7 min read

Newsletter | Brits eye EVs because of gas-panic and ~100 EVs on one picture

I'll drop you a little big picture picture to start today's newsletter:

mapping EV models

I took our Map of the EV Universe, sorted out the EV models currently or very soon available, and dropped 'em all on this one picture. I reckon it represents about 50% of available models but should give you an idea.

Not a bad sight, huh? I used this picture at the ABB e-mobility conference that I spoke at last week.

My thanks go out to our reader Sven for organizing it and inviting me. There were over 33 EV models present that are currently sold in Estonia and the event was great. I hope you'll make it happen next year too!

Sorry, no gas

It's panic o'clock

"It's the 6th day of the gas shortage. We are swapping food for a gallon now"

... I made that up. It's not that bad (yet).

You might have already heard about the fuel crisis in Britain, where long queues at petrol stations or out-of-fuel closed stations are pissing almost everyone off. Except for the EV drivers that drive with a smile on their face, that is.

Around 27% of the UK's 5,500 stations represented by the Petrol Retailers Association (8k in UK total) are still dry today. That's an improvement, as 2/3 of pumps were closed on Sunday (link).

"Trying to calm this down appears to be a monumental task at the moment," said PRA chairman Brian Madderson.

The situation has escalated for four days now and was mainly caused by panic buying of the fuel.

a Line to the gas station

Why the panic?

First off - there isn't an overall gas shortage. The ports and other distribution centers have enough of it. It's just not reaching the gas stations.

Late last week, BP warned that it would have to temporarily close a handful of its petrol stations, because of a lack of truck drivers. Turns out, the UK is estimated to be short of more than 100,000 truck drivers, impacting several industries, including the latest - petrol stations. The deficit of drivers comes from the three main reasons:

  • Increased bureaucracy at borders due to Brexit, as a lot of drivers are from other European countries. Many decided to return to their home country.
  • The average age of the drivers is 55 years = a lot of retiring drivers.
  • The pandemic.

The Ministry of Defence is preparing about 150 qualified military drivers to deliver fuel amid the shortages - and has another 150 personnel ready to support them. (link)

Gov fleet
This is a part of the UK gov reserve tanker fleet

Also, it doesn't help that the gas prices in the UK are at an 8-year-high (link)

The EV effect

Looks like the no-gas situation has made some of the British turn their eyes towards electric vehicles.

  • Auto Trader Group says it received twice the direct inquiries for EVs over the weekend compared to August.
  • Dealerships report that their EV experts have the busiest days ever with bookings for EV test drives.
  • Carwow says there's a 94% spike on their web for EV-advice hub.
  • Used car information site, Carguide, said the searches for EVs went up 16 times the average volume in one day.

I dug this up from Google Trends, looks like it confirms:

The UK searching Google for "electric vehicles"

Google Trends graph

How to read the graph: The 100 line shows the biggest search interest. As you can see, there were more than a doubled searches on Sep 26th, comparing to Sep 23rd and earlier.

EV community comes together

Helping out

I stumbled upon a group on Facebook that is coordinating the EV owners offering help driving the essential workers to get to work. A wholesome effort! If you're driving an EV in the UK, you can check out the EVs for Essential Workers FB group. Here's an example of an offer:

Pic FB group

It looks to be organized by Octopus Electric Vehicles, an EV-leasing branch of the UK's renewable energy and charging provider.

Other EV owners on the road

Also, looks like there are heroes among us doing this by themselves too. Here's one of our Twitter friends reporting from the UK:

Here's a screenshot of real message from his friend:

Can't get more real than this!

I hope the shortage situation gets solved out soon. I don't mind the EV adoption effect though!

About 10% of our readers are from the UK. I'd love to hear from you, how's the situation over there? What are the stories?

⚑ The Zwoops

Blue Oval City

Ford announced an $11.4B investment to build out (link):

  • Blue Oval City, a $5.6B mega-campus in Stanton, Tennessee for vehicle assembly, battery production, and supplier park. It's where the F-150 Lightning will be made starting 2025.
  • Three new battery factories as a joint venture with SK Innovation. The JV is named BlueOvalSK (makes sense) and the factories will be at Blue Oval City and twin plants in central Kentucky.
  • Opening in 2025, all three plants should be able to produce 43GWh each. Β Big picture: 129GWh could provide batteries for 1,032,000 Standard-Range Ford F-150⚑'s.

GIF storage

Rivian's press (drive) event in Breckenridge, Colorado gave us a mountain of information to digest about the R1T. Needless to say, I'm frunking envious here.

Here's Kirsten's (TechCrunch) deep take, Seth's (Electrek) write-up and video, Dan's (Autoblog) take, JerryRigEverything's video, Tom's (InsideEVs) video, and Mitchell's (The Verge) write-up. All of the above feature some great stories and awesome pictures. The above and below are GIFs from Electrek:

GIF frunk
caption for image

And here's another fun climb to watch from the Hells Gate in Moab, Utah:

⚑ The Znippets

  • Elon Musk: β€žWe use no cobalt at all in most of our cars & tiny amounts in others (going to zero soon), whereas phones & laptops primarily use cobalt.β€œ (link)
  • Polestar, the Swedish EV maker has reached an agreement to go public via SPAC Gores Guggenheim ($GGPI) at a $20B valuation. We added it to our stock tracker (row #72) more than a month ago on a rumor basis, nice to see it went through. The new ticker will be $PSNY. Here's our map info on Polestar so far:
Polestar from our Map
  • Five Texas police officers are suing Tesla for $1,000,000 after a drunk Model X driver crashed into them. (link including lawsuit)
  • ABB launches the world’s fastest electric car charger: The Terra 360, capable of 360kW. That should give you a 100km range in less than three minutes. (link)
  • Greenpeace and DUH have filed lawsuits against BMW, Daimler, and VW to force them to comply with climate protection targets. (link)
  • California sets aside $3.9B for EV subsidies: 1k drayage trucks, 1k school buses, 1k transit buses, infrastructure, and private EV purchases (link). Related: California also set into law that it'll require all autonomous vehicles to be zero-emission starting in 2030 (link). Boy, Governor Newsom is busy. I like it.
  • Foxconn's first EV was spied and it looks quite similar to the Lucid Air. Unveiling on October 18th (link):
  • Rolls-Royce won't make future plans for ICE vehicles by 2030, unveiled the Spectre EV (link):
  • You might've heard Evergrande being in a debt crisis. Reports say it's looking into selling its EV subsidiary. Coincidentally, some photos of the prototypes have surfaced (link):
Hengchi 7
  • The United Kingdom plans to pass legislation that will see EV home and workplace chargers being switched off at peak times (up to 9 hours a day) to avoid blackouts. (link)
  • Geely will roll out 5,000 battery-swapping stations in China by 2025 under the name E-Energee. (link)
  • The 5,000 Canadian Ford Mustang Mach-E's that are subject to recall we mentioned last week? As guessed, a total of 38,714 of them are now recalled by Ford across North America and Europe, over the windshields and panoramic sunroofs (link to NHTSA recall info).


πŸ—ΊοΈ Map of the EV Universe with 678 mapped connections and changelog,
πŸ“ˆ EV Stock Tracker with 118 EV stocks. So many SPACs have grown up...
πŸ—―οΈ EV Universe Twitter with 1,544 I-make-myself-chuckle EV tweets,
πŸ“š EV industryΒ² newsletter OPT-IN for the extra-detailed EV juice.
πŸ“— EV Universe Blog with 100+ past articles & newsletters.
πŸŽ™οΈ The EV Universe Pod with 2 podcast episodes.
πŸ“Ή EV Universe Youtube channel with 7 videos.

The Tweet

138 comments in, most people think of butts. What SHOULD we call this space?

The Joke

Always end with a good note, they say. Here's one on the topic of the fuel crisis that might make you laugh. Hint: look at the name of the reporter:

Btw - I am allowed to make jokes about people's names. My name in Estonian can be literally translated as John Doe. Had fun with it all my life.

This letter went out to 1,398 subscribers.

You can β˜• buy me a coffee to add zap to my writing to keep me going. ⚑

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