Once upon a time… in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

February 20, 2024

The Biden-Harris Administration is set to loosen limits on tailpipe emissions which has been welcomed by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI). The AAI, which is an American auto-industry trade group, believes this will allow time for: 1) supply chains to become more fleshed out and complete, 2) ramp up public (EV) charging and 3) allow credits (from the IRA) to trickle down and materially impact EV OEM balance sheets. The AAI believes the relaxation of rules regarding tailpipe emissions, in the long term, will be key to developing and accelerating EV adoption. Industry conjecture suggests that these new rules could be published in early spring.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has announced it has launched a new consultation that will delve into how to ramp up EV adoption and EV charging infrastructure in the region. The focus will be slightly geared toward EV infrastructure as by 2030 it is predicted that the Combined Authority area needs c10,000 public plug-in stations. One of the key areas this consultation will touch on is what business and commercial models are viable and which are best suited for an efficient rollout. UK EV infrastructure has been a key barrier to EV adoption and thus government authorities are looking at ways, such as consultations, to resolve this.

Exxon has announced it intends to carry on with its expansion strategy to ramp up lithium production. This may shock some people, as lithium prices have fallen this year due to a slowdown in EV demand in certain markets however when you look at the fundamentals, this is a pragmatic play by Exxon for 2 key reasons. Firstly, the company believes that the demand for EVs will pick up strongly, which is also a positive signal to the market. Secondly, it has pencilled in 2027 for its first live lithium project which should coincide with the ramp-up stage in the EV adoption curve, as many companies and countries have promised some form of net zero and/or carbon neutrality and/or (full) electrification by 2030-2035.

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced it will make $1.5bn in grant funding available to help roll out standardised zero-emission bus models. Interestingly, 5% of any grant awarded must be set aside for workforce training. This is a great stipulation as it means the public transportation workforce will be upskilled. The strategy of transitioning to electric buses whilst also upskilling labour will help diversify the workforce, stabilise costs and shorten manufacturing timelines.

Octopus Energy has announced its EV leasing arm has secured £550m in debt funding so it can add c16,000 EVs to its fleet. Currently, the fleet size is c14,000 and the company is aiming to hit 30,000 EVs that it wants to lease via employer schemes with a blend of new and second-hand EVs. The leasing arm has grown rapidly, as in 2021 it only had 600 EVs, jumping to 6,000 EVs in April 2023 and now it has 14,000 EVs. Demand is being driven, in part, due to the material tax savings and appetite from households who cannot afford to outright buy EVs due to the the steep up-front cost.

BYD is reportedly in the latter stages of negotiations about opening an EV factory in Mexico. BYD has already launched a feasibility study into the region and is now determining the location of the plant. Mexico was chosen due to its proximity to the US and its deep integration with the US industry supply chain(s). The company is focused on diversifying its revenue streams and penetrating many (new) markets in a disciplined and strategic manner. Recently it announced a strategic partnership with Raizen to create a network of 600 EV charging stations in 8 Brazilian cities. BYD is positioning itself to build on its strong 2023 performance.

Vauxhall and Tesco have announced their partnership which will allow new Vauxhall EV owners with 1 years’ worth of free EV charging credits. New Vauxhall EV owners will have access to 2,700 charging bays across 619 stores across the UK. This initiative should help combat the lack of on-street EV charging infrastructure and hopefully soothe some consumer worry over charging availability. This follows on from the news, in January, when Sainsbury’s announced it was rolling out ultra-rapid EV charging points across c750 charging bays in more than 100 store locations by the end of 2024. We champion these initiatives as they benefit the consumer and will help ramp up EV adoption by addressing the lack of EV charging infrastructure, currently in place, in the UK.


Pure EV, an Indian 2-wheeler startup, has announced it has raised $8m as part of a Series A1 funding round. This round was led by Bennett Coleman and Hindustan Times Media Ventures with investors such as Ushodaya Enterprises also participating. Pure EV has a diverse portfolio of electric motorcycles & scooters and has sold over 70,000 electric products to date. It appears some of this capital raised will be used to enter new markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Celadyne, a Chicago-based hydrogen technology startup, has announced it has raised $4.5m in a Seed round. This round was led by Maniv and Dynamo Ventures, with EPS Ventures also participating. Celadyne is a very interesting startup as it is tackling the durability issue that fuel cells suffer from. The startup is focusing on manufacturing low permeable membranes that cut hydrogen crossover by more than 50% to ultimately quintuple fuel cell durability.

Mober, a Philippine EV logistics delivery startup, has announced it has raised $2m in a Seed round, which was led by RT Heptagon Holdings. The capital will be used to increase its EV fleet size and to decarbonise its current operational practices.