The Sunday Times asks WHICH IS THE BEST ELECTRIC CAR IN 2018? AUDI E-TRON VS JAGUAR I-PACE VS PORSCHE TAYCAN VS TESLA MODEL X?
On the face a strange question as two of the cars, the Audi and the Porsche are not yet available and the I-Pace is so new that very few people have seen one.
It does lead with:
A new wave of battery-powered luxury models are arriving in Britain’s car showrooms, with the likes of Audi, Jaguar and Porsche joining Tesla in the battle to woo owners of posh cars who are contemplating ditching diesel or parting company with petrol.
California’s Tesla may have led the charge of the upmarket electric car, launching its Model S saloon in 2013, but Britain’s Jaguar has managed to get the head-start on its European rivals, beating them to the market with its recently launched I-Pace pure EV.
Audi will reveal the production version of its e-tron SUV at the end of August, which is likely to appeal to both Q5 and Q7 owners. And Porsche is in the race as it readies the Taycan, its first pure electric car that’s about the size of the Panamera.
For those looking at these EVs, the obvious question is how do the new luxury electric cars compare? Here, we review the specifications of the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model X, to help drivers decide which best meets their needs.
|Audi e-tron||Jaguar I-Pace||Porsche Taycan||Tesla Model X 75D|
|Range||248 miles (WLTP)||298 miles (WLTP)||310 miles (NEDC)||259 miles (NEDC)|
Arguably the greatest concern for any driver that’s not owned an electric car before is how far it will travel on a fully charged battery. Distances are improving from earlier, less powerful electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, which would struggle to better 100 miles on a charge, but there’s still the largely misplaced anxiety of running out of battery juice in between charging points when driving an electric-only car.
|Audi e-tron||Jaguar I-Pace||Porsche Taycan||Tesla Model X 75D|
|Max charge rate||150kW||100kW||350kW||120kW|
After range anxiety, the next headache for anyone new to electric cars is how long a battery takes to charge. It’s all good being able to travel 300 miles on a single charge, but if you forget or face a long journey it’s good to know how quickly a depleted battery can be replenished at a public charging point, or at work.
Depending on what you’re using to top up the batteries, the charging times will vary considerably. For example, when plugging the car into the regular mains household supply, Jaguar only reckons you’ll get 38 miles of range out of the I-Pace if you leave it charging overnight. That’s why most owners have a 7kW wallbox installed at home or at work, as it will give a full charge overnight, or in 13 hours.
Jaguar says that at a standard charging point at a service station its I-Pace should have 168 miles or so of range after an hour’s charge. Once 100kW-capable charging points are available in the UK, it should also be possible to top up the battery to 90% capacity within 45 minutes.
Tesla’s Model X 75D takes about 11 hours to charge at home with a 7kW wallbox, and 3.5 hours with a public 22kW rapid charger. Switch to a 120kW Supercharger and within 40 minutes it should have 80% charge.
Audi claims that the e-tron will offer 150kW DC charging capability. That means it should charge from empty to 80% in around half an hour, and reach full within 50 minutes, as and when such powerful charges become publicly available – something the company is working on in partnership with BMW, Mercedes, Ford and the rest of the Volkswagen Group, under the guise of the Ionity network. Charged at home, using an 11kW wallbox, and it will take around 8.5 hours for a complete fill.
Porsche has yet to provide comprehensive charging data for the Taycan, saying only that it has the ability to provide a range of 248 miles after 15 minutes. However, as with the Jaguar, the technology that would allow this isn’t yet available in the UK.
With its own Supercharger network Tesla wins the charging infrastructure game by a long way. Tesla operate 1,327 Supercharger Stations with 10,854 Superchargers. Each year, owners receive 400 kWh of free Supercharger credit, enough to drive about 1,000 miles. These credits cover the long distance driving needs of most owners, so road trips can be completely free. Customers who travel beyond the annual credit pay a small fee to Supercharge—only a fraction of the cost of fuel.
|Audi e-tron||Jaguar I-Pace||Porsche Taycan||Tesla Model X 75D|
|From||£60,000 (est)||£63,495||£70,000 (est)||£74,650|
Because the Audi and Porsche are not yet on sale, the final price for UK drivers is still to be announced. However, the companies have given guidance on the anticipated cost, with the Audi e-tron likely to start from £60,000 when it is revealed in showroom trim in September, and the Porsche Taycan expected to be around £70,000 – when it finally reaches showrooms early next year.
Rubbing shoulders with both is the Jaguar I-Pace, which costs from £63,495 and reaches £74,445 in top-spec, HSE trim. The Tesla Model X 75D costs from £74,650.
All four cars qualify for the government’s plug-in car grant for zero-emission vehicles, which is worth up to 35% of the price or a maximum of £4500, and would be deducted from the prices listed above.
Read full article at the Sunday Times website:
BP has bought the UK’s biggest electric car charging network, in the latest sign of major oil producers addressing the threat that low-carbon vehicles pose to their core business.
The acquisition of Chargemaster, which has more than 6,500 charging points across the country, will begin to result in the deployment of fast chargers at BP’s 1,200 forecourts over the next year.
The deal is understood to be worth £130m and was lauded as a significant milestone towards cleaner motoring in the UK. There are more than 140,000 electric vehicles on the UK’s roads, most of which are plug-in hybrid vehicles that can run for a short distance on battery power before switching to petrol or diesel.
BP estimates the number of electric vehicles will hit 12m by 2040, although some analysts put the figure much higher.
Tufan Erginbilgic, the chief executive of BP’s downstream division, which includes refineries and petrol stations, said:
At BP we believe that fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles. Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s complementary expertise, experience and assets is an important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites across the UK and to BP becoming the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.
Erginbilgic said BP was doing more on electric car infrastructure in the UK than any other market, although the firm is also piloting chargers in Germany later this year.
The company said the rebadged BP Chargemaster would prioritise ultra-fast 150KW charging, which can add around 450-600 miles of range per hour of charging. That would mean a car such as Jaguar’s new I-Pace could add about 100 miles in 10 minutes.
Charging a car at home usually takes around six to 12 hours, unless the household has an upgraded charging point.
Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive, has said the company is finally strong enough financially, after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil price slump, to start moving deeper into greener energy.
The £130m paid for Chargemaster is part of the $500m (£382m) the UK-based oil firm has pledged to spend on low-carbon activities and follows a recent return to solar power.
However, it is still a small slice of the total $15-16bn that the company will spend this year.
The foray into electric car infrastructure is much bigger than the one BP made in January, when it invested $5m in the US firm Freewire Technologies. BP’s Anglo-Dutch rival Shell took its first steps into the market last year, installing chargers on its forecourts and buying the Dutch firm New Motion, which has 30,000 charging points in Europe.
Asked if the company could be expected to make further steps into the electric car market, Erginbilgic said: “Yes, but not for the sake of investment; they must be in line with our strategy. I don’t believe the fastest person in this space will succeed.”
Albert Cheung, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “Oil majors like BP face a double threat from electric vehicles. They’ll take a hit on oil demand but they’ll also face declining customer traffic at their petrol stations. BP understand the threats and see the opportunity to be part of the EV industry.”
BNEF expects more than half of UK cars to be electric by 2040.
Founded in 2008, Chargemaster runs POLAR, the largest public charging network in the UK. The POLAR network now includes over 6,500 public charging points. The company has over 40,000 customers of its POLAR network, of which an increasing number choose to pay a monthly subscription, and the remainder access on a pay-as-you-go basis. Chargemaster is also a leading supplier of home charging points across the UK and has strong links with car manufacturers, as the charging partner for a number of car brands in the UK.
David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster said “The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK. I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP, which will help us maintain our market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network to support the large range of exciting new electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next couple of years.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Chargemaster employees will continue to be employed by BP Chargemaster or its subsidiaries. BP Chargemaster will operate as a wholly-owned BP entity.
Chargemaster were considering an IPO and now that BP has pounced a few bankers will need to look for other oportunities.
See BP announcement at BP Press website
Visit Chargemaster at their website
New Bloomberg report on the use and deployment of Electric Buses makes interesting reading.
See the full report
Electric Buses in Cities– Driving Towards Cleaner Air and Lower CO2 at Bloomberg New Energy
Worth a read and lots of graphics to help paint the picture.
Few key points and charts below.
Air quality is a growing concern in many urban environments and has direct health impacts for residents. Tailpipe emissions from internal combustion engines are one of the major sources of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulates. Diesel engines in particular have very high nitrogen oxide emissions and yet these make up the majority of the global bus fleet. As the world’s urban population continues to grow, identifying sustainable, cost effective transport options is becoming more critical. Electric vehicles – including electric buses – are one of the most promising ways of reducing harmful emissions and improving overall air quality in cities.
The global e-bus market is changing quickly as cities make increasingly ambitious fleet electrification commitments. In October 2017, 13 cities signed the C40 Fossil- Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, pledging to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 onwards.
The cumulative number of e-buses in Europe reached just over 2,100 units in 2017. Pure electric buses made up the majority of the total at 1,560 units. The U.K. has the largest e-bus fleet in Europe in absolute terms, but the share of e-buses in the total municipal bus fleet in the country was still below 1% in 2017.
E-bus charging configurations
There are three main types of infrastructure for charging electric buses: plug-in systems, inductive charging and conductive pantograph (overhead) charging (Table 3). Traditional plug-in charging is the most common and the cheapest charging system in use with e-buses today. It offers a range of charging rates, from slow to rapid and it is provided by a range of companies, including Heliox, APT, Siemens and ABB.
E-bus lithium-ion battery market review
The demand for lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles – both e-buses and passenger EVs – is increasing. However, battery manufacturing capacity is increasing much faster than demand, which puts pressure on battery prices. As a result battery prices have fallen by 79% since 2010. The sensitivity of battery cycle and calendar life, and the challenges around predicting future battery life make warranties critical to e-buses. Since e-buses have only come to prominence in the last five years the true performance of their batteries may not yet be fully understood.
Our friends at EO Charging have installed 40 EO smart chargers in London for the logistics firm Gnewt Cargo.
Gnewt Cargo, a last-mile city logistics operator that has its main depot in the Bow area of London, has commissioned a total of 63 EO smart chargers, connected by two eoHUBs, to keep its 100% electric fleet of around 100 vehicles on the London streets.
Gnewt Cargo worked with the Mayor of London’s office to develop a successful bid to Innovate UK, which provided a million pounds in funding for the new chargers.
As part of the project, EO Charging unveiled a number of innovations for its charging solutions, including advance load management, priority charging and demand-side response.
“Whilst the Gnewt Cargo fleet is currently unique, we know that this size of EV fleets will become commonplace in cities over the next few years,” said EO founder Charlie Jardine. “We’re fully aligned to [Mayor] Sadiq Khan’s vision of a cleaner, greener London and know that drastic action is required if we are to reduce poisonous emissions by more than half, by 2025, across the city.”
“Gnewt has been through a rapid growth phase, which in turn has put greater focus on the way in which our ever-increasing electric fleet recharges,” said Sam Clarke, founder and Head of Business Development at Gnewt Cargo. “I was impressed by how EO tackled this unique challenge and how the innovative yet cost-effective solution was presented.”
Contact Cables For Charging to learn how you could benefit from an EO based charging system for your EV fleet.
BMW revealed its newest electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid called the 530e iPerformance. The variant’s options include a forthcoming wireless charging pad, targeting a 2018 release window, which will include a charging pad drivers can install in their garage and drive over to provide a power supply with rates up to 3.2 kW, with a total charging time for refilling the vehicle’s onboard battery of about three and a half hours.
BMW is already showing the wireless pad and its charging capabilities in prototype form, and the system includes visual feedback and instructions for the driver via the in-car infotainment dash display, so that they know when they’ve pulled in for an optimal charging connection. Wireless charging is a big carrot for EVs and hybrids, since it takes away the added mental component involved in remembering to plug your car in once you’re done driving. It seems like a small thing, but it goes against many decades of learned behaviour for most drivers.
The other interesting component here is that BMW is offering its Digital Charging Service for the 530e iPerformance, which intelligently manages charging when plugged in so that the car remains topped off for when it needs to drive. The service also adjusts the planned charging to draw power mostly during off-peak hours, and to prefer power supplied by the customer’s own solar power generation capacity, if they have both that and BMW’s Wallbox Connect dedicated vehicle charging solution.
Getting customers excited about electric vehicles is in part about making sure they see that it’s also not going to change their lives dramatically in terms of their daily routine and how they use their cars. These charging technologies help with that, and wireless charging in particular should be a hit if BMW can deliver it as promised.
Charging an EV like the Nissan Leaf is easy.
See this short video of plugging a Leaf into a Public Type 2 Charging Post at Sainsbury’s.
The Nissan Leaf uses a TYpe 1 on board connection. The Pod Point charging system offers a standard Type 2 connection. The cable required is thus a Type 1 – TYpe 2 Charging Cable. This leaf has a standard 16 Amp charger and. This will function with both a 16 Amp or a 32 Amp cable but will only draw 16 Amp from ther supply. In this case we are using a 16 Amp Type 1 – Type 2 cable. EV-CHC007.
The Mercedes-Benz S550e plug-in hybrid luxury S class will likely be the first production car to offer wireless charging as a factory option.
The availability of wireless charging was announced earlier this year by Mercedes as part of a significant update of the current-generation car.
We now know that the S550e will use a version of the Qualcomm Halo system, built under license by a third party.
The current S550e offers a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, coupled to a powerful 114bhp electric motor. The result is the S500 Plug-In, and it’s capable of more than 100mpg under optimum conditions. The pure EV range is around 20 miles.
The Mercedes S500 Plug-In makes sense for city-based chauffeurs, or those with the infrastructure required to effectively utilise a car like this. If you live less than 20 miles from the office and can charge both at home and at work, you could essentially run this luxury limo without ever filling it with fuel. Of course this is true for all Plug-In hybrids such as Volvo or Outlander PHEVs.
However, for many, exemption from road tax and the London Congestion Charge – itself worth more than £3,000 a year – will be the deal-breaker. Within four years you’ll have recouped the £12,000 premium over the cheaper S350, and that’s without considering the money you’ll save on fuel.
Now to make life even easier Mercedes are set to offer wireless charging, removing the need for a pesky cable.
The plan is to offer inductive charging as an option. This does require the retrofit in your garage to install a charging plate.
Inductive charging is basic physics at work. Running a current through a coil of wire creates a magnetic field, which in turn allows current to be transferred between two coils in close proximity, without any physical connection.
One coil is housed in a base plate that sits on the ground, while the other is housed in a receiver on the car’s underside.
For home users, the base plates are bolted to the garage floor, with the wire providing power usually running through a trench in the concrete.
Mercedes previously said the system would have an efficiency rate of 90 percent for transfer of electricity from a power source to a car.
The system in the S550e is rated at 3.6 kilowatts, which is somewhat low compared to charging systems for all-electric cars.
In addition to the wireless-charging option, the S550e is expected to get a boost in battery-pack size from 8.7 kilowatt-hours to 13.5 kWh.
While other carmakers have shown wireless charging on various concept cars, Mercedes seems to be the only one with definite plans to offer the feature on a production model.
A new battery chemistry could improve the efficiency and longevity of lithium-air batteries in a way that is “very scalable, cheap and much safer” than its predecessors, according to a paper published this week in Nature Energy.
Interesting recent article in the Wall St Journal about the adoption of electric vehicles.
The piece written by Christophen Mins paints a image of rapid adoption of pure and hyrbrid plug in cars driven by an increase in battery technology and an increase in the number of charging points.
See WSJ article.
Key points below:
In 2015, about one in every 150 cars sold in the U.S. had a plug and a battery. But mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming, and much sooner than most people realize.
In part, this is because electric cars are gadgets, and technological change in gadgets is rapid.
One big leap is in batteries. A typical electric vehicle today costs $30,000 and will go about 100 miles on a charge, if that. Within a year, you’ll be able to get double that range for just a little more money.
Tesla Motors Inc. is the standard-bearer, promising a Model 3 vehicle meant to appeal to the masses at $35,000 without incentives and more than 200 miles of range. By comparison, the average new car in the U.S. today sells for about $33,000. Tesla is hardly alone. Later this year, Chevrolet will roll out its $37,500 Bolt EV. It, too, boasts more than 200 miles of range, which appears to be the new goal for eliminating “range anxiety”—the fear that a vehicle will run out of juice—among potential electric-vehicle buyers.
And that is just the start. Pasquale Romano, chief executive of ChargePoint Inc., the world’s largest maker of electric-car charging stations, says he works with, and talks to, most major car companies. “We have seen their internal plans to just electrify everything,” he said.
In the short run, many of these cars will be plug-in hybrids, with both electric motors and gasoline engines. It makes sense to lump them with electric vehicles because most new models have enough battery power to get the average U.S. commuter to work and back without using any gasoline.
Steve Majoros, a marketing director at General Motors Co. ’s Chevrolet unit, says that 90% of trips and 65% of miles driven in its Volt plug-in hybrid are on electric-only mode. The Volt can go 53 miles on a charge.
Every plug-in hybrid is effectively an electric car that is carrying a “range extender,” just in case. They will help electrify a large share of the miles Americans drive. They’ll also help ease consumers into electric vehicles, overcoming any remaining fear about being stranded after running out of juice.
Competition among electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will be intense, which will drive down prices. Volkswagen has pledged to make every model available as a plug-in hybrid by 2025. BMW has made the same promise. Hyundai promises eight plug-in hybrid models by 2020, plus two all-electric vehicles. Toyota’s overhaul of the plug-in Prius, boasting twice the range, arrives before the year is out.
Another trend will help—the proliferation of charging stations. ChargePoint Sunday said it has 30,000 stations in its network, where it collects any fees levied by owners. By comparison, there are about 90,000 publicly accessible gas stations in America, says Mike Fox, executive director of Gasoline & Automotive Services Dealers of America.
The number of commercial charging stations is growing quickly in part because they’re relatively cheap—costing $3,000 to $7,500 per port, depending on whether it is new construction or a retrofit. When attached to a business, they can attract customers, and encourage them to stay longer and spend more.
Hy-Vee Inc., a chain of 241 grocery stores in eight Midwestern states, installs charging stations at all its new locations; it has four chargers at each of 42 stores. Charge times for electric cars vary widely, depending on the station and car make, but it typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to get a decent charge. Conveniently, that is roughly as long as it takes to have a meal, says John Brehm, director of site planning at Hy-Vee.
Placing charging stations at workplaces, where cars spend much of their time, will be uniquely powerful. When a workplace installs a charging station, employees are 20 times as likely to buy a vehicle with a plug, according to a survey from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Drivers won’t switch to electric vehicles as rapidly as consumers adopted smartphones. The average American keeps a car for 11 years. For most people, though, by the time you’re ready to buy another car, there will be a range of plug-in vehicles available at prices comparable to gasoline vehicles. And that doesn’t count the projected savings in fuel, or in maintenance, since electric vehicles have many fewer moving parts.
It is the nature of disruptive technological shifts that it seems like nothing is changing—until it seems as if everything is changing at once. Electric vehicles have been a long time coming, but they now represent such a clear and present threat to the gasoline engine that Mr. Fox, of the service-station association, now recommends that members signing long-term contracts for fuel include an option to renegotiate if more than 10% of a state’s fleet goes electric.
If Tesla can deliver on its current promises with the Model 3, says Mr. Fox, “gas vehicles are history—it’s horse and buggy days.”