In a busy week for green car news:

  • Monday 28th January: European green car sales data for Dececember 2018 has now been released, with 40,000 green car sales being a 23% increase over December 2017. Overall the EU saw 33% more green car sales in 2018 compared to 2017, and green car sales had a 2.5% market share when compared to gasoline based car sales. As with other country’s sales data, however, the EU also seen a big shift away from PHEVs and towards BEVs: with all-electric cars getting 66% of sales in December 2018, a far cry from previous months and years which saw more PHEV sales. The Nissan Leaf was 2018’s best selling European car, with 40,609 sales compared to 38,538 Renault Zoe sales.

  • Tuesday 29th January: Electrify America has recovered from last week’s EVSE rapid RC charger shutdown after the suspect charging cable undergone further tests and was eventually cleared as safe. The initial panic was seemingly sparked by the manufacturer who were testing a prototype charging cable and seen issues, before thinking that their other CCS chargers also had faults. Electrify America’s network is fully operational once more after the safety alert was dismissed.

  • Tuesday 29th January: Porsche Taycan owners (or future owners, as it is not yet released) will be getting three years free rapid DC charging with Electrify America’s network, Their charging stations will have at least two 350 kW chargers at each location, plus other rapid DC chargers offering up to 150 kW. It is thought that Taycan’s will have “unlimited 30 minute charging”, meaning the free session might be time-limited: although 30 minutes of 350 kW charging should be massively sufficient, as would charging at ‘just’ 150 kW! Porsche will also be spending $70 million on installing rapid DC chargers at their dealerships throughout America.

Teaser image of Mitsubishi's upcoming SUV EV

  • Tuesday 29th January: Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi will apparently be revealing details of its new EV SUV in the Geneva Motor Show starting March 9th 2019. They have released a teaser of the car, which has an ultra-snappy (!) codename of Engelberg Tourer. There is not much more information yet, but it will be good to learn more about this vehicle in just two month’s time.

  • Wednesday 30th January: GM have again reiterated their green car credentials, or should we say wanna-be green car credentials: up until now, they have mainly produced gasoline cars. However after November’s workforce lay-offs and scrapping the Chevy Volt PHEV, GM are keen to highlight that they will be aiming for a 100% electric lineup as soon as they can - albeit recognizing that “it won’t happen overnight”. In a LinkedIn post, GM’s CEO Mary Barra said that the pace of change within the car industry is accelerating (towards electric cars) and that they will “transform our workforce by doubling our engineering resources supporting electric and autonomous programs. GM has recently been making a lot of public statements showing that they are committed to shifting to an electric lineup, but only time will tell how successfully they implement this shift.

  • Wednesday 30th January: Tesla made a $139 million profit in Q4 2018 down from $311 million profit in Q3 2018 but still a good profit considering Tesla has barely broken even for many years. Tesla revenues throughout 2018 almost doubled compared to 2017, in large part due to the massive production and sales of the Model 3. In Elon Musk’s conference call with investors, Musk also said that they will make a profit in all four quarters of 2019 and that the Gigafactory in Shanghai will have a high production level and will “go like lightning”.

  • Wednesday 30th January: Oil giant Shell have continued to enter the green car industry, via a recent purchase of American fast charging network Greenlots. Greenlots have over 350 rapid DC chargers throughout America although it is unclear whether this purchase (by Shell) will lead to more Greenlot chargers being built - either along highways or in Shell’s current gas stations. Charging costs at Greenlot chargers are paid for via the Greenlot mobile app where users enter their credit card details, or via a membership scheme.

  • Thursday 31st January: the final global 2018 green car sales data is in and it is yet-more positive reading for the green car industry. PHEV and BEV sales grew 70% in December 2018 compared to December 2017, with 286,000 sales in December leading to over two million green car sales throughout the world in 2018. The Tesla Model 3 was the biggest seller of the year, with 145,846 sales, compared to the Chinese BAIC EC-Series’ 90,637 sales and the Nissan Leaf’s 87,149 sales. The Tesla Model S and X were then fourth and fifth best selers, meaning that Tesla had 3 out of 5 of the top spots through the world in 2018 (despite mainly just selling to America and Canada)!

  • Thursday 31st January: Tesla is continuing to simplify their car lineups, with both the Model S and Model X coming with a 100 kW battery but no model numbers (like the ‘Model S 75D’ previously). Instead, the Model S has a base model of $85,000 giving 310 miles (500 km) of range and the Model X has a base model of 270 miles (434 km). Interestingly, there is then the option of purchasing more battery range with upgrades - but the battery capacity stays the same. In other words, this will be controlled by software. This is an interesting strategy because it means that Tesla only needs to manufacture one version of the Model S and X, and then drive any upgrades via software. They already do this with their autopilot functionality: all Tesla cars ship with the required hardware, but you can purchase the autopilot packages as a software add-on later.

  • Friday 1st February: Japanese car manufacturer Toyota have reported a 6.6% fall in American car sales in January 2019. This is driven by poor demand for their Prius hybrid car, with Prius sales falling a massive 57%. This does not surprise us too much considering that sales data from most countries show a shift away from hybrids, and towards all-electric cars. The fact that Toyota still do not have an all-electric Prius is bound to weigh on their sales, considering the shift throughout 2018 away from hybrids.

  • Saturday 2nd February: Adverts for the new Audi e-tron (due for sale in ‘early’ 2019) have started to be released, with the following teaser trailer appearing on Audi’s YouTube channel:

  • Sunday 3rd February: Electric Circuit, one of Canada’s public charging networks, will be accelerating plans to roll out their 1,600 new rapid DC EVSE stations across Quebec. These will now be rolled out over the next decade, with at least 100 being deployed in 2019 (in addition to the 22 deployed in January 2019). A key part of this work will be to add charging stations to areas with few or no rapid DC chargers, such as in Cote-Nord and Mauricie.