Don’t even think it: No, China is not caving in to Tesla

Customs checkpoint at the Xiamen Free Trade Zone. Picture courtesy brics2017.org

When you read this, you probably have heard that China is doing away with its requirement that foreign automakers need a 50:50 Chinese partner before they can make automobiles in the Middle Kingdom, the only legal way to avoid the country’s egregious 25% import tax. You will also have heard that this will open the gates to Tesla’s ultimate domination of the world’s largest car market, and especially of the world’s largest electric car market. If you haven’t heard, you certainly will.

There is only one problem: It is not true. Car companies indeed will be able to build EVs on Chinese soil, and on their own, but they won’t get around the tax, and therefore won’t be competitive with indigenous products. [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, Episode 3: Electric sports cars, electric Trucks

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. Today with electric sports cars, trendy electric minis, and big electric trucks. Yes, trucks. Been there, done that.

[Continue Reading]

Success of EVs threatened by cobalt-crisis, and China

Children in a mine in Katanga, picture courtesy France24.com

The drive to electric driving could be driven off a cliff by two unsettling trends: An impending shortage of rare minerals needed to make the batteries, and a more than obvious attempt by the Chinese government to rig, and eventually corner the nascent EV market. [Continue Reading]

Model S September’s top-selling BEV in Western Europe. That’s the good news

Model S in Norway. Picture by Matthias Schmidt

AID, the must-have newsletter for people in need of unvarnished automobile sales data, has an explosive mix of good-news / bad-news for Tesla friends and foes alike. Tesla is racking up impressive sales gains in the world’s second-largest battery-electric EV market. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that if Elon Musk won’t act fast, the sudden gains are liable to evaporate, writes AID publisher Matthias Schmidt. [Continue Reading]

Tesla about to lose a big chunk of one of its most important markets, Norway

Ice age ahead: Model S in Norway (Picture: Youtube)

For electric carmaker Tesla, Norway is a paradise. Lavish tax breaks for electric cars, combined with expropriative taxes on gas cars (such as “total taxes for a Chevrolet Camarao V6? 125,000 dollars” as a Redditor writes) are the reason why nearly one in every ten Tesla cars go to the rugged and cold 5 million people country in Scandinavia. In yet another blow in a rough week, Tesla is about to lose its Nordic paradise.

“Norway plans to trim lavish tax breaks for Tesla and other electric cars that have given it the world’s highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership,” Reuters wrote today after reading a proposal by Norway’s right-wing government. At closer reading, one sees that the main target is Tesla. [Continue Reading]

Tesla Gigafactory solar power scrapped, insider claims

When Californian electric carmaker Tesla floated the idea of a monstrous battery factory, christened “Gigafactory” by Elon Musk, it was true to the heart of every fan of clean energy. The company circulated pictures of a monstrous roof made all from solar panels. The trouble is, like so many things announced by Tesla, it may not be true.

The pictures of a Gigafactory decked-out in solar panels are still on Tesla’s website, but recent drone footage of the Gigafactory  shows the battery plant devoid of any topside solar panels. There may never be any solar panels, a Gigafactory insider claims.

[Continue Reading]

The indignity! Tesla Model 3 could be out-produced by “fool cell” Mirai this year

Mirai production in Motomachi, capacity 3,000 units per year

Californian carmaker Tesla is close to suffering yet another insult. The company infamously managed to deliver only 220 of its more affordable Model 3 in the two months since production was kicked-off with great fanfare. Should Tesla remain on that pace – and an article by my partner Ed Niedermeyer paints that as a strong possibility –  the allegedly mass-produced Tesla Model 3 could be out-produced by Toyota’s lowest-volume car, the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai.

[Continue Reading]

The Very Model Of…

 

The following is dedicated to Alex Roy and is to be sung to the tune of “Modern Major General”.

I am the very model of a shilling pseudo-journalist,
My judgement compromised by so-called conflicts others say exist,
But don’t you dare call me out, it’ll get my knickers in a twist,
It’s been a lot of work becoming Elon’s fave panegyrist.
As lampreys latch to sharks and models hook up with industrialists,
As palaces attracteth eunuchs, cultists do propagandists;
A Manichean Tesla über-fanboi fundamentalist,
I’ve made myself the Squealer of a narcissistic physicist.

[Continue Reading]