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Electric Vehicles Buoyed by a Backlog and Fresh Air

(Bloomberg) — As Covid-19 crunches car sales globally, a backlog of orders have helped electric vehicles maintain momentum in much of the world —better than gas-powered cars and trucks. 

© Bloomberg Porsche automobiles make part of an installation outside the Porsche AG factory in Stuttgart, Germany, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Sports-car maker Porsche AG intends to offer more green debt to support its 6 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) investment in electric vehicles.

Even in March, as pandemic lockdowns swept the globe, sales of battery-powered vehicles—including plug-in hybrids—surged in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The demand, however, is somewhat synthetic. European emissions targets will rise considerably this year and automakers who don’t meet them will face steep fines for the first time. Passenger cars in Europe are required to reduce carbon emissions by roughly one quarter compared with levels of two years ago—between 4% and 6% of cars sold in Europe this year will have to be battery-powered in order to hit the new CO2 targets. 

Consequently, many brands have pushed electric vehicles more aggressively in recent months and held back some 2019 orders so that they would count towards 2020 mandates, according to BNEF analyst Colin McKerracher. Drivers in Europe’s three largest car markets — Germany, France and the UK — bought 46,052 electric vehicles as the pandemic deepened in March, almost double the amount in the year-earlier period.

As Bloomberg News reported on April 15, Volkswagen AG’s efforts to revive production outside China will start next week at its electric car factory in Zwickau, Germany. In a LinkedIn post the same day, VW CEO Herbert Diess stressed the importance of the ID.3 electric hatchback that will be made in Zwickau. “My new working week starts together with Thomas Ulbrich at the wheel of a Volkswagen ID.3—our most important project to meet the European CO2-targets in 2020 and 2021,” Diess wrote.

The coronavirus has underscored the environmental damage of vehicle emissions. Covid-19 fatality rates have been linked to air quality. Sheltering restrictions and lockdowns have emptied once-busy streets and idled industrial factories, resulting in cleaner air in some of the world’s densest, dirtiest cities. In New York and other cities in the Northeastern U.S., NASA says air pollution has dropped by 30% in recent weeks. So politicians crafting aid packages to prop up their economies will likely focus on supporting green technology. 

McKerracher says EV adoption rates could ultimately hold steady this year or even rise. “Longer term, I think the pressure to electrify road transport only rises from here,” McKerracher said. “People will be angry that action wasn’t taken sooner.” 

The short-term picture, though, remains grim for the auto industry at large. Analysts are predicting a large decline in overall vehicle sales this year. In the U.S. alone, automakers should brace for the virus to gobble up $100 million to $300 million in 2020 revenue, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tynan. By comparison, the industry garnered $161 billion in sales in the second quarter of 2019.

In addition to rattled consumers, greener vehicles are coming up against some of the cheapest gas prices in years. As of mid-April, the average gallon of gas was selling for $1.83 in the U.S., 25% lower than prices just two months ago.

(Adds information about Volkswagen resuming some electric vehicle production in the fourth paragraph and government incentives in the fifth paragraph.)

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/electric-vehicles-buoyed-by-a-backlog-and-fresh-air/ar-BB12JlKd

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Ford Mustang Mach-E gets small power bump as it gets closer to production

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is apparently getting a small power bump as it gets closer to production, according to a document given to dealerships.

In November 2019, Ford unveiled the Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover and Ford’s first all-electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up.

The vehicle was mostly well-received and the automaker started taking $500 reservationsseparately for each option level. Ford has quickly sold out of the “First Edition.”

Now the vehicle is getting closer to production, and Ford has updated the specs, according to a document sent to dealerships.

A member of the Mach-E forum obtained a document from Ford’s dealer training site that shows new power capacity for different versions of the Mach E compared to what the automaker previously announced:

Here are all the updated power specs of the Ford Mustang Mach-E:

  • RWD Standard Range Mach-E:
    • 266 hp / 317 lb-ft / 198 kW​
    • (+11 hp, +11 lb-ft, +8 kW from original specs)​
  • RWD Extended Range Mach-E:
    • 290 hp / 317 lb-ft / 216 kW​
    • (+8 hp, +11 lb-ft, +6 kW from original specs)​
  • AWD Standard Range Mach-E:
    • 266 hp / 428 lb-ft / 198 kW​
    • (+11 hp, +11 lb-ft, +8 kW from original specs)​
  • AWD Extended Range Mach-E:
    • 346 hp / 428 lb-ft / 258 kW​
    • (+14 hp, +11 lb-ft, +10 kW from original specs)​

We contacted Ford about the document and asked about the new specs. We will update if we get an answer.

The automaker is still moving forward with its production for later this year.

Earlier this month, we reported on how Mustang Mach-E engineers are working at home to keep the electric SUV on schedule.

Mustang Mach-E starts at $43,895, not including an available $7,500 federal tax incentive; with it, the entry-level price is even more attractive for an all-electric SUV.

Ford says that deliveries will begin in late 2020. The first deliveries are expected in Europe and the US in October.

Source : https://electrek.co/2020/04/14/ford-mustang-mach-e-power-bump-closer-production/

Elon Musk: Tesla Cybertruck will have to be wrapped for different colors and patterns Fred Lambert


Tesla Cybertruck is going to have to be wrapped in order to get different colors and patterns, according to a new comment from CEO Elon Musk.

When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck last year, one of the most surprising features, aside from the design, was the fact that the frame of the vehicle is actually the body of the pickup truck.

Tesla is folding “ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel” into the structure and the body of the vehicle:

“Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.”

Not having stamped body panels offer several advantages.

Tesla writes:

“If there was something better, we’d use it. Help eliminate dents, damage and long-term corrosion with a smooth monochrome exoskeleton that puts the shell on the outside of the car and provides you and your passengers maximum protection.”

However, it complicates painting the vehicle – though it is possible. There are ways to process steel in order to give it different colors.

When Tesla launched the Cybertruck last year, the automaker only unveiled an unpainted prototype with the exposed gray metal stainless steel.

Musk suggested that Tesla could offer the electric pickup truck in different color and even hinted at matte black, but the CEO now says that the Tesla Cybertruck is going to need to be wrapped in order to be offered in different colors:Brandon Bernicky@brandonbernicky · Replying to @elonmusk

Here you can check out the Tesla Cybertruck in beautiful different colors.

It’s unclear if Tesla plans to offer wrapping as a factory option or through its service centers, but it sounds unlikely at this point with Musk saying that “you will be able to wrap it.”

Here you can check out the Tesla Cybertruck in beautiful different colors.

Electrek’s Take

There’s been speculation that Tesla could offer the Cybertruck in different colors with chemical coloring, but it sounds unlikely at this point.

A wrap makes sense, but it can be expensive. I like the idea of Tesla offering it.

The company could figure out how to offer it at a lower cost with higher-volume by increasing the time of install, which reduces work hours, and pre-cut wrap parts.

However, I understand why Tesla wouldn’t want to get into this completely different business of wrapping cars and all the headaches that come with it.

There are plenty of companies that are very good at wrapping cars, but again, it’s not cheap.

What do you think? Would you wrap your Tesla Cybertruck? If so, which color? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source : https://electrek.co/2020/04/14/tesla-cybertruck-wrap-colors-patterns-elon-musk/

Tesla’s next killer app: solar power on its electric cars – starting with Cybertruck

Fred Lambert

– Mar. 31st 2020 7:16 pm ET

@FredericLambert

Solar power on electric cars has yet to become a common feature, but Tesla is about to change that – starting with the Cybertruck electric pickup.

We’ve discussed solar roofs on electric vehicles before, most recently with the one on the latest Prius Prime, but the recurring problem is that they rarely generate enough power to be worth it.

For example, we estimated that the solar cells on the Prius Prime’s roof could generate enough power to add about ~2 miles of range during the day. And of course, that’s highly dependent on where you are in the world and where you park your car.

However, solar power technology has been improving greatly and it is increasingly starting to make more sense.

There are even startups, like Sono Motors and Lightyear, developing electric vehicles mainly powered through onboard solar power.

Tesla CEO Elon has been looking into the idea for years.

In 2017, he said that he pushed his Tesla engineers to look into integrating solar cells on Model 3, but they concluded that it wasn’t worth it at the time.

Two years later, things have changed.

After the launch of the Cybertruck, Musk said that Tesla’s new electric pickup truck will have a solar roof option that will add 15 miles of range per day.

It’s the first time that a solar roof system has been confirmed to be coming to a Tesla vehicle.

Tesla has yet to open the configurator for the Cybertruck and therefore, we don’t know the price or availability of the solar roof feature for the Cybertruck.

The automaker is aiming to release the Cybertruck in late 2021 and we expect to have more details about the options for the pickup truck by then.

Electrek’s Take

I think this is going to be a game-changer and Tesla’s new “killer app” so to speak.

Like a lot of new features that Tesla introduces, I believe Tesla is first going to launch it in the Cybertruck as a differentiating feature (not that Cybertruck needs more of those) and later leverage its experience with the solar roof to introduce it to other cars.

Cybertruck is ideal for the first vehicle to receive the product from Tesla since it has more surface area to embed solar cells and therefore, it’s easier to achieve more energy generation.

One of the problems with solar cars is making them look good with solar cells. I know not everyone cares about what a car looks like, but I can assure you that it is a big deal for a lot of people, especially in premium segments, like Tesla vehicles.

Tesla is already building a lot of experience in making solar cells look good with its Solarglass roof tiles.

They can likely take some of the expertise working on Solarglass for the solar roof for cars.

Solarglass is not the only experience that will be useful to build the new feature. Tesla is also employing dozens of engineers who have experience working on solar cars as part of the popular Solar Car Challenges between engineering schools.

Once it’s deployed on Cybertruck, they will gain more experience with the feature and as the efficiency of the solar cell improves, I believe that Tesla is going to start releasing the feature on other electric vehicles.

In conclusion, there have been other solar roof systems on cars before, but they have been more of a gimmick than anything else. I think Tesla is in a great position to take the feature to a whole new level – starting with the Cybertruck, but also with other vehicles after.

That said, I want to make it clear that if you are a homeowner and you want to power your electric vehicle with solar power, it’s still a better solution to have a solar array at home and charge your vehicle with that.

However, as electric vehicles become mainstream, more people who live in condos and apartments are buying them and a solar power system on the car itself could be a good way for them to at least partly power their car with solar.

It’s also a fun feature to have for adventure vehicles like the Cybertruck and also a potentially very efficient feature to have for larger vehicles with a lot of surface, like Tesla Semi.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Source : https://electrek.co/2020/03/31/tesla-next-killer-app-solar-power-electric-car-cybertruck/