City of Austin adding 330 EVs by 2020, Poland aims for 1 million EVs by 2025, $37/wk EV subscription service in Einhoven

In contrast to the rest of the automotive industry, the PEV industry supply chain is more horizontally structured (see Figure 9).27 PEVs use fewer components and typically require less collaboration between parts/component manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers, which means that parts manufacturers can be less specialized and that they can produce generic products to be used by many actors in the supply chain.

EV updates below from Dan Welch — Thanks, Dan!

City on course to add 330 electric vehicles by 2020 (Austin Monitor): As part of Austin’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, Austin Energy and the city fleet operations department are planning on adding 330 EVs by 2020, with acquisitions beginning in 2017 pending approval from the City Council. No decision has been made on the make and model of the vehicles, which would be leased through a third-party vendor.

Indianapolis ready for more electric cars, charging stations (The Indy Channel): The CEO of an Indianapolis-based energy non-profit points to the city’s extensive public charging provided by electric car-rental program Blue Indy as a reason that Indianapolis is poised for rapid EV adoption. He also cites the proliferation of workplace charging programs as evidence of EV readiness.

Consumers are more willing to buy an electric vehicle (Motley Fool): According to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America, young adults (18-34) are the most likely to consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase. Overall consumer interest rose from 31 percent in 2015 to 36 percent in 2016. Consumer interest in an all-electric vehicle with cost and range similar to a Chevy Bolt or Tesla Model 3 rose to 57 percent.

Charging Infrastructure

Automotive minute: Nationwide electric vehicle charging network expanding (Atlanta Business Journal): Several automakers have announced the addition of hundreds of charging points along the East and West Coasts. BMW, Volkswagen, and ChargePoint have filled out 95 stations in their Express Charging Corridors Initiative that places DC fast charging stations in travel corridors along each cost no further than 50 miles apart. Nissan is expanding its “No Charge to Charge” program to 50 cities throughout the country.

Curbside electric car charging stations arrive in Berkeley (Berkeleyside): Berkeley, CA residents are eligible for EV charging stations at the curbside as part of a pilot projects. Up to 25 stations will be installed by the city in residential locations that don’t have driveways or garages that could otherwise store charging equipment.

International

Chinese web-video tycoon raises $1.08 billion for electric car (Bloomberg): China’s Le Holdings Co. has raised $1.08 billion to develop its LeEco all-electric sports car. The company’s billionaire founder said that financing was the weakest link for the EV project, which also faces uncertainty in the midst of a rumored shake-out that would limit China to ten EV manufacturers.

Poland aims to have 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2025 (Reuters): Poland aims to have one million electric cars on its roads by 2025 in order to meet carbon emissions reductions. The energy ministry wants to introduce new laws by 2018 that would regulate EV development and launch special funds to help start production of Polish EVs.

This new electric car is designed for a $37 weekly subscription service (Tech Crunch): A company based in Einhoven, the Netherlands, is developing an all-electric vehicle intended for use in a $37 weekly subscription service. The Amber One is expected to have a battery range of 250 miles and will be available to subscribers as soon as 2018.

Pittsburgh: Quick Hits from Uber’s Autonomous Trial

Last week, ridesharing company Uber debuted a small fleet of four autonomous Ford Fusions on the streets of Pittsburgh. The program is listed in the PEV Clips because of the developing interplay between EVs and autonomous driving, as stated here in an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press. Here are a few rapid-fire highlights from the Pittsburgh debut:

  • Pittsburgh was chosen as a launching ground due partly to the lack of regulations or interference from the local government, which the mayor affirmed as a strategy to luring innovation (NY Times).
  • Chicago might not follow a similar path—two members of the Chicago City Council have submitted a proposal to ban self-driving vehicles from the city’s streets (Digital Trends).
  • NPR’s morning edition describes the experience of riding in one of the autonomously driven vehicles: “The ride feels pretty much like a ride in any other car—with an extremely cautious driver.” (NPR)
  • The new technology didn’t escape The Onion’s notice. The satirical magazine provides the pros and cons of autonomous vehicles. Determination: Massive savings on steering wheel maintenance, but the bulk of the Beach Boys catalogue is now irrelevant. (The Onion)

Public Policy

California removes ‘Green Sticker’ cap for unlimited PHEV solo-HOV lane access (Hybrid Cars): California legislators have decided to issue an unlimited amount of green decals that allow individual access to HOV lanes for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The decision ends a waiting list by removing a cap imposed by state legislation, which had sat at 85,000 decals issued.

Tesla sues Michigan over sales ban (USA Today): Tesla is suing the state of Michigan in federal court for the right to sell its vehicles in the state. Michigan rejected the automaker’s application to sell its all-electric vehicles last week. Tesla’s lawsuit contends that Michigan’s 2014 lawsuit that bans direct vehicle sales to consumers violates elements of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Constitution’s commerce clause.

 

Environment

How much cleaner really is a Tesla? Depends on where you are (Bloomberg): According to analyses from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Union of Concerned Scientists, EVs produce 40 to 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions on average than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. The actual improvements vary regionally, and shifts in fuel mix will affect EVs’ greenhouse gas performance.