EV - Private equity fund takes 20% stake in EV data provider Benchmark Mineral

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are a type of vehicle that utilizes electricity to power its drive train, instead of relying on traditional combustion engines that use fossil fuels. These vehicles have been around in various forms since the 19th century, but their popularity has surged in recent years, in response to concerns about fossil fuel dependency, air pollution, and the effects of climate change.

EVs come in different types, including all-electric vehicles (AEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). AEVs rely solely on electricity for propulsion, while PHEVs and HEVs utilize a combination of electricity and gasoline to power their drives. In all cases, EVs rely on one or more electric motors to turn the wheels. The batteries that power the electric motors are usually rechargeable and typically last for thousands of miles before needing a replacement.

EVs offer several advantages over traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. One of the most significant benefits is that they emit no greenhouse gases (GHGs) during their operation. GHGs are a major contributor to climate change, and by reducing emissions, EVs can help reduce this risk. Additionally, because EVs do not rely on fossil fuels, they also do not contribute to air pollution. This helps improve air quality and, in turn, promote better health for people and the environment.

Another advantage of EVs is their lower operating cost compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. While the upfront cost of purchasing an EV can be higher, the lower maintenance cost and lower fuel costs help offset this expense. EVs require fewer repairs and maintenance, as they have fewer moving parts than traditional engines. Additionally, charging an EV is generally less expensive than filling up a traditional vehicle with gasoline.

EVs also offer a more enjoyable driving experience. Because electric cars have instant torque, they can accelerate quickly, which can make for a thrilling ride. EVs are also quieter, making for a more peaceful and tranquil ride.

Despite their benefits, EVs still face challenges in gaining widespread adoption. One of the most significant obstacles is the lack of charging infrastructure. At present, there are not enough charging stations available to make extended EV travel easy and convenient. While many charging stations are popping up in cities and at shopping centers, it will take time and investment to build a comprehensive network of charging stations across the country.

Another barrier to EV adoption is range anxiety. Many drivers worry about running out of power before reaching their destination. While this concern is gradually diminishing as battery technology improves, it is still a significant obstacle for some drivers.

In conclusion, EVs are becoming an increasingly attractive option for many drivers, due to their environmental benefits, lower operating costs, and improved driving experience. While EVs still face some significant challenges, such as the lack of charging infrastructure, these barriers are gradually being overcome. As more people adopt EVs, it is likely that charging stations will become more available, and battery technology will continue to improve, making EVs an even more effective and compelling alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

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Japan to require disclosure of CO2 emitted by EV battery production

Nikkei Asia

23-05-08 16:44

The Japanese government is set to mandate that electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers report the amount of carbon dioxide released during the production of batteries, according to Nikkei. The new requirement will apply to both EVs and plug-in hybrids and the government aims to use the data to determine eligibility for subsidies. The move follows similar measures taken by the EU, which is also making disclosure of emissions information mandatory from 2024. The Japanese government reportedly said the move is part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector to net-zero by 2050.

Berkshire Hathaway cuts stake again in world’s No 1 EV maker BYD

South China Morning Post

23-05-08 13:21

Berkshire Hathaway sold HKD462.1m ($58.9m) worth of BYD shares early in May, marking the at least eleventh reduction in the Chinese electric vehicle maker's shares that the company has made since August. The decision took Berkshire's total holding from 19.92% to 9.87% over the period. Despite being the largest EV marker in the world that has seen its sales triple, BYD has failed to generate a profit since 2019, and warned in April that the global chip shortage will further extend the loss-making period.

Inside Toyota’s next big bet

Financial Times

23-05-08 11:20

Japanese auto group Toyota has partnered with fellow trucking firm PACCAR to develop two long-distance haulage trucks: Kenworth and Peterbilt. The vehicles are powered by modules of hydrogen fuel cells rather than diesel engines. The two companies plan to “realise a future where hydrogen fuel cell technology can power heavy-duty trucks that can travel across highways throughout the US with zero emissions,” said Christopher Yang, a top Toyota executive. The trucks are set to go into mass production in 2025. Critics have questioned whether there will be the infrastructure required for a widespread use of the technology.

The worldwide market for yoga wear was worth $19.2bn in 2020 and is projected to double to $40bn by 2028, but poses a sustainability challenge to producers seeking to become greener. Synthetic fibres like traditionally-used, petrochemical-based polyurethane require more fossil fuel energy to produce than natural fibres, while each wash releases synthetic microplastics polluting waterways and ingested by marine animals. Martin Mulvihill of venture capital firm SaferMade said none of the companies researching bio-based and biodegradable polyurethane have created material with the same stretch and performance.

China's BYD expands beyond iPads, to produce EVs in Vietnam

Nikkei Asia

23-05-08 10:35

BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker, is set to manufacture EVs in Vietnam aimed at the local market and for export within Southeast Asia, according to the Vietnamese government. BYD is seeking to increase its production volume as it aims to overtake Tesla in terms of output. Rival budget EV maker Wuling is also believed to be planning to produce EVs in the country for the same markets.

I have access to hydro, mostly take short trips and budget isn’t an issue. What car should I get?

The Globe and Mail

23-05-08 09:00

The circumstances described by a Globe and Mail reader looking to buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle would suit a fully electric car, according to journalists writing for the paper. In particular, they recommend a Tesla Model Y, as the reader mostly drives very short distances and takes occasional long trips. As the reader has access to hydro and needs ample trunk space, and budget is not an issue, the Model Y's capacity of 2,100 liters in the trunk and Tesla's charging infrastructure were cited as decisive advantages. However, the article also discusses a range of less expensive electric cars with ample cargo space, including the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4. Conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) including the Lexus NX plug-in hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in-hybrid and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV were also suggested as alternatives.

Canada's Trudeau to visit South Korea; focus on minerals, security


23-05-16 02:57

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to head to South Korea on 14 June for a summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol, marking the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations. Energy security will be at the fore of the talks, with the two governments expected to sign an agreement regarding key minerals supply chains and clean energy conversion. Canada boasts ample reserves of minerals – such as lithium, cobalt and nickel – used to make batteries for electric vehicles. Trudeau and Yoong will also discuss intelligence sharing and other security measures, potentially focusing on North Korea, which has previously been a sore point between Seoul and Ottawa.

Stellantis halts construction at Windsor EV battery plant over federal funding

The Globe and Mail

23-05-16 01:43

Carmakers Stellantis and LG have stopped construction on Canada’s first electric vehicle battery plant due to a dispute over government subsidies. The two companies had previously made inquiries about Ottawa’s willingness to increase funding, following the Inflation Reduction Act, which offers billions of dollars to comparable battery facilities in the US. In response, the Canadian government pledged around $1bn to Stellantis and LG last year before offering Volkswagen as much as $13bn in spring 2021. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has said that she is “confident” that differences will be resolved, but a rift between the federal and Ontario governments has made negotiations difficult.

Four fixes to rescue Toronto’s downtown + a teen sues the TDSB and police

The Toronto Star

23-05-16 11:25

Auto giant Stellantis warned Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April that it could pull out of a multibillion-dollar EV deal to build an electric vehicle battery factory in Windsor, Ontario unless the federal government raised its subsidy offer to match those given to Volkswagen in the US. Stellantis has already suspended construction work at the Windsor facility. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the situation was a cause for concern and called on Trudeau to offer more support, while Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called for Ontario to contribute further funds to the deal.

The energy mega-deal stuck in the pipeline

Financial Times

23-05-16 11:20

Oneok's $19bn deal to purchase pipeline builder Magellan Midstream was met with skepticism from investors, with Oneok's shares closing down 9% following the announcement. The deal is thought to reflect wider shifts occurring in the US energy market, where pipeline builders are thinking about how fossil-fuel dependent businesses might fare during the industry shift. Pierce Norton, CEO of Oneok, said that the scale of the combined firm would better prepare the combined company for the changes to come. Amid limited opportunities for growth in the industry, acquisitions are viewed as the remaining path to growth. Earlier in June, European leaders called for the banning of Russian gas imports on routes where Moscow had cut supplies, which would escalate the energy war.

LME works with Chinese counterpart to launch EV battery metal contracts

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 10:29

The London Metal Exchange is working with the Qianhai Mercantile Exchange (QME), an affiliate platform offering commodities trading in China, to launch contracts for cobalt, nickel sulphate and lithium carbonate. Critically, nickel and cobalt are used in electric vehicle batteries and have seen their prices surge in line with the growing production of EVs. The partnership will allow QME to offer investors profitable pricing and will let LME "launch contracts in Hong Kong or London", said Matthew Chamberlain, CEO of the London Metal Exchange.

Nine (completely free) ways to save money on your energy bills


23-05-16 13:45

UK citizens can reduce their energy bills by up to £500 ($648) a year by adopting simple cost-saving measures, according to a report by the Telegraph. Reducing the boiler flow temperature on a combi boiler to 60°C could save £100 annually, and reducing shower time could provide annual savings of up to £190 per person for those taking 10-minute showers. Households could save £70 per year by turning off electrical appliances when not in use, according to the report. Beating vampire appliances, whereby electronic items such as console chargers are left plugged in and continue to draw power, could save £147 annually, according to British Gas. Households can save £70 each year by not using tumble dryers, and £50 for each month an electric vehicle is charged at night on an electric vehicle-specific tariff.

Nomura hires two bankers for clean transport technology deals


23-05-16 19:47

Japanese investment bank Nomura has hired two investment bankers to head its greentech unit’s coverage of mobility and automotive clients in the US and Europe. The company hopes to capitalise on the consolidation among older vehicle and equipment makers and newer rivals, many of whom were initially funded by SPACS, which have come to the fore on Wall Street this year. Nomura’s global co-head of Nomura Greentech, Duncan Williams, said venture-backed EV firms and low-emission vehicle producers will benefit from subsidies in many countries, but may face cash shortfalls as a result of higher borrowing and economic fears.

‘Let’s make better cars!’: Toyota’s new boss on electric cars – and more


23-05-16 19:00

Koji Sato's ascension to the role of CEO of Toyota marks a considerable change of trajectory for the 53-year-old who only 10 years ago was a concept planner. He takes over from the long-serving Akio Toyoda, who brought the manufacturer through a period that included the 2010 crisis involving 8.5 million recalls and major accidents. This month, Sato has been present at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium cheering on his Gazoo Racing team to victory in the World Endurance Championship. One of the challenges ahead is to continue Toyota's commitment to hybrid technologies with the need to adopt direct battery-electric technologies which include Toyota's hydrogen-based fuel cells. There is the struggle to bridge the widening gulf in attitudes towards traditional combustion technologies versus the software-driven devices and EV start-ups that are seen as being more relevant to the future.

Former Apple engineer charged with stealing autonomous car tech trade secrets


23-05-16 17:09

Ex-Apple employee Weibao Wang has been charged by the US Department of Justice with stealing technology relating to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars, before fleeing to China. The move was part of a wider five-pronged plan to prevent other countries, including Russia and China, from illicitly obtaining US technology. Wang resigned from Apple in 2017 to work for a Chinese firm on developing autonomous vehicles. However, he failed to inform his former employer of his move for four months, during which time he was able to access a large amount of proprietary data. Soon after the theft, a search of Wang's home uncovered a large quantity of Apple data, prompting the emigré to board a flight to Guangzhou. Each of the six categories of trade secrets stolen by Wang carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Local MPPs divided on whether it's the feds, province that needs to step up in Stellantis talks


23-05-17 00:03

Government support for electric vehicle manufacturing is under scrutiny in Canada, where Stellantis said it had to pause the construction of its planned battery plant in Windsor, Ontario, due to a lack of financial support from Canada's federal government. The company said it is still working with the government, but if a deal isn't reached, it may make "difficult decisions" about the project. The delay follows the US government's passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which gives automakers greater financial stability for EV investments. Some are calling for more support for the Canadian EV supply chain.

Stellantis warns of factory closure if Brexit deal is not renegotiated

Financial Times

23-05-16 23:19

Carmaker Stellantis has warned the UK government that it may have to close its Ellesmere Port factory unless it renegotiates its Brexit deal with the EU to allow for the use of more non-UK parts in its vehicles and battery systems, according to a submission to parliament’s business committee. The company, which owns Vauxhall, faces additional costs as its electric vans will attract 10% tariffs when exported to the EU from next year because they will not contain enough locally sourced components.

Canada is getting played by Stellantis, but we asked for it

The Globe and Mail

23-05-16 22:20

Stellantis could cancel its plans to build an electric-vehicle battery plant in Ontario if the company doesn't receive the subsidies it applied for, however, Ottawa and Queen's Park are willing to pay the extra billions needed. The Canadian government broke the bank for Volkswagen with a promise of up to $13bn in production tax credits plus $700m in upfront construction costs, hailed as the German automaker's first battery plant outside Europe. But the incentives could become a race to the bottom and be consumed in higher after-tax corporate profits and higher costs of production, with little or no benefit to workers overall.

VW talks to Huawei about licensing software for cars in China

Financial Times

23-05-17 04:33

Volkswagen is reportedly discussing using Huawei's software in its electric cars in China as it seeks to gain a greater share of the country's EV market. The German carmaker's own software division Cariad has faced problems that have delayed the launch of new models and necessitated the removal of many of its top executives. VW sells more cars than any other automotive company in China, but it ranks ninth for EV sales. It recently announced plans to win back ground by developing "In China, for China" products and upgrading its existing platform, offering advanced entertainment and driving assistance features.

Vietnam EV maker Vinfast expects to break even by end-2024 - founder


23-05-17 04:14

VinFast, Vietnam's electric automaker, plans to launch an electric pickup truck and a city car model in addition to its current model lineup. The company also expects to break even by the end of 2024, according to founder Pham Nhat Vuong. VinFast will list in the US through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Black Spade Acquisition Co. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023, and VinFast has received funding pledges of $2.5bn from Vingroup and Vuong.