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Today, we'll talk about stuff like:
Words: 2,488 words | Time to read: 11 minutes | Feeling: the change in the air.
A survey of 16,232 EV owners in Canada by Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) through PlugShare Research which, remember, is now owned by EVgo, found that:
Finally, we've got hyper-targeted insights from more than the usual 100 to 1,000 people surveys. I love this.
There's still a feature in the back of my mind for the future of EV Universe, where we'll create the largest verified EV-owner survey platform in the Universe. It would also donate 100% of its profits as EVs to communities in need. Wild goals. Now watch me do it.
There's another 2,840-word newsletter going out tomorrow, with an even more detailed look at the new models, charging, battery, sales numbers and M&A news.
We call it The Pro Report.
You are currently not on the list of getting it.
This week's Pro Report will talk about companies Li Auto, Arcimoto, Redwood Materials, Blink Mobility, Kate, Cupra, Škoda, HiPhi, Rivian, Polestar, Changan, Mini, Tesla, Zeekr, Vitesco, Bosch, ElevenEs, Siro, EcoPro, Storedot, Fastned, Siemens, FLO, Alpitronic, Xos, NIO, EVbox, ChargeLab, Virta, ChargeNet... and that's not even everything.
Join about 100 of us on the other side: ( link )
Just last week I wrote to you about 121 Australian Mayors and Councilors calling for a fuel efficiency standard.
Now, Australia releases its first National Electric Vehicle Strategy (56pp pdf).
Along the broader plans for EV uptake and charging infrastructure support comes a commitment to introduce Australia's first vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standard (FES).
The FES will be released by the end of 2023 and you can participate in the consultation for design of these standards through here . Here's the 42-page FES consultation paper ( pdf ).
This is great news. On average, new cars in Australia use 40% more fuel than om the EU, 20% more than in the US, and 15% more than in New Zealand.
Counterpoint: here's an overview of 5 notable impact areas missing from the Strategy ( link ).
The head of SEA Electric, the largest commercial EV success from Australia which moved operations to US due to Australia's (EV) policy vacuum, says the strategy's failure to consider commercial vehicles is "very disappointing, but I’m not particularly surprised".
I guess we're left to see if the National EV Strategy outlined will lead to real action for EV adoption. I'd imagine it all starts with getting the Fuel Efficiency Standards right.
General Motors plans to stop production of the Chevrolet Bolt at the end of this year. It'll convert the Orion, Michigan plant to produce electric Silverado and Sierra pickups instead.
We saw it coming. However, here's a little rant from yours truly:
I didn't think they would oust Bolt before they have the production of the replacements for the lower-cost EVs, starting with the Equinox EV (~$30k), up and running. GM says they'll continue to produce about 70k Bolts until the end of the year.
Sure, the Equinox EV is said to start deliveries in fall this year. But we all know ramping up EV production fast is easier said than done.
Until we're there, the US will lose yet another lower cost EV option. Especially since Bolt's 2022-2023 model years are the few models eligible for the $7,500 tax credit.
According our 2022 EV Sales sheet , General Motors sold 39,096 EVs, making up just 1.72% of its overall sales. It sure looks like GM plans to stay on a similar (lack of) EV ratio in its sales mix for 2023. Yet GM keeps talking of the goal of selling 1M EVs in 2025.
Some US EV policy:
There are around 40 local EV events this weekend taking place across the US for Drive Electric Earth Day ( link ), organized by Plug In America, Electric Vehicle Association, Sierra Club and EVHybridNoire.
Germany has now officially over 1M all-electric vehicles on the road. This puts EVs around 2% of Germany's overall fleet (48.8M). ( link )
Tesla released Impact Report for 2022 (224-slide pdf ). A lot of insights we'll cover in our first edition of the Teslaverse, the launch of which is currently pushed to next week.
Lamborghini will get its first two BEVs on the roads in 2028 (new model) and 2029 (electric Urus), CEO Stephan Winkelmann says. ( link )
Atlis Motor Vehicles rebrands as Nxu, Inc and will ship its first battery packs to an 'off-highway customer' this summer. ( link ) ( video ) ( letter to shareholders). It also looks like they're pivoting (or at least putting on hold) the XT truck development, focusing on charging and battery tech first.
Tesla opened the first pilot of non-Tesla Supercharging in mainland China, currently accessible for 37 models ( list ). ( link ) A most likely explanation for the model picks is to avoid the EVs that don't have sufficient DC charging capabilities and thus would 'waste' the resource that is time.
China joins the US and 16 European countries where the pilot is available ( link ).
Fisker Ocean SUV is now certified by European regulators and will start deliveries on May 5th. ( link ) See our EV Spotlight section on the Ocean here .
The BYD Seagull, which I'd predict will have the 'Wuling Mini' effect on China and the world in a slightly larger vehicle segment, launched sales in China and got 10,000 orders on the first day. Seagull starts at 78,800 yuan ($11,400) and has 251 miles (404km) of CLTC range.
Although a lot of media already claimed this new Seagull comes with sodium-ion batteries, it is not so. It'll use BYD's Blade LFP batteries, at least initially.
BYD has also confirmed two additional BEV models to be exported to Europe launching this year: BYD Dolphin , the C-segment hatchback and the BYD Seal , D-segment sedan ( link ). BYD's European presence right now: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Spain.
In other notable news - BYD overtook Volkswagen for the first time as China's best-selling brand in Q1 (440k sales vs 427.2k). ( link ) VW has been the best-selling brand in China since at least 2008 when data collection started.
Year 1 of Redwood Materials' battery recycling pilot program in California, recycled in their Nevada facilities. The >95% recovery of the metals from around 500k lbs of material is a significant proof that we can achieve circular system at scale. These recovered metals are already being used for new battery materials for US cell makers. ( link )
Chile wants bigger control over its lithium, so it is nationalizing the assets. ( link ) President Gabriel Boric announced plans to tap into Chile's vast lithium reserves by entering (injecting itself into) public-private partnerships with state control. Chile is the second largest producer of lithium in the world, second only to Australia ( link ):
This move means that its current lithium operations under mining giants SQM and Albemarle will be moved to a separate, state-owned company, after their current contracts expire in 2030 and 2043, respectively. SQM stock fell by 19% and Albemarle stock by 10% after the announcement. These companies supply Tesla, LG Energy Solution and SK On, among others.
Joe Lowry, the lithium expert I've found with the best takes in the industry, commented that "uncertainty as to how the new state ownership model will work is “a huge negative". Here's a deeper read on the topic by Bloomberg ( link )
A nugget of lithium insight from today's Pro Report :
The total industry size of lithium in 2015 was $1.6B and most analysts expected the lithium industry to evolve into a $8B-$10B market by 2020. In 2022, the industry size of lithium was $48 billion. Here's a good overview on why by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence: ( link )
Formula 1 Group CEO Stefano Domenicali says ( link ):
"We will never go electric."
Italy's antitrust authority investigates Enel for a possible "abuse of its dominant position in EV charging stations". Ewiva, the VW Group <> Enel X Way joint venture falls also under the investigation. ( link )
Apparently, to update the software on your Citroën e-C4 (yes it's BEV specific), you'll have to:
A warning was issued in the UK to EV owners as thieves are targeting home chargers. They apparently go for up to £200 in the second-hand market and the scrap value of copper in the cable alone is ~£50 ( link ).
According to nine former Tesla employees interviewed by Reuters, some employees shared the videos and images from the Tesla cameras amongst each other, and turned some photos into memes. ( link )
SAE published a paper using the real-world 75-mph highway test data from Car and Driver and found that EVs perform on average 12.5% worse than the EPA estimated range, while the real-world fuel economy of ICE vehicles is on average 4.0% better than EPA estimates. ( link )
Now, so you could fend off most mainstream headlines that are damning the real EV range due to this paper, here's a brief explanation.
The underlying test data here is one of the keys, as C&D tests on highways at 75mph, while the EPA estimates are for combined city-and-highway driving, at lower speeds. Since it's 55% weighted towards city driving the regenerative braking might also play a bigger role in increasing EPA test range vs the real-world highway range.
So, as any of us who drive an EV now very well, EV range is, sometimes significantly, reduced at driving at higher speeds on the highway when compared to the city/traffic cruising. But we are the early adopters, we know this and have adapted to it.
The new buyer who sees the EPA fuel economy sticker doesn't know this and is in for a bad surprise.
The SAE paper proposes publishing both highway and city range figures for EVs (and same for ICE vehicle fuel economy), which would give a better overview of the difference for the end consumer.
And I agree. We should absolutely do that. More transparency and managing expectations means less disappointed owners. And less silly headlines.
International legacy automakers' market share in China has shrunk from 61% in 2020 to 41% in Q4 last year.
👀 Lucid starts public testing of its Gravity SUV, teases in a video:
👀 The map of EV charging stations in Chicago... in 1916. ( link )
👀 A bashed-up Tesla Supercharger still delivers 125kW ( video ). I also had to poke fun a little didn't I ( tweet that went viral).
👀 The e-Corner System from Hyundai Mobis which we featured a bit back, now showing off in real-world with explainers. I'd highlight a comment if you will: "I would waste entire days just driving around crowded cities looking for the tightest parking spots"
👀 XPeng mocks Tesla in an ad ( video ).
📚 International Energy Agency (IEA) published its annual Global EV Outlook ( link ) (142pp pdf ). Great analysis, although note that IEA, unfortunately, in most cases defines 'EV' as a combination of BEV and PHEVs.
📚 A deeper dive into the viability of Na-ion (Sodium-ion) batteries. ( link ) Related: CATL just announced its first Sodium-ion batteries will power Chery EV models, starting with iCar brand launching in Q4 this year ( link ). BYD is also set to mass-produce sodium-ion batteries sometime this year. ( link ) Mind, that in both cases it will initially be a 'hybrid' of sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries.
📚 P3 released a study on intelligent AC-wallboxes in Europe, analyzing 10 different brands, giving them both an Installer Score and End-user Score. ( link to 20pp pdf)
🔋 The Battery Pass Consortium has published the first publicly available guide to the EU Battery Pass, meant for organizations responsible for implementing the Battery Passport and other participants in the battery value chain. ( link | 204pp pdf , Exec summary 54pp pdf )
Brian Gu, Vice Chairman of the Board and Co-President of XPeng, says many of today's automakers will die off or be acquired due to the EV transition:
"In five to 10 years, it’s going to be a much more concentrated market. I think the number of players will probably be reduced to less than 10 at the global stage."
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Caution! High Voltage! ⚡
⚡ Caution! High Voltage!