Welcome to VOLT. A breakdown of the weeks E.V news!

 
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Welcome to our brand new feature, VOLT!

Our summary of all things E.V, and our first ever edition will be a summary of some of the latest and biggest news over the last few weeks. In future posts, we’ll be breaking down some of the bigger headlines over the past week, giving you our take on what’s going on. Kicking off our first ever VOLT post is some heavy news coming out of “Electric Adventure Vehicle” startup Rivian.

AMAZON INVESTS $700M IN ELECTRIC ADVENTURE VEHICLE STARTUP RIVIAN

 
 
The Rivian R1T.

The Rivian R1T.

Having set tails wagging at the end of 2018 with the debut of the 2020/2021 models R1T (above) and R1S, Rivian have secured $700M investment from Amazon. Significant? I would say so. It’s certainly not everyday companies are willing to part with $700M, and not on startup E.V manufacturers which have had a bit of a rocky road in the past. Lucid and Faraday Future are a couple that have had a less than an easy time.

Why Rivian then? Making an profitable Electric Car has it’s own struggles, but making an Electric Pickup Truck and Large Off-Roader is quite different. These vehicles traditionally work hard. Towing and carting all sorts of gear, wherever it’s needed isn’t going to be forgiving, especially if build quality isn’t up to scratch. Maybe Amazon sees a gap in the market and Rivian as a rival for Tesla for this reason. The Tesla for the rugged hard working sector of the market. Tesla has threatened a pickup, but are yet to produce anything close to what Rivian have shown, and with their priority being the worldwide delivery of Model 3 and further down the line Model Y, it’s hard to even call them a rival at this stage . An Electric version of the mega popular U.S model Ford F-150 is promised, but again, we are yet to see anything at all from Ford, and currently, there just isn’t anything out there in such an advanced state as Rivian’s offering. I’d also expect that with that kind of investment, from a company as big as Amazon, that Rivian will bring their products to market, and not just fancy concepts. A recent Rivian patent also revealed that they are playing on offering a removable battery that stows in the pickup bed, like you would see a mounted tool store or lock box. Using a unique connector on the front of the pickup bed, the extra auxiliary battery becomes an extension of the main, 180-kilowatt-hour battery to extend the range beyond the estimated 400 miles of range. What a smashing idea.

Polestar 2 Unveiling Today!

Polestar, the Volvo Electric performance brand released has come up with a rather novel way of launching their upcoming E.V the Polestar 2. As well as a new teaser image, a video confirming an online reveal for February 27th appeared on their website, and goes on to explain that it’s time to move on from the internal combustion engine (like we all didn’t know that anyway). The Polestar 2 will make its global debut today Wednesday 27 February at 13:00 CET and will be broadcast live from Polestar’s global headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. Polestar’s reasoning for this is that “The digital format significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the event and supports one of the key benefits of electromobility, to improve air quality” Can’t argue with that. The stream will be live on polestar.com as well as on the Polestar YouTube channel, with the vehicle making a physical appearance in public for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show.

 
 
 

I think the Polestar 2 is an exciting vehicle though. It’s a new name for many (who aren’t fans of Motorsport) and the first all electric offering from Volvo. The Swedish brand have built some beautiful looking vehicles in the past few years, and one can only imagine what they will be capable of coming up with when the normal constraints of dealing with an engine aren’t there. Polestar have also promised to re-imagine the way the driver interacts with the vehicle. They’ve developed a web app that gives you a flavour of whats to come from the software, which is powered by Google’s Android platform. The app is available at https://hmi-app.polestar.com but as always, we can’t be held responsible for external links.

 
 
 
 

Honda Urban EV

 
 
 
 

I’ll finish off this weeks post on some news from Honda. It wouldn’t be right for us to ignore the awful news that the Swindon Plant will shut in 2021, and we sincerely hope that jobs can be found for the 3,500 Honda Employees due to lose their jobs. In brighter news however, some new interior images of the upcoming Urban E.V. were released ahead of it’s Geneva Motor-show appearance next month. The pictures available above, show that the wrap-around dash display screens are staying. With 5 in total, the 3 central displays are used for the usual infotainment setup, charging status and driving based readouts, with the 2 others flanking either side for use as wing mirrors (as on the Launch edition of the Audi E-Tron)

Another Interesting point can be seen by zooming in on the charging display. The image of the Urban E.V charging status, suggests the vehicle will be a 5 door with the charging port in the middle of the bonnet.

That’s all folks…

Thanks for reading this weeks post. We will be back next week with all the best snippets of E.V news.

James O'Toole