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April 2020: Monthly Electric Vehicle News Roundup

1. Sales of electric vehicles in India in 2019 20 increased by 20 per cent

Total sales of EVs in India in 2018-19 were at 1.3 lakh units, SMEV said in a statement. For all FY20 sales, 1,52 lakh units were two-wheelers, 3,400 vehicles, and 600 buses. The subsequent selling was 1,26 two-wheelers, 3,600 cars, and about 400 buses for the 2018-19, he added. This number does not include e-rickshaws with a recorded selling of about 90,000 units, which is still mainly with the unorganized market. SMEV said that the electric two-wheeler (E2W) segment drove the growth of EV sales in India. Due to several factors including projects like E2Ws being sold without batteries and consumers paying for batteries as fuel, he said there could be an inflection point in the EV industry in FY21-22; e-commerce companies recognizing the economic benefits of EVs and transforming their fleets. In addition, e-carts being a simple and budget-effective means of short distance logistics, e-taxis fleets starting to gain money because of lower operating costs will contribute to the rise of the EV industry.

2. New Sensor by Amphenol to detect water in EV battery packs

Amphenol Advanced Sensors, a company made up of industry-leading sensor brands including Thermometric, Inc., Telaire, and NovaSensor and recognized for revolutionary technology and embedded measuring solutions, now introduces its Coolant Leak Detection System for use in Electric / Hybrid Electric Vehicles (EV / HEV) to detect the presence of water and coolant in the vehicle’s battery pack enclosure. Recent widespread deployment of large-format battery-powered industrial machinery, stationary infrastructure, and road vehicles has posed some peculiar onboard diagnostic (OBD) technical challenges and fault detection for long-term, low-maintenance battery systems. Amphenol Advanced Sensors used its Thermometric, Inc. brand to develop the Coolant Leak Detection System as a price-effective solution to resolve the safety and reliability issues associated with the inclusion of water/coolant in battery packs by implementing its comprehensive expertise and capabilities in automotive sensing applications. Amphenol Advanced Sensors produces interest by supplying vital information for decision taking in real-time. Amphenol Advanced Sensors, based in Wallingford, CT, is a division of Amphenol Corporation.

3. Porsche to make a cheaper version of its all-electric Taycan

Porsche is manufacturing three versions of its all-electric Taycan sedan with base prices ranging from $105,000 to $185,000 for a skosh. Currently, it seems the automaker is planning to launch a cheaper version of the rear-wheel-drive. This newer edition, joining the Taycan Turbo S, Taycan Turbo and 4S, would have a smaller battery and would be marketed in markets like China that don’t need all-wheel drive, Steiner said. Porsche launched two versions of its first all-electric vehicle in September after years and more than $1 billion in initial investment – the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo, with base prices of $185,000 and $150,900, respectively. There’s also a 4S performance-battery-plus variant that adds $6,580 to the base price and comes with a battery of 93.4 kWh and dual electric motors that can produce up to 420 kW (563 hp). Each of the 4S models have a maximum speed of 155 miles per hour and can fly within 3.8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph.

4. After subsidy reduction, Chinese EV maker BYD’s income decreases

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd (002594.SZ), (1211.HK) announced a 42 percent drop in profit for 2019 on Tuesday, saying cutbacks in government subsidies and changes in emission regulations had hit demand in the market. BYD, backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, said its 2019 net income totalled 1.61 billion yuan ($227 million), while last year’s income fell 1.78 percent to 127.74 billion yuan. NEV sales went down for nine consecutive months after that. Nonetheless, China said last month it would expand discounts to new energy vehicles and expand the two-year purchase tax exemption for NEV. Having agreements with Japan’s top automaker Toyota (7203.T) and German Daimler’s (DAIGn. DE) partner in China, the Shenzhen-based automotive manufacturer sold 461,399 vehicles in 2019, down 11.4 percent from the previous year. China’s overall vehicle demand dropped by 8.2 percent in 2019, while NEV sales fell by 4 percent.

5. Fisker unveils their ~$30,000 electric SUV off-road version

Fisker, the popular car designer Henrik Fisker’s latest electric vehicle company, has unveiled an off-road version of its $38,000 electric SUV. Henrik Fisker has attempted to launch a new EV company under his own name over the past few years after his initial venture collapsed in 2013 and other companies took over. Fisker stated that after incentives in the US, the electric SUV will have a range of up to 300 miles and will start at just ~$30,000. Next year, the car is expected to go into production, but Fisker has been unclear about its development plans. In Q3 2020, Fisker Inc. will reveal its fabrication plan. The Fisker Ocean will initially be launched in the USA and in Europe. The Fisker Ocean will have an electric range of 250-300 miles, and an international charging port for CCS 2.

6. Sweden’s market share for electric vehicles hits 26 per cent!

The Swedish electric vehicle market is an unusual one where about 80% of electric vehicle sales are plug-in hybrids, leaving just 20% of the overall electric vehicle market. Being Sweden, the EV was, without disappointment, a Volvo. Perhaps more interestingly, the next three vehicles on the list were all Kias according to data from the EV Volumes!As is the case in other countries, the electric vehicles that don’t make it into the top 20 combine for more sales than the top 20 ones, demonstrating how the demand is being spread out and diverse. Overall, Kia currently has 24% of the Swedish EV market, Volvo has 23%, Volkswagen 11%, BMW 8%, and Mitsubishi 7%.

7. Tata Nexon EV was the most sold electric vehicle in India last month

Rapid domestic acceptance of electric vehicles is nothing but unlikely but 2020 has shown encouraging signs that mainstream automakers are coming up with EVs. Chetak’s Bajaj and iQube’s TVS are clear examples of how the future will stand, as a change in the two-wheeler room will only accelerate in the years ahead. Costing from Rs. 13.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the Nexon EV isn’t too costly compared to the compact SUV’s range-topping IC-engined variant. Tata sold about 198 Nexon EV units in March 2020, an impressive tally for a zero-emission vehicle, while the MG ZS EV managed to garnish 116 units and the Hyundai Kona Electric registered 14 units in the same period. Last month other mid-size five-seater SUVs such as Renault Captur, Nissan Terrano, and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross reported zero sales. The S-Cross will soon receive a petrol version. The 1.5-liter K-series four-cylinder SHVS petrol engine, having already been advertised, will stand in place of the retired 1.3-liter DDiS diesel engine.

8. In India, between 19 and 20 FY 3400 electric cars were sold

EV industry’s four-wheeler segment saw a 5.8 percent de-growth in FY 19-20 compared to FY18-19. A study released by the company of manufacturers of electric vehicles said that the decrease in numbers was due mainly to the lack of bulk purchasing of E-cars in FY 19-20 and the discontinuation of one of the leading models. 2019 has been a big year for India’s electric vehicles. Tata introduced the Nexon EV, MG introduced the ZS EV and the Kona electric was launched by Hyundai. We should foresee more EV’s from Tata, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in this financial year. Sohinder Gill, managing director, Society of Electric Vehicle Manufacturers said, “The EV industry is starting to take shape and we believe that given the COVID 19, the FY 20-21 will be a defining year for all the EV segments.

9. Honda and General Motors collaborate to develop North American EV’s

For the use of renewable energy sources becoming less avant-garde and more popular, it is no different for the automotive industry to need to adapt. The latest example of this is a joint venture between Honda and GM to build two all-new North American electric vehicles. Nonetheless, collaboration between GM and Honda isn’t recent. Previously, the two firms had partnered on fuel cell technology and on the Cruise Origin, an autonomous self-driving car introduced earlier this year. In 2018 Honda and GM have collaborated on the creation of the GM battery module. In addition to using GM electric vehicle technology from Honda, the new EVs will combine GM’s OnStar service with HondaLink and also implement GM’s driver assistance technologies, including its semi-autonomous cruise control system from Super Cruise.

10. Lordstown Motors’ $52,000 hybrid pickup truck program is sliding to next year

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lordstown Motors, an electric vehicle company, is moving its intention to produce a $52,500 electric pickup truck up to next year. The former plans to use the latter’s EV technologies to create their own all-electric pickup truck at the factory in Lordstown which they bought from GM last year. The company also said it’ll beat Tesla and others to market by Q4 2020 with the first all-electric truck. Like several other businesses in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, however, Lordstown Motors today announced that its program has collapsed into 2021.

11. Pandemic delays the introduction of electric vehicles at Twin-Cities plant in Rivian

At the Rivian Automotive factory in Normal, the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing the production of hybrid pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The company has reported that, as expected, the vehicles will not roll off the assembly line late this year. Last month, Rivian closed all of its facilities to protect staff and help cut coronavirus spread. The former Mitsubishi Motors plant will employ up to 1,000 workers at peak output. According to Rivian, workers tend to get paid during the closure and operate from home. A Rivian spokesperson said that when the company closed its doors last month 300 employees were working at the factory.

12. Karma Revero GTE will launch a battery-driven EV Division

Karma Automotive extravaganza started this month with the launch of the compact, ready-to-license E-Flex model. A new week brings a new act to the playbill, the Karma Revero GTE, a Revero family’s first all-electric member that has been all hybrid plug-in to this level. Thanks to its range-widening BMW 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, the Revero GTS reports a combined range of 360-mile. The Tesla Model S Long Range currently holds the distance crown for battery-electric vehicles at 373 miles and there is every reason to expect that next year Tesla will be inch past the 400-mile mark. With the GTE, Karma needs a time of 0-60 minus 3.9 seconds, making it tenth quicker than the GTS. Fast charging at a 150 kW DC port will restore 80% of battery capacity in less than 30 minutes, while 11 kW AC capacity will restore maximum charging overnight.

13. Hagebau Logistik turns over to electric carriers

In the future, the German company Hagebau Logistik will depend entirely on Jungheinrich’s leased electric forklifts. The Hagebau Group’s logistics division is now decommissioning all of its diesel forklifts and will only be using electric vehicles in the future. Jungheinrich claims an electric forklift’s CO2 emissions are about 42 percent lower than those of the same payload level forklift powered by an IC engine. Which would allow Hagebau to “significantly” reduce its forklift fleet’s carbon footprint? Costs are also to be reduced due to the management of the rental fleet, as this will allow the avoidance of overcapacity. Jungheinrich will supply additional trucks within a very short time in case of unforeseen increased demand.

14. BYD introduces Blade Battery to improve fire safety in electric cars

A Blade Battery pack was pierced with a nail during an online launch case, without being unstable or experiencing dangerously high temperatures. The company says the system would be safer in car collisions. The Chinese EV manufacturer BYD has launched a new battery which it says addresses the issue. The Blade Battery defied the nail check which its creator said is one of the most stringent tests a battery can withstand. In a process that causes traditional lithium-ion batteries to become radically unstable, the battery is perforated by a nail. The blade was also crushed and twisted, heated to over 300 degrees Celsius in a furnace, and overloaded 260 percent. According to BYD, none of the experiments spurred an explosion. BYD said it was approached by several vehicle brands in order to shape technology partnerships.

15. UrmO is a folding, compact electric vehicle 

UrmO is an urban mobility project, a foldable, fast, and safe electric vehicle. At least that is what the guys behind it say Felix Ballendat, Jakob Karbaumer, and Sebastian Signer. As with other last-mile solutions, UrmO comes with the specified – and very bold – goal of improving urban mobility and enabling commuters to try other modes of transportation than the personal car. UrmO is like a Segway/hoverboard, except it’s made of carbon fiber and aluminum, making it both very light and sturdy. UrmO offers a trip on the road as easily as it does on the pavement, and even on cobbled or “raw” streets, according to the designers. Lowered curbs are also no match for that. UrmO definitely looks like the lightweight, foldable electric vehicle that would change the way we look at urban mobility. If only it wasn’t for one big drawback: price point. The UrmO without a handlebar costs pre-order €1,800 ($1,975), whereas the UrmO with a telescopic handlebar is €1,900 ($2,085).

16. Lithium demand could rise by 599 per cent by 2025

The lithium’s special physical and chemical properties make it useful in a number of applications. It is high- and low temperature resistant, making it a common component in industrial greases and lubricants. Although the global lithium-ion battery and energy markets are still in their infancy, many analysts expect this decade to see a boom in demand. The world’s biggest lithium manufacturer expects electric vehicles (EVs) to be the main end market for lithium metals.And that isn’t even going to be near. In reality, from 2019 to 2025, the company estimates the EV market alone will see an increase in lithium demand of 599 percent. In electric vehicle applications, overall annual demand for lithium rose from 59,000 metric tons of LCE in 2018 to 93,000 metric tons of LCE in 2019 as manufacturers rushed to secure supplies.

17. Triton Model H is a Chevy EV with a range of 700 miles

New Jersey-based Triton Solar published information this week about its fully electric eight-passenger SUV, called the Model H (yep), which the company claims can fly upwards of 700 miles on a single charge of its 200-kilowatt-hour battery. Triton Solar says two versions of the Model H will be sold: Standard and Quality. Each will come standard with four-motor all-wheel-drive — one for each wheel but not at the centre — and both will be good for either 1,000 horsepower for the base model or 1,500 hp for the output model. The Model H will have a wheelbase of 130 inches and an overall length of 224 inches, placing it in line with a 2020 Chevy Suburban. So, how much is it going to cost and where do you get one?  Yeah, the bad news is that the base model will set you back a not-so-insignificant $140,000, and the value version will cost $180,000 somewhere in the area.

18.Approximately 15 per cent of EV dealers shut down shop following lockout

EV manufacturers claim most two-wheelers and e-rickshaw dealerships, particularly in tier -3 or 4 cities, are owned by first-time entrepreneurs who don’t have the financial bandwidth to survive this crisis. Since these auto dealers are not heavy capital, they encourage small investors, “SMEV director-general Sohinder Gill said. To stay competitive, a dealer in a C-class town must sell at least 10 electric two-wheelers and 4 e-rickshaws per month. The EV industry has sold 1,60,000 two-wheelers this year, 40,000 -50,000 rickshaws, and 5,000-6,000 buses and cars. Those who purchase the e-rickshaws are at the bottom of the economic pyramid and will be badly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

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