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Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily, your trusted source of EV information. It’s Thursday 13th July it’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
Patreon supporters look out for a refund for last month as I was away, and a free month in July to say thank you.
MG EX4: A Nod to the Iconic Metro 6R4 Rally Car
MG has revealed its homage to the legendary Metro 6R4 rally car, named the EX4, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The EX4 is built on the new MG 4 XPower hot hatch, using a 429bhp dual-motor electric powertrain that allows the road version to complete the 0-62mph sprint in 3.8 seconds.
The car’s large rear spoiler, chiseled front wing, and wide-box wheel arches are a clear nod to the 6R4, standing out from the basic MG 4’s bodywork in a striking manner.
These features are unlikely to be seen in MG’s production cars but indicate the brand’s renewed focus on performance models, which it was historically known for.
The ‘EX’ name reinforces this: the last MG concept car to carry the branding was 1985’s EX-E, which didn’t directly translate into production but influenced the MGF of 1995.
The Metro 6R4 was developed in the early 1980s with the aim of competing for World Rally Championship titles under the now-infamous Group B ruleset.
Caterham’s Project V: A New Electric Sports Coupe on the Horizon
British specialty-car firm Caterham has announced the Project V sports car, which is expected to be on sale by early 2026.
Unlike other Caterham models, the Project V is designed like a real sports coupe, complete with a roof and doors. It also stands out as it will be electric, aiming for a range of 250 miles from its 55.0-kWh battery.
The Project V is powered by a 55.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack connected to a single 268-hp motor mounted at the rear axle. Caterham claims a zero-to-62-mph time of less than 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph.
The Project V is not designed as a grand tourer, so Caterham is only targeting a range of 250 miles on the European WLTP cycle.
The Project V offers three drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Sprint. It features a control-arm suspension at the front and rear, electrically assisted power steering, brake discs all around, and a staggered set of 19- and 20-inch wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
The Project V is expected to go on sale by the end of 2025 or the beginning of 2026 and carry a starting price at or around $103,000. It’s not clear yet whether there are any plans for it to be officially homologated for U.S. roads or if it will be imported as a kit car like the Seven.
GM’s First 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Heads to the US
General Motors’ plant in Mexico produced the first sellable Chevrolet Blazer EV in late June, and the first vehicle is reportedly already on its way to the United States.
The plant is currently producing 65 Blazer EV SUVs per hour. The plant employs 4,000 people, half of whom are allocated to electric vehicles.
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will be offered in 1LT, 2LT, RS, and SS trim levels. The 2LT and RS models are expected to start deliveries this summer, while the SS performance variant will be available in spring 2024.
The launch of the entry-level Blazer EV 1LT model has been pushed back from the first quarter of 2024 to the winter of 2024.
Besides these four trim levels for retail customers, the 2024 Blazer EV will also be available as a Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) for law enforcement agencies.
GM estimates the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will offer between 247 to 320 miles of range, depending on the trim. Powertrain variants include single-motor front-wheel drive, single-motor rear-wheel drive, and dual-motor all-wheel drive.
The Blazer EV SS was initially slated to go on sale this fall in the US, but it is now expected to be available next spring.
GM’s EV sales fell from 19,700 in the first three months of the year to 15,652 in Q2 2023, and the company could use the help of the Blazer EV in the US to boost sales.
VanMoof’s Financial Struggles: E-Bike Startup Files for Payment Deferment
E-bike startup VanMoof has applied for an official suspension of payment provision in a local Dutch court due to financial difficulties.
This move is not an official bankruptcy but a scheme in the Netherlands designed to provide temporary protection from creditors and help the company avoid bankruptcy.
During the court-ordered “cooling down” period of two months, VanMoof’s administrators and management are assessing the situation to find a solution for the company to continue its operations.
VanMoof’s financial struggles have led to a temporary shutdown of its physical stores and a halt in all other activities, including bike servicing.
The company’s bikes are custom-designed and tightly integrated with the VanMoof app, making it virtually impossible for anyone to repair a VanMoof bike themselves.
If the company goes bust and fails to find a buyer for the assets, the bikes already out in the world will lose most of their connected functionality, although they will still be more or less usable.
VanMoof has been facing backlash for its models, with one in 10 bikes returned after purchase last year and the company losing money on bikes based on the costs of repairs.
Kia’s $200M Investment: Georgia Plant to Build EV9 SUV
Kia, the South Korean automaker, has announced an investment of over $200 million in its assembly plant in Georgia, USA. The plant will begin production of the electric EV9 SUV in 2023.
This move is part of a broader trend of foreign automakers increasing their production in North America to qualify for federal EV tax credits. To be eligible for up to $7,500 under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), vehicles must be assembled on the continent.
Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Kia, is also collaborating with battery manufacturer SK On to construct a new battery-manufacturing plant in Georgia. SK Innovation has already opened a $2.6 billion battery plant in the state to produce batteries for Ford.
The investment will create about 200 jobs at the Georgia plant, which will build the EV9 SUV and four other models. The EV9 will be Kia’s first EV to be assembled in the US.
Kia’s investment aligns with its goal to increase EV sales and achieve $122 billion in gross revenue by 2030. This goal is supported by a $24 billion investment into Kia’s electrification strategy, aiming to sell 1 million EVs by 2026.
The EV9 SUV, revealed by Kia in March, is designed for the North American market. It is affordable, large, has a good range, can act as a mobile power source, and is equipped with an array of sensors for an advanced driver assistance system.
Ford Fiesta’s Potential Revival as an Electric Car
Ford is considering reviving the Fiesta model as an electric car, according to Martin Sander, Ford of Europe’s passenger cars boss.
The Fiesta model was recently discontinued, with the last car rolling off the assembly line in Cologne, Germany. However, Sander has hinted at a potential revival of the model on an electric platform, possibly the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB Entry platform.
Ford is currently exploring the feasibility of producing an electric small car like the Fiesta. However, the company is also considering the global market, as smaller vehicles like the Fiesta are not the core of Ford Motor Company.
Ford’s collaboration with Volkswagen has already resulted in shared platforms for the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok, and the use of VW’s MEB electric vehicle platform for Ford’s European-market Explorer and an upcoming “sports crossover”.
Ford is also working on a second-generation EV platform, set to debut in the US with a pickup and a three-row SUV. This platform will be localized for Europe, and the market will receive derivatives of global cars.
Texas Puts Brakes on EV Charging Funds Decision Amid Tesla Plug Controversy
The state of Texas has deferred a vote on the allocation of federal funds for building electric vehicle chargers until August 16. This decision comes amid pushback from some charging companies over the state’s plan to include Tesla’s proprietary charging technology in the stations.
The controversy arises from the fact that Tesla’s charging stations use a different plug than other EVs. This means that non-Tesla EVs cannot use Tesla’s Superchargers without an adapter, which is not currently available.
The decision to defer the vote is seen as a victory for charging companies that have been lobbying against the inclusion of Tesla’s technology in the state’s charging infrastructure.
The funds in question are part of a $7.5 billion federal grant for EV infrastructure, which Texas is eligible to receive. The state’s plan was to use these funds to build 4,000 new charging stations across the state.
The decision on how to allocate these funds will now be made in mid-August, giving stakeholders more time to debate the issue and come to a consensus.
Right-to-Charge Laws: A Game Changer for EV Owners in Apartments, Condos, and Rentals
The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. is growing, with over 3.6 million EVs on the roads. However, for those living in apartments, finding an available charger can be challenging.
To address this, several states and cities are implementing “right to charge” laws. These laws aim to make it easier for residents of multi-unit dwellings to install EV chargers.
Illinois recently passed a right-to-charge law, requiring all parking spaces at new homes and multi-unit dwellings to be wired for EV charger installation. Other states, including Colorado, Florida, New York, and more, have passed similar laws.
Despite these advancements, challenges remain. Installing a personal charger can be expensive if wiring isn’t already in place, and there can be obstacles from homeowner association rules and restrictions.
Shared charging is a potential solution to these challenges. A centralized charging management system can suggest charging times for each EV owner, aligning with their travel schedule and the amount of charge needed. This approach can reduce the costs associated with charger installation and use.
The future of charging management at multi-unit dwellings will likely be automated for efficiency, responding to renewable electricity generation times and dynamic electricity pricing.
The expansion of charging in multi-dwelling buildings can help lift some of the biggest barriers to EV adoption, contributing to the decarbonization of U.S. transportation and reducing noise and pollution in urban areas.
Nio’s ET5 and ES7 Shine in Euro NCAP Safety Tests
Nio’s ET5 sedan and ES7 SUV, known as the EL7 in Europe, have both received the highest five-star rating in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests. This follows the ET7 sedan, which also achieved a five-star rating.
The ET5 and EL7 are the only two models to have participated in the test this year. The Euro NCAP has increased its standards for the 2023 rating, making it more challenging for vehicles to score well.
Nio launched the ET5, its lowest-priced sedan, in China on Nio Day 2021 in December 2021, with first deliveries on September 30, 2022. The ET5 was released in Europe in October 2022, with the first delivery on March 31 of this year.
The ES7 was released on June 15, 2022, with the first delivery in China on August 28 last year. The SUV was launched in Europe in October 2022, but due to Audi’s lawsuit, the model was renamed as the EL7 in Europe. The first delivery of the Nio EL7 in Europe was on January 31.
UK’s New Legislation Aims for 99% Reliability in EV Charging Network
The UK government is introducing new laws that will require the country’s electric vehicle rapid charging network to have a 99% reliability rate and offer real-time status updates.
The new Public Charge Point regulations are designed to improve the charging experience for EV owners and eliminate range anxiety by creating a “world-class” charging grid.
The regulations emphasize the need for charging units to be durable and capable of constant use. They also require all chargers to provide real-time data on their status, offering more information to potential users.
The new laws also mandate the increased availability of contactless payment systems. All new public chargers that are faster than 8kW must offer contactless payments, eliminating the need for drivers to use a smartphone app. Charging firms will also be required to allow customers to pay via a third-party provider.
Charging firms must clearly display the cost of using a unit in pence per kilowatt hour either on the charger itself or through a separate device that can be accessed without a contract.
Charging firms could face fines of up to £10,000 for each unit that fails to comply with these requirements.
The government also confirmed a £1.6 billion investment in 300,000 new charge points across the country, which will be operational by 2030.
Tesla Alerts Model 3 Buyers: Federal Tax Credits May Shrink Next Year
Tesla has updated its Model 3 landing page with a warning that the federal tax credit for the car, under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), may be reduced after December 31, 2023.
The warning is currently only present on the Model 3’s page, not on the pages for other Tesla models like the Model Y.
The tax credit, which can be up to $7,500, applies to customers who take delivery of a new Tesla and meet all federal requirements.
Tesla hasn’t specified why the Model 3 might lose its full IRA incentive. However, it’s worth noting that the Rear Wheel Drive version of the Model 3, produced at the Fremont Factory, uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells from CATL, a China-based battery supplier. If the IRA’s regulations become stricter, the LFP battery might make the Model 3 ineligible for the full tax credit.
Tesla is reportedly planning to build a battery plant in the US with CATL, which could help ensure its cars remain eligible for the federal tax credit, even if they use LFP batteries. This strategy is similar to Ford’s, which announced plans to build a battery plant with CATL.
Tesla Eyes Wireless Charging with Wiferion Acquisition
Tesla is reportedly acquiring Wiferion, a wireless charging company that has worked with over 100 companies since 2015 to provide wireless charging solutions for vehicles and robots.
Wiferion had previously licensed its technology from WiTricity, a wireless EV charging startup. The specifics of WiTricity’s involvement in this deal are unclear.
Tesla’s acquisition of Wiferion could signal the company’s interest in offering wireless EV charging. However, the exact application of this technology is still speculative. Possibilities include home EV wireless charging, fast wireless charging at Superchargers, wireless charging for Semi trucks, wireless charging for Tesla robots (Optimus), or a combination of these.
One potential use case is for autonomous vehicles, such as robotaxis and self-driving trucks. Wireless charging could enable these vehicles to charge themselves without human intervention.
It’s also speculated that Tesla might be interested in Wiferion’s technology to ensure its vehicles remain eligible for federal tax credits, even if they use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Tesla is reportedly planning to build a battery plant in the US with CATL, a China-based battery supplier that produces LFP batteries.
Audi in Advanced Talks to Acquire EV Platform from SAIC’s IM Motors
Audi is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire the electric vehicle (EV) platform owned by IM Motors, a subsidiary of China’s state-owned automaker SAIC Motor Corp. This move is seen as an effort by Audi to increase its market share.
This would be the first time Audi is considering buying a platform from a rival in China, aiming to shorten the development time of its models.
IM Motors was founded in 2020 by SAIC, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech, and Alibaba, with SAIC holding a majority stake. The company’s first model, the IM Motors L7 sedan, began deliveries in June this year.
Audi’s interest in acquiring an EV platform is driven by the need to speed up its own developments, such as the Trinity program, which has been significantly delayed.
Currently, Audi offers two electric models in China based on the Volkswagen MEB platform — the Q4 e-tron and the Q5 e-tron. However, Audi’s EV sales in China are lagging behind competitors like BMW and Tesla.
In the first quarter, Audi sold just over 3,000 EVs in China, compared to BMW’s 21,646 EVs and Tesla’s 137,429, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
China Paves the Way in Global Charging Infrastructure
China is leading the world in providing charging piles for new energy vehicles (NEVs), with its exports expected to nearly double this year, according to experts and industry executives.
The country’s NEV exports are predicted to reach 1.3 million units this year, up from 679,000 units in 2022, as per market research firm Canalys.
The growth of Chinese EVs in overseas markets like Europe and the US has positively influenced the perception of indigenous brands, particularly in the NEV sector.
As the NEV market in regions like Europe and the US is rapidly growing, the construction of charging infrastructure is lagging, providing an opportunity for Chinese enterprises that produce charging piles to explore new markets.
Data from the International Energy Agency showed that NEV sales in Europe increased to 2.6 million units in 2022 from 212,000 units in 2016, while the number of publicly accessible charging piles only grew from 116,100 in 2016 to 474,700, resulting in a vehicle-pile ratio of 16:1 in 2022.
The situation is similar in the US, with a vehicle-pile ratio of 23:1.
Chinese companies like Anfu New Energy Technology Co Ltd and Huajia Electrical Equipment Co Ltd are gaining popularity in global markets with their charging piles for commercial and residential use.
By 2025, the overall charging pile market in Europe and the US is expected to reach about 73.12 billion yuan ($10.1 billion), with more than three-quarters of the market share coming from private charging piles, according to an estimate by Guosen Securities.
BP Foresees No Role for Hydrogen in Future Cars
Despite being a significant investor in the hydrogen business, oil company BP does not see a future for hydrogen-fueled cars. BP’s market potential assessment for H2 cars is virtually non-existent for 2035 and 2050.
In BP’s net-zero scenario, the market share of hydrogen as a fuel for “light vehicles” (cars and vans) is precisely zero in 2035 and 2050, with over 70% using electricity directly.
Even in more emission-intense scenarios, fuel cells in passenger cars play no role. The BP forecast sees CO2 reduction achieved with battery-electric cars and remnants of the internal combustion engine era. In both scenarios, the share of hydrogen cars in 2035 is zero; for 2050, BP assumes a niche of 0.3 to 0.6 per cent market share.
BP’s hydrogen plans primarily target “processes that are difficult to electrify”, such as the steel and chemical industries or their own oil refineries. In the transport sector, BP sees shipping and aviation as potential hydrogen consumers, and if on the road, then in heavy goods traffic.
The ‘BP Energy Outlook 2023’ includes mainly petrochemical products and only small amounts of biofuel and natural gas. Synthetic fuels are not mentioned.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
PORSCHE OF THE VILLAGE CINCINNATI
AUDI CINCINNATI EAST
VOLVO CARS CINCINNATI EAST
NATIONAL CAR CHARGING ON THE US MAINLAND AND ALOHA CHARGE IN HAWAII
DEREK REILLY FROM THE EV REVIEW IRELAND YOUTUBE CHANNEL
OCTOPUS ELECTROVERSE – GLOBAL PUBLIC CHARGING MADE SIMPLE WITH ONE APP AND ONE MAP.
LEASEPLAN ELECTRIC MOMENTS – PROVIDING ALL THE TOOLS AND GUIDANCE EV DRIVERS NEED
DAVID AND LISA ALLEN
JUKKA KUKKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
BATTERY REPORTS FOR EVS AT RECURRENTAUTO.COM
ALEXANDER FRANK @ https://www.youtube.com/c/alexsuniverse42
ANDY NANCARROW AND LILIAN KASS
COLIN HENNESSY AND CAMBSEV
IAN (WATTIE) WATKINS
JAN FROM EMOBILITYNORWAY
JOHN VAN DEVOORT
JON AKA BEARDY MCBEARDFACE FROM KENT EVS
LAURENCE D ALLEN
NEIL E ROBERTS FROM SUSSEX EVS
PETER & DEE ROBERTS
REALTORS CHOICE PHOTOGRAPHY
ROB FROM THE RSTHINKS EV CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE
THE PLUGSEEKER’S EV YOUTUBE CHANNEL
THOMAS J. THIAS