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 Saturday 21st 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.
Volvo Upgrades Public Charging Experience for EVs in Europe
– Volvo is set to introduce a variety of new charging features by the end of November.
– These features can be accessed through Volvo’s dedicated app.
– The app’s integration will now support over 1,000 charge point operators.
– An impressive tally of over 590,000 public charging stations in 30 European countries will be covered by this update.
– Volvo’s upcoming flagship EV, the EX90, will be equipped with a ‘Plug & Charge’ feature that’s compatible with certain chargers.
– The app will also offer remote charging management, letting users initiate or halt charging sessions.
Rivian Confirms Georgia Factory Construction in 2024
– Rivian Automotive has announced the commencement of construction for its Georgia-based factory in the upcoming year. The initial phase of this factory aims to roll out 200,000 vehicles annually from 2024. Moreover, by 2030, a second phase will be added, scaling up the production capacity to a total of 400,000 vehicles annually.
– Rivian’s R2 design is set to be showcased next year, as confirmed by company officials.
– To support this venture, Rivian has received incentive packages from both state and local governments.
ChargePoint Introduces NACS Connectors, Opens Doors for Tesla Owners
– ChargePoint is taking steps forward with the launch of NACS connectors.
– AC chargers are first in line to receive the NACS connectors, while DC chargers will follow suit in November.
– This new integration grants Tesla drivers the privilege of tapping into ChargePoint’s fast charging infrastructure.
– For those with ChargePoint’s Home Flex tech at home, anticipate the shipment of NACS cables to start this month.
Tesla Teases Potential ‘Plaid’ Model 3 Variant
– A recent report hints at the possibility of a revamped Model 3 receiving a new kind of electric motor. This speculation arises from the motor’s VIN, showcasing a “T” at its eighth position.
– This unique VIN placement is reminiscent of the European models of Plaid Model S and Model X, sparking discussions of a mightier variant for Tesla’s most affordable model.
– In its current state post-facelift, the Model 3 lineup lacks a “Performance” edition. Available versions include rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Long Range.
– Word on the street suggests Tesla may be considering a name change for the upcoming Model 3’s performance edition, swapping “Performance” for the more thrilling label, “Ludicrous.”
– The recently released owner’s manual for the Highland Model 3 has a mention of the Plaid badge.
– There’s speculation that the Plaid reference could simply be an error and might just pertain to a new iteration of the Model 3 Performance.
– Distinctive features of this potential new variant might include an altered suspension system (further advanced from the one in the Model 3 Highland), upgraded sport brakes, and fresh wheel designs.
Tesla Ramps Up 4680 Battery Production for Cybertruck in Texas
– Tesla has shifted focus to the next-gen 4680 battery cells for its Cybertruck at Giga Texas.
– The newly introduced battery cell boasts a 10% energy advantage over the Model Y’s cell.
– By the close of 2023, Tesla envisions a complete transition to producing these new cells for the Cybertruck.
– Giga Texas will witness the inception of four dedicated battery production lines by mid-2024.
– The production rate of the 4680 cells at the Texas Gigafactory has surged by 40% quarter-over-quarter.
– In a significant milestone, Tesla recently celebrated the manufacture of its 20 millionth cell at the new facility, merely four months post achieving the 10 million cell benchmark.
– Gigafactory Texas’s Phase 2, dedicated to the 4680 facility, is currently in the construction phase.
– Tesla is also updating its production line at Kato Road, aiming to optimize the production of the next-gen cell design. This revamped line holds potential as the genesis for newer cell versions that would potentially supersede those manufactured at other Tesla facilities.
Tesla’s Status as Premium EV Maker in Question
– Tesla’s recent price cuts suggest that consumers may not be as willing to pay a premium for its vehicles. Following the earnings report, Tesla shares dropped 9.3%, bringing the stock price to $220.11 and resulting in a $70 billion market value reduction.
– Profit margins for Elon Musk’s main car business hit their lowest point in over four years in Q3. These margins are now closely aligning with what traditional automakers like General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. report.
– Bernstein’s analyst, Toni Sacconaghi, commented that Tesla now appears more like a “regular auto company”. Questions arise from the latest financial results and Musk’s statements during the earnings call.
Ford Issues Recall for Mustang Mach-E Due to Battery Concerns
– Ford is initiating a recall for 34,762 Mustang Mach-E electric crossovers.
– The reason behind the recall is potential overheating in the high-voltage battery main contactors.
– Models in question were produced from May 27, 2020, to May 24, 2022. They include the extended-range rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and GT variants.
– According to the NHTSA safety recall report activities like DC fast charging and consistent “wide open pedal events” might be the culprit behind the overheating.
– Overheating could result in arcing or deforming the electrical contact surfaces, hindering the contactors from closing. This poses a risk as it might lead to unexpected power loss, thereby elevating crash risks.
– For the safety and convenience of their customers, Ford has committed to replacing the high-voltage battery junction box without any charges at their dealerships.
– As of now, Ford reassures that they have no knowledge of any mishaps or injuries due to this particular flaw.
NYC Gives Green Light to Electric Ride-Hailing Cars
– New York City has removed the restriction on the quantity of cars that services like Uber and Lyft can operate in the city. However, these cars must be electric.
– Starting Thursday, the initiative is expected to boost the number of for-hire vehicles in NYC. Currently, this number stands at 78,000 but is aimed to near the pre-COVID-19 figure of about 100,000.
– Mayor Eric Adams and the Taxi and Limousine Commission are driving this change. Their goal? Ensure that by 2030, cars operated by ride-hailing services are either electrically driven or built to accommodate persons with disabilities.
– By the culmination of 2024, ride-hailing giants like Uber and Lyft are mandated to ensure that 5% of their vehicles are either electric or handicap-accessible. Interestingly, officials noted that the current statistics are already at 10%.
– Before NYC’s announcement in January about this impending regulation, ride-hailing companies had already committed to transitioning their fleets towards electric vehicles.
– It’s worth noting that these updated regulations don’t extend to the traditional yellow or green taxis.
– The union that represents Uber and Lyft drivers perceives these fresh licenses as a chance for drivers to transition from leasing to owning their cars.
BYD Seal’s Price Cut to Avail Australian Rebates
– The BYD Seal electric car’s price was reduced just 48 hours after its initial recommended retail price (RRP) release.
– The top-tier 2024 BYD Seal Performance model saw a price cut specifically to make it eligible for government rebates related to electric vehicles in select Australian states.
– The price was trimmed by $50 from its initial listing.
– This adjustment enables the BYD Seal Performance to avail of electric vehicle incentives in the states of New South Wales (limited duration) and South Australia.
– Cars priced under $68,750 in these states can benefit from a $3,000 rebate.
– The net saving for consumers in both NSW and South Australia is $3,050, but this is contingent upon them actively applying for the rebate post-purchase. This saving is applicable only if the vehicle is chosen with the free white paint and black interior. Any other color choices incur additional costs, making the car ineligible for the rebate.
– For NSW, apart from the $3,000 rebate, there’s also a stamp duty exemption for electric cars priced below $78,000. However, these offers are time-bound and will only apply to orders made before the close of this year. Starting 1 January 2024, the program will be discontinued.
GRIDSERVE Spearheads eHGV Charging Network
– Electric Freightway involves 33 Consortium Partner and Member companies collaborating to roll out an EV charging network.
– A massive fleet of over 140 latest eHGVs is in place to support this initiative.
– The project has an investment of more than £100m, with £62.7m funding coming from the UK government, set to last until 2030.
– GRIDSERVE promises to set up over 200 High Power chargers in vital motorway service zones and over 10 commercial depot charging sites within the first two years of this seven-year venture.
– Plans also include deploying a minimum of two 1 MW capacity High Power chargers.
– In alignment with EU regulations requiring HGV drivers to pause after 4.5 hours of driving for a 45-minute break, GRIDSERVE aims to offer the most potent EV chargers. This ensures drivers can recharge their vehicles during this break without altering their usual practices.
– GRIDSERVE Technologies is also delving into strategies to enhance haulier performance, touching aspects from energy consumption to freight logistics efficiency. Innovative features on the table include automatic charging and pre-booking of charging slots.
EVs Rank Second in Lowest Transport GHG Emissions
– Recent data from the Department for Transport (DfT) delves into the environmental implications of different transport modes and fuel types.
– Electric vehicles (EVs) are runners-up to coaches when it comes to the least direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
– To clarify, direct emissions originate from the transport mode itself, whereas indirect emissions pertain to CO2 from the fuel’s production – for EVs, this equates to electricity generation.
– 2021 statistics highlight that cars accounted for 75% of the UK’s road vehicle miles, yet they were responsible for just 57% of transport emissions.
– On the flip side, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) constituted a mere 6% of vehicle miles, but their emissions weighed in considerably higher at 21%.
– Enhancing the green quotient of car trips hinges on the UK’s electricity mix; an uptick in wind, solar, and tidal energy would further reduce their carbon footprint.
Frankfurt Airport Initiates Bidirectional EV Charging Pilot
– Frankfurt Airport is set to establish almost 90 bidirectional charging stations on its premises.
– Currently, the airport’s e-fleet consists of approximately 650 vehicles.
– By 2026, there are plans to augment the fleet by adding an extra 600 electric vehicles, ranging from cars to buses and specialized handling vehicles.
– The goal is to use the idle battery capacity of these vehicles for other applications.
– The combined batteries from the entire fleet will operate with bidirectional charging technology, effectively forming a virtual large-scale storage system.
– Current challenges include the technology not being broadly applicable due to lack of standardization, particularly in specialized aircraft handling vehicles.
Detroit Startup Unveils $195K Electric Camper Using GM’s Brightdrop Platform
– Detroit’s Grounded has introduced a camper using GM’s Brightdrop electric van as its foundation.
– Previously, Grounded made waves with an electric RV constructed around Ford’s electric Transit van.
– Grounded’s newest offering, the G2 camper, promises a range of 250 miles on a single charge. This is a significant improvement over the 108-mile range from the earlier Ford-based model.
– The extended range is achieved via a 165kWh battery that drives power to each wheel.
– An additional perk is the 640-watt solar array outfitted on the G2’s roof, which can either power the van or its inside gadgets.
– Tech enthusiasts will appreciate the option to incorporate Starlink satellite internet. Furthermore, the camper boasts electronic conveniences like an induction stove and a refrigerator.
– Those interested can already place their orders as production is currently in progress.
– Grounded anticipates starting G2 deliveries within the month, setting the starting price tag at a cool $195,000.
Electrified Camper by Ex-Apple Engineer Ushers in New EV Age
– Introducing the Pebble Flow: a groundbreaking electric camper brought to life by a startup led by a former Apple engineer.
– This self-sustaining trailer is crafted to allay the range concerns of electric vehicle enthusiasts keen on towing campers.
– Boasting a 45 kWh battery, it powers electric motors to aid propulsion during towing, enhancing both range and efficacy.
– The combination of its battery and solar panels on the roof lets campers experience off-grid adventures for up to a week, as stated by Pebble.
– A fully charged Pebble Flow isn’t just for travel; it doubles as an emergency power source for homes during blackouts. Shipments are slated for late next year with a starting price tag of $109,000.
Gravity Introduces Compact EV Fast Chargers for Urban Settings
– Gravity, known for initiating an EV taxi service in NYC in 2021, has unveiled a compact DC rapid charging system tailored for densely populated cities.
– The setup features petite dispenser boxes termed as “Distributed Energy Access Points” by the company.
– These dispensers can be conveniently positioned above or adjacent to parking spaces and have the capability to provide an impressive 500kW.
– Separate power modules are incorporated onsite, ensuring no interference with parking availability.
– The company’s power cabinets can be situated as far as 500 feet away from these charging dispensers.
– To facilitate the flow of energy, liquid-cooled cables are used to connect the dispenser boxes and the main power cabinet.
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