This week’s green car news includes:

  • Monday 11th February: The Tesla Model 3 is currently launching throughout Europe, with the first models being received in some European countries this week. A new report from Fastned (an EU charging network) has said that Teslas should charge at a higher rate than in America, at 125+ kW with the European CCS chargers compared to 125 kW or lower in America with the modified CCS chargers that the Tesla supercharger network uses.

  • Tuesday 12th February: CleanTechnica reported that GM is considering making their first electric pickup trucks using a Tesla powertrain, based on information they received from someone within GM. However, this was quickly denied, with Tesla saying that no such partnership exists and GM declining to comment. Of course, Tesla would not need to be in a formal partnership with GM for the Tesla drivetrain to be used.

  • Wednesday 13th February: In further rumors, Rivian (the American startup who are working on all-electric pickup trucks) were reported to be receiving investment from GM and Amazon in a deal valuing them at over $1 billion. This investment, if confirmed, would leave GM/Amazon as minority shareholders in Rivian who are expected to grow a lot when their pickup EVs hit the market.

  • Thursday 14th February: American research company InnovateMR have said in a survey that shoppers are more likely to pay extra for an electric car compared to a gasoline one. 73% of men and 60% of woman said that an alternative energy car is something they would pay extra for, according to Lisa Wildin-Brown who said that “Consumers are hungry for new technology and powertrain alternatives.”.

  • Thursday 14th February: Tesla have rolled out over-the-air updates which bring extra security and safety modes to all Model 3s and many Model S/X models (ones built after August 2017). A new “Sentry Mode” will use the autopilot cameras to detect potential threats when a car is parked up stationary. The car will give out verbal warnings after potential threats, as well as sound an alarm (and record the intruder) in the case of more serious threats. A new pet friendly mode dubbed “Dog Mode” will also keep the climate at a pet-friendly temperature and display a warning to concerned passer-bys that they are being kept safe!

  • Thursday 14th February: The Kia Soul EV upgrade, due in 2020, has got a 243 mile (391 km) range from the EPA, placing it at a higher range than the Kia Niro EV but less than the Hyundai Kona. This means that the 2020 Soul will be Kia’s longest-range model, clocking in with a 64 kWh battery and a 201 horsepower motor. Pricing information is not yet confirmed but it is expected to be $30,000+.

  • Friday 15th February: The earlier rumors were true: Amazon have confirmed investment in electric truck startup Rivian. The investment is expected to have been around $700 million just from Amazon, whereas GM may yet invest in the future (but have not this time around). Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer head, said “We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation,… RJ has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”.

  • Friday 15th February: Toyota has come under fire for their new Corolla Hybrid 2019 advert, which you can view below, which seems to be a decade or two out of date! The advert shows the Corolla Hybrid passing all sorts of cars and vehicles, including an electric car which is charging on the side of the road. Toyota’s insistence to not enter the EV market, and instead actively criticize EVs (in favor of their own gasoline-powered hybrids) has seen them get slated online, with this video having 2,200 dislikes and just 445 likes. We have previously mentioned that Toyota sales are struggling due to them sticking to hybrid technology, and this does not seem like it will change soon.

  • Saturday 16th February: Volkswagen, the German manufacturer who was embroiled in a diesel scandal, is aiming to produce electric cars at a carbon neutral level. This is important because EVs produce more CO2 emissions than gasoline cars when being manufactured, so VW’s aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million tons per year (during the manufacturing stages of the VW I.D. EV) should help to make electric cars even greener over their lifetime.

  • Sunday 17th February: In addition to the above, the VM ID (due out sometime in 2019) has started to release some firmer details. It will be priced at £22,500 ($29,000), around £5,000 below the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona EV. Its rapid DC 125 kW charging connector should lead to a 80% full battery in juts 30-45 minutes, and the expected range for the 48 kW entry level model is 205 miles (330 km).