Ooh, a lot of interesting people joined our newsletter last week. I see you 👀. Welcome to our humble Universe!
In case you missed it, I launched the Map of The EV Universe resource last week. The Map will be in constant upgrade from now on.
If you haven't yet, I'm inviting you to join the EVU² newsletter that drops on Fridays, rounding up the week in the EV industry in more detail than this one here. The first issue was a hit. Here's your chance to opt-in.
Now, I've got lots to show you 👇
Heard of PlugShare before? Probably.
About 7 out of 10 EV owners in the US have downloaded the app, which has been one of the most used EV charger-finder in the industry globally. It has roughly 3 million app downloads worldwide and my data says the website gets 417k visits a month.
PlugShare's info is often community-sourced like Waze and they've added a pan-network payment solution to the app. There are millions of user-generated photos and reviews about chargers globally, which makes it a real community app.
Price: $25M cash. Jaan's take: that's quite the acquisition rate for EVgo with ~$8 per user + added benefits. The life-time-value of the user itself would surely top this by a mile?
Why it's important: Cutting through all the fancy talk of the press release, I think this acquisition is a goose-laying-golden-eggs for EVgo, because:
- User growth - EVgo will reach its absolute core audience - the people looking for chargers. Can't get more hyper-targeted than this. Now they can direct users to use their chargers more often (although they said they wouldn't answer questions from Electrek).
- Talent acquisition - having built out the PlugShare, PlugInsights survey tool with 72k drivers, payment solutions, connected APIs, and a lot of integrations, the team can add a lot to EVgo's platform.
- Extra business directions - the PlugInsights brings in money, as I know from an anonymous source that for data integrations, the quotes start at around $10k.
Questions in the air:
Will the PlugShare really stay unbiased towards EVgo?
The other charging networks might be less likely to share their data since it's competition now. Will we see more similar acquisitions from the EV charging networks?
Or from the OEMs that are developing their networks in-house, like Tesla and Rivian?
I'll see if I can get some comments for y'all from these parties.
📺 What I'm watching
- A great video of Andrej Karpathy explaining how Tesla trains its neural networks to perceive depth with cameras:
- Stellantis said during its EV day that it will invest $35.5B in EVs and software over the next four years.
- Target: to hit sales targets for low-emission vehicles (including hybrids) of 70% in Europe and 40% in the U.S. by 2030.
- It also said Stellantis is aiming for 130 GWh of battery production by 2025 and 260 GWh by 2030.
- Dodge is finally going electric.
- Bigger overview in tomorrow's newsletter (comes to you if you opt-in here)
- The Polestar Precept series documents the journey from concept to car (video).
- A 1000-mile race across America with 11 EVs by Car and Driver (video)
- Tesla Shanghai showing the Model Y quality control process:
Tesla launched the long-awaited FSD (Full Self Driving) Beta V9 this Saturday.
What improved? From what I've seen on Twitter's Tesla-verse, most Beta-testers have reported the new version is indeed better:
- It's significantly smoother and more confident in its actions, meaning fewer disengagements (tweet by Earl). Here's another video from him with the Autopilot nicely handling a long construction section:
- The driving visualization, called the mind of the car, has improved too, showing a lot clearer image of what it registers about the car's surroundings like seen here:
- The visualizations now render the street signs, cars and their tail lights, and even dog(e)s. Musk says it will soon capture turn signals, hazards, ambulance/police lights & even hand gestures (tweet).
- Here's the new version handling a roundabout (video) and handling fog like a champ by WholeMarsBlog (tweet).
Musk says "Please be paranoid":
The release notes reaffirm that:
Full Self-Driving is in early limited access Beta and must be used with additional caution. It may do the wrong thing at the worst time, so you must always keep your hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road. Do not become complacent.
How many iterations until it's released to the public and be fully autonomous? Probably takes about two weeks. Hint: Elon's tweet.
I've got a chance to interview José Pontes, the guy behind the EV-Sales blog. What should I ask? Leave me a reply to this newsletter.
- 🎯 Called it! We said two weeks ago that Rimac might buy Bugatti, and it's now confirmed (link). Here's how the new ownership system looks like *jotting it down for the Map*:
- 🚯 Volkswagen Group and BMW were fined $1B by the EU for "spending years illegally colluding to slow the deployment of cleaner emissions technology" between 2009-2014. Interestingly, Daimler avoided the fine because it was the one "being the whistleblower" of the emissions cartel (link).
- 🆕 Volkswagen outlined its "NEW AUTO" strategy (video). Deeper dive tomorrow.
- 🚙 Rivian has confirmed to a customer via email, that the sales in Europe are going to open 'some time in early 2022', via the owners' forum (link).
- 🔋 NIO wants to open up battery swap stations and technology to other electric automakers (link).
- 🚀 XPeng announces the pricing of the global offering, ~ $42.5 (link)
- 🚨 Beacon, the video conferencing platform for Tesla, launched and will give away a Tesla Model 3 (video).
- 📅 You can hear Elon Musk talk in Italian Tech Week on Sept 23rd-24th (link).
- 👮 A viral TikTok TeslaCam shooting video helps police arrest the attacker (video).
- 🦨 Ford will make gas-scented fragrance for the Mustang Mach-E GT (link)
📚 What I'm reading
- An overview of OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) by Matt from Evannex (link).
- A $35 Billion Plan for Korean battery giants to catch China (link) via Bloomberg.
*=Tweet of the Week
I don't often chuckle in front of the screen, but when I do, this kind of stuff does it. Also, check out the new "Tesla Killer" series I invented (you know where to find me, Netflix):
🃏 Meme time
Remember when the Gulf of Mexico was on fire? Here's what I saw:
Note the efforts of the ships. And now go retweet.
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