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Norway is reaching tipping point for electric vehicles as market share reaches record breaking 37%

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We were talking just the other day about how slow it is to change the automotive market because of its gigantic size. With around 2 billion cars on the roads around the world and an annual production capacity of roughly 100 million cars, it takes 20 years to update the global fleet. It means that once all new cars sold are equipped with a new technology, like electric propulsion, it can take up to 20 years to refresh the fleet.

Of course, some markets will get there before others. Electric vehicles currently have difficulties reaching 3% market share in most countries. Norway has long been the exception to the rule and it is now breaking more market share records.

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Electric vehicle startups are on pace to raise almost $2 billion in 2016 – 100% increase from last year

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Since the beginning of the decade, investments in electric vehicle startups haven’t represented anything too impressive, but it still trended at a healthy $800 million per year from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, the bankruptcy of a few startups, namely Fisker, A123, and Better Place, spooked the investment community and virtually stopped money from going into EV ventures.

It took a while for the industry to convince investors to send money their way again, but thanks to the successes of companies like Tesla, the electric vehicle startup space is now in a better place than ever. According to a recent report, electric vehicle startups are on pace to raise $2 billion in 2016 – an increase of over 100% from last year.

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Norway keeps electric vehicle tax exemption until 2020, positions itself to stay EV leader

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Norway’s generous electric vehicle incentives helped the country become the top EV market per capita in the world. The government was set to phase out some of the incentives, like the exemption of the 25% VAT, but Norwegian news now reports that they passed an initiative to keep the VAT exemption for electric vehicles until 2020.

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The 4ekolka: an impressive 3D printed, all-electric city car

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There are quite a few ideas and concepts floating around out there to build compact, mobile and versatile electric cars for the city. We have smart with their fortwo and forfour EVs, Spiri, and Amber Mobility, just to name a few.

Today, we wanted to share with you a pretty neat concept coming out of Prague: the 4ekolka. What makes this car most interesting is not that it’s a battery-powered car, but the fact that it is 3D printed.



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Smart officially debuts ‘built for the city’ 17.6 kWh, 96hp Fortwo and Forfour electric vehicles

Mercedes-Benz auf der „Mondial de l’Automobile 2016“

It was a busy, busy day for Daimler AG at the 2016 Paris Auto Show. Along with announcing their all-electric Mercedes ‘Generation Q’ SUV, they also debuted three new variants of their smart electric vehicles: fortwo, fortwo cabrio, and forfour. These new EVs are being positioned by the company as “Built for the city. Perfect for escaping it.” [but not terribly quickly and only about 100 miles out]…



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Amber Mobility showcases their $37/week subscription-based, shared EV service

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Today at High Tech XL in the Netherlands, Amber Mobility unveiled their weekly €33 ($37) subscription based service that will allow users to find a shared electric vehicle, called the Amber One, whenever, and wherever for their business or personal use. Unlike the ride-sharing concept that Spiri envisions, Amber Mobility hopes to offer the public the ability to ‘own’ an EV, without actually owning it.



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Mechanical engineering student converts a 1969 VW Karmann Ghia into an all-electric classic

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A new all-electric VW has hit the roads! No, we aren’t talking about all the EVs that Volkswagen Group has been hinting at and announcing recently. We are talking about a project from an aspiring mechanical engineer who converted a classic 1969 VW Karmann Ghia into an all-electric car with the help of his father.



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The electric vehicle shopping experience: new study gives reason to Tesla for its direct sales model

Interior of the Cleveland store as line filters in.

Sierra Club, a not-for-profit environmental organisation, conducted a study in 308 dealerships and stores from 13 different automakers across ten states with zero-emission vehicle mandates in order to evaluate the state of the electric vehicle shopping experience.

The study paints a negative (borderline disastrous) picture of the electric vehicle shopping experience, especially outside of California, for almost all automakers except for Tesla, which gives weight to the automaker’s direct sales distribution model through company-owned stores.

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The Netherlands’ ban on gas-powered cars ‘likely to become law’, all new cars electric by 2025

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Earlier this year, we reported on the Dutch Labour Party’s initiative to instate a ban on new gas and diesel car sales in the Netherlands by 2025.  Since then other countries started discussing similar possibilities to phase out gas-powered cars on a comparable timeline.

India recently confirmed that it is evaluating a scheme for all its fleet to be electric by 2030 and the Norwegian government is discussing a similar mandate by 2025.

The initiative has since passed in the lower house of the Netherlands’ parliament and it is now seen by some as “likely to become law”.

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BMW is profiting from the new German incentives on EVs, i3 sales are up ‘many times over’

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Earlier this year, Germany announced its first electric vehicle incentive program to spur adoption of green vehicles in the country. Financed by both the state and the local auto industry, the program offers a €4,000 discount at the purchase of an all-electric vehicle and €3,000 for a plug-in hybrid.

The program is capped to electric vehicles with a starting price of less than €60,000, which prompt Tesla to respond and claim that it was purposely left out by the auto industry since its vehicles start at over €60,000. While the program is not helping Tesla, it is certainly helping BMW as reports are coming out claiming that sales of the BMW i3 are somewhat unsurprisingly significantly rising in Germany since the launch of the program earlier this month.

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Daimler is considering introducing its upcoming Mercedes EVs under a new all-electric brand

Mercedes-Benz auf der Silvretta E-Auto Rallye 2015

Last week, we report on Daimler’s plan to transition to greener technologies over the next few years. The bulk of the plan will be the launch the 4 new all-electric cars it greenlighted for production last year under the Mercedes-Benz brand – the first of which is expected to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this year.

Now we learn that Daimler is considering introducing the upcoming EVs under a new all-electric brand.

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VW announces new plan to build 2 to 3 million all-electric cars a year by 2025

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Earlier this year – not long after the Dieselgate scandal – the Volkswagen Group announced a new direction for its lineup of vehicles with a plan to introduce 20 new electric vehicles through the group’s brands by the end of the decade.

Today, the automaker extended the timeline to 2025 and said that it will introduce “more than 30 new electric vehicles during the next 10 years”. Earlier this year, CEO Matthias Müller was talking about both all-electric and plug-in hybrids, but now he is making a statement to go all-electric and confirmed that the “more than 30 new models” will all be “purely battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs)”.

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Tesla is bringing EV education to the kindergarten level in China

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Tesla attributed its early difficulties in penetrating the Chinese car market in part to misconceptions about charging electric vehicles in the country. Those misconceptions are most often due to little knowledge of electric vehicles in general. The situation is changing fast as EVs are becoming increasingly common in mainland China thanks to several government incentives and the fast growing electric scooter market.

Though it’s never moving fast enough for Tesla. The automaker is trying to address the issue in a very simple yet likely to be fairly effective way in the long run: educating children about electric vehicle technology.

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Colorado officially approves $5,000 tax credit for electric vehicles – up to $12,500 with federal incentive

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Colorado official passed its bill HB 1332 to update its electric vehicle incentive program. The legislation now gives electric vehicle buyers in Colorado a $5,000 tax credit which can be immediately realized at purchase through a dealer incentive.

It’s a significant improvement over the state’s previous program, which was already generous, but nowhere near as straightforward and efficient as it is now.

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Ford is developing an EV competitor to the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt, says CEO

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While the Ford Focus Electric may have been an interesting car during the latest generation of all-electric vehicles, along with the LEAF and BMW i3, the automaker has since been complacent about the upcoming new long-range wave of EVs. The company recently announced a $4.5 billion in investment in electric vehicles to close the gap, but it has yet to announce a competitor to the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt or the next-gen LEAF.

During a conference call with analysts and reporters this week, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields confirmed for the first time that Ford is “developing” something for the segment.

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Germany officially announces a €4,000 incentive for electric vehicles starting in May

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Earlier this week, we reported on German Chancellor Merkel planning to get directly involved in the negotiations with the auto industry over electric vehicle incentives though a meeting held yesterday. Apparently the meeting went fairly well since local media are already reporting that the two parties struck a deal albeit not as generous as previously expected.

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Automakers entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen are succumbing to physics and going electric

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I think we are witnessing the start of a new (but long overdue) trend this year. The few established automakers still pushing fuel cell hydrogen vehicles appear to be warming up to battery-powered electric vehicles instead. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai, arguably the automakers most stuck on hydrogen, all announced new electric vehicle programs in the past few weeks.

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Hyundai is working on an all-electric SUV with “around 200 miles of range”

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While some (including myself) were disapointed when Hyundai confirmed that its first all-electric vehicle, the Ioniq, will only have about 110 miles of EPA-rated range, we can now find some comfort in the fact that the Korean automaker plans for its next all-electric vehicle to have almost twice as much range as the Ioniq.

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German automakers are reluctant to finance the government’s €1 billion electric vehicle plan

Mercedes-Benz auf der Silvretta E-Auto Rallye 2015

As we previously reported, the German government is currently in the final stages of establishing a new plan to boost the electric vehicle market in the country. The plan is rumored to include tax breaks for the development of EV technologies, investments in charging infrastructures and finally a much-anticipated €5,000 discount at the purchase of an electric vehicle.

The government is reportedly in negotiations with the German auto industry to figure out the financing of the initiative, but apparently the industry is only willing to pay for about a third of what the government is asking.

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Momentum Dynamics says it will deliver a 200 kW wireless charging systems by the end of the year

Momentum Dynamics

Momentum Dynamics, a wireless charging startup, sent out a press release this week claiming that they will deliver 200 kW wireless charging systems by the end of the year. In comparison, the company had previously only delivered 25 kW and 50 kW systems, and just recently, it was testing a very slow 1.5 kW wireless charger with Google for its self-driving car prototypes.

A 200 kW system would not only be faster than most charging stations, but it would also have higher output than the Tesla Supercharger’s 135 kW charge rate.

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