Today’s big EV stories:
• VW EV Production In Zwickau Near Capacity
• VW Chief Dyess: “The benchmark is Tesla”
• Lucid registers 10,000 VINs
• Lotus’ New 872-HP EV Platform
• VW ID.4 earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award
• Audi Q4 e-tron EV Is Cheaper Than a Q5
• Mercedes-Benz EQS US pricing revealed
• Renault begins retooling Douai plant for electric Mégane
• GM Reveals Three New Motors That Will Power Its Future EVs
• Wuling Mini EV to get a major upgrade
• Ken Block Signs With Audi
• GM works ‘around the clock’ to ensure its new Hummer EV doesn’t inherit defects that caused Chevy Bolt fires
• Electric Volkswagen ABT E-Transporter Joins Mobile Service Clinic Fleet
• Citroen AMI Comes To UK
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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Thursday 23rd September. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don't have to.
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Saturday Special – listen this weekend for Ian Johnston from Osprey Charging talking about the future of fueling up, and the innovative load-sharing solutions he’s bringing to the UK.
VW EV PRODUCTION IN ZWICKAU NEAR CAPACITY
A graph published by VW shows the production output of their Zwickau plant has been rising since the start of 2021. The MEB-based cars are all electric such as the ID.3. But a total of 6 models from various VW brands will be made there, such as the ID.5 which hasn't stated production yet. The production capacity is 330,000 EVs per year from this one facility, about 20% of VW's 1.5million EVs they are on track to make every year by 2025. Now we see the daily run rate hitting 1,200. When it gets to 1,500 that's capacity for a 5 day week with some weeks for shutdown every year.
So the chip shortage hasn't affected the MEB cars out of Zwickau. It will definitely be affecting VW ICE cars tho so that suggests they are willing to sacrifice ICE to make EVs, to hit CO2 targets in order to avoid fines, and also we know the MEB-based cars are profitable too.
HERBERT DIESS: "THE MAIN BENCHMARK IS TESLA"
Herbert Diess appeared on a German podcast yesterday morning called The Pioneer Morning Briefing. For my German listeners, this is what he had to say about the speed Tesla works at, and yes I'll try to translate after this clip.
Something like: "The true benchmark is really Tesla, the speed yes, with the same suppliers Tesla manages to do product development with the same suppliers in half the time which is much more aggressive. They can of course take a lot more risk than we can."
But what about Cybertruck, long overdue Semi Truck, the Roadaster 2? It doesn't feel VW wants to be more like Tesla because that kind of -ship-it-now-and-fix-it-later style is not the German way, but there's definitely capital to be gained by saying 'hey look at what these guys are doing, we need to change'. It helps his political battle to push through reform at VW.
LUCID REGISTERS 10,000 VINS
"It appears that Lucid Group has already registered approximately 10,000 Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), around 10K reservations for the Lucid Air EV. It’s important to remember that each road-legal car has its own VIN, which is a string of 17 characters containing the vehicle’s unique identifier. This advancement is a critical one in the long process of bringing the much-anticipated Air EV to market. " reports Finbold.com
: "Lucid will open the doors of its Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-1) in Casa Grande to the media, financial community, policymakers, and a select group of customers. The series of events for the week of September 27th, 2021, will see a small group of guests have the opportunity to observe manufacturing methods for Lucid Air and learn more about Lucid’s revolutionary EV technology from Lucid’s top engineers."
Along with the 520 miles of EPA range, Lucid appear to be ticking all the boxes to be close to those first deliveries.
LOTUS’ NEW 872-HP EV PLATFORM
"The upcoming two-seat electric sports car will be based on the Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture, which is designed to fit different chassis with up to three configurations" writes Hazel Southwell for The Drive: "what's going in the mid-engine slot is the battery, essentially occupying the back seat of the two-seater with the motor-generator unit tucked up against the rear axle where it delivers the power and also recovers it under regenerative braking. There's a 64.4kWh battery pack option in the truly lightweight option or you can go up to 99.6kWh for the dual-motor, maximum horsepower edition. There's also a configuration for a four-seater car, where the battery is packed into the base of the chassis as it is in skateboard-style platforms."
evo magazine adds: "Both layouts have their inherent pros and cons thanks to where the mass sits within the chassis, but whereas you might think models fitted with a stacked battery pack might be at a disadvantage thanks to a higher centre of gravity, many engineers continue to struggle with developing ride and handling packages that deal with the physics associated with a driver being sat directly above, not in the midst of so much weight. The stacked batteries will also allow lotus engineers to mount the seat much lower than in a car, again mimicking the weight distribution of traditional IC cars."
VW ID.4 EARNS IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ AWARD
" After completing crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has bestowed the electric VW with the Top Safety Pick+, the IIHS's highest safety award." says Autoblog: "These ratings are nearly identical to fellow Top Safety Pick+ award-winner the Volvo XC40 Recharge as well as the Tesla Model 3, with both having all their headlights rated Good. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is only rated a Top Safety Pick (no +) due to the Select and California Route 1 trims' headlights being rated "Marginal.""
AUDI Q4 E-TRON EV IS CHEAPER THAN A Q5
" The 2022 Q4 e-tron will start at $44,995, which is less than the gas-powered Q5 crossover and only a few thousand dollars more than its downmarket sibling, the VW ID.4." says Car and Driver: "The more powerful Q4 50 e-tron starts at $50,995 and adds all-wheel drive courtesy of an additional front electric motor that increases total power output to 295 horsepower. Audi has only shared range estimates for the 50 models so far, which sits at 241 miles according to the EPA. We anticipate the 40 model will achieve a slightly higher range number, as the ID.4's AWD configuration takes a slight range hit compared with its RWD counterpart."
MERCEDES-BENZ EQS US PRICING REVEALED
"US pricing for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS, the automaker’s flagship luxury sedan, has been confirmed, and it’s unexpectedly good news if you’re in the market for something other than a Tesla. Headed to US dealerships in fall 2021, the new EQS will start from $102,310 (plus destination), Mercedes confirmed today." according to Slashgear: " Eligible buyers may be able to get the $7,500 federal tax incentive for EVs, however, and any state and local incentives and rebates they could qualify for. The 2022 EQS 580 4MATIC Sedan, meanwhile, will start at $119,110 (plus destination). That adds a second electric motor for all-wheel drive. There’ll be three trims on offer, starting with Premium, then rising to Exclusive, and then finally Pinnacle. All three will be offered on both the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC versions of the car."
Also included 2 years of Electrify America charging.
RENAULT BEGINS RETOOLING DOUAI PLANT FOR ELECTRIC MÉGANE
"Preparations are underway at the Renault plant in Douai for series production of the Mégane E-Tech Electric, due out in the first half of 2022. Renault Group says it is investing more than €550 million in the production facilities there and in improved workplace ergonomics." says electrive.com
: "The first step in this transformation has now been the conversion of an assembly line that can now produce numerous models from various vehicle classes, including the Mégane E-Tech Electric. A central component of the site’s electromobility strategy is the on-site battery production and assembly that was officially announced in the summer. This is based on a partnership between the Renault Group and Envision AESC. Renault officially speaks of a planned “Gigafactory” with a capacity of 9 GWh by 2024 and 43 GWh by 2030 (of which Renault intends to purchase 24 GWh)."
GM REVEALS THREE NEW MOTORS THAT WILL POWER ITS FUTURE EVS
WULING MINI EV TO GET A MAJOR UPGRADE
KEN BLOCK SIGNS WITH AUDI
GM WORKS ‘AROUND THE CLOCK’ TO ENSURE ITS NEW HUMMER EV DOESN’T INHERIT DEFECTS THAT CAUSED CHEVY BOLT FIRES
ELECTRIC VOLKSWAGEN ABT E-TRANSPORTER JOINS MOBILE SERVICE CLINIC FLEET
CITROEN AMI COMES TO UK
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