This Week in EV News: Electric Ford F-150 Tows Train, Mercedes EQS Spy Shots, VW Production Numbers, 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. This week we saw Volkswagen give some production numbers for its Zwickau plant, an electric Ford F-150 tow a train, and spy shots of the Mercedes EQS. 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.

Volkswagen Aims for Six Models and an Annual Production of 330,000 Cars from Its Zwickau Plant


A year ago Volkswagen had started the conversion of its Zwickau plant into becoming an electric car factory. The VW ID.3 will start production at the end of 2019 and it will be produced at the Zwickau plant. Currently the Golf and Golf Estate are being produced at the Zwickau plant which produces 1,350 cars per day. VW has recently stated that the newly converted Zwickau plant will not only have an increased annual production, but will produce more models concurrently. By 2021 there will be a total of six models being produced at the plant and it will produce 1,500 units per day. The first of which will be the VW ID.3, followed by the SEAT el-Born. The next four vehicles will be a mixture of VW, SEAT, and Audi models. Thanks to the shared MEB-platform and general simpler design of electric cars, Volkswagen is able to produce many more vehicles in the same plant. Additionally thanks to the increase in models being produced, the VW states that the workforce will remain at the same number even though there is less work to do on each individual car.
Read More Via Volkswagen


Nissan Release an Update to Allow 2nd-Gen Nissan LEAF Owners to Fast-Charge Consecutively

Nissan LEAF electric car

Second-generation Nissan LEAF owners who have been trying to go on long trips in there car might have found some respite. For some time now, owners have been complaining of their Nissan LEAFs being unable to take full advantage of DC fast chargers. While the Nissan LEAF is capable of a charge rate of 50 kW, the car would refuse to charge anywhere near that rate if the battery was too hot, either because of the weather, or because the last battery charge was too recent. This meant that owners could be stuck for hours if they were in the middle of their road-trip and their LEAF decided to cut the charge rate. Nissan had released an update that would allow for consecutive fast-charges and seemingly cutting back on how conservative they were in terms of battery temperature. The update had not been immediately made available in North America, but according to a source from CleanTechnica Nissan has quietly added a software update that there dealers could push if a customer is complaining of slow DC-charging. Unfortunately, Nissan cannot push an over-the-air update like Tesla can, so an owners would have to go to their dealer to have the update applied. This update is only for 2018-2019 40 kWh model Nissan LEAFs.
Read More Via CleanTechnica


Fisker Shows off the Front End of the Fisker Electric SUV


Henrik Fisker has been drip-feeding pictures of his upcoming electric SUV to keep hype up for the car. Fisker promises a very attractive 300 mile range at a sub-$40,000 price. Also, given Fisker’s history as an automotive designer, he also is sure to bring attention to how nice the upcoming electric SUV looks. The newest teaser gives us a good look at the front end of the car.

It’s certainly an interesting looking car, hopefully Fisker will be able to put this one into production as we are still waiting for the EMotion to hit the streets. Fisker has also been emphasizing the the eco-friendliness of the electric SUV such as their interior made of recycled materials and solar panels on the roof.


Electric Ford F-150 Prototype Shown Towing a Freight Train


Pulling very large objects, very slowly, has become a rite of passage for any upcoming vehicle that wants to show off their torque capabilities. Tesla did it with a Model X towing a Boeing 787 and Toyota did it with a Tundra towing a space shuttle. In this latest itteration of the challange, Ford is showing off their electric F-150 prototype and towing a freight train loaded with 42 F-150s and totals over 1 million pounds. As physics allows, the electric F-150 is able to tow the train 1000 feet thanks to the instantaneous torque provided from electric motors. As always these types of feats should always be treated as stunts and fan-service as these tows are not representative of what the vehicle is capable of doing on roads at highway speeds and long use, however it is nice to see that Ford is trying to bring attention to its electric project. While Ford has made references to the bring an electric F-150, this is the first time we have officially seen some sort of physical representation of the project. The production electric F-150 is expected to debut sometime in 2022 at which point it will be facing off against the Rivian R1T and possibly the Tesla Truck and something from GM.
Read More Via Ford


BMW Spartanburg Plant Doubles Battery Capacity


BMW has invested $10 million into its Spartanburg plant to double the factory’s battery production capacity. However this increased battery production is not intended for any sort of full electric car. BMW has been very confident in its strategy moving forward with plug-in hybrids as opposed to full battery electrics. While we lament BMW dragging their feet in regards to full electric vehicles, their newest fourth-generation plug-in hybrids bring a an all-electric range that will acceptable to those making short commutes, and at the end of the day, that’s better than nothing. The BMW X5 xDrive45e which will start production in the plant in August has a range of 50 miles based on the WLTP cycle, so expect an EPA rated range of less than 40 miles. For a decent portion of the population, this is enough to get to work and then charge while at work to use only electricity on the drive home. The upcoming BMW X3 xDrive30e will also start production during the end of the year, but it only has a WLTP range of 27 miles, meaning the EPA will probably find a range closer to 20 miles. Still usable but not as much. Long story short, BMW seems to be putting forth some effort towards electric cars, but its not the electric cars that EV-enthusiasts wish for.
Read More Via BMW


Mercedes EQS Spy Shots


We seem to have gotten our first glimpse of Mercedes’ upcoming top tier electric car based off the S-class. Mercedes has certainly shown that it is committed to electrification, so far we have gotten the EQC in production, with further whisperings of an EQA, EQE, and now the EQS. Looking at the camo’d car, right of the bat you will notice the curvy nature of the this new Mercedes. Additionally, we see a roof line that is indicative of a hatchback which we see opened in one of the shots. Obviously nothing in terms of release date or specifications is known about EQS, which by the way is not the official name yet. I however do know that I am really liking the shapes of this car and cannot wait to see it unwrapped. Given that this will most likely be Mercedes’ premier electric offering, expect specifications that will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT, and Porsche Taycan.
Read More Via Autoblog


EV News You Missed:

  • Cadillac is rumored to be working on an electric Escalade that will have a range of upwards of 400 miles.
  • We give you a short primer on some of the main differences between the Tesla Model X and new Audi e-tron.
  • The new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes equipped with a solar roof that can add up to 800 miles of range annually.
  • Tesla released their earnings report for Q2 2019 and to the surprise of few, it was not profitable, however they are sitting on a large amount of money right now.
  • Audi e-tron overview video

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