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Articles on this Page
- 04/28/13--13:58: _VW sustaniability r...
- 04/29/13--10:01: _GreenTech Automotiv...
- 04/29/13--14:30: _Bob Lutz: GM deserv...
- 04/29/13--18:03: _Nissan Leaf time-la...
- 05/07/13--06:00: _Ford increasing Lin...
- 05/08/13--14:04: _LG Chem's Michigan ...
- 05/11/13--07:03: _Hyundai's 50-acre r...
- 05/12/13--14:34: _Mitsubishi will dou...
- 05/13/13--08:19: _BIg Oil's favorite ...
- 05/18/13--06:49: _Another study shows...
- 05/22/13--12:03: _A123 Systems, now B...
- 06/02/13--16:19: _EPA looks into nega...
- 06/06/13--07:55: _Mitsubishi recalls ...
- 06/07/13--11:59: _Will low EV prices ...
- 06/09/13--06:29: _Did Fisker put too ...
- 06/12/13--05:56: _Mahindra planning e...
- 06/12/13--11:56: _Rimac Automobili ex...
- 06/12/13--16:13: _Nissan Europe gets ...
- 06/12/13--17:50: _Ford starts Focus E...
- 06/14/13--05:55: _BMW, GM successfull...
- 04/28/13--13:58: VW sustaniability report shows emissions, production progress
- 04/29/13--14:30: Bob Lutz: GM deserved federal money, but Fisker, well, who knows?
- 04/29/13--18:03: Nissan Leaf time-lapse shows the EV being built
- 05/07/13--06:00: Ford increasing Lincoln MKX Hybrid production mix to 30%
- 05/18/13--06:49: Another study shows young people not so keen on driving
- 05/22/13--12:03: A123 Systems, now B456, wins court approval to exit bankruptcy
- 06/06/13--07:55: Mitsubishi recalls more than 4,300 plug-ins in Japan
- 06/09/13--06:29: Did Fisker put too much blame on A123 Systems for overall failure?
- 06/12/13--05:56: Mahindra planning electric Verito for 2014
- 06/12/13--16:13: Nissan Europe gets first director of electric vehicles
The most recent companywide sustainability report from Volkswagen comes in at a tidy 168 pages. Here's hoping not too many folks took out trees by printing the whole thing out.
Europe's biggest automaker said it has reduced the amount of both energy and water required to make each vehicle by 10 percent during the past two years. Additionally, average new-car emissions on Volkswagen's European fleet has dropped about seven percent during that time.
VW, which so far has turned more to diesel than to electric-drive for fuel-efficiency gains, is looking to boost its environmental credibility, even going as far as making nice with Greenpeace after a couple years of salvos, mostly from Greenpeace. Last month, Volkswagen Chairman Martin Winterkorn and Greenpeace Chief Executive Director Brigitte Behrens met for the first time to pledge collective support of Europe's tightening emissions standards.
Read VW's press release below and get access to the link to the report here.Permalink | Email this | Comments
GreenTech Automotive may have lost its founder, but it has renewed an integral growth strategy - partnerships with Chinese automakers.
The Mississippi-based electric car company has made an agreement with Chinese automaker JAC (Jianghuai Automobile Co.) to bring 2,000 battery electric vehicles to the US market. The vehicles, based on JAC's Rejoice vehicle platform, will be assembled in Mississippi. After the first 2,000, GreenTech says it "plans to establish another assembly facility for the sedan." It's the third-generation version of JAC's EV featuring upgraded driver modules; improved battery capacity and range; and performance improvements for speed, climbing and stability. The battery power has improved in the third generation - it has increased from 15 to 19 kWh, which helped the driving range extend from 62 to 81 miles.
JAC brings a lot of automotive experience to the table - more than 40 years building vehicles such as light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, sedans, buses and more. The company now produces more than 700,000 vehicles a year and 500,000 engines, and is one the 10 largest Chinese automakers.
GreenTech unveiled its first offering, a $15,500 tiny NEV called the MyCar (pictured), in the US market last year. GreenTech founder Terry McAuliffe had bought the rights to MyCar by acquiring its original maker, EuAuto Technology, a Hong Kong-based company, for $20 million. It's being built now at GreenTech Automotive's Horn Lake, MS, factory. The two-seat, low speed MyCar can go about 115 miles on a charge.
The problem is that McAuliffe and his GreenTech partners (well, ex-partners, since he resigned last year) are being questioned on whether the plant was actually "a 'visa-for-sale scheme' for Chinese investors," as The New York Times put it. The story has some calling it "Coda Redux" and we expect we'll hear much more about it as long as McAuliffe (D) keeps running for governor of Virginia. His Republican opponent, Kenneth Cuccinelli II, the state attorney general, is using the GreenTech story to attack McAuliffe's business credentials and a strategist said the saga shows, "The central premise of Terry McAuliffe's candidacy has been undermined. Why would we not talk about it?"Permalink | Email this | Comments
Two days after a Congressional hearing about a US Department of Energy loan to Fisker Automotive, Bob Lutz wrote a column pondering what should be done to stop the financial hemorrhaging at the company that builds - well, used to build - the Karma extended-range sports car. When Lutz was vice chairman at General Motors, a federal bailout kept that company's factories open and helped bring the Chevrolet Volt to market. So, should the same sort of logic be applied here and Fisker given access to more money? Lutz wrote, "After all, the feds bailed out GM! What's the difference? Ah, there is one! GM was a product powerhouse, preparing the best line of cars and trucks in the last 50 years."
Lutz had good things to say about the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid itself, calling it "quite possibly the most beautiful four-door sedan ever" and that the powertrain technology was ground-breaking (while acknowledging that it is similar to what the Volt uses). But there were a host of problems: battery pack issues, the A123 bankruptcy, losing 800 Karmas in New Jersey following the hurricane and producing a very small volume of cars for sale all worked together to place Fisker in world of trouble, Lutz wrote.
GM, on the other hand, was dragged down by "overwhelming legacy costs." Lutz didn't elaborate, but these are usually considered to come from GM's labor union contracts and the massive costs of manufacturing too many cars through too many brands. In short, Lutz is basically saying GM was too big to fail but an ambitious start-up like Fisker is not a good investment. But he did forgot to mention Tesla Motors, another DOE automotive loan recipient that seems to be working out pretty well.
The Fisker Karma is "quite possibly the most beautiful four-door sedan ever" - Bob Lutz.
Lutz wants to see Fisker survive, if for no other reason than to support his investment in VL Destino which he designed with industrialist Gilbert Villereal. This performance sedan is built using a Karma body with with a Corvette drivetrain and Lutz says demand is strong for the VL Destino while electric Karmas are just languishing on dealer lots. He also wrote, "The green craze is, frankly, ebbing, and interest in conventional cars remains strong."
In the end, Lutz waffles on the question he poses, saying that whether or not Fisker should be given more federal money is, "A tough call. Glad I don't have to make it!" Click through to read the full Forbes article. Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 2013 Nissan Leaf was improved thanks to customer input and, earlier this year, Nissan started building the all-electric car in Tennessee (and, of course, now also in the UK). These two changes helped the world's best-selling EV reach its the best month of US sales ever in March - we look forward to seeing what the April numbers are, which we should be getting in the very near future. We know domestic production reduced costs, since Nissan was happy to tout that angle, but it wasn't until recently that media representatives were allowed inside to see how the company is building the car and battery pack.
We will have a detailed write-up on Nissan's moves in Smyrna, TN for you soon. Until then, you can see the Leaf being built in the time-lapse video below, courtesy of local newspaper, The Tennessean. The audio is not worth listening to, but the images are somehow mesmerizing.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Demand for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is strong enough that Ford will change the production mix from 20 percent to 30 percent hybrids for the 2014 model year.
It's part of an overall MKZs comeback, which saw sales increase in April sales now that the car is no longer quite as slow to roll of the line. MKZ sales more than doubled last month, hitting the 4,000 units sold mark for the first time and setting an all-time monthly sales record for the Lincoln brand.
Ford is targeting younger customers for the MKZ. The MKZ is doing especially well in the coastal areas. Los Angeles is the fastest growth market where retail sales more than tripled, lead by the MKZ hybrid, said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of US marketing, sales and service. In LA, the hybrid made up about 60 percent of MKZ retail sales.
With the exception of the Lincoln Navigator, the other members of the Lincoln family had a very poor sales month. The MKS plummeted 44 percent, the MKX dipped eight percent and the MKT dropped 31 percent.
The Ford brand did much better in April, with the F-Series pickup, Fusion sedan and Escape crossover each seeing impressive gains - and the Ford models sell much higher unit volumes than Lincolns do. The Taurus sedan, Flex crossover and Transit Connect were the only Ford models that dropped in sales during the month.
Back in October of last year, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was given a combined 45 miles per gallon rating. At that time, it was behind the Ford Fusion Hybrid's 47 mpg estimate. These days, that 45 mpg rating for the MKZ Hybrid is looking pretty darn good. Permalink | Email this | Comments
It looks like the last hand's been played at those reputed card games that not-so-busy employees at LG Chem's lithium-ion battery factory in Michigan were playing. The South Korean company is planning to start production of batteries for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in in July, with the first batteries rolling off the factory's three assembly lines by end of summer, the Detroit Free Press reports. US Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) is using the announcement to call the partially government-backed factory a "flawed program," MLive says.
And the gentleman has a point. The factory broke ground in 2010 and about half of its $300-million cost was bankrolled by the US government. Volt battery orders came in slower than expected, though, so by last fall, many of the workers were being paid not to work, and production was at a standstill, according to a February audit by the US Department of Energy. LG Chem was ordered to repay the Feds $842,000 in funds reputedly used to pay workers who weren't doing anything productive. LG Chem admitted that the plant is taking longer than expected to actually, you know, make a battery, releasing a statement six months ago that said, "taxpayer money has not been wasted, because when the market demand justifies production, the facility will be utilized." It appears that time is almost here. Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hyundai's green-cred future's so bright, its factory roof's gotta wear shades. The South Korean automaker will install that country's largest solar-panel system when it deploys about 40,000 solar voltaic panels on the roof of its Asan plant later this year.
The system will cover about 2.2 million square feet, or about 50 acres, of rooftop and will supply 11.5 million kilowatt hours, or the equivalent the power consumed by about 3,200 households. Hyundai makes the Sonata Hybrid at the plant, further bolstering the car's treehugging credentials.
Hyundai says the solar system will eliminate about 5,600 tons worth of CO2 emissions. Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) will purchase the electricity and redistribute it throughout the factory. Check out Hyundai's press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mitsubishi is looking to make up for lost ground from some fire-related issues by doubling production of its Outlander Plug-in Hybrid vehicle (PHEV) in Japan, Green Car Reports says.
The Japanese automaker will ramp up to 4,000 Outlander PHEVs a month, up from the 2,000-unit target it set last September. Mitsubishi will consolidate the Outlander PHEV motor and battery installation operations to help speed things up.
The company plans to start selling the Outlander PHEV in the US next year. In March, the company halted Outlander PHEV production because of a melted battery at a Yokohama dealership. Mitsubishi since discovered that the batteries, which are produced by Lithium Energy Japan, are short circuiting from a screening process (since discontinued) that infected the batteries with contaminants.
Lithium Energy Japan is a Mitsubishi joint-venture with GS Yuasa, which makes batteries for the Boeing Dreamliner. That airline model was recently affected by a number of fires recently. Permalink | Email this | Comments
Oil companies and other supporters of the fossil fuel status quo have been using a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to attack California's landmark clean energy bill AB32, particularly the bill's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Oil companies have been particularly irate that the LCFS requires them to reduce carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel 10 percent by 2020. But when the BCG report was roundly criticized, the Big Oil tried to come to the rescue. Now, an independent panel of scientists and academics has determined that the BCG study, the ammo being used to attack California's clean energy efforts, is packed with erroneous findings.
The BCG study had been under enough criticism and scrutiny that industry groups contracted with the UC Davis Policy Institute to assemble an expert independent review panel. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA, which originally funded the BCG report), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers requested the BCG report evaluation. Instead of supporting Big Oil, the reviewers found the study flawed on a number of fronts. For example, the BCG report missed "positive effects on the health and welfare of the citizens of California that could result from the implementation of AB32." The review panel also said the BCG study understated the benefits of AB32 on the economy; overstated the cost of industry compliance; and overstated harmful impact on California's oil refining industry. You can read a more detailed break-down on the situation over at the National Resource Defense Council.
Oil companies have been particularly irate that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard requires them to reduce carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel 10 percent by 2020.
The California Air Resources Board created the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to comply with AB32. CARB wants to reduce the amount of carbon in transportation fuels as a way to reduce the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. The BCG study and the resulting fallout isn't the first time oil companies have attempted to block LCFS and AB32. They also attempted to pass the Proposition 23 ballot initiative, which failed win voter approval in November 2010. Permalink | Email this | Comments
The automotive industry is getting more evidence that it's time to expand product offerings or switch over to another business. A new study by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) says the "driving boom" is over. While Baby Boomers loved their cars, their kids - aka Gen Y or Millennials - have different idea.
The numbers tell the story, and the total miles driven, per capita, in the US has been declining. While gasoline price spikes and the Great Recession play a role, the numbers have been dropping gradually since 2004. That marks the end of a 40-year driving boom that started up in 1964, according to the PIRG report. The number of miles driven by Americans increased each year an average of 2.5 percent per capita and 3.8 percent total during that time. From 2004 until 2012, the total miles traveled remained about the same, but the amount, per capita, decreased by one percent each year.
From 2004 until 2012, the total miles traveled remained about the same, but the amount, per capita, decreased by one percent each year.
Urbanization appears to be causing some of the trend, and use of mass transit and carsharing has been increasing. On top of that, boomers are aging and will be driving less and Millenials don't like to drive as much. Automaker executives have been voicing concern that young people are much less interested in driving and owning cars then their predecessors. The PIRG report's authors are concerned that highway system authorities have been too focused on expanding the nation's roads rather than accurately gauging the landscape. Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's official: A123 Systems Inc. is passing through its final phase. The bankrupt lithium ion battery maker, now going by the name B456 Systems Inc., has won court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy that pays off creditors from proceeds gained by selling off virtually all of its assets.
Objections previously made by creditors had been resolved prior to the hearing where US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey approved the company's plan. Creditors had voted "overwhelmingly in favor of the plan," Caroline Reckler, a lawyer for B456 Systems, told the Washington Post.
Now that the plan has been court approved, B456 expects to exit court protection in about three to four weeks. This will complete bankruptcy proceedings started by A123 last October, and which was the source of political jabs by then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Republican candidate had condemned the Obama administration for failed attempts at financially supporting alternative-energy industries.
The A123 name was removed in bankruptcy proceedings, which was required by the court in order to be purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang. The changeover to the B456 corporate identity was made in March as part of a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission when the company declared that its old assets were liquidated. The good parts of the old A123 live on under Wanxiang's new A123 Venture Technologies division.
As the recovery plan was being executed, plug-in hybrid carmaker and former partner Fisker Automotive came to a settlement with former A123. Fisker agreed to reduce about $140 million in claims by 89 percent to $15 million. Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hybrid and plug-in vehicle drivers overly satisfied with what they think is their great effect on the environment may want to get a look at a recent and quite long report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (written by Abt Associates) about the overall effects of lithium-ion battery production and use.
Among the many things that may alarm the smug, the report points out issues such as the use of nickel and cobalt in lithium-ion battery cathodes. Those exposed to the production of those materials have a higher risk for respiratory and pulmonary problems, while the production of such materials can hasten global warming.
Additionally, recharging plug-ins in the US Midwest and South is a lot less environmentally friendly than doing the same the West or New England because of the prevalence of coal-fired plants as an electricity source in the former two regions, according to the study, which also used information from the Department of Energy's Argonne National Lab, Arizona State University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology
For a bit of downer, read the EPA's press release below and, if you have the better part of an afternoon, check out the 126-page EPA/Abt report here.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's official: Mitsubishi has recalled more than 4,300 plug-in vehicles, almost all of which are Outlander Plug-in Hybrids, because of battery issues, Automotive News says.
Mitsubishi stopped production of the Outlander PHEV and the i-MiEV battery-electric in March because of a melted battery at a Yokohama dealership. The automaker has since found that some batteries are being mishandled by workers while others are being damaged during the screening process. Just 17 i-MiEV battery-electric vehicles (known in the US as the i) were recalled.
The company says it'll resume production in August and said last month that it would double its monthly Outlander PHEV production to about 4,000 units to make up for lost ground stemming from the production halt.
The batteries are produced by a joint venture between Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa Corp. The latter company made Boeing batteries that also recently had a number of fire-related issues. Permalink | Email this | Comments
Car shoppers are getting some pretty sweet deals on plug-in electric vehicles lately, with Honda joining the price cutting war with its Fit EV. Now that the early adopters are no longer in the market - they have theirs now - automakers are being pushed to bring down sticker prices to increase sluggish sales. The big question has become: What if these new car owners are dissatisfied with the EV experience?
Nissan led the way this year, cutting 2013 Leaf prices by $6,400. After slashing the price 18 percent, the Japanese automaker saw Leaf sales more than triple from previous months in March and April. Honda joined the fray last month, cutting the monthly payments on its 36-month Fit EV lease from $389 to $259. Its dealer network will be increased to expand the market - from 36 to more than 200. Ford produced more than twice as many Focus EVs than it was able to sell last year - 1,627 units manufactured but only 685 sold - and has now cut the sticker price by $2,000 and has been offering discount financing packages.
The trick is that cutting prices probably won't be enough to make this second wave of EV buyers into long-term, loyal owners, says Steve Center, American Honda's head of environment business development. Honda never expected to sell a high volume of these cars, but the results have been discouraging so far. When the Fit EV was launched 10 months ago, the automaker expected to sell just 1,100 units over three years. So far, there has only been 161 units sold, but that appears to be changing, finally).
What concerns me is that we'll ... attract people who might not be best suited for an EV - Honda's Steve Center
"What concerns me most is that we'll have a situation of excess supply, creating artificially low prices, and [attracting] people who might not be best suited for an EV," Center told Automotive News. "Then you will get a certain percentage of people who are going to be dissatisfied with the EV experience, and that will damage that option going forward."
It's going to have to be worth it for new owners to take the EV experience seriously and have good things to to talk about with their peers. Higher gasoline prices, reliable battery performance and a plentiful charging infrastructure would help, but those three variables remain, to one degree or another, up in the air. Permalink | Email this | Comments
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Bad business partner or scapegoat? When it comes to battery maker A123 Systems and its role in Fisker Automotive's troubles, one conveniently anonymous source says its the former, alleging that the extended-range plug-in vehicle maker had plenty of problems of its own, Fox Business says.
Executives at Fisker, which made the high-end Karma, started blaming A123 for its production issues late last year, noting that Fisker had a hard time meeting inventory needs after A123 declared bankruptcy last October. Fisker further laid blame on A123 after the disclosure of a number of battery defects. Late last year, the US bankruptcy court OK'd Wanxiang's acquisition of 80 percent of A123 for $256.6 million. Earlier this year, Fisker and A123 reached a settlement in which Fisker's financial claims against A123's successor company were slashed to $15 million from $140 million.
Fisker, however, stopped making cars last July and sales of the Karma were far lower than expected, Fox Business says, citing the unnamed source. Fox Business says Fisker didn't respond to a request for comment, and A123 declined to comment.
Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. will be launching an electric version of its Verito Sedan next year. EV technology made by its subsidiary Reva will be used in the e-Verito, said Ravindra Shahane, senior general manager, marketing, automotive division of Mahindra.
"There are some challenges in the electric car market which need to be addressed before we can come out with the electric version of Verito. We hope to launch it next year," Shahane told The Hindu BusinessLine and other media during the launch its Verito Vibe compact car.
Shahane was likely referring to the Indian government recently ending federal subsidies that lowered purchase prices for consumers. As is the case in Europe and North America, automakers in India are struggling to build the right amount of EVs that are likely to sell in the marketplace.
This year, Mahindra Reva is launching its E20 electric microcar. The automaker hopes to sell 30,000 E20 units by 2015-2016, with half of them being exported. These cars are being built at its recently-opened Bengalaru factory, which can produce up to 30,000 units a year. Mahindra can build 3,000 units a month of its Verito Sedan and Vibe at its Nashik unit in Maharastra. Mahindra sold nearly 15,000 Verito Sedans last year.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
It not easy building a true high-performance electric vehicle. Even if money isn't a problem, there is a dearth of component suppliers with the kind of equipment and expertise you would need to succeed. Tesla Motors is unlikely to hand out examples of the secret sauce that gives its Model S Performance 416 horsepower, for example. Similarly, the system that motivates the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Electric Drive is jealously guarded and not for sale. Enter Rimac Automobili.
Not content to simply build custom variations of its lust-worthy Concept_One, the Croatian company has now broadened its business plan and will now help you build your own electric supercar or, perhaps, a small fleet of them. Need a light, compact set of motors - with their own reduction gearboxes - capable of putting out a peak 654 kilowatts (877 horsepower)? Rimac has you covered. How about a sophisticated control unit to route that kind of power from a battery pack to the motors? No problem. In fact, the young outfit can deal with everything from chassis design to creating a custom infotainment system.
One small problem we can see with the componentry, however, is its appearance. It just looks too good to bury it within an automobile. If only there was a way to build a see-through car, we muse to ourselves, this would be the kind of electro-jewlry to use in such a vehicle.
Now, whilst we ponder the possibilities of an eventual Rimac-powered Formula E entry swathed in an invisible epidermis, we invite you to saunter through the extensive gallery above. Check out the official press release by simply scrolling below.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Nissan Europe would like to see sales of its Nissan Leaf go up - how unusual - and has brought in an experienced marketing executive to make it happen. Jean-Pierre Diernaz moved from Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti, where he served as director of marketing and communications, to become Nissan Europe's first director of electric vehicles for the region.
Diernaz started out in the car business in 1994 at Ford France and held a number of marketing executive positions with the company until moving over to Nissan Europe in June 2005. He became general manager of marketing communication in January 2007, and was credited with contributing to the successful ad campaign for the Qashqai crossover, Nissan's top-selling model in Europe. To increase EV sales, Nissan and Renault are open to trying out various niches like carsharing and fleets.
Nissan and Renault are playing a leading role in EV sales in Europe, but the numbers are still way below their expectations. Nissan increased the range and lowered the prices for the 2013 Leaf. Last year, it only sold 5,210 Leafs in Europe, which fell short of the 9,000 originally anticipated. Mr. Diernaz, meet your challenge. Permalink | Email this | Comments
So far this year (through the end of May), Ford sold 723 Focus Electrics in the US. Not a whole lot - especially compared to Nissan, which sold more than ten times that many Leafs (7,614). What's interesting is that Ford isn't going to immediately make a bunch of changes for the 2014 model year to try and push that number up. Not according to a report in The Detroit News, anyway.
Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of Global Electrification, told the News that Ford is happy with sales of the Focus EV. This makes sense, since company representatives have long said they never expected to sell many of them. Specifically, Gioia told the News, "We still see battery electric as niche. We think that by focusing on the plug-ins and that awareness, we actually end up benefiting both the hybrids and the plug-ins."
Despite the "niche" aspect, Ford isn't going to ignore the EV. To that end, Ford is also going to add more production capacity of its only EV, this time in Europe. The company announced today that it has started making the car in Saarlouis, Germany.
There are two main reasons the Leaf sales increased this year: local production (which resulted in a big price drop) and 2013 model year updates. Direct comparisons are difficult, since the Focus EV and the Leaf are on different parts in their lifecycles and we can expect improvements to the Focus down the road, but it'll be interesting to see if just adding one of those two factors will be enough to boost sales.
Read our Focus EV First Drive here and see the Saarlouis announcement below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Think of it as a BMW-General Motors combo for the Combo. The two automakers have worked together to ensure that the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark Electric will be the first two US vehicles to be compatible with the recently developed Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) so-called fast-charging "Combo" standard
Bimmer and the General collaborated on getting their upcoming EVs to conform to the fast-charging standard that will allow for both AC and DC charging in the same port. ABB and Eaton are among the component suppliers that worked on the new system.
BMW says the Combo system will allow for fast charging that will allow for the i3 to be 80 percent recharged in about 20 minutes. The i3 will be BMW's first production EV when deliveries start later this year, while Chevy is set to debut the Spark EV (pictured) this month.
Last fall, the SAE finalized the technical standards for the Combo system that's been embraced by US and European plug-in vehicle makers. Meanwhile, Japanese plug-in vehicle makers are backing the competing CHAdeMO standard, as you can read here. Check out BMW's press release and a video from GM below.Permalink | Email this | Comments