About the Author

Bradley Berman

Bradley writes about electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and other tech that’s transforming society. He contributes to The New York Times, SAE International, Via magazine, Popular Mechanics, MIT Technology Review, and others. https://twitter.com/bradberman

Yesterday

As part of Germany’s new increased electric-vehicle incentive package, the country will require gas stations to offer EV charging. Details about the plan are not yet known, such as the timeline and type of required chargers. But EV advocates quickly praised the move as a boost to electric-car adoption. 

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The first 500 units of the all-electric Aiways U5 SUV are on their way to Europe. Their arrival will mark the first batch of Made-in-China EVs to be put on European roads, paving the way for a new level of affordability for long-range electric vehicles.

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June 3

Many automakers seeking to comply with stringent emissions rules are selling plug-in hybrids instead of pure electric vehicles. And yet there’s no guarantee that plug-in hybrid owners will regularly plug in. The answer could be a geofence system that automatically forces off the combustion engine when a plug-in hybrid enters a city zone. Fiat Chrysler announced today that it’s testing that technology in Turin, Italy.

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Converting all cars and SUVs in the Greater Toronto area into electric vehicles would cause 313 fewer deaths per year, an estimated social benefit of $2.4 billion. That’s the high-level finding of a study published today by Environmental Defence and the Ontario Public Health Association.

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June 2

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been very slow to introduce electric cars. The Chrysler brand has the 22-mile Pacifica minivan plug-in hybrid, and the new Fiat 500e is coming back to the US next year. But its other brands — Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati ­— continue to tease plans that are taking a long time to materialize. Now there’s news that Alfa Romeo, FCA’s sporty Italian brand, will introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV next year, followed by an all-electric compact SUV in 2022

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Die-hard Mustang fans had mixed reactions when Ford named its new EV as “Mustang Mach-E.” In a triple blow, the legendary high-performance coupe took on a new form as a four-door family car, an SUV, and a quiet electric vehicle. Now, a few months before the market introduction of the EV, Ford announces that it’s bringing back a limited-edition, track-focused V8 Mustang Mach 1 muscle car.

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June 1

The official starting price for the 394-horsepower, all-electric luxury Jaguar I-Pace is just under $70,000. But dealers across the country are offering eye-popping deals on 2019 I-Pace models still on the lot according to Electrek’s Best EV deals price survey.

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Israel’s Electreon Wireless Ltd. plans to install electric charging coils under a 1.2-mile stretch of road in Tel Aviv in mid-August. It’s the latest attempt to enable electric vehicles to charge while driving. But is the approach feasible and necessary?

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May 29

As far as plug-in hybrids go, 42 miles on a single charge is pretty damn good. A lot of commuters could refrain from using gas for weeks or months. Put that in a popular crossover model, and you could have a hit.

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The UK’s Car magazine reports today that BMW will introduce a pure EV version of its M5 midsize performance vehicle. If the published specs are real, then BMW will offer a 1,006-horsepower beast of a midsize electric sedan with the next generation of the car.

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Chevy told us this week that its Bolt EV will carry the weight of GM’s electric vehicle program until the company’s new wave of battery-powered cars arrives. General Motors and the Chevrolet brand will use the Bolt to expand its base of EV buyers beyond early adopters. As part of that effort, Chevrolet published 15 videos that it calls “Bolt EV Academy.”

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May 28

Nissan yesterday unveiled its four-year growth plan. The Japanese automaker will “right-size” its production capacity and streamline unprofitable parts of its business. At the same time, Nissan said it would invest in areas of strength, such as sports cars and electric vehicles. That said, Nissan will introduce the Ariya EV to the US in 2021, while most of its EVs will be sold in China.

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Twitter, Facebook, and Shopify are among the companies that are allowing employees to work at home permanently. If the trend continues, there could be long-term reductions in oil use, congestion, and car pollution.

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May 27

Studies have shown that EV range can drop by as much as 40% when temperatures drop below 20°F and the heater is running. Tesla and others might dispute the exact amount of lost range, but there’s broad agreement that cold weather has a meaningful impact. That challenge led the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to award $480,000 to Professor Brett Lucht to study how to improve battery performance in low temperatures.

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Despite the pandemic, Chevrolet increased its Q1 sales of the Bolt EV by 36% compared to a year ago. Electrek spoke this week with Tony Johnson, the marketing and advertising lead for Chevy cars and crossovers, to see how the brand will maintain that momentum. Johnson told us that Chevy is “doubling down” on the Bolt this year as it paves the way for future EVs. Chevy might even have an electric sports car in the works.

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While California represents the majority of EV sales in the US, the American South is the auto manufacturing powerhouse of the country. Yet, southern states have been among the slowest to adopt electric vehicles. That needs to change, argues Gerald Allen, a Republican member of the Alabama State Senate.

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May 26

Porsche reported about 350 Taycan sales in the US from December through March. Demand remains strong, but the six-week closure of Porsche’s Zuffenhausen assembly plant in Stuttgart, where the Taycan is made, will prevent some interested American car buyers from making a purchase this year.

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French President Emmanuel Macron announced an €8 billion ($8.8 billion) plan Tuesday to revive the country’s auto industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing production and sales of electric vehicles is central to the plan.

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May 22

How would you like free power for your EV? That’s becoming the new alternative reality in Europe where grid electricity prices are going negative during the pandemic. The upside-down situation follows a recent period of oil prices falling below zero.

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The online Mach-E Forum today posted emails sent by Ford to Europe-based customers explaining that the first deliveries of the all-electric SUV will be delayed until early 2021. However, a Ford spokesperson told us that the Mustang Mach-E will begin arriving in the US in late 2020, as planned.

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