In Q3 23 new buses in the EU gained market share, as new electrical chargeable bus sales increased by 31.5%, reaching 3,405 units, representing a market share of 14.4% (vs Q3 22: 13%). This is positive news however diesel buses maintain their dominant position with a market share of 64.3%. Digging deeper into the data, electric bus growth was strong in Spain, France, and Germany and these are promising signs. We expect these 3 markets will continue to invest in electric buses, however, we expect Germany will also invest in hydrogen buses due to their strong hydrogen refuelling network.
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has successfully secured £335,000 in funding from the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Capability Fund. Thus, WNC has successfully secured £408,000 in funding since the start of this year. The next steps for WNC will be to find and select its partner(s) who will help roll out and deliver the EV charging infrastructure across this region.
The French government has announced €200m in funding that will help accelerate the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure. This new funding will be available from 2024-2027. Furthermore, an additional €68m of funding has been announced which is set aside for fast and ultra-fast charging stations (with a capacity of more than 50 kW). The government has set itself a target of 400,000 EV charging points on its road network by 2030. Currently, there are 110,000 charging points on its public network, which is more than Germany and second only (in Europe) to the Netherlands.
Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, the Malaysian Minister for Investment, Trade, and Industry has been advocating for FDI into the country to build out its high-tech industries, such as semiconductors and EVs. The country is positioning itself as a manufacturing hub and wants to leverage its existing economic ties to attract FDI. The country had outlined plans, earlier this year, that focussed on boosting its electronics, chemicals and EVs sectors, which would require $20bn in investment over 7 years. Malaysia has taken inspiration from Vietnam and India, which have been successful in positioning themselves as EV/Tech hubs in Asia, besides China.
VW has announced it will be cutting c2,000 jobs alongside further delaying its (new) 1.2 software platform. This software was meant to debut in the upcoming Porsche and Audi EVs however this has been delayed by 16-18 weeks. Furthermore, the 2.0 software platform is being completely overhauled and redeveloped. This is a concerning development, as VW has persistently had issues with its EV software, which would indicate mismanagement by project leaders, a lack of strategic clarity and a cultural issue which impedes the creativity of software design. What compounds the issue is that VW announced, in 2020, that it was planning to compete with Tesla’s software however Tesla has always thought of its EVs as a tech/software product first and a (electric) vehicle as second, whereas traditional OEMs view it the other way round. There needs to be a shift and adoption of new tech-age practices incorporated into traditional automotive OEM ideology if they are to catch up to Tesla. We believe that VW will figure it out however this illustrates the pain points all traditional OEMs are feeling, to varying degrees.
Ford has announced it is ordering 25% more of Tesla’s Superchargers to add to its EV charging network, increasing its order from 12,000 to 15,000 Superchargers. This announcement comes at an interesting time, as it has been focussing on resolving the UAW union situation alongside announcing an underwhelming Q3 earnings preview which highlighted pricing pressure and slowing demand for the company's EVs.
Bp Pulse has announced it has ordered c$100m worth of Tesla Ultra-Fast Chargers to roll out in the USA. This is a significant deal as it is the first deployment of Tesla’s ultra-fast chargers on an independent network, thus potentially making it a revenue stream for Tesla going forward. The first tranche of the newly ordered chargers will begin to be rolled out and operational from 2024 onwards. The chargers will be compatible with both North American Charging Standard and Combined Charging System connectors. This allows all EV owners to use the Tesla chargers on the Bp Pulse’s network, regardless of whether they use CCS or NACS ports. Bear in mind that Bp Pulse has announced it is planning to invest $1bn in charging infrastructure, in America, by 2030. Bp Pulse has already installed c27,000 charge points in America so far and aims to hit 100,000 by 2030.
SWK Mobil Krefeld, a German-based local transport company, has placed an order for 10 Urbino 12 hydrogen buses from Solaris. The first 3 are pencilled in to be delivered by Q4 2024 to Krefeld (West Germany) while the remaining 9 hydrogen buses will be delivered by H1 2025. These hydrogen buses will have a central electric motor with a power output of 160kW alongside Solaris high-power batteries, which also serve as extra electric energy storage.
Stellantis has announced it will be acquiring a c21% stake in Leapmotor (a Chinese EV OEM) by investing $1.6bn in the EV company. This is Stellantis’ latest attempt to gain market share in China, which is the biggest EV market in the world. This investment appears to benefit both parties as Stellantis hopes this will help it make inroads in China whilst Leapmotor have access to regions outside of China to sell its EVs. The 2 companies will form a strategic global JV so Leapmotor can sell its EVs outside of China, as the Stellantis CEO, Mr Tavares, announced he intends to bring Leapmotor EVs into Europe within 2 years. This deal comes at an interesting time, as the EU is investigating Chinese EV OEMs over benefiting from excessive state subsidies thus resulting in prices being (potentially) artificially low. While local Chinese EV OEMs are facing stiff competition from each other, being able to sell EVs in new regions will help Leapmotor diversify its revenues and increase its chances of differentiating itself from local competitors. Bear in mind, this JV is not a guaranteed home run, as Stellantis had to dissolve its JV with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) last year as it found it difficult selling its Jeeps due to intense local competition. However, we remain optimistic that the Stellantis and Leapmotor JV will be a success, as Leapmotor is known for its advanced EV technology, AI technology and strong R&D capabilities alongside having a very experienced executive team. While Leapmotor will leverage Stellantis’ extensive assets and commercial know-how around the globe.