Let's kick today off with a proper dad joke:
If you sleep while charging your car... is it called a power nap? 🤔
Thanks, Lauri, for this one. And... if you haven't dozed off in your EV while charging, can you really call yourself an EV driver?
Anyway, today, on the EV Universe:
2,108 words this week, about a ~9 min read.
Welcome to the
where the EV you want will likely be *sold out* soon.
Elon Musk says:
„We are actually probably going to limit or just stop taking orders for anything beyond a certain period of time because some of the [delivery] timing is more than a year away.“
Herbert Diess (Volkswagen Group CEO) says:
"We are basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States. And in China, it’s really picking up."
VW claimed last month that it had a 300k EV order bank just in Western Europe.
Ola Källenius (Mercedes-Benz CEO) says:
"That's largely true for us as well".
Ford doesn't take orders for the F-150 Lightning for this model year anymore (although note that it just started series production).
Elon Musk said on his FT interview he thinks Volkswagen is the #2 in electric vehicles behind Tesla.
Diess has now said "we didn't expect our main US competitor to be so fast and well-prepared", commenting on the tight race to become the world's largest EV seller by 2025. Guess what - he didn't mean GM. (link)
Here are some of VW's latest moves (or plans, really).
🇪🇸 VW Group and Seat are bumping up their investment in Spain from €7B to €10B ($10.38B) to create an EV hub in Europe. (link)
Diess went as far as tweeting in Spanish after congratulating the PM of Spain:
"Our investment in Spain is more significant than Tesla's in Brandenburg".
The €7B was initially to build a 40 GWh battery plant in Sagunt (near Valencia), and looks like the additional funds is meant for producing EVs in Martorell and Pamplona plants and developing a 'comprehensive supplier ecosystem'.
This is the current layout of VW's battery factory plans in Europe:
I'm still sticking to my bet that the 4th 'Eastern Europe' cell factory will be built in Hungary or Poland (likely former). No concrete rumors yet.
VW Group also shared the first sketches of the smaller EV models from Škoda, Cupra and VW that will be built in Spain from 2025:
Got them Ioniq 5 vibes there...
The last Scout was sold more than 40 years ago.
You could say the iconic Scout was one of the pioneers of the SUV market segment (and available as pickup). Starting production in 1961 and ending in 1980, it paved the way to hits like Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco (which started production in 1965).
Some of you might know way more about this car, as I wasn't... really... even born yet when they ended the production.
Anyway, in 2021 when VW Group bought Navistar through its subsidiary Traton Group, it also got the rights for the Scout brand.
What better way to arrive in the US pick-up market than take the old-school, local brand and turn it electric? VW claims it'll start producing an electric 'rugged SUV' and pick-up for the US market in 2026. (link)
👀 Financial Times‘ Future of the Car Summit featured a more than an hour-long interview with Elon Musk:
♾️ What happens if you plug the F-150 Lightning into itself? It starts charging! (video). Because why the frunk not.
💰 I found an Wefunder campaign for this thing called EVsemifleetcorp that (simplified) reserves and buys Tesla Semi-Trucks. (link)
$1.25M committed in Series A (but note that $1M came from one lead investor), 50 trucks reserved, current round on Wefunder is almost at $500k with a $14.4M pre-money valuation. PS! This is NOT financial advice. I'm just curious.
⚡ Apple was granted a patent for an automated EV charging station, which requires no intervention by the driver. (link to patent)
🤔 What if... the Biden administration would get rid of the Trump admin's tariffs set for some of the China product imports (link)? This might get the 27.5% vehicle import tariff lifted too. And then all hell breaks loose on the EV market (in a good way).
My bet is that this would accelerate the plans to enter the US market for Nio, XPeng, BYD and other key Chinese EV-makers. It'll be a flood, much like we're starting to see here in Europe already.
📱 A Polish developer found a way to hack Android Auto and Apple Carplay into Teslas - using a web browser, two Raspberry Pis, and a handful of add-ons and cables. (link).
📅 Lucid will open its first European showroom in Munich, Germany... today (the 13th) (link). The prices for the Air Dream Edition in Germany start from €218,000 ($226k) including tax and deliveries are scheduled for the end of the year. Later on, Lucid Air Pure will start at ~€100k.
🚚 Tata Motors (which currently has a strong grip on India's EV market) launched the Ace EV, the new small electric truck in India, due for deliveries in next quarter. It's already got 39k commercial bookings for the truck, from the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. (link)
Another small electric truck maker on my radar to watch in India is called EVage. Love what they do. Expect a strong expansion of EVs in this part of the Universe.
☑️ Foxconn has now officially closed its purchase of the Ohio plant from Lordstown Motors for $230M. Just a day later, today, Fisker announced its PEAR EV will be built in the facility (we knew this on a rumor level) (link).
👀 Did Rivian just announced it delivered its first R1S? The company congratulated "new R1 owners" in a tweet and one of the pictures features a R1S:
Ford sold 8M of its shares in Rivian (for $214M), still holding ~95M shares for a 10.5% stake. (link)
🚧 Volvo CE (Construction Equipment) now accepts orders for three new 'models' of electric construction equipment in the US: the L20 electric compact wheel loader and the EC18 and ECR18 electric compact excavators. (link)
I feel like this is one of the most overlooked sectors of electrification and I'm very glad to see this kind of progress.
📊 65% of medium-duty trucks and 49% of heavy-duty trucks already drive on routes that could be covered with e-trucks. (link) via Trucks.vc
This section is for the things that shrink the EV Universe.
Canoo's quarterly report warns that:
"Due to the timing of our announced funding, and the 2014 FASB accounting rule, as of the date of this announcement, we are reporting that there is substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern."
It reported a $125.4M loss for the quarter. (link)
Meanwhile, the CEO Tony Aquila says they've got more than $600M in accessible capital to support the Start of Production and have "significant experience in raising capital in challenging markets".
You might remember from my Canoo coverage that Aquila was brought in after the co-founder Ultich Kranz left the company early last year, which lead to several pivots in the business model. Or the SEC probe. Or the other co-founders, CTO, chief lawyer leaving the company.
Just two days ago, Canoo announced it filed a lawsuit against one of its largest shareholders that has been there from the start in 2017, demanding it to pay back more than $61M in "short-swing profits" from the recent share sales. (link)
Canoo currently claims to have 17,5000 preorders with projected worth $750M and has produced 39 vehicles of 'Gamma build'.
I'm really curious to see what will become of the company. I enjoyed their original vision of a subscription-based modular platform the most.
Rivian Recalls 502 R1T trucks for airbag "child" sensor issue causing it to possibly not deactivate. The supplier has assumed the cost of seat replacement. (pdf)
Lucid Air Broken Dream: This is likely the very first wrecked Lucid Air Dream Edition out there... and you can buy it. (link)
👀 The Microlino, Pioneer Series Unveiling
👀 Rivian truck comes with four types of keys: a phone app, a key fob, a wristband, and a key card. I love how they've niched down on the 'adventure'.
👀 Solo AVT premiered the SD1, a battery electric (fully autonomous) Class 8 truck with 500+ miles of range:
Gaham Doorley, the CEO and Founder has strong experience, most notably being a founding member of Waymo's Heavy Truck Program. Here's a longer interview after they raised the $7M seed round led by Trucks.vc in March (link).
👀 This owner rented his Tesla Model 3 out on Turo, only to discover it being stripped from parts in a body shop "to test and calibrate their aftermarket products". (video)
👀 The Lexus RZ development mini-documentary series (4x5min):
👀 Faction's driverless Archimoto FUV (the three-wheeler) on demand showcase. A good idea to get acquainted - you'll likely start seeing these everywhere soon. And shouting out our member and friend, Nick!
📚 Geek out: Battery manufacturing basics from CATL’s cell production line, by BatteryBits. (link)
CATL, as you know, is the largest batterymaker in the Universe. Really good writing from our friends Katherine(Qianran) He and Yen T. Yeh. And it has GIFs!
CATL cell manufacturing - slurry mixing
📚 Tom Riley from The Fast Charge interviewed Toby Butler, the UK boss of ubitricity, UK's largest charging network (acquired by Shell) (link).
Toby says the need for chargers by 2030 is closer to 700k than the 300k proposed by the governments latest strategy (which we covered here).
📚 How Rivian's CEO became the anti-Elon. Clickbait headline aside, it is RJ's story, how he started the company, raised funds, and some of the failures. (link, from FT so likely paywalled). I found this one also through The Fast Charge.
📚 How studying foot traffic at and around the Rivian manufacturing facility can estimate its production ramp (link).
That's it for today. I'll catch up with you next week. Or tomorrow, if you've joined the EV Universe Pro and thus get the extra newsletter. I'm happy either way!
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Musk: "There are some people out there that say it can't be done. I dunno who might say that, but I've heard rumors. So we... just did it. "