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Found 92 results

  1. One of the key materials used in electric car batteries is cobalt. But there are growing concerns that the supply of cobalt is getting scarce as more and more automakers begin building electric cars. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says cobalt shortages are expected to happen earlier than previously forecast. This issue possibly brings a big challenge to the rollout of electric vehicles over the next five to seven years. "The long lead time to bring on new mines and the concentration of cobalt reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo mean there is a real possibility of supply shocks in the early 2020s," analysts from BNEF wrote. "If capacity does not grow as planned, cobalt prices could continue to spike and there could be a major cobalt shortage. This would have serious implications on the electric vehicle market." The price of cobalt has tripled within the past two years as more automakers begin building electric vehicles. Peter Deneen, the managing director at consultancy EV-Metals Resources Group said in an email that the market price for cobalt has risen in the "prospect of supply constraints". But the price doesn't include the potential risk of political upheaval in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - accounts for more than two-thirds of mined cobalt. Concerns have automakers accelerating development of batteries that have smaller amounts of cobalt. Chinese automaker BYD is expected to introduce batteries that have a nickel-manganese-cobalt ratio of 8:1:1 by the end of this year. BMW is expected to follow in 2021 with a similar ratio. According to BNEF's report, this chemistry will account for 57 percent of EV batteries by 2030. There is also the idea of recycling batteries that could provide 100,000 metric tons of cobalt a year by 2030. But the amount would have to mean all batteries from consumer electronics are recycled. Currently, the recycling rates around between 25 to 50 percent according to the report. Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. One of the key materials used in electric car batteries is cobalt. But there are growing concerns that the supply of cobalt is getting scarce as more and more automakers begin building electric cars. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says cobalt shortages are expected to happen earlier than previously forecast. This issue possibly brings a big challenge to the rollout of electric vehicles over the next five to seven years. "The long lead time to bring on new mines and the concentration of cobalt reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo mean there is a real possibility of supply shocks in the early 2020s," analysts from BNEF wrote. "If capacity does not grow as planned, cobalt prices could continue to spike and there could be a major cobalt shortage. This would have serious implications on the electric vehicle market." The price of cobalt has tripled within the past two years as more automakers begin building electric vehicles. Peter Deneen, the managing director at consultancy EV-Metals Resources Group said in an email that the market price for cobalt has risen in the "prospect of supply constraints". But the price doesn't include the potential risk of political upheaval in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - accounts for more than two-thirds of mined cobalt. Concerns have automakers accelerating development of batteries that have smaller amounts of cobalt. Chinese automaker BYD is expected to introduce batteries that have a nickel-manganese-cobalt ratio of 8:1:1 by the end of this year. BMW is expected to follow in 2021 with a similar ratio. According to BNEF's report, this chemistry will account for 57 percent of EV batteries by 2030. There is also the idea of recycling batteries that could provide 100,000 metric tons of cobalt a year by 2030. But the amount would have to mean all batteries from consumer electronics are recycled. Currently, the recycling rates around between 25 to 50 percent according to the report. Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  3. You find yourself in the showroom, ready to drive away in a new Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, or Tesla Model S. But there is one big question that needs to be decided, do you buy or lease it? According to a report from Bloomberg, most buyers of EVs tend to lease. In the U.S., almost 80 percent of electric vehicles on the road are leased according to their report. It also says that 55 percent of plug-in hybrids are leased. More than 80 percent of BMW i3s are leased as an example. The key reason comes down to the belief that electric vehicles will continue to improve and buyers can simply trade them - similar to purchasing a new smartphone. "When there’s new technology coming out, and it’s coming out so rapidly, and you’re improving on it so constantly, typically people only want to lease it,” said Steve Center, a vice president of American Honda Motor Co., back in April. This bet seems to be paying off as the range of electric vehicles has been increasing, while prices of batteries have been going downward. “If you look at what can happen across the lifetime of a lease, you’re really talking about doubling the range of these vehicles,” said Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo. The imbalance between leasing/buying an electric vehicle has also made used EVs to become a steal. According to auto analytics firm Black Book, compact electric vehicles sold in 2014 only hold 23 percent of their original sale price. A comparable internal combustion vehicle holds about 41 percent. Doing a quick search on Cars.com, we were able to find low mileage 2015 Nissan Leafs ranging $14,000 to $16,000. The big question is will this trend continue down the road, considering the likes the Model 3 and models coming from German automakers. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  4. William Maley

    Volkswagen Isn't Giving Up On Sedans

    Ford's decision to drop most of their passenger car lineup last week is still sending shockwaves, and likely causing various automakers to have discussions about if they should follow in their footsteps. One automaker that will not be following Ford is Volkswagen. “We are intending to be a full line car manufacturer,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. The reason as to why? Electric Vehicles. “The question of whether electric mobility will favor sedans or SUVs hasn’t been answered yet. When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. The shape and the [drag coefficient] has a high effect on range. Therefore, we’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars than with conventional cars,” said Woebcken. Aside from EVs, Volkswagen still sees sedans as an important key to their U.S. plans. The new Jetta and Arteon will be arriving in dealers very soon, and a new Passat is expected to debut next year. That said, Woebcken says crossovers will become a big part of Volkswagen's U.S. Current plans have the automaker launching at least two new crossovers over the next few years. “The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse.” Source: Digital Trends
  5. Ford's decision to drop most of their passenger car lineup last week is still sending shockwaves, and likely causing various automakers to have discussions about if they should follow in their footsteps. One automaker that will not be following Ford is Volkswagen. “We are intending to be a full line car manufacturer,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. The reason as to why? Electric Vehicles. “The question of whether electric mobility will favor sedans or SUVs hasn’t been answered yet. When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. The shape and the [drag coefficient] has a high effect on range. Therefore, we’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars than with conventional cars,” said Woebcken. Aside from EVs, Volkswagen still sees sedans as an important key to their U.S. plans. The new Jetta and Arteon will be arriving in dealers very soon, and a new Passat is expected to debut next year. That said, Woebcken says crossovers will become a big part of Volkswagen's U.S. Current plans have the automaker launching at least two new crossovers over the next few years. “The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse.” Source: Digital Trends View full article
  6. William Maley

    BMW Not Planning Mass Production of EVs Until 2020

    BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  7. BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  8. Mazda hasn't even put their Skyactiv-X technologies into production and already they are talking about the next-generation known as Skyactiv-3. Automotive News reports that Mazda's powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi said the gasoline version of Skyactiv-3 will have the same emission levels as an electric vehicle. Hitomi told attendees of automotive technical conference in Toyko that Mazda will be working on improving the thermal efficiency of its engines. This reduces the "amount of combustion energy lost to heat while increasing the amount harnessed to power the wheels." If Mazda can improve the thermal efficiency by 27 percent, to 56 percent, Hitomi said it could achieve emissions similar to an EV. How does he come this conclusion? There is a bit of fuzzy math to reach this. It is based Mazda's measurement of wheel-to-wheel emission for electric vehicles and internal combustion engines. For electric vehicles, Mazda includes the carbon dioxide emitted in the production of electricity for the vehicle. The emissions from oil extraction and refining are included in the measurement for internal combustion engines. Mazda's calculations say that some EVs are dirtier than fuel efficient gas-powered models. Mazda also believes that it cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent with the next-generation of Skyactiv, giving them "real world well-to-wheel fuel economy comparable to EVs deriving their electricity through the burning of liquefied natural gas," according to Hitomi. No timeframe was given as to when Skyactiv-3 would debut. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  9. Mazda hasn't even put their Skyactiv-X technologies into production and already they are talking about the next-generation known as Skyactiv-3. Automotive News reports that Mazda's powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi said the gasoline version of Skyactiv-3 will have the same emission levels as an electric vehicle. Hitomi told attendees of automotive technical conference in Toyko that Mazda will be working on improving the thermal efficiency of its engines. This reduces the "amount of combustion energy lost to heat while increasing the amount harnessed to power the wheels." If Mazda can improve the thermal efficiency by 27 percent, to 56 percent, Hitomi said it could achieve emissions similar to an EV. How does he come this conclusion? There is a bit of fuzzy math to reach this. It is based Mazda's measurement of wheel-to-wheel emission for electric vehicles and internal combustion engines. For electric vehicles, Mazda includes the carbon dioxide emitted in the production of electricity for the vehicle. The emissions from oil extraction and refining are included in the measurement for internal combustion engines. Mazda's calculations say that some EVs are dirtier than fuel efficient gas-powered models. Mazda also believes that it cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent with the next-generation of Skyactiv, giving them "real world well-to-wheel fuel economy comparable to EVs deriving their electricity through the burning of liquefied natural gas," according to Hitomi. No timeframe was given as to when Skyactiv-3 would debut. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. You find yourself in the showroom, ready to drive away in a new Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, or Tesla Model S. But there is one big question that needs to be decided, do you buy or lease it? According to a report from Bloomberg, most buyers of EVs tend to lease. In the U.S., almost 80 percent of electric vehicles on the road are leased according to their report. It also says that 55 percent of plug-in hybrids are leased. More than 80 percent of BMW i3s are leased as an example. The key reason comes down to the belief that electric vehicles will continue to improve and buyers can simply trade them - similar to purchasing a new smartphone. "When there’s new technology coming out, and it’s coming out so rapidly, and you’re improving on it so constantly, typically people only want to lease it,” said Steve Center, a vice president of American Honda Motor Co., back in April. This bet seems to be paying off as the range of electric vehicles has been increasing, while prices of batteries have been going downward. “If you look at what can happen across the lifetime of a lease, you’re really talking about doubling the range of these vehicles,” said Edmunds analyst Jeremy Acevedo. The imbalance between leasing/buying an electric vehicle has also made used EVs to become a steal. According to auto analytics firm Black Book, compact electric vehicles sold in 2014 only hold 23 percent of their original sale price. A comparable internal combustion vehicle holds about 41 percent. Doing a quick search on Cars.com, we were able to find low mileage 2015 Nissan Leafs ranging $14,000 to $16,000. The big question is will this trend continue down the road, considering the likes the Model 3 and models coming from German automakers. Source: Bloomberg
  11. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date.
  12. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date. View full article
  13. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  15. General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke yesterday at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York. During her talk, Barra said the company expects to make a profit off electric vehicles once they launch their next-generation EV platform. “We are working to provide desirable, obtainable and profitable vehicles that deliver a range of over 300 miles. There’s a lot of really creative things we’re doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform,” Barra said to investors. The next-generation modular platform, due in 2021 will play a pivotal role in GM's plan to launch 20 all-new electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The platform will help drop the total per-unit cost by 30 percent or more. It will be used across a number of GM brands and various segments. GM is also working on a new battery system that will cut the per-kilowatt-hour from $145 to under $100 by 2021. Before these two launches, GM will be introducing four new EV and hydrogen vehicles. Two of those will be launch by April 2019 according to a GM spokesman. At least two vehicles will be small crossovers according to Automotive News. It is expected the electric models will use the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Bolt. The company has a set a goal of a million electric vehicles by 2026 - with most happening in China due to their strict production quotas for EVs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  16. General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke yesterday at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York. During her talk, Barra said the company expects to make a profit off electric vehicles once they launch their next-generation EV platform. “We are working to provide desirable, obtainable and profitable vehicles that deliver a range of over 300 miles. There’s a lot of really creative things we’re doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform,” Barra said to investors. The next-generation modular platform, due in 2021 will play a pivotal role in GM's plan to launch 20 all-new electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The platform will help drop the total per-unit cost by 30 percent or more. It will be used across a number of GM brands and various segments. GM is also working on a new battery system that will cut the per-kilowatt-hour from $145 to under $100 by 2021. Before these two launches, GM will be introducing four new EV and hydrogen vehicles. Two of those will be launch by April 2019 according to a GM spokesman. At least two vehicles will be small crossovers according to Automotive News. It is expected the electric models will use the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Bolt. The company has a set a goal of a million electric vehicles by 2026 - with most happening in China due to their strict production quotas for EVs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  17. One key selling point automakers have been using to move electric vehicles is the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. But a new tax cut bill being proposed by House Republicans could eliminate that credit. The bill announced today includes a provision of eliminating the credit after the 2017 tax year if the bill goes into law. The credits are important as it helps level the playing field between internal combustion engines and EVs. Currently, the credit will begin to phase out once an auto manufacturer once it sells 200,000 EVs or plug-in hybrids. Bloomberg reports that Tesla would be the first automaker to reach the limit, followed by GM and Nissan. If that tax credit is eliminated, automakers worry they would experience a plunge in sales. “The credits matter a lot. In states without EV mandates or incentives, you’ll see sales crater,” said Eric Noble, president of the CarLab. Bloomberg cites the example of Georgia which cut its $5,000 electric vehicle tax credit back in 2015. Sales tumbled from 1,400 to just fewer than 100. Automakers are spending a lot of money and time in lobbying to make sure the credit is renewed partly due to new mandates being placed by California and a number of other states saying a certain percentage of new cars sold have to EVs. "The potential elimination of the federal electric vehicle tax credit will impact the choices of prospective buyers and make the electric vehicle mandate in 10 states — about a third of the market — even more difficult to meet," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing various automakers such as GM and Toyota. Source: Bloomberg, Reuters View full article
  18. One key selling point automakers have been using to move electric vehicles is the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. But a new tax cut bill being proposed by House Republicans could eliminate that credit. The bill announced today includes a provision of eliminating the credit after the 2017 tax year if the bill goes into law. The credits are important as it helps level the playing field between internal combustion engines and EVs. Currently, the credit will begin to phase out once an auto manufacturer once it sells 200,000 EVs or plug-in hybrids. Bloomberg reports that Tesla would be the first automaker to reach the limit, followed by GM and Nissan. If that tax credit is eliminated, automakers worry they would experience a plunge in sales. “The credits matter a lot. In states without EV mandates or incentives, you’ll see sales crater,” said Eric Noble, president of the CarLab. Bloomberg cites the example of Georgia which cut its $5,000 electric vehicle tax credit back in 2015. Sales tumbled from 1,400 to just fewer than 100. Automakers are spending a lot of money and time in lobbying to make sure the credit is renewed partly due to new mandates being placed by California and a number of other states saying a certain percentage of new cars sold have to EVs. "The potential elimination of the federal electric vehicle tax credit will impact the choices of prospective buyers and make the electric vehicle mandate in 10 states — about a third of the market — even more difficult to meet," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing various automakers such as GM and Toyota. Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
  19. Ford has announced a new joint venture with Chinese automaker Zotye on affordable electric vehicles for the Chinese market. Named Zotye Ford Automobile, the venture will see the two automakers develop and manufacture electric vehicles for a new brand. Ford and Zotye will be investing a total of 5 billion RMB (about $756 million) on this venture. Part of that investment will go towards a new manufacturing plant in the Zhejiang Province. The two automakers will also work on mobility solutions. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of the Asia Pacific region. Zoyte knows a thing or two about selling EVs in China. The company has sold 22,500 small EVs within the first 10 months of the year. Zoyte is also very infamous for building the T700 which is a copy of the Porsche Macan crossover. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 FORD AND ZOTYE SIGN DEFINITIVE JV AGREEMENT IN CHINA TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLES Ford and Zotye signed a definitive joint venture agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co. Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable electric vehicles for consumers in China Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will develop and manufacture all-electric vehicles under a new Chinese brand Zotye Ford also plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Zhejiang Province. A new dedicated sales and service network also will be established Ford and Zotye also will explore the opportunity to offer new mobility services in China to help provide solutions for emerging transportation challenges Beijing, Nov. 8, 2017 -- Ford Motor Company and Zotye today reached a definitive agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand. The agreement was signed in Beijing today by Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group Ltd. and board director of Zotye Auto. Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will design, build, market and distribute all-electric passenger vehicles for China, the world’s leading electric vehicle market. The establishment of the JV is a key step by Ford towards realizing its vision of a cleaner, more environmentally-sustainable future. The new JV will leverage a combined investment of 5 billion RMB (approximately U.S. $756 million). The new JV builds upon Ford’s ambitious China electrification strategy. Ford announced earlier this year that at least 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025. Zotye Ford plans to build a dedicated product research and development center as well as its own sales and services network. A new manufacturing plant for the JV will be constructed in Zhejiang Province. The all-electric vehicles produced by the JV will be sold under a new Chinese brand designed to meet Chinese consumers’ aspirations for electric vehicles. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," Fleet said. "We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers." In addition to the new JV, Ford and Zotye will explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow. Through this new JV, Ford commits to actively support the advancement of a more environmentally sustainable auto industry in China through local research and development as well as domestic production of all-electric vehicles. Zotye Auto is a pioneer in the Chinese all-electric vehicle segment. It is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment and sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles year-to-date through October, representing a growth of over 14 percent year-over-year. The JV will benefit from Zotye’s expertise in designing and commercializing EVs in China, and Ford’s global product development and technology capabilities. “This is an important day for Zotye as we partner with Ford to help advance the growth of the Chinese auto industry,” said Zotye’s Ying. “We will work closely together to help meet Chinese consumers’ growing demand for electric vehicles.” Upon its establishment, the new JV will expand Ford’s footprint in China. Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Ford will continue working closely with its JV partners to develop and manufacture New Energy Vehicles to meet rising consumer demand in China during the impending electrification phase of the Chinese auto industry.
  20. Ford has announced a new joint venture with Chinese automaker Zotye on affordable electric vehicles for the Chinese market. Named Zotye Ford Automobile, the venture will see the two automakers develop and manufacture electric vehicles for a new brand. Ford and Zotye will be investing a total of 5 billion RMB (about $756 million) on this venture. Part of that investment will go towards a new manufacturing plant in the Zhejiang Province. The two automakers will also work on mobility solutions. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of the Asia Pacific region. Zoyte knows a thing or two about selling EVs in China. The company has sold 22,500 small EVs within the first 10 months of the year. Zoyte is also very infamous for building the T700 which is a copy of the Porsche Macan crossover. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 FORD AND ZOTYE SIGN DEFINITIVE JV AGREEMENT IN CHINA TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLES Ford and Zotye signed a definitive joint venture agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co. Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable electric vehicles for consumers in China Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will develop and manufacture all-electric vehicles under a new Chinese brand Zotye Ford also plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Zhejiang Province. A new dedicated sales and service network also will be established Ford and Zotye also will explore the opportunity to offer new mobility services in China to help provide solutions for emerging transportation challenges Beijing, Nov. 8, 2017 -- Ford Motor Company and Zotye today reached a definitive agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., a new 50:50 joint venture that will offer a range of stylish and affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand. The agreement was signed in Beijing today by Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group Ltd. and board director of Zotye Auto. Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will design, build, market and distribute all-electric passenger vehicles for China, the world’s leading electric vehicle market. The establishment of the JV is a key step by Ford towards realizing its vision of a cleaner, more environmentally-sustainable future. The new JV will leverage a combined investment of 5 billion RMB (approximately U.S. $756 million). The new JV builds upon Ford’s ambitious China electrification strategy. Ford announced earlier this year that at least 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025. Zotye Ford plans to build a dedicated product research and development center as well as its own sales and services network. A new manufacturing plant for the JV will be constructed in Zhejiang Province. The all-electric vehicles produced by the JV will be sold under a new Chinese brand designed to meet Chinese consumers’ aspirations for electric vehicles. “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles," Fleet said. "We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers." In addition to the new JV, Ford and Zotye will explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow. Through this new JV, Ford commits to actively support the advancement of a more environmentally sustainable auto industry in China through local research and development as well as domestic production of all-electric vehicles. Zotye Auto is a pioneer in the Chinese all-electric vehicle segment. It is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment and sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles year-to-date through October, representing a growth of over 14 percent year-over-year. The JV will benefit from Zotye’s expertise in designing and commercializing EVs in China, and Ford’s global product development and technology capabilities. “This is an important day for Zotye as we partner with Ford to help advance the growth of the Chinese auto industry,” said Zotye’s Ying. “We will work closely together to help meet Chinese consumers’ growing demand for electric vehicles.” Upon its establishment, the new JV will expand Ford’s footprint in China. Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Ford will continue working closely with its JV partners to develop and manufacture New Energy Vehicles to meet rising consumer demand in China during the impending electrification phase of the Chinese auto industry. View full article
  21. Rolls-Royce has made it clear that it plans on introducing electric powertrains to their vehicles in the future once the technology has fully developed and customers want one. But new regulations are forcing their hand. Rolls' CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Car and Driver that the Phantom will receive the option of an electric powertrain sometime during its lifecycle. The platform that underpins the Phantom and future models have been built with electrification in mind. “We are more regulator driven than consumer driven. We might well see, in the next decade, some Asian markets closing down city centers to combustion engines completely. And then, of course, [electrification] is a must,” said Müller-Ötvös. Müller-Ötvös admitted that no one is clamoring for an electric Rolls at this time, but expects that situation to change in the next 10 years or so. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  22. Rolls-Royce has made it clear that it plans on introducing electric powertrains to their vehicles in the future once the technology has fully developed and customers want one. But new regulations are forcing their hand. Rolls' CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Car and Driver that the Phantom will receive the option of an electric powertrain sometime during its lifecycle. The platform that underpins the Phantom and future models have been built with electrification in mind. “We are more regulator driven than consumer driven. We might well see, in the next decade, some Asian markets closing down city centers to combustion engines completely. And then, of course, [electrification] is a must,” said Müller-Ötvös. Müller-Ötvös admitted that no one is clamoring for an electric Rolls at this time, but expects that situation to change in the next 10 years or so. Source: Car and Driver
  23. Hyundai has announced that the upcoming Kona crossover would be coming with an electric powertrain and we have gotten our first look at it. A spy photographer caught a Kona EV mule charging up. It looks like your standard Kona with the only difference that there is a charging door on the front. We're assuming this means a solid panel takes the place of the standard grille. Current rumors have Hyundai offering two battery options for the Kona EV - 40 and 64 kWh. The larger battery is projected to have a range of around 210 miles. Expect to see the Kona EV debut sometime next year with sales beginning in late 2018 or 2019. It is unclear whether or not the model will be sold here. Source: AutoGuide, Motor1 View full article
  24. William Maley

    Spying: Hyundai Kona EV Charges Up

    Hyundai has announced that the upcoming Kona crossover would be coming with an electric powertrain and we have gotten our first look at it. A spy photographer caught a Kona EV mule charging up. It looks like your standard Kona with the only difference that there is a charging door on the front. We're assuming this means a solid panel takes the place of the standard grille. Current rumors have Hyundai offering two battery options for the Kona EV - 40 and 64 kWh. The larger battery is projected to have a range of around 210 miles. Expect to see the Kona EV debut sometime next year with sales beginning in late 2018 or 2019. It is unclear whether or not the model will be sold here. Source: AutoGuide, Motor1
  25. If there is one thing the Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been consistent on aside from changing his mind on a number of things is his dislike on electric vehicles. Speaking to reporters this week at the New York Stock Exchange, Marchionne said there isn't a viable economic model for electric cars. "We still don't have a viable economic model for delivering an electric car. As much as I like Elon Musk, and he's a good friend and actually he's done a phenomenal job of marketing Telsa, I remain unconvinced of a ... economic viability of the model that he's pitching," said Marchionne. Marchionne believes the costs for batteries and the various technologies need to come down to make them viable. Otherwise, automakers should focus on developing hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. "So how do we find a convergence of technology bringing prices of components down and allows us to price accordingly — or we need to navigate through this process in a combined way between combustion and electrification to yield at least a minimum of economic returns that allows for our continuity? The last thing you want is me to be successful selling cars for 24 months and then go bust. That's not a good story. Especially in a place like this which rewards economic success. Let's not sit here and design our own future in the tank. Let's try and do it properly. We will do all the right things. We are investing without making a lot of noise on electrification. We will combine it with combustion to yield the right level of CO2. But we're not betting the bank on going fully electric in the next decade. It won't happen," said Marchionne. Source: The Street View full article

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