Ford Motor Co. announced it intends to have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup by 2022. 16 will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids. To achieve this goal the automaker is spending $11 billion to develop dedicated electric vehicle architectures. The business plan is to move away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars. GM said last year it would add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its global lineup by 2023. Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022. China, India, France and the United Kingdom all have announced plans to phase out vehicles powered by combustion engines and fossil fuels between 2030 and 2040.

Kia Motors said it will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, as well as an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020. The South Korean automaker also plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with autonomous vehicle testing due to commence in 2021.  Kia aims to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities from 2021 with a new Smart City pilot project. The company wants to make every single model a connected car by 2030.

A survey of 1000 auto executives around the globe by research firm KPMG found a majority think that battery electric cars will fail.  More than three-quarters of these executives think that fuel cell hydrogen vehicles will be the future. Looking at the survey, some auto commentators suggest that all the recent investments in electric vehicles that we are seeing from major automakers are just to comply to regulations until hydrogen vehicles start to make business sense. Gary Silberg, Automotive Sector leader at KPMG LLP said:

“There is no question that automakers are adapting to stricter vehicle efficiency standards around the world, and electrification is a big part of that equation even as manufacturers continue to squeeze miles per gallon out of internal combustion engines. What’s unclear is the value proposition for consumers, especially on vehicles outside of the high-end, premium market. Given the multi-billion dollar investments required, the complex global regulatory environment and rapid technological disruption, there will be clear winners and losers in this EV game.”

Hyundai VP Kisang Lee said hydrogen remains the most viable automobile fuel source for the future due to its long range, zero emissions and fast refueling times. He noted: “We are making pure electric vehicles, but we are prepared for hydrogen to be the next future. Around 2030 the system cost of hydrogen can be more comfortable for pure electric vehicles.” Hyundai expects its hydrogen sales to reach 10,000 globally by 2030, when improved economies of scale and greater recharging infrastructure will help drive down prices. Lee sees hydrogen and electric coexisting:

“In the long term these two technologies can be co-existing. In situations that require big distances, hydrogen can be a big benefit, but in a city where distances are less than 100 kilometers, EVs are very beneficial.”

The Swedish Nordic Hydrogen Corridor project announced will establish eight new hydrogen filling stations for automobiles by 2020. In addition the project will provide financing for 100 hydrogen cars and a central electrolysis production plant. Currently there four hydrogen stations open in Sweden today with two new ones planned to open in Umeå and Stockholm. With the proposed new stations, this will bring the network to 14 stations by 2020.

Nissan has sold its 300,000th Nissan LEAF globally since the model first went on sale in 2010. The battery-electric LEAF is the world’s first mass-produced and best-selling electric car.

Registrations of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the UK last year reached 46,522 units, up 27% from 2016. Approximately 1/3 of the registrations were pure electric vehicles. Geographically, the city of London (9,274) and Eastern England (8,685) registered the most EVs.

According to Clean Energy Canada, only 0.6 of passenger vehicles in Canada are fully electric.  Reasons for the low uptake include that fact the country is vast and cold in winter and electric vehicles lose range in freezing temperatures, partly because efficiency drops and partly because additional power is needed to heat the car.

Tesla had 1,021 operational Superchargers in China at the end of 2017 and intends to add 1000 more this year when it begins to expand to western and central China and Inner Mongolia.

The Ceylon Electricity Board will be be installing 6 electric vehicle charging stations in the city of Colombo as it begins to develop the country’s fast charging infrastructure.  The stations will have charging times ranging between 15-25 minutes, depending on the capacity of the vehicle. The project is part of the Sri Lankan government’s decision to install more than 100 EV charging stations in the nation by 2020.







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