Connect with us

Published

on

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is causing chaos in the EV industry by firing Tesla’s entire charging team, which may lead some automakers to reconsider their plans to adopt the NACS plug. But NACS is just a better standard, and the industry should move forward on it, even if Tesla waffles with its commitment.

Last week, Tesla abruptly fired its entire Supercharging team, leading to an immediate pullback in Supercharger installation plans. The explanation we’ve heard for these firings is that CEO Elon Musk was unhappy with EV Charging lead Rebecca Tinucci for not firing enough people, and retaliated by suddenly firing her and her entire team.

The firing was so ill-considered that the company has even had to send out an email blast to suppliers and contractors, seemingly confused about which companies it’s even working with on site development.

The abrupt firing has caused a lot of chaos and reconsideration in the EV industry, with some automakers reportedly having meetings about whether to proceed with the planned NACS transition or pull back on their plans.

Currently, EVs from Ford and Rivian can charge on Tesla’s Supercharger network through adapters, but other automakers can’t yet. Tesla planned to roll out support to more brands this spring (GM, Volvo, Polestar), with more coming later. Virtually every brand has announced they will adopt NACS in the next couple years.

But this Supercharger rollout to other automakers will likely be slowed down, as the Supercharger team was the group responsible for onboarding other automakers, and for advancing the whole idea of NACS in the first place.

As a result there have been questions swirling about whether this could spell doom for NACS, potentially being an end to the standard as everyone switches back to CCS.

Is NACS going to die? It shouldn’t, here’s why

First, I don’t think NACS is going to die. Tesla will still use it, and is still the biggest EV brand in North America. While firing the whole team is a petty and incomprehensible move, I expect that the company will eventually come to its senses and hire some people back into that department, and continue to develop and install its charging system, though this will still be a huge setback.

The thing is – NACS is overall just a better standard than CCS. That’s why, when SAE certified the standard, we wrote that “it’ll fix every charging problem at once” (maybe not quite every problem, but close). The cable and connector are easier to use, its 277V support is better for commercial installations, its provision for carry-along cables is better for public infrastructure (especially street parking) and more interoperable with international receptacles.

Also, NACS is now out of Tesla’s hands. The SAE certification for NACS, which it calls J3400, is already finished. So it’s a real standard, and it’s a standard that Tesla no longer has control over. Other companies can make NACS ports and NACS chargers and all the technical information needed is out there and open for use. It’s only Supercharger network compatibility that is in Tesla’s hands (and if they want NEVI funds, they’re going to have to allow other brands to charge at their chargers).

And now that the whole industry already decided to convert to NACS (which is a tough thing to get everyone to agree on), it also puts to bed the format war that we might have had between Superchargers and CCS.

It would be one thing to convert from one standard to another and leave everyone out in the cold, but the industry has already started planning this conversion, and adapters are available. There will be a transition period where CCS and NACS chargers both remain available, so most people shouldn’t have trouble finding a charge.

But it does make sense to collapse down to one standard, and it makes sense to collapse down to the better one.

And so, rumors that manufacturers are considering reversing their NACS transition plans will hopefully not come true. Manufacturers should continue forward in transitioning and getting NACS ports on their vehicles as soon as possible, third parties should focus primarily on installing NACS chargers to pick up the slack left by Tesla’s pullback (with some CCS during the transitionary period), and Tesla should rehire a division to ensure that the transition goes smoothly (you already had one and firing them was stupid).

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Environment

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

Published

on

By

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.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Environment

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

Published

on

By

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


If you live in an area that has frequent natural disaster events, and are interested in making your home more resilient to power outages, consider going solar and adding a battery storage system. To make sure you find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –ad*

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Environment

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

Published

on

By

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.

Ford-dealers-EVs
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.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Trending