Another week, another set of green car news from various companies and industry sources!

  • Monday 25th March: [This was actually news from last week, although it only hit our inbox this week]. Hyundai have unveiled the launch of their hydrogen-powered Nexo FCEV car in Canada, in partnership with car-sharing company Modo. This will launch in Vancouver, where Marpole has recently seen Canada’s first hydrogen fuelling station installed. The Hyundai Nexo will also become available to Canadians “within weeks”, albeit at a price of $72,999 CAD ($54,581 USD) - so experiencing the Nexo by a ride-along in a Modo vehicle might make more sense right now! Nonetheless, it is good to see more hydrogen news.

  • Monday 25th March: Chinese green car sales for February have been released, showing a 58% year-on-year rise with 53,000 plug-in cars sold. As usual, Chinese-produced cars (such as the BYD Yuan EV and Geely Emgrand) were the biggest sellers, with foreign imports like the Model 3 being a far-away runner up. Only the VW Passat GTE broken into the top 20 Chinese green car sales in February, for example, selling 1,475 cars.

  • Monday 25th March: BMW have started releasing more details of their upcoming electric cars, with the BMW iX3, BMW i4 and iNext SUV being tested in the Arctic Circle (for important winter tests). All should offer 150 kW charging, but with varying range capacities. The iX3 is mooted to have a 249 mile (400 km) range, going up to a 372 mile (599 km) range for the i4 and the SUV iNext might offer around 372 miles (599 km) range as well. They are not due to hit the market until 2021 at the earliest, but it is good to see active tests and details being released!

Pictures of the BMW iX3, BMW i4 and BMW iNext SUV being tested in Arctic Circle conditions.

  • Monday 25th March: Tesla brand news cars have received a $1,000 price bump across the board, effective immediately. And Elon Musk also separately confirmed that inventory (second hand or pre-registered) cars will receive a 3% price increase on midnight 1st April (i.e. to take effect on April 2nd). This $1,000 price increase even applies to the newly announced Tesla Model Y, which is not even in production yet. This means that the $48,000-$61,000 prices for the Model Y unveiled just a couple of weeks ago are now $49,000-$62,000.

  • Wednesday 27th March: Norway, the king of electric cars in Europe, has continued their green car sales push with a 30% increase in sales in February, with 5,889 units sold. This was fuelled by a 105% increase in all-electric cars, but hampered by a 28% fall in PHEVs. What this means, though, is that all-electric cars made up 41% of all sales in Norway - and plug-in sales (EV + PHEV) were over 50% at 53%. The Tesla Model 3 beat out all other cars, to get the #1 sales slot in Norway with 791 sales.

  • Thursday 28th March: Lyft, the tech challenger company which uses some green cars,have had an initial public offering (to the stock market) at $72 per share, leading to a $24.3 billion valuation. The ride-hailing company has been growing quickly and it will be interesting to see how their use of green cars progresses in the future.

  • Thursday 28th March: Myongshin, a South Korean producer of car parts who supply Tesla (amongst others), has said they are buying GM’s closed factories and land for $99.5 million. Myongshin also supply Hyundai, although it is unclear whether this expansion will be for Tesla, Hyundai or some other - as yet unannounced - car seller.

  • Thursday 28th March: GM are the second American automaker to have their $7,500 federal tax credit cut (after selling more than 200,000 EVs), alongside Tesla. However unlike Tesla, GM are not cutting the price of their Chevy Bolt to try and soften the blow of the tax credit falling to $3,750. Instead, GM look set to keep the price as-is but instead bring in some offers and discounts at their dealers to ‘react’ to the market. Jim Cain, their spokesman, said “it is easier to react to the market by working with dealers and your marketing team than it is to change sticker prices”. This of course compares to Tesla who very clearly advertised the upcoming tax credit cut, and later launched the Tesla Model 3 at a $35,000 base price ($5,000+ lower than the previously cheapest Model 3)

  • Thursday 28th March: Tesla’s long await $35,00 base price Model 3 was launched early last month, but some reports have said that - despite many orders - they still have not been delivered to anyone. Three different Tesla forums have said that deliveries have been delayed, and a new delivery date has not been readily available. The slightly upgraded Standard Range Plus model (at $39,310) is, however, available for delivery within weeks. So it looks just like the $35,000 model which is delayed.

  • Thursday 28th March: Daimler’s Smart brand of cars has been losing money, leading to Daimler to explore cost saving measures and/or a possible sale. This has resulted in a 50% sale to Chinese auto manufacturer Geely, which will mean that Smart EVs will be built in China as a part of a Daimler-Geely joint operation. This will allow both large car manufacturers to build EVs at a cheaper, more profitable rate and could lead to a big player in the small, two-seater EV market. This follows Geely paying $9 billion for a 10% stake in Daimler last year, so a co-operation between the two companies is less surprising than it otherwise would have been.

  • Friday 29th March: Europe-wide EV sales for February 2019 have also been released, with 33,000 EV+PHEV sales in February 2019 marking a 36% rise compared to February 2018. This is on the back of an overall declining car sales market, with general sales falling 1% - meaning that green cars are growing whilst gasoline-fuelled cars are not. Good news for sure! The Model 3 started being delivered to Europe in February, meaning it instantly hit the #1 spot with 3,757 deliveries/sales. This trend is set to continue, too, with many more deliveries forecast in coming months to Europe.

  • Friday 29th March: In more Tesla news, Elon Musk have clarified their plans regarding their full self-driving and autopilot plans. Tesla had previously announced that a new set of hardware (or more specifically, an AI chip known as a “neural net accelerator”) would be required for its full self-driving mode: a chip that would be installed on newly built Tesla models, and retrofitted for free onto older Tesla cars which had already purchased full self-driving. It seems as though this chip (originally due for Q1 2019: i.e. right now!) is delayed, but mainly because the software systems are not yet sophisticated enough to need the new chip.

  • Saturday 30th March: PushEVs have written a great piece about Chinese company CATL’s improvements in lithium-ion battery density, which should give rise to longer EV ranges and faster charging rates. Their 2017 ‘NCM 523’ battery cells had 235-250 Wh/kg (energy density), compared to 270-300 Wh/kg in their 2019 ‘NCM 811’ battery cells. This 15-25% increase in battery density will continue to help the rise of EVs by improving the convenience of driving an EV. No-one wants an EV which has a small range and takes a while to charge, so 15-25% improvements in battery density in under 2 year’s is a big positive.