This Week in EV News: 1000 Mile Range Electric Car, Faraday Future Restructuring, Toyota-Suzuki Partnership, and More!

by Denis Gurskiy

Happy September everyone and welcome to another edition of our weekly round up, where we recount the EV news that we didn’t cover at length. Along with the EV news that we did not cover, we have a recap of all the news that we did cover in length at the bottom as well, in case you missed it.

Faraday Future CEO Could Be Stepping down with Possible Restructuring Occurring

Its been a while since we talked about Faraday Future who have not been able to keep out of the new cycle due to their constant financial woes. Last we saw of a couple months ago with a new round of much needed funding from The9. Things started to look like the worst was behind them, but a recent report shows that Farday Future might go through a restructuring that will possibly end up shedding its CEO Jia Yueting. A report from Chinese-based Pandaily stated that:

Rumors surfaced on August 26 that FF will likely restructure into a partnership with no additional details available. FF’s risk-taking CEO and founder is attempting to rectify both his personal debt and the company’s debt by setting up a trust fund to repay his creditors.

Along with that it was reported that Yueting will sell an unspecified amount of his Faraday Future stock in order to help pay the debts of both himself and the company. Along with that, it is reported that Yueting will step down, making him the final person of the original five-man executive team to leave the company. For the time being it seems like Faraday Future has enough money and is still committed to building the FF91 and FF81. This is still a rumor, so look for some sort of official communication in the future regarding Faraday’s plans for restructuring and the possible step down of their CEO.
Read More Via Pandaily

Aptera Returns with Plans for 1,000 Mile Range Electric Car

Yeah, you read that title right. Aptera was an interesting company that unfortunately declared bankruptcy in 2011. The team working their were able to build a car that could travel 100 miles from a small 20 kWh battery pack. The car of course had to leverage aerodynamics and light materials as much as it possibly could to achieve this type of efficiency. As such it was a three-wheeled, two-seater that looked like a tear-drop, but it got the job down. Fast forward to present time and it looks like Aptera is attempting to make a comeback. Over the past decade the three founders: Chris Anthony, Steve Fambro, and Michael Johnson, have quietly been acquiring back the intellectual property of their former company and are ready to try again. This time however, the sights are set higher, to get an electric car with a range of 1,000 miles without using an extremely large battery. Aptera will offer battery sizes ranging from 40 kWh to 100 kWh, with the 100 kWh variant powering the car for 1,000 miles. This represents an efficiency of 100 Wh/mile. The current leaders in that stat is the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus and Hyundai Ioniq Electric who top out at 250 Wh/mile. The company once again will make the most of an aerodynamic design and will use extremely light “resin-infused sandwich-core plastic composites”. Aptera states that their 60 kWh battery variant of the car will weigh only 800 kg (1,800 lbs.). For reference the Nissan Leaf Plus, with a 62-kWh battery, weighs twice that at 1,557 kg (3,433 pounds), although to be fair it does seat four-people instead of only two. The company will look to raise $2.5 million from various investors as well as crowdfunding with the goal of producing three prototypes by the end of the year. After that, Aptera hopes to start production some time in 2020. We will keep eyes on the newly revived Aptera with great anticipation.
Read More Via IEEE Spectrum

Noted Futurologist Predicts That Electric Cars Will Reach Cost Parity with ICE Cars by 2023

Its always interesting to hear the different dates that various analysts give in regards to electric car adoption. One key milestone that many try to predict is when the average new electric car will cost will cost as much as the average ICE car. Once that milestone, one of the major roadblocks for adoption, the higher price, will crumble and more people will commit to electric cars. Noted futurologist, Ray Wills who is the managing director of advisory firm Future Smart Strategies and a board member of remote energy services provider Horizon Power, states that that time will happen in 2023, only four more short years.

“The future is coming faster than we think, and when it arrives, we always say it was faster than we thought.”

Wills notes the avalanche of money that the car industry has announced it will be committing to electric cars, $400 billion just this year. Additionally he brings up that electric cars have already effectively disrupted the hybrid car market, “for the past decade, 1.5 million hybrids had been sold annually. More EVs than that were sold in 2018 alone”. He later goes on to say that:

“Electrification as I see it will be virtually complete by 2026, the only cars built in my opinion will be electric, with the exception of some specialist bespoke vehicles.”

While I will agree with his 2023 target for cost parity, as many other analysts have announced a similar target, I believe the 2026 target date for total electrification is overly optimistic. Many car companies such as Ford, Toyota, Honda, BMW, and Chrysler have yet to bring any modern electric vehicles to market, to think that in, at most, six years they will be able to fully convert to electric cars is difficult to imagine. Of course, Wills does state that “the future is coming faster than we think”, but I remain highly doubtful of this target.
Read More Via Sydney Morning Herald

Toyota and Suzuki Form Capital Alliance

Toyota Electric Car Lineup

It seems like the sleeping giant, Toyota, has finally started to move in the electrification race. Fresh off of announcing its revised electrification plan and cooperative agreement with Subaru to build an electric vehicle, Toyota has announced another alliance with Japanese automaker Suzuki. The official purpose of the partnership is as follows:

… to engage in joint product development and collaboration in production, in addition to promoting the mutual supply of products, by bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles.

In addition to working together on electric car development, the two will also collaborate in the field of autonomous driving. The two companies will purchase each other’s stock with Toyota acquiring about 5% of Suzuki for JPY 96 billion and Suzuki will plan to acquire JPY 48 billion worth of Toyota stock.
Read More Via Toyota

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