Published on June 20th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan1
Electric Vehicle Heaven (Insane Electric Vehicle News Roundup)
June 20th, 2014 by Zachary Shahan
Time for another electric vehicle news roundup!
Rick Perry Goes Model S’ing: And in Cali nonetheless. The Texas Governor is certainly still trying to get that Gigafactory.
Falling GM Prices: The Chevy Volt and the Cadillac ELR are seeing some massive price drops in some areas of the country. Have a look.
Charging Station Infographic: Thinking about getting an electric vehicle charging station for your company or organization? Check out the 6 questions in that infographic first.
Elio Motors Ready to Talk: Have some tough questions (or easy ones) for Elio Motors? Let Jo know and he’ll shoot them over to the quite hyped startup Vice President of Customer Service.
BMW i3 Conquest: The BMW i3 is a different animal than anything else in the BMW fleet, and not just because it’s electric. Some people don’t like it for that reason. However, there’s no denying that it is bringing new customers to BMW. 80% of sales are conquest sales, in fact!
BMW App Love: BMW has released an app for its i3 and i8 owners that lets them know when it’s cheapest to charge as well as real-time charging info. BMW says the savings could be $400 per year, which may not be much to an i3 or i8 owner, but also isn’t something to let go to waste.
BMW vs Tesla: Comparing the BMW i3 to the Tesla Model S is absurd. Don’t worry, we didn’t do that over on EV Obsession. But Tesla’s announcements about making the Model S more intelligent did remind me a ton of what BMW has said its X5 eDrive could do.
Tesla Sizzle Reel: Can’t ever get enough Tesla news or view? Check out the video in that article as well as Chris DeMorro’s excellent commentary.
Tesla Breaks Loose in 1 Year: Well, within one year. That’s the timeframe Tesla has given before it expects battery supply to line up with Tesla demand.
Tesla Research… in UK: Tesla may build a research center in the UK. It’s hard to imagine that happening anytime soon, but Musk does like to move fast. (Look at all the kids he has!)
More Milestones Milked: Want a rundown of where Tesla is with Superchargers, vehicle miles driven, etc?
Roadster Bonus Package: Tesla Roadster owners are going to get a very cool upgrade of sorts by the end of the year, Musk promises. What that will be is open for speculation, and Chris doesn’t hold back.
Security Could Use Some Love: Tesla has fanboys and fangirls. So does Elon Musk. Perhaps it’s time for the crew to install more security for the South African charmer.
Chevy Spark EV Freedom: The Chevy Spark EV is a better buy than the gasoline Chevy Spark according to Consumer Reports, yet it’s only available in certain markets in California and Oregon. Not cool, but that may soon change.
Or…: It may be more complicated than that. The Amazing Thomas J. Thias weighs in with some information stitching and hypotheses.
Harley-Davidson Electrifying: Harley-Davidson may finally join the electric vehicle revolution. The Harley-Davidson LiveWire isn’t yet confirmed for being a production model. Though, a nationwide tour is.
Electric Motorcycle Sets Record: John McGuinness set a new lap record on his electric motorcycle over at TT Zero. And a teammate came in second. I assume this is interesting for racing fans.
Ultraman Goes Electric: With a modified Nissan Leaf and a modified Nissan e-NV200, the superhero will now have a clean ride on Japanese television.
Electric Car-Jet Hybrid: If you want to have some real fun and fight some serious crime, however, an electric car-jet hybrid might be better than a Nissan Leaf. But I guess it depends.
Chargers Required in Shenzhen: The city of Shenzhen know what’s up. It realizes that electric car drivers need charging at home, and that’s easy when you have a garage but not the default situation when you live in an apartment building. Shenzhen is now requiring that all new apartment buildings include an EV charging station for every parking spot! Big kudos from us.
Highlight of Bob’s Career: Bob Lutz has had a long and successful in the automotive world, but his crowning achievement and the highlight of his career was developing the Chevy Volt, according to Bob himself.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Shuttle: The Chevy Volt may have been the highlight of Bob’s career, but as a retired head of Via Motors, he’s certainly trying to make his mark with plug-in hybrid electric pickup trucks and vans. Via Motors just introduced a passenger plug-in hybrid electric van that could work great for airport shuttles.
Ed Begley Jr’s RAV4 EV or Yours?: Ed Begley Jr’s RAV4 EV is reportedly available on eBay. What Ed is moving on to is unclear, but it would surprise me if it weren’t a Tesla or BMW i3.
Battery Retirement in Yellowstone: Toyota has donated some old hybrid batteries to Yellowstone National Park for use at Lamar Buffalo Ranch. Just another reminder that EV batteries can be very useful after their automobile days come to an end.
Electric Korean Supercar, Please: Korean supercar Spirra is switching to electric with a Dutch electric drivetrain. Suweet!
Kia Soul EV in the Kitchen: The Kia Soul EV is now in production over in South Korea. It will be Kia’s cleanest car yet, will be able to get an 80% charge in just 30 minutes, will have a 27 kWh battery pack, and will be a bit slow to 60 MPH.
Mexico’s 1st EV: Surprisingly, Mexico just got its first electric vehicle model. Let’s hope the growth is exponential for a while. Take a guess at which EV model made it down there first, then click on over for the answer.
Zap Coming Back: The Chinese maker of low-end electric vehicles is apparently trying to get back into the hot US EV market. It has secured financing for “several thousand” Zap electric vehicles.
It’s Not All About the Money: When we think of electric vehicle incentives, we typically think of cash (or tax credits), but the case of Georgia (like Norway) shows that it’s not all about the money, but other incentives as well.
Thermal Conditioning for Nissan e-NV200: Taking a turn away from how the Nissan Leaf battery pack is cooled, the Nissan e-NV200 will be cooled using a “thermal conditioning” system. More details on EV Obsession.
BMW i3 vs Mercedes B-Class Electric: Chris DeMorro takes a look at how two new “lower-end” luxury electric cars compare, the $41,350 BMW i3 and the almost identically priced but very different $41,450 Mercedes B-Class Electric.
Detroit Electric Lives: Much of the automotive world got pretty excited when a Detroit Electric revival was announced. Then Detroit Electric sort of disappeared. Now it’s back again! Apparently prototype testing of the SP:01 based on the Lotus is underway in Europe.
Reality Check on Fuel Cells: Tesla Motors CEO, Chairman, and Chief Product Architect Elon Musk provides more common sense on the supposed coming hydrogen fuel cell “market.” He notes: “Even the best theoretical fuel cell doesn’t compete with batteries. It doesn’t seem like the right move.” No, it doesn’t seem like the right move at all.
A123 Buys Micro-Hybrid Tech: Are micro hybrids the future? Some think so, and A123 is putting some of its eggs in that basket.
Iran Gets An EV(!): Iran now has its first electric vehicle. With import duties loosened on electric vehicles and hybrids, the Islamic Republic of Iran has reportedly received its first EV. It’s not clear what model was imported, but it was reportedly imported to 17 other countries before Iran. Any EV puzzle fanatics out there want to try to figure this one out? If so, better clues are over on EV Obsession and Chris basically provides the answer.
Leaf Taxi in London: Driven by some good incentives, the first Nissan Leaf taxis in London have now hit the streets looking for trouble (aka humans).
Battery Nerd Alert: Any electric vehicle battery nerds here? Ah, of course you are! Check out the link for some news about a lithium-ion battery wire developed by researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Lithium Iron Phosphate Sandwich: Speaking of batteries, MIT researchers may be on to something with lithium iron phosphate batteries… or maybe not.
Minnesota Standardizes Charging Rates: Leading the way on standardization of EV charging rates isn’t California or New York… but Minnesota. Good work, North Star State!
Volkswagen XL1 Arrives: The “most efficient car in the world” gets delivered to its first customer.
Electric Bike Acquisition: German automaker Continential AG (aka ContiTech) has apparently acquired electric bike drive maker Benchmark.
EV Sales Predictions: EV sales are projected to hit 7.5 million by the end of 2020, according to Research and Markets. Too high? Too low? Just right? Weigh in over on EV Obsession.
Simulated City for Autonomous Cars: It’s hard to test autonomous cars in a real-life city, and it’s hard to let them into that stage without some pre-city testing. Of course, Google has been inching forward on this front, but now a consortium of automakers, government, and university researchers is pumping several million dollars into a simulated city for this purpose. (Filed under electric because these autonomous cars will of course be electric.)
Electric Surfboard Arrives: This is the first I’ve heard of an electric surfboard, but now I’m wondering why these things aren’t all over the place! More details on the Gas2 link above, and video here: