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February 16, 2018 News of the Day: California Electric Company Partners with BMW Offering a $10,000 Rebate on a New BMW i3, Porsche to Challenge Tesla's Model S with its 670 Horsepower Mission E

February 16, 2018 News of the Day: California Electric Company Partners with BMW Offering a $10,000 Rebate on a New BMW i3, Porsche to Challenge Tesla's Model S with its 670 Horsepower Mission E

Author: Eric Walz   

California Electric Company Partners with BMW Offering a $10,000 Rebate on a New BMW i3

Over half of all electric vehicle sold in the U.S. are purchased in the state of California, where environmentally conscious residents were quick to embrace electric vehicles. Now residents of southern California have a greater incentive to purchase a new electric BMW i3—a substantial rebate.

The Southern California Edison (SCE) electricity company, which serves the greater Los Angeles area, has teamed up with BMW to offer buyers a $10,000 rebate on an i3 purchased between now and April 30.

All prospective i3 owners have to do is prove that they are an SCE utility customer and they'll be eligible for the large rebate. Employees at SCE are also eligible for the rebate.

When combined with other available incentives, i3 buyers can save another $10,000. By taking advantage of the $7500 federal tax credit for EVs, $2500 from the State of California's zero-emission grant program, and an additional $450 saving from Southern California Edison, $20,450 can be saved on the i3. That's brings the i3's staring price down to about $24,450.

"Widespread adoption of electric cars is critical in meeting California's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030," SCE spokesperson Katie Sloan said.

"The transportation sector accounts for nearly half of California's greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80% of its air pollution. As we add more renewable resources to the grid, electric vehicles will become increasingly beneficial to the environment."

Porsche to Challenge Tesla with its 670 Horsepower Mission E

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German automaker Porsche is getting in the ring with Tesla with its new high-performance Mission E electric sedan, aimed directly at Tesla's Model S. During development, the car has even been tested alongside the Tesla Model X and Model S. Now Porsche has finally revealed some of the details of its new electric car.

Automobile has reported that Porsche will likely release three all-wheel drive versions with 300 kW, 400 kW and 500 kW battery pack producing either 402, 536, or 670 horsepower. The Mission E will have a two-speed transmission reaching 0 to 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. The car will be able to travel about 300 miles on a charge

The Mission E will address a slightly different market. Thanks to the electric drivetrain, it's bigger inside than it looks. "The production version is in essence a C-segment sedan with an almost D-size interior," Mission E lead Stefan Weckbach told Automobile.

The concept also has a much more aggressive, nearly supercar-like profile, as well. Even if it's relatively roomy inside, it is more likely to attract buyers who want a roomy sports car. Tesla buyers, on the other hand, probably want things the other way around, a sedan that can go really fast if needed. Now that the specs are revealed, the public can no longer dismiss the Mission E as just vaporware. Porsche now seems to gearing up to get the Mission E into production.

Toyota Design Chief Sees a Future Without Mass Market Cars

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NAGOYA, Japan — As ride-sharing services replace car ownership in the future, Toyota's new design chief believes that vehicles will shift toward either generic boxes on wheels for everyday use or ultra-luxury cars, eliminating the need for mass-market models.

Simon Humphries, designer at the automaker's Toyota and Lexus brands, said that fleets of electric, self-driving shuttle bus-like vehicles could one day eliminate the need for people to drive themselves around on a daily basis. This could one day make cars like its popular Toyota Camry and Corolla obsolete.

"On one side we're going to see this optimized (transport) system, but on the other side you're going to see a pure race car," Humphries, who last month became general manager of Toyota's advanced R&D and engineering company, told reporters in Nagoya.

"There will be an emotional solution, and a practical solution. So maybe the story is that the middle ground is increasingly going to disappear."

Toyota, one of the world's largest automakers which for years has focused on building reliable cars, is now also looking beyond personal-use vehicles to survive in an industry being transformed by the onslaught of electrification, automation and other new technologies.

As automakers compete to come up with new, profitable transport services, Toyota last month showed a self-driving electric concept vehicle which can be used as buses, mobile shops or moving offices.

Toyota plans to test these next-generation vehicles in the early 2020s.

The ability for cars to drive themselves in the future, along with the development of electric cars, will be a game-changer for vehicle design, Humphries said, as it will eliminate the need for steering wheels, engines, petrol tanks and other traditional parts, enabling more flexibility to design vehicles that are more fit-for-purpose.

"At the moment, everything in a car from a design point of view is based on a 100-year-old package — engine in the front, and a driver holding a steering wheel behind," he said.

"When you don't have to hold a steering wheel, the world is your oyster."

Mercedes Benz EQ Electric Car to Debut at the Geneva Auto Show

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Mercedes-Benz will unveil the first ever electric model from its new EQ brand at next month's 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.

The EQC (name yet to be confirmed) is a small electric SUV about the size of the GLC. It was previewed by 2016's Generation EQ concept, which introduced the EQ sub-brand, and is expected to offer a range approaching 300 miles on a single charge.

Another, less likely possibility for the identity of the first EQ electric car is an EQA electric hatchback based on 2017's EQA concept.

Rival luxury brands Audi and Jaguar will also present their first volume electric cars at the upcoming Geneva show. Audi will be there to show its new e-tron SUV, while Jaguar bring its I-Pace SUV. Both models are due on sale in 2018 while the Mercedes EQC is only due on sale a year later, in 2019.

Mercedes will also use the Geneva show to unveil an updated C-Class, some new options for the Maybach S-Class, as well as the new G63 and GT Coupe from AMG.

The Geneva Auto Show beings on March 6.


Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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