15 June 2018 | Nissan ePower For USA and Europe, EVgo Upgrades California Chargers and 1bn Investment For Renault EVs
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Hello and welcome to the Friday 15th June 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.
MORE JAGUAR I-PACE REVIEWS
Do you remember a week or so ago, the first batch of I-PACE reviews hit the net from the largest video and magazine channels. Now it seems the next wave of website this time have had their time in the car, as it seemed another set of reviews all appeared today.
Starting with Seth writing for Electrek, one of 20 writers at the event: "I noticed that I was one of the only folks with any EV experience. While its 240-mile 400HP AWD electric drivetrain certainly screams SUV, its actual body shape, internal space and ride make it feel more like a sedan. If anything, it feels closest to a Tesla Model 3 inside, especially with its glass roof, but that’s beyond a stretch. Jaguar has beautiful and tasteful buttons, knobs and a small screen while Tesla’s spartan interior UI is simply a large touch screen with two simple knobs on the steering wheel. The official charging rate of the I-PACE is 100kW but I was told that a future OTA software update could push charging to over 110kW, closer to 120kW No one is going to mistake the I-PACE for a Tesla unless they are fresh out of ideas and need some clickbait." I'm sure if you tune into the Electrek podcast there will be a lot of chat about it.
Engadget: "One of the most important addition is support for over-the-air updates. While a majority of the features in the I-Pace are cribbed from other Jags and Land Rovers, this one is clearly borrowed from Tesla. Musk's company set a precedent with its OTA updates and it's good to see other automakers following suit. Consumers are used to seeing their other tech devices update without having to visit a service center, there's no reason the biggest computer they own shouldn't do it as well."
ArsTechnica: "The Jaguar I-Pace might just be the most significant new car we'll drive this year. Heat management was a key concern, and there are actually three separate cooling systems: one for the cabin, one for the battery, and a third just for the control electronics. The batteries are happiest at between 30C and 40C. Under the European WLTP cycle, the I-Pace has been rated at 400km of range. The more accurate EPA test the US uses hasn't been completed yet, but Jaguar says you should get at least 240 miles from a full charge. As with every other EV we've tested, you can change the I-Pace's regenerative braking setting between high and low. Set to high, you can really drive it with just the accelerator pedal, as it will decelerate with a vigor when you lift your foot (up to 0.4G in fact). Active Sound Design. Set to Calm, the car's speakers will, in addition to playing music or the radio, add some active noise cancellation to increase the serenity of your journey. But you can also go a different route by setting the slider to Dynamic. This augments those normal EV sounds with a bit more oomph as you floor it. I'm hard pressed to describe the sound, which falls somewhere between a turbine and a growl. Sure, it's artificial, but it's also kind of awesome."
RENAULT INVEST IN EV PRODUCTION
"Renault will invest more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to increase electric vehicle production capacity in France and add new models, the carmaker said on Thursday" according to Reuters: "The Zoe production line in Flins, west of Paris, will double its maximum output with the battery-powered subcompact’s next upgrade, the company said in a statement, and its northern Douai factory will tool up to build electric cars on a new architecture shared with Japanese affiliate Nissan."
Renault Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn: "“The acceleration of our investments in France for electric vehicles will increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of our French industrial sites”.
The Cleon plant will triple its electric motor production capacity, while Maubeuge in eastern France receives tooling investment for the next Kangoo van including its electric version, Renault said.
RENAULT JOINS E-VIA FLEX-E FAST-CHARGING PROJECT
Meanwhile, Electrans has more news on Renault as they've: "partnered with a number of European utilities and international car makers to join the E-VIA FLEX-E project, an initiative to expand high-power charging facilities across the continent."
"The extra-urban network will comprise high-power stations with a capacity of between 150kW and 350kW, located along motorways and expressways. Alongside Renault and Enel, partners include EDF, Enedis and Verbund, Nissan and Ibil, a Spanish company which specialises in EV charging services."
Autonews go on to say: "the E-VIA FLEX-E network will join that of the EVA+ (Electric Vehicles Arteries) project, also co-financed by the European Commission, which will support 180 fast charging points (Fast Recharge Plus) built over three years along Italian extra-urban corridors. The first 40 Fast stations have already been installed along the Rome-Milan route, among others. Italy alone expects to install 7,000 stations across the country by 2020, doubled to 14,000 this by 2022."
NISSAN COULD BRING EPOWER TO EUROPE
One of the regional variations around the world is the ePower drivetrain Nissan use in Japan. It first appeared on the small minivan Nissan Note and in both 2017, and in Q1 of this year, it's Japan's best selling vehicle. In fact 70% of all Note's are driven by ePower.
And now Nissan is contemplating bringing ePower to the European market.
Nissan could just move forward with pure electrics, after all they have the World's most popular EV in the LEAF which have 300,000 on the roads. But all car makers have more than one eye on the impending European CO2 targets which come into force from 2020, and are based on the emissions of the entire fleet of cars you sell.
But what is ePower? It's most similar the range extender tech in the BMW i3 which everyone understands but it's subtly different. The car comes with a small gas engine which can work in it's optimal rev range all the time so it's most efficient, and works as a generator to charge a battery. You never plug it in because there is no plug.
“We can do a 48-volt mild hybrid, or we can do a plug-in hybrid, but what is most interesting right now is the success we have had with ePower technology,” Ponz Pandikuthira, vice president of product planning, told Automotive News Europe.“ePower in Japan makes more money than Note made before we launched ePower. It’s an economies-of-scale thing,” he said. “It’s a very favorable equation. That is why we need to invest in this technology and bring it to markets outside of Japan.” Nissan has said it will bring ePower to the U.S., likely as an option on higher-end vehicles. The technology also will form a big part of Nissan’s electrification of the Infiniti line-up in 2021.
Even though you put dinosaurs into it and not electrons, it's up to 15% more efficient than a diesel under the new WLTP testing.
I think this is very interesting technology, and could strike a chord with buyers as Toyota are doing the groundwork with their advertising campaigns for their soft hybrids, but telling buyers they sell electric cars which charge themselves. Perhaps as a stop gap, i can see this technology working. And the fact it's so much cheaper for car makers makes me think they might try to push it - as the battery always drives the wheel plus the battery is smaller.
However saying that, and looking at the rapidly changing economics of batteries, i can see it being a technology which ends up not being needed. If the costs keep coming down, at cell level and battery pack level, pure EV's will be cheaper than any other form of propulsion.
EVGO UPGRADES MORE THAN 20 FAST CHARGERS
EVgo say they're making the electric vehicle charging experience as easy as possible for all drivers, and today's news is that they have added additional capacity at 21 California stations, meaning EVgo's network can power even more EVs.
All of their new chargers have dual-standards, both CHAdeMO and CCS Combo at each station. 10 in San Francisco, 5 in San Diego, and 6 in L.A.
Cathy Zoi, CEO of EVgo says "The old world is changing, and EVgo is rapidly expanding our network of over 1000 public fast chargers across the US so that more Americans can choose a better way to drive."
CCS Combo connectors are used by the Chevrolet Bolt, BMW i3, and numerous other existing and forthcoming EV models from North American, European, and Asian auto manufacturers. CHAdeMO connectors are commonly used by the Nissan LEAF, Kia Soul EV, and (with an adaptor) Tesla vehicles. The 21 station upgrades from EVgo throughout California now have the capabilities to charge EVs using either CHAdeMO or CCS Combo connectors at both chargers.
Find our more at evgo.com
GRID CONFIDENT OF MEETING EV DEMAND, SAYS MINISTER
In the UK, let's get onto the subject of whether driving an EV will melt the grid and send us back to the dark ages. "The electrification of road transport will only result in a 10 per cent increase in demand for electricity by 2050, according to a government minister." and reported by UtilityWeek: "Richard Harrington told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee that National Grid had expressed confidence about the ability of the power networks to cope with the mass switch over, at the recent first meeting of the government’s electric vehicle (EV) task force."
Richard Bruce director of energy, technology and innovation at the Department for Transport, said that the UK already had ‘one of the best public infrastructures in Europe’ for charging points with around 12,000 already installed, including 400 in the last 30 days alone.
From Ryan Hoffman: “The other day, you mentioned VW hadn't been fined in Europe for the emissions scandal. Hopefully, the link below works, looks like the Germans lowered the boom on Vee Dub. Forgive me if I'm incorrectly remembering what you said, I didn't go back to the show notes or re listen to the podcast. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44474781. Also, there's a conference here in Portland, OR next week. I'm not affiliated with it in any way but perhaps a quick shout out to the listeners here in the Northwest could generate some interest as well as some reports back to you on the event. https://evroadmapconference.com/”
“The public prosecutor issued an administrative order against Volkswagen on Wednesday, imposing the maximum penalty of €5m, and then €995m for the “disgorgement of economic benefits”. This refers to repayment of profits accrued through illegal or unethical means.”
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