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Porsche Makes It Official: Diesels are Done

Maker's been slowly cutting diesels from line-up.

by on Feb.20, 2018

Porsche's new Mission E performance electric vehicle is set provide some stiff competition for the Tesla Model S P100D.

Not that it didn’t seem official before, but Porsche is getting out of the diesel engine business in favor of battery-electric powertrains. This will make Porsche the first German automaker to dump diesels entirely.

The company, which is owned by Volkswagen AG, has been slowly divesting its line-up of diesel powerplants for the last couple of years. This was highlighted by the lack of a diesel for the next-gen Cayenne when it debuted last fall.

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Now the Macan and Panamera models equipped with diesels are no longer available with a “no new diesel will be engineered” edict for the Macan S. The move is part of a “cultural shift” a Porsche spokesperson told AutoCar magazine. (more…)

China Extending Incentives for Electric Vehicles

Government pushing hard to increase number of EVs on roads.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Good news for Tesla and other EV makers in China as the government has extended incentives on electric vehicles.

The Chinese government appears to have extended the hefty incentives that helped ignite the rapid sales of electric vehicles in China, according to Bruce Belzowski, managing director of the automotive futures program at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Belzowski said during a UMTRI-sponsored conference on “Marketing New Powertrain Technologies,” said the Chinese government is prepared to go great lengths to promote the development of electric vehicles.

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While the Chinese now build millions of internal combustion engines every year, the government has concluded that the global automakers Japan, the United States and Western Europe have a major edge built around 100 years of experience, he noted.   (more…)

Tesla to Hold Musk to a Higher Standard for Compensation

No cash or bonuses unless carmaker hits milestones.

by on Jan.23, 2018

Elon Musk won't receive any compensation from Tesla until the EV maker begins hitting select stock and operational milestones.

With Tesla still struggling with serious production problems and a balance sheet that has been sinking deeper into the red, the battery-carmaker said Tuesday that its billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk won’t be in line for any form of compensation until it reaches stock and operational milestones.

While investors continue to back the company, its shares rebounding sharply since a deeper-than-expected third-quarter loss was announced last autumn, there has been growing concern about the delays in ramping up production of the new Model 3. That has raised concerns the company might have to raise more capital to compensation for its rapid cash burn.

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“Tesla and all of its shareholders” will have to perform “extraordinarily well before Musk is to receive any form of compensation going forward, the company said. But the announcement also took aim at another concern that some investors and analysts have raised in recent months: whether the South African-born Musk would remain onboard. (more…)

Porsche Plugging In: Half its Line-up Will Be Electrified

German carmaker looking to expand battery-electric use.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Porsche is moving forward with its newest electric vehicle, the Mission E, as it expands its electrification efforts to half of its line-up.

It will be another year before Porsche’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, the Mission E, finally reaches market, but the German sports car brand already is laying out big plans to electrify.

Fully half of all Porsches will use some form of battery power by 2023, according to a presentation by Porsche Cars North American CEO Klaus Zellmer. That is expected to include not only the hybrids and plug-in hybrids currently in the line-up, but also additional BEVs like the Mission E. Porsche officials have also suggested they will eventually electrify even such classic core models as the iconic 911.

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While such a move might be a stretch for traditional Porsche buyers, the brand has begun bringing in younger buyers who are more open to experimentation, said Zellmer, speaking at the annual Automotive News World Congress. Nearly 80% of the customers who are signing up for the new Porsche Passport subscription service “have not owned a Porsche before,” he noted. (more…)

Infiniti Will Be “All Electrified” After 2021, Says New CEO

Hiroto Saikawa also hints that Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance may seek a fourth partner.

by on Jan.16, 2018

Nissan's Hiroto Saikawa told attendees at the Automotive News World Congress that Infiniti will be electrified by 2021.

Luxury brand Infiniti will rapidly shift away from conventional powertrains and will be “all electrified,” with the exception of some large SUVs by 2021, according to the automaker’s new CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

The auto industry, as a whole is rapidly beginning to electrify as it comes under increasing pressure from regulators around the world. But the plan for Infiniti is one of the most aggressive moves so far announced by any automotive brand with the exception of Volvo which will switch to only hybrid, plug-in or pure battery-electric power for all new models launched by 2018.

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“Infiniti will have a specific focus on electrification,” said Saikawa, who replaced Carlos Ghosn as CEO of Nissan Motor Co. on April 1, 2016. “We are trying to position Infiniti as the premier electrified brand” as part of the five-year plan that will extend through 2022. (more…)

Kia Niro EV Set to Deliver Tesla-Like Range

Production model joins Kia hybrid and plug-in later this year.

by on Jan.09, 2018

The Kia Niro EV will be available later this year and boasts range comparable to the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

Late to the “eco” party, Kia is rushing to catch up, revealing the new member of its Niro family during a preview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Like much of the Korean carmaker’s current line-up, the new EV features stand-out styling – while not opting for the sci-fi look that many competitors have adopted for their own battery-based models. Instead, the Kia Niro EV is designed to address several problems that have put off many potential battery-car buyers: range and charging times.

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The production version of the Niro EV, which will reach showrooms later this year, will deliver an estimated 238 miles per charge, roughly the same as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and more than the Tesla Model 3. Meanwhile, using a Level 3 charger, the Korean electric vehicle will be able to extend its range by 115 miles in 30 minutes. (more…)

More Than Half of Norway’s New Cars Sold are EVs

The total is up from 40% in 2016.

by on Jan.05, 2018

In Norway, where 52% of new vehicles sold are EVs, the eGolf was among the top sellers.

In one European country, Norway, sales of electric and hybrid accounted for half of new registrations in 2017, a record fueled by subsidies that have extended the country’s push to lead in shifting from fossil-fuel engines.

Pure electric cars and hybrids, which have both battery power and a diesel or petrol motor, accounted for 52% of all new car sales last year in Norway versus 40% in 2016, the independent Norwegian Road Federation reported this week.

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“No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time, we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50%.” (more…)

Tesla Misses By a Mile its Model 3 Target

Models S and X beat forecast, but slow ramp-up of smaller sedan poses big problems.

by on Jan.03, 2018

A new Model 3 in front of Tesla's Fremont, California assembly plant.

Despite promises by CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has yet to dig its way out of the “production hell” it has faced since the launch of its Model 3 battery sedan last July.

The Silicon Valley carmaker said it delivered just 1,550 of the “affordable,” long-range electric vehicles during the fourth quarter, well below what industry analysts had been anticipating. Some had forecast the numbers would come closer to 9,000 for the October-December quarter, with even pessimists forecasting something closer to 4,000.

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The shortfall means that many of the roughly 400,000 customers who have plunked down $1,000 deposits for a Model 3 could be waiting well into 2019 before taking delivery, observers warned. It also raises the specter that Tesla might have to seek more capital to offset continuing losses. The company had said it would finally get into the black as production reached the longer-term target of 10,000 vehicles a week. (more…)

Newest China EV Market Entry Coming to CES 2018

Byton is the latest EV company looking to hit the market.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Byron isn't revealing much about the exterior of its new EV coming to CES 2018.

China’s push for more new energy vehicles, or NEVs, has EV makers working overtime to meet the demands of the government. It’s not just the established companies making moves either. Byton, a China-based startup, is announcing its presence with authority with its first-ever vehicle at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.

The company plans to debut its “all-new electric vehicle” at CES 2018 with production in China in 2019 and sales moving to U.S. and European shores in 2020.

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The company isn’t releasing many details about wha the exterior of the vehicle looks like, although from the teaser photo, the front grille features LED lighting to illuminate the grille as well as the logo on the hood of the vehicle. It also features six LED head lamps, three on each side. (more…)

LeEco CEO Defies China’s Order to Return, Stays in US

Jia Yueting stays put to complete $1B in fund raising for Faraday Future.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting has money riding on both LeEco and Faraday Future.

Jia Yueting, CEO of Faraday Future, defied orders to return to China and meet with federal regulators there concerning the company’s debt, deciding instead that the company’s financial future was here and now in the U.S. raising funds for the beleaguered start-up automaker.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission ordering Jia Yueting to return to China to address mounting debt from LeEco – he’s the CEO – to protect investors’ rights. Instead Yueting sent his younger brother, Jia Yueming, to meet with the government officials, explaining he needed to remain in the U.S. to wrap up deals to secure the $1 billion in funding that Faraday needs.

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“I am deeply sorry and blame myself for the negative impact of LeEco’s debt crisis,” he said in the statement that was posted on his official WeChat account, according to Reuters.  (more…)