In our bumper fortnight news-roundup, we have a lot of green car developments to cover:

  • Monday 27th May: Fiat Chrysler and Renault are looking at a $35 billion merger, which would make one of the largest car manufacturers and it would help to jumpstart EV development, as Autoblog report.

  • Monday 27th May: All-electric auto maker Byton are looking at releasing their $45,000 SUV in the all-important American market, as Autoblog explore. It is said to have a 48” touchscreen covering most of the driver dash, for ultimate viewing information.

  • Monday 27th May: A utility company in San Mateo County is offering its residents up to $4,000 to purchase plug-in cars, according to Green Car Reports. This is part of the Peninsula Family Service’s Drive Forward program, aimed at low-income households.

  • Tuesday 28th May: A large curved screen has been captured in the upcoming BMW iNext, photos in Autoblog’s article. The iNext is due to be BMW’s “next-gen” electric car, far surpassing the current i3’s electric design.

  • Tuesday 28th May: General Motors are rolling out their own EVSE car charging program alongside Bechtel, as Green Car Reports mention.This joint venture will involve thousands or chargers being built, and can be used by all EVs due to them supporting multiple car charging types.

  • Tuesday 28th May: Autoblog look at the ‘Honda e’ which will be a compact car with cameras built into the side mirrors, which can supply next-gen level of information to the on-board computer system.

  • Tuesday 28th May: Another scoop from Autoblog is that the 2020 Mini E electric hatchback has been pictured completely (without camo or other coverings) for the first time. The grille is completely covered/fill-in, which is opposite to the traditional Mini grill (on gasoline cars). It is thought that an official launch is due imminently.

  • Wednesday 29th May: The Tesla Model S will undergo a refresh later in 2019, with a more minimalist interior (similar to the Model 3) due, according to Green Car Reports. This would be an interesting move, because the Model 3 is obviously far more premium than the Model 3 - so unless the price of the cut-down Model S is lower, it will be hard to see how this would improve sales in the Model S. This move will, however, improve Tesla’s financial position by making their car lineups cheaper (due to having more standardization).

  • Wednesday 29th May: VW’s $56 billion investment in their electric car platform (and ultimately battery production) might need cutting back or revising after a dispute with Samsung has led to Samsung-led production cuts, as Green Car Reports mention.

A performance version of the Audi e-tron, with minimal camo, being track tested.

  • Wednesday 29th May: A more performance-oriented version of the Audi e-tron might be in production (or at least testing) according to Autoblog, who have pictured a modified e-tron (with only minimal camouflage) which hints at a production version of the all-electric crossover.

  • Thursday 30th May: Autoblog report on Elon Musk’s email to his Tesla staff, saying that Q2 deliveries are lagging behind, but if they successfully “catch up” then they will have a “successful quarter… an all-time record for Tesla vehicle deliveries and an awesome victory!!”.

  • Thursday 30th May: Green Car Reports look at Chinese automaker GAC who are teaming up with Nio to produce EVs via a new ‘GAC Nio New Energy Vehicle’ company, which may offer EV ranges u to 373 miles (600 km). This does look like a planned America launch (in 2020) will be postponed, however.

  • Thursday 30th May: EV Sales look at European plug-in sales data for April 2019, which show the Renault Zoe selling better than the Model 3 and all-electric sales jumping 80% year on year with 24,000 deliveries.

  • Thursday 30th May: Autoblog report on the latest twist in American trade-war relations, with the US Defence Department looking for American car manufacturers to reduce their reliance on Chinese-sourced rare earth metals (which are key for EV batteries). In the last decade and a half, China accounted for 80% of American rare earth imports.

  • Friday 31st May: Green Car Reports carry out further analysis of the above news item, pointing out the EVs might get more expensive due to the trade war which is aiming to reduce American reliance on China.

  • Friday 31st May: Autoblog mention that Germany have expanded EV purchase incentives due to “disappointing” electric sales. The original incentive program was due to finish three years ago, but it looks set to be extended. The fund is financed partially by the federal government and partially by the German auto industry.

  • Friday 31st May: EV Sales show that the Hyundai Kona EV is in the top 10 list of globally sold green cars, and that green car sales rose by 29% in April 2019 (compared to April 2018) with 166,000 units sold Worldwide.

  • Sunday 2nd June: Autoblog report that ride-hailing company Lyft is offering its Portland drivers free EV charging, in another sign that Lyft are transitioning away from a gasoline fleet towards a more eco-friendly fleet.

  • Monday 3rd June: The Tesla Model Y will be built in Fremont, California and have a lower range than the Model 3, according to Autoblog. They feel that, unlike producing it in its Asian “Gigafactory 3”, this will be the _“fastest way to get to volume production” of the Model Y.

  • Monday 3rd June: Green Car Reports report further information from Tesla, saying that a Tesla truck “won’t look like a normal truck”, instead of like something out of sci-fi. Also Chinese Model 3 production will start later this year, and the care will be priced around $7,100 cheaper than the current import price (at $47,500 USD/328,000 Yuan).

  • Monday 3rd June: A hybrid version of the Hyundai Kona will be released in Europe, according to Autoblog. It will have a 1.56 kWh battery to feed the 139-hosepower 32 kW motor, although no word is due on when an American version might be expected. European sales will start in August 2019.

  • Tuesday 4th June: Autoblog also report that Michelin are working closely with GM to produce “aireless” tires for the Chevy Bolt EV, which could be introduced to the market in 2024. These ‘Uptis’ tires could have a much better grip and durability than existing EV ties.

  • Tuesday 4th June: Green Car Reports have noticed that the Clipper Creek home charging stations have been supplemented with a new version, the HCS-D40, which now supports charging of two electric cars at the same time (via the two J1772 cables).

  • Wednesday 5th June: BMW and Jaguar Land Rover are planning to work together to jointly develop electric car technology, as Autoblog examines. This deal with reduce EV car production costs (thus reducing EV purchase prices), along with reducing the time that EVs take to produce and develop.

  • Wednesday 5th June: Green Car Reports have noticed that Telsa have updated their website to have clearer online pricing, moving away from prices which include a “gas savings discount” - even though this still needs to be paid as part of the purchase price. The new pricing is therefore clearer for prospective customers.

  • Thursday 6th June: Green Car Reports report that the Fiat Chrysler merger with Renault is now off, after opposition from Nissan (who would have been a partner in Japan). The deal also fell apart after opposition from the French Government, due to union concerns.

  • Thursday 6th June: Autoblog report that Toyota and Subaru are working together on a RAV4-style electric crossover, which each company will then market and sell separately.

  • Thursday 6th June: Autoblog GM has said that they are working on an electric pickup truck as part of a “complete electric lineup” which will have “very average transaction prices”, according to Mark Reuss (GM President).

  • Thursday 6th June: Autoblog are saying that Electrify American are working with Walmart to build EVSE car chargers at Walmart stores and car parks, with a emphasis on some of the busiest American states and Walmart stores. It is thought that over 180 charging stations will be built over the next 6 months.

  • Friday 7th June: Autoblog are reporting that even though Toyota have traditionally seemed all-electric shy (instead favouring hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell cars), it looks like they have several all-electric cars in the pipeline - underpinned by a full battery lifecycle, from development and production through to recycling.

  • Saturday 8th June: The Chicago Tribune report that the much-feared $1,000-per-EV charge is thankfully not going ahead, although a smaller $248 fee will instead be levied. Whilst this is positive, moves to tax electric cars in this way is still a retrograde step.

  • Saturday 8th June: Autoblog analysis shows that Norway’s push for electric cars will lead to a $1.3 billion rise in utility bills by 2040 due to the large electric car fleet adding up to 25% of all electric consumed within Norway. This data comes from research by DNV GL, Norway’s power regulator, and is important because Norway are currently one of the leaders in EV adoption (relative to their population).