Archive for the ‘Electric vehicles’ Category

Tesla says New York incentive for non-proprietary chargers is “discriminatory”

March 6th, 2019
A double charging station.

Enlarge / A double charging station with a "CCS plug" and a "CHAdeMO plug." (credit: Roland Weihrauch/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Last week, Tesla formally asked the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) to reconsider a February 7 order that would give utilities incentives for installing "publicly accessible" electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

The problem, Tesla says, is that NYPSC defined "publicly accessible" chargers as those that have generic plugs for both American- and Asian-made EVs. Tesla’s proprietary charging stations do not qualify for the incentives.

The original order from NYPSC (PDF) offers utilities the ability to charge more favorable rates for electricity and use more favorable classifications for any publicly accessible Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations that the utilities install. But any chargers they install have to have both a Combined Charging System (CCS) plug and a CHAdeMo plug to be classified in the manner preferred by utilities.

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Posted in battery electric vehicles, cars, Electric vehicles, new york, Tesla | Comments (0)

Electric truck startup announces $700 million funding round led by Amazon

February 17th, 2019
A man and a dog sit on an electric pickup truck

Enlarge / A marketing photo of Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck. (credit: Rivian)

On Friday, electric truck startup Rivian announced a $700 million funding round led by Amazon. The announcement is notable not just for the size of the investment but also due to Amazon's involvement.

The e-commerce giant has made a variety of investments in mobility, and electric trucks and SUVs like the kind Rivian debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November could help the company further its ambitions in that regard.

Rivian's R1T pickup and R1S SUV made a splash at their announcement. The startup is seen as a potential competitor to Tesla, which has promised to develop an all-electric pickup truck in the future. Rivian's trucks are expected to be pricy: the startup is taking pre-orders, and it said in November that, when the R1T and R1S go on sale in late 2020, they'll start at $61,500, and $65,000 after the $7,500 IRS tax credit. (Rivian has sold no trucks to date, so vehicles from that company would still be eligible for the full electric vehicle tax credit. The full tax credit begins to phase out after a company has sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles.)

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Posted in amazon, Biz & IT, cars, electric pickup truck, Electric vehicles, Rivian | Comments (0)

Electric SUVs racing in the Himalayas and the Amazon? Meet Extreme E

January 31st, 2019
The RMS <em>St Helena</em> is docked on the Thames next to HMS <em>Belfast</em>, for the global launch of Extreme E. The vessel is to be transformed into a “floating paddock” for the new motorsport series, which will see electric SUVs racing in some of the world’s most extreme locations. (Yes, I know I'm using a ship to illustrate a new SUV racing series but there aren't any pictures of the cars yet.)

Enlarge / The RMS St Helena is docked on the Thames next to HMS Belfast, for the global launch of Extreme E. The vessel is to be transformed into a “floating paddock” for the new motorsport series, which will see electric SUVs racing in some of the world’s most extreme locations. (Yes, I know I'm using a ship to illustrate a new SUV racing series but there aren't any pictures of the cars yet.) (credit: Luke Walker/Getty Images for Extreme E)

We're long-time fans of Formula E here at Ars. Sure, some purists will whine like a Hewland gearbox about the lack of internal combustion noise, but I'm sure horse racing fans made the opposite complaint at the turn of the 20th century when cars started being used in competition. Formula E has doggedly stuck with its game plan of doing motorsport differently, with all-electric cars powered by renewable energy racing in places where electric vehicles make the most sense—city centers.

Now, some of the brains behind Formula E have a new electric racing idea for us—one that's radically different from these cool-but-identical-looking single-seaters battling head to head. It's called Extreme E (agreed, not the best name), and it's an electric off-road racing series. This won't be a test of long-distance endurance like the Dakar but will take place in equally spectacular locations around the world: the Himalayas, the Sahara, the Amazon, the Arctic, and islands in the Indian Ocean. Each place has been chosen both for its outstanding natural beauty and the threats it faces by climate change.

The cars, which have yet to be built, will use custom chassis built by Spark and will look like real road cars—or perhaps like real road cars that have been modified to meet the needs of off-road racing. They will be powered with a pair of Formula E-spec motors (so 500kW/670hp in total), with a battery specially developed for the series by McLaren.

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Posted in cars, Electric vehicles, Extreme E, Formula E, races, Racing | Comments (0)

Tesla sells a new wall charger, Maryland backs away from big EV charging program

January 16th, 2019
Tesla wall charger can be plugged into a standard outlet.

Enlarge / New Tesla wall charger. (credit: Tesla)

This week, Tesla introduced a new wall charger that can plug directly into a NEMA 14-50 standard American wall outlet. The new wall charger is similar to the company's second-generation mobile wall connector but with the ability to provide 40 amps (9.6kW) to long-range Model S, X, and 3 vehicles. Mid- and standard-range vehicles still charge at 36 amps, much like the mobile wall connector.

The new wall charger can be used wherever an applicable wall charger exists, without the need for an electrician to come out an install the charger. Both the new wall charger and the electrician-installed wall connector cost $500, but the new charger that is NEMA 14-50-compatible obviously won't require electrician's fees if you have an accessible outlet. Still, Tesla recommends its electrician-installed wall connector "for new installations."

The Tesla Wall Connecter offers the fastest charging speeds, but according to Tesla, this new wall charger is 25 percent faster at charging than the Gen 2 mobile wall connector. As far as charging speed, it seems to sit somewhere between the high-end hardwired charger and the mobile charging kit.

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Posted in cars, charging infrastructure, Electric vehicles, Energy, Tesla | Comments (0)

GM’s 200,000th vehicle sold triggers Federal Tax Credit phase out, Reuters says

January 3rd, 2019
GM’s 200,000th vehicle sold triggers Federal Tax Credit phase out, Reuters says

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A source speaking to Reuters on Wednesday said that General Motors sold its 200,000th electric vehicle (EV) in Q4 2018, triggering a 15-month phaseout of the Federal Tax Credit that has benefitted GM's EV buyers for years.

GM is expected to announce this information during its Q4 2018 financial call on Thursday. The company indicated previously that it expected to hit the 200,000 mark before the closeout of 2018.

This means that GM's EVs will no longer receive a Federal Tax Credit of $7,500 after April 1. The credit will be cut in half to $3,750 for the next six months, then it will be cut in half again for another six months until it is phased out completely.

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Posted in BEV, cars, Electric vehicles, Energy, federal tax credit, GM | Comments (0)

Finally in the black: Tesla has a good quarter

October 25th, 2018
Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images)

Tesla finally turned a profit, posting net income attributable to shareholders of approximately $311.5 million. The Q3 results come after many quarters of losses, and Tesla shares are up 12 percent in after-hours trading as of this writing.

The company's results are also closely tied to the success of the Tesla Model 3. Tesla struggled to achieve production goals early in the year, but it has largely made the production strides it has promised since Q1. In Q3, Tesla produced 4,300 Model 3 vehicles per week, culminating in a total of 83,500 vehicles throughout the whole quarter, with 56,065 being Model 3s, according to the company's shareholder letter.

The company also disclosed free cash flow of $881 million, dispelling fears that it might struggle to pay the roughly $900 million in debt that's slated to come due for Tesla early next year.

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Posted in Biz & IT, cars, Electric vehicles, financial call, Tesla | Comments (0)

Car-charging company is on a tear, buying GE stations, securing investments

June 29th, 2017

Enlarge / Closeup of Chargepoint electric-vehicle charger at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images). (credit: Getty Images)

Car-charging network Chargepoint announced that it would buy General Electric’s electric vehicle (EV) charging stations today for an undisclosed amount of money. Chargepoint also announced a $42 million investment from Siemens, which will be used to improve European infrastructure for EVs.

The purchase of the GE stations will add close to 10,000 charging stations to Chargepoint’s network, with 1,800 commercial charging stations and 8,000 residential. GE’s charging hardware and software won’t be changed, but Chargepoint said in a press release that existing GE station customers and owners would be able to “take advantage of smart features such as access control, pricing capabilities, and software solutions like energy management and scheduled charging.” Drivers who previously used GE charging stations can now track their usage and search for Chargepoint stations through the company’s mobile app.

The latest $45 million investment in the company from Siemens closed out a $125 million funding round (Daimler was the other largest investor in this round). Siemens supplies ChargePoint with direct-current charging components. Ralf Christian, CEO of the Siemens Energy Management Division, will join the Chargepoint board of directors.

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Posted in Cars Technica, chargepoint, Electric vehicles, EVs, fuel | Comments (0)

Techrules shows how to make EVs interesting: Just add a jet engine

March 9th, 2017

Newspress

Like all auto shows, Geneva has its share of vaporware projects that never go beyond the first hopeful display of dreams. Most people would have filed Techrules’ turbine hybrid, seen in concept form a year ago, in the same category. But at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, which opened to the public on March 9, the Chinese R&D company was back with a production version of its supercar—and big plans for more accessible machines based on the same formula.

That formula is as simple as it is breathtaking. The Techrules Ren—the name comes from a Chinese word that roughly translates as ‘benevolence’—is a carbon composite supercar with race-style pushrod suspension and a modular layout with up to three seats. Power comes from TREV, the Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle system that uses one or more micro-turbines to drive generators that recharge the vehicle’s lithium polymer batteries and power up to six traction motors.

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Posted in Cars Technica, Electric vehicles, Techrules, Turbine | Comments (0)

Ford: We’re canceling $1.6B Mexico facility, investing in electric and US plant

January 3rd, 2017

Enlarge / Prototype of the upcoming Transit Custom EV, which will be available in Europe by 2019 according to today’s event. (credit: Ford)

Today at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields unveiled a large-scale electric vehicle initiative that will run through the company’s next five years. Ford plans to invest $4.5 billion in electric vehicle production by 2020, and the company said it will produce 13 new electric vehicles, including a Mustang, an F-150, police cars, and a Transit Custom van. Additionally, Fields revealed that Ford would be canceling a previously announced $1.6 billion-production facility in Mexico. Instead, the company wants to invest $700 million in the existing Flat Rock facility, generating 700 new jobs focused on EV and autonomous initiatives at that location, according to Ford.

“Electrified vehicles have driven millions of miles and saved consumers millions on costs in fuels,” Fields said. “Now, imagine electrifying a pick-up truck for more productivity—or a commercial van, a police car. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Ford described seven of the 13 upcoming EVs during its press conference today. The F-150 Hybrid will be available by 2020 in North America and the Middle East, and Fields noted it’ll be powerful enough to stand-in for on-site generators in a pinch. The Mustang Hybrid will deliver “V8 power and even more low-end torque” according to Ford; it too is intended for a 2020 release. Generally, electric motors are well suited to applications where you want a lot of immediate torque, so their presence should work well in a light duty truck like the F-150. (Cars Technica Editor Jonathan Gitlin notes it will also probably make the electric Mustang pretty handy at the drag strip.)

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Posted in Cars Technica, Electric vehicles, Ford | Comments (0)

BMW will make an electric Mini and an electric X3 SUV after all

September 30th, 2016

It says “Mini” but every generation gets bigger and bigger. (credit: Jim Resnick)

BMW confirmed to Bloomberg today that it will start work on an electric Mini and an electric X3 SUV. This news comes after reports of deliberation on BMW’s electric strategy among the company’s top executives earlier this month.

Chief Executive Officer Harald Krueger told Bloomberg that the all-electric Mini would be market-ready by 2019 and the X3 SUV would be a 2020 vehicle.

Reuters reported three weeks ago that BMW’s top executives had been resistant to the idea of building an electric Mini-brand car. Minis have a smaller profit margin than BMW-brand cars, they argued, and the investment costs of building an all-electric vehicle are considerable. A few executives felt that BMW should push ahead in the electric vehicle field, but after the weak US performance of the i3, other bigwigs were apparently not convinced that committing additional investment to purely electric cars would make financial sense.

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Posted in BMW, Cars Technica, Electric vehicles | Comments (0)