FORMULA e and EXTREME E at COP26 IN GLASGOW
The twenty-sixth edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) marked an opportunity for electric racing championships to highlight their advancements in electrification and reduced carbon emissions.
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Discussing Formula E's role in accelerating sustainable human progress, this session will feature a host of speakers, including FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker; alongside representatives from Mahindra Racing, ROKiT Venturi Racing, Julius Baer and Liberty Global.
Then Formula E Title Partner, ABB will host a panel discussion entitled 'ABB Formula E - It's more than a race. Together we are drivers of progress'. Here Jamie Reigle will be joined by Theodor Swedjemark, Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer, ABB; and Lucas Di Grassi, ROKiT Venturi Racing driver and environmental campaigner. You can watch the session here.
Formula E has been on the road to cop, starting from the headquarters in London, there were visits to the teams, partners and manufacturers, to take a closer look at how exactly the planet's favourite sport is accelerating positive change. You can watch the series here.
Envision Racing stole the show last week, with its unique car dubbed 'Recover E' - a full-scale replica of Formula E's Gen2 race car, made entirely from single-use plastics. The car was a collaboration between the team, Kids Against Plastic, COP26 and Glasgow City Council; to highlight the urgency of tackling plastic pollution.
Throughout the UN hosted event, prominent figures from Extreme E, including Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO, and Nico Rosberg, Founder of Rosberg X Racing, illustrated the increasing availability and affordability of clean, fossil-free, technologies.
During the McLaren Racing engagement, distinguished Professor Carlos Duarte discussed Extreme E’s legacy programmes, which intend to provide social and environmental support for the locations in which the series races. Professor Duarte is an expert in climate change issues, professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and member of Extreme E’s Scientific Committee. Head of the championship’s Scientific Committee Professor Peter Wadhams joined Duarte in attending COP26. Professor Wadhams is also a lecturer at the Polytechnic of Turin.
“A more rapid transition to electric vehicles and an increased familiarity with them on the part of the public.”, was what Prof. Wadhams hopes to achieve after COP26
“I hope to drive attention and finances to achieving multiple benefits, but not just carbon credits as the obsession with carbon can lead to mistakes being made.”, said Prof. Duarte.
ABB launches fastest electric car charger: the Terra 360
ABB, global technology leader and official title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, has launched its Terra 360 EV charger which can deliver 100km of range in less than three minutes.
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ABB's new Terra 360 has a capacity of, you guessed it, 360kW and theoretically has the ability to charge any capable electric vehicle in less than 15 minutes, and deliver 100km, or 62 miles, of range in less than three minutes. The new kit is set to arrive in Europe by the end of the year, and will roll out in the US and elsewhere in 2022.
The unique four-berth charger is designed to deal with up to four EVs at once, ideal for increasing the charging capacity at existing refuelling stops or reducing the footprint of new infrastructure - and meaning people will have to wait around and queue less until a free charger becomes available.
The Terra 360 is also wheelchair accessible and features an easy cable management system to make plugging in even easier. There's also an innovative lighting system that tells users their EV's state of charge, and their charge time remaining.
“It’s an exciting day for ABB, who as the global leader in electric vehicle fast charging, is playing a key role in enabling a low carbon society,” said Theodor Swedjemark, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer at ABB. “With road transport accounting for nearly a fifth of global CO2 emissions, e-mobility is critical to achieving the Paris climate goal. We will also lead by example by switching our entire fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles to non-emitting vehicles.”
ABB joined Formula E in January 2018, which made it the first title partner of an FIA-sanctioned single-seater championship. The Swiss company entered the e-mobility market back in 2010, and today has sold more than 460,000 electric vehicle chargers across more than 88 markets; over 21,000 DC fast chargers and 440,000 AC chargers.
JAGUAR TO BECOME ALL-ELECTRIC BRAND FROM 2025
Jaguar will produce only all-electric vehicles from 2025, forming the core of its strategy to reimagine the future of luxury cars.
Jaguar will make the switch to becoming an electric-only brand from 2025 with a focus on the high-end premium car market. The company is developing an all-new pure-battery-electric platform that its forthcoming range will be based upon, which will be unveiled at a later date.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore has also outlined the British manufacturer's target of becoming a net zero carbon business by 2039, with its shift to electric vehicles central to this goal.
Bollore outlined a "dramatic" transformation for Jaguar via its 'Reimagine' strategy, which will see its manufacturing process consolidated to allow the firm to “establish new benchmark standards in efficient scale and quality for the luxury sector" and “take a new luxurious position in the market to realise Jaguar's unique potential not just for customers but the business as a whole”.
Jaguar's first foray into BEVs, and currently its only electric car, the I-PACE electric SUV has been in production since 2018 and is a multi-award winner - to the tune of 62 international accolades in all - having secured the European Car of the Year, and World Car of the Year awards in 2019, whilst also being recognised as the winner of the Best Design and Best Green Car categories.
The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy ran alongside the ABB FIA Formula E Championship from 2018 as a one-make support series, with Jaguar and its Special Vehicle Operations department preparing the cars for competition.
After its inaugural season came to a conclusion in New York City, the British carmaker wasted no time in transitioning its race learnings to the road.
Jaguar managed to increase the car's range over-the-air by some 20km thanks to software improvements brought about through competition on Formula E's city street circuits.
The manufacturer continues to build upon its vast banks of EV know-how with Jaguar Racing, having been a race-winning force in Formula E since the team's debut 2016/17 campaign.
For Formula E's first season as an FIA World Championship, Brit Sam Bird joins Mitch Evans - with the team striving to secure a maiden Formula E title in 2020/21. Jaguar Racing Team Director James Barclay says the goal for Season 7 is to push for points, podiums and wins.
“Season 7 is a very exciting year for Jaguar Racing and for Formula E," he said. "It’s the first season Formula E boasts FIA World Championship status and is Jaguar Racing’s fifth season in the world’s fastest-growing global motorsport. The team has worked harder than ever to create the most efficient, state-of-the-art race car."
MANUFACTURERS, TECH COMPANIES INVEST IN EV STARTUPS
A number of leading car manufacturers have made sizeable investments in smaller electric car companies in recent months, showing the industry’s growing commitment to electrification.
Ford, Hyundai and Kia have all pledged to jointly develop electric vehicles with smaller EV-focused automakers as part of important investment projects.
Hyundai and Kia, South Korea’s two largest car manufacturers, recently invested €80 million in Croatian electric hypercar brand Rimac Automobili. The deal, which sees €64 million come from Hyundai and a further €16 million from Kia, of which Hyundai owns a 33.88 percent stake, will result in the development of two EVs by 2020.
It will include an electric version of Hyundai’s N brand sports car model line, as well as a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle, as part of the South Korea manufacturer’s plans to transition towards clean mobility.
Rimac’s Concept-One hypercar boasts an acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 2.5 seconds, an output of 1224 hp and a top speed of 355 km/h. Its C_Two model (in the picture) was unveiled at last year’s Geneva International Motor Show and will launch next year. All 150 production cars, which carry a price tag of €1.7 million, sold out within three weeks. Rimac received investment from Porsche last year, which acquired a ten percent stake in the company.
In the United States, Ford recently invested $500 million in California-based startup Rivian, with a plan for the two companies to jointly develop an electric vehicle. Rivian has already developed two electric vehicles of its own, including a five-seat pickup named R1T and the R1S, a seven-seat SUV. Production of both models will begin at its Illinois plant next year, with preorders open now and starting prices of $61,500 (R1T) and $65,000 (R1S).
The two vehicles are based on Rivian’s own ‘skateboard’ platform, which will also be used to develop the new model with Ford. This investment comes in addition to Ford’s existing plans to develop a range of its own EVs as part of a project worth $11 billion. Earlier this year, Rivian received another investment round, led by Amazon and worth $700 million.
While not yet publicly confirming interest, Nissan is reported to be considering a sizeable investment in a Chinese electric carmaker. Bloomberg reports that the Japanese company wants to purchase a stake of as much as 25 percent in an unspecified Chinese EV maker. Nissan has apparently narrowed the search to WM Motor Technology Co., Zhejian Hozon New Energy Automobile Co. and CHJ Automotive Co.
All three companies have launched fully-electric SUVs, and WM Motor, which builds cars under the Weltmeister brand, has received almost $450 million in funding from Chinese internet company Baidu. The Nissan Leaf remains the bestselling electric car in the world, but China is still dominated by local manufacturers, leading foreign brands to search for other ways to penetrate the market.
ELECTRIC CARS CHEAPER TO OWN THAN PETROL, DIESELS
A report from the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) has examined the purchase price, fuel and tax costs from the Volkswagen Golf in petrol, diesel, battery electric and hybrid versions.
In a four-year period with an annual mileage of 12,874 kms, the full electric version of the vehicle, known as the e-golf, was the cheapest to operate in the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway. The Golf, Europe’s best-selling car, was used as the reference because it represents a “good middle point” in prize and size in the average consumer market, according to the study.
EU and country-specific tax breaks currently play a key role in the savings, with Norway having a 27 percent savings from the e-golf to Golf diesel due to zero-emission vehicles being exempt from registration fees and VAT.
France, Germany and the Netherlands, meanwhile, saw 11-15 percent savings in the study, with the UK at 5 percent due to a recent reduction in EV subsidies.
While the upfront costs of EVs are still slightly higher than internal combustion engined-vehicles, ICCT spokesperson Sandra Wappelhorst told The Guardian that the prices will likely drop between 2025 and 2030, when most tax credits are due to expire. “It will happen, because battery costs are dropping and that means that the initial price of the vehicles will drop as well,” she said. Savings are not just seen in Europe but also around the world.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, EV owners have as much as a 60 percent savings per ‘fill-up’ when comparing electricity to petrol.
It states an average price of petrol is $2.62 USD per gallon, compared to the equivalent ‘eGallon’ of $1.13 USD, calculated by the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity at the current rates, which is generally more stable than the fluctuation of petrol prices. “Because the average US household spends nearly one-fifth of its total family expenditures on transportation, saving on fuel can make a big difference in terms of the average family's budget,” a statement from the DOE read.
The DOE has created a vehicle cost calculator for alternative fuels, which offers direct comparisons to fossil fuel-burning models. https://afdc.energy.gov/calc/
EV owners also have reduced maintenance costs by as much as 35 percent, owing to less mechanical components on an all-electric vehicle.
EV CHARGING NETWORKS SET FOR RAPID EXPANSION
EV charging networks are set for a rapid expansion in both Europe and North America, in efforts to meet the expected increased demand for all-electric vehicles in the years to come.
While currently seeing a fragmented market with numerous third-party companies offering charging solutions, often with limited networks or compatibility issues between vehicles, two major players have emerged in recent months with plans for pan-continent charging networks.
IONITY, a joint venture between BMW Group, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group, has begun rolling out fast-charging stations throughout Europe, with more than 70 stations either already operational or currently under construction.
The company, which has also signed agreements with oil giants Shell and ENI to build chargers at their fuel stations, has laid out plans to build a total of 400 charging stations by 2020. Each of the chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW of continuous power, which is the equivalent of turning on 3,500 100W lightbulbs at the same time. Initial pricing has been determined at a flat-rate of €8, or the equivalent currency, for each charge in the EU.
According to Frank Plaschka, head of marketing & brand for IONITY, the company aiming to offer "anxiety-free" travel for EV drivers, in order to erase the pre-conceived notion of range anxiety: “We are seeing the new generation of electric vehicles offering range, comfort and performance at a similar level to conventionally powered cars now becoming a viable alternative. We want to enhance the experience of EV travel, making it simple and enjoyable. The future is electric and our goal is to provide a charging experience that is so good it creates a new generation of e-mobility advocates."
Electrify America, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group of America, meanwhile, is being touted as the likely charging network to take the lead in North America. Born out of the Volkswagen 'Dieselgate' settlement, the company has already installed more than 100 EV charging sites throughout the U.S., with 400 more planned, to total 2,000 fast chargers by July.
The stations offer both the CCS (Combined Charging System) and CHAdeMO plugs, which aside from Tesla's proprietary charging system, are the most popular standards worldwide. Typical charging times range on the power delivered although new 800-volt technology in new cars, such as the soon-to-be-released Porsche Taycan, can add more than 60 miles of range in four minutes. Porsche will offer three years of free charging on the Electrify America network for all of its Taycan owners.
While currently being the largest in the world with more than 12,000 stalls and 1,400 locations, Tesla's Supercharger network is limited to its own vehicles only, which will likely see both IONITY and Electrify America surpass those numbers in the years to come.
EV SALES SURGE WORLDWIDE IN RECORD GROWTH
Sales of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have surged, with double-digit increases seen worldwide in 2018 and into the first month of this year.
It comes amid the arrival of new EVs to the market, including the recently released Jaguar I-PACE, Audi e-tron and Hyundai Kona, as automakers ramp up production and soon face government-imposed environmental regulations.
Europe, which is set to come under the strictest carbon emissions reduction, saw a 47 percent increase in all-electric vehicle sales in 2018, according to automotive research firm JATO Dynamics. In the report, battery electric vehicles outsold plug-in hybrids for the first time, with electrified cars taking a 6.1 percent share of the new car market on the continent.
Norway, which has maintained its position as the largest market for EVs, meanwhile, saw its sales grow by 40 percent, with one out of every three cars sold now being a zero-emission vehicle. Germany and France are the second and third most popular markets in the EU, respectively, followed by The Netherlands and the UK, according to the report.
Substantial growth is expected with the recent launch of the Tesla Model 3 to the European market, after a record-setting year in North America that saw the mid-sized sedan become the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. The American automaker sold more than 145,000 Model 3s in 2018 alone, while Nissan, credited as the first manufacturer to mass-produce an all-electric vehicle, has see more than 380,000 sales of the LEAF globally since its launch in 2010.
Tesla's rapid success has helped push the U.S. market into new heights, with more than 1 million EVs now on the road, half of them in California alone, according to research by non-profit advocacy group Veloz. While President Donald Trump has recently eased emissions laws in the U.S., a further clampdown on antipollution and fuel efficiency standards is set to come into force in the European Union.
In December, the EU agreed for a targeted 37.5 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2030 and 15 percent cut by 2025, which will directly lead to increased production of EVs. According to Brussels-based lobbying group Transport & Environment, the new law will require around one-third of all new cars to be electric-powered.
"The challenge now is to accelerate the transition to electromobility beyond these minimum requirements and deliver the cleaner air, lower fuel bills and future-proof jobs EU citizens demand," said Julia Poliscanova, T&E clean vehicles.