start-up-cum-electric-powerhouse that is finalising its ultra-technical C_Two hypercar, which has a top speed of 415kmph and promises 0–100kmph acceleration in the time it takes to read the words “faster than a motorbike”. For the record, 1.85 seconds.

Continue reading… “Welcome to the age of the all-electric hypercar”

Tesla launches its own car wrap service

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Tesla has launched its own car wrap service through delivery centers starting with five cities in China. Could it be introduced in other markets?

Over the last few years, Tesla has reduced the number of color options on its vehicles in order to streamline production and facilitate repairs at service centers.

It resulted in many owners turning to wraps in order to get different colors and differentiate their vehicle from the increasingly larger Tesla fleet.

They had to rely on third-party suppliers and installers to wrap their cars.

But now Tesla is launching its own service through delivery centers in China.

The official Tesla customer service Weibo account announced it yesterday:

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Renault arms entire french town with free electric cars

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Renault wants people to know that it’s easy to go electric.

The automaker giant Renault has gifted an entire village in France its Renault Zoe electric vehicle in a recent power move. The move comes as an effort to demonstrate that EVs are suitable for not only urban areas but also rural communities just as well as gas-powered cars.

Renault offered three-year leases of its Zoe EV to every house in Appy, a small town in the Ariege region of France. There is only one thing the automaker requires them to do: giving Renault periodic updates on whether they like the car and EV ownership or not.

Accordingly, this move will help Renault “understand the way customers interact with and use electric vehicles day to day.”

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Tesla begins taking Cybertruck orders in China, Will drive one across America

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If reports about the number of reservations it has garnered are true, the Tesla Cybertruck may be the most eagerly anticipated new vehicle in history. Back in February, 532,000 people around the world were reportedly on the waiting list for one of Elon Musk’s segment-smashing vehicles. The no-obligation reservations are little more than a marketing tool for the company at this point. Tesla hasn’t even decided where to build the Cybertruck yet, let alone start constructing a factory. But that hasn’t stopped the company from taking orders for it on its Chinese website, according to Tesmanian.

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Chargers are the final roadblock to America’s electric car future

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As long as there aren’t enough fast plugs in enough places, buyers and big automakers will stay away.

Rods and waders were already packed into the electric Jaguar I-Pace as it gorged a few more electrons from the wall of my New Jersey garage. A quick glance at a map of northeastern Pennsylvania revealed charging stations clinging to the Delaware River like so many spots on the brown trout I was hoping to catch.

A few days later, I pulled up to one of those chargers on the picturesque main street of Honesdale, only to realize it was a level 2 unit—one step above a standard outlet. It would take four hours before the car had enough juice to make the 100-mile trip home. Eleven miles down the road, it was the same story. And while that spot had a superfast Tesla charger, it was incompatible with the I-Pace. The nearest level 3 charger that would work was 58 miles away. So I gave up and settled in for a while.

Electric car-range anxiety revolves around a brutal equation: Remaining miles of battery life (as estimated by the car) minus miles to destination equals hope (or despair). Making matters worse, the answer varies from one minute to the next, depending on terrain and speed. Desperate battery-powered travelers can be easy to spot: They are often sweaty (no air conditioning), driving slowly and—when going uphill—instinctively leaning forward in their seats.

Failing to note the difference between a level 2 charger and a harder-to-find level 3 charger is often the mistake of an electric vehicle rookie. Had I realized the distinction, I would never have considered a car such as the I-Pace (it was a loaner), or any of the dozens of Tesla rivals set to debut in coming years. For the future of electric vehicles in America, that’s a really big problem.

Continue reading… “Chargers are the final roadblock to America’s electric car future”

Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs

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Reportedly coming first to China

Tesla is getting ready to introduce a long rumored lower-cost, longer-lasting battery for its electric vehicles in China sometime later this year or early next year, according to a new report from Reuters. The battery — which has been colloquially called a “million mile” battery in reference to how long it can last in a car before breaking down — is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors. Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company held a similar event focused on self-driving technology in April 2019.

Continue reading… “Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs”

Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs

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Reportedly coming first to China

 Tesla is getting ready to introduce a long rumored lower-cost, longer-lasting battery for its electric vehicles in China sometime later this year or early next year, according to a new report from Reuters. The battery — which has been colloquially called a “million mile” battery in reference to how long it can last in a car before breaking down — is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors. Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company held a similar event focused on self-driving technology in April 2019.

Continue reading… “Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs”

Volvo CEO: Pandemic will rapidly accelerate shift to electric cars

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Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that the coronavirus will accelerate the pace of change in the auto industry. He said the shift to EVs will be among the major changes that occur due to the pandemic.

Speaking at a Financial Times global digital conference, Samuelsson said:

Electrification will go faster. I think it would be naive to believe after some months, everything will return to normal, and our customers will come back into a showroom asking for diesel cars. They will ask even more for electric cars. And that is speeding up.

Moreover, he believes that any government efforts to subsidize the auto industry’s recovery should be based on supporting EVs and other new technology.

Continue reading… “Volvo CEO: Pandemic will rapidly accelerate shift to electric cars”