Hey - guess who's back!
I went offline as promised last week to trickle charge, but resurfaced a few days later than usual. Sorry for the delay. I'm back now to give you the scope of what's important.
Today's topics include:
The 2,145 words here should take about 12 minutes for you to skim through. And the (links) are there if you want to dive deeper.
I've got an announcement to make.
Out little EV Universe is now an Associate Member of the Volta Foundation.
It isn't often that I find people (or organizations) whose values align as much with mine (and thus the EV Universe).
I do all this to make EV industry information accessible to everyone and connect the dots to a bigger picture.
VF does that for the battery industry. Here's how they describe it:
Volta Foundation is a collective of 20,000 battery professionals representing 4,000 organizations, the Foundation produces monthly events (Battery Brunch), publications (Battery Bits), industry reports (Battery Report), and open communication channels (Battery Street) to promote a vibrant battery ecosystem globally.
If you've been with us longer, you've seen me link to several of their Brunch events before and share learnings from the really comprehensive Battery Report.
Good, big picture stuff. Stay tuned for some collaboration on that front!
I started writing about this car to you when I first started this newsletter. We then knew the car by its concept name: C_Two.
Now, Rimac Automobili started production of its electric hypercar Nevera. The first vehicle, #000, rolled off the production line in Croatia this week. Here's Mate Rimac himself explaining how the development process what like (you'll love this one):
Here are some specs and facts:
If you want to see the prototypes crashed and tested, here's their compilation (video).
I'm very, very curious about what Mate Rimac and his team focus on next. The amount of real innovation and development that went into building this masterpiece will surely trickle down to the rest of the EV Universe, further than the Nevera.
I'll leave you with a GIF I made of the least-drama 360° in the Universe.
Another e-hypercar got ready and no, it is not a coincidence.
Pininfarina built its first 1,900-hp Battista, which also takes 10-18 weeks to assemble, is limited to 150 units, largely hand-made in Italy and the pricing starts at $2.5M. (link) The hypercar runs on the electric drivetrain from no other than... Rimac (link, announced in 2018).
Follow-up: Last week I asked you guys to share the i3 stories, as the iconic EV ended production for good.
Three of you praised the car for its many quirks. I'll highlight Jim's take here:
"a very efficient car, but always came with black hood and roof. Here in Arizona, that was a dumb idea. The Rex version which used a small BMW Motor cycle engine was terrible. "
Can't argue with that. By the way, Jim is the President of Phoenix Electric Auto Association. I enjoyed going through their portfolio of early EV conversions, which range anywhere from a Pontiac Fiero to a Saturn SC2. (link, Photo Album -> Street EVs).
Google Maps' latest beta update includes preparations to specify which type of vehicle you're driving, with options for gas, diesel, electric, and hybrid. This way, Maps can 'tailor' your navigation most effective way possible. (link)
Uber claims that to date, 15,000 drivers have rented a Tesla through their Uber-Hertz-Tesla partnership which started eight months ago. Together they've completed five million electric 'trips' and driven >40M electric miles (64.4M km) (link).
The site to join up says you can rent a Tesla (if eligible) from $334/week. (link) Another fun find - they've created a referral program for these Tesla drivers that per each referral for the same program, you'll receive two weeks of free Tesla Supercharging (link).
Volvo leaves Europe's auto industry main lobbying group, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), saying:
We have concluded that Volvo Cars‘ sustainability strategy and ambitions are not fully aligned with ACEA’s positioning and way of working at this stage. We therefore believe it is better to take a different path for now.
This is in part in response to ACEAs comments EU Parliament combustion ban vote - remember how I wrote that ACEA had a strong negative stance against the ban? (link)
A few weeks ago Stellantis made the same move (with fewer explanations though).
A reminder - Volvo has promised to go fully electric by 2030, so it's already ahead of the EU-wide ICE ban.
🔋 Redwood Materials now partnered with Volkswagen Group of America, collecting and recycling end-of-life batteries from more than 1,000 VW dealers in the US. (link)
Current scale: Redwood already recycles the 'majority' of lithium-ion batteries that are recycled in North America today, currently around >6GWh or more than 60k EVs.
Connections: So far I've written you about the company's recycling deals set with Ford, Volvo and Toyota. Panasonic will also be making some of Tesla's batteries with copper foils produced by Redwood Materials from its recycled materials.
In case you've missed it, Redwood Materials itself is founded by JB Straubel, the Tesla co-founder and CTO for 15 years.
Still waiting for RM to announce its IPO...
🔋 Volkswagen laid the foundation stone for its very first fully-owned battery factory - in Salzgitter, called Salzgiga.
It is due to start producing the unified Volkswagen unit cell in 2025. The business unit running the battery development, which we've referenced a lot earlier as the 'European Company' is now called PowerCo. (link)
We got some great footage from VW Group with the release if you want to geek out a bit, with videos on:
🤝 Canoo and Walmart signed a binding deal to buy 4,500 Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles (LDV) from Canoo, with an option to pump it up to 10k. (link)
Production should start by the end of the year and despite all its troubles we've reported, this might have been exactly what Canoo needed to stay alive and go live.
A few 'fun facts' from the deal's fine print per the SEC filings:
I am sad that Canoo pivoted away from its early subscription and modularity model. At the same time, I'm happy to see the LDV might indeed go into production and become a viable vehicle.
Meanwhile, the stock $GOEV trades 80.59% higher since the announcement on Tuesday.
™️ Ford registered the model names “Maverick Lightning” and “Ranger Lightning” with the European Trademark Office (wink-wink)
🚚 Canadian government launches a $550M program for four years to provide purchase incentives to medium-and heavy-duty e-trucks, worth ~50% of the price difference between electric vs combustion vehicle (link).
⚡ NIO, at its second-ever Power Day, revealed a 500kW charger (at 650 amps), which they plan to be install in China and Europe this year (link). I'll cover more of the NIO day learnings in next week's Pro report.
Tell me again, how this can't be done? The only question I currently have is how will structural battery packs (inevitable) change this game.
📝 Aptera made a Change.org campaign to get US lawmaker support for Tesla's charging connector and Supercharger network. (link)
✍️ PS! Last newsletter, I made an error, writing about CharIN's Plug&Charge and using the same term for GM's solution with EVgo. In reality, CharIN uses ISO15118 standard, while GM's is called Plug and Charge and uses DIN SPEC 70121.
Thank you, Niall, for noticing and taking me up on that! Niall is the founder of Paua, a platform that enables using different charging networks in one place for fleet and business drivers. They've just partnered with the Scottish government to use it nationwide there (link).
🚫 Innovation' delayed: Volkswagen Group's premium brands reportedly have trouble planning models because the software-focused subsidiary Cariad is 'far behind schedule'.
It's said that this means Bentley might not be able to go full-EV by 2030. Audi's Artemis project which was supposed to be launching in 2024 is now 2026 'earliest', more likely in 2027. Porsche's electric Macan and Audi's Q6 e-tron which were meant to start next year might also be delayed. (link in 🇩🇪)
🚫 Toyota hits the 200,000 sales threshold in the US, with mainly its Prius sales, which makes it ineligible for further $7.5k federal tax credits (just in time for their first real EV try, the bZ4X). For the next six months, the credit will be 50% less, another 50% less (to $1,875) after that, then expires. (link)
GM and Tesla are long done, and Nissan and Ford should be nearing the limit very soon.
👀 Fisker Ocean on a racetrack with racing driver Abbie Eaton:
👀 The Munro Live team started the Model Y teardown:
👀 It's about PHEVs in addition to our regular BEVs, but I still like a good climbing cumulative graph so I can't help but share it with you. US Plug-in Vehicle sales in the modern EV era, by Argonne National Laboratory (link):
It took the US 8 years to reach 1M cumulative sales, but only 2.5 years to reach 2M cumulative sales. We're at 2.6 now, only 10 months later.
Another good graph from their dataset is the per-model one, but this one is better viewed online:
📚 An interview with Toyota Research Institute's CEO, Gill Pratt. This one gives a rather nice peek behind the rationale of Toyota's... how to put it... EV-laggard position. (link) Here's
Predicting the right calls across that complex journey is hard – almost impossible. That’s why I argue passionately for keeping options open and exploring every path, not just a singular one.
📚 A study from George Washington University surveyed 2,180 carbuyers to see which incentives work best. (link)
The study found that participants 'overwhelmingly' prefer immediate rebates, valuing them:
The study estimates that if the subsidies for plug-in vehicles had been immediate (at point of sale) between 2011 and 2019, the federal government could have saved $2B, or $1,440 per PEV sold.
Not to mention that the incentive would be available for people with lower budgets.
📚 This chart shows the monthly energy cost for comparable diesel, gasoline, and electric Škodas in Estonia through the year, and additionally using a software which charges the car at hours when the price is cheapest.
It is done by Gridio, which is a software solution that allows optimizing of charging the EVs at home with the cheapest $/kWh prices possible. They've integrated EVs from 7 brands so far.
For context - our electricity market is connected to the Nord Pool Spot which gives the electricity prices 24 hours ahead of time with an hour interval.
I've now promised to do an EV history tweet on Twitter every Friday. We even had a history section when I started these EV Universe newsletters, but then kind of fizzled out. Should I bring it back?
Man charging an electric AMC Gremlin.— Jaan of the EV Universe ⚡ (@TheEVuniverse) July 15, 2022
Seattle, USA, 1973. pic.twitter.com/r08Oj2wAMl
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