Volvo will launch its first all-electric car in 2019 to take on Tesla — here’s everything we know

Volvo is looking to China for the future of its electric cars.

The carmaker said Wednesday that it plans to produce its first fully electric car in China and will export it around the world.

The Swedish automaker, which is owned by the Chinese company Geely, is making a big bet on electric vehicles.

In 2015, Volvo launched its XC90, which was its first vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. And in April 2016, the company vowed that it would sell one million electrified cars by 2025.

Volvo's first fully electric car is slated to go into production in 2019. Here's everything we know about the car so far.

Volvo's first electric car will have a 100 kWh battery and be manufactured at its factory in Luqiao, China.

Volvo's designed the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for its smaller electric cars.Volvo
Mats Anderson, a senior director of electric propulsion systems, said in February that its modular car platforms will support 100 kWh battery packs, according to a report by Green Car Congress. 

 When fully charged, the vehicle will have a range of 250-miles.

To help put that into perspective, Tesla's Model S 100D has a range of 335 miles per charge, according to EPA estimates. 

Volvo will likely price the car between $35,000 and $40,000, putting it in direct competition with Tesla's Model 3.

Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Car USA, said in March that he was pushing for its first electric car to fall in the $40,000 range. 

The move makes sense considering more affordable, long-range electric cars are coming to market in a similar timeframe. 

Tesla is planning to launch its first mass-market car, the Model 3, by the end of this year, but the majority of its pre-orders are expected to arrive in 2018. And Volkswagen's first long-range, electric crossover is coming in 2020. 

While Volvo hasn't said whether or not the vehicle will be a sedan or SUV, it has said it will use a smaller platform, similar to the 40-Series, for the car.

While Volvo hasn't said whether or not the vehicle will be a sedan or SUV, it has said it will use a smaller platform, similar to the 40-Series, for the car.
Volvo's 40.2 concept car.Volvo
Volvo previously said that its first electric car would be built on a larger platform, like the one used for the S90. However, the company has shifted away from that plan. 

Volvo said in a press statement on Wednesday that its new electric car will be based on its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which is the platform the carmaker is using for its smaller 40-Series vehicles. 

However, it is not clear whether Volvo will actually use the CMA platform for its first electric car, or if it will introduce a new platform that is even smaller. 

 Volvo also plans to launch another larger electric car by 2019

Volvo will also build an all-electric vehicle on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which is the same platform the company used for its second-generation XC90 SUV and its 90-Series sedan. 

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YouTube’s $35-a-month TV streaming service just launched — here’s what it’s like

 Steve Kovach 
 
Google's experiment to court cord-cutters begins now.

On Wednesday, Google launched YouTube TV, the live-TV video-streaming service it announced earlier this year, on iPhone and Android. It costs $35 a month, and up to six users can share an account. (However, you can stream on only three devices at the same time.) You also get a one-month free trial and can cancel whenever you want — no contracts.

YouTube TV includes over 40 channels with the option to buy premium networks like Showtime. There's also a virtual DVR service with unlimited storage so you can stream shows you've recorded to your device and skip past commercials.

Here's a quick overview of the channels you get with YouTube TV

I've been using YouTube TV for only a few days, so this isn't a full, in-depth review. I also haven't had a chance to test the service on Chromecast or use the voice-control features with the Google Home speaker. But overall, the video streams have been steady and reliable on YouTube TV, which has been a big challenge for competitors like DirecTV Now and Sling TV. We'll see how it holds up once the public gets to try it though.

Want to see it in action? Keep reading.

View As: One Page Slides

YouTube TV is a separate app you download for iPhone or Android. It's not on devices like Roku or Apple TV yet.

 

If you want to watch YouTube TV on your television, you'll need Chromecast or a special TV with Google Cast.

Chromecast and Google Cast will let you beam YouTube TV from your phone to your television.The Home tab recommends live and recorded shows you might want to watch based on shows you've selected to record.

The Live tab shows you what's streaming now from about 40 channels. 

The user interface is nice here. You swipe up and down to channel-surf, and previews start streaming as soon as you scroll through. The Library tab displays the shows you've saved to your virtual DVR. You have "unlimited" DVR space, but shows disappear after nine months.

Clicking the + button next to a show will save it to your DVR. The show will automatically record the next time it airs. You can also fast-forward through commercials on shows stored in your DVR . There are also a lot of shows and movies available to watch on demand.

If you like sports, you can select your favorite teams, and YouTube TV will automatically record the games they play.  

You get access to YouTube's original programming. These shows also come with YouTube Red, its $10-a-month subscription service that doesn't include live TV.
You get access to YouTube's original programming. These shows also come with YouTube Red, its $10-a-month subscription service that doesn't include live TV.
YouTube original shows feature YouTube stars like Lily Singh and MatPat.

Although YouTube TV is a bundle with over 40 channels, you might have trouble finding what you want to watch.

There's no CNN, Discovery, HBO, TBS, Comedy Central, or a slew of other popular channels.

YouTube TV has all four major broadcast networks, though, which have been tough for competing services to provide. Still, channel availability can vary depending on where you live.

This is the biggest drawback to YouTube TV right now. While DirecTV Now offers packages with 120 channels or more, YouTube TV's selection feels limited in comparison.

There's some good news: AMC networks are coming soon.
AMC was one of the biggest networks missing from YouTube TV when the service was announced. But now YouTube says it's coming soon, along with IFC, Sundance TV, BBC America, and others. It won't cost extra.

You can add Showtime for another $11 a month.
Showtime
Other premium services like Fox Soccer Plus ($15 a month), Shudder (coming soon), and Sundance Now (also coming soon) will be available as add-ons.

YouTube TV isn't a good option for most people.
Hollis Johnson
To borrow Google CEO Sundar Pichai's favorite phrase, it's clearly "early days" for YouTube TV and similar services.

As nice as it is to stream shows to your smartphone, it'd be better to have more options besides Chromecast to watch on TV. And YouTube seems so steadfast in keeping the price at $35 a month that it's willing to leave out a lot of cable channels people love.

The technology behind YouTube TV feels sound, but it'll need to grow up a lot before it becomes a viable cable replacement for most people.

 

 

 

 

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Apple Just Put Another Nail In Snapchat’s Proverbial Coffin

Apple announced it will launch Clips in April, a video-making app that allows users to capture photos and videos, combine multiple videos and include a variety of features like Filters, Overlays, Posters and Live Titles.

We can draw many similarities between Clips and the already existing features of Snapchat, Instagram and Messenger. However, the key difference is that Clips is not attempting to build a stand-alone network. Instead, it acts as a production tool and encourages sharing across all existing platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. Although the main emphasis is to encourage sharing via iMessage, the option of social network freedom is nevertheless there.

Until now, the mass-market video messaging features have been largely tied to the boundaries of their parent platforms. Users post Snaps on Snapchat, Stories on Instagram and Days on Messenger. To take part in advanced video messaging, users had to use at least one of these social networks, often multiple ones, as different social circles use different platforms. Users often tend to post content only on the one channel they find most relevant. With Clips, users can now make one Clip and share with their peers on Snapchat, their mother on Instagram and their grandfather on Facebook in one seamless session – or use iMessage to share it with their phone contacts. Apple encourages users to engage with the latter by deploying its face recognition technology that automatically suggests to share the clips with the people featured in the video.

Why Is Apple Doing This?

Apple rightly recognized that advanced video messaging features have grown so popular,that they have become a major product differentiator in the war of social networks. Apple has always been all about making consumers’ lives easier with user-friendly products. If mobile users have now evolved to expect a great photo/video messaging production experience as a standard, it is in Apple’s utmost interest to deliver it better than any non-Apple product can. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that we are going to see an Android version anytime soon (unless the uptake on iOS exceeds all expectations and a scalable opportunity emerges to drive potential new Apple users into the pipeline).

Apple is joining the trend of making video messaging features a part of its own product differentiation, but it does it in a completely different, competitive landscape. While most companies use video messaging features to differentiate their social media platforms, no other smartphone manufacturers do so at scale.

Implications

Besides creating a new product differentiator for iOS that will help drive further brand loyalty, Clips may disrupt both Snap Inc. and Facebook Inc.. If consumers start using Clips to produce photo and video messages at scale, all social networks risk a decrease in their average session lengths as a result. Even worse however, is their risk of loosing a portion of the high-value Apple users, who may simply choose to start sharing via the iMessage app. This in turn could threaten the value for advertisers and subsequently drive ad-inventory prices down.

This is much more of an existential threat for Snapchat than Facebook, because the former is amidst figuring out its business model and it does not have a solid foothold globally. After losing its product differentiation in the social messaging space, it will now face additional competitive pressures from the most valuable company in the world.
Karol Severin Karol Severin
Analyst • MIDiA Research

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