- Tesla to introduce new ‘Supercharger Credit’ system to reduce entry price of Model S & X
Tesla is about to introduce a new Supercharger Credit program to unbundle the cost of Supercharger access from the vehicle and lower the entry price of the Model S and X
- August 2016 sales dashboard
Overall passenger vehicle sales for August were flat compared to a year ago and down slightly from July 2016
- World's largest fast-charging site opens in Norway: 28 electric cars can charge, all standards included
- 2017 BMW i3 with new, longer range 33 kWh batteries (94 Ah) have arrived in the US
- Nissan e-NV200 wins commercial vehicle award in Germany
The compact van which combines an all-electric powertrain with a large cargo capacity is the first vehicle ever to be awarded the accolade, which recognizes excellence in the electric
A lot of things are happening in the EV world! Tesla has shared their master plan part 2 and many EV plans have been released in the past few weeks. Check out the news for July to stay up to date with the industry.
Week 30 2016:
Today, I want to respond to one of Davey Alba's articles on Wired. He recently published a post with the title “Calling an Uber Is Cooler Than Owning a Car—And Automakers Want In”, which I enjoyed reading. However, the title was confusing and disconnected from the rest of the article. Today, after shortly analyzing what upset me about his use of words, I want to take a deeper look into perceptions of being driven vs. driving and of course the coolness factor.
Davey uses the word cool in his title, which has a huge array of meanings. According to urbandictionary.com it could be used as “the best way to say something is neat, awesome, or swell”. Calling an Uber is done by pressing a single button. It is unclear to me is how pressing a button on a screen is more awesome than owning a powerful, moving object? The word cool does not fit here. Maybe it is cheaper or more comfortable but how is it cooler? No customer research was provided to prove that claim.
Second, an action (of calling an Uber) was compared to the ownership of an object. It was not the experience of being driven vs driving nor was it the ownership status that was compared. It was the act of calling an Uber that was quoted to be cooler than the ownership of a vehicle. How is that even comparable? Sure, one could say that opening up a banana is cooler than having an apple, but how does that make any sense?
It is not easy being an automotive executive today… from government pressure to produce safer and more efficient cars to customers needs to increase connectivity levels and reduce prices at the same time. Let’s not forget about competitive pressure either: startups are entering the space fueled by technology changes such as the electric powertrain. How does an automotive executive go about keeping at least constant profit margins to satisfy investors while investing in R&D to satisfy customer desire through innovation?
To keep up with today's fast paced automotive environment, the ability to innovate quickly is critical. OEM executives rank each other’s innovation ability on different metrics. KPMG, a global consulting firm, surveys automotive execs once a year for its annual automotive report. Last year, they asked automakers to rank leaders in the field of connectivity and autonomous driving to capture that innovative capital. Connectivity and autonomous driving are among the five most important enablers for future success as identified by Mckinsey 2014. Last year, 24.5% of automotive execs believed that BMW was leading the field, followed by Daimler and GM. Tesla was 6th in the list, getting 6% of the votes and Google was last with 0.5% of the votes. Oh and by the way, 0.5% means they received a single vote from one brave car executive… a single vote from the leaders in the car industry... Chery has received two...
This week may have been the most exciting week in the short electric vehicle (EV) history. The Tesla Model 3 was finally announced... and much more was shown than I would have expected from the first of three Model 3 launch events. The promises that were made are exciting: Autopilot standard, 215+ miles range and <6sec acceleration to 60mph... for $35,000. When taking Tesla's quality and brand perception into account, the Model 3 has the potential to become the best car you can buy for $35,000. Well, taking into account that you have already reserved one. With >200,000 orders lined up, you would be waiting over a year after start of production for your Model 3 to arrive if ordered now.
The are three points I want to make today, to prove that other car manufacturers need to start producing competitive vehicles now (maybe with a newly positioned brand). First, current product supply in the full electric car market is so poor that it leaves customers basically with a single option to buy. Second, demand for full electric vehicles is high and will only increase in future. And finally, the decision tree for car manufacturers has changed with the Model 3 introduction.
Electric cars are regularly perceived as being slow and heavy. Recently, an Uber driver told me that he would consider buying an electric car only if the electric motor had better torque. He was confident that an internal combustion engine (ICE) has a better torque profile than an electric motor. I tried to explain that it is the combustion engine that is stopping today’s hybrids from performing better… but I failed miserably. I hope I do a better job now explaining why that is the case and why hybrids might be improving the perception of all electric vehicles (EVs) in future. There is some hope for EV perception outside battery electric vehicles (BEVs) like Tesla. It lies in a category called EREV (extended-range electric vehicle).
GM is trying to establish a differentiation between PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and EREVs (like the new Chevy Volt). At first sight they might seem to be the same; both have an electric motor and a combustion engine; both have a battery pack with between 5 and 20kWh. The big difference, in simple terms, is that EREVs only use the internal combustion engine as backup when batteries are empty. The engine only starts when the battery is empty. Now, that might sound like a disadvantage (why would I only engage one motor instead of two?) but lets look at the data.
Since electric vehicles (EVs) have become one of the hottest topics in the automotive industry a shadow has always followed the discussion. Range anxiety, as many call it, has together with price been named the 2 biggest preventors of large scale EV adaption. However, range anxiety is more a psychological problem than it is a real usage issue. In a prior article, I already described that 200 miles of range would be more than just sufficient for most US drivers after an analysis of the 2009 NHTS database on US driving behavior. But what if customers have started to realize that their driving needs are less than anticipated?
In 2011 Deloitte and Accenture analyzed the behavior of potential EV buyers in different countries. Accenture has come to the conclusion that 50% of consumers expect at least 270 miles of range, while Deloitte has found that 56% of American consumers would expect an EV to drive for at least 300 miles on one charge. These results are 5 years old, but confirm the general publics believe that a car needs to have a range of 300 miles.