Hyundai and Kia have announced they will adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) (EV) charging system, from Q4 2024 onwards. All EVs produced in 2024 by the aforementioned OEMs will incorporate Tesla’s NACS technology, thus allowing drivers access to 12,000+ Tesla Superchargers across North America. Hyundai and Kia have joined other OEMs, such as Ford and GM, in adopting and integrating NACS technology which further strengthens Tesla’s market leadership in EV charging in this region.
Tesla has announced another round of price cuts, in the USA, to stimulate demand (arguably) driven by its modest Q3 results. Tesla has decreased the price of its base Model 3 by $1,250 to $38,990 and discounted the long-range version of the sedan by the same amount to $45,990. It has lowered the price of its performance version of the Model 3 by $2,250 to $50,990 and knocked $2,000 off the long-range and performance versions of the Model Y sport utility vehicle, which now cost $48,490 and $52,490, respectively. Tesla hopes this will help it hit its target of selling 475,000 EVs in Q4, so the company can hit its overall 2023 sales target of 1.8m EVs. We believe that Tesla will hit its target, as production is ramping up in its new factories in Austin and (near) Berlin. Thus, giving the company a pricing, scalability and supply chain advantage compared to its peers.
Li Auto has announced it has completed manufacturing upgrades to its Changzhou factory. This will allow the company to deliver more than 40,000 EVs a month, which is a significant increase, as before the monthly capacity was around 35,000 EVs. These upgrades have positioned Li Auto to have a strong(er) Q4 and bear in mind the company has been on a 6-month consecutive hot streak in terms of delivery of EVs.
Zapmap has released data that states that the UK (as of Sept 2023) has 49,882 (43% increase YoY) public EV charging points, across 29,709 locations and if you factor in private charging points this figure skyrockets to c680,000. This is good news and has led to a cohort of industry experts stating that the UK is on track to hit its target of 300,00 public charging points by 2030. However, we believe that the UK government has to play a greater role if we are to hit this target by creating EV incentives. Furthermore, c46.5% of these public charge points are in Greater London and the Southeast whereas the Northeast, East Midlands and Yorkshire are considerably underserved. The government must play a role in making sure there is not a geographical imbalance in terms of public charging infrastructure.
OVO has announced it is partnering with Select Car Leasing to give EV drivers 6,000 miles of complimentary EV charging if they switch their home energy supply to OVO’s Charge Anytime EV add-on. This compelling incentive is priced competitively, at a rate of 3p per mile (= 10p per kWh), which is c2.6x more cost-effective than the national average (26p per kWh).
VinFast has announced it is strategically acquiring 99.8% of VinES, in order to secure its supply of batteries, which (over time) should help the company save 5-7% on battery costs. VinFast will be taking on $462m worth of debt however Mr Vuong will provide grants to VinFast for all interest payments relating to existing VinES borrowings, up to 2027. VinFast is following other OEMs, such as Ford, in attempting to bring as much of the EV supply chain in-house. It appears that VinFast may be able to move (slightly) faster (in the short term) in bringing parts of the supply chain in-house, due to Mr Vuong/Vingroup laying the foundations for VinFast.
Metropolis, an American checkout-free parking startup, has announced raising $1.7bn in debt and equity to buy SP Plus. SP Plus is a listed company that provides parking facility management services, for $1.5bn, representing a 52.5% premium on the company’s stock price. This raise is being led by Eldridge and 3L Capital, with BDT & MSD Partners’ affiliated credit funds, Vista Credit Partners and Temasek also participating. This is a significant M&A deal, as the market has been very dry thus far, and this deal is the biggest M&A transaction by a VC-backed company, so far this year. Bear in mind that, subject to regulatory approvals, this deal will close in 2024.
Regent, a Rhode Island-based electric aviation startup, has raised $60m in a Series A round, which was co-led by 8090 Industries and Founders Fund. Investors, such as Point72, Caffeinated Capital, Mark Cuban, UAE’s Strategic Development Fund and Future Planet Capital also participated. The startup will use this capital to build and test a proof-of-concept prototype, alongside growing its internal team.
Bolt.Earth, an Indian-based EV charging infrastructure and software solutions startup, has raised $20m in a funding round. Investors such as Union Square Ventures, Prime Venture Partners and ITIGO Funds participated in this round. The startup intends to deploy the capital to expand its footprint in South Asia, alongside targeting new markets to enter.
Knoect.ai, a Texas-based SaaS AI-powered texting platform for the automotive retail industry, has raised $5.5m in a seed investment by Silverton Partners. The startup will use this capital to flesh out its product offerings, increase R&D and grow its sales pipeline in new markets.