EVs on the global fast track

From mobile charging points to new joint ventures, the EV revolution rolls on.

BP has invested in US-based mobile EV rapid charging business FreeWire Technologies Inc.

BP mobile EV charging unit

Mobile EV Rapid charging unit Image: BP

Plans for a 2018 roll out of FreeWire’s Mobi Charger units for use at selected BP retail sites in the UK and Europe will allow the oil major to respond quickly to demand at forecourts without the need to invest in fixed technologies and infrastructure.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with DiDi Chuxing, the leading Chinese mobility transportation platform, to explore a potential partnership on a new EV car-sharing program. With an eye on developing mobility services including EVs, the OEM has launched a corporate venture capital fund earlier this year to invest $1bn in innovation.

Seven Asia-Pacific markets will soon be seeing a new all-electric Nissan Leaf.  The company is launching the model in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand during the next fiscal year. The Leaf may also be introduced in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Meanwhile the New Delhi-located Auto Expo 2018 saw the highest number of EVs showcased by OEMs including two and three-wheelers apart from passenger and commercial vehicles.  The CEO of a leading Japanese manufacturer was a little circumspect when he said, “We will wait for the EV charging infrastructure to develop before we bring our EVs into the Indian market."

And in the 2017 US market, 16% of total plug-in EVs were made by German companies, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry. This compares favourably to Germany's 7.9% share of the US total light vehicle market.  Most popular plug-in marque which was BMW's Mini.