A flurry of new electric cars are on the way but Tesla’s still ahead
Audi launched its e-tron electric SUV last week in California. Pic: Getty
China is dominating electric vehicle supply and demand over the medium term, but US and European carmakers are planning big roll-outs of lithium-ion battery-powered electric models.
In September, established German car-markers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi all unveiled their first all-electric SUVs for release over the next two years.
Increasing activity in the Electric Vehicle (EV) space is good news for ASX-listed producers of battery materials such a lithium, cobalt and graphite.
German car makers will be putting more than 150 new electric-powered models on the roads over the next five to eight years, according to the German auto industry association VDA.
Last week Audi launched its e-tron quattro electric SUV which will compete with the new electric Mercedes-Benz EQC and BMW’s upcoming BMW iX3, reports CarAdvice.
The latest e-tron model didn’t “set new benchmarks in the premium EV segment” but it was better than the Mercedes EQC, UBS analyst Patrick Hummel noted.
Still, Audi’s e-tron SUV launch showed just how far ahead of the competition Tesla was, according to UBS.
In the US, a $US1 billion investment from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia — to commercially launch its first EV in 2020 — has placed carmaker Lucid into the spotlight.
The funding will be used towards Lucid’s EV development and testing, the construction of a $700m factory in Arizona, and production and rollout.
The company has said the base price for the Lucid Air would be about $US52,000.
— Lucid Motors (@Lucid_Motors) September 7, 2018
And Volvo EV start-up Polestar, based in Sweden, will start limited production of its expensive hybrid Polestar 1 in mid-2019 at its new production centre in China. The first full year of production – albeit a very limited run — has already sold out.
The Polestar 2 — to be revealed in 2019 and in production by 2020 — will be the company’s first full battery EV and is designed to compete with the cheaper Tesla Model 3.