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Australia ups EV game

The Australian government recently announced that it plans to see 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2030, and wants half of its annual vehicles sold to be electric in the future.

The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) also wants to reduce the cost of EVs by about $7,000 per car for consumers.

“By providing discounted finance through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, it is hoped we can encourage a greater uptake of electric vehicles and reduce emissions,” said Josh Frydenberg, the country’s Minister of Environment and Energy.

The EVC also noted that if the country achieves the desired amount of EV sales by 2030, carbon emissions will decrease by 18 million tons.

Ten auto brands, along with a new Australian startup, will introduce new electric cars in Australia by 2020.The first Australian-made EV will be manufactured in Queensland. ACE Electric Vehicles, which began as an energy management company, is creating a vehicle with a 40-kilowatt battery and an impressive range of 350 kilometres.

“We are proud to be launching our first range of Australian electric vehicles,” ACE Electric Vehicles managing director Greg McGarvie told the Sydney Morning Herald. “This is now a realistic proposition since our agreements on a new patented manufacturing process for electric vehicles.”

The first two models are a truck called the Yewt – a play on the Antipodean term ute, for a utility vehicle – and a cargo van. Both will be priced at less than AUS$40,000 and are designed for cities, with an expected range of 350 km from a 40 kWh battery.

Two more vehicles are in the works for anticipated releases in 2019.

The Hyundai Kona Electric, the lux Audi e-tron, the Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV, the Volvo XC40, the sleek Porsche Mission E, and the 2018 Nissan Leaf are just a few of the impressive models that will enter the market.

Australia is joining other countries who have successfully incorporated EVs into their car market. The US plans to have several million EVs on the road in the next five years. In India, ride-sharing app Ola will have 1 million EVs on the road in the by 2021. Norway also plans for 100 per cent of its new vehicles sold to be electric by 2025.


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BMW celebrates 100,000 EVs

At the beginning of 2017 BMW said it would both sell and deliver 100,000 units of its electrified models by the end of the year.

BMW’s goal has been realised and the car manufacturer celebrated in a big way at the BMW Group HQ in Munich last night.

The famous four cylinders of the building were transformed into electric batteries demonstrating the commitment that BMW has towards the future.

“We deliver on our promises,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. 

“This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility. Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us. Since the introduction of the BMW i3 2013, we’ve delivered over 200,000 electrified cars to our customers and by 2025, we will offer 25 electrified models to our customers. Our early focus on electro-mobility has made this success possible – and electro-mobility will continue to be my measure for our future success.”

By 2025, the company will offer 25 fully electric and plug-in hybrid models worldwide.

For its BMW i electric brand, BMW has already secured the naming rights from BMW i1 to i9, as well as from BMW iX1 to iX9.

Next year will see the launch of the i8 Roadster, followed in 2019 by a fully electric MINI.

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GM’s electric car sales will meet quotas by 2019

General Motors China announces that they will be able to generate enough new energy vehicle (NEV) units to meet the NEV production quotas set by the Chinese government.  

China is wanting to meet its promise to cap its carbon emissions by 2030.

China has set stringent production quotas for NEVs which automakers must meet by 2019, a move that is prompting an increase of electric car deals and launches of electric battery and plug-in hybrid car models.

General Motors produces vehicles in China through a joint venture with SAIC, the country’s largest automaker.

Matthew Tsien, president and chief executive of GM China, said both SAIC-GM Corp are working to meet, if not exceed, those credit mandate requirements, without having to purchase new electric vehicle credits from other automakers.

China officially unveiled NEV requirements for automakers back in September. When the green car quotas take effect in 2019, automakers will need to accumulate enough credits by producing and selling enough NEVs to hit a threshold equivalent of ten per cent of annual sales.

In October, GM sold a total of 1,724 E100s, with cumulative volume hitting nearly 4,000 units since July. 

“Sales so far have largely met our expectations, perhaps even slightly above our expectations,” Tsien said. The car is one of the three electric battery car models GM already has available in China.

GM plans to launch at least seven more NEVs in China by 2020.

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Kia to join the EV market

Kia is set to become the next major car company to join the electric vehicle market with the launch of hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of a small SUV called Niro.

Kia Motors New Zealand has announced that the model will go on sale during the opening quarter of next year, however no prices have been released for the new vehicle

After a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

The Korean built Niro was intended only for the European market, but after a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

Kia claims the Niro is the first dedicated hybrid SUV produced anywhere in the world, built to run on both the power of a petrol engine and an electric motor.

The fuel economy of the hybrid is 3.8L/100km, which was put to the test when driven across the USA where the Niro achieved 3.69L/100km, a world record low for fuel consumption.

The plug-in version is even better, thanks to its larger battery pack and electric motor. Factory figures for the Niro PHEV suggest 1.3L/100km.

The Niro hybrid is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine in combination with an electric drive unit.

The new plug-in version of the Niro, which has been released just recently to the international market, has a larger battery pack and can travel up to 40km on batter power alone, with no assistance of its petrol engine.

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Mercury meets fleet EV target

Mercury has announced that it has converted all possible vehicles in its fleet to electric, one year ahead of schedule. Mercury’s corporate fleet now has over 70 per cent fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The target was set back in 2014 at the company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. 

Fraser Whineray, Chief Executive, announced today that the company has changed every vehicle that can be practically transitioned to electric models currently available.

“We saw that using home-grown electricity to fuel transport was a stunning opportunity for New Zealand and New Zealanders, and it also made total sense for us as a business,” says Fraser.

“We’ve made our company fleet as electric as it can be right now. It’s powered at a fraction of the cost of fossil fuels and is clearly better for the environment.”

Mercury has worked with other New Zealand organisations to encourage widespread uptake of EVs including a landmark commitment by over 30 New Zealand companies to transition at least 30 percent of their company vehicles to electric by 2019.

Mercury was one of the main players to help bring the Electric Highway to New Zealand with the EV charger location app, ‘Plugshare’.

There is also support across all major political parties to electrify their vehicles with the current coalition Government aiming to make their vehicle fleet emissions-free by 2025 to 2026. 

“There’s still a long way to go, but we are confident that the transition of New Zealand’s vehicle fleet to electric will be well supported by business and Government. It’s 30 cents per litre, a 3-pin plug will power it up, and there’s plenty of renewable electricity to support the charge,” says Fraser.

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MITO gets ready for EVs

Training in New Zealand’s automotive industry has taken a leap forward with MITO’s release of a new training programme for light vehicle apprentices.

The training programme allows students to meet the new challenges of servicing vehicles in today’s environment and adapt to future needs, such as working safely on electric vehicles and the latest technology.

Hybrid cars are becoming more popular in New Zealand with approximately 2,784 electric and hybrid cars around the country according to NZTA statistics.

There is currently limited opportunities for students to learn more about EV cars and servicing due to the fact that manufacturers generally servicing their own EV models.

MITO Chief Executive Janet Lane says “We’re delighted to launch the new light vehicle training programme as part of our commitment to workforce development and the long-term future of the automotive industry. The programme is a result of substantial consultation with industry right across the country and we would like to thank all those that were involved in providing us with their expertise to ensure it meets the needs of the automotive industry.”

For more information, please contact MITO on 0800 88 21 21 or info@mito.org.nz.


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Pure electric car-sharing platform for Christchurch

The largest transition of combustion engines to pure electric shared vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere is set to get underway in Christchurch from November.

Canterbury organisations and residents will soon have access to a pool of 100 pure electric vehicles, only one of a few cities internationally to offer a 100 per cent electric-powered car share service.

Kiwi fleet management company, Yoogo, was selected by the Christchurch City Council to implement the service.

Yoogo’s Hyundai and BMW EVs.

Kirsten Corson, general manager of Yoogo, says the pure electric car sharing model breaks down barriers around cost and charging infrastructure making pure electric vehicles accessible and affordable.

“Cantabrians will pay for the time they use the car and Yoogo takes care of everything else. Users can simply book online and access vehicles via the Yoogo app or swipe card,” says Corson.

 The service will be available for Council, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch Airport, some specified businesses as well as the general public.

Initially the service will launch 70 electric vehicles across three city hubs in late November with 30 additional vehicles to follow in February 2018 across ten locations in total.

Kevin Crutchley, Council’s Resource Efficiency Manager and project manager for this city-wide scheme, says “This new, innovative, 100 per cent battery electric transport service is an exciting development for Christchurch. New Zealand’s electricity is mostly generated from renewable energy so this electric vehicle offering will reduce our city’s carbon emissions. Also using a transport service with zero tail pipe emissions will improve air quality and have positive health benefits for the residents of Christchurch.”

Meridian Energy will be providing the electricity for the scheme. Neal Barclay, their general manager says his company is a proud partner.

“As New Zealand’s largest generator of renewable energy, Meridian is excited to work with like-minded businesses to increase the use of pure electric vehicles and reduce our country’s transport emissions.”

 Pure electric vehicles to be used will initially include Hyundai Ioniq and BMWi3 vehicles.

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