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Archive for the ‘EVs’ Category

Daimler Invests Millions in Electric Busmaker Proterra

U.S.-based company expands Daimler's battery-electric capabilities.

by on Sep.20, 2018

Daimler Truck has invested millions in California-based electric busmaker Proterra to help with its battery-electric development.

Daimler Trucks & Buses agreed to put up part of a $155 million investment in an electric bus company founded and based in the United States.

Proterra Inc., with offices in California’s Silicon Valley, South Carolina and Los Angeles, announced it closed a $155 million investment round co-led by Daimler, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, and Tao Capital Partners.

Tech Talk!

Martin Daum, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, noted Proterra has emerged as a leader in the electric-bus business with more than 90 customers across the United States. (more…)

Musk Facing Justice Department Probe

Feds looking into possible “fraud” in aborted privatization effort.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the focal point of investigations by the Department of Justice as well as the SEC.

Elon Musk now says he may try to hitch a ride along with the Japanese billionaire who plans to buy a ride on a SpaceX rocket trip around the moon.

Considering the mounting legal problems facing the 47-year-old executive, the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Musk may need to find a way out of town in the near future.

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Musk and Tesla are now facing a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department looking into his brief flirtation with taking the California carmaker private, even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating that aborted move. Separately, Musk is facing lawsuits in both Los Angeles and London filed by a British diver who the South African-born executive has accused of being a “pedo,” or pedophile, as well as a “child rapist.” (more…)

Audi Goes Electric, Tackles Tesla With New e-tron Electric SUV

German automaker will initially target Tesla Model X.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Audi is ready to take on the industry leader, Tesla, with the all-new e-tron.

With the launch of the new e-tron SUV, Audi becomes the latest in a growing list of automakers to introduce a long-range battery-electric vehicle aimed directly at industry pioneer Tesla.

The luxury arm of Volkswagen AG traveled to San Francisco, Tesla’s backyard, to unveil the new model during a splashy ceremony that drew hundreds of journalists and dealers. Audi already offers a number of hybrid and plug-in models but it is planning to now introduce an array of all-electric offerings, joining such high-line competitors as Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Electrifying!

The push into electrification could be particularly important for Audi in its bid to recover from the diesel emissions scandal that tarred several Volkswagen brands, resulting in penalties and settlements totaling around $30 billion. Though the company will continue to produce some diesel models, it now sees electric vehicles as key to its future. (more…)

Volkswagen Reveals $6B “Electric for All” Plans

German automaker will debut five-door hatchback in 2019.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Thomas Ulbrich, left, and Christian Senger outline Volkswagen's plans for its MEB-based electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is readying to kick off its long-expected onslaught of electric vehicles from its MEB platform, revealing an investment of more than $6 billion for plant upgrades to produce more than 10 million EVs by the end of 2025.

The moves are part of what VW dubs its “Electric for All” plan, based off the flexibility of its modular electric drive, or MEB, platform. It’s expected to the base for as many as 27 model between now and 2025.

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“We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars,” said Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich. “The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.” (more…)

Lucid Secures $1 Billion Investment from Saudis

PIF looking for a hedge as it expands the value of the fund.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Lucid executives were on the hunt for additional investors, and struck a $1 billion with the Saudis.

After being seen as the key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s now-dead plans to take the EV maker private, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is now investing $1 billion into EV start up Lucid Motors.

The new pact gives Lucid the cash it needs to kick off production of its first-ever model, the Air, in 2020, at its plant in Arizona. Lucid officials have said the new model will cost about $60,000.

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It’s widely believed the Saudis have been searching for ways to hedge against its oil exports for some time now, explaining the earlier dalliance with Tesla and Musk. The two sides had talks about the fund backing Musk’s plan, which could have required more than $40 billion from the Saudis. (more…)

New “Hell” for Tesla, as Model 3 Deliveries Run Into Serious Delays

“We’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell.”

by on Sep.17, 2018

Dozens of Tesla Model 3 sedans are reportedly being held in this Union Pacific freight depot in Salt Lake City.

After more than a year of struggles, Tesla appears to finally be getting the production bugs worked out at its battery and assembly plants, but that may not mean much to frustrated buyers waiting to take delivery of a new Model 3.

In recent days, new issues have cropped up, in one case a small fleet of the battery-sedans have been held up at a Union Pacific freight depot leaving Tesla and its customers unsure when they will be released for delivery.

Beyond the Headlines!

Responding to a customer who complained by tweet that she now faces an “indefinite” delay in getting her Model 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded, “Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but this problem is far more tractable. We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.”

(more…)

BMW’s iNext Offers a Glimpse at Automaker’s Autonomous, Electrified Future

Show car offers broad hints about BMW's next all-electric model.

by on Sep.15, 2018

BMW offered a handful of journalists a sneak peek at the iNext concept during an around-the-world tour.

BMW was one of the first of the traditional automakers to enter the plug-in vehicle market, well ahead of luxury rivals like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. But it has been slow to follow up on its original i3 and i8 models, especially when it comes to all-electric offerings, even as those competitors have laid out aggressive plans to launch literally dozens of their own new products in the coming years.

BMW has been dropping hints about where it might go next for several years. And the Bavarian automaker is looking to get back in the game with the appropriately named iNext, an all-electric and autonomous crossover set to make its debut in 2021.

Tech Talk!

A handful of select media outlets, including TheDetroitBureau.com, got a chance to check out a prototype version of the iNext during an otherwise top-secret, around-the-world series that took the concept vehicles from Germany to New York, then Los Angeles and, finally, Beijing.

(more…)

BMW Looking to Go Beyond the X5 (and 6 and 7)

The future may include some truly radical approaches.

by on Sep.14, 2018

The latest version of the BMW iNext Concept adopts a more SAV-like body design.

Even as the newest version of the X5 gets ready to roll into showrooms around the world, BMW is looking at ways to expand its presence in the fast-growing market for sport-utility vehicles.

The automaker took what seemed like a big risk when it launched the original X5 “Sports-Activity Vehicle” in 1999, but dmand for high-line utes has grown exponentially, leading it to move down-market, all the way to the base X1, with a new flagship, the X7, set to debut next year.

Plug In!

“We see even more demand from our customers,” said Carson Gruber, the BMW AG marketing executive overseeing high-line products like the X5 and X7, during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com. “BMW is a learning company….and we’re capable of identifying new trends.”

(more…)

The Cheapest Place to Own an Electric Vehicle? New Orleans

Short commutes, lower electricity costs put the Big Easy on top.

by on Sep.11, 2018

New Orleans is the cheapest city in the country for electric vehicle commuters, according to Crescent Electric.

It’s generally accepted that it’s cheaper on an annual basis to drive an electric car than a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle.

Electricity is cheaper than both oil-based options, but how big a bang you’re getting for your buck really depends on where you live, according to a study by Crescent Electric. The study examined the 52 largest markets in the U.S. to determine the cheapest to own an electric vehicle.

Beyond the Headlines!

Right now, the livin’ is cheap in the Big Easy for EV owners. New Orleans is the cheapest place to own an electric vehicle at just more than $54 a year. (more…)

Volvo Backs Out of IPO Due to Trade and Market Conditions

Trump's ongoing tensions with China and Europe push decision.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO.

President Donald Trump’s seemingly ongoing trade war with, well, everyone as well as a less-than-robust period for auto stocks has forced Volvo Cars to put off its initial public offering — for now, anyway.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China-based Geely, previously announced it was considering the IPO to help raise funds for additional research and expanding of production. However, the current trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the European Union has forced a rethink.

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“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday.  (more…)