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  • EVU Report #133: Kia EV3 launch — Bolt owners get $$$ — Greek ferries want you low on battery

EVU Report #133: Kia EV3 launch — Bolt owners get $$$ — Greek ferries want you low on battery

Caution! High Voltage ⚡

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Hey, Jaan here.

I’m back with your weekly dose of everything.

Heads up — I won’t send you anything next week due to a little surgery. I mean, who needs tonsils anyway, right?

On our electric menu today:

  • Who wins from EU and US tariffs on Chinese EVs?

  • Chevy Bolt owners get $700-$1,400 for battery troubles

  • Spotlight: Kia EV3

  • Greek ferries won’t let you onboard with 40%+ charge?

  • and much more to discover.

Words: 2,980 | Reading time: 11 min | Feeling: anxious about having my battery… too full?

European Union will reportedly (read: trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis “hinted” to POLITICO) impose tariffs on China-made EVs before the summer recess in end of July. (link)

The sudden rush in getting it done from the EU side was something to expect after the US tariff hike we reported on last week. It put more pressure on. Another thing to note here is that European elections take place on 9th of June, which is why we can see some extra attention here.

The current 10% tariffs are expected to be increased to 25-30% by experts. The anti-subsidy investigation itself has a deadline of the 4th of July.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Brussels claims that China is considering tariffs of 25% on imported vehicles with large engines. (link) Pair the news with our deep dive from last week, on China EVs eating the world (and the US quadrupling China EV tariffs).

We’ve now learned the US will be implementing the tariffs, including the 25%→100% Chinese EV import tariff, from 1st of August. (link)

So, for those keeping score:

🇨🇳 China is going electric domestically at a breathtaking speed. And its production capacity for EVs is just rising, which leads to the possibility of exporting the EVs everywhere.

🇺🇸 United States slapped 100% tariffs on Chinese EVs, and will grow EV adoption slower than it could because of it.

🇪🇺 European Union is likely slapping tariffs (20-30%?) on Chinese EVs, will grow EV adoption slower because of it, but not completely losing out as joint ventures with Chinese EV makers and local manufacturing plants start popping up. The 20-30% tariffs would likely also level the playing field between EU and Chinese EV makers, so it’d just reduce profits, not put their business out completely.

Who wins?

🌍️ Rest of the world, which will get the Chinese EV influx without much restrictions. I expect large EV success stories all across the globe in the ‘rest of the world’ category, largely thanks to this ‘opportunity’ of EU and US protectionist measures.

🇨🇳 China, as it is already taking back its own automarket with superior EVs over subpar ICE (remember the stats form last week, local brands now at 53% from 37% five years ago). Now that China is thinking of putting tariffs on imported ICE, this will only continue. The message is clear: build EVs, not ICE.

China also wins because it is doing an extraordinary entrance (the word invasion has a bad ring to it so I won’t use that ok?) right now to a lot of markets, increasingly into Europe, and eventually into the US as well.

I believe what US and Europe are doing is just buying themselves another 2-3 years for local auto to catch up (spoiler alert: they won’t) until the Chinese EV makers start to produce locally.

I know, we’ve talked about this China thing a lot lately. I could go on and on — the power shifts in the world’s auto market are just so fascinating to follow. I’ve also received great feedback from many of you on our polls (thanks, I read them all and it keeps me going!).

But… let’s look at what else is going on now, as I believe it is eventually not the politics that will drive the EV adoption, but the EVs and the surrounding ecosystem itself.

The European Council has formally agreed on the adoption of stricter emission standards for trucks and buses. The regulation stipulates that all new city buses must be emission-free from 2035 and almost all new trucks from 2040, with interim targets. (link)

The US government launched a $932M ‘Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program’, for heavy-duty vehicles and school buses, supporting the procurement and operation of these vehicles, as well as the necessary charging infrastructure and operator training. (link)

Leapmotor will launch 200 sales points in Stellantis’ showrooms across 9 European countries starting in September this year. (link) In Q4, the 49-51 joint venture of the two also plans to extend operations to extend operations to Middle East & Africa (Turkey, Israel and French Overseas), India & Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and India), and South America (Brazil and Chile).

I guess it wasn’t all about Stellantis bringing the cheaper Chinese EVs to Europe… but also Stellantis now being able to expand in these other regions?

More about their plans in the last week’s Pro Report #132.

Quick bites:

Chevy Bolt Model Year 2017-2022 owner? You might be eligible to receive $$$:

In a court settlement, GM and LGES are to set up a $150M fund to compensate the Chevy Bolt owners who had been affected by the defective batteries. (link) Context: in November 2020, GM had to recall ~70k Bolts due to battery fire risk. The replacement and delays were a whole story of its own.

  1. The Bolt owners who have the latest software solution installed at a GM-authorised dealer before 31 December 2023 can receive up to $1,400

  2. Owners who sold their vehicle or canceled the lease before the software remedy was available, and those who have already received a battery replacement, will receive at least $700.

If you want to dig deeper, here are the settlement documents (link).

  • Tesla released its Impact Report 2023 (160-page pdf). I’ll create an overview of the best finds in our next Teslaverse issue.

  • Ford is reportedly rethinking its plan to sell only full-electric cars in Europe by 2030 (link).

  • Ford is also recommending its US dealers halt investments related to selling EVs until after it completes a review of its Model e certification program requirements in June. (link)

  • Cadillac backtracks, says gas vehicles likely to stay in the lineup beyond 2030 (link).

  • Stellantis says they will not change their goal of offering only EVs in Europe by 2030. (link)

  • Audi CEO Gernot Döllner confirms that the brand is sticking to its 2033 time for phasing out combustion engines, and is planning the last major world premieres for new models with conventional drive systems in 2026 (link).

  • EVs accounted for 4.3% of sales on Carvana, the used car sales platform, in the first quarter of 2024 — up from 1.8% in the same period last year. (link)

  • Hertz had a ‘system error’ which billed EV renters for gas costs in several cases. (link)

  • DHL Group now operates over 35,000 electric vehicles for collection and delivery. That’s 38% of the overall fleet. The company aims for 60% by 2030. (link)

  • Oakland Unified announced that it is the first school district in the US to use a fully electric bus fleet (link).

  • Resource tip: EV tax benefits and incentives per country in Europe (pdf), an updated list from ACEA.

  • Philippines extends EV import tax exemption until 2028 (link).

  • In 2014, you could choose between 16 all-electric models in UK. Now, there are 102. (link)

Tevva Motors, the British e-truck maker, files for insolvency. (link) About 6 months ago, Tevva was about to merge with ElectraMeccanica, but the talks fell apart and ElectraMeccanica later merged with Xos. Tevva statement says it is still pursuing investment that secures the future of the company.

FACEPALM OF THE WEEK:

Apparently the Greek ferries now demand that your EV is at under 40% battery charge level or you can’t drive on board. (link in 🇩🇪 )

The shipping companies are implementing the new regulation from Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy that came out in mid-April.

It’s pretty weird to see such a move, while most of the world is starting to put chargers on ferries for EVs instead.

So why did the Greek do this? Your guess is as good as mine. One of the replies to my post on X about this nailed it, probably: it’s for the weight. Imagine how much you save on weight if like 10 EVs all have 60% less electricity in their batteries…

NIO launched its mass-market sub-brand Onvo and its first model yesterday. The first model is called Onvo L60. (press release | website (.cn)). I made one of our usual EV spotlights with all the specs and YT reviews in last week’s Pro Report, unlock and dig deeper through here.

But our EV spotlight today shines on…
drum roll please 🥁 

Kia EV3

This baby-EV9-looking electric SUV was unveiled late last week
(press release | world premiere video)

All you need to know:

  • Price: no official pricing yet, but expected at ~$30,000

  • Range: up to 373 miles (600 km)
    EV3 Standard Range: 410 km (255 miles) on the 58.3 kWh battery WLTP
    EV3 Long Range: 600 km (373 miles) on the 81.4 kWh battery WLTP

QUESTION: Should I create an EV glossary for us?

a cheat sheet for words like WLTP, NMC, LFP, EPA, CCS, PHEV...

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  • Architecture: 400V E-GMP platform
    (different from the 800V of the EV6 and EV9)

  • DC charging: 102 kW or 128kW respectively

  • AC charging: 11kW, bidirectional capable

  • Performance: 150kW, 0-100km/h 7.4s or 7.7s; max speed 170 km/h (105 mph)

  • Front Wheel Drive (only), AWD with GT model coming in 2026.

  • Aerodynamics: 0.263 Cd (hey it’s pretty boxy so that’s ok)

  • Seats: five

  • Infotainment: 12.3’’ central screen that is divided to three sections, with a 5.3’’ area for climate, familiar from EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, etc. 12’’ heads-up display (HUD).

  • Media: YT and Netflix can be played from the screen, along with small in-car games.

  • Over-the-Air updates ✔️ 

  • Dimensions: L 4,300mm, W 1,850mm, H 1,560mm, wheelbase 2,680mm

  • Deliveries: expected to start in July in Korea, second half of this year in Europe, 2025 in Australia and USA.

Looks like Kia is one of the few that has actually made the vehicle look near-identical to the concept shown previously (link).

I just recently drove the Volvo EX30 — a fun one — and expect Kia EV3 to be its exact rival here.

Here are two good EV3 walkaround videos from: Fully Charged (14min), Autogefühl (19min).

I naturally had to turn the whole thing into a meme too.

“Honey, I shrunk the EV9!”

MG Motor (a SAIC brand) opened ordering for the Cyberster in the UK, starts at £55k ($69k) and deliveries in August. (configurator)

Jeep has taken a (pretty funny) approach of comparing its upcoming electric Wagoneer S directly to a Tesla Model Y in a dramatized video ad. It’s built on their fact that their (pre-production) Wagoneer S goes 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds, while Tesla Model Y (lots-of-production) is at 3.5s.

I won’t even mention the difference in vehicle prices (nearly 2x), and that the refreshed Model Y Performance might be out by the time they get this thing shipped…

I do enjoy their take on the second part of the video where they’re like “no, we actually just need to surpass ourselves”, and show that Wagoneer is faster than their ICE versions. Because that is who we are supposed to be fighting. The fossils.

Volkswagen delays the North American premiere of the ID.7, saying it is due to “making market-driven choices while listening to our customers,” then goes on to tell us about how well ID.7 does in Europe and how US sales are driven by SUVs instead (link).

Rivian is offering up to a $5k “Electric Upgrade Offer” discount and a year of complimentary charging on the Rivian Adventure Network (RAN), if trading in certain models of Audi/BMW/Ford/Jeep/Toyota (link).

Gravity, the US charging startup, unveiled DEAP Trees: 200 or 500kW chargers that can be deployed curbside and, by their claims, require no utility upgrades. (link)

Bidirectional-ready. Good on the eyes. No tripping hazards. Ultra-fast charging right in front of your house. What’s not to love?

Image: Gravity

Now if this sounds fishy to you (it should — no utility upgrade for 200-500kW DC?!), let me explain what’s probably going on.

I believe the way this is presented is almost misleading, really, due to the PR not disclosing the actual logic behind the system (and the media happily eating it all up).

* Jaan puts his skeptic hat on *

Bankrupt? Good. Australian EV charging company EVSE is looking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the financial collapse of Tritium, by offering discounts to customers to replace their chargers. (link) Couldn’t help myself, it reminds me of this old-but-gold meme of a law firm billboard:

The US now has one EV fast charging station for every 15 gas stations (8,200 vs 120k) (link). Meanwhile, the ratio is one to five in California (link). Here’s the deployment of new fast-charging stations per quarter in the US, by Bloomberg:

BP Pulse has reduced the number of countries it operates in from 12 to 4 in recent months: US, UK, Germany, and China. BP Pulse also laid off 100 of its 900 employees.

"We thought fleets would move to EV first. But given recessionary pressures and some relief from governments, fleets have slowed down," CEO Auchincloss said. (link) BP had over 29,000 charging points globally at the end of 2023.

ChargePoint and Airbnb partner to make it easier for Airbnb hosts in the US to install chargers. (link) The package, exclusively offered to Airbnb hosts, includes a dedicated website offering ChargePoint hardware, charger management software, installation, and support services. The guests can then use the ChargePoint app to charge.

South Africa: The first 15 car and 7 e-truck charging stations will be built by Zero Carbon Charge within a year in Free State province, South Africa, all off-grid and powered by solar. (link) We reported on their plans (now planning 120+120 sites total) in our newsletter #122 here.

CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, plans to deploy 10,000 fast chargers across 100 cities in China by the end of next year. In partnership with the charging network Star Charge. (link)

Audi opened its first own fast-charging location outside Europe: 4x150kW in Tokyo. (link)

Japan reached 40,000 public chargers installed – 30,195 AC and 10,128 DC chargers (link)

France: There were 129,525 public chargers in France at the end of April, up 30% from the year earlier. France aims to reach 400,000 publicly accessible charging points by 2030. (link)

NIO added Lotus, GAC, and FAW on its battery swapping partner list. (link) NIO has signed similar partnerships with Geely, Changan, Chery, and JAC. By the end of April, NIO had installed 2,454 Power Swap Stations and 22,138 chargers, and connected with over 1.5 million non-NIO chargers worldwide.

Fastned opened its first official shop at their Brech Station in Belgium (link). Here’s Fastned’s Annual Report (203 pages pdf)

That’s it for today! This newsletter went out to 7,060 subscribers.
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Want to keep reading? 
Here’s what I’ve published since our last newsletter:

  • Last week’s Pro Report #132, for our paid members only, including NIO’s Onvo L60 in spotlight. Another Pro Report drops to our members in five minutes.

  • Voltera Report #005, our free special report with Voltera on EV fleets, heavy-duty and charging infrastructure.

  • Teslaverse #10, our free monthly report on Tesla, with new CyberCab info, Tesla Semi update, and more.

See you soon!

— Jaan

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