Thursday, 30 August 2018

Dyson's electric car plans are taking shape

The maker of vacuums and hand dryers unveiled plans Thursday to invest another £116 million ($151 million) to build 10 miles of test tracks and offices for 2,000 workers at a former Royal Air Force base in England.

The company said in a statement that it is seeking permission to build tracks for testing a vehicle's maximum speed and maneuverability, as well as its performance on hills and off-road terrain.
"We are now firmly focused on the next stage of our automotive project strengthening our credentials as a global research and development organization," said Dyson CEO Jim Rowan.
Founder James Dyson announced last year that the British company was joining the global race to electric vehicles that pits the biggest established names in autos against Silicon Valley titans and specialists such as Tesla.
The inventor and entrepreneur said then that he planned to invest £2 billion ($2.6 billion) to produce an electric vehicle by 2021. Some 400 employees are now at work on the project at the airfield, whichDyson purchased in 2016, and the company is currently recruiting another 300.
Dyson has already spent £84 million ($109 million) to overhaul the base and restore two hangers. The company said that work on three more buildings would be completed in the coming months.
The company has so far released very few details about the electric vehicle it hopes to develop. Nor has it said where the vehicle would be built.
If the firm's other products are any guide, it's likely to be innovative and carry a premium price tag —Dyson vacuums sell for up to £500 in the United Kingdom, and $700 in the United States, and he once brought a $400 hairdryer to market.

IDTechEx Research Report on Battery Second Life Examines What Can Be Done With 100GWh of Retired Electric Vehicle Batteries


Batteries are the most expensive component of an electric car. Upon retirement, the electric vehicle batteries could still retain 70-80 percent of their initial capacity. Recycling the retired batteries is still at a cost today and entails extra energy and potential pollution. In the meanwhile, more and more companies are exploring how to extract value by repurposing a second-life for those retired but still capable car batteries in less-demanding applications such as stationary energy storage. Major automotive companies like Nissan, Renault, BMW and BYD all have launched various projects and business initiatives on second-life batteries. In IDTechEx's brand new report Second-life Electric Vehicle Batteries 2019-2029, a forecast is included on the available capacity from second-life batteries over the next ten years, together with a comprehensive analysis on the potential applications, current status of industrial implementations, the regulatory landscape, key technologies, business models as well as the value chain of second-life batteries.
By 2029, over 100GWh storage capacity could be provided by second-life electric vehicle batteries annually. Those retired batteries are just like new batteries but with degraded capacity to different degrees. Therefore, the key is to match the 'right' batteries with the 'right' applications. In our second-life battery report, the potential markets for second-life batteries in both stationary and mobile energy storage applications are analysed. Regional markets are also addressed in this report, for example, China Tower is now the biggest buyer of second-life batteries to use them as back-up power for their 2 million telecom towers across China. Besides, the government is now drafting the regulation on the four-wheel low-speed vehicles in China which is expected to reach 3 million sales by 2020. Second-life batteries could become the potential powertrain choice for those short-range, low-speed vehicles which are mostly using lead-acid batteries today.
Based on conversations with industrial leaders in the area of second-life batteries and the expertise of IDTechEx's analyst team, this report analyses the current battery second use market landscape on the different industrial implementations in development by various stakeholders to date. The report analyses the key technologies and innovative business models that improve the value of second-life batteries, the regulations announced or implemented to specifically address battery second use issues, and the emerging value chain of second-life batteries. Second-life Electric Vehicle Batteries 2019-2029represents the most comprehensive analysis of the emerging opportunities generated through the use of second-life batteries.
In this report IDTechEx aim to answer the following key questions:
  • How much storage capacity will be available from second-life batteries over the next ten years?
  • What are the potential applications for second-life batteries to play a role?
  • What is the current status of battery second use implementations and who are the key players?
  • What is the regulatory landscape for second-life batteries?
  • What are the key technical challenges and how companies are developing technologies to overcome the challenges?
  • How to better innovate business models to extract more value from second-life batteries?
The report is complemented with 8 full company profiles, as well as dozens of interviews with automotive companies like Nissan and BYD, energy storage companies like Connected Energy as well as technology start-ups such as Relectrify. IDTechEx has a unique position to cover this topic as the experienced analyst team has been following the second-life battery industry since 2014 through close engagement with the key market players.
IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research and Events services, helping you profit from emerging technologies. To find out more visit www.IDTechEx.com
Media Contact: 
Charlotte Martin 
Marketing & Research Co-ordinator 
c.martin@IDTechEx.com 

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Nissan launches China-focused electric car

Reporters take pictures of a Nissan Sylphy Zero Emission, the Nissan's first all-electric vehicle built in China, at the Nissan factory in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. The Sylphy is part of a wave of dozens of electric models planned by global automakers for China where the government is pressing them to accelerate development of the technology. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Nissan's first electric sedan designed for China began production Monday at the start of a wave of dozens of planned lower-cost electrics being created by global automakers for their biggest market.
Manufacturers including General Motors and Volkswagen are poised this year to launch a flood of electric sedans, minivans and SUVs designed for Chinese tastes and budgets. Nissan, Tesla, GM and others sell imports or electrified versions of models made by Chinese partners, but the market is dominated by low-cost local rivals including BYD Auto.
China's government sees electric cars as a promising industry and a way to clean up its smog-choked cities. Government subsidies have built China into the biggest market for electrics, but Beijing is shifting the burden to automakers with sales quotas and tougher fuel efficiency standards.
The Sylphy Zero Emission, based on Nissan's Leaf, is being produced by Nissan Motor Co. and a Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor group.
The Sylphy costs 166,000 yuan ($25,850) after government subsidies, or just over half the sticker price of the Chinese version of the Leaf sold by Nissan and Dongfeng's joint venture Venucia brand. Nissan says the Sylphy can go 338 kilometers (210 miles) on a charge.
"We're confident that the Sylphy Zero Emission rolling off the production line today will become a main player in the EV market," said Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa. "We're going to roll out a range of EVs that will appeal to customers within all market segments."
Sales quotas that take effect next year require every brand to sell electrics or buy credits from competitors that do. That puts pressure on automakers to create affordable models Chinese consumers want.
China accounted for half of global electric car sales last year, but almost all were Chinese models that start as low as 140,000 yuan ($22,000). BYD Auto, the biggest global brand by number sold, said its first-half 2018 sales doubled from a year earlier to 71,000.
"Basically, all these international giants are testing the water. They have not really launched their heavyweight models in China yet," said industry analyst Yale Zhang of Automotive Foresight.
"By the end of this year, things will be different," Zhang said. "We really will see the market become more competitive and consumers will have more to choose."
Sales of pure-electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in the first half of 2018 rose 111.5 percent over a year earlier to 412,000. Total electric sales last year were 770,000.
Government plans call for total annual sales of 2 million electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles by 2020.
Despite official support, electrics still are a fraction of Chinese passenger vehicle sales, which totaled 11.8 million in the first half of 2019, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier.
Nissan and Dongfeng announced plans in February to develop 20 electric models as part of a $10 billion, five-year investment program. They said that would include three models this year and three "affordable EV" compacts in 2019.
GM says it will roll out 10 electric and hybrid models in China from 2016 to 2020. It says by 2025, all its Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models in China will offer hybrid or pure-electric versions.
Tesla says China is its second-largest market. But a high sticker price has limited sales by other foreign brands to a few hundred vehicles.
Beijing announced in April it would end restrictions on foreign ownership of electric vehicle manufacturers this year in an effort to promote development.
Producers had been reluctant to transfer manufacturing to China due to the requirement to share technology with Chinese partners that might become rivals.
Freed of that requirement, Tesla Inc. announced in July it would build its first factory outside the United States in Shanghai, becoming the first wholly foreign-owned automaker in China.
Other automakers are working through ventures with Chinese partners, hoping to take advantage of their experience in developing lower-cost vehicles.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Jaguar to Produce Electric Car Driven at Royal Wedding

The E-Type Zero will be virtually identical visually to an original, but those are LED headlights, and the exhaust will be absent.
England’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drove away from their royal wedding on May 19, their blue battery-powered Jaguar E-Type was one-of-a-kind. But following “an overwhelmingly positive reaction” to the concept vehicle, Jaguar says that it will go ahead and produce versions of the EV sports car for us commoners.
Jaguar displayed the latest version of what it calls the E-Type Zero in Bespoke Bronze at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, Calif., last Friday, where it also announced the production version. The company is now taking orders for the E-Types, with deliveries to begin in the summer of 2020. Pricing and full technical specifications are forthcoming, but speculation places the car at around US$500,000.
“Jaguar’s marketing mantra in the 1960s was ‘grace, space, and pace.’ Nothing could add grace to an E-Type like having a silent electric motor,” Eric Evarts, editor of Green Car Reports, told Penta. “It will make the car about the most elegant ride anywhere, providing comfort and refinement to back up its looks. The gas engine gave these Jaguars refinement in the ’60s context, but today the gas engine just seems dirty and noisy and unbefitting of the E-Type’s stellar reputation.”
Instead of filling up with petrol, these E-Types will recharge in six or seven hours.
Instead of filling up with petrol, these E-Types will recharge in six or seven hours. ILLUSTRATION:JAGUAR PHOTO
The E-Type Zero will not be a recreation in the same mold as the James Bond DB5s recently announced by Aston Martin, or its own “continuation” D-Type, XKSS, and lightweight E-Type. Instead, the base will be from original cars restored by the company’s Classic Works division in Coventry, England, with electric drivetrains. The cars will accelerate faster than gas-powered E-Types, and will have a range above 170 miles, with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery with six- or seven-hour recharge times, presumably on 240 volts. In concept form, the electric Jaguar reaches 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.
In place of the original’s Moss manual gearbox will be a single-speed unit, controlled by a rotary dial, mated to the electric motor. Many components from the I-Pace electric car will be used on the electric E-Type, though the original brakes and suspension are retained. The cars’ structure will be unchanged, so it would be at least theoretically possible to convert one of these electrics back to gas power.
Jaguar says a lithium-ion battery pack will be used, sitting upfront, and with the same dimensions and weight as the original six-cylinder XK engine, preserving drivability. The electric motor (295 horsepower in the first concept car) will be positioned right behind the pack in the space once occupied by the gearbox. A driveshaft will send power to the rear wheels.
The concept version of the car is actually lighter than a standard 1968 E-Type. A lightweight carbon fiber dashboard undoubtedly helps.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Vespa Elettrica electric scooter to begin production next month



The maker of the iconic Vespa says it's planning to start production of its zero-emissions Elettrica electric scooter next month at its plant in Pontedera, Italy, with orders starting in October. There's still no concrete word on pricing, but parent Piaggio Group says it'll be in line with the price of existing higher-end Vespas, which climb north of $7,000.

The big news is that both the battery-electric scooter and its hybridized Elettrica X version will be connected scooters, with smartphone integration through a 4.3-inch color TFT display that features a twilight sensor that can adapt the background and color of the characters to make it readable at all times of day. The screen list speed and battery charge, remaining range and so forth. But by connecting your smartphone app, you can get notification of incoming calls and messages, with keys on the handlebars to answer calls and use voice commands to make calls or play music, plus GPSdata. You can even get a dedicated Jet helmet with integrated earphones and Bluetooth intercom.


Powering the Elettrica is a lithium-ion battery and electric motor that delivers "continuous" power of 2 kilowatts and 4 kW at peak power and more than 147.5 pound-feet of torque, which ought to be pretty peppy in a Vespa. It boasts a range of 62 miles and is fully chargeable in four hours via a cable underneath the seat compartment — where the fuel cap is usually located — and a normal wall outlet. Two riding modes are offered, Eco and Power, in addition to reverse.

The Elettrica X hybrid adds a gasoline generator to double the driving range, with a smaller battery pack that provides an all-electric range of up to 31 miles, with the generator kicking in automatically when the juice is drained or when the driver manually enters it by selecting Extender mode.

Piaggio is giving the Elettrica its own dedicated livery, with a special chrome grey finish with metallic reflections, but customers will have plenty of options for customizing their electrified Vespa, including seven color choices for things like the wheel rims, Vespa badge and seat trim. There's also a new LED front headlight.

It'll be show at the EICMA show in Milan in November. Sales start in Europe and then begin in the U.S. and Asia early in 2019.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

HYBRIDS AND PLUGIN VEHICLE POPULARITY SOARS

At Barnes Crossing Hyundai-Mazda, 2019 is going to be a good year for customers who don’t want to pay a lot for gas.
“So if they can find a hybrid like the Hyundai Ionic they’ve been very adaptable to cars that get 50 to 60 miles a gallon and the Toyota Prius. The Hyundai Ionic have been very good sellers, and they’re great used cars because there are certain people living in every market that have to drive to and from work, and it’s a long distance so they need gas economy cars,” said Barnes Crossing Auto Group member Josh Marshall.
Even customers with families can save on fuel with SUV’s like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which is a different kind of hybrid that gets up to 74 miles to the gallon.
“It acts as an active hybrid electric, but it’s also a plug-in electric. So in other words, if you wanted to choose electric only if you’re making short trips back and forth to home, back and forth to work things like that you can do that. A lot of people think well what happens if you run out of charge? Well, it’s not going to happen because what happens is once the battery reaches a 30-percent capacity the gasoline engine kicks in. The gasoline engine then starts to power a generator which recharges the batteries of course and that will charge it up to 80-percent. Plugging it in will get you to 100,” said Barnes Crossing Mitsubishi.
If you don’t like to buy gasoline at all there is the all electric option like the Chevy Volt. But when I came here to Dwayne Blackmon Chevrolet there weren’t any to see because they’re so popular they can’t keep them in stock.
“Well we’re sold out right now. Why is that? The Chevy is truly an all electric car. It’s not a hybrid. It’s powered by an electric servo-motor and it regenerates power from the front braking system when you’re in coasting mode. And the Chevrolet Volt is designed to give you a good range without any range anxiety. It is a true electric car,” said Blackmon.
“You can actually go about 2,000 miles before you even have to put in the car for the generator. You’ve got a nine gallon gas tank on board for the generator. You fill up your nine gallon tank for your generator, charge your car up and set out and you can get to probably about twenty-one hundred miles before you’d have to recharge or refuel,” said Seaman.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Jaguar latest electric car model



Jaguar debuting the EV sports car as a concept back in September, at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest. An EV conversion service for existing E-type owners will also be offered, according to today’s announcement.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept,” Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hanning said in a released statement, adding that this represents a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. “E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic.”
Among the details of the all-electric E-Type:
Jaguar Classic is targeting a range in excess of 170 miles. It will be powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours, depending on the power source. It will also sport a state-of-the-art powertrain, LED headlights and a touchscreen to allow for a variety of “infotainment.”

Jaguar goes on to say an electric powertrain with single-speed reduction gear has been specially designed for the E-type, using many Jaguar I-PACE components. The E-Type’s lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions and a similar weight to the standard E-type’s six-cylinder XK engine and is also in the same location.
The electric motor, meanwhile, sits behind the battery pack, in place of the E-type’s gearbox. “A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive,” Jaguar explains. “Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means the car’s structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed, simplifying the conversion and keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type with front-rear weight distribution unchanged.”

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Ford recalls electric car power cables due to fire risk


Ford is recalling the charging cords for more than 50,000 plug-in hybrid and electric cars in North America because they could cause fires in electrical outlets.
The company says the 120-volt cords came with certain 2012 through 2015 Focus electrics and some 2013 through 2015 Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids.
Ford says plugging the cords into outlets that aren't on a dedicated circuit or are on damaged, worn or corroded circuits could cause wall outlets to overheat.
The company says it has reports of four fires involving C-Max cords, but no injuries. In three of the fires, owners used extension cords, which Ford says it tells owners not to do. In the fourth fire, Ford says the cause was inconclusive but it does not believe the blaze was related to the cord.
Dealers will replace the cords with ones that can sense high temperatures and shut off charging if necessary. Owners will be notified by letters starting next week.
Ford says owners can keep using the original cords but should follow owners-manual instructions that spell out requirements for wall outlets.
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2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Has A Bolt Beating Range Of 258 Miles

 
Hyundai staged the North American debut of the Kona Electric at the New York Auto Show, the company said the model would be able to travel approximately 250 miles (402 km) between charges.
That was an impressive figure and it turns out the final numbers are even more substantial. As noticed by Electrek, the official EPA numbers are out and the model will have a range of 258 miles (415 km).
That puts the Kona Electric at the top of the pack as the model can travel 20 miles (32 km) further than the Chevrolet Bolt and 107 miles (172 km) more than the Nissan Leaf. More impressively, the Kona Electric can travel more than three times further than the Fiat 500ewhich has a range of just 84 miles (135 km).
Hyundai’s EV has the competition beat on range, it’s a closer match in terms of efficiency. The EPA says the Kona Electric has an MPGe rating of 132 city, 108 highway and 120 combined. The Bolt, on the other hand, is rated at 128 city, 110 highway and 120 combined. Those figures are pretty close and the EPA notes both models have an annual ‘fuel’ cost of approximately $550 (£427 / €476).
Pricing remains the big unknown, but we’ll likely find out how much the Kona Electric will cost closer to its launch this fall. Regardless, the model will have a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which powers an electric motor that develops 201 hp (150 kW / 204 PS) and 290 lb-ft (392 Nm) of torque.


Of course, the electric powertrain does have some downsides as Hyundai says it will take approximately 9 hours and 35 minutes to recharge the battery pack with a Level 2 charger. However, that time can be reduced to just 54 minutes with a Level 3 100kW rapid charger.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Tesla sues Ontario government for 'unfair' scrapping of electric car scheme

Tesla superchargers are installed at the Quinte Mall in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.
The Canadian arm of Tesla Motors is taking Ontario’s new Conservative government to court, claiming it has suffered “substantial harm” after the cancellation of a rebate programme for residents who bought electric vehicles.
Since taking power earlier this year, the new government – led by Doug Ford, the brother of the former, late Toronto mayor Rob Ford – has killed off several initiatives ushered in by previous Liberal governments, from a pilot exploring basic income to a hike in the minimum price of beer.
Included in this was the end of a carbon pricing policy that sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s most populous province. The move would also end a range of environmental initiatives funded by the programme, including rebates of up to C$14,000 ($10,700) for residents who bought electric vehicles.
In an application for judicial review filed earlier this month, Tesla Motors Canada claimed this stipulation unfairly singled the company out, as it sells vehicles directly to customers rather than through dealerships.
“The Minister of Transportation’s decision suddenly left hundreds of Tesla Canada’s Ontario customers in the unfair position of no longer being eligible for the rebate they had expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles,” the lawsuit claimed. It noted that those who purchased other brands of vehicles can still receive a rebate.
The lawsuit asks the province’s superior court to quash what is described as an “arbitrary and entirely unreasonable” decision.
“The decision has already inflicted substantial harm on Tesla Canada in the form of lost sales and the creation of an impression among Ontarians that Tesla Canada may be singled out for future arbitrary treatment under the law,” the lawsuit noted.
None of the company’s claims have been proven in court.
A spokesperson for Ontario’s transportation ministry said that it was aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment, noting that the matter is before the court.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

5 things to know about the IPO of Nio, AKA the ‘Chinese Tesla’



Nio Inc., a Shanghai-based electric-car maker, has filed for an initial public offering, hoping to raise money for an expansion that includes launching a smaller electric SUV to broaden its customer base.
Nio this week filed to offer up to $1.8 billion worth of American depositary shares. The company did not provide a target price range for now.
If Nio succeeds in raising that sum, it would mark the fourth largest U.S. IPO this year, behind Axa Equitable Holdings’ EQH, +2.03%  $3.16 billion, PagSeguro Digital’s PAGS, +1.59%  $2.6 billion, and iQIYI Inc.’s IQ, -0.04%  $2.4 billion.
The company expects to list its ADS on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NIO, and Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are among the underwriters.
Entities affiliated with Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd.0700, -3.04%  have a 15% stake in Nio, and those affiliated with investment powerhouse Hillhouse Capital another 7.5%, according to the company’s prospectus. Founder and Chief Executive Bin Li holds a 17% stake.
The company will compete with Tesla Inc. TSLA, +0.09%  in the luxury electric-car market, and mentioned the potential U.S. rival 13 times in its prospectus.
Here are five things to know about Nio ahead of its IPO:
Its name means ‘blue sky coming’
Nio’s Chinese name, Weilai, translates as “blue sky coming.” Li founded the company in 2014, then named NextCar Inc. It changed its name to Nio three years later.
Nio first introduced a “super car,” the EP9, in 2016. It launched its first volume-produced car, the ES8, in December 2017, with deliveries starting in June of this year.
The ES8 is a 7-seater all-aluminum body electric SUV that the company boasts is cheaper in China than Tesla’s Model X.
“Currently we believe no premium BEV is available to Chinese consumers at competitive pricing and the ES8 is expected to face limited competition initially from premium BEVs,” NIO said in the prospectus.
As of the end of July, Nio had delivered 481 ES8s and had unfulfilled reservations for more than 17,000 ES8s with deposits, according to the prospectus.
Nio plans to launch its second vehicle, the ES6, by the end of 2018, and start deliveries in the first half of next year. The ES6 is a 5-seater, “high-performance premium electric SUV, set at a lower price point than the ES8 to target a broader customer base,” NIO said in the filing.
Nio had a fairly standard warning about the ES6 in the filing, saying it “may not successfully develop the ES6. Our vehicles may not meet customer expectations and our future models, including the ES6, may not be commercially viable.”
No revenue until this year
Nio has more in common with Tesla than ambition: it also has lost massive amounts of money and burned through piles of cash — part of the reason it plans to go public.
“We have negative cash flows from operation, have only recently started to generate revenues and have not been profitable, all of which may continue in the future,” it warned.
Nio began showing revenue this year, reporting $6.7 million in vehicle sales and $7 million in total revenue for the first six months of 2018, when net losses topped $502 million. The company reported a net loss of $758.8 million for all of 2017.
Through June, Nio had burned through $549 million in cash to operate, compared with $691 million for all of 2017. Capital expenditures hit $163 million in the first six months of this year, compared with $168 million for all of last year.
The company estimates that its capital expenditures for the next three years will reach about $1.8 billion. That includes money for improvements and installation of equipment at a plant in Shanghai, as well as for research and development and the expansion of its sales and service network. It expects to incur about $600 million of that in the 12 months starting July 2018.
Nio’s total borrowings, as of June, reached $189.9 million, mainly bank loans and a loan from its investors, said the prospectus.
‘Limited experience’ in making cars
There is no dearth of risks listed in Nio’s prospectus, and such risks are familiar to anyone who has spent any time reading about Tesla: “Our ability to develop and manufacture a car of sufficient quality and appeal to customers on schedule and on a large scale is unproven and still evolving,” it said of risks relating to business.
Nio admits it has “limited experience” so far in high-volume manufacturing of electric vehicles.
“We cannot assure you that we will be able to develop efficient, automated, cost-efficient manufacturing capability and processes, and reliable sources of component supply that will enable us to meet the quality, price, engineering, design and production standards, as well as the production volumes required to successfully mass market the ES8 and future vehicles,” it said.
Then there are the suppliers. The ES8 uses more than 1,700 purchased parts which Nio buys from more than 160 suppliers. Many of those are single-source suppliers for these components, and the company is expecting that this will be similar for the ES6 and any other future vehicle it may produce.
“The supply chain exposes us to multiple potential sources of delivery failure or component shortages,” says the prospectus.
The company is also highly dependent on government incentives and policies that are favorable for electric vehicles.
Its business could be affected by trade wars
Nio said its business could be “adversely affected” by trade tariffs or other trade barriers, including U.S. tariffs imposed in March on steel and aluminum and additional tariffs targeting Chinese goods.
Nio does not export any products to the U.S. and it is not yet clear what impact these tariffs could have. It intends to sell its cars only in China at least in the near future, but tariffs could potentially impact raw-material prices, it said.
Unusual—and risky—corporate structure
Like many Chinese companies with listings outside of China, Nio is a variable-interest entity, or VIE, a structure created in the 1990s as a workaround for Chinese companies that are not allowed to have direct foreign ownership.
Under the VIE structure, the Chinese company creates two entities, one in China that holds the permits and licenses needed to do business there and the other an offshore entity, in this case in the Cayman Islands, in which foreign investors can buy shares. The Chinese entity, which is usually owned by top executives, pays fees and royalties to the offshore company in contractual arrangements.
The biggest example of a VIE is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., in which the Chinese entity is wholly owned by its founder and chairman, Jack Ma.
The risk with this setup is that foreign investors don’t actually own stock in the company, and local management or even the Chinese government could decide or force a split with the listed company, leaving U.S. investors high and dry.
“It is uncertain whether any new PRC laws or regulations relating to variable interest entity structures will be adopted or if adopted, what they would provide,” the company warns in its prospectus.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Saudi Arabia's PIF has shown no interest in bankrolling Tesla buyout





DUBAI/RIYADH/LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shown no interest so far in financing Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk’s proposed $72 billion deal to take the U.S. electric car maker private, despite acquiring a minority stake in the company this year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The 47-year-old investor and engineer stunned financial markets on Tuesday when he said on Twitter that he was considering a take-private deal for Tesla, an auto manufacturing pioneer that developed the world’s first luxury all-electric sedan car. He also said he had secured funding for the proposal, without providing details.
Investors and analysts viewed PIF as a natural financing partner. Beyond amassing a stake of just below 5 percent in Tesla, the sovereign wealth fund has poured tens of billions of dollars into technology investments, including $45 billion in SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund over five years.
However, a source who is familiar with PIF’s strategy said it was not currently getting involved in any funding process for Tesla’s take-private deal.
A second source close to the situation also said PIF was not taking part in any such plan at this stage. This source said that the Saudi fund would not make an investment of this kind without seeking guidance first from Softbank. According to separate sources who spoke to Reuters last week, Softbank is currently not pursuing an investment in Tesla given its investment earlier this year in rival GM Cruise.
Pressure is mounting on Musk to produce details of his financing plan.
Bloomberg reported on Sunday that PIF is in talks that could see it become a significant investor in Tesla as part of the take-private plan but has made no firm decision, citing people with knowledge of the fund’s plans.
Tesla’s board has not received a detailed financing plan from Musk and is seeking more information, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The board will make a decision on whether to hire advisers and launch a formal review of Musk’s take-private proposal in the coming days, based on how much detail on the financing plan it receives from Musk, another source said.
The sources requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential. A spokesman for PIF was not immediately available for comment. A Tesla spokesman declined to comment on behalf of the company and Musk.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has contacted Tesla to ask about Musk’s assertion on Twitter that funding for his proposed deal was “secured”, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Tesla is facing a make-or-break moment in its eight-year history as a public company, as competition from European automakers is poised to intensify with new electric vehicles from Mercedes, Audi, BMW and other rivals.
Taking Tesla private would remove the pressure from Musk coming from hedge funds betting that the company’s stock will drop given its production issues and negative cash flow. It would also remove the company from the glare of Wall Street that comes with reporting quarterly earnings publicly.
In a letter to employees on Tuesday, Musk suggested a choice for shareholders of selling their shares for $420 each or remaining investors in a private Tesla.
Musk has also said he would be looking to keep his ownership of Tesla at around 20 percent in a buyout deal, and that a special purpose vehicle, like the one that exists at his aerospace company SpaceX, would allow Tesla shareholders to remain invested if they so choose.
Investment bankers and analysts have so far reacted with scepticism, telling Reuters it would be hard for Musk, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $22 billion, to raise the equity and debt financing needed for the deal given Tesla is not turning a profit.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Virginia to spend $14 million from Volkswagen settlement on electric car charging network

EVGo

Virginia has picked a Los Angeles firm to build and operate a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the commonwealth, with the state planning to use $14 million from a legal settlement with Volkswagen to cover its share of the public-private partnership.
EVgo will share the cost of building hundreds of charging stations and be allowed to keep all of the revenue generated by them under the deal, which Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a news conference Thursday.
EVgo — which owns more than 1,000 stations in 34 states, including Virginia — was one of six firms to bid on the project.
Amid a diesel emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen entered into a $15 billion settlement in 2016 to resolve claims that it violated the Clean Air Act by selling vehicles rigged to pass pollution tests. Most of that money was for compensating consumers, but a portion was made available to states to mitigate environmental damage.
Virginia’s slice of that settlement is $93.6 million. Under the terms of the settlement, states may use up to 15 percent of the funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which in Virginia’s case, comes to about $14 million.
The state will use the remainder of the $93.6 million to improve air quality, address climate change and help the Chesapeake Bay under a plan filed Thursday with the trustee overseeing the Volkswagen settlement.At Northam’s news conference on Capitol Square, EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi said the company will build “hundreds” of chargers. She declined to be more specific in terms of number or locations, but said the state’s most heavily trafficked areas would get priority.
EVgo said it will build “DC fast-charging stations” that in 20 minutes can charge a vehicle enough to drive 60 to 80 miles. Two Virginia-based contractors will help develop the charging network over the next three years. EVgo also will establish a service center in Richmond to provide maintenance for the charging stations statewide.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Maker of single-passenger electric car files for $10 million public offering


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Electra Meccanica, a Canadian company gearing up production of a single-seat car that looks like it's missing its back half, is about to go public.
The company announced Wednesday that it will list a $10 million public offering on the NASDAQ. Shares will be sold starting Thursday under the tickers "SOLO" (for common shares) and "SOLOW" (for warrants). The ticker symbols are a reference to the vehicle it produces -- the "Solo."
The Electra Meccanica Solo is a tiny three-wheeled car designed for those times when all you need is to get yourself, and only yourself, from one place to another. It's basic transportation at its most basic. The electric car has a range, on a full charge, of about 100 miles and a top speed of 82 miles an hour.
The fact that the car has three wheels means that it is not, in most places, considered a car. That frees the Solo from having to comply with various regulations which, in turn, means it can be incredibly small and light. It's about 10 feet long or two feet shorter than a two-door Mini Cooper and weighs 1,100 pounds less.
A prototype of the Solo provided for a test drive proved too rough around the edges, and all the parts in between, to render fair judgment of the final car. One thing it did, however, was garner attention. At every stop light people gathered around clearly wondering what they were looking at.
The bafflement comes from the fact that the Solo doesn't look like a car but it doesn't really look like ... not a car, either. The front end has a "grill," of sorts, and headlights, but once you get back past the windshield it just shrinks away to nothing. One advantage of having just a single seat but two doors is that drivers can easily enter or exit the vehicle from either side.
The company is also developing a two-seat electric sports car called the Tofino that's set to go on sale next year. Plans call for a top speed of 125 mile an hour and range of up to 250 miles with a price around $50,000.
Electra Meccanica spun off in 2015 from a company called Intermeccanica, a small volume automaker founded by Canadian Frank Reisner in Turin, Italy, in 1959. That company started out building performance-tuning kits for various cars then, later moved into making its own cars. Intermeccanica is now based in Canada and still makes sports cars that resemble vintage Porsches and an off-road vehicle resembling the World War II era German K├╝belwagen.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Tesla Engages Chinese Banks to Fund Its Shanghai Factory


Elon Musk’s shock $82 billion offer to buy out the loss-making Tesla Inc. has the market wondering just how he will find the cash. But when it comes to his grand plans to build electric cars in China, he already has the answer: the nation’s state-owned banks.
With a factory just outside of Shanghai key to Musk’s vision of making inroads in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market and finally making Tesla profitable, the company has enlisted the city’s government as an ally.
Shanghai authorities are helping Tesla obtain loans from some of the biggest Chinese banks, according to people familiar with the matter. At least four lenders have begun an appraisal process on the loans, which will be used to fund the building of a factory that’s said to cost $5 billion to bring to full capacity. Some banks have signed confidentiality agreements with the Shanghai government and Tesla, and are in advanced negotiations, the people said.
The Shanghai government’s information office didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment.
The banks have yet to decide on the size of the loans and interest rates, said the people. Tesla has said it plans to use mostly local debt to fund the Shanghai factory, which Bloomberg News previously reported would require investment of $5 billion.
Local governments in China have been chasing and competing with each other to entice electric-vehicle manufacturing projects as the nation has a goal to lead the world in cars powered by electricity. Tesla negotiated for years with Shanghai’s government before inking a preliminary agreement in July to build the 500,000-unit-a-year factory in the city.
As the world’s largest car market, China is crucial to Musk’s goal of dominating electric vehicles. The billionaire tweeted that he is considering taking the money-losing company private at $420 a share and has secured the funding to do so. At that price, the electric-car maker would have a valuation of $82 billion.