Fewer and fewer ICE-powered cars will be sold in the coming years.
After speaking to specialists from the auto industry, The Financial Times published a comprehensive report about the fossil-burning engine. Interestingly, several experts told the publication sales of ICE-powered vehicles peaked in 2018 which basically means it’s unlikely that more cars with ICEs will be sold within a year in the future.
Most of the large automotive manufacturers are already adopting electrification as a way to improve the efficiency of their cars. Still, the internal combustion engine will continue to play a major role in the industry within the next at least two decades but, looking at what experts say, it’s probably safe to assume the ICE’s peak is now a thing of the past.
“We will probably see the peak of combustion engine car sales in 2018 based on global sales through October, plus estimates for November and December,”Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst for Jato Dynamics, told Financial Times.
As of January 2018, predictions were that the demand for ICE-powered cars will continue to grow until its peak in 2022. It turns out that the major drop in overall new car deliveries in the three largest regions in terms of sales, Europe, the U.S., and China, might have significantly changed the forecast.
UK Car sales fall 7% Y on Y
We know from the SMMT that UK new car sales are dismal for 2018 and follow a grim 2017. The SMMT said new and more rigorous emissions testing rules created supply problems and a backlog of deliveries as car manufacturers suffered delays in getting their cars approved.
From 1 September 2018, all cars sold in the EU are subject to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), measuring all regulated emissions, as well as CO2 and fuel economy. These test are both more rigorous and should give real world data and need to be conducted for every model variant rather than a single example as previous test required. If you are BMW and need to test the new BMW 3 series you need to test every model with every engine configuration. So thats the Saloon in SE, Sport and M Sport with Plug In coming in July with a range of Petrol and Diesel engines. Grim work.
Last year, 2018 saw total UK sales of 2.37 million units a fall of 6.8%. The largest decline was in the diesel sector that fell 30% for the year. Anti-diesel rhetoric and negative fiscal measures took their toll, with December marking the 21st consecutive month of decline for the fuel type – despite new emissions tests showing diesels deliver in the real world. Growth in registrations of petrol (+8.7%) and alternatively fuelled vehicles (+20.9%) replaced some of the loss but not enough to offset the full shortfall as many diesel owners adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, keeping hold of their older, more polluting vehicles for longer.
In the AFV sector, petrol electric hybrids remained the most popular choice, up +21.3% to 81,156 units. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) also recorded a strong uplift (+24.9%) over the year, though the figures suggest growth is slowing following the removal of the Government’s plug-in car grant for these vehicles in October.
Demand for PHEVs grew almost 30% in the first 10 months, but year on year increases fell to 3.1% and 8.7% in November and December respectively.
Pure electric cars, meanwhile, grew 13.8% in the year but, with just 15,474 registered, they still make up only 0.7% of the market. Given the reduction in government incentives, the pace of growth of plug-in cars is now falling significantly behind the EU average.
“When you look at 2018 since the summer, new car sales in all of the important markets are going down. Selling combustion engine cars to customers – this will not grow in the future,”Axel Schmidt, global automotive lead for Accenture.
In 2019, global vehicle sales aren’t expected to decline as electric vehicles are expected to quadruple their market share to about 1.6 percent. Even if overall sales increase through the next 12 months, deliveries of ICE-powered vehicles will likely fall, say specialists.
The impact of falling unit sales can been seen in the response from the largest global players such as GM who recently announced it’s shuttering five production facilities and killing six vehicle platforms by the end of 2019 as it reallocates resources towards self-driving technologies and electric vehicles.
The announcements should come as a surprise to no one, as they echo a similar announcement made by Ford earlier this year that it will exit all car production other than Mustang within two years. EXIT ALL CARS – FORD!
Why the sudden attitude adjustment toward cars? Well, both firms cite a focus on trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
North American car production hit 17.5 million vehicles in 2016 and dropped marginally to 17.2 million in 2017. Interesting, but perhaps not significant.
More telling are changes in driver behaviour. In North America, for example, fewer teens are getting driver’s licences. In 1983, 92 per cent of teens were licensed, while by 2014, that number had dropped to 77 per cent. In Germany, the number of new licences issued to drivers aged 17 to 25 has dropped by 300,000 over the last 10 years.
Fewer ICE cars on the road within a decade
We are moving from a do-it-yourself (DIY) transportation economy to a sharing, or do-it-for-me (DIFM), economy. Many of us won’t like it — I honestly like to drive — but the numbers and the technology are there.
As safety technologies improve and societal paradigms shift, this evolution will gather momentum. Based on the young driver statistics above, it seems reasonable to anticipate a reduction in cars per capita of 20 to 30 per cent in the next decade.
Unions at GM and Ford are justifiably unhappy, but they shouldn’t be surprised. It is quite possible that we have reached peak car in North America and Europe.
Companies that want to succeed in this new environment will need to be different and better in some way. If car volumes drop by 30 per cent over the next 10 years, there’d better be something special about the car company that hopes to survive, let alone prosper — like better technology, better comfort, or better service.
If current trends continue, we can anticipate more shutdown announcements — like GM’s — from car companies and parts suppliers, as there won’t be room for all of them.
INFINITI will unveil its new QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 North American International Auto Show this month, previewing the brand’s electrified future.
The new concept represents INFINITI’s plans for high-performance electrified vehicles, offering complete range confidence, while signalling a new era for INFINITI design enabled by new technology. Infused with Japanese DNA, a refreshed form language hints at the potency and character of the brand’s future electrified powertrains.
Infiniti is rather late to the EV game, considering what its rivals, like TESLA, Porsche, AUDI are doing and the fact that parent Nissan has been making the Leaf since 2010. Infinitis is Nissan’s upmarket brand, just as Lexus is to Toyota.
As Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti has yet to build a pure EV, instead selling rather bland hybrid vehicles like the Q50 Hybrid. However, it plans to electrify its entire lineup starting in 2021, and said that half its vehicles would feature either a hybrid or a pure electric drivetrain by 2025. Unfortunately for pure EV lovers, many of those vehicles will pack Nissan’s e-POWER hybrid drivetrain, which uses a petrol engine to charge the electric batteries, and has no plug-in option.
Infiniti has just unveiled the QX Inspiration concept rather than a production car, that it will show off in detail at the 2019 North American International Auto Show later in January. The vehicle design, teased last month, represents the future (and platform) for Infiniti’s electrified program.
Development of new electric vehicle platforms enables the formation of spacious, lounge-like interiors. In the case of the QX Inspiration concept, the cabin has been hand-crafted using traditional techniques and a choice of materials inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. The new interior technology follows the Japanese hospitality principle of ‘omotenashi’, creating a welcoming environment, while assisting drivers and connecting occupants to the world around them.
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director for INFINITI describes the QX Inspiration as the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where the brand wants to go. New technology gives the opportunity to evolve INFINITI’s design philosophy – and the new vehicle communicates the ‘serene strength’ at our core.
We will learn more after the full release at the Detroit show.
Tesla Model 3s are expected to land in Europe early in the new year. To increase awareness of the Tesla proprietary supercharging network Elon Musk revealed via Twitter that Tesla is planning a Supercharger expansion that will cover “100 percent of Europe…From Ireland to Kiev, from Norway to Turkey,” he added, in response to a tweet that some parts of Ireland are badly in need of Superchargers.
The automaker started preparing the Model 3 for European markets in November, displaying it in showrooms in various countries across the continent. That time, the company also said that the vehicle’s European version will come equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS) fast charging-compatible ports. In addition, Tesla said it will upgrade its existing Superchargers in the continent with CCS plugs before Model 3 arrives.
If the company plans to retrofit existing Superchargers with Combined Charging System (CCS) plugs, then the new installations might already come with them from the get-go. Since CCS technology is commonly used for EVs in Europe, people wondered whether Tesla intends to open up its network to other companies’ vehicles. Tesla’s head of global charging infrastructure, Drew Bennett, said the company has been talking to other automakers, but there are no concrete plans just yet.
The Combined Charging System (CCS) covers charging electric vehicles using the Combo 1 and Combo 2 connectors at up to 80 or 350 kilowatts respectively. These two connectors are extensions of the Type 1 and Type 2 connectors, with two additional direct current (DC) contacts to allow high-power DC fast charging.
As usual the EV industry is making charging systems and standards as clear as mud. The EC is trying to impose standards for manufactures and charging stations while the industry, especially Tesla is pushing high-speed charging as a proprietary and unique selling points.
The LA Car Show has just opened. One of the best events to see and touch the new models coming to you local showroom next year.
Here we can showcase a few of the main EV announcements:
In no real order we have:
New Kia Soul
Audi e-tron GT concept
BMW Vision iNext
Rivian Pick Up
Tesla Power Wall
Full write-up of the most important players to follow.
Plus expect the mainstream EV players to show the latest electric and plug-ins from:
VW with the e-Golf
Smart with the EQ ForTwo
Mini Countryman Plug In
Range Rover with Sport Plug In
Kia Optima PHEV
Fiat 500e Plug In
Plus new Non Plug In Hybrids from
Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid
Lexus UX Hybrid
A bunch of manufactures are using the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to show new vehicles and seems that Infinity is no exception as they launch the UK designed Prototype 10.
The INFINITI Prototype 10 recaptures the spirit of early speedster for an era of electrified performance. Revealed at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the concept represents a physical manifestation of INFINITI’s creative and ambitious plans for electrified performance. It looks like a cross between an early Mercedes racing car and something out of Tron.
As a brand with technological innovation at its core, electrification is a natural next step for INFINITI. From 2021, every new INFINITI model will be electrified, feature electric drivetrain technology to enhance performance. The Prototype 10 provides a window into INFINITI’s desire to deliver driving pleasure, thrilling performance, and range confidence.
Following the ground-breaking Prototype 9 concept first revealed at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, INFINITI has ‘looked back to go forward’ with the Prototype 10. A future vision realised by INFINITI designers, Prototype 10 evokes the spirit of early Californian speedsters, and is informed by some of the most iconic car designs of all time.
This is the first project to come to fruition under the direction of Karim Habib, INFINITI’s new Executive Design Director, and it hints at how the brand’s design teams will evolve the appearance of its production cars. A project spanning the globe, the Prototype 10’s creation has been overseen by INFINITI’s Japan design centre, designed digitally in the UK, and crafted by hand in San Diego, California.
The new concept is resolutely forward-looking in terms of its aesthetics and is a natural evolution of the form language first seen in the INFINITI Q Inspiration and Prototype 9. The monoposto (single-seat) cockpit is consistent with INFINITI’s driver-focused approach, and is indicative of the new opportunities created for INFINITI by adopting electrified powertrains and flexible vehicle platforms.
We all feel a certain degree of passion when talking about roadsters and speedsters. We are equally passionate about the potential that electrification holds for the future of our cars – a daring speedster is the perfect study for our designers to explore an electrified future and ignite such excitement.
Roland Krueger, President, INFINITI
INFINITI Prototype 10 in detail
Cool, clean, forward-looking, and inspired by electrified performance
“The INFINITI Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early speedsters. This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars. Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterised by the simple love of driving.”
Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI
Inspiration: a speedster for the modern era
In creating the Prototype 10, INFINITI has re-imagined the classic speedster with a cool, clean, forward-looking design. Inspired by the potential for electrification, INFINITI’s new concept seeks to demonstrate the daring spirit of performance that will inform the brand’s production vehicles in the future.
The new concept follows two other design studies revealed by INFINITI in the last 12 months: the Prototype 9 – first revealed in 2017 – and the INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept, unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Where Prototype 9 – a sleek, open-wheeled, electric retro-roadster – imagined an alternative history for INFINITI, the Prototype 10 is resolutely focused on what the future holds for the brand. Utterly daring in its bold execution, the new concept is inspired by the spirit of early speedsters, its form and function evoking driving pleasure and thrilling performance. Even its monoposto cockpit is consistent with INFINITI’s approach to creating driver-focused cars. The Prototype 10 also echoes the design of the 2018 Q Inspiration Concept, which previewed a new form language for INFINITI in an era of advanced powertrains.
“For us, Prototype 9 evoked the thrill and drama of early open-wheeled racing, and Prototype 10 represents another passion project for our designers. This idea of ‘looking back to go forward’, and combining the inspiration of an earlier aesthetic with future technology, lets us show how excited we are about the era of electrification. Prototype 10 draws on some of the most iconic and evocative car designs of all time to illustrate this excitement.”
Harnessing a global creative team
The Prototype 10 has been designed under the direction of INFINITI’s new Executive Design Director, Karim Habib. The first project to come to fruition under his instruction, it hints at how INFINITI’s design teams will evolve and adapt the appearance of its production cars in future.
INFINITI’s design teams in Asia, Europe and North America have each been involved in the creation of Prototype 10 from its inception. A forward-looking project on a global scale, its creation has been masterminded by INFINITI’s Japan design centre and forged digitally in the UK. Evoking the spirit of early speedsters, it was to be expected that the project would be completed in San Diego, California – home of INFINITI’s North American design base.
The unveiling at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is no accident. California has an automotive culture all of its own, with a rich vein of individual expression empowering car fans and gearheads alike to create their own unique, hand-built machines. This instinct for challenging accepted automotive norms – aided by the ever-temperate weather – meant California was destined to become the spiritual home of the high-performance speedster. A similar passion for expression has driven INFINITI’s designers in creating the Prototype 10, a physical manifestation of the brand’s vision for vehicle electrification.
“California is intrinsically linked to the speedster body style and remains a cultural centre for independent car tuning and coachbuilding to this day. Prototype 10 taps into this unique Californian ethos of self-expression, both in its design and its performance.”
INFINITI’s electrification strategy
Prototype 10 provides a link between where INFINITI stands now, and where we are heading. For us, electrification means performance – our cars will be powerful, efficient, and highly rewarding to drive, and Prototype 10 is a physical representation of our electrified future.
Designed as a single-seat speedster, the Prototype 10 hints at the performance intent of all future electrified models from INFINITI. It doesn’t just embody the brand’s basic desire to electrify its cars, but represents a promise to deliver driving pleasure.
From 2021, all new INFINITI models will offer a mix of pure electric vehicles and e-POWER vehicles – demonstrating the full range of ultra-low emissions technology available. The Prototype 10 seeks to illustrate what drivers will come to associate with the brand’s electrified models. Echoing the performance traditions of the speedster, INFINITI will deliver electric performance of the highest order.
Delivering high performance in the smartest way possible, electric motors will be used to provide INFINITI vehicles with breath-taking off-the-line acceleration and thrilling speeds. By eliminating the need for external charging sources, INFINITI’s unique e-POWER models will also provide ‘range confidence’ for longer journeys.
Realising INFINITI’s vision for electrified performance
“In designing Prototype 10, we wanted to explore how an INFINITI could look in future with the arrival of electrified powertrains. The idea of clean motoring is carried over in the car’s uncluttered, skyward-facing surfaces, while simple, geometric details provide a visual link to the notion of electrification and direct power.”
A daring evolution of Q Inspiration’s form language.
A carefully crafted evolution of the design language first shown with the INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept in 2018, the Prototype 10 is resolutely forward-looking in terms of its aesthetics. Like the Q Inspiration Concept, the new design study proposes how the function of an advanced, electrified powertrain could be communicated in a stunning new form. While it retains the clean, uninterrupted surfaces of the Q Inspiration Concept – an elongated, coupé-like saloon – the Prototype 10 telegraphs the performance benefits of electric powertrains with a more purposeful speedster configuration.
The concept’s design is characterised by clear, concise lines, and confident proportions, without the body volume of the Q Inspiration Concept. With a pared-back, more geometric form, the bodywork incorporates a series of austere, straight lines, particularly evident in the 90-degree relationship between the bodywork and the fin behind the driver’s head. Ultra-modern shapes, and clean, abrupt lines, punctuate a design that would otherwise be characterised by the flowing nature of its bodywork.
“Prototype 10 follows the INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept in introducing a new form language for an electrified era, hinting at electric performance of the highest order. Where the Q Inspiration Concept presented a degree of sensuality in its surfaces, Prototype 10 evolves this design with more purpose and aggression.”
Design inspired by high-performance electric motoring
“Our electric vehicle architecture represents a turning point for our design teams, a chance to present alternative proportions with different shapes. This new design language prioritises clean, efficient lines with which we can articulate a new, confident design language.”
Roland Krueger, President, INFINITI
In seeking to understand the way INFINITI’s vehicles will look in future, every element of the Prototype 10’s design links to the notion of electrification. As with the Q Inspiration Concept, the concept’s clean, uninterrupted surfaces serve as a reference to the power source that provides an uninterrupted flow of electric propulsion.
The most obvious representation of the car’s performance is its low speedster layout and confident proportions, with its long bonnet and open cockpit contrasted by a dramatic fin behind the driver’s seat.
Where the Prototype 10’s unbroken, skyward-facing surfaces reflect the uninterrupted nature of electric motor power delivery, the bodywork itself is punctuated by geometric lines. These lines reference the shock of sudden acceleration enabled by a powertrain which can instantly deliver 100% of available torque with a push of the accelerator pedal. Straight lines give added definition to the grilles at the front of the car, and the side strakes which plunge into the rear wheel arches. The cooling ducts in the open-air cockpit – one behind the driver, one in place of a passenger seat – are also characterised by their sharp geometry, with their very structure appearing to take the form of an electrical pulse. The upright fin behind the driver’s head carves into the rear deck of the car, with razor-sharp forms also evident in the design of the triangular rear light.
The front of the car features a prominent INFINITI badge pressed deep into the bodywork, with distinct creases running over the front fenders and up the centre of the hood. Slashes at the base of the hood house ultra-thin headlights, as sharp in their appearance as the power delivery is direct. Contrasting the silver bodywork, a black chin spoiler at the base of the bumper is designed to enhance downforce at the front, and channel air flow beneath the completely flat underfloor of the vehicle.
Unbroken lines and smooth body surfaces flow rearwards, culminating in a tapered rear deck, similar to that of the earlier Q Inspiration Concept. Once again, the performance spirit is present in the subtle rear diffuser, which channels air out from beneath the car and provides an efficient aerodynamic profile as the car carves near-silently through the air at higher speeds.
A monoposto cockpit underlining INFINITI’s driver-focused approach
“We were drawn to the idea of outlaw racers adapting their own cars for grass-roots racing. Cabriolets become roadsters and speedsters with the removal of the roof, or by fitting a smaller, swept-back windshield. Many owners even covered the passenger bay to create a monoposto competition car.”
The cockpit echoes the design philosophy of the exterior, with clean, flowing surfaces bisected by geometric lines. The hood flows seamlessly into the open-air cabin, drawing attention to the driver’s seat and the large electric motor cooling ducts. The speedster layout encouraged INFINITI’s designers to create a monoposto cockpit, with attention focused solely on the driver. Fully visible from outside the car, the pure, minimalist cockpit captures the essence of INFINITI’s driver-focused approach. Where cabins in INFINITI production vehicles are designed to be ‘driver-focused and passenger minded’, the sole purpose of Prototype 10 is to deliver a thrilling driving experience. In place of a passenger seat, therefore, a large vent lets air flow into the rear of the car to cool the electric motor and batteries.
Prototype 10’s cockpit design is inspired by single-seat formula race cars – placing the driver fully in-control with an unhindered view of the road ahead, with ready access to ergonomic controls, and with minimal distraction. Communicating the notion of electrification and performance, Prototype 10’s uncluttered cockpit is fitted only with a driver’s seat, four-point harness, brake and accelerator pedals, and a striking, highly technical race-inspired steering wheel.
The steering wheel is the most visually-arresting element of the cabin, mounted on lightweight carbon fibre struts that extrude out of the bodywork. There is no need for an intrusive steering column due to the presence of INFINITI’s steer-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering, providing lightning-fast responses to steering inputs. The shape of the struts holding the wheel in place is echoed in the form of the steeply-raked wind guard, deflecting air over and around the driver’s head and into the cooling ducts. The small-diameter wheel itself adheres to motorsport principles, with a flat lower section and distinct grips for the driver’s hands – with no gears to change, an electrified powertrain means fewer physical distractions. Like the INFINITI ‘infinite road’ logo, the centre of the wheel extends away from the driver, leading into a compact instrument display.
The single seat is trimmed in black leather, with red stitching matching the centre of the wheel. Extended side and hip bolsters provide a snug fit and maximum possible lateral support. The seat is mounted as low in the cockpit as possible to help lower the overall centre of gravity, with only the driver’s head visible above the bodywork – it is for this reason that INFINITI designers dubbed this aspect of Prototype 10 ‘The Bathtub’ during its creation.
Embodying INFINITI’s desire to develop electrified models that offer driving pleasure, thrilling performance, and extended range
Prototype 10 highlights the shift towards powertrain electrification for INFINITI. In the near future our cars will offer high performance, extended driving range and the intelligent management of energy.
A physical manifestation of INFINITI’s creative and ambitious plans for electrification
From 2021, all new INFINITI models will feature electrified powertrains. Electrification is a natural progression for INFINITI, as a brand with technological innovation at its core – and the Q Inspiration Concept and Prototype 10 represent the latest steps in the brand’s shift to only produce electrified cars.
As a physical manifestation of INFINITI’s creative and ambitious plans to electrify its model line-up, Prototype 10 demonstrates the potential application for the brand’s future powertrain technologies. New models will offer owners a choice of pure battery electric vehicles, and unique, performance focused e-POWER powertrains.
INFINITI’s electrified vehicles will break down many of the perceived barriers to EV ownership. INFINITI e-POWER models in particular will eliminate the need for an external charging source, providing ‘range confidence’ for long journeys while delivering the same memorable and invigorating EV driving experience.
High performance remains a key tenet for INFINITI, innovative drivetrain technologies applied to deliver truly electrifying performance. As hinted at by the Prototype 10, INFINITI’s electrified cars will enable rapid acceleration, high speeds, and intelligent energy management.
Flexible vehicle platforms create new possibilities for powertrain and chassis layouts
Electrification provides new opportunities for the design and layout of our cars. In accommodating batteries and electric motors, or employing smaller gasoline engines, we aren’t bound by the same physical restrictions. Prototype 10 shows how an electrified powertrain could fit within a lean, lightweight and daring body, and this enabled us to rethink the fundamental layout of the car.
The unique layout of Prototype 10 suggests the approach that INFINITI will take in engineering its new cars. INFINITI’s EV and e-POWER powertrains offer greater packaging flexibility for INFINITI engineers, and afford new creative freedom in design.
Prototype 10 hints at the potential for INFINITI to adopt rigid, modular platforms with flat floors to underpin every one of its new electrified vehicles, and support a new era of design and packaging. Indeed, it’s due to the flat floor that the Prototype 10 driver’s seat can be situated so low in the chassis.
Modular platforms will enable INFINITI to apply e-POWER and battery EV powertrains in new and creative ways within chassis of all shapes and sizes – including saloons, SUVs and sports cars. Electrification also provides the opportunity to introduce a wider variety of drivetrains, including a new e-AWD system, underpinned by electric motor technology, to help transform perceptions of EV performance and power delivery.
Purely a design study at this stage, Prototype 10 nevertheless hints at the inherent flexibility of INFINITI’s approach to platform and powertrain development. The ducts and vents in Prototype 10’s body could enhance cooling for a battery pack, electric motor or even INFINITI’s unique, performance focused e-POWER technology.
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:
Yes, Harley Davidson, the maker of super loud motor bikes announces plans for multiple electric motorcycles and even an electric bicycle.
If the name Harley Davidson conjures up images in your head of leather-clad biker gangs flying down a desert highway while spewing exhaust from their loud chrome pipes, then perhaps you’d better think again. Harley Davidson is well on their way to debuting their first electric motorcycle which they are hoping will target a younger, more urban audience – a market with which the brand desperately needs to succeed.
And now the company appears to be doubling down on that commitment by announcing a new lineup of electric motorcycles while simultaneously fleshing out their EV team with a string of new positions.
Harley Davidson’s electric motorcycle development has been known by the name Project LiveWire, though the company trademarked the name Revelation in connection with the project earlier this year, making it a good bet that the new electric Harley will be known as the Revelation upon its final debut.
The project has been in progress for at least 4 years, and has a projected release sometime next year.
Recently, the Milwaukee based motorcycle company quietly added multiple open positions related to electric vehicle operations on the hiring page of their website, fueling speculation that they are preparing to expand the scope of their current EV project.
Now it appears that the speculation has been confirmed as Harley Davidson announced today multiple new electric motorcycle platforms that are in development over the next few years.
According to Harley Davidson’s Chief Operating Officer Michelle Kumbier:
“We’re going big in EV with a family of products that will range in size, power, as well as price. When you look at EV you know this is a whole new customer base that we are bringing in.”
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The Porsche Taycan is set to the brands first full EV, and now we know what it’s actually going to be called.
All the facts
Back in 2015, the Mission E was unveiled with the Taycan codename, but now Porsche has revealed it’ll be called the Taycan. The name change was announced on Porsche’s 70th birthday by Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume, alongside news of a new Speedster concept. And if you’re interested, we’re told the Taycan name translates in a Eurasian dialect to ‘lively young horse.’
At the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and the announcement of the all-new Porsche Mission E, shown in concept car form (above). It looked like one of Stuttgart’s finest, but everything inside it seemed to be alien. Where was the flat-six engine? If Porsche had jumped on the EV bandwagon, surely the internal combustion engine’s days were numbered?
Three years later, we have a much more measured, balanced view of EVs, and they’re shifting relationship with ICE-powered cars. In 2018 everyone’s releasing an EV – or at least announcing an ambitious plan for electrification, and our roads are peppered with Nissan Leafs and a swelling number of Teslas. Now, the idea of an electric Porsche isn’t a shocking novelty, and it needs to be backed up with some serious specs, infrastructure and competitive performance.
What is Porsche Mission E?
The Porsche Taycan (formerly the Mission E) is an all-new supercar that’ll fit somewhere between the Panamera and 911, and will feature an all-electric powertrain. It has been spotted being benchmarked against Tesla Model S and Model X EVs.
‘With Mission E we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand,’ said Porsche board chairman Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, speaking in 2015. ‘Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car.’
In the wake of the ongoing emissions scandal rocking Porsche’s parent company VW, electric drivetrain technology is being fast-tracked throughout the VW Audi empire.
How fast is the Porsche EV?
Porsche claims the Taycan will pass 62mph in ‘less than 3.5 seconds’, dashing past 124mph in just a dozen seconds. Top speed meanwhile will be ‘more than 155mph’. The dual-motor layout delivers four-wheel drive and the 911’s four-wheel steering features for agility that would surprise most four-seaters. The batteries are mounted as low as possible within the composite construction for a ground-hugging centre of gravity. There are also two recesses within the skateboard-like battery, for better rear occupant legroom.
In Stuttgart at the company’s annual earnings conference, Porsche let slip that the Tayxan would be powered by LG batteries from South Korea – but that the cells have been designed and built specifically for the Taycan, so they’re not appearing in any other EVs. Steiner added that longer term, Porsche would be pooling its resources within the VW Group to eventually produce its own batteries.
Is the Taycan a real Porsche?
Sort of. ‘The Porsche Mission has been developed in-house at Stuttgart from start to finish, but Porsche is working with its VW stablemate on a separate platform called the Premium Performance Electric or PPE,’ said Stefan Weckbach, head of BEV at Porsche. That’s BEV as in Battery Electric Vehicles, in case you were wondering. ‘E-mobility is a Herculean task, and that’s also true in monetary terms. Group-wide cooperation is therefore a huge plus for us.
‘We’re working very closely with our counterparts, in particular at Audi, on the use of joint modules for the e-vehicles we are currently planning. The brands are also working on the joint development of a platform for new BEV projects in the future.’ We should expect three SUV or saloon models from that in the future, enabled by the economies of scale sparked by working with sister brands. By teaming up, Audi and Porsche are jointly saving 30% in R&D costs.
Of course the Porsche Cayenne is based on the Audi Q7 and the Macan on the Audi Q5.
What are the Taycan specs?
Three years ago, the Mission E promised impressive specs, but Porsche realises it’s been chasing a moving target ever since the car was announced – and that won’t stop when the car is finally released in 2019. Power electronics and battery tech are moving at such a fast rate, Porsche is still unsure if it’ll be offering incremental upgrade packages to early customers.
Tesla is happy to offer performance improving software updates with startling frequency, whereas Nissan tends to save any Leaf updates for refreshed models.
However, with performance and speed being such an important part of the Mission E concept Porsche is considering how to factor in life-cycle improvements to the Taycan.
Porsche plan to use 800 volts with PSM ‘permanently excited synchronous machine’ – an electric motor with extremely high power density, high-efficiency and consistent performance over the entire range of speed and distance. Concept Study Mission E features two of them: one on each axle with a total of more than 440 kW (600 hp) to give a range of over 500 Km.
Or use a standard Type 2 charging cable.
Where does it fit?
Porsche is planning to offer its Taycan EV in three different power outputs and will price the fast four-door in a similar ballpark to the Cayenne and Panamera. This points to a launch price of around £75,000 in the UK when sales start in 2019.
Offering a choice of performance levels gives the Porsche EV a wider market appeal, different price points and an answer to the Tesla Model S, which also comes in 75D, 100D and P100D flavours. We understand the Taycan will be available with some very familiar-sounding badges, reflecting the performanceincrease.
- Carrera 300kW equivalent to 396bhp
- Carrera S 400kW equivalent to 529bhp
- Turbo 500kW equivalent to 661bhp
One constant question Porsche has to face right now is: ‘how do you make it feel like a Porsche?’ And it’s a reasonable thing to ask, especially when it comes to electric cars. Take the 911 GT3; it’s one of the most responsive cars on the road – thanks in part to its naturally aspirated flat-six – but how do you deliver that instant response and hit of acceleration in a marketplace where e-motors with tonnes of torque and linear power delivery come straight off the shelf?
The quick answer: Porsche says it’ll be going deeper into the response and power characteristics of EVs, and there’s more to it than just pure acceleration. For example, steering and braking feel are both something Porsche prides itself on, and the company expects them to be a good area of differentiation in its EV. No wooden brake feel here, say the engineers.
And unlike other cars such as the Tesla Roadster, which can only achieve its headline-grabbing figures twice before needing to cool down, Porsche wants its car to deliver the same level of performance at all times.
‘Porsche drivers won’t need to worry about throttling performance,’ said Weckbach. ‘The Mission E will offer reproducible performance and a top speed which can be maintained for long periods, he vows.
The Taycan will sound like an electric car, in the same way that the 911 GT3 sounds like a flat-six monster. That is, while the car’s acoustics may be tuned to sound as pleasant or aggressive as possible, there won’t be any synthetic BMW i8-style noise.
‘Porsche is unlikely to lower itself to gimmicks of this kind or use sound effects to mimic a bubbling eight-cylinder,’ explains Weckbach. ‘But we will give due consideration to sound as an emotional factor in the Taycan, using the design approach typical of Porsche and incorporating a clear reference to the technology.’
What’s more, Porsche believes there’s more to driving dynamics than the metallic roar of an ICE behind you, and that in the future, the sound of thousands of tiny explosions won’t be so associated with driving excitement anyway.
Porsche wants to ease Taycan owners into the world of electric charging, and it’s going to use a combination of hardware and software to do it.
For example, in a step above Tesla’s own Supercharger network, Michael says Porsche drivers will be able to easily reserve charging spots as part of a normal sat-nav-led journey.
‘Take the Turbo Charging Planner for our battery electric powertrains as another example,’ said Michael. ‘Quick-charge options are optimally matched to your route planning and charging pedestals are pre-reserved, meaning that you can gain that all-important advantage and lose as little time as possible. Added value of this kind helps to determine the essence of the brand.’ Unlike Tesla, which sees charging as a financial incentive to buy into its ecosystem, Porsche wants to use charging as an additional revenue stream.
Interestingly, Porsche isn’t too keen on rolling out its fastest charging technology to everyone’s homes, either. Instead, it’ll offer an extended range of wall chargers, with different models catering for different cars and use cases.
‘We’ll also be able to tailor charging output to customer needs. For example, 3.6 kW for a plug-in hybrid or 7.2 kW for drivers who want to go faster in their Porsche vehicle. For purely electric vehicles, the customer can choose between 11 kW and 22 kW.’
There is also talk of Inductive charging, just drive over a base plate and the car is re-charged automatically. For this to work the car and the plate need to be super close.
The new Taycan will be built in Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant, alongside the 911 – but with space and time at a premium, the extra facilities needed for the Taycan are being built around the existing, working factory. A portion of the plant is currently closed whiles the lines are re arranged for the Taycan.
It’s an unprecedented move for the marque, and quick glance at the proposed layout essentially shows the new factory filling in any gaps around the site. The task to essentially retrofit more facilities has been so unusual, that Porsche has had to construct an 800m conveyor belt to take Taycans from the body shop to the paint hops. Around €700m is being invested in the site
For Porsche, building its first all-electric car is a huge learning curve in more ways than one. And it’ll be the same for customers, when they first get their hands on the Taycan at the end of the decade. This promises to be one of the most fascinating EVs yet on sale – and one aimed squarely at old-school ‘petrolheads’ keen to make a stepchange into the new electric era.
What’s it like?
Porsche brand ambassador Mark Webber loves it.
Learn more at the Porsche Mission E Micro site: