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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 Sunday 23rd July it’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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Germany Boosts Environmental Bonus Budget to €2.5 Billion
The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) has decided to increase the budget for the environmental bonus this year from the initially planned 2.1 billion euros to at least 2.5 billion euros.
The ministry aims to ensure predictability and security for consumers and the economy, hence the increase of funds for 2023 by at least 400 million euros.
As of July 3, 1.72 billion euros have already been spent, meaning that more than two-thirds of the budget has already been used up, even with the increase.
The environmental bonus for commercial vehicles will be discontinued in September.
The Green Party supports the idea of dialogue with manufacturers to ensure the production of affordable small and medium-sized cars, not just large ones.
The government received 146,692 applications for the environmental bonus in the first half of 2023. Only purely electric vehicles with a net list price of less than 65,000 euros are eligible.
Volvo EX90 Delayed To Mid-2024 Over Software Integration Issue
Volvo Cars has delayed the introduction of its flagship electric vehicle, the EX90 SUV, by five to six months to mid-2024. The announcement was made by CEO Jim Rowan on the company’s earnings call on July 20.
The delay of Volvo Cars’ biggest product launch since the XC40 in 2017 is caused by “the complexity of the software code.” More specifically, Volvo engineers are having difficulty integrating the software into the EX90’s new SPA2 platform that’s shared with the Polestar 3.
Lidar technology uses laser light pulses to create detailed images of the vehicle’s surroundings. Volvo claims that the lidar and other sensors on the EX90 form an “invisible shield of safety” that could potentially reduce serious accidents by up to 20%.
The EX90 is the first Volvo model to include lidar as standard equipment. It will be optional on the Polestar 3.
Lidar is a crucial feature for Volvo, a brand known for its emphasis on safety.
Self-driving car sensor startup Luminar Technologies will supply Volvo with its Iris LiDAR and Sentinel software, which needs to be integrated with Volvo software in the EX90. The LiDAR system is part of the EX90’s road-monitoring system, which includes cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors. The lidar system in the EX90 can detect pedestrians up to 820 feet away, even at high speeds.
Despite the high cost of lidar technology, Volvo has decided to include it as standard equipment, which sets it apart in the industry.
The EX90 will be the first electric vehicle assembled at Volvo’s plant in Ridgeville, S.C. Production was initially set to begin in late 2023.
Volvo Cars Will Use Tesla’s Superchargers but Not Its Autonomous Driving Tech, CEO Explains Why
Volvo Cars does not plan to use autonomous driving technology from Tesla and will instead focus on developing its own systems, according to the company’s CEO, Jim Rowan.
In June, Volvo Cars announced an agreement with Tesla that would give its electric vehicles access to 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
However, when asked whether this meant the business would consider using Tesla’s autonomous driving tech in the future, Rowan stated that Volvo has already decided to control its technology stack internally.
Volvo wants to be in full control of its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), all the way up to full Autonomous Driving (AD) software. The company will continue to write, invest in, and develop this technology.
Last year, Volvo Cars announced that it had taken full ownership of Zenseact, a business specializing in AD software.
Tesla Recalls 16,000 Model S and Model X Vehicles Over Seatbelt Issue
Tesla is recalling nearly 16,000 units of the Model S and Model X due to a problem with the seat belts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the front-row seat belts in certain 2021-2023 Model S and Model X vehicles may not be properly connected to the pretensioner anchors, which could cause them to detach.
Tesla will inspect and connect both first-row seat belts to pretensioner anchors to specification to fix the problem. If the seat belt cannot be connected to the pretensioner, the entire assembly will be replaced at no cost to the customer.
Tesla has also opened a smaller recall for the 2023 Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles. This recall concerns the forward-facing camera, which may be misaligned and could cause some active safety features to become unavailable without alerting the driver.
Tesla will adjust the pitch angle of the cameras on affected vehicles to remedy this issue.
North America’s Biggest Electric Bus Charging Center Powers Up
Proterra, a manufacturer of electric buses and batteries, along with bus dealer ABC Companies and California utility PG&E, have launched North America’s largest electric bus charging center.
The charging center is located on a 3.5-acre campus in Newark, California, near Fremont. It is equipped with 20 dual-cable EV chargers capable of charging up to 40 electric coaches.
The chargers at the center are currently configured for 60 kW per dispenser.
Hydrogen Bus Goes Up in Flames During Refuelling, Safety Mechanisms Prevent Catastrophe
A hydrogen fuel cell bus caught fire while refuelling in California.
The Golden Empire Transit group confirmed that the hydrogen buses were being fuelled at the time of the fire. One bus was destroyed, and the dispensing portion of the hydrogen fuelling station was damaged.
Explosions were heard and seen from the tanks on the bus that had just been filled, but the primary tanks of the actual fuelling station did not ignite due to safety technology.
The hydrogen bus destroyed in the fire, estimated to have cost $1.1 million, was one of ten hydrogen buses purchased by Golden Empire Transit as part of its transition to zero emissions fuels.
Hyundai Kona Electric Updated for 2024
The Hyundai Kona Electric comes in two models: the Standard Range with a 154bhp motor and 48.4kWh battery, and the Long Range with 214bhp and a 65.4kWh battery.
The entry-level Standard Range model has an estimated range of 234 miles, which is less than the Peugeot e-2008 but more than the entry-level Volvo EX30.
The Long Range model, priced from £38,595, boasts a 306-mile range, surpassing the Kia Niro EV that uses the same platform.
Both versions can charge at up to 102.3kW, which is decent for the size of the batteries. A heat pump is standard, ensuring the range doesn’t drastically drop in winter.
The Long Range model will also be available in N Line and N Line S trims, arriving in 2024 with 19in wheels and bespoke styling elements.
The Kona has grown in size, now 145mm longer than before, making it closer in size to the popular Niro EV.
The cabin and boot are roomier, making the Kona a better proposition for families. Hyundai has maximized the extra space, for example, moving the drive controller to a steering wheel stalk, freeing up more storage between the front seats.
Busiest Day Ever for Electric Vehicle Charging on UK Roads
Almost 400,000 electric vehicles (EVs) are estimated to have been on UK roads this weekend, with Saturday, July 22, expected to be the UK’s busiest day ever for charging.
Significant increases in EV ownership in recent years, combined with what the RAC is predicting to be one of the busiest holiday getaway weekends of the year, are expected to put the UK’s charging infrastructure to the test.
Moto was expecting to deliver a record one million EV kilometres in charging output across its network on Saturday alone.
Moto has launched ‘Motofesto’, which aims to lift the lid on some of the major barriers that industry faces in addressing the electric charging supply gap.
Moto claims that at the current rate of development, industry will not be able to secure access to the levels of power output needed without changes to the way the Government, distribution network operators (DNOs), charging providers and others collaborate to deliver charging infrastructure.
Trump Vows to Undo Biden’s Electric Vehicle Policies
Former President Donald Trump has promised to roll back President Joe Biden’s electric vehicle policies on his first day in office if he wins the next presidential election.
Trump criticized Biden’s update to greenhouse gas emissions limits for cars, which would result in about 67 percent of new U.S. auto sales being electric by 2032.
Trump claimed that Biden’s clean-energy policies are causing car prices to skyrocket and setting the stage for the destruction of American auto production.
Trump also claimed that he “saved the American auto industry” during his previous time in the White House from 2017 to 2021, and he promised to do it again.
Trump stated that if Biden’s policies are not stopped, American auto production will be totally dead.
UAW President Shawn Fain wrote in a memo that another Trump term “would be a disaster” and that union members need to get “organized behind a pro-worker, pro-climate, and pro-democracy political program that can deliver for the working class.”
Dead EV Batteries Turn to Gold with US Incentives
A clause in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act is causing companies to scramble to recycle electric vehicle (EV) batteries in North America. This puts the region at the forefront of a global race to undermine China’s dominance in the field.
The IRA includes a clause that automatically qualifies EV battery materials recycled in the U.S. as American-made for subsidies, regardless of their origin. This is important because it qualifies automakers using U.S.-recycled battery materials for EV production incentives.
This has led to a U.S. factory building boom, encouraged automakers to research more recyclable batteries, and could eventually make it harder for buyers in developing countries to buy old used EVs.
China handles virtually all EV battery recycling in a global market projected to grow from $11 billion in 2022 to $18 billion by 2028, according to research firm EMR.
The minerals in those batteries – primarily lithium, cobalt, and nickel – are worth on average between 1,000 euros ($1,123) to 2,000 euros per car, according to BMW’s sustainability chief Thomas Becker.
These materials could be in short supply within a few years as automakers boost EV production, but “can be recycled infinity times and not lose their power,” said Louie Diaz, vice president at Canadian battery recycling firm Li-Cycle.
The race is on to build “closed-loop supply chains” where recycled minerals are put into locally produced new batteries. China still leads the race, announcing tougher standards and increased research support for recyclers last month.
Globally, there are at least 80 companies involved in EV recycling, with more than 50 startups attracting at least $2.7 billion, virtually all in the last six years, from corporate investors including automakers, battery makers, and mining giants like Glencore.
Construction Companies Are Turning to EVs
Construction companies are increasingly switching to electric vehicles (EVs) for their operations.
Electric construction equipment offers a quieter, smoother ride, reducing noise pollution and the health risks associated with exposure to vibrating machinery.
Traditional construction equipment often uses internal combustion engines, typically diesel-powered, which can cause significant noise and vibration. In contrast, electric vehicles do not contribute to noise pollution and offer a smoother ride, reducing the risk of back pain, sciatica, musculoskeletal disorders, and spinal issues among workers.
Electric vehicles also offer greater efficiency. Idling, a common occurrence with traditional construction vehicles, accounts for over 6 billion gallons of lost diesel and gasoline annually, costing construction companies over $11 billion. Electric vehicles do not idle in the traditional sense, reducing fuel costs.
Several construction companies have already added EVs to their equipment lineup. Case, Komatsu, John Deere, and Volvo Construction Equipment have all unveiled electric construction vehicles, including backhoes, excavators, and wheel loaders.
Electric equipment produces no emissions, making it safer for workers to use long term and helping construction companies comply with pollution regulations. The switch to EVs in the construction industry is driven by their safety, lower operating costs, and environmental benefits.
San Francisco Uber Driver Saves Big by Switching to a Tesla
Wesley Johnson, a 64-year-old Uber driver in San Francisco, has been driving a rented Tesla for the past four months and reports significant savings on gas and maintenance costs.
Previously, Johnson drove a Mercedes S550, which cost him $455 per month (before he paid off the car in June) and $1,600 per month on gas. In contrast, the Tesla rental from Hertz costs him about $200 a month to charge, saving him around $1,400 per month compared to his previous expenses.
Johnson typically charges his Tesla once during his 12-hour workdays, with a single charge costing between $11 and $14 and lasting over 200 miles.
Uber’s zero-emissions incentive, which pays an extra $1 per ride (up to $4,000 per year) until January 2024, is another financial benefit of driving an electric vehicle. Johnson averages about 120 trips per week, which he views as an extra $120 towards his rental payment.
Renting an EV through Hertz also eliminates maintenance costs, a significant advantage for Johnson, who drives a lot and prefers not to worry about wear and tear on his vehicle.
The rental cost for the long-range EV is $410 per week or $1,640 per month, significantly more than his previous Mercedes payment.
However, Johnson believes the savings in other areas will result in a net-positive situation in the long run.
Johnson also noticed an increase in customer tips since he started driving a Tesla, and some EV rides have higher fares, potentially allowing drivers to earn more per ride.
Johnson advises other Uber drivers considering an EV to establish an optimal charging routine, be conscious of where their trips take them, and ensure they’re willing to drive consistently. According to his Uber-Hertz rental agreement, Johnson must complete a minimum of 30 trips per week to keep the car.
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
ANDY NANCARROW AND LILIAN KASS
COLIN HENNESSY AND CAMBSEV
IAN ‘STILL WATERS UK’ BENJAMIN
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