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Posts Tagged ‘Electric Car’

Will Tesla and Google Kill the German Car?

Posted by hkarner - 6. November 2019

Date: 05-11-2019

The End of an Era

Threatened by entrepreneurs in California and by Chinese upstarts, German automakers are urgently trying to find their place in a new world of robots and electric cars. BMW, Daimler, Audi and VW set the standards for a century but have now fallen behind.

Germany Faces the Electric Car

History will be written on Nov. 4 at the VW plant in Zwickau, Germany. Anyone lucky enough to recently visit the factory, which is sealed behind blue rolling doors, entered into a secret world, a hidden industrial laboratory to which only a few Volkswagen employees have access. In its „ghost run,“ or test operation, orange-colored robots run by highly complex programs and aided by humans and machines assembled eight electric model-ID.3 cars per day for testing purposes. Serial production is now set to begin on Nov. 4. Depending on how you see it, this marks either the beginning or the end of an era.

In the future, 1,500 electric Volkswagen cars are to roll off the assembly line at the plant in the eastern state of Saxony every day, a total of 330,000 vehicles every year, in what the company describes as the „largest and most efficient electric car factory in Europe.“ The designers of the new compact, C-class ID.3 want to make it a 21st century icon, just as the VW Beetle and VW Golf were in their heydays. That’s advertising language, of course, but even from a neutral perspective, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of what is happening: In Zwickau, Volkswagen is ringing the death knell for the combustion engine. By 2040, VW plans to cease manufacturing all cars that run on gasoline or diesel fuel. It’s the end of an era.

And what a momentous era it was. It lasted over 100 years, and was shaped in decisive ways by German inventors and engineers — courageous entrepreneurs, visionary designers and highly competent, skilled workers. During this era, German automobiles became the epitome of the highest quality workmanship around the world. A time when Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi, and the objects of global prestige they produced, became ambassadors for Germany. Their finely tuned engines were models for industrial excellence. German cars were considered „das Auto“ par excellence and Audi’s advertising slogan „Vorsprung durch Technik“ (Progress through technology) became one of the few German terms actually known in English. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How China Positioned Itself to Dominate the Future of Electric Cars

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2019

Date: 03-11-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Beijing built the world’s largest EV market, then pressured foreign car makers to use its batteries

SHANGHAI—A little-known Chinese company has become the world’s biggest maker of electric vehicle batteries.

Beijing engineered a scenario that didn’t give the world much choice.

China is by far the biggest EV market, and to boost its standing in the fast-growing industry, China began pressuring foreign auto makers to use locally-made batteries in the country several years ago. One company—Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., known as CATL—was the only shop capable of producing them at scale.

Auto makers weren’t pleased, but they fell in line. During a visit to CATL headquarters in 2017, three Daimler AG executives displayed their irritation shortly after the meeting started, recalled Jiang Lingfeng, then a CATL project manager who prepared a technical briefing for the visitors. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rise of Electric Cars Threatens to Drain German Growth

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2019

Date: 16-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Industry executives worry that a transition away from fuel-powered vehicles threatens jobs, tax revenue

Workers assemble sports cars at a Porsche factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany.

STUTTGART, Germany—Concern is rising in Europe’s automobile heartland about the economic impact of the industry’s move to electric vehicles from gasoline-powered cars.

Officials and executives in Germany fear the country’s big car companies and rich ecosystem of suppliers and service providers are insufficiently prepared for the transition, and that their leadership may not be assured in an electric-car world, threatening jobs, tax revenue and even growth.

Assembling electric cars isn’t as complex or labor intensive as making traditional vehicles and relies partly on imported technology. At the same time, China has made rapid forays in electrification and is shaping up as a potentially formidable competitor in the field. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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GM, Volkswagen Say Goodbye to Hybrid Vehicles

Posted by hkarner - 14. August 2019

Date: 13-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Toyota, Ford plan to keep hybrids as core part of their lineups, showing split in auto industry

GM plans to launch 20 fully electric vehicles world-wide in the next four years, including plug-in models for the Cadillac brand.

Auto makers for two decades have leaned on hybrid vehicles to help them comply with regulations on fuel consumption and give customers greener options in the showroom. Now, two of the world’s largest car manufacturers say they see no future for hybrids in their U.S. lineups.

General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG are concentrating their investment on fully electric cars, viewing hybrids—which save fuel by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor—as only a bridge to meeting tougher tailpipe-emissions requirements, particularly in China and Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s Dirty Green Cars

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2019

Date: 24-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Berlin and Brussels stifle innovation by picking ‘winners.’

A Tesla Inc. Model 3 electric automobile .

Germany’s worst industrial scandal in recent memory arrived when auto companies fiddled with emissions tests to make diesel cars seem greener than they are. Now a new study suggests that electric cars touted as a diesel alternative also aren’t so great for the environment.

A study this month by the IFO think tank in Munich found that a popular electric car releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than a comparable diesel engine. The authors compared CO2 output for a Tesla Model 3 and a Mercedes C220d sedan. They calculated that the diesel Mercedes releases about 141 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven, including the carbon emitted to drill, refine and transport its fuel. The Tesla? Between 156 and 181 grams.

The main Tesla problem—and subject of a long-running debate—concerns the CO2 emitted to manufacture the battery. The IFO report pegs this at between 73 and 98 grams per kilometer, assuming a 10-year battery life at 15,000 kilometers of driving per year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Running On Empty

Posted by hkarner - 1. März 2019

Date: 28-02-2019
Source: DER SPIEGEL By Alexander Jung

Germany Lags Behind Asia in E-Car Battery Race

The Chinese conglomerate CATL wants to build Europe’s largest electric car battery plant near Erfurt, Germany. Having failed to build a gigafactory of their own, German carmakers are worried the project represents a mortal threat.

The vulnerability of the German auto industry will soon be on full display at a major highway junction near Erfurt. The Chinese conglomerate CATL plans to build a factory for electric car batteries smack dab in the middle of the country. If all goes according to plan, it will take up 87 hectares (215 acres), making it the largest such factory in Germany and perhaps even in Europe.

Construction is due to start in March or April of this year and is supposed to move quickly. Matthias Zentgraf, 55, the European head of CATL, isn’t leaving that open to doubt. Zentgraf was born in Offenbach, not far from Frankfurt, and has spent years working in the German car industry. On a laptop, he demonstrates how his company does things by showing images from the city of Ningde, in southeastern China, where CATL’s headquarters is located. As he types on the keyboard, buildings grow taller, just like the video game „SimCity.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Autoshow in Guangzhou China gibt Vollstrom

Posted by hkarner - 21. November 2018

Dicke Elektro-SUV für 15.000 Euro: Chinesische Autohersteller greifen westliche Konzerne mit Wucht an. Wie weit die Newcomer gekommen sind, zeigt ein Rundgang auf der Messe von Guangzhou.

Aus Guangzhou berichtet

Dienstag, 20.11.2018   04:33 Uhr, spiegel.de

Der Markt hat sich zuletzt etwas abgekühlt, doch China bleibt mit Abstand die größte PS-Nation der Welt: Von Januar bis Oktober 2018 wurden in der Volksrepublik 18 Millionen Fahrzeuge zugelassen. In der EU waren es 13 Millionen, in den USA gut 14 Millionen.

Von dieser Stellung Chinas profitierten bisher besonders die Importeure, allen voran aus Deutschland. Die chinesischen Marken ignorierten Autofahrer weitgehend, im Ausland wurden sie lange belächelt.

Üppige Elektro-SUV für 15.000 Euro Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Fraunhofer-Studie: Umstellung auf Elektroantriebe könnte Zehntausende Jobs kosten

Posted by hkarner - 6. Juni 2018

Durch die zunehmende Elektroauto-Produktion könnten laut einer Studie der Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Deutschland etwa 75.000 Stellen wegfallen – bei einem schnelleren Umstieg wären noch mehr Jobs betroffen.

Von Michael Kröger, spiegel.de

Dienstag, 05.06.2018 15:32 Uhr

Noch begegnet die Autonation Deutschland dem Elektromobil mit Skepsis. Die Käufer zögern, weil die geringe Reichweite den Nutzen ebenso einschränkt, wie die langen Ladezeiten. Hinzu kommt der hohe Preis, trotz staatlicher Fördergelder. Die Autobauer leisten ebenfalls eher Widerstand, denn noch besitzt niemand ein Patentrezept, wie der Strukturwandel zu bewältigen ist, der mit dem Umstieg zwangsläufig verbunden ist.

Alarmiert sind auch die Arbeitnehmer, speziell diejenigen, die bislang an der Produktion der Motoren und Getriebe mitgearbeitet haben. Denn Maschinen zu bedienen, die einen Kolben für einen Benzinmotor fräsen, ist eine ganz andere Arbeit, als feine Drähte zu Spulen zu wickeln, wie sie für E-Maschinen gebraucht werden. Außerdem besteht Letzterer gerade einmal aus rund 25 Teilen, ein Vierzylinder dagegen aus mehr als 1000, das Getriebe noch nicht mitgerechnet. Es ist also leicht vorauszusehen, dass ein Großteil der Arbeitsplätze überflüssig wird, wenn das E-Mobil zum Standard wird. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why China Will Beat Tesla in the Electric Car Race

Posted by hkarner - 22. Januar 2018

Date: 21-01-2018
Source: TIME

From a cursory look at the recent news from Tesla, a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the dream of transitioning the world to electric vehicles has stalled. The Tesla brand is more closely associated with electric vehicles than any other, and in the past year the company has struggled to deliver the $35,000 Model 3. CEO and founder Elon Musk described the internal delays related to producing Tesla’s battery and an outside supplier’s falling behind as “production hell,” while customers vented on social media and the company declared a record third-quarter loss of more than $600 million.

As Tesla scrambles to maintain its position as the world’s foremost electric-vehicle brand, traditional automakers in the U.S. and Europe have invested billions of dollars to advance the technology. And a slew of Chinese companies are churning out hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles a year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Toyota Sees Half of Sales Coming From Hybrids, EVs

Posted by hkarner - 14. Dezember 2017

Date: 14-12-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Akio Toyoda projects selling about 5.5 million hybrid and electric vehicles by 2030

Akio Toyoda disclosed a target for EVs at a news conference where he announced cooperation on battery technology with Panasonic.

TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp.’s president on Wednesday became the latest auto chief to offer ambitious targets for hybrid and electric vehicles, saying the category would make up half of Toyota’s global sales by 2030.

Akio Toyoda unexpectedly disclosed the target at a news conference where he announced cooperation on battery technology with Panasonic Corp. Mr. Toyoda said underlings might scold him afterward for releasing a specific figure, but he said he wanted to stress the industry’s rapid shifts.

“The auto industry is now facing a major change of the kind that comes once in a 100 years,” he said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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