Weekly round-up: Elon Musk's electric dream, plus Porsche's first plug-in, and leasing at an all-time high
August is routinely a quiet month, as school holidays are in full swing and the roads are left all clear on our daily commute. The motor industry never seems to slow down though, with news coming thick and fast this week. Here’s a round-up of what you might have missed:
Porsche’s first electric vehicle
One of the biggest reveals this week was of Porsche’s Mission E (top right). While it was shown as a concept car way back at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, this week it was officially revealed as entering production by 2020.
While we think you’ll agree that the all-electric super saloon looks relatively futuristic, the concept’s design is influenced by current Porsche models too with the front-end and headlights being similar to the 918 hybrid hypercar and at around 1,300mm tall, it’ll sit very low – similar to Porsche’s current saloon, the Panamera.
The all-electric drivetrain will feature an 800 volt four-wheel-drive system via two electric motors meaning a 0 to 62mph time of 3.5 seconds and a 310-mile range, while it will also be able to recharge to 80% capacity in under half an hour – figures that rival the current electric car of the moment, the Tesla Model S.
Does the Mission E reflect the growing dominance of EVs in the marketplace? Well if the latest facts and figures from Go Ultra Low are anything to go by it does.
EV uptake continues to rise
The joint government and industry campaign’s latest figures show more British motorists are joining the rEVolution than ever before, showing over 19,000 EVs have been registered so far in 2016, with April-June marking the 22nd consecutive quarterly rise in electric car numbers.
In light of the news, Nissan, who has sold more electric vehicles than any other manufacturer, rather ludicrously suggested that electric recharge stations will be more numerous than petrol pumps by 2020. Needless to say we won’t be holding our breath for that.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “I am delighted to see record numbers of motorists coming round to the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles […] We want to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle.”
If the government’s vision comes to fruition, it will please Tesla owner Elon Musk who has a master plan of his own.
Musk envisions sharing-economy
While Musk has started several companies in the clean energy arena and invented a number of systems too, refusing to patent them in order to further his goal of sustainable transport, in his latest move to facilitate a cleaner and greener future, Musk has unveiled the second stage of his ‘master plan’.
This essentially consists of turning owners homes into sustainable charging points by covering roofs with solar panels and installing batteries to store the electricity. Another pillar of Musk’s plan is for all cars to have full autonomous driving capability, and for owners to share their cars with others when not driving them.
All very noble, but critics have been quick to say he is too vague on the detail of how to achieve his aims, while others point to pushing technology too early.
Mr Musk has a reputation for being tough on his employees, and he certainly wouldn't deliver a fleet of BMW i8s to the company car park after smashing targets. But that’s what Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has done.
Social media buzz suggests he’s given each member of the Premier-League-winning squad a brand new BMW i8. We wonder if he’s leased them through the business and will hand them back in a few years time? Speaking of leasing, it’s taking over the world, haven't you heard?
Leasing reaches new levels of popularity
In the USA the number of lease vehicles reached an all-time high during the first half of 2016, with both millennials and older people driving the growth.
The Lease Market Report from Edmunds, America’s largest motoring research organisation, shows that leasing has doubled in popularity in the US over the last five years, indicating that the new car market is on the verge of a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour.
The report also states that monthly payments for leases are on average 23% cheaper than other finance options in the US. Just a reminder that, with leasing, you don’t need to be on footballers’ wages to drive a dream car.