5 min read

THE WEEKLY MOMENTUM

Lucid Air, Apple car, Rivian and more

COMPANIES

^ RIVIAN stories (not the official site) put together 9 reasons Rivian will deliver in 2021 & Beyond (video).

HYUNDAI partners with UBER to help the drivers switch to electric cars, in part of the UBERs sustainability goal of becoming a zero-emission platform by 2040 (link).

LIGHTNING EMOTORS partners with Soderholm Bus & Mobility to sell its electric commercial vehicles in Hawaii. Soderholm is the biggest bus distributor in the Pacific Islands. (link)

NIKOLA partners with RIG360, gaining access to 65 dealer locations across the US for sales and service (link).

VOLVO to start using fossil-free "green" steel in cars from this year, in collaboration with SSAB (link).

GENERAL MOTORS might eliminate floorplan costs on the upcoming Hummer EVs (so dealers wouldn't have to pay for the car in the showroom) to help dealers adjust to the new dealership model. (link) I covered GM's previous dealership move on the "EVs or Bye" issue way back.

TESLA's M3 and MY sales surpassed 1M (link). Meanwhile, Model 3's delivery numbers in China are up 85% month-over-month with over 25k M3's sold. Model Y is up 119% with over 10k cars month-over-month (link). Tesla is now starting to advertise the Model 3 with only 93 miles of range, which aims to give buyers access to local EV incentives, on its website in Canada (link).

TESLA's made-in-China Model Y was completely disassembled by Zhihu Automobile in a teardown. They concluded the Model Y is undoubtedly the most integrated electric vehicle to date. Surprisingly, only about 25% of the parts are 1-1 shared between Model 3 and Y (link in Chinese).

COUNTRIES

PRINCE PHILIP's coffin is said to be transported to the funeral in a converted electric (or hybrid) Land Rover (link). Prince Philip has contributed to conservation throughout his years and also has some connection to EVs (link) and (link).

Maryland's EV legislation that have passed, including the EV tax credit, Right-to-Charge, Anti-ICEing (link).

EUROPE phasing out hybrids sooner than expected, with Reuters claiming "draft green finance regulations would ban manufacturers from labelling them as "sustainable investments" beyond 2025". An analysis of AutoForecast Solutions found that only 28 PHEV models are in production plans in Europe through 2028, compared to 86 fully electric models. (link)

Vietnam's first and locally manufactured electric bus was put into operation (video).

MODELS

^ LUCID Air "release candidate" tested in urban NYC with CEO Peter Rawlinson (video).

FARIZON AD21, the Geely-owned semi-truck maker aiming mostly at the Chinese market, will be using swappable battery packs and had its first photos leaked (link).

APTERA Noir, one of the three Aptera EV Alpha prototypes ridealong in this (video). Also, here's Aptera on the drag strip test (video).

VW ID.4 completed its cross-country road trip. The 6,700-mile journey was documented in daily vlogs on the VW USA YouTube channel: (videoz). Dustin Krause, Director, e-Mobility, Volkswagen of America said:

“We proved exactly what we set out to do with this drive, which was to show that with a little planning, covering long distances in an EV can be easy.”

GMC Hummer EV SUV hands-on (video).

Mercedes-Benz received 20k orders for the EQA which was unveiled in January (link).

FACTORIES & PRODUCTION

caption for image

REE Automotive signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Magna to bring the Modular Electric Vehicles powered by REE, to market (link).

APPLE is reportedly "very near" to be closing a deal with the joint automotive venture of LG and Magna named "LG Magna e-Powertrain". (link) That would make sense, as LG & Magna would be OK being just suppliers while the car brand remains Apple. Hyundai and Kia's discussions with Apple probably failed due to them not wanting to go unrecognized and reduced to the supplier level.

RIMAC Automobili, the EV hypercar maker, has unveiled its design and project plans for a new state-of-the-art campus on the outskirts of Zagreb scheduled to be operational in 2023 (link). CEO and Founder, Mate Rimac, said:

Just 10 years ago this company was only me in a garage, working on electric performance vehicles and components. Since then, we have grown to around 1,000 employees, formed strategic partnerships with Porsche, Hyundai Motor Group and others, and are working with the biggest names in the automotive industry. But, one thing that we have always committed to is developing our business within Croatia; we’re proud to be here and with this new location, it will be our long-term home.

TESLA's letter to the German court explains the company's recommendations to the federal government on the need for major changes in permit approval frameworks, because they are in "direct contrast to the urgency of planning and action needed to combat climate change". Full letter in German: (link).

XPENG to build the new Smart EV in a manufacturing base in Wuhan, China, with an annual capacity of 100k units (link).

BATTERIES & MINING

Rivian's R1T
RIVIAN R1T / Rivian.com

RIVIAN announced Samsung SDI will supply the battery cells for its vehicles. (link) We called it on the newsletter #21 by the way, based on seeing the R1T in South Korea (link). 🥳

RIO TINTO started production of battery-grade lithium from waste rock at a lithium demonstration plant at the Boron mine site in California (link).

PIEDMONT LITHIUM released an updated Global Mineral Resource estimate (MRE) for its flagship Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina (link to pdf)

BATTERY RESOURCERS, the closed-loop battery recyclers that sells the recycled material back to the battery manufacturers, raised $20M on their Series B, led by Orbia Ventures (link).

CHARGING

The EV network
Image: The EV Network

bp pulse signed an agreement with The EV Network, an 'independent EV charging infrastructure development company' to deploy DC fast charging hubs across the UK. First sites are expected to be operational by the end of the year and each hub features up to 24 300kW chargers. (link)

On average, EV drivers in Queensland, Australia spend about $3 and 34 minutes charging their cars, according to data of 11,6k sessions on the Queensland EV Superhighway (link).

FASTNED, the European fast-charging network, released its annual report showing a revenue and volume increase in 2020, despite the Covid-19 impacting travel. While aggressively expanding the network by 53.5% Y-o-Y to 456 chargers, the charging revenue went up 40% reaching €6.3M ($7.5M) and the volume was up 39% with 11GWh delivered. On average, a Fastned customer charged about once a month, with 18kWh per session, costing €10.5 ($12.5). The CEO of Fastned, Michiel Langezaal, says

We are at Day One of an exponentially growing charging market.

The full, well-detailed annual report can be found here: (link to pdf).

JOBS & TALENT MOVING

Manuj Khurana, a former executive of India's investment promotion body, Invest India, is joining Tesla India as the first major employee in the country. He'll be leading policy and business development efforts in India (link).

Jesse Schneider, Nikola's executive vice president of technology, hydrogen and fuel cells, is leaving and starting his own business called the ZEV station, focusing on renewable electric charging and hydrogen fuel stations (link).

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