Auto Industry

The Electric Mini is Here! Meet the 2020 Mini Cooper SE

The original Mini from the 1960s was a marvel of packaging engineering, fitting a tight little FWD power train and room for four adults into a cartoonishly small, 2-box shape. With its low weight and innovative suspension design, it became a giant-killer on racetracks and a favorite among car enthusiasts. Combined with distinctive styling, the Mini provided a formula that made it an obvious pick for BMW (Mini’s parent company) to “resurrect” during the late 1990’s retro craze that saw crosstown rivals, VW, enjoy a massively profitable run of New Beetle sales. Given the car’s small size and urban demographic, there has been talk of electrification for the Mini for over a decade— but the electric Mini never materialized. Until now, that is. Meet the new fo...

Production-ready Electric Porsche Taycan Breaks Cover in China

Get Plugged In In a Hurry? Here are the major points of this post. Porsche’s First Electric Car is Almost Ready This is the Tesla Model S’ First Real Competition Seen here roaming the streets of Shanghai and the track outside the Porsche Experience Center (PEC) is the ultra-quick, fully electric Porsche Taycan super-sedan in full production spec. trim. And you’ll probably see it again, too– that’s because this pre-production Taycan prototype is setting off on something of a “world tour” ahead of its official unveiling at this September’s Frankfurt Auto Show. To say that the Porsche Taycan has been hotly anticipated is an understatement. With more than 600 HP on tap from its electric motors, the slinky Porsche is expected to blast from 0-60 MP...

Majority of Electric Vehicles were Made in the U.S., says the DOE

According to the Untied States Department of Energy (DOE) roughly 75% of all plug-in electric vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2018 were produced right at home. In fact, from 2012-2018, the United States has been the leader in both EV manufacturing and overall sales. Since 2011 when the DOE began collecting data on EV sales, sales of EVs have skyrocketed worldwide from approximately 18 thousand units in 2011 to approximately 361 thousand units in 2018. Although not strictly an EV (the vehicle can run on gas if the battery does not have enough charge), the Chevy Volt Hybrid plug-in was the number one selling plug-in car in the U.S. in 2018 with over 152 thousand units being sold. In second place was the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan with over 143 thousand units sold and right behind it was t...

Volkswagen Secures EV Batteries Through 2023

Between its Volkswagen, Audi, and Seat brands, the Volkswagen Group has committed to building more than 300,000 electric vehicles in 2021. That’s a whole lot of electric cars from the company that, not too long ago, was touting the benefits of “clean diesel”. As such, you can imagine that some people doubted the company’s commitment ability to deliver. VW, though, claims they’ve locked down a battery supplier … for a full three years. “I can confirm that for the first years of our plan, a sufficient supply of cells has been contractually secured,” said Thomas Ulbrich, the Volkswagen brand management board member in charge of electric mobility. He also added that the contract would ensure this was the case until 2023 in a bid to remove all dou...

Video: the Insane, 968HP Ferrari SF90 Hybrid Hypercar

When Ferrari released its first production hybrid, the Ferrari La Ferrari, the execs in charge of the Italian brand promised the purists that no Ferrari would even run on purely electric power. Well, times do seem to have changed, because this all-new Ferrari is more than just a battery-boosted, 900+ HP hypercar. It’s called the SF90, and it’s a battery-boosted, 900+ HP hypercar capable of running 15 miles on purely electric power. As for the car, itself, the new SF90 makes use of Ferrari’s existing, 660HP 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 from the (relatively) more pedestrian 488 GTB. In the SF90, though, that engine’s output is combined with 3 high-torque electric motors and good for a combined 968HP. It’s both clever, and new. “The SF90 Stradale is the ...

Tesla Accused of Violating Labor Laws, Firing Unionizers

Tesla has been battling the business shortcomings of Elon Musk’s personality on several fronts over the last few months, but now it seems like the company may have crossed the line separating unsavory activity and illegal activity. According to unfair labor practice charges against the company filed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by the United Steel Workers’ Union, Tesla allegedly engaged in coercive actions such as surveillance and illegal firing at its Gigafactory plants in New York and California. The United Steel Workers aren’t the only ones involved, either. The USW is acting in concert with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to organize the Tesla facility’s employees and bargain for improved benefits and working conditions. If su...

Saab Will Never Die: NEVS Gets Massive, $23 Billion Investment

It’s called Evergrande, and– as China’s second-largest developer with developments in over 170 cities– it’s one of the largest real estate companies in the world. Impressive as that is, it seems to be just the beginning of Evergrande’s story. That’s because the company just invested twenty-three billion (with a “b”) dollars into building manufacturing facilities for electric carmaker NEVS, with plans to build 1 million electric cars and 500 GWh of batteries per year. “Evergrande aims to invest 160 billion yuan in Guangzhou’s Nansha district to set up three major bases for new energy vehicles,” according to a statement the Nansha local government sent to the Global Times last Wednesday. “One of the bases will have the c...

Illinois Doubles Gas Tax, Cuts Proposed EV Fee Hikes

The State of Illinois recently passed some pretty serious measures to curb– or, at least, tax the snot out of– the proliferation of fossil fuel-burning vehicles. In addition to doubling the State’s gas tax, Illinois lawmakers have increased the cost of registering gas-powered cars by more than 50%. The change in fee prices follows a proposed hike in the cost of electric vehicle registration from $17.50 to $1000 (yeah, that says “one thousand US/American dollars”). The justification of the proposed hike was that, since gas taxes fund road maintenance and EV owners don’t buy gas, EV drivers weren’t paying their fair share of escalating infrastructure costs. In something of an about-face on the matter, Illinois put that burden even more squarely on ga...

Pickman Half Ton Electric Truck to Sell for $5700

It’s cute, electric, and– at just $5700– surprisingly affordable. It’s the kind of thing Americans see when in Asia and wonder why we can’t have it here. In this case, however, we can! It’s called the Pickman, and this tiny electric truck is coming to a job site near you! The Pickman made by China’s Kaiyun Motors and comes with a 5.5HP electric motor that’s good for hauling up to 1100 lbs., a top speed of 28 MPH (though, probably not at the same time), and a 75 mile driving range. It’s not much, but it’s more than enough to get around a job site and creep quietly through suburban neighborhoods– which is bound to be a huge selling point to contractors and municipalities. When you factor in optional upgrades like hard doors and clim...

Skip the Super Bowl, Win a Volvo (Maybe)

Are you looking for an excuse to avoid the Super Bowl and– worse!– the people who “only watch it for the commercials”? Volvo has just the thing: a new app that lets you stare at the screen for a chance to win an all-new 2019 Volvo S60. The app is simple. You literally stare at the app, and it uses your phone or tablet’s camera to detect eye contact. If you break your concentration and look away, you lose. It’s basically a reverse chicken game, except the top three players win a new Volvo. Which, if you ask me, is both awesome and absolutely ridiculous– the best kind of marketing! You can check out the official press release, below, then let us know what you think of Volvo’s new staring contest in the comments section at the bottom of the page...

Koenigsegg Set to Save Electrified Saab Project

Have you ever heard the saying, “cats have nine lives”? Well, cats have nothing on Saab— the Swedish brand that has managed to cheat death a few times already is set to receive $165 million cash injection and help from hybrid supercar maker Christian von Koenigsegg. For its part, Koenigsegg will contribute intellectual property and engineering expertise to a new “Saab” joint venture. The brand’s current owner, Chinese electric carmaker, NEVS, will put in the cash and its properties. The plan is to start delivering an all-electric Saab 9-3 Phoenix similar to the one shown here to Swedish and Chinese customers by– let’s say “2020”. Is this really it? Is Saab back? Will China’s expanding electric car charging network help its c...

TSLA Forecasting Q1 Loss After Cutting Jobs

Analysts are changing their expectations for a TSLA profit in Q1 after Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, warned of a “very difficult” road ahead for the electric car builder. Now, a lot of the Wall Street money has TSLA forecasting a Q1 loss. This report comes after the January 18th announcement that Tesla would cut thousands of jobs. In that announcement, Elon Musk, himself, said the moves were part of an effort for the electric car maker to target a “tiny profit” in the first quarter, “with great difficulty, effort and some luck.” The analyst consensus on Jan. 21 turned to a loss for the first quarter and stands at $2.5 million. Analysts on average were expecting Tesla to post a profit of $62.80 million on a reported basis as of Jan. 17, according to Refini...