While Hamilton pledges future to Ferrari, Mercedes pledges to Net Zero

February 13, 2024

Arval has announced a strategic partnership with BYD, underpinned by an MoU, so Arval can offer BYD EVs as leasing options, for corporate and private customers. Customers in Italy, Spain and Germany will benefit initially and in time we believe this offering will be rolled out to other regions. Interestingly, in this partnership agreement, there is a stipulation dedicated to consulting services whereby Arval will push its SMART initiative and its telematics-based solution Arval Connect to help promote EV adoption.

LG Chem and GM have signed a long-term cathode material supply deal, worth c$18.8bn. In this strategic partnership, LG Chem will provide over 500,000 tonnes of cathode materials, which will power c5m EVs with a range of 500km. LG Chem is in the process of building the largest cathode plant in America, which will have an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes. LG Chem was one of the first major companies to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act grants. This deal along with the plant construction further enables it to comply with the act’s stipulations and unlock more support and grants. All of this has cemented LG Chem’s place as a crucial player in the North American supply chain.

Go-Ahead has announced it will be purchasing the Eastbourne Sightseeing open-top operation from Seven Sisters Bus and Coach. The Eastbourne Sightseeing fleet consists of 9 open-top vehicles that are used seasonally to provide tours on the seafront, around Eastbourne, and into the South Downs. This is a shrewd acquisition and since 2022 Go-Ahead has been very active in acquiring (regional) bus operators such as Dartline Coaches, Pulhams Coaches, and Southdown Buses. If anyone has ever had the pleasure of visiting Eastbourne, you will know it is nicknamed the Sunshine Coast (of the East) and in (the summer) season, these buses are in high demand. Once the transaction is completed Eastbourne Sightseeing will become part of the Go-Ahead’s Brighton and Hove Buses operating company.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 has announced it has signed The Climate Pledge which states that it will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Mercedes F1 are the first motorsport team to sign this progressive pledge, which is 10 years ahead of the (2050) target set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015. Mercedes was already one of the more proactive teams in trying to reduce its emissions footprint, for example, it has been purchasing alternative fuels for both land and air travel, which resulted in saving more than 2,600tCO2. We hope this will spur other (F1) sports teams to make this pledge.

Walmart has announced plans to roll out EV charging stations in new stores alongside stores that are being currently remodelled. The company has set itself a target of building or converting more than 150 stores in the next 5 years. The first 2 stores that will have EV charging stations are pencilled in to open in Santa Rosa Beach and Atlanta later this year. We champion this and expect other major conglomerates to announce similar initiatives later this year. Bear in mind ramping up EV charging infrastructure will be a key theme this year and we expect a lot of capital deployed in this subsector in the NTM.

Orange EV, an American OEM of electric heavy-duty trucks, has announced it has opened its new facility in Kansas City. This new facility boosts its production capacity to more than 2,000 trucks per year. Interestingly, Orange EV’s e-TRIEVER model dominates the yard truck segment and CALSTART has stated this segment is transitioning fastest to electric. Furthermore, this company has the largest fleet of deployed heavy-duty electric trucks in the USA. With its new facility, it will further cement itself as the market leader in the heavy-duty electric truck market.

Arriva London has announced it has placed an order of 76 StreetDeck Electroliner double-deckers and 11 GB Kite Electroliner single-deckers, with Wrightbus. Bear in mind Deutsche Bahn AG sold Arriva Group to I Squared Capital in Q4 2023 and since then the bus operator has been very proactive in procuring electric buses. A part of this stems from the fact that, in order to retain or win a new London route/contract, you essentially need electric buses to be successful in the bid process. These new buses are pencilled in to start hitting the London roads from July onwards.  


OTO, an Indian digital commerce and lending platform for 2-wheelers, has raised $10m in a funding round. This round was led by GMO Venture Partners, with investors such as Turbostart, Prime Venture Partners and Matrix Partners also participating. This startup already has a presence in over 30 Indian cities and this capital will be deployed to further increase its geographical footprint and on expanding its partnerships network.  

Guided Energy, a French-based AI SaaS platform for fleets (to charge and operate their EVs) startup, has raised $5.2m in from Sequoia Capital and Dynamo Ventures. This startup is focussing on developing a software tool that will enable EV fleet operators to better manage (EV) charging and dispatching.

Project 3 Mobility, a Croatian-based autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service startup, has raised €100m in a Series A funding round. TASARU Mobility Investments led the round, and the startup has an impressive list of investors such as SiteGround, Infinum, Rimac Group and Neurone. This capital will be used in 3 different ways: 1) for autonomous EVs, 2) for specialised infrastructure and finally for a mobility service. The startup has pencilled its launch in Zagreb in 2026 and 2027 for the UK and Germany.