This Week in EV News: BMW i2, All-Electric Airline, and More!

by Denis Gurskiy

Hello everyone and welcome to another addition of our weekly round up, where we recount the EV news that we didn’t cover at length. I hope you all have had a wonderful week. If you are looking for Tesla specific news, our Tesla post this week is a little different as we have chronicled some of the recent features that have been added through software updates.This week we saw a rumor of a possible BMW i3 replacement known as the i2 and we saw the possible start of an all-electric airline. 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 i2 Rumored to Come By 2024

According to a report from German magazine, Manager Magazine, BMW is working a compact electric car smaller or around the same size as the i3, aptly called, the i2. The i3 for some time now has been said to be costing BMW to much money due to its extensive use of materials like carbon fiber. As such, BMW is reportedly targeting a price of under €30,000 (~$33,700) to stay competitive with other compact electric vehicle offerings such as the upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 or Renault Zoe. To accomplish the price point, BMW will more than likely turn to more conventional materials for the body, such as aluminum. With BMW already announced electric cars (iX3, i4, and iNEXT) being on the larger side of the vehicle spectrum, it will be important for BMW to cover their bases with something on the smaller side. This is even more so important with us being unsure about whether or not BMW will continue producing the i3 (at least in its current form) in the future.
Read More Via BMW Blog

Lightning Announced Their Strike Electric Motorcycle

Lightning, maker of the LS-218 electric motorcycle with a top speed of 218 mph, has announced a more grounded electric motorcycle for us to gaze us. Making use of their great brand name, Lightning is calling their new electric motorcycle the ‘Strike’. The Strike has a base price of $12,998 and some very competitive specs. The Strike will come in three trim levels: Carbon Edition, Mid Range, and Standard Range. As you can guess the Carbon Edition is the top of the line model and makes extensive use of carbon fiber. When Lightning starts deliveries in July 2019, the Carbon Edition will be the only one available, followed by the others at a later date. Here is what the specs look like between the three trims:

In terms of range, this is the breakdown:

  • 10 kWh: 70-100 miles highway/city range
  • 15 kWh: 105-150 miles highway/city range
  • 20 kWh: 150-200 miles highway/city range

Range and price wise, the top tier Strikes sits competitively with the Zero Motorcycles SR/F that has a range of 200 miles and a price of around $20,000. With the entry of the Strike, it shows even more how bad a deal the Harley-Davidson Livewire really is.
Read More Via Lightning

China Cuts Back on Its Electric Car Subsidies

There has been a major decrease in subsides from the Chinese government for purchases of electric cars. The Ministry of Finance has announced that the subsidy for pure electric cars that have a range of 400km (250 miles) or more will be cut in half from 50,000 Yuan ($7,400) to 25,000 Yuan ($3,700). Additionally, to qualify for any sort of subsidy, the electric car will now have to have a range of at least 250km (155 miles), up from the 150km (93 miles) it was previously set at. On top of that, the Ministry has asked local governments to remove subsides from the purchases of electric vehicles. Overall for those vehicles with a range of 400km, this can represent a total reduction in subsides by 67%. These changes are being made by the Ministry in order to incentivize local automakers to make better cars and advance their technologies. For some time now, the government has been worried that automakers have been overly reliant on these generous subsidies that have kick started China’s transition towards electric vehicles. We expect to see difficulties coming from Chinese automakers such as BYD and NIO after these subsidy cuts.
Read More Via MSN

Apple Hires Tesla’s Head of Electric Powertrains

Apple’s Project Titan has been shrouded in secrecy for some time now. It is so mysterious that we still do not for sure know whether the goal is an actual autonomous car, or just software for autonomous driving. Well it seems like we have a better idea now, as according to Electrek, multiple sources have told them that Apple has hired former VP of Engineering, Michael Schwekutsch. Schwekutsch had worked on powertrains for the BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder, Tesla Roadster II, Tesla Semi, and Tesla Truck. He will join back with Doug Field, also a former engineering executive at Tesla. Due to Schwekutsch having nothing to do with software, it does heed some credibility that Apple is preparing to build a car from the ground up. With so many former Tesla employees coming on board as well as the already talented people that Apple has in their Special Project Group, an Apple car might become a reality.
Read More Via Electrek

Harbour Airlines Sets Out to Become World’s First All-Electric Airline

The Development of electric planes is no where near as fast as those of grounded electric vehicles, but Harbour Air, in partnership with magniX is looking to become a leader in airline electrification. Harbour Air is North America’s largest seaplane airline, operating 12 routes between hubs like Seattle And Vancouver across the waters of the Pacific Northwest. The airline carries over 500,000 passengers across its 30,000 commercial flights each year. In partnership with magniX, the company will make use of their magni500 all-electric motor making 750 hp. The first aircraft to be converted will be a DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, and the first test flights will take place in late 2019. Obviously, it takes a much longer time to design and produce an aircraft compared to a car. So, it will be some time before we witness an all-electric jetliner from the like of Boeing or Airbus. However, Harbour Air states that 75% of worldwide flights are 1,000 mile or less. Typically, the aircraft used on these routes are smaller, so you do not need as powerful or motors, or as many batteries. If Harbour Air and magniX can prove themselves and create an all-electric fleet, then other airlines might follow suit.
Read More Via magniX

In Case You Missed It:

  • The Tesla Model Y was unveiled for all to see.
  • The City of Freemont, California Police Department has shifted to an all-electric fleet of police cars.
  • We talk about how Rimac is helping the world transition to electric cars from the opposite spectrum. Not with mass market cars that everyone can afford, but hypercars that kids can put up on their wall and dream about.
  • The Porsche Taycan is getting closer to its production form and Porsche has been extensively testing the electric car to be the best that it can possible be.

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