Hey, Jaan here.
This weekend will be special. I have now sent you two emails:
Here's what's up in the industry:
Words: 2,403 | Time to read: 12 minutes | Feeling: like not listening to the naysayers.
"Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology,
electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets.
Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles."
— Bill Gates, 2020
"If Tesla really delivers on this promise, we’ll obviously buy 2 trucks —
one to take apart and one to test because if that happens, something has passed us by.
But for now, the same laws of physics apply in Germany and in California”
— Martin Daum (Daimler Trucks), 2018
"There are some people out there that say it can't be done. I don't know who might say that, but I've heard rumors.
So we... just did it.
And we'll post the whole video, unedited, on YouTube."
— Elon Musk, 1st of December, 2022
On December 1st, Tesla delivered its first Semi trucks to PepsiCo and its subsidiary Frito Lay.
Read the rest of the 2,000-word deep dive, including all the Semi specifications, it's 500-mile test, my back-of-the-napkin calculations on the battery size, curb weight and charging power and much more in the "Tesla Semi: Deep Dive" email that I sent you, or on our blog here:
PS - don't miss the comparison table of all Class 8 electric Semis in the US I made.
Slovakia will release €46M in funds for the "E-Mobility Action Plan" to create a nationwide charging infrastructure ( link ):
My 2 watts: Bonus points to Slovakia, as the rules specify a minimum of 1MW connection to the 4-6 fast chargers in a hub, so they avoid the pitfall of putting up chargers that won't be able to charge at max capacity.
200 businesses in Ireland were selected into a government program where they can test out an EV for three months for free to see if they would fit the company fleets. ( link ) One of the best EV-adoption programs I've seen around - butts in seats is how we'll win people over.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded to cover the whole of London from August next year. ( link ) The ULEZ has so far reduced pollution levels by 44% in central London and 20% in inner London. Vehicles that do not meet the standards must pay a £12.50 ($15) daily charge.
A new £110M ($135M) scrappage scheme will support scrapping old vehicles or retrofitting vans/minibuses.
CharIN, the consortium of EV charging players that developed the CCS and the new MW Charging System, respond to Tesla's launch of North American Charging Standard (NACS). The latter is strongly positioned as an alternative (=competitor) for CCS. Tesla says the NACS connector is half the size and twice as powerful as CCS connectors. ( link ).
In my own brief words, CharIN looks to be saying: "congrats Tesla --- don't do it."
There's more to dig into here, but what I did notice was that CharIN uses an argument that CCS is significantly bigger a network (61k CCS vs 40k SuperChargers). I'd like to say that they should count 'em where it matters:
NACS is North America based, so in reality, we're talking 18,880 CCS vs 18,405 Tesla SC connectors. Level playing field? Even not so:
Not mentioned is that there are 16,045 SC ports in NA that have 100kW+ capability, while only 4,862 do so for CCS. And, well, this is where it counts, isn't it.
Since we have a bunch of new folk on board, I'll again leave one of my favorite xkcd comics here, which seems we are moving towards:
The Lightyear 0 is now in series production at Valmet’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Currently, only one unit per week will be produced and will be ramped up in Q1. ( link ) Here's more from the scene with some words from the CEO and cofounder, Lex Hoefsloot:
Lordstown starts its Endurance pickup deliveries, after receiving the necessary certifications from EPA and CARB. ( link ) We won't see many on the roads anytime soon though, as 50 will be made this ear, 450 in the first half of 2023.
The first 999 of VinFast 8s are shipped to California as the first batch of the Vietnamese automaker EVs, deliveries are set to start by the end of this month. VinFast is also building a plant in North Carolina that should come online in 2024, which should then make it eligible for the IRA credits.
The automaker claims it has 65k orders for the VF8/9, with the VF8 starting at $42.2k plus a $169/month battery subscription (if chosen, $57k with battery). Stats you didn't ask for: it is expected to take 20 days for the ship to reach US from Vietnam.
Related watch tip: Munro Live team visiting VinFast's facilities in Vietnam. ( video )
EU policy: European Parliament says they want to make charging as easy as refueling... so they want to create a uniform EU rule on the payment options. ( link ) Most likely this means it would mean a rule for accepting card payments in 50kW+ DC chargers and even demand retrofitting existing stations.
My two watts: I have to say I agree with Frantisek Jemelka, who is leading negotiations with Parliament on behalf of the Czech EU Presidency:
"In the end, this could lead to the situation that operators would rather deactivate or uninstall the charging station than invest into the retrofitting of AC recharging stations."
CPOs also say this would distract them from rolling out more chargers. The negotiations between the parties will continue, so we're yet to see what the final law will say.
Clearing up FUD: Should you read the sensational headlines of Switzerland banning EV driving because of electricity shortages... you guessed it, it isn't true. The story is taken out of context of an emergency response draft, which in its 3rd escalation level, could mean partial driving bans put in place for non-necessary journeys. ( link )
Foxconn might be the one that will build Volkswagen's Scout brand vehicles in the US ( link ). Magna Steyr is also said to be an option.
The secret veil has finally been lifted and we now know the prices of Rivian-Amazon delivery vans. Per this, the average has been $77,856 in Washington state per 80 vans. This is roughly in the same ballpark as an average R1T in the state. ( link )
Looks like Rivian also made its first international deliveries of the R1T and R1S in Vancouver, Canada. ( link )
Lucid Motors is offering its US employees an $18k discount if they buy the Air Grand Touring (starts at $154k) before the end of the year. It will be paid out after buying the car by $500 per every two weeks with paycheck ( link ).
BMW filed a patent to harness the power of suspension movement from the car driving, potentially directing it to the battery. ( link ) I'll leave you to your own conclusions about this one.
Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida is calling the IRA regulations challenging and says "those regulations probably should have had some grace period" ( link ).
Russia's Kamaz will use the Moscow plant that Renault gave up to start producing (assembling, really) an electric version of the Moskvich 3. ( link ) It seems to be a direct copy of the JAC S4 from China. From the 50,000 cars that Kamaz plans to build in the plant next year, 10,000 will be said EVs.
Living in a country that fought itself free from Soviet rule, the Moskvich is etched into my brain forever as something my parents and every one of my friends' parents owned at some point in the past. It is weird to see this one (potentially) be electric.
Tesla Conquests: in case you've ever wondered, these are the brands people owned before switching to a Tesla within the last year ( link ):
Toyota bZ4X doesn't like cold. I've written about bZ4X potentially not being able to fast-charge in cold climates before, but now it looks like the first important EV of the auto giant has more problems in store for us.
A Danish FDM magazine test achieved only about half of the promised WLTP range for both the 2WD (153mi instead of 313mi) and AWD (134mi instead of 287mi) versions of the Toyota bZ4x. ( link ) And this is really not even a real cold, testing at 4°C (39°F).
I've seen similar results for bZ4X elsewhere too. Yes, WLTP is a bit optimistic in the real world. And yes, you can drive the car in different ways. No, buying a car with 47% of the advertised range won't become the norm.
Toyota Europe and Toyota HQ in Japan are carrying out an investigation into the findings.
China Evergrande Group's EV unit, Hengchi, has reportedly stopped its recently launched mass production of the Hengchi EV... due to a lack of new orders. ( link ) For context, in July Hengchi said it had received non-binding orders for over 37k units of the EV, and in late October they said they've delivered the first 100. The Henchi 6 is supposed to start production within this year.
This isn't going very well with the plans of the chairman of Evergrande, who said the group's primary business will switch from real estate to automotive within 10 years.
BMW i3 isn't finding success in China (not to be confused with, you know, 'our' i3), and dealers are offering up to $15k discounts hoping to reduce the inventory levels. ( link )
With the ~$49,800 suggested starting price it should be the competitor to Tesla Model 3, but having only sold 4.5k of these since March we can see where this is going. Meanwhile, although Tesla also experiences strong shortening of its order backlog, it has sold over 290k Model 3/Ys in China (not counting exported Teslas).
Note - we know the lack of orders isn't for a lack of EV demand, as all-electric vehicles had a 22% share in October and keeps growing.
38 imported BMW iX and i4 EVs are recalled in China due to battery issues: there "may be foreign objects mixed into the battery cells due to manufacturing errors". Until repaired, the owners should avoid charging the cars. ( link )
Why do I report on 38 cars recalled, you ask? Well, if it is a serious problem you can bet your hat that recalls in other countries for the full fleet are incoming.
Tesla's over-the-air software update will fix a problem in 435,132 vehicles in China as a recall, because the outline lights might not illuminate after waking up the car from park. ( link )
14.4 billion miles (23B km) were driven by all-electric vehicles in the US in 2021. ( link ) That’s up 57% from 9.2B in 2020.
PHEVs added another 4.7B miles (7.6B km) to the mix last year... but together with BEVs they still make up less than 1% of the estimated total of 2.9 trillion miles driven in 2021. We've got a long way to go. Literally.
👀 Doing an Amazon route with the Rivian EDV:
👀 Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla Chief Designer since 2008, interview (16:42):
I love how when he is asked about his favorite design he says it's the one coming... and he can't talk about it. Elon added : "😉"
👀 A 9-minute video of all EVs presented at the LA Auto Show this year
👀 Six different forms of electric vehicles in an 18-mile race through London:
📚 A T&E study on public funding programs for zero-emission trucks in Europe (30pp pdf ). The best detailed overview I've found on the topic so far. Here's the best graph, from page 6/7, showing the programs of each country:
📚 I don't write about EVTOL's (electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle) emerging industry in these newsletters. This is to keep a strict criteria of ground-based passenger EVs. I have, however, stumbled upon a great deep-dive into said industry in China: ( link ).
Mate Rimac on the new joint venture of Bugatti-Rimac ( link ):
"It's highly profitable and cash flow positive beyond anybody's expectations. It's such a win-win situation for everybody."
Mate also confirmed that an IPO of the group or a spin-off unit can happen from 3 to 10 years from now, as it must first become more like Ferrari, which has a predictable, stable and profitable business.
Any feedback is very welcome here: ( link )
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See you next week.
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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.