New Leaf launched: The 2018 Nissan Leaf made its debut in Tokyo with its 150-mile per charge range and starting price of $29,990. It will be going on sale in the U.S. in early 2018, powered by a 40 kWh battery and an 80-kilowatt electric motor. The Japanese automaker promised to release a faster, more powerful version with longer range in 2019. The new Leaf is not meeting the 200-mile electric vehicle standard that’s becoming the norm, but it is going about 40 miles further than the current Leaf and costs a bit less; and it can deliver 147 horsepower, 38% more than the previous version. It’s got a new sharp-edged aerodynamic look and a few tech features. That includes the ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system, ProPILOT Park, and the e-Pedal that allows for accelerating, decelerating and stopping the car by using the accelerator pedal alone.
Automotive-Electrification Index: Global consulting firm AlixPartners just released its Automotive-Electrification Index that tracks vehicle electrification advances by automaker and by country. It combines the number of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles sold with other measures. These include the “e-range,” a combined percentage of the total ranges of all cars and trucks sold by each automaker; the “e-share” by automaker; and the combined e-ranges and e-shares by country and by major regions of the world. The new product was designed as a more meaningful tool supporting companies and countries striding toward bringing more electrified vehicles to market.
$3B EV incentives goes away: California’s AB 1184 was amended late Friday, having its $3 billion taken out for future electric vehicle rebates. It now directs the California Air Resources Board to conduct studies on the best ways to write and implement EV rebate legislation. The report won’t be due until Sept. 1, 2019. Language was also removed from AB 1184 that offered a formula for providing higher rebate amounts. The full legislature will consider the amended bill. The $3 billion originally in AB 1184 would have offered rebates until 2030. It would have been six times higher than the nearly $500 million spent on EV rebates so far in the state.
ChargePoint in Europe: ChargePoint is looking to launch an initial public offering in the next five years as the company expands further into Europe, CEO Pasquale Romano told Reuters. ChargePoint, operator of one of the world’s largest charging station networks for electric cars, joins other players in the game including utilities, engineering groups, automakers, and startups seeking to establish strong footing. BMW, Daimler, and Siemens already have a strong presence in Europe as demand continues to increase – and they see ChargePoint as an option to expand their networks. The charging company has so far raised about $300 million in funds, with Daimler and Siemens joining up this year. BMW first supplied funds in 2012. The company also operates about 40,000 charging spots in the U.S. and Mexico.
California AB 1184 moves forward: The California legislature is pushing forward a $3 billion program that could raise electric vehicle rebates up from the current $2,500 per vehicle all the way to $10,000 or more. It’s been approved by Senate and Assembly committees, and still needs to see legislative approval and the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown by the end of the current session in Sacramento on Sept. 15. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), said Assembly Bill 1184 ties into the state’s initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to a level reached in 1990. “If we want to hit our goals, we’re going to have to do something about transportation,” he said.
Uber gets new CEO: Uber has named former Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO, according to two people familiar with the matter. It’s expected to help stabilize the ride-hailing company’s contentious battle in recent months that resulted in former CEO Travis Kalanick leaving in June. Kalanick had been overseeing the company as it eventually reached $70 billion in estimated market valuation until a series of controversies took over this year – driving investors to shake up Uber management. Khosrowshahi has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which was another heated issue for Uber earlier this year. His family had immigrated to the U.S. during the Iranian revolution. Expedia, along with Amazon, became one of two technology companies to contribute declarations to a lawsuit filed by Washington State’s attorney general objecting to the travel ban executive order. That had focused on seven predominantly Muslim countries. Other finalists for the Uber CEO position include Jeffrey Immelt, the former chief of General Electric, and Meg Whitman, the chief of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the sources said.