Stellantis, the 5th biggest automaker by sales, has reported good H1 results, as revenues hit €98.4bn which represents a 12% YoY increase, adjusted operating income hit €14.1bn and the company maintained solid margins of 14.4%. Its EV division performed strongly, as it was able to sell c169,000 BEVs (up 24% YoY) and c315,000 LEVs (up 28% YoY). These figures mean that the company ranks 3rd in BEV sales in the EU-30 and 2nd for LEV sales in the USA. Interestingly, the company has a current portfolio of 25 BEVs, with 23 planned to launch next year. These solid results follow on from strong results by Tesla and Rivian, highlighting the resilience and strength of EV OEMs and the EV sector.
McGill Buses, appear to be playing a vital role, in trying to rejuvenate night bus services in rural areas. The bus company is actively researching rural regions, to see where it can help revitalise local economies. Following on from the news that First Bus was terminating its night services in Glasgow due to (very) low passenger demand, at the end of this month, McGill started inquiring about the possibility of reintroducing night services to this region. This, along with strong backlash from residents and politicians, has led to First Bus prolonging its withdrawal until the 20th of August. This prompted the MD of First Bus Scotland, to state, that he is open-minded to reversing the termination, if there is a significant uptake in demand, from now until 20th of August.
The EU has passed progressive regulations, stipulating from 2025 onwards fast recharging stations of at least 150kW, for cars and vans need to be installed every 60 km, along the EU’s main transport corridors, the so-called trans-European transport (TEN-T) network. Furthermore, recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles, with a minimum output of 350kW, need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network from 2025 onwards, with complete network coverage by 2030. These new regulations will help alleviate anxiety over range whilst making payments for EV charging simpler (in theory). These new regulations are a part of the Fit for 55 package initiatives, which aim to help the EU hit its target of reducing GHG emissions by 55% before 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and ultimately achieve net climate neutrality by 2050.
The Indian government has rejected BYD’s and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd.’s (Hyderabad-based) proposal to build a $1bn EV plant. This rejection stems from geo-political reasons, as normally FDI into India’s automobile sector doesn’t typically require approval. However, any FDI from countries that share a border with India needs political and security clearance from the Ministries of External and Home Affairs. Thus, this proposal has been rejected, for now, due to the involvement of Chinese technology. It is hard to see this proposal passing anytime soon, as sadly, both countries have a history of allowing their border disputes to influence their (socio)economic decision-making.
However, it seems increasingly likely that Tesla will make a significant investment in India. PM Modi, met with Mr Musk, during his USA visit and the conversations went well. This is an interesting change of events, as there was slight tension between the two last year, as Mr Musk wanted access to the Indian market, without committing to build a plant and lower taxes on imported EVs, whereas the Indian government wanted the commitment of the plant before entertaining other conditions. It will be fascinating to see how Mr Musk handles this situation, as the geo-political tension between India and China could impact the level of FDI in India.
ProLogium, a Taiwan-based EV battery company, claims to have had a breakthrough with its solid-state battery pack, whereby it can be charged from 0-80% in 12 minutes, along with being more energy dense and safer. This is due to the makeup of the pack, instead of using electrolytes in liquid form, the company utilizes a solid-state ceramic electrolyte, thus resulting in higher energy density, improved safety (solid-state ceramic electrolyte is non-flammable) and quickening the charge and discharge battery cycle. This battery will be tested for EV application, in Europe, in Q4 23.
Zenith, a UK-based leasing company, has invested over £400m into EVs, in the past 18 months. The company raised a £475m green bond, in Q1 22, to help it source and finance EVs to meet the growing demand it saw from customers. Bear in mind that it has a fleet size of more than 162,000 vehicles, and a third of this is comprised of EVs now. More granular data will be released, when it releases its annual report, later this year. Interestingly, Zenith has stated that the vans are failing to keep pace, compared to the car segment, and predicts it is 2-3 years away from similar uptake to cars. This stems from operators only starting to understand EV technology alongside long lead times.
Go Eve, a Dublin-based EV charging startup, has raised £3m which saw participation from, The Pearl Family Office, Carter Gem, Automotive Ventures, Kero Development Partners, and Cur8 Capital. This startup spun out from UCD and Imperial College London and deploys DockChain, a charging technology, that is trying to make high-power DC charging more competitive. The startup aims to do so by extending single rapid chargers to multiple parking spaces through a daisy chain of lower-cost charging terminals. Go Eve intends to use the capital to enhance its supply chain(s) and scale production.
Everon, a South-Korean-based EV charging infrastructure company, has raised c$39m in a Series B funding round. Participating investors included Korea Development Bank, DSC Investment, L&S Venture Capital, and K2 Investment Partners. Everon intends to deploy the capital to increase its headcount and increase the number of charger installations.
FREYR Battery, a Norwegian battery manufacturing startup, has received a €100m grant commitment from the EU’s Innovation Fund. This fund supports clean energy projects with the scale and scope to contribute to the bloc’s decarbonisation. This capital will be used to help build out its planned network of factories which aims to produce clean lithium-ion batteries on the market, targeting annual production capacity of 50GWh by 2024 and 200GWh by 2030. Interestingly, the startup is also planning to build a factory in Georgia (USA), we believe this is to take advantage of the IRA (+BIL) funding available.