Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily, you trusted source of information. It’s Friday 25th March, it’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
Tesla battery supplier LG Energy Solutions announces $1.4B battery factory in Arizona
– Tesla battery supplier LG Energy Solutions announced it would build a $1.4 billion battery production facility in Arizona as demand for electric vehicles throughout the United States skyrockets.
– LG Energy Solutions said it would build the $1.4 billion plant to meet demand for “prominent startups” and other North American companies
– The factory is expected to be operational by 2024, the company believes.
– The Arizona plant will be LGES’s first-ever U.S. factory to make cylindrical electric vehicle cells, which are typically used by automakers like Tesla and Lucid, which has an automotive production facility in Arizona.
CATL Builds World’s First ‘Zero-Carbon’ EV Battery Factory
– CATL, has received the internationally recognized specification for carbon neutrality (“PAS 2060” certification) for its new electric vehicle battery plant in China. The recent PAS 2060 certification makes the plant the world’s first zero-carbon factory in the new energy industry.
– The certification marks a significant milestone for CATL towards its carbon neutrality goals. As the world’s first zero-carbon battery plant, CATL’s Sichuan plant sets an example of how battery production can be carbon neutral.
– To become PAS 2060 certified, CATL-SC said it developed a “trailblazing smart plant management system”, which enables the interconnection of data by automatically capturing the plant system data and equipment operation data. The system-wide facility management platform helps to ensure safe, reliable, high-efficiency and low-carbon operation of the facility. Even the forklifts used at the plant are electric. Employees are also encouraged to use electric vehicles and shared mobility to get to work, further reducing their carbon footprint.
– CATL-SC’s parent CATL is emerging as a leader in EV battery production on a global scale. In December, CATL began phase 1 production at its newest EV battery factory in China. Once completed, the plant will be the world’s largest EV battery factory with an annual production of 120 GWh. The plant will be more than three times the size of Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada.
– CATL is investing 17 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion) in the plant and said it will create about 10,000 jobs once fully operational.
VW’s Electrify America unveils new ‘human-centered’ EV charging stations
– Electrify America, the electric vehicle charging company that’s a subsidiary of Volkswagen, announced plans to install new “human-centered” charging stations in several cities in California and New York, complete with solar panel awnings and a lounge-like waiting area. The company is also rolling out a slimmer, redesigned EV charger aimed at improving the customer experience.
– The company’s new stations are organized around comfort, security, and amenities, with a nod toward the length of time it takes to recharge an EV. Electrify America says the goal is to create “a more inviting transition to an electric vehicle lifestyle from traditional gas station.”
– The most notable change for Electrify America’s current design is the inclusion of solar panel awnings, which have the dual effect of sheltering customers from the sun and inclement weather while also supplying power for the station’s operations. The company says it is currently in the process of adding solar awnings to 400-500 individual chargers at 100 charging stations across the country. It already has solar canopies at its flagship charging stations in Baker and Santa Clara, California.
– The company has also begun rolling out a redesigned EV charger with a slimmer profile and newly simplified controls. The ultra-fast chargers with up to 150 and 350 kilowatts of charging power stand at nearly 8 feet tall, with recessed screens to help reduce sunlight glare.
Google searches for electric vehicles set record in March
– As gas prices soared and deepened the pain at the pump this month, consumers reacted by searching for — and possibly dreaming of — more fuel-efficient vehicle alternatives. Web search interest in electric vehicles reached a record high in the US in March, according to Google Trends.
– EVs are still prohibitively expensive for many US households. And rather than shelling out even more money up front, many consumers tend to hold on to their current vehicles for as long as they’ll last.
– It’s also not just EVs; people are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles in general, including hybrids and compact cars, of which sales spiked early this year, according to Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Cox Automotive.
– The problem, Krebs said, is that the EV supply is currently limited, which is what many people searching for electric vehicles on Google are probably finding out.
More affordable Polestar 2 undercuts Tesla Model 3, at $47,200 for US
– The new 270-mile single-motor version of the Polestar 2 will start at $47,200 (including destination) in the United States, Polestar confirmed Thursday.
– That base price undercuts the Tesla Model 3, which now starts at $48,190 for base version with a 272-mile range. Considering that Polestar qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit and Tesla doesn’t, the actual price difference could be even greater for some customers.
– In states with generous incentives—like New Jersey—the single-motor Polestar 2 could be had for “well under $35,000,”
– Both the single-motor and dual-motor versions of the Polestar 2 are available with two option packages. The Plus Pack ($4,000) adds the heat pump that enables the maximum 270-mile range, along with a panoramic glass roof, 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and WeaveTech vegan upholstery.
The Pilot Pack ($3,200) adds driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and Polestar parent Volvo’s Pilot Assist system.
JLR’s talks with Envision AESC could lead to new UK gigafactory
– Jaguar Land Rover and battery supplier Envision AESC are in talks to supply cells for electric Range Rover and Land Rover models, the Financial Times has reported.
– Envision AESC, which started as a Japanese-based joint venture between NEC and Nissan in 2007 before being integrated into Chinese battery conglomerate Envision in 2018, is currently investing £450 million into a seperate battery gigafactory in Sunderland
– However, the deal being discussed is said to be so large that JLR will require its own battery facility. The firm plans to put six electric models on the road by 2025 but will still use its Solihull plant as its main hub for electric vehicle manufacturing.
– As for Land Rover, it is set to launch the all-electric Range Rover in 2024.
SK Group affiliate acquires EverCharge
– SK E&S, an energy company affiliated with South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group (SK Innovation), is entering the US electric vehicle charging market. SK E&S has acquired US EV charging solution provider EverCharge.
– This is the first time a Korean company has acquired the management rights of an EV charging company based in the United States. EverCharge was founded in 2013 in California. The company manufactures EV chargers and operates charging stations.
– SK innovation’s battery business include Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai-Kia Motors, and Ford Motor Company.
NIO ET7 Enters Production, Deliveries To Start March 28
– NIO has started production of its first sedan, the ET7 flagship EV, on March 24, just four days before customer deliveries are scheduled to start in China.
– NIO aims to gradually increase the production speed to meet the standards of mass production while at the same time ensuring that the quality of the ET7 and its components meet the requirements of the Production Part Approval Process.
– The earliest reservation holders in China will start getting their ET7 electric sedans from March 28, although NIO noted that delivery times will vary by region due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Customers who to choose the battery rental service BaaS (Battery-as-a-Service) will see the starting price slashed by at least RMB 70,000.
– The 150-kWh pack claimed to offer a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on the NEDC cycle is not yet available to order. Regardless of the battery pack, all ET7 models feature a dual-motor AWD powertrain with a combined output of 644 horsepower and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque, enabling a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 3.9 seconds.
– NIO CEO William Li said that orders for the ET7 exceed the rumored 15,000, without providing a number.
UK government vows 10-fold increase in electric car chargers by 2030
– The UK government has set a new target to increase the number of electric car chargers more than ten times to 300,000 by 2030 after heavy criticism that the rollout of public infrastructure is too slow to match rapid growth in sales.
– The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would invest an extra £450m to do so, alongside hefty sums of private capital.
– The £450m local electric vehicle infrastructure fund would focus on charger hubs and on-street chargers, the DfT said.
– Boris Johnson linked the move to electric cars to the push to reduce dependence on foreign fossil fuel supplies. Fuel prices have hit record highs with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine expected to add further to a cost of living crisis because of global reliance on its exports of oil and gas.
Automotive Cell Company Announces Battery Gigafactory In Italy
– This week ACC announced that the production capacity of the French and German plants (under construction) will be increased to 40 GWh each (up from 24 GWh previously). That’s a total of 80 GWh annually in a few years.
– On top of that will come the third battery plant in Termoli, Italy, where ACC will transform Stellantis’ existing Termoli plant into a battery factory. This site also might have about 40 GWh of manufacturing capacity
– According to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares (via Automotive News), the investment in Italy might be similar to the projects in France and Germany, where the cost is estimated at around €2 billion ($2.2 billion) per site. In total, ACC is expected to spend some €7 billion ($7.7 billion).
– The Automotive Cells Company (ACC) battery joint venture, originally established by Stellantis (PSA at the time) and TotalEnergies/Saft in Summer 2020, confirmed that Mercedes-Benz joined the endeavor as a new, equal partner, which was first announced in September 2021.
Volkswagen delays ID.5 launch due to Ukraine wiring harness bottleneck
– Volkswagen will delay the launch of its ID.5 electric car by a month to the first week of May because of disruptions in the supply of wire harnesses from Ukraine, a spokesperson said on Friday.
– The lack of supply meant that the carmaker was unable to produce enough exhibition and demonstration vehicles for all its sales partners, according to a letter to dealerships seen by autos publication Automobilwoche, which first reported the news.
– The ID.5 is being produced in Volkswagen’s Zwickau plant, where production was temporarily halted due to supply bottlenecks caused by the war in Ukraine but is due to resume next week.
Amazon unveils its first fully-electric HGV delivery trucks
– Amazon is launching five electric Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in its delivery fleet for the first time in the UK.
– The 37-tonne fully-electric vehicles are now operating from Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Tilbury and Milton Keynes
– The five vehicles replace diesel HGVs, resulting in up to 100,000 annual road miles fuelled with renewable electricity instead of diesel, preventing 170 tons of CO2e from being emitted. They are the first of nine electric HGVs expected by the end of 2022, joining more than 1,000 electric delivery vans currently on the road in the UK.
– Amazon’s goal to deliver 50% of shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030. Heavy goods vehicles make up around 16 percent of the UK’s domestic transport emissions.
– Amazon is also evolving how it delivers packages to customers’ homes, and in 2021, it delivered more than 45 million packages in the UK by more sustainable transportation methods, such as electric vans or cargo bikes.
Mercedes-Benz Says its Will Accept Liability for the Safety of its DRIVE PILOT
– Drive Pilot takes over the driving tasks at speeds below 40 mph. The system is especially helpful in stop and go driving situations, such as heavy rush hour traffic.
– Drive Pilot is an advanced version of Mercedes Benz’s Driving Assistance Package and includes additional sensors on the vehicle to support safe SAE Level-3 automated driving.
– Mercedes-Benz says its will accept full liability for any accidents as a result of using it
– The sensor suite on the S-Class includes lidar, cameras and microphones. The microphones and cameras can detect the blue lights and audible sirens of emergency vehicles. Another innovative feature is a sensor in the wheel well of the S-Class to detect wet road conditions that may extend braking distance.
– Once in Drive Pilot mode, applications such as movie streaming or games, can be enabled on the vehicle’s central display that are otherwise blocked while driving.In Germany, drivers can legally use their cellphones while Drive Pilot is engaged, which is also a first.
– Level 3 automated systems have been allowed in Germany since 2017. According to Mercedes-Benz, there are over 13,100 kilometers (8,140 miles) of roadways suitable for Drive Pilot in Germany.
Video shows Tesla flying 50 feet into air in Los Angeles
– A car stunt gone wrong in Echo Park has the Los Angeles Police Department offering a reward for the driver in the video now seen by millions.
– A video of the incident surfaced Sunday morning that shows the Model S Tesla speeding uphill, launching in the air at the crest then landing on the other side of the street. The electric vehicle travels in the air at least 50 feet for roughly a second before hitting the ground bumper first — hitting two parked cars and several trash cans
– LAPD’s report says the Tesla in the video is a rental. Los Angeles’ Hit and Run Reward Program Trust Fund awards up to $1,000 to any member of the public who provides information that may lead to the arrest, identification, conviction of a suspect in a crime.
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