Inside Electric Vehicles - March 16th, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Mar 16th, 2020)

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1. The first deliveries of the Tesla Model Y happened over the weekend, ahead of schedule. Electrek noticed several reports of delivery confirmations scheduled on Friday and Saturday in Washington, Oregon, and California; Teslike’s Model Y survey and order tracker also confirmed these were delivered during the weekend, with some scheduled for this week. All of the initial deliveries are “Performance” variants of the vehicle. When the vehicle was announced, Tesla said it would deliver these Model Y Performance variants in Fall 2020. — ELECTREK

2. Tesla added a heat pump to the Model Y, which will help the vehicle deliver consistent range in cold climates. This discovery was made after the automaker published its owner manual online. The manual says the vehicle uses the heat pump to maximize efficiency, meaning the air conditioning compressor and fan may still run and make noise when its cold, and the vehicle is heating or supercharging. This ultimately means less lost range for users in colder temperatures, as EVs typically use energy to heat up their batteries. — ELECTREK

3. Workhorse Group is reportedly putting the development of its electric pickup truck on hold. The company wanted to launch an electric pickup truck with a range extender, dubbed the W-15, but discontinued the project several months ago. The company said the truck had over 6,000 preorders and was going to retail for $52,500, with an expected range of about 80 miles on the battery and about 310 miles using the range extender. But the company said a change in management about a year ago led to the decision to continue with its core business of vans and other last-mile delivery systems. — ELECTRIVE

4. Volkswagen is temporarily closing its Chattanooga production facility for one day, over coronavirus preparedness. The closure will allow the automaker to take preventative action in sanitizing and deep cleaning the plant. The company is also giving workers the day off to allow them to make arrangements amid school closures in the surrounding areas. — WRCB TV

5. Ford is shutting down a production facility located in Spain for at least one week, after three employees tested positive for coronavirus. The facility, one of Ford’s largest outside of the U.S., is located in the eastern region of Valencia. The company said it had isolated all employees that had contact with the infected workers. The factory employs more than 7,000 workers and makes over 40,000 vehicles per year. — REUTERS

6. Fast charging could potentially damage electric vehicle batteries, according to researcj from the University of California [UC], Riverside. In a new study published in Energy Storage, researchers found that after the first 13 charging cycles, battery units that used “industrial fast charging” began to see a decline in battery capacity. After 40 fast-charging battery cycles, the unit was only able to maintain about 60 percent of its storage capacity. The researchers filed a patent for an adaptive internal resistance fast-charging algorithm that can be licensed by battery makers and automakers, which results in more consistent battery capacity. — UC RIVERSIDE

7. Volkswagen confirmed a summer launch for its ID.3 electric vehicle. The automaker will be delivering its “First Edition” models during the summer, with virtually all 30,000 of those vehicles being delivered simultaneously. The automaker also claimed that its ID.3 would be less expensive, in terms of acquisition and operation, than a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle. The ID.3 was delayed after 10,000 vehicles were manufactured without the ability to accept over-the-air software updates. — CLEAN TECHNICA

8. U.S. car dealerships are already reporting a decline in vehicle sales, amid fears of the coronavirus. One vehicle sales industry outlook from Cox Automotive predicts negative U.S. economic growth for Q2 2020, withdrawing its previous forecast of 16.6 million new vehicle sales in the U.S. for the year. Morgan Stanley analyst, Adam Jonas, recommended that the Trump administration consider a revival of a “Cash for Clunkers” program, which would incentive Americans to trade in their older vehicles for newer, more fuel-efficient models. — REUTERS

9. Four challenges with the commercialization of solid-state batteries were outlined by researchers at UC San Diego. The work was financially supported by LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries, and the full research can be seen here. The study said creating stable solid electrolyte chemical interfaces, scalable and cost-efficient manufacturability, batteries designed for recyclability and creating new tools for “in operando" diagnosis will be essential to the commercialization of the technology. — GREEN CAR CONGRESS

10. FossBytes explores using your Tesla Model X or Model S as a camper amid the coronavirus pandemic. The vehicles do come with a HEPA filter and a biohazard air conditioning mode, which helps filter out about 99.7 percent of all pollutants while driving. However, the Tesla Model 3 does not come with a HEPA filter, although drivers can install an aftermarket filter. — FOSSBYTES

Johan Moreno is the writer and curator of Inside’s mobility-focused newsletters (Inside Automotive and Transportation). He joined in February 2017 and has written over 700 issues of both newsletters collectively, so he knows a thing or two about the development of electric vehicles, autonomous cars and more.

Johan is also a contributing writer for Forbes and works for J.D. Power, an automotive data and analytics firm. For this reason, Johan does not include Forbes links or discusses anything related to J.D. Power in newsletters, to avoid conflicts of interest. Before that, he wrote for The Orange County Register's "Wheels" section, alongside veteran automotive journalist Susan Carpenter. 

Follow him on Twitter: @dudejohan

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