THE WEEKLY MOMENTUM: 17-24th March
All of the most exciting news of the week covered by 2 sentences each.
BMW unveiled its i4 electric sedan... with some of the specs. The preliminary EPA range is up to 300 miles (482km) and a 0-60 of <4 seconds (link).
We are consciously adopting a broad approach with our all-electric offering rather than staying niche.
—Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG
- RIVIAN plans to install 3,500 new (Rivian-only) DC chargers and 10k Waypoint 11.5kW chargers across the US & Canada by 2023. It's called The Rivian Adventure Network. 100% renewable energy, of course. (link)
What sets Rivian apart in my opinion is their adventure-approach. They've set up to extend their network to remote destinations also.
RIVIAN has also been seen testing its electric vans now in San Francisco's hilly roads, in addition to LA we've covered earlier.
- TESLA is rumored to have acquired 460 sqm plot of land near to Tesla's Giga Shanghai (video). The company also likely ordered a 8,000-ton IDRA Giga Press die-casting machine for the production of the Cybertruck (video).
The events around building Giga Berlin are now featured in a 44-minute documentary (video). It has received some criticism for taking some of Musk's words out of context, but will show interesting interviews nevertheless.
Musk said on an interview to China's state television: "China in the long term will be our biggest market, both where we make the most number of vehicles and where we have the most number of customers." (link)
Also, here's Musk:
- RENAULT sees it's electric car sales to more than double in 2021, reaching 150k EVs (per Reuters, (link))
- GEELY AUTO is launching new global electric car brand named Zeekr for premium EVs (link). First vehicles are expected to be delivered already in Q3 2021.
- TRATON, the VW's commercial vehicle subsidiary, will invest 1.6B€ ($1.9B) instead of earlier €1B towards e-mobility by 2025 and power its long-haul trucks by batteries.
- SEAT announced it wants to produce 500k EVs per year in Spain from 2025. Seat also unveiled a concept of a new tiny EV that will premiere in 2025 (link)
CUPRA, SEAT's subsidiary, announced it'll launch its Tavascan electric SUV into production in 2024 (link). Here's the badass (video) of Tavascan's unveil in 2019.
- AUDI is set to debut its all Audi Q6 e-tron electric SUV in 2022 (run on PPE architecture), and expects to deliver more than 20 fully electric models by 2025 (link). AUDI also started production of its Q4 e-tron SUV at its Zwickau factory (link).
- LUCID MOTORS AIR will feature Dolby Atmos integration as part of its 21-speaker Surreal Sound system, first in the world (link).
LUCID also announced on Monday they've stopped taking reservations for the Air Dream Edition, as its sold out (link). The rumors have the number between 600 and 1k units.
- MG, the British sports car maker, teased a 500-mile Cybster (cyber<>roadster) sports car concept (link)
- SONO MOTORS launched its B2B sales for solar integrations on buses, trailers & trucks and light EVs (link).
- SCOTLAND awarded £40.5M ($55.6M) through a second round of the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme - replacing 215 diesel buses with electric models (link).
SCOTTISH Government is also investing £7M to support two zero-emission projects, on heavy-duty vehicle platforms (link).
Speaking of Scotland, NOVA INNOVATION revealed a new EV charge point in SHetland that is powered by the tidal energy (video).
- THE US Department of Energy announced $30M for research to "secure domestic supply chain of critical elements and minerals, needed to produce clean energy technologies" (link).
- GERMANY, Deutche Post DHL announced it will be running 60% of its fleet electric by 2030, tripling its EV van fleet (link).
- CHARGE-AMPS, the charging hardware & software developer, raises $15.3M in a funding round, ahead of planned IPO next years. I've used charge-amps wall-boxes myself and they've been incredibly durable throughout our heavy use with taxis.
- EVBOX partners with Aetna EV Charging to grow the infrastructure mainly in US New England and Mid-Atlantic states (link).
- EVGO partnered with Meijer (US), to install 100-350kW chargers at its supercenters (link).
- BP and WOLKSWAGEN signed an MoU to develop a network of ultra-fast chargers at bp retail sites across the UK, Germany and elsewhere in Europe (link).
- BMW GROUP and PG&E entered 3rd phase of its ChargeForward program in California - now to get data from 3k drivers that can voluntarily allow their vehicle to be “smart charged” when electricity demand is low and renewable energy availability is high (link).
- TESLA refreshed Model S's touch-screen interface with V11 seen for the first time (photos).
- MERCEDES-BENZ showed photos of a camouflaged prototype of the Citan small electric van (photos).
- LUCID MOTORS Gravity SUV sketches seen on new patents (photos).
- 2023 MINI COOPER SE test mule spied (photos).
- CUPRA El-Born camouflaged protoype seen winter testing (photos).
- ARRIVAL’s second Microfactory in the US will be located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It will initially produce zero-emission vans for UPS / a 10k order / (video).
- FORD decided to build two new electric models in Mexico instead of Ohio, US (link). I wonder if it's got something to do with the ongoing SK Innovation <> LG Chem feud?
- LUCID MOTORS was approved to expand its electric car plant in Casa Grande (link)
- VOLKSWAGEN one-sidedly decided to not use LG Chem and SK Innovation as battery cell suppliers, a few days before announcing their unified cell format on Power Day (link). In maybe-related news:
- QUANTUMSCAPE seeks for additional funding by offering 13M shares of its Class A common stock ($QS) to expand its QS-0 pilot line in Californian factory to double of the originally planned size (link).
- RENAULT, Veolia and Solvay announced partnership to enable the circular economy of EV battery metals in Europe through closed-loop recycling (link).
- HERITAGE and ROMEO POWER will jointly develop a battery reuse and recycling facility in the southwestern US (link)
- SCHLUMBERGER NEW ENERGY announced today the development of a lithium extraction pilot plant through its new venture, NeoLith Energy in Nevada, US. Their extraction process of battery-grade lithium material promises to reduce the production time from over a year to weeks (link).
- VARTA confirmed it plans to produce battery cells for EVs, starting before 2024. The produced cells will be in the 21700 format, like the format Tesla uses in the M3 and Y. Varta claims the cell can be fully charged in six minutes. (link)
- Chalmers University of Technology researchers have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. (link)
- BYD is claiming 1.2M kilometres or 3,000 charging cycles for its Blade Battery in its announcement (link).
- LION ELECTRIC plans to open a battery pack factory in Quebec, Canada, by early 2023 (video).
- "Why Regional and Long-Haul Trucks Are Primed for Electrification Now" by Lawrence Berkeley Natuional Laboratory (link to pdf). Self-explanatory, huh?
- ARTHUR D LITTLE, a well-known consulting firm, released a 'viewpoint' report on EV charging in Europe (link to pdf).
- BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE's Executive Factbook analyses the EV market, pp 42-52 of this (link to pdf)
- SONO MOTORS hired a new CTO / Head of Complete Vehicle Development. The new CTO is now responsible for the testing and validation of the Sion solar electric car on its way to series production. Past - Daimler, Foton Motor Group and Borgward. (link)
- FARADAY FUTURE named Xuefeng (‘Chris’) Chen as CEO of its China business. Past: Changan Ford, Changan Mazda, Ford Asia Pacific Design Centre and Chery Jaguar Land Rover (link).
- TESLA vehicles may not be able to enter Chinese military areas because of the concerns of the cars ability to collect sensitive information via its cameras and sensors (link). See the Quote section below for Musk's comment. TESLA Semi might not be suitable to Australian market due to its current size regulations (link)..
- UK cuts down the plug-in car grant (PiCG) by £500 (to £2.5k) per vehicle, also reducing the price cap from £50k to £35k. That uppercuts Tesla's M3 among some others, that don't meet the price cap. (link).
A government source even told The Times: “We’re ending the Tesla subsidy. Taxpayers should not be subsidising people to buy £50,000 cars.” (link).
Note - while a setback for some, the idea behind it is for the scheme's funding to go further.
- CHANJE, an EV startup in the US, reportedly owes $4M to the truck rental company Ryder, after it failed to deliver 100 of the 125 electric vans promised in 2017 (link), according to a lawsuit (link to pdf).
- LORDSTOWN follow-up: The SEC now launched an inquiry on the Hindenburg allegations (link).
- FORD's Mike Levine called Tesla's FSD vaporware on Twitter, after Ross Gerber, a Tesla investor, called out Ford's Dealership for a $5k fee scam (link). This one does not spark joy.
- PORSCHE's Vision Renndienst minivan concept will not go into series production, as the Head of Global Sales says Porsche will remain a sports car manufacturer (link).