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Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker known for pioneering the internal combustion engine, says electric vehicles will be the dominant car on the road, particularly luxury EVs. The automaker’s CEO says he sees the switch to luxury EVs happening step-by-step within this decade.

It was New Year’s Eve, 1879, when the first stationary gasoline engine ran for the first time, according to Mercedes-Benz. The one-cylinder, two-stroke engine was developed by Carl Benz, a German engineer.

Seven years later, on January 29, 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle with gas-engine drive” (model no.1) that helped spark the auto industry.

Fast forward over 100 years, and the auto industry is undergoing one of the most significant transitions since the creation of mass-produced gas-powered vehicles.

The switch from internal combustion engines to EVs is happening quicker than most expected. As technology advances, allowing superior range, more power, and new features, consumers are converting faster than ever.

Electric vehicle sales in the US hit another record in the first half of 2022, jumping to 196,788 to claim 5.6% of the overall market. Most automakers released their September sales this week, and although EV sales continue climbing, sales of gas-powered vehicles are declining. For example, Ford reported September 2022 sales showing a nearly 9% decline in total vehicle sales from 2021. Toyota, GM, Stellantis, Honda, Nissan, and more are seeing similar figures.

Tesla, which only makes electric vehicles, delivered a record 343,000 EVs in Q3, representing 43% growth from Q3 2021.

Mercedes Benz sees this trend expanding as consumers will increasingly switch to EVs over internal combustion engines, especially luxury buyers.

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Mercedes-Benz EQS Source: Mercedes-Benz

The switch to EVs from internal combustion engines is happening

In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius said, “Step-by-step, we see the market turning” from internal combustion engines to EVs.

Mercedes-Benz plans to become an all-electric brand within this decade, launching an EV alternative for every model they offer by 2025. Furthermore, all new vehicle architectures will be built for electric-only models from 2025 on.

Kallenius continues to say the switch may happen quicker than most expect with luxury EVs, stating:

I really believe that in this decade, we will flip from being based upon high tech internal combustion engines to going dominant electric, if not all electric, in the luxury segment.

Mercedes plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2039, working to reduce CO2 across its supply chain through mineral recycling initiatives and sourcing components from IRMA-certified mines. The automaker admits climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed.

We’ve all realized that climate change is real, the CO2 problem needs to be solved. And where does that problem end? It ends on the desks of our engineers.

As the switch to EVs accelerates, Mercedes-Benz believes it’s better for the planet and can also boost business.

We do it because we think it’s right. But we also do it because we think it’s going to be the better business. I don’t think there’s any question for a modern company, a forward-thinking modern company, that we need to decarbonize.

The German luxury automaker’s chief concluded, hinting as EVs advance, buyers will prefer them, claiming:

As long as you give the customer a superior product to what they had before, they’re open minded for a switch. The experience for the customer in terms of the torque, the performance, everything is fantastic.

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

Want your electric bike to have utility as well as comfort and style? Then, the Invanti Tornado, with its impressive array of optional accessories, could be your ideal ride.

Invanti is developing multi-functional e-bikes to reinvent the e-bike industry. It will launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on May 22 for its first product, the versatile Tornado e-bike series. Early backers can purchase the Tornado for a super early bird price of $1,299, significant savings vs. gas bikes.

Invanti makes it easy to protect your e-bike from theft with its “invantimobility” app. The smart version Tornado Pro has a smart front hub lock feature that, once activated, can only be unlocked using the app.

This zippy and efficient utility e-bike has a 750W rear hub motor, 1,000 peak power, and a 48V 14.7Ah battery with Samsung cells that give a top speed of up to 25 mph. The Shimano 7-speed transmission, 80 mm travel suspension, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, and torque sensor means riding is smooth. It also sports a pair of 20-by-3-inch puncture-resistant tires.

The Tornado provides a range of 60 miles on pedal assist and 25 miles on throttle only. You can additionally install an extra 48V, 10.4Ah battery that you take with you, giving a cumulative total of 100 miles on pedal assist and 43.5 miles on throttle only. Plus, you can use the extra battery as a portable powerbank for your phone.

What makes the Invanti Tornado stand out is the cool accessories it comes with. Your e-bike arrives with a front rack, a rear cargo rack, a rear fork storage bag with lockout, and rear wheel mudguards. It also features front and rear lights with integrated turn signals.

Plus, it offers a choice of nine upgrade accessories, which give this bike an almost modular feel. This means you can make your e-bike bespoke:

If you want to cart around passengers, you can make it happen with the Invanti Tornado’s optional rear seat pad and passenger foot rest, and there’s also a child safety handrail. Its dual-tube aluminum alloy frame can handle payloads of up to 440 pounds.

Invanti’s super early bird price on the Tornado is $1,299, and the official crowdfunding price is $1,499.

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

Aeromine Technologies just closed a $9 million funding round, and it’s ready to scale up production of its bladeless rooftop wind turbines.

Energy research, investing, and strategy firm Veriten is the lead investor in Aeromine Technologies’ Series A funding round.

Aeromine, launched in 2022, makes compact 50 kW or larger “wind harvesting platforms” that it mounts on the edge of a building’s roof. The rooftop wind units, which have no external moving parts or blades, capture wind flowing up and over the building and convert it into onsite electricity. Its generator system is a rotor-stator system with a highly efficient 5 kW permanent magnet generator. (Specs are here.)

The noiseless technology leverages aerodynamics like airfoils on a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow to generate energy. Aeromine says its systems typically consist of 20-40 units installed on the edge of a building facing the predominant wind direction.

Each 1,000-pound unit can withstand winds of between 120 and 158 mph depending on specification.

Aeromine’s units can operate independently or be integrated with existing rooftop solar arrays. Onsite power generation eliminates grid supply disruptions.

Maynard Holt, founder & CEO of Veriten, said:

We believe that distributed power innovation will play a vital role in helping companies fulfill their need for reliable, reasonably priced electricity and desire for low-impact power. We’re excited to partner with Aeromine, as its ability to quickly and affordably help a wide variety of companies meet their energy needs with wind resources is unique among distributed energy solutions.

The bladeless wind turbines are designed to power apartment buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, offices, hospitals, retail centers – basically any big box building with a flat, unobstructed roof.

The company says it has 400 qualified projects in its pipeline and expects to roll out commercially in Europe and North America in 2025. 

Read more: How renewables could beat natural gas in US generating capacity within 3 years – in numbers


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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

With changes expected to Ford’s electric vehicle certification program, all Ford dealers will likely be able to sell EVs. Ford is reportedly preparing to open the program amid feedback from its dealers.

Ford poised to open dealers network to sell EVs

After asking dealers to pause EV investments this week, Ford is finalizing changes to the program. Ford already eased requirements last year due to “changes in the market.”

Ford spokesperson Marty Gunsberg confirmed that several dealers opted out of the program this past December. Gunsberg said, “Enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network.” That’s down from about two-thirds confirmed by CEO Jim Farley a year prior.

According to Automotive News, after a series of meetings between dealers and executives, Ford is now preparing to allow all dealers to sell EVs.

Ford is expected to update the financial requirements needed to qualify. Previously, dealers were required to invest at least $500,000 to enroll in the program. For $1.2 million, dealers could be eligible for the “Elite” tier, which included additional chargers, demo units, and a presence on Ford.com.

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Ford Mustang Mach E at a Tesla Supercharger (Source: Ford)

If dealers didn’t want to invest, they couldn’t sell Ford EVs. Ford’s vice president of EV programs, Lisa Drake, said the company no longer believes having select dealers sell EVs is the right plan.

More dealers want in but with less financial commitment

“What we’re finding is more dealers want to be involved in it and we don’t want to be exclusive to just a handful,” Drake said. “And so we’re making a change where we’re opening up that and not requiring as many certifications or investments for a dealer to participate in the EV revolution.”

Meanwhile, the changes will not be finalized until early June, when Ford meets with its dealer council.

Ford-dealers-EVs
2024 Ford F-150 Lightning lineup (Source: Ford)

It’s unclear how much Ford will reduce financial requirements to sell EVs, but many believe it will be drastically relaxed to promote participation.

Drake said Ford will be “more ubiquitous with our training and make sure essentially all of our dealers are equipped to sell them” going forward. Ford will need to figure out how to deal with those who have already made investments at the upcoming dealer council meeting.

Ford-dealers-EVs
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Bronze edition (Source: Ford)

Ford slashed prices on its popular Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning in recent months to boost sales.

After cutting Mach-E prices by up to $8,100 earlier this year, Ford introduced a new 0% APR offer on 2024 models this week.

2024 Mustang Mach-E trim Range Starting Price
Mustang Mach-E Select 250 mi $39,995
Mustang Mach-E Premium 320 mi $43,995
Mustang Mach-E GT 280 mi $53,995
Mustang Mach-E Rally 265 mi $59,995
2024 Mustang Mach-E price and range by trim

Ford also introduced new discounts on the 2023 F-150 Lightning this week, offering up to $15,000 off MSRP. F-150 Lightning lease prices were cut by over $400 a month.

If you’re in the market for a new EV, now’s the time to start shopping. You can use our links below to find deals on Ford’s electric vehicles at a dealer near you.

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