EG Group has announced it is buying Tesla's ultra-fast EV charging units, for an undisclosed amount to install at its various locations in the UK and Europe. This is the second time this type of deal has happened, following the recent BP deal where it agreed to pay $100m for supercharger hardware for the Tesla chargers. This is starting to become a new revenue stream for Tesla, and we believe more deals like this will occur. EG currently have c600 EV chargers in 189 locations however the company has stated that it wants to increase its EV charging offering to 20,000 chargers. EG has stated that these chargers will operate on an open network meaning that any EV can use this charging infrastructure.
The Indian government is currently considering Tesla’s proposal to potentially open an EV plant but only if tariffs are lowered. Mr Musk has requested the government for an initial tariff concession that would enable it to offset the country’s customs duty of 70% for cars worth less than $40,000, and 100% for cars worth $40,000 or more. This request appears to be a prerequisite to building the plant in India. Tesla has stated that it could produce an EV for less than $30,000 that it would sell in the Indian market and also export to the rest of the Asian region, thus strategically positioning India as a production hub. PM Modi has been trying to convince Mr Musk to open a plant for years and it appears this could become a reality.
The USA and Indonesia have begun talks about potentially entering into a partnership agreement for EV metals and minerals, with a particular focus on nickel. Nickel is a point of concern for America, as it currently only has 1 mine in its country and is actively trying to source a reliable partner to create a reliable supply chain for this mineral. Indonesia may be the answer, as it is one of the biggest producers of nickel and has vast reserves (c21 million tonnes). However, one of the key concerns America has, is over the environmental cost of this mining, especially as mining results in material deforestation, and air & water pollution. ESG practices in Indonesia are not as mature as in America and it has been accused of making it easy for companies to mine without having to consider ESG impact. We believe that the USA could help improve the ESG standards and practices in Indonesia by sharing ESG frameworks and this could help progress talks and get this deal finalised in the coming months.
Redbridge Council has announced a project with Uber that will result in 174 new fast chargers, in 87 locations, being installed in the area in 2024. Believ, an EV charge point operator, has been awarded the contract to install, operate and maintain the fast chargers and it will kickstart this project in H1 24. The Council hopes this will ramp up EV adoption in the area and help make transport cleaner and greener so the Council can hit its Clean Air targets.
Mullen Automotive, a Californian-based EV manufacturer, has announced it will be expanding its battery operations with a new high-energy facility in Fullerton. This facility will be able to produce 1 GWh/year alongside shifting to solid-state polymer (SSP) battery technology. These are significant milestones for the company and in particular the switch to SSP battery technology will enable Mullen’s to increase its current 110 miles LFP range to over 190 miles SSP range. The company plans to move operations over to Fullerton by the end of Q4 23/Q1 24 and it will begin drivable testing of the SSP battery packs in its Class 1 EV cargo vans in Q1 2024.
Rivian has announced it intends to raise c$15bn in debt to help build an EV manufacturing plant in Georgia. This plant is stated to have the capacity of being able to build 400,00 EVs a year, alongside employing 7,500 people. The company has agreed to buy taxable bonds issued by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties. Rivian had announced its ambition to build this plant in 2021 and was pencilled in to be operational by 2024 but this date seems unlikely. However, this progression in debt financing is a positive step forward and hopefully will accelerate the building of the plant.
British Gas has announced new incentives for EV owners, as anyone who buys a Hive EV charger and/or switches to or uses British Gas for electricity, will receive a year's worth free of home EV charging. This equates to c8,000 miles of complimentary EV charging and users will be able to access this perk through its Hive app.
Renault’s EV arm Ampere will reportedly unveil plans to launch an affordable EV when its Capital Markets Day takes place this week. Ampere is a separate division that focuses solely on EVs, which Renault believes will help it reduce costs in the development and production of EVs. This follows on from last week's conjecture that Tesla will be unveiling a €26,000 EV for the European market, in the not-so-distant future. These prices are being driven by intense competition from Chinese (EV) OEMs who currently offer EVs, at better price points than their Western OEM peers. Renault, nor Tesla, have yet given any detail on any factors that will help drive the cost of manufacturing EVs. Renault’s affordable EV is supposedly pencilled in to go on sale in 2026.
Flitter, a Paris-based insurtech startup, has raised €3.5 million in a Seed funding round, which was led by the Helvetia Venture Fund. Interestingly the startup focuses on pay-by-mile car insurance and intends to use the capital raised to increase its team size and operations. The startup has stated that (potential) customers can save up to 50% per year by signing up for its pay-as-you-go insurance plan.
Niron Magnetics, a Minneapolis-based rare earth-free permanent magnets startup, has raised $33m in additional funding, with investors such as GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures participating. The startup intends to use this capital to expand its current pilot production facilities and scale manufacturing capacity.