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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 10th August, Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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Tesla Boosts East Coast Distribution with New Facility in New York
– Tesla has leased a 927,000 square foot distribution center in Newburgh, New York, aiming to enhance its distribution of automotive parts.
– Scheduled to begin operations in October, this centre will be the primary hub for the distribution of vehicle parts on the East Coast, as reported by Orange County Partnership, a non-profit agency focusing on economic development.
– In addition to the New York facility, Tesla’s commitment to strengthening its supply chain has led to other significant investments. A $3.6 billion investment has been made to broaden Tesla’s manufacturing presence in Nevada, including the construction of a new battery plant and its first high-volume semi-truck factory.
– Earlier in the year, Tesla announced an investment of $776 million for expanding its electric vehicle factory in Austin, Texas.
New Electric Cadillac Escalade Unveiled as Flagship of GM’s Profitable EV Approach
– As of recording General Motors (GM) was due to reveal an all-electric version of the Cadillac Escalade, aiming to position this luxury SUV as a key player in its strategy to transition lucrative models into profitable EVs.
– GM anticipates that its new electric vehicles will not only be profitable but aims to match the profit margins of gas-powered models by the middle of the decade.
– The automaker has an ambitious goal to achieve annual EV revenue of $90 billion by the year 2030.
– Named the Escalade IQ, this vehicle is the first conventional Cadillac model to make the transition to an all-electric version. The Cadillac Lyriq and Celestiq EVs, which were brand-new additions to the lineup.
– Cadillac’s roadmap includes plans to exclusively sell all-electric vehicles by 2030, reinforcing its role as GM’s premier electric vehicle brand.
– The pricing of current Cadillac models ranges from approximately $81,000 to $150,000 for limited-edition performance versions.
– Among the most expensive purchases by U.S. consumers, Escalade SUVs have become iconic, including the larger ESV model.
– In the recent market data, Edmunds recorded the average transaction price for an Escalade at $115,500 during the first half of this year.
ChargePoint’s New Strategy to Enhance EV Charger Reliability
– ChargePoint has launched a new Network Operations Center (NOC) to keep an eye on its 243,000-plus charging ports across North America and Europe, a step towards improving the performance and reliability of its network.
– The company aims to achieve almost 100% uptime, a marked increase from the current 96%. Uptime here refers to the individual ability of a charging port to dispense energy, rather than an average across multiple stations at one address.
– The NOC, which began operations last month, will facilitate continuous proactive monitoring to instantly and remotely detect any issues across all active ports on the ChargePoint network. This process will incorporate machine learning and natural language processing to swiftly identify malfunctioning chargers so that repairs or maintenance can be scheduled promptly.
– In addition to monitoring, the new facility houses a 16,000-square-foot Advanced Test Facility. This area will be used to conduct stress tests on EV charging stations, including subjecting them to harsh environmental conditions, to ensure their durability and resilience.
– Addressing a current industry challenge, the lack of skilled technicians to repair broken chargers, ChargePoint is in the process of creating a training and certification program. Expected to be the most comprehensive of its kind in the industry, the program is scheduled to go live in early 2024.
Ford’s All-Electric Explorer: A Closer Look at Features and Commitments
– The all-new electric Ford Explorer was showcased in the capital for the first time, revealing a series of innovative features and specifications.
– Engineered and manufactured in Germany, the Explorer is Ford’s first electric vehicle to be produced at scale in the new Ford Cologne EV Centre.
– The vehicle comes with the SYNC Move 2 infotainment system, complete with a large movable touchscreen, an audio setup specifically tailored to the interior, wireless app integration, and advanced driving assistance technology.
– For added convenience, a 17-litre MegaConsole is situated between the driver and front-seat passenger, providing enough space to hold a 15-inch laptop.
– The Explorer boasts an impressive fast-charging capability, allowing the battery to charge from 10 to 80 percent at a DC charging station in just 25 minutes.
– Ford’s ambitions in Europe are clear with a commitment to offer a fully electric lineup of passenger vehicles by 2030, and an entire range, including commercial vehicles, going electric by 2035.
– Prospective buyers can look forward to ordering the new all-electric Explorer later this year.
BC Transit’s $396 Million Move to Electrify Buses in British Columbia
– BC Transit, responsible for public transportation outside Greater Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, has declared a substantial investment of $396 million towards the acquisition of up to 115 battery-electric buses.
– The investment will also cover the installation of 134 charging points to support the new electric fleet, ensuring comprehensive infrastructure development.
– A significant contribution from the Canadian federal government, totaling around $170 million, will subsidize this endeavor, underlining the commitment at the national level towards green transportation.
– The strategic investment aligns with BC Transit’s long-term vision to fully transition to an all-electric fleet by the year 2040, marking a significant step in the transformation of public transportation.
– The initiative is part of a broader Canadian government goal to introduce 5,000 zero-emission public transit and school buses across the nation by 2026.
Volvo EX30: A Minimalist Approach to Interior Design at $34,950
– The Volvo EX30 electric crossover introduces a new minimalist, space-maximizing Scandinavian charm, reminiscent of IKEA’s design philosophy, without making it feel sparse or focusing solely on cost-cutting.
– With a starting price of $34,950, the EX30 stands out as an innovative example of reimagining car interior design with an emphasis on functionality and aesthetics.
– A unique feature in the EX30 is a small, washable rubber trash bin adorned with a cartoon moose called “Morton,” hidden behind the center console, providing a handy solution for disposing of small waste items.
– The dashboard and control layout in the EX30 is unconventional, featuring no instrument cluster and relying on an infrared sensor on the steering column to track the driver’s eye and head movements. The gear selector is a small toggle on the steering wheel, and most controls are integrated into a 12.3-inch tablet-style center touchscreen. A “contextual bar” with essential functions remains fixed at the bottom of the screen for ease of navigation.
– Non-screen-based controls are confined to the center armrest, which also includes a slide-out cupholder set, a pop-out center-mounted glovebox, and hidden floor storage beneath the armrest.
– The EX30’s audio system diverges from conventional design by using a dashboard-stretched soundbar instead of door-mounted speakers.
– Volvo is currently accepting $500 deposits for the EX30 in the U.S., and officials are expressing that its popularity is surpassing expectations.
Volvo Utilizes Duty Drawback Program to Bypass U.S. Tariff on China-made Cars
– Volvo has found a way to circumvent the 25% tariff on Chinese-made vehicles through the use of the Duty Drawback program, which has the potential to “bridge the moat” of U.S. import tariffs, according to Bill Russo, CEO of Automobility Limited.
– The Duty Drawback program, enacted in 1789 and modernized in 2016, allows for the refunding of duties, taxes, fees, and tariffs on merchandise imported into the U.S. and subsequently exported or destroyed.
– Michael Cerny, the Drawback committee chairman at the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Inc., highlights that the program encourages investment in U.S. manufacturing by fostering exports from the United States and using the China tariffs in a way that helps to create American jobs.
– The auto industry often leverages duty drawbacks to import auto parts from China at lower costs. Still, few automakers import fully assembled vehicles from China, with Ford planning to join this practice next year with the redesigned Lincoln Nautilus.
– Volvo and its subsidiary Polestar rely on Chinese factories to produce vehicles for the U.S. market. Notably, Volvo’s South Carolina assembly plant, with a capacity of 150,000 units, has less than half the production capacity of BMW and Mercedes factories in the U.S.
Tesla Collaborates with EnergyHub to Establish Northeast’s Largest Virtual Power Plant
– Tesla is teaming up with EnergyHub to create the largest virtual power plant (VPP) in the Northeast, utilizing Tesla’s fleet of Powerwalls to offer electric grid services and compensating homeowners for the use of their home battery packs.
– EnergyHub, a prominent provider of distributed energy management systems (DERMS), and Tesla have worked together to enable an in-app experience for ConnectedSolutions program enrollment. The seamless integration allows customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to easily join the demand response program.
– The ConnectedSolutions program is EnergyHub’s most extensive bring-your-own-battery initiative. It functions by linking batteries to form a VPP, which helps to mitigate peak demand for electricity and offer additional grid services.
– Tesla Powerwall owners can join EnergyHub’s ConnectedSolutions VPP program directly through the Tesla app, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.
– EnergyHub estimates that Powerwall owners can potentially earn up to $1,500 per year for each kW of power that the utilities draw from their home battery packs.
– With the new in-app experience, customers can effortlessly sign up for the program, monitor how much energy they are contributing, and understand the resulting earnings from their utility.
– With more than 500,000 Powerwalls deployed globally, Tesla sees numerous opportunities to combine these into virtual power plants, thus aiding the electric grid and enhancing the financial attractiveness of home batteries for homeowners.
Tesla’s New V4 Superchargers Now Installed at Giga Berlin
– Tesla has commenced the installation of its latest V4 Superchargers in Europe, with Giga Berlin-Brandenburg plant in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany being the first location in Germany to receive them, and the sixth in Europe overall.
– Alongside the older V3 stalls, the new V4 dispensers come with an integrated display and a contactless bank card reader, providing an enhanced user experience.
– One remarkable feature of the new V4 charging station is that it is sheltered by a solar canopy, reflecting a commitment to sustainability.
– In addition to the German site, Tesla has also installed a new V4 Supercharging station in Rennes, France, marking the third installation in France and the fifth in Europe.
– The site features 20 individual stalls, each with a rating of up to 250 kilowatts (kW). Notably, the maximum power output is currently the same for both V3 and V4 stalls, although future updates are expected to enable higher power for the V4, possibly up to 350 kW according to a UK report.
– The distribution of known publicly available V4 Supercharging sites across Europe is as follows:
– Austria: 1
– France: 3
– Germany: 1
– Netherlands: 1
Lamborghini to Unveil First Electric Crossover Concept Next Week
– Lamborghini is set to reveal its first fully electric vehicle (EV) as a 2+2 crossover concept at the Monterey Car Week next week.
– Scheduled to launch in 2028, this radically designed electric crossover is part of Lamborghini’s push into electric mobility, although no further specifics about the concept’s features have been disclosed.
– According to previous reports, Lamborghini’s eagerly anticipated fourth model line will manifest as a high-riding, four-seat super-GT.
– The new electric crossover is just the beginning of Lamborghini’s electric journey. The company plans to follow this launch with an electric successor to the Urus in 2029, ensuring a lineup of four electrified sports cars by the decade’s end.
– Adding to the electrified lineup, the Aventador-replacing Revuelto PHEV has recently entered production in Sant’Agata, and a hybrid successor to the Huracán is scheduled to launch by the end of next year.
– Though not much has been revealed, it’s expected that the new 2+2 crossover’s design will be lightly inspired by the Lamborghini Estoque saloon concept, which was introduced in 2008 but never reached production.
Lucid Air’s Saudi Arabia Assembly Plant to Begin Limited Production in September
– Lucid’s first overseas plant in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to commence limited production of Lucid Air EVs in September, as stated by CEO Peter Rawlinson.
– The facility, named AMP-2 and situated in King Abdullah Economic City, is still under construction, having begun only a year ago.
– Initially, Lucid will send partially assembled vehicles from the US to the Saudi Arabian facility, where the final stages of production will take place.
– All parts of the Lucid Air will be received from Lucid’s AMP-1 factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, allowing for local assembly within Saudi Arabia.
– Once fully operational, the Saudi Arabian manufacturing facility is expected to produce up to 155,000 vehicles per year at its peak capacity.
– Lucid has also finalized the purchase agreement with the Government of Saudi Arabia, with the first Lucid Air deliveries expected to occur before year’s end.
– The deal involves 50,000 vehicles with an option for an additional 50,000, initially announced in April 2022.
– Notably, the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the majority stakeholder in Lucid Group, owning 60.5 percent of shares.
– This initiative highlights Lucid’s growing international presence and aligns with Saudi Arabia’s investment strategy to diversify its economy.
Rivian Surpasses Q2 Expectations: Boosts Yearly Guidance with 50% Margin Improvement
– Rivian has raised its annual guidance after an impressive second quarter, with production scaling and gross margins improving by 50%.
– In Q2, Rivian delivered 12,640 EVs, a 50% increase from Q1, and well above analysts’ expectations of around 11,000.
– The company’s production is gaining momentum after modifying its EDV line to fit the new Enduro drive units and LFP battery packs, reducing input costs by about 25%.
– The Enduro drive units began being integrated into R1 models during Q2, with cheaper “Dual Motor” and “Performance Dual Motor” options appearing in the R1 shop recently.
– Rivian’s Q1 net loss of $1.4 billion marks a decrease from the $1.7 billion in Q4, indicating a trend of cost reduction within the company.
– During Q2, the company generated $1.12 billion in revenue, up from $661,000 in Q1, primarily due to the 12,640 vehicle deliveries and $34 million from regulatory credits.
– Gross profit per vehicle improved by $35,000, a result of Rivian’s successful cost transformation program, which has led to meaningful reductions in R1 and EDV vehicle expenses.
– At quarter’s end, Rivian held $9.2 billion in cash and equivalents, a decline from the $11.78 billion in the previous quarter.
– Rivian implemented various measures earlier in the year to reduce expenditure and strengthen its financial position.
– In February, the company reduced its staff by 6%, a move aimed at cutting costs.
– March saw Rivian engage in a $1.3 billion sale of convertible notes, providing additional financial backing.
– The introduction of Rivian’s new and more compact R2 vehicle platform has been postponed to 2026 from its original expected launch in 2025.
BMW Unveils Armored i7 Electric Car for VIPs
– BMW has introduced armored editions of its flagship saloon, including the electric i7, designed specifically for heads of state and other VIPs.
– These armoured versions are known as the BMW 7 Series Protection, marking the first time the current generation of the 7 Series has an armoured model.
– The cars are equipped with an armoured steel body called the BMW Protection Core. This reinforcement extends to the doors, underbody, and roof, providing “maximum protection” against various threats including explosives, bullets, drone attacks, and hand grenades.
– The protective glass used in these vehicles is rated VPAM 10, representing the pinnacle of protection available for civilian vehicles.
– These models also have VR9-rated protection, meaning they can withstand ballistic attacks from projectiles moving up to 820 meters per second.
– Further, they offer PAS 300 blast resistance and a self-sealing fuel tank to prevent fuel loss during an attack.
– The vehicles come with specially designed PAX 20-inch light-alloy wheels equipped with a run-flat ring, enabling the vehicle to continue driving at speeds up to 50 mph even if the tires lose all air.
– Performance specifications are impacted by these enhancements: the standard i7’s 0-62 mph acceleration time of 4.7 seconds is doubled to 9.0 seconds in the i7 Protection version, and the top speed is capped at 99 mph.
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