7 min read

🌎 EV Industry²: 📅 Mercedes EV-only by 2030 – ✔️ Tesla FSD subscription – lots of Rivian 🚙

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📅 Mercedez-Benz goes EV-only by 2030... kind of.

If only I could fast forward to 2030 to see what's going on. Looking at this exponential growth of EV transition across the whole industry right now, I believe they might bring that date even closer to today.

Ola Källenius, the CEO of Daimler and Mercedez-Benz, said of the new $47B electrification plan:

The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade. This step marks a profound reallocation of capital.

How does the Mercedes-Benz plan to get there?

I'll try and leave out the info that looks like fillers and combine some points, no hard feelings, please. My rants are in cursive.  Full press release here: (link).

  • In 2025 Mercedes-Benz will launch three electric-only architectures and commits to not make fossil ones after:
  • MB.EA will cover all medium to large size passenger cars, establishing a scalable modular system.
  • AMG.EA will be a dedicated performance electric vehicle platform addressing Mercedes-AMG customers.
  • VAN.EA for purpose-made electric vans and Light Commercial Vehicles.
  • Mercedes-Benz will be ready to go all-electric at the end of the decade, where market conditions allow. So it looks to be great for headlines but MB must leave itself a way to back out, huh?
  • Mercedes-Benz to install battery cell capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours with partners, plans for eight Gigafactories.
  • The efficiency of electric drivetrains to be enhanced through vertical integration and the acquisition of YASA, a specialist in ultra-high performance axial flux motors. Notable, more on the acquisition here.
  • Plug & Charge to introduce seamless charging without extra steps needed for authentication and payment. If you're going EV, you'll adapt the Plug & Charge standards soon anyway, but OK.
  • Acceleration of electrification ramp-up marks a radical shift in capital allocation. We've seen Daimler (parent) promise tens of Billions in EV investments already, this is where it trickles down to.
  • Mercedes-Benz is committed to its margin targets – also in a BEV world. Makes sense, but here's a possible translation: "we don't want to lower prices".

Jaan's rant:First off, is it just me, or has Mercedes / Daimler been a bit behind on announcing their investments and partnership when it comes to EV and Battery technologies? I'll try and map out more connections on the Map of the EV Universe soon. This is what we've got on Daimler so far:

Map of the EV Universe

On the macro, Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen are trying desperately to catch up, some succeeding better than others. I've considered Volkswagen the leader of the legacy automakers transitioning to electric, not mentioning the hiccups and reasons. They better act quickly though, because reports are showing that the German automakers' market share has been shrinking for years...

🌎 Companies & Global

  • Tesla launched its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Subscription Service, for $99 or $199 a month, depending on the Autopilot package the owners have purchased earlier (link).
  • Fisker will open its Brand Experience Centers next year in LA, Munich, London, New York, Miami, and Copenhagen (link).
  • 📈 Lucid Motors will start trading under symbol $LCID in Nasdaq on July 26, as stockholders of a SPAC called $CCIV approved the merger (link).

    This was ahell of a ride - I shout out the CCIV's very first Lucid merger rumors on newsletter #13 on January 12th at about $14, which soared to nearly $60 in a month. Down since, it was a memorable sign of the EV-SPAC boom.
  • 📈 Faraday Future also completed its SPAC merger with $PSA, now trading under ticker $FFIE (link). I made the changes on our EV stock tracker too, which currently has 117 stocks btw (link).
  • Rivian is planning a second US factory, dubbed Project Tera, that includes battery cell production (link). Related note - I've seen Rivian up their battery jobs game recently.

    Rivian also pushed its electric truck deliveries back a bit again, to September. Reasons quoted by the CEO RJ Scaringe's letter to the reservation holders (link) are mostly pandemic effects that weren't anticipated in full, like the semiconductor supply, equipment installation, and facility construction.

    I'm not (sadly) a reservation holder, but I wouldn't be mad at all for a few months of delays to get everything right - imagine the R1S, R1T, and Amazon Van they have to juggle at the same time, ramping the initial production up. Remember the master of production hell, Musk's words: "Prototypes are easy, production is hard."

Here's a wild pack of Rivians for scale:

  • Arrival partners with the City of Anaheim, California, to build its buses for the target of an all-electric bus fleet by 2025 (link).
  • Honda's CEO Toshihiro Mibe said the company is "open to form a new alliance to lower the costs of electrification and make electric cars profitable." (link)
  • Austria might ban fossil cars by 2030 (link in Ger)
  • The UK insurance companies want to replace totaled gas cars with EVs (link). I love this idea.

🚗 Models

  • Lightyear One will be built by Valmet Automotive in Finland, the prototypes will be out in January 2022 (link). Now that's close enough for me to go and try to peek around!
  • Tesla is about to start the production of the Tesla Semi, as sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that the drive axle production line is ready and the general assembly line is going through its final debugging before starting production (link).
  • The Rivian R1S was widely featured as the Blue Origins "First Human Flight" taxi of the astronauts. Connection, in case you didn't know, is Blue Origins <> Bezos <> Amazon owns over 10% of Rivian.
  • Sono Motors is touring Germany with their Sion solar car. Our German readers can join at these 10 locations through the summer: (link). The CEO, Laurin Hahn answered my question of when they'll head outside of Germany with "Yeah, rest of Europe to follow soon. Depending heavily on covid restrictions."

🔋 Battery, Mining, and ♻ Recycling

  • Tesla and BHP entered into a nickel supply agreement. Benchmark minerals estimate the contract is worth up to 18,000 tonnes of nickel per year, starting in 2022 (link). Earlier Tesla nickel deals include Prony Resources (previously under Vale) and Vale itself.
  • 🤝 Tesla sold its subsidiary, Maxwell Technologies that's an ultracapacitor and dry cell technology company, to UCAP Power (pdf).
  • Tesla will keep its dry cell technology patents that were the key reason for the acquisition in 2019 and the ultracapacitor-related assets go to UCAP.  Musk said on a tweet:
  • China's largest battery maker CATL (a supplier for Tesla & VW among others), sues CALB (supplies GAC) in China for Intellectual Property Infringement. Allegedly, batteries made by CALB are using its new technologies that have been installed on tens of thousands of vehicles. (link)

    EV Universe standpoint? Net negative. We all remember the Battle of the Battery Giants, LG Chem and SK Innovation that threatened both Ford F-150 Lightning and VW's ID.4 battery supply (newsletter #18)

⚡ Charging

  • Rivian will install Waypoint chargers (11.5kW) in all Tennessee State Parks. These will initially be free and open to all EV models, like the rest of the Waypoint network (link). The Waypoint network is the lower-powered sister to the Rivian Adventure Network, which will see over 3.5k DC chargers at 600 locations by 2023 (link). I wonder if Rivian will think of opening the Adventure Network to other automakers too?
  • 🤝 Chargepoint will buy the European charging software company has·to·be for €250M ($295M) in cash and stock. This will help CP's expansion in Europe as the acquisition will give them access to has·to·be's operating software managing over 40k networked ports. (link)
  • The city of Vancouver, Australia, now requires all new car-share stalls and parking stalls in new hotels to have EV charging infrastructure (link).
  • +800 chargers in 100 Waitrose sites by Shell in UK, by 2025
  • Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) established the joint service IDRO, focusing on solving cross-border electric driving and charging (link).
    I wonder if Fastned will be its main partner as it looks to be right up their alley?
  • Tesla's Supercharger Network opening might bring in over $25B in annual revenue, Goldman Sachs estimates (link). If you missed it, I put out an analysis'ish on the news yesterday.

    Related: The very first Tesla Supercharger at the SpaceX Headquarters will be closed to the public indefinitely (link). Here's a trip down memory lane with a blog post of the opening: (link).
  • Tom Moloughney from State of Charge checked out the Roadie mobile charging system from SparkCharge. We covered the Charging-as-a-Service model back (here):

👀 What I'm watching:

  • Tesla Cybertruck and Next-Gen Roadster debut in the PUBG video game action-packed trailer. Approved by Mister Musk himself with the words "Cybrrrtruck"
  • Andy Slye did a review of the Model S Plaid:
  • A proper Drag Race:
  • And a  goofier drag race:

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