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A look back at the top electric vehicle news of 2018

However, there have also been a few bumps in the road, with two big bumps coming to mind – like Tesla chief executive Elon Musk’s disclosure in August he was taking his electric car company private, and the ongoing trials and tribulations of Faraday Future, a startup that has yet to get off the ground.

And it is too bad about Faraday’s money problems, too. At CES 2016, the company showed off its FFZERO1, a prototype single-seat sports car capable of producing as much as 1,000 horsepower. The bigger news with Faraday Future’s electric car was that it was based on a flexible chassis that can be made longer or shorter, and could use a varying number of battery packs.

Faraday planned to finish its first car, the FF 91, and start production before 2019. Like Tesla, the company wanted to usher in a new wave of electric, autonomous and “seamlessly connected” vehicles, and at the time was considered a “real competitor” for Tesla,

Faraday Future s FF 91 pre-production vehicle

Faraday Future’s FF 91 pre-production vehicle
Faraday Future

But Faraday has been fighting with the investor, Season Smart, who decided to bail them out. And for a while, things seemed to be going well, but they ran out of money. To get more money, Jia Yueting, the CEO of Faraday Future, had to distance himself from various offshore companies tied to the electric vehicle maker “as soon as reasonably practicable,” according to court documents.

To make a long story short, the businessman is now camped out in California, where Faraday is based, avoiding the Chinese government and companies he owes money, according to Engadget.

EV Sales worldwide take off in 2018
Over 3.0 million electric cars were sold in 2017 – a new record – with more than half of global sales in China. The total number of electric cars was an expansion of over 50 percent from 2016. Nearly all European countries, except Belgium and Greece, posted growth for 2018 YTD, many of them over 100 percent.

Take a look at the Mercedes-Benz EQC

Take a look at the Mercedes-Benz EQC

It is expected that 410 000 plug-ins will be delivered in Europe by the end of 2018. The total sale of EVs in the United States will hit over 1 million vehicles by the end of December. As of October 1, 2018, U.S. sales of plug-in vehicles (plug-in hybrids and battery-electrics) stood at 956,348, Wards Intelligence data shows.

Teslas make up better than half of the Battery-operated vehicles (BEVs), with the Model S large sedan, Model X CUV and new Model 3 midsize sedan together racking up sizable numbers.

And while the Model S is the best-selling BEV so far in the U.S., with 133,322 deliveries since it was launched in 2012, the No.2 in total BEV sales is Nissan’s Leaf, with 125,513 deliveries since its 2010 debut.

The key for Tesla is producing an entry-level car in the mid-$30 000 range  which would put it in di...

The key for Tesla is producing an entry-level car in the mid-$30,000 range, which would put it in direct competition with major automakers.

Digital Journal has also followed the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid, very closely, and it is by far the leader, chalking up 147,081 sales since it went on sale in the U.S. in late 2010.

“Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada, and South Korea, has outstripped production,” Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement in July this year, announcing the company’s second-quarter sales.

The plug-in variant of Toyota’s Prius hybrid is No. 2 in total Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) sales, with 86,226 deliveries since 2012. Rounding out the PHEV top five are the Ford Fusion, Ford C-Max and BMW X5. All in all, this is good news, with Wards Intelligence forecasting BEVs will make up 2.4 percent of total U.S. light-vehicle sales by 2025, up from 1.6 percent today.

2016 Chevrolet Volt (second generation) unveiled at the January 2015 North American International Au...

2016 Chevrolet Volt (second generation) unveiled at the January 2015 North American International Auto Show
January 17, 2015.
2016 Chevrolet Volt NAIAS 2015.jpg: William Oliver

EV batteries given a new life with nanotechnology
Like the engines in conventional vehicles, the advanced batteries in EVs are designed for a long life but will wear out eventually.
Currently, most manufacturers are offering 8-year/100,000-mile warranties for their batteries. Nissan is providing additional battery capacity loss coverage for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

However, since the late 1990s, advances in battery technology have been driven by demands for portable electronics, like laptop computers and mobile phones. The BEV marketplace has reaped the benefits of these advances both in performance, energy density.

Battery types include the lead-acid, nickel metal hydride, the sodium or Zebra, and Lithium-ion. Most EVs today are utilizing new variations on lithium-ion chemistry that sacrifice specific energy and specific power to provide fire resistance, environmental friendliness, very rapid charges (as low as a few minutes), and very long lifespans.

The Subaru G4e is a concept electric car developed by Japanese automaker Subaru in conjunction with ...

The Subaru G4e is a concept electric car developed by Japanese automaker Subaru in conjunction with Tokyo utility TEPCO as a possible successor to the R1e. It was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. The G4e uses a lithium-ion battery developed exclusively by Subaru which employs vanadium technology to allow the battery to store two to three times more lithium ions than conventional lithium-ion batteries
Nguyen Hung Vu from Hanoi, Vietnam

But even the reliable Lithium-ion battery is being replaced by batteries containing more variants that give even longer lifespans.
For example, Lithium vanadium oxide is already being used in the Subaru prototype G4e doubling energy density. Silicon nanowires, silicon nanoparticles, and tin nanoparticles also show promise of several times the energy density in the anode, while composite and superlattice cathodes also promise significant density improvements.

One thing is absolutely for sure – Electric vehicles are the new future, especially as more and more European countries move toward a zero-emissions future. So the EV will have found its niche in our lives as we move toward a greener future.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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