Tesla Battery Fire update

Tesla Battery Fire update

Latest update [8th October]: “Tesla Motors had regained most of the value it lost in the wake of the accident” after Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei boosted her price target on the company’s stock to $210 after visiting Tesla and test driving a Model S.

Key points:

  • Tesla shares fall 6% 24 hours after the news broke
  • Drop is shares may also have been caused by an analyst downgrade
  • Incident report suggested the fire was started in the battery
  • Driver is said to have hit a large piece of metal debris that caused the crash
  • firefighters said to have struggled to contain the flames
  • [8th October]Tesla’s stock value recovers almost to the pre-fire value

Statement from Tesla:

“The vehicle performed as it was designed to do…

…On Tuesday, a Model S collided with a large metallic object in the middle of the road, causing significant damage to the vehicle, the car’s alert system signalled a problem and instructed the driver to pull over safely, which he did. No one was injured, and the sole occupant had sufficient time to exit the vehicle safely and call the authorities.

The fire occurred after one of the 12 batteries used to power the vehicle was ruptured, and ignited. Each of (more…)

EU approves €20.5 million of aid to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles
Clean air & anti-polution

EU approves €20.5 million of aid to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles

In a press release on the Europa.eu website, the European Union have announced the approval of a €20.5 million grant to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles.

Renault applied for the funding through the French Government National Loan programme in 2012, to support their HYDIVU project: to develop a diesel hybrid drivetrain for a low carbon vehicle based on the Trafic and Master range of commercial vans. The project was accepted by the French Government in 2012 and has since been approved by the EU.

Renault will carry out the HYDIVU project in collaboration with three other companies (Continental, Valeo and LMS International) and a research body (IFPEN).

The approval has been granted despite concerns that it presents an unfair market advantage to Renault – The EU considered that drive trains for vehicles of this type were not being developed by other manufacturers or by Renault, and would not be without funding of this type.

In the words of the EU, there was a “genuine market failure” and it is “both necessary and sufficient to spur Renault to carry out an R&D project that it would not otherwise have launched of its own volition”

To explain: commercial (more…)

Policy explained: UK Government strategy for ultra low emission vehicles until 2020

Policy explained: UK Government strategy for ultra low emission vehicles until 2020

The UK Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) is a cross Government, industry-endorsed team combining policy and funding streams to simplify policy development and delivery for ultra low emission vehicles, setup in 2009.

OLEV currently comprises people and funding from the Departments for Transport (DfT), Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The core purpose is to support the early market for electric and other ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

In September 2013 the coalition government published an updated, 104-page report outlining their ambitions, funding and policy support for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK: “Driving the Future Today – A strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK”

Here is a summary of the report by EVMarkets.com to explain how much money is being committed, the structure of the funding and the schemes in place to support the EV and ULEV industries…

Summary of funding and investments:

Total claimed investment between 2009 and 2020: £1bn GBP ($1.6bn USD €1.19bn EUR), as follows:

  • £400 million initial funding from 2009 to 2015
  • Creation of a £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, funded by Government (£500m) and industry

Detailed breakdown of funding and support packages:

Contratulations Angela, now about those vehicle CO2 emmissions
Clean air & anti-polution

Contratulations Angela, now about those vehicle CO2 emmissions

So Angela Merkel has won a historic German federal election with the highest single party vote since the 1950′s. Clearly the German electorate are pleased with Angela’s handling of the eurozone crisis, which sets Germany apart from the rest of Europe, where most voters have punished their political leadership.

But what does this mean to the EV industry and clean vehicles in general?

Germany are the biggest manufacturers and exporters in Europe, and one of their largest manufacturing sectors is cars, which is one of the largest employers in the country, with a strong labour force of over 870,000 and an annual output over 6 million and a 35.6% share of the European Union. Germany is the fourth largest car manufacturer behind to China, the US and Japan.

If you read the European member states various policies on clean vehicles, in particular the German, UK, French and Italian policies, all of whom are major vehicle manufacturing countries/economies; there is an outward intention to support the automotive industry.

Policy-backed investment designed to support and drive the inevitable transition to ultra low emmission vehicles, is being progressed in a way that offers maximum benefit to the manufacturers and employers within those respective member states – all (more…)

Carbon composites bring many advantages for EVs, but at what cost?
Charging standards

Carbon composites bring many advantages for EVs, but at what cost?

The BMW i3 electric car made a bit of a splash at the Frankfurt Auto Show last week, because it is highly innovative in a number of ways. One of the headline innovations is the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger compartment – a first use of carbon composite materials in the core structure of the body shell for a mass-market production vehicle.

But it comes at a cost. Using the UK pricing as an example, the i3 starts a £29,950 ($47,807 USD, €35,810 EUR) for the base model, although it will be eligible for Government subsidies such as the £5,000 ($7,981 USD, €5,978 EUR) grant in the UK.

Even with the subsidy that will make it £7,440 ($11,876 USD, €8,896 EUR) more expensive than the entry level 1-series, and a staggering £13,081 ($20,880 USD, 15,641 EUR) more than the similarly sized BMW mini, for a car with less than a 100 mile (161km) range.

How much of that price difference is down to the composites used in the body?

It’s hard to do more than speculate with the data I have, but I’m going to attempt some un-educated guesswork: Carbon fibre costs between 20 and 80 USD/Kg depending on quality. Carbon Fibre composites (more…)

Germany to ‘fall short’ of electric car target – or not

Germany to ‘fall short’ of electric car target – or not

According to the German news site TheLocal.de, Germany is to ‘fall short’ of their electric car target of one million vehicle sales by 2020.

Based on another article published by German language newspaper Sueddeutsche, the headline is in response to a recent study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI): “Market launch scenarios for electric vehicles”.

“The market launch of electric cars depends, among other things, on how external factors of influence develop such as the price of crude oil or electricity. Besides these cost developments, the range of vehicles offered and the degree of acceptance of this new type of mobility will also be decisive. Under optimistic assumptions, the joint goal of the German government and the German National Platform for Electric Mobility of one million electric cars by 2020 can be reached without monetary measures. And even under less optimistic framework conditions, it should be possible to get 150,000 to 200,000 electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020.”

The study looked at the likelihood of reaching the German 1 million EVs by 2020, taking in to account various scenarios including changes over time in fossil fuel pump-prices, battery costs, electricity costs and other (more…)