The Gains of EV Automobile Pioneers


Pioneering is closely associated with vision, focus, and patience. This is true with automakers that have pioneered the manufacture of Electric Vehicles. For others, the idea of manufacturing a mainstream electric car was not a venture worth throwing their full weight. Rather, it was interesting for most to try out a fusion of Electric and Gasoline, which gave birth to hybrid cars.
Mini was one of such visionary pioneer automaker to manufacture mainstream electric cars. If you recall, the brand leased the Hardtop-based Mini E electric car on a trial basis late last decade. This was to gather feedback on the usage of electric cars, which the BMW Group later used for the manufacture of i3. With the increasing usage of electric cars, Mini’s vision is now validated and they are now poised to launch a volume of EVs. First of such launch is happening this year 2019 and we’ve got insight on what it would look like.

As expected, Mini is using its signature Hardtop model for its first volume EV. But there isn’t much to distinguish the electric version from its gasoline-powered siblings, at least visually.
The car was previewed by the Mini Electric Concept unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show and is only the first of 12 electric cars the BMW Group will roll out by 2025. The production version will be badged a Cooper S E, positioning the electric Hardtop as a hot hatch as opposed to an eco-friendly model.

A key notable difference between the electric Hardtop and the internal-combustion models is the lack of exhaust pipes on the EV. The grille also appears mostly sealed, and in some of the shots, you can see an accent light running the width of the grille just like on the Mini Electric Concept. We can also see a distinct wheel pattern for the EV.
Mini remains quiet on specs, which is smart considering the pace at which technology is changing. We expect a single electric motor at the front axle and batteries located in the floor and beneath the rear seat. The range should be 200 miles or higher based on EPA testing.

The good news is that electric powertrains should enhance the go-kart feeling Minis are renowned for. The batteries in the floor further lower the center of the gravity and the low-end torque of an electric motor will ensure a level of responsiveness not possible with a gasoline mill. We can’t wait to take one for a spin.

Would this spin be happening in Africa as well, you may ask? Why is Africa being left out in the adoption of EVs? How can testing EVs in the continent and creating EV experience accelerate the adoption of EVs? Adoption of EVs in Africa has suffered a huge set back as a result of non-existing data in determining the possible impact of EV’s in the transportation and energy sector. By creating EV Experience through Mobility as a Service (MaaS) such data can be gleaned to measure impact while users enjoy the benefit of using EV’s. Such an experience would fuel the fast adoption of EV’s in the continent.

If only EV automakers would point their market searchlight towards Africa to pioneer use of EVs in the region, in partnership with Tech Startups providing mobility as a service in the continent, such as Gllyd Technology Limited, would they reap from Africa’s fast-growing mobility market.



Is Apple Getting The Better Part of Tesla?

Poach, or get poached, it’s the survival of the fittest. Tech giants are out to get the best at any cost. At the level of these tech giants, all that matters is not just achieving the first mover advantage but creating products that create a lasting impression while meeting users need.

Apple, Tesla, at the mention of these names, any tech enthusiast would brace up to ask, what is the next big thing coming up? This question leads us to ask, why is Apple poaching the big names at Tesla? Does Apple want to diversify to EV manufacturing? Let’s see if we can connect the dots with the names and position of staff that Apple has poached from Tesla. Michael Schwekutsch, Tesla’s head of Powertrains, Andrew Kim, Tesla’s senior designer. These names are behind the engineering of Tesla’s driverless cars. Could Apple poaching be for its fledgling Project Titan? Remember that Apple's Project Titan group was once responsible for a physical Apple car. It's thought that the team shifted strategies years ago to only focus on self-driving systems instead of hardware. Is Apple considering car manufacturing? If so, what could the recruitment of ex-Waymo engineer responsible for self-driving car technology last June hint? Though Apple maintains a tight lip, their continued high-profile hires show that Project Titan is far from dead, but it's unclear if the team is working on a physical car or software, and there is no indication of when Apple will be ready to share news from the team's efforts.

As Apple keeps new move covert, Audi is bringing the future closer to us. In anticipation of Shanghai auto show which starts April 16, 2019, Audi has confirmed plans to unveil the AI: ME concept, a pure design study that explores electric mobility, a decade from now, its design is thought to hint at future styling themes for the brand with for wings. It’s a compact EV with self-driving capability that Audi sees as the ideal ride for the crowded cities of tomorrow.

Teaser sketches released on Tuesday hint at a sporty, low-slung hatch with a large panoramic glass roof and the wheels pushed to the corners. There's also a look at the interior which still features a steering wheel, meaning the AI: ME isn't a pod you simply ride around in. Thankfully, Audi's vision of the future is one where mankind can still enjoy the experience of actual driving.

Set to join the concept on Audi's stand-in Shanghai will be a Q2 L e-Tron, an electric crossover based on the long-wheelbase Q2 sold exclusively in China. It's due to go on sale in China later this year.

It’s interesting to share these exciting development around EVs. Though, I’ve been pondering within me and asking aloud; with almost all automakers in Europe, America, Asia, gravitating towards EV manufacturing, what would be the market share of these automakers? Is it not strategic to have development, test, or partnership outside the mentioned regions, for the reason of fast market penetration and market share?

Considering the population of Africa and fast rise technology within the continent, would Africa not be a viable market for EVs? I think its time EV automakers consider having something in the region and other regions alike. One way to go is partnership. Using EV as MaaS in the region would solve environmental pollution, create a new face of transportation that is cheap, clean and smart. Such investment would further fuel development in the region and create more job opportunities. Gllyd Technology is at the forefront of bringing about such development to the region through MaaS, which doubles as an experience center for those who still cannot imagine the efficiency of EVs when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.