Chinese startup SF Motors targets U.S. with first premium EV
SANFRANCISCO -- SF Motors, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Sokon Motors, officially threw its hat into the crowded ring of EV startups looking to sell in the U.S. next year.
At an event at its Silicon Valley headquarters Wednesday, the automaker introduced its first vehicle, the SF5, a luxury electric crossover, saying it would begin preorders by the end of the year and start deliveries in 2019. The timeline puts SF Motors on a similar schedule as fellow Chinese-backed ventures Byton, Lucid Motors, Faraday Future and a Volvo Cars spinoff, Polestar.
"For the past two years, we have spent millions on our product, focusing on powetrain development and manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. and China," SF Motors CEO John Zhang told Automotive News. "We're very close to ready."
The SF5 is an electric crossover with a projected 300 miles of range, with a top-trim, 1,000-hp powertrain capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. Zhang said he could not disclose pricing.
The company also unveiled its second vehicle, the SF7 -- another electric crossover -- though it did not give details on when sales are projected to begin. Both vehicles will be equipped with sensors and other hardware intended for autonomous driving functions.
SF Motors has slowly built an r&d and manufacturing footprint in the U.S.over the past year. In April 2017, the automaker entered into a research partnership with the University of Michigan to develop autonomous drivingtechnology, and acquired the former AM General plant in Indiana seven months later. In October, the company acquired Inevit, a battery systems integration startup run by Tesla Inc. co-founder Martin Eberhard.
SF Motors is also developing autonomous driving technology and began tests on public roads in California and Michigan this year. The automaker plans to deploy a semi autonomous system via over-the-air update to its vehicles in 2020. Katie Burke | 2018/3/30
First WM EX5 rolls off production line
Gasgoo| March 28,2018
Shanghai- WM Motor's first pure electric SUV model, the EX5 rolled off the production line on Mar. 28. Positioned as an intelligent SUV with abundant intelligent connected functions, the model boasts a maximum range of 600km with a set of pure electric power system. As is revealed from WM Motor previously,the model will be priced at around RMB 200,000 and will start presale at Auto China 2018 in Beijing. Besides, the EX5 is expected to hit the market at the third quarter of this year.
Daimler launches new Denza electric vehicle for Chinese market
Daimler and its Chinese partner BYD Auto have launched a new "Denza 500" battery electric vehicle. Engineered and produced in and for China, the Denza 500 is described as offering Chinese customers a comprehensive upgrade through a refreshed exterior design and extended electric range.
The Denza model combines Daimler's vehicle architecture expertise and advanced safety engineering with BYD's leading skills in battery technology. Through continuous investment in Denza product development, Daimler is dedicated to contributing to the further development of electric mobility in China.
A new battery and additional weight reductions allow increased energy efficiency,providing an extended range of around 500km. (Xinhua, Mar. 26)
BMW to install 80,000 public charging poles nation wide
To ease the future development of the NEV sector, BMW has committed to further expanding its charging networks in the world's largest auto market.
The premium carmaker recently announced that it has set itself the ambitious target of installing more than 80,000 public charging poles in more than 100 Chinese cities by the end of the year.The aim is to provide more efficient, convenient and intelligent public charging services, especially for its own NEV users.
As of 2017, BMW had installed more than 65,000 charging poles scattered across more than 90 Chinese cities, in cooperation with the four major Chinese charging network operators, including Qingdao Teld New Energy. (China Daily, Mar. 26)
VW electrifies lineup with e-Golf launch
Volkswagen has introduced another new energy model, the electric new e-Golf, into China aspart of its efforts to promote e-mobility in the world's largest car market.
Axel Schroeder, managing director of Volkswagen Import, said the latest iteration will help the carmaker to better understand the market and raise awareness among customers about Volkswagen's e-mobility campaign.
He said the model－which has a top torque of 290 Newton meters－delivers the now-expectedpremium German engineering, yet matches the needs of Chinese consumers on affordability without sacrificing performance or quality.
In addition to imported models, Volkswagen is planning to localize NEVs with its partners in the country. The carmaker said it aims to sell 400,000 NEVs in 2020 in the country, while the figure is expected to reach 1.5 million in 2025.(China Daily, Mar. 26)
Bosch launches 48V battery project in China
German automotive components supplier Bosch has launched a 48-volt battery project in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu province, the city government announced Thursday.
Construction of the workshops and facilities has started, according to local officials.
The 48-volt batteries are expected to be widely used in both electric and fuel vehicles, according to Bosch Automotive Systems (Wuxi) Co Ltd, the subsidiary company Bosch set up in 2015 which is running the project.
The project is expected to generate revenue of up to RMB 8.7 billion ($1.38billion) annually after being put into operation in 2021. (Xinhua, Mar. 29)
Nissan revs up electric vehicle sales target
Nissan Motor aims to sharply increase its electric vehicle sales over the next five years, leaning on the expected explosion of sales of battery-powered vehicles in China.
In an ambitious bet on future demand, the Japanese auto maker recently said that it aims to sell one million battery-powered vehicles per annum through the financial year ending Mar. 2023. Nissan’s sales target includes both pureelectric vehicles and new e-Power hybrid gasoline-electric system. Vehicles equipped with the e-Power system will account for the majority of battery-powered vehicle sales by the 2023 target.
Nissan will also roll out eight new electric vehicles by Mar. 2023, starting this year with a new battery-powered sedan intended for the China market. (The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 23)
EV subsidy cuts stimulate low-speed EV sales
Low-speed electric vehicles, which had seen slowing growth over the past two years, have started to rebound this year. Data shows that low-speed electric vehicle production reached 68,000 units in Shandong province in Jan., up 65.9% year on year.
During a summit on the development of the new energy vehicle industry, experts pointed out that the recovery of the low-speed electric vehicle market is largely dueto NEV subsidy cuts. The subsidy cuts have driven some A00-class electric vehicles out of the market. As such, low-speed electric vehicles which are in competition with these A00-class vehicles have gained greater room for their development.
2018 is a crucial year for the development of low-speed electric vehicles. Whether this market can sustain its growth momentum depends on when the national standard for these vehicles will be implemented. To cope with the national standard, low-speed electric vehicle makers have been upgrading their products and exploring overseas markets. (eeo.com.cn, Mar. 26)