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ESSENTIAL WEEKLY NEWS on batteries & EVs (11 - 18 Feb. 2019)

Shell continues its electric transition with another acquisition: home battery/EV charger company Sonnen

Sonnen produces its sonnenBatterie, similar to the Tesla Powerwall home battery packs, and Shell will push the expansions started by Sonnen to home EV charging and to continuous home energy using solar power. By acquiring 100% of this energy storage and solution provider, Shell is building on their €60 million investment in the company last year and this move made through Shell Ventures shows that Royal Dutch Shell is working on a future independent from its current portfolio centered around oil and gas.

Electric pickup truck startup Rivian confirms $700 million round of funding led by Amazon

If you still haven’t heard of Rivian, then now might be a good time to learn that they will probably be the leading company for pickup trucks and Range Rover large SUV types.

Amazon saw their hard work and was the lead investor in this promising startup.

Rivian announces that its trucks and SUVs will start to be delivered by 2020 and the specs are quite amazing: up to 400+ miles, 0-60 in 3 seconds, 180 KWh battery pack…

Amongst other reasons, this might justify why GM would want to partner with Tesla to produce a strong line of electric pickup trucks.

New german electric SUVs in high demand

Mercedes-Benz says its first next-gen all-electric EQC SUV is already sold out for the year, and even possibly for 2020 too.

Audi announces it has over 20,000 reservations for its new e-tron all-electric SUVs. Audi also released this week their design of their next model, the newer Q4 e-tron all-electric compact SUV to be produced in 2020-2021.

Tesla Powerwall proves its worth in Australia after a blackout in a Sydney suburb during a heat wave

Australia has seen heat waves year after year and a power station problem led to a blackout for 45000 homes which were unable to have air conditioning.

Those who were equipped with the Tesla home Powerwall battery system did not have any shortages, had their house kept cool despite the heatwave and for most did not realise the blackout was happening.

When the grid goes out, solar also gets turned off for safety reasons, rendering them obsolete if not coupled with a home battery pack.

Renault Zoe is getting updated inside & out to remain one of the best selling EVs - Renault Zoe next gen 2019 aims to remain competitive with longer range, faster charging and updated interior

According to french media source l’Argus, the update will allow the car to reach 400 km with its new 95 kW motor, and new battery cell chemistry. The new Z.E 40 battery upgrade contributes in adding an extra 100 miles of range, up to an impressive 250 miles, 20 more than a Nissan Leaf.

The car will be at a slightly cheaper price of around 30000 € (dropped from 33000€), probably in order to compete successfully with the new Volkswagen ID.

Charging rate should also reach up to 100 kW at the CCS fast-charging stations.

The best changes should be expected to be in the interior of the car, especially with the updated user interfaces.

Volkswagen is pushing for CO2 neutral throughout the whole EV cycle:

supply chain (100% green power in battery cell production), production (100%green power in their factory), use (100% electric cars), recycling/second life.

Silence S01 62 mph electric scooter with removable battery begins customer sales

62% of all-electric scooter registrations in Spain are Silence S02 scooters (their commercial version), and now they aim to be more customer focused with their app and their easy-to-use removable trolley batteries that are fitted in and out of the scooter effortlessly.

Jaunt Air Mobility catches attention of Uber Elevate as a potential 6th partner

The future of air taxis is getting closer: Uber already partnered with 5 companies (Bell, Boeing's Aurora Flight Sciences, Embraer, Karem Aircraft Co., and Pipistrel) to work on air travel and vertical take off.

This 6th potential partnership with could help accelerate progress on electric air mobility and could be beneficial for Uber, knowing that jaunt Air Mobility’s planes make very little noise.

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