UK new car car sales plunged 44pc in March as coronavirus drove away motorists and shut down the industry.
Just 255,000 vehicles were sold in the UK last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – down from 458,000 a year earlier.
Dealers had reported social distancing measures making it hard to sell cars even before the lockdown began on March 23, sending the economy into freefall and causing consumers to rethink major outlays.
Also consumers are still scared of diesels with sales down 62% Y on Y.
The only bright spot in the SMMT list is the pure electric and plug in hybrids with sales increase on 200% and 40% respectively. Together these segments shifted 18,500 units in the month.
Pure-EVs reached their highest ever total, with almost 11,700 registered during the month. The previous record was a little over 7,700, in September 2019.
Plug in Hybrid EVs also set a new record for units registered, though somewhat closer than EV figures. March 2020 saw just over 6,800 sold, whilst the previous record in March 2018 was almost 6,400.
As might be expected with such a large increase on EV units registered, market share for pure-electric models hit a new record too. March 2020’s figure saw 7.3% of all new models registered as plug-in models, and pure-electric market share was 4.6%. Put into perspective, the previous records were 6.3% (Dec 19) and 3.4% (Aug 19) respectively.
March is normally the biggest month for sales as buyers are attracted by the launch of a new registration plate number. Without the plate change the decline would have been even steeper, as many consumers agree deals further in advance than normal. The SMMT data shows it was the worst March in more than 20 years for registrations of new cars, a proxy for sales.
These large increases over February 2020 are expected to a degree, since March is a new-registration month, and the month prior to a new plate being launched is traditionally quiet as buyers wait. However, March 2020 has been stronger than many would have predicted.
Tesla 3 tops best sellers at #9
Although unclear, March looks as though an EV has made the top 10 monthly sales charts, for only the second time. Listed ninth, under ‘Other’ a little over 4,700 units were registered. This is likely to be Tesla’s Model 3, since the manufacturer is not currently a member of the SMMT.
Data from SMMT, Zap Map and Green Car
Ford just unveiled its all-electric Mustang Mach-E at a glitzy event in Los Angeles
The top-range version of the car can travel up to 370 miles on a full charge and recharge 57 miles (92km) of range in 10 minutes on a high-power charge.
There are buttons in place of conventional door handles and storage space under the front bonnet.
The fastest model can accelerate from 0-60mph in under five seconds. By comparison, the Tesla Model X 100D can do 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds.
Like the Tesla, the Mustang Mach-E has a 15.5in (40cm) touch screen beside the steering wheel.
Prices range from £44,000 to £58,000 in the UK.
Mach-E is being built in Mexico and is available to pre-order now and will be sold exclusively online, with first deliveries expected around October next year.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E, is the firm’s first bespoke electrically powered SUV, with styling and – its maker claims – performance inspired by the muscle car.
The Tesla Model Y rival is the first production car to emerge from Ford’s Team Edison, a 70-strong Detroit group tasked with designing the firm’s next-generation EVs.
Murat Gueler, Ford’s European design chief, said the aim was to create “something special that stands out from the crowd”, describing the new machine as “an EV with soul”.
Kia take note!
The new electric car has taken the Mustang title as the first step in expanding the nameplate into a full model line. The Mach-E moniker is inspired by the Mach 1 variant of the first-gen Mustang.
The Mustang Mach-E sits on a new Ford EV platform called Global Electrified 2, or GE2 – an extensively reworked version of the C2 architecture used for the latest Focus and Kuga. Gueler said designers had input into setting the platform’s dimensions, both to set the wheelbase and to enable the extended bonnet, which is long for an EV but which was considered an iconic Mustang design feature.
The model will initially be launched with two battery pack sizes and three power outputs. The entry-level version will feature a single motor driving the rear wheels, with either a 75kWh battery and 254bhp motor or a 99kWh battery and 285bhp motor. Both produce 307lb ft, with a claimed 0-62mph time of under eight seconds and WLTP range of around 280 and 370 miles respectively.
The twin-motor all-wheel-drive version is offered with a 75kWh battery and 254bhp, or 99kWh and 332bhp. Both versions provide 429lb ft and a sub-seven-second 0-62mph time, with estimated ranges of 260 and 335 miles. Charging is available through an AC home charger or via DC fast chargers at up to 150kW.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been let loose, expanding the legendary pony car nameplate with a performance-oriented electric crossover. It comes out the gate sprinting, chasing toward rivals that thousands have already placed bets on: The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Ford’s foray seems directly targeted at Tesla’s midsize sedan and upcoming crossover, with similar dimensions, performance, styling, and pricing. Let’s leave aside philosophical discussions on whether the Mach-E is truly a Mustang and focus on the facts as we compare it against the Tesla twins.
Mach-E For Everyone
So let’s get into the nitty gritty. The Ford Mustang Mach-E comes with two lithium-ion battery pack options: standard range and extended range. The standard-range version uses a 75.7-kilowatt-hour, 288-cell pack, sending power to a large rear motor, while the extended-range option uses a larger 98.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 376 cells, sending power to both a motor at the front axle and rear.
The battery pack gives the Mustang Mach-E a maximum range of up to 300 miles per charge on certain trim levels when equipped with the optional extended-range battery pack and rear-drive layout.
All-wheel-drive models with the same extended-range batteries will see their range drop to 270 miles. The standard-range model with the smaller battery pack and rear-wheel-drive can cover 230 miles, while the same battery pack driving all four wheels drops that figure to 210 miles.
The only outlier is the Mach-E GT Performance. While the Mach-E GT Performance gets the same extended-range battery-pack and all-wheel-drive layout as the First Edition and Premium models, its performance-oriented approach means its total range drops to 250 miles. Naturally, range varies depending on how you spec it:
The Mustang Mach-E does come in a many different flavours. But consumers can only choose from two options beginning in 2020: Premium and First Edition. The First Edition model comes with the extended range battery pack and all-wheel drive standard, as well as unique visual treatments like red brake callipers, metallic pedal covers, and unique badging. But those hoping to get the least expensive Mach-E will have to wait until 2021, when the base Mach-E Select arrives.
That more affordable model offers a standard-range battery pack and either rear or all-wheel drive. The more-powerful California Route 1 model, which comes exclusively with extended range and all-wheel drive, won’t be available until early 2021 as well. The range-topping Mach-E GT Performance, the most powerful of the group ( for now), doesn’t go on sale until later in 2021.
Dial ‘E’ For Excitement
Don’t fret, Mustang faithful, performance is still a major part of the Mach-E’s equation. Even with its impressive range and charging capabilities, Ford tells us the Mach-E “still drives like a Mustang.” And has the horsepower of one, too.
The most powerful model, the Mach-E GT Performance, produces 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque, giving it the ability to hit 60 miles per hour in about 3.5 seconds. But, as mentioned, that model won’t be available until the spring of 2021. Until then, buyers will have to make do with the next quickest models available in 2020: the Premium and First Edition.
With the extended-range battery pack and all-wheel drive, the Premium and First Edition trims produce up to 332 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque.
Like most EV, even the lowliest Mach-E is no slouch. The base Select model with the standard-range battery pack and rear-wheel drive produces 255 hp and 306 lb-ft. Adding all-wheel drive to that same trim bumps the torque figure to 429 lb-ft. The base Select model, though, is the only trim that doesn’t offer an extended-range battery pack.
Athletic Exterior, Upscale Interior
The stretched, revised pony logos on the six-sided grille and trunk lid give away the Mach-E’s family ties. But even the angled LED headlights share something in common with the coupe with which it shares its name, as do the tri-bar taillights. Outside of the obvious crossover cues and four-door setup, there are few areas where the Mach-E stands out next to its sibling.
For one, the Mach-E has no door handles. Instead, there are pillar-mounted buttons that pop the doors open upon pressing them, and a pull handle on the front driver and passenger sides. The rear doors, for whatever reason, don’t get a pull handle. And the wheels don’t carry over from the coupe, either. Each version of the Mach-E gets its own 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheel designs.
You can put down a reservation for the Mustang Mach-E right now, but there’s a little catch. At this point, you can only place a £1,000 deposit for the limited First Edition model, which has an estimated starting price of £58,000, the AWD model, which starts at an estimated £46,000 or the Mach -E standard model from £40,270.
All for delivery in late 2020.
The Mustang Mach-E First Edition comes nicely loaded with features such as red brake callipers, sports pedals with metallic covers, scuff plates marked ‘First Edition,’ and contrasting stitching for the seats. The launch variant of the EV is available exclusively with the optional extended-range battery and all-wheel-drive, which results in an estimated range of up to 335 miles (540 kilometers) between charges. The performance is a little on the non-racy side with a 0 – 60 MPH posted at less than 7 seconds.
We assume these UK models are Right Hand Drive. Ford has ofered previous Mustangs in the UK but most until very recently were US left hand drive versions. The curent range including the V8 and Bullitt are Right hand drive.
Mach-E Vs Model Y, I-Pace, EQC, E-Tron, Polestar 2
The 2020 Mustang Mach-E is not only the first four-door Mustang, but it’s also the first Mustang crossover, which will irk two-door Mustang fans. But the Mach-E now pits the Mustang name against a new cast of competitors that aren’t from just Dodge or Chevy. Ford is now competing against other electric vehicles from the likes of Mercedes, Jaguar, and Tesla.
It appears the Mach-E is competing against Tesla Model Y in price, performance, and more; however, neither of them are on sale yet. That means some specs could change before production begins, including the Mustang’s impressive performance numbers.
The styling strongly links the EV to the regular Mustang, reflected in features such as the badge and front and rear lights, as well as several lines along the bodywork. Gueler said: “The approach was to put this car in a unique spot: only Ford can do Mustang. In the next few years there will be hundreds of EV nameplates, but with Mustang we can load up with emotion and drama.”
The car lacks conventional door handles, instead featuring buttons that pop open the doors and small holds protruding from the front doors. Owners can use their smartphones as keys, or use a keypad built into the B-pillar.
The Mustang Mach-E sports a more radical interior, with a wide dashboard featuring a Mustang ‘double cowl’ and built-in soundbar. The dash is dominated by a Tesla-style vertically mounted 15.5in touchscreen with a rotary dial fixed onto it using special glue. Many of the car’s systems are controlled through the screen, which uses a new Sync 4 operating system that can accept over-the-air updates. There is also a 10.2in digital cluster for the driver, while the steering wheel retains a number of physical controls.
To learn more or order see Mustang – Mach E website at Ford. UK.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV remained the UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle with one in every four plug-in hybrid vehicles registered in August being a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Calendar year to date, sales of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV total 4,428 units, which is broadly in line with last year with 4,521 units registered. This sales performance has been achieved in spite of the stupid withdrawal of the plug-in car grant in November 2018. – Note to Government, Plug-In are a real benefit in driving down fuel usage, increasing MPG and reducing CO2 emissions. Note to Sajid Javid please reinstate the Plug- In grant and increase the EV grant in the next budget.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continues to dominate the market with a commanding 25% share of the Plug-in hybrid vehicle sector with sales more than double than that of its nearest rival.
Rob Lindley, Managing Director, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK said,
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has cemented its position as the nation’s favourite plug-in vehicle, one it has held consistently since the vehicles initial launch back in 2014.
“Our customers continue to enjoy the real-world benefits of plug-in technology, with the flexibility of a full-size family SUV and no compromises in term of boot or passenger space.”
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is priced from £35,455 (OTR) and until September 26th customers can get an additional £2,000 trade-in allowance when they trade in their current car for a new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at their local, participating Mitsubishi dealership.
More about the Outlander PHEV
With 45,000 registered in the UK since 2014, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the UK’s most popular plug-in vehicle.
Revised in 2019, it now has a real-world EV range of 28 miles and achieves 134mpg (WLTP).
A recent survey of Outlander PHEV customers reveals that half their average weekly mileage is driven in electric mode, with 68% charging at least once per day and 90% charging several times per week. 83% would recommend an Outlander PHEV to family and friends and 25% say they are considering a pure electric vehicle for the next vehicle, making it a true gateway vehicle towards an all-EV future and an important step on the road to zero.
An Outlander PHEV with a Type 1 charge port can be charged for any standard 13 AMP socket overnight or in a few hours at a Type 2 charge point and a Type 2 – Type 1 charging cable.
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.
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
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. Charge 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
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:
Electric cars only make up about one percent of the U.S. car market these days, but that could get a boost with big money coming in to promote electric vehicles.
This past week, California, New York, and New Jersey announced major investments for electric vehicles, mostly for fast-charging options, home charging, and other charging infrastructure.
In California, $738 million over the next five years will expand the state’s charging network for both personal cars, electric trucks, and other bigger vehicles. New York’s EV program is bringing in $250 million for 200 fast chargers on roadways and in cities, along with 400 public charging stations at parking lots, airports, and train stations.
In New Jersey, the state’s utility company is putting in $300 million to build out the state’s 200 charging stations to a 50,000-strong network in neighborhoods, office parks, and along major roads. The roughly 16,000 EVs in New Jersey will hopefully expand to 275,000 in the next seven years, the utility said.
The state is also looking into legislation to build 600 new charging stations by 2020 and provide incentives for new zero-emission vehicle drivers.
These big dollars toward electrification mean even more when big industry players get behind the alternative fuel option.
FCA or Fiat Chrysler Autos is the latest of many car companies to set aggressive electric vehicle goals, showing that the auto industry is also betting big on EVs — it’s not just emission-conscious governments trying to hit greenhouse gas reduction goals.
On Friday, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said at a company event the car group would spend more than $10 billion on building out a more robust electric fleet — a hefty chunk of its $52 billion budget for the next five years. The company’s Jeeps will be electric by 2022 and the carmaker will have four all-electric SUVs. All in all, that’ll bring the total up to 30 hybrid or all-electric vehicles in the next four years.
Fiat Chrysler’s plans follow those of a growing list of carmakers like Volvo, with plans to go all-electric starting next year, and General Motors which wants to have 20 fully electric vehicles available in 2023.
It’s not only environmental — these companies are keenly aware that electric vehicle demand is ramping up. Last month, American Automobile Association found that 20 percent of Americans want their next car to be electric, up five percent from the year before.
Although Elon Musk would really like those 50 million Americans to all buy Teslas, with government support, tax benefits, and increasing gas prices, more and more companies are likely to offer up an electric alternative to a fuel-burning vehicle.
Where is the UK model?
Infineon prepares for long-term growth and invests €1.6 billion in new 300-millimeter chip fab
Semiconductor specialist Infineon Technologies has announced plans to build a fully automated new facility in Villach, Austria. The new plant will complement Infineon’s existing facility in Villach, and will focus on producing the company’s 300 mm power semiconductors. Infineon will invest $1.6 billion in the plant over the next six years.
Global demand for power semiconductors is soaring. As the market and technology leader, Infineon is particularly sought-after by customers and is even growing more strongly than the market
said Dr. Reinhard Ploss, Chief Executive Officer of Infineon. “Growth is underpinned by global megatrends such as climate change, demographic change and increasing digitization. Electric vehicles, connected and battery-powered devices, data centers or power generation from renewable sources require efficient and reliable power semiconductors. We recognized that trend early on and so are rapidly expanding production capacities for 300-millimeter technology at our Dresden location. The new facility at Villach will help us cater for the growing demand that our customers anticipate, and continue on our path to success in the coming decade. Backed by the unique expertise we have built at our locations in Europe, we as a global company can strengthen our position on the world market long term.”
“The investment that Infineon has decided to make in Villach is unique in terms of its magnitude, and thus a real success for Austria as a location and the technology sector in Europe”, said the Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz. “We are aware that high-tech companies need the right framework conditions for research, development and high-quality manufacturing. And we also want to further improve these conditions – industry can rely on Austria here. In this way we will secure the jobs of the future together.”
“This major investment is also a milestone for Infineon Austria economically, technologically and socially and an important step in securing the future of our high-tech site in Villach,” said Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, Chief Executive Officer of Infineon Technologies Austria. “In the fiercely competitive semiconductor industry, the new production facility sends an important signal: with the excellent know-how of our employees and our leading technologies, we are leveraging the opportunities offered by digitization and are globally competitive as a high-wage region – now and moving ahead.”
Villach is the group’s competence center for power semiconductors and has long been an important site for innovation in Infineon’s production network. Manufacturing of power semiconductors on 300-millimeter thin wafers was developed here and then expanded into fully automated high-volume production at the Dresden location over the past years. Thanks to the larger diameter of the wafers, this technology delivers significant gains in productivity and reduces working capital. Dresden is Infineon’s largest site for wafer processing (frontend) and 300-millimeter production capacities there are expected to be fully utilized by 2021. Infineon will apply the automation and digitization concepts from Dresden at the new Villach factory and develop them together with the two locations in order to increase productivity and ensure synergies in relation to systems and processes at both.
According to market researchers from IHS Markit, Infineon is by far the world’s largest provider of power semiconductors and has a market share of 18.5 percent.* These power-saving chips control the flow of electricity in a wide range of applications, such as electric vehicles, trains, wind and solar farms, and power supply units for mobile phones, notebooks and data centers. The factors driving growing demand for power-saving chips are robust and sustained. With its planned investments in additional production capacities, Infineon is helping to make life easier, safer and greener.
Infineon Technologies AG is a world leader in semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer and greener. Microelectronics from Infineon is the key to a better future. In the 2017 fiscal year, the Company reported sales of around €7.1 billion with about 37,500 employees worldwide.
We give Infineon Technologies AG a Buy rating.