US Considers Measures on Chinese Smart Vehicles

Gina Raimondo, the US Commerce Secretary, hinted that the US government is contemplating stringent measures against Chinese smart vehicles. The possible options include an outright ban or imposition of restrictions.

The commerce department is currently examining public feedback that was due by the end of April. This is part of the ongoing investigation initiated by the Biden administration in February. The probe is set to establish whether the importation of Chinese vehicles could pose a threat to the nation’s security.

“There are a multitude of options on the table, from an absolute ban of Chinese smart vehicles in the US to seeking mitigation measures such as safeguards or additional requirements,” Raimondo mentioned, though she did not specify a timeline.

The White House had previously indicated in February that the investigation was necessary due to the data-sensitive nature of vehicles that collect extensive details on their drivers and passengers, along with comprehensive information on US infrastructure.

https://www.autoblog.com/2024/05/09/chinese-connected-vehicles-could-be-banned-or-hit-with-restrictions-in-the-u-s/

Lucid Motors Announces Affordable Electric SUV for 2026

Lucid is on the way to expanding its fleet, with the introduction of a new, reasonably priced, mid-size electric SUV. The company’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, shared the news during their first-quarter earnings call earlier this week. This new model, yet to be named, is expected to have a starting price around the $48,000 mark, placing it as a high-volume model in Lucid’s lineup. Production is slated to start by the end of 2026 at Lucid’s AMP-2 manufacturing plant located in Saudi Arabia.

The Lucid Air will soon be accompanied by the Gravity SUV, with a launch anticipated later this year. The Gravity SUV’s pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s expected to start around $80,000.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a60717090/new-lucid-ev-suv-under-50-000-price-confirmed/

Volkswagen Bids Farewell to GTX Brand to Clear Path for Electric GTI and R Models

Volkswagen has decided to phase out its GTX branding for performance electric vehicles (EVs), to pave the way for its highly-anticipated electric GTI and R models. The GTX insignia, first introduced on the advanced versions of the Volkswagen ID 4 and ID 5 SUVs in 2021, was expanded to include more powerful versions of the ID 3, ID 7, and ID Buzz. The original plan was to confine the GTX label to twin-engine, high-performance EVs, however, the recently introduced ID 3 GTX is powered by a single motor at the rear.

Volkswagen’s CEO, Thomas Schäfer, has confirmed this transition as part of the automaker’s strategy to electrify its GTI and R performance brands. “GTX is the performance brand of the MEB platform, but we’ll work our way back to GTI and R in the next products going forward,” Schäfer told Autocar.

Since its introduction in 1976, the GTI badge has only been used for the Golf and Polo. Schäfer mentioned that the future positioning of the GTI brand was still under discussion within the company, but there was a consensus about staying true to its origins, traditionally associated with performance and front-wheel drive.

The company has not yet revealed what an electric R model might look like, but it has been confirmed that by 2030, R will be an electric-only performance brand. According to Schäfer, it will continue to be used “for four-wheel-drive performance” cars, similar to its usage over the last two decades.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/volkswagen-will-retire-gtx-name-make-way-hot-gti-and-r-evs

BP Pulse Eyes Vacant Tesla Supercharger Stations

Following Tesla’s recent layoffs at their Supercharging team, this unexpected downsizing has opened up new opportunities for other players in the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry. Among those interested is BP Pulse, BP’s EV charging subsidiary, which is keen to secure real estate to enhance its network size in response to Tesla’s latest decision.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, clarified that the company isn’t completely abandoning its Supercharger project but merely slowing down its expansion and focusing on improving existing sites. Despite this, Tesla has backed out from a few projected sites in New York, causing uncertainty around ongoing Supercharger projects. Many outside vendors and customers were left in a lurch when their emails to their regular Tesla contacts were unattended.

In the midst of this confusion, BP and other charging service providers are seeking to secure some of the prime locations left by Tesla. Sujay Sharma, CEO of BP Pulse Americas, invited real estate partners stranded by Tesla’s decision to reach out to him, offering BP’s services as a replacement.

Other companies such as Revel, a ride-hailing and EV charging company, and EVgo, a large charging network, are also considering the abandoned Tesla locations. They view Tesla’s decision as an opportunity for other charging companies to fill the gap left by Tesla in the EV charging station growth.

By 2030, BP plans to invest $1 billion into its U.S. EV charging efforts, having already placed a $100 million order for Tesla’s charging hardware in the previous year. This hardware, which will be operated independently by BP, is part of the largest charging network in the U.S. and was historically manufactured, owned, and operated by Tesla.

https://insideevs.com/news/719147/bp-charging-tesla-supercharger-locations/

EnviroSpark Boosts Team with Ex-Tesla Talent after $50M Infusion

Atlanta-based electric vehicle (EV) charging company, EnviroSpark, has just received a robust investment of $50 million. Now they’re eager to utilize the expertise of the recently laid-off Tesla Supercharger team. This strategic move was announced on the company’s website homepage. Aaron Luque, the co-founder and CEO of EnviroSpark, expressed his excitement in an email, stating “This is the single greatest talent acquisition opportunity since I founded EnviroSpark. Tesla had been able to scale their charging infrastructure due in no small part to the talented employees on the Supercharger team.  With the help of our recent investment from Basalt, we’re looking to bring on as many of these highly skilled individuals as possible to achieve our ambitious growth objectives.”

https://electrek.co/2024/05/09/envirospark-50m-and-it-wants-to-hire-tesla-supercharger-folks/

Trump Pledges to Curtail EVs and LNG Exports, Seeks Funding from Oil Tycoons

In a recent gathering with leading figures of the U.S. oil industry, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, made a commitment to roll back numerous environmental regulations imposed by the Biden administration, according to a Washington Post report. This event, held last month in Florida, was shrouded in confidentiality, with the sources wishing to remain anonymous.

During this meeting, Trump expressed his intentions to dismantle many of Biden’s environmental policies, including those favoring electric vehicles.

Among the attendees were CEOs of Venture Global, Cheniere Energy, and representatives from Chevron, Continental Resources, Exxon, and Occidental Petroleum. As of now, spokespersons for Trump’s campaign have not commented on the matter. Exxon’s representatives claimed ignorance, while those from other companies remained silent.

Biden, on the other hand, has consistently highlighted his administration’s climate strategies, such as vehicle exhaust regulations, as beneficial for both the environment and the economy, which will be significant in his re-election campaign.

https://www.autoblog.com/2024/05/09/trump-vows-to-target-evs-lng-exports-in-meeting-with-oil-ceos-report-says/

Berlin E-Prix to Debut Modified Porsche Taycan GT as Safety Cars

The Porsche Taycan GT, modified for safety purposes, is set to make its debut at the Berlin E-Prix. These safety cars have been equipped with advanced communication systems, fire extinguishers, and warning lights. Among the two units, one is donned in an exclusive ‘Purple Sky Metallic’ shade and comes with the Weissach package, featuring a fixed rear wing and no rear seats. The second car, however, is a standard Porsche Taycan GT, decked in Shade Green Metallic and includes two rear seats.

The high-end variant of the new Taycan comes standard with the Porsche Active Ride suspension, specially tuned for performance. The Taycan GT can sprint from 0 to 100 kph in 2.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 290 kph. When equipped with the Weissach package, these figures improve to a 2.2-second 0-100 kph time and a 305 kph top speed.

https://www.electrive.com/2024/05/10/porsche-taycan-turbo-gt-safety-cars-to-start-at-berlin-e-prix/

 

Ford and SK On’s Joint Venture Launches Training Center in Kentucky

The collaborative project of Ford Motor Co. and SK On, known as BlueOval SK Battery Park, has set up its job training center in Glendale, Kentucky. The facility, destined to become Ford’s hub for producing electric vehicle (EV) batteries, has already employed nearly 700 of the 5,000 workers it plans to hire.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has voiced his ambition for the state to become the EV epicenter of the United States. Each new development in the EV industry brings the state closer to this goal, not just as the nation’s leading producer of EV batteries but also as an all-encompassing EV hub.

The training center, a considerable investment of $25 million by the state, sprawls across 42,000 square feet. The state also pledged a $10 million grant to support training and development initiatives at this center, as announced by Governor Beshear in November.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/money/companies/2024/05/10/blueoval-sk-battery-park-opens-training-center-hires-700-workers/73629437007/

Zeekr’s EV Subsidiary Scores Top-Dollar NYSE Listing

Zeekr, the upscale EV division of Geely Automobile, a Hong Kong-listed company, successfully raised approximately US$441 by a stock offering in New York.

Zeekr’s stock is slated to commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange come Friday. The company’s initial public offering (IPO), which places Zeekr’s worth at US$5.1 billion, is the most substantial for a Chinese firm in the US since 2021.

https://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/3262148/geelys-ev-unit-zeekr-raises-us441-million-top-end-new-york-ipo-price-range-biggest-chinese-stock

NEV Sales in China Dip in April, Yet Market Penetration Hits All-Time High

In April, the retail sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China experienced a minor slump, however, the market penetration surged to a record-breaking level, outpacing the broader automotive sector. The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) reported that Chinese passenger NEVs’ retail sales amounted to 674,000 units, marking a 28.3% rise compared to last year, but a 5.7% decrease from March.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) made up 60.1% of all NEV retail sales in April, with 405,000 units sold. This represents a 12.21% increase year-on-year, but a 5.37% drop from March. On the other hand, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) contributed 39.9% to the total NEV retail sales, with 269,000 units sold, marking a significant year-on-year growth of 64.23% but a slight decrease of 4.27% from March.

Despite the slight downturn in sales, NEVs made a significant stride in market share. In April, NEVs accounted for a record 43.7% of all retail sales, an increase of 11.7 percentage points from 32% a year ago and 2.1 percentage points from 41.6% in March.

Tesla reported a sharp decline in its China sales in April. A significant drop from March’s figures, Tesla sold 31,421 units in China, marking a decrease of 49.64 percent from the previous month.

In April, Tesla produced a total of 62,167 China-made vehicles, which included 30,746 units for export, as per the data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Out of these, 31,962 were Model Y and 30,205 were Model 3.

https://cnevpost.com/2024/05/10/tesla-apr-2024-sales-in-china/

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