Ava Stoyanova rounds up the past week in EV news
A lot has happened in the world of electric transport over the past week. Sustainability seems to be the keyword in all four corners of the world, from Utrecht opening the largest bike parking garage to China being reported to have exported over 42% of all EV sales in 2016, leaving Europe and the US far behind.
However, Japan is not giving up so easily. Nissan is reportedly offering EV owners in Denmark the opportunity to earn as much as $1,530 per year by simply parking their vehicles at the Enel charge points and feeding excess power back into the grid.
Start-up Chanje also made headlines, with the announcement that is preparing to launch a fleet of medium-duty electric vans to revolutionise the so-called “last-mile” delivery industry by the end of the year. The American start-up dreams big and will also provide a micro-grid depot to ensure power storage, grid services and charging points for its large fleet customers.
That may sound very exciting for the sustainability nerds amongst us, but this is certainly not all that happened in the green automotive market last week. Here are our Top 3 most important electric developments, including Toyota, Intel and Tesla.
The Big-Data Automotive Consortium
Thursday was a big day for the convergence of data on electric vehicles, with the giants Toyota and Ericsson announcing the setup of the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium. This aims to use big data to support services such as intelligent driving, real-time maps and driving assistance based on cloud computing.
This move is not unique in itself, as others such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes are also working towards converging real-time data in a cloud network. The good news is that competition tends to bring progress and the world of EVs can only become more exciting in the coming years, with exabytes of information being shared in a constant flow.
Intel tests car-to-cloud
Speaking of big data in real-time, Intel has come to the forefront of technological testing of self-driving vehicles after successfully tending Mobileye to start building a fleet of fully autonomous cars to be launched in the US, Israel and Europe. Intel’s open compute platforms and expertise in data will be coupled with Mobileye computer vision, sensing, fusion and mapping to provide for a complete car-to-cloud system. The fleet of test cars will include diverse brands to demonstrate the importance of technology in testing for various geographical locations.
Tesla and Michigan remain in gridlock
As the highs of the Model 3 launch begin to subside, last week seemed greyer than usual for Tesla, with the Silicon Valley giant locked in an ongoing lawsuit with the state of Michigan over state franchise law, which requires the automaker to only sell its vehicles via an independently owned and franchised dealership.
Tesla steadfastly refuses to operate according to the traditional model, making it virtually impossible for excited Michigan residents who may have reserved the Model 3 to actually have it delivered to their door. They may have to consider driving to the neighbouring states of Illinois and Ohio, as a settlement is not to be reached in the foreseeable future.
Tesla has earned its title of an industry giant, but will it live up to see a special treatment by Michigan? It seems unlikely, and raises the question of how far the automaker will go in its efforts do everything its own way.