Look out, Tesla and Mercedes!
Henrik Fisker is back with a successor to the Karma, which he calls the Fisker EMotion. His new electric sports GT, which debuted at the CES in Las Vegas, will challenge the EV purveyors to the rich and famous when it debuts at the end of 2019.
A design-forward re-entry to the EV business
The slinky, curvy four- or five-seat sedan will be built from carbon fiber and aluminum to save weight. The unique design features four butterfly doors with touch-sensitive sensors, for a dramatic effect and easy entry and exit. And you won’t forget your key—you can open the car with your smartphone.
The EMotion is expected to rocket from 0-60 mph in under three seconds, thanks to a 575-kW (780 horsepower) motor fed by a whopping 143-kWh battery.
New Battery Tech
This Tesla Model S competitor will up the ante with more than 400 miles of range on a charge. And those charges should be quick. Fisker claims the new battery will accumulate 125 miles of range in a mere nine minutes. For even greater convenience, in 2023, Fisker’s cars are slated to move to solid state batteries with two-and-a-half times the capacity of today’s lithium-ion batteries. These will offer incredible one-minute charging, per Fisker.
Open for business–send cash
With five Lidar sensors and connected systems, the EMotion is expected to offer Level 4 autonomy.
Naturally, all is gorgeous inside. Under the electrochromatic tinted roof, leather is standard, but you can order a vegan-friendly interior. The driver gets three display screens, and rear passengers can enjoy their own screens, too.
Taking the Tesla marketing style as a model, the California-based Fisker, Inc. will sell cars directly to consumers through Fisker Experience Centers; eventually, the company hopes to build more than 400.
Plan on spending at least $129,900 for an EMotion. Send in your refundable deposit of $2,000 and you can be one of the lucky first buyers on the list. See https://www.fiskerinc.com for details.
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All-new Hydrogen-Powered Crossover Debuts at CES 2018
Hyundai was first on the market in 2014 with a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) version of its Tucson compact SUV. After several years of real world testing, Hyundai announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that an all-new FCEV, the Nexo, is coming in late 2018 as a 2019 model.
Hyundai’s next generation fuel cell electric vehicle is the Nexo FCEV
Hyundai was very smart in placing its hydrogen technology in a crossover, one of the hottest car segments in the country. With the Nexo, improvements over the current Tucson FCEV (which Clean Fleet Report recently tested) are noticeable and impressive.
The Nexo is a dedicated design and platform, differing from the Tucson FCEV, which was shared with the gasoline-powered Tucson. Being a purpose-built vehicle has several benefits, including placing the battery and fuel cell systems in optimum locations for increased interior cabin space and better weight distribution for improved handling and balance.
The Nexo has a 120-kW motor, which delivers 291 pounds-feet of torque, and a 40-kW battery, all increases over the outgoing Tucson. The numbers that potential owners will be interested in though are the 9.5 seconds 0-60, and a 370-mile estimated driving range.
Advanced Technology Testbed
The Nexo will come with advanced driver assistance technologies, including a Blind-spot View Monitor, Lane Following Assist, Highway Driving Assist and Remote Smart Parking Assist. All these systems are anticipated to be available when the Nexo goes on sale later this year.
This new technology led to the enticing tidbit revealed today at CES—Hyundai’s plans to use the Nexo as its test vehicle for the development of autonomous driving. Hyundai showed a short video where the Nexo was cruising along on a mountain road with the driver’s hands not on the steering wheel. To accomplish its goal of a self-driving car, Hyundai has entered into a partnership with Aurora, a Silicon Valley company headed by a former Google autonomous vehicle executive.
A California Car
The lack of hydrogen pumps will limit Nexo’s availability
Pricing was not announced, but if Hyundai stays true to its history, the Nexo will be somewhere in the same price range as the three current hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market—its Tucson, the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity. Anticipate the Nexo will be available on a lease-only basis and, until further hydrogen fuel station development takes place, it will only be for sale in California.
The Nexo joins Hyundai’s line of the three Ioniq models (a battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid). The Nexo will be a strong compliment to these and should be an indication that Hyundai is not stopping its development of electrified vehicles.
Clean Fleet Report will have a full review on the 2019 Nexo when it is made available to the automotive media.
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All-Electric SUV Features Massive Display Screen
Finally, it looks like one of the Chinese-financed, Silicon Valley-oriented electric vehicle startups appears to be paying attention to the current market. Byton, headquartered in Nanjing, China, but with design offices in Munich, a technology office in Silicon Valley and three other Chinese offices, introduced its first concept car at CES yesterday. It’s all-electric, of course, but more important, it’s a midsize SUV/crossover.
The overall shape is not revolutionary, but the powertrain is–for a crossover
That exterior may be less important than the interior from Byton’s perspective, but more on that later. When Clean Fleet Report was on a tour of Byton’s Silicon Valley offices last month, the details offered on the car were sketchy, but intriguing. The company’s up-front partnership with key suppliers—Robert Bosch and Fuerencia—was highlighted. Those relationships, usually hidden or minimized by both OEMs and startup EV companies, were presented as proofpoints of the viability of the Byton operation. The technology, much of it coming from the Santa Clara, Calif., office, including huge display screens with sophisticated human-machine interface (HMI) options, an extensive use of facial recognition and a high level of autonomous technology. None of this was exception on its own (something shared by the car itself), but the total package appears to be Byton’s main value proposition.
Speaking of value proposition, the company said it expects the car to retail for about $45,000 when it comes to the U.S. in 2020. It will first be retailed in China, where it will be built. The platform architecture on which the unnamed SUV will be built will underpin the two following models, a sedan and a multipurpose vehicle (van in Chinese parlance) that will follow in 2031 and 2022.
Coming in Two Flavors
The 5-door SUV, which follows the basic shape and layout of its gas, diesel and hybrid competitors, will come in two flavors. The entry-level two-wheel drive model, which will start at $45,000, will have a single 268 horsepower (hp, 200 kW) motor driving the rear wheels and backed by a 71 kWh battery that delivers a promised 248-mile range. The four-wheel drive version will pack two motors with a total of 402 hp (300 kW) and a 95 kWh battery pack good for a 323 mile range. It’s pricing hasn’t been announced. Like most fast-charge capable EVs, the Byton will be able to recharge to 80 percent of capacity within 30 minutes at a rate of 12 kW/minute.
The whole package is in a 115-inch wheelbase, 191-inch overall midsize crossover, a slightly longer wheelbase than the category stalwart Lexus RX 450, but within a couple inches in overall length.
The Big Screen
Byton’s big news—and we aren’t throwing hyperbole this time—is inside. The front seat passengers will be confronted with a 49-inch wide, 9.8-inch high screen that will recognize the occupants and deliver personalized entertainment and information. It will respond to voice, gesture and touch. It’s augmented by an eight-inch screen in the steering wheel, another first, and two large screens on the seat backs for any rear passengers. The comparisons about cars becoming iPhones on wheels are becoming a physical reality. At the company’s Silicon Valley launch, executives
Screens accompany you and interact with you throughout the Byton
The front seats from Faurencia swivel in 12 degrees to facilitate activities while the car is in autonomous mode. The initial models are expected to ship with Level 3 autonomy, similar to what is currently found in Teslas and the latest Cadillac, but Byton expects a Level 4 system to be enabled with a software upgrade by the time the cars come to America.
At the Silicon Valley headquarters launch, Dr. Daniel Kirchert, an automobile industry veteran who is president and co-founder of Byton, talked frankly about the financial aspects of a startup. While they have a Chinese plant with a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles/year under construction, they expect to use the driveable concept they just introduced (they had three on stage) as part of a fundraising campaign they’ll undertake at mid-year. Like many EV concepts we’ve seen during the past couple years, the Byton still has some ground to cover before it can join the rank of auto companies.
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The Evolution of Car Sharing
Car sharing has changed dramatically since Clean Fleet Report first reported on it a decade ago. While it was picking up steam at that point, in the years since it has morphed and been influenced by changing technology, both in vehicles and in the software that enables the service. Some big players have jumped in and then retreated. Some small players were gobbled up by bigger companies. Where car sharing once resembled a rent-by-the-hour system that was a more decentralized version of the traditional car rental, it has now become a ubiquitous system that includes shared use and even cars that drive themselves. The changes keep coming as illustrated in this recent update. We recently took a look at a brand-new local iteration run by the local auto club, but using software developed and being used by many others.
Car sharing and ride sharing are blurring together
Car sharing allows households to own only one car, instead of two or three, or for some to forgo car ownership completely, using the variations of car sharing and services to pick a vehicle or ride for a given task and location. For some Americans it gives a chance to drive and experience a different car, maybe an electric car they might be thinking of purchasing.
Like they say about real estate, with car sharing it is location, location, location. The best program for you is a function of where you live and your mobility requirements. But take a look at the variety of program available. One of the gurus of car sharing, Dr. Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley, says we are in the age of shared mobility where new modes of alternative transportation services are making great changes. “Pushed primarily by demographic shifts, societal attitudes toward ownership, and advances in mobile technology, these modes are growing rapidly and becoming more numerous,” she commented recently. She outlines the variety of choices available in a white paper. For her car sharing had subcategories of:
Car sharing is expanding our mobility
- Personal Vehicle Sharing (which can include fractional ownership models)
Then there’s scooter sharing and bike sharing (also with subcategories of public, closed campus and peer-to-peer [P2P]). Autonomous technology can overlay much of this as well.
Competing with car sharing are alternative transit services (shuttles or microtransit), ride sharing (carpooling or vanpooling), on-demand ride services (ridesourcing, ridesplitting or e-hail services) and courier network services (P2P delivery services and paired on-demand passenger ride and courier services).
The choices can be almost overwhelming, so services like Yelp can help you sort out the consumer-facing side of the choices. Where it used to be Hertz or Avis–or the taxi–the choices now are much more complex.
According to Navigant Research, it’s not going to change soon. Their take on car sharing and related services was just published. They found: “Mobility as a service (MaaS) solutions such as carsharing, ride-hailing, and micro transit provide much more flexibility while also enabling the replacement of 5-20 individually owned vehicles depending on the use cases. According to Navigant Research, global revenue generated by ride-hailing services is expected to grow to almost $1.2 trillion in 2026.”
Although the carshare service model has been well established over the past 15 years, there have been some significant innovations in the market recently. The success of one-way car sharing services is prompting more companies to consider offering this service model. Such services can increase utilization since members can use one-way car sharing for shorter, spur of the moment trips. Automakers have entered this market with good results, building substantial membership levels in only a few years. Meanwhile, the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in car sharing services is expected to increase as automakers promote this technology.
Car companies are aware of these shifts, as you can see below, and are doing their best to try to keep up. This is a subject we’ll keep checking in on as it evolves.
If there was any question about the changing landscape, General Motors’ $500 million investment in the ride sharing company Lyft. The stated goal is to experiment in autonomous on-demand vehicles, hedging the reduction in vehicle sales caused by ride sharing by making GM the preferred vehicle provider for Lyft drivers and integrating connectivity tools like OnStar. Lyft claims it is the fastest-growing ride share service and is available in 190 cities worldwide. Lyft also has rolled out multiple-rider sharing that creates an on-demand carpool.
Coming to get you
Uber is the Hertz to Lyft’s Avis. It’s available in more than 300 cities around the world and offers a variety of vehicles to fit the needs of your trip, whether its an eco-friendly model or the full black limo experience. Uber’s value proposition is that it is cheaper than using a taxi and much cheaper than using a personal car.
Zipcar bills itself as the world’s largest car sharing and car bluc service. It views itself as the logical alternative to car ownership (own the trip, not the car) and traditional car rentals. The company was purchased by Avis in 2013 and operates as a subsidiary of the traditional car rental company. Zipcar has more than one million members worldwide who can reserve and use 10,000 cars in 500 cities in nine countries. In the U.S. Zipcars can be found in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, Sacramento, San Diego,
Zipcar users have a card that unlocks their local cars
San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. as well as universities throughout the country. Zipcar offers more than 50 makes and models of vehicles, including Audis, BMWs, Mini Coopers, pickup trucks, Prius hybrids and more. Each vehicle has a home location: a reserved parking space located on a street, driveway, or neighborhood parking lot in the member’s area, to which it must be returned at the end of the reservation.
Enterprise Car Share
Although Enterprise is known as a car rental giant, they have expanded into cars sharing 10 years ago, featuring a program rich in hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars. Just as UPS has gone beyond delivery to offer large customers complex logistic services, Zipcar offers fleets a growing range of services. For example, the City of Houston better manages vehicle use by adding 50 existing city-owned fleet vehicles, including 25 Nissan LEAFs, with Zipcar’s FastFleet® proprietary fleet sharing technology. Enterprise acquired Philly-Car Share and its 13,000 users, then Mint Cars On-Demand, a car-sharing company serving more than 8,000 members in New York City and Boston. It later added Chicago’s 15,000 IGO car sharing service members and now operates on 130 college campuses, 40 government programs and has 300 business accounts in 35 states, Canada and the U.K.
Hertz on Demand–A Cautionary Tale
Hertz tried to leverage its huge presence to expand into car sharing. Hertz has 8,500 locations in 150 countries. A growing number of hybrid and electric cars are offered in the Hertz Green Travel Collection. Its car share program, Hertz on Demand, launched in December 2008 and grew to more than 1,000 vehicles, 85,000 members and more than 500 locations worldwide, including corporate fleets, airports, hotels, utilities, government, and universities. However, the company pulled the plug on U.S. operations citing a “low return on investment” after a half-dozen years of operation.
Car2Go features short-term Smart ED drives
Car2go, owned by auto giant Daimler, is the world leader in one-way car sharing. Car2go is in 15 North American cities. Car2go is a point-to-point car sharing service. You pay 41 cents a minute. And all without running fixed costs or deposits, parking charges, fuel costs, or recurring annual fees. No surprise fees are charged for being early or late, like some other car sharing services. You can take any of the car2go vehicles you find distributed around you, or you can reserve an available vehicle 30 minutes before you want to drive. That way, you can get to your destination faster. Once you reach your destination, you can either end your trip in accordance with your city’s Parking Rules, or you can keep it if you want to drive further.
A day in the life at Maven Gig
General Motors has got into car-sharing in a big way with Maven, which is now operating in 17 cities. Beyond basic car sharing, Maven has moved into more of a hybrid operation with Maven Gig, where cars, led by the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, are available for all-inclusive weekly rentals for folks working for other car sharing or delivery services. We just interviewed Maven’s chief growth officer and found she’s got bold plans for expansion in this new gig economy.
ReachNow cars now show up on Seattle transit screens
German executives see an increased global interest in using cars as a service, with consumers and fleet managers paying by the minute, hour, and day. BMW ran a successful pilot program of EV car sharing in SF, based on its European model, but went on hiatus because of a lack of progress in securing parking permit regulatory change. ReachNow is starting to ramp up in Portland, Seattle, Brooklyn and other cities. It is big in major German cities where the program also includes the bike sharing that inspired one-way car sharing. They’ve also explored using an app that gives the user alternative transportation options, calculating time and cost for each variable. In addition, it offers options of driving yourself or being picked up and driven to your destination–a blending of car sharing and ride sharing. ReachNow uses the Ridecell technology platform for its service. ReachNow has a fleet of 700 vehicles in Seattle, 360 in Portland and 260 in Brooklyn. Models include the BMW 328xi and 330xi sedans, the electric i3, the BMW X1 SUV, the Mini Cooper (in both 2-door and 4-door configurations) and the Mini Clubman.
Your Chariot awaits–check your phone
Like GM, Daimler and BMW (and other car companies), Ford is taking a big picture view of the car sharing business and has dipped into it by buying the microtransit company Chariot, which is is rapidly expanding around the world. Chariot seeks to supplement mass transit services by providing first/last mile transportation along regular routes based on consumer demand. Ford’s paired this and augmented it with a bike-sharing service. We covered the start-up here.
RelayRides’ peer-to-peer car sharing is part of an emerging trend of the sharing economy. RelayRides enables personal car sharing with web listings, $1 million liability insurance, and GM OnStar support. Investors in RelayRides include Google Ventures and GM Ventures. RelayRides is a leading example of peer-to-peer that is also embraced by other innovators including Wheelz, Getaround, Whipcar, IGO, non-profits, and even pilots among some auto service giants.
Ridesharing to work carries more people each day than transit. Sharing cars and rides is challenging among strangers. Trust is natural for people who work together. vRide makes it easy for individuals, employers, and transportation managers to facilitate carpooling, vanpooling, and park and ride. Similar organizations that help with facilitating, lunch-and-learns, vehicles, insurance, and ride matching include 511.org and Rideshare by Enterprise.
Getaround is free to join. Choose from 1000s of cool cars shared by great people in your neighborhood is the pitch of this peer-to-peer car sharing operation. Convenient hourly and daily rentals. No monthly or annual fees. All Getaround rentals include insurance coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance.
A number of billion dollar giants, venture backed players, and innovators see a major opportunity in the transition for vehicle sales to transportation services. With Daimler, GM and BMW now in the business, Toyota and others are evaluating whether to have their own car sharing program or strengthen partnerships. Audi just invested in Silvercar, what it calls a “next generation” car rental company. Because cars haring is capital intensive, the business is a natural for banking and financial service giants. Sharing, peer-to-peer, and fractional ownership have risk and liability management challenges. Who better to solve these than insurance giant entering the business? With information technology and social networking being integral to innovative mobility sharing, look for new strategic alliances and partnerships.
Bookmark this site and check back as we continue to update this list.
John Addison: Meeting of the Car Sharing Minds
At a meeting several years ago, I (John Addison, founder of Clean Fleet Report) lunched with Zipcar President Mark Norman gave me a good idea of why members prefer the range of carsharing services to owning a car. A member can try an electric car one day, use a larger van to transport 6 people the next, then take an AWD to the mountains on the next. Zipcar’s potential is enormous. By succeeding at a university such as USC in Los Angeles, Zipcar has a base to expand in Southern California’s over 10 million car drivers and massive fleets. I expect Zipcar to soon have over one million members.
Google autonomous car may be the next thing in car sharing
Just as UPS has gone beyond delivery to offer large customers complex logistic services, Zipcar offers fleets a growing range of services. For example, the City of Houston better manages vehicle use by adding 50 existing city-owned fleet vehicles, including 25 Nissan LEAFs, with Zipcar’s FastFleet® proprietary fleet sharing technology. By using Zipcar’s FastFleet technology, the City of Houston configures its fleet footprint in real time for optimal utilization; manages preventive maintenance, fueling, billing, and fleet distribution; and uses Zipcar’s analytics with data automatically captured during every trip. Zipcar’s FastFleet technology is used in Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago where DC officials estimate that they save approximately $1 million per year using FastFleet technology.
I talked with Rick Hutchinson, CEO City CarShare, at Meeting of the Minds. As a non-profit, City CarShare actively works to make urban mobility more effective as people combine walking, bicycling, transit, and carsharing. For 11 years, they have modeled best practices, which others learn from including Zipcar, Enterprise, and independents. City CarShare promotes equity with CommunityShare and AccessMobile. They promote sustainability by taking cars off the road and adding electric vehicles.
Susan Shaheen, Co-Director of Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), has probably done more research about shared-use mobility than anyone. TSRC studies have determined that each carshare membership has resulted in at least 9 vehicles being sold, removed, or purchase-postponed. The biggest shift is one car households becoming car-free due to cars haring; 2 cars to one is another big segment. Her insights greatly helped with this article.
One million U.S. carsharing members will soon become 2 million as people save thousands per year owning one less car. University students, city dwellers, and fleets have new flexibility in getting the right vehicle when needed including roomy sedans, pickup trucks, and even electric cars. Just as we are transitioning from owning expensive computers and software to mobile use of cloud services, transportation has moved beyond just owning a car to a rich menu of transportation services.
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Second Generation Leaf EV Cranks Up in TN Plant
After launching the all-new battery-electric Nissan Leaf in September and starting production in Japan and the UK, the Japanese automaker began U.S. production of the new vehicle yesterday at its Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The automaker said the car will be available at dealerships nationwide starting next month.
The all-new Leaf is already selling well elsewhere in the world
The 2018 Leaf will be offered in S, SV and SL trim levels, with the base Leaf S starting at $29,901 plus destination fees before any incentives. Compared to the outgoing model, the new Leaf has a 40 percent longer driving range (at 150 miles) with more power and features, yet its price starts $690 lower.
Standard on all models is the Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility features including: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and e-Pedal technology, allowing drivers to accelerate and stop using a single pedal. Available is the automaker’s ProPILOT Assist technology, which helps drivers navigate stop-and-go traffic by assisting control of acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane highway driving.
Nissan has been manufacturing the Leaf at the company’s Smyrna site, the largest auto assembly plant in North America, since 2013, with more than 114,550 vehicles sold in the United States since 2011.
“We’re committed to vehicle electrification and manufacturing in the United States. With the Leaf’s low starting price and latest suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, we’re excited to ramp up production and bring the Leaf to market next month,” said Jeff Younginer, vice president of manufacturing at Nissan’s Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant.
Already Off to a Good Start
Sales of the new Leaf EV are already off to a good start. According to Nissan at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October, Nissan Senior Vice President Asako Hoshino told reporters that sales have exceeded expectations, and that it has received more than 9,000 orders in less than two months of availability. Europe has made up 3,500 of those global sales, according to Automotive News Europe. The Nissan Leaf began sales in Norway in early September, followed by Germany, Austria, France and Holland at the beginning of October. EV-friendly Norway has seen more than 2,000 sales of the 2018 Leaf.
The first 2018 Leaf rolls off the line in Smyrna
Those wanting a Leaf with more than a 150-mile driving range will have to wait. A second variant with a 60-kW battery pack, called “e-Plus,” arrives in 2019 with an expected driving range of 225 miles.
The question is, will the 2018 Leaf with its longer driving range, new looks and new features be enough to sway buyers away from the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3?
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