Report #93: Polestar 3 launches — Tesla beats Germany — EV sales across the 'verse

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Hey, Jaan here, with your end-on-the-week overview of the rEVolution.

This week, we'll talk about:

  • EV sales data across the 'verse
  • Tesla broke the system in Germany
  • Polestar 3 launch
  • EV makers might get another credit to sell: e-RIN
  • BMW goes for in-car gaming, NIO launches in 4 European markets and Sono Sion goes to the US.

Words: 2,530. Time to read: 11 minutes. Feels: distinctively Scandinavian.

- Jaan


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The expanding EV Universe

We've got some EV sales numbers coming in, both for the big-picture of the first half of 2022 and for the latest Q3 numbers.  

Here's how the first half of this year looked like according to EV Volumes data. You can ignore the blue lines (and thus the growth numbers), but it gives a good overview of global sales by OEM for the first half of this year (link):

EV Volumes sales data

If you ever need to access their global EV sales data (and more insights), let me know and I'll get you together with the right person there. EV Volumes is the OG in gathering EV sales and other EV data.

Now, here are some of the Q3 BEV delivery numbers I've found for scale so far so we get a glimpse heading while we head off to the (usually record) last quarter:

  • Tesla 343,830
  • BYD 258,610
  • BMW 52,306 (including Mini)
  • Mercedes-Benz 30,000 (+3,300 e-vans)
  • NIO 31,607
  • XPeng 29,570
  • Ford (US) 18,257 (Only 4,691 in September. Includes e-Transit)
  • GM 15,156 (not counting Brightdrop vans)
  • Polestar 9,215
  • Rivian 6,584
  • Lucid 1,398 (produced 2,282)

I've gathered all these from OEM reports, so ask me if you need any sources.

Here's another banana for scale for you: 1,427,000 BEVs were sold in Q3 in China. (link)

China BEV Wholesale sales

Let's put another weird twist on it. China sold almost as many BEVs in September (507,000) as there are on the streets of the UK in total (568,000).

The EV Universe is indeed expanding.


Winds of change

Tesla Model Y was the best-selling vehicle in Germany in September. (link)

Read that again.

It beat the Golf.

It beat Octavia.

It beat every car of every fuel type, in Europe's largest car market and maybe even more notable,

the home of the automotive old guard.

Tesla MY

This won't be the last time we'll see this happen.

Meanwhile, the Giga Berlin is just ramping up, currently producing around 2,000 Model Ys per week. These are then spread out across Europe, meaning a considerable amount of the 10k sold here is likely from Giga Shanghai.

Speaking of China, the same Model Y is the best-selling SUV there (link). The only SUV that even comes close is the BYD Song.

And, as a general signal for Germany, 19.7% of overall sales in September were electric.

As far as I've put together, the Model Y is also the best-selling vehicle of any kind for the whole of year of 2022 so far in neighboring Austria.

It might sound weird and foreign, but I'd take a bet right now the Model Y will be in the top 3 vehicles sold worldwide in the Universe in 2023.


EV Spotlight: Polestar 3

Polestar, the EV maker owned by Geely and Volvo Cars, unveiled its first electric SUV, the Polestar 3.

Polestar 3

caption for image

While the not discontinued PHEV Polestar 1 and currently rather well-selling Polestar 2 have Volvo written all around their design, this one is built from the ground up 'as a Polestar'.

Here are the details of the 5-seat SUV with a 'distinct, Scandinavian design':

  • Price starts at:
  • 89,990€ in Europe,
  • 880,000 RMB ($122.6k) in China and
  • $83,900 (excl VAT) in the US.
  • Deliveries start in Q4 2023.
  • Production: From mid-2023 in Chengdu, China and from mid-2024 from Ridgeville, South Carolina plant.
  • Range: 610 km WLTP, 300 mi EPA on a 111kWh battery pack. Weirdly enough, we got specific details: it has 204 prismatic cells in 17 modules, in an aluminum battery case.
  • Efficiency: 20.1-21.1 kWh/100 km for the long-range version.
  • Performance: Dual Motors, 489 horsepower, 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds. 517hp and 4.6 with Performance Pack. Max speed 130mph.
  • Runs on 400V architecture and can charge at up to DC 250 kW, AC 11kW
  • Frunk: 32 liters. Trunk: 484 liters. Roof can carry 100kg / 220lbs.

Press release (here), detailed factsheet (pdf), video of the launch with specifics (48:45):

The Polestar 4 SUV is scheduled for next year and the Polestar 5 in 2024. Here's some eye candy for you:

My two Watts:

1st W: Polestar 3 will have lots to prove at this price point, but this looks to shape up to be a wonderful EV nevertheless.

2nd W: You know which kind of 'distinct, Scandinavian design' should the EV makers really go for? IKEA.


🌌 Around The 'Verse

The most clicked link last week: The different tax benefits and subsidies of all 27 EU member states. (pdf)

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly plans to include EVs in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This means we might see the proposal to the White House for e-RINs, tradeable credits for EV-makers (and possibly charging companies), as soon as next week. (link) Biden admin has met Tesla which has helped craft the e-RIN program and we'll know the 2023 rules by Nov 16th at the latest.

Nissan is ready to invest between $500M and $750M into Renault's EV-and-software business Ampère, while Renault would be reducing its stake in Nissan from the current 43% to a more even 15% (Nissan owns 15% of Renault).

Amazon announced it will invest over €1B to decarbonize its logistics in Europe within the next five years. (link) Some numbers:

  • Its currently 3,000-strong zero-emission van fleet will jump to 10,000 by 2025. Side quest! Here are the e-van deals we know Amazon has in Europe so far:
  • Early this year we learned Amazon has ordered 'thousands' of Ram electric ProMaster vans. (link)
  • Two years ago, Amazon ordered 600 eVito and 1,200 eSprinters from Mercedes-Benz Vans. (link)
  • I can bet my hat that Amazon vans will also roll off from the Mercedes-Benz >< Rivian joint venture (link) in Europe. Not confirmed.
  • Plans for 1,500 heavy-duty e-trucks, taking deliveries from Volvo (FH Electric trucks (link)) and Daimler already this year.
  • Amazon will invest in 'thousands' of chargers across its European facilities and will build 'hundreds' of specialized fast chargers for the e-trucks, capable of charging them in ~2 hours.
Volvo FH <> Amazon Prime

Speaking of trucks... According to T&E, battery-electric trucks in Europe will already be cheaper to run than diesel trucks in almost all applications in by 2030 and will meet the same requirements for range, running time and payload. (link)

Speaking of trucks... The first "500-mile range and super fun to drive" Tesla Semi trucks will be delivered to PepsiCo on December 1st (link via Tesla's PR department Elon Musk). It took about five years from the launch (video). I wonder how big of a role the IRA's $40k e-truck incentive plays in this.

Speaking of trucks... China, the largest commercial vehicle market in the world, is going electric fast. Within the last two years, share of light commercial vehicles has jumped from 1% to 10% of the sales. (link)

Electrifyin the fleet

Meanwhile, the medium and heavy-duty truck market is on the move to electric too, rising 224% in July and hitting 3.4% of the total market.

Arrival says it’s in talks to raise capital to build and sell its products in the US. (link)

BMW partners with AirConsole to bring 'casual gaming' into its cars so you'd have something to do while charging. Your phone is the controller (link).

BMW in-car-gaming

Here's some  inspiration for BMW on the next move, courtesy of the Chinese EV makers that I've covered in our Pro reports last month. I'm only half kidding.

Inspiration #1: NIO owners can already order the NIO Air AR Glasses which let owners view movies in the car in AR, connects to the car's speakers, and projects a 130-inch screen for the experience. (link).

NIO AR glasses

Inspiration #2: The XPeng P5 goes for the cinema effect with a projector by the back seat (video):

bZ4X fiX3D? It seems that Toyota has finally found a fix to keep the wheel on its bZ4X EV from falling off and is restarting sales in Japan on October 26th (link).

Have you wondered about the lack of new Gigafactory announcements in our weekly newsletters? There are actually about 3 announced on average every week.

You know, like the 20GWh $1.6B LFP plant Our Next Energy just announced in Michigan (link), or the Gotion's $2.36B battery plant there now made official? I keep details like this for the Pro Reports so I could write them out under the 'Batteries, Mining and Recycling' section. Jump in over to the Pro to not miss the details: (link).

Hotel Hyundai, powered by Ioniq 5s is now open for bookings in Essex, UK. From the lights, chargers and cinema to the kettle and shower, everything is powered by IONIQ 5 and its Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology. You can win a stay at the hotel here.

Hotel Hyundai



S&P predicts that the rising (...risen?) energy costs in Europe will cause 1M fewer cars produced per quarter, starting late this year and continuing through 2023. (link)

"The pressure on the automotive supply chain will be intense, especially the more one moves upstream from vehicle manufacturing."

Translation: expect cars to be 99% ready but not shipping because they miss a component. Who had that in their 2023 bingo?

Hoping: this might cause automakers to prioritize EVs even more, as we saw in the (still ~ongoing) chip shortages.

Rivian issued a voluntary recall of all 13,000 vehicles it has delivered so far (link), due to a potential loose fastener that connects the front upper control arm and steering knuckle. This can cause loose and vibrating tires, wheel tilt and loss of steering control. So far, there have been seven cases reported.

Britishvolt is reportedly discussing the sale of its main factory site in Cambois, northern England. Inobat might be one of the potential buyers, also through a potential merger with or acquisition of Britishvolt. (link) If you've been with us long enough, the troubles of Britishvolt don't come as a surprise... but I do hope there will be a cell production on an accelerated timeline there soon, whatever the entity.


Chart of the week

New Automotive tracks regional registrations in the UK, using a three-month rolling average. (link) Here's an overview of the DVLA regions with the highest share of EV sales:

DVLA EV share

Among the highest are:

  • Oxfordshire - 30%
  • Anglia - 23%
  • North East England - 21%
  • London -20%
  • Birmingham - 19%


Stuff I'm...


The NIO Berlin 2022, aka the European launch event (1:17:28):

 and here's the 6:23 "Hero Moment" (video).

NIO will be starting with three models in Europe: the sedans ET7 and ET5, and the SUV EL7.

Unlike the vehicles NIO sells directly in Norway, the company said it offers a service called NIO Subscription in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden that allows local consumers to lease vehicles only, not buy them.

Now a few days after the event, the CEO William Li says they underestimated the enthusiasm of many users for buying out their cars and might reconsider (link).

Here's a screenshot with the launch monthly pricing for NIO's three models across the new countries:

In Germany, for example, the monthly subscription price for NIO's flagship sedan, the ET7, starts at about 1,200€. It will start deliveries this Sunday.

NIO also confirmed that the company plans for 120 battery-swapping stations in Europe by the end of 2023.

"Fun" fact - just before the event, we learned NIO has renamed the ES7 to EL7 in Europe, due to the ongoing lawsuit from Audi for the naming. As Audi uses the S6 and S8, we're yet to see if NIO is forced to change the model names of ES6 and ES8 also.

👀 Lightyear 0 banks on coasting for an additional efficiency boost. During testing, Lightyear 0 prototypes took 3.6 km (2.23 mi) to go from 100 km/h to 0 km/h while coasting on a level road. I guess that's where the 0.175 Cd drag coefficient gets you.


👀  Lucid launched its "UX 2.0" with new features, which will come to owner with an OTA update. Includes something I didn't think I'd ever get to say write out loud:

"Hey, umm... yeah so we sent you an over-the-air update and now the car starts up way faster than before."

👀  Solo AVT successfully tested its electric drivetrain and drive-by-wire system of the SD1 class 8 truck:


They aim to design something 'radically different' for the long-haul freight transportation industry, building the system from scratch. (link)

I especially like the very point 01 of theirs: "Make it an EV". The truck will also NOT be human-drivable, but autonomous with an option of teleoperations-based system for maneuvering around hubs or taking over if needed.

I'm also surprised how far the company has come this far without very large rounds behind them (they've just raised a $7M seed round in March, led by Trucks VC). I'm keeping my eye on this one.


📚 The (long) story and videos of Team Rivian prepping for this year's Rebelle Rally.

Rebelle Rally is a competition for stock, OEM vehicles, not racecars. No GPS or Internet. This is the longest off-road rally in the US with 1,500 miles, and also happens to be for women only.

The Limestone Legends and Yellow Yetis are in the race right now, which is wrapping up for this year tomorrow. The R1T is actually @ the 3rd overall place right now (link).

Rebelle Rally '22

Rivian Rebelles


Something to go see

Sono Motors is touring the US with its Sion solar EV in October,

so if you're in Detroit on 17th, San Francisco on 24-25th, San Jose on 26th, or LA on 27-28th, I highly recommend you to check this one out. (link)

Test rides can be booked here (link).

Also - guess who the CEO, Laurin Hahn, retweeted? Hint: some people still think it is called after Evanescence Universe.

"I'm just here for the rays" in NYC (source)

The Sion has over 42k reservations and pre-orders so far and starts at €25k in Europe.


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