EV issues certainly hold back many consumers from making the switch to fully electric personal transportation, but incremental progress is making the EV industry seem more relevant to the masses all the time. In this edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review,” we look at several EV problem/ solution scenarios, many of which give us great hope about the future of all-electric transportation.
First, there’s the humble pie that Panasonic had to eat this week after Tesla threw the battery maker under the proverbial bus as it acknowledged that its Model 3 production goals aren’t really all that feasible. The all-electric carmaker indicated that they may be as much as three months behind schedule. But Tesla isn’t the only EV issue out on the horizon: if the GOP has its way, EV tax credits may be a thing of the past. “Let the market rise and fall according to its merits!” the fossil fuel lobbyists cry out.
Yet it’s not all EV issues of doom and gloom in the news. There’s a lot of innovation and optimism, too. For example, Enervate, the lithium-ion battery technology company, announced that it may be able to soon offer EV fast charging in only 5 minutes. And Didi Chuxing, that enormous ride sharing company, revealed that a new partnership is in the works to build their own EV charging systems. Independence in EV charging becomes increasingly important as the number of all-electric vehicles in its fleet will likely increase exponentially over the next few years.
Here are those stories and more in this edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review.”
Panasonic promises that battery cell production at the Tesla Gigafactory will soon increase as a result of keener understandings of problem areas that have slowed production to date. Automation processes will allow “the number of vehicles to be produced will rise sharply,” Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said. Panasonic is the world’s largest automotive lithium-ion battery manufacturer. Panasonic has been blamed for Tesla’s limited quarterly production of its mass-market Model 3 sedan; the original goals of 1,500 vehicles fell quite short, with only 260 vehicles coming off the assembly line.
The Reno, Nevada factory is not the only site where Panasonic makes its famous batteries. Panasonic opened a new battery factory in Dalian, China earlier this year, where it will produce lithium ion battery cells for China’s “new energy vehicle” market. The “new energy vehicle” designation encourages all companies that build cars locally to make them at least 8% of their production in coming years. Battery cells are essential to that goal.