Welcome to a new Patreon Producer Graham Beaumont
VW GROUP INITIATES BATTERY SYSTEM MANUFACTURING IN CHINA
– Volkswagen Group’s first fully owned battery system plant, Volkswagen (Anhui) Components (VWAC), has commenced producing high-voltage battery systems in China.
– These battery systems are essential for the MEB electric vehicles produced by Volkswagen Anhui.
– The battery system features multiple cell modules, a cell management controller, a battery management system, and connector strips.
– Remarkably, 96% of the components for these battery systems are sourced locally.
– VWAC is strategically located adjacent to Volkswagen Anhui, the company’s first majority-owned venture dedicated to all-electric vehicles.
– The plant was constructe d in a record time of 12 months, a feat referred to as ‘Hefei speed’.
VOLKSWAGEN’S NEW BUDGET-FRIENDLY EV PLATFORM FOR CHINA
– Volkswagen is set to enhance its presence in China with a new platform focused on cost-effective electric vehicles, utilizing predominantly local components.
– This development was announced by Ralf Brandstaetter, China chief of Volkswagen, at the inauguration of the Volkswagen Group China Technology Company (VCTC) in Hefei.
– The new platform, referred to as the “A Main Platform,” is tailored specifically for the Chinese market. Its primary goal is to reduce production costs, partly by increasing the use of local components more than the current MEB-based models (ID.3, ID.4, ID.6, and ID.7).
– The platform will evolve from Volkswagen’s existing Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) and is expected to be operational by 2026, which is significantly sooner than originally planned.
– Volkswagen’s recent price reductions on the ID.3 model in China have already led to a sales increase from approximately 2,200 units monthly to around 10,000.
– Additionally, starting in 2026, Volkswagen plans to introduce two new all-electric models developed in collaboration with XPeng.
VOLKSWAGEN’S $492 MILLION PARTNERSHIP FOR SCOUT EV DEVELOPMENT
– Volkswagen is collaborating with another automaker to develop its Scout electric vehicle (EV) brand, securing a deal worth approximately 450 million euros ($492 million).
– The development of two Scout EV models, an electric pickup and an SUV, has been entrusted to Magna Steyr, as reported by Kleine Zeitung.
– These models are slated for introduction in the U.S. in early 2027, with the goal of starting series production by the end of 2026.
– Initially, Magna was to oversee the assembly of these EVs in the U.S., but Volkswagen has decided to manufacture them in its upcoming South Carolina plant.
– The vehicles will still be produced in Graz, where development efforts are already in progress, both in Austria and the U.S.
– Magna Steyr’s Graz factory is known for building off-road vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The Volkswagen order is the largest development contract acquired by the company to date.
MERCEDES EQG’S UNIQUE “TANK TURN” CAPABILITY
– Mercedes-Benz is nearing the launch of the final production model of the EQG, their electric version of the iconic G-Wagen.
– CEO Ola Källenius demonstrated the off-road capabilities of a camouflaged EQG in a recent showcase.
– A distinctive feature of the electric G-Wagen is its ability to perform a “G-Turn” or “Tank Turn,” allowing it to rotate 360 degrees from a standstill.
– This maneuver is achieved by rotating each set of wheels in opposite directions, similar to the movement of a tank.
– The EQG can utilize this feature to execute a full 360-degree turn, a half-turn of 180 degrees, or a tight 90-degree turn, particularly on loose surfaces.
– This unique turning ability was initially demonstrated by Rivian with their R1T truck in 2019, although Rivian later decided not to include the tank turn feature in the final product.
RENAULT TRUCKS LAUNCHES HEAVY-DUTY ELECTRIC TRUCK PRODUCTION
– Renault Trucks has commenced series production of its heavy-duty electric trucks, the E-Tech T and C, at the Bourg-en-Bresse plant, a site with a 60-year history of assembling Renault’s trucks.
– These trucks are designed for regional distribution and urban construction, expanding the manufacturer’s all-electric lineup, which is among the broadest in Europe, covering a range from 650 kg (e-cargo bikes) to 44 tons.
– The E-Tech T and C models are assembled on the same production line as their diesel counterparts. Post-assembly, they are moved to the specialized 5,200 m2 Renault Trucks E-Tech Factory for electrification-specific procedures.
– Electrification processes include fitting the Electric Drive Unit (EDU), installing the transmission, and setting up the batteries.
– The E-Tech T and C models can accommodate four to six lithium-ion battery packs, offering a power range between 390 and 540 kWh.
– The trucks’ batteries are capable of being charged via alternating current (AC) up to 43 kW or direct current (DC) up to 250 kW, allowing for a range of up to 300 km on a full charge.
– Samsung SDI supplies the battery cells and modules, which are assembled at a Volvo Group-owned facility in Ghent, Belgium. Renault Trucks is a part of the Volvo Group.
PORSCHE PANAMERA E-HYBRID’S NEW GENERATION WITH EXTENDED RANGE
– Porsche is launching the third generation of the Panamera, featuring enhanced E-Hybrid powertrains.
– Four different E-Hybrid powertrain options will be available, reflecting the high demand for this technology in the Panamera series.
– The new powertrains boast increased power, extended electric range, and improved efficiency.
– The first model to debut is the Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid, equipped with a revamped 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and a 140 kW (187 hp) electric motor, powered by a 25.9 kWh battery.
– This setup offers an electric range of up to 91 km (56.5 miles) under the combined WLTP cycle.
– The electric motor is integrated into the 8-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission, saving approximately five kilograms by eliminating the need for separate housing.
– Integration into the oil circulation system enhances the thermal efficiency of the electric powertrain, leading to higher consistent output, better efficiency, and increased recuperation power.
– The Panamera Turbo E-Hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 3.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 315 km/h (195 mph).
POTENTIAL UK BAN ON TESLA’S SELF-DRIVING CAR SALES
– Tesla is at risk of facing a ban on selling its full self-driving technology in Britain due to new driverless car laws.
– The Department for Transport in the UK plans to restrict the use of terms like “self-driving” or “driverless” for vehicles unless their systems are officially approved, with changes expected as early as next year.
– For years, Tesla has offered a “full self-driving” upgrade option to motorists globally, charging thousands of pounds, but the technology is only in a test phase in North America.
– Recent government documents indicate that terms such as “self-drive,” “self-driving,” “drive itself,” “driverless,” and “automated vehicle” will be subject to regulation to avoid misleading marketing.
– Legal experts believe that these new proposals would make it challenging for Tesla to continue marketing its self-driving technology in the UK under the upcoming stricter regulations on driverless vehicles.
UPCOMING CHALLENGES FOR EV TAX CREDITS UNDER INFLATION REDUCTION ACT
– By April 18, 2024, only a limited number of electric vehicles (EVs) will remain eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit in the U.S.
– The Inflation Reduction Act introduces stringent criteria related to material sourcing, vehicle assembly, and supply chains, impacting EV tax credit eligibility.
– To receive the full credit, an EV must predominantly use materials sourced and assembled in North America or with a qualified trading partner.
– Currently, the majority of EV batteries and components are imported, with China dominating nearly 80% of the global battery cell supply.
– These new regulations aim to boost domestic manufacturing but may conflict with the goal of reducing dependence on foreign energy sources.
– There’s a possibility that manufacturers could establish new supply chains before the deadline, potentially allowing more models to qualify for the credit. However, the present scarcity of qualifying vehicles indicates a potential misalignment in policy objectives.
AUSTRALIA SETS 98% UPTIME STANDARD FOR GOVERNMENT-FUNDED EV FAST CHARGERS
– Australia is implementing a new standard for EV fast chargers funded by the government, requiring a minimum uptime of 98% starting next year.
– This mandate is part of broader reforms aimed at enhancing the reliability and user-friendliness of EV charging infrastructure.
– The agreement by state and federal ministers includes several standards: the 98% uptime, provision of multiple charging ports, and adoption of a unified payment system.
– Additionally, there’s an emphasis on a more balanced distribution between CCS connectors and the less commonly used ChadeMo plugs.
– Although the 98% uptime requirement is slightly lower than the UK’s 99% standard, it surpasses the 97% target in the U.S., where over 4,000 fast charging stations have been reported as non-operational.
– Another stipulation is that each government-funded site must have at least two DC charging units, each equipped with two or more plugs/ports.
– Furthermore, at least one parking bay per site should conform to disability accessible standards.
GREAT WALL MOTOR’S EUROPEAN EXPANSION AND R&D PLANS
– Great Wall Motor (GWM) is set to increase its footprint in Europe, targeting eight additional countries despite facing challenges like an anti-subsidy investigation.
– The eight new markets for expansion include Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland.
– GWM already has a presence and local partnerships in European countries such as Germany, the UK, Ireland, and Sweden.
– In November 2021, the company established a German subsidiary and set up a European headquarters in Munich. This strategic move aims to facilitate market development and hasten GWM’s expansion across Europe.
– However, GWM’s European venture faces obstacles, notably the European Union’s initiation of an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles in October, posing challenges for Chinese automakers entering the market.
2024 CAR OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS: FOUR ELECTRIC SUVS SHORTLISTED
– The Kia EV9, Peugeot e-3008, Renault Scenic, and Volvo EX30 electric SUVs are among the seven finalists for the 2024 Car of the Year award.
– A panel of 9 jurors from 22 European countries selected these finalists from an initial list of 28 eligible vehicles.
– The winner of the 2024 Car of the Year award will be announced at the end of February 2024.
– Notably, the BYD Seal has become the first model from BYD to be shortlisted for the Car of the Year (COTY) award.
– The previous year’s Car of the Year, in 2023, was awarded to the Jeep Avenger.
DECLINE IN SECOND-HAND EV VALUES CREATES USED-CAR MARKET BARGAINS
– The value of used electric vehicles (EVs) is declining rapidly, contrasting with the generally high prices of used cars.
– CarGurus UK, a used-car website, has data showing that in October, nine out of the ten fastest-depreciating cars were either fully electric or available as electric models.
– The Jaguar I-Pace leads the list of the fastest-depreciating cars.
– This depreciation results from significant changes in supply and demand in the used car market.
– For example, with a £25,000 budget, a buyer could choose between a three-year-old diesel Jaguar F-Pace with under 40,000 miles or a similarly aged and mileaged electric Jaguar I-Pace.
– A two-year-old Tesla Model 3 in Long Range form with below-average mileage is now priced around £32,000, nearly £20,000 less than its original price.
SURGE IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE DISCOUNTS IN THE UK
– Discounts on new electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK saw a dramatic increase of 323% on average from November 2022 to October 2023, as part of efforts by automakers to boost sales.
– Research by What Car? revealed that the average combined cash and finance discount for EVs rose to £4,399 during this period.
– This analysis was based on data from 77 EV brands and 673 different model editions.
– The trend of discounting also affected Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance deals, with average monthly payments for EVs decreasing by 16%.
– A significant example includes the Mercedes EQC, whose monthly PCP payment dropped 46%, from £1,094 in November 2022 to £594 in October 2023, partly due to 0% interest rates.
– From January 2024, car manufacturers in the UK will be required to achieve a 22% sales mix of EVs to avoid heavy fines, as mandated by the new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate.
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
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