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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 Wednesday 2nd August, Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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Nine Electric Semi-Truck Charging Stations from California to Texas
First up some original reporting from Bloomberg by Sean O’Kane and Dana Hull, who discovered that Tesla is seeking nearly $100 million from the U.S. to build nine electric semi-truck charging stations along a route from the southern border of Texas to northern California, according to emails seen by Bloomberg News. This is not an announcement by Tesla, but uncovered from documents filed some time ago, and revealed by Bloomberg.
Each station is proposed to be equipped with eight 750-kilowatt chargers for Tesla Semi vehicles and four chargers for trucks made by its competitors.
If successful, it would be the first charging network of its kind in the U.S., enabling long-haul electrified trucking from Texas to California, along with regional-haul trucking in Texas, Arizona, and California.
The company is currently producing the Tesla Semi electric truck in low volumes for select customers and its own operations, which has limited the need for dedicated Megachargers.
Tesla has previously deployed some Megachargers at customer distribution centers and its own facilities, such as the Gigafactory in Nevada. Mobile Megachargers have also been installed at strategic locations.
The new plan for permanent Megachargers aligns with Tesla’s original promise made during the unveiling of the Tesla Semi in 2017.
Tesla executives told Texas officials the corridor could qualify for federal grants that will be disbursed as part of a major new bipartisan infrastructure program created to modernize U.S. transit systems, among other aims.
Tesla asked the state officials to write a letter in support of the big rig-charging project to include in its funding application, which was submitted in June.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, which is overseeing the grants, said the agency is “currently reviewing applications.” It expects to announce recipients “later this year.”
California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District led the application on behalf of Austin-based Tesla. Aaron Katzenstein, an executive at the office’s technology advancement unit, said Tesla is seeking $97 million of federal money and plans to put up $24 million itself.
It’s unclear if the company would pursue the project without a grant.
The roughly 1,800-mile route begins in Laredo, Texas, which is about 240 miles from Tesla’s Austin headquarters and 150 miles from the location of a new factory it’s building in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Price Cuts Fuel a Surge in Orders
Ford announced that orders for its F-150 Lightning electric truck have risen by 600% following significant price reductions last month. The company is now aiming to triple its annual production capacity by this autumn to meet the increased demand.
After a six-week overhaul and expansion at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, the company anticipates reaching its targeted annual run rate of 150,000 electric truck models by this autumn.
Although the actual production for this year will fall short due to the shutdown and slower speeds before the revamp (estimated at over 70,000 units for 2023), Ford anticipates that the increased production will reduce waiting times for customers.
Ford has also adjusted its production goals, pushing back its target of producing 600,000 total EVs to 2024 from the original 2023 target date.
Despite the temporary shutdown at Ford’s EV plant, which limited customer deliveries over the past few months, Ford is ready to speed up the ramp-up process to meet the higher demand.
The company is focusing on high-demand trims, such as the XLT, which accounts for over 50% of new orders.
The Lightning Pro trim is also now available for retail customers but in very limited numbers.
The revamp is expected to drive higher quality while improving efficiency with new tools like equipment that automatically measures and confirms vehicle body fit for precision.
Battery pack production is also ramping up at Ford’s Rawsonville components plant, and its Van Dyke electric powertrain center is scaling production of EV power units to meet the higher number of vehicles going through the assembly.
Following the drastic F-150 Lightning price cuts (up to nearly $10K off on some models) last month, Ford says the lower prices are driving demand.
To support increased Lightning production, Ford will focus its sales efforts on attracting more traditional customers, acknowledging that challenges still exist around customer awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles among mainstream buyers.
Despite Ford’s electric vehicle operations being on track to lose $4.5 billion this year, a 50% wider loss than previously projected, CEO Jim Farley has not backed down from plans to triple the production pace of the Lightning to 150,000 vehicles annually by the end of this year. However, he did indicate a slowdown in the overall expansion of EV capacity.
Volkswagen ID.3 Sees a Surge in Orders in China Post Price Cut
Volkswagen’s smallest electric car, the ID.3, has seen a surge in orders in China following significant price cuts implemented last month.
The “historical low price” offer started at 125,900 yuan (roughly $17,500), lasting until the end of the month. This move was in response to Volkswagen’s slipping lead in China’s auto industry as the market transitions to electric vehicles.
BYD, China’s largest EV maker, surpassed Volkswagen in passenger car sales in the first three months of the year, extending its lead through the first half.
At VW’s general meeting in May, shareholders questioned the automaker’s plans to keep up with rising EV makers in China like BYD and Tesla.
The price cuts are working so far to generate demand, with SAIC-VW reporting ID.3 orders exceeded 10,000 last month.
The price cuts have generated a spark for VW with over 10K orders, but the automaker now faces a decision – keep the prices low and continue to take a loss on margins, or raise prices and risk losing sales share.
Sweden’s EV Market Soars with a 59.9% Share, BYD Atto 3 Emerges as the Bestseller
In July, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 59.9% of Sweden’s auto market, up from 50.1% year on year. Full electric vehicles increased their share, while plug-in hybrids remained stable.
The overall auto volume was 17,300 units, down 3% year on year. The BYD Atto 3 was the best-selling vehicle of any single powertrain in July.
The best-selling BEV in July was the BYD Atto 3, with 721 units registered. It was also the highest seller of any single powertrain, though the Volvo XC60’s combined numbers across all powertrain variants (PHEV + diesel + petrol) were slightly higher.
Despite a low ebb in July, the Tesla Model Y still has a huge lead in the trailing 3 month charts, with 4,639 units. The number 2 spot has changed hands since the previous period; formerly the Volvo XC40, it is now the Volkswagen ID.4.
On the strength of two good months, the BYD Atto 3 is now in 8th, from just 29th in the previous period.
Stellantis CTO Ned Curic: ‘The Car is the Star, Software Makes it Shine’
Ned Curic, Stellantis’ Chief Technology Officer, emphasizes that while software is integral to modern vehicles, the car itself remains the primary product. He believes that customers buy a car for the driving experience, not the software.
Curic’s responsibilities have expanded to include all existing platforms and vehicles, from engineering to shipping.
Stellantis plans to respond to market conditions with a goal of 100% of their vehicles in Europe being electric by 2030. In North America, the goal is 50% electric, reflecting the different pace of EV adoption in these regions.
Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, has ruled out setting up a separate entity to build combustion engines, viewing it as a distraction and potentially disruptive for the organization.
The concept of a “software-defined vehicle” to Curic means a vehicle that is easier to build, manage, and operate due to software. The software helps in designing the vehicle in a simulated environment, experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, and then producing a physical manifestation of the vehicle.
Curic believes in the importance of building an amazing car first, with software enhancing the overall experience.
Lamborghini Revuelto: A Two-Year Wait for the First V12 Plug-In Hybrid Supercar
The Lamborghini Revuelto, the first V12 plug-in hybrid HPEV (High Performance Electrified Vehicle) supercar, has already received orders that cover more than two years of production, just a few months after its official launch.
The company has invested €150 million in expanding the company facilities by 172,000 square meters in Sant’Agata Bolognese to accommodate the production of the Revuelto.
The Revuelto is primarily made of carbon fiber, produced using both handcrafted and automated processes in Lamborghini’s CFK plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese. This material is used to make not only the monocoque chassis but also a significant part of the body elements.
The Revuelto is part of Lamborghini’s ambitious Direzione Cor Tauri project, which involves a total investment of €1.9 billion and aims to hybridize the entire model range by 2024, with the debut of the first full-electric model in 2028.
Aptera: The Dawn of Solar-Electric Cars
Aptera Motors, a California-based startup, is gearing up to start production of its solar-electric car.
The car, which is designed with a sleek, aerodynamic shape, is equipped with solar panels on its roof and hood. These panels can generate enough electricity to power the car for up to 40 miles a day, making it a unique offering in the EV market.
Aptera’s solar-electric car is a three-wheeler, which technically classifies it as a motorcycle. However, it’s fully enclosed and features car-like amenities, including air conditioning and a sound system.
The company has already received thousands of pre-orders and is planning to start production soon.
The starting price for the Aptera solar-electric car is $25,900, making it an affordable option for those interested in sustainable transportation.
Fast-Charging Stations: A Fifth of Public EV Chargers
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that DC fast chargers, the quickest method to charge an electric vehicle (EV), constitute just over 21.5% of all public charging stations.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) conducts quarterly surveys of public charging infrastructure. The first quarter of 2023 saw a 7.6% increase in DC fast charging stations compared to the last quarter of 2022.
The availability of DC fast charging is crucial for long-distance EV travel, alleviating consumer concerns about range and charging time when away from home.
Public chargers come in two types: Level 2 (L2) charging, which is the most common and uses a 240-volt circuit, and DC fast chargers, also known as Level 3 chargers, which can charge some EVs to 80% in about half an hour.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has allocated $5 billion to build a nationwide charging network, which will lead to an increase in public chargers as EVs become more prevalent on American roads.
Tesla Powerwall Boosts Ukraine’s Energy Resilience Amid Conflict
Ukraine’s energy capacity has been significantly enhanced with the delivery of hundreds of Tesla Powerwall 2 storage systems, following months of destructive missile attacks on the country’s critical infrastructure by Russia.
The Powerwall units, which are capable of providing power during peak times, outages, and at night, were supplied by a collaboration of Direct Relief and other partners.
The Powerwall 2 is a rechargeable 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be stacked in clusters of up to ten units to maximize capacity. However, the shipment does not include solar power support.
Each Powerwall unit is accompanied by a Backup Gateway 2 system, which enables energy management and monitoring for solar self-consumption (if configured), time-based control, and backup. This ensures a seamless transition to backup power in case of grid outages.
The delivery of these systems follows a complex multi-partner agreement process that lasted several months and will be particularly beneficial in the upcoming winter season, given the breakdown of many vital services in the cold months due to Russian strikes last year.
Big Battery Storage: The Savior of Texas Grid Amid Heatwave
Texas is currently grappling with a severe heatwave, and the state’s grid is being kept operational thanks to large-scale battery storage.
The recent peak in demand on the ERCOT energy grid was met without blackouts, unlike the winter storms of 2021. This was possible due to the scaling of renewable energy and energy storage, which provided clean power as gas and coal plants were taken offline.
Chinese EV Roundup
BYD sold a record 262,161 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in July, bringing their January-July total to more than 1.5 million vehicles. The company aims to sell at least 3 million vehicles this year and strives to reach 3.6 million.
Nio announced delivering a record 20,462 electric cars in July, which is a 103.56% increase compared to the previous year and 91.11% rise compared to June 2023. The automaker has sold 75,023 cars from January to July 2023. Notably, Nio’s smart electric SUV, All-New ES6, exceeded 10,000 units monthly in July 2023.
Geely’s electric vehicle brand, Zeekr, delivered a record 12,039 vehicles in July, up 139.73% YoY and 13.36% from June. In the January-July period, Zeekr delivered 54,672 vehicles and aims to deliver 140,000 vehicles this year. Zeekr has established over 300 stores in 75 cities in China and plans to expand into Europe, starting with Sweden and the Netherlands.
Leapmotor reported 14,335 vehicle deliveries in July, an increase of 19.02% compared to the same month in 2021. The flagship C-series models accounted for more than 85% of deliveries
Recent price cuts on its BEV vehicles was an attempt to compete with the fierce competition in China’s EV market.
GAC AION reported selling 45,025 electric vehicles (EVs) in July 2023, representing an 80% YoY increase. The company sold a total of 254,361 EVs in the first seven months of the year, and had launched two new models, including the Hyper GT, a mid-sized sedan equipped with advanced ADiGO Pilot autonomous-driving assistant with features such as lane recognition and change detection.
Octopus Electric Vehicles Introduces Salary Sacrifice Scheme for Pre-Owned EVs
Octopus Electric Vehicles, a subsidiary of Octopus Energy Group, has launched a ‘Nearly New’ salary sacrifice scheme to make electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable for UK workers.
The scheme allows employees to drive second-hand EVs, such as the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Vauxhall Mokka-e, for approximately £300 per month. This cost includes fuel, insurance, and maintenance expenses.
More premium second-hand EVs, like the Tesla Model 3, are also available under the scheme at half the price of a personal lease for the same model.
All EVs offered through the service are less than two years old and have been fully serviced. Octopus provides the EV, a charger, and a discounted energy tariff as part of the package.
Octopus Electric Vehicles CEO, Fiona Howarth, emphasized the need for a robust second-hand market for EVs to support the transition to net zero. She also noted that leasing EVs is an attractive option, allowing drivers to switch to the latest tech every few years and benefit from low fuel costs.
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
BRENDAN MCCARTHY AT NORTHFORK IRONWORKS
COLIN HENNESSY AND CAMBSEV
GARY A HAMMOND
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