Well good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are in the world, hello and welcome to the Thursday 5th July edition of EV News Daily. It’s Martyn Lee here with the news you need to know about electric cars and the move towards sustainable transport.
BLOGGER QUESTIONS TESLA SAFETY
I've stayed away from this story because it's largely a non-story but Elon Musk got involved today so just a quick mention.
Background: some blogger on the internet says they have proof Tesla are skipping brake tests, ergo safety is compromised, it's the end of the world.
By the way, in this country I don't know about where you live, if I libel a company they have every right to sue me. If someone is going to question something as fundamental as safety you'd hope they have their facts straight. Lo and behold, over the next 24 hours, news outlets large and small start to quote this blogger and the story snowballs.
Tesla spokesperson Dave Arnold pointed out that this particular test was made redundant because the company drives every Model 3 on its test track. Part of that test is not only brakes but also alignment and to ensure the car is safe and ready for delivery. It's the way the Model S and Model X are made, and this other test was only added because the Model 3 was a new line. I'd use the phrase 'belt and braces' - in other words they were double checking their work and now that's been verified as fine, they can use the normal test track brake tests.
Tesla said "Every car we build goes through rigorous quality checks and must meet exacting specifications, including brake test. There are no exceptions."
Elon speculated today that the original internet commentator, who has form in writing negative articles about Tesla, might have other intentions rather than investigative journalism.
Ultimately, nobody ever built a statue of an art critic, but always the artist. Elon is busy changing the world with incredible products and I'm surprised people can write for an organisation and say whatever they want. Like I say, here I would be sued and any company I was working for could be liable to a financial penalty too unless it was fair comment or true.
TESLA COULD JOIN V2G PARTY
Nissan seem to single-handedly moving towards Vehicle To Grid (V2G) technology. In Japan it has been an option for a while even though Nissan made a big deal about it on the new 40kWh LEAF, earlier models have been capable, but only Japanese Utility Companies made use of it.
But now Tesla could join the. A twitter user Cody Walker asked Elon about it and he replied: "Very early on, we had the ability to use the car as a battery outputting power. Maybe worth revisiting that."
I'd said in the past my first thought it always those who are grandfathered onto free lifetime supercharging. How could you stop people charging a a 100kWh battery for free and then using it to run your house for free? If it could be solved somehow that would be the first hurdle to overcome.
Simon at Teslarati has more background from 2016 which I didn't know: ""Ben Hill, Tesla’s vice president for energy in Europe and Africa back in 2016, for one, mentioned that vehicle-to-grid systems would be introduced and be functional “very, very soon,” according to an Inverse report. According to Hill then, V2G technology is quite promising, though it still needs some fine-tuning."
We know from the crowdsourced studies of Model S owners that the 18650 cells using in the Model S batteries are holding up well to degradation, which might give people more confidence, because charging and discharging to run your house would put your car battery through more life cycles.
And from a grid point of view, storing energy to use at peak times or storing energy when renewables are at their peak not only reinforces the power grid, it actually helps lower prices overall. And it cleans up the grid too.
YOU CAN NOW CONFIGURE A POLESTAR 1
net reports that: "We’re still a way away from the Polestar 1 – the first production car from Volvo’s standalone brand – actually going in to production in China, but things are moving forward for Polestar’s first car. The Polestar 1, a 600hp plug-in hybrid coupe, is heading for the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week for its dynamic debut, when we’ll get some idea how the combination of a pair of electric motors at the back and a boosted 2.0 litre petrol at the front performs."
And that's another bit of awesome news I never knew because I'll be at Goodwood on Friday 13th July.
"Polestar has put a configurator for the car live on their site, although it’s not the most comprehensive we’ve seen. You can choose from a total of six exterior colours, a trio of alloys, chrome or black brightwork and an interior in black with either charcoal or zinc seats. And that’s about it. Whatever you opt for, Polestar will then tell you it’s a great spec and invite you fill in your details and divvy up a €2,500 deposit to secure a pre-order" according to CarsUK, I'll put a full link in the show notes.
BATTERY SWAPS COULD COME BACK
Back in the day Elon and Tesla once thought battery swaps were the future. So much so the Model S was designed for it, service centres were equipped for it, and nobody ever did it. And that's awesome because they tried it but it wasn't used. Better that than not try something because you don't want to ever be wrong. Well now maybe that wasn't a crazy idea because the Chinese are giving it a go.
"Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., the Chinese electric-car maker preparing for a stock-market listing, is starting a battery-swap service to reduce customers’ range anxiety and keep up with similar offerings from rivals." reports Bloomberg: "The company will sell a version of its EV300 compact car for 79,800 yuan ($12,000) that allows users to change battery as often as they want for a monthly fee of 432 yuan, Zheng Gang, general manager of BJEV, as the unit of BAIC Group is known, said on the outskirts of Beijing on Thursday. BJEV plans to set up 100 battery-swap stations in Beijing this year, and one change operation lasts 2 minutes and 46 seconds, according to the company. As part of the new program, BJEV gives users an option to sell their car back at half of the original price within three years."
BRITS LOVE KOREAN CARS
"Britons buy more South Korean cars than any other European country, new figures have revealed." reports Rob Hull for This Is Money: "The 190,215 South Korean cars bought by Britons last year accounted for almost one in 13 (7.5 per cent) new models registered in 2017.
And with the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro EV's on sale by the end of the year they know they will sell as many as they can make.
BRITISH GOLFER BAGS BMW I8 ROADSTER AFTER HOLE-IN-ONE
And Sam Burnett at Motor1 has an awesome story of a one lucky golfer. "For most golfers, a hole-in-one would be enough excitement to last for a little while, but 23-year-old Aaron Rai managed to bag himself a BMW i8 Roadster as well when he sank the ball first time out on the 16th hole at the BMW International Open in Germany last week."
You often see these things, like a car on offer for a hole in one. I've organised something similar and these things are sometimes what is called an insured prize. You put up a $100k car and pay an insurance company something like $5k, after they assess the risk of the hole in one. The car isn't won, you're covered and you write off that $5k in marketing exposure.
Unless of course someone does win! "The firm’s hole-in-one award seems to have been a dangerous promise for the company to have made – this is the fourth car the Munich-based carmaker has given away since starting its sponsorship of the event back in 2012."
LONDON'S FAMOUS BLACK CABS HEAD TO BERLIN
"London's iconic black cab could soon be plying for fares on the streets of Berlin. The London Electric Vehicle Company, which is Chinese-owned, was set to unveil its plug-in hybrid TX model at an event in the German capital on Thursday." according to the London Evening Standard Newspaper: "Today’s German launch marks six months since the emissions-free TX was launched in Britain after being certified by Transport for London’s test centre."
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