Nissan expands “No Charge to Charge” program to 25 markets, giving 2 years of free public charging

2014 Nissan LEAFô

Smart move from Nissan which will subsidize public charging for two years for its Nissan Leaf at ChargePoint, Blink Network from Car Charging Group, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo charging stations.

As an EV buyer, knowing you won’t pay a penny for public charging for 2 years is a great incentive.

Details in press release that follows: Read more

Chevy plans more anemic Volt for 2016

Reuters:

Hoping to boost demand for its slow-selling Volt hybrid, Chevrolet is planning to sell two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, supplier sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The second-generation Volt is slated to go into production in about 16 months at General Motors Co’s Detroit Hamtramck plant, the sources said.

Here are areas where the Volt could be improved:

  • More internal space (aim to beat Prius or Ford Energi)
  • Better, not worse range
  • More mainstream utilitarian styling
  • Performance that would beat even the Chevy Spark EV
  • Better marketing focusing on performance and cost of ownership

The Reuters report seemed to miss the whole scoop about the actual range giving the Gas+ Electric specs, omitting what the electric only would be.

The standard Volt won’t deviate dramatically from the current model, which is priced from just under $35,000 and has a driving range of up to 380 miles, according to Chevrolet.

GM also wants to offer a lower-cost edition, priced from just over $30,000 that would likely have a range of less than 300 miles, with less equipment, the supplier sources said.

So figure moving from a 45 mile range to 30-something on electric only?  Pass and give me a Chevy Spark EV!

Electric automobiling circa 1967 [video]

The video above is equal parts amusing and frightening for how it echoes much of the talk of EVs today. Specs weren’t quite as impressive as today’s EVs however:

Ford Comuta The “future” of EVs had a range of 60 km (37 miles) and a top speed of 40 km/h (25 mph).  The Comuta was powered by four 12-volt, 85-amp lead batteries.

Tesla responds to ‘opportunistic’ lemon law lawyer

The above lawyer is trying to get a settlement out of Tesla using the so called ‘Lemon Laws’. Tesla has a different story however that it laid out in a statement below.

The TL;RD: We are continuing our efforts to work with the customer and are happy to address any legitimate concerns he has about his Model S. Customer service remains of utmost importance to Tesla, and no Model S owner should be unhappy with their car. However, we would also like the public to be aware of the potential for lemon laws to be exploited by opportunistic lawyers.

Read more

Tesla Model S CHAdeMO Adapter in the wild, charges ‘as fast as a supercharger’


Screenshot 2014-04-09 14.04.12

 

Tesla Model S owners have long been tantalized by the $1000 CHAdeMO adapter that would give them access to the network of Fast DC chargers that are built for cars like the Nissan Leaf. Alas, it has been in the “coming soon” phase of market testing since the original Model S launched over a year ago and Tesla hasn’t been able to say when and if they are actually coming. It would make a lot of sense for Tesla to launch these for the Japanese market which is saturated with these DC fast chargers. Some quick facts about CHAdeMO:

  • CHAdeMO is the trade name of a quick charging method for battery electric vehicles delivering up to 62.5 kW of high-voltage direct current via a special electrical connector. It is proposed as a global industry standard by an association of the same name.
  • CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve”, equivalent to “charge for moving”. The name is a pun for O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese, translating to English as “How about some tea?”, referring to the time it would take to charge a car.[2] CHAdeMO can charge low-range electric cars in less than half an hour.
  • The number of CHAdeMO DC Quick chargers installed up to today is 3643. – (Japan 1,967, Europe 1072, USA 592, Others 12)

So it was surprising to see that the Plugshare folks who are sponsoring the big #EpicEVTrip have been using the CHAdeMO Tesla Adapter in the image above. In a brief Twitter conversation (below), they told me that the adapter was in Beta but it would charge the Tesla as fast as a Supercharger (note since this writing, the image of the CHAdeMO Tesla Adapter has been removed). I’d note that the speed of the charging is probably not quite Supercharger level since it is 62.5kW vs. the 120-135kW that a Tesla Supercharger puts out.

Screenshot 2014-04-09 14.30.37

 

Update: Plugshare updates their Supercharger comparison:

Note the current rollout of Chademo adapters is much more spread out than the Tesla Superchargers in the map below: Read more

Tesla announces business leasing program and new Tesla Finance subsidiary

In a post on the company blog, Tesla outlined its new leasing program for small to medium sized businesses.

…our customers in small and medium sized businesses have been asking for a leasing program for the ease and simplicity of being able to deduct the payments from their business taxes. We’ve been listening to those requests, and today we’re happy to announce the launch of leasing for business owners.

Our leasing program is straightforward and transparent, and we’ve designed it to be user friendly. To begin with, business customers can easily see upfront their monthly cost of leasing while configuring their car on our website.

While customers have become accustomed to lease agreements that run as long as 10 pages, we found that we could say all that needed to be said in less than three pages – and it’s written in plain language.

In keeping with the Tesla way of doing things, our customers can handle and sign their lease agreements completely electronically. Customers are able to view an electronic version of the lease agreement upfront before delivery. Even the signature process at delivery is simple: a one-button tap on the 17-inch touchscreen in their new Model S is all it takes.

The Tesla business lease is available through Tesla Finance, a subsidiary we’ve set up especially to offer this new product to business customers. The lease program completes a suite of products, including the Resale Value Guarantee and loans from our banking partners, that covers a comprehensive range of financing needs for Model S customers. These financing options, when combined with the fuel savings of Model S, provide an attractive value proposition compared to what’s available for a gasoline-powered car.

A new finance subsidiary makes Tesla more like the GMC Credit, Ford Credit, etcs of the world but again with Tesla’s simplification, use of plain English and ability to do almost everything online. There is a lot of innovation space available in the auto financing world with the bottom line being more people will be able to justify driving electric cars.