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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on November 29th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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What Changed In The EV Industry In September & October?

November 29th, 2018 by  


It has been a while since I wrote a “What Changed In The EV Industry … ?” article, so I’m now rolling through three months of news as we approach the end of November.

Below is a roundup of notable September and October electric vehicle news.


September

Tesla Stuff

The Tesla Model 3 became the 5th best selling car in the United States, and then the 4th best selling car.

Due to a high average selling price, that also meant the Model 3 has been the best selling car in the US in terms of revenue month after month since August.

Tesla also started outselling all other luxury automakers in the USA, gobbling up market share in key categories.

The Model S continued to outsell (by a wide margin) its large luxury car competitors in the States.

Overall, Tesla crushed any previous EV sales record with 83,500 deliveries in Q3 2018.

Tesla increased its registered capital for the Shanghai Gigafactory to $681 million.

Tesla brought the Model 3 to the Paris Motor Show.

We determined that a UBS report on Tesla Model 3 costs was wildly pessimistic and based on illogical assumptions. We also highlighted that UBS had a long history of incorrect pessimism on Tesla.

Tesla announced plans to have its own body shops.

Tesla brought 3 new Grohmann machines online to reach a production rate of 8,000 battery packs per week, backed up by statements from Panasonic that it and Tesla were ramping up battery production.

One year of income from Tesla’s Big Battery in Australia generated enough revenue to cover approximately one-third the cost of the battery.

Tesla Shuttle expanded into Florida with new routes in Southwest Florida (Tampa, St. Petersburg, etc.). A couple of weeks later, it expanded in the US Northeast.

At the end of a long interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Elon Musk said, “Love is the answer.” Indeed, it is.

We launched our weekly #Pravduh About #Tesla reports, with a stunning 155 negative Tesla headlines 26 positive Tesla headlines in the opening week. In September as a whole, among the 22 major media outlets we track, there were 563 negative Tesla headlines published and only 122 positive Tesla headlines published.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk and Tesla. After a few days, they settled, which included Elon Musk stepping down from the Chairman role but staying on in the CEO role. (Before news broke, I explained why exactly competitors would love to see Elon Musk step away from Tesla.)

Bob Lutz predicted that Tesla will die within 2 years. Of course, he has been predicting Tesla’s death for years.

Electric Vehicles

Electric Vespa production finally commenced.

Mercedes unveiled its fully electric EQC SUV — reportedly 450 km of range.

The Audi e-tron SUV made it across the Atlantic to the USA, and so did various specs for the long-awaited model.

Byton unveiled the K-Byte in North America, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Hyundai Kona Electric production reportedly faced delays — production hell? — due to low battery supply.

Volvo Cars and Baidu teamed up to produce fully electric and autonomous cars together.

Volkswagen’s CEO told VW managers (in different words): “hey, you need to start driving electric.”

Volkswagen also indicated an intention to produce 10 million vehicles on its MEB platform and that the ID will come with 3 different battery sizes and start at a price under $30,000.

Volkswagen also announced plans for 16 new electric car assembly plants, 1 of which is planned for North America.

Groupe PSA announced that 15 new models would be electrified.

The first Blue Bird electric school bus was delivered in North America.

Lightning Systems introduced an all-electric Ford E-450 cutaway & shuttle bus.

Ambev Brewery in Brazil ordered 1,600 VW electric trucks.

BYD slid into autonomous vehicles a bit with the special-edition Qin Pro.

Mercedes-Benz Vans introduced the autonomous URBANETIC Flexible Mobility Concept.

MAN introduced a 26-tonne electric truck based on TGM. It showcased other electric vehicles at the the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 show as well.

2019 BMW i3 specs were revealed, indicating 153 miles of range for the updated model.

Chrysler announced that the Portal electric minivan will be produced in 2020.

New Flyer benefited from Canada’s largest electric bus order in history, winning a contract to provide 40 electric buses to Montréal & Laval.

Henrik Fisker discussed plans of a $40,000 EV with long range and superfast charging. The company also plans to have a fully autonomous shuttle in service in the US in 2019.

China set a new electric car sales record in August (reported in September), and then set a bigger sales record in September.

Norway also set a new global record, reaching 45–48% electric car market share in the month of September. Plug-in cars overall accounted for a record 60% of new car sales.

EV Charging

Nissan & EVGo opened the I-95 Fast Charging ARC, connecting Boston and DC with fast charging stations.

GM & Delta Americas announced they were working on extremely fast EV charging technology — 180 miles in 10 minutes.

Kraftwerke & Jedlix teamed up on a smart EV charging pilot focused on demand-response solutions forming a virtual power plant.

CHAdeMO & Chinese officials are working to create an ultrafast CHAdeMO charging standard in the country.

ChargePoint announced it plans to have 2.5 million EV charging stations operational within the next 7 years.

Lucid Motors selected Electrify America as its charging network provider.

Audi, Amazon, Electrify America, & Arcadia Power teamed up for an EV charging collaboration.

Batteries

LG Chem raised its 2020 battery production target 29% from 70 GWh to 90 GWh.

EV Volumes showed how EV battery chemistry has been shifting over the past several years.

Other EV Stuff

Cruise Automation

Honda invested $2.75 billion into Cruise Automation.

Kreisel Electric introduced an automated 2-speed electric car transmission.

NIO, an EV startup out of China, had an initial public offering (IPO).

Saudi Arabia invested $1 billion into California EV startup Lucid Motors.

Proterra closed a $155 million financing round that was led by Daimler and Tao Capital.

May Mobility, a Michigan-based low-speed autonomous shuttle service operator, added two new routes in Columbus and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A 10 year extension to the US EV tax credit was introduced in Congress. It’s not going to go through, but maybe some sort of extension or improvement will.


October

Of course, the biggest EV news in October is that we launched our new EV driver report, Electric Car Drivers: Demands, Desires & Dreams. All other EV news pales in comparison. 😉

Tesla

The Tesla Model 3 was scored the safest vehicle ever tested by the NHTSA — by far. The Model S was #2 and Model X #3.

Tesla introduced the Model 3 Mid Range.

Tesla unleashed version 9.0 of its in-car software. (Paul Fosse also published his own impressions of the update.)

Perhaps the most notable part of the software update was the addition of “Full 360 degree view” for Autopilot.

Shortly after that, Tesla rolled out Drive on Navigation for those with Enhanced Autopilot.

Tesla expanded its referral program, massively.

Tesla Model 3 motor & gearbox survived 1 million miles of testing.

Tesla opened up its parts catalog and vehicle diagrams for the public.

It was reported that Tesla was speeding up its Shanghai Gigafactory due to Trump’s trade war with China. The company also sped up hiring for construction-related jobs for the factory and fully acquired ~1300 acres of land in the Shanghai Lingang Equipment Industrial Zone for its Gigafactory 3.

It was also revealed that the Shanghai Gigafactory would produce the Model 3 and Model Y to start.

The City of Taipei, Taiwan, and Tesla joined forces “to establish a new 1.5 hectare hub to help local startups find footing and get training for new energy ventures in the city.”

“The Tesla Effect” started hitting CNBC airwaves.

A major multi-year Tesla short seller switched and became a Tesla long … citing 4 CleanTechnica Tesla sales charts in the process. The surprising move appeared to result in a $1.11 billion rise in Tesla stock the following day.

It was determined that Tesla sales crushed Jaguar & Porsche sales worldwide in the 3rd quarter, Tesla Model S sales crushed the competition in the US. Related: 18 Nasty Tesla Charts

Review after review of the Tesla Model 3 Performance indicated it is a glorious vehicle.

Tesla published a blowout financials report that showed strong production and sales in Q3, as well as some decent profit. The conference call included … much more. Surprisingly, the major media coverage of it all was as insane as the pre-report coverage. And only CleanTechnica asked the most important questions.

Electric Vehicles

Jaguar delivered its first I-PACE for a North American customer.

Zunum partnered with Safran for hybrid-to-electric airplanes.

CleanTechnica collected the scoop that Nissan is targeting production of a $45,000 electric SUV.

Uniti opened an R&D center in the UK.

IKEA announced that it plans to have emissions-free deliveries in 5 cities by 2020.

UPS launched a first-of-its-kind urban electric delivery cargo bike.

BYD introduced two new electric tug offerings.

Bollinger B2 electric pickup details rolled out.

It was revealed that Angela Merkel had been putting pressure on German automakers to electrify faster.

Audi kicked off electric motor production at a factory in Hungary.

Audi was also reportedly hit with a 10% price increase on LG Chem batteries due to high demand for batteries in the industry.

Dyson announced it was about to start construction on a Singapore electric car factory that would be producing cars by 2021.

Chery is starting to sneak Chinese electric cars into Europe.

Volkswagen started building its first fully electric car factory, just outside of Shanghai in China.

Volkswagen & Ford reportedly agreed to start partnering on electric and autonomous cars.

Volkswagen Group, Mobileye, & Champion Motors “announced plans to commercialize Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) with self-driving vehicles in Israel.”

WM Motor, a Chinese EV startup, raised a further $288 million.

Mary Barra of GM introduced a sneaky little National EV Mandate proposal.

Alta Motors closed its doors.

Bosch launched an electric van-sharing service in Germany.

An FCA factory in Italy “is beginning preparations to produce the Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) scheduled for market launch in early 2020.”

EV Charging

ChargePoint also introduced Waitlist, to let EV drivers get in line digitally to charge at a charging station.

ChargePoint & EVBox partnered for roaming access in the EU and North America.

Star Charge China and German company Hubject “have announced a partnership they say will lead to the largest open platform charging network in the world. Combined, the two companies will have more than 100,000 charge points available to customers in China, Europe, and the US.”

Hubject also partnered with ReCharge to enable EV charging at public charging stations without the need for RFID cards.

Google Maps updated its app to include an EV charging feature.

Phase 2 of Electrify America’s 4-stage electrification plan kicked off in California.

eMotorwerks, a California startup, launched a 30 megawatt virtual energy storage battery to work via its EV charging stations and associated batteries.

Duke Energy announced plans to roll out 530 new EV charging stations in Florida.

Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-based utility, “announced plans to invest more than $25 million in support of electric vehicles (EVs).”

Nissan received vehicle-to-grid approval in Germany.

Fastned, a Dutch company, and REWE started piloting EV fast charging stations at supermarkets in Germany.

Wallbox, a Spanish company, rolled out an industry-first home EV fast charger.

Tritium, meanwhile, announced it aims to bring 475 kW charging stations to gas stations via investment from Gilbarco Feeder-Root.

ABB unveiled new and refreshed EV fast charging stations.

Porsche announced plans to install 700 EV fast charging stations at locations around the world.

Other EV Stuff

BMW & Northvolt teamed up to set up end-to-end EV battery recycling.

Audi & Umicore announced they are developing closed-loop battery recycling.

An independent engineer got all but 3 of 56 Waymo patent claims blocked regarding its 936 patent, a major point of IP conflict between Waymo and Uber.


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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