Report #90: GM lands a 175k EV order from Hertz — Charging price hikes — e-trucks are on their way

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Hey, Jaan here.

Exciting times.

When I started the newsletter almost two years ago, I was exposed to about 50-100 articles about EVs.

Nowadays, I go over somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 EV articles, data, and socials every week to bring you the crème de la crème of the industry.

It's getting pretty difficult to choose what to share with you. I hope you'll enjoy today's picks.

EV industry this week:

  • Hertz orders 175k EVs from GM.
  • Porsche IPO on or around 29th.
  • Tesla per-connector install price >2 times cheaper than industry avg.
  • NIO goes to Germany, e-trucks are coming, charging in Europe gets  expensive.

Words here: 2,557. Time to read: 12 minutes. Feeling: Supercharged.

- Jaan


Before we go off on another one of our classic adventures across the EV Universe, I want you to meet someone that is already traveling among us.

Niall has been a reader and a friend for quite a while now, so I'm happy I get to show you the impact he makes for EV adoption, especially for fleets. Thank you, Niall, for booking a sponsor spot to support the EV Universe!

Meet Paua

ChargePlace Scotland and Paua

Paua is Britain’s largest roaming network for business EV drivers.

The team at Paua are EV infrastructure and energy experts bringing collaboration to the EV charging networks in the UK. With nearly two dozen contracted networks in Britain and 20,000 EV connectors, no other UK roaming partner provides the same coverage.

Business drivers save time and money using the app and card to find, charge and pay for their charging. The fleet manager receives all the data and a single aggregated bill.

During the Great British EV Rally, Paua demonstrated the ability to move 50 commercial electric vehicles from one end of the country to the other on this single card solution.

Paua offers one app, one card, thousands of chargers, one bill and absolutely zero emissions.


PS - I also read their newsletter for EV infrastructure geeks: Paua Points.

* Does that sound like something I would say or what? We got another punslinger here!


Amusing... kind of

New age problems

The Future is now

A Tesla owner in San Jose, US is wondering: "Why is my Model 3 opening the trunk and garage door on its own? Blasting the AC at random?"

Then, the car disappears from the app.

A new Tesla owner somewhere in Europe, is wondering: "Why doesn't the used Model 3 I just bought respond to any of my commands through the App?"

Turns out, this can happen when a Tesla employee mistypes a VIN code when updating the system after selling a used Tesla. At least this is what happened to this guy Mr. Quattlebaum (link).


🌌 Around The 'Verse

The most clicked link last week was the deployment plans of 35 states that got their NEVI plans approved in the $900M funding round. (link) Lot to dig in there, each of these state plan PDFs can run up to 90 pages or so.

BloombergNEF just dropped its update for the Zero-Emission Vehicles Progress Dashboard. (16pp pdf) I'll dig deeper into it for tomorrow's Pro Report and share a roundup here next week.

Hertz plans to order up to 175,000 electric vehicles from General Motors over the next five years. (link) The first will be Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV models in Q1 2023, followed later by EVs from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop (vans).

Add these to the 100k from Tesla and 65k from Polestar that is already being delivered. Last I checked, 25k Uber drivers were using the Hertz-Tesla-Uber deal.


I'm also wondering if we'll see a General Motors >< Uber partnership coming in soon, considering Uber's Comfort Electric category is already filled with Teslas and (increasingly) Polestars from the Hertz-Uber partnerships.

In related news, Uber just expanded the category to 24 more US cities and Vancouver, Canada. (link)

General Motors and the EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) developed a 'set of recommendations' for the next tier of EPA clean car standards. (link) Most notably, they advocate for 50% zero-emission sales by 2030.

Update - Porsche is to IPO on or around 29th September 2022 on Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the prospectus is now published (link, not available for all jurisdictions). Volkswagen Group is looking to raise up to $9.4B from the listing at up to a $75B valuation, which could be Europe's largest listing in more than a decade. (link)

Linda Randolph from California's Air Resources Board says the choice of 2035 as the California ICE ban deadline was "the sweet spot that will sharply cut emissions but was also realistic for the industry." (link) via ASOTU.

Commercial EV Charger Prices survey and report by BloombergNEF has some good insights (link):

  • DC charger prices have dropped by as much as 28% over two years, AC prices stable.
  • AC charger makers in Europe are on the same production scale as Asia, but in the DC market, the Chinese suppliers dominate.
  • China will install 390k DC chargers this year, while the rest of the world installs 65k (200k vs 40k last year).
  • Built in America mandate means US chargers next year need to contain 55% locally-made parts by 2024 to qualify for subsidies. Hence why we see all these charger-makers setting up factories in the US.
  • Tesla gets chargers up cheaper than others, recently showing a $42k-per-connector cost in Texas while others range from $100k-$250k.Tesla's pre-fab charger installations also give an edge on cost and speed. See this video.
  • Installation times on average have increased, with delays in permitting and utility connections cited as key stumbling blocks.

Tesla launched a CCS Combo 1 Adapter in the US for $250, which allows charging up to 250kW in a 3rd party network. (link)

Mullen Automotive is the leading bidder for the bankrupt ELMS assets with $92M. (link) Just last week we wrote how Mullen acquired 60% of Bollinger Motors and got a warning from Nasdaq for its low share price. Mullen is fighting for sure. What's their grand play?

NIO just made its first battery swap station for the European market in Hungary and delivered it to Germany where the company plans to launch vehicle sales this year. (link)

The company plans on installing 1,000 swap stations outside of China by 2025, most of them in Europe.

The NIO bosses are currently road-tripping in Europe with the ET7 and went to check out the construction of the first NIO House in Frankfurt, along with the first Swap Station installed. William Li, of course, posted the pictures on the NIO app (link).

One of the angles here that I've seen most miss which combines with other reasons Chinese EV makers will be offering competition for the incumbents:

NIO will be offering a lower upfront cost to its vehicles by creating a subscription for the batteries. This might give it a 'cheaper-than-local Chinese smart EV' the last necessary advantage to succeed in the new market. In Norway, almost all of its 800 buyers of ES8 opted to pay a $135 monthly subscription for batteries instead of $8.7k for the 75kWh battery pack.

The company will hold a European NIO Day in Berlin on October 7th (link).

As you might guess, I'm fascinated, literally excited, about how the German market will play out with VW Group and Mercedes against Tesla and the Chinese EV makers. And no, I don't hold any of the stock.


China itself is expected to reach 6.69M BEV sales in 2023. (link) 10.36M NEVs. Here's a banana for scale: 4.8M BEVs were sold globally in 2021.

There are 4.32M charging points in China to date, with 1.7M added this year. (link).

The Chinese car market is moving towards BEVs at a crazy rate, currently hovering at nearly 20% market share of new sales.

I assume a revision of the government NEV goals is in order, as China is expected to reach 25% NEV penetration by 2025...which will very likely be reached already this year.

BMW confirmed 120 GWh worth of 46XX battery plans (link). More details are in the Pro report. Meanwhile, the BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, advocated for hydrogen at an innovation conference (link):

We think it’s wrong to switch off the combustion engine in Europe. [...] Hydrogen is the only raw material that can be sustainably produced and stored. You don't need your own charging infrastructure. You can convert a filling station in two days. [...] That will work, but not as the only solution. This is going to take far too long.
That's why we firmly believe in hydrogen. It will come and it will come at BMW, I am very, very sure of that.

Lightyear 0 will officially be the world’s most aerodynamic production vehicle to date, with a drag coefficient of 0.175 Cd. (link)

💰 Terawatt Infrastructure raised a whopping >$1B in Series A to build EV charging for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleets. (link) I like their wording on the landing page: "Hello demand, meet solution"

It's massive projects like these that will truly help our fleets to go electric without doubts. More of this, please.


E-trucks incoming

  • Volvo Trucks launched tne series production of its battery-electric FH, FM and FMX heavy-duty trucks. (link) The company has already sold more than 2,600 electric trucks, 1,000 of them heavy-duty.
  • Tevva also launched the series production of its first, 7.5-tonne (8.26 ton) e-truck. (link),
  • Nikola opened the orders for the European 4x2 Artic version of the Tre BEV heavy-duty truck which is built by Iveco in Germany. (link)  
  • Volta Trucks nears series production - the very first Volta Zero truck has rolled off its assembly line in Steyr, Austria, built by Steyr Automotive. (link)

The EU prepares to tighten climate targets for heavy-duty vehicles in November, and this study from T&E fits well into topic. (28pp pdf)

While making up only 2% of the fleet in Europe, heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for 28% of the road emissions. T&E advocates for a 2035 heavy-duty ICE ban and says the trucks and buses will eat up CO2 savings from electrifying cars and vans until 2030 unless the EU changes the trajectory.

T&E analysis

Decarbonizing heavy trucking is also the plan of the new EV100+ initiative from Climate Group, led by Ikea, Unilever, JSW Steel, Maersk and DPD. (link)

Charging these big rigs

In addition to the players at the MegaWatt charging space, this potentially impactful news just dropped which I'm still a bit skeptical of:

Ideanomics claims it successfully fully charged a class 8 electric truck in less than 15 minutes, using WAVE's 500kW wireless charging system. (link)

The construction is underway for the first system to go into place in Port of LA in 2023. If this does work as intended at 500kW, without huge energy losses in the system, it would be a step change in how heavy-duty fleets charge in environments like these. Until then, I'll take it with a grain of salt and report back as soon as I learn more.



The setbacks

Charging networks are increasing prices across Europe, (mostly) due to the high energy prices. This week brought more price hikes (or for coming weeks):

  • Tesla raised the SuperCharger prices an average of €0.12/kWh, now charging mostly around €0.60 per kWh. Even more in Germany, which has jumped to €0.71/kWh... compared to €0.37/kWh before August last year.
  • Allego is raising the prices to €0.80/kWh and even up to €0.98/kWh in France (link)
  • Shell Recharge raises to €0.64/kWh in Germany (link), likely in other countries too.
  • Ionity seems to keep its €0.81/kWh.
  • Osprey, which operates over 300 DC chargers in the UK, raises the price from 66p to £1/kWh, the CEO Ian Johnston explains the change for users (1:32):


'No home-charge for you: Some of the Mercedes PHEVs are coming without the charging cables to charge at home, because of a supply shortage of certain semiconductor components. (link) No clear date as to when they'll get 'em. I do hope we'll never see this happen with BEV sales...

Trevor Milton. Need I say more? Nikola founder Trevor Milton is currently under criminal fraud trial and we're learning stuff. (link)

Like the fact that when the company started taking preorders for the Badger EV-or-hydrogen pickup truck in June 2020, it had no prototype or manufacturing plan in place. What was shown to the public was just a chopped up sports vehicle that was under development also, with components from Ford F-150 Raptor.

Ouch: Ford estimates that up to 45,000 vehicles will be forced to wait until Q4 of this year for parts to be installed in them due to the supply shortages. (link)


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Chart of the week

An analysis on the DC charger utilization in the US, by Stable Auto. Most chargers are used less than 10% of the time, and very few are used more than 20% of the time:


The company's proprietary software has analyzed more than 70 million EV charging data points. It also just raised its Series A, with total funding at $14M (link).


Stuff I'm...


👀 "From Bolt to Blazer, Equinox to Silverado, Chevy EVs are for everyone, everywhere." This is the theme of GM's new larger EV marketing push that you'll start seeing all around. (video) For some reason, all traces of this video have been removed from YouTube.

👀 RJ Scaringe shares a glimpse at their mobile service truck (R1T) and mobile service van. Well worth watching the 1.5 minutes: (video). And after this, watch this quick video to see how many tools the service van and R1T fits: (video)

Related: Testing the Rivian auto-leveling feature for Camp Mode, which it pushed via the latest OTA update (video). I love smart stuff.

An owner's review of the Zeekr 001, the one I wrote to you about last week


📚 The part of the IRA for the charging infra that you and I might have missed, "Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit", is explained here: (link).

And another bill passed together with the IRA might help US homeowners towards EV path by rewiring the back-end: "High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act". (link) It includes upgrading your utility service and main breaker box among heat pump systems... and more.

📚 33% of the 1,546 car buyers in the UK surveyed by WhatCar said the increased electricity costs are making them 'think twice' about buying an EV. (link)

📚 "You Probably Don’t Realize How Inefficient Internal Combustion Engines Are" by James Morris (link).

📚 A profile of Rivian's chief lobbyist, Jim Chen (link) via Trucks FoT.

...listening to

🎙️ Rivian's RJ Scaringe talking 'How I Built This' with Guy Raz (77min).

🎙️ Lars Carlstrom, co-founder of Britishvolt, Italvolt & Statevolt hosted by Michael Dunne (32min).

"One day I was flying from London to Milan reading an article in Autocar that said the UK car industry needed a Gigafactory. Everything started there."


Quote of the week:

"The lithium-ion battery is now geopolitical."

— Simon Moores, CEO of BMI


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