Tesla Shifts Focus from Affordable EV to Robotaxis

– Tesla has reportedly halted its project to develop an affordable electric vehicle, with plans diverted towards robotaxi technology, as per a *Reuters* report.

– The decision to discontinue the budget EV was communicated during a late February meeting with numerous Tesla employees in attendance. Internal communications at Tesla, reviewed by *Reuters*, instructed employees to delay informing suppliers about the program’s cancellation. Additional messages directed staff to instruct suppliers to cease all activities related to the budget model, known externally as H422 and internally as NV91.

– Tesla’s stock experienced a partial recovery after an initial drop, following CEO Elon Musk’s denial via his social media network X.

https://evne.ws/3VQXYpw

Tesla Designer Comments on $25K EV Rumors

– Tesla’s Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, addressed rumors regarding the purported cancellation of a $25,000 electric vehicle during a panel at the Petersen Auto Museum.

– The discussion included participants from the Tesla and automotive community when a question was raised about the status of the affordable Tesla vehicle, probing whether it was canceled, postponed, or facing other issues.

– Von Holzhausen suggested skepticism towards reports. He advised, “I would just stay tuned,” and added, “Just don’t always believe what you read.”  Tesla is scheduled to hold its first-quarter earnings call for 2024 on April 23.

We have the audio here: https://twitter.com/BLKMDL3/status/1777029442935964066

https://evne.ws/3vLrL8A

Challenges Ahead for Tesla’s Robotaxi Ambitions

– Tesla’s pivot towards focusing on robotaxi development over a low-cost car project faces significant technological and regulatory obstacles.

– Automotive News points out that Musk’s strategy for Tesla’s autonomous vehicles relies on radar and cameras, intentionally excluding lidar technology, which uses pulsed laser light.  Achieving full autonomy for self-driving vehicles is a monumental challenge, requiring years of flawless operation before it can be deemed reliable.

– Tesla’s commitment to full vehicle autonomy made eight years ago has seen numerous methodological shifts without reaching the goal, indicating potential further delays. The company’s pursuit of robotaxis occurs amidst growing legal and regulatory scrutiny, particularly concerning the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems’ advertised capabilities.

– Tesla is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for possibly misleading claims about its vehicles’ self-driving abilities. The automaker, and more specifically it’s somewhat divisive figurehead CEO Musk, faces increased criticism for a series of unmet promises and optimistic forecasts regarding its automated driving technology’s progress and effectiveness.

https://evne.ws/3vJGyAq

Cybertruck Hits the Secondhand Market with Hefty Price Tags

– Nearly new Tesla Cybertrucks, with minimal mileage, are surfacing on the resale market shortly after the start of their production in November.

– Initial buyers, who placed early orders, have begun receiving their vehicles over the past few months.  Resale prices on platforms like CarGurus range from approximately $149,000 to $240,000, indicating a significant markup.  Listings on Kelley Blue Book reflect similar pricing trends for the Cybertruck.

– Notably, Cybertrucks available to date are not equipped with Tesla’s Autopilot or Full Self-Driving features.

https://evne.ws/3xqvVmP

Tesla Slashes Prices Amid Record Inventory Levels

– Tesla is reducing the prices of its Model Y series to address its largest-ever inventory surplus, following a production that exceeded deliveries by 46,561 vehicles in Q1 2024.

– The Model Y has $4,600 off the rear-wheel-drive variant and $5,000 off both the Long Range and Performance models. Post-reduction, the Model Y rear-wheel-drive version is now priced at $32,990, the Long Range at $37,490, and the Performance variant at $40,640.

– In addition to the price cuts, Tesla is offering three months of complimentary Full-Self Driving beta access with Model Y purchases.

– Analyst Ryan Brinkman from JPMorgan Chase has highlighted that the disparity between Tesla’s production and sales contradicts the theory that first-quarter delivery numbers were limited by supply rather than demand issues.

– Brinkman predicts Tesla will face a $1.3 billion free cash flow deficit in light of the anticipated surge in finished goods inventory, a stark contrast to the previously expected $300+ million cash inflow.

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Tesla Revives Free FSD Transfer Offer for New Car Purchases

– Tesla has reintroduced the option for free Full Self-Driving (FSD) software transfers to new vehicle purchases.

– Initially offered as a “one-time amnesty” last year, this incentive allowed existing Tesla owners to transfer FSD to a newly purchased vehicle until the end of September.  The offer was available again in February, requiring vehicle delivery by March 31 to qualify. Currently, Tesla has reopened FSD transferability for orders of any Model S, Model 3, Model X, or Model Y, without necessitating a trade-in. This transferability feature can be combined with other sales incentives and inventory adjustments.

– Tesla commits to deactivating FSD on the previous vehicle within 48 hours and activating it on the new vehicle within a week after delivery.

https://evne.ws/3VQHVrD

Global EV Sales Hit 13% of Total Auto Market

– In February 2024, global plugin vehicle registrations increased by 3% compared to February 2023, totaling 830,000 units.

– Plugin vehicles now account for 13% of the total automotive market, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) alone representing an 8% share. The year-to-date market share for plugin electric vehicles stands at 14%, with BEVs making up 9% of that figure.  BEVs constituted 64% of all plugin vehicle registrations in February, bringing their year-to-date proportion to 63%.

– This trend underscores the ongoing shift towards electric vehicles in the global auto market, indicating a move into the “Electric Disruption Zone.”

https://evne.ws/3VMPXll

Kia’s Electrification Strategy and Goals Revealed

– Kia outlined its mid-to-long-term electrification strategy, aiming to become a leader in the global EV market, yesterday at their co-called Kia Day event in Souel.

– The company reaffirms its target to sell 4.3 million units annually by 2030, with 1.6 million of those being electric vehicles (EVs). Kia plans for electrified models, including hybrids and battery EVs, to comprise 58% of its total sales in 2030, aiming for 2.48 million units annually.

– The lineup will expand to include new EV models named EV2 through EV5, with production at 13 global factories alongside ICE vehicles. By 2027, Kia aims to offer 15 EV models. The company focuses on improving battery technology for enhanced performance and cost-effectiveness, including advancements in NCM batteries and offering LFP battery options.

– Kia commits to a significant charging infrastructure expansion, planning over 5,400 E-pit stations in South Korea, utilizing over 30,000 stations in North America through the IONNA JV, and building more than 17,000 stations in Europe with IONITY.

– As for specific models reaching customers, six new EV models will be launched by 2026, starting with the EV3 in 2024, followed by EV2, EV4, and EV5 in key markets, plus two region-specific EVs including the Carens EV for India.

https://evne.ws/3vAxuht

Volvo Launches EC40 and EX40 Electric Models in the UK

– Volvo progresses towards its goal of full electrification, introducing naming updates and new powertrain options across its UK lineup, effective for the 2025-model-year vehicles now available for purchase.

– The electric C40 Recharge crossover and XC40 Recharge SUV have been renamed as the EC40 and EX40, aligning with the naming convention of their electric siblings, the EX30 and EX90 SUVs. The XC40 name continues for the mild-hybrid petrol variants.

– The EC40 and EX40 debut with a new Single Motor Extended Range powertrain, joining the existing Single Motor rear-wheel drive and Twin Motor all-wheel drive configurations, offering enhanced driving ranges of up to 346 miles (557 km) for the EC40 and 343 miles (552 km) for the EX40.

– These models feature a 78kWh battery (75kWh usable) and a rear axle-mounted 252hp electric motor, supporting a max charging speed of 140kW.

– An optional Performance software upgrade for the Twin Motor versions of the EC40 and EX40 boosts power output from 408hp to 442hp.

– The refreshed Volvo electric vehicles are currently on sale, with the first deliveries to customers anticipated in the summer.

https://evne.ws/43Q0KNE

Kempower Unveils 1.2 MW Charger for Electric Trucks

– Finnish company Kempower has introduced a cutting-edge charging system for electric trucks, boasting power ratings exceeding 1 MW.

– This launch addresses the imminent industry shift towards the adoption of megawatt (MW) charging standards. The system supports a dual charging approach, incorporating both Megawatt Charging System (MCS) and High-Power CCS (Combined Charging System), to facilitate the transition to zero-emission road transport.

– Kempower’s dynamic charging capability allows for intelligent power distribution based on the demand of each vehicle, optimizing charging times and reducing costs for operators.  The initial release of the Megawatt Charging Solution (MCS) offers a peak power output of 1500A (Ampere) and 1.2 MW, accompanied by a Kempower Mega Satellite for enhanced compatibility with high-power CCS or MCS plugs.

– The system is designed for flexibility, enabling MCS and CCS outputs within the same framework and allowing for dynamic power sharing across multiple outputs to efficiently utilize available power.

https://evne.ws/3VS8Eo0

Norway Adjusts EV Toll Discounts Amid Broader Transport Goals

– Norway plans to modify the existing toll discounts for electric vehicles (EVs), previously highlighted as a crucial aspect of the country’s EV policy by the Norwegian electric car association Elbil.

– Despite the adjustments, EVs will still receive government subsidies, aligning with Norway’s broader objective to encourage the use of public transport and bicycles, especially in urban areas. The decision reflects ongoing discussions in Norway about the benefits provided to electric vehicle owners. The national transport strategy reaffirms the ambition for all new heavy-duty vehicles to be emission-free or powered by biogas by 2030.

– Additionally, the prohibition on selling new vans and cars with combustion engines will stay, though achieving this target by the set deadlines appears challenging.

https://evne.ws/43RmsRx

Brazil Sees Spike in Chinese EV Imports Before Tax Hike

– Brazilian imports of Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) saw a significant increase in the first quarter of 2024, in anticipation of rising import tariffs.

– The Brazilian government, under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is reinstating import taxes on electric vehicles to bolster the domestic auto industry. These taxes had been eliminated since 2015.  Starting January 2024, electric vehicles began attracting a 10% import tax, set to rise to 18% in July, and will eventually increase to 35% by July 2026.  This move has prompted importers to accelerate the importation of electric vehicles before the higher tax rates apply.

– Chinese car manufacturers BYD and GWM have been expanding their investment in local electric vehicle production in Brazil, following the announcement of these tax changes.

https://evne.ws/3VS8H3a

Nio Launches High-Capacity Semi-Solid-State Battery Packs

– Nio celebrated the production of its first 150 kWh semi-solid-state battery pack in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, marking a significant advancement in its battery technology.

– The company, known for its 70/75 kWh standard and 100 kWh extended range battery packs, plans to introduce the 150 kWh option to its lineup by the end of this month, April.

– The 150 kWh battery pack is recognized as the highest energy content battery currently being mass-produced for passenger vehicles in China.

– WeLion, a Chinese battery specialist, supplied Nio with its initial semi-solid-state battery cells last summer, leading to the recent production of complete battery systems.

– Vehicles equipped with the new semi-solid-state battery are expected to achieve a range of up to 1,055 kilometers based on the Chinese testing cycle.

https://evne.ws/3PQ3RiU

Zeekr 001 EV Achieves Rapid Charging Milestone

– Zeekr updates its first model, the 001 EV, with a CATL Shenxing battery, enhanced driving assistance features including Lidar, and an 800-volt system that slightly extends the wheelbase.

– The Shenxing battery boasts a capacity of 95 kWh and demonstrated the ability to charge from 10% to 80% in just under 11.5 minutes during tests. At its peak, the Zeekr 001 reached a charging speed of 546.4 kW using a 600 kW Zeekr V3 fast charger.  The vehicle sustained a charging power above 540 kW from 10% to 35% state of charge, before gradually decreasing to 250 kW.

– The Shenxing battery incorporates temperature control technology to optimize charging speeds in cold conditions.

– This advanced CATL Shenxing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery is exclusively available in the all-wheel-drive configuration of the Zeekr 001.

https://evne.ws/3PSxosi

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