This Week in EV News: BMW i6, Porsche Taycan Sales, Lithium Mines, and More!

by Denis Gurskiy

Happy August everyone and welcome to another edition of our weekly round up, where we recount the EV news that we didn’t cover at length. This week we saw rumors surround the BMW iNEXT becoming the i6 along with news of multiple lithium mines opening up, assuaging fears a lithium shortage. Along with the EV news that we did not cover, we have a recap of all the EV news that we did cover in length at the bottom as well, in case you missed it.

BMW iNEXT Rumored to Be Named i6 and Have Three Versions

A recent report from Automobile Magazine states that the iNEXT as we know it will make its debut as the i6. Not only that, but according to their source, the i6 will be offered in three different versions:

  • Heat I
    • 63 kWh battery
    • 459 km (285 miles) of range
    • rear-wheel drive
    • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds
    • 250 kW electric motor
  • Heat II
    • 92 kWh battery
    • 563 km (350 miles) of range
    • all-wheel drive
    • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds
    • system output of 320 kW
  • Heat III
    • 103 kWh battery
    • 603 km (375 miles) of range
    • all-wheel drive
    • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds
    • system output of 400 kW

On top of that, there is said to be an even higher rated i6S which will have a 115 kWh battery pack. Obviously at this point the pricing is still up in the air, but the report states that the price range will stretch from €72K to about €110K before any sort of options.
Read More Via Automobile Magazine

Porsche Taycan Has Recorded 30,000 Reservations

There are many people patiently waiting for the unveil of the production version of the Porsche Taycan, after all it is the first electric car from an established automaker that can be seen as a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S. Production of the Porsche Taycan was initially slated to be around 20,000 a year, with stirrings of possibly increasing up to 40,000 a year if needed. A few months ago, Porsche had stated that if all 20,000 of their pre-orders convert into buys, then the first year run of the Taycan has sold out. With they hype rising, understandably the pre-order number has gone up as well. In a recent interview with Handelsblatt, Andreas Haffner, Porsche HR director, stated that:

“There are 30,000 orders for the Taycan,”

Its important to note that this is not just 30,000 who are “interested” in the car, these are 30,000+ people who have coughed up $2,500 to reserve the car without even seeing the production version. It’s a good sign for the electric car world to see such high interest for a sedan that will cost upwards of $100,000. Now we have to see if Porsche will commit to 40,000 Taycans a year, or if some of these buyers will have to wait for next year’s run to get their car.
Read More Via Handelsblatt

New Lithium Mines Open and Bring down Shortage Concerns

Ever since electric cars started gaining in popularity, the fear of a industry-halting lithium shortage became apparent. A shortage of the ever-important battery element would basically kill off any chance of electric cars becoming mainstream (unless some other battery chemistry was found). However a recent report from Bloomberg looks to assuage some of the fears that electric car enthusiasts might have. The report states that the price of lithium had almost tripled from mid-2015 to mid-2018. However, in 2017 there was an opening of six lithium mines in Australia. Unfortunately there has been a slowdown in demand the largest electric car market, China. This has actually caused a surplus in the supply and as such the price of lithium has dropped by 30% and analysts are convinced that it could go lower. However with a tsunami of new electric cars hitting the market in the next three years, the demand will soon catch up with the supply. The report states that they expect the supply of lithium will have to more than ten-fold by 2030 to keep up with the expected demand. At which point, I expect these shortage fears to resurface once again.
Read More Via Bloomberg

The Fresco Reverie Is Norway’s Entrance into the Electric Car World

While Norway is known for its huge love of electric vehicles, it does not offer any homegrown options for its citizens. That is looking to change with Fresco Motors unveiling their Fresco Reverie. I will use the word “unveil” lightly as the company denies to comment on the existence of a prototype and all we have are computer-generated images of what it’s supposed to look like. But if we look past that, the Reverie offers some interesting features. First the specs: top speed of 186 mph, a 0-62 mph time in 2 seconds, and a range that is TBD, but will be a “long one”. The Reverie has a 4-speed transmission with overdrive powered by an electric AC induction motor. A very interesting feature as most EVs use have a one-speed transmission, with the upcoming Porsche Taycan having a 2-speed. An even cooler feature is their modular battery design. Espen Kvalvik, CEO at Fresco Motors, stated that:

“It results in reduced service time. If a module is damaged, you do not have to replace an entire battery of approximately 1,100 lb (500 kg). There is a lot of confidential information you are looking for, but I can say that our battery works kind of like a drawer. Plug and play,”

A very cool concept, and even if the car doesn’t live up to the expectations, I hope to see this battery technology in play. Along with that, the company will also offer a portable battery backup to kind of act like a gas-can would for a regular gas-powered car. The size of the Reverie is in between that of the Model S and Model 3 so it will be a plausible competitor to both of those goliaths. Fresco Motors is already excepting reservations for the car and is expecting to start deliveries in 2021. Of course, I don’t blame people for being skeptical given that we do not even see a physical representation for the car. Nonetheless, keep an eye out and see if you’ll be surprised in a few years.
Read More Via InsideEVs

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