This header image is made by AI.
I finally got into the DALL·E 2 AI system which creates realistic images and art from a simple description. It's crazy. The images do not exist before entering the prompt to generate. For this one, I wrote "a futuristic electric car on a neon road that rides throughout the galaxy, digital art".
You'll see a new DALL·E-made header every week now.
Welcome back to the EV Universe, where I learn stuff all week and then share the most exciting and important bits with you. If someone forwarded this epic email to you, get your own here and thank your friend.
A teaser of what I've learned this week:
The 2,372 words here should take about 13 minutes to read. We're a tad late, so let's get on with the fun stuff!
The Inflation Reduction Act (and our lovely EV tax credits) passed the US House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Biden.
So, what's the deal? The eligibility requirements which we detailed here, including the increasing critical mineral and battery component requirements, remained the same. This means there won't be very many (or almost any) EVs that qualify.
In fact, Simon Moores, CEO of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, said it isn't feasible that the automakers would reach these requirements before 2025.
Their data shows that North America is on track for a capacity of ~1 million EVs worth of anode and less than 100k EVs worth of cathode production by 2025. A simplistic visual about the projected EV demand (horizontal lines) vs battery, anode, and cathode production:
Until the end of the year: The old $7.5k tax credit will remain in effect until the end of this year... for the carmakers that haven't reached the $200k cap, that is. A change is made here, too - the vehicles must now undergo final assembly in North America to be eligible (list of eligible BEVs here).
Used EVs: The $4k tax credit for dealer-sold used EVs will go into effect from the beginning of 2023. There is a $25k price cap and the car must be at least 2 model years earlier.
I know I should be giving you answers, but instead, I'm left with six rather wide-open questions. Answer if you can, please:
EU and South Korean representatives say the new EV tax credit would breach World Trade Organization rules by discriminating against foreign-made vehicles. (link) Well... duh.
TL;DR as a meme, I couldn't resist:
I'm very interested to know your thoughts on this topic.
Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee
This one is still a concept, but it should 'resemble' the production vehicle. I find it rather 'real-world-looking'. The CEO says:
"This car will literally change the way people look at electrification in the muscle car space."
Here's the press release (link). And the live event from Dodge Speed Week 2022, with Tim Kuniskis's speech and then showing the real concept car:
In addition to the looks, another notable feature of the electric Charger is its sound. Dodge went pretty bold here with the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust: a BEV "exhaust" that can reach 126 dB, making it as loud as a Hellcat.
"Sound is power in the era we grew up in," the CEO said.
Listen to the fake exhaust sound (here). It is described as an electronic roar, sort of like a cybernetic jaguar, with a low-idling purr or high-pitched whine when the car shuts off.
This might be a good place to refer you to an entertaining video I found: "Are Automakers Lying to Your Ears?" by Donut Media (video). Seriously. There's way more fooling-our-ears going on than you'd think. And a lot of it is about ICE cars.
I quite enjoy the futuretro looks:
Last week's quiz answer:
The mosaic is composed of 10,472 pictures of Tesla owners that participated in its vehicle referral program ~2018.
I win this one, as there were no right guesses. The closest guess was that the picture is a static feed of Starman in a Roadster in space (good one really).
Now, go caption that side mirror pic before moving on!
🏎️ Polestar O₂ electric roadster concept will be called Polestar 6 and is expected to launch in 2026. (link) The first 500 will be limited LA Concept editions and will cost ~$200k and you can reserve one for a refundable $25k (link).
I haven't really seen too many designs which would be so widely loved as the O₂ concept... I'm glad it might become a reality.
Meanwhile, Polestar's parent company, Geely aims to increase its EV (+PHEV) proportion of total sales to 50% in 2023 as it sees a slump in ICE demand (link)
📊 A great intro chart into something I've been trying to communicate for a while: the Chinese EV-makers are about to flood Europe and cause a whole lot of pain for the incumbents. It will happen sooner and on a bigger scale than most expect. It will break the old mindset of cheap Chinese knock-offs. (link) overview via Augustin Friedel.
📊 This year, over $4.8B has been announced as a combination of roll-out announcements, debt financing, investment, and acquisitions in the EV charging industry. (link) 73% of all the investments were related to ultra-fast charging, per BNEF. They estimate cumulative investment in charging will exceed $1 trillion by 2040:
💰 First of its kind? Bank Australia will stop loaning money to drivers that buy gas or diesel vehicles from 2025. (link) Granted, it seems it isn't among the bigger banks there - 16 locations and 441 employees in 2020.
⚡ California will be the first state that approved sub-metering protocols, where EV owners can measure the electricity used for charging at home separately from the rest of their home’s electricity usage. This also means the EV owners can take better advantage of EV charging-specific electricity rates. (link)
📅 Monterey Car Week & The Quail event: I'll cover the most exciting reveals next week in more detail, but so far we know Lucid Motors is teasing 'something extraordinary' by showing the number three at this factory picture (link) and the teaser video. We can likely assume it'll be the 3-motor version of Lucid Air, which likely gets over 1,300hp.
At the events, so far I've found that:
🌎 UFODrive expands from Europe to now the US to offer its EVs (Teslas first) for rent daily/weekly/monthly. (link) Financing via Inspiration Mobility.
🔋 CATL announced its second European plant, this time in Hungary. (link) It's a whopping €7.34B ($7.54B) investment and will be scaled up to 100 GWh capacity. Mercedes-Benz announced it is a customer (link). Did I or did I not tell you Hungary is becoming the hotspot of European cell production?
🔔 Uber sends a notification if you book a Model 3/Y explaining how to open the doors:
🚐 Pimp my ID.Buzz? Zyrus Engineering now accepts orders to make your ID.Buzz less zZz:
Fun fact - more than 10,000 units of the ID.Buzz have been ordered in Europe ahead of production, 2/3 to the roads of Norway (link).
🔮 Called it! When Faraday Future announced the potential $600M convertible loan from investors to stay alive two weeks ago, I wrote my two watts on how this was likely agreed on the strict condition that the director of the Board and former chairman Brian Krolicki will have to resign. Fast forward, the company announced there will be a Special Meeting called for stockholders to vote on the removal of Krolicki. (link) So this is what happens behind the curtains...
To make smart decisions, we'll always need to see both sides of the industry. Here are the spots where the EV Universe, instead of expanding, is shrinking a little.
🚫 Rivian canceled the entry-level $67,500 Explore model of the R1T and now starts at the $73k Adventure trim. (link) Same for the upcoming R1S. This time, existing preorder holders are also to upgrade to the higher trim or get a refund. Rivian claims this is to streamline its supply chain and deliver more vehicles. It also says there is only a small % of customers that had ordered the Explore version. Here's the FAQ from Rivian (link).
🚫 Nio, XPeng and Tesla charging networks and battery swaps are now limited in availability or with reduced power during peak hours in Sichuan province, China, as the drought puts pressure on the power grid (manly lack of hydropower generation, as far as I can tell). (link) The same power crunch has caused production halts for some EV makers like Changan (link) and CATL's battery production and lithium operations (link).
🚫 Arrival Bus and Car developments are now on hold, as completing the Arrival Van (and start "making money") take priority. (link)
🚫 Mercedes-Benz recalls 7,810of the electric EQE and EQS models globally, due to faulty threads of the towing devices. (link)
🚫 All Tesla Superchargers in Germany are deemed "illegal" due to a technicality in calibration law - they don't have a specific kWh counter installed on the units. (link) Some other CPOs are in the same situation. The officials say that Tesla needs to retrofit the stations, but for now, the operation "is not hindered and not sanctioned". The BILD magazine in Germany of course didn't leave the opportunity unused:
The problems you get with a proprietary approach...
👀 JB Straubel's keynote speech at Benchmark Battery Gigafactories (41:15):
👀 Aptera shows people's first reactions to the interior of the car:
👀 Kal Penn (you know... the actor playing Kumar from Harold & Kumar?), toured a Tesla Nevada factory and saw the robots play Super Mario Bros music (video). Btw, Kal Penn, Bloomberg, & Panasonic are filming a new video series in the gigafactory (link).
👀 RJ Scaringe, the CEO of Rivian, in a short video of the Palo Alto R&D lab with Vidya Rajagopalan, the VP of Engineering and Hardware, showing one of the R1 "lab cars" (video).
📚 This dashboard from California Energy Commission shows the state's electric Medium- and Heavy-Duty vehicle situation (link). Population: 1,943.
📚 Even if all of the electricity was produced by burning coal, powering the U.S. transportation system would still require 31% less energy than powering it with gasoline (link).
📚 I enjoyed this 'rant' by Jo Borrás in CleanTechnica, where he argues how the NYT article headlined "Electric Cars Too Costly for Many, Even With Aid in Climate Bill" is misleading (link).
Photos emerge of Elon Musk when he realizes the EV Universe newsletter finally arrived:
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Caution! High Voltage!
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