Published on November 5th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan0
EV News Roundup (France’s EV Sales, New Tesla Android App…)
November 5th, 2015 by Zachary Shahan
More EV news for the EV obsessed (… to supplement EV stories already published on CleanTechnica):
The figures for electric vehicle registrations (a proxy for sales) in France during the month of September 2015 are now in. They don’t really provide any surprises, but they’re probably worth taking a look at anyways. Altogether, 2,709 electric vehicles (EVs) were registered in France during the month, meaning that overall sales have barely risen at all as compared to September 2014. The EV share of the overall auto market in France remains at just 1.28%.
The Brazilian governmental body named the Commission for the Environment, Consumer Protection, and Monitoring of the Federal State (that’s a mouthful) moved last week to approve Senate Bill 174/2014, thereby exempting electric vehicles (as well as biodiesel vehicles running on at least 30% local fuel) from a tax on industrial products known as IPI.
A new and improved Tesla android app is now available, giving the users the option now to receive various notifications (charging notifications, car alarm notifications, etc). That means that Android users that own a Tesla aren’t quite as far behind as the iOS users as they used to be.
Analysts love to talk about margin, production timing and sales volume. You’ve got to wonder what these guys blurt to their wives in bed during passionate moments. Probably margin, production timing and sales volume.
Mobileye’s executives did their Q3 conference call with various analysts. The full transcript is here on Seeking Alpha. And I’ve cut and pasted some of the best parts relevant to Tesla specifically beneath the link.
It is clear that Tesla isn’t just taking what Mobileye is giving them. According to Elon, they have augmented the base Mobileye system with high resolution GPS maps, driver assisted learning, fleet learning, and rapid updates. The high resolution GPS maps, along with driver input, allows the car to behave correctly in ambiguous situations. If Mobileye technology is confused about what is going on in a particular area, it will always be confused in that area (barring very slowly changing model updates which may come out once a year (my estimate)). So Tesla tracks what the human does in that area, averaged over the fleet. If the Mobileye model says to follow the right lane marker at a certain GPS co-ordinate and exit the freeway, while the driver grabs the wheel and keeps the car on the freeway, then the Tesla software learns that behavior for next time and additionally uploads that info for fleet learning. According to Elon, fleet learning updates could occur weekly (presumably more often in the heavier traveled areas).
I’ve now driven on autopilot for a whole week and here’s a short review: MY AUTOPILOT AND V 7.0 REVIEW AFTER 600 KM.
This issue was brought up in another thread, and it raises an important question. I believe the pending X release stalled potential S buyers. How does Tesla avoid a major trend of “waiting for the 3 to decide”? Showing a car the looks like the Bolt wouldn’t affect S/X sales, but that would not be consistent with the S3XY strategy.
Tesla Motors has built a strong reputation for performance, starting with its first Roadster and then its Model S P85 and P85+ sedans, before moving to the dual-motor P85D and most recently the latest line-leading P90DL.
The Z is driven by an experienced drag racer and a super-nice guy. He oriented me to the drag strip as this was my first time. His car was on street tires (no slicks), and he has around 650 whp due to a tune, intake and pulley upgrade.
Super-nice guy in the Hellcat. His car was running on all-season tires. That beast just has too much torque for 275mm all-season tires.
CTS-V with lots of mods, E85, drag slicks. His best time is an 11.2. He is a super-cool guy and so we raced over and over! (5 videos)
I don’t mean to imply that Autopilot exists to provide data for Vicarious. I’m merely wondering if it might be possible Vicarious is involved with the development of Autopilot, since Elon is a stakeholder in Vicarious.
Akio Toyoda says he’s scared that a serious Autopilot accident could set autonomy back as a whole. Of course, he’s probably right. Everyone is thinking the same thing. But every inch of leash given to automated cars surely has raised the same goosebumps and will continue right through full autonomy, whenever that happens.
Overall Impression: I love love love my car. Prior to delivery I was able to drive a P85+ and P85D for a bit, maybe about 2000 miles worth of driving total, and hands down very happy with getting the P90D and Ludicrous. I notice the power quite a bit compared to the P85D and it is significantly better than the P85+ performance, so I’m glad I upgraded last minute.
Overall, I am very happy with it but I will give a list of the positives and negatives. Given that most of the positives are already very well known, I will start with the negatives (most to least).
532 hp (Ludicrous) *
463 hp *
Last week, Uber drivers in Helsinki, Finland, had the opportunity to schedule test drives of the Tesla Model S via the app normally used only for scheduling rides. To be clear here, these Tesla test drives were completely free, and were apparently just a new means of giving prospective buyers the chance to try out the lauded electric sedan.
Tesla has quietly ended the Ranger program that promised to send a technician to repair a disabled Tesla or ship it to a service center for only $100.
The launch of the Tesla Model X was quite a bit of fun for those who cover the electric vehicle industry. Given the amount of hype and goodwill (and hate) that Tesla has managed to generate over these last few years since the launch of the Roadster sports car, this should not come as a surprise.
Those in North America who have purchased a BMW i3 in recent years may want to keep a close eye on the mail that you receive over the coming weeks, as BMW will be sending out notifications to some owners informing them of a new voluntary recall concerning airbags.
BMW R&D chief Klaus Froehlich says electric cars will not be the majority of new cars sold until 2050. Only 10% of cars in 2025 will be electric, he says.
For anyone contending that extended-range electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt shouldn’t classify as “electric vehicles,” here are two stats for you from the most comprehensive EV driver study conducted to date.
While I wasn’t able to put it through the ringer, I got a pretty good feel for how the new Volt drives. Definitely feels more nimble than my current Volt. I also noticed that the seat height adjustment lever was a lot easier to pump than the one in my Volt. Steering wheel also felt a little thicker, but still nice to the touch. Visibility out the back was a little less due to the elimination of the bottom window, but didn’t feel like the view was limited.
For the last three years, I’ve been the happy driver of a 2012 Nissan Leaf. I loved everything about the car, even if it did require some adjustments in the way I thought about driving, range, and planning ahead. But my lease was coming to an end, and through some amazing incentives that GM was offering ($228/month, including a lease conquest deal that allowed me to put $0 down!), I now find myself in a 2015 ashen gray metallic Chevy Volt. I was sad to see my Leaf go, but was excited to experience the freedom of range-extended electric driving. I’ve only had my Volt for a couple days, but here are my initial impressions and comparisons.
Today was the first day I had a chance to almost fully deplete the battery on my new 2016 Volt. The results exceeded all my expectations and the EPA data, by far. I went 53 miles, used 12.7 kW from the battery, and had 7 miles of range left.
More than two and one-half years after the car was first announced (earlier post) and more than one year after sales began in Germany and Central Europe (earlier post), the US-spec version of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid will begin arriving in US showrooms in the next few weeks.
The company GEM has specialized in small, low-speed electric vehicles for more than 15 years; at one point during its life it was even owned by Chrysler.
The Mercedes Vision concept at the Tokyo motor show is a battery fuel cell hybrid autonomous driving van for self-absorbed people to chill out inside off.
Scientists in England are working on a lithium air battery with ten times the power of a lithium ion battery for one fifth the cost and 80% less weight.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled two innovative concept cars: a vision of the future of autonomous driving and zero emissions called the Nissan IDS, and a clean canvas for digital sharing called Teatro for Dayz.
Nissan has sold more battery-electric cars than any other automaker by roughly a factor of two. But while Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota bet heavily on hydrogen fuel cells, Nissan still appears reticent about the technology. Now, the company’s boss says Nissan is developing a fuel-cell car, but on a relaxed timetable.
Good feedback from Tesla drivers.
The ongoing power struggle (of sorts) between the Nissan-Renault alliance head Carlos Ghosn and the French government (the dominant shareholder in Renault) has gotten more interesting as of late — with Nissan apparently having created proposals to acquire a bigger stake in the French company, according to reports.
The seeming incongruity between the stories that much of the American public seems to tell itself about the value of competition and the free market, and the realities of endemic protectionist rackets like those currently held in place by the car dealership associations, is something that probably doesn’t get discussed enough.