Mr Musk has come out asking for trade barriers to be implemented against Chinese EV OEMs. This stems from his fear that Chinese OEMs will gain a dominant EV (European) market share, as they are ahead of the majority of their European peers. Let’s not forget that BYD (for the first ever) overtook Tesla for BEV sales in Q4 23. Mr Musk ignited a price war in 2023 to increase sales and it did work (to an extent) which led to many other EV OEMs following suit however this put pressure on their margins. The EU launched an anti-subsidy probe last year and intends to visit Chinese EV OEM sites to investigate. Industry conjecture indicates that there is a high likelihood that a tariff (of some sort) will be levied on Chinese EVs.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has placed an order for 180 electric zero-emission buses with Blue Bird (an American bus manufacturer). This is the largest order ever placed by LAUSD and the first tranche of this order is pencilled in to be delivered by Q4 24. Interestingly, 150 of these buses will be All American and 30 will be the Vision model electric buses however all 180 buses will have vehicle-to-grid-capability (V2G). There are a couple of V2G projects in that region and the theory behind this strategy is that the LAUSD will be able to sell excess energy stored, in the bus batteries, to electric companies for a profit.
GM and Honda have begun production at Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM) thus making it the first instance of large-scale fuel cell manufacturing by a JV. The FCSM is a material step forward in an effort to commercialise hydrogen fuel systems and is located in Michigan. Interestingly the FCSM facility uses innovative methods such as automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly resulting in better quality and higher manufacturing productivity.
Stoke-on-Trent has unveiled plans to revamp its public transport sector by introducing 8 new routes. The city council is encouraging bus operators to make bids for these contracts, as companies have until midnight on the 28th of February to submit their bids. This region has cut its bus services by 50% since 2013-14 (until 2023). However, data was released last year that showed more than 60% of households do not have use of a car in that region, thus public transport is needed, in part, to help remedy this situation.
CATL, the world's largest maker of batteries for EVs, and Didi, a ride-hailing company, have announced a joint venture (JV) over battery swapping. This JV is expected to provide battery-swapping services for new energy vehicles for the ride-hailing market. Both companies intend to leverage their considerable technical advantages and operational capabilities for this endeavour. CATL has also formed a strategic partnership with Orange Energy (Didi’s energy service provider) to work together on energy storage and charging.
LG Energy Solution has announced it will supply Isuzu Motors (a Japanese automobile manufacturer) with EV batteries, in a deal worth c$748m. This aligns with Isuzu’s recent announcements of ramping up production of its zero-emission vehicles, such as pickup trucks and N-series light trucks. Reportedly this deal will run until the end of 2026 however it would not be surprising if this deal gets extended.
TMB, a publicly owned transport company in Barcelona, has announced it has placed an order to buy 38 fuel-cell vehicles, for €23.4m, from Solaris (a Polish manufacturer). Thus, making Barcelona the largest hydrogen bus operator in Spain. Barcelona has quietly been ramping up its zero-emission vehicles, as it already has 8 hydrogen buses and 232 electric buses. Furthermore, it has surpassed its target of having 44 hydrogen buses by the end of 2025. However, it lags other European cities such as Bologna, which has ordered 127 hydrogen buses and Cologne (European leader) which will have 160 hydrogen buses by the end of 2024. The green hydrogen for these Spanish buses will be supplied by Iberdrola’s Barcelona Green Hydrogen Plant.
Mr Fu Cong, the Chinese ambassador to the EU, has announced that the EU anti-subsidy probe investigating Chinese EV OEMs is unfair.This probe is investigating whether to impose punitive tariffs to protect EU (EV) OEMs against cheaper Chinese EV imports that are (supposedly) benefiting from state subsidies. Mr Cong stated that China could open up multiple probes on EU countries if it used the same logic as the EU (probe). However, Mr Cong did say that China is currently cooperating with the probe to avoid escalating the situation between the 2 regions.
BluSmart, an-Indian based EV ride-hailing and charging provider, has announced it will be receiving up to $25m in investment from responsibility. This capital will be used to expand its EV charging infrastructure across India. Bear in mind that BluSmart currently operates 6,000 EVs and has completed over 11m all-electric trips, having covered 360m all-electric kilometres, saving c26,000 metric tons of CO2 since inception.
Monta, a Danish EV charging management software company, has announced it has raised €80m in a Series B funding round. This round was led by Energize Capital with investors such as Headline, byFounders, AENU, Creandum, GreenPoint Partners and Quantum Light also participating. The startup intends to deploy significant capital to increase its market share in the UK EV charging space. It aims to do this by increasing its connected charge points in the UK and expanding its UK annual recurring revenue by 130%.