Just pay for charging: Customers would only have the pay for the power to charge the Renault Zoe as Germany's EV subsidies make leasing it a zero cost affair | Photo: ecomento.de

Germany: Lease the Renault Zoe EV free of cost

Germany’s doubling of its EV subsidies has made some EVs so cheap that the Autohaus Konig chain of dealerships is now offering a free lease on the Renault Zoe electric car. Earlier, the car used to cost €125 per month for two years. But under new rules, the initial purchase cost of the car is covered under a €3,000 environmental subsidy, and the €125 monthly lease expense is covered by a new “innovation bonus” subsidy of an additional €3,000. 

In essence, owning the car is now cheaper than paying for a cellphone plan in the country. The dealership has been flooded with as many as 3,000 inquiries, 300 of which eventually leased the car.

Berkeley lab claims major breakthrough in li-ion battery chemistry 

A major new breakthrough in preventing the growth of dendrites in lithium-ion batteries has been reported by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley) in the US, which could significantly extend the batteries’ life and their range of applications. Li-ion batteries so far have struggled with using lithium metal in their anodes (instead of graphite) — to power them for hundreds of miles on a single charge — as it forms dendrites (tiny tree-like structures) that lower the batteries’ useful life over several charging and discharging structures.  

However, Berkeley claimed that the use of new, soft electrolytes (that are a mixture of ceramics and polymers) can stop the formation of dendrites at a very early stage. If commercially viable, the technology could boost present-day li-ion batteries’ range by as much as 30-50%, which would even make them suitable for medium-range aircraft. 

Biden, Cuomo chalk up big plans for electric cars

US presidential candidate Joe Biden and New York state governor Andrew Cuomo have announced big plans to get American voters to switch to electric cars. Biden has announced financial incentives for customers to buy electric cars and trucks — including, possibly, used ones — as long as they are “manufactured in the United States”. While this would greatly benefit Tesla, worthy competitors like Hyundai and Kia are likely to miss out. Biden’s plan also includes installing 500,000 EV chargers all across the US as an “investment” towards future mobility and job creation. 
In New York, governor Cuomo has unveiled his plan to slash the state’s carbon emissions by 85% by 2050 under the ‘EV Make Ready’ program, under which the government will help accelerate the sale of electric vehicles. It has also tied up with 14 other states in the region, including Washington DC, to ‘electrify’ diesel buses and trucks by 2050.

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