Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what Volvo is saying about how well the new EX30 is selling.
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KIA UNVEILS VERSATILE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONCEPTS
– Kia introduced three electric vehicle concepts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, indicating a significant expansion in their range of multi-purpose vehicles.
– These vehicles, known as Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs), emphasize modular design, allowing the same chassis to serve various functions.
– The design focus of these PBVs is not limited to commercial use; they are also intended for multifunctional passenger transport.
– The PB5 model, expected to launch in the UK by 2026, resembles a highly modern van, equipped with ‘easy swap’ technology for flexible interior configurations.
– The PB5’s adaptable nature is enhanced by a flat floor, stemming from its dedicated electric vehicle platform, enabling it to alternate between roles like a spacious taxi or a cargo van when seats are removed.
VOLVO EX30 GAINS POPULARITY IN EU MARKETS
– Volvo experiences higher-than-expected demand for the EX30, leading to production expansion in its Ghent, Belgium facility alongside its existing Chinese production.
– The European production of the EX30 is slated to commence in 2025, but the first models were already distributed to customers last month.
– Initial deliveries of the EX30 began in Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal in December, marking a significant phase in Volvo’s electric vehicle initiative.
– The company anticipates the EX30 to be a top-selling model in the upcoming years, underscoring its critical role in Volvo’s growth and EV strategies.
– Despite concerns about a market slowdown, Volvo reported no decrease in orders or cancellations for the EX30.
– The United States is expected to start receiving the EX30 by this summer, keeping in line with the company’s delivery schedule.
BOLT BECOMES EVEN MORE AFFORDABLE EV
– The starting price of the electric car is $26,500, with an additional destination fee of $995, totaling $27,495.
– Changes in federal EV tax credit laws for 2024 allow most Americans to apply a $7,500 tax credit directly at the dealership, acting as an immediate down payment.
– This adjustment reduces the purchase price to $19,995, making it significantly more affordable.
– Additional state EV tax credits can further decrease the cost for buyers.
– With these discounts, this electric vehicle joins the rare category of new cars available for under $20,000.
GRIDSERVE LAUNCHES 30-CHARGER EV HUB AT GATWICK
– Gridserve has opened its third electric vehicle charging hub, located near Gatwick Airport, adding to its existing hubs in Braintree and Norwich.
– The Gatwick facility boasts 30 charging points, enhancing the infrastructure for EV users.
– Of these, 22 chargers are equipped with ultra-fast CCS connectors, offering charging speeds up to 350kW.
– The site also includes four Tesla Superchargers, which are installed but not yet operational.
– To support high demand, the facility is backed by a 6MW battery, ensuring consistent power supply during peak usage times.
VOLKSWAGEN REVAMPS ID ELECTRIC VEHICLE RANGE WITH PRICE REDUCTIONS
– The VW brand has adjusted pricing and trim levels for the ID vehicles in France, Belgium, and countries across Northern Europe.
– Following high profiles cuts by Tesla many others have adjusted prices in the last few months in response to challenges in EV demand and profitability.
– Notable price adjustments include the ID4, now at €43,990 in France, down from over €51,000 at launch.
– The Zwickau factory in Germany is capable of producing 360,000 units annually but they’re running at reduced shifts.
– French incentives target most ID3, ID4, and ID5 models, with new trim lines ID and Life Max introduced. Examples include the ID3 Pro at €39,990 and the ID4 in ID trim at €43,990, representing significant reductions from previous prices. The lowest-priced ID5 now starts at €50,500.
– VW’s EV sales in France lag behind competitors, with the ID3 and ID4 ranking 13th and 16th among EVs, respectively.
– In Norway, the ID3 starts at NOK 358,000 (€31,700), a significant reduction from past prices. Norway’s high EV penetration highlights VW’s need for competitive pricing and product offerings.
– German pricing for the ID3 starts at €39,995, with reported reductions of up to €7,735 on some models.
– Belgium and Sweden also see new trims and lower prices, with VW Belgium offering the ID3 at €39,990 and the ID4 at €39,649 to leverage a €5,000 EV bonus.
– In Sweden, VW introduces “EU” base and “Edition” trims for its ID models, offering more features at lower prices compared to previous trims.
TESLA AND BYD TO DOMINATE EV MARKET, OUTPACING VW
– Tesla and BYD are projected to lead the global electric vehicle (EV) market, outperforming Volkswagen Group in the coming years.
– Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) anticipates Tesla maintaining its annual sales lead over BYD until the end of the decade, despite BYD surpassing Tesla in Q4 sales.
– Volkswagen is no longer seen as a major competitor for the top position in the EV market.
– Traditional combustion engine models are expected to continue dominating overall industry profits.
– Increased competition in the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sector may lead to significant price wars and reduced profit margins.
– The BEV market could stay fragmented, with Tesla as the primary global player until traditional automakers release new scalable platforms around 2026-27.
– Consumer reluctance due to the lack of adequate fast public charging infrastructure and high EV prices might slow BEV growth, except in China.
– Bloomberg’s assessment of Volkswagen’s EV strategy has significantly declined compared to their June 2022 predictions, where they foresaw VW surpassing Tesla in 2024.
PANASONIC TO EXPAND US EV BATTERY PRODUCTION
– Panasonic Energy reaffirms its intention to construct a third electric vehicle battery factory in the United States.
– This decision comes despite the cancellation of a previous plan to establish a facility in Oklahoma.
– Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy of North America, revealed these plans during the CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas.
– Swan emphasized the need for additional production sites to achieve Panasonic’s target of boosting its annual production capacity from the current 50 gigawatt-hours to 200 gigawatt-hours by 2031.
– The expansion aligns with Panasonic’s role as a key battery supplier for Tesla.
AUDI Q6 E-TRON SPORTBACK SPOTTED WITH ADVANCED CHARGING
– The Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback, still under wraps, was recently seen undergoing public testing in Europe. This model is based on the jointly developed Premium Platform Electric (PPE) by Audi and Porsche.
– It features an 800V charging system, capable of charging at rates up to 270 kW.
– The Q6 e-tron Sportback can achieve a 10 to 80 percent battery charge in just 30 minutes, thanks to its 100 kWh battery pack.
– Audi is expected to officially reveal the 2025 Q6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron Sportback models soon.
MEDIAN EV RANGE HITS 270 MILES IN 2023
– In 2023, the median range for new electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. market reached 270 miles, as noted by the Department of Energy.
– The Lucid Air Grand Touring model once again achieved the highest EV range rating for the 2023 model year.
– Significant advancements in EV range, particularly models exceeding 300 miles, have occurred primarily in the past few years.
– Back in the 2016 model year, the Tesla Model S P100D was the lone model offering a 300-mile range.
– The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, introduced in late 2020, was the first non-Tesla EV to surpass 300 miles of EPA-rated range.
– By the 2022 model year, the number of EV models offering 300 miles or more expanded dramatically, with at least 14 different models available.
– The market has seen more than a doubling in the number of EVs capable of 300-mile ranges.
HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 LEASE DISCOUNT DOUBLED
– Hyundai, including its subsidiary Kia, recently overtook Ford and GM, ranking as the second highest EV seller in the U.S. after Tesla, as of the third quarter of 2023.
– The 2023 IONIQ 5 starts at a price of $41,450, making it more affordable than competitors like the Ford Mustang Mach-E ($42,995), Nissan Ariya ($43,1390), and Toyota bZ4X ($42,000).
– Hyundai has updated its leasing options for the IONIQ 5, now offering up to $15,000 in savings.
– The deal includes the pre-existing $7,500 lease cash incentive, plus an additional $7,500 Final Pay Incentive provided to dealers, both of which can be combined.
OKLAHOMA ADDS CANOO EV TO STATE FLEET
– Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) showcased its first Canoo electric vehicle, marking its inclusion in the state’s fleet.
– This vehicle is one of three electric vehicles manufactured in Oklahoma and now part of ODOT’s fleet.
– Despite the addition of the Canoo EV, ODOT currently has no plans to fully transition its fleet to electric vehicles.
– The reveal of the Canoo vehicle coincided with the company’s acquisition of new manufacturing assets aimed at increasing vehicle assembly capabilities.
– Canoo’s recent acquisitions include a range of manufacturing assets, from robotics to controls processing equipment, enhancing their capacity to build vehicle cabins.
– Canoo’s Chief Financial Officer, Greg Ethridge, emphasized the company’s efficient capital deployment and efforts to acquire essential manufacturing assets at reduced costs, considering the rising cost of capital.
$1 BILLION EPA GRANT FOR ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES
– The EPA has unveiled a grant program allocating nearly $1 billion for the procurement of electric school buses in the United States.
– This funding is expected to support the acquisition of over 2,700 environmentally friendly school buses.
– A total of 67 applicants, representing 280 school districts that collectively serve more than 7 million students in 37 states, have been chosen for this grant.
– Approximately 86% of the funding is designated for projects in school districts within low-income, rural, and Tribal communities.
– This grant is part of the second phase of a broader $5 billion initiative under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
– To date, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program has allocated nearly $2 billion, contributing to around 5,000 electric and low-emission school buses nationwide.
– Electric school buses are lauded for their fuel efficiency, cost-effectiveness over their lifespan, and safety benefits, notably the absence of direct tailpipe emissions.
NVIDIA ADVANCES IN CHINA’S EV MARKET
– Nvidia announced that four Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers will integrate its technology for automated driving systems.
– The Chinese EV brands adopting Nvidia’s DRIVE technology include Li Auto, Great Wall Motor, Zeekr, and Xiaomi’s new EV division.
– This collaboration was revealed at the CES technology conference in Las Vegas.
– The move highlights Nvidia’s commitment to expanding its presence in China, despite the tightening export regulations by the US.
– These partnerships reflect the ongoing competition among Chinese carmakers to improve in-vehicle infotainment systems and automated driving capabilities.
EU APPROVES FUNDING FOR NORTHVOLT’S GERMAN EV BATTERY PLANT
– Northvolt, a Swedish lithium-ion battery maker, received the green light from the EU for 902 million euros (about $986.43 million) in German state aid.
– This funding will support the construction of an electric vehicle battery factory in northern Germany.
– The European Commission endorsed this decision, noting the plant will boost the EU’s green transition and lessen fuel dependencies.
– Without this aid, Northvolt might have opted to establish the plant in the United States, leveraging incentives from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.
– The German financial support includes a 700-million-euro direct grant and a 202-million-euro guarantee.
– The planned facility in Heide, Germany, is expected to have an annual production capacity of 60 GWh, sufficient for 800,000 to 1 million electric vehicles each year, depending on battery size.
ROLLS-ROYCE HITS RECORD SALES, BOOSTED BY ELECTRIC SPECTRE
– Rolls-Royce achieved a new record in sales, propelled by the popularity of its luxury car lineup, including the all-electric Spectre model. The company, a subsidiary of BMW, sold 6,032 vehicles in 2023.
– The United States led in sales, making it Rolls-Royce’s biggest market, followed by China and Hong Kong. Chris Brownridge, the newly appointed CEO, labeled 2023 as an “extraordinary” year with robust sales in all regions and across their entire range of products.
– Brownridge highlighted the significant interest and demand for the Spectre, underscoring the company’s successful shift towards an all-electric future in model development and production.
GEELY INTRODUCES GALAXY E8 ELECTRIC SALOON IN CHINA
– Geely has launched the Galaxy E8, its all-electric saloon, in the Chinese market, with prices starting from 175,800 yuan (approximately 22,600 euros).
– The Galaxy E8, debuting as the first model of the Geely Galaxy brand, was initially introduced in February 2023.
– Geely aims to unveil seven new models in the Galaxy series by 2025, including four plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and three battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).
– The Galaxy E8 is a medium-large sedan, measuring 5,010 mm in length, 1,920 mm in width, 1,465 mm in height, with a 2,925 mm wheelbase.
– It utilizes an 800-volt platform allowing for a quick charge capability – adding up to 180 km of range in just five minutes.
– The top-tier Galaxy E8 model boasts dual motors with a combined output of 475 kW, enabling acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.49 seconds.
– More affordable variants of the Galaxy E8 are available with a 400-volt system, featuring a single 200 kW motor located on the rear axle.
– The vehicle offers three battery size options: 62 kWh, 75.6 kWh, and 76 kWh.
ONE IN FOUR BMWS SOLD IN UK IN 2023 WAS ELECTRIC
– BMW Group UK recorded 28,723 all-electric BMW vehicle registrations in 2023, marking a 34% increase from 2022.
– A quarter of all BMWs registered in 2023 in the UK were fully electric.
– In the corporate sector, electric vehicles (BEVs) comprised half of all BMW registrations.
– Combined registrations for BMW’s fully electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models totaled 45,509 in 2023, accounting for 40% of all BMW sales.
– BMW’s range now includes at least one all-electric model in each major segment, including the newly launched BMW i5 Saloon.
– The BMW i4 emerged as the most popular model in BMW’s all-electric lineup.
– Upcoming launches include the BMW iX2 in March and the BMW i5 Touring later in the year.
– MINI Plant Oxford produced over 43,000 MINI Electric vehicles in the past year, contributing to a global count of over 145,000 all-electric MINI cars.
PHIL ROBERTS / ELECTRIC FUTURE
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