Sunak Delays UK Petrol Car Ban, Seeking Voter Support On Climate

Automotive Weekly



Prime Minister Rishi Sunak watered down Britain's plans to tackle climate change on Wednesday, saying he would delay a ban on sales of new petrol cars to maintain the consent of the British people in the switch to net zero. To ease what he described as "unacceptable costs" on British households from the energy transition he delayed a ban on new petrol and diesel cars until 2035 from 2030, said he would ease the transition to heat pumps from gas boilers in homes, and said he would not force any household to improve their insulation.

Source: Reuters


The UAW's strategy of having targeted strikes against the Detroit 3 aims to damage the companies' reputations and "keep them wounded for months," according to private messages written by a top aide to the union's president. The messages… indicate that the union's goal is to extract gains from the automakers by pitting them against each other instead of using the pattern bargaining approach of past negotiations. They were viewed by top executives at the companies and have added to concerns among them that the union hasn't been bargaining in good faith, according to two sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

Source: Automotive News


EV variety is easy to find outside the US. Where American drivers now have about 50 electric cars to choose from, Europe’s array is almost double that, and China’s nearly triple. With that variety come more small and midsize options, and more cars with price tags that won’t break the bank. Ask any US automaker and they’ll say this is mainly a profitability problem. To pay for investments in electrification, carmakers are first focusing on trucks, SUVs and other premium models. That same tension is at the center of the United Auto Workers strike, which is pitting factory workers looking to preserve pay and benefits in an EV world against carmakers who say they can’t go electric, meet union demands and stay in the black.

Source: Bloomberg


Among the sticking points highlighted by United Auto Workers on strike are the billions of dollars Detroit’s legacy carmakers have plunged into stock repurchases. Now, as the strike extends into its second week, some investors say they’re willing to forgo those coveted share buybacks as the companies face soaring labor costs over the next several years. The UAW is asking General Motors Co., Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Co. for significant pay raises and other concessions in their next four-year contract.

Source: Bloomberg


One automaker is looming larger than any other in the investigation of electric vehicles flowing into the European Union from China: Tesla Inc. During the evidence-gathering that precipitated this month’s surprise announcement of an EU anti-subsidy probe into Chinese EVs, the US carmaker was among the companies found to have likely benefited, according to people familiar with the matter. Tesla shares fell 1.6% in premarket trading at 5:58 a.m. in New York.

Source: Bloomberg


Hot weather can cause EV batteries to degrade faster, but there are some simple things owners can do to help protect their cars, according battery-health analysis firm Recurrent.

Recurrent publishes battery health reports for used EVs, but also uses the data pulled from vehicles to study the impact of hot and cold weather on range and battery health. In a recent study of Teslas, Recurrent found that cars based in hot climate zones generally lose more range as they age than cars in cold climate zones.

That's because higher levels of environmental heat contributes extra energy to the electrochemical reactions that make a battery work. This "can accelerate unwanted chemical reactions that age the battery prematurely," according to Recurrent. The company has found that cold weather causes range loss, but notes that cold temperatures are unlikely to cause permanent damage. The "generally accepted" threshold for accelerated battery degradation is around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Recurrent.

With temperatures in many parts of Canada and the U.S. easily reaching that mark during the summer months, that seems bad. Just like cold weather affects EV range and batteries differently, extremely hot weather won't always have the same negative effects on range or battery life.

That said, there are steps owners can take to make that more likely. As Green Car Reports has emphasized, parking a car in a garage or in the shade when it's hot out can make a difference. Nissan even moved to update its battery chemistry early on in the Leaf, after earlier versions of the car proved very susceptible to battery degradation from hot climates—and particularly, hot parking lots. Leaving the battery half charged in hot weather can also protect it from degradation, as the battery will be more stable at half charge than it would be fully charged.

For buyers in hot climates choosing a new EV and concerned about parking outside, Recurrent recommends vehicles with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry, as it tends to handle high temperatures better. Certain U.S.-market Tesla models, as well as certain versions of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, now use LFP batteries.

In cars with active thermal management of the battery pack, Recurrent also recommends leaving the car plugged in with a charge limit set. For many EVs, battery cooling starts at a lower temperature when plugged in than when unplugged, according to Recurrent. Regardless of the cause, Recurrent has found that battery degradation isn't likely to brick your EV, as it happens gradually. Nor is frequent fast-charging likely to significantly degrade batteries, although Recurrent has shown that certain models perform better in this regard.

Source: Green Car Reports


US Lawmakers Demand Documents on Ford Battery Partnership with CATL

The chairs of three U.S. House of Representatives committees demanded Ford Motor turn over documents tied to its partnership with Chinese battery company CATL and threatened to call CEO Jim Farley to testify before Congress. Republicans have been probing Ford's battery plant plan for months over concerns it could facilitate the flow of U.S. tax subsidies to China and leave Ford dependent on Chinese technology.

Source: Reuters

China’s Stranglehold on EV Supply Chain Will Be Tough to Break

Industry data and estimates by BloombergNEF show just how difficult building self-sufficiency or, more realistically, becoming just a little less reliant on China, is likely to be. Asia’s largest economy has a deep stranglehold on battery production, leaving global carmakers dependent at one point or another on Chinese partners. The country’s battery makers supply some 80% of cells worldwide, backed by a mining and processing chain that increasingly resides in the country’s hands.

Source: Bloomberg


While Ford and General Motors have been heated cross-town rivals for a very long time to this point, both currently have some pretty ambitious all-electric plans as well. Each is investing heavily in EVs and erecting plants as the two automakers work overtime to ensure that each remains competitive in this quickly-changing landscape, though Ford has run into a bit of a snag with its under-construction BlueOval Battery Park Michigan site. After enduring scrutiny over the fact that it plans to license lithium iron-phosphate battery technology from China-based CATL at that plant, FoMoCo recently paused construction amid ongoing contract discussions with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which wants assurances amid the EV transition. However, some lobbying efforts from GM might also present The Blue Oval with a bit of a problem as well, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While Ford is working to present the idea of licensing battery technology from China as a smart way to play catch up in that regard, GM is instead lobbying politicians with a very different message – those same plans could open a gateway for that country to take over U.S. EV manufacturing. The battle boils down to the logistics of the federal $7,500 tax credit, or more specifically, what vehicles qualify for that incentive. Starting next year, those that purchase EVs containing battery materials sourced from a “foreign entity of concern” won’t be eligible for the tax credit, a vague term that’s intended to reduce America’s reliance on China, which is the world’s largest source of those materials and EV batteries in general. However, that term is still loosely defined, which has Ford convinced that it can produce cheaper LFP batteries in the U.S. and put them in vehicles that qualify for the credit. “It would be absurd to classify Ford or its fully owned subsidiary as a foreign entity, much less one of concern. We’re Ford, and we’re all-in on America,” said Chris Smith, Ford’s chief government affairs officer.

On the flip side, GM has thus far lobbied for stricter “foreign entity of concern” rules as it isn’t planning any similar deals with Chinese entities, though a spokesperson insisted that “this is not about GM vs. Ford.” This is precisely why Ford decided to pause construction at its new facility, and also why many automakers are waiting for the final rules surrounding this tax credit before making additional investments in EV supply chains, while GM argues that allowing Ford to use licensed Chinese technology will give it “an unfair competitive advantage” that could force other automakers to follow suit and sign additional deals with Chinese entities.

Source: Ford Authority

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