Tesla continues to ramp Supercharger network as competitive advantage

Tesla continues to ramp Supercharger network as competitive advantage and now operates over 10,000 globally.

Tesla has reached another significant milestone as their network of fast charging stations now includes more than a thousand sites with over 10,000 Superchargers installed worldwide.

Tesla is a little behind schedule but says they are catching up quickly.

Tesla released the official figure of having set up 10,000 Superchargers across the world. 10,021 to be exact, deployed at 1,261 locations. The EV maker had wanted to reach that milestone already last year, effectively doubling the number of Tesla charging columns available at that time.

tesla retail london

Whilst Tesla gave no explanation for the 5 month delay, they say they are adding new Supercharger stations as you read. An updated map on the Tesla website now also includes those locations destined for Superchargers. Most of those planned EV charging stations are in Europe, China and the USA. Other regions have to wait.

Furthermore, CEO Elon Musk had taken to Twitter last month teasing an improved Supercharger with up to 250 kW charging power. It is expected this summer.

This new force may also be necessary to keep up with competition by an industry that gears up for charging rates of 350 kW such as Ionity. Tesla has been named among those carmakers negotiating with the high power charging (HPC) consortium but to no avail so far. The Ionity network is still in its early stages though – of 400 required construction permits to install the high-speed charging network across Europe, IONITY has only managed to accumulate 20 so far.

Also Electrify America, VW’s subsidiary and redemption machine for diesel gate, is getting to work in the States. They will deploy more than 2,000 DC chargers across 484 sites and that is just the first step.

EV Consumers still regards charging stations and the associated range anxiety as key considerations before moving to the EV world. The more the manufactures can reduce these concerns the faster the transition to EVs.

 

VW land large e-Golf order with ZipCar

Volkswagen and car-sharing company Zipcar struck up an innovative partnership in 2016 which, in the two years since, has led thousands of Londoners to get behind the wheel of the petrol-electric Golf GTE or internal combustion-engined Polo. Now that choice of car will increase further, with a significant order from Zipcar for 325 all-electric e-Golfs.

Volkswagen substantially updated the e-Golf in 2017 and the model now has a range of 186 miles (NEDC). This translates to a realistic range of 124 miles when real world driving style and other parameters are considered.

Volkswagen e-Golf in LondonWith power up by 15 kW to 100 kW, and torque up 20 Nm to 290 Nm, the updated e-Golf reaches 62 mph in just 9.6 seconds and can go on to reach, where legal, 93 mph. It also boasts a new lithium-ion battery whose energy capacity is increased from 24.2 kWh to 35.8 kWh.

It is not just the drivetrain that has undergone a substantial upgrade. A 9.2-inch touchscreen, revised front and rear styling and all-LED headlights and tail lights further enhance the e-Golf and add to its already generous equipment. This includes Volkswagen’s Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system, which features navigation with a choice of routes and branded points of interest, speed limit display, gesture control, DAB radio and a CD player.

Volkswagen e-Golf driving in London

The e-Golf fleet coming on stream this summer will form part of the exciting new Zipcar Flex service, which allows members to ‘drive and drop’ cars in one-way trips around the capital. Booking is completed either online or through the Zipcar smartphone app.

Alison Jones, Director of Volkswagen UK, said: “This is an exciting step for Volkswagen. Thousands of Zipcar members will experience electric driving, perhaps for the first time, and we know they will love the functionality and ease of use that the all-electric e-Golf provides.”

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “We know that inner-city residents are looking for alternatives to car ownership and this development of the relationship between Volkswagen and Zipcar offers the best of both worlds: the benefits of access to a car and zero emission motoring across the UK’s capital.”

Jonathan Hampson, General Manager for Zipcar UK, said: “We have always wanted to use the cleanest possible vehicles, which is why we’re incredibly proud and excited to team up with Volkswagen for this zero emissions initiative. It marks another step towards our vision for a greener London where car sharers outnumber car owners, making our amazing city an even better place to live for all.”

VW E-Golf review – See our review

VW E Golf website.

UPS to increase use of Electric vans in the Capital

Battery-powered delivery vans weighing over seven tons could prove to be cheaper to own and run than traditional diesel vehicles by the early 2020s, according to delivery giant UPS.

The prediction is a major boon for Government’s plan to accelerate the number of electric vehicles on British roads, despite concerns that the most polluting vehicles may struggle to adapt due to the toll they would take on the power grid.

The multinational shipping and logistics company already plans to increase the number of electric mega-vans in its London fleet to help tackle the capital’s rising road emissions, but the move could accelerate its profits too, according to the group’s sustainability boss Peter Harris.

ups EV truck in london WaterlooA consortium led by UPS has unveiled a new electric vehicle charging technology in London. Claiming the deployment as “a world first”, UPS said that the new system “overcomes the challenge of simultaneously recharging an entire fleet of electric vehicles without the need for the expensive upgrade to the power supply grid”.

It added that the technology “signals the beginning of the end of a reliance upon traditional combustion engine powered vehicles” and said it will allow UPS to increase the number of EVs operating from its central London site from 65 to 170.

Recharging a fleet of electric vehicles can be very expensive as it often requires upgrades to the external power grid, an option not always attractive to businesses or operators.

The new UPS system will allow the company to turn its London base into an all-EV facility without the need for such an upgrade.

UPS said:

This is achieved with a smart grid which uses a central server which is connected to each EV charge post as well as the grid power supply and the onsite energy storage.

“The system adopts an ‘intelligent’ approach to charging by spreading this throughout the night so that the building can use the power it needs to run the business of logistics (lights, sortation machinery and IT) and ensure that all EVs are fully charged by the time they are needed in the morning, but at the same time never exceed the maximum power available from the grid.”

ups EV truck in LondonUPS said that as a result of this project, it can now “tailor the lowest cost approach building by building and determine how best to adopt and charge a fully electric fleet. This will be accomplished by combining a variety of solutions including conventional power grid upgrade, smart grid, on-site energy storage with batteries and local power generation, using, for example, solar energy generated on facility rooftops.

The deployment has been brought about by the Smart Electric Urban Logistics (SEUL) project, which saw UPS team with UK Power Networks and central London’s largest public-private partnership, Cross River Partnership. It has been funded by the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Peter Harris, director of sustainability, UPS Europe, said: “UPS thinks this is a world first, right in the heart of a mega-city. We are using new technology to work around some big obstacles to electric vehicle deployment, heralding a new generation of sustainable urban delivery services both here in London and in other major cities around the world.”

“Electric vehicles are an integral component within UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. Our collaboration with UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership marks a major turning point in the cost-effective deployment of electric vehicles, which in turn will play a key role in ensuring the global trend toward urbanization is sustainable. We are applying new technology to make the charging process smarter and our delivery service cleaner.”

Harris added that UPS “believes the day is rapidly drawing closer when the acquisition costs to put an electric vehicle on the road, including those associated with getting power to the vehicle, will be lower than the equivalent costs of its diesel counterpart. This development will be instrumental in enabling electric vehicles to be deployed at scale in the world’s cities which is an essential component of tackling the air quality challenges in these urban environments.”

Ian Smyth of UK Power Networks Services said: “This trailblazing solution has enabled UPS to increase their electric vehicle fleet without upgrading their network connection, paving the way for future electrification of delivery vehicles in our cities.

“We are delighted to work with UPS and our other partners to design, deliver and operate this sustainable smart-grid solution. This project will deliver a huge impact on improving the air quality for Londoners and contribute to UPS’s legacy of sustainability.”

A key part of the initiative is the use of onsite energy storage batteries. Although new batteries have been deployed at this stage, it is envisaged that in the future these could be second-life batteries that have already been used in a UPS EV.

“Together with the smart grid, this will pave the way toward a UPS EV infrastructure strategy that can dynamically make use of a conventional power upgrade, a smart grid, onsite storage, and in many cases, local power generation including solar and other alternative sources,” said Harris.

Cross River Partnership past projects have included the FREVUE project, in which 80 fully electric vans and trucks were deployed across eight European cities. Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer, programme manager for electric freight at Cross River Partnership, said: “Our previous work on electric freight vehicles has shown that local grid infrastructure constraints are one of the main barriers to their large-scale uptake.

“We need to find smarter solutions to electric vehicle charging if we want to benefit from the significant air quality and environmental benefits these vehicles offer, and we believe this is such a solution.”

UPS first introduced modern EVs in 2001 and currently has more than 300 electric vehicles and nearly 700 hybrid electric vehicles deployed in Europe and the US.

The company recently ordered 125 new fully-electric Semi tractors to be built by Tesla in 2019, one of the largest pre-orders to date.

tesla semi truck

Last September, UPS announced it will become the first commercial customer in the US to start using three medium-duty electric trucks from Daimler Trucks Fuso brand, called the eCanter.

UPS has a target of one in four new vehicles purchased by 2020 being an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle. The company also has pledged to obtain 25 per cent of the electricity it consumes from renewable energy by 2025 and replace 40 per cent of all ground fuel with sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, an increase from 19.6 per cent in 2016.

Tesla Model 3 – What we know

It has been just over one week since the Tesla Model 3s were delivered to the first 30 customers. This is what we have learnt from the launch, press comments and Tesla’s Q2 earning call.

Safe:

Safety is key: The pitch last week started with a comparison with Volvo who are judged to make super safe cars. The Model 3 will be safe.

All Teslas have the hardware ability for full Autopilot. Elon Musk said that all Tesla Model 3s will have Autopilot hardware as standard – and all the safety features that come with it. Sure, you may not get full Level 5 auto drive yet, but you will get things such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping and automatic preventative steering (Autosteer) – which is seriously impressive at this price. And because the Model 3 comes with all the sensors and lasers you need for Autopilot as standard, you can always get the matching software at a later date. It’ll probably cost you around £2,600, but having the option to upgrade your entry-level Tesla is a real bonus.

Single screen interior. All Teslas are known for their futuristic interiors as much as their innovative propulsion, and it’s great to see the Model 3 continue or even better the trend. The screen inside the Model 3 doesn’t seem to be as big, and it’s in a landscape position – but that’s because it’s taking the place of the car’s dials. That’s right, there’s nothing in front of the steering wheel. The Model 3 doesn’t even have a speedometer. Instead, you’ll find the speed on the top left of the touchscreen (on a left-hand drive car, of course).

There are two Model 3 cars. Tesla have wisely ditched the battery size as a mark of the car and switched to range. I think this is wise as KW and KWH are not that easy to understand and can’t be directly compared between models. Just as a BMW 2L engine is not the same as a Nissan 2L engine. You can or more to the point chose from the standard model with 220 miles of range to the Long Range Version with 310 miles. Other specs include:

Standard Battery

  • Starting at $35,000
  • Range of 220 miles
  • 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds
  • Top speed of 130 mph

Long Range Battery

  • Starting at $44,000
  • Range of 310 miles
  • 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 5.1 seconds
  • Top speed of 140 mph

Full specs below:

The S curve. Musk explained a number of times that production will follow the exponential S curve routine. July 30 cars. August 100 cars and September 1,500 cars. By year-end production will ramp to 5,000 per week or a rate of 40,000 / month. By end of 2018 that will double again to 10,000 week. Musk called this production hell. You can see why.

model-3-s-curve

Price: The base price may be $35,000 but the initial cars will be priced way above this level. The base car will be available in November. Until then you will only be offered the longer range car for $44,000 with the a small number of options. The key option being the Luxury Pack for $5,000. You can also add larger wheels and a number of paint options. For now the $35K car will cost you $48K. You can see the logic. It makes manufacturing much easier with less configurations and boosts average selling price in order to drive revenue.

The interior:

One big question is what’s it like inside. Now we know. A single screen – landscape and not as large as the Model S’s display. Most reports seem very positive.

model 3 interior

During a press briefing on Friday, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s Chief Designer,

“The interior is the most innovative part of the design. We took away everything that is not necessary. What we delivered on the interior is unlike any other car out there. It will age gracefully.”

Straight lines never really go out of style, which is where the model 3’s unique dashboard comes into play. Instrument clusters, buttons, and air conditioning vents are vulnerable to design changes. By removing the instrument cluster, placing all the controls on the steering wheel and a central touchscreen, and replacing vents with a single one running the entire length of the dash, Tesla is removing those vulnerabilities.

model-3-dashboard-head-on-view1 model-3-interior-dash-desert-view1

International:

International left hand drive sales will commence in mid 2018 and right hand drive only in 2019. We will have a long wait in the UK.

All wheel drive will boost performance and range will not be available for some time, most likely Spring 2018.

The wait list has grown to over 500,000. That’s given Tesla $500M to play with and represents a sales value of over $20B. Elon confirmed a number have cancelled but the new number is growing at 1,800 per day.

More news on charging and real world range as we discover the facts.

Model 3 specifications:

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Price – $35,000

Standard Battery

  • Range: 220 miles (EPA estimated)
  • Supercharging rate: 130 miles of range per 30 minutes
  • Home charging rate: 30 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 32A)
  • Deliveries begin: Fall 2017

Performance

  • 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 130 mph

Interior

  • 15” touchscreen display
  • Dual zone climate control system
  • FM/Internet streaming radio
  • Textile seating
  • Front Center console with open storage and two USB ports

Convenience

  • Onboard maps and navigation
  • Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity
  • Keyless entry and remote climate control using the Tesla app
  • Voice activated controls
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling and media streaming
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat to maximize cargo options
  • Back-up camera
  • Auto dimming rear-view mirror
  • One-touch power windows throughout
  • Power-adjustable side mirrors
  • 12-volt power outlet

Safety

  • Full LED exterior lighting
  • Seven cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors enabling active safety technologies including collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking
  • Six front row and two side curtain airbags
  • Three-point safety belts with belt-reminders for driver and four passengers
  • Two LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) attachments in second row
  • Electronic stability and traction control
  • Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic parking brake
  • Child safety locks
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

Warranty

  • Vehicle: 4 year, 50,000 mile limited warranty
  • Battery warranty: 8 year, 100,000 mile (120,000 mile with Long Range Battery)

OPTIONS

Long Range Battery – $9,000

  • Range: 310 miles
  • Supercharging rate: 170 miles of range per 30 minutes
  • Home charging rate: 37 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 40A)
  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds
  • Top speed: 140 mph
  • Deliveries begin: July 2017

Paint

  • Solid Black: Standard
  • Midnight Silver Metallic: $1,000
  • Deep Blue Metallic: $1,000
  • Silver Metallic: $1,000
  • Pearl White Multi-Coat: $1,000
  • Red Multi-Coat: $1,000

Wheels

  • 18” Aero: Standard
  • 19” Sport: $1,500

Premium Upgrades Package – $5,000 Upgraded interior with additional features and premium materials.

  • Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs
  • 12-way, power adjustable front seats, steering column and side mirrors, with custom driver profiles
  • Premium audio system with more power, tweeters, surround speakers and subwoofer
  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
  • LED fog lamps
  • Center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones

Enhanced Autopilot – $5,000 Model 3 will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination.

Additional features will roll out over time through software updates.

Full Self-Driving Capability – $3,000 (requires Enhanced Autopilot) In the future, Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.

This feature is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions & Weight

  • Length: 184.8”
  • Width: 76.1” (72.8” with mirrors folded)
  • Height: 56.8”
  • Wheelbase: 113.2”
  • Track (wheel center): 62.2” front and rear
  • Ground clearance: 5.5”
  • Head room, standard: 39.6” front row, 37.7” second row
  • Head room, glass roof: 40.3” front row, 37.7” second row
  • Leg room: 42.7” front row, 35.2” second row
  • Shoulder room: 56.3” front row, 54.0” second row
  • Hip room: 53.4” front row, 52.4” second row
  • Seating capacity: 5 adults
  • Luggage capacity: 15 cubic feet
  • Curb weight:
    • 3549 lbs. (Model 3)
    • 3814 lbs. (Model 3 Long Range)
  • Weight distribution:
    • 47% front, 53% rear (Model 3)
    • 48% front, 52% rear (Model 3 Long Range)

Body

  • Hybrid steel/aluminum body
  • Drag coefficient of 0.23

Chassis

  • Double wishbone, virtual steer axis front suspension with coil over twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
  • Independent multi-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
  • Variable ratio, speed sensitive electronic power steering
  • Electromechanically boosted four wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
  • 18” Aero or 19” Sport wheels with all-season tires

Standard Accessories

  • 240 volt NEMA 14-50 adapter
  • 120 volt NEMA 5-15 adapter
  • J1772 public charging adapter
  • 20 foot mobile connector with storage bag

Tesla Updates for April 2017

Tesla News for April

The big news is that the latest version of Autopilot is now in your car. Yes version 8.1 has been released and includes:

  • High-speed Autosteer up to 80mph
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Summon your car remotely
  • Parallel Autopark
  • Auto Lane Change

Model s 60 retiring

Only a couple of weeks remain if you want to order a Tesla Model S 60.

Tesla model s

This model S with 60 KWh battery pack was introduced last year to lower the entry price is being retired in April. Tesla say this is to simplify the ordering process. More likely this is a casualty of the pending Model 3, that will be the lower cost Tesla.

One neat advantage of the Model 60 is that you can upgrade the battery pack to 75 KWh via Software. This novel feature implies the Model 60 is just a Model 75 with 15 KWh removed by software implying the same cost to build a S 75 and a S 60.

Model 3 news

tesla model 3

Later this year, Tesla will introduce Model 3 in North America – a smaller, simpler and more affordable version of the flagship: Model S.  The UK version of the Model 3 are expected to commence no sooner than mid‑2018. So you may see a UK model 3 late summer 2018.