Plus, stay tuned to find out which EV maker just called the current price reductions “brutal” – you might be surprised
bp Adds Tesla Ultra-Fast Chargers in $100M Deal
– bp’s EV charging division, bp pulse, strikes a $100 million deal to purchase ultra-fast charging hardware units from Tesla.
– This marks a first: Tesla’s charging hardware will be integrated into an independent EV charging network.
– Charging station roll-outs are set to kick off in 2024 across strategic locations within the bp brand network.
– Prime installation sites are pinpointed in cities like Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
– These Tesla chargers, boasting a hefty 250 kW output, will be managed, branded, and set up by bp pulse.
– Not just powerful, these chargers come equipped with Tesla’s ‘Magic Dock’ – ensuring compatibility with both the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.
– For added ease, Tesla’s chargers will champion the Plug and Charge protocol, streamlining payment processes.
– Chargers that align with Tesla’s standards in terms of functionality and dependability get featured on Tesla’s in-vehicle UI and apps.
– Through initiatives like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) and California Energy Commission (CEC), bp has secured grants to build charging infrastructure in places like California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Kentucky.
Volvo’s EX30 Production Set for Ghent by 2025
– Volvo’s Ghent facility is set to produce the EX30, making it the third electric model being manufactured at the site, joining the XC40 and C40.
– The EX30 is built on the dedicated pure electric platform, SEA. In terms of drive technology, the EX30 shares similarities with the Smart #1 and Zeekr X.
– European enthusiasts can expect the EX30 on roads only post its Belgian production initiation, even though its manufacturing has already commenced in China. Volvo has ambitious plans for the EX30, with deliveries slated to begin in China before this year concludes.
– The strategic decision to produce the EX30 in both Ghent and China is a part of Volvo’s aim to boost its production capacity. This is in anticipation of the rising demand in Europe and potential worldwide exports.
Stellantis Buys $1.6B Stake in Leapmotor
– Stellantis has acquired a $1.6 billion stake in Chinese EV company, Leapmotor to create a joint venture named “Leapmotor International”, which will secures exclusive rights for Stellantis to export, sell, and manufacture Leapmotor products outside of greater China.
– Shipments of EVs via this joint venture are anticipated to start in the latter half of 2024.
– The collaboration is projected to enhance Leapmotor’s sales within China. In 2022, the EV startup recorded sales of approximately 110,000 vehicles.
– These figures position Leapmotor slightly behind another startup, Xpeng Inc., in terms of sales.
– Stellantis has historically faced challenges in cementing a solid foothold in the Chinese market.
– Volkswagen AG announced plans in July to invest $700 million in Xpeng, aiming for joint EV development within China.
– Current investments are unfolding against the backdrop of a stringent regulatory environment and a prevalent price war among EV manufacturers.
– During the first half of 2023, half of the top 10 beneficiaries of Chinese government grants were either EV makers or battery manufacturers for EVs, as reported by Nikkei Asia.
– Due to substantial state subsidies, global markets are witnessing a surge in lower-priced electric vehicles.
– Over 40 EV brands are currently engaged in a fierce pricing battle.
– Paul Gong from UBS commented that given current trends, Chinese automakers might secure a third of the global automotive market by 2030, largely propelled by a significant growth in their share of the European market.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Starts at £65,000 in the UK
– The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is available in the UK, priced at £65,000.
– The 641bhp electric hatchback marks the beginning of the company’s performance division’s EV journey. Currently, only one specification level is up for order.
– This version of the Ioniq 5 is touted to have “race car DNA”, representing an aggressive redesign.
– The N division of Hyundai has extensively modified this first electric model.
– While it’s based on the standard E-GMP electric framework, the car features:
– A larger 84kWh battery.
– A unique all-wheel-drive system.
– Multiple tech enhancements.
– The car’s performance figures stand at 600bhp and 545lb ft of torque.
– In terms of power, it surpasses the 577bhp Kia EV6 GT, even though they share the same platform.
– The Ioniq 5 N boasts a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 3.4 seconds.
Honda & GM End Joint Affordable EV Project
– Honda Motor and General Motors have decided not to pursue their joint venture to create cost-effective electric vehicles (EVs).
– This move reflects GM’s decision to decelerate the launch of multiple EV models, prioritizing profitability. Honda remains committed to its goal of exclusively selling electrified vehicles by 2040.
– Last April, both companies had planned to produce a range of affordable EVs using a shared platform, with a potential production of millions of units starting in 2027.
– The initial collaboration was aimed at crafting “affordable” EVs, which included compact crossover models, harnessing GM’s Ultium battery tech.
– GM and LG Chem are facing challenges in mass producing Ultium cells.
– In July, GM had to stop production at BrightDrop’s Canadian facility because of a battery cell shortage.
– During 2023’s first three quarters, only 6,920 EVs powered by Ultium cells, such as the Chevrolet Blazer, Silverado EV, Hummer, Lyriq, and BrightDrop van, reached customers.
– An “automation equipment supplier” is the unidentified cause behind the Ultium production snag, according to GM.
Blazer EV Takes MotorTrend’s 2023 SUV Crown
– MotorTrend praised the Chevrolet Blazer EV for its industry-leading design and functionality. The SUV stood out among 40 other new or updated models, based on MotorTrend’s six award criteria, including safety, design advancement, and engineering excellence.
– Unique features: the Blazer EV recognizes a seated driver through a seat-pressure sensor, removing the need for a start button.
– The interior offers ample space, a consequence of its extended wheelbase, resulting in a spacious back seat and considerable cargo area.
– Standard in the Blazer EV is an 11.0-inch digital gauge, complemented by a large 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen.
– MotorTrend’s tested dual-motor RS model showcased an EPA-rated travel distance of 279 miles on a single charge.
– The vehicle offers fast-charging capabilities, going up to 190 kW, depending on the trim.
– The Blazer EV is unique in its customization options: buyers can select from three battery sizes and can also choose front, rear, or all-wheel-drive configurations.
Chevy Compensates Bolt Owners for Limited Charging
– GM is offering $1,400 to 2020-2022 Bolt EV and EUV owners affected by a recall causing their vehicles to charge only up to 80% capacity.
– This payment is an advance from a projected class action settlement.
– Only U.S. Bolt EV/EUV owners can claim the $1,400 through a Visa eReward card after the necessary software installation.
– Bolt owners must install the final remedy software by December 31, 2023, and sign a legal document. If they opt out, they’ll have to await the results of the class action suit. If the settlement surpasses $1,400, those who accepted will still get the balance.
– The diagnostic software caps the charging at an 80% state, and the $1,400 aims to compensate for this inconvenience.
– To be eligible for an extended warranty or potential battery replacement, owners must undergo the diagnostic by March 2025.
UK Pushes for More Accessible EV Charging
– New laws passed on 24 October 2023 aim to simplify and improve public EV charging for millions of drivers.
– Legislation demands transparent and comparable pricing across different chargepoints.
– A significant number of new public chargepoints must offer contactless payment options.
– Charging providers need to share their data, enabling drivers to effortlessly locate available chargepoints, verify charging speeds, and ascertain if they’re operational.
– Implementation of these laws will ensure 24/7 helpline availability for drivers facing issues with public charging.
– Additionally, operators are compelled to provide access to chargepoint data to simplify the process of locating available chargers.
– The government also declared plans to mandate local transport authorities to devise local charging strategies, ensuring comprehensive EV charging infrastructure across the nation.
Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV’s Enhanced Battery Boosts Range
– The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is set to receive a battery upgrade. By the end of 2023, all EQS SUV models will feature a new battery that offers an additional 10kWh of usable energy capacity, raising it from 108.4kWh to 118kWh.
– Not just size, the new battery also employs a novel chemical process. This change results in reduced operating temperatures, leading to a rise in energy efficiency.
– For the rear-wheel-drive EQS 450+ SUV variant, this battery enhancement means a range boost of 31 miles. The vehicle now boasts a total WLTP range of 447 miles with the 118kWh battery.
– Mercedes has broader battery revamp plans for the future. Come 2024, the EQE and EQS electric saloon models are on the docket for capacity alterations. Specifically, models equipped with an 89kWh battery will be upgraded to a 91kWh version. Likewise, vehicles currently housing a 91kWh battery are slated to get a bump up to 96kWh.
Mercedes Predicts Tough EV Market to Impact Profit Margins
– Mercedes-Benz anticipates the intense electric vehicle market, characterized by significant price reductions and supply chain challenges, to likely result in their car division achieving the lower spectrum of their 12-14% adjusted return on sales prediction.
– Harald Wilhelm commented on the market’s challenges, stating, “this is a pretty brutal space.”
– Several automakers, including Ford and Tesla, have opted to reduce prices throughout the year in regions such as the United States and China in order to boost demand. However, Mercedes-Benz has largely chosen not to follow this trend.
– While describing the market atmosphere as “subdued”, Wilhelm expressed optimism by mentioning, “we are beyond the worst” in terms of inflation and energy cost issues.
Nio Achieves 2,000 Battery Swap Milestone in China
– Nio has successfully installed 2,000 battery swap stations across China and has set its sights on hitting a total of 2,300 stations by year’s end.
– Remarkably, 1,000 of these stations were rolled out just this year.
– Nio’s journey in this domain began with their very first battery swap station launched in Shenzhen on May 20, 2018. The 1,000th station was subsequently operational by July 6, 2022.
– A significant 77.1% of Nio vehicle owners can locate at least one of these battery swap facilities within a mere 3km radius of their residence.
– In metropolitan hubs like Shanghai and Shenzhen, this accessibility jumps further. Over 90% of Nio’s clientele in these cities have a battery swap station within the 3km range from their homes.
– Beyond battery swap facilities, Nio has been aggressive in its charging infrastructure as well. The company boasts 1,867 supercharging stations peppered across China, housing a total of 8,868 superchargers.
– Outside its primary market, in Europe, Nio has established 27 battery swap points and manages 11 charging stations.
Gotion High-Tech to Launch $2.4 Billion Battery Venture in Michigan
– Gotion High-Tech, significantly backed by Volkswagen Group, will roll out a massive $2.4 billion battery operation in Michigan, a move announced by the local governor over a year ago.
– This ambitious endeavor includes the construction of a factory in Big Rapids, geared to churn out an impressive 150,000 tons of lithium-ion battery cathode material annually.
– Additionally, two more plants will be established, each aiming for an annual production rate of 50,000 tons of anode material.
– The US’s Inflation Reduction Act, coupled with the introduction of new regulations, is pushing to foster and boost the domestic development of this battery supply chain.
– Strategically, setting up the anode and cathode production facilities in Michigan is not just about expanding local manufacturing; it’s about enhancing the North American battery supply chain, ensuring reliable production and delivery of lithium-ion batteries in this part of the world.
Hyundai’s Advanced EV & Battery Facility in Georgia Targets 2025 Launch
– Hyundai Motor Group recently celebrated the first anniversary of its groundbreaking event held in October 2022 for their Georgia site.
– The facility is progressing swiftly, with aspirations to be among the top-tier vehicle assembly and battery manufacturing plants globally.
– Aiming for operations to commence in early 2025.
– The groundbreaking started in January, and considerable progress has been achieved in the past 10 months. This acceleration is credited to the efforts of roughly 2,000 workers.
– Notable developments include the erecting of the paint shop and ongoing construction of the stamping shop.
– The plant, branded as HMGMA, is envisioned as an “eco-centric, smart factory” emphasizing harmony with nature, mutual coexistence, and energy repurposing.
– By the time manufacturing kicks off, the plant’s energy will be entirely sourced from renewables.
Ford Executive Highlights Political Influence on EV Acceptance
– Ford Motor Company’s Executive Chair, Bill Ford, compares the political division over electric vehicles (EVs) to the polarizing debates around COVID-19 protocols.
– Ford remarks on the unexpected politicization of their products, with some resisting EVs as a governmental imposition, equating it to vaccine mandates.
– The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that transportation accounts for 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Of this, 81% emanates from cars and trucks.
– However, a recent study by iSeeCars.com challenges the notion that EV adoption aligns strictly with political ideologies.
– Some unexpected states, such as Alaska, West Virginia, and Wyoming, have seen significant EV growth in the past half-decade.
– On the flip side, traditionally eco-conscious states like Washington, California, and Oregon rank low (45th to 49th) in hybrid and EV market share growth.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
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