Tesla setting up factory in China: Tesla Inc. is preparing to set up shop in China and overcome the joint venture stumbling block that had been in the way. The electric carmaker has invested 100 million yuan ($15.8 million) and registered to establish a wholly owned company in Shanghai, a Chinese government agency has posted on its website. The national government has been working on ways that companies like Tesla can go outside its traditional model of establishing JVs with Chinese automakers to assemble cars in their country. Tesla’s registration includes technological development and services on EVs, auto parts, batteries, energy storage facilities and solar panel products. In this month’s earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said that the company will announce setting up a Gigafactory for batteries in China as early as the third quarter of this year; he’d previously said Tesla will probably be building the Model 3 and Model Y crossover in China.
EQ bringing strong branding to EV market: Mercedes’ EQ subbrand is a valuable opportunity to showcase the automaker’s technical know-how and competence, according to Britta Seeger, Mercedes-Benz global sales and marketing boss. The company will showcase EQ to consumers to prepare for the EQC crossover going on sale in 2019. The Daimler division plans to sell 10 long-range EQ vehicles by the end of 2022; and thinks that the subbrand will represent 15% to 25% percent of its global sales by 2025. “This is our answer in electrified mobility,” Seeger said. “And we truly believe in strong branding.”
Subaru rolling out PHEV: Subaru will be entering the electric vehicle market through its alliance with Toyota. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid will soon be launched, built on the Toyota Prius Prime drivetrain. Subaru has been showcasing EV concepts for years, including the Viziv series. The company launched a conventional gas-electric hybrid version during the 2014 model year. The new version will have a larger battery pack and a plug for owners to charge up their PHEV. It can be driven as a normal hybrid using both gas and electric power, or driven on pure electric drive for local commuting, the company said.