Plus, stay tuned to find out the crazy reasons the UK has a whopping £1billion to bolster EV charging, unspent for years
Chevrolet Equinox EV Launch Pushed Back
– GM remains tight-lipped about the exact production commencement date for the Chevrolet Equinox EV. Insights from a report in the summer of 2023 had pegged the production to kickstart in the last quarter of the same year.
– GM’s CEO Mary Barra, hinted that this postponement might stretch over “a few months.”
– Notably, this isn’t an isolated change in GM’s EV timeline. Production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the GMC Sierra EV, slated to roll out from the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, has also been deferred. Instead of the initial target of Q1 2025, we’re now looking at a late 2025 schedule for these EV pickups.
– Cast your mind back to 2022, and you’d remember GM’s announcement detailing the Chevrolet Equinox EV’s price point. The company was aiming for a starting MSRP hovering around the $30,000 mark. With the current shifts and changes, whether that price remains fixed is anybody’s guess.
– Here’s an intriguing subplot: GM’s rescheduling might just have a ripple effect. We’re keen to see if Honda’s strategy of launching two Ultium-based models (one under the Honda banner and another Acura) undergoes any recalibration. Given that these were anticipated to be manufactured in tandem with GM’s offerings, we might be in for more delays.
Tesla Hits 2,000 Supercharger Milestone in the U.S.
– Tesla has crossed an impressive threshold – they now boast over 2,000 functioning Supercharger stations within the U.S. borders.
– This achievement was documented and shared by the Supercharger location tracker, Supercharge.info. Their report highlighted that Tesla’s recent addition of a charging station in Mojave, California, was the one to put them over the top. This Mojave site, with its 20 charging stalls, was pivotal in reaching this noteworthy figure.
– But that’s not all the news buzzing around Tesla’s Supercharger network. Just last month, the EV giant celebrated another significant achievement. They unveiled their 50,000th Supercharger stall. And in a move to mark its significance, they painted it a striking “Ultra Red.”
Tesla Mulls Over Charging Fee at Crowded Superchargers
– Green, a renowned Tesla hacker, has delved into the most recent Tesla software update. His deep dive revealed that Tesla is tinkering with the idea of a “congestion fee.”
– This potential fee seems to target busier Supercharger stations. At these crowded locations, Tesla typically caps the state-of-charge at 80%. If drivers decide to override this and charge beyond the 80% limit, they might find themselves paying an additional fee.
– The specifics about the amount of this proposed congestion fee are still under wraps. Tesla hasn’t given any hints on what it might be.
– This wouldn’t be Tesla’s first foray into introducing fees at their Supercharger stations. Recall that they’ve already established a “Supercharger Idle fee”. This fee comes into play when a fully-charged vehicle remains parked at a Supercharger, taking up a valuable charging spot.
Cybertruck Encounters Charging Issue in Mojave
– For the third time in a span of a few months, a Tesla Cybertruck found itself in a bit of a pickle. Instead of being left high and dry on a highway, this specific instance involved the Cybertruck encountering troubles while trying to draw power from a Tesla Supercharger station, situated in Mojave, California.
– An observant member of the Cybertruck Owners Club forum chanced upon this immobile Cybertruck. Curiosity piqued, they decided to get a closer look.
– If this charging mishap turns out to be a connectivity issue with Tesla’s network, it spells trouble. Especially when you consider that a slew of eager Cybertruck enthusiasts are merely five weeks away from supposedly receiving their vehicles. It raises concerns: are all kinks in the system smoothed out before the masses lay their hands on their awaited electric trucks?
European EV Market: North Leads, South Struggles
– A noticeable uptick in fully electric car sales in Europe: From a mere 1% five years ago, this figure has now escalated to 15%.
– Not all European nations are on the same page. The disparity between countries’ EV adoption rates is widening. Specifically, Italy and Spain seem to be playing catch-up, with both countries reflecting only around 5% EV market share.
– Meanwhile, northern European nations are leading the charge, with their EV sales breaching the 30% threshold.
– Diving deeper into the numbers, the lion’s share of new registrations in Europe can be attributed to its top five car markets, which collectively account for nearly 70% of all registrations. Within this elite group:
– Germany sets the pace with 18% EV market share (recorded for the initial three quarters of 2023).
– The UK and France aren’t far behind and both are outpacing the continental average, pegged at 15%.
– Infrastructure is a pressing concern for some nations. Italy and Spain, in particular, have a considerable task ahead when it comes to expanding their EV charging networks.
– Transitioning to electric isn’t always direct. A significant number of European drivers initially opt for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). In this category, Belgium claims the top spot, boasting a PHEV market share of 20% in 2023.
– However, the sustained growth of the PHEV market share in Europe is under scrutiny. Case in point: Germany, which is Europe’s most prominent car market, witnessed its PHEV market share plunge drastically from 14% in 2022 to a mere 6% within the first three quarters of 2023. This dip is attributed to the cessation of fiscal incentives for hybrid vehicles.
Global EV Sales Surge: What Lies Ahead?
– Back in 2020, electric vehicles (EVs) represented one in every 25 car sales internationally. Flash forward, and now one in every five cars sold worldwide is electric.
– The International Energy Agency (IEA) report, which provided these insights, doesn’t stop there. Projecting further, it foresees the number of global EVs in 2030 potentially reaching tenfold the current count.
– The IEA report isn’t just about global predictions; it sheds light on country-specific projections for 2030:
– India is on track to enhance its solar energy output, aiming to derive 18% of its electricity from the sun by 2030, a considerable jump from the current 6%.
– Over in the US, the forecast is equally sunny. Renewable energy sources, which currently cater to 22% of the nation’s power needs, are expected to cater to almost 45% by 2030.
– The Southeast Asian market is gearing up for a two-wheeled EV revolution. By 2030, the projection is that a whopping 45% of all two-wheelers sold in the region will run on batteries.
– Europe isn’t to be left behind in this race. The European Union, by 2030, is predicted to witness 65% of its new car sales being electric.
– China, already leading the global EV sales charts, has a bold ambition. The country envisions a future where its roads will be traversed by 100 million EVs by 2030.
Detroit & South Korea’s Battery Ventures: A Risky Road Ahead?
– The current contract negotiations in Detroit are sending shockwaves all the way to battery producers situated a vast 6,600 miles away.
– LG Energy Solution Ltd., SK On Co., and Samsung SDI Co. have teamed up with automotive giants General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stellantis. The result? A whopping $28 billion earmarked for investments in US-based electric vehicle battery plants, which they’re strategizing as joint ventures.
– It’s not just about the money. Jobs are on the line. The three automakers aim to bring on board approximately 19,600 individuals for these plants. However, there’s a twist: The United Auto Workers union is eager to bring these new roles under its fold.
– Tensions arise due to anticipated demands from the union. The word on the street? The union’s expected to push hard for significant salary hikes.
– Cold feet in corporate boardrooms? It seems so. There’s buzz that some businesses, even those who’ve recently publicized major US investments, are mulling over a possible backtrack on their commitment.
– With Tesla igniting a fierce pricing contest, coupled with GM and Ford pumping the brakes on certain EV initiatives, it might be prudent for South Korean battery makers to re-evaluate the wisdom of constructing multiple manufacturing units in the US.
UK’s £1bn EV Charging Fund Remains Untapped
– A whopping £1bn allocated to bolster the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure is yet to be utilized. This fund, announced over three years ago by Rishi Sunak, is still sitting on the shelf.
– Originally introduced in March 2020, just before the onset of the first Covid lockdown, this “rapid charging fund” had ambitious plans. Enhance the electrical capacity at motorway service stations, enabling multiple electric vehicles to recharge swiftly in tandem.
– Ahe fund hasn’t even started accepting applications. An initial pilot program was on the cards for the end of 2022 but has seen repeated postponements. Now, the word is that it might see the light of day in the summer of 2023.
– Transport Minister Jesse Norman recently shed some light on the delay in the House of Commons. The government is still brewing the pilot, with no concrete dates on when it will officially roll out. Out of 119 motorway services, only a fraction (less than 25%) have met the stipulated charger count.
– The fund’s objective, interestingly, isn’t just about increasing the number of charging points. It’s also about supporting their establishment in areas where the commercial return might not seem viable.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
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