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Newsletter | Ford's EV incentive conundrum – Volvo, Rivian IPO & Tesla highs – Creating circularity

Newsletter | Ford's EV incentive conundrum –  Volvo, Rivian IPO & Tesla highs –  Creating circularity
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We've had an electric week, so let me tell you all about it below.

- Jaan

Ford's incentive conundrum

Incentives meme

Come here, we'll pay you

Ford gets an $884M incentive package from Tennessee to build out and operate the Blue Oval City, the automaker's megacampus for producing batteries and EVs near Memphis, Tennessee. It's the single-largest investment in the state history and is divided into (link):

  • $500M grant to Ford,
  • $200M for road constructions,
  • $132M for infrastructure work, structure demolition, and more,
  • $40M for building a Tennessee College of Applied Technology to provide skilled workers for the plants,
  • $5M for legal fees and $745,100 for the first-year cost of 11 members overseeing authority called "Megasite Authority of West Tennessee".

Ford has promised to invest $5.6B on its side.

What about the tax credits?

This will be interesting to see played out. The same elected officials of Tennessee who cut Ford the big subsidy check are historically opposed to unions, so the unions might be placed at structural disadvantages.

For example, the unions can't require employees to pay dues. This means that the plants might not be union shops. We know that that according to the Build Back Better plan in its current form of last week sees $2,500 of the $12,500 tax credit going only to cars built by the unionized workforce.

In this case, it seems F-150 Lightning trucks made in Tennessee wouldn't qualify.

One or both?

We're yet to see if there's a workaround for Ford to get best from both worlds, or will they just take the big fat check from Tennesse that would take exactly 353,600 EVs (x $2,500) to pay off. Also, is Biden happy with this?

Shoutout to Ian, for chatting with me on how unions/states/big3 work in the US. Thank you!

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📈  The EV stonks

Tesla and the rest

A follow-up from last week: Tesla now has a  market cap of $1.22T, with $TSLA gaining +58% within the last month. The stock didn't even cool off when Elon said to hold your horses because a deal hasn't been signed yet.

Zoom-out: The rest of the EV-only makers aren't doing that well. As Tesla is striding in its new all-time-highs, the average stock tracker is -56.45% from its 52-week high. The only one hitting highs right now next to Tesla is BYD. Here's what our stock tracker shows:


Rentals going EV = $

The rise shouldn't be connected to only Hertz anyway, as the automaker has a bit more going on. ICYMI here's last week's newsletter that covered the 100k Hertz deal and then some.

Meanwhile, Hertz stock is up $HTZZ is up +69.25% within a month.

Avis, whose CEO Joe Ferraro and CFO Brian Choi said they are getting ready to absorb electric cars into its ecosystem “at scale”, saw its stock $CAR jump a whopping +207% and settled back on a +67% rise from Nov 1st.

Volvo Cars IPO

Volvo Cars IPO'd on Stockholm stock exchange under the ticker $VOLCAR-B, jumping ~ 22% on the debut. It was one of the biggest IPOs in Europe during 2021 (link).

Rivian's IPO

Rivian said it plans to sell 135 million shares for $57 to $62 each, according to a filing Monday with the SEC. The company's IPO is scheduled to price on Tuesday, Nov. 9th and trade the next day.

Up to 7% of its shares are allocated to eligible U.S. customers who had pre-orders as of Sept. 30. (link) 0.05% of the stock has been allocated to retail investors for "IPO investing" on the SoFi platform (link)

⚡ What else is new

🔋 The battery prices might not be falling as quickly going forward as they have in the past (88% in the last decade). The material costs such as lithium and nickel and cobalt are surging. Prices of lithium carbonate price have jumped over 300% within a year, cobalt hydroxide 80%, nickel 30% (link). Who saw that coming?

Lithium by BMI

🔋 Quantumscape released third-party testing data for its solid-state Li-metal cells, confirming the performance through 800 cycles at 25°C that was claimed in December (link to test PDF). Meanwhile, the $QS stock is up +33% since the news.

♻️ Redwood Materials signed a multi-year deal with battery materials maker L&F to use its design and manufacturing technology to make 1 million EV batteries-worth of cathodes (100GWh) by 2025 and over 5M (500GWh) by 2030. (link) There's a reason I've covered this company a lot before. Recycling and circularity are key in solving the bottlenecks of EV adoption. There aren't that many companies that are this close to putting together the full closed loop.

🚗 Hertz added Tesla-related information to its rental agreement, saying you'll get it with 80% and need to return it with no less than a 20% charge. Supercharging costs will be charged on your card. Also, they say it's your own damn fault if you leave your Netflix account logged in. (link to PDF, via Trucks.vc)

⚡ Tesla piloted the non-Tesla Supercharger project in ten locations in the Netherlands. Accessible via the Tesla app, it will cost more for non-Tesla owners to charge. Info on the Tesla website: (link). I analyzed how this influences the industry from 7 different perspectives back in July here. Also, here's my two kilowatts:

⚡ The ACEA says Europe has a problem because "only 1 in 9 charging points in EU is fast" (link). I disagree. The ratio isn't a problem as home, workplace, and destination charging (<22kW) are supposed to outweigh the fast chargers (>50kW) in numbers. It's the total amount of chargers in our infrastructure that we need to scale up.

And also, focus more on EV efficiency to get maximum out of the time used for charging, as our friend Tom Selten from Lightyear put well.

💻 Audi launched a software update for the '19-'20 e-tron 55 quattro that will give it a ~5% range increase (20 km)... but you'll need to go to the workshop to have it installed (link). Kind of seems weird not to have Over-The-Air capabilities today.

🚗 Volkswagen presented the ID.5, the coupé version of the ID.4, with the same measurements except being 3 cm flatter. The 77 kWh battery should give it a range of 490 km (304 mi). Deliveries start in spring 2022. (link)


🚯 Volkswagen says: "VW will not issue the cease-and-desist declaration you demand," to Greenpeace and other environmental groups that demanded the automaker to phase out ICEs by 2030. Greenpeace promises to file a lawsuit in the following days for VW not keeping its strategy within the 1.5-degree limit. (link in GER)

🚀 Amazon disclosed that it has a ~20% stake in Rivian. (link)

☀️ I just found out there is something called an "Alliance for Solar Mobility" out there. 13 members, including Sono Motors and Lightyear. Awesome. asom.solar

📅 Today, at this very moment, the Greentown Labs is holding its Climatetech Summit 2021 (register for livestream here). Good speakers. Free. Why I like it: The members of the labs include some of our friends like AmpUp and the American Battery Technology Company (ABTC).

📅 I've now launched the EVent calendar to keep you up to date on what's coming up in the industry. This is what it looks like. Located on our member platform.

EVent calendar

🎉 Our Map of the industry was featured in CleanTechnica (link) and has driven 965 new sets of 👀 on it so far. Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing it with the world!

🧯 Gas vs EV fires in 2021 (link). Hybrids have most per 100k, which was surprising to me, then fossils, then EVs:

🙏 Wholesome: St. Louis' senior citizens can now get rides to the store in EVs. (link). AmpUp helps to operate.

📊 (Some of) the relationships between automakers and battery suppliers from RnR (link):

Map of OEM-Battery connections

👀 I'm Watching This:

Interview: Geera Fisker, the CFO and co-founder from Fisker, and Jack Cheng, the co-founder of NIO discuss e-mobility with Elisa Chiu of Anchor Taiwan (via trucks.vc):

One of the biggest talking points of SEMA 2021 has been Ford, introducing the Eluminator E-Crate motor the Mach-E GT Performance runs on, available now for DIYers for $3,900. Keep in mind, you'll still need the inverter, batteries, the whole shebang to make a conversion work. Smart move, though. Here's the M-9000-MACHE (link):

MACHE e-crate

And here's a 1978 Ford F-100 Eluminator concept truck that runs with the e-crate motor:

Open question - will we see more converted F-150's on the road than the F-150 Lightnings at first?


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