Ford to Build an Electric Vehicle Using Tech From EV Start-Up

Ford to Build an Electric Vehicle Using Tech From EV Start-Up

The presence of U.S-based car manufacturer Ford in the world of electric vehicles (EVs) is admittedly tiny. But to say that it’s non-existent would be an incorrect statement to make. They’re making small steps to immerse themselves into the EV space in ways that fit Ford seamlessly. They previously announced the planned development of a fully electric F-150 and a crossover inspired by their iconic Mustang. But more could perhaps be put into development sooner than expected.

Ford has recently announced their intentions to invest $500 million into Rivian, an EV startup company. In return, Ford will have a minority stake in Rivian.

This is said to because Ford sees this deal as a “significant opportunity” to put a new EV onto the market sooner than if this deal wasn’t in place.

With this investment, Rivian’s technology will be used in an upcoming EV that’s been designed by Ford.

It won’t affect the previously mentioned vehicles; rather, it’s for a whole new EV. Unfortunately for eager consumers, no other information as to what kind of vehicle it will be has been available. Early speculation had been that it was a pickup truck, but that rumour was promptly squashed. With neither Ford nor Rivian disclosing this information, consumers have been forced to wonder what both companies have in store for them.

As previously mentioned, this isn’t the only thing Ford has done in the EV space. In the past, they announced their commitment to developing other EVs to the tune of a staggering $11 billion. But the American car manufacturer has said that their partnership with Rivian will allow them to learn more about EVs now more than ever before.

When it comes to Rivian, this partnership is sure to be one of their most profitable. But it’s also not their only one. A few months prior, they announced a $700 million investment with corporate giant Amazon. They also received another partnership with German-born car manufacturer Volkswagen. Rivian is said to be developing more models for other companies, although that list of companies isn’t known. The CEO has explained that they’re currently focused on their newfound corporate relationships, as well as launching and executing their products properly.

Ford’s partnership with Rivian is sure to produce a high quality EV that many consumers will enjoy driving. The only questions are what kind of vehicle will it be, and when it will be available for consumers to purchase. It will take plenty of time before those questions and many more will be answered.

 

Until then, consumers can continue to speculate what will come from Ford and Rivian working together.

Source: The Verge

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Canada’s EV Charging Network Continues to Grow.

Canada’s EV Charging Network Continues to Grow.

With the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) growing at a rapid rate throughout Canada, there’s also a growing demand for electric chargers. After all, having way more EVs driving on the road means that there will need to be more EV chargers available for drivers. The last thing anyone wants is for their car to die out in the middle of nowhere.

Petro-Canada and Electrify Canada- owned by Volkswagen- are currently in the process of building out more EV charging networks.

This is set to take place throughout the year, with the help of provincial utilities and similar adopters. Petro-Canada has revealed that they’re going to build 50 EV charging networks across the Trans-Canada Highway, as well as parts of Northern Ontario and the Prairies.

Meanwhile the latter, Electrify Canada, claims that they’ll have 32 EV charging stations available for consumer usage by the end of the quarter.

These stations are going to be built at the Calgary-Vancouver and Québec City-Windsor corridors. Their chargers are capable of carrying 350 kilowatts- a charge that can add 200 kilometres of range in just eight minutes.

These announcements are respectively large and important, especially to those who own an EV in Canada. But they’re far from the only ones. Ateco- an Alberta-based company- had announced back in February that they were going to build about 20 charging networks south of the province by the end of 2019. Such chargers currently live in both Glacier and Yoho National Parks. Popular American EV company Tesla has already started building their own EV charging network, with both chargers and vehicles that support 350 kilowatts of power. These are much smaller than the previously mentioned initiatives, but there’s still important to mention.

Building all of these EV charging networks ensures that those who own an EV are less likely to be without a place to charge their vehicles. These chargers support a capacity of 50 kilowatts, and can charge 320 kilometres of an EV’s range in about an hour. This is far and away faster than the overnight charging of a 6.6 kilowatt level two charger- a charger that most any EV owner can have installed at their own home. This makes these specific EV chargers more powerful and more reliable.

The idea behind installing more EV chargers isn’t just to make the lives of their owners easier. It’s to also help encourage potential consumers from buying one. The psychology behind this is that a potential consumer will realize that the fear of being unable to keep their EV properly charged is unfounded. Not just because of the growth of Canada’s EV charging network, but also the current size of the charging network. There’s already over 500 fast chargers across Canada from over 400 level two and level three charging sites. These sites can be found in behind buildings, near garages, and in parking lots, just to name a few locations.

If you don’t own an EV- or simply don’t care about them- then this move may be seen as a surprise.

But the effort of increasing Canada’s EV charging network is not a surprise for the federal government. The Liberal government had previously committed about $130 million for five years to build chargers and grow charging networks in underprivileged areas of the country. There’s speculation that they’re going to receive some flack from companies for the EV charging network growing. This is due to the high price, increased strain, and reduced battery life from an overheated charger. There’s almost a struggle to find and maintain a balance of power density and energy density.

It’s clear that it’s going to take several years for Canada’s EV charging network to grow to as big as many wish it could be now. It’s also going to be a lot of work to try and keep consumers and companies both happy with their respective wants and needs regarding the matter.

But with the right people dedicated to making it happen, there’s no doubt that Canada will be growing their EV charging network at an alarming rate.

Source: CTV News

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This Audi Electric SUV is Set to Rival Tesla’s Model Y

This Audi Electric SUV is Set to Rival Tesla’s Model Y

Plenty of car manufacturers have announced their plans to build electric vehicles (EVs) to some extent. Some had grand plans to make multiple EVs over several years; others show one planned vehicles, since it’s their first step into the world of EVs. In the case of luxury car company Audi, they’ve fallen under the latter category- and plan to take on some stiff competition in the process.

At the Geneva auto show in Switzerland, Audi revealed the launch of the Q4 e-tron concept.

This particular design has been seen as a thinly veiled variation of the production itself. That is set to begin globally sometime in late 2020. This means that EVs could be for sale at Audi dealerships by early 2021 in a growing sea of competition.
This includes the Tesla Model Y, which was also announced earlier this year.

The Q4 e-tron is said to be based off the Volkswagen Group’s electric MEB platform.

This will allow the EV to take advantage of the full electrification’s packaging possibilities. Meanwhile, it will harness the economies of sale that’s often associated with the spread out of MEB models over all the brands under the Volkswagen Group’s umbrella. So this EV concept is beneficial in a number of ways.

Audi’s Q4 e-tron concept can go from zero to 62 MPH in just 6.3 seconds, thanks in large part to its 300 horsepower. It’s also capable of hitting a top speed of 112 MPH, boosting its electric range and creating a shorter drive ratio. Both factors will make the EV agile and responsive for the driver behind the wheel. Its 82 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery can last for over 280 miles, and weighs 1124. The latter fact is seen as more impressive than fellow EVs.

As for motors, there are two within this EV; a synchronous electric motor in its rear, and an asynchronous motor in the front. Rear-biased torque distribution; 50/50 front and rear weight balance; and a fast torque management system ensures that the Q4 e-tron is an agile EV for consumers to enjoy driving. In addition, there’s both a MacPherson front and multilink rear suspension. Each have adaptive dampers- a little fact that will put many consumers at ease when it comes to their safety when driving Audi’s EV.

While its mechanical prowess is clearly impressive, its appearance is nothing to ignore. The Q4 e-tron is measured at 180.7 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, and 63.4 inches tall. This classifies it as a compact-crossover SUV, making it a great fit for those that need more storage, yet wish to drive a vehicle that’s considered to be sporty. There’s also a 109.1-inch wheelbase, and the EV stands on 22-inch wheels and 265/40 Pirelli P Zero rubber.

 

It’s stylish due to its horizontal-slatted grille, horizontal light bar, and massive fenders. Fancy features such as electronic camera-based rearview mirrors, although most critics argue that such things aren’t necessary for such a sleek vehicle- electric or otherwise. 

Audi’s Q4 e-tron concept shouldn’t be dismissed as just another sporty cross-over SUV. It’s an EV that’s a mechanical force to be reckoned with in its own right. Between its strong horsepower, dual motors, and lithium-ion battery, this is one EV offering that should not go unnoticed- both by consumers and competitors alike. Even as the latter continues to grow exponentially, Audi just might be able to hold their own upon release.

Source: CarandDriver

 

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Here’s Why Toyota Won’t Sell Electric Vehicles

Here’s Why Toyota Won’t Sell Electric Vehicles

Many car companies are hopping onto the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon, seemingly without a second thought. Whether it’s because they genuinely want their cars to be better for the environment or just want to appeal to those who love EVs, it’s hard to find a car manufacturer who isn’t making EVs.

That being said, there’s one notable car manufacturer who falls into that category- Toyota.

The popular Japan-based car company has yet to contribute to the EV space. Granted, they’ve made plenty gas-electric hybrid versions of existing models- from the Prius to the Corolla- to show their support of green initiatives.

Still, Toyota has yet to make a move in making EVs. It also doesn’t look as though that will change anytime soon

But perhaps there’s a reason for it.

At the 2019 Geneva auto show in Switzerland, Toyota’s Vice-President of research and development in Europe, Gerald Killmann, explained why the company won’t make EVs. The reason is all about battery production capacity; or rather, a lack of it. Toyota is not limited in their battery production, although it’s significantly lower than, say, EV powerhouse Tesla. Instead, the former is allocating their battery production elsewhere- specifically, their hybrids.

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Killmann went on to explain that their battery production could go towards the manufacturing of about 28 000 EVs per year. Alternately, it could be put towards building 1.5 million hybrids. The dramatic difference is not nothing; making so many hybrids reduces carbon emissions a third more than just 28 000 EVs. The environmental impact of 1.5 million hybrids is clearly better than the few EVs they could make. Plus, vehicle prices can stay at a reasonable rate.

There’s more to it than that, though. The batteries in Toyota hybrids are often comprised of nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) chemistry. They’re cheaper than their lithium-ion counterparts, but that’s not all. Their susceptibility to memory-related degradation aren’d drastic, meaning that they’re less of an issue.

 

For those itching to purchase an EV from Toyota, it looks as though such a dream will never ever happen. Killmann’s explanation for why the company prefers hybrids over EVs may create plenty of disagreement, but it could also create admiration from potential customers.

But who knows? Perhaps one day down the road, Toyota will change their mind and build the best EV the world has ever seen before. They have the capabilities of doing it, so it’s not a stretch.

Source: Car and Driver

 

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Tesla’s Model 3 Will be the Prime Target at Upcoming Hacker Contest

Tesla’s Model 3 Will be the Prime Target at Upcoming Hacker Contest

Tesla’s Model 3 is no doubt going to be an extremely innovative car in its own right.

The most obvious reason for this is because it’s an electric vehicle- it’s far more environmentally friendly than any gas-powered vehicle that’s out there. Another reason it’s innovative is in regards to its high level of security.

But just how much does Tesla believe in the Model 3’s digital security?

Well, according to The Verge, Tesla is so confident that they’ve allowed a Model 3 to be the object of a hacking contest.

The Pwn2Own contest has chosen the Model 3 for their competitors to hack into. It’s a first for this contest, making this an unprecedented move. Furthermore, it will be the only vehicle to participate in the automotive category. The idea is that the hackers will have to try and find a new way to compromise the security of the Model 3. Whoever wins in this category gets to take this sexy, powerful vehicle home as their prize.

The contest in question- often referred to as just Pwn2Own- is arguably the largest event for competitive security research.

Here, hackers on the rise are allowed to put their skills on display while trying to find undiscovered vulnerabilities in popular programs.

Those who partake in this contest not only have the chance to win prizes, but also to earn money, too. Pwn2Own has managed to produce a lot of hacks for browsers; especially back in 2015, when one hacker found vulnerabilities in Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. the hacker received $225 000; it’s clear that this contest is fruitful for companies and hackers alike.

It may seem odd and even a little risky for Tesla to allow a contest for hackers to hack into one of their vehicles. But it isn’t exactly a one-off for the car company.

Tesla has had a bug bounty program since 2014 for researchers to find vulnerabilities in exchange for a payment.

Such a program is not unusual; there’s similar programs in place for both Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. But considering Tesla is often targeted by hackers, having this kind of program in place will no doubt keep them up-to-date on their vehicles’ digital security.

Source: The Verge

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Volkswagen Will Build Their EV Crossover in 2020 in the United States

Volkswagen Will Build Their EV Crossover in 2020 in the United States

German car manufacturer Volkswagen is now set to build an Electric Vehicle Crossover in the United States.

While many people are no doubt eager to purchase the all-electric Microbus, its long-awaited 2022 arrival will leave them ansty in the meantime.

If there’s any consolation however, it’s that an EV Crossover is set to arrive by 2020.

Volkswagen announced this revelation at the Los Angeles car show, adding that it will be riding their MEB modular platform.

That last bit is particularly significant because it will make it the first vehicle from the manufacturer to hit the U.S. with the MEB platform.

This new EV Crossover is said to share many similarities with the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz in terms of both style and substance. The I.D.Crozz- which had debuted originally in Shanghai, China before crossing over to Los Angeles, California- works with both a 201 horsepower rear-axle mounted motor for forward momentum; and a 101 horsepower front-axle mounted motor to boost the former. Both motors are powered by an 83 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery, which is kept out of sight within the floorboard. Volkswagen claims that this battery can reach upwards of 300 miles on a single charge, and can reach an 80 percent charge after a half hour of being plugged into the 150 kWh DC Charger.

 

Unfortunately for all those interested in Volkswagen’s newest offering, no more details have been released by the car manufacturer- or from anyone else, for that matter. But if everything that we do know is in fact true, then this EV will more than likely be extremely successful.

But only until after its release in 2020 will its success or failure be fully realized.

Source: Car and Driver

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