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Tesla Set to Reveal “Unexpected” New Product

Musk also says there is no need to raise more cash.

by on Oct.10, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk with an image of the troublesome Model X which missed production targets, is unveiling a new product on Oct. 17.

Even as it moves forward on the development of its first mainstream product, the Model 3 sedan, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the battery-carmaker will lift the covers on an all-new product on Oct. 17.

Musk, a savvy user of social media, suggested in a Monday morning tweet that the new battery-electric vehicle will be “unexpected by most,” but offered no other clues as to what is in store.

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In recent months, Musk has dropped a variety of hints, along with broader indications, as to what he would like to see in the Tesla line-up in the years ahead. That includes a crossover-utility vehicle to complement the downsized Model 3, and even a battery-electric pickup. The Tesla founder has already confirmed that an all-new version of Tesla’s original product line, the Roadster, is in the works. (more…)

EVs, Autonomous Vehicles Hasten Auto Industry Transformation

Analyst points to four factors of change.

by on Oct.07, 2016

The development of autonomous vehicles is one of four trends that will dramatically reshape the industry in the next 15 years.

The auto industry is going to look dramatically different in the next 15 years than it does now, according to McKinsey & Co. Senior Partner Hans-Werner Kaas, largely due to the technological leaps that will occur between now and then.

Kaas, speaking at Autoblog’s UpShift conference in Detroit this week, said that the advancement of electric vehicles, in-car connectivity, autonomous vehicles and mobility services are the forces driving diversity and change in the industry.

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Perhaps the key component to all of this “convergence” as Kaas described, is the improving range of electric vehicles. With the capability of traveling more than 200 miles on a charge becoming the benchmarks for the coming generation of EVs, it’s clear that EVs are going to become daily drivers not second cars meant to run back and forth on short errands. (more…)

VW Hints at Design of Upcoming EV Ahead of Paris Debut

Long-range EV could pose challenge to Tesla, GM.

by on Sep.23, 2016

Volkswagen plans to take the covers of several electric vehicles at the Paris Motor Show next month, but released sketches hinting at what's to come.

Volkswagen will come charging into the City of Lights next week, lifting the covers on its newest battery-electric vehicles.

Expected to deliver perhaps 300 miles or more of range, the maker is offering a vague hint of what will be revealed at the biennial Paris Motor Show with a set of sketches. They suggest the unnamed EV will be about the size of a Volkswagen Golf and could be targeted at a variety of electric competitors, anything from the BMW i3 to the upcoming Tesla Model 3, as well as the Chevrolet Bolt set to go sale before the end of this year.

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The German maker has traditionally relied on diesels, but in the wake of its emissions scandal it has been rapidly shifting into electric propulsion, as much as a quarter of its sales expected to come from battery-based models a decade from now. The new concept, says the maker, will be “as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago.” (more…)

Smart Plugs In with Next-Gen Fortwo Electric Drive

Fifth-generation battery microcar to debut in Paris next week.

by on Sep.23, 2016

Smart's next-generation Fortwo Electric Drive, or ED for short, is coming to the Paris Motor Show.

The Smart brand has long struggled to find a niche for its pint-sized Fortwo city car. It may make a better case with the arrival of the next-generation Electric Drive.

All but identical to the latest, gas-powered Smart Fortwo that made its debut last year, the Electric Drive, or ED, will be available in both coupe and cabriolet configurations when it reaches the U.S. market next year.

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“The smart is the ideal city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” said Annette Winkler, the global Smart brand boss. (more…)

Chevy Prices New Bolt EV at $37,495, Under $30k After Tax Credits

Maker beats Tesla Model 3 on range and availability.

by on Sep.20, 2016

Chevy says its 2017 Bolt EV will come in at $37,495 or just under $30k with government tax credits.

Chevrolet released the price on its new Bolt electric vehicle, coming in under the $37,500 before tax incentives executives had been suggesting for months: by $5. The new EV costs $37,495.

After the aforementioned government sweeteners, the Bolt will cost $29,995, according to Chevy officials. The new battery-powered car is the first to market for less than $30k with the ability to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge.

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The new Bolt will go 238 miles, which means it tops its chief competition in two ways: distance and availability. (more…)

Chevy Bolt Tops Tesla Model 3 with 238 Miles Range

New Detroit electric car also will be first to market.

by on Sep.13, 2016

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will get 238 miles on a single charge, the company revealed today.

The Tesla Model 3 may dominate the headlines, but the new Chevrolet Bolt battery-electric vehicle is meant to beat the Silicon Valley entry at its own game, Chevy today revealing its new model will not only be first into showrooms with an affordable price tag, but that the Bolt will travel at least 30 miles more on a charge.

At 238 miles, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will nearly match the distance comparable gasoline-powered hatchbacks can travel on a tank of fuel, though charging times will run longer than a fill-up.

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“The Bolt EV is a game changer for the electric car segment and it will start to become available at Chevrolet dealerships later this year,” said GM North America President Alan Batey, who added that Bolt has gone from “vision to a reality … in a few short months.” (more…)

It’s Getting Harder to Justify a Hybrid

Cheap gas, improved mileage offset one-time cost advantage over conventional vehicles.

by on Aug.26, 2016

The Toyota Prius hatchback no longer has a cost advantage over a similar gas model.

If you’re picking a new car, truck or crossover based on the bottom line, you may be in for a surprise, according to a new study. While hybrids tend to deliver better mileage than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, you may actually wind up spending more in the long run.

Less than one out of four of the 29 hybrids covered by consulting firm Vincentric’s U.S. Hybrid Ownership study actually had lower costs than comparable gas-powered models. Lower pump prices are certainly a factor, but other issues play into the equation – notably including the fact that the fuel efficiency of non-hybrid vehicles has been fast on the rise.

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Add the higher cost of hybrid models, said Vincentric President David Wurster, and “Hybrids … may be losing their competitive edge.” (more…)

VW Planning, Affordable 300-Plus Mile EV

Another threat to Tesla set to debut at Paris Motor Show.

by on Aug.18, 2016

Speculation about VW's commitment developing a viable EV platform may begin by moving the BUDD-e from concept to reality.

The Tesla Model 3, the battery-carmaker’s first affordable long-range EV, is still at least a year away from production, but it’s already facing a fast-growing list of competitors.

That’s set to include Volkswagen, apparently, the maker’s CEO told German news magazine Wirtschafts Woche that VW is planning a new electric vehicle that will deliver between 400 to 600 kilometers per charge, or 248 to 372 miles. That would be even more than what Tesla now delivers from the bigger, and much more expensive Model S.

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VW will show a version of the new battery-car at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, according to Diess. It will anchor an aggressive push into electrification by the embattled automaker. Diess previously revealed that Volkswagen plans to launch 30 new EVs by 2025, as well as new hybrids and plug-in models. (more…)

MIT Scholars Claim EVs Meet All of Driving Needs — Now

New study shows that 87% of driving could be handled by today's EVs.

by on Aug.17, 2016

According to a new MIT study, this is all the electric vehicle that Americans need.

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that uses information on driving habits from various urban areas, GPS data and daily energy usage indicates that electric vehicles could handle 87% of the driving needs of the American public.

MIT developed a model that combined information from expansive travel surveys with high-resolution GPS data to estimate the energy requirements of personal vehicle trips across the U.S.

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“We find that the energy requirements of 87% of vehicle-days could be met by an existing, affordable electric vehicle. This percentage is markedly similar across diverse cities, even when per capita gasoline consumption differs significantly,” according to an abstract published in the journal Nature Energy. (more…)

EV Charging Companies Demanding Watchdog for Volkswagen

Companies concerned VW can tip competitive balance.

by on Aug.10, 2016

Some companies are concerned that VW's $2 billion infrastructure investment for zero-emissions vehicles could change competitive balance among EV charging companies.

Volkswagen’s about-face embracing electronic vehicles was seen by many as a move to improve the company’s image in the aftermath of the diesel emissions scandal. However, could the company benefit from the diesel scandal? EV companies are lining up to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Part of the German automaker’s $14.7 billion settlement calls for it invest $2 billion into – $1.2 billion nationwide and $800 million in California – into zero-emissions infrastructure. Much of that is likely to go into charging stations for EVs.

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However, there’s a problem: that could mean they can influence whatever chargers get installed, and that’s a big problem is your company is on the outside looking in when it comes to the selection process. (more…)