Year in review: 2020s most electrifying moments
As the virus called an almost complete halt to the world this year, the newsreels continued to turn. You kept returning to our pages in greater numbers than ever, and these are the most read articles in each month of 2020.
We look back at a progressive year at best and preparatory at least despite the Covid-crisis. While factories had to close for a while, production sites see complete makeovers to ready for 2021 to be more electric than ever.
Volkswagen is finally on course to make the Auto battery-electric. The ID.3 arrived this year with the ID.4 to follow. Executives now positon new VW models outspokenly as Tesla fighters while Germany marks record electric car sales.
We talked much about Tesla, of course. The company set benchmarks as usual when writing profits for the fifth consecutive quarter in Q3. They also introduced a whole new battery cell format and are kickstarting construction of Giga-Berlin in Germany, not without bureaucratic hiccups.
These are just some of our highlights, the stuff you stay up for at the news desk at night. Some stories like the Nissan Ariya may only later unfold their full meaning.
Other developments like the thriving electric bus market paint a globally positive picture. The same goes for truck manufacturers pledging to go zero-emissions by 2040.
States like the UK joined the call, even moving the climate target in transport forward to 2030. The EU revealed a new mobility strategy and speaks of 30 million electric vehicles in 2030 to reach climate-neutrality by 2050. Hurry, we may say.
But, for now, it is over to you. These are the most read articles in 2020. Thank you, for your continued support! We will be back with the first newsletter on Monday, 4 January 2021.
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– January –
ProLogium presents solid-state battery: It is CES – we do not know yet that this will be one of the last trade shows happening live in 2020. In Los Angeles, the Taiwanese battery cell manufacturer ProLogium presents a solid-state battery for electric vehicles. They call the packs MAB and the company has signed partnerships with carmakers such as Nio or Aiways already at the time.
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– February –
Wright Electric works on passenger e-plane: The world is still largely open and planes in the air when Wright Electric makes a splash. The company founded in 2017 and already a partner of EasyJet says it is progressing the development of a 186-seat aircraft called Wright 1. Its complete electrification involves a 1.5 MW electric motor and a 3-kilovolt inverter with ground tests still expected in 2021.
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– March –
Carmakers close plants due to Covid-19: Mid-March is when it hit us. Carmakers begin shutting down plants across Europe. Tesla would later follow reluctantly in Fremont. We would continue to update the article as manufacturing comes to a halt that should last until late April in Europe and May in the US.
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– April –
Carmakers resume production: With updates commencing, better news come in Spring. Hyundai and Audi first reopen their factories which make electrified cars. VW too begins to resume preparations to make the ID.3 later in the year at the Zwickau factory. Others in Europe and lastly the UK and the US follow only a few weeks later.
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– May –
Hyundai announces 800-Volt electric car: Korea’s carmaker Hyundai presents further development of its concept 45 EV that forebodes the new e-GMP platform. Later in the year we would come to know it as the Ioniq 5 set for launch in 2021. It is part of Hyundai’s Strategy 2025 that includes no less than twelve all-electric models.
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– June –
Germany stimulates e-mobility: With infections going down, the pressure on the economy becomes apparent. The German government launches a stimulus package with a doubled environmental bonus as the ‘innovation premium’. Germany also earmarks 2.5 billion euros for charging infrastructure. The country would later prolong the measures to 2025.
– July –
European H2 corridor for fuel cell trucks: Stimuli and climate measure continue to ride high on the agenda on the European level as well. Initiated by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and AirLiquide, several European companies have joined forces to provide a hydrogen corridor for fuel cell trucks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. They target 1,000 trucks by 2025.
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Evergrande to launch six all-electric cars: In the slow summer month, the Chinese Evergrande Group’s ambitious electric car plans are taking shape. They want to offer six models under the Hengchi brand. These are numbered quite simply from 1 to 6 and include body styles from sedans to SUVs and even a seven-seater van.
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– September –
PHEV emissions higher than approved: Talk about climate measures – new fodder comes from a Fraunhofer study looking at 100,000 plug-in hybrids in the world’s major markets. The researchers find the real impact of driving a PHEV two to four times higher on average than in current test cycles and recommend policy makers to follow the science.
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– October –
As if on cue BMW recalls most of its PHEV models due to potential battery issues. The recall involves 26,700 plug-in hybrids worldwide. Only a month later BMW would take a turn in strategy. The company that had insisted on “bridge technology” for so long is working on a dedicated EV platform. By the end of 2021, BMW will have five electric models in its line-up.
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– November –
Nio announces 150 kWh battery: As the virus creeps back into our lives, good news is well received. Nio announces a new battery pack without letting on much technical detail. These may follow on ‘Nio Day’ in Chengdu on 9 January 2021. A capacity of 150 kWh and ranges of over 900 km sound promising. Besides, Nio founder Li Bin once more expresses his interest in Europe as Nio’s next market.
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– December –
China Model 3 with LFP cells arrive in Europe: The close of the electric year belongs to Tesla. The first Model 3 made in China arrive in Europe. The Standard Range Plus (SR+) models feature LFP cells. Tesla gets these from CATL but they have yet to show they can weather the continental climate.