Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what Fisker are saying about direct sales versus dealerships.
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Volkswagen’s EV Sales Reach 394,000 in 2023
– Volkswagen reported a 21.1% increase in fully electric vehicle (EV) sales in 2023, totaling approximately 394,000 units.
– The brand’s largest markets for EVs included China, Germany, the U.S., the UK, Sweden, France, Norway, and Belgium.
– In China, which accounts for about 40% of VW’s sales, over 75,000 ID.3 EVs were delivered.
– EVs comprised only 8% of Volkswagen’s total sales of 4.87 million vehicles in 2023.
– Production cuts were made several times throughout the year due to declining demand.
– Volkswagen Group had initially projected EV sales to be around 8% to 10% for 2023, a decrease from the previous expectation of 11%.
Volkswagen Integrates ChatGPT in Select Models
– Volkswagen is set to incorporate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into several of its car models.
– This feature will be available in the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.7 vehicles.
– Drivers can engage with ChatGPT in these vehicles by using the voice command “Hello IDA”.
– ChatGPT will function as a voice assistant, utilizing its AI capabilities and additional sources to assist users.
Sony Honda Mobility Unveils Enhanced Afeela Concept at CES 2024
– Sony Honda Mobility showcased an advanced version of the Afeela concept car at CES 2024.
– The partnership emphasizes ongoing improvements in the vehicle’s hardware, keeping in line with a release planned for later in the decade.
– A collaboration with Epic Games was announced, hinting at new entertainment experiences within the car’s cabin, including gaming options similar to those found in Tesla vehicles.
Google Chrome Enhances Connectivity in Cars
– Google announced new Android Auto features at CES 2024 for both phone mirroring in cars and vehicles with native Android integration.
– Electric vehicle drivers using Android Auto can now share real-time battery data with Google Maps, enabling them to see estimated remaining battery upon reaching a destination.
– This capability, previously exclusive to cars with built-in Google systems, will initially roll out in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, with other EVs to follow.
– Android and iOS users can now use a “Send to car” option for directions, which appears alongside the “Start” button.
– Routes sent using this feature will be labeled as “Sent from phone” in the vehicle’s navigation system.
– This new functionality is being implemented starting today.
U.S. Achieves 1.1 Million BEV Sales in 2023, Varied State Adoption
– In 2023, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) sales in the U.S. hit a new high of 1.1 million units.
– BEVs accounted for 8% of total automotive sales in the year, marking a 46% increase from the previous year.
– When including both hybrid and BEV models, the EV market share was approximately 16% in 2023.
– Projections by Cox Automotive suggest this combined EV market share could rise to 24% in 2024 and 31% in 2025.
– EV adoption rates differ significantly across states, with West Coast states generally leading.
– According to S&P registration data, California and Washington have EV share rates of 21.1% and 15.4%, respectively.
– The reported sales and adoption figures cover data only up to October 2023 due to delays in reporting.
– Tesla’s market share in the US increased to 4.2% in 2023, up from 3.8% in 2022.
– This growth led to the sale of an estimated 654,888 Tesla vehicles in the US in 2023, marking a 25.4% rise from the previous year.
– Tesla’s current market share positions it above Volkswagen (4.1%), Subaru (4.1%), and BMW (2.5%), yet still behind major automakers like GM, Ford, and Toyota.
– Notably, Tesla’s average transaction price decreased significantly, from around $60,000 in January 2023 to $50,051 by year’s end.
– Cox Automotive forecasts that over 70 new electric vehicle models will be introduced in the next two years, with 37 debuting in 2024 and another 34 expected in 2025.
Tesla Updates Vehicle Features Following New Range Ratings
– Tesla recently revised the range ratings for several models in its lineup, influenced by changes in EPA testing protocols for 2024 model-year vehicles.
– These adjustments, resulting from new EPA testing methods, are expected to impact all electric vehicles, not just Tesla models.
– A Tesla hacker revealed through source code analysis that Tesla is altering various features and software in response. A significant modification is the elimination of the Creep and Roll stopping modes in the Model 3 and Model Y, leaving only the Hold Mode.
– Tesla states these changes are aimed at providing a more precise and efficient range estimate.
– These updates came into effect starting January 1.
EV Adoption Influenced by Operating Costs, Deloitte Study Finds
– Deloitte’s 2024 Global Automotive Consumer study emphasizes the critical role of vehicle operating costs in the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) transition. The primary driver for EV purchases is economic, with 66% of U.S. respondents citing lower fuel costs as the top reason for choosing an EV, overshadowing environmental concerns (53%).
– Gasoline prices dropped by 10% in 2023, with further reductions anticipated in 2024, potentially affecting EV adoption.
– Despite current fuel price trends, Deloitte predicts a future increase in fuel costs, potentially boosting EV demand.
– The survey shows a 1% decline in consumer intent to purchase EVs and a 9% increase in preference for internal combustion engine vehicles.
– Price is the most crucial factor for U.S. consumers in vehicle purchases, with many expecting to pay under $50,000.
– Concerns about EVs include charging time, driving range (with 46% wanting at least 400 miles range), and cost. The charging experience, encompassing ease of finding and using chargers, is also a key consideration for potential EV buyers.
Global EV Market Predicted to Grow by 21% in 2024
– Global passenger EV sales, including battery-electrics and plug-in hybrids, are expected to rise by 21% to 16.7 million units in 2024. Approximately 70% of these sales will be fully electric vehicles.
– China is anticipated to lead with nearly 10 million EV sales, accounting for almost 60% of global EV sales.
– EVs are projected to make up around 20% of global vehicle sales in 2024 (14% being purely electric), a rise from 17% in 2023.
– In Europe, reliant on company-car taxation schemes for EVs, sales are expected to reach about 3.4 million, an 8% increase.
– Despite some automakers like Ford and General Motors reporting a dip in EV demand, Tesla and others like Hyundai and Kia continue to expand.
– The U.S. market, though not the largest, is significant and projected to represent 11% of global EV sales.
– Commercial EV sales are also predicted to experience substantial growth.
– The slowdown in the EV sales growth rate from 33% in 2023 to 21% in 2024 raises concerns, but advancements in battery technology and cost reductions are ongoing.
UK’s EV Charger Network Expands by 45% in 2023
– The UK saw a 45% increase in its electric vehicle (EV) charger network during 2023. Data from Zapmap reveals a total of 53,906 public chargers across the UK by December 2023.
– Ultra-rapid chargers (100kW and above) experienced a 112% increase, totaling 4,869. The count of slow chargers (3-6kW) also rose significantly by 65%.
– On-street chargers increased by 72% compared to the end of 2022. Zapmap notes the expansion of charging infrastructure is uneven across regions, heavily influenced by local authority initiatives.
UK Automakers Oppose Enhanced Incentives for Smaller EVs
– UK car manufacturers have successfully contested proposed incentives within the country’s new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate.
– The ZEV mandate requires car manufacturers to sell a growing percentage of EVs, starting with 22% this year. EV sales were at 16.5% in the previous year according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
– Originally, the mandate considered awarding additional credits for EVs with better battery efficiency, lighter weight, or smaller size.
– This proposed system would have favored the production and sale of smaller, more affordable electric vehicles.
– However, car makers lobbied for a simpler system where one EV equals one credit, without additional incentives for smaller or more efficient models.
France Implements Stricter Measures on Polluting and Heavy Vehicles
– France has introduced a revised subsidy system for electric cars, the “bonus écologique,” focusing on CO2 emissions during production and transport.
– The subsidy criteria make it challenging for Chinese manufacturers to qualify, excluding all Chinese-made electric cars from the list of eligible models.
– Around two-thirds of electric vehicles sold in France, including those from Stellantis Group, Renault, German automakers, and Tesla’s Model Y made in Germany, qualify for the subsidy.
– Concurrently, France has tightened the “malus écologique,” a one-time penalty tax for new cars with higher CO2 emissions, effective upon first registration in the country.
– The threshold for the penalty tax has been lowered to vehicles emitting more than 118 g/km of CO2. The tax begins at 50 euros, escalating rapidly with increasing emission.
Hungary Invests $2 Billion in Battery Production Infrastructure
– Hungary is launching a 700 billion forint ($2 billion) infrastructure project in Debrecen, its second-largest city. This investment aims to establish Debrecen as a major battery production hub in Europe.
– The project complements direct subsidies given to companies like BMW AG and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL). Debrecen has received €12.5 billion ($13.6 billion) in foreign direct investments over eight years, including from major players like BMW, CATL, and related suppliers. Hungary, with a population under 10 million, is poised to become the world’s fourth-largest battery producer, following China, the US, and Germany.
Fisker Shifts to Franchised Dealerships for Vehicle Sales and Service
– Fisker is moving away from direct vehicle sales to customers, opting for franchised dealerships instead.
– The company aims to sign 50 dealers by mid-2024, marking a significant shift in its sales and distribution strategy.
– Henrik Fisker plans to personally engage with dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention to promote the Ocean crossover.
– Future Fisker models, including the $30,000 Pear EV and the Alaska electric midsize pickup, will also be sold through franchised dealers.
– Dealerships will be required to set up a dedicated area for Fisker vehicles, purchase specific signage and tools, and invest in technician training.
– The transition to dealership sales is a complete departure from Fisker’s original direct sales model.
Herbert Diess Joins The Mobility House as Executive Chairman
– Herbert Diess, former board member of BMW and VW, has been appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Board at The Mobility House.
– Diess is known for his support of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications and oversaw the development of MEB models with bidirectional charging capabilities at VW.
– He expressed enthusiasm about driving the energy ecosystem’s disruptive transformation with The Mobility House.
– The Mobility House has conducted multiple pilot projects in collaboration with energy providers and car manufacturers, focusing on bidirectional charging and second-life battery storage.
– The company is actively marketing approximately 100 MWh or 4,500 stationary first and second-life vehicle batteries across Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
China’s EV Shipping Crunch Amid Export Boom
– Chinese electric vehicle (EV) exports have seen a significant increase, leading to a scramble for adequate shipping capacity to meet the demand in overseas markets.
– The country is investing substantially in car shipping, recognizing this sector as vital for the international growth of its automotive industry.
– Due to long backlogs faced by shipbuilders, major Chinese EV companies are opting to manage car shipping independently.
– BYD, a leading Chinese EV manufacturer that recently surpassed Tesla in electric car sales, took delivery of its first car carrier ship last month.
– The company has placed orders for at least six ultra-large car carriers capable of transporting thousands of vehicles each.
– A significant number of older vehicle carriers were decommissioned in 2020 due to the pandemic-induced shutdown of car factories globally.
Nio Launches 10 V2G Charging Stations in Shanghai
– Nio inaugurated 10 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging stations in Shanghai on January 9, marking its first such installation in the city.
– The initiative is part of a pilot project with the State Grid Shanghai for organized charging and discharging in residential areas.
– Nio’s V2G project follows its earlier trials in various settings like parks, offices, and shopping centers.
– A recent government document outlined China’s goal to utilize New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) as mobile energy storage units, with initial pilot validations expected by 2025.
Northvolt Develops Sodium-Ion Battery with 160 Wh/kg Energy Density
– Northvolt has unveiled a new sodium-ion battery designed for energy storage systems.
– The battery, developed in collaboration with Altris, has achieved specific energy exceeding 160 Wh/kg at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden.
– It utilizes commonly available materials like iron and sodium, offering a safer, more affordable, and sustainable alternative to traditional nickel, manganese, and cobalt (NMC) or iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.
– Initially aimed at stationary energy storage, Northvolt intends to evolve the technology for higher energy density applications, including electric vehicles (EVs).
New Zealand’s EV Market Share Reaches 50% in December Amid Policy Changes
– Electric vehicles (EVs) surpassed 50% of New Zealand’s new car market share for the first time in December.
– This significant increase was largely influenced by the end of New Zealand’s Clean Car Discount and the “ute tax.”
– The Clean Car Discount, introduced in June 2021, involved a tax on newly imported combustion engine vehicles to fund rebates for EV and plug-in hybrid purchases. The spike in EV demand in December is likely a temporary effect due to the conclusion of this incentive scheme.
– The future of EV and low-emission vehicle demand in New Zealand is currently uncertain, with no new incentive schemes announced to support electrified vehicle purchases.
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