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 Monday 9th October, 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.
Tesla V4 Supercharger Arrives In US
– Tesla is ramping up its V4 Supercharger installations in the US.
– A new charging station has recently been identified in Sparks, Nevada.
– Before this, Tesla’s focus had been primarily on deploying V4 Superchargers in Europe.
– The first recognized V4 Supercharger location in the US was in Wilsonville, Oregon, confirmed in September.
– In Sparks, Tesla renovated an existing charging station situated at McCarran/Lincoln Way, near Raising Caines. This method of refurbishing follows a similar approach to Tesla’s Supercharger station conversion near Giga Berlin in Europe.
– Tesla aims to not only introduce new V4 Supercharger stations but also upgrade some of the existing ones in the US.
– The longer-term vision extends to expanding the V4 Supercharger presence throughout North America.
– V4 Superchargers are designed to be compatible with all electric vehicles. Their design features a longer charging cable, ensuring the charger connects regardless of the charging port’s position on any EV. Some European V4 Superchargers come equipped with a card reader for direct card payments.
Cybertruck Fetches $400K at Auction, Delivery Dates Remain Unknown
– A 2024 Tesla Cybertruck went under the hammer at the Petersen Auto Museum’s event, fetching a sizable $400,000.
– The auction was a highlight of Petersen’s 29th gala, an event hosted by renowned TV personality Jay Leno.
– Entry wasn’t cheap; individual tickets were priced at $1,750. Those wanting a table had to shell out $17,500, with the “premier” tables demanding a hefty $30,000.
– This auctioned Cybertruck might be the first of its kind to be sold, should the sale conclude successfully.
– The museum enticed bidders with the chance to own a “low VIN” 2024 Cybertruck. However, where this truck sits in the early production sequence remains a mystery.
– For context, a 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV fetched $500,000 at a Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction earlier this year. In a previous 2021 auction, a Hummer EV SUT truck raised an eyebrow-raising $2.5 million.
– As of now, Tesla’s lips are sealed regarding the Cybertruck’s official delivery date. The automaker is yet to detail the specifications for the forthcoming pickup. Initial announcements, however, mentioned a starting ballpark figure of around $40,000.
UK’s Near-Record Plug-In Car Sales in September 2023
– The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has unveiled that 63,858 new plug-in cars got registered in September.
– This figure is a notable 27% rise from the previous year, capturing 23.4% of the entire car market share. For comparison, it was 20.4% the year before.
– Breaking it down, registrations for all-electric vehicles stood at 45,323, reflecting a 19% year-over-year increase.
– Impressively, this marks the 41st month in a row where electric vehicle registrations have seen a growth when compared to the previous year.
– Cumulatively, over the year, the UK has witnessed registrations for more than 337,000 new passenger plug-in electric cars.
– This is a substantial 35% jump from last year’s figures, accounting for over one-fifth of the entire car market.
Volkswagen’s Electric Transporter to Feature Ford’s Tech in 2024
– Volkswagen is gearing up to unveil an electric iteration of its legendary Transporter van next year.
– Marking a significant departure, this Transporter won’t borrow its roots from the famed California camper. Instead, it will be founded on a fresh platform conceived in collaboration with Ford.
– The Transporter’s legacy is commendable, standing as one of the all-time best-selling vans. This move signifies its entry into the EV realm.
– A trip down memory lane reminds us of the fourth-gen Transporter T4, which graced US roads as “Eurovan” in 1992. A trailblazer in its own right, it introduced a front-engine design and nifty pop-up roof tent features – elements that continue to influence designs.
– Production plans are clear: Ford’s Otosan facility will play host to the electric Transporter’s manufacturing. This plant currently rolls out the E-Transit, intended for European consumers.
– Prospective buyers can anticipate versatility in their choices. The upcoming Transporter promises configurations as a nine-seater shuttle, a two-row bus, and even a cargo van. A sportier “sportline” trim is also rumored to be in the works.
– Offering a nod to its partner, Volkswagen will echo Ford’s diverse offerings for the Transit. Expect all-electric, hybrid, and traditional gasoline versions. On the EV front, early whispers hint at the electric Transporter rivaling Ford’s respectable 236-mile range.
– Price tags are always a hot topic. Anticipations peg the Transporter’s starting price a tad above £35,000 (equivalent to $42,700). For comparison’s sake, Ford’s electric counterpart kicks off at £33,000 (or $40,300).
UAW’s Significant EV Battery Workers Victory with GM
– The United Auto Workers (UAW) halted a proposed walkout at General Motors’ Arlington, Texas facility.
– This decision followed GM’s last-minute agreement to a key UAW request: including battery workers from future EV plants in the union’s nationwide agreement.
– This sets a precedent that UAW can potentially use against Stellantis and Ford.
– A complexity arises as many anticipated EV facilities aren’t wholly owned by the “Big Three” automakers.
– UAW’s interests extend beyond this, encompassing areas like pay hikes and pension increases, with an emphasis on unionizing future EV facilities.
– For context, an Ohio-based factory, co-owned by GM and LG, joined the union last year. Without a broad agreement for EV workers, every new plant would face its individual union organization challenge.
– Traditional car manufacturers are no strangers to unionized labor. However, Tesla, the topmost EV producer by market value, is firmly against unions.
– While Tesla’s operations remain unaffected by strikes, a union agreement covering EV employees might inspire more robust union initiatives at Tesla.
Tesla Gigafactory Berlin Faces Rising Union Support
– IG Metall, a dominant force in the German auto industry’s union landscape, reports an uptick in support at Tesla Gigafactory Berlin.
– Tesla’s first brush with unionization in Germany occurred in 2017. They sidestepped IG Metall’s involvement by giving employees a raise and stock options.
– Post the announcement of Giga Berlin, IG Metall expressed interest in marking its presence in the new facility.
– Fast forward to 2021, IG Metall orchestrated a committee dedicated to pulling Tesla workers into their fold.
– As of the present day, the union boasts of rallying over 1,000 Tesla workers, advocating for improved work conditions.
– Union supporters made their stance known, with many donning IG Metall stickered T-shirts during night and early shifts.
– This surge in union activity follows a German media expose highlighting a concerning rate of workplace accidents at the plant. The union attributes this to excessive demands on workers in suboptimal conditions.
Lucid’s Air Sapphire Takes on Tesla’s Model S Plaid
– Lucid Air Sapphire EVs commenced their customer deliveries this weekend. The Air Sapphire is engineered to produce 1,234 hp and 1,430 lb-ft of torque. It achieves 0-60 mph in a lightning-quick 1.89 seconds, outpacing Tesla Model S Plaid’s 1.99 seconds.
– Lucid celebrated the milestone with a media event at Sonoma Raceway.
– Highlighted features of the Lucid Air Sapphire:
– A powerful 900V charging system.
– Retooled front/rear springs, bushings, anti-roll bars, and advanced steering software.
– In-house developed torque vectoring control algorithms and traction control.
– Redesigned front and rear suspension geometry for enhanced steering responsiveness.
– Distinctive adaptive damper control software, complemented by tuning for ABS, stability control, brake booster, and electronic power steering (EPS).
– Introduction of carbon ceramic brakes.
– The vehicle now sports an aluminum roof, aiming to decrease its overall weight and centralize its gravity. Performance specs reveal the Air Sapphire can rocket from 0-100 mph in 3.84 seconds and complete a quarter-mile in just 8.95 seconds.
– With an efficiency metric of 3.61 mi-kWh, this EV powerhouse promises to cover up to 427 miles on a single battery charge.
Tesla’s China EV Sales Drop by 10.9%
– Tesla sold 74,073 EVs made in China in September, marking a 10.9% decline compared to the previous year.
– China-made Model 3 and Model Y sales dipped by 12.0% from August.
– Unexpected production halts, due to factory upgrades for a newer Model 3 version, led to Tesla missing market predictions for Q3 global deliveries on October 2nd.
– Tesla, known as the primary exporter of EVs produced in China, is under investigation by the European Commission. This scrutiny is centered on subsidies for battery-operated vehicles from China, affecting not just Tesla but also Renault and other Chinese automakers.
– Despite this downturn, Tesla achieved a record with deliveries of China-produced vehicles, reaching 247,217 units in Q2.
Chevy’s 2024 Blazer EV RS RWD Sports Upgraded Battery
– The 2024 Chevy Blazer EV RS RWD features a 102 kWh battery pack.
– This is a significant upgrade from the 85 kWh battery used in the Chevy Blazer EV 2LT AWD and RS AWD.
– The GM-estimated range for this battery is 320 miles on a full charge. Its on-board AC charging rate is 11.5 kW. When connected to a high-speed DC charge source, the charging rate peaks at 190 kW.
– In comparison, models with the 85 kWh battery have a max charging rate of 150 kW.
– The Chevy Blazer EV is built on the GM BEV3 platform. The vehicle utilizes GM Ultium Drive motors which are powered by the GM Ultium battery pack. The car’s production occurs at the GM Ramos Arizpe facility located in Mexico.
U.S. Army Eyes Electric Recon Vehicles
– The U.S. Army has initiated a program to prototype an electric light reconnaissance vehicle.
– In preparation, the Army’s program office procured several commercial electric vehicles to assess them for potential operational mission compatibility.
– Vehicles tested include the General Motors’ Hummer EV, a platform by Canoo, and a truck from Lordstown Motors.
– The findings from these evaluations are being compiled into a report, which will influence the upcoming prototyping phase.
– Both hybrid and fully electric vehicle designs are on the table for the prototyping stage.
– The Army’s environmental strategy, unveiled in February 2022, highlights a plan to integrate advanced electrification technologies into their existing platforms.
– The strategic goal is to introduce hybrid-drive tactical vehicles by 2035 and transition to completely electric tactical vehicles by 2050. This move will also incorporate necessary charging infrastructure for the fleet.
Polaris’ Electric Offroad Vehicle Aims for Zero Emissions
– Polaris is producing a new all-electric offroad vehicle called the Ranger XP Kinetic.
– This vehicle’s production aligns with upcoming federal mandates to shift towards zero-emission vehicles. The Ranger XP Kinetic is being proposed as an alternative to traditional pickup trucks and offroad work vehicles, especially for use on expansive military bases.
– Compared to gas-powered counterparts, electric vehicles like this are estimated to demand 70% less maintenance. This reduction in maintenance leads to a decreased total ownership cost and a simultaneous reduction in carbon emissions.
– The vehicle boasts a range of approximately 80 miles before necessitating a recharge.
– This range is sufficient for a full day’s work across its projected use cases.
– Potential applications for the Ranger XP Kinetic include:
– Base security operations
– Emergency response services
– Maintenance of parks
– Management of training ranges
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
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