Electric Car News Roundup – 35

electric car news

Time 2019 Person Of The Year-Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg sits in silence in the cabin of a boat that will take her across the Atlantic Ocean. Inside, there’s a cow skull hanging on the wall, a faded globe, a child’s yellow raincoat. Outside, it’s a tempest: rain pelts the boat, ice coats the decks, and the sea batters the vessel that will take this slight girl, her father and a few companions from Virginia to Portugal. For a moment, it’s as if Thunberg were the eye of a hurricane, a pool of resolve at the center of swirling chaos. 

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg (credit: TIME)

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This Swedish girl has inspired far beyond her generation and geography.  For that alone she is remarkable.  But what truly makes her worthy of such a distinguished accolade is the ‘message she carries’ for billions around the world “We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow.”  

In fact, we at e-zoomed wrote about her in September 2019.  In the article we made the assertion ‘There is a Greta in many of us, and she will only grow taller.’  Her becoming the TIME’s Person of the Year 2019, has certainly made her taller in stature!  Our world of zero-emission road transportation is very closely linked to the broader issues of climate change and her world and ours are inextricably linked.  Today is a day of pride for each one of us battling to protect our only home: earth.  We applaud Greta Thunberg as loudly as humanly possible! 

China Electric-Car Startups NIO, Xpeng Team Up In Charging 

Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturers NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors agreed to share charging stations as well as related services and data, seeking to spur EV demand and curb costs. NIO and Xpeng customers can charge their cars using either companies’ facilities with no extra fees, the companies said Wednesday. NIO will also provide home-charger installation services for some Xpeng customers. 

plug in hybrid electric vehicle
Electric Car Charging

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This is indeed welcome news, but more importantly a critical step in encouraging consumers to migrate from internal combustion engine (ICE) to zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs).  In fact, the combination of range anxiety, concern over lack of adequate charging infrastructure and the lack of ‘open access charging networks‘, has formed a ‘perfect storm’ in discouraging consumers to take the first step towards electric driving.  

This is not an issue isolated to China but is applicable to many markets, to include the UK, where there are a number of different charging networks, many of which are yet to become truly open access.  However, in the UK, there is some good news in this regards in 2019, as network operators have understood the importance and urgency of ‘common protocols’ and seamless open access for public charging points.  Many network operators in the UK are now allowing open access in joint agreements, similar to the collaboration between the Chinese companies.

On a side note, the UK the government has commenced a consultation process to introduce legislation that will make it mandatory for new-build homes to be fitted with electric car charging points, in the hope to increase charging infrastructure.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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