Thursday morning car news roundup, May 28, 2015

Today is Thursday

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World’s Largest Automaker 2015: Either Toyota, or Volkswagen

Akio Toyoda - Picture courtesy Bloomberg

At this time of the year, DailyKanban usually dares to make its first tentative estimate of who will be the world’s largest automaker by the end of the year. Right now, all we can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that it will be either reigning Toyota, or Volkswagen. GM stands little chance. [Continue Reading]

Tesla Battery Swap Unused Over Busy Holiday Weekend

In response to a wide range of questions about Tesla’s battery swap program, raised primarily by Alberto Zaragoza Comendador of the blog Doubting Is Thinking, Daily Kanban has conducted an online and on-the-ground inquiry into Tesla’s battery swap program that failed to alleviate our concerns that the electric car maker’s battery swap capability exist largely as a way to maximize California ZEV credit revenue.  A four-day investigation of Tesla’s only battery swap station over the Memorial Day weekend revealed no evidence that the station is actually being used to swap customer batteries. Though our investigation did not conclusively prove that the station is not being used at all, it is yet another data point in a large and growing body of evidence indicating that Tesla is not serious about deploying battery swap as a viable option for customers.

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Tesla And Its Customers Find It’s Not Easy Being Green

Tesla Motors and its customers are famously proud of their environmentally friendly image, but their anti-carbon and anti-oil sentiments are apparently not as absolute as their public statements and vanity license plates might suggest. In the course of investigating Tesla’s Harris Ranch, CA battery swap station, Daily Kanban found that Tesla’s solution to peak demand for grid-powered Superchargers that are also on-site does not involve stationary battery storage or customer battery-swapping at its only swap station. Instead, the company relies upon  backup Superchargers powered by diesel generators. Moreover, several Tesla customers were observed charging from the noisy, carbon-emitting backup generator even when the standard Supercharging station had numerous plugs available. This oddly un-green charging option, foisted on customers as a result of Tesla’s lack of desire to make its battery swap capabilities widely available, in turn raises unanswered questions about the environmental claims Tesla has made about its entire charging network.

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Analysis: Understanding Tesla’s Potemkin Swap Station

Where are the customers?

The return of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to the US market nearly a century after internal combustion technology swept them aside is one of the most compelling automotive stories of the last decade, bringing a much-needed injection of fresh … [Continue reading]

Wednesday morning car news roundup, May 27, 2015

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Note: I am in China for the week. Due to China's blocking of Google, this week's collecting of news can be  seriously impeded. News can be missing altogether. We ask your indulgence. Top News:   Air Force certifies Elon Musk's SpaceX to … [Continue reading]

Tuesday morning car news roundup, May 26, 2015

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Note: I am in China for the week. Due to China's blocking of Google, this week's collecting of news can be  seriously impeded. News can be missing altogether. We ask your indulgence. Top News: Hyundai wins race to offer Android Auto - Automotive … [Continue reading]

Monday morning car news roundup, May 25, 2015

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Top News:   Marchionne call for mergers sparks talk - FT: Several factors stand in way of Marchionne's arguments for mergers among carmakers Daimler teams up with China's Baidu in connected cars drive - Reuters: The Mercedes-Benz cars … [Continue reading]