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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 Tuesday 8th August, Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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August In America – Heading Out on the Road by Jim Farley, CEO at Ford Motor Company
“A few of us are setting off this week across the American West in an F-150 Lightning to go and see researchers, businesses, dealers, salespeople, EV conversion shops, EV drivers and communities. There are things you can’t learn in an office or from a PowerPoint. We’ll use the roads and charging stations that millions of EV drivers are using to power their lives in this new world -and even return to the charging station we visited last year that invited our Tesla deal. Long hauling in an electric truck is an act of pioneerism, not because it’s hard or dangerous, but because it’s a new way to experience America. Shifting from fueling stations to charging stations requires new behaviors and opens new possibilities. Thanks to the technology in the Lightning, I’ll be able to get work done from the road, just like so many of our customers do every day.”
Tesla’s Veteran CFO Kirkhorn Steps Down, Replaced by Taneja
Tesla’s long-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Zachary Kirkhorn, is stepping down from his role. He will be replaced by the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, Vaibhav Taneja.
Kirkhorn, who has been with Tesla for 13 years and served as CFO for the last four, played a key role in Tesla’s financial growth, earning respect among shareholders for his straightforward approach on earnings calls.
Vaibhav Taneja, the new CFO, has been part of Tesla since 2017, serving in various roles including Chief Accounting Officer since March 2019 and Corporate Controller from May 2018. Before joining Tesla, Taneja worked at SolarCity Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Unlike other leadership positions at Tesla, the CFO role has seen stability, with Deepak Ahuja serving in the role for roughly a decade before Kirkhorn took over in 2019.
Tesla did not provide an explicit reason for Kirkhorn’s departure, but the transition appears to be amicable, as Kirkhorn will continue to serve the company until the end of the year to help with the transition.
Shanghai Targets Over 50% BEV Sales by 2025 in Ambitious Green Push
In the first six months of 2023, 152,033 new energy vehicles (NEVs), such as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), were registered in Shanghai, making up over half of all vehicles registered.
Shanghai is known as one of China’s leading cities in embracing electric vehicles, and it has laid out new goals for 2023-2025.
The plan includes speeding up the shift to electric for public sector vehicles, promoting electric and hydrogen fuel cell freight vehicles, and encouraging individuals to purchase more BEVs.
The city’s goals for 2025 include having over 10,000 fuel cell vehicles and ensuring that more than half of new cars purchased by individuals are BEVs.
Shanghai is home to big names in the EV industry, including Nio’s global headquarters and Tesla’s factory.
The city has stopped offering free license plates for PHEVs, while BEVs can still receive them at no cost. For combustion engine vehicles and PHEVs, residents must win a license plate through an auction system.
Canoo Faces $1.5 Million Fine for Misleading Investors
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined Californian EV startup Canoo $1.5 million for allegedly providing investors with misleading revenue forecasts during its 2020 IPO.
Canoo’s projections included $120 million in revenue for 2021 and $250 million for 2022, linked to providing engineering services to other firms.
The SEC declared these projections unreasonable, considering two significant projects accounting for almost all projected revenues were no longer active or feasible.
Both former CEO Ulrich Kranz and former CFO Paul Balciunas were found to have been aware of the situation.
Kranz, known as the father of the BMW i3 and now working with Apple, must pay a fine of $125,000 and is banned from serving as an officer or director of a publicly-listed company for three years.
Electrify America Introduces Station-Specific Pricing and Brings Back Idle Fees
Electrify America, after having raised charging rates earlier this year, is now shifting from uniform nationwide pricing to station-specific pricing, mirroring how gas stations across the country set their prices.
Along with this pricing change, idle fees will be reintroduced for those who occupy charging stations after their vehicle has reached 100% charge. A $0.40 per minute fee will be applied, excluding a 10-minute grace period, encouraging drivers to free up charging spots.
These changes are scheduled to come into effect on August 17, and the impact will be observable almost immediately.
Although Electrify America hasn’t detailed the specific range of prices under the new station-specific pricing model, customers can expect variation depending on local electricity rates. Some areas might see higher costs, while others might see lower rates than the current $0.48/kWh or time-based charges.
Customers can check the new prices via the Electrify America app once the change takes effect.
Those who subscribe to Electrify America’s Pass+ membership will continue to save about 25% on their charging costs, even though the membership fee itself is increasing from $4 to $7 per month. Customers will need to calculate if this service still offers them value for their individual needs.
Samsung SDI Surpasses Expectations with Early Success in 46xx Batteries Development
Samsung SDI, a major EV battery manufacturer, has been expanding its battery business and recently highlighted its work on solid-state batteries (SSB) and 46xx-type cylindrical battery cells (46 mm diameter) in its quarterly report.
The company has been focusing on these large cylindrical battery cells since at least 2022, as suggested by unofficial reports.
Preparations are underway for the SSB and 46xx batteries. Samsung’s current lineup includes various types of cylindrical cells (like 18650 and 2170) and pouch and prismatic ones.
Samsung SDI is developing multiple versions of battery cells with 46 mm diameter for different customers. For context, Tesla uses 4680-type cells (80 mm height), while BMW announced two types: 4695 and 46120.
Excitingly, the 46xx batteries reached their target performance earlier than planned, and Samsung SDI has begun preparing samples for customers.
Performance metrics typically include energy density, charging/discharging time, cycle life, temperature stability, and costs. The samples will likely be sent to customers, leading to several months or even a year before series production.
Samsung SDI is also planning to expand its battery factory in Goed, Hungary, to produce 46120-type cylindrical battery cells (46 mm diameter, 120 mm height). This seems to align with BMW’s plans for its next-generation electric cars, considering BMW is also building a new BEV factory in Hungary and has a history with Samsung SDI as a battery supplier.
There might be other customers, like General Motors, which has signed up for unspecified cylindrical battery cells from Samsung SDI.
The planned production scale is around 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh), not a very high number but potentially enough for clients like BMW.
A related report indicates that Samsung SDI-backed Philenergy will launch a new product line aimed at 46xx-type cylindrical batteries, underscoring the importance the South Korean manufacturer places on this new battery format.
Mini Cooper’s 2024 EV Model Introduces Woodland Sounds and Classic Features
The 2024 Mini Cooper EV, inspired by Alec Issigonis’s design for the 1959 original car, brings a simple and retro-futuristic cabin.
This new Mini will include an exhaust note and eight different drive modes, enhancing the user experience.
Utilizing Mini’s ninth-generation operating system, it offers touch and voice controls with a ‘Mini Experience’ feature, providing different drive modes that adjust color theme, driving characteristics, and interior lighting.
Among the different modes is “Balance,” offering a forest-like auditory experience, including sounds of a rippling stream, crickets, and wind.
Another standout mode, “Go-kart,” transforms the Mini’s interior to red and black and optimizes throttle response for more spirited driving.
A “Timeless” mode mimics the exhaust sound of classic Minis, offering a futuristic interpretation of the brand, while “Vivid” syncs ambient lighting with the album art of the played song.
Modes like “Trail,” “Core,” and “Green” offer other unique adjustments and themes, with the latter aimed at more economical driving.
The redesigned interior features a prominent central touchscreen, reflecting the central speedometer found in every Mini hatch since the original Austin Seven.
Audi’s RS6 Saloon to Return as Electric Rival in 2025
Audi Sport plans to revive the RS6 saloon as an electric competitor to newly unveiled models like the BMW i5 M60 and Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 saloons.
The four-door performance model, named RS6 E-tron, is expected to launch in the UK in 2025, and will be a companion to the RS6 Avant E-tron, a performance estate.
This reintroduction comes 13 years after Audi’s combustion-engined RS6 ceased production in 2010, replaced by the sportier RS7 saloon.
The RS6 E-tron saloon and Avant are built on the upcoming A6 E-tron saloon and Avant models, due to launch in 2024. These new models feature a specially developed electric drivetrain, partly engineered with Porsche for the Maan EV.
The dual-motor system in the new RS6 E-tron models will also be used in an upgraded version of Porsche’s Taycan EV, set for unveiling in 2025.
The new EVs will incorporate a two-speed gearbox on each motor and a fully variable electric Quattro four-wheel-drive system, positioning them as potentially the fastest-accelerating saloon and estate combinations yet.
Built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) structure, developed by Audi and Porsche, the new RS6 E-tron models support an 800V electric architecture and include a silicon-carbide inverter.
Other forthcoming models using the PPE platform include the Audi Q6 E-tron SUV, Q6 E-tron Sportback, and Porsche Macan Electric.
The A6 E-tron concept revealed in 2021 hints at the dimensions of the upcoming RS6 E-tron saloon, which measures 4960mm in length, 1960mm in width, and 1440mm in height, making it slightly larger than the current fifth-generation A6 saloon.
BYD-Alexander Dennis Celebrates Delivery of 1,500th Electric Bus
The partnership between BYD UK and Alexander Dennis announced the delivery of their 1,500th electric bus, a BYD-Alexander Dennis Enviro200EV, to Go-Ahead London.
BYD is well-known for its expertise in batteries, energy management, and electric mobility, while Alexander Dennis is the UK’s largest bus and coach manufacturer, being a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc.
The significant 1,500th electric bus is among nearly 300 joining Go-Ahead London for capital routes this year and has been operating on Transport for London routes 163 and 164 since May.
Go-Ahead London, the largest bus company in the city and a leading operator of electric buses in the UK, has been working with BYD and Alexander Dennis since 2016.
In 2016, Go-Ahead took delivery of 51 Enviro200EV buses for its Waterloo site, marking Europe’s first fully electric bus depot.
Go-Ahead London remains the largest single customer of the partnership, with 577 Enviro200EV single-deckers and Enviro400EV double-deckers either delivered or on order.
The Enviro200EV single-deck buses come in four length options (9.6m to 12m), and the double-deck Enviro400EV is available in two versions (10.3m and 10.8m), appealing to various operators for different services, from city routes to rural areas and staff shuttles.
Beyond the UK, BYD-Alexander Dennis electric buses have also been sold to markets such as Ireland and New Zealand.
UK to Launch Europe’s First Lithium Refinery, Aiming to Power a Million EVs
The UK is constructing Europe’s first and largest lithium refinery, recognizing the metal’s crucial role in producing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
Demand for lithium has grown rapidly with the global push toward renewable energy sources and electric transportation.
The UK’s move comes at a time when 60% of new car sales are expected to use lithium-ion batteries by 2030. A Tesla Model S battery requires around 12 kg of lithium.
Currently, 89% of the world’s lithium is refined in East Asia, including China, which has made manufacturers dependent on that region.
The UK government has approved Green Lithium, a UK-based company, to build the refinery in Teesside, England. This is seen as a significant step to support the automotive industry in the UK and Europe.
The facility is set to begin operations in 2027 and is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium chemicals annually. This amount could provide batteries for one million EVs.
Green Lithium aims to import spodumene, a hard rock mineral, from Western Australia and process it at the Teesside facility to extract lithium.
Recognizing the environmental concerns linked with lithium mining, including air pollution and soil contamination, Green Lithium has committed to reduce the carbon footprint by 80%. They plan to use low-energy processes, renewable electricity, hydrogen gas, and carbon capture technology in the refining process.
The initiative aligns with the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and represents an important stride in the transition to more sustainable energy and transportation systems.
Chinese Suppliers Flock to Mexico to Support Tesla’s New Gigafactory 6
Tesla’s new factory in Mexico, known as “Gigafactory 6,” is drawing Chinese car component makers to build production plants in the region.
Seven mainland-listed companies have revealed expansion plans in Mexico since construction started near Monterrey in May 2023.
Tesla has invited specific Chinese suppliers to establish factories in Mexico, with dozens more expected to follow suit to support the EV market.
Ningbo Xusheng Group will spend US$276 million on a production line for aluminum alloy parts; Zhejiang Sanhua Intelligent Controls plans a US$146.2 million plant for heat control systems; and Tuopu Group has earmarked US$200 million for a chassis production factory.
This growth aligns with the mutual interests of Tesla and Chinese suppliers, according to Peter Chen from ZF TRW in Shanghai. Tesla needs support for its Mexican Gigafactory, while Chinese manufacturers seek to explore overseas markets.
Tesla’s new Mexican factory is expected to produce 1 million units annually, starting in the latter half of 2024.
The Shanghai Gigafactory remains Tesla’s largest production hub globally, producing over half of Tesla’s total output of 1.31 million units in the previous year.
China’s prominence in the global EV supply chain is evident, as its vendors supply almost half of the world’s vehicle parts and more than 60% of global electric car batteries, with CATL and BYD leading the production.
This trend is predicted to grow, with electric car sales in mainland China anticipated to increase by 35% this year to 8.8 million units.
Lower Saxony Shifts from Hydrogen to Cheaper Battery Electric Trains
Lower Saxony’s state-owned transport company, LNVG, will shift its focus from hydrogen fuel-cell trains to battery electric trains.
Plans are in place to operate 102 battery electric trains starting in 2029, after LNVG determined that they are less expensive to run compared to hydrogen fuel-cell options.
The state had already begun using hydrogen fuel-cell trains, with 14 Alstom Coradia iLint models starting operations on passenger routes just a year ago.
The “world-first” hydrogen train network used daily fueling from the Linde hydrogen filling station, with each train capable of covering 1,000 kilometers.
Following extensive research, LNVG decided to abandon hydrogen plans and will introduce 102 new battery electric trains beginning in 2029.
The electric trains can be charged using overhead pantograph lines or “charging islands,” and were found to be more cost-effective than hydrogen and diesel counterparts.
The last diesel-fueled trains are expected to be phased out by 2037, and the new battery-powered options will include Alstom Coradia Stream units, capable of 200km/h and able to run on non-electrified lines using batteries.
Earlier in 2021, Alstom and LNVG signed a deal for 34 Coradia Stream High Capacity double-decker EMU trains, slated to be in service by the end of 2024.
Rimac Nevera Outruns Formula 1 Car in a Thrilling Quarter-Mile Drag Race
In an unlikely and entertaining showdown, the Rimac Nevera, an F1 car, and the McMurtry Speirling participated in a quarter-mile drag race.
The Rimac Nevera, boasting 1,914 horsepower and weighing over 2300kg, is an all-wheel-drive electric hypercar.
The McMurtry Speirling, another electric car, has 1,000 horsepower and uses a fan to create downforce right from the start.
Competing against these two electric powerhouses was the RB8 Formula 1 car. Though it possesses 800 horsepower of course it’s designed for track racing, not drag racing.
I won’t spoil the result!
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
RICHARD AT RSEV.CO.UK
JUKKA KUKKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
BATTERY REPORTS FOR EVS AT RECURRENTAUTO.COM
JAN TORE GJØBY
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