June 2018: Monthly Electric Vehicle News Roundup

Electric Car
Electric Car
  1. Italy eyes 1-million electric car target by 2022: Italy, which is reportedly Europe’s most sluggish market for these vehicles, plans to put out to over 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2022. However, analysts are of the view that move might set the company back by $10 million. Apart from the costs, the company would have to offer massive tax incentives to help the demand pick up, like the case with the Norway government. Despite its commitment to the target, the Italian government is yet to release guidelines about how it plans to switch to electric cars. Without a clear vision, it might be difficult for the country to implement the plan with infrastructural development being one of the biggest obstacles to the plan.
  2. Tesla to charge for premium web connectivity: Elon Musk-owned Tesla would start charging its customers for premium internet connectivity services from July 1 onwards. However, its standard connectivity services would continue to be free till the time a person uses a Tesla car. This means that basic facilities like GPS, navigation and maps still remain free for Tesla customers but for anything high-end, people will have to pay more. People who buy a Tesla car before the July 1 deadline will be able to avail the premium service for free.
  3. Elon Musk buys $11.6-billion shares of Tesla: Tesla Inc’s chief executive officer recently bought over 72,500 shares of the automobile company’s common stock for a sum of $11.6 billion. The information was revealed by a regulatory filing and these stocks were bought in multiple transaction between intial prices of $342.44 and $347.44. Musk is already the biggest shareholder in the company and now is in control of over 34 million shares.
  4. Auto giants bet big on wireless charging: As electric and hybrid vehicles gain more traction because of their abilities to cut down on carbon emissions and costs, automobile companies are on the lookout for new technologies to make countries’ switch to electric cars more seamless. This is precisely why wireless or inductive charging is touted to be the next big thing in the electric car segment. Experts believe that a wireless charging standard would break down barriers associated with electric cars and make them more accessible. Porsche is offering the wireless charging option with its new Mission E sedan. Not to be left behind, BMW has also announced an inductive charging option for its 530e hybrid.
  5. Rising demand of electric vehicles may lead to cobalt shortage, say analysts: Analysts said that the rising popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles might lead to a shortage of cobalt, used to manufacture rechargeable batteries for these cars, worldwide by mid-2020s. Experts also said that mining companies might move out of Africa in search of copper reserves to meet the rising demand for the metal. Its crunch might stall the rising growth of the electric vehicle sector. The Democratic Republic of Congo supplies nearly two-thirds of the cobalt to the world as a byproduct of its vast copper mines.
  6. Govt to tweak CAFE norms to spur investment in the electric car industry? The Union government is mulling changing the 2022 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) guidelines to boost investment in the electric vehicle industry. A report mooting the proposal was reportedly submitted by the Union ministry of road transport to the Niti Aayog. As per the CAFE norms, automobile companies are required to manufacture cars which are 10% more fuel efficient between 2017 and 2022 and 30% more fuel efficient after 2022. The guidelines officially came into effect April 1, 2017 onwards. The tweaking of these rules is expected to galvanize investments in the hybrid car sector.
  7. Street lamps as charging points for Dublin’s electric car: Soon, electric car drivers around Dublin will be able to charge their fuel-efficient four-wheelers by plugging into street lamps. Started on a pilot basis, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown city council (DLR) would be the first local administration to allow the street lamps to be used as charging points for hybrid cars. To be trialled in south Dublin, the move is likely to affect people whose homes do not allow easy charging options like the one with front gardens or driveways or even  terraced homes and where charging cables cannot be extended across large distances. Europe has seen many such pilot projects being launched in the last year and two. The installation  of charging points is expected to be completed  within two months’ time and the local administration would see to it that the points get an unrestricted metered power supply. It would also ensure that these charging points do not impede commuting on footpaths in the area.
  8. BYD eyes 5k electric buses in India every year: Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD plans to manufacture over 5,000 hybrid buses in India every year in collaboration with its Indian partner Goldstone Infratech by March 2021. The company also plans to increase its content localization to 70%. Goldstone Infratech and BYD recently unveiled its new range of electric vehicle. The Chinese giants plans to make India its manufacturing hub for electric vehicles for exporting to South Asian nations.  The company will export five of these buses to Nepal for the price of Rs 1.2 crore each before the electric buses hit Indian roads.

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