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 Wednesday 21st February, I’m Martyn Lee and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.

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Ford Slashes Mach-E Prices Amid Sales Drop

– Ford has reduced the prices of its Mustang Mach-E electric SUV by up to $8,100 following a significant sales decline of more than 50% in January.

– The price adjustments affect multiple 2023 Mustang Mach-E models, with the base model now priced at $41,695, including a $1,800 destination charge.

– The most substantial price cut is on the Premium grade with the Extended Range battery pack, now starting at $47,696 with the destination charge included.

– Ford states the Mach-E is the second most popular EV SUV in the U.S. for 2023, positioning itself as the country’s second top EV brand. The company aims to balance sales growth and customer value with these price adjustments.

– The price reductions are specific to the 2023 model year and do not apply to the upcoming 2024 Mustang Mach-E variants, which include a new Rally version and an updated GT model with performance enhancements.

– Ford’s overall EV sales dropped 11% in January, with the Mach-E’s federal EV tax credit eligibility ending at the start of the month, significantly impacting its sales to just 1,295 units in the U.S.

– The company also reduced Mach-E prices in Canada, indicating a broader strategy to revive sales across North America.

– Besides the Mach-E, Ford has also adjusted pricing strategies for the F-150 Lightning electric pickup, offering retail bonus cash ranging from $5,000 to $12,500 across different trims and a leasing incentive of up to $7,500.

– Ford had previously increased prices for the Mach-E in 2022 but rolled back some of those hikes in 2023, reflecting ongoing adjustments to market conditions and consumer demand.

https://evne.ws/3wzH7gx

Grünheide Residents Reject Tesla Gigafactory Expansion

– The majority of Grünheide’s population, located near Berlin, voted against Tesla’s expansion plans, which included building new infrastructure to enhance site access and vehicle transport.

– Plans involved expanding the factory by 170 hectares, necessitating the removal of approximately 100 hectares of pine forest.

– A proposed childcare facility for employees’ children was also included in the expansion proposal.

– Out of a 76% voter turnout, 3,499 voted against while 1,882 supported the plans.

– Although the referendum’s result isn’t legally binding, it’s meant to guide local authorities and Tesla’s decision-making.

– Tesla and Grünheide’s mayor have acknowledged the need to reconsider their plans following the vote.

– Local concerns include potential drinking water contamination and the impact on groundwater levels, especially since part of the expansion is planned in a water protection area.

– Tesla’s Gigafactory in Grünheide is the company’s first European operation, employing around 12,500 workers.

https://evne.ws/434FkMA

EV Revolution Transforms Auto Supply Dynamics

– The transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs) is significantly altering the automotive supply chain.

– According to the 2023 Deloitte Automotive Supplier Study, revenue from ICE components is expected to drop by 44% by 2027, while electric drivetrain and battery revenues could increase by 245%.

– EV powertrains, with less than 20 parts in some cases, contrast sharply with ICE powertrains, which can have around 2,000 parts. This shift reduces the complexity and number of components in manufacturing.

– Tesla’s use of giga casting, which creates large, integral parts, exemplifies the move towards more efficient manufacturing processes and the trend of automakers bringing more production in-house.

– The rapid move to EVs poses challenges, especially for smaller, often family-owned auto parts suppliers and even major players like Bosch, Denso, Magna, and ZF, due to the significant capital and resources required for the transition.

– Smaller suppliers are finding innovative ways to adapt, such as forming strategic partnerships, targeting niche markets, or diversifying their product lines.

– The concept of a “European Electric Car Voltron,” an alliance aimed at sharing costs and assets to build affordable EVs, highlights the collaborative approach needed to compete with low-cost Chinese EV manufacturers in Europe.

– The automotive industry’s shift to electrification is a comprehensive transformation, affecting vehicle construction, power sources, and the entire ecosystem, demanding adaptability and innovation from suppliers.

https://evne.ws/3wAtKMY

California’s $1.9 Billion Boost for EV and Hydrogen Tech

– California is channeling $1.9 billion into EV technology, including new charging stations, expanding hydrogen fuel cell programs, and research.

– This investment aims to support the infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles, especially focusing on aiding low-income and disadvantaged communities.

– Over 25% of new cars sold in California are electric, highlighting the state’s leading role in the EV market.

– The state emphasizes making zero-emission refueling accessible to everyone, with a significant portion of the funds designated for communities in need.

– The initiative is partly in response to concerns over competition from Chinese companies offering more affordable EVs, aiming to stimulate local demand for electric vehicles.

– California plans to increase the number of chargers to 2.1 million by 2035, anticipating around 15.2 million EVs and 377,000 electric trucks and buses on the roads.

– The strategy includes expanding hydrogen fueling infrastructure, aiming to fund 96 public hydrogen fueling stations, up from the current 61.

– Efforts to promote EV adoption in the U.S. include standardized charging solutions, tax credits, and incentives for home charging installations.

– Tax incentives are part of the strategy to encourage people to switch to electric cars, with California among the states offering such benefits.

– A recent shift towards standardized charging, led by Ford’s adoption of the Tesla-pioneered NACS, simplifies the charging landscape.

– Hyundai and Honda are introducing incentives for home charging installations, including complimentary chargers and installation credits.

https://evne.ws/4c6uKsy

Biden’s EV Policy Walks a Fine Line Between Climate Goals and Labor Concerns

– The Biden administration is finalizing an EPA rule to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption, facing a balancing act between labor interests and climate goals.

– Initial reports suggest the final rule may require automakers to electrify a smaller portion of their fleets in the near term than previously proposed.

– This adjustment could win favor with union workers, particularly in Michigan, a key swing state with over 120,000 car manufacturing jobs.

– However, softening EV targets may alienate climate-focused supporters who advocate for aggressive shifts towards environmentally friendly vehicles.

– The EPA’s initial proposal aimed for significant increases in EV sales, targeting 36% by 2027 and reaching 60% by 2030.

– The United Auto Workers (UAW) union emphasizes job and wage protection during the EV transition, calling for changes to the rule or more worker safeguards.

– The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, representing major car companies, deems the original targets unachievable, suggesting a 40-50% EV sales target by 2030 instead.

– Concerns arise that pushing too hard on EV adoption could have negative political repercussions, especially in critical election battlegrounds.

– Last year’s UAW strike highlighted wage concerns between EV and traditional vehicle manufacturing jobs, leading to EV battery jobs being included in union contracts with major automakers.

– Biden’s support for striking workers helped secure the UAW’s endorsement for the 2024 election, despite a third of its members voting for Trump in 2020.

– Climate advocates argue against diluting the rule, emphasizing the importance of strong EV adoption rates for environmental and public health benefits.

– Biden’s balancing act includes promoting climate initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act while facing criticism for certain decisions like the Willow oil drilling project approval.

– The ongoing challenge highlights the administration’s efforts to align climate action with labor interests, a key theme of Biden’s presidency.

https://evne.ws/42WOzOB

LGES to Kickstart 46800 Battery Production for Tesla Cybertruck

– LG Energy Solution (LGES) targets August 2024 to start mass production of its 46800 battery, potentially moving up to July to meet Tesla’s request due to low yield rates in Tesla’s own production.

– Tesla’s Cybertruck will be the inaugural vehicle to utilize the 46800 battery, known for quintupling energy capacity over the 21700 model and offering significant cost reductions in production.

– Besides Tesla, Rivian and Mercedes-Benz have shown interest in LGES’s 46 series cylindrical batteries, hinting at future partnerships for supply contracts.

– LGES has been conducting trial productions of the 46800 battery at its Ochang plant in South Korea, although final production capacity remains undecided.

– The 46 series batteries, including models 46950 and 46120, are under discussion with Rivian and Mercedes-Benz, featuring varying heights but maintaining a 46mm diameter.

– LGES leads among South Korean battery manufacturers in finalizing the production schedule for the 46800 battery, securing an early advantage in market share.

– Competitors like Samsung SDI and SK On are also developing cylindrical batteries with a 46mm diameter, with Samsung’s being named “46pi” and SK On trailing in the development timeline.

https://evne.ws/3wwB0tk

Dacia Spring: The UK’s Most Affordable Electric Vehicle

– The Dacia Spring is set to become the UK’s most cost-effective electric vehicle (EV) after a significant redesign, with sales beginning soon.

– Initially launched in Europe in 2021 as a rebranded Renault City K-ZE from the Chinese market, the Spring has sold 140,000 units across Europe due to its appealing starting price of around €16,800 (£14,385 with the current exchange rate).

– The updated model features substantial improvements in interior quality and digital connectivity, with a starting price slightly over £17,000.

– The previous 7.0-inch infotainment display has been replaced with a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the top-tier Extreme version, borrowed from the Dacia Duster, supporting wireless updates.

– Entry-level variants will utilize a smartphone app for accessing services like Waze and Spotify, focusing on digital integration without the premium display.

– New safety features include lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, and driver attention monitoring to meet Europe’s latest GSR2 safety standards.

– A ‘My Safety’ physical button has been introduced, allowing drivers to easily adjust or disable the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as needed.

https://evne.ws/3SYAKe1

IM Motors Prepares to Unveil 500-Mile Range L6 Saloon

– IM Motors, a new brand from MG, plans to debut the L6 saloon at the Geneva motor show, targeting a UK launch next year.

– Founded in late 2020 through a collaboration between MG’s parent company SAIC, Alibaba, and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech, IM Motors introduced the L7 executive saloon in late 2021.

– The upcoming L6 promises a remarkable 500-mile range and acceleration from 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds.

– While specific technical specs are under wraps, it’s anticipated the L6 will share the L7’s technology, including a 93kWh battery and 11kW wireless charging capabilities.

– IM Motors has also released the LS6 and LS7 SUVs in China, positioned to compete with Tesla’s Model Y and Model X, with prices ranging from £32,000 to £52,000.

– A recent partnership with Audi will see IM Motors’ platforms used for Audi’s EVs in China, offering an alternative to Volkswagen Group’s SSP architecture.

– SAIC’s plans to establish a European factory, potentially in the UK, are crucial for producing right-hand-drive EVs at a profitable scale.

– It remains unclear if the new models will be marketed under the IM brand or rebranded as MGs in the UK, following the precedent set by other SAIC models like the MG 5 and the next-gen HS.

https://evne.ws/4bYd2HI

Fiat 500e Electric Launches in North America

– Production of the all-electric Fiat 500e for the North American market commenced at the Mirafiori Assembly Plant in Turin, Italy.

– The initial allocation for dealers in the United States was quickly sold out within a week.

– This marks the Fiat brand’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) offering in North America, expected to arrive by the end of the first quarter.

– The Fiat 500e is noted as the lightest passenger BEV available, boasting an estimated range of 149 miles from its 42 kWh battery.

– In Europe, the 500e leads the electric city-car segment for the second consecutive year, being the top choice in Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Austria.

– The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2024 model year Fiat 500e is set at $32,500, excluding a $1,595 destination charge.

https://evne.ws/3SVbBRn

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