Monday, 31 December 2018

Tesla has over 3,000 Model 3s left in U.S. inventory


(Reuters) - Tesla Inc had over 3,000 Model 3s left in inventory in the United States as of Sunday, automotive news website Electrek reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The electric-car maker has been urging buyers to make use of the federal tax credit, with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk reminding them on Twitter hereon Saturday that the benefit would drop to half beginning 2019.
Shares of the company fell nearly 2 percent after the report. Tesla was not immediately available for comment.
Tesla had earlier said it was “doing everything” to ensure those who ordered a vehicle as late as Dec. 20 could take deliveries by Dec. 31, with Musk promising to reimburse customers if delivery delays cause them to miss out on a significant tax credit.
Earlier this year, Tesla said orders placed by Oct. 15 would be eligible for the full tax credit of $7,500 and that customers would receive their cars by the end of the year.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Porsche's all-electric 'Taycan' sports car will cost up to $130,000



Porsche's first all-electric concept sports car, initially unveiled back in August? Despite months of relative silence, the carmaker has finally given us some additional details about the vehicle; including pricing and pre-purchase info.
For starters, a brief recap of what we already know: the Taycan (which translates to "lively young horse, according to Porsche) is intended to be a high-performance, luxury EV. Porsche initially claimed that the car could reach 62mph in a mere 3.5 seconds, with a total range of 310 miles for a single charge. Early renders of the vehicle also revealed that it will have a pretty high-class interior.
Now, we know that the Taycan's pricing will match its performance. According to information obtained by The Drive editor Alex Roy, the vehicle will come in three variants, each more expensive than the last. The first Taycan will cost around the low $90,000 range, the "Taycan 4s" will be a four-wheel-drive model priced in the high $90,000s, and the Taycan Turbo will run you over $130,000 "before options."
We still don't know exactly when the Taycan will enter full production, but Porsche is hoping the first vehicles will roll off the assembly line sometime in 2019.

Friday, 28 December 2018

2019 will be the year of the electric luxury car



(CNN) - For the all-electric luxury car and SUV market, this year's release of the Jaguar I-Pace was just the beginning. Starting next year and continuing in 2020, Jaguar will start getting competition from brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche. Tesla will also be raising the competitive bar even further.
Tesla hasn't shown its smaller Model Y crossover yet, but an unveiling is expected next year and production, possibly, the year after
Audi, meanwhile, will ramp up its electric lineup quickly. The Audi E-Tron SUV was unveiled in September. The German auto maker is already taking $1,000 deposits for the SUV, which will be available in the United States next spring.
The E-Tron was revealed at an event in San Francisco because the United States is expected to be the biggest market for the SUV, which has a starting price of $75,000. It was followed, just a couple of months later, by the unveiling of the Audi E-Tron GT, a sporty four-door car version that, Audi said offered a preview of a model set to go on sale in 2020. Audi's electric lineup will also include the E-Tron Sportback, a sportier electric SUV that, Audi said, will go into production next year.
Mercedes also unveiled its first electric SUV this year. Like Audi's E-Tron, the Mercedes-Benz EQC doesn't look terribly different from the brand's combustion-powered SUVs, but it has a slightly lower, sportier shape. It will go into production next year, but it won't be available in the United States until 2020.
Porsche's first fully electric car, the Taycan, will enter production at the end of next year. Porsche promises the 600 horsepower Taycan will provide a driving experience worthy of the Porsche brand. Capable of going from zero to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds it won't be the quickest electric car you can buy -- still, amazingly quick by any normal standards -- but it will be capable of "a level of continuous power unmatched by any other electric vehicle," the company has said. In other words, you'll be able to actually have fun with it while still getting decent driving range.
BMW used an airplane's belly to show off a concept version of an electric SUV it plans to begin selling in 2021. Shown to reporters inside a cargo plane as it stopped at different cities around the world, theBMW Vision iNext was a large crossover SUV with an outsized version of the BMW "kidney" grill on the front. Inside, the car's interactive technology was designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. Knobs and screens are designed to hide themselves away when not needed.
Arriving before the Vision iNext, the BMW iX3 crossover should go on sale earlier in 2020. It was designed using BMW's new "flexible" engineering which allows for the same model to be produced in gasoline, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions. The iX3 will be built in China and exported globally.
Mini, a subsidiary of BMW, will offer its new electric vehicle even earlier. There's still not much information available about it -- it hasn't even been unveiled yet -- but Mini representatives say it will go on sale next year.
Michigan start up automaker Rivian is already taking reservations for its electric pickup, the R1T, and SUV, the R1S. They are being marketed for their genuine off-road capability, something not often touted in electric vehicles. The company expects them to go on sale in late 2020.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Innogy to put electric vehicle business into separate company


FRANKFURT, Dec 27 (Reuters) - German utility Innogy is putting its business serving the electric car industry into a standalone company, separate from its main business as an energy supplier.
"This pooling of our eMobility business is our response to the current challenges of an increasingly fast-growing market", Innogy manager Martin Herrmann said in a statement on Thursday.
The new company, Innogy eMobility Solutions, will cater to the automotive industry, charge point operators, fleet operators and energy providers seeking technologies for their electronic vehicle projects, and will include the recently acquired firms BTC Power and Recargo.


State Electric Car Rebate Program Changed To Exclude Hybrids

Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars, points to the miles per gallon displayed in his new Chevy Volt electric car in Redwood City, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Beginning Jan. 1, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicles that cost more than $50,000 will no longer be eligible for a Massachusetts rebate program aimed at promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles.
In the new year, rebates under the program known as MOR-EV (Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles) will only be available to people who buy or lease fully-electric vehicles known as battery electric vehicles or fuel cell electric vehicles.
The maximum rebate is also shrinking from $2,500 per vehicle to $1,500.
"We have had increasing demand, very high demand, for these rebates," said Judith Judson, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. "In order to sustain the program and continue to provide rebates at that high a demand level, we are making changes ... and targeting those vehicles that provide the greatest emission reduction."
Since the MOR-EV program began in June 2014, the state has given out more than $25.7 million in more than 12,000 rebates. According to data on the program's website, nearly half of those rebates were given out in 2018.
The lowering of the price cap is meant to reflect new, lower-priced electric vehicles, which have hit the market in the last few years.
"The good news is there's more and more vehicles that are available at that lower price," Judson said. "We want to make sure that this program is really reaching drivers who need the incentive, ensuring that there's the greatest access to the program possible."
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) use an onboard battery, can be recharged from an external source, do not use any kind of traditional engine and release zero-emissions. They include all Tesla models, the BMW i3, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Nissan Leaf.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have electric engines which run on compressed hydrogen fuel. They include versions of the Honda Clarity, Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota Mirai.
State data show about 56 percent of rebates have been given to BEV buyers and lessees. Another 43 percent has gone to people with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), which run on a combination of electricity and a gas engine.
People who buy or lease a PHEV by Dec. 31 will still be eligible to receive a rebate. They must apply for it within three months of buying or leasing their vehicle.
The program is only guaranteed to continue through June 30, 2019. In the new year, state officials will decide whether it will be extended past that date.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Demand for Tesla Model 3 ‘looks very strong into 2019 and beyond’

GP: Tesla Model 3 in showroom 180126

Demand for Tesla’s Model 3 mid-size electric sedan “looks looks very strong into 2019 and beyond,” said one analyst Wednesday.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said in a note that underlying drivers for the electric vehicle market are likely to push consumers toward Tesla’s cheapest passenger car, at a time when many automakers are abandoning sedans in favor of SUVs.
Demand for the car is likely to reduce the risk Tesla will have to raise capital again in the near future, Ives said. Tesla’s capital needs have been an ongoing issue for the company, and Tesla has had to return to the markets several times since it went public in 2010. Ives said he expects Tesla to spend $2.2 billion to $2.3 billion in 2019.
Deliveries to European customers appear to be on schedule, and Ives sees pent-up demand in that market. China also looks like a “major growth catalyst” on the heels of Tesla’s recent price cuts in China, he said.
Tesla shares were up nearly 2 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday, pushing its market value to more than $50 billion. In the past 52 weeks, Tesla shares have traded as high as $387.46 and as low as $244.59. The stock is down 5 percent this year, having closed at $295.39 on Monday.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Who Drives Electric Cars in Dubai? The Government and the Rich


Dubai has ambitious goals for electric cars. Early adopters get free parking, no tolls and discounts on registration fees. Even the power is gratis at the 200 charging stations the government installed throughout the city.
The trouble is the public is just fine without them.
The economic benefits of ownership aren’t strong in the United Arab Emirates, which has some of the most affordable gas prices in the world and some of the hottest weather. It costs about $41 to fill a 16-gallon tank of gasoline in Dubai, compared with about $50 in the U.S. or $125 in Norway, where plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles have boomed faster than anywhere else. Air conditioning—essential when the temperatures are regularly above 110 degrees in the summer—will drain an EV battery, decreasing the range. 


“Unless you get someone who’s really into looking after the environment, to get the consumers into those vehicles, there’s not a lot of incentive,” said Bill Carter of Autodata Middle East, which provides data and valuation in the local industry.
Daily commutes in Dubai commonly involve a highway that stretches to 16 lanes in some areas. “The highways in Dubai and the U.A.E. can be a little bit intimidating, so people here opt for bigger cars,” said Karim El-Jisr, executive director of the Dubai-based SEE Nexus Institute, which advises cities on sustainable development. “If we want to accelerate the uptake, we need a wider range of electric vehicles to satisfy tastes and wallets.”
Alf Ellefsen, a consultant in Dubai who drives a Jaguar, talks to his sister in Norway about her electric car. “It costs them close to nothing to run,” he said. “Here, you can buy a huge car for half the price that you can in Norway, and running it is like a [quarter] of the price. So why would you pay extra for an electric car?”
Still, the government estimates it could accommodate 32,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, if only car companies would offer suitable models for sale in the emirate of 3 million people. “Even today, if we give every incentive you can think of, there aren’t cars available,” said Faisal Rashid, a director at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. He says they regularly raise the supply issue with local car dealers.
There are about 4,000 hybrid and electric vehicles on the road now in Dubai, including fewer than 1,000 fully electric vehicles, he said. There’s a “soft” target of 10 percent of all vehicles in Dubai to be electric by 2030, he said.
When Renault started selling its electric Zoe three years ago, its first customer was the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, followed by the Dubai Police and other utility and government agencies. “On the retail side, we haven’t seen the same success,” said Salah Yamout, director of sales and marketing at Arabian Automobiles Co., which sells the Renault brand here.
Tesla declined to provide sales figures for the region. But the company is taking reservations for the lower-priced Model 3 sedan and expects to deliver next year. The Road Transport Authority, which oversees the roads, public transportation and taxis, has said it will buy 200 Teslas to integrate into its fleet of 5,000 vehicles.
Some of the first electric-car chargers were installed in 2015 at Dubai Sustainable City, a 5 million-square-foot development designed to showcase the best practices for a modern, eco-friendly city. Among the town’s 2,700 residents, El-Jisr said, there are about 15 Teslas and no other electric vehicles.
Two of those Teslas belong to Fiona Brenninkmeijer, who ordered them right when Tesla opened its service center and showroom in the region in July 2017. “I think they didn’t believe their luck,” she said of the salesmen.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Tesla cuts Model 3 prices in China

Tesla cuts Model 3 prices in China
BEIJING (Reuters) - Tesla Inc has slashed prices on its Model 3 electric car in China.
According to the California-based electric carmaker’s Chinese website, prices of certain Model 3 cars were cut by up to 7.6 percent. The starting price for a Model 3 in China now is 499,000 yuan ($72,000).
It was the third time in the last two months that Tesla has adjusted its prices in China. In November, the company cut the prices of its Model X and Model S cars by 12 to 26 percent.
Tesla at the time said it was “absorbing a significant part of the tariff to help make cars more affordable for customers in China”.
Earlier this month Tesla cut prices on its Model S and Model X after China’s finance ministry said it would suspend additional tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts for three months from January, lowering the cost of importing U.S.-produced Tesla cars into China for sale.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Score One for the Flamingos in High-Altitude Fight for Lithium Supplies

For the past nine months, a U.S. company that is the world's largest producer of lithium — a key ingredient in electric-car batteries -- has been locked in battle with the Chilean government over pricing issues, production quotas and environmental compliance. With no resolution in sight, the fight is sending tremors all the way up the electric vehicle supply chain that provides batteries to Tesla Inc., Nissan Motor Co.Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and other car makers.
The drama is playing out in the northern reaches of Chile's Andes Mountains amid the arid and austere Atacama Desert, a vast, high-altitude bowl surrounded by snow-capped volcanic peaks named after ancient gods of the indigenous people. The U.S. company, Albemarle Corp., has taken over a massive salt-flats mine, pumping scarce briny water through dried-out salt marshes and lagoons to extract the prized mineral. A dozen or so miles away, thick flocks of Andean flamingos feed peacefully in a lagoon teaming with tiny shrimp, as they have for countless millennia. But as mining activity surges, water tables are falling amid growing environmental concerns.
It's bad news for the flamingos — and boom times for the miners. Automakers have moved so fast to boost production that prices have tripled in less than four years, sending miners in a frantic search for lithium all over the world. And it's still early days. Demand for lithium for electric vehicle batteries is projected to rise to around 500,000 tons over the next seven years, from a current 64,000 tons, according to estimates by Bloomberg NEF. And Charlotte, North Carolina-based Albemarle aims to invest almost $1 billion to more than triple its production capacity in Chile, which has more lithium reserves than anywhere else on the planet.
Not so fast, says the Chilean government, which has slapped the company with a myriad of complaints that threaten to slow that expansion push. The government alleges the company has ignored its requests to adequately detail its expansion plans. At least two government agencies responsible for lithium permits have rejected the company's request for licenses it needs to expand. A third agency has said it will file for international arbitration before the end of the year over a pricing spat between the company and the government. It will be the first time the government has ever taken such a step against a foreign company.
Albemarle, which declined to comment for this article, has previously said that it believes “very strongly” in the legality of its position. Until a few years ago, lithium was a minor business, mined mostly for medical uses. In 2015, Albemarle acquired the Atacama lithium operation from another U.S. company; as production rose and prices skyrocketed, several executives from the former ownership were edged out, including John Mitchell, lithium operations president.
As production ramped up, Albemarle failed to respond to Chilean officials’ calls, emails and formal requests for information about changes at the mining operations, according to government officials. When they did respond, their answers were lacking, according to Maria Elina Cruz, a prosecutor at government development agency Corfo, suggesting that the always delicate relationship between a foreign, multinational company and its hosts might have turned sour as the company changed hands.
“Their proposals haven’t been reasonable,” Cruz said in an interview in Santiago. “It is not such a complex issue. In the end, the problem is that they are not ready to lose one single peso — that’s the issue.”
At a conference call with analysts in November, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Luke Kissam acknowledged that “there’s a dispute” with Corfo, but didn’t elaborate on the overall relationship with the Chilean government.
In 2016, Corfo signed a contract with Albemarle that awarded the company authorization to mine increasing levels of lithium through 2043. In exchange, Albemarle agreed to give a break on the price of up to 25 percent of its increased production to companies developing lithium products in Chile. The idea is for Chile to turn the corner from being a mere supplier of raw materials to getting a toe-hold in the lucrative and more technologically advanced world of battery design and production. The clause is part of the government’s broader push to develop lithium-based components for batteries.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

New car tax aimed at promoting electric vehicles slammed


After lackluster festival season sales, Indian carmakers are in for another rough ride. In a push to promote electric vehicles, the government is planning to impose a tax on new petrol and diesel cars.
Using the ‘polluter pays’ principle, the government wants to impose a tax of 12,000 rupees on those buying petrol and diesel cars, while providing incentives to electric vehicle buyers.
This tax will be used to subsidize electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars.
While the new policy, proposed by planning body NITI Ayog, awaits ministerial clearance, RC Bhargava, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car manufacturer with more than 50% market share, said the tax will not serve its purpose.
He said while electric cars continue to be expensive, the proposed tax will have an impact on sales of small cars and the lower middle-class people who buy them. The subsidies for electric cars will go to well to do people, Business Standard reported him as saying.
Bhargava also asked why only cars should be subjected to a tax, known in India as a cess, to promote electric vehicles. He pointed out that two-wheelers consume two-thirds of the country’s petrol and they should not be left out in the electrification drive.
When asked about Maruti Suzuki’s plans for electric vehicle, he said the first electric car would roll out in 2020. One of the company’s popular models, the Wagon R, is now undergoing trials and will be launched in 2020.
As for the electric car market in India, Mahindra & Mahindra has a first-mover advantage and the company plans to make 60,000 electric vehicles annually from 2020. The Indian unit of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co Ltd is expected to launch its electric vehicle in 2019.
Tata Motors has developed the technology. Many two-wheeler firms have also invested in developing electric products.
At the end of 2016-17, the electric vehicle market in India was about 25,000 units. Of the total number of electric vehicles sold, nearly 92% were two-wheelers, while electric cars and four-wheelers accounted for less than 8% of total sales.

Volkswagen Needs to Sell 600,000 More Electric Cars Per Year

Volkswagen estimates it must sell 600,000 more electric vehicles per year to meet the drastic new CO2 emissions goals released by the European Union on Monday.
To align with the targets, carmakers must reduce carbon dioxide emissions in new fleets by 15% by 2025, and 37.5% by 2030. At the same time, light commercial vehicles’ emissions must reduce 31% from 2021 levels by 2030.
Germany was hoping for a maximum reduction of 30%, Handelsblatt reports.
“The plan we have drawn up for transition is not enough to fulfill this transformation,” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said this week regarding the emissions goals. Automakers have no choice but to get with the program or potentially face billion-euro fines.
Sources familiar with Volkswagen’s plans told Handelsblatt that the company had calculated it must sell 1.2million electric cars in Europe in 2030 to meet the previous emissions targets. To meet the new CO2 targets, however, that would need to increase to 1.8 million electric vehicles — or 45% of its total sales. Currently, VW and all of its related brands sell 4 million passenger vehicles annually in Europe
Sources in Wolfsburg say Volkswagen would need to offer at least seven more electric car models to meet that target, and at least one more electric-focused factory to produce them.
The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) said the EU targets were unrealistic and would harm domestic competitiveness — not to mention the 436,000 German industrial jobs tied to building traditional vehicles. “The regulation demands too much while promoting too little,” the VDA said in a statement. “Nobody knows today how the agreed limits can be achieved in the time given.”
Volkswagen had said earlier this month it would make its last combustion engine car release in 2026. The company is investing more than €44 billion into electric and autonomous vehicles through 2023.
Volkswagen is on track to hit a new annual sales record this year. The company has sold 9.9 million vehicles through November, up 1.8% from the same time last year. Unfortunately, this is offset by the fact that global carbon dioxide emissions are also due to reach a record high this year.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

With government incentives, Norway sees electric car sales boom


A silent revolution has transformed driving in Norway.
Eerily quiet vehicles are ubiquitous on the fjord-side roads and mountain passes of this wealthy European nation of 5.3 million. Some 30 percent of all new cars sport plug-in cables rather than gasoline tanks, compared with 2 percent across Europe overall and 1 to 2 percent in the United States.
As countries around the world – including China, the world's biggest auto market – try to encourage more people to buy electric cars to fight climate change, Norway's success has one key driver: the government. It offered big subsidies and perks that it is now due to phase out, but only so long as electric cars remain attractive to buy compared with traditional ones.
"It should always be cheaper to have a zero emissions car than a regular car," says Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen, who helped push through a commitment to have only zero-emissions cars sold in Norway by 2025. The plan supports Norway's CO2 reduction targets under the 2015 Paris climate accord, which nations last agreed rigorous rules for to ensure emissions goals are met.
To help sales, the Norwegian government waived hefty vehicle import duties and registration and sales taxes for buyers of electric cars. Owners don't have to pay road tolls, and get free use of ferries and bus lanes in congested city centers.
These perks, which are costing the government almost $1 billion this year, are being phased out in 2021, though any road tolls and fees would be limited to half of what gasoline car owners must pay. Gradually, subsidies for electric cars will be replaced by higher taxes on traditional cars.
Registration tax on new cars is paid on a sliding scale with a premium for the amount of emissions produced. Mr. Elvestuen pledges that the incentives for electric vehicles will be adjusted in such a way that it does not scupper the 2025 target.
"What is important is that our aim is not just to give incentives," he says. "It is that we are taxing emissions from regular cars."
Using taxes to encourage consumers to shift to cleaner energy can be tricky for a government – protests erupted in France this autumn over a fuel tax that hurt the livelihood of poorer families, especially in rural areas where driving is often the only means of transportation.
In this sense, Norway is an outlier. The country is very wealthy after exporting for decades the kind of fossil fuels the world is trying to wean itself off of. Incomes are higher than the rest of Europe, as are prices.
Some 36 percent of all new cars sold are SUVs, which provide safety in the country's tough winters. Tesla's SUV, the Model X – the motor of choice for well-to-do environmentally minded Norwegians – costs around 900,000 Norwegian kronor ($106,000).
"Buying a Tesla model X is not much more expensive than buying a standard premium Volvo because gasoline cars are taxed heavily. That is also the reason Teslas sell well," says Christina Bu, General Secretary of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
The premium gas-powered Volvo XC90 SUV, for example, starts at 919,000 kroner ($107,100) in Norway compared with $47,700 in the US.
To date, with its longer battery life, Tesla has dominated the upmarket family car space for electric vehicles, but more premium marques are entering the market, like the Audi Quattro e-tron. Demand is still outstripping supply, with Norwegians having to wait up to a year to get their hands on the steering wheels of their new electric vehicles.
Norway has pledged to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The country has work to do: by 2017, emissions were up 3 percent compared to the 1990 baseline. Cutting emissions from road transport will allow Norway to reduce the amount it has to spend buying up emissions certificates from other European countries to meet its target. The savings are likely to run into billions, potentially balancing out the cost of subsidizing electric cars.

China has invested heavily in electric vehicles as it looks to meet its own Paris climate accord commitments, to clean up its choking cities and to get in early in a growing area of manufacturing. In October, 6 percent of new cars were electric, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, up almost 50 percent from a year earlier. The market has huge growth potential, experts say, and like Norway, the market boom has relied on government incentives.
The hope in Norway is that the sheer size of China's market will encourage the industry to develop the technology more quickly – improving battery life, for example – and force down prices.
Experts say the electric vehicle market needs to develop more for sales to keep growing.
Battery life on smaller vehicles is slim and the resale market is untested. Fast battery charging points are slow compared with gasoline pumps, and on Norway's often empty mountain roads, these points are uneconomical despite government subsidies for the private companies that set them up.
Even in city centers, construction of such points has not kept pace with sales. At one station in Oslo, a Tesla driver cracks open his laptop while his car charges. Another, Ida Vihovde, drums her fingers as she waits for a charging station to free up.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Infiniti readies electric SUV concept for Detroit auto show


Teaser for Infiniti electric crossover SUV concept debuting at 2019 Detroit auto show

Infiniti would seem a natural fit to sell electric cars, being the luxury division of Nissan. Back in 2012, the company said it would introduce its first electric car, the Infiniti LE, a luxury Nissan Leaf sedan, but never did.
Along the way, the brand showed a number of exotic electric concepts that looked like race cars of the past and future.

Tesla has rocked the luxury car market in the U.S. to its core with the Model S and Model X, and is now doing the same to the aspirational lower end of the car market and even the mainstream market with its Model 3. 
That's the place where automakers like Acura, Audi, BMW, Infiniti, and Lexus have thrived for decades.
In response, Infiniti is preparing to roll out an electric SUV concept at the Detroit auto show in early January to introduce a new line of electric cars from the brand.

At last January's Detroit auto show, the company promised that most models coming from Infiniti starting in 2021 would be electric. The assertion led us to wonder which Infiniti models that might exclude.
In April, the company rolled out a design concept at the Beijing auto show called the Q Inspiration, a flowing sedan which was supposed to be a design concept for all future Infiniti electric cars.

The new concept for this year's upcoming show partly answers our earlier question, whether Infiniti's SUVs could be left out of the brand's electric conversion. It's an SUV, though it's no bruising, trucky QX80 or even a docile family mobile like the QX60.
The teaser image reminds us of little so much as the departed QX70 sports SUV, originally called the FX45 when Infiniti introduced it as the "bionic cheetah" at the Detroit show in 2001. It wasn't the most practical SUV, but with a wide stance, slim cabin, and abundant power, it felt like the sports car of SUVs—all features that might work even better in an electric version. 

Nissan says the electric SUV will use a new modular electric platform, the same one the company previewed in April with the Q Inspiration, which it said was set to debut in 2021. It is expected to offer up to 400 horsepower and about 300 miles of electric range, and may include plug-in hybrid adaptations (dubbed e-Power in Infiniti's nomenclature).

This SUV could yield the first real fruits of that vision—and potentially give stagnating U.S. Infiniti sales a long-awaited boost. 
"The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for Infiniti, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand,” said Infiniti design chief Karim Habib in a statement. “Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy.”

Volkswagen may have to step up electric car plans to meet EU CO2 targets


BERLIN/FRANKFURT/MUNICH (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) may have to step up its plans for mass production of electric vehicles in order to meet tougher-than-expected European targets to cut greenhouse emissions from cars, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The remarks came after the European Union agreed on Monday to cut CO2 emissions from cars by 37.5 percent by 2030, and follow warnings from Germany, home to the bloc’s biggest automotive industry, that tough targets could cost jobs and harm the sector.
This is more than the 30 percent Volkswagen (VW), still reeling from an emissions cheating scandal, expected and would translate into a share for electric vehicles of more than 40 percent of its expected total vehicle sales in 2030, CEO Herbert Diess said.
“This means that our planned restructuring programme, which is needed to address this systemic change, is not yet sufficient.”
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the targets were at the limit of what was technically and economically feasible. Around 436,000 industrial jobs in Germany are tied to building petrol and diesel engined vehicles.

“This is a tough stretch and is at the higher end of expectations – however, we are convinced that this will help the industry to finally accept that combustion engines and platforms need to be standardized,” Evercore ISI analysts wrote.
VW, Europe’s largest carmaker, has earmarked about 30 billion euros ($34 billion) for the next five years to make sure it can achieve CO2 cuts of 30 percent by retooling its production process to focus more on electric vehicles.
The tougher EU targets, Diess said in e-mailed remarks, would require further changes to its strategy.
“Restructuring our product portfolio, possibly further reducing our combustion engine-based offering and a significant adjustment of our plant structures and additional battery cell and battery factories would be necessary,” Diess said.
He added the group’s plans needed to be reviewed in autumn 2019, in line with the carmaker’s planning calendar.
Overall, VW plans to spend almost 44 billion euros on developing electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023, aiming to become the most profitable manufacturer of battery-powered vehicles.
German rivals BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler (DAIGn.DE) declined to comment on the EU targets, referring instead to statements from industry groups.
German car association VDA said the targets were too high and criticised the lack of a clear roadmap for how the reductions would be reached.