Fiat Is Next Automaker To Declare Move To Pure Electric | 06 June 2021

Jun 06, 11:00 AM

Today’s big EV stories: • Fiat Poised To Be All-Electric Automaker By 2030 • Volkswagen considers an IPO for their battery division • UK firm's unique EV design could boost range by 30% • Volkswagen Taking Over a Greek Island With Its EVs • Nissan launches flagship Ariya EV in Japan • Nissan postpones ‘Ariya’ launch due to lack of chips • EV startups race for a 'golden ticket' order • Texas bid to impose special state tax on electric vehicles fails — for now • Question Of The Week Answers

Show #1105.
 
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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Sunday 6th June. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don't have to.
 
FIAT POISED TO BE ALL-ELECTRIC AUTOMAKER BY 2030
"It was a little over a year ago when Fiat unveiled its new, all-electric 500e. Fiat CEO Olivier François has already confirmed that a hotter electrified Abarth version is in the works, but now we have confirmation that far more electrification will enter Fiat's lineup. In fact, the Italian brand intends to go completely electric before the end of this decade." according to Motor1.com: "As for Fiat's electric ambitions, though the 500e looks quite similar to internal-combustion-powered versions of the iconic small car, it's actually the first car from the brand built from the ground-up to be an EV. Manufactured in Turin, Italy, the 500e features a 42 kWh battery powering a single electric motor good for 118 bhp (88 kilowatts). "
 
 
VOLKSWAGEN CONSIDERS AN IPO FOR THEIR BATTERY DIVISION
"Volkswagen is considering an IPO for its new battery division. According to Chief Technology Officer Thomas Schmall, this does not involve individual plants but the entire cell business." reports electrive: "By 2030, Volkswagen plans to build six new giga-factories for cell production with its partners in Europe alone, at a cost in the double-digit billions, as the Group announced at its Power Day in March. According to [Chief Technology Officer Thomas Schmall] Schmall, this is enough to equip more than five million cars with batteries. For China and the plants on the American continent in the USA and Mexico, further factories would probably be added if VW also wants to rely on the standard battery cell there.
 
 
UK FIRM'S UNIQUE EV DESIGN COULD BOOST RANGE BY 30%
"A London-based start-up has revealed an innovative electric car design solution that, it says, could allow for 30% more range per charge.  Page-Roberts, founded in 2019, aims to "dramatically upscale EV efficiencies with cutting-edge engineering solutions that deliver design elegance." says Autocar: ""Pointing to the added height, extended wheelbase and "structural complexities" of a conventional 'skateboard' arrangement, Page-Roberts posits that a vertically oriented power pack could improve the design, user experience and manufacturing cost of electric cars. The battery would be positioned between two rows of opposite-facing seats, in an arrangement that, Page-Roberts claims, is "far more compact" than existing designs. It would also allow the car to sit lower, be more aerodynamically efficient and weigh less."
 
 
VOLKSWAGEN TAKING OVER A GREEK ISLAND WITH ITS EVS, GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE MOVE
"Late last year, Volkswagen announced it would be “investing” in the Greek island of Astypalea by converting the island's mobility infrastructure from ICEs to EVs. With around 1,500 ICE vehicles on the island, there was no odor of eco-friendly goodness." says autoevolution: "The five-year plan is meant to transform Astypalea into the first “smart and sustainable island” among the Greek provinces and act as an example for the rest of Greece. It's also a platform for study, helping Volkswagen understand a myriad of factors that will surely affect a transition to an electric society.  Astypalea is currently a mostly diesel-driven island, as very few alternative energy sources have been set up except generators. But Volkswagen seems to embrace this as it offers a perfect laboratory in which to test all subsequent stages of a transition."
 
 
NISSAN LAUNCHES FLAGSHIP ARIYA EV IN JAPAN
"Nissan Motor has started taking preorders in Japan for limited editions of its first new battery electric car in a decade. The Japanese carmaker is pinning hopes on the Ariya, its first all-electric crossover SUV, to pep up its EV range." says Nikkei Asia: "Nissan said it would also do more to attract customers unfamiliar with electric vehicles, opening a website on Friday to allow Ariya preordering and virtual driving using augmented reality technology. Nissan's chief operating officer, Ashwani Gupta, told Nikkei Asia in a recent interview that the Japanese carmaker is set to share close to 70% of key EV components with its alliance partners, France's Renault and Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, to lower EV production cost."
 
 
NISSAN POSTPONES ‘ARIYA’ LAUNCH DUE TO LACK OF CHIPS
"Nissan is postponing the market launch of its new electric model Ariya by several months due to the ongoing chip shortage. The Japanese domestic market is to be served first, so an export to Europe in 2021 seems rather unlikely." according to electrive: "When the Ariya was first unveiled in July last year, Nissan had announced that it would be on the market in mid-2021. Now the company announced that only a limited edition of the Ariya will be available for launch in Japan from “this winter”, for which pre-orders are now opening there. Reservations for the Ariya in Europe, the USA and China will be possible “later this year”. Nissan does not reveal when exactly deliveries to export markets are to start. That Nissan has chosen to start with the simplest model rather than the top-of-the-line four-wheeler in the face of the chip shortage is likely due precisely to the lack of semiconductors: The smaller battery with fewer modules requires fewer electronics"
 
 
EV STARTUPS RACE FOR A 'GOLDEN TICKET' ORDER
"The future of a bevy of commercial EV startups seeking investor capital through blank-check IPOs rests largely in the hands of a small group of big companies such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon. With each carrier having tens of thousands of vehicles in its global fleet, an order from a package delivery giant can launch a startup on the road to manufacturing scale and profitability, and serve as a marketing tool to win orders from other big customers." reports Autmotive News: " Some startups already have their golden ticket. Arrival, which went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), has an order for up to 10,000 vans from UPS. The Arrival electric test van decked out in UPS' distinct brown livery is popular with drivers at the package delivery giant's facility in London's Kentish Town district. During a demonstration of the van by Luke Wake, UPS vice president of maintenance and engineering, several drivers asked: "When can we drive one?" The van's battery pack will allow UPS to add automatic doors for drivers and LED lights in the back to help drivers find packages more quickly. Such features can save seconds per delivery -- which add up as UPS delivers 2 billion packages annually."
 
 
TEXAS BID TO IMPOSE SPECIAL STATE TAX ON ELECTRIC VEHICLES FAILS — FOR NOW
"An effort to impose what amounts to a special state tax on electric vehicles fell short of the finish line in the recently concluded legislative session, although the reprieve from new road use fees might be temporary." saus Austin American Statesman: "That's because debate about the issue largely focused on how much and when — not if — owners of electric and other vehicles that aren't powered by gasoline should pay. The possible fees are likely to come up again in 2023 during the next regular session of the Legislature, if not before then in a special session. the legislation, which would have set the fee at $200 annually for most electric cars, calling it nearly double the amount many drivers of equivalent conventionally powered vehicles pay in gasoline taxes each year."
 
 
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ANSWERS
Rajeev NArayan
I think for most workplaces, 7.2 kW or even 3.8 kW Level II chargers would suffice. In just a few hours these chargers could offset the commute to and from work also, for the cost of just one DC fast charger, you could buy several level II chargers.  If these were more common, it would make EVs an option for people who do not have access to charging at home. Ideally it would be nice if workplaces got incentives to help offset the cost of installation, and for adding solar to help charge vehicles. Some places here in San Antonio simply contract with Charting companies, unfortunately they typically charge about 31c/kWh, and install just a few chargers to maximize profits. I would prefer if workplaces install their own chargers and either provide free charging or charge less exorbitant prices.
 
Shahad Choudhury
We need more, slower chargers at workplaces. My work is limited to 8 chargepoint plugs because of the grid connection, but it only takes a couple hours to charge up most EVs on them.  This led to lots of frustration and wasted time (pre lockdown) when people moved their full cars, since multiple other people are all rushing down to try and get the spot when they're notified
 
Barry Wolf
For USA: run many (at least 10% of spaces) 20 amp circuits to the parking lot, with one circuit per parking spot, using 4 conductor cable but make each circuit a 120 V circuit (extra unused conductor enables 240 V service in the future). Charging at either 12 amps or 16 amps @ 120V for eight hours will provide ~11 kWh or ~15 kWh, respectively, of energy during the work day. This will provide30 to 60 miles of range, depending on EVSE amperage and car efficiency. Either have people bring own EVSE or provide L1 EVSEs. 
 
Karl Cramer
I’d be happy if every workplace parking lamppost had an outdoor GFCI rated plug socket at its base. Since were there for 8-12 hours anyway we can get a long slow charge that’s better for our battery life anyway.
 
Ron Barber
I assisted in the specification and configuration of the chargers at my workplace 2.5 years ago. One site of about 600 people we installed 14 Level 2 chargers (7.6kW or 3.8kW if both of the pair in use). A second location has about 1200 people and 24 Level 3 chargers. The units are from ClipperCreek which has provided excellent service. There is no charge to using the units but we ask people to use for only 4 hrs per session. It can vertebrae a point of contention with the number of EVs more than tripling since install.
I also developed hardware and software to monitor the chargers and provide a web site for status. 
 
The charging power is a bit low but some constraints on available power near the parking lot, but I did take a survey prior to speciation (about a year in planning) and collected commute distances and EV types to analyze average charging times needed. The system has proven to be well utilized.
 
Michael Clasquin
Lots and lots of 240 volt sockets  that we can plug our granny chargers into, weatherproofed if necessary. Eight hours on a granny charger will get anybody home. 
 
Stephen Troyer
I think the type of charging at workplaces should be slow charging or bi-directional. 
 
High speed chargers don't make as much sense at a work place because they'll run when demand on the grid is high, and because the average work day is long enough to get a charge from flat to full at a slow rate. 
 
Bi-directional charging could make a lot of sense because then all those cars could help meet the peaks in demand and then put power back in before the end of the employees' work day so that they have plenty of power for the round trip home and back.
 
 
QUESTION OF THE WEEK WITH EMOBILITYNORWAY.COM
 
What noises, if any, should electric vehicles make (inside or outside the vehicle)
 
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