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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The Bentley Residences will be located on Sunny Isles Beach.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Sunny Isles Beach already owns the distinction as being the home to the most Rolls-Royces at one residence, the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach. Now, a strip of oceanfront land that's halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be home to a new luxury development designed to fit with the lifestyle of luxury Bentley vehicle owners.

The world's first Bentley-branded residences have been launched in partnership with Dezer Development. They've been designed by Sieger Suarez Architects, a firm that has the Porsche Design Tower (18555 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach), Trump Grande, and Residences by Armani/Casa in its portfolio.

The tower will be built at 18401 Collins Avenue, the current site of the Days Hotel by Wyndham Thunderbird Beach Resort.

Bentley Residences will contain more than 200 luxury apartments. The building will stand 749 feet and reach over 60 stories high, the same number of floors as the Salesforce tower in San Francisco and Franklin Center in Chicago. It's being billed as the tallest residential tower on any U.S. beachfront.

The residences are built-to-suit domiciles that will include an in-unit multi-car garage as well as ocean and bay views via floor-to-ceiling windows from each apartment. Homes will also have a private balcony, pool, sauna and outdoor shower. Interior amenities will include a gym, spa, whisky bar and restaurant. There will also be communal gardens.

"The modern and progressive brand identity of Bentley Residences is at work in both the tower's interior and exterior spaces, rooted in authenticity, sustainability and innovation," said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. "We've partnered with Dezer to create a living experience that expresses the very philosophy of the Bentley brand and stays true to our vision of inspiring extraordinary journeys."

Architects have designed the tower to include uninterrupted views of the ocean and the waterways and feature sustainable materials throughout with a focus on wellness. The project is being designed in accordance with the Florida Green Building Council (FLGC) certification. Additionally, designers plan to use reduced coastal lighting to protect endangered sea turtles.

Construction of the residences will begin in early 2023. They are schedule for completion in 2026.

"Partnering with Bentley Motors, a true global luxury brand and being able to create another first in the Miami marketplace is an extraordinary opportunity," added Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development. "With Bentley Motors, together we will create something inspiring, powerful and iconic – a true game-changer when it comes to luxury living."

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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