EV TRUCK PRICE WAR BREWING
The industry's cutthroat truck wars are bleeding over into the electric-vehicle market, with press releases touting an extra few miles of range here or some added towing capacity there. The additional 50 or 100 miles of range in the Chevrolet Silverado over the Ford Lightning, for example, might make all the difference to an on-the-fence consumer worried about charging — especially when using these vehicles as intended (towing and hauling) impacts factors like range.
Source: Business Insider
FORD DEALS WITH TESLA TO GAIN ACCESS TO CHARGING STATIONS STARTING 2024
Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it has agreed with Tesla Inc to allow its electric vehicle owners to gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America in early 2024. The tie-up between the rivals makes Ford the first major automaker to embrace Tesla's proprietary charging standard, giving the automaker access to the biggest network of high-speed Superchargers in the United States.
WHAT FORD'S BACKING OF TESLA CHARGERS MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF EVS
Ford's unexpected embrace of Tesla's charging technology dramatically escalates the battle for the future of electric vehicle (EV) charging — the next great Lightning vs. USB-C or VHS vs. Betamax-style standardization war. Why it matters: EVs won't go mainstream until refueling them is as simple as filling up a gas-powered car. As two competing standards — Tesla’s favored NACS and CCS, used by most other EV makers — duel it out for supremacy, everyday drivers will be left confused and frustrated.
HYUNDAI MOTOR, LG PLAN $4.3 BILLION EV BATTERY PLANT IN US
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution Ltd. will invest 5.7 trillion won ($4.3 billion) to produce electric-car batteries in the US to comply with President Joe Biden’s clean energy tax law, which seeks to encourage domestic production and reduce reliance on Chinese suppliers. The plant, in Bryan County, Georgia, will have an annual capacity of 30 GWh, enough to power 300,000 electric vehicles, the carmaker said.
VW, AUDI AGREE TO $85 MILLION DIESEL SETTLEMENT IN PRINCIPLE WITH TEXAS
Volkswagen and its Audi unit have agreed to an $85 million settlement in principle over violations of Texas environmental laws stemming from its diesel cheating scandal, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Thursday. The settlement stipulates that the German automakers pay a civil penalty of $85 million for their unlawful actions, Paxton said.
HERE’S HOW MANY EV TRUCKS VOLVO HAS SOLD SO FAR
European truck makers are surging ahead without Tesla, but a few barriers remain
One well-known EV maker captured plenty of headlines a few years ago for its planned electric Semi, finally delivering the first units in December 2022. But despite making plenty of noise about the project for years and introducing a design with a central driver seating position, among other innovations, Tesla is quite far from being the actual sales leader for electric trucks. In fact, a handful of European and Chinese manufacturers have captured the largest slices of the EV truck sales pie and have launched programs to build electric infrastructure just for large trucks. But it's often hard to tell just which truck maker has the advantage in any particular region, with a deep roster of startups flooding the tech and business publications with tales of ambitious plans.
Out of actual truck makers currently producing EV models, Volvo has the largest market share with about 50% in Europe and nearly the same percentage in North America. That's up from 32% in the first quarter in Europe in 2022, making it the market leader in these two regions.
And Volvo Trucks, with a presence in about 40 countries, has sold nearly 5000 trucks since rolling out electric versions of medium- and heavy-duty models. And not just in EV-friendly countries in northern Europe—the truck maker has sold plenty of units in countries like Morocco and Australia. Later this year the truck maker plans to begin offering its electric models in India, South Korea, South Africa, and several South American markets.
In 2022 alone Volvo added three models to its lineup, including the Volvo FM, the Volvo FH, and the Volvo FMX. In all, the company has a total of six electric models in its catalog. Almost halfway through 2023, the manufacturer notes that the year is off to a busy start with 486 electric trucks ordered, representing a 141% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
"Our commitment to sustainable transport is clearly paying off. We are determined to work closely together with our customers to decarbonize truck transport," said Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.
Of course, such rapid growth was made possible by quickly developing electric versions of existing truck platforms, which Volvo has in abundance in every size class. And it has been able to rely on existing manufacturing footprints—something that EV truck startups have to build from scratch. Volvo plans to grow its manufacturing footprint as well, with plans to expand its plants in Virginia, Gothenburg, and Blainville, France. The truck maker also plans to begin electric production in Ghent, Belgium.
Still, there are plenty of headwinds to wider adoption of medium- and long-range electric trucks, headwinds that Volvo along with several other manufacturers including VW Group's Traton, and Daimler Truck are addressing via the creation of a charging network for trucks in Europe. The consortium plans to build some 1700 fast-charging sites on the continent, in addition to similar routes in North America. But it will still be a while before interstate cargo transport will noticeably begin to go electric on this side of the Atlantic, with most of the progress happening in the segment of much smaller last-mile delivery vans at the moment.
KIA, HYUNDAI THEFTS CONTINUE THREE MONTHS AFTER FIX DEPLOYED
Hyundai Motor and Kia rolled out a software fix in February aimed at stopping an epidemic of vehicle thefts. More than three months later, the automakers are far from putting the problem behind them. It has been an unnerving experience for car owners such as Shanaya Dias. Her Kia Sportage was stolen last month, even after it had received the antitheft software, she said, citing service records and a Los Angeles police report. It was the third time thieves made off with the car—first in August, and again in December.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
POLESTAR LUXURY EV OPENS 1ST STANDALONE DEALERSHIP IN METRO DETROIT
Luxury electric vehicle brand Polestar just opened its first standalone dealership in metro Detroit as it prepares for rising sales when the Swedish-Chinese brand delivers a rush of new vehicles in 2024-26. The Detroit area was one of the first U.S. metros with a Polestar dealer. Local megadealer Ryan LaFontaine said he believed in Polestar’s promise of design- and tech-forward EVs when the brand was a glimmer in the eye of Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner, Geely Motors.
Source: Detroit Free Press
VOLKSWAGEN CHANGES APPROACH TO USA
After decades of trying to sell German engineering to Americans only to end up with a tiny slice of the world’s most profitable car market, Volkswagen has a new strategy: Pretend it is American. VW is hoping that the combination of a U.S. brand, a marketing message heavy on Americana, and a foray into SUVs and pickup trucks—the biggest and most profitable segment of the U.S. car market—can finally boost its presence in the country.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
TOYOTA'S FIRST US-MADE ELECTRIC VEHICLE WILL BE A BIG SUV
Toyota Motor Corp. is going big for its first all-electric vehicle made in the US, announcing plans on to build a three-row sport utility vehicle at its plant in Kentucky. Production of this debut EV made in the US will start in 2025. The electric SUV will use batteries from a new factory in North Carolina, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday. Toyota is also investing an additional $2.1 billion into the US lithium-ion battery plant currently under construction. That will bring the company’s total investment in the battery facility to $5.9 billion. It decided to build the plant near Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2021.
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