Polestar Slashes 2024 Polestar 2 Lease Prices by Over $120/Month with New $10,000 Incentive

Polestar has announced a substantial $10,000 Polestar Clean Vehicle Incentive, resulting in a reduction in monthly lease costs for the 2024 Polestar 2. This incentive has led to a decrease of over $120 per month compared to previous lease offers, making the Polestar 2 more accessible to a broader range of customers.

According to CarsDirect, the 2024 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor can now be leased for a mere $299 per month for 27 months with $3,299 due at signing. This offer represents a $50 drop in the monthly payment and a $2,050 decrease in the amount required at signing. Consequently, the effective monthly cost for leasing the Polestar 2 has fallen by $126, from $547 to $421 before taxes and fees.

Surprisingly, both the Dual Motor version, with a list price of $55,300 (€50,500), and the Single Motor model, priced at $49,900 (€45,600), are being offered at the same attractive lease price. This effectively means that customers can upgrade to the more powerful Dual Motor variant without incurring any additional costs.

The Polestar 2, the company’s first fully electric car, was introduced in 2019 and began deliveries in mid-2020. In August 2023, Polestar celebrated a significant milestone as the 150,000th Polestar 2 rolled off the production line. The automaker plans to phase out the Polestar 2 in 2027, with the Polestar 7 set to succeed it.

The new lease deal is part of Polestar’s efforts to make its electric vehicles more accessible to a wider audience. The incentive is also available for the 2025 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor, albeit at a lower amount of $7,500 for leasing. This is due to the fact that the Polestar 3 is currently imported from China and does not qualify for the federal $7,500 tax credit.


Tesla Giga Mexico Job Postings Vanish Amidst Global Layoffs

In the wake of Tesla’s global workforce reduction, job listings for the company’s upcoming Gigafactory in Mexico have mysteriously disappeared from their official career page. This comes after a series of hiring surges in the region, which began in December 2023 with the posting of an Indirect Procurement Manager position in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo León, near the future site of Giga Mexico in Santa Catarina.

February 2024 saw Tesla ramp up recruitment efforts in Mexico, with a focus on sales, service, Supercharger Network, energy storage, and solar business roles. However, the recent layoffs affecting approximately 10% of Tesla’s global staff have seemingly put a halt to these hiring initiatives.

Despite the sudden disappearance of job postings, Nuevo León’s State Secretary of Economy has provided assurances that the construction of Giga Mexico will proceed unaffected by the layoffs. In an email leak, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized the necessity of these workforce reductions, stating, “As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity.”

Musk further elaborated on the difficult decision, saying, “As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done.”

As Tesla navigates this period of restructuring, the future of Giga Mexico and its potential impact on local employment remains uncertain. The disappearance of job postings has raised questions about the project’s timeline and the company’s commitment to its expansion plans in the region.


Tesla to Temporarily Halt Production at German Gigafactory Amid Expansion Protests

Tesla has confirmed a one-day production shutdown at its Gigafactory in Grünheide, near Berlin, Germany, on Friday, May 10th. The electric vehicle manufacturer’s decision follows reports of a four-day closure due to protests against the company’s expansion plans.

According to an email sent to employees on Monday, obtained by German newspaper Handelsblatt, Tesla has requested all workers at the plant to work from home on Friday. The factory’s manager, André Thierig, announced the “one day planned production shutdown” on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Grünheide Gigafactory, which typically operates from Monday to Friday, will not engage in production activities over the weekend. Additionally, Thursday is a public holiday in Germany, further extending the plant’s downtime.

Tesla’s sales in the European Union experienced a 5% decline in the first quarter of the year, underperforming the overall battery electric vehicle market, which grew by 4% during the same period, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

In Q1 2024, Tesla sold a total of 386,810 electric vehicles.


BMW and Volkswagen Caution Against EU Tariffs on Chinese EVs

BMW and Volkswagen executives have expressed concerns over potential European Union import duties on electric vehicles manufactured in China, arguing that such measures could jeopardize the EU’s Green Deal objectives and negatively impact automakers importing Chinese-made cars.

The European Commission initiated an investigation in October to determine whether Chinese-made fully-electric cars were benefiting from distortive subsidies, potentially warranting additional tariffs. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse warned, “You could very quickly shoot yourself in the foot,” highlighting the risks associated with imposing import duties.

BMW, which imports Mini EVs and the iX3 from China into Europe, relies heavily on its Chinese business, with China being its second-largest market after Europe, accounting for nearly 32% of sales in the first quarter. Zipse emphasized that major automakers benefit from operating globally, stating, “We don’t think that our industry needs protection. You can easily endanger that advantage by introducing import tariffs.”

Similarly, Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, also heavily dependent on China, cautioned that potential duties could pose certain risks. Both BMW and Volkswagen, along with Mercedes-Benz, generate significant revenues from their Chinese operations.

The EU’s investigation aims to assess whether Chinese EV manufacturers are receiving unfair subsidies and if additional tariffs are warranted. The outcome of this probe could have significant implications for the European automotive industry and the EU’s efforts to promote electric vehicle adoption as part of its Green Deal plan.


Archer Aviation Unveils Automated Battery Pack Production Facility

Archer Aviation, a prominent developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has recently completed the construction of a cutting-edge battery pack manufacturing line at its Integrated Test Lab and Manufacturing Facilities in San Jose, California. The new facility is designed to accommodate the company’s projected high-volume aircraft production at its forthcoming manufacturing plant in Georgia, which is slated to be operational by the end of 2024.

The production line, built in an automotive style, is engineered for high-volume output from the beginning, with the final phase of the facility capable of producing up to 15,000 battery packs per year. Archer has implemented automation in key areas of the manufacturing process, including cell testing and loading, adhesive dispensing, laser cleaning, laser welding, and end-of-line testing, to enhance quality, operator safety, and data traceability.

Tom Muniz, Archer’s CTO, emphasized the significance of this milestone, stating, “This is a major milestone for Archer as designing, developing, and mass producing electric propulsion systems that are purpose-built for electric aircraft is the key to unlocking the electrification of aviation. The facility will give us the capability to scale our battery pack production to meet the demands of the output that our Covington, Georgia facility will be capable of.”

The battery packs recently passed multiple rigorous drop tests from a height of 50 feet (15.24 meters) at various states of charge, which are considered some of the most challenging aspects of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Type Certification program, further validating the pack’s safety and durability.

Archer’s ultimate goal is to revolutionize urban transportation by replacing 60-90 minute car commutes with an estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation. The company’s flagship aircraft, Midnight, is a piloted, four-passenger eVTOL designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between trips.


BMW Leads UK’s Electric Vehicle Market as Plugin Share Rises to 24.7%

In April, the United Kingdom’s automotive market experienced a modest 1% year-over-year growth, with a total of 134,274 vehicles sold. Despite the overall market remaining well below pre-2020 levels, plugin electric vehicles (EVs) continued to gain ground, capturing a 24.7% market share, up from 21.9% in the same month last year.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 16.9% of the market, a slight increase from 15.4% in April 2023. Plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also saw growth, rising from 6.5% to 7.8% year-over-year.

Among the top performers in the BEV segment were MG, with 34% of its sales being fully electric, Volvo at 36%, and BMW leading the pack at 38%. Tesla, Polestar, BYD, Smart, and Ora, exclusively sell BEVs in the UK market, so are all at 100% share of their total.

BMW’s strong showing in the electric vehicle segment solidifies its position as the leading BEV brand in the UK for April.


Nio and GAC Partner to Standardize Battery Swapping Technology

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Nio has entered into a strategic partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) to collaborate on developing a standardized battery swapping system. The agreement, which is similar to Nio’s previous partnerships with other automakers such as Geely, Changan, JAC, Chery, and Lotus, aims to create a uniform battery standard and jointly develop compatible vehicles and battery exchange stations.

The partnership will focus on ensuring compatibility and standardization across the battery swapping ecosystem. Nio and GAC plan to “facilitate the opening and connection of battery exchange networks that work with a uniform operation and management system and build a larger, standardised and uniform electricity infrastructure network to achieve economies of scale,” as stated in their press release.

By collaborating with multiple automakers, Nio is working towards establishing a widely adopted battery swapping standard in China. This move could potentially accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by addressing range anxiety and reducing charging times through a network of standardized battery swapping stations.

The partnership between Nio and GAC represents another step towards the development of a more efficient and convenient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in China. As more automakers join forces to create a unified battery swapping system, it could lead to increased interoperability and a more seamless experience for electric vehicle owners.


South Korea Invests $7.1B to Support Domestic EV Battery Industry

In a bid to bolster its electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain and comply with new US tax credit regulations, the South Korean government has announced a substantial 9.7 trillion won ($7.1 billion) financial aid package for domestic battery manufacturers. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy stated that this support aims to reduce reliance on China and help Korean companies maintain their competitive edge in the US market by meeting the requirements set forth in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The announcement comes on the heels of a two-year reprieve granted by the US last week, allowing carmakers to source minerals such as graphite from countries other than China, which currently dominates the global supply chain. South Korean battery giants LG Energy Solution Ltd. and Samsung SDI have been actively seeking alternative graphite sources since China tightened export controls on the material in late 2022.


Compact Urban EV Launching in US at $11,990 Price Point

Los Angeles-based Eli Electric Vehicles is set to introduce its flagship Eli Zero electric micro-car to the US market later this year, following successful sales in Europe and other regions. This diminutive two-seater urban runabout will carry an attractive starting price of just $11,990.

Powered by a 6kW rear-mounted electric motor, the Zero offers two driving modes with a top speed limited to 40km/h (25mph) to comply with low-speed vehicle regulations. Buyers can choose between an 8kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack providing up to 95km (60 miles) of range, or a larger 12kWh unit extending the range to approximately 145km (90 miles) on a single charge.

Standard features include keyless entry/start, air conditioning, a digital instrument display, rear parking camera, and radar sensors. The “Plus” trim level adds niceties such as power steering, soft-close doors, LED running lights, Bluetooth audio, and an optional 10.1-inch Sony infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

“Our goal is to transform urban trips, empowering riders to reconnect with their communities through compact and agile EVs that allow for better utilization of urban space, reduced congestion, ease of parking and ultimately an improved quality of life in cities,” stated Marcus Li, Eli’s CEO and founder.

Reservations are now open with a fully refundable $200 deposit. Production capacity exceeds 4,000 vehicles annually.