Hyundai rushing to open Georgia plant because of law rewarding domestic electric vehicle production
Hyundai is aiming to accelerate the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries at its $7.6bn complex in Georgia following the implementation of US President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The legislation offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 for EV buyers, but only if the vehicles are made in North America using domestic batteries. Although Hyundai is not currently compliant with this requirement, the company is speeding up construction at its Georgia plant in an attempt to start production in 2024 and ensure sourcing of 100% US-made batteries.
Musk woos world leaders, courting controversy
Elon Musk has been meeting with various foreign leaders during their visits to the US, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These meetings have focused on topics such as economic and electric vehicle industry boosts, infrastructure investment, artificial intelligence, and the future of social media. However, while Musk is highly sought after by world leaders, there is growing unease about his power and access, particularly as he wades into sensitive geopolitical issues.
Musk’s political reach has been expanding, and his statements have been interpreted by some as an affront to US interests and Western interests more broadly. For example, his comments on Taiwan’s status in relation to China angered Taiwanese officials, and his alleged decision to turn off coverage of Starlink in Crimea to prevent a Ukrainian attack on the Russian naval fleet raised concerns among US allies. There is also concern about Musk’s influence and decision-making power, especially as he is not an elected official. Some argue that his wealth concentration and unilateral decisions highlight the dangers of waning democracy.
Musk’s public image has also become more divisive and polarizing, in part due to his provocative and controversial statements on social media. While he has achieved great success in business, he has also faced criticism for his online behavior and for his role as a quasi-governmental figure. Some argue that his decisions and actions should not have such significant geopolitical consequences and that the concentration of power in the hands of unelected individuals poses a threat to democracy.
China’s BYD launches Dolphin EV in Japan as it seeks to pry open market
South China Morning Post
Chinese automaker BYD has introduced its Dolphin electric vehicle (EV) to the Japanese market, aiming to boost sales in a country that has been hesitant to embrace Chinese carmakers or EVs. The Dolphin will be priced starting from JPY 3.63m ($24,560) and will come in two models with different battery sizes offering ranges of 400km and 476km per charge. BYD, China's largest carmaker, has struggled to gain traction in Japan where consumers prefer to buy cars from domestic manufacturers. However, the company sees an opportunity in the Japanese market as it faces increasing hostility in Europe and the US. BYD plans to open 100 dealerships and showrooms in Japan by 2025 and aims to launch its Seal sedan in the country early next year.
Neuralink’s test monkeys died due to brain implants, report suggests
Elon Musk’s biotech company Neuralink has faced allegations that test monkeys have died as a result of complications from brain chip implant procedures. The company has been developing chips to be implanted into the skull, with the aim of helping blind people regain their sight and assisting paralysed individuals to walk again. The accusations were made in a report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal rights group that has previously criticised Neuralink’s treatment of its research monkeys. However, the company has claimed that the monkeys it used were already close to death.
Exclusive: VinFast to deliver EVs to Europe this year as EU probes China rivals
Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer VinFast has received regulatory approval to ship its first EVs to Europe, with plans to deliver about 3,000 VF8 crossovers to France, Germany and the Netherlands by the fourth quarter of 2022. If the plan is fulfilled, Europe will become VinFast's biggest overseas market this year. The move comes as the European Union probes Chinese EV makers, potentially creating a gap in the market. VinFast plans to launch its VF6, VF7 and VF9 models in the European market next year.
Exclusive: Tesla proposes building battery storage factory in India -sources
Tesla has submitted a proposal to the Indian government to manufacture and sell its Powerwall battery storage systems in the country. Tesla has been in discussions with Indian officials about setting up a new electric vehicle factory in India to produce a car costing around $24,000. Tesla’s Powerwall is a system that can store power from solar panels or the grid for use at night or during power outages. Although the Indian government has not offered Tesla incentives to set up a battery storage factory, it has suggested that subsidies could be offered to customers purchasing such products.
Exclusive: JSW in talks with LG Energy Solution to make EV batteries in India -sources
Indian steel-to-energy conglomerate JSW Group is holding early-stage discussions with LG Energy Solution (LGES) about manufacturing batteries in India for electric vehicles (EVs), according to unnamed sources. JSW is reportedly also in talks with battery manufacturers CATL, Panasonic and Toshiba. The company is aiming to establish a battery factory capable of producing 20 GWh of capacity by 2030. EV sales made up fewer than 2% of all cars sold in India last year but the government hopes to increase this to 30% by 2030 and is offering companies incentives to manufacture EV components locally.
Would you like a phone with that car? EV maker Nio thinks Chinese buyers will
South China Morning Post
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Nio has launched a smartphone designed specifically for use with its vehicles. The device offers more than 30 car-specific features, such as initiating self-parking mode, unlocking the car with a button press even if the smartphone is powered off, and transitioning a video call from the phone to the car’s screen and speakers. The fully functional Android-based phone is priced from CNY6,499 ($890) to CNY7,499 and is compatible with all eight of Nio’s vehicle models.
China's Nio calls for 'open attitude' amid EU subsidy probe
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Nio has called on governments to have an open attitude towards the industry, following the European Commission’s anti-subsidy probe into Chinese-made EVs. Nio president Qin Lihong said he hoped governments and the private sector could guide the NEV (new energy vehicle) sector positively. Nio last month posted a net loss of CNY6.12bn ($839.51m) in Q2 2021, compared to a loss of CNY2.75bn in Q2 2020.
America’s Growing Electrification Has Electrified the UAW Strike
American Enterprise Institute
The multi-trillion-dollar and multi-decade decarbonization of the American economy is kind of a big deal. And US transportation will be a big part of that big deal given that 30 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions come from that sector. President Biden’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050 will mean America must transition from a country with very few electric cars and trucks to one with almost all electric cars and trucks.
It’s within this historic economic context that the current United Auto Workers strike against GM, Ford, and Stellantis is taking place. So it should surprise no one if this labor action turns out to be an unusually lengthy one given the stakes as both sides see them. The Big Three legacy automakers argue that they are facing a massive, uncertain, and expensive challenge due to the need to build out their electric vehicle production capacity—while also meeting the competitive challenge from low-cost Tesla. Meanwhile, the autoworkers have noted that EVs require fewer assembly hours and their production is often in non-union plants. As such, the transition could mean fewer UAW jobs overall. Both sides view the dispute as creating existential risk for them.
Other factors also argue for a lengthy dispute, including a) the UAW’s unprecedented, staggered strike strategy, targeting just a few plants at a time, which will allow the union to get more bang for the buck out of its strike fund, and b) its new leadership, which no doubt wants a victory right out of the gate.
As for the economic impact, here is how Goldman Sachs calculates the damage (bold by me):
. . . we estimate that lower auto production from a potential UAW strike would reduce quarterly annualized growth by 0.05-0.10pp for each week it lasted if it impacts all three companies currently undergoing contract negotiations. . . . Those three companies—Ford, GM, and Stellantis—produce almost half of domestically-assembled cars. Auto production would likely fall sharply—we assume to roughly zero—at any company impacted by a strike. In both the case of a government shutdown and the case of a UAW strike, growth would rise by the same amount it declined in the quarter following their end.
Whether you think that damage is significant probably stems from your belief about the current direction of the US economy, whether headed toward a (perhaps very) soft landing or something worse.
Learn more: Please, Gen Z Aren’t “Doomed to be the First Generation of Americans Who Will Grow Up with a Lower Standard of Living Than Their Parents” | Medicare Drug Negotiation and the Risk to Innovation | Shutting Down the Government Is a Choice of Theater over Substance | Is Paid Leave a Pro-Growth Policy?
The post America’s Growing Electrification Has Electrified the UAW Strike appeared first on American Enterprise Institute - AEI.
More automakers plug into Tesla's EV charging network
- Texas: Texas has approved a plan that requires EV charging companies to include Tesla's plug if they want to be eligible for federal funds.
- California: California has mandated that all new public charging stations must include Tesla's plug.
- New York: New York has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Colorado: Colorado has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Florida: Florida has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Illinois: Illinois has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Maryland: Maryland has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Massachusetts: Massachusetts has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- New Jersey: New Jersey has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Oregon: Oregon has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
- Washington: Washington has proposed a law that would require all new EV charging stations to include Tesla's plug.
For Tesla and Musk, Auto Strike Carries Benefits and Risks
The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Detroit automakers presents both opportunities and risks for Tesla. On one hand, Tesla can take advantage of the work stoppages to extend its lead in battery technology and software without the interference of an activist union. This could allow Tesla to lower car prices and tighten its grip on the electric vehicle market. On the other hand, the UAW is gearing up to make another attempt at organizing Tesla’s factory workers, a move that poses risks for the electric vehicle maker and its CEO, Elon Musk. The UAW’s determination to secure a big victory for its members, coupled with the nationwide resurgence in union activism, means that Tesla will face increased pressure to unionize. Tesla workers have been discussing forming a union and seeking better representation and collective bargaining. While Tesla may be in a better position than its rivals to reward workers, labor organizing is an arduous process, and companies often do all they can to prevent unionization. However, Tesla’s strong financial performance, profitability, and ability to lower car prices could make it a tempting target for unions.
Thailand's new PM meets Tesla chief Musk in New York
Thailand's new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in New York to discuss the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Thailand has been offering incentives to EV and battery makers and tax cuts to local EV buyers in order to remain a regional auto centre. The country is currently Asia's fourth-largest automobile assembly hub and produces around 1.5 million to 2 million vehicles annually, half of which are exported. EVs are gaining traction in Southeast Asia, making up 6.4% of all passenger car sales in the region in Q2 2021. Thailand is the largest market for EVs in Southeast Asia, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. Tesla launched its models in Thailand last year, but Southeast Asia accounted for less than 1% of Tesla's global sales.
U.S., China tech stocks lead sell-off after Fed's hawkish pause
U.S. and Chinese tech stocks led a broad market downturn following the Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates steady while signaling they would remain higher for longer. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 1.8% for the second straight day, and the S&P 500 ended the day down 1.6%. Big U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, such as Baidu, Alibaba, and JD.com, were among the decliners. Vietnamese electric-car maker VinFast also closed down 8.4%. Chipmaker Wolfspeed, Amazon.com, Nvidia, Tesla, and Google parent Alphabet were also down. The higher interest rate environment is putting pressure on stocks and pushing yields on U.S. Treasuries to highs not seen in over a decade.
X is shutting down feature to send posts to select people
X, the company formerly known as Twitter and now owned by Elon Musk, is shutting down its Circles feature by the end of October. Circles allowed users to send posts to a select audience, similar to Instagram's Close Friends feature. The decision comes after a software glitch in April exposed private Circle posts to other followers and strangers. The glitch raised privacy concerns and highlighted issues with the platform since Musk took over and laid off a large portion of the workforce. X has not provided a reason for shutting down Circles.
Thailand's new prime minister courts US companies for investment
Thailand's new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has met with US companies including Microsoft, Google, and Estee Lauder in an effort to draw investment to boost the country's economy. Thailand's economy is expected to grow 2.8%, less than previously projected, due to weaker exports. Srettha aims to grow the economy by 5% each year. He stated that Thailand is open for business and wants to invite more foreign investors. During his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly, Srettha also spoke with Tesla CEO Elon Musk via video conference to discuss the electric vehicle industry.
Indian shares set for subdued open as Fed angst weighs
Indian benchmark indexes are expected to have a muted opening on Friday, following a sell-off in the U.S. markets on fears of higher interest rates. The GIFT Nifty was up 0.15% to 19,691 points, while the Nifty 50 closed 0.8% lower at a two-week low of 19,742.35 points. Both indexes are down over 2% for the week, on track for their first weekly decline in four. Foreign investors have been net sellers this month, offloading shares worth $996.2 million. Indian government bonds will be included in JPMorgan's emerging market debt index from June 2024.
Where the GOP presidential candidates stand on the autoworkers’ strike
Thousands of United Auto Workers members are striking against the Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep and Chrysler — for the first time in history. Republican presidential candidates are seizing on the walkout as a potential opportunity to fracture the union vote, a key Democratic bloc, and criticize the Biden administration’s environmental policies.
China relaxes capital controls to entice badly needed foreign investment
China is relaxing its strict capital controls in an effort to attract overseas investors. Chinese authorities have announced that foreigners in Shanghai and Beijing will be allowed to freely move their money into and out of the country. The move comes after data showed that foreign direct investment in China had hit a record quarterly low due to a slump in business confidence. The new rules, which do not apply to mainland Chinese nationals, took effect on September 1 and are aimed at attracting foreign investment to build an open economy.
Beijing city reassures foreign investors they can take their money with them
South China Morning Post
Beijing city plans to ease capital controls and create a fast-track mechanism for reviewing cross-border data flows, according to a draft regulation released by the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau. The move comes as China seeks to curb an exodus of capital amid a slumping domestic economy and rising geopolitical tensions. However, the proposal has been described as "just a reassurance" by Ding Shuang, chief Greater China economist at Standard Chartered Bank, who added that China needs to create a more transparent and stable business environment to attract foreign investment.