Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what the US treasury is saying about how the new tax credit system is going.

 

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily, your trusted source of EV information. It’s Tuesday 20th February, I’m Martyn Lee and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.

We go live at 5pm UK, that’s Midday Eastern.  Patreon supporters get the episodes as soon as they’re ready and ad free. You can be like them by clicking here.

 

VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS ID.7 TOURER

 

– Volkswagen introduced the ID.7 Tourer, their all-electric estate car, expanding the ID.7 lineup in Europe but sadly not for my U.S. listeners.  This model joins the upper mid-sized class alongside the new Passat Variant.

 

– In terms of range, the ID.7 Tourer has 685 km / 425 miles WLTP range with options for two different battery sizes, with the largest battery supporting up to 200 kW for quick DC charging. Luggage and loading capacity will be of interest if you’re buying this type of car. It’s up to 605 liters, expanding to 1,714 liters with the seats down.

 

– Comes standard with an augmented reality (AR) head-up display. The vehicle integrates erg oActive seats with massage functions and a panoramic sunroof with smart glass technology. Introduces the Wellness In-Car app, allowing passengers to adjust vehicle functions for enhanced wellbeing through preconfigured programs that manage lighting, sound, air conditioning, and more.

 

– Set for production in Volkswagen’s Emden, Germany plant alongside the ID.7 fastback saloon and the ID.4 SUV.

 

https://evne.ws/3OQ4vMG

 

VOLVO UPDATES NAMES FOR ELECTRIC MODELS EX40 AND EC40

 

– Volvo is updating the names of its electric vehicles: the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric will now be known as the EX40, and the C40 Recharge Pure Electric will be renamed the EC40, starting with the 2025 model year.  This change aligns with Volvo’s new naming convention introduced with the EX90 and the upcoming EX30, aiming for a more cohesive electric vehicle (EV) lineup.

 

– The “Recharge” suffix, previously used for both fully electric and plug-in hybrid models, is being phased out. Plug-in hybrids will now be identified by the T6 or T8 suffixes, indicating their power levels. The XC40 name will continue to be used for the model with a traditional combustion engine, as Volvo transitions towards becoming a fully electric car manufacturer by 2030.

 

– Volvo’s sales of electric models saw a 70% increase last year, making up 16% of their global sales The EX40 and EC40 with all-wheel drive and dual motors will offer an optional performance software package. This upgrade boosts power output to 325 kW and includes a performance driving mode with enhanced accelerator response and a dedicated “Performance” drive mode for maximum power utilization.

 

https://evne.ws/3OM2vFm

 

VW GROUP’S SCOUT MOTORS TO PIONEER ELECTRIC OFF-ROADERS IN THE US

 

– Scout Motors is breaking ground on a $2 billion production center in Blythewood, S.C., aiming to deliver electric SUVs and pickups for American off-road enthusiasts.  The new facility spans 1,100 acres, with plans to employ 4,000 workers and reach an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles by late 2026.

 

– CEO Scott Keogh highlights the advantages of VW’s backing, emphasizing the access to the parent company’s global supply chain, which aids in cost reduction and efficient production scaling.  Scout is leveraging VW Group’s resources for procurement and parts, aiming to combine off-the-shelf components with unique design and engineering efforts.

 

– Battery procurement is a critical focus, with efforts to contain costs while differing from VW’s ID4 battery solution. Scout is considering VW Group’s PowerCo for future battery supply needs.  The brand plans to introduce an SUV and pickup built on a unique body-on-frame platform, distinct from any existing VW Group platforms, in the third quarter.

 

https://evne.ws/3wqzaKn

 

CUPRA UNVEILS HIGH-POWER BORN VZ ELECTRIC HATCHBACK

 

– Cupra introduces the Born VZ, its most powerful model yet, set to launch in autumn. Power output jumps from the e-Boost variant’s 228bhp to a robust 322bhp, rivaling the Volkswagen Golf R.

 

– Torque sees a significant increase to 402lb ft from 229lb ft, enabling a 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.7 seconds. This makes it the fastest vehicle built on the VW Group’s MEB platform.  The Born VZ’s top speed is enhanced from 99mph to 124mph.

 

– Despite the performance upgrades, Cupra maintains efficiency with a claimed range of 335 miles, supported by a battery capacity increase from 77kWh to 79kWh.

 

https://evne.ws/3wm71En

 

FIAT URGES UK GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE EV GRANTS

 

– Fiat advocates for the reinstatement of the UK government’s electric vehicle (EV) grant to meet the 2030 goal of 80% EV sales.  EV sales constituted 14.7% of new car registrations in January, with a notable 25.1% decline in purchases by private buyers compared to the previous year.

 

– To support customers, Fiat has increased its own electric car incentive, the FIAT E-Grant, providing a £3,000 discount. This initiative aligns with recommendations from the House of Lords environment and climate change committee report, emphasizing the urgency of accelerating EV adoption.

 

– The UK’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate requires that by 2024, 22% of new car sales must be fully electric, escalating to 80% by 2030. Originally available for the Fiat 500e and its convertible variant, the FIAT E-Grant has been extended to include the new Fiat 600e and Abarth 500e.

 

https://evne.ws/49kXRGJ

 

US DISTRIBUTES $135 MILLION IN EV TAX CREDITS EARLY IN 2024

 

– Since January 1, the US Treasury has issued approximately $135 million in advance electric vehicle (EV) tax credits to consumers through auto dealers.  Before 2024, the $7,500 credit for new EVs and $4,000 for used EVs were only accessible when filing tax returns the next year.

 

– The new scheme allows buyers to apply these credits directly at the point of sale, reducing the purchase price instantly. The Internal Revenue Service has processed over 25,000 sale reports, with around 19,500 requesting advance payments, totaling the $135 million paid to dealers.

– Over 11,000 US auto dealers are participating in the program, with more than 8,000 approved for these advance payments.

 

– Buyers need to confirm they meet specific income requirements to be eligible for the tax credit immediately, or they may have to repay the amount during tax filing. The income cap is set at $300,000 for married couples and $150,000 for single filers.

 

https://evne.ws/48DPG7n

 

IONITY EXPANDS TO 600 EV CHARGING STATIONS ACROSS EUROPE

 

– Ionity has achieved a significant expansion with 600 operational charging locations across 24 European countries. The network boasts 3,382 high-power charging (HPC) points, with an additional 96 charging parks under construction.

 

– By 2025, Ionity aims to grow its footprint to over 1,000 locations featuring more than 7,000 charging points. New sites are being planned to include six to twelve charging stations each, maintaining the capacity for 350 kW per station without power sharing.

 

– Ionity is acquiring land for future expansion, seeking plots ranging from 500 to 3,000 square meters, with a preference for larger sites capable of hosting at least 12 charging bays. Ideal locations are those easily accessible from major highways, and close to existing amenities like petrol stations, cafés, shops, and restrooms.

 

https://evne.ws/48nfuEo

 

XPENG’S STRATEGIC EXPANSION AMID EV SECTOR CHALLENGES

 

– Xpeng aims to expand its workforce by 4,000 and invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) for intelligent driving innovations.  The company’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, announced a significant investment of 3.5 billion Chinese yuan (approximately $486.2 million) into AI research and development, specifically targeting advancements in intelligent driving technology.

 

– Over the next three years, Xpeng plans to introduce around 30 new or updated vehicle models, signaling a rapid expansion of its product lineup. This growth strategy comes as the electric vehicle (EV) market faces intense competition, especially in China, where a price war, notably influenced by Tesla’s pricing strategies, has intensified the industry’s rivalry.

 

– The CEO’s warning of a potential “bloodbath” in the EV sector underscores the high stakes of competing in this rapidly evolving market amid economic pressures within China, where consumer spending remains cautious.

 

https://evne.ws/3SJAJKT

 

IBU-TEC ADVANCES IN SODIUM-ION BATTERY DEVELOPMENT

 

– IBU-Tec is expanding its focus to include sodium-ion batteries, targeting applications in small electric vehicles and stationary energy storage.  The company has successfully completed the development and initial production of a cathode active material named NMO, marking a significant step in sodium-ion battery technology.

 

– NMO utilizes abundant environmental materials, leveraging sodium’s availability as the sixth most common element on Earth, sourced from sea salt or salt domes, and manganese, the third most common metal. Sodium-ion batteries promise lower production costs and reduced environmental impact compared to traditional lithium-ion counterparts, making them a potentially more sustainable option.

 

– Despite their benefits, sodium-ion batteries currently exhibit lower energy density and greater weight when compared to lithium-ion batteries, presenting challenges for their widespread adoption.

 

https://evne.ws/3SJAJKT

 

HIPHI HALTS EV PRODUCTION AMID FINANCIAL STRAIN

 

– Human Horizons, known for its HiPhi brand, suspends EV production for six months and furloughs staff as it seeks new investment.

 

– The company, launching premium electric vehicles since late 2020, faces financial challenges amidst a competitive and slowing market.

 

– Immediate austerity measures were announced to employees, aiming to sustain the company during this turbulent period  Despite initial success with approximately 8,700 high-end HiPhi EVs sold during 2021-2022, the firm now struggles to maintain its luxury market position.

 

https://evne.ws/3OPnM18

 

MICROLINO’S RETRO EV SET FOR UK LAUNCH

 

– Swiss company Microlino is poised to introduce its electric quadricycle, reminiscent of the Isetta, in the UK market.

 

– First showcased at the Geneva motor show in 2016, the Microlino has started production and expanded across Europe, with over 1,000 units produced as of June 2023.

 

– Classified as a heavy quadricycle (L7e), similar to the Renault Twizy, the Microlino offers a more powerful 17bhp motor and can reach speeds up to 56mph. Available with three battery options: 5.5kWh, 10.5kWh, and 15.0kWh, the Microlino promises ranges of 58 miles, 110 miles, and 142 miles respectively.

 

https://evne.ws/3uENDln

 

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