BMW- According to Road Show, the BMW i4 which is expected to arrive in the market by 2021 is likely to be a true competitor and 'put up a proper fight' to Tesla model 3. Its design will be similar to the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept (see photo below). The i4's estimated range is 373 miles, accelerating to 62 mph in nearly four seconds. It can achieve an 80% charge in 35 minutes when using a 159 -kW DC fast charger. Additional power and range levels will also be available. The i4 will be deploying Generation 5 battery packs which are smaller and stronger than the packs currently used in the company's EVs. This is in line with BMW's chief engineer Klaus Fröhlich's statement this June regarding the company's plan to launch its 25 new electrified models and 12 fully electric cars by 2023.
BMW i Vision Dynamics concept which will provide design inspiration for the BMW i4. Image credit: BMW
Volkswagen- In a surprise announcement this week, during a ceremony for their new factory in Tennessee, VW said that a significant portion of their new $800 M facility for EV manufacturing will be devoted to the production of battery packs. It is not yet clear which company will be supplying their battery cells for the American made cars. First cars built in the new factory are expected to be in the market in 2022 with the first model to be an SUV. “Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the U.S. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions, not just millionaires“ , said Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. Read more
Image credit: Volkswagen
Tesla- This past week, Tesla has remotely added battery capacity through a temporary software update to owners of models S60 and 60D in NSW and Queensland of Australia to help them escape bush fires. Affected car owners received the following notification: “We are temporarily enabling your car to access additional battery capacity... We hope this gives you the peace of mind to get to a safe location, and will notify you before returning you care to its original configuration...”. The above models come with a 75kWh battery which is software- limited and which allows for only 60kWh to be available for use. The temporary update makes the extra 15kWh of battery storage (an additional 80km of range) accessible. Read more
Tesla model S60. Image credit: Tesla
EDF- Électricité de France, the French electric utility company, has acquired UK firm Pivot Power, who develop and operate large battery storage projects and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in over 40 locations in the UK. Each of their projects has the potential to host a battery capable of exporting 50 MW of power. EDF are hoping that the acquisition will help them reach their target of being 'the battery leaders in Europe by 2035'. Read more
Left to right: Pivot Power Co-founder & CEO Matt Allen with EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue.
LG Chem- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it will continue to support LG Chem's EV battery gigafactory in western Poland by extending their long-term loan of € 250M. The factory is the first and only fully integrated European plant which produces all battery components. By 2022 the factory is expected to produce 65-70 GWh a year which can supply batteries for 1M EVs a year. Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Global Head of Industries, said: “We are proud to support this landmark investment, which will lead the green transformation of Europe’s automotive sector..." . Read more