A surge in sales for Porsche's electric-first Taycan, more growth for the UK electric car market among a cautious industry and we look at how Tesla's superchargers are spearheading the UK's ever-growing charging network. Below, we round up this and much more from the world of electric cars.
Although many consumers still have concerns about the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, new figures from Zap Map may go some way to allaying those fears.
The latest data from the company shows more than 20,000 charging devices now populate the UK, spread across more than 12,650 locations. Of those, the majority are so-called ‘fast’ chargers, which can fill a Nissan Leaf’s battery over the course of a seven-and-a-half-hour working day. The charging network in the country looks only set to grow, partly fueled by the popular Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) which gives businesses added incentives to include charging points at their office or headquarters.
Part of that burgeoning network is made up of Tesla’s supercharger network, which will soon be feeding a new model in the shape of the updated Tesla Model 3. As was reported by Electrive, the saloon has been tweaked with improved range data, fresh alloy wheels and a new centre console, plus a handful of other minor upgrades. As part of the update, Electrive says ranges have improved slightly, with the Standard Range Plus model now managing 267 miles from a single charge, as opposed to the old 254-mile figure.
But while Tesla has been revealing upgrades to its existing electric models, Renault has been working out what to do with old EVs. The company has revealed two “second-life” battery programmes – one in France and one in the UK – that use used batteries from Renault vehicles to store energy for public and commercial use. The UK programme, in West Sussex, uses more than 1,000 used batteries to store energy that will then smooth out peaks in demand for energy, reducing energy costs. On the other side of the Channel, meanwhile, similar technology is being used to power a Renault factory in the north-eastern France.
Across the border in Germany, Porsche’s new Taycan electric sports car is celebrating the first anniversary of its unveiling, but it’s already touching 11,000 global sales in 2020. The four-door EV was presented to the public at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and only went on sale in the UK earlier this year. With 10,944 examples delivered to customers during the first nine months of this year, it’s roughly half as popular as the 911 – a car that’s been an established part of the Porsche line-up for decades and boasts a marginally lower starting price.
But the Taycan isn’t the only electric car that’s selling well. EVs bucked the trend in the UK last month, with registrations almost trebling despite the new car market’s worst October for nine years. According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, overall registrations fell by 1.6% in October compared with the same month last year, but EV registrations grew by 195%. With 9,335 EVs registered last month alone, the market share grew to 6.6% for the month.
It’s a story that has developed throughout the year, with almost 76,000 EVs registered during the first 10 months of 2020. That’s almost 170% more than hit the road during the same period in 2019. And all that success comes in the midst of a global pandemic that has seen overall registrations drop by around a third compared with last year.
Among those registrations are examples of Honda’s dinky new E electric hatchback, but it seems that (and the arrival of hybrid CR-V and Jazz models in recent years) may not be enough to keep the Japanese brand away from European fines for excess emissions. As was originally reported by Autocar, the company has joined Fiat-Chrysler in forming an “emissions pool” with Tesla. The reported agreement will see Honda’s sales added to Tesla’s and Fiat-Chrysler’s, before the combined emissions are averaged. The firms will hope the average comes out below the 95g/km threshold, above which firms are charged by the EU.
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