Drivers face 18-month wait for new electric cars

Drivers face 18-month wait for new electric cars

Road users face having to wait for up to 18 months to buy new electric cars, as manufacturers such as: Tesla, Porsche and Volkswagen are taking more than a year to deliver new models. Manufacturers are also having to battle with shortages caused by disruption to global supply chains.  

Making the switch to a zero-emission vehicle could now take over a year, as major car manufacturers have a waiting time of over a year for buyers to receive their new EV. Tesla fans will have to wait until late next year for a new Model S or X and potential buyers of the Porsche Taycan will have to wait between six and eighteen months for the new vehicles.  

Furthermore, drivers who hope to buy a Lexus UX 300e will have to wait until the second quarter of next year due to the company having a delay of 12 months for certain Volkswagen models, including the ID3 and ID4 models.  

Thankfully, waiting times for the BMW i4 or iX and a Mini Electric are slightly shorter, ranging between six and nine months. BMW have said that included in their waiting time is a transit time of four to six weeks, hence why it can appear longer than usual.  

Global shortages of semiconductors have been a major cause of these delays in the automotive industry and are hitting drivers just as the rising fuel prices are.  

Ginny Buckley, of electrifying.com, has said: “Cars like the Volkswagen ID3, which were freely available 12 months ago, now have waiting times of more than a year. This is down to a perfect storm of increased demand coupled with a shortage of vital components.” 

Waiting times for a Peugeot e-208 also have a shorter wait time of between three and four months, however, it is subject to change.  

Ms. Buckley has also added: “It’s also worth checking at your dealership to see if there’s a brand-new car in stock, rather than a factory order. It may not be the exact version you’re looking for, but if you’re willing to compromise on the finishing touches, like its colour and wheels, you might be able to get hold of a car in a few days rather than a few months.” 

Drivers who are fed up with these wait times are now turning to the second-hand market for electric cars, as the number of sales has almost doubled in the same period last year. 

The transition to electric vehicles is one that is inevitable in the coming years, however, global shortages may make this transition harder and slow it down completely.  

Government unleashes £200million for zero-emission HGVs

Government unleashes £200million for zero-emission HGVs

The government has launched a three-year programme, to begin later this year, that will help to decarbonise the UK’s freight industry. It has been announced that it will deliver £200 million funding into boosting zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGV). 

The investment aims to produce, what it claims to be, the world’s largest fleet of zero emission HGVs, adding hundreds of more eco-friendly trucks to the UK’s roads.   

The government is aiming to ensure that all new HGVs sold will be zero emission from 2035 onwards. This date will apply to vehicles weighing less than 26 tonnes, with all new HGVs having to meet the rule by 2040. 

HGVs prove to present a greater challenge in the transition to zero emission than cars and vans. Especially as the size and weight of the electric vehicle batteries are required to meet the requirements of long-haul HGVs. 

Transport minister, Trudy Harrison, has said: ‘’Our road freight industry is one of the most efficient in the world and contributes over £13 billion to the UK economy each year. 

‘’But we must accelerate our journey towards our net zero goals, and we’re committed to leading the way globally on non-zero emission road vehicles.” 

Head of Future Markets at National Grid, Graeme Cooper, has also commented saying: “We welcome the next phase of the government’s zero emission road freight demonstrator programme. 

“This will provide certainly for the trucking and freight industries, as they transition to zero emission vehicles. 

“At National Grid we have supported Phase 1 as part of the core advisory group and look forward to supporting this next step. In order for this to deliver real value to the market, it is critical that this proceeds at pace as the technologies are developing quicker than many expected.” 

The scheme aims to improve air quality, create greener jobs, and reduce reliance on oil imports. It also strives to reduce delivery costs and protect customers from rising fuel prices.  

 

 

Hyundai Mobis agrees software deal with Vector Group

Hyundai Mobis agrees software deal with Vector Group

Hyundai Mobis has partnered with Germany’s Vector Group for the joint development of an AUTOSAR-based software platform. AUTOSAR was founded in 2003 and is a development partnership of automotive interested parties. Vector is a premium member of Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) which endorses global standards for automotive software. 

Vector is currently supplying software to major global automakers and part makers in Europe and North America. The agreement between both companies expects to maximise the competitiveness of automotive software in the global automobile market.  

As a premium member of AUTOSAR, Hyundai Mobis will be able to share the rich knowledge of Vector involved in the production of industry standard platforms. Vector will be able to expand its software platform users based on Hyundai Mobis’ product portfolio.  

Initially, the two companies plan to install co-developed software in core auto components related to parking systems, autonomous driving sensors, infotainment systems and electrified parts. However, this list is expected to continually grow as the deal progresses.  

Hyundai Mobis has said in a statement: “As software platforms have become a critical component in defining competitiveness in vehicle manufacturing, global automakers are now requiring their automotive suppliers to adopt AUTOSAR-based software platforms with proven quality and versatility” 

Hyundai Mobis senior vice president Jae-ho Jang has also released a statement: “This will enhance our software competitiveness and quality reliability in the global automotive industry and also guide us towards becoming a leader in the mobility software industry”. 

For Hyundai Mobis, this partnership is only the beginning of long-term partnerships with major software companies that have elemental technologies for automated driving. The first of these partnerships is most likely to be in the areas of automotive communication solutions and autonomous driving sensors.  

Subaru to invest US$1.9bn in new EV plant

Subaru to invest US$1.9bn in new EV plant

Subaru has planned to spend JPY250bn to build an electric vehicle factory in Japan and in-house (EV) battery manufacturing capacity over the next five years. 

The move is part of a multi-billion-dollar investment in electrification, to step up the pace in the battery-car race.  

The Japanese automaker plans to build a new EV production line at its main assembly plant in Gunmna prefecture at a cost of JPY100bn. It is said to be scheduled for completion in 2027.  

Only this year did Subaru announce its first serious contender, the Solterra Crossover EV, which shows the all-four wheeled drive specialist, is finally turning its head to fully electric vehicles. 

Unlike their competitors, Japanese automakers fall behind in the transition to electric vehicles, with their EV sales accounting for less than 1% of total vehicle sales last year.  

Sabaru has set itself a sales target of 40% by 2030. Other Japanese automakers such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan have also aimed to step up their EV investments worldwide.  

The EVs made will be exported globally to markets including the U.S. the automotive company will begin making its own EV’s in mixed production with internal combustion vehicles at its Yajima plant in Japan within the next few years, until the plant is completed.  

Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura outlined plans early this week while announcing fiscal earnings. He highlighted that Subura is still contemplating what kind of segment or models the upcoming EVs will be. He added that the alliance with Toyota will also be beneficial to “build up technology and know-how” in EVs.  

New large ABB robots increase speed and flexibility for material handling on EV battery production

New large ABB robots increase speed and flexibility for material handling on EV battery production

ABB is adding two new robot families to its portfolio of large robots for complex manufacturing applications. ABB’s IRB 5710 and 5720 robots produce enhanced speed, accuracy, flexibility, and a stronger design which includes integrated process cabling. Therefore, the robots deliver increased productivity and an enhanced performance with higher up-time for applications such as electric vehicle manufacturer. 

The IRB 5710 and IRB 5720 are available in eight different variants, which presents a wide range of options for payloads, from 70kg to 180kg and reaches from 2.3m to 3m. Together, the two robot families are perfect for various production tasks, including material handling, machine tending and assembly, while also being able to be used for specific operations in EV manufacturing such as battery module picking. 

The benefits that these robots offer are unmatched, making them ideal for use in plastic molding, metal casting, cleaning, and spraying application.  

Joerg Reger, Managing Director of ABB Robotics’ automotive business line, says ‘’These new robots accelerate ABB’s continuing expansion into the rapidly growing EV market, meeting customer demand for robust units with the speed, path accuracy and dexterity to handle complex EV battery assembly duties.’’  

He continues to say “The switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs especially is driving increased demand for fast, adaptable production lines. EV designs can often be highly complex, and components such as batteries and semiconductor modules can be very heavy or extremely fragile. These demands call for solutions that can offer maximum precision and repeatability to avoid errors in production,” 

Both robot families are powered by ABB’s new OmniCoreTM controller V250XT which is the latest addition to the Omnicore controller family. Furthermore, the robot family contain features such as ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion control technology.  

Features such as these enable the IRB 5710 and IRB 5720 to offer class-leading speed and improved manufacturing speeds. 

 

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

Pasqal, the leading manufacturer of neutral atoms quantum processors, have just announced a new take on with BMW Group to improve the automaker’s primary manufacturing processes. 

Using Pasqal’s algorithm for solving differential equations (problems where a change in one of the variables foes not uniformly affect the outcome,) BMW group strive to analyse the applicability of quantum computing technology to metal forming applications modelling.  

Applications such as these require extensive simulations to ensure that auto parts are following specifications. Predictive and rapid virtual modelling will bring the manufacturing process towards safer designs, more sustainable products and zero-prototyping. 

Pasqal’s researchers have created a digital-analog implementation of its quantum methods, customised for its neutral-atom quantum processors, which makes these applications 30 times more efficient that competing superconducting quantum processors. 

A highly accurate computational simulation would allow BMW Group to replace costly physical build-test-improve cycles, as existing classical computational methods are unable to deal with the intricacy of stimulating a full vehicle at the required accuracy. Simulations such as these will finally help BMW Group produce lighter parts, making cars more fuel-efficient.  

Pasqal managed to gain this collaboration with BMW group by winning the BMW Group Quantum Computing Challenge late last year. Earlier collaborations have focused on optimising battery designs at the atomistic level by developing quantum computational methods for chemistry and materials-science.  

The renewed collaboration extends this scope to other relevant time and length scales adding micro-and macro-level materials simulations. 

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of Pasqal said ‘’Renewing and extending the scope of our collaboration with BMW Group is a clear sign of the value Pasqal can bring to our customers. Each time we collaborate with BMW Group, we discover something more we can do to help them develop superior automobiles’’ 

He continues to say: ‘’Pasqal currently offers the only method on the market for solving these these types of differential equations with quantum technology, which are critical to execute effective and accurate simulations. We’re proud to work with BMW Group to improve manufacturing processes and safety through our technology.’’ 

Pasqal believes these use cases are excellent candidates for early quantum advantage with its proprietary quantum algorithms, which the company plans to reach within two years.

These complex simulations will run over a six-month period in Pasqal’s facilities. Real world applications for these simulations include crash testing and accelerated development of new parts and materials which are lighter and stronger, keeping passengers safe while both reducing emissions and cutting development costs. 

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Picture: Oxbotica 

A long-term partnership has been signed between Oxbotica, the global leader in autonomous vehicle software, and NEVS, leading innovators of shared mobility solutions, to produce a fleet of self-driving, all-electric vehicles. These vehicles are planned to be released onto public roads by the end of 2023, reducing carbon emissions and revolutionising urban mobility. 

The collaboration will include the Oxbotica Driver autonomy system with NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle which together, will develop a safer, more sustainable, and accessible passenger transportation solution for urban environments. 

A primary fleet will be released on geo-fenced public roads next year, followed by numerous projects in Europe 2024. The solution is planned to be scaled across the globe from 2025 onwards. This will be part of NEVS mobility ecosystem which incorporates the ‘Sango’ vehicle, a fleet management system and an app as the user interface. 

The effects of wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles would be highly impactful upon urban transportation. It has the potential to reduce congestion and radically lower emissions by replacing privately owned, carbon emitting vehicles with low emission electric multi-passenger vehicles. Moreover, less cars on the road would make the roads safer and reduce the demand for parking spaces. This, in turn, would enable city planners to reimagine urban landscapes, making room for greener spaces.  

NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle is designed specifically for autonomous driving and optimised for shared passenger transportation in cities. Features of the all-electric, fully autonomous vehicle include: a flexible and adaptable interior with six moveable seats that can be operated in social or family mode. Therefore, you can ride with friends or family while privacy walls can still be created for more private journeys. 

The vehicle will be driven by Oxbotica’a autonomy system, Oxbotica Driver (a low energy use, high performance suite of technologies that works safely and seamlessly with any sensor, vehicle or platform. 

Both Oxbotica and NEVS share the same vision. They believe that shared, electric autonomous transport is the future of urban mobility. The partnership is the latest of Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle deployments into key industries where the technology can transform economic, suitability, and safety metrics. 

Gavin Jackson, CEO at Oxbotica, has said: ‘’The combination of Oxbotica Driver and this stunning, next-generation, electric vehicle is a perfect match. It allows us to create an urban mobility service that will make roads safer, cleaner, and less congested and provide customers with a new way to travel. The partnership will truly change how the Earth moves and I can’t wait to see the first vehicles out on the road next year. 

President at NEVS, Stefan Tilk, has also commented saying: ‘’Having partnership with Oxbotica and being able to progress substantially with its autonomous stack as the ’driver’, will indeed make the ecosystem of our mobility solution complete. Through this partnership we will be able to make the ecosystem of our mobility complete. Through this partnership we will be able to deploy pilots and commercial fleets – ensuring a breakthrough in the movement of people in a green safe and smart way, paving the way for sustainable cities.” 

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies reveal the plan of its new futuristic SD1 electric truck

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies reveal the plan of its new futuristic SD1 electric truck

Picture: Solo AVT

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technology (Solo AVT) have just revealed the design of its futuristic SD1 electric truck. The truck is intended to have a driving range of more than 500 miles due to it being a long-haul battery-electric Class 8 truck and will be built specifically for autonomous driving.  

According to Solo AVT, the design has the lowest drag coefficient of any Class 8 truck on the road due to removing the human onboard and the active aerodynamics. Along with other elements such as low-rolling resistance tires, the truck is expected to be highly efficient.  

The truck offers a peak power output of 600kW and is powered by multi-speed tandem axles with integrated electric motors. Solo AVT emphasises the full aerospace-level system redundancy for autonomous operation, combined with exterior lighting to alert pedestrians and other road users to a unique sound signature.  

With regards to fast charging, the vehicle will be compatible with existing standard trailers and all standard loading docks- assumably the current CCS and the future high-power Megawatt Charging System (MCS) for trucks.  

The new Solo AVT SD1 is a new and innovative design that puts itself above other trucks as it has the fully autonomous element that others do not, which creates untouched territory for Solo AVT to fall into.  

Perrone Robotics partners with Lightning eMotors to produce autonomous fleet EVs

Perrone Robotics partners with Lightning eMotors to produce autonomous fleet EVs

Picture: Lighnting eMotors

The leading provider of zero emission commercial vehicles and EV technology for fleets and Perrone Robotics have partnered to offer Class 3-7 commercial fleet customers self-driving, electric fleet vehicles that can be deployed for a wide variety of uses.

The partnership incorporates Lightnings zero emission EV platform and Perrone’s AV-powered technology, TONY, a vehicle-independent retrofit kit designed to enable vehicles to transport goods and people within a geo-fenced and dedicated driving route.

These vehicles, equipped with self-driving technology, can be ordered immediately for both passenger and cargo use. TONY is versatile as it can be implemented into new vehicles as well as repurposed ones and the company have said, that going forward, Lightning eMotors will now include Perrone’s TONY autonomous vehicle technology, in all its EV platforms.

CEO of Lightning eMotors, Tim Reeser, said “We were looking for partners who could deliver autonomous capabilities to our customers today, and in the future — and that’s what Perrone offers. We offer perhaps the widest range of electric commercial vehicles in North America, and now we have an autonomous vehicle solution for our products, ranging from ambulances to campus shuttles and other commercial applications.”

Lightning eMotors is based in Loveland Colorado and has been providing sustainable fleet solutions since 2009. It has been deploying zero-emission-vehicle solutions since 2018 and the company’s current line- up includes electric conversions of everything, ranging from Class 4 Type A school buses to Class 3 cargo and passenger vans.

Perrone is a leading provider of AV technology, and the company holds a Pioneer Patent for its ‘’MAX’’ general purpose robotics operating system which is at the forefront of its TONY solution. Perone’s retrofit kit can be integrated into new vehicles and existing repowered ones.

The companies admit that Level 4 companies can only operate within geofenced areas and therefore this could be seen as a limitation, however, the demand for organisations to seek autonomous transformation is high.

Lightning eMotors and Perrone have stated that this is not the end of discussions with several other customers interested in autonomous commercial vehicles and therefore, we hope to see rise in such vehicles on the road.

Mining giant Vale lands nickel supply deal with Tesla

Mining giant Vale lands nickel supply deal with Tesla

Mining giant, Vale, has confirmed a long-term contract with Tesla to provide Class 1 nickel for its electric vehicles. This agreement is in accordance with Vale’s strategy to boost exposure to the electric vehicle industry, emphasising its low-carbon footprint and its position as North America’s largest producer of finished Nickel. The company said that it signed a long-term contract with Tesla to supply Class 1 nickel from its operations in Canada.  

 Deshnee Naidoo, Vales executive vice president of base metals, highlighted how pleased Vale was to partner with the electric vehicle manufacturer:

‘’This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly, we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries’’

This comes just a month after the news that Canada is investing $2 billion in its mineral strategy for the electric vehicle battery supply chain.  

The deal was first reported by Bloomberg in March, when Vale Canada announced plans to supply nickel to a Swedish battery manufacturer, Northvolt AB. Around 5% of Canadas nickel production is put towards electric vehicle plans, but Vale aim to deliver 30% to 40% of Class 1 nickel sales into the EV industry. The company aims to expand its industry, and the agreement with Tesla is a step forward for the electric vehicle sector.  

Vale’s Canadian operations pride themselves in being the producer of the lowest-carbon nickel globally. Data from its Long Harbour refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2020 had a verified carbon footprint of 4.4t CO2 equivalent per tonne of nickel. In comparison, pellets and powder from the Copper Cliff Nickel Refinery in Ontario had a verified footprint of 7.3t equivalent.  

Tesla has spent the last few years making agreements with several producers of battery metals, with a particular focus on companies that produce nickel and lithium. CEO Elon Musk had promised in 2020 that giant contracts would only be signed with those who produce nickel in an ‘’environmentally sensitive way’’ foreshadowing the concerns of the increasing demand for nickel. 

The deal with companies such as Vale, marks the transition to a choice of low-carbon and high purity nickel and the commitment to sustainability from both Tesla and Vale. 

New Guinness World Record set by BrightDrop and FedEx

New Guinness World Record set by BrightDrop and FedEx

General Motor’s BrightDrop announced that, in partnership with FedEx, it set a new Guinness World Record title for the greatest distance travelled by an electric van on a single charge.  

The journey was 260 miles (418km) and was completed by the BrightDrop Zevo 600. The trip, driven by Stephen Marlin, was from New York City to Washington D.C while stopping at some iconic destinations on the way including landmarks in Philadelphia and Baltimore.  

Brightdrop President and CEO, Travis Katz has stated: ‘’since the beginning, the Zevo 600 has been a record-setting vehicle. Now we’re seeing first-hand what BrightDrop can do by pairing our zero-operating-emissions technology with FedEx, a leader in the transportation and delivery industry,’’.

He goes onto say, ‘’Having a long battery range with reliable power is critical to electrifying delivery fleets everywhere. This special delivery highlights our products’ advanced capabilities and our mission to decarbonise deliveries’’. 

BrightDrop delivered its first electric light commercial vehicles to FedEx in December after completing the production builds of the Zevo 600 in only 20 months. According to the company statement, this makes it the fastest vehicle to market in General Motors history.  

The manufacturing strength of expertise in combination with the focus and speed of a start-up, supported BrightDrop’s speed to market, while also placing the company in a position to tackle the biggest sustainability and climate issues that out world faces today.  

Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer of FedEx states: ‘’FedEx is proud to be a part of this record-setting moment as we work toward our goal of achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Electrifying our entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet is a crucial component of that goal and we’re thrilled BrightDrop is bringing real solutions to the market that can help us get there, I’ve long said sustainability is a team sport. Today’s milestone is a perfect example of how businesses can lead the charge in ushering in a more sustainable future for customers, our communities and our planet through collaboration.” 

Volta makes moves on North American electric truck market

Volta makes moves on North American electric truck market

Swedish start up Volta Trucks has announced its Zero electric trucks will be operating on the streets of Los Angeles by the end of next year.

Volta made the announcement as part of the release of its full US strategy which will see the company appoint an “experienced” US-based manufacturing partner later this year and develop its own network of service and maintenance facilities.

“Since the launch of Volta Trucks in 2019 and the reveal of the Volta Zero in September 2020, we have used London, Paris, and other European launch cities, where fleets are increasingly converting to electric, to prove that our concepts align to customers’ needs. With more than 6,000 vehicle pre-orders in hand, from some of Europe’s largest fleet operators, it is time to expand our geographic horizons and look towards the significant market opportunity in North America,” said Carl-Magnus Norden, Volta’s founder.

Volta is expecting that its Class 7 truck – equivalent to a European 16-ton vehicle – will be ready for customer evaluation next year. The smaller Class 5 and 6 models, akin to European 7.5- and 12-ton trucks, will follow shortly afterwards.

An initial fleet of 100 pilot trucks will be available next year before full production kicks into gear in 2024. To date, the company has built 24 road-going “Design Verification” prototypes which are currently undergoing testing in Europe.

Similarly, the company will set up its service and maintenance centres across the US – similar to its operations in Europe – and essential to the company’s “Truck-as-a-Service” proposition.

Truck-as-a-Service is designed to be a one-stop-shop to help companies transition to electric fleets, bundling everything into a single offering with a monthly payment. Initial site assessment of customer facilities to understand charging needs, as well as installation, are included along with the financing and insuring of the vehicles to “accelerate adoption” and “derisk” ownership. Servicing and maintenance are included over the lifetime of the trucks.

The first Class 7 trucks are to be built at Volta’s existing site in Steyr, Austria but the later Class 5 and 6 vehicles bound for North America will be built in the US starting from 2024/25.

Carl-Magnus Norden, Volta’s Founder and Executive Chairman is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Arrival granted EU certification for it electric Bus model

Arrival granted EU certification for it electric Bus model

Electric commercial vehicle startup Arrival has been granted EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval for its Bus model.

This represents a critical step towards Arrival Buses carrying passengers on public roads in Europe and the United Kingdom. The certification has been granted after the Arrival Bus successfully completed all required system safety testing.

Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO at Arrival described the certification as a key milestone for Arrival and “a testimony to our innovative technologies and our unique new method of design and production of electric vehicles. The Arrival Bus is different from any that has come before, employing technologies developed in-house to create benefits for operators, passengers, and the planet.”

Since the Arrival Bus shares technologies and components with the Arrival Van and Arrival Car, learnings from the certification contribute to all vehicle programs. The startup says this is one of the many benefits of its unique approach to the design of its electric vehicles.

The Arrival Bus has been developed to meet the needs of cities looking to transition their public transportation infrastructure into a sustainable ecosystem. The vehicle features flexible passenger seating capacity across the entire flat floor, improving comfort and creating more standing space.

The Bus also includes wrap-around exterior and interior screens, adaptable lighting, a transparent roof, and a suite of digital features. Arrival’s software ecosystem enables full connectivity, digital customisation, and deep access to vehicle behaviour and data.

The UK-based business plans to build all its products in rapidly-scalable and highly automated local microfactories, where multitasking robots will do most of the manufacturing work. Since setting up a microfactory costs a lot less than a traditional assembly plant and employs far fewer people, Arrival says this method should result in significantly cheaper products than other comparable electric vehicles and even today’s diesel-powered vehicles.

The company started trials of the Bus late last year and production is expected to commence imminently.

Hyundai expected to locate US EV plant in Georgia

Hyundai expected to locate US EV plant in Georgia

Hyundai is planning to build a new electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in the US and has held discussions with officials in the state of Georgia. The Korean car maker confirmed it will release its plans imminently but declined to comment on any details.

“We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage,” Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters.

Hyundai is understood to have been in advanced discussions with state officials to build a dedicated EV facility in Georgia, which would serve both Hyundai and Kia as the brands move to roll out a pair of fully electric SUVs – the Ioniq 7 and EV9 – aimed at the US market.

Georgia’s Economic Department declined to comment, but a deal would mark a major economic development win for Georgia, which has set out to establish itself as a regional hub for the emerging EV industry.

The announcement of a potential investment deal comes at a time when President Joe Biden has been pushing for more investment in EVs and related suppliers to create jobs and drive a clean-energy agenda.

The Biden administration has said it will allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to finance EV manufacturing. Biden wants half of vehicles sold in the United States to be electric by 2030.

Biden is set to travel to South Korea on May 20 for meetings with South Korea’s incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol, an advocate of steps to shore-up South Korea’s ties with the United States.

Hyundai announced a $300-million investment last month to manufacture the all-electric Genesis GV 70 and a hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its Alabama plant. The Genesis model would be Hyundai’s first EV made in the United States.

Hyundai affiliate Kia also recently said it was looking to shift production to the United States but was not considering a dedicated EV factory on its own.

Kia has said it will have 14 EVs by 2027. Hyundai has said it will roll out 17 by 2030, including six for its luxury Genesis brand.

A number of senior Hyundai executives are speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June including Marcus Welz, Vice President Smart Mobility; Liran Golan, Head of Future Mobility; and Oxana Grishina, Head of Section, Future Retail and Transformation. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Renault sells stake in Korean business to China’s Geely

Renault sells stake in Korean business to China’s Geely

Renault is to sell a third of its Korea business to China’s Geely Automobile Holdings for $200 million, freeing up funds for the French car maker to invest in its core markets and electric business.

Renault is implementing a turnaround business strategy designed to tackle falling global sales over the last three years, which includes splitting its electric vehicle and combustion engine businesses.

The move comes weeks after reports that Renault, the top shareholder in Nissan, may lower its stake in the Japanese company.

Renault has been making and selling cars in South Korea, mostly based on European models, for over two decades via Renault-Samsung Motors. But sales have declined dramatically in recent years.

Geely tends to operate through global partnerships. It owns Volvo Cars and a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler. The Renault acquisition gives Geely a foothold in the South Korean market, dominated by Hyundai and Kia. It also gets Geely closer to three important EV battery makers in South Korea, LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI.

Geely and Renault announced a partnership in January to develop hybrid vehicles at Renault’s factory in South Korea’s second city Busan.

Viewpoint: is Brazil the sleeping giant in the global EV transition?

Viewpoint: is Brazil the sleeping giant in the global EV transition?

While Europe, China, and the USA are leading the global electromobility transition, less is reported on what is happening in other markets. If you were to guess which country might have millions of electric cars within a few years, you might not not look to South America. But our man in Brazil, Jose Gaspar, sets out why the country is potentially poised to become a major global market for electric vehicles.

The Brazilian automotive market is big. Last year 1.56 million new cars were registered in the country. That puts it sixth in the world, and although a long way short of the sales volumes in China, USA, Japan and India, it’s not far behind Germany and ahead of other significant European markets including UK, France and Italy.

But a crucial question is whether Brazilian consumers are ready to adopt electrified cars. On first glance, it’s not obvious.

In 2021, electrified cars (that’s HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs) represented just 1.8% of sales, at just under 35,000 units. Of these, the vast majority were hybrids, with just 8% pure battery electrics.

The president of the Brazilian Electric Vehicles Association (ABVE), Adalberto Maluf, puts that in context, “The electrified cars market share is way below the potential,” he says. “In the first quarter of 2022 it represented just 2.6% and counting only plug-in hybrids and pure battery electrics, the percentage drops to 0.8%”.

In contrast, he points out, the European PHEV/BEV market share in 2021 was 19%, 15% in China and 4% in the USA.

While there are many factors to explain the slow and low uptake, the overriding view is prices remain high, especially for pure battery electrics, and the charging infrastructure is limited. There is even a national debate over whether BEVs are appropriate in the Brazilian context. Some in the industry argue the country should pursue biofuels such as ethanol. In fact 90% of cars registered last year were flex-fuel, which means they can run using petrol, ethanol, or mix of the two.

However dig a little deeper and the signs are more positive. The volume of electrified cars (HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs) registered in 2021 grew 77% compared to 2020. And compared to 2019, sales of electrified cars have increased by 195%, while sales of internal combustion engine cars actually plummeted in the pandemic.

Jumping to 2022, sales of electrified vehicles in the first quarter were 115% greater than in the same period the previous year. March registered a jump of 12% over February and potentially very significantly, March was also the first month in which battery electrics outsold plug-in hybrids.

Despite the challenges and the current populist political climate, there is a solid future for electrified cars in Brazil. In August last year, ANFAVEA – the Brazilian National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers, published “The Road to Decarbonization in the Automotive Industry”, which outlined three potential scenarios, namely:

  • Inertia (no strategies for electrification)
  • Leadership in biofuels (focus on biofuels)
  • Global convergence (following global trends in electrification)

Following the global convergence path, ANFAVEA forecasts 62% of the new light vehicles will be electrified by 2035, with annual sales of 2.5 million. This would require an investment of around US$ 3 billion to build out the charging infrastructure, increasing the number of public charging stations from 1,250 presently to about 150,000 by 2035.

Unquestionably the electrification of the Brazilian fleet would be a revolution for the industry and a huge economic, environmental and social opportunity for the country. It would create the need to develop a whole ecosystem for new energy vehicles, attracting global players and encouraging emerging businesses and homegrown startups.

And it feels like that movement is already starting to happen… but more on that next time.

(Photo credit: Nissan Brazil)

Jose Gaspar is founder and editor of Zev.news, a South American-focused publication on the transformations in the automotive industry, caused by the rise of zero emission vehicles – the so-called ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicles). “More than just publishing news,” says Gaspar, “it’s about explaining why it’s news. Analytical, contextualizing, Zev.News aims to offer clear perspectives, based on the facts responsible for the changes taking place.”

Industry calls for ambitious EU hydrogen refuelling infrastructure

Industry calls for ambitious EU hydrogen refuelling infrastructure

Over 100 leading vehicle manufacturers, fleets and energy companies have called on EU member states not to delay or dilute the European Commission’s proposal to set binding national targets for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).

The AFIR is the key piece of EU legislation to ensure sufficient deployment of public infrastructure needed to decarbonise mobility such as electric vehicle charging points and hydrogen stations.

Companies including BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, Iveco and Linde argue that ambitious binding targets for building hydrogen refuelling infrastructure are key to tackling climate action. Decarbonisation, they say, extends beyond the electrification of vehicles.

In an open letter to EU policymakers, the companies said, “We are strongly convinced that a widely available hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) network, alongside other low-emission refuelling, and recharging infrastructures, will be essential for a rapid transition of the road transport sector. Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are particularly interesting for customers with preferences for fast refuelling and for whom flexibility is paramount.”

They claim a multi-technology approach will ensure the transition to zero emission transport is faster, more cost-efficient and serves all business models, than focusing solely on electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“A rollout of both HRS and battery electric vehicles (BEV) charging infrastructures will be cheaper than relying solely on one type of infrastructure or restricting specific technologies to specific road transport segments.”

The companies have set out a timeline for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that would see a hydrogen station every 200km by 2025, and every 100km by 2027.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe CEO, commented, “The AFIR targets for hydrogen refuelling stations are the bare minimum for hydrogen road mobility to develop and in turn help decarbonise the sector, which is responsible for 20% of the EU greenhouse gas emissions. The industry stands ready to invest along with public authorities into the technology and the rollout of hydrogen infrastructure. However, adequate political commitments are instrumental in sending a strong signal for both automotive and hydrogen infrastructure companies. Reducing the mandatory minimum capacities of stations and shrinking the ambition will seriously harm the sector’s development.”

ABB E-mobility supports Shell’s global EV charging network ambitions

ABB E-mobility supports Shell’s global EV charging network ambitions

Switzerland’s ABB E-mobility has signed a new global framework agreement with Shell to supply ABB’s end-to-end portfolio of AC and DC charging stations, which ranges from domestic wallboxes to the Terra 360, the world’s fastest all-in-one electric car charger

Through the collaboration, ABB E-mobility and Shell say they will help address two of the challenges to increasing EV adoption – namely charging infrastructure availability and the speed of charging.

Shell is targeting the operation of over 500,000 charge points globally by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030, either at residential, commercial or Shell retail sites.

Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility commented, “ABB and Shell are innovating to drive progress in e-mobility. We have been working together on the roll-out of public charging infrastructure since 2019 and this latest agreement takes that collaboration to the next level.

“We are excited to support Shell in realising its objective to create a global charging network. With access to the full breadth of our charging portfolio, we are ensuring that Shell can select the most appropriate solution for every use case, helping to get more people charging regardless of their location.”

Lucid secures huge Saudi purchase commitment

Lucid secures huge Saudi purchase commitment

US electric carmaker Lucid Group has announced an agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia for the purchase up to 100,000 vehicles over a ten-year period, with an initial commitment to purchase 50,000 vehicles and an option to purchase an additional 50,000 vehicles over the same period.

The deal marks the latest tie-up between the California-based EV company and Saudi Arabia, whose Public Investment Fund has a 61% stake in the company, making it Lucid’s largest shareholder.

Lucid, which currently manufactures its vehicles at a plant in Arizona, also plans to build its first overseas production factory in Saudi Arabia later this year, where it expects to eventually build up to 150,000 vehicles per year.

Under the deal, which is among one of the largest-ever purchase commitments for electric vehicles, Lucid has pledged to start delivery of the vehicles no later than the second quarter of 2023 and volumes are expected to reach between 4,000 and 7,000 vehicles annually by 2025.

Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO and CTO, says, “Delivering up to 100,000 Lucid electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia represents another pivotal moment in our acceleration of sustainable transportation worldwide. We are delighted to be supporting Saudi Arabia in achieving its sustainability goals and net zero ambitions by bringing our advanced luxury EVs to Saudi Arabia.”

VW and bp plan rapid roll-out of fast EV charging infrastructure

VW and bp plan rapid roll-out of fast EV charging infrastructure

Volkswagen and bp have set up a strategic partnership that aims to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a fast charging network across Europe by 2024 and delivering a “seamless experience for EV drivers”.

Based upon Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, which feature two charge points and have an integrated battery storage system, which means the units can be connected to a low voltage grid, removing the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work. This significantly reduces installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 160km of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle.

The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at bp’s Aral fuel retail sites in Germany and bp retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.

Bernard Looney, chief executive officer, bp says, “EV charging is one of the key engines driving bp’s transformation to an integrated energy company. That’s why we’re so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world’s leading car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step-forward on our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe.”

Unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany, Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said, “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral. The decarbonisation of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with bp to accelerate the roll-out of the fast-charging network across Europe.”

The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. However the new chargers will be available to all EV drivers through the bp pulse and Aral pulse network.

Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said, “Together with bp, we will bring thousands of fast-charging stations to life within a very short time. Rapid expansion of the charging network is crucial now. To make that happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer a perfect solution, since the time and costs required for installation are minimal.”

Under the terms of their agreement, VW and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.