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  • EVU report #126: ⚡️ Did Xiaomi EV plans start with Musk? — Pole-to-Pole in an EV — 🇨🇦 sets ICE bans

EVU report #126: ⚡️ Did Xiaomi EV plans start with Musk? — Pole-to-Pole in an EV — 🇨🇦 sets ICE bans

Caution! High Voltage! ⚡️

Hey, Jaan here.

I’ve decided not to go for the generic Year in Review stuff here today. No fake awards. Nor will I make any lofty promises for 2024.

Ok, maybe just one promise.
For me and you, 2024 will be the most electric yet.⚡️ 

We have a tradition of asking our readers here (that’s you) what you think the next year will bring for the EV industry. Last year we had 65 answers from our 2,799 readers (see the predictions here), and since we’re double the size now I expect at least 100 of you to answer. No pressure.

Please answer this 1-question survey here. Give me your wildest:

Yes, we will show your answers to all of our readers. Yes, you can remain anonymous or use a nickname if you wish. Yes, I will also add mine.

I’ll be taking the first two weeks of the year off to recharge after today, and when I’m back we’ll go over both what went right and wrong from last year, and what we’ve all got for 2024.

I’ve got some exciting stuff to share with you today — including something I found that nobody in the industry has reported on so far — so let’s get started!

Words: 2,384 | Time to read: 11 minutes | Reminder: for best experience, read this on the web.

EV battery technology advancement is essential for making EVs more affordable, efficient, powerful, and safe. But how does the industry get there

How does the bar get raised on EV battery performance? Key insights are needed to achieve these results.

Consumers are demanding EVs that can take them farther while costing less. To deliver on these conflicting needs, batteries will need to be developed with higher energy density while also lowering production costs. Advances in battery technology are also leading to faster charging times, which makes EVs more convenient to use, while continuing to improve on battery safety.

Download this special report on EV battery innovation to learn more about how the automotive industry is working to make critical battery innovations. Discover new techniques for charging, proposed standards for battery safety tests, and how raising the bar on batteries will drive growth in EV adoption.

EXCLUSIVE: Did Xiaomi EV plans start with Musk?

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, is in this picture with Elon Musk in 2013.

Xiaomi's first EV, the SU7 just unveiled, will hit the streets in 2024.

We’ll go over all the SU7 details in our EV spotlight below, but I’ve got a real treat for you today — something I haven’t found covered anywhere yet.

I had this picture above saved in my brain as I’ve shared it with you before on Xiaomi rumors. However, now I set out to find the story behind the pic. And that I did.

Turns out that sometime in 2013, there was a 2,028-word blog post written by Xiaomi founder, Lei Jun, in the official Xiaomi site. He wrote about how he has been inspired from Elon Musk and his Tesla venture, how Tesla Model S is revolutionary, and more.

The blog post had been since erased (for obvious reasons), but yours truly doesn’t stop when he sees a “This site can’t be reached” message, does he?

I dug out the actual page in the internet archives and translated it from Chinese.

There’s plenty to learn from the blog, but one thing seems clear — Lei Jun understood Tesla better already in 2013, than most of our industry does in 2023. He met with Elon two times, and also wrote down the answers to the three questions he had asked Musk.

A bit of a trivia example we got — did you know Musk entertained the idea of creating a plane back then? “He felt airplanes needed to change too,” wrote Jun.

I uploaded the whole 2,028 words for you in the original Chinese version here and translated into English here.

Here’s a quick quote from the beginning:

…but when you go to Silicon Valley, you will find that the most popular Silicon Valley star at the moment is not in this [Mobile Internet] circle. He is an electric car maker. His name is Elon Musk, and he is doing extremely cool things.

Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, in 2013

And once you’re done with the blog, let’s take a closer look at Xiaomi’s first EV:


Xiaomi held an “EV Technology Launch” featuring the new SU7.
(livestream 3h50min) | (press release)

Here’s what we know:

  • Future range: up to 745 miles (1,199 km) range per CLTC (which, note, is a bit more “optimistic” compared to our WLTP and EPA) on a future 150kWH battery from CATL.

  • Initial models come with a 101 kWh battery for 497+ miles (800 km) from CATL, a 73.6 kWh version will also be available.

  • Architecture: 871 V silicon carbide platform

  • Charging: no power given in kW, but claims to add “200 km in 5 minutes”

  • Build: uses 9,100-ton gigacasting in the rear, developed their own alloy

  • Frunk: 105 litres (3.7 cu ft). ← this is rather large

  • Performance: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 2.78s; top speed 210 km/h; in-house developed electric motors called “HyperEngine

  • Aerodynamics: 0.195 Cd drag coefficient

  • Design: all-glass roof, ambient interior lighting; visibly Taycan-like, has a pop-up spoiler in the back.

  • Runs HyperOS in-car entertainment system which integrates with the rest of Xiaomi's products and the whole Xiaomi tablet application ecosystem.

  • 16.1-inch 3K central screen in addition to 7.1-inch instrument panel and a HUD, and optional tablets on headrests for rear.

  • Dimensions: L 4,997mm, W 1,963mm, H 1,440mm, Wheelbase 3,000mm

  • Deliveries: launches in China in few months into 2024, pilot production has started in Beijing.

  • Price: not yet revealed, base price is said to start at 300k yuan ($41k), although I wouldn’t expect it to reach that low anytime soon.

  • Trivia: the SU in the name stands for Speed Ultra

  • Gives me: Porsche Taycan and Ioniq 6 vibes?

Here’s a decent 6-minute walkaround review I found (in English): (video)

The SU7 won’t be a one-off, either. Xiaomi EV has invested over 10 billion CNY ($1.4B) in the initial research and development phase. Xiaomi aims to be among the top 5 automakers globally in 15-20 years.

Lei Jun said before the launch that they’ve “prioritized intelligent technology, drawing inspiration from the advanced systems in cars like the Tesla Model S.”

As we learned from the blog post above, it seems that Model S has been an inspiration for Lei Jun for… quite a while now.

Upgrade to get access: In this week’s Pro Report (here) we dive deeper into NIO ET9 launch, and cover EVs like Zeekr 007, Exeed Sterra ES, Galaxy E8, BYD Song L, Cadillac Vistiq, Acura ZDX, Audi A6 Avant E-Tron, and Renault 5. Upgrade to a become a Pro member and get immediate access to this and other EV Universe Pro Reports: (link)

🇨🇦 Canada published the EV Availability Standard, mandating the automaker EV sales quotas which we recently assumed: 20% by 2026, increasing gradually to 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

However, PHEVs with “specified minimum electric distance” will be included — following the language in the doc for credits, it will likely be 80km (49.7 mi).

The government is also launching Early Action Credits (EACs) — to be eligible, a company’s fleet has to have at least 8% ZEVs in 2024 and 13% in 2025, and credits can also be generated by installing charging infra. Here’s the press release (link) and the rules for the regulation (link).

Meanwhile, consumers continue to get $5k EV purchase incentive from the $2B pot of the iZEV program.

🇨🇦 Context: In Q3 this year, Canada had 42,260 all-electric vehicle registrations, reaching a 9.2% share of all new light-duty vehicles. 100,600 were sold in the first three quarters, at a 7.8% market share. (link)

Chris and Julie Ramsey have officially completed the world’s first pole-to-pole journey in an EV, the Nissan ARIYA. 17,000 miles and 9 months. (link) See their journey on their website here, or follow through the whole expedition on their interactive map with images here and journal here. I am very, very, very excited to see them complete this. What a wonderful feat. 👏 

How will the China EV makers get to the US market without the vehicle import tariffs (currently at 25%)? Building EVs in Mexico and Canada could be a way. MG, BYD and Chery are reportedly looking to build new factories in Mexico (link), and I’ve seen whispers of quite a lot more. Meanwhile, WSJ reports that the White House is eyeing hiking tariffs on Chinese EV and solar products (link). You’ll see a lot more discussion on this in 2024.

AT&T 🤝 Rivian to buy Rivian electric vans, starting pilot in early 2024. This is the after effect of Amazon ←→ Rivian ending the exclusivity clause. Rivian also recently launched its commercial van offers for 3rd party fleets (link)

Trevor Milton, founder of Nikola, sentenced to prison for 4 years (link)

We don’t talk of ICE that much here, but… Cummins has been fined $1.67B for diesel defeat devices in 630,000 Ram pickups, the largest Clean Air Act violation in history (link) via FoT.

A little joke I made about how 2023 must’ve been like for the legacy auto execs. Oh if I could be a fly on the wall… (link).

📚️ US: EPA’s Automotive Trends Report, on the model Year 2022 vehicles. (Full report 172-page pdf | executive summary 15-page pdf). Few quick takes:

  • Average emissions of new vehicles: 337g/mile CO2 (209.4g/km), down 10g/mile from 2021.

  • Fleet emissions have dropped 27% since 2004, while fuel economy has increased by 35%

  • Fuel economy of new vehicles increased to 26 miles per gallon (+0.6 mpg)

📚️ 2024 EV forecast from S&P Global Mobility (link)

Panasonic has reportedly turned down the $698M incentive package from Oklahoma and will not be building batteries in the state. (link)

Zeekr unveils in-house developed Golden Battery, claims to be the world’s first mass-produced 800V LFP battery with a 500kW charging capability and a volume utilization rate of 83.7% (Zeekr says regular LFP is at 66%). (link) This will be first used in the Zeekr 007 from the start of 2024.

It’s also supposed to be very safe per Zeekr: “The pack did not catch fire or explode even after 240 seconds of sustained fire in a 700°C fire test, much higher than the Chinese national standard of 130 seconds”

The company claims that the battery has been developed over three years and with a team of 1,000 R&D engineers. These will be made in Geely’s battery plant in Zhejiang.

Carmakers in the European market have secured less than a fifth (16%) of the key battery metals they will need until 2030, according to T&E analysis of publicly disclosed contracts. (link, 35-page pdf) The analysis also gives us an overview of the (publicly stated) carmakers’ position in the supply chain:

📚️ Resource tip: Fraunhofer ISI has published the Lithium-Ion Battery Roadmap (105-page pdf)

Cling Systems raises $1.3M, led by Trucks Venture Capital and First Venture (link). Cling has built a battery circularity marketplace and the new capital will be directed towards scaling Cling’s data and trading infrastructure and recruitment.

Northvolt raises another $1.2B, for its factory in Northern Sweden (link).

BYD announced an NEV (that’s BEV+PHEV) plant in Szeged, Hungary, the first such in Europe by a Chinese carmaker. (link) We’ve called out Hungary as an EV hotspot for a while now. It’s been great to watch a nation ensuring that it’ll be relevant in the auto industry for decades ahead, and you can expect plentiful incentives from the government to BYD as well. Note that BYD already has an e-bus factory in Komarom, Hungary.

BYD has launched quite a presence in Europe in 2023: establishing 230 retailer stores across 19 countries, and introducing five BEV models here. Three new models incoming in 2024.

Lucid Motors has assembled ~ 800 cars in the Saudi plant so far. (link)

The car is fully built in Arizona → then it gets de-assembled → then the car gets shipped here as a kit, and that kit is then put back together. Workers in the factory in Jeddah re-attach the battery, put the trim and tires back on and re-test the vehicle.

Although this seems wildly inefficient, this Completely Knocked Down (CKD) approach should win Lucid enough on taxes and make the locals, on paper, official EV manufacturers. A factory capable of producing Lucid’s EVs on the spot should come online 2026.

GM “briefly pauses” Chevy Blazer EV sales due to software quality issues, that cause infotainment systems to stop working and problems with charging (link). The other Ultium-platform EVs from GM seem to suffer a similar fate if reading these accounts (link).

Resource tip: JATO’s presentation called “EV Price Gap” (17-page pdf). It’s full of great takes of the world’s BEV prices based on the first half of 2021.

Video tip: If you do not have a DJ at your end-of-year delivery event, your employee playing a set fully powered by the electric car you produce, what are you even doing? (video)

I had a whole charging section here… but it didn’t fit into this email without it getting clipped. So there are 17 charging insights covered in the Pro Report this week (link). Charging is one of our most comprehensive sections there every week, actually.

Why don’t you… join us?

We need more charts like this… and hopefully more EV makers that cross over “the line” at one point (link).

That’s it for this year! This newsletter went out to 5,574 readers.


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I wish you a pleasant end for this one, and a Zappy New Year!

— Jaan

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