⚡ NACS gains GM and lots of charging players — 🚫 Shell charging ads banned — 🤏 small EX30 and long ID Buzz
Caution! High Voltage ⚡
Hey, Jaan here.
I didn’t drop by last week. I’m sorry.
It wasn’t you, it was me.
As you can see here by some visual clues, I’ve now migrated the EV Universe, and you inside it, to a new platform.
I am now using beehiiv to send EV Universe out, which should level up our reading experience nicely. A lot of new features are inbound. Here’s my referral link to the beehiiv site in case you’re thinking of starting writing yourself (link).
If you’re new here, most of my opinions are in italics so you could distinguish between the reporting and my own ranting.
Words: 2,674 | Time to read: 12 min
RABBIT HOLE: THE CONNECTOR WARS
In our previous newsletter, I wrote about Ford adopting the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS) both for existing vehicles (via adapter) and including the NACS port in its vehicles after 2025.
We were left wondering if and who will be the next to go for it.
General Motors adopts NACS
GM announced it will integrate the NACS in new EVs starting in 2025, and existing customers can access the Tesla Superchargers via an adapter beginning in early 2024 (link). Here’s the 9-minute Twitter Space (audio streaming) with Elon Musk and Mary Barra: (link).
It looks like the same deal as with Ford, though this press release hid an interesting bit: “In the future, GM will make adapters available for drivers of NACS-enabled vehicles to allow charging on CCS-capable fast charge stations.”
Ford didn’t clearly say they’ll throw out the CCS port and rather left us to think they’ll potentially have two different ports, one for CCS and one for NACS, on their vehicles. GM here says it outright — the NACS-enabled vehicles will use adapters to charge in CCS stations.
Now that’s something. Something that spells trouble for the CCS1 standard in North America.
Barra said GM can save up to $400M of its originally planned $750M charging infrastructure investment plan with this Tesla deal. (link)
From the carmakers’ side, the Tesla Supercharging Network is now open to over 80% of all EVs sold in the US last year… without actually making it public.
66.9% of all EVs sold in the US in 2022 were the Teslas.
8.1% of the EV market was added with the Ford deal.
5.1% of the EV market now added with the GM deal.
As for why the carmakers would want to give their customers the chance to tap into the Tesla Supercharging network, the reasons are obvious. Even putting the lead in reliability aside, Tesla SC is by far the largest high-power charging network in the US. In 2022, Tesla accounted for 71% of the ultra-fast charger installations. Here are the totals for CCS & Tesla networks:
Ford’s Jim Farley reportedly told CNBC that he had been working with Tesla “for a couple of years” on the charging deal. And you can bet the case with GM is the same. I think we can assume there are ongoing talks with quite a few carmakers still in the pipeline.
From the charger manufacturer and networks’ side, we saw a lot of different players jump in and announce their NACS moves. It makes absolute sense for an equipment provider to cater to the “new” audience. I’ll list the announcements I’ve found here, but do expect more inbound from virtually everyone.
(I made this. Retweetable here)
Here are all the companies that will adopt the Tesla NACS connector:
ABB E-mobility will add NACS as an option to their products (once the testing, design and validation steps are complete) (link).
Autel Energy will add NACS as an option on all MaxiChargers. (link)
ChargePoint will “soon” offer NACS connector across its lineup. “The CP NACS connector solutions were actively in R&D before recent news about the connector type.”
Kempower includes NACS w all of its charging solutions. (link)
Tritium will add NACS connector to its chargers in US as an option in production and as a retrofit kit (and any other market that decides to adopt it). (link)
EverCharge calls CCS the ‘elephant in the room’, commends Ford and GM, and says they’ll provide NACS connectors upon request. (link)
EVPassport announced in late February already that they’ll add the NACS connector to each of their Lloyd fast chargers along with CCS. (link)
FreeWire Technologies announced that it’ll add NACS connectors to its Boost fast chargers by mid-2024 (link).
Blink Charging shows its new 240kW DC charger with CCS+NACS connectors from the start (link).
XCHARGE even showed off the NACS in a working prototype of their charger at the EVS36 event. (link) although it seems a bit rushed as the connector seems unnecessarily bulky…
Wallbox says it’s a positive step and they’ll have NACS option when they bring the DC chargers to the US. (link)
FLO frames the news along its own high uptime focus and says its new stations with the NEVI-compliant FLO Ultra chargers are already designed to support NACS if requested. (link)
Emporia will make the NACS the de facto standard in its L2 chargers (link)
EVgo will add NACS connector to its DC charging network across the US (link)
Fun fact — Musk said that Tesla is supplying the adapter & other hardware to car companies at zero profit.
Surely, acting as a charge point operator for the other players is quite enough of a win already. As in, billions of dollars in revenue.
Tesla will win big by increasing the utilization of its Superchargers. It already has the industry’s lowest deployment costs for the hardware and installation, and Tesla’s latest Industry Day showed us their $ per kWh Supercharger Cost metric (not including Energy costs) has dropped from $0.19/kWh in Q1 2021 to $0.12/kWh in Q4 2022.
What about CCS?
Here’s what CharIN’s, the group behind CCS standard, responded to the Ford adopting NACS announcement (link):
NACS is not a standard
This proprietary implementation between two OEMs should not re-open eligibility decisions on public infrastructure funding
Recent activities and announcements will address concerns about charger reliability and interoperability
Sure looks like they were playing for the card of “NACS is no standard, we are the one and only true solution. Don’t add anyone else as funding requirements, and we’ll fix our reliability problems we promise.”
But, in an announcement that dropped just today (link), CharIN seems to be taking a bit more mellow stance:
They’ve added that “NACS is not yet a standard and does not provide an open charging ecosystem for industry to build upon.” Well, the latter is quite wrong, but ok.
However, it’s pretty clear the signal to stop messing around came from within its own member ranks: “Some of our CharIN North America members are interested in adopting the NACS form factor.”
CharIN will work to convene an open task force to align requirements with the goal of submitting NACS to the standardization process. There’s a link to join the “Task Force”.
White House doesn’t seem to be too affected, however, and looks to be keeping the CCS-minimum requirement. (link) At least, for now.
Naturally, it’s not as black & white as that. I recognize both sides have their merits and a lot of people on both sides are putting in massive efforts so we could charge the damn things. And I’m thankful for this.
I am however excited to see how all of this plays out, between the CCS1, the NACS, and also how much the Magic Dock comes handy in between.
Meanwhile, here’s how Musk responds to ‘RIP CCS’ from @WholeMarsBlog (link):
Thank goodness! North America will have a way better connector for charging cars than rest of world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
Jun 8, 2023
Some of Shell’s advertisements on its renewable energy and charging infra expansions were banned from running in the UK on TV, as a billboard, and on YouTube. (link) The ads reportedly ‘did not provide material information about Shell’s involvement in more polluting fossil fuel-related activities.’
Aka, the ads were basically banned for greenwashing. Ads from Repsol and Petronas were also banned per the advertising watchdog ASA. (link)
I’m very curious about your take. So here’s a one-click poll:
Do oil companies need to use a disclaimer when advertising clean energy and EV charging?
(you can see the results when clicking)
Fisker Ocean is now approved for deliveries in all US states and the company says selling emission credits to other automakers at ‘competitive rates’ will be a part of its overall business strategy. (link)
China’s government plans to extend the NEV purchase tax exemption for at least four more years. (link) China also just launched a nationwide campaign to stimulate car purchases, encouraging lending for auto purchases and promoting replacing fossil cars with New Energy Vehicles (BEV+PHEVs) (link)
Egypt's Supreme Council for Vehicle Manufacturing approved two initiatives from domestic EV makers to start converting fossil vehicles to EVs. Shift EV will convert 80,000 pickups and 20,000 minivans to electric, while BluEV will convert two-and three-wheelers. (link)
Related, MAN said it will not invest in Euro 7 technology and will instead only have zero-emission buses in its portfolio for cities and municipalities from 2030. (link)
Ford launches Ford Drive, a flexible Mach-E lease program for Uber drivers in the US. (link)
Uber launches Uber Green in Australia, says there are 1,250 EVs (likely hybrids included) in its Aussie fleet and will also offer discounted charging in its deal with bp Pulse charging network. (link)
I was rather surprised to learn about the recent headcount jump at BYD. Here’s a good report on BYD by Bloomberg (link).
The Victorian government in Australia is ending its $3,000 ZEV subsidy after giving out 7,692 subsidies within the last two years. Back then, the government said “more than 20,000” will be allocated. (link) At the same time, we’ve covered how Victoria has what’s dubbed as “the world’s worst EV policy”, a $0.026/km tax on every electric km driven.
These two put together, it seems the state net disincentivizes driving an EV. On the other end of the spectrum, Queensland just announced in April it’ll double its incentives to $6k. (link)
UNLOCK IN THE PRO REPORT: insights on GM, Ford, NIO, Lucid, Rivian, Mercedes-Benz, and more.
SPOTLIGHT: Volvo launches EX30 small SUV with a starting price of around €36,000 ($38,500). This gets you a 51 kWh LFP battery with a 344km (214 mi) range and charges at a maximum of 135 kW.
Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars CEO, says “It’s a small SUV doing Volvo things.”
There will be a 69 kWh NMC battery option too, for a 480 km (300 mi) range.
The EX30 will start production later this year in its parent company Geely’s Zhangjiakou plant in China, with deliveries to Europe starting in early 2024.
Looking at the sentiment across socials, the EX30 has been well received.
UNLOCK IN THE PRO REPORT: BYD, Archimoto, Model 3, VinFast VF3, NIO, Model S Plaid Nürburgring record; Lancia Delta Integrale, Polestar , JLR I-Pace recall.
CHART: The top 10 EV battery makers in the world in 2022:
The IRA funding: Tesla (and Panasonic) should get around $1.8B in production tax credits under the IRA and could get up to $41B by the end of 2032, per BMI data. (link) Related: BMI article on what will be the eventual cost of the IRA? (link)
The IRA impact: 10-year battery gigafactory pipeline in the US (yellow line) has surpassed Europe (orange) for the first time:
UNLOCK IN THE PRO REPORT: Sodium-Ion and BYD, Greater Bay, plants from Hyundai/LGES, ProLogium, AESC, Gotion at Morocco, Livista, Li-Cycle, and Glencore. Funding news from French, German, Canadian gov, and Magrathea fundraise. Join here.
European Union reaches 500,000 chargers installed in its territory, according to EAFO: 455,902 AC and 56,437 DC chargers. (link)
EV drivers now spend on average 35 minutes charging at DC Fast Chargers in the US, up from 29 minutes in 2019, per Stable Auto’s data. (link) via Trucks FoT.
SK Signet opened its 10,000/year EV charger factory in Plano, Texas. (link) Its latest charger is capable of reaching 400kW.
Connections: SK Signet’s chargers are used by companies like EVgo, Applegreen Electric, Electrify America, Electric Era, Revel, and TeraWatt Infrastructure.
Connection #2: Signet’s DC chargers seem to be behind the latest problems in Electrify America network where (by the public cases we’ve seen) several EVs have been bricked by the charger. Kyle from Out of Spec dubbed the term “Signet Surge”, here’s the deeper explanation (link).
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Jim Farley went on the Fully Charged podcast. If you listen to one podcast this week, I’d make it this one (43 min). And if you’ve somehow got room for two, add this 19-minute interview with the great John McElroy of Autoline.
Farley has been open, as in really open about the automaker’s EV (and digital) transition recently and I love it. While Ford has plenty of legacy problems to overcome, it’s great to see “sober” thinking leading the action.
Here are a few quotes from the first interview I picked for you, on software and on competition:
* fun fact, prior to joining Ford in 2007, Jim Farley (actually named James Duncan Farley Jr) spent 25 years at Toyota and Lexus.
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