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EVs Surge to a 23.3% Market Share in France
In July, EVs claimed a 23.3% share of the auto market in France, a significant increase from 18.6% the previous year.
Full electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 13.1% of the market share, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) hit a record high of 10.3%.
PHEVs are currently popular due to several recently released models with greater electric range, many of which come from French brands like Peugeot, Citroen, and DS.
However, there are concerns about the strong purchase incentives for PHEVs in France, as they do not guarantee that these vehicles will be regularly plugged in and used as intended.
The best-selling BEV for July was the Dacia Spring, followed by the Tesla Model Y and Fiat 500.
Norway’s EV Market Soars to a 90% Share, VW ID.4 Leads
In July, plug-ins accounted for 90% of Norway’s auto market, a significant increase from 83% the previous year.
Full electric vehicles (BEVs) continued to grow, capturing nearly 82% of the market. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) contributed 8.1% to the market share, a decrease from 12.3% a year ago.
The Volkswagen ID.4 emerged as Norway’s best-selling vehicle in July, followed by Skoda Enyaq, and Volkswagen ID. Buzz taking the top three spots.
Combustion-only powertrains saw a significant volume drop, with petrol vehicles registering only 109 units. Norway introduced higher CO2 taxes in January 2023.
The Xpeng P7 also made a noticeable performance, making its first volume deliveries since December.
BMW Ramps Up Electric Car Spending in Pursuit of Tesla
BMW AG is increasing its investment in electric vehicles (EVs) after seeing its EV deliveries more than double in the first half of the year.
The company’s CFO said that due to the high demand for EVs, BMW is investing more than initially planned in the global expansion of e-mobility.
In the second quarter, development spending rose by nearly a fifth to €1.84 billion ($2 billion).
Battery-powered car sales accounted for about 13% of group deliveries during the first half, driven by demand for models like the i4 sedan and iX3 SUV. BMW expects this proportion to rise to at least one-fifth next year.
All of BMW’s EV variants are profitable, a trend that will continue as the company has started to offer pure-electric variants in its higher 7-series and 5-series segment.
BMW’s Vision Neue Klasse EV Concept Set for September 2 Debut
BMW’s near-production-ready Vision Neue Klasse concept is set to premiere on September 2, marking almost 60 years since the brand’s original Neue Klasse models revolutionized the look of the company’s vehicles.
The Neue Klasse is not a single product but an electric vehicle platform. BMW plans to launch six models using these underpinnings within 24 months of the first one beginning production.
A Mini-branded crossover might also ride on the Neue Klasse platform in the second half of this decade.
BMW previously indicated that the first model using the Neue Klasse platform would be an electric sedan, followed by a compact SUV.
The first Neue Klasse EV will begin production in 2025 in Debrecen, Hungary, followed by manufacturing in Munich in 2026 and in Shenyang, China, in 2026.
The Neue Klasse vehicles will use BMW’s Gen 6 battery technology, which promises a 30% improved range, a 50% reduction in production cost, and a 60% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current tech.
The models will support battery capacities between 75 kilowatt-hours and 150 kWh.
Sneak Peek into the Future: 2024 BMW iX2 Spotted in Action
BMW is currently working on a redesign for the X2 compact crossover, which will include an electric iX2 variant.
BMW confirmed plans for the iX2 in March, and the prototype in the recent spy video, with its lack of engine noise, confirms that engineers are testing the electric version of the upcoming second-generation X2.
The iX2 is expected to match the specifications of the iX1, which means a 64.7-kwh battery and a dual-motor powertrain rated at 308 hp. There might also be a single-motor setup at some point.
BMW estimates a range of 250 miles for the iX1, and buyers of the iX2 can expect something similar. BMW hasn’t confirmed plans to sell either the iX1 or iX2 in the U.S.
Acura Teases Its ZDX EV
Acura’s newest electric vehicle, the 2024 ZDX, is set to be fully revealed on August 17 at Monterey Car Week. The ZDX and ZDX Type S will share General Motor’s Ultium platform with the upcoming Honda Prologue and are expected to go on sale early next year.
The teaser image showcases a darkened image with the ZDX’s LED headlights peering out and a new light strip wrapping around the bottom four sides of Acura’s pentagon-shaped grille. It will be the first Acura to feature Google built right into the car with the latest apps and services.
The ZDX is rumored to be built alongside the Cadillac Lyriq in Tennessee.
LG Energy Solution: A Battery Plant Powerhouse in North America
LG is currently constructing factories with more than 300 gigawatt-hours of electric vehicle battery production capacity in North America, investing $17 billion through 2025.
By mid-decade, the company will have eight plants across the U.S. and Ontario. Two of the plants are already operational, and the others are at various stages of development.
LG Energy Solution has the most gigawatt-hour capacity among EV battery plants in North America that have been announced, are under construction, or are operational, according to Wood Mackenzie, an energy research and consulting firm. Three hundred gigawatt-hours would be enough to supply batteries for 3 million to 6 million EVs, depending on their size and configuration.
The ramp-up of the Ultium plant with partner General Motors in Ohio and the increase in cylindrical batteries, which LG Energy Solution sells to Tesla and others, were large contributors to the recent boost in revenue.
The eight North America plants amount to nearly $27 billion in combined investment from LG Energy Solution and its automaker partners. Two of LG’s plants, in Holland, Mich., and Queen Creek, Ariz., are solely owned by the battery company.
The six joint venture plants will allow LG to split investment and risk with its automaker partners — General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, and Stellantis. Its joint venture with GM, called Ultium Cells, is made up of three plants.
The Holland plant will build pouch batteries after its capacity increases fivefold by 2025. The Queen Creek plant, slated for 2025 production, will make cylindrical batteries for EV-only automakers, such as Tesla and Lucid.
Volvo’s Plug-in Sales Soar in July, Capturing 35% Market Share
In the first seven months of 2023, the company sold 395,856 cars globally, up 18 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Volvo Cars’ Recharge line-up of chargeable models, with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, almost doubled compared to July last year. Recharge models accounted for 35 per cent of all Volvo cars sold globally during the month. The share of fully electric cars was 10 per cent.
Sales in Europe reached 20,286 cars, up 28 per cent compared to last year. The share of Recharge models reached 56 per cent of all sales in the region. The share of fully electric car stood at 13 per cent.
Volvo Cars’ sales in the US increased by 57 per cent to 10,785 cars in July. The number of Recharge cars grew by 226 per cent compared to last year and of all cars sold in Volvo Cars’ second biggest market, 29 per cent was a Recharge model.
Electric Vehicle Registrations Skyrocket: A New EV Every Minute!
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) saw an 87.9% increase in registrations, accounting for 16.0% of all new registrations for the month. This means a new BEV was registered every 60 seconds.
The SMMT predicts that by the end of the year, a new BEV will be registered every 50 seconds, and by the end of 2024, one every 40 seconds.
There were positive signs in the last quarter, with a record high of 3,056 new standard public chargers installed. This equates to one new charger for every 35 new plug-in vehicles registered, a significant improvement from the same quarter last year.
Audi SQ8 e-tron, Set to Hit US Showrooms
Audi has unveiled more details about the 2024 Audi SQ8 e-tron, a high-performance version of its flagship luxury electric SUV, the Q8 e-tron.
The front axle is driven by an asynchronous electric motor, while the rear axle features two asynchronous electric motors that each power a rear wheel.
In boost mode, the front-axle motor produces up to 210 hp, and the two rear motors up to 185 hp each. The total boost power is limited to 496 hp by battery output, allowing the SUV to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds. The top speed is limited to 130 mph.
The two rear electric motors on the SQ8 e-tron also provide handling advantages over the single rear motor Q8 e-tron. They can distribute drive torque to either wheel with complete variability, and do so in fractions of a second.
The three-motor drivetrain in the SQ8 e-tron can improve traction on acceleration. If one rear wheel is on a low-friction surface, torque can be distributed precisely and quickly between the other two motors.
The EPA-estimated range for the 2024 Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron is 253 miles with the standard 20-inch wheels, and 218 miles with the optional 22-inch wheels.
It will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Zeekr’s First Batch of EVs for Europe Rolls Off the Production Line, Deliveries Expected This Year
The first Zeekr 001s for European customers were produced at Zeekr’s plant in Ningbo and are expected to be shipped to Europe in mid-August.
Zeekr will offer EV products to European customers based on a direct-to-customer business model. Its first models in Europe are the flagship Zeekr 001 and the Zeekr X urban SUV.
The vehicles will first be available in Sweden and the Netherlands starting in the fourth quarter, with other countries to follow quickly.
Zeekr began pre-sales of the Zeekr 001 and Zeekr X in Europe in late June, with starting prices of €59,490 ($64,960), and €44,990, respectively.
After the Netherlands and Sweden, Zeekr will soon enter core Western European markets including Norway, Germany, Denmark, and France.
Tesla’s July Sales in China Dip to Lowest Point This Year
Tesla sold 64,285 China-made vehicles in July, marking a 31.38% decrease from June and the lowest monthly sales for the company this year.
This figure includes both vehicles exported and those delivered within China, as per data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
Despite the monthly drop, the July sales figure represents a 127.82% increase from the same month a year ago when Tesla sold 28,217 vehicles.
Tesla Delays Model 3 Deliveries in Europe
Tesla has postponed the estimated delivery dates for the Model 3 for left-hand drive European markets to as late as January 2024. This information was revealed by the company’s online configurator.
Previously, customers ordering new built-to-order Model 3 units were informed that they could receive their cars as early as the same month. Now, the earliest estimated delivery date is October.
This delay might be due to Tesla’s plan to clear the current inventory of cars before the refreshed Project Highland model goes into production. However, this is not officially confirmed.
Elon Musk Points to Energy Storage as Key to Renewable Energy Growth
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the limiting factor for the transition to renewable energy in California and Texas is not production, but the lack of energy storage.
Musk’s statement came in response to a comment by Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, who noted that California’s grid reaches 85% renewable energy even in winter and spends over 50% of it every day.
Musk emphasized that due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power, the growth of renewable energy is increasingly dependent on stationary battery packs at utility scale.
Tesla’s Megapack, a battery product for utility-scale projects, provides substantial energy storage. Each Megapack unit can store over 3 MWh of energy, enough to power an average of 3600 homes for an hour.
NIO’s Strategic Partnerships Fuel Expansion of Battery Swap Network
NIO, the electric vehicle startup, is accelerating the expansion of its battery swapping network through strategic partnerships with China’s major oil companies.
NIO signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) on June 27 to jointly build EV charging and battery swapping infrastructure in the country. Three stations are already operational.
NIO’s ambition to build 4,000 battery swapping stations worldwide by 2025 aligns with the diversification strategies of the three major oil companies, which are expanding into non-oil ventures such as EV charging and battery swapping services.
Besides domestic partnerships, NIO has also signed strategic cooperation agreements with international energy giants, including British energy company BP and Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell. The agreement with Shell aims to develop a network of co-branded battery swapping stations, with a target of 100 sites by 2025.
UK Government Shifts £136m from EV Fund to Nuclear Project”
The UK Government has transferred £136m from its electric vehicle (EV) supply chain fund to the Sizewell C nuclear reactor project.
The Automotive Transformation Fund, which was designed to support car manufacturers in building and developing EVs in the UK, spent only 5% of its initially allocated funding in the year to March 2023.
The fund was initially given a budget of £191m, but only £7m was spent, and 76% of the funding was transferred to the Sizewell C project.
Workplace EV Charging Set To Double
The Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer shows an increasing number of employers are offering on-site EV charging for their employees, with numbers set to double in the next 12 months.
Currently, one-in-five businesses (20%) have charging available at their premises, but this will increase to two-in-five (40%) within the next year.
The research also highlighted some divergence when it comes to attitudes towards home charging – with around a third (32%) of businesses paying for their employees’ installation.
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 NEVO.IE AND THE NEVO 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