"Time to let the old ways die."
I generated this image — from nothing but a few words — with the AI system Stable Diffusion:
Hey. Jaan here.
Thank you for all the warm wishes last week, on our 2nd birthday. And your kind feedback on the form. It's still open here, all thoughts welcome!
I'm happy we've built a community of people who dare to take the road less traveled.
Here are the 36 insights from this week, which I picked out from around 2,500 articles I went through. As usual, I don't copy-paste stuff, and I try to give everything a sprinkle of context too.
This week, you can read about:
Words: 2,764 | Time to read: 12 minutes | Feeling: like launching an EV brand and having Foxconn build it.
This week gave us cause to take on a topic that I feel I often underreport. Electric buses.
In Brookville, Montgomery County in Maryland, the largest transit bus (V2G-capable) charging station and microgrid in America went live. (link)
I like how there's a win-win system created here:
AlphaStuxture, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and Carlyle Group, delivers the system of chargers, 1.6 MWh of solar panels, 3MWh of battery storage, and the microgrid software to the site. A 1.8MW natural gas generator is there for backup. The charging capacity is 4.14MW, meant for 70 electric buses, which is about half of Brookville's e-bus fleet.
And it's no upfront cost to the County coupled with a low-cost monthly Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) payment, as AlphaStruxture revenue here comes from managing the electricity flow between the buses/solar/storage/grid, stabilizing where needed.
Consider this as a positive side-effect of the rEVolution. Our energy generation and grids just become way, way smarter.
Maryland’s recently passed Climate Solutions Now Act targets the bus fleet to be 50% electric by 2030. Just this month, it deployed 86 electric school buses, the largest deployment of its kind in the US.
The biggest production site of medium and heavy-duty EVs in the US went into operation. Lion Electric produced its first LionC electric school bus in the Joliet, Illinois plant. The capacity will be 20,000 e-buses and trucks per year at full scale, which is quite a leap from the 2,500/year facility in Canada it had so far. (link)
The Chinese e-bus maker Yutong has deployed 888 e-buses in Qatar since the first order from the government two years ago.
Now, an inauguration ceremony is held in a e-bus depot in Lusail held, which consists of 24 buildings on more than 400,000 sqm (4,305,560 sqft) of area and relies on solar power. It has space for 478 e-buses and has now officially set a Guinness World Record as the largest electric bus depot.
The launch of the depot and increase in the e-bus fleet is also closely connected to the public transportation needs of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which will take place from Nov 20th to Dec 18th this year.
We've seen Olympics infrastructure go to waste across the world... I do hope this bus depot isn't just a temporary effort.
A 'task force' led by the US National Security Council and the cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is focusing on the clean-energy tax credits of the US Inflation Reduction Act. This is because the EU has concerns their products won't be qualifying for the US domestic credits and the bloc hopes for similar exemptions as Mexico and Canada have. (link)
The IRA-related tax credits were significantly directed towards moving the supply chain homebound from China, not so much from the EU. I'll keep an eye on it and report back.
Meanwhile, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron calls for a 'Buy European Act' (link):
"You have China that is protecting its industry, the U.S. that is protecting its industry and Europe that is an open house."
Looks like Hyundai & Kia (Hyundai Motor Group), which strongly criticized the discrimination of the IRA plans yet made strong moves to start US domestic production, will also frontrun a potential situation in Europe. The group announced last week that it will start producing EVs domestically in Europe, at Kia's Autoland Slovakia plant, starting production in 2025. (link)
It seems a real 'decoupling' of automakers' supply chains is happening with North America vs Europe vs China. The end game at that, however, is yet to play out and the deals in between are yet to be struck.
Saudi Arabia launched Ceer, its own EV brand. It'll be financed by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund (PIF) and >$150M of foreign direct investment. (link).
Ceer is a joint venture with Foxconn, which will produce the vehicle. It will also license component technology from BMW. The first EVs should hit the streets in 2025. In plans announced last month, we saw that Saudi Arabia hopes to export 150k EVs by 2026.
Remember, Foxconn is gathering the oddballs of the EV world. Add this one to the list. Along with the Luxgen from Taiwan that we wrote about in the Pro Report last week (link) and the Fisker/Lordstown/IndiEV we wrote about two weeks ago (link). And these won't be the last.
Volvo Cars announced it will only sell fully electric cars in Australia — by 2026! As we know, the company already has a more aggressive EV plan than most 'old' automakers with the target of 100% EVs by 2030 globally. Stephen Connor, the CEO of Volvo Car Australia, says:
"We’ve seen an opportunity in our marketplace today and our consumers are ready for this. Tesla will sell 20,000 cars this year and the Australian consumer is looking for change. Consumers aren’t just mum and dad anymore, it’s the kids telling their parents what they want them to buy."
🍌 for scale: the company sold 9,028 vehicles in Australia last year at a 0.9% market share. Looks like a perfect spot to reinvent itself as an EV maker. I'll bet that Norway and Denmark will be the next markets where Volvo Cars does this. This year so far, Volvo's global BEV mix is 15% (link). EV market share of vehicle sales in Australia is currently at 3.39%. (link)
My two Watts: we'll start seeing announcements like these pop out from different OEMs on very specific markets soon. I'm surprised there aren't too many "we'll only sell BEVs in Norway from 2023" announcements yet. 2030-35 are the high-level targets. Next year we'll hear quite a lot of ~2025-26 announcements.
The Volvo announcement came at a time when over 100 companies in Australia joined forces to form an EV alliance called Electric Vehicle Council. (link). The goal of the lobby group is to demand a strong EV strategy from the Australian government including introducing fuel efficiency standards consistent with the US, NZ and EU, and getting 1M EVs on Australian roads by 2027.
Consider this — by today, Tesla is the first automaker in the history of the Universe to produce more than 1 million battery-electric vehicles within a single year. (tweet this one here).
I'll also dissect the Q3 numbers of Europe in tomorrow's Pro report, along with some Q3 and October US sales. (wink)
4,300 EV owners in the UK rated the charging networks on the Zap-Map survey. Fastned and MFG EV Power shared the joint first place. (link) The government's latest quarterly data (link) shows there are 34,637 chargers currently (+34% YoY).
Tom, from the Fast Charge newsletter, analyzed the reliability of the DC charging network and coincidentally found Fastned and MFG EV Power at the very top with only 0 to 1% of their chargers out of order.
Although I hope to see the reliability continue there, keep in mind that both of these are newcomers to the UK market. Always harder to keep reliability up on a scale, which is why everything <7% part here is significant (link):
General Motors has appointed its executive Jaclyn McQuaid as President and CEO of GM Europe. This is the first real confirmation of GM's route to Europe, which is said to be 'a nimble, non-traditional mobility startup with an all-electric vehicle portfolio at its core'. (link)
Interestingly, the press release came through Cadillac channels - it might be a stretch, but will the first car inbound be Cadillac Lyriq?
Mercedes-Benz says the new platform for the 2023 E Class will be the last internal combustion chassis it will ever develop. S Class and C class will be phased out at the end of their model cycle. (link)
Volkswagen, Audi, and GM stop advertising on Twitter after a certain someone bought the whole platform. (link) However, I found that this here is a better reaction:
Hello to the social media platform owned by one of our competitors— Citroën (@Citroen) October 28, 2022
Polestar raises $1.6B in funding, including an $800M 18-month term loan of its semi-parent company, Volvo Cars (48.3% owner, the other part is Geely) (link). Another $800M comes from its significant shareholder PSD Investment. This should get the automaker 'sufficient funds through 2023'. The loan includes an option for Volvo Cars to convert to equity on a pro rata basis in a potential future equity raise by Polestar.
PG&E received the approval to create the US' first V2G export rate for commercial EV charging customers (in California). (link)
More than 30 insights on new EV models, the battery industry, charging networks, policy and funding news are waiting for you in our weekly Pro Report (evuniverse.io/pro).
to what I wrote about last week but have new info on.
DeLorean: In a deeper dive last week (link), I wrote about how the DeLorean goes comes back to the future twice. Now, we've got a comment from one side of the story - from Kat DeLorean. She's the daughter of John DeLorean who launched DNG Motors.
First off, she said the Model-JZD was designed as an EV but they have 'at least three, maybe four' powertrains being researched. They'll explain the why, what and how on Nov 15th, but she wrote to us as a TL;DR:
"John was an engineer who believed in safety and building an ethical and affordable sports car. I cannot properly honor his legacy without at least properly engineering the car.
That engineering program I mentioned is key to what sets us apart. We are not just building a car, we are building a pathway back to American automotive manufacturing that will be able to be leveraged even by DMC.
I am just here to show the world what my father was made of and represent his Legacy. Watch me change the world, DeLorean Style."
Thank you, Kat, for your point of view on all of this. I wish we'd get the of the new DMC people too, but it's likely the lawsuit with Karma might block them from saying anything anyway.
Britishvolt: might stay alive after all! Reportedly, the company was hoping for a £30M advance of the £100M total funding from the government for the £3.8B gigafactory in Blyth but was rejected.
It now has 'secured cash for the business to stay afloat in the short to medium term'. According to The Guardian, the funding line is "single-digit" millions of pounds, reportedly from Glencore. (link) Here's their own 'business update' from the company (link). The 300-something staff also agreed to take a pay cut for November.
Sweden is looking like a little Norway here.
35.5% BEV market share in October is... stunning. (link)
Norway is still a bit ahead with a 77.5% BEV and 86.4% PEV rate though.
I can't wait to wrap up the whole year's sales numbers in January to understand exactly how many of the markets have crossed 20%+ BEV share. Although it is my goal to keep you up to date enough throughout the year so the total numbers wouldn't be a surprise for you, I think we're still in for some surprises.
👀 Electrify America launches a $10M brand-neutral marketing campaign called "as seen on EV", available at seeonev.com.
The ads will run nationally through July 2024 so you'll likely get the ad sooner or later if you are in the US. It mimics the style of streaming channels like Netflix and has put up EV-focused short ads ("shows") themed as:
👀 Volvo EX90 will premiere on 9th of November. Here's a link for the livestream: (link). I have high hopes for the new EV platform.I also happened to compare its interior with a 10-year-old Model S... I'll leave it up for you to decide if it's a good or a bad move from Volvo.
I dunno guys, looks like Model S *really* was 10 years ahead of its time.— Jaan of the ΞV Universe ⚡ (@TheEVuniverse) November 1, 2022
Above is the interior of the all-new electric Volvo EX90 which will debut on Nov 9th. pic.twitter.com/xO5bjfyk7j
👀 Lotus Eletre launch (video, 42min).
👀 Einride November Release gives a nice update: (19:09)
I feel like every time I tune in to see what the company is doing, I arrive at "what? They're doing this? Already?".
This announcement adds an upgraded autonomous class 8 truck called Gen 2 Rigid Large and plans for Einride Stations, the charging station hubs for its (and others') electric truck fleet. The first US station will be constructed near the Port of LA next year and can serve up to 200 vehicles. (link)
It will also increase its Saga freight mobility platform to new customers.
On a separate note, Einride also just completed the two-week public road autonomous EV pilot with GE Appliances in Selmer, Tennessee. (link) The Gen 2 truck is on the right:
👀 Tesla Semi casually accelerating on a test run (video).
👀 GMC Hummer EV vs Rivian R1T vs Ford F-150 Lightning tested by Tom Moloughney:
📚 "The metals for your EV are stuck in a 30-mile traffic jam", aka the nicely visual story of getting the copper from copper mines in Congo and Zambia to ports. (link)
📚 ‘State of Charge: EVs, Batteries and Battery Materials’ report from Adamas Intelligence looks at the H1 2022 battery market (20pp pdf).
Few bits at first glance:
I was rather surprised to see this, but here's StoreDot's CEO, Doron Myersdorf, calling the industry to get real about solid-state batteries' timeline in a press release (link):
“It’s crucial that leading battery developers like StoreDot give global automotive manufacturers a realistic and hype-free road map for the introduction of extreme fast charging battery technologies.
Right now, despite some of the bullish claims by our rivals, all solid-state batteries are still at least 10 years away. They are certainly no silver bullet for any vehicle maker currently developing fast charging electric vehicle architectures."
StoreDot itself, whose progress we've kept an eye on closely (especially on the Pro reports), sent their first "100in5" (silicon-dominant XFC) cells recently for OEM testing in EVs which is to start mass production by 2024. "100in5" means 100 miles charged in 5 minutes. StoreDot plans mass production of semi-solid state batteries by 2028 (100in3) and solid-state batteries in 2032 (100in2).
Connections: StoreDot's strategic investors and partners include Daimler, BP, VinFast, Volvo, Polestar, Ola Electric, Samsung, TDK and its manufacturing partner EVE Energy.
The big question here is — is StoreDot right about its competitors?
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⚡ Caution! High Voltage!
Shell is set to acquire Volta Charging the US public charging network ($VLTA) for $169M in cash. We'll take a deeper look into the why.