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I've got a lot to share this week, let's go.
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Phew. Now that I've got this part out of the way, here's what I've got for you this week:
🌎 Los Angeles Auto Show
... is in full "gear". Open to the public from Nov 19 to 28th.
Most auto shows are now becoming especially interesting to us as automakers are almost forced to innovate to face this electric era. Expect a lot of EV unveils and new tech coming your way.
In September, we saw (mainly German) automakers showcase their new ev-tech in Europe's IAA Mobility and ICE almost didn't have a booth there. Here's my 9min coverage of the event (blog).
We've got some unveils from the LA Auto Show already, here's a recap:
The Concept SEVEN is a full-size SUV based on the E-GMP platform. I'm a fan of the long wheelbase on the Ioniq 5 and they claim this SUV will have similar build. Range up to ~350mi.
Ioniq 5 concept wasn't too far off from the production car, so we'll see what stays from this one. My guess: they'll opt for a bit more traditional rear end & a side center pillar will appear too. The seat is not going to happen.
In case you haven't seen my Ioniq5 videos on YT, here you go.
Kia is also using the E-GMP platform so has the same advantages in designing EVs.
The Concept EV9 will get a range up to 300mi and kind of looks like jacked-up Kia Soul.
Here's Kia's video from the reveal:
And here's Motor1's walkaround.
Fisker Ocean SUV was unveiled in a production-intent form in Manhattan Beach, California (Ocean... by the ocean) (video) and then on the auto show.
We already saw the car in a similar version at CES 2020, but with a few new features, it should now be pretty close to the real car.
Here's one of the features - a rotating 17.1-inch center screen (comes with the $69k top trim):
The 17th also marks exactly one year from Nov 17th, 2022, the date it should go into production in Austria, built by Magna-Steyr. The SUV will start from $34,799 before incentives and offers three trims, now seen on the website configurator.
The lower Sport trim will use LFP cells from CATL and higher trims go with NMC battery cell chemistry. My guess: we will see most automakers go that route with lithium batteries - LFP for lower, NMC for premium. I'm doing a deep dive on why this is, soon.
What sets Fisker apart from most automakers is its business model - when other makers are moving towards making as much as possible in-house, with Tesla showing the lead, Fisker isn't owning or operating its own factories and has deals with Magna and Foxconn in place. Henrik Fisker is especially known for his design capabilities. And I think it kind of shows.
Related: Foxconn buying Lordstown's plant in Ohio is now official, and it is said Fisker will be one of the companies using the factory for its joint EV development with Foxconn.
Here's Edmunds' video getting up close and personal with the Ocean:
There is this one EV that people have been waiting for from Nissan. The ARIYA. You can now reserve it in the US, starting at $47,950 and getting a 300mi range out of it on an 87 kWh battery pack.
By the way, I was lucky enough to see the ARIYA when there were only three of them in the world back in March. Here's my coverage (link).
You just know the different performance versions won't stop coming out when you've got the Porsche Taycan gradually going full Osborne Effect on its ICE lineup. Porsche introduced the Taycan GTS and Taycan GTS Sport Turismo.
I won't go into the details, but here's how the Sport Turismo looks inside & out, by Out of Spec Reviews.
Subaru / Toyota
Subaru and Toyota chose the LA Auto Show for the US debut of Solterra and bZ4X, respectively. Very similar cars, the Solterra being built jointly on the e-TNGA platform.
And here are the two lesser covered EV reveals from the Autoshow. I tend to root for the underdogs, we'll see how far the plans go.
VinFast, the automaker division of the Vietnamese Vingroup, makes its US debut, plans a >$200M investment to its LA headquarters, and revealed the smaller-sized electric SUV VF e35 and 7-seater SUV called VF e36:
These EVs are designed by Pininfarina and should start deliveries by the end of next year, while the electric flagship e34 will be delivered in Vietnam by the end of 2021. We should also see VinFast's Europe and Canada launch early next year.
Here's the premiere:
The EV startup from California presented the crossover called FIVE, aiming for deliveries mid-2024. Last week, Mullen "graduated" from our SPAC list, completing the merger with SPAC Net Element. Ticker: $MULN, fell -15.46% today.
The FIVE will be built in its newly acquired plant in Robinsonville, Mississippi (link) and the 95kWh battery should give it a 325mi range. Prices start at $55k, reservations for $100.
I couldn't find a YT video for the reveal, so I uploaded it to our channel myself.
The judge is still out on this one... and unlike VinFast, we'll have to wait for years to see if the FIVE goes into production.
I expect we'll have more to share from the LA Auto Show next week.
⚡ What else is new?
Here's a rather fun video from Sono Motors, "acted out" by the founders to celebrate and share their story. ^
📈 Sono Motors is now a public company. Ticker: $SEV, which closed at $38.2, 155% above the IPO issuance price. Today closed at around $29 which puts it at roughly a $2B market cap.
It's also rather remarkable, that the founders have been able to take the company public without raising significant institutional capital.
There are some potential downfalls for the company that you should be aware of too. The start of the production has been delayed to the first half of 2023. The Sion is to be built by NEVS, the Swedish company that is a subsidiary of China's Evergrande. NEVS is reportedly looking for new buyers.
Also, Sono Motors was able to IPO at a good time, as they had estimated they would have been insolvent by next month or shortly after that.
You probably already know better than to ask if I'm still rooting for Sono to succeed. (I am)
🔋♻️ Northvolt produced its very first fully recycled battery cell in its Sweden facilities. The NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt) cell's electrochemical performance is "on par with cells with freshly mined materials".
Northvolt wants to scale to recycle 125 tons of batteries per year with its fittingly named Revolt programme. (link) Cell Yeah!
🌎 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) wants automakers to commit to less than 20% battery degradation by 5 years or 100,000 km (62k mi) and <30% by eight years and 160k km (99.4k mi). (link)
Looking at these numbers and having seen our fleet of over 90 electric cars... these should be rather easily achieved by most automakers that use battery cooling systems (*khm* looking at you, Nissan). Even with Nissan LEAFs, our degradation was ~16% per two years and 160k km.
They also propose the battery health/capacity information should be freely accessble to the vehicle owner. If this will be percentage or kWh-based, that would lovely. Battery bars and other visual stuff? Not so much.
🌎 President Biden is at it again - this time visiting GM's Factory Zero opening. Now, not that I disagree with GM's Barra being a great leader. But for your amusement, here's what Biden said in his speech (full video here):
In the auto industry, Detroit is leading the world in electric vehicles. You know how critical it is? Mary, I remember talking to you way back in January about the need for America to lead in electric vehicles. I can remember your dramatic announcement that by 2035, GM would be 100% electric. You changed the whole story, Mary. You did, Mary. You electrified the entire automotive industry. I’m serious. You led, and it matters.
Elon Musk replied to a Twitter thread on Biden's speech with the link of the "Who Killed the Electric Car" documentary, saying if it weren't for competitive pressure from Tesla, GM would be doing nothing.
🚗 Ford doubles its EV sales projections to 600k cars annually, within 24 months, because of "much higher demand than we expected" (link to Jim Farley's tweet thread).
🌎 Toyota is pushing hybrids hard in Japan, now is manipulating children into thinking EVs don't exist or pollute more by sending pamphlets to schools. (link)
🌎 Every 10th new car entering the West European roads is now 100% electric (link)
🔋 Ample, the battery-swapping-for-everyone startup raised another $50M from Blackstone and Banco Santander, on top of its $160M Series C from August. It also announced its collaboration with Uber in the US will be expanded to Europe. (link)
🚐 REE Automotive unveiled its autonomous concept vehicle called Leopard. We've covered REE's tech extensively before and I believe their proprietary by-wire and modular technology, if it works, will scale very well. (link)
Keep in mind, that REE will most likely provide the platform and "power" other vehicle makers than launch this as a standalone vehicle:
💰 An EV asset financing firm came out of stealth mode: Inspiration. It looks to help commercial fleets go electric with initial capital commitment $200M, and the first financed company was revealed to be Revel. Yes, our favorite blue Tesla fleet (link).
⚡ Ruex, an Estonian charging network company, is raising €0.5-€1M on the Funderbeam crowdfunding platform (link) to expand in the region. Not a recommendation, just observing. h/t to Andre for letting me know.
⚡ Stellantis started building its first DC stations in Italy. A month ago, the group announced that by 2025 it will have a (mostly AC) charging network of 2 million spaces across 15,000 locations. (link)
💰 I enjoyed this summary from Reilly Brennan's newsletter on EV investments:
Only a few years ago carmakers believed they could pass battery development to their suppliers, but the modern auto company develops (or co-develops) its batteries and chips. The only things staying the same on the automobile are the tires.
🚗 I'm a sucker for those futuretro EVs. Alpha premiered its electric sedan SAGA about 5 hours ago. Starting from $40-50k, it should have a 300mi range.
Alpha is a company I'm both intrigued and skeptical about. I think I'll need to dig deeper on whether they're capable of bringing these cars to market - but I am rooting for the designs.
🚗 Kia EV6 now holds a Guinness World Record for the shortest charging time to cross the US in an EV. The trip was 2,880.5 miles from NYC to LA and took 7 hours, 10 minutes, and 1 seconds to charge to get there. (link) I neeeed to test this car.
🥀 Here's another EV we might never see on the streets - the ACM, known for the City One small modular EV, filed for insolvency (= it's broke), although the founders are looking for investors. (link in Ger)
The City One was meant to double as a 4-passenger car during rush hour and a small delivery van fitting a Euro-pallet in the meantime.
⚡ Game: Can you fix Smogtown?
I don't often share games with you, but when I do...
This text-based game is made by Bloomberg CityLab. You'll have to act as the leader of Smogtown, lowering emissions and increasing your popularity by choosing the right path through legislation and action.
Combine this with some ironic surprises that a real-life mayor would face, this made me play this game more than once.
Play in browser here: (link)
👀 What I'm watching:
Oooh, my heart started racing when I saw the headline: Rimac Nevera Goes Off-Road.
Mate Rimac himself walks you through their crash-test process and takes a $2.4M Nevera, destined to crash in a few weeks, for an off-road adventure.
Guaranteed adrenaline kick:
President Biden drives the electric GMC Hummer EV when visiting the formal opening of the Factory Zero:
Genesis GV60 driven by Asian Petrolhead:
🐤 Tweet of the week:
Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, says Ford has the ambition to become the biggest EV maker in the world (link):
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