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ESSENTIAL WEEKLY NEWS on batteries & EVs (18-25 Feb. 2019)

1- Green trucks and vans moving forward (VW, GreenPower, Volvo, Tesla, Nikola motors and the EU)

VW affirms the production of a new all electric multivan. Indeed, Wolsvagen is presenting their new, highly updated - digitalized and connected van - the Multivan T6.1 expected to be launched in fall 2019. Along their partnership with ABT sportsline (the auto tuning company that deals mainly with Audi and VW), the all-electric option of the Multivan will be equipped with batteries of either 38.8 kWh or 77.6 kWh allowing up to more than 400 km of range.

Similarly, GreenPower Motor Company Inc., a Canada-based manufacturer of electric buses exposes their all electric van with impressive payload - the EV Star CarGO Van. It is a 25-foot cargo van with a capacity of more than 570 cubic feet, a payload of up to 6,000 pounds and a range of up to 150 miles.

On the E.truck side,Volvo distributed its first electric trucks to customers In sweden. This february 19th, the new truck - the Volvo FL Electric - was delivered to recycling company Renova, to the logistics company DB Schenker and the haulage company TGM. We can say that Volvo are the first on the market with production lorries. The electric truck has up to 300 km of range.

What’s more for trucks is that a Tesla electric semi truck prototype was spotted and filmed on a highway showing impressive acceleration while turning on the highway ramp. We are excited to see what their electric truck will bring on the market.

Not to mention that Nikola continue to release more teasers of its electric Nikola 2 truck before its final reveal this April. This is also exciting competition in the electric truck world as the CEO of Nikola Trevor Milton claims the truck is “going to change the entire world”. Th electric truck is expected so far to have up to 320 km in range.

Meanwhile, on top of all the week’s news for vans and trucks, the EU conceded to cut truck emissions this week. As stated in this provisional agreement, CO2 truck emissions must be 30 percent lower in 2030 than current emissions standards, also a first on CO2 truck emission standards.

2- LG Chem threaten to stop supplying Volkswagen over conflict of VW’s Gigafactory Plans

LG’s alleged threats of cutting battery cell supply for VW’s EVs could be putting huge pressure on VW who recently partnered with SK Innovation to build their own battery plant in the US as well as a joint gigafactory-type plant in Germany. Obviously this would hurt LG and they decided to use their supplying power to objectify to these plans.

3- YASA signs partnership with global OEM

The British manufacturer of electric motors has attracted the attention of one of the powerful automakers which has not been named in the announcement.

“The partnership will focus on developing custom electric motor and controller solutions for the OEM’s high-performance hybrid and pure electric vehicles.”, rendering a considerable advantage to this OEM.

4- Soaring Chinese production and sales of “new-energy vehicles” - mainly EVs

Deliveries of EVs in January 2019 more than doubled year-over-year in China, with 85,000 units distributed last month. During the same period, total car sales (as in ICE vehicles included) in China decreased 18 percent compared to last January.

As for sales, they amounted to 91,175 units, surging 186% year on year (YoY), according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). However it is unclear how this number was calculated, it does not encompass EV’s only and probably includes hybrids.

On BYD’s side, the huge Chinese auto manufacturer started 2019 by increasing EV sales By 292% year on year. They managed to sell 28k of EVs last month. However, their sales did go down 36.9% from last month (December 2018: 38k sales).They did nevertheless reach their first ever five-digit sales result (10,093 sales) for the sale of a plug-in car - the BYD Yuan, number one plug-in EV at this point in China.

All of this contributed to substantial sales drop for all segments of ICE vehicles last month in China.

On top of this, the Chinese automaker Geely announced it would launch a newer version of their Emgrand GSe, this first version having been dispatched in June 2018. It has 350 km of range for the price of RMB145,800 or 20000 dollars, and the new version will feature a battery with an increased range of 450 km and a boosted energy density of up to 182.44Wh/kg.

Finally, Chinese company Kandi is a step closer to the US after approval to sell EX3 and K22 EVs, leading its stock to go up by 40%. The K22 is supposed to sell for $18,995.

5- Hyundai on the rise

In January 2019, Hyundai almost doubled plug-In EV car sales

This makes sense because it was calculated by InsideEVs that the Hyundai Kona EV is U.S’ Cheapest EV per mile of range.

6- High demand and insufficient production: issue for Mercedes EQC SUVs and Nissan LEAF e+ models

Mercedes-Benz will delay most of its Electric EQC deliveries - according to the German magazine Handelsblatt, wide scale public deliveries of the car will not happen before November this year.

Similarly, Nissan’s LEAF e+ orders are higher than expected and production capacity could be a concern because Nissan was planning 5000 units but 3000 have already been preordered. Just like the EQC and many other EVs, this model might join the club of the delayed productoin delayed electric vehicles.

7- BMW announces it will work hard to ’emerge winner’ of EV and autonomous transition

“We want to, and will, emerge as a winner in our industry’s technological transformation. And we will continue to pioneer future topics such as e-mobility and autonomous driving. We will increase the number of Dingolfing-based jobs in the production of e-drive components several times over in the next few years – to a total of up to 2,000.” - Ilka Horstmeier, the new director of BMW’s Dingolfing plant.

8- Tesla’s increasing demand and production rate

Elon Musk’s announces Tesla’s annual production will reach 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2019. That’s roughly an 100% increase from last year and in 2018, Tesla produced 254,530 cars, which was 152% more than in 2017.

Big auto manufacturers and OEMs are quite alarmed and working on ways to soften Tesla’s impact on the car industry. BMW dealer admits Model 3 is disturbing global sales: Jeff Dyke from Sonic Automotive (US car brand dealerships) asserted (on the subject of the model 3’s impact): “There’s no question. I mean… they’re calling out to sell well over 300,000 cars this year, they sold a lot of cars last year. […] you can say all you want about their service problems and all of this, they just keep selling more cars. And I don’t know if it’s more of a cult than it is anything else, but my hat off to them. They’re selling lots of cars [..]”

9- Peugeot introduced ‘MOTION & e-MOTION’ their new electric brand signature inspired from their old signature ‘MOTION & EMOTION’

In their efforts towards their electric transition, they plan to have at least an electric version for each model by 2023.

10- The Indian all-electric Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV, is expected to launch at $10k (after subsidies)

This could very well be the savior for India to fight pollution change and a game changer for climate change and the world’s most polluted country. It is expected in 2020 with a range of 200km.


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