Plus, stay tuned because later in the show I’ll tell you what Tesla are saying about the charge port location on the new R2 and R3.

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 Monday 11th 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

Chevy Blazer EV 2024 Relaunches with Reduced Prices

– Chevrolet has resumed sales of the 2024 Blazer EV, addressing previous software issues with significant updates. Price reductions range from $5,600 to $6,500 across different trim levels to attract buyers after a halt in sales due to software glitches.

– The initial stop sale order came late in the fourth quarter of 2023 after Chevrolet reported only 482 units sold due to problems related to vehicle charging and other system faults.

– The company initiated a comprehensive testing regimen, clocking in 16,000 miles daily across various conditions to identify and resolve the software glitches.

– Baris Cetinok, GM’s vice president of product, software, and services, highlighted the extensive nationwide testing and virtualized software validation efforts that were undertaken.

– With a background in tech and previous roles at major firms like Apple and Amazon, Cetinok represents GM’s strategic hiring to bolster its software and electric vehicle development capabilities.

– The software-related problems were characterized as “rare but very disruptive,” leading GM to issue a stop-sale order until a reliable fix was implemented.

– The testing process involved 40 Blazer EVs being driven up to 400 miles per day, alongside additional software testing procedures.

– GM confirmed the issues were exclusive to the Blazer EV and not indicative of broader problems with its Ultium-based vehicles.

– The Blazer EV LT AWD is now priced at $50,195, and the RS variant is available for $54,595 with all-wheel drive and $56,170 with rear-wheel drive.

– The vehicle qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, enhancing its appeal to potential buyers.

– Despite the price cut, the Blazer EV remains slightly more expensive than the Honda Prologue, its platform counterpart, starting at $48,795.

– Chevrolet plans to introduce an LT FWD version priced under $50,000 and is yet to announce prices for the high-performance SS model and an additional RS front-wheel-drive version.

– The software update not only fixes previous issues but also adds new features like ambient lighting with selectable colors and a digital gauge cluster update displaying battery percentage.

https://evne.ws/48TEqnc

Rivian R2 and R3 Spotted in Action: Public Road Debut

– Initial footage revealing Rivian’s R2 and R3 models in motion on public roads surfaced on Reddit, followed by additional videos shared on Rivian Forums, including the R3X being loaded into a trailer.

– The initial video highlights the R3X followed by the R2, offering a close-up view that confirms its resemblance to the R1 model but in a smaller form factor. The R2 is observed to be slightly taller than both a Hyundai Tucson and Kia Soul, placing it firmly within the mid-size SUV category.

– Another clip provides a comprehensive look at the R3 as it drives by, capturing the attention and delight of onlookers. This video underscores the vehicle’s compact and streamlined design on a more level road compared to the R2.

https://evne.ws/48OXYcn

Rivian R2 Draws Massive Interest with 68,000 Preorders

– The Rivian R2 has garnered over 68,000 reservations in less than a day after its reveal.

– A modest deposit of $100 secures a reservation, fully refundable as per Rivian’s policy, a more accessible approach compared to Tesla’s initial $1,000 deposit for the Model 3 in 2016.

– The substantial number of preorders indicates a strong consumer interest in the Rivian R2, even before the company has begun to accept reservations for its upcoming models, the R3 and R3X.

– Rivian has scheduled the start of R2 production for the first half of 2026, adjusting its timeline forward from the end of 2026 amidst a temporary halt in the development of its $5 billion Georgia manufacturing plant.

https://evne.ws/3v64Sfw

Rivian R2 Fast-Tracks Deliveries for R1S Owners

– Rivian has announced that R1S owners will be the first in line to receive the new R2 model, as indicated by emails sent from the company to these customers.

– There’s speculation among the Rivian community that this prioritization might also apply to R1T owners.

– To qualify for priority delivery of the R2, R1S owners must reserve the vehicle using the same email associated with their R1S purchase and reside in either the United States or Canada.

https://evne.ws/43eK4z7

Rivian’s Strategic Charge Port Placement Explained

– Jeff Hammoud, the design lead for Rivian’s R1, R2, and R3, explained the rationale behind placing the charge door on what is considered the “wrong” side by many.

– The decision was heavily influenced by the European market, where curbside charging infrastructure is more common, facilitating easier access when parked on the street.

– The placement aligns with the strategy of minimizing cable length and routing complexity inside the vehicle, resulting in reduced weight and manufacturing costs.

– Despite its practicality in certain contexts, this design choice has stirred controversy, particularly as Rivian vehicles begin accessing Tesla’s Supercharging network, which is designed for charge ports on the opposite side.

– The charge port location may necessitate double parking at certain Supercharger stations, potentially complicating the charging process for Rivian owners until Tesla’s network is updated with the longer cables of V4 Superchargers.

https://evne.ws/48TEqDI

 Tesla Engineer Advises Rivian on R2 Charge Port Placement for Supercharger Compatibility

– Tesla Cybertruck’s Lead Engineer, Wes Morrill, suggests Rivian should consider relocating the R2’s charge port to the rear driver’s side for better compatibility with Tesla’s Supercharger Network.

– Although Tesla’s newest V4 Superchargers have cables long enough to reach charging ports in various positions, the extensive network of over 50,000 V2 and V3 Superchargers is designed for vehicles with charge ports on the rear driver’s side.

– This recommendation aims to ensure Rivian R2 owners can easily use Tesla’s existing Supercharger infrastructure without the inconvenience posed by the current charge port placement on the vehicle.

https://evne.ws/3Tcywbd

Rivian’s Future Tech: Charging Innovations and Accelerated R3 Development

– Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe revealed that the R1S and R1T vehicles are already equipped for bidirectional charging, a feature that will be enabled via a software update. This functionality allows the vehicles to potentially power a house during an outage.

– Rivian plans to offer a 240V inverter option for the R1S and R1T models, allowing them to function similarly to Ford’s Pro Power Onboard and Tesla’s Cybertruck external power capabilities. However, this feature might not be retrofittable to existing vehicles.

– The upcoming R2 model will include an integrated 240V AC output option, though only a 120V output was demonstrated at the launch event. This enhancement is part of Rivian’s efforts to expand the utility of their vehicles through innovative power solutions.

https://evne.ws/43dNB0H

Tesla Develops Extension Cable for Supercharger Compatibility

– Tesla is developing a NACS to NACS extension cable to address compatibility issues at Supercharger stations for electric vehicles with various charge port placements.

– This initiative comes as Tesla begins to open its Superchargers to electric vehicles from other manufacturers, such as Ford, leading to logistical challenges due to differing port locations.

– The current V3 Superchargers have shorter cables, making it difficult for vehicles with non-standard port locations to charge without obstructing additional charging bays.

– Tesla’s upcoming V4 Superchargers feature longer cables, mitigating this issue, but the majority of the existing network consists of V3 stations.

– An extension cable, previously conceived for the Tesla Semi to utilize Supercharger stations, is being adapted for broader use to facilitate easier charging for all compatible electric vehicles.

– Confirmation of the extension cable development was announced on Tesla’s Supercharger support site.

https://evne.ws/3IwfR53

France’s EV Market Share Hits 26.3% with Peugeot e-208 at the Helm

– In February, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) captured 26.3% of the car market in France, marking an increase from 23.8% compared to the previous year.

– The sales volume of fully electric vehicles rose by 32% year-over-year, while plug-in hybrids saw a 12% increase.

– The total automotive sales volume in February reached 142,598 units, reflecting a 13% year-over-year increase but still below the pre-pandemic levels of approximately 190,000 units observed during 2017–2019.

– The Peugeot e-208 led the pack as the most popular fully electric vehicle in the French market.

https://evne.ws/3IwfSpD

Kia’s EV Sales Surge by 48% Globally in January 2024

– Kia’s total global vehicle sales reached 244,940 units in January 2024, marking a 4.2% increase compared to the same period last year.

– The company’s all-electric vehicle (EV) retail sales saw a significant rise, totaling 12,731 units, a 48% jump from the previous year.

– Electric vehicles now account for 5.6% of Kia’s total sales volume.

– The reported EV sales figures encompass a variety of models including the EV5, EV6, EV9, Niro EV, Niro Plus EV, Soul EV, and Korea-exclusive models like the Ray EV and Bingo EV.

https://evne.ws/3Tvp7wE

Majority Electric: UK Car of the Year Awards 2024 Highlights

– Five out of seven categories in the 2024 UK Car of The Year (COTY) Awards were won by battery electric vehicles (BEVs), underscoring the growing dominance of electric cars in the market.

– The Hyundai Ioniq 6 clinched the Family Car category, emphasizing the appeal of electric vehicles for everyday family use.

– Volvo’s EX30 won the Small Crossover category, with its Australian launch anticipated shortly, showcasing global interest in compact electric crossovers.

– The Fisker Ocean was named the winner in the Medium Crossover category, although it is noted as not available in Australia.

– Kia’s EV9 took top honors in the Large Crossover category, highlighting the demand for spacious and electric family vehicles.

– The BMW i5 was awarded the Executive Car category, reflecting the luxury segment’s shift towards electrification.

– Cars eligible for the awards had to be launched or available for sale between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.

– Judging involved a voting process where each judge selected their preferred winner for each category, with ties leading to a second round of voting to determine the final winner.

https://evne.ws/3Tx5YKW

Decline in Used EV Market Prices: Tesla Models at the Forefront

– In the U.S., the average transaction price for new vehicles in January 2024 dropped to $47,401, showing a 2.6% decrease from December 2023 and 3.5% year over year, as reported by Kelley Blue Book.

– The average price for new electric vehicles experienced a significant drop of 10.8% year over year to $55,353 in January 2024.

– The used electric vehicle market is witnessing a price decline, with a notable 24% drop in used EV prices year over year as of February, led by Tesla models experiencing the sharpest depreciation.

– Tesla, Audi, and Jaguar models have seen the most significant price reductions over the past year, including models like the Audi e-tron Sportback, Tesla Model X/Y/3/S, and Jaguar IPACE.

– Since January, the most substantial price drops in used EVs were noted in the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, and Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

– Tesla’s website lists used Model Ys starting under $30,000, while Hertz offers used Model 3s for prices well below $20,000.

– The Chevy Bolt, previously the third best-selling new EV in the U.S., has seen its used price plummet by 30% year over year.

– Overall, the average price decrease across all EV brands from January to February was 2.5%, showing a slower rate of decline compared to the 2.9% decrease from December to January.

https://evne.ws/3TeNKfO

EV Production Costs to Undercut ICE Vehicles by 2027

– Bloomberg highlights the Tesla Model 3’s pricing, now $6,500 lower than its closest ICE competitor, the BMW 3 Series, indicating a shift towards more affordable electric vehicles (EVs).

– Gartner forecasts that within three years, EVs will become less expensive to manufacture than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles of comparable size, attributed to advancements in manufacturing techniques and falling production costs.

– Innovations such as centralized vehicle architecture and gigacastings are simplifying production processes, compelling traditional automakers to adopt these methods to stay competitive.

– By 2027, Gartner anticipates that 15% of EV companies founded in the last decade will have gone bankrupt or been acquired, as the market continues to evolve.

– The cost of repairing the body and battery of EVs after significant accidents is expected to increase by 30% by 2027, making it more economical in some cases to write off damaged vehicles rather than repair them.

https://evne.ws/3Ix6eTJ

Tesla Gigafactory in Germany Set to Reopen Following Outage

– Tesla’s Gigafactory near Berlin, Germany, is scheduled to resume operations next week after an enforced closure due to a power outage.

– The factory has been shut since March 5 following a fire at a nearby power pylon, suspected to be caused by arson.

– Michaela Schmitz, head of the works council, announced the reopening to employees, signaling a relief for the 12,500 staff members affected by the shutdown.

– The outage has prevented the production of approximately 6,000 vehicles weekly, with the financial impact estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of euros.

– Details on the exact restart date are pending, with Tesla indicating a potential power restoration by the end of the next week.

– The arson investigation has escalated to Germany’s federal prosecutors office, highlighting the seriousness of the incident.

https://evne.ws/3v89Cl2

Tesla’s $3,000 Cybertruck Tent Hits the Road: Not As Expected

– Tesla has begun deliveries of its Cybertruck accessory, the ‘Basecamp’, a tent priced at $3,000, which contrasts sharply in appearance from its initial reveal.

– Installation requires a one-time setup at a Tesla Service Center to secure the tent brackets onto the Cybertruck’s vault side rails.

– The anticipated ‘Tent Mode’, a feature enabling automatic truck leveling via air suspension for enhanced camping comfort, is currently missing from the Cybertruck’s software suite.

– This mode’s absence raises concerns, especially since it affects the practicality of using the tent for rooftop camping by omitting a self-leveling function.

– The design does not allow for integration with the truck’s air conditioning system, limiting comfort options for occupants.

– Whereas upcoming Rivian roof-top tent will feature both heating and cooling capabilities to ensure comfort in various climates.

– It comes equipped with lighting and a heated air mattress for added convenience and warmth.

– A distinctive hard shell cover is included, which doubles as a projector screen, enhancing the outdoor experience.

https://evne.ws/3IviaFy

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