CATL Unveils EV Battery With One-Charge Range of 1,000 Kms

CATL is the world’s biggest maker of electric-car batteries

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. unveiled an electric-car battery it said has a range of over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on a single charge and is 13% more powerful than one planned by Tesla Inc., a major customer.

CATL, as the world’s biggest maker of electric-car batteries is known, will start manufacturing the next-generation “Qilin” next year, according to a video the Chinese company streamed online Thursday. The battery charges faster than existing cells, and is safer and more durable, CATL said.

The Qilin battery, named after a mythical Chinese creature, has an energy density of up to 255 watt-hour per kilogram, Ningde, Fujian-based CATL said.

Volkswagen to Overtake Tesla’s Battery Electric Vehicle Sales Crown by 2024

Battery Electric Vehicle demand is set to more than double out to 2025

Tesla is likely to retain its global number one battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales spot for at least another 18 months as legacy automakers struggle to sell a meaningful share of BEVs in 2022 and 2023 according to a new major report on the global EV sector by research firm Bloomberg Intelligence (BI).

The report entitled ‘Battery Electric Vehicles Report – Automakers Race to the Top’ finds that the profit incentive to catch up with Tesla is lacking for most traditional marques in the short term amid rising battery costs and a lack of scale, except for Volkswagen. The German automaker is on track to overtake Tesla’s BEV volume in 2024 as global BEV demand is set to more than double out to 2025. BI’s analysis shows China’s BYD ranking third for BEV sales globally in 2025 followed by a glut of legacy automakers languishing around the one million annual BEV sales mark. It is not until later in the decade that US and Japanese automakers will be serious challengers for a top 3 spot.

In a bid to challenge Tesla’s $686 billion dollar market cap – which is almost double that of all US and EU legacy automakers combined – the report highlights that legacy automakers are unlikely to succeed in divesting BEV-related assets that are intertwined with their combustion operations and whose cash flows are paying for the transition. Volkswagen is the exception and is on track to launch an IPO of its Porsche brand in 4Q. Given the company’s potential 30% BEV sales mix in 2023 and about 45% in 2025, it is significantly ahead of peers and could attract a luxury based 85 billion euros valuation for the IPO and, possibly, an even higher tech-oriented valuation, according to the report.

California’s first commercial robotaxi

The San Francisco company is owned by General Motors

State officials green-flagged the launch of a fare-based ride-hailing business featuring cars with no human driver at the wheel. Robot-operated Chevy Bolt EVs will be rolled out over the next few weeks by autonomous vehicle maker Cruise. The San Francisco company, owned by General Motors, wouldn’t say how many.

With a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission, Cruise becomes the first commercial robotaxi business in the state and the second in the U.S. The first was launched in 2020 by Alphabet-owned Waymo in Chandler, Ariz. Although driverless cars have been prowling San Francisco streets for years, to date they’ve either been staffed with human safety drivers or, if fully driverless, occupied by company employees.

Potential customers of the new service can download an app for the service, the company said, but may not be approved for a while until the number of Cruise robotaxis deployed in San Francisco increases. Fares will be similar to what ride-hailing companies charge, the company said.

The EV battery supply shortage might be even worse than the chip shortage

Huge issue in years to come

The ongoing global chip crunch has made consumer electronics tougher to track down. The electric vehicle industry faces a similar conundrum, but instead of semiconductors, companies are staring down a shortage of materials to make batteries. Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe predicted that the supply of EV batteries would become a huge issue in years to come.

The chip crunch, Scaringe said, would look like a “small appetizer to what we are about to feel on battery cells over the next two decades,” according to the Wall Street Journal. While giving press a tour of the company’s factory in Normal, Ill., last week, Scaringe said that building enough batteries to keep up with demand for EVs would be a major hurdle for the industry. He anticipates shortages in every part of the battery building process, including mining raw materials like cobalt, lithium and nickel, processing materials and building the battery cells themselves.

Shares of EV start-up Nikola surge on earnings beat

Plans to generate revenue in 2022

Shares of Nikola Corp. surged Thursday by more than 17% after the embattled electric vehicle start-up reported a narrower-than-expected loss during the fourth quarter and confirmed plans for truck production and revenue generation in 2022.

The pre-revenue company, which recently settled a federal probe into misleading investors, reported an operating loss of $90.4 million, or 23 cents per share. That compared with Wall Street’s expectations of a loss of 32 cents per share, according to analysts compiled by Refinitiv. After hitting a new 52-week low of $6.41 a share Thursday morning, the stock closed at $8.04 a share, up by 17.7%. The stock remains down 20.8% in 2022.

Nikola said it expects to generate revenue of between $90 million and $150 million in 2022 on deliveries of between 300 and 500 of its first battery-electric semitrucks — known as the Nikola Tre — to customers.

GM seeks US approval to deploy self-driving car

NHTSA to review safety of driverless Cruise Origin before possible 2023 deployment

GM’s Cruise subsidiary has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for permission to put the driverless Cruise Origin into commercial service. Cruise announced the filing of its petition for approval on Friday, saying the car is “a zero-emission, shared, electric vehicle that has been purposefully designed from the ground up to operate without a human driver. This means it does not rely on certain human-centered features, like a steering wheel or a sun visor, to operate safely.”

Cruise said its petition, filed together with parent company GM, “demonstrates how the Origin achieves safety objectives of existing standards and helps enable future AV [autonomous vehicle] regulations.” The vehicles will be manufactured at GM’s “Factory ZERO” in Michigan, Cruise’s announcement said. “Production is expected to begin in late 2022 in Detroit at a GM factory with vehicles delivered in 2023, Cruise said Friday,” according to Reuters.

Billionaire Soros buys stake in EV startup Rivian

Soros Fund Management is now among the most prominent investors in the company

Billionaire investor George Soros bought nearly 20 million shares of electric truck startup Rivian Automotive Inc (RIVN.O) in the quarter ended Dec. 31, securities filings showed Friday.

The 19,835,761 shares, worth about $2 billion at the time, makes Soros Fund Management among the most prominent investors in the company. Rivian, which is 20% owned by Inc , is expected to provide the e-commerce company with more than 100,000 electric trucks. Irvine, California-based Rivian said in December it expected production to fall “a few hundred vehicles short” of its 2021 target of 1,200 due to supply chain constraints, highlighting the likely challenges in ramping up production to take on EV leader Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Could Tesla Market Share Collapse ?

Slew of new EV models hitting the market

One of the big investment banks is offering a “reality check” about Tesla’s market share that one might not expect from a firm likely trying to win investment banking business from the company. 


That’s why this morning’s Bank of America note – wherein the bank suggests that Tesla’s U.S. EV market share could drop to just 19% by 2024 – caught our eye.

The bank says that a “slew” of new EV models hitting the market could force Tesla’s U.S. market share to plunge from its current 69%, Bloomberg wrote in a Wednesday morning note.

U.S. Ramps Up Battery Production With 13 New Gigafactories

GM, Ford, Tesla, SK Innovations and LG Energy Solutions are among the builders of new gigafactories

The energy transition is driving the next commodity supercycle, with immense prospects for technology manufacturers, energy traders, and investors. Indeed, new energy research provider BloombergNEF estimates that the global transition will require ~$173 trillion in energy supply and infrastructure investment over the next three decades, with renewable energy expected to provide 85% of our energy needs by 2050.

The transition from ICEs to EVs has become a focal point of the global electrification drive. In 2020, global sales of EVs increased a robust 39% year on year to 3.1 million units, an impressive feat right in the midst of a major health crisis. Bloomberg New Energy Finance(BNEF), however, says 2021 is “yet another record year for EV sales globally,” with an estimated 5.6 million units sold, good for 83% Y/Y growth and a 168% increase over 2019 sales. BNEF has forecast that annual EV sales will approach 30 million units globally by 2030.

That means that the world will need a massive ramp up in electric battery production. Indeed, DOE says the worldwide lithium battery market is expected to grow by a factor of 5 to 10 in the next decade. Luckily, the United States appears to be up to the task.

Tesla (TSLA) announces record production

Deliveries of over 305k Q4 vehicles, 936K for 2021

Tesla (TSLA) announced that it achieved both record production and deliveries during the last quarter of 2021. The automaker produced “more than 305,000 electric vehicles and delivered of over 308,000 electric vehicles during Q4 2021.

This is a massive quarter-over-quarter increase considering Tesla produced 237,000 vehicles during the third quarter. Most of the increase came from Model 3 and Model Y production, which Tesla still doesn’t differentiate in its report:

Deliveries came in way above the Wal Street consensus of about 265,000 deliveries in Q4. But more importantly, these results give Tesla an annualized production rate of over 1.2 million vehicles, which is unprecedented for producing electric vehicles.

Hertz is buying 100,000 Teslas

Trouble getting gasoline-powered cars

Hertz is betting big on electric vehicles. It’s buying 100,000 Teslas, the largest-ever order by a single buyer.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” said Mark Fields, the interim CEO of Hertz and former CEO of Ford. “The new Hertz is going to lead the way as a mobility company, starting with the largest EV rental fleet in North America and a commitment to grow our EV fleet.”
But the reasoning goes beyond customer demand: Hertz and its rivals are having trouble getting gasoline-powered cars from traditional automakers, as a shortage of computer chips and other parts is making car production difficult.
It also shows that Hertz, less than four months out of bankruptcy, is willing to spend big again.

The company emerged from bankruptcy on June 30 with $1.8 billion in unrestricted cash and $1.2 billion available on credit lines. It will likely finance the purchase of the Teslas, as it does with most of its car purchases. Hertz also recently announced plans for an initial public offering that will help raise cash.

First Rivian R1T Electric Pick-up Truck Rolls Out of Plant

Coming IPO will value Rivian around $70-80 billion

Amazon-backed Rivian’s first electric pickup truck has rolled off off the production line, the company’s chief executive officer said. This makes Rivian the first to bring an electric pickup to the market, ahead of Tesla Inc, General Motors and others.

Rivian has received regulatory approvals from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, and its debut EVs are ready for sale in all 50 U.S. states, a company spokesperson said.

Tesla boss Elon Musk in July offered no timeframe for when the automaker would start mass production of its much-anticipated Cybertruck.

In August, the company said it has confidentially filed paperwork with regulators for an initial public offering. Two sources had told Reuters that Rivian will seek a valuation of around $70-80 billion at the time of its IPO.

The Rise of the Hydrogen Electric Car

Lack of charging infrastructure

The race is on for car manufacturers to bring out their own range on electric vehicles (EV). But what if the new kid on the block ends up taking over? Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota are among the major firms now testing out hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in their production lines to see which proves the most successful.

FCEVs have been criticized for being less efficient as only around 55 percent of the hydrogen energy created through electrolysis is usable, compared to between 70 and 80 percent in battery-electric cars. However, there are several advantages to fuel cells, including low recharge times – just a matter of minutes, and long-range. But several practical obstacles stand in the way of hydrogen FCEVs, such as the lack of charging infrastructure in contrast to the ever-expanding EV infrastructure. For example, at the beginning of 2021 there were only 12 hydrogen fuelling stations in the U.K., not surprising as only two brands of FCEV were on the market – the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai Nexo.

In addition, hydrogen is currently much more expensive than electric fuel, costing around £60 for a 300-mile tank. Moreover, much of the hydrogen on the market comes from the excess carbon produced from fossil fuels by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Yet, the disadvantages of battery EVs should not be overlooked. After years of investment, it is unlikely that we will see major advances in battery technology any time soon. Not to forget that lithium-ion batteries are heavy, making them near-impossible to use in freight and aviation. The metals used in existing battery production, such as cobalt and nickel, are also problematic due to ethical mining concerns as well a high costs adding to the overall price of EVs.