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Nissan Looking to Sell Battery Manufacturing Operations

Panasonic reportedly one possible buyer.

by on Aug.08, 2016

The Nissan Leaf has been the world's best-selling battery car since its late 2009 launch.

Nissan Motor Co. is reportedly looking to sell its battery manufacturing operations, with Panasonic Corp. considered the most likely buyer.

Japan’s second-largest automaker has made a major bet on electric vehicles, but, with the market for battery cars running slower than expected, it is seeking to unload its 51% stake in the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, or AESC, joint venture. The likely buyer, according to a report by the Reuter’s news service is Panasonic, which is the partner in Tesla’s Gigafactory battery plant in Reno, Nevada.

Power Up!

“The report on Nissan and its battery business is speculation and is not based on any announcement by us,” David Reuter, a senior company spokesman, told TheDetroitBureau.com. But he also noted that the maker will “continuously evaluate our business strategy in pursuit of optimal products and business structure.”

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Better Late Than Never: Chevy Volt Sales Finally Hit 100,000 Mark

Tesla Model S outselling Volt despite rising sales.

by on Aug.01, 2016

Chevy hit a milestone: it recently took an order for the 100,000th Volt.

Chevrolet is marking an important milestone, General Motors’ biggest brand taking an order for the 100,000th Volt plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

The Chevy Volt has been one of the world’s top-selling plug-based vehicles ever since its launch in December 2010, but tempering any celebration is the fact that the Volt hasn’t come close to meeting the brand’s once-ambitious sales targets. At one point, GM officials were hoping to deliver as many as 40,000 of the vehicles annually in the U.S. alone.

The Journal of Record!

“Not only is the Volt a class-creator, it serves as the foundation of a Chevrolet electric family that will soon add the first long-range, affordable EV available to customers across the U.S., the Chevrolet Bolt EV,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers, in a statement. (more…)

Chevrolet Volt Plugs into the Battery Car Sales Lead

Nissan Leaf loses momentum despite increased range.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The second-gen Chevy Volt got a new, roomier design, better performance and longer EV-mode range.

After seemingly coming unplugged, the newly redesigned Chevrolet Volt has charged into the U.S. sales lead among plug-based vehicles, overtaking long-time rival Nissan Leaf.

That’s based on the likelihood that at least 10% of the demand for the Tesla Model S has come from abroad through the end of May, a strong likelihood considering the long-range electric sedan now is being marketed in a number of countries, including China and the European Union.

Green Tech!

Even factoring out those overseas sales, and with a number of manufacturers not yet breaking out May battery-car numbers, there’s good reason for EV advocates to celebrate. After taking a tumble last year in the wake of a sharp downturn in gas prices, sales of plug-based vehicles have been recharged in recent month.

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Tesla Costs Likely to Rise as Incentives End

Few, if any Model 3 buyers will qualify for $7,500 tax credit.

by on Apr.06, 2016

Tesla buyers may no longer qualify for federal tax credits by the time the Model 3 reaches showrooms.

When the Tesla Model 3 finally goes into production, in late 2017 or early 2018, buyers might be in for an unpleasantly costly surprise – one that fall particularly hard on customers who were hoping to get that new battery sedan at a relatively affordable price.

American motorists buying the carmaker’s two current products, the Models S and X, stand to receive federal tax credits of $7,500. Industry analysts say that incentive has helped draw many buyers into the battery-car market. But under federal guidelines, those givebacks might be gone before the first Tesla Model 3 hits the road.

Your Auto Insider!

When Congress passed the measure aimed at spurring demand for battery-based vehicles – including both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – lawmakers set a cap on those incentives, limiting them to just the first 200,000 vehicles sold by a particular automaker.

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Nissan and Renault Set to Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

“The future is not clear,” says CEO Ghosn.

by on Mar.24, 2016

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in NY.

Already the world’s number one producer of battery-electric vehicles, Japan’s Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault intend to become the leader in autonomous driving, as well – CEO Carlos Ghosn telling a New York International Auto Show audience the partners intend to offer 10 vehicles with “significant autonomous drive functionality” by 2020.

According to Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to roll out increasingly advanced version of its technology over the next four years, starting with cars capable of operating hands-free in a single lane on limited-access highways. The next step will allow vehicles to pass and change lanes, with the alliance’s first, fully autonomous car set to go into production by 2020.

Auto Show News!

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious” about changing technology, said Ghosn, who added that traditional automakers face a series of potential challenges, some posed by an assortment of outside tech companies like Google and Apple.

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Nissan Disables Leaf App to Lock Out Hackers

Researchers warn of vulnerability in remote control app.

by on Feb.25, 2016

Nissan increased the range of the 2016 Leaf.

Nissan has temporarily disabled a smartphone app designed to allow owners of the Leaf battery-electric vehicle to remotely operate various functions, such as the vehicle’s charging and climate control system.

The problem is that the app, known as NissanConnect EV, could enable hackers to access the vehicle, as well, simply by getting hold of a Leaf’s vehicle identification number, or VIN.

Security!

In a blog post, Nissan said the move allows the estimated 200,000 Leaf owners worldwide to “continue to use their cars safely and with total confidence. The only functions that are affected are those controlled via the mobile phone – all of which are still available to be used manually, as with any standard vehicle.”

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Nissan Considering Extended-Range Hybrid

But despite reports, high-mileage model not locked down for production.

by on Dec.14, 2015

A Nissan E-REV could use a production version of the Sway concept first shown in Geneva.

Nissan is giving serious thought to bringing to market an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV. But despite widespread reports, the battery-based vehicle is not yet locked down for production.

Rumors began flying after an Australian publication interviewed Yoshi Shimoida, the deputy general manager of Nissan’s EV and HEV engineering unit. He told Motoring magazine the Japanese maker is working on “something like” the BMW i3 REx, an extended range version of the Bavarian maker’s electric city car.

We Keep You Plugged In!

Shimoida also stressed that this would be an entirely new model, and not a modified version of the Nissan Leaf – which is expected to offer a much longer-range battery when a second-generation model comes to market in the next couple years.

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GM Plugging in a Potential Game-Changer

New Chevy Bolt expected to see huge drop in battery costs.

by on Nov.11, 2015

The Chevy Bolt shown during its January 2015 debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

When it comes to electric vehicles, it’s all about the batteries. They determine range, charging time, performance and, of course, price. And the longer the range the higher the price tag.

But General Motors believes it’s close to the proverbial paradigm shift as it gets ready to bring its new long-range Chevrolet Bolt to market. The 200-mile battery-electric vehicle is expected to have the lowest-priced batteries available, breaking a target price many experts didn’t anticipate could be reached for at least five more years.

In the Know!

“We’re going to be at $145 a kilowatt-hour when we launch the Bolt,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development director, during a lunchtime interview.

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Autonomous Cars Will Soon Rule the Road, Predicts Tesla’s Musk

Owning a conventional car “will be like owning a horse.”

by on Nov.05, 2015

Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts an autonomous car is in almost everyone's future.

Autonomous cars are coming fast, predicts Tesla Motors’ founder, CEO and resident visionary. And they will dominate the roads well before we reach the midpoint of the 21st Century, he predicts.

Tesla is taking a first step in that direction with the ongoing roll-out of its semi-autonomous Autopilot program, which will allow the owner of a Model S sedan or Model X sport-utility vehicle to cruise along hands-free on a well-marked, limited-access highway.

We'll do the Work for You!

Within 15 to 20 years, Musk said during a conference call, it will become “quite unusual to see cars that don’t have full autonomy.” It’s a position some, but by no means all, of Tesla’s competitors share.

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Nissan Holding Course on Autonomous, Electric Vehicles, Says CEO Ghosn

Chief exec warns of “disruptors” that could transform the auto industry.

by on Sep.15, 2015

Autonomous vehicle technology will reach the market in "waves," says Nissan CEO Ghosn.

Japanese automaker Nissan has no intention of backing down on either its plans to sell electric vehicles or its push to be one of, if not the, first automaker to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the market, CEO Carlos Ghosn said during a Frankfurt Motor Show meeting with reporters.

Nissan was the first automaker to go mainstream with a pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, the Leaf. And it is pushing to have a fully autonomous vehicle in production by 2020, with a series of less advanced technologies coming out in “waves,” said Ghosn, over the next five years.

Tech Know-How!

Autonomous technology “won’t come all of a sudden,” stressed the Brazilian-born executive. “We will have waves” of more and more capable systems starting next year.

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