Here's this week's zaptail for you:
- US starts spending ~$8B on charging and batteries.
- EVs in fun Superbowl ads. You'll be surprised.
- Become the CEO of EV Association of England (no, really)
- R1T's 7777 battery cells, an EV called Ice Cream...
...and a bit more (1,663 words).
Now, welcome to the EV Universe!EVs at Super Bowl
If you were reading my newsletter a year ago, you might remember me covering the EV ads of the Super Bowl in our 17th-ever newsletter. Back then GM featuring Will Ferrell's No Way Norway stole the show and there wasn't really that much else.
This year is different.
I put together a playlist for you to check out back to back, with seven videos. Just click and go:
Polestar seems to have stirred up just enough of the pot so people started talking about its "No Compromises" ad spot. Going against the stream and not hiring any actor superstars, Polestar took some not-so-subtle jabs both on VW (dieselgate) and Elon/Tesla (Mars).
Love it or hate it, it worked. Polestar's dedicated page on Cars.com shot up 580 times, it's Polestar 2 becoming most-visited model during the Super Bowl. Cars.com has ~26M Unique monthly website visits.
Funnily enough, when I go to Cars.com right now, it's full of the Kia EV6:
Kia's Robot dog is visible on the header - and that's what its ad was all about too.
We also saw:
- General Motors bring in Dr. EV-il (you know, from Austin Powers),
- BMW show Zeus (Schwarzenegger) and Hera's (Hayek) electric problems
- Chevy recreate the Sopranos intro scenes with Silverado EV (people loved it)
- Hyundai brought Jason Bateman in to tell you how long of a journey it's been to reach electric cars (funny)
- Wallbox asking if Seth, after being hit by lightning, can ever embrace electricity again.
You'll find all of these in my playlist.
$5B for chargers, $3B for batteries
The more specific plans of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act funds are in:
The US Department of Transportation and Energy announced there will be $2.91B directed towards a national battery supply chain, supporting production facilities for battery materials, battery cells and packs, recycling facilities, and second-life applications for batteries. (link)
Another nearly $5B in funds will be used to build a national network of 500,000 charging stations for EVs across the US. This scheme will be called NEVI, for National EV Infrastructure Formula Program.
ver the next five years, it will help states build a network of EV charging stations, particularly along highways. States will be able to access $615M total this year. Texas & California will each get ~10% of this pie already. (link)
The website driveelectric.gov is dedicated for officials who can find links to technical assistance, data, and tools for states, and careers.
Reilly gave a good point of view in his Future of Transport newsletter: gov keeps supporting NEW chargers but isn't that effective in keeping them going, as it's estimated that currently 30% of all US EV chargers are offline.
Much needed pseudo-stick
Toyota filed eight patents for a manual transmission simulation for EVs. (link) These involve a gear-stick lever and a clutch pedal to pseudo-realize manual gear changes. The actual gear changes are only simulated by the onboard electronics.
Automakers are getting creative - like Ford with its e-clutch patent (link).
...because which one of us wouldn't want to shift gears manually in our EVs?
Personal Electric Automotive Revolution
Fisker now started taking ($250) reservations for its second model, a city car called PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution), set to start delivery in 2024. The car is supposed to start at $29.900 and be produced with Foxconn. (pdf)
Fisker's first EV, the Fisker Ocean SUV, is supposed to go into production with Magna in November this year in Graz, Austria.
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✋ Chief evangelist wanted. The EV Association England is looking for its first CEO (pdf). Thanks to receiving a grant the association can now recruit a small team along with the CEO. Applications close today, 18th of Feb (I know I know I'm pretty late).
🕵️ Check up on chargers. The audit into New York Power Authority's EV charging station installs found it lacking, leaving nearly half of the counties with none and not placing the chargers where EV-owners need them. NYPA says "it's difficult but we are doing good". (link) (audit pdf) via Trucks.vc
🗺️ Wish it was everywhere. New York State has an EVC infrastructure tool that shows the existing electrical infrastructure and its capacities. This way the developers can skip a step in DC-charger location search and find the suitable capacity beforehand (or rule others out): (link). Thanks, Joey, for sharing this!
🦸 Global Energy Hero: Stanford launched a competition for organizations led by young people (18-30yo) that use sustainable energy for positive impact in their communities. Share the solution in a 3-minute video to win $20k. (link)
🚗 #Smart. Smart will name its new EVs starting with a hashtag (#) and a number, with the #1 electric crossover launching sometime this year (link). Smart, which is a Mercedes-Geely joint venture, is reportedly looking for a partner to contribute $0.5-$1B to fund future growth.
🎖️ The US Army's new Climate Strategy (pdf) wants to create an EV fleet and decarbonize all non-tactical light vehicles by 2027, then the rest. By 2035, all non-tactical vehicles will be purely electric. The Army also plans for infrastructure - 400 charging stations for this year and then go on to build microgrids and local power generation on each installation by 2035.
(i) Did You Know, that the US army pollutes so much that if it were ranked against countries, it would be the 47th in the world by carbon emissions.
⚡ The DMC DeLorean is back - electric! The premiere should happen sometime this year. (link)
💬 Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, did an Ask-Me-Anything on Reddit. Here's the thread (link).
🗾 Big in Japan. Hyundai is re-entering the Japanese market after 12 years (pulled out due to lack of sales), selling only electric cars and online-only. (link)
🔦 Fun fact: the Rivian R1T has 7777 battery cells. 7776 in the battery pack and one in the flashlight (per RJ Scaringe on video here).
🧍 "It's a cult". Tesla released its 10-K filing with the SEC, which shows its global full-time employee headcount has risen 40% year-over-year, to 99,290.
🤦 Elon admits blunder. The post-refresh Model X rollout has been pretty lacking with a lot of customers waiting. Elon has now answered rather honest:
We dropped the ball badly regarding new Model X production ramp & still haven’t fully recovered. Was idiotic to stop production of old X in Dec 2020 when there was still plenty of demand!
🥀 Is Bolt dead already? GM extended the Bolt EV and EUV production until early April, due to the recalls. (link) Understandably, a lot of people have now raised the question if GM will carry on with the production at all.
🇨🇳 🇧🇷 China to Brazil. China's Great Wall Motor wants to build four EVs and 6 hybrids in Sao Paulo state, Brazil, taking over a Daimler factory & investing $1.8B over the next decade (link).
🏎️ Hyper EV. DS Automobiles (Stellantis subsidiary) presented the concept DS E-Tense Performance. The prototype has 250kW+350kW electric motors which come from DS's Formula E developments, and should get the car 0-60mph in ~~2 seconds.
DS also tries to go all-in at recuperation and (somehow) says 600kW of regen is available on its drivetrain. The battery sits in the back, instead of the bottom. (link)
Connection: SES is one of the key solid-state plays of General Motors via GM Ventures investment, and also has backing of Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Geely and SAIC among others. So far the company claims the first EVs might run on their batteries by 2025.
👀 The first mass Tesla delivery event in the UK will take place tomorrow (19th) - and this video shows a lot of them ready at Southampton.
👀 A drone got a close view (way too close, really) of the Tesla Cybertruck at Fremont recently:
👀 Sandy Munro and Rivian's CEO RJ Scaringe check out the R1T together (video).
Not that I'm getting bored of passenger EVs or anything, but I decided to start showing you the rest of the electric vehicle world from time to time now.
We'll start with electric concrete mixers, 'made' from Volvo FM Electric trucks, which will be used in Denmark sometime this year (link):
The truck has just a little 450 to 540 kWh battery pack and a gross combination weight of 44 tonnes.
Next week - asphalt paving.
Latest in the mini EVmobiles designed to take on the ubersuccesful Wuling Mini:
Chery QQ launched the Ice Cream. Costing only $3,757-$6,901, it will come in seven ice cream colors and smiley'ish headlights. Instead of a center screen, it has a phone stand and an app to control lights, door locks, navigate, etc.
I mean... the trim levels are literally called
- Ice-cream Cone and
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