In a busy week for green car news:

  • Monday 7th January: American green car sales have come out, and December 2018 seen 50,000 plug-in (PHEV + BEV) cars registered, meaning 2018 seen 350,000 overall plug-in electric sales - up 75% from 200,000 in 2017! Half of all December sales were due to the Tesla Model 3, which hit close to 25,000 units. All-in-all, Telsa had a 53% green car market share, with Chevrolet in second place with 10% and Toyota and BMW third and fourth place with 8% and 7% respectively. In other words, 2018 seen a large increase in plug-in electric sales, and Tesla were the main beneficiary of this.

  • Monday 7th January: Tesla have started work on their third Gigafactory, based in Shanghai, China. This is strategically placed to target the key Asia markets and get around some of the recent fallout from the US-China trade war. Construction will finish mid-2019, with Model 3 production starting at the end of this year. The Chinese Gigafactory will also be used to produce the Tesla Model Y, of which barely any information is known other than it being a small SUV.

  • Tuesday 8th January: Tesla have released their own final sales figures for the end of 2018, and in Q3 2018 the Model 3 became the fifth best selling non-SUV car overall in America. In other words, more popular than hundreds of gasoline-fuelled cars that have been selling for many years in America. This fact is made even more amazing by the fact that production was still ramping up at this point, so it’ll be interesting to see what other records the Model 3 can set in 2019. The Model 3 sold almost as many cars in Q4 2018 than Mazda and Volkswagen sold in total (across all their cars).

A mock-up of the upcoming 2020 Mini Cooper S E, originally from 2017 proof of concept images.

  • Tuesday 8th January: Nissan have announced information on their premium Leaf model, dubbed the Leaf Plus or Lead e+. It has an expected range of 226 miles (364 km), up from 150 miles for the base Nissan Leaf model. It’s also faster, with a 215 horsepower motor (up from the standard Leaf’s 147 horsepower motor). Acceleration is meant to be 13% quicker, and the top speed should be 10% higher. Charging should also be faster, with support for up to 100 kW CHAdeMO-based rapid DC charging rates which should allow for 40 minutes from 0-80% SoC.

  • Wednesday 9th January: Mini have announced more information about their planned 2020 Mini Cooper S E, their first mainstream electric car. It’ll continue with the small hatchback style that people expect from a Mini, but will have a fairly sporty feel to its drive: taking advantage of the instant torque and low centre of gravity to produce a fun-to-drive EV. It should have around a 200 mile (322 km) range, and re-use the 181-horsepower motor from the BMW i3.

  • Thursday 10th January: Tesla will stop selling the lower-range versions of their Model S and X cars, according to a tweet from Elon Musk. This means that the $77,200 Model S 75D and the $83,200 Model X75D will be scrapped - and the next cheapest options will be the $95,200 Model S 100D and $98,200 Model X 100D. This means a big price increase for the more-luxury Tesla cars, due to the 75 kWh option being scrapped as of Sunday 13th January:

  • Thursday 10th January: The Governor of Massachusetts has signed EV-friendly legislation in the form of a “right to charge” law, which prevents condo associations from blocking planned EVSE charging station installations. A lack of charging stations in condos and apartments was a blocker to electric car adoption, so this new law will help to increase adoption by stopping condo operators and Homeowner Associations from needlessly blocking EVSE installs. This legislation has come in Bill H.4069 entitled “An Act Electric Vehicle Charging Stations”.

  • Friday 11th January: The EV friendly Norway seen plug-in sales fall in December 2018, but due to a large PHEV fall (of -44% sales compared to December 2017). An increase in EV sales of 61% didn’t make up the PHEV fall (due to PHEV sales having a larger share overall in 2017). Despite this fall, however, plug-in sales reached a 49% market share in Norway - an increase over 2017’s 39% market share. This means that every other sale in Norway is for a plug-in electric car! Diesel and gasoline cars seen their market share fall by 3-5% each.

  • Saturday 12th January: Amazon and Audi have announced a charging point partnership, with Amazon offering Audi e-tron buyers the ability for Amazon to take care of their home charging station installation. Amazon are offering three options for charging their e-tron at home: standard, better and best. Standard is just via a 120v power outlet (and thus no further Amazon install is required), whereas the better and best options require a home install with a dedicated 240v supply being run. Amazon moving into the EV market in this way is definitely interesting, and we wonder whether they will open this up beyond Audi e-tron buyers in the near future?