11 min read

Newsletter | EV sales of the Universe – ELMS imploded – RIP, BMW i3


This week's electron cocktail to you consists of:

  • We can finally crunch the 2021 BEV sales of the EV Universe.
  • An EV maker and a lithium company implode;
  • The Australian EV community is awesome & you can pitch sustainable tires while racing.

...and a tad bit more (2,457 words).

I've now had several of you say that you Iike my reports on the European EV industry too. Heads up - I'm now also upping my game on the Asia side of the market. Got to report the whole Universe, don't we?

Ask: if you've got a good EV info sources for Asian auto/EV market, please send them my way so I could improve.

Shall we?

- Jaan

🗺 2021 EV sales of the Universe

I won't rest until I've managed to cover the global Universe EV adoption results from the past Earth-year. So expect follow-ups on my follow-ups of the follow-ups.

In case you missed it, I created the BEV 2021 Sales Spreadsheet where I map the OEM and country sales and the bevst-sellers.

This week, we've finally got a proper zoomed out picture:


ACEA's European report, released yesterday, says the battery-electric vehicles had a 9.1% market share in Europe. That's quite a move from just 5.4% last year. Plug-in hybrids ended up with a similar 8.9% and hybrids at 19.6%. Yeah, we don't talk too much about 'em here, but still good to know the ratios.

A total of 1,218,360 fully-electric cars were sold in 2021 in Europe (EU + UK, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland), up 63.4% from the 745,644 in the year before.


Now I added all European countries' sales data and the YoY growth to the spreadsheet. A few takeaways:

  • 10 European countries more than doubled their EV sales compared to 2020.
  • 🇬🇷 Greece had the biggest increase, of 220%, but at a rather small scale of 2,176 EVs, Meanwhile, 🇮🇹 Italy, 🇸🇪 Sweden, and 🇦🇹 Austria managed to do it with 67k, 57k, and 33k EVs, respectively.
  • Two markets were shrinking: 🇨🇿 Czech Republic with -18% and 🇳🇱Netherlands with -13%

I've yet to add best-sellers and overall market shares for a lot of the countries.

The US

Per a Cox Automotive report, the US managed to grow its BEV sales 89% from last year, now totaling 487,460. Tesla did a full sweep here, as a whopping 72.3% of sold EVs were Teslas. The Model Y with 190k deliveries had an EV-market share of 39% and Model 3 with 122k deliveries 25%.

The next best-selling EV was the Mustang Mach-E with 27k deliveries. Talk about the gap, huh?


3...2...1... LIFTOFF

Global BEV sales shot up to 9.4% per quarter in late 2021 (link):

Shared by @viktorirle from EV-volumes

And here's the same view year-wise:

So the global BEV sales hit ~ 4,790,000 with a 6.65% market share of overall passenger vehicle sales.

I present you, the layout of the EV Universe @ 2021:

  • 57%: We first reported China achieving 2,734,000 BEV sales, which looks to be around 57% of the sales in the EV Universe.
  • 25%: Europe, with the 1.2M sales mentioned above, held 25.4% of all BEV sales in the Universe.
  • 10%: The US with 487k sales puts it at a mere 10.2% of global EV sales.
  • 7-8%: The rest of the World looks to be accounting for roughly 350,000 EVs or about 7.3% of the total EV Universe.

I'll chart all this data up for our next week's newsletter, but until then - make sure you drop by the spreadsheet to tinker with the data yourself. (link)

PS! All data I've shown here I've gathered from public sources (see links) - if you find any of the numbers skewed, let me know.

Now, the real question: is this wonderful 9.4%-a-quarter EV market share a premature jump because of the overall market conditions (less overall sales and focus on EVs due to chip shortages) or can we continue the trend?

I hope the latter is true.

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Short e-stories

The implosion

💥This week, we are witnessing a potential implosion of an EV-maker. About a year ago we reported they claim to have 45k pre-orders. They've struck a battery partnership with CATL.

Electric Last Mile Solutions, or $ELMS, announced on Tuesday its CEO James Taylor and Chair Jason Luo are stepping down, following an internal probe into share purchases made by the co-founders. It's claimed they purchased equity at substantial discounts to market value without obtaining an independent valuation. (link)

ELMS is supposed to launch its Urban Delivery vehicle this year as the first Class 1 commercial EV in the US. The interim CEO assures all parties that the focus of the company is the same and ongoing.

Urban Delivery Vehicle

What will be hard to swallow though, is this:


The market reacted with a -33.6% tumble and kept going: ELMS is trading now 57.8% lower than on Tuesday.

I'm actually used to seeing the EV market bloody red lately, but the last few days/weeks go beyond that. Here's what the EV market looked like today:


💥 Hindenburg hits Standard Lithium (SLI)

You've probably heard the name. We've covered Hindenburg's shots earlier with Kandi and Lordstown Motors. This shot was fired yesterday.

The (in)famous company, which acts as a team of researchers, finds dirt on companies, shorts the stock and then publishes the 'report'. Here's the gist with $SLI (report):

  • The CEO, Robert Mintak, has been involved with 9 public companies, all doomed or about to, shares have fallen 97% on average.
  • SLI claims to have made progress with direct-lithium-extraction (DLE) technology, which is widely known as mostly an ineffective extraction method hard to make profitable.
  • Mintak came from the role of CEO of Pure Energy Minerals, which failed to commercialize the same DLE, the stock had crashed 98%.
  • The CEO, COO, Chairman, and VP of exploration came from Pure Energy.
  • SLI has spent >5M CAD on advertising and investor relations, but only 1.7M on R&D. In 2021, the R&D budget fell to zero.
  • Standard Lithium's land acquisitions are tied to connected and questionable parties.
  • 2 out of 3 of its LiSTR technology's patents have been rejected.

Hindenburg's mission has been accomplished - the stock has tumbled -25.5% since.


Thank you, Alex, for sending me this report!

Enyaq Coupé iV

🚗 Škoda debuted the Enyaq Coupé iV, a sportier version of its already rather popular Enyaq SUV. (link)

Enyaq Coupe

I'll use this spot to give you a bit of my personal experience. We've got 10 Enyaq's already running in our electric taxi fleet (of Elektritakso) in Estonia. Our first one from June has 43k miles (70k km) on it already. Safe to say we love 'em, great premium-feel cars for a taxi fleet. We've also owned 94 LEAFs since 2012 and I've personally sold 55 of them over the last three years.

Here's a picture I made a few months ago of our Enyaq iV 60 & LEAF 62kWh  side-by-side, under our solar panels that power the DC chargers you see on the left & right. There's also battery storage connected to all of this which we built from the battery packs of 5 early LEAFs. It's been a fun ride.

Enyaq <> LEAF

World's Fastest Pitch


🛞 We've seen tire manufacturers jump on the EV-train to plead sustainability

. Now, Nokian Tyres launched a challenge where anyone can pitch their idea to make tires more sustainable - and that pitch will happen in a car racing on a tire test track. The winner will receive €10k and the opportunity to realize their idea.

Nokian has already committed to sustainability saying by the year 2030, 50% of all raw materials used in its tires will be recycled or renewable. Here's the challenge. Thanks, Verineia, for sending this challenge my way.

🌎 I love the 🇦🇺 EV community

There's a 720km gap in the charging infrastructure in Australia's 'Big Lap' around the country. Tesla Owners Club of Australia took the matter into their own hands and started selling Musk Vodka, proceeds of which go directly to getting chargers to cross the Nullarbor Plain.

The bottle looks pretty sleek:

Musk Vodka

Jon Edwards has already paid for the whole thing to start the process, and a crowdfunding campaign has already raised $73,200 of the $150k total project too (here). The first 50kW and two 25kW chargers running on BiØfil waste chippy oil are open to the public.

Also, check out the Australian Facebook groups called "EVs that tow trailers" and "I ruined the weekend". Both of these are a 'frunk-you' related to certain local politicians' words. A lot of good humor there.


🇳🇴 Norwegian Automobile Association (NAF) tested 31 EVs in the Norwegian winter until they died to understand if they deliver the WLTP range. Hint: none of them did. (link in Norwegian, and link to more specific results)

📊 In January 2022, 84% of car sales in Norway were all-electric (link).

🚗 The first battery-electric Lamborghini, a crossover, will hit the streets in 2028, followed by an electric Urus (link).

🌎 Jaguar Land Rover received a £625M ($850M) loan from twelve commercial banks, secured by the UK government with £500M, for the research, development, and export of battery EVs. (link)

🌎 Ford reportedly considers spinning off a part of its EV business into a separate company, which would focus on low-volume models.

Ford is also supposedly considering an additional $10B-20B to emobility projects, which would put their total investment promises to ~$40.5B-$50.5B. The plan called "Ford+" would position Ford more as a software/technology company. (link)

📈 LG Energy Solution, the second-biggest EV battery maker in the world, completed its IPO, starting trading at double the issue price (~ $249 -> $496) and closing at +68% (~$420). This puts it at ~$98B market cap. (link)

🔋 The top three battery manufacturers in South Korea, LGES, SKI, and Samsung SDI, have issued notices of price increases, as the cost of raw materials from China has skyrocketed. (link)

🔋 An interview with Redwood Materials' founder JB Straubel. Two takeaways: 1. They have more feedstock than they can even process for a few years. 2. The battery recycling business operations are already profitable, if reinvestment to growth is not taken into account. (link)

🚗 RIP, BMW i3. After a production run of nine years and more than 250,000 units sold. the last BMW i3 will roll off the Leipzig assembly line in late July 2022. (link) Farewell, you quirky-looking, but a surprisingly innovative & fun EV:


🚗 Meanwhile the BMW i4 that has only been in the market for a few months, is facing a recall over not having battery crash pads fitted, which may lead to an increased risk of fire in case of a serious side crash (link). I can't see how this would happen unknowingly.

🇮🇱 Israel has ordered all bus operators in the country to buy only electric buses from 2026. (link) The government had been moving towards this for a while now, with intermediary targets and subsidies.

🔋 Panasonic and Toyota have started joint research with the University of Tokyo on battery resources and recycling. (link)

🔋 Li-Cycle announced two new recycling factories (they call 'em Spoke), reaching a capacity of 55,000 tonnes/year when the Spokes come online:

  • In Norway, as a joint venture with minority holders ECO STOR and Morrow. Capacity: 10,000 tonnes of manufacturing scrap and batteries per year. (link)
  • In Lordstown, Ohio, by expanding its Ultium Cells (LGES + GM) recycling collaboration. Capacity: 15,000 tonnes/year (link)

🔋 Britishvolt & Lotus will collaborate on next-generation battery cells specific to Lotus requirements. Both companies have R&D centers in West Midlands, which is called the golden triangle of battery development. (link)

🔋 QuantumScape has published data showing that its lithium metal solid-state battery cells retained more than 80% of their initial energy after 400 cycles of 15-minute fast charging (charging 10-80%). (link) Context: per QS's calculations, 400 cycles on a 400mi-range-car would amount to 160k miles (257k km).

In the real world, 400 cycles usually mean a lot less mileage than that - the industry standard lies at somewhere between 800-1,000 cycles. But this is indeed a good step towards a viable solid-state battery for EV use.

⚡ Tesla opened its Superchargers in parts of Norway (15 locations) and France (20) to other EV drivers (link to Tesla blog).

⚡ Electreon announced its first wireless charging project in Michigan, US. This envisages a section of road up to one mile long in Detroit where electric cars will be dynamically and stationarily charged wirelessly. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023. I've previously reported Electreon as it completed an inductive test track in Italy together with Stellantis and Iveco (link):

F500 and Iveco - Electreon
Fiat 500 and Iveco bus wireless charging test in Italy

⚡ ABB is charging forward (I expect to see more of that) in the US & China:

  • Increases its 10% stake in the US-based InCharge Energy to now majority, 60%. (link)
  • Increased its stake in the Chinese charging specialist Chargedot from 67% to 80%. SAIC's subsidiary owns the other 20%. (link) This looks like a performance-based stake increase, as Chargedot showed a 30% CAGR from local market sales 2019-2021.

⚡ Continental partners with Volterio to develop an intelligent wireless charging robot to make charging easier. A unit will be retrofitted in the underbody of the car and another on the garage floor. The garage unit provides up to 22kW AC. The first near-series systems are planned for mid-2022. (link)

Ioniq Continental Volterio
Looks like they used an Ioniq 5 for the demo


☣️ Rivian showcases the eight Drive Modes of the R1T - 4 for the road and 4 for when you get off the road. Off-road Drift and Rock Crawl are the modes I didn't even know I want in a car: (video)

🕵️ We've got the first spy photos from South Korea of the Ioniq 6 interior (photos).

🚌 For the first time, we're seeing Arrival Buses moving, on IDIADA's test track in Spain. (video)


🇳🇴 Christina Bu, the secretary general of the Norwegian EV Association, says "if Norway can do it, anyone can!" in this Time Magazine piece (link)

📚 Lease Fletcher mapped the search data for EVs across 168 countries. (link)

📚 Some reading-or-listening: The Verge collected the interviews of CEOs of Ford, Polestar, Jeep, and VW, some AV companies, and Pete Buttigieg, the US Secretary of Transportation. Topic: Future of cars. (link)


"From PowerPoint to Gigafactory" from Redefining energy on Spotify. Interview with Tom Jensen, the CEO of FREYR battery, the moves of which we've covered here more than once. Via Intercalation Station.

Tweet of the week

An underrated tweet from one of the Friends of the EV Universe. I mean, puts the Hummer EV into perspective, doesn't it?

@DutchieHuigens delivers the death blow: "Peasant school bus comes with only two windshield wipers though." (zoom in to the Hummer and you'll see what he's talking about)

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