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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 Friday 15th September, Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to. We go live at 5pm UK, that’s Midday Eastern. Patreon supporters get the episodes as soon as they’re ready and ad free. You can be like them by clicking here.
VINFAST’S EV EXPANSION JOURNEY
VinFast is gaining momentum in the EV arena with its imported VF 8 two-row crossover. The firm registered 19 new units in July, pushing its January-to-July total to 170. The company has ambitious plans on the horizon, including the construction of an assembly plant and battery production facility in North Carolina. This venture is set to roll out three different models by 2025.
VOLKSWAGEN TRIMS JOBS AT GERMAN EV FACTORY
Volkswagen recently revealed its decision to scale back its workforce at the Zwickau electric-vehicle plant located in eastern Germany, attributing the move to current market dynamics. Over the past few years, the automotive giant had onboarded more than 3,000 employees at this facility, predominantly on temporary contracts. However, out of these, 269 contracts approaching their expiration will not see a renewal. In a more positive stride, the company has converted 540 of these temporary contracts into permanent roles.
VW AND AUDI BOOST E-CAR OUTPUT AMID ZWICKAU’S UNDERPERFORMANCE
Despite the Zwickau e-car factory’s suboptimal utilization, Volkswagen is undeterred, pressing ahead with expansion plans for its electric fleet. By the end of 2023, Brussels will join the roster of Audi Q4 e-tron production sites, supplementing its Zwickau counterpart. The ID.3’s production journey will commence this fall in Wolfsburg, albeit in limited batches initially, sourcing parts from Saxony. A full-throttle production of the ID.3 in Wolfsburg is on the horizon for next year. Notably, Zwickau, while housing an impressive lineup including the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, Audi’s Q4 e-tron, Q4 Sportback e-tron, and the Cupra Born, hasn’t quite hit its stride, operating below its full potential.
US SEES RECORD 100,000 EV REGISTRATIONS IN JULY 2023
In a groundbreaking month for the electric vehicle sector, July 2023 witnessed an unprecedented surge in all-electric car registrations in the US, crossing the 100,000 mark for the first time. Accumulating to 655,986 in the first seven months, there’s been a notable 67% increase in BEV registrations compared to the same duration last year. This pushes the BEV market share from 4.9% in 2022 to an impressive 7.2% this year. While registration data often lags behind actual sales by a few weeks, it remains a dependable indicator, especially in the absence of regularly publicized monthly sales figures. Globally speaking, the US’s contribution stands strong, representing an estimated 15% of all BEV sales.
US LIKELY HITS 1 MILLION ANNUAL EV SALES MARK
The US electric car market, For the first half of the year, saw EVs over 7% of new car sales, marking a significant stride toward widespread adoption. Notably, total EV sales recently breezed past the 3 million mark. From June of the past year, Americans snapped up 977,445 purely electric vehicles. It’s impressive to note the acceleration: while the first million EVs took a decade to sell, the third million was achieved in just over a year. The momentum is undeniable, with the US on track to notch up its fourth million soon. Factoring in plug-in hybrids, the country has been selling around a million EVs every nine months.
VOLVO RAMPS UP ELECTRIC TRUCK PRODUCTION IN GHENT
Volvo has commenced the production of three electric truck models — the FH, FM, and FMX Electric — at its Ghent facility. Each designed to handle a whopping 44 tonnes, these trucks offer adaptability to a myriad of transport requirements. The Ghent plant, standing as Volvo’s largest, boasts an annual capacity of approximately 45,000 trucks. Remarkably, this facility integrates the assembly of electric models alongside their diesel and gas counterparts, a testament to its dynamic production capabilities. This strategic setup isn’t just about scale; it’s about agility. By positioning the newly opened battery assembly plant right next door, Volvo ensures seamless integration. Notably, Ghent is now the fourth Volvo factory diving into electric truck production. The market’s response? Overwhelming. Volvo has already secured orders and intents for around 6,000 electric trucks from 42 countries.
CHINA CRITICIZES EU’S PROBE INTO ELECTRIC CAR SUBSIDIES
China has sharply criticized the European Union for what it calls “naked protectionist behaviour” following EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s decision to investigate Chinese state subsidies for electric vehicles. Announced during her State of the Union address, von der Leyen accused Beijing of skewing the European market. The EU’s investigation, largely influenced by months of urging from France, might lead to new tariffs on Chinese imports. However, this move opens the door for potential retaliations against European manufacturers, especially dominant German brands with a strong foothold in China.
BACKGROUND: CHINESE EVS: THE MANY BENEFITS THEY RECEIVE
China’s robust electric vehicle (EV) sector has seen an influx of governmental aid, a trend which may prompt tariffs on car exports from not only local automakers but also US-based Tesla, which ships cars from its Shanghai hub. One major perk for EV buyers in China is the exemption from the vehicle purchase tax. From 2016-2022, the central government pumped $57 billion into EV purchases, five times the U.S. expenditure, not factoring in provincial and local incentives. Moreover, many EV producers, tagged as high-tech firms, enjoy a favorable 15% corporate tax rate, notably lower than the regular 25%.
On the production front, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) rewards automakers based on their EV output. By the close of last year, nearly 39 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) was allocated to stimulate the production of about 3.76 million new-energy cars, with BYD and Tesla as top beneficiaries.
To further bolster the sector, various governmental tiers have extended affordable loans, land, and grants to EV firms. Additionally, local governments mainly fund R&D initiatives, targeting pivotal technologies and the creation of new-energy vehicles and core components. Lastly, the government’s bulk buying of locally produced electric fleets has been a steady financial pillar for Chinese EV manufacturers.
U.S. FUNDS $100M FOR EV CHARGER REPAIRS
In a bid to enhance the reliability of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, the Biden-Harris administration has set aside a robust $100 million. This fund aims squarely at the refurbishment and replacement of currently non-operational public EV charging infrastructures. The “Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator” application process, now open for submissions, promises a streamlined experience. The U.S. Department of Transportation is optimistic, projecting that the allocated budget will comfortably cover all eligible projects. Notably, both publicly and privately-owned charging stations can tap into these funds, provided they offer unrestricted access to the general public.
NIO TEAMS UP WITH SVOLT FOR CYLINDRICAL CELLS
Nio is partnering with battery expert SVOLT to pioneer the development of large cylindrical cells. Driven by the need to address challenges in its in-house battery project, Nio is setting sights on a pilot production line for these innovative battery cells. SVOLT, which originally branched out from Great Wall Motor, is a battery manufacturing powerhouse with global ambitions, making it an apt partner for Nio’s endeavors.
EV VS ICE PRICE PARITY REPORT
According to a recent research study, the continuously dropping battery prices may pave the way for electric vehicles (EVs) to make up a staggering two-thirds of global car sales by 2030. Currently, batteries account for approximately 40% of an EV’s cost. However, as automakers innovate with improved battery chemistries, new materials, and advanced software, these costs are steadily decreasing. The RMI research further revealed that oil demand for cars peaked in 2019 and is set to decline by at least 1 million barrels daily after 2030. As for the anticipated price parity with fossil fuel-driven cars, Europe might see this shift as early as 2024, with China following in 2025, the U.S. in 2026, and India in 2027.
ENEL BOOSTS TEXAS GRID WITH NEW ENERGY STORAGE
In response to Texas’s escalating energy demands from extreme heat and population growth, Enel North America has powered up the state’s energy grid this summer, integrating an impressive 369 MW / 555 MWh of utility-scale storage capacity. This enhancement, comprising five advanced battery systems, propels Enel’s total storage to 520 MW / 780 MWh. And they’re gearing up for more; an ambitious 823 MW / 1,234 MWh is on track for the next year. Enel’s commitment to Texas goes even further with 3.3 GW of renewable installations, 200 MW in demand response management, and a fresh retail energy initiative launched recently.
ARK’S QUADRICYCLE: UK’S BUDGET ELECTRIC RIDE
British EV start-up Ark is making waves with the launch of its debut all-electric quadricycle, the Zero. With a starting price of £5995, it’s staking a claim as the UK’s most budget-friendly electric car. Since its release, Ark has already seen over 200 units fly off the shelves. Weighing a mere 489kg, this compact two-seater boasts a top speed of 28mph and covers 50.3 miles on one charge. Its design, shorter yet taller than its nearest rival, the Citroën Ami, comfortably fits two adults and a pet dog. Powered by a 3bhp motor and a lithium-ion battery, the Zero’s launch aligns with a rising trend of micro-EVs catering to the urban youth market.
VERKOR SECURES €2BN FOR DUNKIRK GIGAFACTORY
French battery innovator, Verkor, announced a massive €2 billion ($2.15 billion) fund accumulation for its upcoming gigafactory in Dunkirk. This substantial backing sees a record-breaking €850 million capital increase from investors, setting a new standard for French tech startups. Additionally, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is pitching in with €600 million in loans, while €650 million in state subsidies are pending European Commission approval. Slated to begin operations by mid-2025, Verkor’s gigafactory promises to invigorate the job market with 1,200 direct and an additional 3,000 indirect roles. In terms of output, the facility is designed to produce an impressive 16 GWh annually, with Renault earmarked to receive 12 GWh.
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