Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what Stellantis are saying about bringing cheaper EVs to market.

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 Friday 8th March, 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 or here >> https://www.patreon.com/EVNewsDaily

Rivian Unveils Trio of Electric Cars: The R2, R3, and R3X

– Rivian announced three new electric SUV models—the R2, R3, and R3X—at an event in Laguna Beach, California, marking a significant expansion of its product line. The R2, positioned as Rivian’s smallest and most economical vehicle yet, is priced at approximately $45,000 compared to starting price of $70,000 for their flagship R1 series. It’s expected to offer a 300-mile range in any form of configuration of single motor, dual or triple motor.  It’s slated for release in the first half of 2026.

The R2 is aimed firmly at the Tesla Model Y and Mach-e market.

– The R2 showcases a rugged, boxy design reminiscent of the larger R1S, including Rivian’s signature light bar, tow hooks, a spacious frunk. Its interior boasts dual screens, Rivian’s proprietary software, a new steering wheel with haptic dials, double gloveboxes, and fold-flat seating for versatile cargo space.

– Two battery sizes will be offered, with the larger expected to deliver over 300 miles of range, as confirmed to MKBHD in his own Youtube interview with Mr Scaringe. Rivian is introducing a new battery cell form factor named 4695 for improved performance.

– The R2 will use a new platform specifically developed for midsize vehicles, differentiating it from the R1 series. Its structural battery pack design also contributes to the vehicle’s overall rigidity.

– Rivian is now accepting reservations for the R2, with tri-motor variant is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in under three seconds. Advanced autonomous driving features are included in the R2, supported by 11 cameras and five radars, allowing for hands-free highway driving.

– Unique features of the R2 include a removable flashlight in the driver’s side door for outdoor activities, fully retractable passenger and rear windows for an open-air driving experience, and double gloveboxes following customer feedback.

– The launch of these models comes at a crucial time for Rivian, as it seeks to scale up production and reduce costs amidst financial challenges and a competitive electric vehicle market.

– Rivian decided to halt the construction of a new factory in Georgia, aiming to reduce capital expenses.   This strategic shift is expected to save the company over $2.25 billion in capital expenditures by relocating the production of the upcoming R2 model to its existing Illinois facility, allowing for earlier delivery by the first half of 2026.

– The company had previously secured a $1.5 billion incentives package for the Georgia plant, promising to create 7,500 jobs by 2028.

– CEO RJ Scaringe highlighted the R2’s significance in targeting the midsize SUV market segment, emphasizing Rivian’s vertically integrated approach to propulsion platforms, electronics, and software for an enhanced user experience.

– Rivian introduced two new models, the R3 and R3X, as smaller, entry-level electric SUVs, expected to debut around 2027.  Both models are approximately five inches shorter than the larger R2, designed to offer a compact and efficient option in Rivian’s electric vehicle range.

– The R3 features Rivian’s signature design, including a power-operated rear hatch with a full-width taillight and a separate opening rear glass for carrying long items like surfboards. Expected to inherit drivetrain options and battery capacities from the R2, the R3 aims to deliver over 300 miles of range and support fast charging from 10% to 80% in less than 30 minutes.

– The R3 offers both single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel-drive configurations, with a tri-motor setup available for the more adventurous R3X variant.

– The R3X distinguishes itself with a tri-motor powertrain, wider wheels and tires, higher ground clearance, and distinctive design features including teal paint with orange accents.  Both R3 and R3X interiors feature spacious cabins with ribbed seats, a large glass roof for an airy feel, and fold-flat seats for additional versatility.

https://rivian.com/en-GB/r2

Tesla Launches Two-Seater Model Y in France to Exploit Tax Break

– Tesla introduces a two-seater version of the Model Y targeted at French business owners, enabling them to take advantage of a specific tax loophole. The new model features a significant storage space of 76 cubic feet (2,158 liters), tailored for commercial use.

– This strategic move by Tesla aims to penetrate France’s large commercial vehicle market, which currently comprises over 6.3 million vehicles, predominantly running on diesel. It is designed to meet commercial vehicle taxation criteria. The French tax loophole caters to utility vehicles utilized in professional settings, which must have two or three front seats and no rear seats. We have similar things like this before with the Renault Zoe Van for instance.

– Tesla has the skills and tech to make a commercial vehicle, like Rivian’s EDV, but this is a clever workaround for a specific tax case.

https://evne.ws/3v3zxu0

Tesla Powerwall 3 Hits the Market…Officially

– Tesla’s highly anticipated Powerwall 3 is now available across the continental US, with plans to expand to Puerto Rico and Hawaii later in the year.

– Powerwall 3 distinguishes itself from the Powerwall 2 by offering greater power output, allowing it to power larger appliances and potentially reducing the number of batteries needed for whole-home backup. Pricing for the Powerwall 3 starts at $8,400 per unit before taxes and installation fees, and the final cost can be reduced through the 30% federal solar tax credit, bringing the price down to approximately $5,880. Elon Musk has already disclosed the 30kW peak power, and 11.5kW continuous up from 7kW.

– It’s important to note that the Powerwall 3 is not backward compatible with the Powerwall 2, meaning existing Powerwall 2 users cannot upgrade or add to their system with a Powerwall 3 unit.

https://evne.ws/3v3zyOA

US Warns of Potential Influx of Low-Cost Chinese EVs

– Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm expressed concerns about China potentially dominating the US electric vehicle (EV) market with affordable models. This statement follows President Joe Biden’s similar remarks, emphasizing the threat to the US automotive industry as it develops its manufacturing infrastructure.

– In 2023, China surpassed Japan as the leading car exporter worldwide, with nearly 5 million vehicles shipped, including a significant focus on electric vehicles, and there are over 24 million NEVs on the road in China now. The Inflation Reduction Act in the US offers tax incentives for EVs assembled in North America with specific conditions related to critical mineral and battery components. Vehicles associated with “foreign entities of concern,” including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, are ineligible for these benefits.

– Recent US policies have aimed at limiting China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology, highlighting ongoing efforts to mitigate potential security and economic risks posed by China’s lead in EVs.

https://evne.ws/3TpeXO6

Fast-Track Appeal for Ford EV Battery Plant Legal Dispute

– The Ford EV battery facility, previously known as BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, faces ongoing legal hurdles, primarily due to opposition from local residents over rezoning issues.

– Recent developments saw a court dismissing a complaint from a group opposing the plant’s location, which has since appealed the decision. The dispute centers on a petition that the Committee argues was unjustly rejected, aiming to trigger a citywide vote on the rezoning of land designated for the future Ford EV battery plant.

– Officials remain positive about the project’s progress, highlighting the economic benefits already materializing from the construction, including job creation and local business patronage.

https://evne.ws/4a4edDv

Hyundai IONIQ 5 and 6 Leasing Deals Start at £249/Month

– Hyundai unveils special March offers for the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 models, accessible via Hyundai Contract Hire for both personal and business customers.

– The deals pertain to the Premium rear-wheel-drive variants, which come with a 77.4 kWh battery. The IONIQ 5 offers a range of up to 315 miles, while the IONIQ 6 extends up to 322 miles.

– Both models are based on Hyundai’s advanced 800v E-GMP platform, allowing for ultra-fast charging capabilities at 350kW charging stations.  Personal Contract Hire (PCH) options start at £299 per month for both the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 Premium versions, with an alternative option for a lower initial payment and a 36-month lease term starting at £379 per month.

– Business Contract Hire (BCH) rates begin at £249.16 per month for the IONIQ 5 or IONIQ 6 Premium, with an option for a longer term lease starting from £316 per month, catering to business users seeking lower initial payments.

https://evne.ws/4c3vHlh

SK On Debuts Enhanced Quick-Charge EV Batteries in Seoul

– SK On introduced advanced fast-charging EV battery cells, named Advanced SF and SF+, at the InterBattery 2024 trade show in Seoul, South Korea.

– The original SF battery, launched in 2021, utilized a high-nickel content to achieve a rapid charge from 10% to 80% capacity in roughly 18 minutes. Now the Advanced SF Battery improves upon its predecessor by offering a 9% increase in energy density, enhancing overall efficiency and performance.  SK On achieved this enhancement by reducing the distance lithium ions must travel during charging, thanks to a novel coating technique that significantly lowers anode resistance.

– The SF+ Battery variant promises even faster charging capabilities, aiming for a full charge in just 15 minutes by incorporating a high-capacity silicon and low-resistance graphite in its dual-layer structure to further speed up lithium ion transfer.

https://evne.ws/4a4efeB

KGM’s New Electric 4×4 Pickup to Hit UK Market in 2025

– KGM, previously known as Ssangyong, plans to launch the UK’s first electric 4×4 pickup, an adaptation of the Torres SUV, in early 2025.

– This move is part of KGM’s strategy to refresh its brand image and expand its product range following its acquisition by Mahindra in 2022.

– The upcoming O100 model features a dual-motor setup promising a driving range of approximately 300 miles, surpassing many traditional fuel competitors in performance.

– It’s based on the Torres EVX platform, modified for 4×4 capabilities, a larger 80.1kWh battery (up from 73.4kWh), and additional power with a twin-motor configuration.

– Despite the enhancements, KGM has yet to release comprehensive specifications or confirm if the charging speed will exceed the Torres’s 145kW peak.

– The O100 aims to stand out in the UK market where the current electric pickup options, such as the Maxus T90 EV, offer limited functionality with only rear-wheel drive.

https://evne.ws/3v3zBKg

Volvo Trucks Hits Record Sales and Expands Electric Lineup in 2023

– Volvo Trucks achieved a record-breaking 2023, electric truck deliveries saw a significant surge, with a 256 percent increase from the previous year, totaling 1,977 electric trucks globally in 2023.

Volvo’s market share in the European electric heavy-duty segment rose to 47.2 percent. – Volvo Trucks introduced two new electric models, the Volvo FH Aero Electric and the Volvo FM Low Entry, expanding its electric range to eight models, designed for various transport needs.

The company has delivered electric trucks to 45 countries across six continents since 2019, including first-time heavy-duty electric truck deliveries to Latin America, Morocco, South Korea, and Malaysia in 2023.

https://evne.ws/48KgeDY

Leapmotor and Stellantis Secure Chinese Regulatory Nod for Joint Venture

– The joint venture (JV) between Leapmotor and Stellantis has received approval from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), signaling a significant step forward in their collaboration.

– This partnership marks a pivotal move for Leapmotor, with Stellantis investing 1.5 billion euros for a roughly 20 percent stake, becoming Leapmotor’s largest outside shareholder. The agreement grants Leapmotor International exclusive rights to export, sell, and locally manufacture Leapmotor products in markets outside Greater China.

– Sales of Leapmotor vehicles in overseas markets are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of this year, with the C10 being the flagship model for these markets.

https://evne.ws/48KgfI2

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