Electric car startup GreenTech Automotive, which set up a factory in Horn Lake, Mississippi to manufacturer their low speed neighborhood EV called MyCar, is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the way it solicited foreign investors. GreenTech Automotive was co-founded by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. McAuliffe resigned as chairman of GreenTech in late 2012 when he started his campaign. Read More >
Category: Electric Vehicles
At simultaneous events in London, Beijing and New York City, BMW publicly unveiled a new 3. It’s not the latest version of it’s segment defining 3 Series luxury sports sedan, though, it’s the i3, the first electric car from the Bavarian automaker. Comparing the auto industry to the rapid changes in century old telephone industry brought about by the cellphone, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said from New York, “The car industry has waited well over a century for its own revolution. Today the wait is over. What the mobile phone did for communication, electric mobility will do for individual mobility.” The i3 is intended to address two issues close to today’s consumers, particularly young consumers about to reach peak earning years, sustainability and connectivity. Reithofer predicted, “We are at the starting-blocks of a new era — the era of sustainable mobility.” He promised that the i3 and other EVs will will do for individual mobility what the mobile phone has done for personal communication. BMW has trademarked i0 through i9, and it is expected that eventually BMW will sell a full line of electrically powered cars. The i8 sports car, concepts of which have been shown in both coupe and roadster formats, will go on sale late next year. Read More >
As GM starts rolling out the Chevolet Spark EV, starting in eco-friendly California and Oregon, Automotive News has a look at the marketing challenges the newest electrified car from America’s largest car company. AN raises the issue of GM’s electrification strategy, which is focused on battery electrics, not conventional hybrids, and the sui generis Chevy Volt. While hybrid sales this year are up, EV sales continue to be lukewarm which has resulted in significant price cuts on cars that run on batteries: $4,000 off the price of the Ford Focus Electric, $6,400 off the price of a Nissan Leaf, and GM itself started offering a cash rebate of $4,000 last month on 2013 Chevy Volts.
Nissan and Renault co-CEO Carlos Ghosn still sees a future in the electric car, it’s the European market that doesn’t have great prospects of a turn-around as far as Ghosn is concerned. Read More >
(or, the interior monologue of a tech geek thinking about buying an overpriced electric car)
Those of you wondering exactly how Tesla’s battery swap technology works, here’s your answer. The fully automated system, said to be akin to a carwash, supposedly takes just 90 seconds. To prove the point, Tesla did a side-by-side comparison with an Audi A8 at a fuel pump. It should be noted that the A8 has an enormous 23.8 gallon tank. As Bertel points out, the battery swap system isn’t cheap – but for the folks who are buying a Model S anyways, it’s not a big deal.
Now that Better Place went belly-up, Tesla joined the battery-swapping lifestyle. As promised, Tesla unveiled a system to swap battery packs in its electric cars. According to Reuters, Tesla “will roll out the battery-swapping stations later this year, beginning along the heavily-traveled route between Los Angeles and San Francisco and then in the Washington-to-Boston corridor.” Read More >
If TTAC would headline “Doldrums in U.S. electric car sales could linger indefinitely,” we’d come under screeching attacks by electric propulsion proponents, screaming “bias,” “slow newsday,” and “faux news,” along with choice invectives that would overpower our bad word filter. Well, we are sorry to disturb the peace again, but before the screeching starts, be advised that it’s not our headline. The headline is from buttoned-down Reuters. The wire doubts EVs will become a serious factor anytime soon, despite rounds of aggressive pricing.
Yesterday, battery acolytes who hate to see stories of EV makers going bankrupt complained about a TTAC story of another EV maker going bankrupt. They said the story was unfair, because Miles Electric made electric essential services vehicles, used for parking enforcement and the like, whereas bankrupt EV makers such as Coda tried to sell real cars,so where’s the connection?
Our story actually went to great pains trying to explain this promising niche, in an attempt to say “well, if it doesn’t work here, where will it?”
Wire services such as Reuters are less subtle. Read More >
The electric vehicle revolution has eaten another one of its children. “U.S. electric car manufacturer Miles Electric Vehicles filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early on Tuesday, court documents showed, highlighting the difficulties faced by battery-powered vehicles in gaining wide market acceptance,” says Reuters. Read More >
Tesla’s Elon Musk found someone to blame for the lackluster sales of EVs, and the death of some EV makers: Car dealers, and their National Automobile Dealers Association NADA.
“The auto dealers association is definitely creating some problems for us, making it harder to get things done,” Musk said at Tesla’s shareholder meeting with Reuters taking notes. Tesla wants to sell its cars directly to consumers, which is against the law in most states. Attempts to have the law changed “met stiff resistance from dealer groups around the country,” Reuters says. Musk keeps trying. Read More >
New and current Honda Fit EV customers can look forward to a reduction in their lease costs.