A matter of time: Electric Smart cars to debut at Paris Motor Show

September 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on A matter of time: Electric Smart cars to debut at Paris Motor Show § permalink


Electric versions of Smart ForTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour to launch in 2017
This year’s Paris Motor Show will see the public debut of fully electric versions of the Smart ForTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour. They’re collectively known as Smart’s ‘Electric Drive’ models and this is the first time all three Smart models have become available as EVs (electric vehicles) as the previous iteration of the Smart ForFour was only available with traditional petrol or diesel power.

Set to launch in Europe in 2017, the new cars – the two-seater, two-seater convertible and four-seater – will go up against other small electric cars like the Renault Zoe and Volkswagen e-up! Smart expects its electric models to manage around 100 miles on a charge, while they should take around 45 minutes to top up from a fast-charging station. Charging from a standard socket should take around six hours.

Although there’s no word on pricing in the UK as yet, the ForTwo electric drive will be priced from €21,940 in Germany, which equates to £18,841 at current exchange rates. Factor in the £4,500 Government electric-car grant and this drops to £14,341.

Smart Electric Drive design

In terms of styling, very little has changed compared to the standard Smart ForTwo, Cabrio and ForFour models. The cars pictured here feature green exterior trim as well as ‘ED’ and ‘electric drive’ graphics, which are available as an optional extra. Furthermore, the company has said that “every wish can be catered for” when it comes to exterior and interior personalisation options.
Interior & equipment
Again, not much has changed compared to the standard model. There are additional displays to show the battery charge level and the remaining range. These pictures also show the car with the optional green trim detailing. Again, Smart offers a huge number of personalisation options for buyers to customise the look of the interior.

In terms of equipment, you don’t get much extra as standard compared to the petrol-powered Smart, but you can add things like a heated steering wheel. The big news, however, is the development of an app, from which you’ll be able to control certain aspects of the car remotely. This can be done from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Called the ‘Smart Control’ app, it allows you to set the climate control before getting in the car, getting the car to the right temperature while it’s still charging so that it uses less battery power. You’ll also be able to set two customisable departure times, meaning the car will automatically prepare itself to leave at a certain time, so you don’t have to set the car up every time you want to leave.
Range, battery charging times & electric motors
All versions of the car come with the same 80bhp electric motor, which is enough to power the ForTwo from 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds, the Cabrio in 11.8 seconds and the ForFour in 12.7 seconds. Top speed for all models is 81mph.
From a standard power socket, the 17.6kWh battery will take around six hours to charge from 20% to 100%, while using the special Smart wall box drops this to 2.5 hours – half the time of the previous model. Later in 2017, the electric Smarts will get a fast-charger upgrade, which will allow the car to be charged in just 45 minutes.

Range hovers around the 100-mile mark, with the ForTwo capable of covering 99 miles on each charge, while the ForTwo Cabrio and ForFour will only be capable of covering 96 miles before charging. Obviously, this is heavily dependant on how the car is driven, the outside temperature and what sort of roads the car is driven on, which means that real-world range could well be dramatically less. It can, however, recoup some electricity through regenerative braking.

Price & on-sale date

The electric smarts will go on sale in early 2017, having first gone on sale in the US at the end of this year. There’s no official word on pricing, but we don’t expect much change from the German prices, which we’ve converted from Euro at the time of writing. These start at £14,431 for the ForTwo, £14,956 for the ForFour and £17,194 for the Cabrio. All prices quoted include the £4,500 Government electric car grant.

New 2018 BMW 3 Series to feature all-electric version to rival Tesla

September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on New 2018 BMW 3 Series to feature all-electric version to rival Tesla § permalink

Source: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/3-series/94014/new-2018-bmw-3-series-to-feature-all-electric-version-to-rival-tesla

BMW plans to fight back against the Audi A4, Jaguar XE and Mercedes C-Class by introducing a hi-tech 3 Series within the next 18 months – and the compact exec is set to get an all-electric version during its lifetime.
The next 3 Series, previewed in our exclusive images, will make use of carbon-fibre construction technology and a new range of three, four and six-cylinder engines to trump the likes of the A4 and XE on CO2 emissions. But the manufacturer is also planning to take on the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 by offering not only a plug-in hybrid version of the car, but also a fully electric edition.
The next-generation 3 Series, codenamed G20, gets a switch of chassis technology as the car leaves its existing platform and moves to an all-new architecture called CLAR, for Cluster Architecture. CLAR brought in carbon-fibre construction techniques to the 7 Series when it was introduced on that car earlier this year, and elements will be retained on the limousine’s smaller brother.
Achieving this integration into a car produced in significantly greater numbers has been a big challenge for BMW engineers. The lighter components, likely to be focused around the bodyshell pillars, door frames and the transmission tunnel, will help the 3 Series to shed some weight – perhaps as much as 80kg, and enough to make it the lightest car in the small executive class.
This, in turn, will allow BMW to focus on improving the car’s handling agility – a key factor against both the XE and Alfa Romeo’s much-hyped Giulia – as well as using more downsized engines. Expect the range to start with 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol power, which is, in effect, the same 136bhp unit used by the current 318i.
There will also be a three-cylinder 1.6-litre diesel with 114bhp, although the heart of the line-up will be 2.0-litre diesels in a couple of states of tune. But it’s the electrification that could really push the next 3 Series clear of its opposition. BMW is working on a radical, fully electric solution as it strives to fend off competition from the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 in key markets like the US.

The CLAR platform is claimed to have been engineered with electrification in mind, and BMW’s engineers are said to be working on the installation of a 90kWh battery pack, potentially giving the 3 Series EV – which is likely to carry the badge eDrive Sport – a range of around 300 miles.
The eDrive may not arrive until 2020, but there will be at least one plug-in hybrid from launch. It’s a new version of the 330e, using a development of the existing car’s 2.0-litre petrol engine set-up and an 87bhp electric motor – but with a larger battery pack to increase the electric-only range.
Inside, the 3 Series will get improved rear legroom as a result of a slight extension in the car’s wheelbase. And while the dash will look pretty familiar, it should benefit from a step up in material quality as BMW responds to Audi and Mercedes’ latest upgrades.
We’d expect the 3 Series to make its debut next autumn, perhaps at 2017’s Frankfurt Motor Show, with sales starting in early 2018.

The ‘Tesla of buses’ just made a big move to eliminate diesel buses forever

September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on The ‘Tesla of buses’ just made a big move to eliminate diesel buses forever § permalink

Source : http://uk.businessinsider.com/proterra-unveils-electric-bus-with-350-mile-range-2016-9
proterra 

Chances are, you haven’t heard of Proterra.


The Silicon Valley-based start-up has one focus: to eliminate the need for a diesel bus, forever. It’s something the company has been working quietly on since 2004, and has made moderate progress since. It sold its first three, all-electric buses in 2009, ramping up sales marginally throughout the years since.
Proterra started hitting its stride a bit in 2015 when it sold 62 buses across 12 different transit agencies. But with a nominal range of 146 miles, a mark below many electric cars, widespread adoption hasn’t been feasible.
“The first generation of the long-range vehicles we brought out wasn’t good enough for the market,” Matt Horton, Proterra’s vice president of sales, told Business Insider. “It just couldn’t do all of the routes out there, and frankly, there aren’t any electric buses out there that can today.”
But Proterra unveiled a new version of its bus Monday it says is finally good enough for the market: a newly designed all-electric bus that can operate a route for an entire 18 hours – the same as a diesel bus.
Challenging Tesla’s range
Proterra busProterra
Proterra’s Catalyst E2 is 40-foot long bus with a range of 350 miles under typical test track conditions. That’s a big deal, considering Tesla only recently announced a battery upgrade for its Model S and Model X Ludicrous options that can achieve 315 miles of range – making it the first electric car on the market to exceed 300 miles of range.
To get that kind of range, Proterra worked on improving its battery tech and designing a bus that can accommodate the extra weight put on batteries for two-and-a-half years.
“If you take a traditional steel bus and just start dumping batteries on it, that bus is going to get really heavy really quick,” Horton said of the decision to design a new bus entirely from scratch.
The new bus body is made of a carbon fiber composite, allowing it to remain lightweight, but durable. Proterra, which makes its own batteries in its Silicon Valley office, improved energy storage and put most of the batteries “underneath the body of the bus so it helps us keep it very, very low center of gravity,” Horton explained.
That innovation has resulted in a bus that fits 77 passengers and can pack 660 kWh of energy to drive 350 miles on a single charge. On a closed track, which doesn’t mimick the difficulty of urban driving, a Proterra bus with just a 440 kWh battery achieved 600 miles on a single charge.
But ranges are tricky to talk about, especially when it comes to buses, because range is affected by a variety of factors like constant braking, temperature, and the twists and turns of city streets. That’s why Horton is sure to note that a 600-mile range isn’t achievable in a route setting. However, the battery tech is good enough for the bus to run the full 18 hours transit operators need, the compamny said.
At night, the bus can get topped up using a typical charging station.
Replacing all diesel buses
proterra busProterra
The Proterra bus will be fully functional soon, with the first deliveries arriving in Foothill Transit in California in early 2017.
Horton said the start-up has customers in 15 states across the country and that it’s pre-sold over 300 buses to-date. By the end of 2017, all of the buses will be fully operational.
“This is the first time that an electric vehicle has been brought to market that, on a truly no compromise basis, is going to replace all the fossil fuel vehicles in its category,” Horton said.

Tesla Model 3: Price, specs and everything we know

September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on Tesla Model 3: Price, specs and everything we know § permalink

Source: http://www.theweek.co.uk/tesla-model-3/70320/tesla-model-3-price-specs-and-everything-we-know

Tesla’s Model 3 is one of the most anticipated car launches in years. First revealed in pre-production prototype form at the end of March, the next car from Elon Musk’s company is already a big hit with potential buyers – around 400,000 have placed a deposit.
What’s all the hype about?
The Model 3 is set to be a significant car in a number of ways. For starters, it signals the completion of Tesla’s first “master plan”. When the company launched its first car in 2008 – the Tesla Roadster – it was a low-volume, high-cost EV used to fund the production of the Model S, a cheaper car produced on a larger scale.
The Model 3 continues the pattern. It’s set to be Tesla’s cheapest and most popular car yet and will be produced in significantly larger numbers than its predecessors.
It’s also the first vehicle to be built on the company’s third-generation platform, which should mean denser, more efficient battery packs for a fairly significant all-electric range.
Tesla has ground out a reputation in the motor industry for doing things differently. It’s a company popular in technology rather than petrol-head circles and the cars so far have proven to be among the most desirable electric vehicles on the market. An affordable and more accessible Tesla is bound to be wildly popular.
Design
While the overall profile is distinctly Tesla, the Model 3 introduces some new design traits, most notably the flat, grille-less face at the front.
It’s thought the company has kept things pretty simple for aerodynamic purposes, allowing the Model 3 to eke out the most of its charge – it has a target drag coefficient of just 0.21cd for optimum efficiency.
It’s a smaller car than the Model S and looks much stubbier, the short front and rear overhangs downsizing the overall profile. The glass roof stretches from the bottom of the windshield into the hunched rear end, although the Model 3 does not have a hatchback boot. Instead, a second storage space lies under the bonnet.
Slight changes around the back end are now expected after chief executive Elon Musk said the company has responded to concerns that the boot opening was too small and had been hampered by the car’s overall design. According to Electrek, the wider boot could lead to different versions of the Model 3, such as an optional all-glass panoramic roof.
Alloy wheels and exterior colour choices also make the cut. A dark blue version as well as a matte black will come alongside the silver the car was previewed in. The full range of customisation options will be available when the Model 3’s configurator launches further down the line.
Interior
Tesla hasn’t released much information about the Model 3’s interior. The fairly blank-looking setup boasting a 15ins horizontal monitor in the middle, seen during the reveal, is probably not the finished product – either that or that there’s far more to it than meets the eye.
BGR highlight’s Musk’s words that the clutter-free cabin would “make more sense” in the future, saying the lack of controls and items with which the driver can interact, beyond the central touchscreen, steering wheel and pedals, possibly indicate some sort of self-driving capabilities.
Musk has also tweeted that the Model 3 will feel like a “spaceship” on the inside, leading Jalopnik to predict the company has a big secret up its sleeve.
Practicality
The Model 3 looks set to be more practical than the pre-production prototype Tesla has shown.
For starters, the car’s tiny boot opening is set to change. Musk has taken on board customer qualms that it was too small to be practical and the company claims it has addressed the issue, meaning it should be easier to load larger items.
There are no official dimensions for neither boot nor passenger space yet, but the Model 3 is a smaller car than the Model S saloon.

Electrek says the interior space will be flexible, thanks to folding seats, while Bloomberg cites “sources familiar with the final design” who say that the rear pew will fold completely flat.
With the seats down, the car’s cargo bay will stretch from the back of the front seats to the end of the boot, opening up around 66ins of room.
Autopilot features
Tesla’s Autopilot suite of autonomous driving aids has been one of the flagship features on the firm’s more expensive Model S and Model X cars. It allows drivers to use automatic steering, lane changing and accident avoidance on highways and motorways, as well as enabling self-parking capabilities and the summon feature, which allows owners to quite literally summon their cars from parking spots and garages.
While the high-tech features may seem out of place in a car Tesla is keen to tag as affordable, Musk has confirmed it will be heading the Model 3’s way, reports Tech Insider, although you’ll have to pay a fee to unlock the self-driving modes, which the chief executive calls “convenience features”. At present, the system exists on the Model S as a £2,100 extra if drivers opt for it when buying. It can be also activated via a software download, but that’s a slightly more expensive £2,500.
Just how extensive the feature could be is up for debate. It’s thought that the next generation Autopilot could allow fully autonomous driving, Electrek says, so should it arrive on the Model 3, it may offer more than just tier-three autonomy on motorways.
Power, charging and range
The Model 3 will be capable of at least 215 miles on a single charge. That minimum is rumoured to be achieved with a battery smaller than 60 kWh, although it will be sold with a range of packs. Cars with stronger batteries will not only come with greater performance figures, but larger ranges, too.
One way to boost the range and performance will be to spec the Model 3 with the dual-motor powertrain. CarBuyer says drivers will be offered the option of dual-motor, four-wheel drive electric propulsion, as on the Model S. They should be significantly faster than the two-wheel drive versions.
Tesla has kept the Model 3’s performance specifics to itself for now, but Auto Express has been for a ride in one and says it should do 0-62mph in less than six seconds, while range-topping all-wheel drive variants should manage 4.5secs. It has been confirmed that a Ludicrous mode Model 3 will be available – the extra power is an £8,300 option on the Model S.

Tesla’s Model 3 is one of the most anticipated car launches in years. First revealed in pre-production prototype form at the end of March, the next car from Elon Musk’s company is already a big hit with potential buyers – around 400,000 have placed a deposit.
What’s all the hype about?
The Model 3 is set to be a significant car in a number of ways. For starters, it signals the completion of Tesla’s first “master plan”. When the company launched its first car in 2008 – the Tesla Roadster – it was a low-volume, high-cost EV used to fund the production of the Model S, a cheaper car produced on a larger scale.
The Model 3 continues the pattern. It’s set to be Tesla’s cheapest and most popular car yet and will be produced in significantly larger numbers than its predecessors.
It’s also the first vehicle to be built on the company’s third-generation platform, which should mean denser, more efficient battery packs for a fairly significant all-electric range.
Tesla has ground out a reputation in the motor industry for doing things differently. It’s a company popular in technology rather than petrol-head circles and the cars so far have proven to be among the most desirable electric vehicles on the market. An affordable and more accessible Tesla is bound to be wildly popular.
Design
While the overall profile is distinctly Tesla, the Model 3 introduces some new design traits, most notably the flat, grille-less face at the front.
It’s thought the company has kept things pretty simple for aerodynamic purposes, allowing the Model 3 to eke out the most of its charge – it has a target drag coefficient of just 0.21cd for optimum efficiency.
It’s a smaller car than the Model S and looks much stubbier, the short front and rear overhangs downsizing the overall profile. The glass roof stretches from the bottom of the windshield into the hunched rear end, although the Model 3 does not have a hatchback boot. Instead, a second storage space lies under the bonnet.
Slight changes around the back end are now expected after chief executive Elon Musk said the company has responded to concerns that the boot opening was too small and had been hampered by the car’s overall design. According to Electrek, the wider boot could lead to different versions of the Model 3, such as an optional all-glass panoramic roof.
Alloy wheels and exterior colour choices also make the cut. A dark blue version as well as a matte black will come alongside the silver the car was previewed in. The full range of customisation options will be available when the Model 3’s configurator launches further down the line.
Interior
Tesla hasn’t released much information about the Model 3’s interior. The fairly blank-looking setup boasting a 15ins horizontal monitor in the middle, seen during the reveal, is probably not the finished product – either that or that there’s far more to it than meets the eye.
BGR highlight’s Musk’s words that the clutter-free cabin would “make more sense” in the future, saying the lack of controls and items with which the driver can interact, beyond the central touchscreen, steering wheel and pedals, possibly indicate some sort of self-driving capabilities.
Musk has also tweeted that the Model 3 will feel like a “spaceship” on the inside, leading Jalopnik to predict the company has a big secret up its sleeve.
Practicality
The Model 3 looks set to be more practical than the pre-production prototype Tesla has shown.
For starters, the car’s tiny boot opening is set to change. Musk has taken on board customer qualms that it was too small to be practical and the company claims it has addressed the issue, meaning it should be easier to load larger items.
There are no official dimensions for neither boot nor passenger space yet, but the Model 3 is a smaller car than the Model S saloon.

Electrek says the interior space will be flexible, thanks to folding seats, while Bloomberg cites “sources familiar with the final design” who say that the rear pew will fold completely flat.
With the seats down, the car’s cargo bay will stretch from the back of the front seats to the end of the boot, opening up around 66ins of room.
Autopilot features
Tesla’s Autopilot suite of autonomous driving aids has been one of the flagship features on the firm’s more expensive Model S and Model X cars. It allows drivers to use automatic steering, lane changing and accident avoidance on highways and motorways, as well as enabling self-parking capabilities and the summon feature, which allows owners to quite literally summon their cars from parking spots and garages.
While the high-tech features may seem out of place in a car Tesla is keen to tag as affordable, Musk has confirmed it will be heading the Model 3’s way, reports Tech Insider, although you’ll have to pay a fee to unlock the self-driving modes, which the chief executive calls “convenience features”. At present, the system exists on the Model S as a £2,100 extra if drivers opt for it when buying. It can be also activated via a software download, but that’s a slightly more expensive £2,500.
Just how extensive the feature could be is up for debate. It’s thought that the next generation Autopilot could allow fully autonomous driving, Electrek says, so should it arrive on the Model 3, it may offer more than just tier-three autonomy on motorways.
Power, charging and range
The Model 3 will be capable of at least 215 miles on a single charge. That minimum is rumoured to be achieved with a battery smaller than 60 kWh, although it will be sold with a range of packs. Cars with stronger batteries will not only come with greater performance figures, but larger ranges, too.
One way to boost the range and performance will be to spec the Model 3 with the dual-motor powertrain. CarBuyer says drivers will be offered the option of dual-motor, four-wheel drive electric propulsion, as on the Model S. They should be significantly faster than the two-wheel drive versions.
Tesla has kept the Model 3’s performance specifics to itself for now, but Auto Express has been for a ride in one and says it should do 0-62mph in less than six seconds, while range-topping all-wheel drive variants should manage 4.5secs. It has been confirmed that a Ludicrous mode Model 3 will be available – the extra power is an £8,300 option on the Model S.
One of the most puzzling aspects of the Model 3 has been the sticky issue of charging. Tesla has a growing network of Supercharger stations dotted around key routes across the US and Europe to allow its drivers quick and free top-ups on the go and they’re crucial to making long, all-electric journeys a realistic proposition.
At the car’s reveal, Musk said owners would get access to the stations and at first, it appeared they would be offered free charging. However, he has since said it won’t be thrown in as standard – and many now believe speccing it could be one of the car’s most expensive options, coming in at around £2,500, made in a one-off payment either when buying the car or through a software upgrade further down the line.
However, a new report in Electrek suggests there may be a second way to enable the feature – “Supercharger Credits”.
Model 3 owners could be offered a pay-as-you-go subscription to the stations, says the site, allowing them to open an account and simply pay per kWh they need rather than for lifetime access.
If that happens, it could mean Tesla will cut the list price of its other models – the Model S saloon and the Model X SUV, adds Electrek.  
Release and production
First deliveries are set for “late 2017” – and that’s as specific as Tesla will go for now. However, the long waiting list means many customers won’t get their cars until 2018, especially if they order now. UK buyers probably won’t see the EV until then neither.
We are still waiting for official prices, but Tesla has said the Model 3 will start from around £30,000, with drivers having to pay extra the likes of the dual motor, Supercharger access and Autopilot.
Tesla will have to seriously step up its current production figures if the Model 3 is to be a success. Manufacturing jitters such as those that hampered the releases of its other cars must be ironed out.
The company plans to scale up production to 500,000 cars a year by 2018 and according to CNET, believes it can make between 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s next year.
Will the company meet its deadline?
Of course, Tesla’s past manufacturing woes mean some are sceptical of Musk delivering by the end of next year.
Tesla has built and sold around 140,000 cars since the introduction of its Roadster in 2008, so stepping up to deliver 400,000 Model 3s over the next couple of years marks a sea change in terms of the company’s manufacturing capabilities.
Musk’s showman style and confidence, plus the company’s announcements and plans to rapidly scale up production, have kept most critics on side for now, but at least one analyst is predicting the first Model 3s won’t be arriving in their allocated delivery window.
Speaking to CNBC, Efraim Levy, a senior equity analyst at Standard & Poor’s Global, says he “wouldn’t bet” on the company making its deadline.
Similarly, Electrek reports on a more tongue-in-cheek prediction by US car magazine Car and Driver, which says that based on Tesla’s history of delays, a repeat performance would see the car pushed back until September 2019.
Still, these forecasts are based on one public event to reveal and discuss the car. We’ll get a better impression of how Tesla’s timeline looks the next time we see the Model 3.
What’s next?
The launch and first deliveries of the Model 3 will see Tesla tick off the last box on its to-do list on its first “Master Plan” – the set of goals Musk outlined in 2006 to develop his company into a key player in the auto industry.
The Tesla chief had a three-pronged assault. The first car, the Tesla Roadster, was a low-volume, high-price electric sports car used to bankroll the production of the Model S, a mid-volume, mid-price family saloon.
Then then paved the way for the Model 3 – a high-volume, reasonably priced EV and the firm’s first mass production car.
Now “Master Plan Part Deux” has been revealed, outlining Tesla’s ambitions beyond next year.
The Model 3 gets a look in alongside mention of new home products, ownership models, driverless cars and even a pick-up truck alongside busses and lorries. Due to autonomous technology, Musk says a cheaper vehicle is “unlikely to be necessary” and the Model 3 is as low as Tesla will go for now.
Tesla Model 3: Will BMW rival the electric car?
19 July
Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 has been quite a hype machine, with around 400,000 pre-order deposits taken since its reveal in late March.
Elon Musk’s company is promising buyers an all-electric car with a 215 mile-range minimum, high performance with sub 0-62mph times and, at an extra cost, self-driving features plus access to its Supercharger stations, one of the best and most expansive quick-charging networks.
Importantly, it’s a Tesla starting from £30,000 – the cheapest car the company has made and presenting the first opportunity for many of its fans to buy one.
First deliveries are not scheduled until the end of 2017 at the earliest – with many customers set to wait into 2018 and beyond – leading some to speculate on what the automotive landscape could look like by then.
One of the new kids on the block, Auto Express reports, will be the BMW 3 Series which is due to arrive in 2018 and will come with the option of a fully-electric powertrain, the eDrive, to rival the Model 3.
The range will also be available with plug-in hybrid powertrains and sit on an all new platform utilising carbon fibre construction techniques called CLAR – Cluster Architecture – which will make the car significantly lighter, ideal for a weighty electric powertrain.
The electric powertrain is said to use a 90kWh battery pack, which could potentially give it an all-electric range of around 300 miles.
That would beat the Model 3’s 215 miles minimum, although that is for the entry level car with what’s rumoured to be a sub-60kWh battery. More powerful versions with bigger batteries will be an option.
In addition, the eDrive might not launch until 2020, by which time the Model 3 should have been out long enough to warrant upgrades with denser battery packs.
At the moment, there’s not enough information as to whether the rumoured electric 3 Series will dent Model 3 sales and vice versa, says investment website Motley Fool. Tesla’s head start gives it the early advantage, but the eDrive will come from a respected automotive giant and is sure to be appealing to drive.
It could come down to cost. Many petrol and diesel versions of the 3 Series will be more or less on par with the £30,000 price tag of the Model 3, while the electric car could be priced high up the range. In addition, it may be built in limited numbers, meaning the Tesla would still be the cheapest route into premium electric motoring.
Tesla Model 3: Design tweak adds to practicality
12 July
Pencils will be downed for the Tesla Model 3’s design in just a matter of days and chief executive Elon Musk has already taken to Twitter to share an important change.
The Model 3 was introduced as a pre-production prototype at “part one” of the car’s reveal in late March. A fully production-ready version is yet to be seen – the company is saving that for “part two”.
While the car we’ve already seen should closely resemble what Tesla launches towards the end of next year, slight tweaks have been anticipated. It should certainly be more practical, thanks to a nip and tuck around the back.
According to Electrek, potential customers been concerned about the size of the boot – March’s car boasted only a tiny chute, potentially hampering its practicality.
However, Musk has confirmed on Twitter that it has been “taken care of”.

@nickg_uk already taken care of
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2016
The Model 3 uses a large, extending glass roof sweeping from the windshield into the rear haunch. Together with rear passenger headroom requirements, this meant the pre-production car could only be fitted with a small boot opening. 
Just how Tesla has rectified this remains to be seen, but Electrek believes the fix could range from simply being able to make the opening larger to the car being available in two separate configurations – one of them with a larger boot.

ELbnb: In Sweden, your next car-charging spot could be at someone else’s house

September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on ELbnb: In Sweden, your next car-charging spot could be at someone else’s house § permalink

If home is where the heart is, then homes in Sweden may also be where the energy is stored for people hoping to give their electric car an added boost.


Renault just launched Elbnb, a new service that allows anyone in Sweden to transform their house into a charging station for electric cars.

Elbnb, an online platform, is meant to add more handy charging locations across the country and encourage more residents to lessen their carbon footprint by driving electric cars.

The private-home stations will be featured on a map that can be quickly located by electric-car drivers. The charging price and times will be determined by the driver and homeowner.

“Swedes are used to the sharing economy in anything from cars to apartments,” Lars Höglin, Renault Nordic brand engagement manager, said in a statement. “After conversations with both locals and politicians, we can see that our initiative is already being positively perceived by the Swedes, who also seem ready to start sharing their power outlets.”
The service may also get local politicians to move faster on legislation that would help build more publicly accessible charging stations throughout Sweden.
“Electric cars are a reality. But even though it’s year 2016, a year when environmental issues are a big topic, the infrastructure is lacking,” Höglin said. “That is why we started Elbnb as an initiative run by locals, showing that the Swedes are ready to contribute when political actions are too slow. We also want to show that making a case for greener roads is as easy as charging your electric car.”

Source: http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/in-sweden-your-next-car-charging-spot-could-be-at-someone-elses-house/

Better late than never: Electric cars could be charged at Shell service stations from 2017

September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on Better late than never: Electric cars could be charged at Shell service stations from 2017 § permalink

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/13/electric-cars-could-be-charged-at-shell-service-stations-from-2017

Electric cars could be charged at Shell service stations from 2017
Electric car charging points could appear alongside petrol pumps at Shell’s UK service stations as soon as next year, the oil giant confirmed after emails between the company and government officials revealed discussions on introducing them.
The company also asked the government how serious it is about wireless charging roads which could top up an electric car without the need to plug in, as mooted by Conservative MP Oliver Letwin.
The diversification into infrastructure for battery-powered cars would mark a new departure for the company, which has largely backed biofuels as a greener alternative to petrol and diesel in the past. It could also suggest a softening of stance from an industry which Telsa co-founder Elon Musk has accused of using misinformation campaigns against electric cars.
Emails released after a Freedom of Information request by DeSmogBlog, a site which monitors fossil fuel lobbying, shows that Shell staff and government transport officials discussed both electric cars and hydrogen fuel this year.
In one exchange, a Shell staffer on secondment from the Department for Business writes to the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles to suggest electric cars are being held back by a lack of public charging points and the cars’ range, which is typically around 100 miles for many models.

“You will know more of the challenges around electric cars than me but the availability of fast charging infrastructure, and how that links to range anxiety, is probably up there with one of the main issues concerning customers,” they wrote. “As a sample of one, I do not have access to off road parking so buying an EV myself is not currently viable.”
In a later exchange, a Shell employee appeals for more detail on the regulatory regime for charging point operators. “I have been asked whether Shell will need an electricity supply license if we are to provide a service to customers to charge their electric cars.” Shell also asks about whether the idea of wireless charging roads in Britain “has legs” and how ambitious the government is about the idea.
Asked if the emails show Shell is moving into charging points, a spokeswoman said: “We are examining the potential to introduce electric vehicle charging points across some parts of our UK retail network from early 2017 onwards.”

Shell will be going into competition with companies such as Chargemaster, Ecotricity and Tesla, which have all been building out networks of charging points in the UK. According to Zap Map, there are more than 12,000 chargers in the UK.
David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster, which owns more than 4,000 of the UK’s chargers, said: “I think it’s great. They see the tide moving toward electric cars and they want a piece of the action. They’d be crazy not to, wouldn’t they? We are in discussion with a number of fuel companies. We fully expect the first charging points to be put in in the next year [by fuel companies].”
It is not yet clear how many of Shell’s 1,000-plus service stations will get the chargers, or who will provide the technology.
There were 20,000 100% electric vehicles on the road at the end of last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, though they still make up a minuscule fraction of new car sales, which numbered 2.6m in 2015. Nissan said on Tuesday that it had sold 15,000 of its electric Nissan Leaf model since it launched in 2011.
Policymakers see electric cars as a key way to tackle air pollution and meet climate targets, but MPs warned earlier this month that the UK was failing to encourage their take-up fast enough.
Shell’s stance on electric cars is in stark contrast with that of ExxonMobil, whose communications with government officials are also shown in the email and document cache.

The US oil company, which has more than 1,000 Esso-branded service stations in the UK, sent slides to Department for Transport officials saying the government should avoid policies that support electric cars because cutting carbon emissions from power stations was cheaper.

“Switching from petroleum to renewable or alternative fuels [i.e. EVs] is not the most cost effective way to to reduce GHG emissions; actions in other sectors (e.g. power generation) typically cost less per ton of CO2 avoided,” one presentation said. The company told the government that, in its opinion, “liquid petroleum fuels will remain the primary transportation fuels in the foreseeeable future.”
Exxon and Shell’s discussions were disclosed after DeSmogBlog lodged several freedom of information requests with the Department for Transport, to discover how oil companies were lobbying the UK government on electric cars.

Rapid rise in electric vehicles to ‘reverberate through wider economy’

August 26th, 2016 § Comments Off on Rapid rise in electric vehicles to ‘reverberate through wider economy’ § permalink

Source : http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2469048/rapid-rise-in-electric-vehicles-to-reverberate-through-wider-economy

Falling costs of renewables and batteries will boost EV market over next 20 years and have huge impact on wider global economy, BNEF paper argues
The rapid rise in electric vehicle numbers expected across the world over the next two decades will reverberate throughout all business sectors and make a huge impact on the global economy.
That is the conclusion of a new paper this week from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) co-written by Michael Liebreich and Angus McCrone, chairman and chief editor respectively of the influential US data and media firm‘s advisory board.
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The paper – entitled Electric Vehicles – it’s not just about the car – explains that as falling costs for renewables and battery drive rapid growth in the electric car market between now and 2040, the impact will be felt by all sectors in the economy, not just the transport industries.
EVs are expected to surge from less than 0.8 per cent of global light-duty vehicle sales in 2015 to 35 per cent by 2040, which the authors argue will impact on everyone from oil producers to electricity generators, auto-parts suppliers and finance ministers.
The effects of this EV market growth will be welcome for some consumers, the authors state, but will pose challenges for policy-makers and established businesses.
According to the paper, when the world’s energy and transport sectors experience significant change “it tends not to be a linear process” and the results “rip through the whole economy and can have impacts on a societal scale”.
It argues the world is seeing this process in the electricity system right now, with the rapid uptake of renewable energy generation which it describes as “unstoppable now” because the cost reductions in wind and solar have “fundamentally changed the way power markets work, making new investment in other sources all but impossible”.
The authors contend the changing energy system is already having an impact on investment and technology sectors, while it is also accelerating digitisation of all electrical equipment and changing the way buildings are designed.
They compare the likely impacts of the EV market and renewables on the global economy to those of mobile phones after they first appeared on the market around two decades ago.
As mobile phones have improved and costs fallen, they have driven profound changes in all sectors of the wider economy, from how people book holidays, to the mix of high street shops and the way people travel in cities, the paper states.
Mobile phones have also “eaten entire industries” such as cameras, alarm clocks and maps, while they are arguably now doing the same to newspapers, cash handling and the music industry.
The authors argue EVs will have a similarly seismic impact on other sectors, but highlight in particular the adverse effects of the wider use of batteries on the combustion engine auto parts supply chain, dealer and repair networks and oil companies and oil exporters.
Their arrival also presents “considerable headaches” for governments which currently gain income from heavily taxed petrol and diesel fuel, while there are likely to be reductions in the number of people employed in the combustion engine sectors.
But, it also highlights particular beneficiaries from the growing EV market such as energy utility suppliers and construction companies building power and technology infrastructure.
Furthermore, it points to the positive environmental impact of EVs on emissions, air pollution and traffic noise, especially within cities.
“No list of potential impacts of the transformation of transportation can be complete,” the article states. “However, one thing is for sure: if our predictions for the uptake of electric vehicles are anything like correct, there is no part of the global economy which will not, in some way, be affected.”

Electric charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020

August 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on Electric charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020 § permalink

Electric charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020
New research has revealed the number of electric vehicle charging points will outnumber petrol stations as soon as August 2020.
A 75 per cent decline in the number of petrol stations over the last four decades and the increase in electric charging points from a few hundred in 2011 to 4,100 in 2016 is the cause, with Nissan’s research predicting the latter will reach 7,900 by 2020.
At the end of 2015, there were 8,472 fuel stations in the UK ─ a significant drop from the 37,539 in 1970. Assuming the state of decline remains the same, electric will outweigh its combustion engine-friendly counterpart in just three and a half years.
The increased supply of electric charging points no doubt stems from increased demand, with the Government’s Go Ultra Low campaign reporting more than 115 electric cars registered in the first quarter of 2016 ─ around one every 13 minutes.
Experts within the Go Ultra Low campaign believe electric power could become more prominent than petrol or diesel vehicles by 2027, with estimates stating there could be 1.3 million electric cars registered each year.
Although there is some way in serving the whole country adequately when it comes to electric vehicle charging points, particularly if you take into consideration the smaller number of fast-charging variants that do the job quicker, 98 per cent of UK motorway services are now covered.
The world’s first petrol station was opened at Aldermaston in Berkshire back in 1919. It is worth pointing out one petrol station can serve a much higher volume of cars than a single charging point so a rapid increase in adoption could spark issues for early adopters.
Nissan GB electric vehicle manager Edward Jones said: ‘As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving. Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.
“As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain,” he added.
While the number has increased, it seems electric vehicle suppliers are charging more to use them. Chargemaster introduced a £7.85 monthly tariff for motorists to use its standard charging network and a cost of 9p per kWh for the faster variants.
Meanwhile Ecotricity recently decided to implement a charge of £5 for a 30-minute charge and within days had increased it to £6, citing feedback from its customers.
Nissan is one of the biggest proponents of electric vehicles, with the Nissan Leaf accounting for more electric car sales than any other model. Using a fast charger, the Leaf can see 80 per cent of its 24kWh or 30kWh battery capacity restored in half an hour. Its real-world range is around 100 miles.
In a bid to diminish the issue of range anxiety, Nissan is currently working on increasing the density of its lithium-ion batteries, which could lead to future electric vehicles offering a 150 per cent longer driving range, making longer journeys easier and reducing the need to recharge so often.

Ecotricity customers to get 52 free annual rapid Charging sessions for their EV

July 27th, 2016 § Comments Off on Ecotricity customers to get 52 free annual rapid Charging sessions for their EV § permalink

It’s the third week of the Electric Highway upgrade – we’ve now switched over half of our pumps to the new app-based ‘charging for charging’ model, and we’re still on track to complete the entire transition by Friday 5 August.
Nearly 7,000 people are using our new app. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can do that here. As well as allowing you to charge up, it has some other useful features, including a real time map of all our pumps and a charging progress tracker so you can keep tabs on your charging session, even if you’re away from the pump.
You can also check the app to see which pumps have switched over to the new model, and which are still operable through the swipe card.
We’ll add more features to the app in the near future, and we’re also making very good progress on a mobile web browser version of the app, which will be compatible with Windows, Blackberry, and most smart phones – more on that soon.
‘Charging for charging’ is an essential move to enable us to invest and continue to keep pace with the needs of the growing EV community, but you can still get free use of the network, subject to our fair use policy. Have a look below for details on how to do that.
That’s it for now. If you have any problems charging up at any one of our pumps during the upgrade, just give us a call.
You can reach us on 01453 761 455, from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am – 5pm on Saturdays.

Final poll results from @evda_uk suggest different ‘charge for charge’ expectation for Ecotricity rapid chargers

July 17th, 2016 § Comments Off on Final poll results from @evda_uk suggest different ‘charge for charge’ expectation for Ecotricity rapid chargers § permalink

To whom it may concern,

It appears that the vast majority of EV drivers polled (117 total assumed) support the charging albeit have a different view of what “reasonable” Charge for 30minute rapid charging is to be. All things considered, electric vehicles do charge at different speeds depending on external temperature, battery capacity at the time and even the tech/software capability in that vehicle. 

So 30minute is not the same “actually kWh capacity charge” for everyone nor even yourself.

So the general consensus appears to be that if 30 minute charge is to be… I should at least be more sensibly priced (EV Market is only yet to grow) with majority option preferred £2.50-£4.00 per such 30 minute slot.

evda-uk poll results

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