Volvo To Go All Electric By 2030 – EV Week in Review: Feb 23-Mar 1

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This past week was certainly quite a whirlwind of EV news and developments from Volvo’s plans to end production of ICE vehicles by 2030, yet another proposal to reform the federal EV tax credit, chip shortages, Washington state’s plans to ban ICE vehicles by 2030, Lucid Air delay, Fisker to partner with Foxconn, and much, much more.

Automaker/EV Models

Volvo to go all electric by 2030 – Volvo announced that its entire car line-up will be fully electric by 2030 and joins GM, JLR, Ford Europe, and other automakers in stating their goals or “aspirations” (in the case of GM) – to end production of gas-powered vehicles by 2030 or 2035 depending on the OEM.

The Swedish carmaker said 50% of its global sales should be fully-electric cars by 2025 and the other half hybrid models. – March 1, via Reuters

“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine. We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030.”

– Volvo Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson

Volvo reveals C40 Recharge “SUV coupe” – Volvo revealed its new C40 Recharge “SUV coupe” which according to the company “has all the benefits of an SUV but with a lower and sleeker design.” It is based on Volvo’s CMA vehicle platform and the first Volvo model in history designed as pure electric only.

The C40 Recharge has twin electric motors, one on the front and one on the rear axle, powered by a 78kWh battery that can be fast-charged to 80 per cent in about 40 minutes. Volvo says anticipated range of around 420 km using the European WLTP test standard – which by my calculation should translate to about 233 miles using the EPA testing cycle. Volvo expects to increase the C40’s range over time via over-the-air software updates. – March 2, via Volvo press release

Hyundai reveals Ioniq 5 with knife-edged look, 2-way charging – The new Ioniq 5 crossover will be available in North America with a 77.4-kWh battery, likely reaching about 265 miles of EPA range. The Ioniq 5 is also capable of DC fast charging at up to 350 kW, fast enough to go from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. 

While not quite V2G or V2H, the Ioniq 5 has a feature called Vehicle-to-Load charging, enabling the driver to plug other devices — like computers, electric bikes or camping equipment — into the 5, which can be recharged via the car’s battery with a total output of about 3.6 kW. – February 23, via CNET Roadshow

U.S. Postal Service awards billion-dollar truck contract to Oshkosh – The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced last Tuesday that it awarded a multibillion-dollar, 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a new generation of postal delivery vehicles.

The contract, which could be worth more than $6 billion in total, allows for delivery of between 50,000 to 165,000 of the vehicles over 10 years that will be a mix of internal combustion-powered and battery-electric vehicles. Oshkosh had teamed up with Ford Motor Co. on its proposal based on a Transit van. – via February 23, AutoBlog

Lucid Air Deliveries Delayed to Second Half of 2020 – Startup automaker Lucid has postponed the first deliveries of its debut electric vehicle, the 2021 Lucid Air. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson announced the news in a letter on Friday, blaming COVID-19-related issues for the delay. 

Lucid aims to start production as early as it can in the second half of 2021, Rawlinson said. Previously the company said that customers would start receiving their sedans this spring. Lucid’s top executive said the pandemic has affected the startup’s testing activities, supply chain, and its preparations for sales and service. – February 26, via BusinessInsider

Fisker Partners With Foxconn – Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is partnering with Fisker Inc., a collaboration that could see the Taiwanese firm building Fisker electric cars for global markets beginning in 2023. The two companies announced a memorandum of understanding for a jointly-developed “global electric vehicle project,” to be manufactured by Foxconn, according to a Fisker press release.

Production of the unnamed EV is scheduled to start in Q4 2023, with annual volumes of 250,000 units. Fisker said the new model will target global markets, including North America, Europe, China, and India. This will be Fisker’s second model, following the Ocean SUV, which will be built by Magna in Europe. – February 25, via GreenCarReports

Global chip shortage catches up to Tesla, and batteries could be next – The global shortage in semi-conductor chips has affected production of some of car makers, including Tesla, forcing the electric car company to close down production for a short period at its Fremont plant.

The semi-conductor shortage, sourced largely from problems at the world’s biggest semi conductor maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), due to a reported water shortage, and a huge boost in home electronics demand due to Covid, has crippled car production in the US and in Europe and Asia for the last few months.

Tesla, suspended production of Model 3 and Model Y electric cars at its Fremont factory, with CEO Elon Musk reportedly citing a “parts shortage”. – February 26, via The Driven

Polestar 2 now available for test drives in select cities – EV automaker Polestar is now allowing prospective customers to book test drives of its Polestar 2 electric fastback. Its website now lets consumers arrange a visit to a retail location near them. Additionally, the company can also bring the Polestar 2 to your home or office, depending on where you’re located. So far, Polestar has a small retail presence in select US cities. – February 24, via Electrek

Polestar 2-silver

Hyundai Kona Battery Recall – Hyundai is recalling approximately 82,000 electric vehicles globally to replace a faulty battery pack. The recall will include 75,680 Hyundai Kona Electric models, 5,715 Hyundai Ioniq Electric models, and 305 city buses. 

The recall effort is expected to cost $900 million, which will make it the most expensive electric car recall ever. All of these vehicles use battery cells produced by LG Chem, and Hyundai is reportedly in talks to split the cost of the recall with its battery division, LG Energy Solution. – February 24, via GreenCarReports

J.D. Power Finds The Best Way To Sell EVs Is Getting Butts In Seats – As part of its Electric Vehicle Consideration Study, J.D. Power examined what it takes to get “undecided” buyers over the hump to the point they will seriously consider an electric car. The study’s most important finding underscores anecdotal evidence shared by EV advocates for more than a decade: the actual experience of riding in or driving a vehicle powered by electricity vastly increases consideration for novice EV shoppers.

This is known colloquially as “getting butts in seats,” whether it’s an EV owner giving someone a ride, letting a friend or neighbor drive the electric car, or in more formalized venues like the annual National Drive Electric Week events held in hundreds of cities. – February 25, via Forbes Wheels

Batteries, Charging and Supply Chains

Hyundai taps CATL and SK Innovation to supply more batteries for E-GMP – Hyundai Motor Group announced it has chosen both SK Innovation and CATL as battery suppliers for its E-GMP. The Asian battery manufacturers will provide the third batch of lithium-ion battery cells for Hyundai’s electric vehicles launching after 2023. Both CATL and SK Innovation are familiar with the process, as they have previously delivered to Hyundai’s E-GMP production in the past. – February 23, via Electrek

Rivian Adventure Network plans for up to 300 kw DC fast chargers – Rivian has been working on its own electric vehicle charging network called the “Rivian Adventure Network” and Electrek learned that with the “adventure” aspect of the network, Rivian will first target off-roading pit stops, national parks, and RV parks. And secondly, documents show a 300 kW fast-charging capacity for the charging station. – February 26, via Electrek

Fossil fuel cars make ‘hundreds of times’ more waste than electric cars – Fossil fuel cars waste hundreds of times more raw material than their battery electric equivalents, according to a study that adds to evidence that the move away from petrol and diesel cars will bring large net environmental benefits.

Only about 30kg of raw material will be lost over the lifecycle of a lithium ion battery used in electric cars once recycling is taken into account, compared with 17,000 litres of oil, according to analysis by Transport & Environment (T&E) seen by the Guardian.

A calculation of the resources for each relative to their weight shows internal combustion engines burn material 300 times greater than that lost once an electric car battery is scrapped. The comparison did not include potential emissions if fossil fuels were burned to create the power for recharging of car batteries. – March 1, via The Guardian

Legislation and Incentives

Electric Car Act: Legislation to extend the federal EV tax credit – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) teamed up today to introduce the Electric Cars Act, bicameral legislation that would extend the electric vehicle tax credit for 10 years and helping to deploy critical charging infrastructure.

Currently, a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is available for the purchase of electric vehicles—with federal statute capping the number of eligible vehicles at 200,000 per manufacturer. Tesla and GM have already hit the manufacturing cap and consumers seeking to buy those vehicles no longer receive tax credits. As a result, the law currently creates incentives for electric car buyers to purchase imported vehicles rather than American-made ones. – February 23, Jeff Merkley press release

Washington State Advances Bill to Ban ICE Vehicles by 2030 – Washington state’s House Transportation Committee has voted 17-12 to advance a bill requiring all light-duty vehicles of model year 2030 and later registered in the state to be electric. The bill now moves on to the House Rules committee to be considered for a potential floor vote.

Washington’s proposal – nicknamed “Clean Cars 2030” and labeled HB 1204 in the House and SB 5256 in the Senate – would allow only vehicles driven solely by electric motors, including those powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, to be sold after the 2030 model year. It would apply to all privately and publicly owned light-duty – February 23, via Electrek

California doing poor job tracking progress on climate change, auditor says – California State Auditor Elaine Howle said the Air Resources Board has failed to measure whether its programs offering rebates to encourage the purchase of electric cars or other zero-emission models have reduced emissions.

Specifically, Howle said, the Air Resources Board doesn’t have enough data to measure whether the rebates it issues actually lead people to purchase electric vehicles that they wouldn’t have otherwise. “As a result, (the agency) has overstated the … emissions reductions its incentive programs have achieved, although it is unclear by how much,” she wrote in a letter to state leaders that accompanied the report. – February 24, via San Francisco Chronicle

Petaluma, California Bans Construction of New Gas Stations – The Sonoma County, California city of Petaluma currently has 16 gas stations but there will never be another one, even if one of the existing stations goes out of business. The ones that are left also can’t ever expand the number of fuel pumps, either, though they can add electric charging stations and hydrocarbon pumps. City officials recently approved a permanent ban on new gas stations in a move that climate activists say is national first, and a crucial step towards curbing our reliance on fossil fuels. – February 26, Fast Company

Funding/IPOs

ChargePoint Becomes the World’s First Publicly Traded Global EV Charging Network – ChargePoint, a leading electric vehicle charging network, completed its previously announced business combination with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) which closed on February 26, 2021. Shares of common stock and warrants of the new combined company will be traded under the ticker symbol “CHPT” (NYSE:CHPT) – March 1, via ChargePoint press release

Loren McDonald

Loren McDonald

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