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⚡ EV Friday | T&E's research, GM upped its EV investment and a lot more

It's another EV Friday and we're discussing everything happening in the EV Universe. If you haven't yet, join us at www.evuniverse.io

Yesterday, June 17th, was the Clean Air Day.

Let's take a moment to celebrate the massive EV movement that is happening globally right now (Exhibit A) and one of its core expected results:

cleaner air.

So take a deep breath of that fresh, ever-so-tasteless air,

and appreciate it.

I've got lots to tell you.

- Jaan

Promises, but no plans

I love it when Transport & Environment drops one of its truthbombs.

Here's the 84-page report: (pdf).

So, what do we see here?

The T&E is pretty pessimistic.

Legacy carmakers enjoy showing off their green credentials, but most of them lack a robust plan to get to their phase-out targets or miss them altogether. BMW, Daimler, and Toyota seem to be overly reliant on hybrids.

Per the 'readiness index' above, T&E puts Volvo and VW on the "70" point scale ahead of other automakers. While Volvo committed to becoming a fully electric car company by 2030, VW is most advanced in the industrial transition (e.g. batteries and dedicated BEV platforms) despite a more modest BEV sales target of 60% for the group in 2030.


  • 7.4% or 1 million units of overall EU car production will be EVs in 2021, 24.2% or 3.3M units in 2025 and, passing the ICE in 2030 with 6.7M (50.2%) Vehicles.
  • PHEVs are expected to peak in 2026 with 1.6M units (12%) per year.

T&E recommends the EU policymakers to set:

  • A higher 2025 standard of -25% and an additional target of at least -40% in 2027 are needed to make electric cars affordable, and the EU car industry globally competitive.
  • A 2030 target of at least -65%, followed by a complete phase-out of combustion engine vehicles in 2035.
  • No multipliers or credits for current PHEV models, whose CO2 values should be adjusted based on their real-world emissions.
  • No fuels credits and tightening of existing regulatory loopholes such as mass adjustment.

Julia Poliscanova from T&E concludes their research:

There is no longer any doubt that a fossil fuel free, all electric future is possible. But with only two carmakers close to where Europe needs to go, policymakers can’t leave it to carmakers to get there on their own. Targets need to be gradually tightened so that carmakers not only commit to phasing out fossil fuels, but develop a strategy that gets them there on time.

Here's my rant about this (feel free to skip):

I'm not a big fan of the '"et's set up a lot of rules and policies and then things will happen" approach. I haven't got much trust in the system, as these kinds of whip-policies often lead to major inefficiencies and quite frankly, waste.

I feel there could be more to be done with:
a) funds, not policies, directed to R&D to make the EVs cheaper and charging infrastructure better. Normally I wouldn't say 'funds' either, but as the fossil industry is so heavily subsidized, I'm okay with playing fields being leveled.
b) educating people on the benefits of driving EV and helping them along the way.
c) help the 'demand' side, not the 'supply' side. Help the city fleets go electric, which in turn creates demand, rather than forcing bus makers to make electric buses.

If you agree/disagree with anything above, I'd love to discuss this topic further!

And to end my rant: I do appreciate this research by T&E (pdf). They've done a great job mapping if, how, and when are automakers executing their plans.

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📺 What I'm watching

  • Tesla Raj's hands-on review of the Model S Plaid (video). And here's another from Ryan Shaw (video).
  • Tesla Model S gets regenerative charge of 65kW when towing at 70 mph (112 kmh) (video)
  • How VW Is Turning Engine Factories Into EV Battery Plants by WSJ: (video)
  • Unplugged Performance running its modified Tesla Model S Plaid at Laguna Seca with Racecar driver Randy Pobst:

Electric cars, Coldplay, and inspiring slogans? Yes, please.

Here's BMW iX and i4 in the latest ad:

  • General Motors upped its EV investment from $20B to $35B through 2025, planning to be the market leader in EVs in North America and global leader in battery tech. GM is targeting annual global EV sales of more than 1 million by 2025. Two new battery plants are planned in the US by mid-decade.
  • Mazda plans three EVs by 2025 on its unveiled 'Skyactiv EV Scalable Architecture' platform (link).
  • Lincoln to electrify its entire lineup by 2030, first EV debuts next year. Expects half of its volume to be EVs by mid-decade, as a part of Ford's $30B electrification plan. (link)
  • Meanwhile, Toyota says it's too early to focus on electric cars only and claims hybrids and fuel cells will stay competitive with electric cars for the next 30 years (link).
  • Volvo's moonshot goal of a climate-neutral car will feature using 'fossil-free' steel (link).
  • BMW creates a closed-loop material cycle for tungsten production tools, saves 7 tonnes of tungsten per year (link)
  • Workhorse now went to court over the lost $6B USPS contract (link).
  • Canoo's owner app is also geared to other cars the owners have, giving them an OBD dongle to connect the app and use services like data overview, order tire replacements, and insurance. (link) Smart.
  • Volkswagen told its 18k executives they aren't allowed to order EVs as company cards, because of the high demand and long delivery times (link).
  • Volkswagen started production of e-Delivery distribution truck in Brazil (link).
  • Cruise secured a $5B line of credit from General Motors (its parent) to purchase thousands of Origin EVs already in production (video)
  • Ideanomics now fully acquired the EV tractor manufacturer Solectrac (link). Solectrac has 3 e-tractors with batteries ranging from 22 to 28 kWh, giving up to 8 hours of work-time and starting at $26,800. I think we have underreported Ideanomics' electrification moves so far. Thanks, David, for sharing this.
  • Qatar’s public transport to go 100% electric by 2030 (link).
  • Mate Rimac, the founder of Rimac Automobili, has an electric robotaxi company in 'stealth mode' (link). I expect it to come out with a bang.
  • Oshkosh unveiled the Volterra platform for electric Fire & Emergency vehicles (link).
  • The New Zealand government will subsidize EVs for up to 6,000 USD and includes pre-owned EVs, also taxes high-emission vehicles (link):

This looks to be one of the most thought-through funding schemes around, with real possible effects. If you really need to subsidize (still not entirely in favor of that), this is one of the better ways to do it.

Here's my bit of fun over the Model Y body seen in Giga Texas:

  • Polestar 3 SUV will be manufactured in the South Carolina plant, with an extra $118 investment from Volvo (link).
  • Dodge is rumored to be building its fastest car ever - an EV (link).
  • NIO ES8 received approval for mass production in Europe (link).
  • Audi says the Q8 e-tron will be built in 2025 at the Brussels plant (link).
  • Maserati teased its electric GranTurismo (link):

📚 What I'm reading:

  • EVs in the US ranked on cost-per-mile and which states are EVs cheapest to run in (link). The EV Miles Report from Zutobi.
  • How the rising popularity of EVs could lead to a resurgence of drum brakes (link). A. Tarantola for Engadget.
  • Scania's life cycle assessment of distribution vehicles: Battery Electric vs Diesel Driven (pdf)

🤔  An EV puzzle:

  • Why did Jaan fail the driving lessons with his new Model S Plaid?

(the answer is at the end of the newsletter)

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You can ☕ buy me a coffee to add zap to my writing to keep me going. ⚡

* Because the instructor said he needed to put his hands on "10 and 2":

Tesla Model S Plaid steering yoke
caption for image

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