Today, on the EV Universe:
- Celebrating the wins of some Friends of our EV Universe:
Recurrent, Lightyear, Eleport and Pangea Charging.
- EV-jobs (NEW!)
- Tesla's great Q1, CATL starts battery swaps, Nevera does 360°, and chargers hacked to show... porn.
2,506 words this week, makes for an 11-minute read. Let's go!
Today is Earth Day. 🌍
Please hit 'reply' to this newsletter and let me know what do you feel you are doing to keep this little place habitable for our children?
If we get enough answers, I'll round up the cumulative impact of our readers next week!
Welcome to the
where we're lucky to celebrate the wins of our Friends that are expanding it.
Through the rather short time period that I've sent you these newsletters for, I've found so many great startups in the EV industry and even better people making it all happen. Here's one of 'em:
Recurrent Auto, the US startup focused on EV battery health reports, raised a $4.5M funding round from Automotive Ventures, Goodyear Ventures and more. (link) We covered their $3.5M seed round in late 2020 (link).
Recurrent offers battery health reports for EV buyers (so you'd know what you're getting into), EV owners (so you'd know the current state of your battery), and for EV dealers to educate the potential buyers.
→ So happens that Liz, the Communications Manager at Recurrent, is also one of our Pro members (small Universe, huh?), and was happy to comment on what's next:
"We're excited that this new funding will allow us to build out new features, grow our team, and explore ways to support drivers outside of our current US market (which is technically harder than it sounds!)"
Speaking of growing the team, check out what Recurrent's got on our new 'ev-jobs' section that I'm testing out, a few scrolls below.
We're excited for you too, Liz. Also for our readers Andrew, Blake, Brian, and the rest of the team! You're solving a critical problem with EV adoption, overcoming the uncertainty that comes with buying used EVs.
Lightyear, my favorite* solar EV maker, partners up with The Sharing Group to supply 5,000 Lightyear Two vehicles to its car-sharing platform MyWheels.
MyWheels is the #1 shared car platform with 2,500 vehicles in the Netherlands, half of which are already electric.
* Ah frunk, am I allowed to say that? Oh wait... I'm the boss, mwahahaha.
The LY One (the limited, high-end One that starts deliveries later this year) will also be added to the platform next year.
This is the second big fleet deal for the Lightyear Two, the €30k mass-market solar EV coming in 2025, as you might remember me writing about LeasePlan ordering 5,000 of 'em (and overall why I love LY's mission) back (here).
We managed to get what I feel is a really good insight into this deal from another friend of the EV Universe:
→ Tom Selten, the VP of Business Development at Lightyear. Here's how he describes the logic behind what he says is "all in all, a very cool partnership":
There are three important aspects: first of all, by having several Lightyear One vehicles in the MyWheels fleet, we make available for everyone what is available now for the happy few. We really support this because our mission is clean mobility for everyone, everywhere.
Second, SEVs (Solar Electric Vehicles) have the potential of being very TCO-friendly, due to low energy need, low downtime (due to lower charging need), and low maintenance costs (almost no moving parts).
Third, MyWheels have mentioned that EVs are not the problem, but the access and permits needed for charging stations are. These permits take a long time, harming scalability of EV.
And scalability of EVs is what we really want. Thanks, Tom!
Eleport x Bolt
Eleport is an Estonian startup and the fastest-growing EV charging network in Baltics. I'd estimate they'll be one of the largest fast-charging networks in northeastern Europe soon enough.
Eleport now received investment from Bolt, the mobility super-app, and the two companies partner for a roll-out of chargers across the Baltics and Poland. I am not a fan of Bolt's business model from the start (have my reasons), but it's good to see the electrification moves from the company, as it certainly affects fleets at scale.
→ Here's a comment for us from a friend and the CEO of Eleport, Raul Potisepp:
Why Bolt? Because Bolt will have the region's largest captive fleet, which is increasingly electric. We start our cooperation in 4 countries where Eleport is active – in the Baltics and Poland. The two companies will be offering EV chargers and e-scooter charging racks together, solving two problems at once.
I've had the pleasure to work together with Eleport on several occasions (in my e-taxi startup times) and I wish my friends there, Raul, Rain, Martin, Kārlis and the rest of the team all the power in electrifying Europe.
It truly is awesome to see how far you all have come over the past few years.
Anup founded the Pangea Charging to help with charging solutions in multifamily apartments & condominiums. In my book, this is one of the pain points of the charging industry and I have a lot of respect for every startup trying to solve this.
His latest 'project' caught my eye because of the clever approach on how to get the attention of property owners that could potentially want a charger on their grounds: let the EV owners and enthusiasts themselves tag them.
It's simple:Pangea Charging launched a competition called EV Hunt, where the winner gets $1k in Tesla stock (and other prizes). Anyone can participate:
- Find an EV in a parking lot that is not charging.
- Snap a photo of it and post it as an Instagram story.
- Use an #evhunt hashtag, follow @PangeaCharging.
- Make sure to tag a business nearby on the story for the real impact.
The goal: Anup says the often used objection of (commercial) property owners is that they're not sure 'the users/cars are there yet'. If he succeeds in getting people to participate, I'm sure it can change quite a few minds - or at least raise the awareness of the possibilities and demand.
→ Here's a short message from him:
To the EV Universe community - thank you for being loyal readers of this newsletter. Together we can speed up the deployment of EV infrastructure by showing there is a real demand, locally.
More wins coming next week, including some from our friends at Beast!
🥳 Oh, and last but not least, here's a happy birthday to Tim, one of our founding members! It suits you well that your birthday happens to coincide with Earth Day.
So... something new again.
Let's see if we can make this one a permanent part of the newsletter. If you've got EV-related jobs you want to shout out, send 'em my way! I'll feature 'em free for now for testing this 'column' out. A bigger-badder-better version of it is on the roadmap for the EV Universe. ;)
Cling Systems is the circularity startup that is making the EV batteries an asset rather than waste. Through its B2B battery marketplace, they are essentially creating the Universe's first online mine. If you're considering, I've met the team so ask me what they're like.
Recurrent Auto, the startup solving the used EV battery health transparency (from the story above) is hiring a Customer Success Manager | Data Scientist | Frontend Engineer | Product Manager | Senior Frontend, and Senior Software Engineer. Location: remote-first, US-based.
Feedback: Please VOTE by clicking:
Should I add the EV jobs section in the future newsletters?
Tesla Q1 Earnings: Tesla reached another record quarter both in revenue ($18.8B) and in profit ($3.7B), delivering 310,048 electric cars.
Tesla said on the call that its margin on its cars was 32.9% and its operating margin 19%... which is, as far as I can tell with my novice eyes, rather 'insane' in the automotive industry.
I might dive a bit deeper next week, but here's something you can't miss. This image represents what the so-called Gigapress casting achieves in underbody production:
Tesla is essentially making toy cars at a greater scale. There are clear benefits to this 'simplification' and we've seen Volvo already make moves in the same direction, but I've so far seen one single argument against it, too:
In case of an accident that deforms any of the pieces highlighted - will this make the future accidents that much costlier? If you've got an insight into this, I'd love to hear it.
Meanwhile, here's a chart to put the Q1 Revenue and overall quarterly growth of Tesla's revenue into perspective:
Another efficiency king, although in concept form. More than 620 miles (1,008km) were covered by Mercedes-Benz concept car, Vision EQXX on a single charge at regular speeds (including the ~87 mph (140kmh) on the Autobahn. The average consumption was 8.7 kWh per 100 kilometres. (link)
I'm still convinced that after EVs become mainstream enough, we'll see more focus shifting on the efficiency of the models, much like we talk of miles-per-gallon (or liters per 100km) with ICE cars now.
🌎 The US Department of Energy (DoE) announced the Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) MoU to bring together different DoE, government, utility and private sector entities to 'evaluate technical and economic feasibility as we integrate bidirectional charging into energy infrastructure'. (link) The participants from the OEM side include Ford, GM, Lion Electric, Lucid and Nissan.
^ this is actually more important than it might look.
🌎 Ford stopped accepting US orders for the Mustang Mach-E for this model year 'due to high demand. (link)
Connected? Ford feels the "significantly increased commodity costs and prices of raw materials such as steel and the rising price of energy" too - and hikes the Mach-E price by £6,000 ($7.7k) in the UK and €9,000 ($9.7k) in Germany. (link) Likely elsewhere in the EU too, but these are the markets we usually get the 'news' from.
🔋 CATL moves fast: the biggest battery maker in the Universe announced through its subsidiary CAES its almost-OEM-agnostic battery swap stations EVOGO just three months ago (we covered it here).
Now put the first four in operation in Xiamen, China. The current price is 399 yuan ($61.3) per block per month, and at every swap you can choose from having 1-3 blocks 'installed'. (link) Here's the video from CATL.
🌎 Honda says it'll spend $40B in electrification over the next 10 years and launch 30 EV models. Yet it also looks like it bets on hybrids: "We are ending conventional engines but we will still focus on hybrids, and it will be our strength in 2030 or even in 2035." (link)
🇨🇦 Vancouver, Canada might start fining gas stations and larger parking lots $10k/year if they don't add fast charging. Currently only 2 of 66 gas stations do (link).
🌎 Chinese EV industry - automakers, its suppliers and battery makers - is crippled by the Covid shutdowns. I'm sharing and updating details of who&what on our Pro newsletters (join us). Such a tease, I know...
📊 GRAPH: Every EV available in the US this year (28), visualized with EPA data and sorted by the MSRP of the base model: (link)
Sometimes, even in the magnificent EV Universe, things just don't go the way you want them to...
🪦 RIP Uniti, the Swedish EV startup that wanted to build Uniti One, a <$20k three-seater small EV. The company now filed for insolvency, likely also leaving the 1945 crowd-investors that pooled together £1,1M ($1.4M), without a dime. (link)
📈📉 Shares of Lithi
⚠️ CAUTION: CHARGING CAN BE GRAPHIC: Some of the chargers on the Isle of Wight were hacked to show... porn. (sauce)
👀 Elon Musk gave a TED 2022 interview. I especially enjoyed the part where he talks about the Model 3 ramp-up (at 34:58):
"We basically messed up almost every aspect of the Model 3 production line, from cells to packs to driving rotors, motors, bodyline, the paint shop, final assembly... "
🏎️ Rimac completed the winter testing of Nevera and will start deliveries in the coming months. I just realized why they used a punny headline ICE BREAKER for the video thumbnail.
Oh, and I made a GIF for you of my favorite part, the 360°. Looks like it's 'chasing-scene ready' now. When Bond?
📚 The End of the ICE Age is a report from The European Association for Electromobility (AVERE) and BOLDT consultancy (pdf, 30pp). One of the key conclusions is that the industry (OEMs) now drive the electrification as much as policy.
Most industry players believe that we have passed a point of no return and that the industry has engaged in a strong competition about electrification.
📚 The Battery Taxonomy, based on the electrodes and electrolytes being solid, liquid or gas. From our friends at Intercalation Station (which just turned two years old, congratulations! 🥳). What's special about this outline, is that they wrote it the way even I understand it. (link)
Quote of the week
"In a NEW AUTO world, our competitors are no longer called Mercedes-Benz AG, Toyota Motor Corporation or Stellantis, but Tesla, Foxconn, Apple, LG Electronics, Uber etc."
- Herbert Diess, on its NEW AUTO strategy (link).
Diess also touched the topic of Tesla during the show 60 minutes, which led to the two leaders complimenting each other on Twitter.
That's it for today!
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