The Canadian government, along with the Province of British Columbia and BC Transit, have announced they are investing C$248.5m into new bus & public transit infrastructure projects. The focus of these projects is to upgrade the infrastructure in place, along with increasing public safety and bus patronage. Around 210 light-duty, 29 high-capacity diesel buses, 10 high-capacity battery electric buses and 6 light-duty battery electric buses, will be introduced however no date has been given when they will enter into service. There is a significant focus on upgrading bus infrastructure, as funding is available to introduce c286 new and refitted bus shelters across British Columbia.
Goldman Sachs has published a report that states that they believe the price of EV batteries will fall to $99 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of storage capacity by 2025, which represents a 40% decrease from 2022 pricing. This prediction is incredibly significant as this would mean that EVs will achieve cost parity, without subsidies, with ICE vehicles on a TCO basis. This drop in battery prices is being based on and driven by the falling prices of raw materials such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt, which are critical components in the battery. This is a bold statement and if battery prices do fall by an average of 11% (from 2023 to 2030) this will materially ramp up EV adoption across the different classes of vehicles in all sectors.
Majestic Wine has announced it is transitioning 35 (of its 216) ICE vehicles to electric vehicles. By Q1 24, 35 new Citroen eBerlingo & eDispatch electric vans will be introduced which represents a 170,000kg reduction in the company’s CO2 footprint. The company intends to switch its remaining fleet by 2030 and in aggregation, this would represent a reduction of 1.2 million kg of CO2; we will raise a glass to toast that! Bear in mind, that Majestic Wine intends to electrify its fleet 5 years ahead of the government's (new) 2035 ban on the sale of new diesel vehicles deadline, we believe many other companies will follow suit.
Tesla has reportedly chosen its German plant to begin production on building a €25,000 EV in the near future. Mr Musk has been touting a more affordably priced (European) EV since 2022 and if Tesla is to hit its goal of delivering 20m EVs by 2030, it needs an EV that is (relatively) well-priced and caters to the masses. Perhaps the falling prices of EV battery materials, such as cobalt and nickel, are helping drive this purported price point although interest rates are still high and the (European) economy is still weak(er). Mr Musk has a history of saying things without always following through or with timelines but on the whole, he succeeds more than failing regarding his proclamations. One factor that might be driving Tesla and Mr Musk to build an EV at this price point is the competition from BYD and its aggressive expansion in Europe.
Hungary is reportedly a front-runner as a destination for BYD to open their first European EV factory. BYD will officially announce its decision by the end of the year however it has been scouting potential European locations and conducting feasibility studies all this year, as it continues to expand its presence in Europe. Bear in mind, if (or when) Hungary is chosen, it should not be a total surprise as BYD has had an electric bus factory in this country since 2016. Furthermore, other OEMs such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Suzuki have plants in Hungary.
Lucid has announced it is cutting prices on its Air range of luxury sedans until 30/11/23, as the Price War continues. Lucid has cut the price of its Air Touring model to $87,500 from $95,000 and the more powerful Grand Touring by $10,000 to $115,600. All EV OEMs have had to, at some point, this year cut the prices of their models due to the high-interest rate environment exacerbated by Tesla’s continuous ability to cut prices to various models in multiple geographies to retain its (dominant) market share.
Revel has announced it is dispatching its moped business so it can concentrate on its EV rideshare and charging business lines. This is not a surprise business decision as the company has been slowly pulling its moped offering in different regions, for example in 2022 it pulled out of Washington, DC, and Miami. However, during this time Revel has opened 3 fast-charging hubs (in New York), with 2 more set to open imminently and has a fleet of c500 EVs.
Nio will be announcing that it will be reducing its headcount by 10%, to streamline operations, strengthen its balance sheet and improve its cash burn rate. This should save the company around c$206m a year and alongside improving organizational efficiency, by consolidating duplicate departments and roles, this should help Nio survive the intense growing competition from fellow Chinese EV OEMs. These layoffs, although sad to hear, are a result of over-hiring coming out of COVID, when the market trajectory was upwards, however in the past 22 months market conditions have been tough and thus these cuts represent that.
Treads, a Utah-based AI-powered car maintenance subscription platform, has announced it has raised $4.6m in seed funding round. This funding round was led by Mucker Capital, with Kickstart Seed Fund, Peak Ventures and Royal Street Ventures also participating. The startup intends to use the capital to expand its footprint in 16 new cities in America.