📊 EVs now biggest Cobalt users – ⚡ Uber's EV services – 🥶 bZ4x doesn't like cold?

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Today, on the EV Universe:

  • Toyota's first EV might be useless
  • EVs now the biggest Cobalt user
  • Uber announces EV services, Tesla fails at ESG, Norway starts incentive phaseouts.

Darn, so much for keeping it shorter... I just can't stop. I really tried. 2,012 words for you this week, should make it about a ~10 minute read.

- Jaan


bZ4X doesn't like the cold?

Toyota bZ4x

Such a blunder it this is truly a real issue.

Toyota, in an US press release for the bZ4X model, wrote a footnote (link):

For the bZ4X AWD model, charging may slow down more than other models in weather conditions below 32°F (0°C) and [charging] may not be possible when the temperature drops to around -4°F (-15.5°C) and below. Drive battery conditions, charger specifications and DC charging fully more than twice per day also can negatively affect charging time.”

My two cents:

  1. It would render the car useless for most markets. Even my LEAF charges at -30°C (although slower) with a cold battery and it doesn't even have an active battery thermal management.
  2. Not said anywhere, but I think it looks likely that the same issues would apply to the two other upcoming electric models on the e-TNGA platform too, the Subaru Solterra and Lexus RZ.

What's the cause? Why does it apply to the AWD version specifically? And how on Earth can this happen in today's world Universe? I'm baffled.

Also, now that I think of it, we haven't seen the bZ4x go through winter testing either...

EVs now biggest Cobalt users

⛏️ EVs now surpass phones as top driver of cobalt demand, consuming 59,000 tonnes, or 34% of the total globally in 2021 (vs 26k tonnes for phones and 16k for laptops/tablets), per the Cobalt Institute (46pp pdf and 1-pager pdf).

Cobalt demand

Although a lot of the EV industry is moving towards using LFP batteries, the Institute expects the cobalt demand to ~double in the next five years with EVs driving 70% of the growth and the EVs making up half of the cobalt demand in 2026.

The markets should balance this year and next with supply picking up. The price of Cobalt has more than doubled since the beginning of 2021.

Cobalt demand over time

The report also says Cobalt-containing battery chemistries accounted for 74% of the global EV (+PHEV) battery market.

Where do we get cobalt? 74% of mined supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and 72% of the total production is refined in China.

⚡ Tour-de-Universe

Follow-ups to last week's quick take on the EVs being 'sold out':

1. Tesla pauses taking new Cybertruck orders outside of North America (link). According to the (unofficial) Cybertruck reservation tracker, there are over 1M preorders in already.

In the latest FT interview, Musk said it has enough reservations to fill about 3 years of production. I'd guess the ramp-up of CT production doesn't happen until ~2024 and was initially said to be at around 300k/year, so it's safe to say that putting in an order now would mean you won't get yours before 2027.

2. More locally, thousands of potential buyers queued up online for a Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Australia, but the batch of 68 cars was gone in minutes. (link)

🚗 Motional, the joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, has begun a pilot program of end-to-end food deliveries for Uber Eats using the Ioniq 5 robotaxis in Santa Monica, California. (link)


📱Uber announced its new EV directions during its Go/Get 2022 livestream (video timestamped):

  • EV hub, a one-stop-shop for Uber drivers in its Driver App, where they can get info and incentives to go EV
  • EV Charging Map for the drivers (self-explanatory, I guess). Uber also plans to partner with charging networks to give discounts to drivers.
  • Uber Comfort Electric, a category that lets you order specifically a premium EV.
Uber EV hub & Charging Map

Uber has stated its goal is to be all-electric in North America and Europe by 2030. It's great to see several real moves towards that.

Electrify America now makes sure it's DC network is powered by 100% renewables - entered into a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with developer Terra-Gen to build out a PV project in California. The Electrify America Solar Glow 1 project is expected to generate 225,000 MWh annually and be live next summer. (link)

Is the "1" hinting there will be more? I'm loving this move. Our rEVolution works best when the renewables scale alongside EV uptake.

🚫 Tesla lost its place on the S&P 500 ESG index. (link) ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and the index should essentially show which companies meet the S&P's high standards on, well, ESG.

This exclusion was mainly triggered by Tesla's S&P DJI ESG Score, which was among the bottom 25% of its GICS industry group. The score part is where it gets interesting. Dow Jones says:

“A few of the factors contributing to its 2021 S&P DJI ESG Score were a decline in criteria level scores related to Tesla’s (lack of) low carbon strategy and codes of business conduct"

The racism allegations and controversies about Tesla's Fremont plant were also mentioned - which I'd totally get why it influences things. I doubt however I'd have to mention here how off can the index criteria be on the environmental impact side.

In addition to all that Tesla does to decarbonize transport and economy at large (EVs + battery storage (+Autobidder) + solar products), I loved this single most telling graph of their 2021 Impact Report (144pp pdf):


Tesla Solar panels have produced more energy than has been used to make Teslas and every mile driven with them combined, over the last 10 years.

But don't you worry. Some clearly environment-focused companies are still well represented on the ESG index, like Exxon Mobil for example.

Meanwhile, Musk called the ESG an outrageous scam (link).

📊 Speaking of the environmental impact, InfluenceMap released the Automotive Climate Tool and report (link), with several great interactive charts to click through.

The report found that the climate strategies of the world’s largest automakers are undermining a 1.5°C-aligned transition towards zero-emission vehicles.

InfluenceMap graph

Using IHS Markit data on EV production strategies and analysis of climate policy engagement, it found that only Mercedes-Benz (56% in 2029) and Tesla (100% in 2029) are on track to meet the IEA's 1.5°C trendline for EV production globally (57.5% of all global sales by 2030) based on recent forecasts.

Volkswagen was brought out as one of the most positively engaging on climate and the report also singled out Toyota and Nissan as bad examples, which are forecast to have the lowest % of fleet-wide EV production by 2029.

🌎 Rivian's Q1 2022 numbers and Shareholder Letter today (22pp pdf, and the SEC filing).

📊 Good to know: As most publications include plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles under the "EV" abbreviation alongside battery-electric vehicles (we only do latter), here's how the PHEV+FCEV+BEV sales ratio looked like in 2021:


BEVs made up nearly 70%, PHEVs 30% and FCEV below 1% of the 6.6M "EV" sales. Another interesting chart maps out the public charging connectors in 2021 and year-over-year changes:

Charging by nation

These two graphs are from the BloombergNEFs ZEV Progress Dashboard (12pp pdf).

🇺🇸  Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will reportedly tomorrow (Fri) announce that Hyundai is investing more than $7B in the state (link). We'll also likely see Biden give a talk on this in Seoul. Just last Friday, I wrote on our Pro report that Hyundai confirmed having plans in the US, with rumors about a plant in Georgia. The Ioniq 7 and Kia EV9 will most likely be built there.

Georgia is quickly becoming an electric hub, with the latest announcement of Rivian building its second plant in Georgia, also receiving a $1.5B incentive package from the state (link).

🇺🇸 Maryland is the 17th state to pass an anti-ICEing law, which means ICE drivers might can be fined $100 for parking in a public charging space - if there is a warning sign present. (link)

Virginia ups the ante with a law starting July 1st that says the car must be 'actively charging' or it can be fined. Colorado and NY also do this, but have established a '30-minute grace period'.

🇨🇳 China is said to be considering an extension of the EV subsidies which were set to expire at the end of this year. (link) It has been estimated that China has spent roughly $14.8B on EV subsidies from 2009 until the end of 2021.

🇳🇴  Norway, which is way further along in terms of BEV market share (74.1% in April), will reduce the first of the several EV incentives starting next year: the VAT exemption on EVs that cost over 500k kroner (>$51.7k). (link) Minister of Finance, Trygve Vedum explained:

"All-electric cars receive support at the bottom (of the price range), but the more expensive electric car you buy, the more VAT you have to pay.

🇪🇺 The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted in favor of the de facto ban on ICE from 2035 for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the European Union.

Next up, a vote of the EU Parliament on 7th or 8th of June. If it passes, the MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) will start negotiations with the EU governments on the final law.

The current proposal sees requirements for OEMs to reduce the average fleet emissions of (compared to 2021):

  • 20% by 2025
  • 55% by 2030
  • 100% by 2035

The Transport & Environment lobby group says this is weak and stronger interim targets are needed (link).

🌎 Something we don't hear every day: Samsung has dropped its plans of entering the EV market (link).

Stuff I'm


👀  Porsche's one-off 1,073hp electric racing concept based on the current Cayman: the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance. Chris Harris drives this UFO in Valencia (18:11):

👀  Kyle from Out of Spec takes the F-150 Ligthning on a trail (21:30):

👀  And here's Alex Dykes' video on how far can the pickup tow a trailer (video)

👀  Elon Musk on the All-In podcast (video), talking about the 6+ Tesla's business, early Tesla stories, SpaceX etc.

👀  And then there are these guys that put giant chain tracks on a Tesla:



📚 GlobalData ranks the 21 power companies to see which are most active regarding EVs, analysing the # of jobs, deals and patents over the past year (link). Iberdrola leads the 'score' and I'd say rightfully so - the energy company has made major moves for building out charging networks in southern Europe.

📚 Interview with Terry O'Day, the cofounder and COO of InCharge Energy, who has worked in the EV charging business since 1996. He helped start EVgo (at NRG Energy) and here he talks of fleet charging. (link) I enjoyed this description most:

"We supply hardware. We supply software. Importantly, when you have a charger, it's like having a dog. It takes a lot of care and feeding."

📚 In most US states, financing and owning an EV is cheaper on a monthly basis than financing and owning an equivalent gasoline car (17pp pdf). Found via Trucks.vc.

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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