About the Author

Charles Benoit

Charles covers legal, regulatory and policy areas for Electrek. A DC based attorney, Charles’ EV passion began when he joined General Electric at the same time the company launched its Yves Behar designed GE WattStation. Send tips to charles@electrek.co

 

Charles Benoit's Favorite Gear

January 23

The Ford Mustang Mach-E didn’t steal the show at the Washington Auto Show, it was the show. Pictures below.

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Phase One of the new US-China trade deal was signed last week, and its unconventional approach is likely to lead to a nice jolt for Tesla Model X and S sales from California to China.

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January 20

Following a successful pilot across several cities, Amazon India has announced that by 2025, its delivery fleet will include 10,000 electric vehicles.

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January 17

IONITY, a European EV charging network owned by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and VW Group (with Audi and Porsche) has announced that prices will be going up over 500% starting January 31 as they transition to a pay-per-kWh system.

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January 16

The Ford Mustang Mach-E‘s signature tri-bar sequential LED taillights have been spotted in the wild for the first time.

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January 15

The Tesla Model Y is now a listed model on NHTSA’s manufacturer page for Tesla, and Model Y VINs can now be decoded using the official NHSTA decoder.

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January 14

Laws against idling vehicle engines have been around for decades. However, enforcement has generally been lax or nonexistent. But now New York City and the District of Columbia are changing that by enlisting residents in the battle against vehicle emissions. NYC even has a generous bounty program where you can make thousands of dollars in your spare time.

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January 9

Fresh off the heels of a ban on billing-per-minute for electric vehicle charging, California is turning its sights to a ban of gas-powered lawn devices, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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January 7

Two weeks ago, we reported on California’s new regulation that would ban electric vehicle charging companies from selling electricity by time, and also put in new physical display requirements for EV charging stations.

We’ve had subsequent conversations with California’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS), and it’s clear the agency is counting on EV drivers to help them give force to their new regulation.

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January 6

Legislation in New Jersey passed critical committee votes today, making it likely to become law this week. It will make New Jersey one of the most generous states for EVs, as well as improve EV infrastructure for the millions of Americans who drive through the state.

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January 1

In a heartwarming and impressive scene, Elon Musk, his mother, Maye Musk, and volunteers from the local Tesla Owners club helped deliver cars to hundreds of customers late into New Year’s Eve yesterday.

Endearing moments were captured and posted to Twitter both by customers and Maye herself (pictured below).

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December 24, 2019

On December 16, 2019, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved amendments to its Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems Specifications. These rules ban operators of electric vehicle charging stations from billing by the minute at new 240Vac stations in 2021 onwards, and new DCFC stations 2023 onwards.

This is a huge blow to Electrify America and EVgo. Both firms bill by the minute for EV charging, leaving drivers with sticker shock and feeling ripped off by the end of the session. Chargepoint will also be negatively affected, as many of their site-host partners choose to bill per minute. And while Tesla already bills by the kilowatt-hour, California will also be requiring charging stations to physically display “on their face” important information about electricity cost and delivery, a move that will put the most burden on Tesla’s Supercharger stations.

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December 23, 2019

Power generation and transmission business LS Power Development, LLC, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire EVgo from its current owner, Vision Ridge Partners. EVgo is one of the leading private operators of electric vehicle charging stations in the United States.

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December 18, 2019

In September, we reported on the tremendous news that Dominion Energy, an investor-owned utility operating in eight US states, would be buying a minimum of 1,050 V2G electric school buses over the next five years. The procurement would start with 50 school buses, then add 200 per year over five years.

Now the winner of the first phase has been announced, and congratulations are in order for Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses, who will be supplying 50 of its C2 Jouley all-electric buses (pictured above).

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December 15, 2019

Marie Sapirie of E&E’s Tax Notes group reports on some potential big developments for the US federal EV tax credit contained in a draft bill, the ‘‘Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act of 2019’’ or ‘‘GREEN Act of 2019’’. The draft is being promoted by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), a member of the powerful Ways & Means committee, which is the chief tax-writing committee in the US House of Representatives. That means this draft bill should be taken seriously. The bill is a potential huge win for Tesla and General Motors, for whom the existing credit has almost fully extinguished.

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December 5, 2019

In July it was announced that LG Chem was working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory for electric cars. Today in a security filing in South Korea, LG Chem confirmed that investment, and that GM will invest another billion.

Reuters reports that the location is expected to be in the area of Lordstown, Ohio, where GM (pictured in Detroit) recently sold its factory to an EV startup affiliated with Workhorse. This follows news earlier this week that Piedmont Lithium received an important federal permit to proceed with its lithium mine in Gaston County, North Carolina — the second in North America. Looks like Interstate 77 will be America’s hot new lithium corridor.

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December 4, 2019

Gas generators still own the portable, emergency home-backup power space. Ten years ago there was a lot of hope and hype for using all the energy stored inside EVs’ batteries to power your entire house, but it hasn’t come to pass. No EV maker will sell you a bidirectional charger, outside of Japan and a handful of small utility pilots.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Ford F-150 will come with the option for its own built-in, onboard gas generator. And aftermarket companies, like Indiana’s Real AC power, offer sleek, chassis-integrated generator systems (pictured above) for internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks. EV makers ceded this space for unknown reasons. But now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has teased a 240V AC power outlet on the Cybertruck, something neither Rivian nor Bollinger have announced. We don’t know how many watts we can expect, though. So will the Tesla Cybertruck finally offer EV enthusiasts a path to navigate societal collapse? Or are we stuck with settling for “head’s up, you’re going to lose power” messages?

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November 28, 2019

Just in time for Thanksgiving road trips, Tesla has pushed out a software update that greatly increases Supercharging speeds for many Model 3 drivers: up to 170 kW for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+), and up to 200 kW for the Tesla Model 3 Mid-Range (MR). Previously, the SR+ capped out at 100 kW, and the MR at 120 kW.

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November 27, 2019

Back in June, New York’s legislature – the State Assembly & State Senate – passed a “Right-to-Charge” bill, which would prohibit condominiums, home-owners associations (HOAs) and the like from unreasonably restricting the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The bill, however, sat there until yesterday, when it was finally delivered to the Governor for his signature. Also yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded on Twitter offering to help New York Times best-selling author Nnedi Okorafor. Ms. Okorafor had tweeted on November 1 that her HOA had turned down her request. Coincidence or not, New Yorkers shouldn’t rejoice quite yet. Under New York rules, because the legislature is not currently in session, if Governor Andrew Cuomo fails to sign the bill in the next 29 days, the effect is the same as if he vetoed the bill.

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November 25, 2019

General Motors president Mark Reuss penned a missive on CNN’s website titled, “Electric Cars Won’t Go Mainstream Until We Fix These Problems.” This title conveys three things:

  1. Electric vehicles have big problems
  2. They’re not suitable for the “mainstream,” aka most people, and
  3. GM will fix (future tense) these problems, and normal people should just stand by until GM says so.

Below we deconstruct this corporate PR hit piece and take a look at who it’s coming from.

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