Extreme E today has revealed the specific location of their next race in Scotland. The Hydro X-Prix weekend will take place at the former Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine site in Dumfries and Galloway on May 13th and 14th.
The former Glenmuckloch coal mine site, which is set to host Extreme E's Hydro X Prix, offers an ideal natural arena to demonstrate the necessary shift from fossil fuels to clean energy futures, which is the primary focus of the off-road rally series.
“Extreme E is a unique sport for purpose racing series. We are thrilled to be headed to Scotland in May for the Hydro X Prix, and we could not have found a more perfect racing site than the former Glenmuckloch coal mine," said Extreme E Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag. "Not only will this site provide one of the most dramatic and extreme race courses we have seen in our global journey, it will tell a poignant story about transition and the changing of courses that the energy industry and communities must all take if we are to succeed in the fight against climate change.”
Extreme E is a pioneering electric motorsport platform that provides a thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing format. It is also the first series to offer a gender-equal racing platform where male and female drivers compete equally for success. This unique feature sets an inspiring example for the motorsport industry and promotes gender equality in sports.
Catie Munnings, Driver for the Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E team, is excited about the series return to the UK saying, "There’s always something unique about every Extreme E course but racing in a location like this which is close to home will be something special for me and the team. I've heard the track will be a combination of both fast sections on grass as well as drops into a quarry which will be really interesting to see. The Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E team have a lot to build on and we are more hungry than ever to achieve a result that we deserve.”
In addition to the racing action, Extreme E also uses their 'Legacy Programme' to bring positive and lasting change to the local communities that host their events. For the Hydro X-Prix, Extreme E is launching a community-led project aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change on the local salmon stocks. The multi-stage project will involve the re-planting of over a thousand trees and the use of innovative technologies to monitor the habitat. Through these efforts, Extreme E will drive a long-term transformation of the River Nith area, ensuring the preservation of salmon stocks critical to the local industry. This project is a testament to Extreme E's commitment to promoting sustainable practices and protecting the environment for future generations and has been welcomed by Anna Gergusson, Estate Director of Buccleuch's Queensbury Estate, home of Glenmuckloch.
“Hosting Extreme E is a wonderful opportunity for Buccleuch and the local community. Their commitment to the environment flows through everything they do, and using the sport to highlight local and international nature-based projects enables engagement on so many levels. For me, personally, recognising gender equality sends an incredibly positive message, which is important to recognise.”
The racing action will be best viewed live on STV and ITV, in the UK, over both Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May to enable the best views. Outside of the UK, please visit here for broadcaster details.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit: www.Extreme-E.com
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.
Current stations shown on the 7Charge app are listed as providing a peak rate of 90 kW.
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.
"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.
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:
Do you want the latest EV news delivered directly to your email inbox? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
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.