Plus, stay tuned to find out which company is about to overtake Tesla as the worlds #1 EV maker
Ford-UAW Pact: Battery Plant Union Pathway in Focus
– 56,000 Ford workers under the United Auto Workers (UAW) umbrella are contemplating the ratification of a pact that introduces a way for battery-plant employees to gain union membership. It also proposes reinstating certain favorable provisions previously lost and seeks to abolish certain wage layers.
– Emerging after a 41-day strike, this proposed deal has a shelf life until April 30, 2028, and is backed by an investment commitment of $8.1 billion.
– Workers can expect compounded base wage hikes of 26% and supplementary adjustments tied to the cost of living.
– The deal, if accepted, would ramp up Ford’s per-vehicle labor expenses by several hundred dollars.
– A focal point for the union: the deal ensures workers at forthcoming battery plants, including a new EV facility in Tennessee, can enter the union and receive “master agreement wages.”
– The larger vision? Integrate as many nonunion sectors of the industry as feasible. For context, General Motors (GM) had recently consented to include its battery-plant workforce in the union.
– Although Ford currently doesn’t operate any plants, it has unveiled plans for four. Notably, the company halted construction on its solely-owned Michigan venture, owing to profitability concerns from various factors.
– Investment details for specific locations:
– Dearborn Truck and Rouge Electric Vehicle Center: A $900 million investment ensures the production of the F-150 Lightning and the addition of a new EV truck.
– Kansas City Assembly: With $1 billion, the Transit EV’s production is guaranteed.
– Louisville Assembly: A new EV product will emerge from a $1.2 billion investment.
– Ohio Assembly: A $2.1 billion investment will give rise to a new EV van.
Ford Expands Charging Network with More Tesla Superchargers
– Ford announces its intention to integrate over 15,000 Tesla Superchargers into its EV charging network, exceeding the prior estimate of 12,000 chargers.
– The BlueOval Charge Network, Ford’s North American charging infrastructure, will see an expansion of 25%, bringing the total count to more than 106,000 chargers.
– New partnerships introduce three additional charging providers to the network: Francis Energy, Blink, and Red E for users in the U.S. and Canada.
– Ford emphasizes the ease of charger routing and seamless payment methods available through its FordPass app.
– Among the forthcoming additions, the network will incorporate over 10,000 new chargers, which include a significant 550+ new DC fast chargers.
Chevy Equinox EV: Pricing Details and Specifications Unveiled
– GM announces Chevrolet Equinox EV’s launch for 2024, priced at $34,995. Potential buyers could benefit from a $7,500 EV tax credit, which, starting next year, can be claimed instantly at dealerships. This adjustment brings the effective starting price down to $27,495.
– GM’s re-strategy for the Equinox EV entails eliminating the smaller option among two battery packs. Though GM hasn’t shared specific battery sizes, the retained pack is anticipated to be around 80 kWh.
– Despite the recent production delay announced by CEO Mary Barra, the vehicle will initially release a $48,995 210-hp front-wheel-drive model and $52,395 for the 290-hp all-wheel-drive variant.
– Bookings for these models will commence in the coming week.
– While Chevy hasn’t fully elaborated on the features for this initial batch, earlier showcased 3LT and 3RS trims hint towards these being the more premium models.
– The more affordable 1LT base model, expected to be FWD, is set to release at a later time, with a starting price of $34,995. On the US Chevrolet website they still list the 1LT, and say it’s coming spring 2024 with 250 miles of range.
Volkswagen Teases ID 7 Tourer: The Brand’s Inaugural Electric Estate
– Volkswagen gives a sneak peek of the ID 7 Tourer, the estate variant of the ID 7 saloon. Official unveiling slated for the upcoming months.
– The ID 7 Tourer rests on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, which also underpins vehicles like the ID 3, ID 4, and the recently launched ID 7 saloon.
– The estate boasts a generous boot space: 545 litres with rear seats upright and a whopping 1714 litres when folded, surpassing the Volkswagen Passat’s storage capacity.
– Given the ID 7 saloon’s impressive 435-mile range, expectations are high that the estate version will have a nearly similar performance.
– ID 7 saloon, introduced earlier in the year, has Pro and Pro S versions. German customers can presently reserve the Pro variant starting at €56,995 (£48,844).
– The ID 7, including the Tourer, is set to hit European and Chinese markets this fall.
– Battery options include the familiar 77kWh pack (yielding a 382-mile range and 170kW charging) and a fresh 86kWh version, which promises 435 miles on a full charge with a brisk charging speed of up to 200kW.
Porsche and Google Join Forces for Enhanced Infotainment
– Porsche is set to incorporate Google services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and apps from the Google Play Store in their upcoming vehicle models.
– These features are expected to be in production by mid-decade.
– Despite this integration, Porsche enthusiasts can still expect the familiar Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system interface.
– The PCM system will receive consistent online updates, ensuring its modernity.
– The combined effort aims to give drivers the latest from Google within the distinct design framework of Porsche.
VW’s Cariad Software Delays Impact Porsche & Audi EVs
– Volkswagen’s software division, Cariad, faces another delay in releasing its new software architecture due to impending layoffs.
– Established just three years ago, Cariad is now looking to cut around 2,000 jobs, as reported by German outlet Manager Magazin.
– This workforce reduction is expected to push back the launch of VW’s software architecture 1.2 by a span of 16 to 18 months.
– The said software platform 1.2, designed for vehicles like the Porsche Macan EV and the Audi Q6 E-Tron, was initially set to roll out in 2022.
– However, Cariad had already postponed this to late 2023 for the 2024 VW models under the leadership of Peter Bosch in May.
– The current situation implies that the software 1.2 platform might not be integrated into vehicles until around 2025.
– Porsche hinted it might not indefinitely wait for version 1.2 and might incorporate Google’s Android Automotive operating system in upcoming models.
– Besides this, Cariad is in the process of crafting a 2.0 version OS, intended for all VW Group brands.
– There’s no clear word from VW if these changes would affect the release schedule of the Porsche Macan EV, projected to be available in early 2024.
– The organizational reshuffle will also influence the forthcoming Scalable Systems Platform.
Skoda Enyaq Mk2: 2028 Release with Fast Charging
– Skoda Enyaq set for its second generation debut in 2028.
– Will be Skoda’s inaugural car to utilize Volkswagen Group’s fresh SSP electric car platform.
– CEO Klaus Zellmer verifies that the new SSP platform will be integrated by Skoda, and anticipates this to be the standard for nearly 80% of all VW Group vehicles in the future.
– The introduction of Skoda’s first SSP-based car is slated for 2028 or possibly 2029.
– Around the same timeline, Volkswagen is planning to launch an electric version to follow their popular Golf model.
– In the preceding year, a commendable number of almost 54,000 Enyaqs were dispatched by Skoda.
– The SSP system, an extremely flexible modular design, is geared to support an array of drivetrains and batteries, aiming for breakthroughs in driving range, efficiency, power, and cost-effectiveness.
ZEEKR 001 FR EV Exceeds Expectations with Enhanced Specs and Lower Price
– ZEEKR officially rolls out the enhanced 001 FR shooting brake EV.
– Contrary to earlier speculations, the quad-motor EV is more powerful, accelerates quicker, and is priced about $30,000 less.
– It boasts a staggering 1,300 bhp and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 2.02 seconds, an improvement by 0.05 seconds.
– Incorporates ZEEKR’s inaugural global 800V architecture and is equipped with a 100kWh Qilin battery pack from CATL. This allows for rapid charging, getting from 10-80% in a mere 15 minutes.
– The vehicle is powered by four silicon carbide motors, crafted internally by ZEEKR. These utilize torque vectoring tech, modifying power to each wheel instantaneously and even enabling tank turns.
– The 001 FR’s starting price is RMB 769,000 ($105,100), which is a significant drop from earlier speculations.
– It is slated for global release, though availability will be in limited quantities.
Used EV Prices Expected to Drop with Corporate Lease Endings
– New data from New AutoMotive predicts a fall in the prices of used electric vehicles (EVs) as company leases conclude.
– Currently, companies possess roughly 475,000 electric cars and an additional 200,000 plug-in hybrids.
– The majority of these vehicles have a lease duration between two and four years.
– Over the last half-year, the median price for second-hand EVs has already decreased by £10,000.
– A significant surge in corporate electric vehicle numbers was observed post-2020 when the tax on company-bought EVs was reduced to 0%.
– With the first batch of these corporate-owned EVs entering the second-hand market, consumers are benefiting from the government’s policies.
EU Greenlights BP & Iberdrola’s €1B Fast-Charging Venture
– EU regulators have given the nod for BP and Iberdrola’s collaborative effort on a fast-charging business, seeing no significant competition concerns.
– The partnership, initially announced in July 2022, aims to set up and manage 5,000 fast-charging stations by 2025, with aspirations to boost this number to 11,000 by 2030. This projection includes current installations.
– Iberdrola presently oversees more than 2,500 charging points.
– BP provides users with access to an extensive network of over 10,000 charging stations, predominantly situated in the UK and Germany.
– In the Iberian Peninsula, BP intends to leverage its existing 1,300 petrol stations, transforming them into dual-purpose charging hubs.
BYD Announces Impressive Q3 Financials
– BYD’s Q3 revenue reached a notable RMB 162.15 billion, marking a 38.49% surge year-on-year and a 39.76% increase compared to Q2.
– The firm’s Q3 net profit, designated for shareholders, stood at a record-breaking RMB 10.41 billion ($1.42 billion). This signifies an 82.16% growth year-on-year and a 52.59% increment from Q2 figures.
– The third quarter saw BYD’s gross margin peak at 22.12%, a rate not seen since Q3 of 2020.
– During the same period, BYD reported sales of 824,001 New Energy Vehicles (NEVs). Of those, 435,058 were BEVs which was 3,456 less than Tesla. BYD is catching Tesla, with the Chinese maker selling 1.04 million BEVS in the first 9 months of the year and Tesla at 1.32million.
CATL Unveils Rapid Battery Production Facility
– CATL has initiated its latest battery manufacturing base, which boasts an impressive average production speed of one cell per second, thanks to its cutting-edge automated lines.
– This facility, dedicated to power and energy storage batteries, commenced operations on October 27.
– The establishment has a projected yearly capacity of 60 GWh, with the inaugural phase already functional.
– The advanced production line utilized in the first phase maintains an automation level of 95%.
– Spanning from the introduction of materials to the final product release, the facility is equipped to manufacture one cell in a mere second and an entire battery pack in just 2.5 minutes.
Mack Trucks Introduces Pay-as-You-Go Electric Vehicle Financing
– Mack Trucks is promoting the adoption of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by introducing the ElectriFi Subscription service via Mack Financial Services.
– This unique financing model, exclusive to new Mack MD Electric models, is usage-based.
– ElectriFi Subscription combines costs associated with miles driven, the vehicle’s body and chassis, charging, relevant incentives, insurance, and maintenance into one monthly payment.
– The aim is to minimize initial costs for customers and reduce long-term risks. Customers have the freedom to terminate their subscription at the end of its term.
– Mack’s ElectriFi Infrastructure, a comprehensive package, facilitates BEV charging facilities. It encompasses charging station design, construction, installation, and all necessary hardware and software. This offering involves collaborations with third-party partners.
LG Chem Introduces Fire-Resistant EV Battery Material
– LG Chem, a South Korean firm, has pioneered a novel battery shield capable of resisting flames reaching temperatures of 2,732°F for a duration exceeding 20 minutes.
– This innovative thermoplastic can handle both fire and the subsequent pressure a staggering 14 times more efficiently than its predecessors.
– Such advancements are crucial as “thermal runaway,” recognized as a primary instigator of battery fires in electric vehicles, occurs when internal battery cell heat escalates to problematic levels, triggering several stress scenarios.
– Presently, LG Chem hasn’t provided specific dates concerning the commercial launch of this advanced material.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
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JUKKA KUKKONEN FROM WWW.SHIFT2ELECTRIC.COM
BATTERY REPORTS FOR EVS AT RECURRENTAUTO.COM
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