⚡ Interesting times at Toyota — 🤩 NIO ET5 Touring — 🔋 PowerCo dry coating
Caution! High Voltage ⚡
Hey, Jaan here.
First off — I appreciate you all. 🙏 All your kind replies last week help me seem more trustworthy in the eyes of the email robot overlords. Keep going if you can.
✓ Our schedule over the summer will be more random. If you’re used to reading this with morning coffee and croissant on Saturdays ( hey, Nick! ), you might find the croissant is on the menu on Wednesdays instead.
✓ No matter which day I send these to you, I won’t skip a day of coverage on the industry news. This means you will still get whatever I filtered out from all the noise and just get the signal in the EV industry. Today, we’ve got:
Words: 2,054 | Time to read: 10 minutes | How to read: best in the new online form so I could show you the videos in between.
PS, I accidentally sent you the wrong link to refer you to the beehiiv platform that I migrated our newsletter to. If you do plan to start writing (do it, it’s fun), here’s the actual referral link to test it out: (link).
DEEP DIVE: TOYOTA
Interesting times at Toyota.
In the annual shareholder meeting last week, Akio Toyoda’s reappointment to the board was agreed with 85% of voted shares, down from 96% last year. Some big US pension funds and European investors pressed for a vote against Toyoda due to its gas and hybrid approach instead of all-EVs.
Toyota says it founded a new division called the BEV Factory in May, which is to be behind the production of around 1.7M of the 3.5M BEVs planned by Toyota by 2030.
The carmaker’s plans for building an all-electric ecosystem seem to be becoming more concise, yet we still don’t see it going all in on BEVs.
Plenty of ‘advanced EV tech news’ that Toyota displays in this workshop, most of which seem just to be repeating the best practices on EV production that we have seen becoming the industry norms anyway.
I will report back on the specifics when we see Toyota actually releasing the EVs with the improvements they claim, like the:
“Breakthrough in solid-state battery tech”, which it says goes to mass production in 2027-28 now*
gigacasting, more efficient drive components, or the
1,000 km (620 mi) range EVs from 2026.
*Why am I a skeptic here? If you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know. I’ll just leave some crumbs here on solid-state batteries today. This is from… 2014 (link):
They said it’ll be ready to use in the early 2020s. A 2017 WSJ article reads:
Come 2020? Toyota promises to put solid-state batteries into (limited) production in 2025.
By now, we have plenty of ‘solid-state players’ that seem to be commercializing solid-state batteries in roughly the same part of the decade. This won’t put Toyota into too much of a ‘break-through’ position, rather than being able to claim a “me too” spot. But perhaps that’s okay? 🤷♂️
Here’s Toyota’s latest roadmap for the battery tech:
While I’d love nothing more than to see the world’s largest automaker go head-first into battery-electric vehicles, it’s all talk and no real action so far. With the launch of its first all-electric EV, the bZ4X, the automaker showed us that it is starting its EV development roughly from the same spot as the other automakers did… way back then. Probably because Toyota is still the hybrid king.
A bit of help for Toyota comes from the Japanese government, providing 300B yen ($2.11B) in subsidies for domestic LFP and/or solid-state battery development and production. Japan wants to have a 150 GWh domestic production capacity by 2030. Toyota will receive 117.8B yen ($830M) from the pot. I wonder how much of this subsidy is the result of Toyota lobby itself.
Meanwhile, Toyota Europe’s COO, Matt Harrison, estimates the BEV mix in Toyota Europe sales will rise to 15% in 2025, 55% in 2030 and says “We will be ready to sell 100% BEVs from 2035 onwards.” (link in DE). Harrison also said Toyota does not plan to produce electric cars and batteries in Europe in the short term.
This deep dive here might’ve come out a bit more opinionated than usual. I’m sorry… but just a little. I’d love to jump 10 years into the future and see if Toyota pulled off its wait game or if this approach made Toyota obsolete instead.
Most clicked link from last week: the deep dive on NACS.
Looks like I unintentionally played a joke on you last week. I told you there is a one-click poll on the greenwashing topic after Shell’s charging ads got banned, and then… I didn’t include the poll itself. Let’s fix that now. I’ll feature some of your comments (can leave them after clicking) next week.
Do oil companies need to use a disclaimer when advertising clean energy and EV charging?
(you can see the results when clicking)
Saudi Arabia signed a $5.6B deal with Human Horizons, the Chinese EV maker and parent company of the HiPhi luxury EV brand. The parties will collaborate on the development, production and sale of EVs. (link) Combine that with CEER, Lucid, and other incoming deals, you can see the domestic Saudi Arabia evcosystem slowly being built real time.
An overview of the subscription fees for the Ford F-150 Lightning (link) via Trucks FoT. The “Free for first X months/years, then X$/month” applies to services like: Ford Streaming; AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot; Sirius XM; Ford BlueCruise; Connected Built-in Navigation; Alexa Built-in; Blue Oval Charge Network.
Electric Island: An update from Volkswagen on its plans to turn the Greek island of Astypalea fully electric (and renewable) (link).
VinFast launched a Special Aftersales Policy in Vietnam, US and Canada, to “pay buyers over vehicle issues they might encounter” with their EVs (link). The payment in cash or service vouchers goes from $100 to $300 per issue of certain types, and $100/day if the car takes more than three days to repair.
San Fransisco becomes the first US city where EV-or-hybrid cars make up 50% of all vehicle sales. (link)
Lordstown says in an SEC filing it plans to take legal action against Foxconn over their funding dispute. (link) It also just announced a 1-for-15 reverse stock split to not get delisted by Nasdaq. The troubles have been brewing for a while and oh boy it does not look likely we’ll start seeing the Endurances on the road.
📚️ Reading tip: There’s no Uber or Lyft. There is a communal Tesla (and Bolts, e-Golfs and i3). A good kind of a story in NYT about raitera and EVs, aka the neighbors providing rides to community members in need. (link)
SPOTLIGHT: NIO ET5 Touring
NIO unveiled and delivered the first NIO ET5 Touring, the station wagon version of ET5, in China. It also unveiled the car in Europe simultaneously, where the deliveries begin in Q4 this year. (link, 3min video and 43min launch live stream)
Battery: 75 kWh option has a range of 270 mi (435 km) WLTP, or
100 kWh option for 348 mi (560km).
BaaS: Will be offered with the Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) model, which means buying the car “without paying for the battery” with a monthly subscription instead, and using the Power Swap Stations for batswaps.
Drivetrain: 360kW dual-motor (150kW front, 210kW rear)
Speed: 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 4s
Features: Glass roof, NOMI AI assistant, optional NIO Air AR Glasses for the private-cinema experience, OTA updates, etc
Dimensions: 188.5 in (4.790 mm) long, 85.7 in (2.178 mm) wide, and 59 in (1.499 mm) tall
Price: ET5 Touring has the same price in China as the regular ET5, starting at RMB 298k ($41.6k). In Europe, it will likely start at ~€47,500, as that’s the price of the sedan ET5 without battery.
I cannot wait to try this one out. Not too many EV station wagons out there so far. This will be a hit in Europe, we love our station wagons.
In other news from NIO, just last week the company dropped the prices for the whole lineup by $4,200 and made the batswap an optional subscription which is now not included in the vehicle price. (link)
NIO also announced it will be offering short-term car rentals in 11 European cities for Chinese NIO owners while they are traveling in Europe. (link)
From this week’s Pro Report, you’ll find Mercedes and Porsche hypercar concepts, Telo Trucks compact pickup, Citroën Ë-C3, Lightning Motors ZEV4.
PowerCo (Volkswagen Group’s battery arm) says it has successfully piloted the “dry coating” process for both the positive and negative electrode, with its partner Koenig & Bauer.
So far it has produced ‘several hundred’ cells with this technology on a pilot line and plans to start industrial production by 2027. This would reportedly bring down cell costs by up to 50%, save about 30% energy, and 15% less floor space is required for the production lines, saving “hundreds of millions of euros annually” (link, explainer video).
The dry coating approach is what Tesla is also applying to make its new 4680 battery cells, production of which it is actively (although with delays so far) ramping up. Just last week, it produced the 10-millionth 4680 cell at Giga Texas (link). We’ve yet to get better insights on where Tesla stands in the process… but I expect them rather soon.
The EU Parliament has approved new regulations for the design, production, and waste management of all types of batteries sold in the EU. (link) The goal is to have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product. Some measures I found noteworthy:
EV batteries need to have a carbon footprint declaration and label. A digital battery passport will be required.
Minimum levels of materials recovered from waste batteries: by 2027, 50% of lithium and 90% of cobalt, copper, lead, and nickel. By 2031, 80% and 95% respectively.
New batteries must contain minimum levels of recycled content: 8 years after regulation entry; 16% for cobalt, 85% for lead, 6% for lithium, and 6% for nickel. In 13 years, 26%, 85%, 12%, and 15% respectively.
We’ve covered Cling way back and they’ve since created an online platform for matching the supply and demand of EOL EV batteries, with 900+ tonnes of batteries already listed. (link) In case you want to learn more about Cling, here’s a recent podcast with Eden and William as guests of the Power Current by Chris Berry (link).
We’re talking about Porche taking over Cellforce, Customcells partnering with OneD Battery, Nyobolt showing <6 min charging, Recirculate project, and some new partnerships in the Pro Report this week.
A tour from Kyle of Out of Spec of the EVS36 event in Sacramento, California which took place earlier this week. (video, 1h15min) There’s also a great video he did digging deeper into Tritium’s offerings (video, 29min).
SK Signet also announced adapting Tesla’s NACS standard, introducing compatible chargers this year. (link) Also, in case you missed it from our Teslaverse newsletter last week, Stellantis said it is “evaluating” adopting NACS for its vehicles. (link)
Apple's iOS 17 will add real-time EV charger availability in Apple Maps (link). You’ll also be able to choose a ‘preferred charging network’. Similar to the Google Maps, it will also take the chosen charging connector into account.
We’re talking about Engie Group’s charging arm, the latest in the Easee wallbox charger ban saga, SolarEdge bi-directional charge in this week’s Pro Report. (link)
725 hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles were sold in the US in the 1st quarter of 2023, almost 30% less than in the same quarter in 2022
257,507 battery-electric passenger vehicles were sold in the US in the 1st quarter of 2023, almost 63% more than in the same quarter in 2022 twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— Jaan of the EV Universe ⚡ (@TheEVuniverse)
Jun 19, 2023
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