EVU Report: Tesla M3 Refresh — Fisker shows new EVs — Proterra files for bankruptcy protection
Caution! High Voltage ⚡
EVs really do come in different shapes… (source)
Hey! Guess who’s back?
Yes, it’s your favorite EV geek. Jaan here.
I don’t know about you, but just as I blinked — I swear it was just once — the whole of August went by. So we had ourselves a little break from publishing, but I’m back. And I come in electrons blazing.
Here’s a warm hello to 308 new subscribers who have joined us while we were gone. We’re 3,878 readers strong as of today!
The EV Universe seems to be expanding in every direction lately. I’d say the sky is the limit, but clearly not in our case.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Words: 2,429 | Reading time: 9 minutes | Feeling: refreshed
Some updates to the EV Universe:
We’ve got a new website design. Again. It is meant to streamline your journey in our little Universe here. All our past issues will now be easier to find, and they come with better reading experience (here).
If you’re one of the Pro members, I’ll be ‘moving’ your account to our new system this week, which means you’ll also be able to access any and all locked-to-public Pro Reports more easily.
If you’re involved in marketing in an EV-related company, you’ll want to create something for World EV Day this week — takes place on the 9th of September. (link)
London expands the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to all of London now. This means Euro 4 for gas and Euro 6 limits for diesel cars. (details here). Driving a non-compliant vehicle anywhere in the zone will incur a charge of £12.50/day and not paying the fee will mean a £90-£180 fine. 2,750 cameras were installed to monitor the new zone. Previous zones have proven to be successful: roadside pollution levels dropped by 44% in central London and 20% in inner London.
Colorado introduced a point-of-sale rebate of $6k for new and $4k for used EV purchase if trading in an old ICE car. (link)
Proterra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company went public in 2021 in a SPAC merger valuing it at $1.6B. After the news, the stock has fallen over 95%. CEO Gareth Joyce:
As of August 2023, the company had delivered more than 1,000 electric transit buses, including 199 new transit buses and 14 pre-owned buses in 2022. I don't get surprised all too often anymore, but this one, considering all the tailwinds for electric buses in North America…
Proterra still intends to continue as a business. Its hope — stated when it voluntarily filed for protection under Chapter 11 — is that the move will “strengthen its financial position” through a recapitalization or going-concern sale.
Want to be as cool as Rivian? Easy. All you need to do is:
Build an awesome electric pickup truck.
Keep taking in feedback from owners and enthusiasts
Use it to make the changes needed, improve driver experience
📚️ Reading tip: due to several reasons, like some ride-hailing companies going bankrupt, there are lots with hundreds to even thousands of abandoned EVs parked in lots in some cities in China. Bloomberg reports (here).
Study tip: Recurrent studied 12,500 US Teslas over five years. (link) It found no significant range degradation difference between frequently fast-charged EVs and those rarely fast-charged.
Study tip #2: Fossil fuels were subsidized to a record $7T across the globe in 2022, per the IMF report. (link) (32-page pdf here) (tweetable here) Although the study also calculates quite a lot of ‘indirect’ subsidizing, the $13.3 million every minute frightens me, a lot. We’ve got some work to do.
FINANCIALS | M&A | IPOs
VinFast went public in mid-August, via a SPAC merger with Black Spade Acquisition. (link) The crazy thing is, that the company closed at a massive $86B valuation in the first close, and even reached a $215B market cap within the day. However, the background for the crazy jump might be elsewhere — 90% of the SPAC investors reportedly took their money out of the deal before it was completed, meaning fewer shares available for trading. As I write, the stock ($VFS) has settled on a ~$68B market cap, which would make it the 6th most valuable automaker in the world. Right…
ElectraMeccanica and Tevva announced merger plans to create a “market leader in zero-emission commercial vehicles”. (link) This seems to me more of an asset/team acquisition and a chance for Tevva to go public. And the end of ElectraMeccanica’s soul, the small EVs.
Zeekr has been given the green light by Beijing to issue up to 926M common shares on the NYSE (aka Chinese EV startups are finally slowly about to be allowed to IPO overseas?) (link).
BYD’s profits jumped 204.7% year-over-year for the first half of this year, reaching 10.95B yuan ($1.5B). (link)
Tesla. There are a bunch of moves from Tesla to report, but we’ll keep most for the Teslaverse #4 newsletter I’ll send you tomorrow. I will tease the ‘biggest’ of the news for you here today:
Tesla has now unveiled the refreshed Model 3, the one codenamed Project Highland. It’s the first major ‘facelift’ since it went into production six years ago. Changed the looks, and changed a whole lotta else too.
Here are some details on what’s different (link). And here’s a good walkaround video from Robert of the Fully Charged in Oslo (never mind the clickbait header):
PS — if you read our newsletters in the new improved online version, you’ll be able to play these videos without ever leaving us. Find the ‘read online’ on the upper right corner of every newsletter.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE REAL REFRESHED MODEL 3?
A longtime friend of the EV Universe, Nick, will drop by the Tesla showcase for it in the IAA Mobility this week. If you’ve got any questions about the car, he might be able to answer on the spot! Send your questions as a reply to this newsletter.
Fisker. Held its Product Vision Day, where it showed four EVs: an off-road Ocean SUV, the smaller PEAR SUV, the Alaska pickup truck and convertible GT sportscar Ronin. (1h20min video of the event | press release)
The Ronin and Alaska can now also be reserved for $2k/$250 respectively. There are more details on each model here, but let’s take a closer look at the PEAR as it seems the closest (after Ocean) to actually enter series production.
The PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution) is an electric SUV that Fisker hopes to sell for $29,900 when it goes on sale in mid-2025. Here’s a few things that seem unique enough to mention:
PEAR has a light steel body structure, and the company says it has figured out how to reduce the parts count by 35%.
It will implement the Fisker Blade, an in-house High-Performance Computer for a “connected digital experience.” (link)
The “Houdini Trunk” in the back (hideaway liftgate) and the “Froot” (for front boot, so essentially a frunk) simplify cargo loading in city parking. Should I mention I first used the word Froot for this in 2021 already?
Fisker is offering two battery options for a range of either 180 miles or 320 miles, and will be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a polite 6.3 seconds.
Fisker has now also confirmed Foxconn will be producing the Pear in its Lordstown, Ohio facility, from July 2025. (link) I’m just going to go ahead and say it — “called it!”.
However, considering Foxconn's track record so far *cough, Byton and Lordstown Motors, cough* … we can only hope the partners are better aligned here to actually make the car happen.
Volkswagen launches pre-orders for the ID.7 in Europe, the 386-mile (681 km) launch model starts at €56,995 ($61.5k). (link)
Rivian’s new dual-motor R1T on a Max pack will get up to 410mi range EPA-estimated (link).
I found this cool: Kia is a partner to The Ocean Cleanup, and plans to use recycled plastic from a 55-ton haul recently reclaimed from the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch in its new EVs. (link) (video)
I love the outsized impact that the Ocean Cleanup is having on our planet. If you want to get involved in cleaning the ocean, I’ve found this page for different ways to do so.
👀 Watch tip: Bending physics, aka Rimac Nevera setting the new Nürburgring EV lap record. The story: (2:57 video)
EVent: IAA Mobility
IAA MOBILITY will take place this week (5-10th) in Munich, Germany.
Plenty of rEVeals expected and some are out already, like Renault Scenic E-Tech, BMW’s Vision Neue Klasse aka the 3-series concept, VW’s ID. GTI Concept, or Mercedes’ CLA concept Class. It also seems we’ll see a station wagon version of the ID.7 there, as seen recently with a little camo (link).
BMW Vision Neue Klasse
The IAA will really lean into the international part this year, with 41% of exhibitors coming from Asia. The number of Chinese automakers exhibiting there is set to double from 2021 when Munich last hosted the show.
I for one think that this particular event in this particular year will be seen as an inflection point, an “a-ha” moment for the industry. Similar to what the European auto execs experienced in the latest Shanghai Auto Show, as they saw the leap Chinese EV makers have taken.
Will the fact that some of this 41% will steal the spotlight from the locals come as a surprise for them? Surely not. Let’s see if we can spot Tavares (Stellantis CEO) and Zipse (BMW CEO) walking around shaking his fists at everyone for letting the Chinese overtake everything.
Stay tuned: Our friend Nick will be reporting back from the IAA. If he’s got enough stuff for us, we’ll do a whole standalone EVU issue!
(No pressure, Nick. It’s just the nearly 4,000 of us waiting.)
UK: The Department for Business and Trade is working on a new battery strategy that will be published in the coming months. (link) (32-page pdf) The call for evidence expects submissions by the 28th of September.
Romeo Power (acquired by Nikola) will have its Cypress, California battery assembly facility inventory and some IP auctioned off online, ending on September 7th. The auction will have $16M+ worth of inventory listed, including more than 200k Samsung Li-ion cells, Fanuc robots, CNC machines, presses etc. (link) (auction info)
€9B ($9.7B) in investments will be needed for battery recycling in the EU by 2035, €7B of it after 2030 following initial overcapacities, according to the research from Strategy& and RWTH Aachen University. (link)
👀 Watch tip: Zack, who goes by JerryRigEverything on YouTube, tours the Li-Cycle EV battery recycling facility in Arizona. As usual, Zack explains complex stuff in a way even I can understand (7-min video):
📚️ Related reading tip: “Why the EV Industry is Talking About ‘Black Mass’” by Bloomberg.
📚️ Reading tip #2: “Battery demand for manganese set to increase 8-fold this decade” by BMI.
🎧️ Listen tip: Simon Moores, CEO of Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, on the podcast interviewed by Michael Dunne about China’s dominance in the global battery arms race.
In connection to the IRA, the US Department of Energy announced $15.5B to retrofit US auto plants for EVs, for battery manufacturing, and for raw materials processing. (link)
Of this, $10B is for a loan program to convert auto manufacturing facilities to EVs. Preference will be given to communities that currently host manufacturing facilities, retain high-quality jobs, and maintain collective bargaining agreements. $2B will come in form of grants and $3.5B to grow domestic battery production and raw materials processing. (applications for the $10B pot through here, $2B grants here, $3.5B here)
Redwood Materials raises a $1B+ Series D round, co-led by Goldman Sachs and Capricorn’s TIF. (link) This brings total equity capital raised to nearly $2B and Redwood also has an additional $2B loan commitment from the DoE. Redwood is one of the most viable EV battery recycling giant in the making, that I’ve found so far.
“Alexa, find EV charging stations near me” will now direct Nissan ARIYA, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and F-150 Lightning drivers (the Alexa-enabled vehicles) to the nearest charging station. (link)
Alexa will offer real-time data on station availability, plug type, and charging speed, also informs the driver about the estimated time and distance to the charging station. This comes in with the partnership between EVgo and it’s acquired subsidiary PlugShare partnership with Amazon.
Tesla is installing the “Magic Docks” for its Superchargers in Canada, opening them up for non-Teslas. (link) It also opened the first V4 Supercharger in the UK – with a display and credit card terminal. (video) Tesla also launched its $595 Universal Wall Charger for both Teslas and non-Teslas. (link) More on all this in our Teslaverse newsletter this week.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, legalizes sidewalk EV charging — you can apply for a permit for a mat to cover that cord and charge your electric car on the street. (link) via FoT. The residents can apply to use the ADA-compliant ramp or a 9-foot-tall swing arm that extends over the sidewalk for their cords. I wonder if and when will the UK’s Gul-e approach reach the US?
Japan's government doubles its current EV charger target to 300,000 by 2030. Currently, there are ~30k public chargers in the country. (link)
👀 Watch tip: Kyle from Out of Spec tours the new Porsche charging lounge (50min video).
There are 25 more insights on Charging that I’ll be sharing in this week’s Pro Report. Join us in the premium version if you haven’t yet, through here: (link).
…or should I call it the “Facepalm moment of the week”?
Ladies and gentlemen,
I give you Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW:
"Where will people charge all those e-cars?
There will be no full-coverage EV infrastructure in Europe in 2035. Do you think that in 12 years there will be chargers in every village in regions like southern Italy?"
— Jaan of the EV Universe ⚡ (@TheEVuniverse)
Sep 2, 2023
The comments for this are fun to go over. Especially from the people living in southern Italy and Sicily, saying it’s all bullzipse. Zipse really missed that one.
A well-known German EV content creator summed it up well too (link):
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