It's a start, but there's a long way to go yet...
As the automotive industry continues to recover from the pandemic and other supply chain disruptions, some trends are becoming clearer. One of them is the decline of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales, as more and more consumers opt for electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.
This shift is driven by a combination of factors, including environmental concerns, regulatory pressures, technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences. A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says, "it’s becoming clearer that sales of internal combustion vehicles are unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic levels.
During the height of the market in 2017, a total of 86 million ICE vehicles were sold, which includes hybrids such as the Toyota Prius as they are only gasoline-powered. At the time, electric and plug-in hybrid models made up only a small fraction of the market, with a combined total of just over 1 million vehicles sold.
However, last year the landscape of the automotive industry looked markedly dissimilar. Sales of ICE vehicles had dropped by almost 20% from their peak, to 69 million, while plug-in vehicles had surged to 10.4 million. That being said, even if plug-in hybrid vehicles were added to the ICE category, the overall picture remains largely unchanged.
BNEF expects "the global combustion vehicle fleet to be relatively steady for the next three years before starting to decline in earnest from 2026 onward as the EV fleet swells."
Nonetheless, what ultimately counts for oil demand is the replacement of existing vehicles with new ones, and that's why the peak of oil consumption is expected to occur around 2027. This projection is significantly earlier than what was anticipated just a few years ago in 2016, when estimates suggested that the year of peak oil consumption would be 2036. However, more recently, the International Energy Agency has predicted that global fossil fuel demand will reach its peak within this decade.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, “Even with today’s policy settings, the energy world is shifting dramatically before our eyes. Government responses around the world promise to make this a historic and definitive turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system.”
You can read the full World Energy Outlook report from 2022 here.
7-Eleven has announced it will be jumping into the EV charging game this past Thursday (3/16/23). With the introduction of 7Charge, 7-Eleven plans to establish one of the largest and most compatible fast-charging networks for electric vehicles of any retailer in North America. The service is currently operational at various locations in Florida, Texas, Colorado, and California, offering fast-charging services to customers through use with their proprietary 7Charge app.
The charging stations will be equipped with both CHAdeMO and CCS fast-charging connectors and will be notably excluding Tesla's NACS connector. As a result, Tesla vehicles will need to use an adapter if they want to utilize the network.
According to the company, pricing for the 7Charge network is determined by either energy consumed (in kWh) or time spent charging, depending on the regulations in the state where the chargers are located. Similar to other EV charging networks, customers are requested to move their vehicles after charging is complete, and may be subject to additional fees for prolonged use at certain locations.
It will be interesting to see how consumers take advantage of this offering. With most trips to 7-Eleven lasting less than 10 minutes, will customers take longer and wait for their EV to charge more... or will they leave when they're finished in-store?
Blink Charging Co., a prominent manufacturer, owner, operator, and supplier of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, shared in a press release that it has secured an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS). The contract permits Blink to provide up to 41,500 EV charging units to assist in the development of EV charging infrastructure for the USPS as part of its vehicle electrification strategy.
“We are honored to be selected by the US Postal Service to provide our reliable and advanced EV charging stations and ancillary network services for their growing fleet of electric vehicles and we applaud their efforts to modernize and make the move towards a sustainable and efficient electric fleet,” said Michael D. Farkas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blink Charging. “The Postal Service’s recent announcement of purchasing more EVs and building the necessary charging infrastructure is another step in developing a complete transition in going electric. This move towards electrification sets a precedent that we are hopeful all fleet owners will follow.”
Blink will provide the USPS its Series 7 dual-port charger, which can deliver up to 80 amps of power at each port. These Level 2 AC chargers are capable of charging two vehicles at the same time using the Universal J1772 connector, at a rate of 19.2kW. The NEMA 3R outdoor-rated enclosure permits flexible installation either inside or outside, and the charger's compact form factor enables optimal placement with wall or pedestal mounting options. The standard 18-foot charging cables (upgradeable to 25 feet) can extend around any vehicle or between parking spots, offering greater flexibility for postal sites.
This substantial order by the USPS marks another positive development for Blink Charging and the postal service as they move to electrify as much as 50% of their fleet of vehicles.
The race to build the best affordable EV is heating up and with the unveiling of the ID.2 Concept vehicle, Volkswagen is positioned to absolutely dominate... in Europe.
When it comes to market in 2025 VW says that it will sell for under 25,000 euros. VW says the ID.2 is "spacious like a Golf, affordable like a Polo," and if it holds to that price point, it should be their best selling EV ever.
According to reports, the concept design for the ID.2 was developed in just eight weeks after Volkswagen appointed a new design boss who was not fond of the original "ID Life" concept from 2021. With the ID.2, VW's design team aimed to create a car that has a more traditional appearance, one that is closer in style to the brand's gasoline-powered cars compared to other ID models. And that is a good thing. VW aims to make the ID.2 appealing to a broad audience. While the design of the car is not particularly remarkable, it is also unlikely to put off potential buyers.
According to Andreas Mindt, Head of Design at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, “The ID. 2all gives a preview of the new design language of Volkswagen, which is based on the three pillars stability, likeability and excitement.”
The ID.2 features a newly interpreted C-pillar design, which pays homage to the first Golf and is a key element of the car's new design language. Several design features that set it apart include a welcoming front end that features a full-width LED light bar, bulging wheel arches filled with 20-inch wheels on 225/40 R20 tires, giving the car an imposing appearance.
Drivetrain, Range, Performance, Charging
Built on the same modular electric drive (MEB) platform as the ID.3, ID.4, and others, the ID.2 is distinct in that it will be the first to be offered with front-wheel drive. Kai Grünitz, Member of the Brand Board of Management responsible for Technical Development said the company is "exploiting the great flexibility offered by our modular electric drive (MEB) platform and will set new standards in terms of technology and everyday usability with the MEB Entry platform.”
Volkswagen says that the ID.2 will offer a range of up to 450 kilometers (279 miles) from its battery pack, although the exact capacity has not been disclosed yet. This is higher than any variant of the ID.3. The power output of the vehicle is also higher than that of the ID.3, with VW stating that it will provide 166 kW (226 horsepower), representing an increase of approximately 10%.
Although the exact charging speed has not been specified, VW that the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in approximately 20 minutes. This puts it in the same league as some of the fastest-charging electric vehicles currently available, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and newer Tesla models.
Last year, Volkswagen announced that it would be incorporating physical buttons back into their ID vehicles due to customer complaints about the touch controls. The upcoming ID.2 will fully embrace this trend, featuring actual buttons on the steering wheel and additional physical controls on the center console for various functions, including climate control.
The company claims that the ID.2 will provide the same interior room for passengers as the Golf, all within the same footprint as the Polo. Although it won't be as spacious as the ID.3, the ID.2 is expected to use its space more efficiently.
Despite being Polo-sized, the ID.2 will offer a cargo volume of 490 liters, which can be expanded to 1,330 liters by folding down the rear seats.
If VW achieves the specifications they've shared about the ID.2 Concept, it will be a massive success for the brand. Unfortunately, there has been no talk yet about bringing it to North America, something that is a disappointment for many who have been looking for an affordable EV that isn't a Chevy or Nissan.
What do you think of the concept? Leave a comment below!
Kia has unveiled the exterior and interior design of its highly anticipated flagship SUV, the Kia EV9. The first three-row electric SUV from the brand, the EV9 boasts bold styling and sophisticated elegance both inside and out. A "digital global premiere" is expected later in March 2023 where the company will share product details and pricing.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Kia EV9, the first dedicated electric vehicle from Kia built on the E-GMP platform," said Kia President and CEO, Ho Sung Song. "The EV9 represents the brand's commitment to sustainable transportation and reinforces Kia's position as a leader in the EV market."
The EV9 features a sleek and modern design that's sure to turn heads. The exterior of the SUV is both bold and sophisticated, with a unique front grille and dynamic LED lighting.
The SUV boasts several distinctive features, such as the innovative triangular tail lights, sleek flush door handles, and geometric aero-style rims. Additionally, the front LEDs feature tessellated designs and create a dynamic "Digital Tiger Face," providing a unique visual experience for the driver and passengers.
"The Kia EV9 breaks new ground, aiming to redefine standards for design, connectivity, usability and environmental responsibility," said Karim Habib, Executive Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "The Kia EV9 offers customers an exceptionally high-quality proposition and a fresh EV perspective in the family SUV sector. This new vehicle typology provides instinctive experiences and excellent comfort for not just the driver, but all occupants, through innovative use of space, technology and design."
The EV9's interior takes inspiration from the Concept EV9, which boasted flexible seating configurations. The production model retains some of that functionality, as evidenced by photos showcasing a center row of swiveling seats for its six-seater version. These seats can rotate to face the rear seats for face-to-face interactions, or toward the doors for ease of access.
“The Kia EV9 offers customers an exceptionally high-quality proposition and a fresh EV perspective in the family SUV sector,” EVP and head of Kia Global Design Center Karim Habib states in a press release.
With the Rivian R1S, Mercedes EQS SUV, and Tesla Model X and Y being the only three-row electric SUVs available, all with relatively high starting prices (except the Model Y), the Kia EV9 may offer an affordable alternative.
The Kia EV9's driver experience features a pair of 12.3-inch touchscreens arranged side-by-side. In addition, a 5-inch screen segment is located in the center for quick access to climate controls and other functions.
The complete specifications, battery range, pricing, and availability of the production EV9 have not been disclosed by Kia yet. However, the company has announced that all information will be made public later this month in their "digital global premiere".
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a new law that bans direct in-person sales of electric cars, requiring instead that all sales go through traditional dealerships. The move means that electric car manufacturers such as Tesla, Rivian, Lucid, and others will no longer be able to sell their vehicles directly to consumers in Mississippi.
While the new law was opposed by some Republican lawmakers in the state who called for a veto, it ultimately passed with overwhelming support from both Republican and Democratic legislators. Supporters of the law argue that it will protect consumers by ensuring that all car sales are subject to the same regulations and consumer protections as traditional dealerships.
Under the new law in Mississippi, carmakers are allowed to make direct sales in two ways. Firstly, through online sales as H.B. 401 doesn't regulate digital storefronts. Secondly, companies that own only one dealership and have held a dealer license since August 2021, and exclusively sell electric vehicles, can continue their business unimpeded. This exception seems to apply to only one establishment, the Tesla store in Brandon, Mississippi.
Critics of the law, however, argue that it is a protectionist measure designed to prop up traditional dealerships and limit competition, and that it will ultimately harm consumers by limiting their choices and increasing prices. Mississippi is not the only state to have banned direct sales of electric cars; other states, including Texas and Michigan, have similar laws in place.
Electric car manufacturers have fought against these laws in court, arguing that they are unconstitutional and anti-competitive, but so far they have been unsuccessful in overturning them.
The debate over direct sales of electric cars is likely to continue, as more and more consumers turn to electric vehicles and traditional dealerships seek to protect their market share. As the electric car industry continues to grow, it remains to be seen whether states will continue to ban direct sales or whether they will embrace new models of car sales that offer consumers more choice and competition.
It is important to note that laws and regulations surrounding electric car sales can change over time as political and economic factors shift. If you have questions or concerns about electric car sales in your state, it is best to consult with local experts or government officials for the most up-to-date information.
More troubling news for Vietnamese electric vehicle maker, VinFast, as they have lost three high-ranking executives responsible for sales and customer service, according to reports on Friday. The departures follow a series of recent executive changes for the ambitious automaker from Vietnam, which have come in the wake of the delayed and expensive introduction of VinFast's inaugural EVs in California, marking the company's first entry into an overseas market.
VinFast issued a statement to Reuters, stating that Gareth Dunsmore, the deputy chief executive for global sales and marketing, had resigned "due to personal reasons, and we respect his decision." The company reported that two other executives based in the U.S. had departed due to "changes in the management model and specific business requirements." These executives are Greg Tebbutt, the former chief marketing officer, and Craig Westbrook, the former chief service officer. Dunsmore, Tebbutt, and Westbrook have not made any comments regarding their departures.
VinFast, which is a subsidiary of Vingroup, shipped 999 units of its VF8 SUVs to California from Vietnam in November. However, the company later disclosed that the car's battery range was lower than previously advertised to buyers, and it took until earlier this month to get the vehicles ready for delivery to customers. VinFast has been marketing the initial batch of VF8s, rebranded as the City Edition to account for the lower battery range, for lease in California. The company anticipates shipping a higher-range version of the VF8 later this year.
The company couldn't be choosing a more difficult time to enter the U.S. EV market. Established rivals, particularly Tesla, Ford, and GM, have reduced prices and are preparing to unveil a range of new models. Other EV start-ups are showing signs of challenging times as well, including Lucid, Sono Motors, Arcimoto, and electric truck manufacturer Nikola, seeing declining orders, higher interest rates, and increased competition.
For VinFast, these recent departures are only the latest in a string of executive turnovers. In February, VinFast merged its operations in the U.S. and Canada and cut approximately 80 jobs, including former U.S. Chief Financial Officer Rodney Haynes. Last June, VinFast reported that it had terminated its agreement with Emmanuel Bret, the former deputy CEO for global sales before recently departed Dunsmore. Three additional senior executives departed at that time.
Huy Chieu, a former General Motors engineer who was promoted in June to lead EV product development, resigned in December before the company's first cars were delivered to U.S. customers. Since its founding in 2017, VinFast has undergone three changes in CEOs. The automaker, which commenced production in 2019, intends to construct a factory in North Carolina and has submitted an application to go public through an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. According to its IPO registration statement, VinFast incurred a loss of $2.1 billion in 2022 on revenue of $634 million.
The Importance of Aero Efficiency in EVs: Lessons from Revolutionary Vehicle Designs
Sometimes it takes time for people to appreciate truly innovative designs. Just as many of the greatest composers and visual artists of all time were not fully appreciated during their lifetimes, the most aerodynamic vehicles were not always popular with buyers either.
Streamlining was initially employed by Land Speed Record (LSR) racers as a means of reducing air resistance and achieving faster speeds. This approach gained popularity in the early 20th century and culminated in 1899 when the electric-powered ‘La Jamais Contente’ (The Never Satisfied) became the first automobile to break the 100 km/h barrier. As engines became more powerful and cars could more easily achieve highway speeds, the focus of aerodynamic design shifted towards improving fuel efficiency.
Although enhancing a vehicle's aerodynamic efficiency is important for various reasons, the final outcome does not always produce a design that is favored by potential buyers of the vehicle. One really good example of this is with the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, the first American car to be designed aerodynamically in a wind tunnel. This design improved the high speed stability and the efficiency of the vehicle was improved, but it didn't sell very well. Buyers weren’t impressed with the radical shape and looks of the car.
Since then, several cars have focused on aero engineering, and many have failed to succeed. One of them was the General Motors EV1, a lease-only experimental electric vehicle from the 1990s with a remarkable drag coefficient of 0.19, resembling a UFO. The car's entire production run was repurchased and destroyed. The 2013 Volkswagen XL1, a diesel-powered hybrid with carbon-fiber construction and butterfly-wing doors that returned 260 MPG, was produced in a limited run of only 250. Perhaps the Toyota Prius is the most successful example of an aero-first design, as it is highly popular, efficient, and its exterior is also often subject to harsh criticism.
In today’s automotive world, the focus on aerodynamics is evident in nearly every vehicle on the road. From the overall shape of the vehicle to the design of the wheel wells, manufacturers are focused on making their vehicles more efficient to meet ever increasing government standards from around the world. Owners themselves have been doing this for years as well. These owners, called “ecomodders”, have seen really impressive results.
One notable example of an owner modifying their vehicle for maximum efficiency was the ‘EcoCivic’ project by none other than yours truly. My project was based on a 2003 Honda Civic and I was working towards a goal of achieving more than 100 mpg. While falling short of this goal, the project achieved an impressive 83 miles per gallon on the highway, largely due to the modifications made to the car's aerodynamics. While modifying the aerodynamics of the Civic yielded the most significant improvements, it made the car look really weird, and not in a “good weird” way. Nevertheless, the EcoCivic project demonstrated the potential for significant improvements in fuel efficiency through careful modifications to the vehicle's design.
The Importance of Aerodynamic Efficiency with EVs
As electric vehicles (EVs) become more prevalent on our roads, the importance of aerodynamics in their design is increasingly emphasized. Unlike traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, EVs rely solely on electric motors for propulsion and are powered by batteries, which means that any inefficiency in their design can have a significant impact on their range and overall performance.
One of the biggest challenges faced by EV manufacturers is to increase the range of their vehicles while keeping the battery size and weight in check. Aerodynamics plays a crucial role in achieving this goal by reducing the energy required to move the car through the air. A more streamlined vehicle design means less air resistance, which translates to less power needed to maintain speed and less energy wasted as heat. In other words, the more aerodynamic an EV is, the smaller the battery needs to be. A great example of an EV that is horribly efficient would be the GMC Hummer EV. In order to achieve a range similar to competitors, the Hummer EV is fitted with a battery that is twice the size of many other long-range EVs, and as heavy as a smaller car itself weighing in at more than 2,000 lbs!
Moreover, aerodynamic design also affects the efficiency of the EV's regenerative braking system. Regenerative braking, a feature common in many EVs, converts kinetic energy into electrical energy, which can then be stored in the battery for later use. However, the efficiency of this process depends on how much kinetic energy can be recovered during braking, which is influenced by the aerodynamic design of the vehicle. A poorly designed vehicle with high air resistance will experience more friction during braking, resulting in less energy recovered.
Aerodynamic Design Elements in EVs
One key design element in electric vehicles is the flat underbody. This helps to reduce drag by smoothing out the air flow underneath the vehicle, which is especially important at high speeds. Another important feature is smooth wheel covers, which help to reduce turbulence around the wheels and improve overall aerodynamics.
Active grille shutters are also becoming more common in electric vehicles. These shutters can open and close automatically to control the flow of air through the front of the vehicle, improving aerodynamics and reducing drag. Other design elements that are important in electric vehicles include tapered rear ends, flush door handles, and well-designed side mirrors.
Many electric vehicles on the market today have excellent aerodynamic design, with some models achieving industry-leading levels of efficiency. For example, the Tesla Model S has a sleek and aerodynamic shape with a low coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.208, making it one of the most aerodynamically efficient production cars ever made.
While the Model S, and most other popular electric vehicles have shown to implement significant aerodynamic improvements to achieve greater range and efficiency, this is quickly becoming the norm in the industry and there aren’t too many manufactures that are truly pushing the boundaries of possibility. One standout exception is the three-wheeled solar electric vehicle from Aptera.
Pushing the Boundaries (Again)
Aptera, a California-based start-up recently resurrected in 2019, is set apart from most EV makers in their unwavering commitment to aero efficiency to increase speed, range, and overall efficiency performance.
Aptera's flagship model is a three-wheeled EV that looks more like a futuristic airplane without wings than a car. In fact, the name ‘Aptera’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘apteron,’ which means ‘wingless.” The body shape is characterized by a teardrop profile that minimizes drag, while the rear wheel is enclosed to further reduce turbulence. The vehicle also has a flat underbody and a narrow frontal area, which contribute to its exceptional aerodynamics.
According to Aptera, versions of the vehicle will have a drag coefficient of only .13 and, when paired with the largest battery pack, will achieve a range of up to 1,000 miles on a single charge, which is more than double most of the current longest-range EVs on the market (the Lucid Air being the exception with more than 500 miles of range). The vehicle can also accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 3.5 seconds, making it a formidable performer despite its unconventional design.
Although Aptera's focus on aerodynamic efficiency is commendable, it's important to acknowledge that, like other revolutionary vehicles before it, some potential buyers may find its teardrop shape unusual or unappealing. However, this shouldn't detract from the fact that the innovative design features of the Aptera are likely to influence the industry as a whole. It's highly probable that we will see an increase in future electric vehicles with exceptional aerodynamic efficiency, which will ultimately benefit all consumers.
It is clear that vehicle aerodynamics has had a significant impact on the automotive industry throughout its history. While pushing the boundaries of what is possible in any given time period can lead to revolutionary designs, it can also have negative effects on the marketability of a vehicle. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize the crucial role that these vehicles have played in advancing the industry as a whole.
By constantly pushing the limits of aerodynamics, engineers and designers have been able to create more efficient and faster vehicles that continue to shape the future of transportation. As we move forward, it is exciting to think about the possibilities that await us in the world of vehicle aerodynamics.
Interested in having an Aptera in your driveway? Use this referral link for $30 off your Aptera pre-order!
Never Satisfied: The Remarkable Story of 'La Jamais Contente', the Electric Car that Revolutionized Racing
Few cars have had such a profound impact on automotive history, yet are overlooked today's world. Today we're going to celebrate one of these forgotten legends: 'La Jamais Contente'.
'La Jamais Contente', which means "The Never Satisfied" in French, built in 1899 by Belgian race car driver Camille Jenatzy, was a pioneering electric car. Not only was the car ahead of its time in terms of technology and design, it also broke the land speed record, becoming the first vehicle to exceed 100 km/h (62 mph) and set a new standard for automotive engineering. 'La Jamais Contente's achievement played a key role in the development and popularization of electric cars, as well as the advancement of electric motors and batteries.
Development and Design
Jenatzy's innovative design featured a lightweight chassis made from chrome-nickel steel, which was powered by two Fulmen electric motors. These motors drew their power from Fulmen batteries, which were designed to deliver high levels of energy output with low internal resistance, something that was not common at the time.
To reduce wind resistance, the car was given a sleek, bullet-shaped body, made from aluminum. The design was so aerodynamic that it was able to reach top speeds that had never been seen before in a land vehicle.
Record Breaking Achievement
'La Jamais Contente' achieved legendary status in the world of automotive history by setting a new land speed record in April 1899. The car was driven by Camille Jenatzy himself, who pushed the car to its limits on the roads of Achères, France.
With its advanced electric powertrain (for the time) and aerodynamic design, La Jamais Contente achieved a top speed of 105.88 km/h (65.79 mph), breaking the previous land speed record of 92.78 km/h (57.6 mph) set by a steam-powered vehicle the previous year.
The record stood for several years, until it was broken by another electric car in 1902. Nevertheless, the car's impact on automotive history was immense. It helped pave the way for the development of faster, more efficient vehicles, and its legacy can still be felt in modern-day electric cars.
Legacy and Impact
Jenatzy's achievement in 'La Jamais Contente' was a major milestone in the history of automotive engineering. It demonstrated the potential of electric vehicle technology and the importance of aerodynamics in achieving high speeds.
Previously to its time, all electric vehicles were widely regarded as slow and impractical, and for good reason as most of them were. However breaking the land speed record at the time demonstrated the potential of electric vehicle technology when combined with optimized aerodynamics.
The car's success in breaking the land speed record also inspired generations of engineers and designers to push the boundaries of what was possible in automotive engineering.
Sadly, 'La Jamais Contente' remains a forgotten legend of automotive history. However, its impact on the development of electric cars, motors, and batteries, as well as on the legacy of Camille Jenatzy, cannot be overstated. As with many forgotten legends, we sometimes only really appreciate the greatest things when looking in hindsight.
Tesla is the undisputed leader in the world of electric vehicles, and will likely continue to dominate the space selling more full battery electric vehicles than any other company. But, if you step outside the EV marketplace and look at the greater automobile industry as a whole, well, Tesla is just a small fish in a very big ocean.
The world’s largest automaker is a whale by comparison selling almost 10x Tesla’s unit volume. That behemoth would be, of course, Toyota. And, you could say, after decades of experience and many millions of vehicles sold of all types, they might know a thing or two that they could teach the much younger EV startup.
However, it seems that in reality, in order to dominate the emerging electric vehicle market, Toyota should take a page from the Tesla playbook.
According to a report from Automotive News, Toyota's engineers have conducted a teardown study of the Tesla Model Y (which currently outsells Toyota vehicles in some markets), as the company strives to learn what Tesla is doing so well. Impressed by the Model Y's simple yet efficient vehicle design, created using advanced manufacturing techniques, they had glowing things to say.
"Taking the skin off the Model Y, it was truly a work of art. It's unbelievable," said one Toyota executive.
We fell in love with the Model Y when we tested the dual-motor Performance model in 2020. So much so that we featured it in the August issue of the EV Resource Magazine.But while that car may look the same as the newest versions of the vehicle... under the skin it's dramatically different! Even still, if you're curious to see what we thought about it then, go ahead and click on the photo:
Sources: Automotive News, InsideEVs
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Tesla's $25,000 Car: Analyst Predicts Game-Changing Impact on Electric Vehicle Market
Details are still scarce, but close analysis reveals potential to disrupt the entire industry... again.
During Tesla's recent Investor Day 2023, the company made a subtle but significant announcement about its upcoming Next-Generation vehicle, which is expected to be priced at $25,000. This vehicle will be built in Mexico and is set to be Tesla's most affordable offering yet.
In a recent interview with Tom Narayan, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, he discussed the potential impact of this new vehicle on the market. Narayan believes that the vehicle could help Tesla expand its market share and increase adoption of electric vehicles worldwide.
“That's going to have huge implications on the rest of the industry,” Narayan said. “[Tesla] can come in, undercut the rest of the market. And this could be a global vehicle. It's not just penetrating the US. Now you can go after Europe, of course, China. So I actually think when you really dive into the details, ability to cut costs on chips, right, the silicon carbide by 75%. Overall manufacturing, you showed how you can change the way you make the car and cut the cost in general by 50%. I actually don't think that it was as negative. And I think people can rewatch it and come to the conclusion, yeah, a $25,000 car is coming.”
The drive unit for the future vehicle will cost around $1,000 and contain no rare earth minerals, unlike the current motor used in the Tesla Model Y. All the controllers will be designed in-house, compared to the mere 20% of the original Model S.
These updates are expected to improve performance, efficiency, and sustainability while reducing costs for Tesla. With its new, more affordable vehicle and continued innovation in technology and manufacturing, Tesla appears poised to remain a dominant force in the electric vehicle market. As Narayan notes, "Again, this $25,000 car is going to be game changing.”
Tesla's Next-Generation Vehicle: What We Know So Far
The Next-Generation vehicle, slated to arrive in 2024 (maybe...), will be the most affordable Tesla to date. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, announced that the company has achieved significant cost reductions in battery production, which will help bring the price of this vehicle down.
While specific details on the vehicle have yet to be revealed, it is expected to have a unique design, different from the existing Tesla vehicles. The new car is expected to be a major step forward for Tesla and electric vehicles in general. The lower price point and increased accessibility could help bring electric vehicles to a wider audience, making them a more feasible and attractive option for many drivers.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
Tesla's continued innovation in the electric vehicle market is helping to drive progress in the industry as a whole. As more consumers adopt electric vehicles, other automakers are following suit, investing in new technology and expanding their electric vehicle offerings.
In recent years, several major automakers have announced plans to invest heavily in electric vehicles. It's no secret that Tesla has been the leader in the electric vehicle market for years, but competition is increasing as more automakers enter the EV space. However, with its strong brand, cutting-edge technology, and loyal cult-like following, Tesla appears poised to continue leading the way in the electric vehicle market for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? Will the $25,000 Tesla EV be the next major catalyst in the automotive market? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
As electric vehicles (EVs) gain in popularity, clubs and groups dedicated to spreading awareness and education about the technology are growing. EVs are celebrated for their many benefits not only for the owners of these vehicles, but also for the many ways they help the community at large by reducing carbon pollution, reducing noise in our communities, and many other benefits as well.
While these things alone would be enough for most people, two leaders in the EV community, driven by a desire to make the world a better place, are taking things a step further.
David Lucht, a passionate advocate for electric vehicles, and Greg Collaço, a supporter of Autism Speaks, have partnered to create a series of electric vehicle events to raise money and awareness for Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.
The first event, EV Madness Las Vegas, is set to take place on June 16-18, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and promises to be three days packed with family-friendly fun with activities planned for kids and adults alike. It's free to register for the event, so make sure you don't miss out!
"I'm thrilled to partner with Greg on this initiative and to use our shared passion for electric vehicles to raise awareness and funds for such an important cause," said Lucht. "Electric vehicles are not only better for the environment, but they can also help people with autism by reducing noise pollution and providing a smoother and quieter ride," he added.
Making a difference is the driving force behind the event. Proceeds from EV Madness Las Vegas will be donated to Autism Speaks to support their mission of enhancing the lives of people with autism and their families, increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder, and advancing research into its causes and better interventions for individuals on the spectrum.
"We're excited to bring the electric vehicle community together in Las Vegas for a good cause," said Collaço. "Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for autism research while promoting the benefits of electric vehicles and clean transportation.”
The event is going to be a ton of fun for all! Attendees will have the opportunity to meet other electric vehicle enthusiasts, learn about the latest technology and innovations, and have fun for a good cause. Planned activities for the event include:
This event is co-hosted by BESPOKEV, Tesla Drivers Club, Tesla Club SoCal, and F The Pump. For more information and to register your attendance, visit: EV Madness Event
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support, increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism, and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has committed over $2.5 billion to research and developing innovative resources for families. More information can be found on their webpage here: Autism Speaks
About the organizers:
David Lucht is an electric vehicle enthusiast and advocate based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a frequent speaker on the benefits of electric vehicles and has been featured in several media outlets for his expertise in the field. Lucht is also an active member of the electric vehicle community and has organized several electric vehicle events in his community.
Greg Collaço is a supporter of Autism Speaks and an advocate for autism awareness. He is a retired San Francisco Firefighter and passionate about using his personal experience to raise awareness and funds for autism research and is organizing several fundraising events to support the cause. Collaço is also dedicated to promoting understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder.
On March 3rd, Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) made an announcement regarding a modification in its senior management hierarchy. Starting from April 1st, Thomas J. Doll, the current President and Chief Executive Officer, will relinquish his day-to-day managerial responsibilities and instead become a Corporate Advisor stationed at the company's headquarters in Camden.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the contributions Tom has made over the past 40 years. I fondly remember the days we spent working together at Subaru of America from 2014 to 2017,” said Tomomi Nakamura, President and CEO of Subaru Corporation (SBR). “He is truly a great contributor. I am deeply grateful for his long-time dedication that has made Subaru what we are today. His commitment and friendship have helped to grow Subaru of America into a very strong position in the U.S. market and has created a strong and valued brand. But his leadership and the creation of the Love Promise initiative have truly elevated Subaru to be more than a car company.”
Starting April 1st, Tadashi "Tady" Yoshida will take over as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Subaru of America, Inc., succeeding Thomas J. Doll. Currently serving as Executive Vice President, Yoshida has been a part of Subaru of America for two years and has been associated with its parent company, SBR, for 34 years. Throughout his career, he has held several senior positions in SBR, including in Overseas Sales and Marketing, Global Marketing, and Customer Service Division.
Furthermore, Subaru of America, Inc. has announced that Jeffrey A. Walters will be promoted to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Walters has been associated with SOA for over 30 years and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Sales. He was appointed as Senior Vice President in 2014 after working as Vice President of Field Operations. Prior to that, he held several key positions, including Director of Field Operations, Regional Sales Manager, and Brand Strategy Manager.
“The Subaru brand and Subaru of America hold a special place in my heart. Since the day I arrived here 41 years ago, we have worked tirelessly to make Subaru more than a car company. The growth of this company has been nothing if not spectacular, but I am most proud of the good we have done with our Love Promise programs and the lives we have impacted. It is the employees of Subaru of America, the great friendships we have developed and our amazing customers and retailers who are the secret of our success,” said Doll. “We are headed into an exciting new time of growth for the industry, and I know we have an incredibly strong team in place to guide Subaru of America forward.”
During Thomas J. Doll's tenure as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2009, and subsequently as President in 2013 and CEO in 2018, Subaru of America witnessed an unparalleled growth trajectory. Thanks to his leadership, the company achieved 12 consecutive years of sales records from 2008 to 2019, with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic's production shutdown. Doll's association with SOA spans over 40 years, during which he has held various key positions such as Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Business and Strategic Planning, Director of Accounting, Director of Treasury Operations, and Manager of Treasury Operations.
Source: Subaru of America
On February 28, Tesla announced on its official charging account on Twitter that it had equipped select Superchargers with CCS (Combined Charging System) charging adapters, which are compatible with other electric vehicle (EV) brands. While Tesla did not disclose the exact number of chargers that have been opened to other brands, several locations in California and Buffalo, N.Y. (where the Superchargers are produced) are shown as available in the Tesla app.
To use these Superchargers, non-Tesla EV owners will need to download the Tesla app and select the CCS adapter. Through the app, they can monitor the charging rate, total charge given, and total cost of charging in real-time. However, it is important to note that not all Tesla Superchargers have been equipped with CCS adapters, and the program is still in the pilot phase with limited access.
This move by Tesla to open up its Supercharger network to other brands marks a significant shift in the EV market, as it allows non-Tesla EV owners to access one of the most extensive and fastest charging networks available. With the Superchargers' fast charging speeds of up to 250 kW, non-Tesla EV owners will be able to add hundreds of miles of range in just a few minutes of charging, making long-distance travel in EVs more feasible and convenient.
That being said, they have only announced plans to retrofit and build new sites for a total of 3,500 chargers with the "Magic Dock" CCS adapter by the end of 2024, and not the entirety of the more than 17,000 superchargers in North America.
Non-Tesla EV owners who wish to use the Tesla Supercharger network can do so, but they will be charged a higher price per charge compared to Tesla owners. As an alternative, they can opt to sign up for a membership through the Tesla app. The monthly fee for the membership is $12.99, but it grants them access to the same lowest price per kWh offered to Tesla owners (who don't have to pay the monthly subscription).
It remains to be seen how this change will affect the nearly perfect rating that Tesla has regarding the Supercharger Network user experience. As other public fast charging networks have been plagued with issues such as broken or inoperable chargers and bandwidth problems, according to user complaints, Tesla continually ranks at the top with its seamless charging process. A 2022 survey by Plug In America revealed that the most commonly reported issue by EV owners was broken or non-working chargers. In contrast, the Tesla Supercharger network scored "significantly better than its competitors on every metric."
However, some experts have raised concerns that opening up the Supercharger network to other EV brands could negatively impact its reputation for reliable and fast charging. Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid has stated that "there is a strong likelihood that if they open the Supercharger network to other vehicles, their current excellent reliability rate will decline significantly," as quoted by Reuters.
By adding CCS compatibility to its proprietary hardware and software, Tesla could potentially encounter new technical issues and challenges. Nonetheless, Tesla's decision to open up its Supercharger network to other brands shows a commitment to advancing the growth of the EV market and providing a more accessible charging infrastructure for all EV owners.
In a tweet Friday afternoon, paired by a press release from the South Carolina Governor's office, Volkswagen Group announced plans to invest $2 Billion to construct a new factory that is assigned to build all-electric trucks and SUVs under the recently revived Scout brand. The factory site will be in Blythewood, SC and will be home to 4,000 jobs when fully operational.
Governor McMaster praised Scout Motors for choosing South Carolina as their production site and emphasized the positive impact the company's investment will have on the state's economy. The Governor also noted the potential for future growth and development in the electric vehicle industry.
“Scout Motors will provide thousands of South Carolinians with previously unimagined opportunities and prosperity for generations to come,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “The Palmetto State, with its rich history, superior people, and sterling automotive manufacturing reputation, is the perfect place to re-start this iconic American brand.”
Scout Motors CEO, John Smith, expressed his excitement about the new production site and the opportunity to create jobs in South Carolina. He also highlighted the state's business-friendly environment and strong workforce as factors that contributed to their decision.
“We’re honored to partner with South Carolina to usher in this new era for Scout,” said President and CEO of Scout Motors Scott Keogh. “Scout has been an American icon since introducing an SUV in 1960. It's the vehicle that took your family on a camping trip, that gave access to the great outdoors, and that showed up on the job site every morning. Today, we’re reimagining Scout’s original ingenuity and electrifying its future. We’re bringing the Scout spirit to South Carolina and it's going to be a hell of a ride.”
The new facility is expected to be operational by 2026 and will produce a range of electric vehicles, including pickup trucks and SUVs.
After his foot punched the brake pedal, Bryan immediately knew he had a problem. There was a loud ‘clunk’ followed by a screeching worse than anything he’d heard before. The Tesla slowed partially (thanks to regenerative braking), but he needed more stopping force than what the electric motors provided. The car in front of him didn’t see it coming either, and the resulting collision sent broken parts flying in all directions. At the time when he needed the brakes the most, they failed.
Luckily, I made this story up. So don’t worry about Bryan and his Tesla, they’re fine. But the reality of brake failure is a real concern, especially for EV owners… that is if they knew about the dangers. Unfortunately, most don’t know about the hidden dangers of traditional brake pads. I didn’t know either. I thought brakes on EVs weren’t something that needed attention because they rarely get used, if at all, and I wasn't alone in thinking like this.
However, this misconception that EV owners have about how braking systems in these vehicles work could result in a catastrophic situation if not properly addressed. Knowing what causes the brake pads to fail and how to prevent that from happening could literally mean the difference between life and death.
So what causes brake pads to fail?
I recently had a conversation with Montu Khokhar - CEO of NUCAP Technologies and NRS Brakes, and Blake Fuller - team owner and driver of Electric Performance Racing, to discuss this very important topic and what they shared with me was very revealing.
Watch the conversation I had with Montu Khokhar and Blake Fuller here:
Traditional brake pads are made up of a steel backing plate and the brake pad friction material that is adhered to the backing plate with a specialized glue. Typically, in a gas-powered vehicle when the driver steps on the brake pedal, this friction material is pressed against the brake rotor causing friction. This friction turns the energy of vehicle movement into heat which dissipates any moisture that collected on the brake pads.
However, with electric vehicles and hybrids, that rely on regenerative braking, the friction brakes are rarely, if ever, used. This can cause moisture to build up in between the friction material and the backing plate resulting in separation of the pad, rust, and corrosion. All of this while the friction material itself looks relatively unscathed.
To even an experienced technician, a quick "brake check" only examines the remaining pad material to determine when replacement is necessary. They don't disassemble the braking system to examine the pads closely... and if there is any of the above issues going on, it's likely to be missed.
So what can owners do?
There are a few options. The first being that every now and then you stand on the brakes to exceed the available regenerative braking from the electric motors and force the friction material to contact the brake rotors. This will result in the process outlined above causing the moisture to dissipate and avoid the problem. However, as you might be thinking, this could cause any number of other problems, not to mention that it isn't exactly the safest thing to do to your vehicle.
Secondly you can replace the brake pads with a set of pads that use a galvanized steel backing plate that won't rust or corrode. There is currently only one company that is making these types of pads: NRS Brakes.
This isn't a promotion for NRS Brakes, and I haven't received anything from the company to promote their products.. but honestly... when I heard about what they were doing, I couldn't resist learning as much as I could and bringing this valuable information to all of you.
This problem is big, and I really feel that knowing this information could be the difference between life and death for the person that finds themselves in the same situation as our fictional Bryan and his Tesla.
So would I recommend replacing your brake pads with NRS galvanized brake pads? Yes, absolutely 100%. But it's because I want you to be safe. I want you to know you're safe, and have peace-of-mind that you really don't have to worry about your brakes. Replace the false misconception with the real reality and we'll all live in a safer world. And finally, if you're a visual person, I stole this photo (below) from the NRS web page that show the differences between traditional brake pads and the NRS galvanized brake pads. You're welcome.
Fresh on the heels of a $12 Million public offering that closed in January, Arcimoto has announced an additional $6 Million in funding by means of a real estate loan on their Eugene, Oregon factory.
A press release from February 22nd states, "A portion of the net proceeds from the offering were used to repay the convertible note with 3i. The remaining funding will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes."
The company seems to be getting back on their feet after production of the FUV and related vehicles was halted due to financial concerns last month. Just last week Arcimoto announced that production of the FUV and Deliverator were resuming and product improvements had been made.
Jesse Fittipaldi, Arcimoto Interim CEO said, “We announced this week the start of 2023 production with new steering features and improvements on the FUV and Deliverator. This additional funding paired with our efforts in reducing vehicle costs and increasing sales gives the team practical confidence as we continue to focus on the growth of FUV and Deliverator programs."
While these latest announcements don't guarantee anything for Arcimoto in the long term, the new funding has given the company a much-needed lifeline, allowing it to resume production of the FUV and continue its mission to provide sustainable transportation options.
The FUV is a three-wheeled electric vehicle designed for daily commuting and short trips around town. It has a range of up to 102 miles per charge and can reach a top speed of 75 mph. The FUV is also highly efficient, with a cost per mile of less than 10 cents.
Arcimoto's resumption of production is great news for the company's employees, customers, and investors. It also represents a significant step forward for the electric vehicle industry, as the FUV is a unique and innovative vehicle that fills a gap in the market for sustainable, affordable transportation.
Source: Arcimoto Press Release
Sono Motors, a Munich-based company that focuses on developing sustainable mobility solutions announced recently that the Sono Sion Solar EV will not be produced after all. While reception of the vehicle had been pleasant, supply chain disruptions and financial challenges have ultimately forced the company to halt production... and that's a real shame.
While I wasn't a fan of the styling of the Sion, or the limited range of only 155 miles, I did get really excited about the prospect of a mobile solar-powered 35 kWh battery with bi-directional charging. Especially when considering that the company had intended to sell the Sion for around $30,000. That's amazingly inexpensive and quite the deal for the technology a potential owner would receive.
Sadly though, it looks like the sun has set on the Sion (you see what I did there?).
In a blog post on its website, Sono Motors co-founder Laurin Hahn announced the halt of production and stated that it remains committed to its vision of sustainable mobility, but will continue to explore other solutions. The company also expressed its gratitude to its supporters and investors, and stated that it will be providing updates on its future plans in the coming weeks.
"We are extremely saddened that we have terminated the Sion program so close to bringing it to the streets. We are still fully committed to making a real difference in mobility and making every vehicle solar. Therefore we have made the decision to continue with our solar B2B business. This was a very difficult decision, as you can imagine, and we do not take it lightly," he said.
"Despite more than 45,000 reservations and pre-orders for the Sion, we were compelled to react to the ongoing financial market instability and streamline our business. Given also the resource intensive nature of the Sion program, including personnel requirements, we are now implementing a significant cost reduction program. This includes the redundancy of approximately 300 employees. This is not a decision we take lightly and we are incredibly grateful for their hard work and dedication to Sono Motors.”
The Sion solar-powered car was a bold and innovative project that aimed to revolutionize the automotive industry with its sustainable technology. While the project has consistently faced significant challenges, Sono Motors' commitment to sustainable mobility remains strong. It will be interesting to see what the company's next steps will be and how it will continue to contribute to the transition to sustainable transportation.
Bentley, the British luxury automaker, has announced that it will cease production of its 12-cylinder engines, including the most powerful version ever, as part of its transition to electric vehicles. The future for the 6.75-liter V12 engine that has been an iconic feature of Bentley cars for almost 100 years is coming to an end.
In a press release, Bentley explained that the decision was driven by the company's commitment to reducing its environmental impact and becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The company plans to focus on the development of high-performance electric vehicles to meet the demands of its customers and contribute to a more sustainable future.
According to Bentley's CEO, Adrian Hallmark, the decision to end 12-cylinder engine production was a difficult one, but necessary for the long-term success of the company. He stated that the company is investing heavily in research and development to create new, cutting-edge electric technologies that will power the next generation of Bentley cars.
“Our progressive journey towards sustainable luxury mobility means making changes to every area of Bentley Motors," he said. "When we first launched the W12 back in 2003, we knew we had a mighty engine that would propel both our cars and the brand forwards at speed. 20 years and more than 100,000 W12s later, the time has come to retire this now-iconic powertrain as we take strides towards electrification – but not without giving it the best send-off possible, with the most powerful version of the engine ever created."
Despite the announcement, Bentley will continue to offer its existing models powered by the engines, including the Mulsanne and the Continental GT. However, the company plans to gradually phase out these models in the coming years as it shifts towards a fully-electric lineup.
The press release also highlights Bentley's commitment to sustainable practices, noting that the company has already made significant progress towards reducing its environmental impact. For example, Bentley has achieved an 85% reduction in carbon emissions at its factory in Crewe, England, and is using renewable energy sources to power its operations.
The end of 12-cylinder engine production at Bentley reflects a broader trend in the automotive industry, as carmakers increasingly shift towards electric and hybrid technologies in response to growing concerns about climate change and sustainability. While it marks the end of an era for Bentley, it also signals an exciting new chapter in the company's history as it embraces a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious future.
As the electrification of municipal fleets gains traction, one of the first electric fire trucks to be introduced in the United States has debuted at the Virginia Fire Rescue Conference in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Rosenbauer's RTX fire truck breaks new ground with its compact design, measuring only 92.5 inches wide while maintaining interior space. This allows emergency crews to reach their destination quickly and reliably, even on narrow streets. With two electric motors, the truck accelerates exceptionally well, especially in heavy traffic. While the drive design, with a low center of gravity and balanced axle load distribution, improves handling stability and reduces accident risk. Furthermore, the new wheel suspension system provides a larger steering angle, significantly reducing the turning radius, especially in all-wheel drive mode.
The RTX fire truck provides ergonomic and tactical advantages that minimize physical strain on emergency crews and maximize operational success. The vehicle's driveshaft-free concept allows equipment compartments to extend downward, reducing crew fatigue. The body can also be lowered to a 10-inch entry height. Numerous assistance systems, including electronic rearview mirrors, rear camera, and automatic object recognition, keep the crew safe in difficult situations. The rotatable commander seats and oval seating arrangement improve cab communication, while powerful LED strips provide shadowless illumination and eliminate the need for a light tower.
The RTX fire truck boasts two electric motors that produce a total output of 490 hp and a 150 kW charging rate. This enables flexible charging and fast battery recharging, resulting in zero local emissions on the road. Regenerative braking reduces brake wear and eliminates fine dust particles, benefiting urban environments. With its automatic engine shutdown and battery-powered lighting and equipment, the RTX reduces noise levels and improves air quality. The 3.0 Liter 300 HP 6 Cylinder BMW Clean Diesel Engine combined with an electric motor serves as a power generator, providing extra energy for longer operations and external devices if the batteries are low.
To minimize errors during emergencies, the RTX fire truck employs a simplified and consistent operating concept. It serves as the hub of its own communication system, featuring autonomous Wi-Fi, drone integration, and a direct link to the operations center and EMEREC data center. With the optional RDS Connected Command System, emergency crews can receive continuous data, including incident reports, building plans, and camera images through a central deployment screen. Touchscreens and customizable actuation buttons provide intuitive and easy-to-use controls throughout the RX's design.
The introduction of the RTX electric fire truck by Rosenbauer marks a significant milestone in the electrification of municipal fleets. The innovative design and technology of the RTX fire truck provide both tactical and ergonomic advantages to emergency crews, while also reducing environmental impact. With its compact size and exceptional performance, the RTX is poised to revolutionize the way fire trucks are designed and operated. As more cities and municipalities explore the benefits of electrifying their fleets, the RTX serves as an inspiration for the future of firefighting vehicles.
Throughout all of human history, the desire to be quicker, to go faster, and push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible has always been a constant. From the challenge to break the 4-minute mile to the race to create the quickest accelerating production car, humans have always sought to push their limits.
It was once believed that certain physical feats were impossible for humans to achieve. Running the mile in less than four minutes was one such feat, until Roger Bannister broke the barrier in 1954 with a time of 3:59.4. Once that wall came down, many other people followed Bannister's lead, and now the current record is held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, who ran the distance in 3 minutes and 43.13 seconds.
In the world of supercars, accelerating from 0-60 mph in less than two seconds was once thought impossible too, until the Tesla Model S Plaid and Rimac Nevara shattered that notion with their blistering speeds.
However, these contenders have been outshone by the Automobili Pininfarina Battista Hyper GT, which has recently broken a large number of records and claimed the title of "King of Quick" during recent tests in India. With its unparalleled speed and performance, the Battista Hyper GT has established itself as the ultimate champion of the hypercar world. It is the quickest accelerating production vehicle ever made.
A Legacy of Automotive Design
For nearly a century, Pininfarina and its founder, Battista 'Pinin' Farina, have been known as the go-to choice for designing elegant and beautiful works of rolling art, including icons like the Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto,' Fiat '124 Sport Spider,' and 65 of Ferrari's greatest vehicles.
While the company saw unparalleled success in their field, designing vehicles for other companies wasn't Farina's ultimate dream. He wanted a vehicle that was 100% Pininfarina. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 2018, 88 years after the company's creation and 52 years after his death, that the ultimate dream of Pininfarina's founder was realized.
It was that year, 2018, when the Automobili Pininfarina name was born and the pinnacle of the modern hypercar was born.
The Most Powerful Italian Sports Car Ever
In a world where electrification is quickly becoming the only powertrain option to consider, Automobili Pininfarina has partnered with the Croatian electric hypercar maker Rimac to provide unparalleled battery, drivetrain expertise, and hardware for the Battista. The result is nothing short of incredible - with a 120 kWh battery and four motors sending a combined 1,900 horsepower to the wheels, the Battista sets a new performance benchmark in the world of hypercars, achieving extreme speed and power with zero emissions.
It's a feat that would be impossible to achieve with internal combustion engine technology.
The Sultan of Speed
In November 2022, the Battista made its way to Dubai to demonstrate its incredible performance and set new world records for production cars. Pininfarina held nothing back and Battista achieved feats previously thought impossible:
Not content with these incredible achievements, Automobili Pininfarina took the Battista to India this February to push its limits even further. Equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and VBOX data systems to record its performance, the Battista took the title of fastest road-legal car ever on Indian soil.
Under the watchful eye of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), Hormazd Sorabjee piloted the Battista to a top speed of 358.03 km/h, breaking the previous top speed record in India by a staggering 26 km/h. Renuka Kirpalani also made history by becoming the fastest Indian female driver in the world, reaching a top speed of 357.10 km/h.
But the Battista wasn't done yet. With its incredible acceleration, it also set new production car world records for sprints over ¼ and ½ mile distances, achieving a time of 8.55 seconds and 13.38 seconds, respectively.
With only 150 of the $2.2 Million bespoke Battista Hyper GTs set to be hand-built in Italy, this electric masterpiece is truly one of a kind. But more than that, the Battista represents the pinnacle of performance and technology in the world of hypercars. Each test and track run push the boundaries of what's possible; shattering records and cementing its place as a trailblazer in the automotive industry. As it continues to shatter expectations and reach new heights, the Battista is a testament to the boundless potential of electric performance and the dedication to innovation that drives Automobili Pininfarina.
Hyundai recently announced the pricing and packaging details for the IONIQ 6 electric vehicle, and it looks like they're setting their target squarely on competing with (and beating?) the Tesla Model 3.
The Ioniq 6 will offer both single- and dual-motor configurations, with two battery-pack options. Thanks to its aerodynamic shape and 77.4-kWh battery pack, the longest-range SE Long Range configuration of the Ioniq 6 is expected to have an impressive estimated driving range of 361 miles. The Ioniq 6's design is inspired by Hyundai's dramatic Prophecy concept, offering both futuristic style and quick performance.
The SE Standard Range model comes only with a 53-kWh battery pack, priced at $41,600 ($42,715 including delivery), and will have limited quantities available this summer. The SE Long Range model, with a larger 77.4 kWh battery offering an EPA-estimated 361 miles of range, is priced at $45,500 ($46,615 including delivery). The Dual motor AWD models have a starting MSRP of $49,000 ($50,115 including delivery) and a range of up to 316 miles.
Eligibility for state tax credits depends on individual tax circumstances.
The IONIQ 6 boasts cutting-edge technology, including an ultra-fast 800-volt/350kW charging system that can recharge the battery from 10 to 80 percent in as little as 18 minutes, making it the best-in-class. It is also the second Hyundai model to utilize the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which enables the use of dual motors, optimizes interior space, and enhances overall performance. The IONIQ 6 is a significant part of Hyundai Motor Company's ambitious plan to introduce 17 battery electric vehicle (BEV) models and sell over 1.8 million BEV units worldwide by 2030.
IONIQ 6 includes unexpected levels of standard equipment. Key standard features include:
Arcimoto Resumes Production of FUV
Fans of the Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) are rejoicing this week as an announcement from the company was sent out via email and social media channels. In a statement on the 18th, Arcimoto announced that they are resuming production of the FUV and Deliverator models while streamlining vehicle options and making some improvements to the models before deliveries start in the Spring.
The company said they have updated the steering system to “deliver improved handling and maneuverability at all speeds while reducing steering effort by more than 40% from prior models.”
The 2023 FUV now comes standard with a number of features that were previously listed as additional options. The rear cargo box, phone mount, cup holders and colored vinyl print are all included with the base price of the FUV. The west coast half doors, Corbin diamond colored seats, and other options are still available.
Pricing has also been updated. The FUV now starts at $19,900 and the deliverator at $25,000.
With these updates, they’re also making it super easy to reserve and purchase an FUV. They have a new pre-approval process for vehicle financing and only a $250 refundable deposit to reserve your chosen configuration.
For more information go to www.arcimoto.com
During Volvo's recent earnings call, CEO Jim Rowan expressed his concern about moving too slowly into the all-electric future. Rowan emphasized that continuing to develop combustion engine vehicles could prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.
His statements are in strong contrast to Toyota's position (and that of other Japanese automakers), which has argued against committing solely to electric vehicles in favor of a more "well-rounded approach". Rowan highlights the growing importance of the electric vehicle market and the need for companies to make a quick strategic shift towards electrification if they want to see success.
Rowan cautioned that investing in both internal combustion engines and battery-electric vehicles could potentially result in missed opportunities. In contrast, he noted that Volvo made a bold move to invest in electrification ahead of the impending inflection point.
Volvo has already taken significant steps towards an all-electric future, with the company committing to putting one million electrified cars on the road by 2025, and phasing out combustion engines entirely by 2030.
Rowan's comments underscore the need for automakers to focus their resources on the growing electric vehicle market. With many countries around the world setting targets to phase out the production and sale of combustion engine vehicles, automakers that fail to prioritize electric vehicle development risk being left behind.
"The big problem with industry transitions is if you don't invest ahead of the curve, then you miss that inflection point, and you're not ready for when the market changes," he said. "We are investing ahead of the curve."
The biggest challenge for the company will be growing and maintaining the supply of crucial battery materials.
"That's pretty much the only thing that stands in the way of full-scale adoption. We are in discussions with mines and processing factories to get direct access to [lithium] at more predictable costs," he said, adding that technologies like lithium iron phosphate (LFP) will help lower the cost of EVs even further. As an example, Ford recently announced that they are adding LFP battery options this year.
The electric revolution is happening, and companies like Volvo that are fully committed to the shift are leading the way in the development of electric vehicles. By prioritizing EV development and phasing out combustion engines, Volvo is positioning itself for success in the future of the automotive industry.
Ford revealed its plans recently to invest $3.5 billion in constructing the first-ever automaker-supported lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery factory in the country. This move will give customers access to a new battery chemistry option for Ford's EV lineup, adding to the current lithium-ion battery technology.
They're calling it BlueOval Battery Park Michigan - that's where 2,500 people will get to work in 2026 producing LFP batteries for Ford's electric vehicles - and it is the first of it's kind here in the US. While other automakers use the LFP battery chemistry in their electric vehicles, Ford will be the first to own it's own LFP factory here in the country and it's only a small part of the commitment the company is making to the electric revolution.
Ford and its battery tech partners have committed to investing in electric vehicle and battery production in the US. And since 2019 - with this latest $3.5 billion investment included - the total commitment comes to $17.6 billion. This investment is part of Ford's larger plan to invest over $50 billion in electric vehicles globally by 2026. The investments made in the next three years will create over 18,000 direct jobs in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Missouri, and over 100,000 indirect jobs, according to an independent study conducted in 2020. These investments mark a significant step towards creating a more sustainable future and increasing job opportunities here in the US.
“We are committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution in America, and that means investing in the technology and jobs that will keep us on the cutting edge of this global transformation in our industry,” said Bill Ford, Ford executive chair. “I am also proud that we chose our home state of Michigan for this critical battery production hub.”
By diversifying and localizing its battery supply chain in the countries where it produces EVs, Ford aims to make its vehicles more accessible and affordable for customers, while also strengthening consumer demand. As part of its Ford+ plan, the company is striving to achieve an annual production rate of 600,000 electric vehicles worldwide by the end of 2023 and 2 million globally by the end of 2026.
As Ford ramps up its electric vehicle production, the introduction of LFP batteries will enable the company to produce a higher number of electric vehicles and provide a wider range of options to new EV customers.
By offering LFP batteries as an alternative to nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) batteries, Ford is providing its customers with the flexibility to choose the battery chemistry that best fits their specific needs. LFP batteries are known for their durability and ability to handle frequent and fast charging, all while utilizing fewer high-demand, high-cost materials.
This cost-effective battery, produced at scale, will assist Ford in maintaining or even lowering the prices of its electric vehicles, making them more affordable for customers. Ford plans to use these LFP batteries to power a range of next-generation EV passenger vehicles and trucks currently in development, with most being produced in the US.
“Ford’s electric vehicle lineup has generated huge demand. To get as many Ford EVs to customers as possible, we’re the first automaker to commit to build both NCM and LFP batteries in the United States,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We’re delivering on our commitments as we scale LFP and NCM batteries and thousands, and soon millions, of customers will begin to reap the benefits of Ford EVs with cutting-edge, durable battery technologies that are growing more affordable over time.”
As a means to increase production capacity and reduce wait times for customers, Ford plans to introduce LFP batteries on the Mustang Mach-E this year and on the F-150 Lightning in 2024, even before the new battery plant becomes operational.
As a part of its strategy, Ford has forged a new agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) – the world's leading battery manufacturer. The agreement will allow Ford's wholly owned subsidiary to manufacture battery cells using LFP battery cell expertise and services provided by CATL.
These LFP battery cells will be integrated by Ford engineers into its electric vehicles, as the company looks to expand its battery capacity and technology through various key collaborations. This agreement with CATL adds to Ford's existing battery capacity and technology, which has been made possible through collaborations with LG Energy Solution (LGES) and SK On. Through these partnerships, Ford is well-positioned to enhance its electric vehicle offerings and establish itself as a significant player in the expanding electric vehicle market.
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