Nikola Corporation to Unveil Game-Changing Battery Cell Technology at Nikola World 2020


Nikola 1A download

Technology encompasses world’s first free-standing / self-supported electrode with a cathode that has 4x the energy density of lithium-ion

Nikola Corporation is excited to announce details of its new battery that has a record energy density of 1,100 watt-hours per kg on the material level and 500 watt-hours per kg on the production cell level. The Nikola prototype cell is the first battery that removes binder material and current collectors, enabling more energy storage within the cell. It is also expected to pass nail penetration standards, thus reducing potential vehicle fires.

  • Technology encompasses world’s first free-standing / self-supported electrode with a cathode that has 4x the energy density of lithium-ion
  • Achieves 2,000 cycles
  • Cell technology expected to cost 50% less to produce than lithium-ion
  • Could drive down the cost of hydrogen and double the range of battery-electric vehicles worldwide
  • Nikola will share IP with all other OEM’s around the world that contribute.

This battery technology could increase the range of current EV passenger cars from 300 miles up to 600 miles with little or no increase to battery size and weight. The technology is also designed to operate in existing vehicle conditions. Moreover, cycling the cells over 2,000 times has shown acceptable end-of-life performance.

Nikola’s new cell technology is environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. While conventional lithium-ion cells contain elements that are toxic and expensive, the new technology will have a positive impact on the earth’s resources, landfills and recycling plants.

This month, Nikola entered into a letter of intent to acquire a world-class battery engineering team to help bring the new battery to pre-production. Through this acquisition, Nikola will add 15 PhDs and five master’s degree team members. Due to confidentiality and security reasons, additional details of the acquisition will not be disclosed until Nikola World 2020.

“This is the biggest advancement we have seen in the battery world,” said Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company. “We are not talking about small improvements; we are talking about doubling your cell phone battery capacity. We are talking about doubling the range of BEVs and hydrogen-electric vehicles around the world.”

“Nikola is in discussions with customers for truck orders that could fill production slots for more than ten years and propel Nikola to become the top truck manufacturer in the world in terms of revenue. Now the question is why not share it with the world?” said Milton.

Nikola 1A download

 

Nikola Reveals Range of Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery-Electric Vehicles

Nikola will show the batteries charging and discharging in front of the crowd at Nikola World. The date of Nikola World will be announced soon but is expected to be fall of 2020.

Points include:

  • Nikola’s battery electric trucks could now drive 800 miles fully loaded between charges
  • Nikola trucks could weigh 5,000 lbs. less than the competition if same battery size was kept
  • Nikola’s hydrogen-electric fuel cell trucks could surpass 1,000 miles between stops and top off in 15 minutes
  • World’s first free-standing electrode automotive battery
  • Energy density up to 1,100 watt-hours per kg on a material level and 500 watt-hours per kg on a production cell level including; casing, terminals and separator — more than double current lithium-ion battery cells
  • Cycled over 2,000 times with acceptable end-of-life performance
  • 40% reduction in weight compared to lithium-ion cells
  • 50% material cost reduction per kWh compared to lithium-ion batteries

Due to the impact this technology will have on society and emissions, Nikola has taken an unprecedented position to share the IP with all other OEM’s, even competitors, that contribute to the Nikola IP license and new consortium.

OEMs or other partners can email batteries@nikolamotor.com for more information.

ABOUT NIKOLA CORPORATION
Nikola Corporation designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen stations. Nikola is led by its visionary CEO Trevor Milton. The company is privately held and headquartered in Arizona. For more information, visit www.nikolamotor.com.

NCM 811 Almost Account For A Fifth Of EV Li-Ion Deployment In China


China is well advanced in switching to the NCM 811 type of lithium-ion cathode for EV batteries. 

The new NCM 811 lithium-ion battery chemistry takes the Chinese passenger xEV (BEV, PHEV, HEV) market like a storm.

According to Adamas Intelligence, In September, NCM 811 was responsible for 18% of passenger xEV battery deployment (by capacity).

The NCM 811 is a low cobalt-content cathode (nickel:cobalt:manganese at a ratio of 8:1:1).

The expansion is tremendous compared to 1% in January, 4% in June and 13% in August.

NCM 811 cells combines high-energy density with affordability (lower content of expensive cobalt), which probably is enough for most manufacturers to make the switch from NCM 523 and LFP (often bypassing NCM 622).

“In China, for the second month in a row, NCM 811 was second-only to NCM 523 by capacity deployed, while the once-popular NCM 622 now finds itself in fifth spot with a mere 5% of the market.

In the pursuit of lower costs and higher energy density, a growing number of automakers in China have seemingly opted to bypass NCM 622, shifting instead straight from LFP or NCM 523 cathode chemistries into high-nickel NCM 811.

Since January 2019, the market share of NCM 811 in China’s passenger EV market has rapidly increased from less than 1% to 18% and shows little signs of slowing its ingress. Outside of China, however, automakers have been slow to adopt NCM 811 to-date but we expect to see the chemistry make inroads in Europe and North America by as early as next year.”

NCM 811 share globally is also growing and in September it was at 7%.

The other leading low cobalt chemistry is Tesla/Panasonic’s NCA.

Source: Adamas Intelligence

Automated Electric Shuttle Makes its Debut on NREL Campus


NREL Auto EV CaMPUES 20190910-autonomous-vehicle-celebration

The EasyMile automated electric shuttle took its inaugural ride around the NREL campus this week.

NREL’s intelligent campus ventures accelerated this week with the introduction of an automated electric vehicle in its employee shuttle fleet.

Designed to cover short distances and predefined routes, the fully electric EasyMile EZ10 shuttle took its inaugural ride on Monday, transporting staff and visitors around NREL’s South Table Mountain campus after a dedication ceremony marking its first day of operation.

Attending the dedication were NREL Director Martin Keller, Associate Laboratory Directors Johney Green and Julie Baker, and shuttle partners Jeff Womack of MV Transportation and Sharad Agarwal of EasyMile. The event drew local press from The Denver Post, CBS4, and the Golden Transcript, who interviewed Green as well as Kevin Walkowicz, manager of NREL’s Advanced Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure Group, and Jeffrey Gonder, manager of NREL’s Mobility, Behavior, and Advanced Powertrains Group.

The automated vehicle serves as one of two circulator shuttles primarily transporting staff to and from the parking garage during peak hours. For the first year, onboard vehicle stewards from MV Transportation, the lab’s shuttle service subcontractor, will monitor vehicle operations to ensure safety.

The shuttle can carry up to 12 passengers and is designed to travel along a pre-programmed route. It is equipped with a full range of sensors and an intelligent vehicle system to detect obstacles and avoid collisions. Real-time data processing allows the driverless vehicle system to decide how to behave as it progresses safely along the road.

In-Use Operations Data to Inform Research Efforts

NREL will collect and analyze vehicle and charging system operational data to help researchers better understand associated energy use, charging and energy storage needs, and autonomous systems operation and control.

“The results of our data analysis effort will help inform the design and optimization of intelligent energy management systems onboard these types of vehicles—such as managed wireless charging or predictive route-based propulsion system control,” said Walkowicz.

NREL will also explore ways in which these systems can enable intelligent load management for the entire campus in scenarios with a high concentration of energy coming from renewables or behind-the-meter energy storage.

“It will also feed into NREL’s mobility modeling and energy impacts analyses of connected and automated vehicles, in particular related to automated mobility districts—campus-sized implementations of connected and automated vehicle technologies geared to realize the benefits of a fully electric automated mobility service within a confined region or district,” said Gonder.

Ultimately, this research effort will provide insight into a variety of areas important to the connected, intelligent, and automated vehicle space including grid integration, intelligent charge management, energy use, urban mobility, and human interactions with automated transportation systems.

Learn more about NREL’s transportation research and its on-campus sustainability efforts.

 

Rivian lands $350 million investment from Cox Automotive – Follows Ford’s $500M and Amazon’s $700M


The upstart electric vehicle company, which plans manufacturing in downstate Normal, is racing to complete development of its battery-powered truck and SUV for 2020 launches.

Rivian Automotive LLC, the upstart electric vehicle company, has scored a third large investor as it races to complete development of its battery-powered truck and SUV for 2020 launches.

Atlanta-based Cox Automotive, parent company of well-known brands Manheim, AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and DealerTrack, is investing $350 million in Rivian, the electric vehicle startup said Tuesday. It is the first equity investment for Cox Automotive, or its parent Cox Enterprises, in an automaker.

Rivian and Cox Automotive also said they will explore “partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics and digital retailing.”

Earlier this year, Amazon and Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. announced major investments in Rivian. Ford kicked in $500 million, while Amazon led a $700 million investment group.

“We are excited to work with Cox Automotive in delivering a consistent customer experience across our various touchpoints,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement. “Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us.”

Rivian plans to follow Tesla’s retail strategy of foregoing the traditional dealership model and selling directly to customers. That presents some challenges, namely the distribution of repair parts, and service. It’s unclear if the Cox investment could help Rivian with those issues.

Joe George, president of Cox Automotive’s mobility group, said in a statement: “This partnership opens another channel of discovery and learning for Cox Automotive. Advancements in battery technology and the electrification of fleets are two of our primary focus areas, and we believe this relationship will prove to be mutually beneficial.”

It was unclear what percentage of equity Cox Automotive was acquiring with its minority investment. It will have a representative on Rivian’s board of directors. The two companies will remain independent.

Tesla Battery Guru Jeff Dahn Claims New FB m derfdjLithium-Ion Thomx gr Cell Outperforms Solid-State morningioujniioatteriesyou svbnygtegdgd


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Tesla watchers know that Jeff Dahn and his team at Dalhousie University near Halifax, Nova Scotia, are world leaders in lithium-ion battery research. For years, Dahn worked exclusively for 3M, but when that arrangement ended, Tesla swooped in and signed a contract for Dahn to work for the Silicon Valley car/tech/energy company.

In addition, solid-state batteries are less like to catch fire or explode if they get too hot. That in turn means electric car manufacturers can make simpler, less costly cooling systems for their battery packs, driving down the cost of EVs. It also reassures the public their shiny new electric cars aren’t going to explode in the garage, as recently happened to the owner of a Hyundai Kona EV in Canada.

Research published by Dahn and his team in the journal Nature Energy on July 15 reveals they have created new lithium-ion pouch cells that may outperform solid-state technology battery. Here’s the abstract of that research report:

“Cells with lithium-metal anodes are viewed as the most viable future technology, with higher energy density than existing lithium-ion batteries. Many researchers believe that for lithium-metal cells, the typical liquid electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries must be replaced with a solid-state electrolyte to maintain the flat, dendrite-free lithium morphologies necessary for long-term stable cycling.

“Here, we show that anode-free lithium-metal pouch cells with a dual-salt LiDFOB/LiBF4 liquid electrolyte have 80% capacity remaining after 90 charge–discharge cycles, which is the longest life demonstrated to date for cells with zero excess lithium. The liquid electrolyte enables smooth dendrite-free lithium morphology comprised of densely packed columns even after 50 charge — discharge cycles. NMR measurements reveal that the electrolyte salts responsible for the excellent lithium morphology are slowly consumed during cycling.”

Jeff-Dahn-Pouch-Cell-Research

Credit: Jeff Dahn, et al./Nature Energy

Those pesky dendrites are the bane of lithium-ion batteries. They are little projections like stalagmites in caves that can poke through the insulating layer inside individual cells, leading to short circuits and potential fires. Eliminating them would be a big step forward, particularly for use in electric vehicles.

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Is Tesla on the verge of replacing the cylindrical cells in its battery packs with Jeff Dahn’s pouch cells? Not just yet. There is a lot of research and testing left to do before they becomes suitable for commercial production, but they may signal an important step forward for energy storage in the years ahead.

Below is a video of Dahn when he won the prestigious National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada award in 2017. Here is a fellow who knows what he is talking about. If he says pouch cells can outperform solid state cells, we should pay heed.

Nano One (Burnaby, B.C.) granted important Battery Material Patent in the U.S.


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Dr. Stephen Campbell, Chief Technology Officer at Nano One Materials Corporation has announced the issuance of US Patent No. 10,374,232. In the race to commercialize lithium ion battery powered electric vehicles, this patent adds value to Nano One’s high energy cathode materials as it defines the unique physical form of the powdered materials and provides a proprietary means of improving durability, safety, handling and cost.

Dr. Campbell said “This patent is particularly significant as it defines the properties of our high energy NMC cathode powders, rather than the underlying process to make them. These powders have unique physical properties, related to size and nanostructure, that Nano One is exploiting for improved durability, handling, safety and cost. It complements our process patent portfolio and adds substantially to our strategy with recently announced automotive partners to develop a new generation of low cost and durable high energy cathodes.”

NMC cathodes are typically comprised of lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt. There are global initiatives underway to increase nickel for more energy and reduce cobalt to mitigate supply chain risk. However, this shift to nickel-rich materials compromises stability and safety in the battery, and the air sensitive materials require special handling. Nano One’s unique powders are differentiated from these efforts and they enable an innovative approach to lowering cost and increasing the durability of NMC powders.

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Utilizing proprietary manufacturing technologies, which are themselves protected by patents in the US, Canada, Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea, Nano One is able to carefully control the formation of lithium ion battery materials resulting in unique forms and improved electrical properties. The improved NMC materials themselves are now patent protected in the US and Korea.

“The granting of this patent is great news”, said Dr. Joseph Guy, Director of Nano One and Patent Agent. “Our NMC powders are different because of very fine particles and layered nanostructures. It gives Nano One a sustainable means of differentiating its NMC cathode powder for improved performance and cost in lithium ion batteries. This is an important cornerstone in the execution of Nano One’s business plan and provides valuable leverage going forward.”

S Campbell 1

 

Profile: Dr. Stephen Campbell

Rivian electric pickup truck will be able to steer like a tank — here’s what it looks like


Rivian’s electric pickup truck, the R1T, is going to have some special features, and one less known about is the ability to steer like a tank.

 

After the unveiling event last year, we took a close look at Rivian’s R1T all-electric pickup truck, and I was so impressed that I ordered one.

It’s equipped with four electric motors, each a 147 kW power capacity at the wheel, while the total power output can be configured to different levels, from 300 kW to 562 kW (input to gearbox).

The system gives Rivian an incredible ability to control to torque at the wheel, which the company can use to steer the pickup truck almost like a tank.

Auto Vision produced a CGI video showing what this tank steering could look like on the Rivian R1T:

While this video is CGI, we have seen an actual video, which Rivian has yet to release, of a prototype of the R1T doing exactly that, and even more impressive tank steering.

As for the other specs, the different power levels (300 kW to 562 kW) match different choices of battery packs, which are another impressive feature since they have the highest capacity of any other passenger electric vehicle out there: 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and 180 kWh.

Rivian says that it will translate to “230+ miles, 300+ miles, and 400+ miles” of range on a full charge.

They’re talking about a charge rate of up to 160 kW at fast-charging stations and an 11-kW onboard charger for level 2 charging.

The automaker is trying to bring the truck to market by the end of next year with a starting price of $69,000.

Electrek’s Take

This CGI video is an interesting example, but I have to say that the actual video we saw of the prototype was way more impressive.

It actually showed the electric truck basically doing multiple 360-degree turns in place.

At the time, we were told that Rivian was working on a way to only allow owners to make that happen off-road on softer surfaces than asphalt in order to avoid destroying the tires.

It could be a useful and fun feature for off-road driving, and Rivian has been really showing the capability of using its electric pickup truck off-road, including with a cool camper mode of the Rivian R1T pickup.

I really can’t wait to test that truck.

Update: All-Electric Car Range, Price & More Compared For U.S. – July 2019


The BEV offer in the U.S. is getting more attractive on both ends – affordable and high-end. 

The third quarter of this year brings us several changes in pricing and availability of all-electric cars in the U.S.– those changes are mostly related to Tesla models.

First of all, from July on, Tesla buyers can count on only $1,875 of federal tax credit (instead of $3,750). Secondly, Tesla lowered prices of 3/S/X and dropped some versions entirely. Other than that, we didn’t note any important changes, but as always in the car business – the real prices can be much lower than MSRP (like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, for example) or much higher than MSRP (when a particular model is production constrained).

Below we attached a comparison in the form of a table as well as charts, sorted by range and by price. Each position is a separate model (or version if there are differences in range or powertrain).

All-Electric Cars Compared By Range, U.S. – July 22, 2019

The range of BEVs varies from less than 60 miles to 370 miles (595 km), according to the EPA. Six Tesla versions are above 300 miles, in total 16 BEVs are above 200 miles.

All-Electric Cars Compared By Price, U.S. – July 22, 2019

Taking into consideration MSRP and deducting the federal tax credit, the base 200+ mile range electric cars start at around $30,000.

As many Chevrolet dealers often lower the Bolt EV price by several thousand, you could get a 200+ mile BEV for less than $30,000.

** Some models estimated.

Article re-posted from InsideEvs.

BMW and Jaguar Land Rover to jointly develop electric car parts


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW and Jaguar Land Rover on Wednesday said they will jointly develop electric motors, transmissions and power electronics, unveiling yet another industry alliance designed to lower the costs of developing electric cars.

Both carmakers are under pressure to roll out zero-emission vehicles to meet stringent anti-pollution rules, but have struggled to maintain profit margins faced with the rising costs of making electric, connected and autonomous cars.

“Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” said BMW board member Klaus Froehlich.

BMW and Jaguar Land Rover said they will save costs through shared development, production planning and joint purchasing of electric car components. Both companies will produce electric drivetrains in their own manufacturing facilities, BMW said.

The BMW Jaguar Land Rover pact comes as rivals Fiat Chrysler and Renault explore a $35 billion tie-up of the Italian-American and French car making groups.

Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering director said, “We’ve proven we can build world beating electric cars but now we need to scale the technology to support the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover products.

BMW was in talks with rival Daimler about developing electric car components but was also in discussions with Jaguar Land Rover, a company it once owned, to explore an alliance on engines.

BMW already has a deal to supply an 8 cylinder engine to Jaguar Land Rover.

Land Rover Elec download

Carmakers are increasingly open to sharing electric car parts because the technology is expensive and because customers no longer buy a car based on what engine a vehicle has.

“Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric car technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric car tech. They all accelerate fast, and everybody can do quality and ride and handling,” according to Carl-Peter Forster a former chief executive of Tata Motors and a former BMW executive.

Jaguar Land Rover is still run by former BMW managers, including Ralf Speth the company’s chief executive who spent 20 years at BMW prior to joining JLR, and Wolfgang Ziebart, the engineer who oversaw Jaguar’s iPace electric car program, who is a former head of research and development at BMW.

Jaguar Land Rover said it would redouble efforts to cut costs after it posted a $4 billion loss earlier this year, hit by a downturn in demand for sports utility vehicles in China and a regulatory clampdown on diesel emissions.

BMW bought Britain’s Rover Group, which included the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, for 800 million pounds in 1994 only to sell Jaguar Land Rover to Ford in March 2000 for $2.7 billion. In 2008 India’s Tata Group bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for $2.3 billion.

The Tesla Effect is Reaching Critical Mass – Could it Really Put Big Oil on the Defensive … Really?


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*** This article appeared in TESLARATI and was re-posted in Fully Charged. We have Followed and Written a LOT about the ‘Coming EV Revolution’, about Advances in Charging Stations and Battery Technology. Most recently we posted an article ‘What If Green Energy Isn’t the Future?’

So maybe … just maybe, ‘Green Energy’ might NOT be able to meet the current Projected Carbon Fuel Replacement Schedule …. However, could the EV/ Hydrogen Fuel Cell Revolution replace forever the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)?  (Hint: We Think So!)

Let Us Know What YOU think! Leave us your thoughts and comments. (below)

Headed by vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, the electric car revolution is showing no signs of stopping. The auto landscape today is very different from what it was years ago. Before, only Tesla and a few automakers were pushing electric cars, and the Model S was proving to the industry that EVs could be objectively better than internal combustion vehicles. Today, practically every automaker has plans to release electric cars. EV startup Bollinger Motors CEO Robert Bollinger summed it up best: “If you want to start a (car company) now, it has to be electric.”

CATALYSTS FOR A TRANSITION

A critical difference between then and now is that veteran automakers today are coming up with decent electric vehicles. No longer were EVs glorified golf carts and compliance cars; today’s electric vehicles are just as attractive, sleek, and powerful than their internal combustion peers. The auto industry has warmed up to electric vehicles as well. The Jaguar I-PACE has been collecting awards left and right since its release, and more recently, the Kia Niro EV was dubbed by Popular Mechanics as the recipient of its Car of the Year award.

A survey by CarGurus earlier this year revealed that 34% of car buyers are open to purchasing an electric car within the next ten years. A survey among young people in the UK last year revealed even more encouraging results, with 50% of respondents stating that they want electric cars. Amidst the disruption being brought about by the Tesla Model 3, which has all but dominated EV sales since production ramped last year, experienced automakers have responded in kind. Volkswagen recently debuted the ID.3, Audi has the e-tron, Hyundai has the Kona EV, and Mercedes-Benz has the EQC. Even Porsche, a low-volume car manufacturer, is attracting the high-end legacy market with the Taycan.

At this point, it appears that Tesla’s mission is going well underway. With the market now open to the idea of electric vehicles, there is an excellent chance that EV adoption will only increase from this point on.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Semi. (Credit: Tesla)

BIG OIL FEELS A CHANGE IN THE WIND

Passenger cars are the No.1 source of demand for oil, and with the potential emergence of a transportation industry whose life and death does not rely on a gas pump, Big Oil could soon find itself on the defensive. Depending on how quickly the auto industry could shift entirely to sustainable transportation and how seriously governments handle issues like climate change, “peak oil” could happen a couple of decades or a few years from now. This could adversely affect investors in the oil industry, who might be at risk of losing their investments if peak oil happens faster than expected. JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, described this potential scenario in a statement to CNN. “Look at what happened to the coal industry. You have to keep that in the back of your mind and be vigilant. It can turn very, very quickly,” the strategist said.

Paul Sankey of Mizuho Securities previously mentioned that a “Tesla Effect” is starting to be felt in the oil markets. According to the analyst, the Tesla Effect is an increasingly prevalent concept today which states that while the 20th century was driven by oil, the 21st century will be driven by electricity. This, together with the growing movements against climate change today, does not bode well for the oil industry. Adam White, an equity strategist at SunTrust Advisory, stated that investors might not be looking at the oil market with optimism anymore. “A lot of damage has already been done. People are jaded towards the industry,” he said.

Prospective oil developments have been fraudulently overvalued, as claimed by a Complaint filed against Exxon. (Photo: Pixabay)

An analysis from Barclays points to the world’s reliance on oil peaking somewhere between 2030 and 2035, provided that countries keep to their low-carbon goals. The investment bank also noted that peak oil could happen as early as 2025 if more aggressive climate change initiatives are adopted on a wider scale. This all but makes investments in oil stocks very risky in the 2020s, and this risk gets amplified if electric vehicles become more mainstream. Sverre Alvik of research firm DNV GL described this concern. “By 2030, oil shareholders will feel the impact. Electric vehicles are likely to cause light vehicle oil demand to plunge by nearly 50% by 2040,” Alvik said.

Some of today’s prolific oil producers appear to be making the necessary preparations for peak oil’s inevitable decline. Amidst pressures from shareholders, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total have expanded their operations into solar, wind, and electric charging, seemingly as a means to future-proof themselves. On the flipside, there are also big oil players that are ramping their activities. Earlier this month, financial titan Warren Buffet, who recently expressed his skepticism towards Elon Musk’s plan of introducing an insurance service for Tesla’s electric cars, committed $10 billion to Occidental Petroleum, one of the largest oil and gas exploration companies in the United States.

A POINT OF NO RETURN

The auto industry is now at a point where a real transition towards electrification is happening. Tesla’s efforts over the years, from the original Roadster to the Model 3, have played a huge part in this transition. Tesla, as well as its CEO, Elon Musk, have awakened the public’s eye about the viability of electric cars, while showing the auto industry that there is a demand for good, well-designed EVs. Nevertheless, Tesla still has a long journey ahead of it, as the company ramps its activities in the energy storage sector. If Tesla Energy mobilizes and becomes as disruptive as the company’s electric car division, it would deal yet another blow to the oil industry.

At this point, it is pertinent for veteran automakers that have released their own electric cars to ensure that they do not stop. Legacy car makers had long talked the talk when it came to electric vehicles, but today, it is time to walk the walk. German automaker Volkswagen could be a big player in this transition, as hinted at by the reception of its all-electric car, the ID.3. The ID.3 launch was successful, with Volkswagen getting 10,000 preorders for the vehicle in just 24 hours. The German carmaker should see this as writing on the wall: the demand for EVs is there.

The Volkswagen ID.3. (Credit: Volkswagen)

The Volkswagen ID.3 is not as quick or sleek as a Tesla Model 3, nor does it last as long on the road between charges. But considering its price point and its badge, it does not have to be. Volkswagen states that the ID.3 will be priced below 40,000 euros ($45,000) in Germany, which should make it attainable for car buyers in the country.  If done right, the ID.3 could be the second coming of the Beetle, ultimately becoming a car that redeems the company from the stigma of the Dieselgate scandal. Thus, it would be a great shame if Volkswagen drops the ball on the ID.3.

Tesla will likely remain a divisive company for years to come; Elon Musk, even more so. Nevertheless, Tesla and what it stands for is slowly becoming an idea, one that connotes hope for something better and cleaner for the future. And if history’s victories and tragedies are any indication, once something becomes an idea, an intangible concept, it becomes impossible to kill.

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Mobility Disruption | Tony Seba

Tony Seba, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Author and Thought Leader, Lecturer at Stanford University, Keynote The reinvention and connection between infrastructure and mobility will fundamentally disrupt the clean transport model.

Nano-Enabled Batteries and Super Capacitors