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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 Sunday 22nd 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.
EU Sees Boom in EV Sales as Diesels Dip
– European Union experienced a 9.2% boost in new car sales in September. A significant factor behind this surge is the soaring demand for electric and hybrid vehicles; these contributed to over half of the total car sales in September.
– Sales statistics for fully-electric cars depict a notable 14.3% rise compared to the same month last year.
– The share of fully-electric vehicles in overall sales was 14.8%.
– Contrarily, diesel vehicles are witnessing a downturn in their popularity. Their sales dwindled to 12.5% from 15.9% recorded a year ago.
– Highlighting this trend, back in 2015, diesel cars held a dominating presence, constituting over 50% of new car sales in the European Union.
Volkswagen Ends Petrol and Diesel Sales in Norway
– Volkswagen has chosen to halt the sale of gasoline and diesel cars in Norway after successfully selling over 1.1 million such vehicles in the country.
– December will witness the last non-electric Volkswagen car model being sold in Norway.
– This decision coincides with the 75th anniversary of Volkswagen’s presence in Norway.
– “It might seem odd to celebrate this milestone by removing iconic models from our lineup, but this has been an ambitious and significant commitment over time,” comments Ulf Tore Hekneby, CEO of Volkswagen-importer Harald A. Møller AS.
– As a farewell gesture to fossil-fueled cars, the last Volkswagen Golf will be ordered towards the end of the year.
– The announcement comes precisely a decade after the initial registration of a fully electric Volkswagen on Norwegian roads.
Audi A4’s Electrifying Makeover: 400-mile Range and a Powerful S4
– Audi A4 transitions to a fully electric powertrain after thirty years since its debut.
– The brand is preparing to compete with major players like BMW, Mercedes, and Tesla in the electric executive segment.
– Expected to be available for purchase by late 2025, this electric A4 will co-exist with a combustion-engine model, but this will bear the A5 name, in sync with Audi’s naming approach which dedicates even numbers for EVs.
– Despite similarities in design and size, the electric A4 is distinctly marketed, aligning closely with the designs of A6 and Q6 E-tron EVs. These are part of Audi’s and Porsche’s jointly developed PPE architecture.
– The electric A4 takes inspiration from the Q6, slated for a 2024 release, highlighting Audi’s distinct electric vehicles. This model will boast considerable tech upgrades from its predecessors.
– A prominent feature is its next-gen battery positioned between the axles, having a usable capacity close to 100kWh.
– Given its design, which is more streamlined, compact, and lightweight compared to the Q6 SUV that covers 373 miles, the A4 is predicted to have an impressive maximum range close to 400 miles.
– The A4 E-tron will come with 800V charging gear as a standard feature, capable of supporting a top-up speed of up to 270kW. This is notably twice as fast as the current Q4 E-tron based on the MEB platform. Such rapid charging can infuse about 155 miles of range in a mere 10 minutes.
Chevy Blazer EV Updates: Power and Pricing Insights
– Chevrolet is making modifications to its Blazer EV offerings. The initial 1LT trim has been removed from the lineup; 2LT emerges as the pricier base trim. New power output details: The 2LT AWD and RS variants will provide 288 horsepower. The SS version boasts a striking 557 horsepower.
– Specs for the base 2LT remain unconfirmed, though it might be in the ballpark of the Equinox EV’s 210 horsepower. Chevy suggests that the Equinox EV might compensate for the void left by the most affordable Blazer.
– Current projections maintain the Equinox EV’s starting price at approximately $30,000. Chevy representatives have indicated to *Car and Driver* that premium Equinox EV trims could be a good replacement for the base Blazer.
Lucid Unveils Gravity SUV with Power Packed Performance
– Lucid’s Gravity SUV is set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. This SUV has been under development for three years; Lucid first announced its arrival on September 20, 2020.
– Design-wise, the Gravity is anticipated to mirror the cues of Lucid’s sedan. Potential buyers can opt for either a five-seat or seven-seat configuration in the Gravity.
– In terms of powertrains, Gravity will emulate the specs from the Air lineup. To note:
– The basic Air Pure variant sports a solo electric motor, pushing out 430 horsepower to the rear.
– The lineup also includes the Air Touring at 620 horsepower and the Air Grand Touring boasting 819 horsepower.
– The ultimate powerhouse is the Air Sapphire, churning out a staggering 1,234 horsepower. Given Lucid’s commitment to supercar-level performance for the Gravity, it’s plausible that the Gravity might have its own variant rivaling this.
– Battery-wise, Gravity will share the same packs as the Air, leading to comparable range stats. The most efficient model, the Grand Touring, comes with a 112-kWh battery, projecting an EPA-estimated range reaching 516 miles (830 kilometers).
– Mark your calendars for November 16 to catch the Lucid Gravity’s unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Stellantis Targets US with Four Electrified Pickups
– Stellantis reveals plans to introduce four electrified pickup models in the U.S. within the upcoming two years.
– This move is characterized as a “North American offensive.” One of these trucks is the 2025 Ram 1500 REV, which is slated for a launch in the coming year. Stellantis also teases a forthcoming “hydrogen solution.”
– The Ram 1500 REV will have different versions – a completely electric model and a range-extended XR. Both these versions will also be available for fleets.
– There have been whispers among Ram executives about the possibility of integrating fuel-cell powertrains for their line of heavy-duty trucks.
– Electrified vans are integral to Stellantis’ commercial objectives. The company announced plans to rejuvenate the van lineup across all its global commercial vehicle brands, which include Ram, Citroën, Fiat, Opel, Peugeot, and Vauxhall. Notably, only Ram offers vans for sale in the U.S. currently.
Tesla Hits 1 Million EV Sales in Europe
@teslaeurope: “14 years ago, we delivered the first Tesla Roadster to customers in Europe. Today, we hit 1 million Tesla vehicles on the road across Europe. Thanks to our owners & supporters for helping us accelerate the transition to sustainable energy!”
– Tesla recently celebrated a significant achievement in Europe: the sale of its one millionth electric vehicle. It took 14 years from the time the first Tesla Roadsters were introduced in Europe to reach this milestone.
– Europe’s contribution to Tesla’s sales stands at around 20% of the company’s global total.
– Currently, Tesla has four EV models available in the European market:
– Model 3: Imported directly from China.
– Model Y: Manufactured locally within Germany.
– Model S and Model X: Both imported from their California facility.
– The European Union’s apprehensions regarding the influx of electric cars from China might potentially drive a faster shift towards local production in Europe.
Tesla Unveils Cybertruck Powertrain Details with VIN Decoder Update
– Tesla’s VIN Decoder now includes data pertaining to the Cybertruck. Two powertrain options for the Cybertruck have been identified:
– D: Represents a Dual Motor – Standard setup for the Cybertruck.
– E: Stands for Triple Motor – Performance variant of the Cybertruck.
– The VIN Decoder provides details about two GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) categories associated with the Cybertruck:
– G: Class G, spanning weights between 3629 kg. to 4082 kg. (8,001-9,000 lbs.)
– H: Class H, covering weights from 4082 kg. to 4536 kg. (9,001-10,000 lbs.)
– It’s essential to note that GVWR isn’t the vehicle’s standalone weight. It encompasses the total weight when combined with cargo and occupants.
Mazda Set to Unveil a New EV by 2025
– Mazda has disclosed its intention to release a single battery-electric vehicle come 2025, as shared by Mazda North America CEO, Tom Donnelly. The upcoming EV is projected to be a revamp of an existing model, with strong indications pointing towards it being a crossover.
– Mazda’s previous foray into the EV world, the MX-30 EV, offered a mere 100-mile range and had a limited sales window in California before its discontinuation.
– Fans and enthusiasts can stay tuned as there’s a buzz suggesting that details about an electric variant of the MX-5 Miata might be unveiled during the Tokyo Mobility Show next week.
China Tightens Graphite Exports Amid Tech Tensions
– China introduces export controls on graphite, crucial for EV batteries. These new regulations are framed under national security grounds, with no specific nation targeted.
– Beginning 1 December, special export permits will be needed for certain graphite varieties.
– China plays a major role in the global graphite supply chain, vital for EV battery production.
– In 2020, both the EU and the US marked natural graphite as a crucial raw material.
– This decision by Beijing follows Washington’s recent restrictions on semiconductor exports to China, which included a ban on advanced AI chips from Nvidia.
– There’s an intensifying strain between China and the West, especially in the EV supply chain. Recently, the EU contemplated imposing tariffs on Chinese EVs due to suspected unfair subsidy advantages.
– China’s current action mirrors the earlier restrictions on gallium and germanium, metals pivotal for semiconductor and electronic creation.
– China stands as the globe’s principal producer and exporter of graphite, refining over 90% of global graphite into anode material for EV batteries.
– In 2022, China mined 850,000 tonnes of graphite, constituting 65% of the world’s production. Brazil, in comparison, produced just 87,000 tonnes.
– Graphite is fundamental in EV batteries, constituting 95-99% of the anode (negative electrode). In these lithium-ion batteries, graphite is irreplaceable since it bolsters electrical conductivity and hosts lithium ions. The battery’s other part, the cathode, consists of lithium, nickel, and cobalt.
– Several EV makers, including Tesla, are diversifying their graphite sources. Tesla recently inked a deal with Australia’s Magnis Energy Technologies that sources graphite from Tanzania.
– The burgeoning resource nationalism could potentially decelerate the energy transition, influencing investment scales, supply dynamics, and price points.
– Daniel Kollar, the leader of Automotive and Supply Chain at consultancy Intralink, believes this move will significantly impact the EV and battery sector due to China’s pivotal role in graphite production.
– James Lee, a battery materials analyst from KB Securities Co. in Seoul, described the development as “shocking.”
– Lee further opined that China’s action is its most potent negotiation card against the U.S. concerning the EV industry’s regulations.
– In response, the U.S. might introduce countermeasures, potentially limiting the use of Chinese batteries in vehicles manufactured by Tesla. It’s noteworthy that Tesla’s Shanghai facility produces over half of the company’s global output.
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