Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what Panasonic are saying about EV battery tech getting better.
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Stellantis Achieves Growth in European EV Market in 2023
Stellantis reported a 5.9% increase in vehicle registrations in Europe for 2023. The company now holds an 18.4% share of the European automotive market. This growth reinforces Stellantis’ position as the second-largest automotive group in the 29 primary European markets.
Stellantis trails only the Volkswagen Group in the European market. In the fully-electric vehicle (BEV) segment, Stellantis saw a 14% rise in registrations year-on-year. The company’s BEV market share in Europe is now 14.2%.
Popular Stellantis BEV models include the Fiat 500e, Opel Corsa electric, and Peugeot e-208. Stellantis plans to launch several new BEV models in the upcoming year. The company aims to double its all-electric offerings in Europe by the end of 2024.
Volkswagen ID.3 GTX: New RWD Model with Enhanced Power
The upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 GTX will maintain a rear-wheel drive (RWD) configuration. Thomas Schafer, the brand’s head, refuted earlier claims of an all-wheel drive option for this model.
The ID.3 GTX is expected to feature the APP550 electric motor, an upgrade from the current AP310 model. This electric motor, also used in the Volkswagen ID.7, can generate 281 bhp.
Compared to the most powerful current ID.3 version, the Pro S, the GTX offers an additional 80 bhp and 174 lb-ft. The new APP550 motor includes improvements like enhanced cooling, new windings, and a more efficient inverter. Anticipation is high regarding the performance of this motor in the smaller ID.3 chassis.
Audi Reports 51% Increase in Global Electric Car Sales for 2023
Audi’s total global car sales in Q4 2023 rose by 20% year-over-year, reaching 508,600 units. The full-year sales for 2023 amounted to 1,895,240, marking a 17.4% increase, the highest in recent years. Electric vehicles (EVs) now constitute approximately 10% of Audi’s global sales. In Q4 2023, Audi sold about 55,400 all-electric cars, a 34% increase from the previous year, accounting for 10.9% of the brand’s total sales.
The Audi Q4 e-tron, including the Sportback version, is the flagship electric model in Audi’s lineup, similar to Volkswagen’s ID.4 and ID.5. Audi’s all-electric vehicle (BEV) sales in 2023 surged by 51% year-over-year to 178,400 units, representing 9.4% of total sales. Detailed 2023 BEV sales figures include:
– Audi Q4 e-tron (including Sportback): 111,700 units
– Audi Q8 e-tron/e-tron (including Sportback): 49,000 units
– Other models: 17,700 units
– U.S. sales: 25,039 units (up 54%)
Audi has not disclosed sales figures for its plug-in hybrid models. The company plans to launch the new Audi Q6 e-tron in Q1 2024, the first model on Volkswagen Group’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) designed for electric vehicles.
Netherlands Achieves 52% Plugin Vehicle Market Share; Tesla Model Y Leads
The Netherlands recorded 13,795 plugin vehicle registrations in December, achieving a 52% market share for plugin electric vehicles (PEVs). Full battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) alone contributed to a 42% share of this total. The year 2023 saw plugin vehicles capturing 44% of the market, with BEVs accounting for 31%.
This growth trend suggests the Netherlands could reach a 100% BEV market ahead of the EU’s 2035 zero-emission vehicle mandate. Tesla dominated the market, with the Model Y and Model 3 securing first and second place respectively in December’s overall auto market.
The Volvo XC40 ranked third, both in the EV market and the overall auto market. The overall top 10 vehicles in the market included five BEVs, indicating a significant integration of plugin vehicles into the mainstream market.
Record-Breaking Q4 Sales for Porsche Taycan in 2023
Porsche Taycan, including all its variants (Taycan, Taycan Cross Turismo, and Taycan GTS), saw a significant sales increase in the latter half of the year. In Q4 2023, global sales of the Porsche Taycan reached 12,744 units, a 31% increase from the previous year and the highest ever recorded, surpassing the previous Q4 2021 record of 12,656 units.
Taycan’s sales accounted for a record 16.4% of total Porsche sales, indicating growing popularity. This surge in sales is a positive indicator for the forthcoming market debut of the all-electric Porsche Macan, expected to significantly boost Porsche’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales.
Porsche has not released sales figures for its plug-in hybrid models, including the Cayenne and Panamera.
BMW i4 M50 Emerges as Top-Selling M Model in 2023
BMW’s i4 M50, an electric model, became the best-selling M car in 2023. The i4 M50’s sales surpassed those of traditional favorites like the M3, indicating a shift towards electric vehicles among BMW buyers.
BMW has expanded its M lineup to include M Performance cars like the M340i and the i4 M50, which are essentially standard BMW models enhanced by the M Division. The i4 M50’s success over traditional M models like the M3 and the new BMW M2 highlights its market appeal.
This sales trend is seen as a positive sign for BMW’s electric future, especially with the anticipated launch of an all-electric BMW M3. The success of the i4 M50 suggests that customers are increasingly open to investing in electric variants of BMW’s performance models.
Rivian R1T and Hyundai Ioniq 6 Top Consumer Reports for EV Satisfaction
The Rivian R1T leads as the most satisfying electric vehicle (EV) to own according to Consumer Reports, with an 88% repurchase interest among owners.
Rivian’s R1S SUV ranks sixth in overall satisfaction, with 84% of owners willing to buy it again.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric sedan places tenth, with 81% of its owners expressing a willingness to repurchase.
Rivian’s Impact Report Mentions R2 Product Line
Rivian is developing its next-generation product line, the R2, focusing on a midsize form factor and affordability. The R2 aims to incorporate the core qualities of Rivian’s current products at a lower price point. Design, hardware and software integration, and manufacturing process engineering are key focus areas for the R2.
Rivian intends to use insights gained from the R1 series to reduce costs while maintaining high performance and desirable features. The company is set to reveal the R2 concept in 2024.
Tesla Details Giga Berlin Expansion Ahead of Local Vote
Tesla hosted an informational event at its Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg to outline expansion plans. The event, held in the plant’s lobby, aimed to inform the local community about the proposed rail yard and logistics project.
Tesla displayed graphics and detailed information about the project, including a freight station with a railway siding shift, expanded material storage, and social and employee facilities. Facilities proposed include training rooms, a competence center for trainees, and a childcare area.
This expansion is planned to the east of the factory and will not add production facilities or increase water usage, addressing regional environmental concerns. Tesla is conducting weekly consultation hours for citizens every Thursday at the Gigafactory.
A month-long voting period for local citizens on the project will commence next week. Tesla emphasizes that the Gigafactory uses less water than its approved quota and less than many local businesses.
Overview of Current Trends and Challenges in the EV Market
EV sales growth slowed in the latter half of the year, influenced by factors like higher consumer interest rates, scarcity of affordable EV models, shortages of popular models, and concerns about public EV charging station reliability. General Motors and Ford delayed investments in new EV battery and assembly capacity, citing various reasons including higher loan rates necessitating cash conservation.
Notable new EV models are arriving at dealerships, such as the 2024 Kia EV9, offering more space and affordability compared to competitors like the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, Rivian R1S, and Tesla Model X. Hyundai Ioniq 7, a sibling to Kia EV9, is expected later this year, with production at a new EV-only plant in Georgia scheduled to open by end of 2024.
General Motors faces challenges with its Ultium architecture-based EVs, falling short of its sales target; only 13,838 Ultium EVs were sold in 2023 against a projection of 400,000 by mid-2024. Despite GM delivering almost 76,000 electric cars last year, 82% were Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV models, which were phased out of production recently.
The EV market anticipates the arrival of affordable EVs from Chinese manufacturers, like the Polestar 2 and the upcoming Volvo EX30, expected to start under $40,000. Chinese manufacturers may circumvent U.S. tariffs by exporting cars from countries like Mexico or Brazil.
U.S. EV sales are unpredictable, with Tesla leading, Hyundai and Kia expanding, but domestic automakers like Ford and GM experiencing a falter in demand. The U.S. accounts for only 11% of global EV sales, not being the primary hub for EV sales or innovation.
Innovations in Electric Vehicle Cockpit Tech
Electric vehicles (EVs) are revolutionizing the driving experience, particularly in the area of interior design and technology. EV manufacturers are focusing on adding innovative and sometimes whimsical features to their models, reflecting a shift in resource allocation towards electric models.
Examples of such features include gesture-controlled stereo systems in the BMW iX, heated doors, and a sunroof that changes from transparent to opaque. Rivian’s R1T and R1S models include built-in air compressors for tire inflation, while the Fisker Ocean features a rotating center screen. Other innovations include Polestar 2’s adaptive air filter, Genesis GV70’s noise cancellation and fingerprint scanner, and Nissan Ariya’s movable center console.
Non-luxury brands like Ford are also incorporating advanced tech, like oversized screens in the Mustang Mach-E, to make EVs more attractive despite higher costs. The overall strategy reflects a realization that making affordable EVs is challenging, leading to a focus on higher-end models packed with technology.
Panasonic Set to Launch Enhanced EV Batteries in 2024
Panasonic Holdings Corp. is preparing to release an upgraded version of its electric vehicle battery cells, potentially within this year. The enhanced 2170 cells are expected to start production in Panasonic’s Nevada plant between 2024 and 2025.
– Efforts have been focused on increasing the energy density of the 2170 cell. Panasonic aims to boost manufacturing capacity by 10% by fiscal year 2025, without needing new production lines or additional investment.
The Nevada battery production, a joint operation with Tesla Inc., emphasizes collaboration in development. Panasonic is currently constructing a second battery plant in Kansas, North America, and plans to announce a third location by the end of this fiscal year.
The company targets increasing its battery production capacity to 200 GWh by fiscal year 2030, up from the current 50 GWh.
E.On Launches Comprehensive EV Testing Facility in Germany
E.On has opened a new TestingLab in Germany, equipped with over 25 test stations and five climate chambers across 10,000 square meters. The facility is designed for testing vehicles, various charging stations, wall boxes, and accessories.
Climate chambers in the lab can simulate temperatures ranging from -40 to +50 degrees Celsius, eliminating the need for costly real-environment tests. The lab primarily serves OEMs and charging solution manufacturers, aiming to boost their research and development activities.
E.On offers training programs for installation and maintenance at the test center. The facility is unique in Europe for its capability to test fast charging in heavy-duty vehicles with up to three megawatts of power.
E.On plans to install 1,000 high-power charging points annually across its European markets. In Germany, E.On has received federal funding for 1,200 charging points as part of the Deutschlandnetz national network, positioning it as one of the largest operators of the nationwide fast-charging network.
Porsche’s Electric Cayman GT4: A Concept for Future Electric Racing
– Porsche is considering launching an all-electric racing series featuring a future version of the e-Performance Cayman GT4. The proposed series might run alongside or replace the existing Porsche Supercup. The concept car is based on the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, but with significant modifications.
It has replaced the 3.8-liter flat six engine with a dual-electric motor setup and a 60 kWh battery. This change boosts the car’s power from 419 hp to an impressive 1,000 hp. Porsche opted for a 60 kWh battery to minimize weight, even though 90 kWh was needed for a 30-minute race at 600 hp.
To compensate for the smaller battery, a regenerative braking system was added, converting braking energy into electrical power. An 800 kW charger integrated into the car allows for rapid recharging and helps achieve a 30-minute race duration.
In the absence of charging infrastructure, Porsche used a semi-truck filled with batteries for on-site charging, providing 2 MW of power. The e-Performance GT4 includes adjustable brake and power bias, allowing for tailored distribution of power to the wheels.
An innovative ‘oversteer pedal’ controls two independent electric motors at the front and rear, enhancing cornering speed and vehicle rotation.
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