Select's Electric roundup covers all the latest news from the fast-paced world of EV. This month, we take a look at the biggest stories from the last few weeks: EVs continue their upward sales trend in August; MPs are calling for the ban of ICE vehicles to be brought forward; Tesla goes all farmyard with the promise of goat honks; Bentley gets entangled in the Octopus sustainability programme; and Panasonic steps up battery efficiency and wants to go cobalt-free.
More gains for plug-in electric vehicles in August
According to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), electric vehicles continue their solid upward trend. Sales of pure electric vehicles (BEVs) were up 77.6% in August compared to last year. Plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHEVs, did even better with a 221.1% increase on last year. Despite this surge in PHEVs, pure electric BEVs have made a real dent in this year’s sales of motor vehicles, representing nearly 5% of all types of vehicle sold including petrol and diesel. Last year at this time the figure was about 1%.
Tory MPs support calls for earlier ICE ban in 2030
Over 100 Conservative MPs have recently recommended bringing forward the ban on international combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to 2030. The group of MPs, known as ‘One Nation’, has published the third in a series of essays promoting a green economic recovery post COVID-19. Ruth Edwards, the MP for Rushcliffe, has emphasized that a nearer end date “will provide the catalyst to ensure that the rollout of EVs gets the focus and investment it needs.”
More quirky Tesla updates like goat honks promised by Elon Musk
Apart from manufacturing astonishingly efficient and high tech electric cars, the Tesla in-car operating system is also famous for its ‘fart mode’. Yes, you read that right. The eccentric Tesla boss, Elon Musk, is never shy of combining cutting edge EVs with playground pranks. This time, Mr Musk has tweeted newer cars will be capable of emitting a goat noise from an external speaker. On a more serious note, Musk also mentioned Tesla’s cars will soon be able to recognise pot holes on the road ahead and slow down, or even steer around them, if possible.
Bentley working on electric car breakthrough dubbed ‘Octopus’
All the high-end car manufacturers are now getting in on the EV act, but they’re not all taking the same approach. For Bentley’s new ‘Octopus’ programme, sustainability is a key driver. Bentley engineers want to produce electric motors which don’t require any rare earth metals. This focus on sustainability means Bentley electric motors of the future should be 100% recyclable. There could be a long wait, though, before the first Bentley EV lands on forecourts – the current date is ‘before 2026’.
Tesla battery manufacturer, Panasonic, promises large efficiency gain and no cobalt in future batteries
Panasonic says it will increase the energy density of the EV batteries it provides to Tesla by 20% during the next 5-year period. It also intends to supply a cobalt-free battery by 2022-2023. As the EV industry tries to reach price-parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, improved battery density is a vital step. In addition, the more energy that can be stored in a smaller form factor, the lighter the battery-powered car will be, resulting in higher efficiency and longer range.