On today’s podcast:

  • Warren Buffett-backed Tesla rival reports 162% profit jump
  • Xpeng self-driving system tested over 1,800-mile road trip
  • Joe Biden unveils America’s infrastructure plan
  • Apple’s Massive California Solar Farm Will Use Tesla ‘Megapack’ Batteries
  • A Universal Charging Standard Is Needed For Mass EV Adoption
  • Extreme E series starts this weekend
  • Meet the Briton leading a Tesla rival
  • Nissan on path to cobalt-free EV batteries by mid-2020s
  • bp Joins BMW, Daimler EV Charging Venture

 

 

Show #1038

 

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Thursday 1st April. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.

 

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Matthias Schmidt @auto_schmidt

 

“14,805 Ford Mach E manufactured in Q1 of which just under half in March.  6,614 sold in the US during the same period.”

 

 

WARREN BUFFETT-BACKED TESLA RIVAL REPORTS 162% PROFIT JUMP

“BYD Co., the Chinese electric-vehicle maker in which Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds a stake, said profit more than doubled last year thanks to a recovery in demand in the world’s biggest car market.” reports Livemint.com: “Shenzhen-based BYD’s net income surged 162% to 4.2 billion yuan ($644 million) in 2020, with operating revenue climbing to 153.5 billion yuan, according to its annual report. The company also estimated first-quarter profit will rise as much as 166%.”

 

https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/warren-buffett-backed-tesla-rival-reports-162-profit-jump-11617071192491.html

 

XPENG SELF-DRIVING SYSTEM TESTED OVER 1,800-MILE ROAD TRIP

“Chinese electric-vehicle startup Xpeng reached a major milestone in March in the development of its self-driving system for highways known as Navigation Guided Pilot.” says Motor Authority: “NGP falls under the Xpilot banner which groups all of Xpeng’s electronic driver-assist features, and is ranked at Level 2 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability as it still requires corrections to be made by the driver from time to time. However, the number of corrections is relatively low as Xpeng has demonstrated in a recent test. Xpeng in March invited 228 journalists, EV enthusiasts and industry experts to test the NGP in a fleet of P7 sedans traveling between the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Beijing. The particular route was chosen due to the complex situations the cars would encounter, as well as it being representative of conditions found on most Chinese highways. After compiling the results, it was found that the system required on average 0.71 corrections per 62 miles. NGP relies on an array of sensors as well as GPS navigation and high-definition map data. The sensors include 14 cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors, with all of the data processed by Nvidia’s Drive Xavier computer chip.”

 

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1131771_xpeng-self-driving-system-tested-over-1-800-mile-road-trip

 

JOE BIDEN UNVEILS AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

“On March 31st he announced the first half of his massive infrastructure package—laden both with old-fashioned blue-collar building projects as well as newfangled initiatives to help propel America into a greener future. $174bn of it will go on electric vehicles—tax credits to help consumers afford them, to encourage states to build 500,000 public charging stations and to boost domestic supply chains (the White House laments the size of America’s electric-vehicle market, which is just one-third that of China’s).” reports The Economist.

 

The Washington Post had an odd take: “The intention here is good, but these efforts could strand America behind the international curve. That’s because they ignore a burgeoning global trend in EV charging: a shift toward battery swapping. This simple, powerful mode of EV refueling uses robots to physically remove empty batteries and replace them with fully charged batteries — much as you would change the batteries in a flashlight. It’s already propelling the spread of scooters, electric rickshaws and EVs throughout China. “Fast chargers” represent an incomplete solution at best, partly because the name is a misnomer: they still take roughly an hour to charge.”

 

The author: Levi Tillemann.  He is vice president for policy and international outreach at Ample.

 

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/04/01/joe-biden-unveils-americas-most-ambitious-infrastructure-plan-in-generations

 

APPLE’S MASSIVE CALIFORNIA SOLAR FARM WILL USE TESLA ‘MEGAPACK’ BATTERIES

“Earlier today, Apple announced it was building one of the largest battery projects in the United States, located at the California Flats Solar Project, in Monterey County. What Apple didn’t disclose was the huge solar farm would be leveraging ‘megapack’ batteries from Tesla to store excess energy from the sun. According to The Verge, Monterey County confirmed Tesla ‘megapack’ batteries would be used by Apple:” says iPhone Canada: “Apple says its new energy storage project would have enough juice to power over 7,000 homes for one day.”

 

https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/apples-massive-california-solar-farm-will-use-tesla-megapack-batteries/

 

A UNIVERSAL CHARGING STANDARD IS NEEDED FOR MASS EV ADOPTION

“Rivian’s recently introduced Adventure Network of chargers sets the stage for a future of automaker exclusive charging made up of a confusing combo of charger types and exclusive networks. From a business standpoint, this makes sense for automakers. Enticing customers with an exclusive charging network can be sold as a benefit to both current and previous EV owners as well as people who aren’t owners and are on the fence about ownership. From a mass adoption standpoint, it won’t work.” writes Gizmodo: ” Tesla is the only automakers that uses its own proprietary charge connector. When Tesla established the Supercharger network in late 2012 it created its own Tesla-specific DC fast charging connector, because the common standard CCS plug didn’t yet exist. Tesla has clung to its own charger, despite everyone else agreeing on a new standard, shutting everyone else out from using the Supercharger network.”

 

A Universal Charging Standard Is Needed For Mass EV Adoption

 

EXTREME E SERIES STARTS THIS WEEKEND

“Extreme E is an exciting new motorsport, racing all-electric SUVs off-road in five different venues across diverse, challenging terrains. These venues are located in some of the most remote places on earth, and they’ve been chosen because these places have been devastated by the effects of climate change.” reports CNBC: “There are nine teams, each with one male and female driver (gender equality being another pillar of Extreme E), including famous names from many different motorsports. We have three Formula 1 world champions as team owners — Lewis Hamilton (X44), Nico Rosberg (Rosberg X Racing) and Jenson Button (JBXE) who is also a driver himself. Also among the driver line-up are former world rally champions Sébastien Loeb who won nine straight titles between 2004 and 2012 and twice-winner Carlos Sainz who has three Dakar Rally crowns. Behind the scenes, there are further F1 links with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown as Andretti United’s team principal, while Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer at Red Bull Racing, and ex-driver Jean-Eric Vergne are both with Veloce Racing.”

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/02/extreme-e-your-essential-guide-to-all-new-motorsport-series.html

 

MEET THE BRITON LEADING A TESLA RIVAL

“The Lucid Motors boss Peter Rawlinson is fluent in the language of the new breed of electric carmaker: he wants to save the planet and he wants to do it fast.” asys The Guardian: “Such is the urgency of the “impending environmental crisis” facing the world, according to Rawlinson, that Lucid is hoping to work with mass-market carmakers to get its technology into production as soon as possible. Lucid has been “approached by a few car companies this year” over licensing deals, Rawlinson told the Guardian. Those talks have yielded “nothing tangible” yet and the prospect of earning revenues from partnerships with other carmakers, he says, remains very speculative.”

 

“The dichotomy is we need to get millions of $25,000 cars into production fast to save the planet. We’ve got the right technology but as a company I can’t get there for about eight, nine years, and it’s too late.”

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/03/meet-the-briton-leading-a-tesla-rival-who-wants-to-save-the-planet-lucid

 

 

NISSAN ON PATH TO COBALT-FREE EV BATTERIES BY MID-2020S

“Nissan Motor intends to start using cobalt-free EV batteries by the mid-2020s, Nikkei has learned, as the rare metal element falls into short supply and concern rises about further price increases now that global demand for electric vehicles is swelling.” reports Nikkei.com: “The Japanese automaker wants to reduce the cost of electric vehicles, without affecting the range of these cars on a single charge. Batteries account for 30% of an electric vehicle’s manufacturing cost. And about 20% of the battery’s cost comes from the positive electrode, which is made of 20% cobalt as well as nickel and manganese. Nissan says it will reduce cobalt’s composition ratio to about 10% for an AriYa electric vehicle to be introduced later this year.”

 

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Environment/Climate-Change/Nissan-on-path-to-cobalt-free-EV-batteries-by-mid-2020s2

 

BP JOINS BMW, DAIMLER EV CHARGING VENTURE

“bp agreed to join BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in their drive to extend and significantly improve electrification, making electric vehicle charging more convenient, simpler and seamless for drivers.” electric Vehicles Research: “Digital Charging Solutions GmbH stands behind the CHARGE NOW brand and operates charging services such as “Mercedes me Charge”, “BMW Charging” and “MINI Charging”. DCS already offers access to 228,000 charging points in 32 countries giving OEMs, fleet customers and EV drivers extensive access to charging infrastructure across Europe.”

 

https://www.electricvehiclesresearch.com/articles/23477/bp-joins-bmw-daimler-ev-charging-venture?rsst2id=3

 

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