Electric Vehilces

Electrify America to compete with Amazon by selling at-home EV charging stations

Electrify America is expanding its business into the home.

Photo courtesy of Electrify America

Electrify America is expanding from roadside electric vehicle (EV) charging stations into the home. Called Electrify Home, the busiest unit will sell charging stations and supplies that enable the EV lifestyle. Amazon already has a similar business that is partnered with a number of automakers.

Last year, Electrify America sold its first Level 2 Home Charger. Electrify Home encompasses a larger product line including installation of the charger (through Qmerit) and 24/7 customer support.

"Right now, about 80 percent of electric vehicle charging is done at home. With the launch of Electrify Home, we're providing flexible and forward-thinking home charging solutions for EV drivers of today and tomorrow," said Nina Huesgen, senior manager, Home and eCommerce at Electrify America. "EV drivers need more charging options to feel truly independent and confident in their decision to go electric, which is why Electrify America has expanded its focus to create a connected and smart home charging ecosystem."

Features of the Electrify America Level 2 Home Charger:

  • Flexible installation options: For easy installation, the L2 home charger comes with a standard NEMA 14-50 supply power plug, compatible with the 240-volt outlets commonly found in households. The unit can also be hardwired by a licensed and qualified electrician and comes with a docking station that allows for wall-mounting.
  • Indoors or outdoors: The home charger is equipped with a NEMA 3R enclosure, allowing it to be mounted inside or outside. A 24.6-foot long cable makes it easy to reach and plug in your car.
  • Colored light that indicates charging status: An LED color indicator makes it easy to view charging status, with a ring around the charger that lights up blue while the car is charging and lights up green when the battery is full.
  • Three-year warranty, 24-hour support: Electrify America offers a three-year warranty and 24-hour customer support.

"We look forward to using the Electrify Home platform to expand our offerings in the home charging space, as we develop new product lines and services that will help further streamline EV ownership," said Huesgen.

In addition to the launch of Electrify Home, Electrify America is continuing to grow its public network of ultra-fast EV chargers with a goal to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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Rivian R1T
Photo courtesy of Rivian

Citing rising component and materials costs, Rivian raised prices for its two electric vehicles earlier this week. The price hike impacts existing order holders and new customers alike, which didn't go over so well, as you might imagine. Today, the company walked that decision back, after facing complaints and seeing canceled orders from angry customers.

Rivian R1T and R1S Photo courtesy of Rivian

Rivian raised its prices by 17 percent and 20 percent for the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, respectively. Almost immediately, the move caused a stir, with customers and half the internet lobbing criticism and complaints at the automaker. Now, though, it seems the company is ready to make amends. In a letter sent to customers, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe noted that prices for preorders placed before March 1 will roll back to the original price, and noted that anyone who canceled their order can place a new one and keep their place in line, along with their original vehicle configuration. Scaringe says that going forward, the company's dual-motor and standard battery pack offerings are in place to give buyers a more affordable alternative to the quad-motor, extended-range vehicles it sells.

New photos show Rivian R1S on, off the production lineautomotivemap.com

In his letter, Scaringe apologizes for the change. He explains that the move broke the trust Rivian has with its customers and notes that the company didn't handle communication of the changes well. He said that components from semiconductors to sheetmetal are all more expensive, and apologizes for applying the price increases to all future orders, regardless of when they were placed.

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