30 Mar 2020 | VW: In China, Hope Is Returning
Tesla reopens Wuhan store | Tesla Gigafactory employee tests positive for COVID-19 | Chinese EV Manufacturer Now World’s Biggest Face-Mask Maker| Mustang Mach-E development doesn't stop | Tesla Challenge to Door Patent Shot Down | Ground Leveling For Giga Berlin To Be Completed Soon | Volkswagen witnesses increased demand for e-up! and Passat GTE in Germany | First DAF CF Electric refuse collection truck delivered to ROVA | Liebherr presents all-electric truck mixers |Lucid Motors delays launch of Air EV
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Monday 30th March 2020. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don't have to.
VW: HOPE IS RETURNING
Just two months ago, China was considered the center of the corona pandemic. Meanwhile, there are signs of relaxation, with the car industry also slowly returning to normality. Production of vehicles and components has resumed at 22 of 24 Volkswagen locations.
Volkswagen Group China sales figures are showing signs of improvement following the Corona-related crash. The overall market trend is pointing slightly upwards.
More than 95 percent of all Volkswagen Group dealers have reopened their showrooms. Customer frequency is around 60 percent compared with normal phases.
The Volkswagen brand alone is represented in China by more than 2,000 dealers. There are 430 dealerships at Audi, 470 at ŠKODA and 120 at Porsche.
Around 40 percent of the planned investments alone will go into electric mobility. This year, for example, production of new electric models based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is due to start at plants in Anting (SAIC VOLKSWAGEN) and Foshan (FAW-Volkswagen). Both plants are specially designed for the production of purely electric cars.
From 2025, Volkswagen Group plans to sell 1.5 million electric cars per year in China. This is also based on the introduction of the Volkswagen ID. Family, which will be launched this year.
TESLA REOPENS WUHAN STORE
Vice President of Tesla China shared a message online, user Grace Tao Lin: "“I received a video from my colleague in Wuhan before the meeting in the morning, and the Guoguang store was officially resumed. Wuhan friends went out to work for the first time in two months.”
Teslarati says: "Wuhan has allowed many businesses to reopen amidst the virus, as authorities lifted the mandatory quarantine that lasted over two months. Wuhan’s government has permitted retail locations and malls to resume business to revive the world’s second-largest economy. While residents are now being allowed to go out and shop in local malls and shopping centers, they are required to stay within the Hubei province that the city of Wuhan is located in until April 8."
TESLA GIGAFACTORY EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
"An employee at Tesla’s sprawling battery plant outside of Reno, Nevada, has tested positive for COVID-19 according to internal communications obtained by CNBC. KRNV NBC Reno previously reported on the matter on Sunday." writes Lauran Kolodny for CNBC.
From Tesla: ""If there is a future confirmed case, our protocol at Tesla is to interview the individual, investigate their whereabouts, and speak to their managers to determine to the best of their ability who had contact with the individual at work. We will notify individuals who had direct and extended contact and tell them to self-quarantine to watch for symptoms. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.""
CHINESE EV MANUFACTURER IS NOW WORLD’S BIGGEST FACE-MASK MAKER
"As the virus spread throughout China in January, BYD began re-engineering its production lines to allow the company to produce face masks and disinfectants. The company says it was able to get production of these items up and running in just two weeks. A face-mask production line requires about 1,300 parts for various gears and rollers, and BYD was able to source most of these in-house." reports Ride.tech: "Currently, the company produces roughly five million face masks and 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizer per day. BYD claims this makes it the largest producer of face masks in the world."
MUSTANG MACH-E DEVELOPMENT DOESN'T STOP FOR CORONAVIRUS
"Ford Motor Co. engineers are keeping the Mustang Mach-E program on track to launch this fall even as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts manufacturing, sales and other business." says The Detroit News: "As they work from home, the developers have traded team rides in prototype vehicles for recorded video, labs for garages, co-workers for children and office conversation for virtual chats. But the team developing Ford's first battery-electric Mustang SUV says it remains focused on completing the base model's final evaluations and continuing work on other versions."
Aleyna Kapur, a Mach-E calibrator: ""If there is a different calibration we want to try, I will jump into the vehicle, the flash goes in, I will take the car around the block, come back, look at the data, and see how things reacted. Maybe I'll get back in the vehicle, tweak a few things, and come back to the desk. It's right there. If I need something done in one vehicle, I follow up with my fellow calibrators, and say, 'Hey, can you grab this data for me? Can you try this out? Can you make sure this diagnostic checks out?' We kind of help each other out at the end of the day. We’re making it work."
TESLA CHALLENGE TO DOOR PATENT SHOT DOWN BY APPEALS BOARD
"The Patent Trial and Appeal Board declined to review Nikola Corp.'s truck seat door patent that Tesla Inc. argued was obvious and therefore invalid." according to Bloomberg Law: "Tesla in September asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal to review Nikola’s U.S. patent no. 10,077,084, that covers a semi-truck vehicle door that provides access to the cabin interior from a seat’s backside. The electric car maker, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, argued that previous patents and publications show the same door position."
GROUND LEVELING FOR GIGA BERLIN TO BE COMPLETED SOON
"According to the latest video reports from the Tesla Gigafactory 4 (aka Giga Berlin) in Grünheide, near Berlin in Germany, the ground leveling is coming to an end. Most of the area is already prepared and this stage of work should be completed later this week. As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads across Germany, the question is whether Tesla will be able to start construction works smoothly?" says InsideEVs.
VOLKSWAGEN WITNESSES INCREASED DEMAND FOR E-UP! AND PASSAT GTE IN GERMANY
"Volkswagen is focussing on stepping up electric mobility and is significantly expanding its range of fully electric models and hybrids." repotrs newmobility.global: "Even before the launch of the new ID.3 this summer, the demand for electric mobility has considerably increased in Germany: already every second order for the up! model series is for the fully electric version, around 20,000 orders have been received. The GTE versions of the current Passat generation have also become increasingly more popular amongst buyers: Every seventh customer now opts for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV)."
FIRST DAF CF ELECTRIC REFUSE COLLECTION TRUCK DELIVERED TO ROVA
"first DAF CF Electric 6x2 refuse collection truck has entered operations with Dutch public waste disposal firm ROVA. The vehicle features a zero-emission VDL electric powertrain alongside a fully electric VDL refuse collection superstructure. The vehicle will be operated by ROVA in the Dutch city of Zwolle." says Green Car Congress: "The driveline is powered by a battery pack with a (gross) energy content of 170 kWh; sufficient for covering regular garbage collection routes. Waste collection trucks typically return to the depot every few hours to unload, at which time a DAF CF Electric can recharge up to 80% battery capacity in only 30 minutes."
LIEBHERR PRESENTS ALL-ELECTRIC TRUCK MIXERS
"The vehicle manufacturer Liebherr, in cooperation with Designwerk and ZF, have developed the first fully electric truck mixers with a drum holding ten or twelve cubic metres on a five-axle chassis. The first applications are planned for autumn 2020 at the customers Holcim and KIBAG in Switzerland." according to electrive: "The Futuricum chassis, based on Volvo Trucks’ FM series, houses an electric motor with an output of 500 kW and, according to the Swiss manufacturer, copes perfectly with the weight of the concrete in the drum. A drum drive is a unit consisting of an additional electric motor and a mixer gearbox installed directly on the drum. All hydraulics are superfluous, says Liebherr."
LUCID MOTORS DELAYS LAUNCH OF AIR EV
"The debut of Lucid Motors Inc.'s first production car, a luxury electric sedan called Air, has been put off until later this year due to uncertainties around the coronavirus pandemic." says Biz Journals.com: "The Newark-based company headed by former Tesla Inc. chief engineer Peter Rawlinson had planned to unveil the car next week at the New York Auto Show, which was postponed until late August amid travel bans and a mounting COVID-19 outbreak. The company's principal investor is Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which committed to providing $1 billion of capital in September 2018. Rawlinson said the relationship that sovereign fund and other investors remains solid."
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
With VW ID.3 facing software rewrites, how hard should we be on legacy auto makers when they hit EV speedbumps?
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