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]

Nissan plans for breakthrough battery, 10% of its cars EVs before the end of the decade

"No more concerns about range" Hoshino and Saikawa

“No more concerns about range” Hoshino and Saikawa

Nissan, first mover in the electric vehicle space, plans for a major EV inflection point in the 2019/2020 time-frame. By that date, two factors will cause EVs go mainstream, the company said today. [Continue Reading]

Carlos Ghosn promises Nissan shareholders EV with better-than-ICE range

Carlos Ghosn - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

At yesterday’s shareholder conference in Yokohama, Nissan said it is already testing an electric vehicle that will provide the same range as today’s gasoline-driven cars. In front of a blue Nissan Leaf acting as a test mule for the new technology, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn said that “in the near future,” Nissan will offer EV mobility “comparative to today’s conventional vehicles.” According to Ghosn, Nissan is testing “new materials and chemistry solutions in order to make thinner, lighter weight and less costly batteries.” [Continue Reading]

Tesla Battery Swap: CARB’s Bridge To Nowhere

Tesla and California’s Air Resources Board are standing by the controversial “fast refueling” credits that are directing as much as hundreds of millions of dollars to the California-based electric car maker for its little-used battery swap capability. At the same time, both Tesla and CARB admit that battery swap has not shown much promise and CARB staff tell Daily Kanban that they tried to completely eliminate the credits out of concern over Tesla’s “gaming” of the system only to be overruled by board members. The tension between Tesla and CARB’s defense of ZEV credits earned by Tesla’s battery swap capability and their apparent lack of optimism about the technology going forward confirms the fundamental concerns that surfaced in Daily Kanban’s initial investigation: battery swap credits seem to have done nothing to advance the cause of ZEV adoption, Tesla appears to have gamed the credit system for huge financial gain, regulators show little interest in ending Tesla’s obvious abuse and the public remains under-informed about the entire situation.

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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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