Report #102: Tesla drops prices up to 20% globally — Mercedes takes charge — Wyoming to phase out EVs?

Hey, Jaan here.

Sure took me a while, but the first newsletter of the year is here!

I wish you an electrifying 2023.

Here's how the year started for the EV industry:

  • Tesla dropped prices up to 20% globally
  • Mercedes will build its own DC charging network
  • Wyoming wants to 'phase out EVs'

And, of course, a lot more.

Words: 2,604 words | Time to read: 13 minutes | Feeling: like moving sideways

— Jaan




65 of you sent me a total of 2,625 words as your predictions for EVs in 2023. This is a lot more than I expected and holds great insights.

Thank you.

I created an overview of each opinion, without adding mine. I do often paraphrase and compile here. Exactly zero opinions are left out.

But, I ran into a problem, as the whole thing didn't fit into this email with the rest of the industry news (I tried). So, here's a heads-up that I'll send an exclusive issue with the predictions to you separately, tomorrow.



I'm building a sales spreadsheet again. So we could get the real big picture of how all-electric sales fared through the markets and automakers.

I've started and have mapped out around 25% of all sales by now. As you know, I hope to rely as little as possible on aggregated numbers and build out the data from the core - OEM and country sales releases.

progress bar

I can already tell you it's a Tesla and BYD Universe. Tesla delivered 1,313,851 (+40.34% growth) and BYD sold 911,140 (+182% growth) battery-electric vehicles in 2022

I will release the spreadsheet to everyone after I reach a sufficient 'big picture' comparison, which I reckon comes at around 80%+. Might take some time to get there.

Until then, EV universe Pro members will access the live sheet starting tomorrow, as I continue to update it with numbers coming in every day. Consider becoming a Pro member today and get the live data: (link)



Today, I want to talk to you about Wyoming.

A few days ago, Wyoming Legislature has brought forward a proposal to phase out sales of new EVs in the state by 2035. (link to bill) (article)

Read that again.

I encourage you to read all the 'WHEREAS' paragraphs on the bill, it's certainly amusing.

The proposal is a direct pushback to the legislation in other states to ban the ICE sales by 2035. One of the sponsors, Senator Brian Boner, said it might just be symbolic:

“One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion."

Image: Senator Brian Boner and Senator Jim Anderson. (source)

Let's go on a trip here. If Wyoming were to pass this bill... will the state be the first one to become actually carless? This would be ideal for the planet, even better than driving EVs. You won't be able to buy a new ICE anywhere by that time anyway, so...

(retweet this dumb plan here or share on LinkedIn here)



Tesla went on the offensive with price cuts

Tesla had already lowered the prices for all versions of the Model 3 and Model Y in China on Jan 6th by up to 13.5%. (link) This spurred some protests from those buying just before (link). The entry-level Model 3 now comes in at a record low of 229,900 yuan ($34.3k).

Now, on Friday the 13th, Tesla dropped prices significantly across its lineup overnight in the US, Canada and Europe. I compiled some of the base Model 3 & Y price changes:


  • The cheapest Model Y got a $13k discount, landing on $52,990... which also enables the $7.5k IRA tax credit now, so the car reaches $45,990.
  • The Model 3 RWD got a $3k drop to $43,990, which comes in at $36,490 after tax credit.

By the way, Tesla tells you in real-time at the bottom of the online configurator if your specific configuration qualifies for the credit or not ( link ) and has guidance on their website ( link ).

The IRS has a website  here  so you can check which EV models fall under the tax credit as of now.

There was also a significant uptick in the keywords 'Tesla, Model Y, Model 3, Model X price' on Google in the United States right after. ( link )


  • Model 3 RWD now starts at CAD54,990, which also makes it eligible for the federal CAD5,000 iZEV incentive ( link ).
  • The Model Y LR has now arrived back to the CAD69,900 from which it climbed up over the last years, now discounted 21% overnight.


  • Model 3 RWD sees a 12% drop to €43,990
  • Model Y RWD gets a 21.2% discount to €44,880

A Tesla spokesperson in Germany also gave a brief comment on the price cuts ( link ):

"At the end of a turbulent year with interruptions to the supply chain, we have achieved a partial normalization of cost inflation, which gives us the confidence to pass this relief onto our customers."

The list of price cuts on markets goes on and on, with UK seeing a £5.5k discount for M3 and £7k for MY, the models also fall under the subsidy limits in France now.

We know that current Tesla gross margins on the models have been industry-leading, which makes the cuts possible in the first place. Whether the spokesperson's comment revealed the whole truth or not, I find that the sudden and drastic price cuts sent ripples through the industry, (now even undercutting some of its competition at some markets), and hopefully spur more affordability for EVs in 2023.


After more than 10 years the Chinese govt didn't extend EV subsidies into 2023. ( link ) Will this change the crazy adoption rates in the country? Highly doubt it.

#savesion update: 1408.2 Sions of 3,500 are now funded, with 11 days to go on their 'campaign'. They've now updated to show that they've raised (or have seen committed) €42.1M, of the €104.65M Sono Motors wants to raise. 40.2% of the goal. Here's the backstory I wrote in case you've missed it: ( link ).

Mercedes will build a branded high-power charging network, covering North America, Europe, China and other key markets with over 10,000 high-power chargers by 2030. ( link ) In North America, they've already released the strategy, partnering with ChargePoint and MN8 Energy to put up 2,500 of 350kW chargers at 400 locations, mainly urban. The >€1B cost will be split with MN8 roughly 50:50. The chargers will be public to use, but Mercedes owners can reserve stations ahead of time.

Markus Schäfer, the CTO of Mercedes, commented:

“It will be a safe location, not in the backyard of a shopping center next to a dumpster. We know that sometimes today, you find chargers in very weird and sometimes unsafe locations, especially at night.”

Greece launched a "Green Taxi" program to replace around 2,000 old combustion engine taxis with EVs. The subsidy is:

  • for 40% of the net list price, up to €17,500
  • +€5,000 for scrapping the ICE
  • +€500 for a charger at home or at the company car park

So the total funding can be up to €22.5k ($24.4k).

The project has a budget of €40M and the funds come from European REF fund. ( link ) ( press release in GR ) This is one of the most generous subsidy programs I've ever seen. How do you not turn your fleet electric with this?

London also now requires all taxi and private hire vehicles licensed for the first time in 2023 to be zero emission capable. ( link ) I'm now waiting for the city to go past the 'capable' part and remove the word from the equation.

Zimbabwe banned the export of raw lithium to encourage the profitable refining industry at home. It has the largest lithium reservoir in Africa. ( link )

Jaan's two Watts: We are beginning to see more of this across the mineral-rich countries and I can't blame 'em. I would assume the local refining requirements before exporting will also mean we'll see some more full-supply-chain-savvy OEMs start operations 'on the spot'.

A good example is Indonesia, which is rich in nickel, and banned nickel ore exports in 2020. Now see the latest Tesla <> Indonesia talks, which is said to reach a preliminary deal for EV production along the rest of the 'chain ( link )).

ZF, the German automotive supplier, claims its new heated seat belt which together with heated seats helps people avoid blasting the HVAC to get warm, can increase the EV range by up to 15%. ( link )

I'm highly skeptical of the (re)claimed up to reaching 15% range there, but hey, we'll take whatever we can get:

ZF seatbelts

Amazon and EVgo partner to allow drivers to ask Alexa to help them find and navigate to nearby EV chargers, as well as initiate and pay for charging sessions. ( link )

We got some extra info tidbits about the otherwise pretty secretive Tesla Semi -   from the Electronic Parts Catalog, surfaced by @greentheonly ( link ). The modular batteries shown are rated at 1000V, and drive units are cooled with 'mega cooling' modules. We still have more questions than answers, but here are a few of the official pics, with more on the link above. PS, don't miss the battery modules.

Also, we hardly have any new info so far on the Semi, so if you want to dig deeper, our 2k-word article is still relevant ( here ).

Lightyear opened the waiting list for Lightyear Two, its second model. It's set to launch in late 2025, initially in the US, UK, and EU, at a target price of under €40,000. When announced last year, the company aimed at <€30,000 but I think we can get why they raise the target today.

Lightyear claims it can do around 800km (497 mi) per charge, which I assume is calculated with some solar generation based on driving in Amsterdam.

"It needs three times fewer charges and has half of the lifetime emissions than that of a conventional EV."

You can join the waitlist (no reservations yet) for no fees here ( link ). The waitlist gets priority in placing pre-orders when those become available.

The exact specs and full design will be revealed in the summer of 2023. We did get some teaser pics:



I wrote this snippet in our newsletter in November, on the news of Volvo announcing selling only EVs in Australia from 2026:

"We'll start seeing announcements like these pop out from different OEMs on very specific markets soon. I'm surprised there aren't too many "we'll only sell BEVs in Norway from 2023" announcements yet."

Well, now we got exactly that:

Hyundai will only sell pure electric cars in Norway now, from January 1st, 2023. ( link )

Hyundai's move makes sense, as 92% of the 25k cars the company delivered in Norway within the past two years were fully electric.



VW recalls 1,042 units of the RWD ID.4 built at the Chattanooga plant in the US in a non-EV related issue: as the charging cable of the 12V battery can touch the steering column shaft and could lead to a short circuit if the cable insulation is worn out. ( link )

Tesla was fined $2.2M by South Korea’s regulatory authority for economic competition, KFTC for failing to inform its customers about the reduced range of its EVs at low temperatures. ( link )

Britishvolt is reportedly in talks to be 'rescued' for £32 million ($39 million), 95% less than its valuation just last year. ( link )



According to Benchmark Minerals, a total of $131B in investments into 102  lithium-ion battery gigafactories with a total new capacity of 3.1TW were announced in 2022, a 24% increase from the year before. ( link ) This sets the global production on a path of a 5x increase by the end of the decade.

BMI Gigafactory chart

China will continue to be the largest battery maker this decade, producing an estimated 69% of the global lithium-ion batteries in 2030. Of the $131B in investment last year, 74% was announced in China.

The biggest battery maker, CATL, counted for $12.6B (9.6%) of these announcements and is now set to produce 1042.6GWh annually by the year 2031. At an average EV battery of, let's say 60 kWh, that would be enough for 17.4M EVs if I got the numbers right.

As we know, the US is entering the battery game, strong. $20.8B was committed in the US last year. Here's how the gigafactory pipeline grew in the three major regions in 2022:

  • China grew 65% YoY to 5,462 GWh
  • North America grew 49% YoY to 1046.6 GWh
  • Europe grew 39.5% YoY to 1,193.2 GWh

Meanwhile, US Department of Energy also published that North America's battery manufacturing capacity is set to go from 55 GWh/year in 2021 to nearly 1,000 GWh/year by 2030, with most of the projects to begin production between 2025 and 2030. ( link ) Here's the announced capacity on a map as of November 2022:

Capacity map

Another interesting finding from BMI: North American gigafactories are, on average, 46% more expensive to build per gigawatt-hour than Chinese gigafactories, at an average cost of over $100 million for a GWh of production. China's average is around $72M, with some plants below $55M per GWh.

However, I guess the US subsidies and other incentives will tip the scales back to balance for the time being.




👀 Hyundai Mobis e-Corner system bundles brake-by-wire, steer-by-wire, an electric motor, and an electric damper in all four wheel assemblies, lets the Ioniq 5 turn each of its wheels up to 90°:

We actually covered this back in late 2021 ( link ), but it's fun to see it make waves (and circles) in an Ioniq 5.

Also, Ioniq 5 had a notoriously bad turning radius when we compared it with the Škoda Enyaq a year ago in this drone  video :

👀 BMW i Vision DEE short film previews the 2025 BMW's Neue Klasse a bit and touches on some design approaches. ( link ) Features Schwarzenegger and Hasselhoff (in the KITT) with an old vs new approach. It's a weird 7 minutes:

i Vision Dee

I'll be going over the EV concepts and specs revealed at the CES in our  Pro Report.  This includes EVs like the Ram 1500, Sony-Honda Afeela, Peugeot's concept, Canada's Project Arrow and more.

👀 Chris from B is for Build YouTube channel bought three flooded Teslas for $60k at an auction ( video ). Excited to see what's next.

👀 Kyle from Out of Spec drives the Fisker Ocean (25:07):

👀 If my lights ever go out... use this hearse, please. ( link )

M3 Hearse


🎙️  Madame Thuy Le, the CEO of VinFast on the Driving with Dunne podcast ( link , 35min).



RAM 1500

Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares:

"One of the challenges, if not the biggest one we have in the electrification road map, is to make sure the technology is affordable to the middle classes.
If we do not take care, we will end up in a few years with an overall electrified powertrain which is 40% more expensive than the conventional one.

If we stop working on cost, in this industry you go from hero to zero in three years."



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