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
We have a considerable number of clients who drive a Tesla and have subsequently purchased another pure EV more often than not a Nissan LEAF as a second EV.
With an existing Tesla charger the question we are often asked is how to charge a LEAF with a Type 1 connection from the Type 2 Tesla Wall charger.
T2 – T1 Adaptor
The Type 2 – Type 1 adaptor or converter enables you to charge a Type 1 car like the LEAF version 1 or the Outlander from any single phase Type 2 outlet.
However there are a few points to understand with the Tesla chargers and we have spoken to many different residential and commercial customers about their Tesla charger setup.
These are the key points to bear in mind.
For newer Tesla wall chargers that are bought for domestic purposes, when the wall charger is plugged in, it uses SWCAN to communicate with Teslas (the Leaf does not use this, it uses J1772 signalling). After 30 seconds of being plugged in without any communication via SWCAN the Tesla wall charger will revert to “Legacy” J1772 signalling. Then the LEAF will respond. – So wait 30 seconds for a sign.
For some Tesla charges – specifically those bought as “Tesla only destination chargers” – the switching does not happen automatically as it requires a configuration change.
A Dip Switch needs to be changed in the charger. The manual for the domestic chargers documents this switch as “Switch Position 2: DIP Switch Position 2 should always be in the UP position.” – where the UP position is “Normal (SWCAN) Communication”. On the inside of the wall charger there is a sticker which says “Dip Switch 2 | Function: Communication | Up (ON): Normal | Down (OFF): Legacy* | * Contact Tesla before using this setting”.
The “DOWN” setting will force the wall charger to only use J1772 signalling, and it will not use SWCAN. Tesla vehicles can communicate in J1772 protocol, so with the position set to DOWN both Leaf and Tesla will charge.
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.
Recent communication from Tesla UK announcing the arrival of the long-awaited Model 3.
Join us at selected Tesla locations across the UK to meet Model 3 on display.
Be among the first to sit inside Model 3 and experience the expansive glass roof, premium interior and 15-inch touchscreen display.
The events run at differing dates up to the end of January 2019 and Locations include:
See full line up on the Tesla UK Events page:
No indication of order or delivery dates and no mention of Right Hand drive Model 3s.
Just in from Tesla – Q2 totals
- Total Model 3 production for the three months: 28,578 units.
- Total Model 3 production last week: 5,031 units.
- Tesla’s Q2 2018 production totalled 53,339 vehicles, a 55% increase from Q1, making it the most productive quarter in the company’s history.
- Model 3 production, which reached a total of 28,578 units, also exceeded the combined Model S and X production of 24,761 vehicles during Q2 2018.
Q2 deliveries totalled 40,740 vehicles, of which 18,440 were Model 3, 10,930 were Model S, and 11,370 were Model X. As noted by Tesla, both orders and deliveries for the Model S and X were higher in Q2 than a year ago. Tesla also expects its overall target for 100,000 Model S and Model X deliveries in 2018 to be unchanged.
Tesla managed to produce almost three times the number of Model 3 in Q2 than it did in Q1 2018. According to the company’s vehicle production and deliveries report, the GA3 line within the Fremont factory is expected to have the capability to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 per week on its own. Augmented with GA4, the Model 3’s newest assembly line set up in the tent or massive sprung structure on the grounds of the Fremont factory, however, Tesla noted that it was able to hit its production target for the compact electric car faster.
With the 5,000/week mark attained, Tesla is now looking to increase its production capacity for the Model 3 even further. According to the company, it expects to increase its manufacturing rate to 6,000 Model 3 per week by late next month. Tesla also reaffirms its guidance for positive GAAP net income and cash flow in the upcoming third and fourth quarter.
The remaining net Model 3 reservations count at the end of Q2 still stood at roughly 420,000 even though we have now delivered 28,386 Model 3 vehicles to date. When we start to provide customers an opportunity to see and test drive the car at their local store, we expect that our orders will grow faster than our production rate. Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive and Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive Performance cars will also be available in our stores shortly.
Read more at Tesla IR site
Here in the UK we have plenty of 4 by 4s on the road. From Range Rovers to smaller Audi and customers love them. When can we expect an AWD Tesla Model 3?
All-wheel-drive is a useful feature to have in wet, cold and snowy climates. – Like the UK.
In general, it’s kind of overkill in regions with a moderate climate and yet, Tesla made it standard for all its Model S and Model X vehicles.
Tesla achieves all-wheel-drive through having two electric motors, one on each axle, which enables them to have a greater control on the power output per wheel and optimize each motor for different uses.
Ultimately, it can result in a greater range with the same energy capacity thanks to a better efficiency, like it did when it was introduced to Model S. Of course, it also results in a greater power output for quicker acceleration.
The same thing is expected to happen with Model 3.
Now we get to see a great image of the dual motor configuration of Tesla’s latest electric vehicle thanks to some code sleuthing by Eaer from /r/teslamotors on the latest update of the design studio:
It confirms that like Model S, the Model 3’s front motor is much smaller and therefore, it’s likely going to have a lower power output.
Tesla says that the dual motor all-wheel-drive Model 3 will be available starting in “Spring 2018”.
We also have reports that Tesla are testing 4 Wheel Drive options on a select test fleet. How do we know? From the VINs. The Model 3 VINs are now in the 8,000s, but they are also telling us another interesting thing.
As shown by the Model 3 VIN decoder, the 8th digit represents the type of powertrain and the number 2 means a dual motor.
None had been discovered until now. We now know that 19 Model 3 vehicles with dual motor were registered by Tesla with NHTSA in the latest batch of new VINS recorded Jan 20th.
Spring is rather general phrase and Tesla have not been known to stick to schedules. It makes sense since Tesla has been going for higher margin vehicles first with the Long Range battery pack and the dual motor option would be the next logical step in keeping the price high while volume is constrained strategy.
Porsche admits the EV investment to take on Tesla Motors is an “enormous burden”.
It’s no secret that Porsche is looking to soak up market share away from Tesla when the automaker releases its long-range, all-electric Mission E in 2019. Arguably one of Tesla’s strongest potential competitors, with decades of manufacturing expertise and support from parent company Volkswagen AG, the German automaker specializing in high performance vehicles is preparing to face financial headwinds as it aims to electrify its fleet.
Porsche’s CFO, Lutz Meschke, recently spoke with Automotive News Europe about the company’s plan to stay profitable as it invests billions into its electric vehicle program.
“Today Porsche packs 8,000 to 10,000 euros in added content into an electrified vehicle, but those costs cannot be passed on via the price. The customer won’t accept it, just the opposite, in some parts of the world there’s a certain hesitation,” said Meschke in his interview with Automotive News Europe.
As Porsche looks to invest more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion USD) into the development of EVs and plug-ins, the automaker will continue to build internal combustion engine vehicles in parallel and implement company-wide cost-cutting measures to retain its profit margin. “That’s an enormous burden for a company of our size.” says Meschke.
“To protect your margin, you have to look at substantial fixed cost cuts, but there’s only so much potential since the biggest chunks are personnel and development. As sales shift toward EVs, a temporary drop in profitability in the midterm may be expected.”
For context, Porsche’s investment into its EV program amounts to roughly 70% of what Tesla’s Gigafactory will cost when complete. It’s a massive undertaking that Porsche admits will require company restructuring along with financial incentives to its workforce. “We need to structure the company so that it is in position to sustainably achieve that. There can always be years when it might drop to below 15 percent due to exchange rates or an economic crisis, but every worker has to know we are not letting up.” says Porsche’s CFO. “There’s even a pension component.”
By setting a fixed margin target of 15% on a company-wide basis, Porsche’s entire workforce is able to work towards a single goal as looks to maintain a steady CapEx and R&D ratio. “It’s better for Porsche to work with a fixed margin target. It’s really an internal steering instrument. That’s why everyone in the company from the manager to the assembly line worker knows the goal is 15 percent. If we work with a range, that effect is diluted.”
When asked by Automotive News Europe on whether Porsche will need to implement a deep cost-cutting program to maintain the company’s high margins, Meschke responded “Under our Porsche Improvement Process, we aim for annual savings of at least 3 percent in indirect areas and 6 percent in direct ones.” Moreover, Porsche’s exec notes that the company performs a cross-department review each year to see if they were able to maintain a 10% savings. “There can always be a time when we need to pull on all levers, but identifying and extracting efficiencies is our everyday business. That way we don’t have to resort to major savings programs at the slightest headwind.”
Maximizing efficiencies across the organization is something Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long talked about. By “building the machine that builds the machine“, Tesla looks to utilize an army of manufacturing robots to achieve mass volume production of its product line that consists of vehicles, solar products and battery storage solutions. It’s the company’s key differentiator over other manufacturers that largely have robots augmenting human personnel as opposed to replacing them.
The goal to achieve full automation is Tesla’s biggest strength, yet also the company’s weakest link, as made evident when Musk announced that production of its mass market-intent Model 3 vehicle was facing issues. The downside to implementing a highly automated production line is the need to have robots that work in perfect harmony with one another. Any misconfiguration or general issue around a specific machine in the process becomes amplified across all other machines that rely on it. There’s less tolerance for errors in an automated process, explained Musk during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
Porsche’s strategic entry into a market that’s been largely dominated by Tesla is an interesting match up that pits David versus Goliath. With two very different approaches to reaching mass volume production from two very distinct companies, it’s anyone’s guess who’ll come out ahead in the race to electric mobility. Regardless, competition helps stimulate innovation, productivity and growth prospects in the electric car sector, and that can only be a good thing.
Trucking is big business. UPS , DHL and FexEx are all playing with electric trucks, as are Mercedes and Cummings. Whilst current volumes are small the rate of growth is expected to ramp up significantly.
UPS, the king of commercial fleets, has been testing electric trucks for several years. Workhorse, one of several companies supplying e-trucks to Big Brown, has seen each successive order grow bigger, from 2 units to 18 to 125 to an order for 200 announced in October 2016.
When DHL decided in 2013 that it wanted to upgrade its fleet to electric powertrains, it couldn’t find a suitable vehicle or an OEM willing to develop one. So, in cooperation with a university spin-out called StreetScooter, it developed its own EV. By the end of 2017, over 4,000 will be in service.
With Tesla set to announce an EV semi on October 26th the race for Electric Trucks is underway. The question is no longer whether trucks will electrify, but when.
A new article from McKinsey Energy Insights reports that the electrification of the freight sector is moving faster than expected. In “What’s sparking electric vehicle adoption in the truck industry?” the authors predict that e-trucks could account for 15% of global truck sales by 2030, and as much as 25-35% in favorable segments such as urban light-duty trucks in China and Europe.
According to McKinsey, three main factors will drive the adoption of e-trucks: cost parity with diesel alternatives; readiness for electrification, which includes the availability of models on the market and supporting infrastructure; and local and national regulations.
The authors examined 27 segments of the truck market, and concluded that the majority of commercial vehicles can reach cost parity with legacy diesel trucks within the next 10 years, assuming that battery cost and power density continue to improve. The most cost-effective application is likely to be light-duty trucks that drive between 100 and 200 kilometers per day. This segment is expected to reach cost parity by 2021 – in fact, in some markets parity has already been reached.
Even once cost parity is attained, a large-scale switch to e-trucks will require a sufficient number of models on the market and adequate charging infrastructure. McKinsey sees the supply of e-trucks as a likely bottleneck for the next few years. When it comes to charging infrastructure, early adopters will mainly charge their fleets overnight at their own depots. However, once e-trucks become more mainstream, supercharging infrastructure is expected to be rolled out at distribution centers and along major highways.
Regulation could further speed the proliferation of e-trucks. Governments are tightening emissions targets for carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. There are already over 200 cities with emission and access regulation zones, and major cities including Madrid, Paris and Mexico City are announcing diesel bans.
The adoption of e-trucks could have a significant impact on energy markets. Trucks represent only around 5% of the global vehicle stock, but they make up more than 20% of fuel demand, due to their high fuel consumption and mileage. Trucks account for a third of global diesel demand.
However, it may take some time for the impact of electrification to be felt, because the majority of diesel is consumed in the heavy truck segment, which is expected to be the last to electrify.
It has been one week since the Tesla Model 3 was delivered to the first 30 customers. This is what we have learnt from the launch, press comments and Tesla’s Q2 earning call.
Safety is key: The pitch last week started with a comparison with Volvo who are judged to make super safe cars. The Model 3 will be safe.
All Teslas have the hardware ability for full Autopilot. Elon Musk said that all Tesla Model 3s will have Autopilot hardware as standard – and all the safety features that come with it. Sure, you may not get full Level 5 auto drive yet, but you will get things such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping and automatic preventative steering (Autosteer) – which is seriously impressive at this price. And because the Model 3 comes with all the sensors and lasers you need for Autopilot as standard, you can always get the matching software at a later date. It’ll probably cost you around £2,600, but having the option to upgrade your entry-level Tesla is a real bonus.
Single screen interior. All Teslas are known for their futuristic interiors as much as their innovative propulsion, and it’s great to see the Model 3 continue or even better the trend. The screen inside the Model 3 doesn’t seem to be as big, and it’s in a landscape position – but that’s because it’s taking the place of the car’s dials. That’s right, there’s nothing in front of the steering wheel. The Model 3 doesn’t even have a speedometer. Instead, you’ll find the speed on the top left of the touchscreen (on a left-hand drive car, of course).
There are two Model 3 cars. Tesla have wisely ditched the battery size as a mark of the car and switched to range. I think this is wise as KW and KWH are not that easy to understand and can’t be directly compared between models. Just as a BMW 2L engine is not the same as a Nissan 2L engine. You can or more to the point chose from the standard model with 220 miles of range to the Long Range Version with 310 miles. Other specs include:
- Starting at $35,000
- Range of 220 miles
- 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds
- Top speed of 130 mph
Long Range Battery
- Starting at $44,000
- Range of 310 miles
- 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 5.1 seconds
- Top speed of 140 mph
Full specs below:
The S curve. Musk explained a number of times that production will follow the exponential S curve routine. July 30 cars. August 100 cars and September 1,500 cars. By year-end production will ramp to 5,000 per week or a rate of 40,000 / month. By end of 2018 that will double again to 10,000 week. Musk called this production hell. You can see why.
Price: The base price may be $35,000 but the initial cars will be priced way above this level. The base car will be available in November. Until then you will only be offered the longer range car for $44,000 with the a small number of options. The key option being the Luxury Pack for $5,000. You can also add larger wheels and a number of paint options. For now the $35K car will cost you $48K. You can see the logic. It makes manufacturing much easier with less configurations and boosts average selling price in order to drive revenue.
One big question is what’s it like inside. Now we know. A single screen – landscape and not as large as the Model S’s display. Most reports seem very positive.
During a press briefing on Friday, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s Chief Designer,
“The interior is the most innovative part of the design. We took away everything that is not necessary. What we delivered on the interior is unlike any other car out there. It will age gracefully.”
Straight lines never really go out of style, which is where the model 3’s unique dashboard comes into play. Instrument clusters, buttons, and air conditioning vents are vulnerable to design changes. By removing the instrument cluster, placing all the controls on the steering wheel and a central touchscreen, and replacing vents with a single one running the entire length of the dash, Tesla is removing those vulnerabilities.
International left hand drive sales will commence in mid 2018 and right hand drive only in 2019. We will have a long wait in the UK.
All wheel drive will boost performance and range will not be available for some time, most likely Spring 2018.
The wait list has grown to over 500,000. That’s given Tesla $500M to play with and represents a sales value of over $20B. Elon confirmed a number have cancelled but the new number is growing at 1,800 per day.
More news on charging and real world range as we discover the facts.
Model 3 specifications:
Price – $35,000
- Range: 220 miles (EPA estimated)
- Supercharging rate: 130 miles of range per 30 minutes
- Home charging rate: 30 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 32A)
- Deliveries begin: Fall 2017
- 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
- Top speed: 130 mph
- 15” touchscreen display
- Dual zone climate control system
- FM/Internet streaming radio
- Textile seating
- Front Center console with open storage and two USB ports
- Onboard maps and navigation
- Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity
- Keyless entry and remote climate control using the Tesla app
- Voice activated controls
- Bluetooth hands-free calling and media streaming
- 60/40 split folding rear seat to maximize cargo options
- Back-up camera
- Auto dimming rear-view mirror
- One-touch power windows throughout
- Power-adjustable side mirrors
- 12-volt power outlet
- Full LED exterior lighting
- Seven cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors enabling active safety technologies including collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking
- Six front row and two side curtain airbags
- Three-point safety belts with belt-reminders for driver and four passengers
- Two LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) attachments in second row
- Electronic stability and traction control
- Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic parking brake
- Child safety locks
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Vehicle: 4 year, 50,000 mile limited warranty
- Battery warranty: 8 year, 100,000 mile (120,000 mile with Long Range Battery)
Long Range Battery – $9,000
- Range: 310 miles
- Supercharging rate: 170 miles of range per 30 minutes
- Home charging rate: 37 miles of range per hour (240V outlet, 40A)
- 0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds
- Top speed: 140 mph
- Deliveries begin: July 2017
- Solid Black: Standard
- Midnight Silver Metallic: $1,000
- Deep Blue Metallic: $1,000
- Silver Metallic: $1,000
- Pearl White Multi-Coat: $1,000
- Red Multi-Coat: $1,000
- 18” Aero: Standard
- 19” Sport: $1,500
Premium Upgrades Package – $5,000 Upgraded interior with additional features and premium materials.
- Premium heated seating and cabin materials throughout, including open pore wood décor and two rear USBs
- 12-way, power adjustable front seats, steering column and side mirrors, with custom driver profiles
- Premium audio system with more power, tweeters, surround speakers and subwoofer
- Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
- Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
- LED fog lamps
- Center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones
Enhanced Autopilot – $5,000 Model 3 will match speed to traffic conditions, keep within a lane, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination.
Additional features will roll out over time through software updates.
Full Self-Driving Capability – $3,000 (requires Enhanced Autopilot) In the future, Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.
This feature is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.
Dimensions & Weight
- Length: 184.8”
- Width: 76.1” (72.8” with mirrors folded)
- Height: 56.8”
- Wheelbase: 113.2”
- Track (wheel center): 62.2” front and rear
- Ground clearance: 5.5”
- Head room, standard: 39.6” front row, 37.7” second row
- Head room, glass roof: 40.3” front row, 37.7” second row
- Leg room: 42.7” front row, 35.2” second row
- Shoulder room: 56.3” front row, 54.0” second row
- Hip room: 53.4” front row, 52.4” second row
- Seating capacity: 5 adults
- Luggage capacity: 15 cubic feet
- Curb weight:
- 3549 lbs. (Model 3)
- 3814 lbs. (Model 3 Long Range)
- Weight distribution:
- 47% front, 53% rear (Model 3)
- 48% front, 52% rear (Model 3 Long Range)
- Hybrid steel/aluminum body
- Drag coefficient of 0.23
- Double wishbone, virtual steer axis front suspension with coil over twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Independent multi-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Variable ratio, speed sensitive electronic power steering
- Electromechanically boosted four wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
- 18” Aero or 19” Sport wheels with all-season tires
- 240 volt NEMA 14-50 adapter
- 120 volt NEMA 5-15 adapter
- J1772 public charging adapter
- 20 foot mobile connector with storage bag