Sfeva http://sfeva.org/ Fri, 20 May 2022 22:45:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sfeva.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sfeva-icon-150x150.png Sfeva http://sfeva.org/ 32 32 S&P 500 Closes Just Above Bear Market: Live Updates https://sfeva.org/sp-500-closes-just-above-bear-market-live-updates/ Fri, 20 May 2022 22:45:52 +0000 https://sfeva.org/sp-500-closes-just-above-bear-market-live-updates/ Investors are reassessing the premise that justified Tesla’s astronomical stock price and made its founder, Elon Musk, the richest person in the world.

Tesla’s $1 trillion valuation only made sense if investors believed the electric car company was on track to dominate the auto industry the way Apple rules smartphones or Amazon orders online retail.

But Tesla shares are down more than 40% since April 4 — a much steeper drop than the broader market, vaporizing more than $400 billion in market value. And the fall drew attention to the risks the company faces. These include growing competition, a shortage of new products, lawsuits accusing the company of racial discrimination and major production problems at Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which it uses to supply Asia and Europe.

Mr. Musk did not help the stock price by turning his offer to buy Twitter into a financial soap opera. His antics reinforced the perception that Tesla doesn’t have an independent board that could stop him from doing things that could harm the company’s business and brand.

“From a good corporate governance perspective, Tesla has a lot of red flags,” said Andrew Poreda, senior analyst specializing in socially responsible investing at Sage Advisory Services, an investment firm in Austin, in Texas. “There are almost no checks and balances.”

Even longtime Tesla optimists have their doubts. Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, is one of Tesla’s strongest supporters on Wall Street. But on Thursday, Wedbush lowered its target price for Tesla — the company’s estimate of the stock’s fair market value based on future earnings — to $1,000 from $1,400. Mr Ives cited Tesla’s problems in China, where shutdowns have strangled the supply of crucial parts and materials and demand for cars.

“There is a new reality for Tesla in China, and the market is reassessing the risks,” Mr. Ives said.

Production issues in China have undermined one of the justifications for making Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker. Tesla vehicles have been a hit with Chinese buyers, fueling hopes of supercharged growth in the world’s biggest auto market. Tesla’s market share in China topped 2.5% in the first quarter of 2022, closing in on luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

But China’s supply chain headaches are being compounded by falling consumer demand, said Michael Dunne, chief executive of ZoZoGo, which advises companies on the electric car market.

Chinese consumers “are pissed off, they’re worried about the future,” Dunne said. “It’s a double whammy that Tesla faces in China.”

Tesla shares are reacting in part to the same forces rocking stock markets around the world: the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, the threat of recession, supply chain chaos and soaring coronavirus. ‘inflation. But Tesla shares have fallen far more than other Silicon Valley giants like Apple or Alphabet, the company that owns Google.

Tesla accounted for three-quarters of electric cars sold in the United States last year. The company is several years ahead of its competitors in battery and software technology. But two models — the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y sport utility vehicle — accounted for 95% of Tesla’s sales. Its next consumer vehicle, a pickup truck, has been repeatedly delayed and isn’t expected until next year at the earliest.

It’s an axiom in the automotive industry that new models drive sales. And competition from Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen is growing, giving drivers a lot more choice.

Jesse Toprak, an auto industry veteran who is a chief analyst at Autonomy, a company that offers electric cars by subscription, said Tesla’s market share will fall below 40% by the end of 2023. , although its sales will continue to grow as the overall market expands.

“They’ll have a smaller slice of a bigger pot,” Toprak said. “But their virtual monopoly on U.S. EV sales will slowly diminish.”

Tesla already faces stiff competition in Europe, where electric vehicles account for 13% of new car sales. This foreshadows what could happen in the United States, where battery car sales are just starting to take off. Volkswagen, which has invested heavily in electric vehicles, sold 56,000 battery cars in Western Europe in the first three months of the year, second only to Tesla, which sold 58,000, according to figures compiled by Schmidt Automotive Research in Berlin.

Tesla’s ability to serve the European market will improve as a new factory near Berlin ramps up production. In the United States and elsewhere, the company has benefited from fanatically loyal buyers who regard Mr. Musk as a visionary and are willing to wait months or years for the company’s cars.

But as electric cars grow in popularity due to soaring gas prices, the next wave of customers may not be as tolerant or as enamored of Mr. Musk. “The next generation of buyers will be average Joes who buy electric vehicles because it makes financial sense to them,” Toprak said. “Tesla’s branding will be less useful.”

Credit…Aly Song/Reuters

Tesla’s image is under pressure in ways that could hurt the automaker among the environmentally conscious and politically liberal customers who have long been its biggest customer base. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing Tesla, accusing it of allowing racial discrimination and harassment to thrive at its factory in Fremont, Calif., near San Francisco. Tesla is contesting the lawsuit.

In another blow, the S&P 500 ESG Index, a list of companies that meet certain environmental, social and governance standards, ejected Tesla last month. S&P said it was troubled by allegations of racial discrimination and poor working conditions at the company’s Fremont plant.

Mr Musk responded to S&P’s decision by writing on Twitter that the movement to apply environmental, social and governance standards to corporations was a “scam” that “has been weaponized by fake social justice warriors”.

Mr Musk followed that post on Twitter saying he was switching allegiance to the Democratic Party, which he said had ‘become the party of division and hate’, and that he would now vote Republicans . Politically charged statements like these are sure to alienate some car buyers.

“The more political it becomes, the more it might start to sway buyers,” said Carla Bailo, managing director of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Mr. Musk and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

Another risk is management turnover. Mr Musk is a notoriously demanding boss who has warned Twitter employees that “work ethic expectations would be extreme” if he took over the social media platform.

The turnover at Tesla is obvious. Many of its former senior executives are prominent in the San Francisco Bay Area start-up scene. Examples include Celina Mikolajczak, head of manufacturing at fledgling battery maker QuantumScape, who previously helped develop batteries at Tesla, and Gene Berdichevsky, another former Tesla battery developer who is managing director of Sila Nanotechnologies. Sila announced this week that it will supply materials for advanced batteries to Mercedes-Benz.

Lucid, maker of the only electric model to beat Tesla in Environmental Protection Agency tests of how far an electric car can travel on a full charge, was founded by Peter Rawlinson, a former top Tesla engineer until ’til he falls out with Mr. Musk. Lucid’s headquarters are in Newark, California, a short drive from Tesla’s Fremont factory.

Fans of Mr Musk say he helped promote zero-emission vehicles by sowing talent in the industry. But critics see a risk that Tesla will never develop a stable echelon of experienced managers capable of leading the company if anything ever happens to Mr. Musk.

“You can’t treat your workers badly in a tight labor market like ours,” said Mr. Poreda of Sage Advisory. “A brilliant man can’t realize his vision without a lot of really smart people.”

Amid this litany of issues and risks, Mr. Musk has spent time acquiring Twitter, although he lately seems to have doubts about the deal. The foray into social media has some investors wondering why the boss is spending so much time writing missives on Twitter while the world is burning.

“There’s just a feeling,” said Mr. Ives of Wedbush, “that the pilot of the plane is watching a Netflix show while you’re going through a huge thunderstorm.”

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Electric vehicles are leading the charge for electrification https://sfeva.org/electric-vehicles-are-leading-the-charge-for-electrification/ Fri, 20 May 2022 13:10:35 +0000 https://sfeva.org/electric-vehicles-are-leading-the-charge-for-electrification/

Several groups are studying the impact of electrification on the US electrical system, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado and its research partners, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and national laboratories such as Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge. NREL, as part of its study on the future of electrification, used what it calls “multiple analytical tools and models to develop and evaluate electrification scenarios designed to quantify the energy, economic and potential environmental impacts on the U.S. electrical system and the broader economy.

Among the research by analysts and energy companies is the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on electricity demand and the grid. Electric vehicles are part of a global push towards electrification, moving away from fossil fuels as the transport sector seeks to decarbonise. In fact, EPRI has a fleet electric vehicle infrastructure initiative, as well as an electric transportation program that examines the impacts of electric vehicles on the grid.

Companies involved in the design and manufacture of electric vehicle charging systems are also part of this research, seeking better charging methods for vehicle owners to enable cost savings and more efficient use of electricity. . Joseph Vellone, head of North America for ev.energy, a company developing what it calls “a smart, cloud-based platform that automatically optimizes electric vehicle charging, for greener, cheaper charging “, spoke with POWER about his company’s work, the place of electric vehicles in electrification, and the importance of reducing carbon emissions from transportation.

POWER: What is the main, or best, argument for electrification?

Vellon: Electrification is the only way to reach our net zero goal and fight climate change. Electrifying our infrastructure and powering it with 100% renewable energy provides the United States with a unique opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure in a robust, scalable, and emissions-free way.

Joseph Vellone

Electric vehicles are a low hanging fruit on our path to net zero: we’ve found a way to produce them at scale, we’re already on track to build robust charging networks, and companies like ev .energy provide that Electric vehicle charging can be aligned with renewable energy generation to provide truly carbon-free charging.

POWER: Is the electrification trend good for consumers? Studies have shown that it is less expensive to heat with natural gas and therefore heating bills for homes (and businesses) would increase. Is the economic argument valid?

Vellon: As we are still in the early days of electrification, consumers are seeing higher costs which will naturally decrease over time as we scale the country’s all-electric infrastructure.

However, it is important to note that consumers benefit from lower costs in certain electrical segments. For example, BloombergNEF and ev.energy published research last year that found electric vehicle drivers in California are already saving more than $1,000 a year by smartly charging their vehicle compared to the equivalent of refueling. fuel at a service station.

Want to know more about electrification? Read “Electrification ignites energy future debate” in the April 2022 issue of POWER. Also check out this POWER interview, with a panel discussion on electrification moderated by several energy experts.

POWER: Some energy analysts have expressed concern about the impact of increased electrification (and greater demand for electricity) on the power grid. Should utilities and others be concerned about increased demand on already strained transmission and distribution infrastructure?

Vellon: Utilities absolutely need to be concerned about the impact of electrification on the power grid. The typical EV alone consumes about as much electricity as an average US household, so we envision a potential doubling of residential electricity demand with the same poles and wires that were built over 50 years ago.

However, electric vehicles need not become a liability to the power grid; indeed, when their load is intelligently managed, they can become a network asset. The good news is that BloombergNEF and ev.energy analyzed over a million charging sessions on the ev.energy platform and found that most light EVs stay plugged in for 12-14 hours at a time, but only require 1-3 hours. charge per session to meet the driver’s battery needs. That means there’s huge flexibility in how we charge EVs, much like when you plug in your smartphone before you go to bed and you (hopefully) have an 8 hour window for the recharge.

Your charging may be delayed, slowed, or paused to meet network demands, and you probably won’t notice it while you’re sleeping, as long as it’s 100% charged by the time your alarm goes off. This concept is called “smart charging” and ev.energy has already proven its benefits with more than 50,000 EVs. We partner with major utilities like Southern California Edison and Avangrid to intelligently manage their customers’ EV charging in the background while ensuring the vehicle is charged when the driver needs it.

In addition to helping maintain grid balance, EV drivers also benefit from the financial incentives these utilities pay their customers for their flexibility, which can range from a 50% discount on the price of their electricity at fixed monthly incentives of up to $50 per month. . In states like Texas, ev.energy is working directly with grid operator ERCOT to aggregate EVs into a virtual power plant that can be turned on or off based on grid conditions. This can help prevent blackouts like the one that hit Texas in February 2021.

POWER: Are some methods of electrification, for example in the transport sector, more important than others?

Vellon: The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, so I would argue that electrifying and decarbonizing transportation should be our top priority in the journey to net zero.

POWER: To what extent should energy efficiency be part of the electrification strategy?

Vellon: Energy efficiency must absolutely be part of this country’s electrification strategy. It is not enough to electrify everything; we also need to consume less electricity. Smart thermostats and higher LEED standards are two proven ways to achieve this.

However, some sectors are less favorable to energy efficiency, and transport is one of them. Planes, trains and automobiles need to keep rolling to keep our economy going, and while there are some marginal improvements to be made to the fuel efficiency of these vehicles, the biggest improvement will come from electrifying them and of their diet with carbon-free energy. .

Darrell Supervisor is associate editor of POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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NADDC is working out long term payment plans with CBN for Nigerians wishing to own a car https://sfeva.org/naddc-is-working-out-long-term-payment-plans-with-cbn-for-nigerians-wishing-to-own-a-car/ Thu, 19 May 2022 17:55:46 +0000 https://sfeva.org/naddc-is-working-out-long-term-payment-plans-with-cbn-for-nigerians-wishing-to-own-a-car/

The NADDC boss said the discussion with the CBN was aimed at working out a financing plan for Nigerians to own cars by spreading the payments over six years

By Uzor Odigbo

The National Automobile Design and Development Council has entered into discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to design viable auto finance solutions to make auto purchases affordable for Nigerians, revealed Jelani Aliyu, Managing Director of NADDC .

Aliyu gave the hint during a presentation at the 9th Annual Transport Conference organized by Transport Day Newspapers, on the theme: “Nigeria’s Transportation For Development; Sector Achievements, Prospects and Challenges” held in Abuja.

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“We had a meeting with the CBN yesterday on auto finance. We want to find a solution that would allow Nigerians to buy new vehicles and pay over a period of six years,” he said.

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The NADDC boss said the move was part of the agency’s efforts to promote and enhance value addition in the transport and automotive sector of the economy by creating a conducive business climate to further enhance investment flows and industrialization.

Aliyu said the NADDC is moving quickly towards a carbon-free transport system in Nigeria with the aim of developing and promoting advanced transport technology in the automotive industry.

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“This is because vehicle electrification is inevitable, it is the future of the automotive industry globally and we are working diligently to achieve its full and sustainable adoption in Nigeria.

“It is undeniable that a poor vehicle maintenance culture in the transport sector contributes enormously to environmental pollution. The use of electric vehicles with advanced technology will not only reduce these excesses, but will also lead to greater productivity in the industry.

“Currently, one of our key areas of focus is to scale up the production of locally applicable electric vehicles, to enable Nigeria to meet its Paris Agreement target and net zero commitment by 2060, all two on reducing harmful gas emissions from vehicles,” the NADDC boss said. mentioned.

He further stated that the NADDC has recently set up an Electric Vehicle Development Plan Technical Committee aimed at developing a comprehensive development plan for vehicle electrification in Nigeria, with a view to achieving production. large-scale local of several applicable electric vehicle brands that would be in phase. with the economic structure of the country and be supported by the establishment of an efficient charging infrastructure ecosystem.

According to the NADDC boss, the plan would also ensure that electric vehicles made in Nigeria meet global standards and compete favorably in the global market.

“As a pilot project, NADDC has established 100% solar electric vehicle charging stations at Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, University of Lagos and University of Nigeria Nsukka and also discussed with d other stakeholders for collaboration in establishing more charging infrastructure across the country.

“In conclusion, NADDC is committed to establishing and supporting the development of programs that will assist the Nigerian transport sector. I therefore urge all stakeholders to start thinking about a paradigm shift from conventional vehicles to the carbon-free transport system and look into the Council’s vehicle electrification plans to achieve cleaner air in Nigeria,” he added.

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Are electric cars really better for the planet? https://sfeva.org/are-electric-cars-really-better-for-the-planet/ Wed, 18 May 2022 17:43:59 +0000 https://sfeva.org/are-electric-cars-really-better-for-the-planet/

Electric cars have been on the rise in recent years. More and more people are changing to reduce their emissions and be more environmentally friendly. As electric vehicles become available with longer ranges, even EV skeptics are turning to electric.

Governments around the world are encouraging drivers to make the switch. Government grants are available to install electric car charging stations at home. In the UK, electric cars are exempt from road tax. Additionally, in 2030 the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK in a bid to achieve net zero emissions to slow the effects of global warming.

But are electric cars really better for the planet? A lot of people seem to think so, and with good reason. Electric vehicles are not directly powered by fossil fuels, emitting zero tailpipe emissions. But are they really as ecological as we think? To understand the true impact of electric cars on the environment, we need to look at each stage of the electric vehicle life cycle.

The environmental impact of electric car production

Most of the environmental impact of an electric vehicle comes from its production. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) report, manufacturing emissions from electric cars are much higher than those from fuel-powered vehicles. Another study found that emissions from electric vehicle production were around 60% higher than traditional vehicle production.

So why does EV production have higher manufacturing emissions? Much of it comes down to the fact that electric vehicles are still an emerging market. This is largely due to the materials used in electric vehicles and the fact that they require more energy to produce. For example, batteries for electric vehicles require raw materials like lithium and cobalt to be mined, which involves a lot of energy.

In addition to the raw material supply, the production of the batteries themselves is relatively complex and requires a lot of energy. Currently, most electric vehicle batteries are made in China, Japan and South Korea, which primarily use carbon to create electricity to run manufacturing plants.

The environmental impact of driving an electric car

Electric vehicles are often hailed as being zero emissions. You’ve probably heard them described as such, but it’s essential to understand what the term means. When an electric car is on the road, it does not directly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions from exhaust gases.

But although there are no direct emissions from driving, electric cars require regular charging, which uses some energy from fossil fuels. As a result, they have had an impact on the power generation industry. So, although electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, they are not entirely emission-free.

The good news is that electric cars can be emissions-free. With the electricity sector becoming cleaner and using more renewable energy sources, charging your electric vehicle will end up costing the environment much less. With zero tailpipe emissions, local environments will benefit from cleaner air and better quality.

The environmental impact of phasing out electric cars

Even with production and indirect driving emissions, electric cars have a lot to offer when it comes to environmental friendliness and economy. Plus, with ever-increasing technology, most estimates show that they should last you a long time. Estimates show that the average life of an electric car is around 150,000 miles. Depending on how far you drive each year, an electric vehicle can last you over 20 years.

Most EV batteries will begin to lose capacity at around 150,000 miles. As long as they continue to work, they will be less efficient and will need to be recharged more regularly. Most EV drivers will replace the battery or car at this point. This is where many EV reviewers claim there is a problem.

Currently, there is no standard procedure for the disposal or recycling of EV batteries. Since batteries are made of heavy metals and potentially harmful materials, there are concerns about their effect on the environment.

But that doesn’t seem to be a problem for manufacturers and could be an environmental reward. Most automakers focus on recycling as many raw materials as possible, with Volkswagen planning to reuse 95% of raw materials. By recycling materials, there will be much less reliance on newly mined materials, which will significantly reduce the environmental impact of production.

So, are electric cars really better for the environment?

Yes, electric cars are definitely better for the environment. They produce no direct emissions, making them much cleaner than traditional petrol or diesel cars. Additionally, some of their electricity is generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

But there is still plenty of room for improvement. Since the market for electric vehicles is relatively new, the infrastructure is still under development and is currently quite resource-intensive. But as this improves and manufacturers focus on recycling, the process will become much more efficient.

At the same time, countries around the world are focusing on renewable energy. The UK plans to reduce its emissions from electricity generation by 90%. In China, where the production of batteries for electric vehicles is intense, there are plans to increase the use of renewable energy by 2025.

Electric vehicles are therefore not perfect for the environment, but they are becoming greener every year. They are much cheaper to operate and have become more affordable, especially with car financing and leasing offers. And in less than ten years, all new cars will be electric, so why wait?

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Twitter loses three more senior employees before Musk takeover | Social Media News https://sfeva.org/twitter-loses-three-more-senior-employees-before-musk-takeover-social-media-news/ Tue, 17 May 2022 20:41:02 +0000 https://sfeva.org/twitter-loses-three-more-senior-employees-before-musk-takeover-social-media-news/

All three chose to come out on their own, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg News.

By Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. is losing three more senior employees, including two vice presidents, reflecting uncertainty within the social media company as employees await the closing of the $44 billion acquisition of Elon Musk.

Ilya Brown, vice president of product management; Katrina Lane, vice president of the Twitter service; and Max Schmeiser, head of data science, are all leaving the company, according to internal memos described to Bloomberg. All three chose to go out on their own, according to the memos.

A Twitter spokeswoman confirmed the executives’ departures.

Less than a week ago, Twitter shook up its product organization, including the firing of two senior product executives by chief executive Parag Agrawal. Twitter also instituted budget cuts and implemented a hiring freeze last week, and while the company said it was not planning any layoffs, Agrawal told employees in an email: “Leaders will continue to make changes to their organizations to improve efficiency as needed.”

Twitter employees are in a state of uncertainty as the San Francisco-based company waits for Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla Inc., to finalize his deal to take the social network private for $54.20 a share. In town hall meetings over the past month, Twitter executives have faced questions about stock compensation and job security. During a presentation, management tried to motivate employees by reminding them why they should bother to show up for work.

Musk’s provocative tweets and public comments have complicated matters. He criticized Twitter executives and now says the company may be misleading the public about the number of bot and spam accounts included in Twitter’s calculation for total users.

Musk said the deal is “on hold” until he gets more information. Twitter said it was committed to completing the sale. The shares, which had fallen for seven straight trading days, rose 2.9% to $38.47 by late afternoon New York time on Tuesday. That’s still well below the offer price, indicating investors’ skepticism that the deal will go through.

The Twitter spokeswoman said of the departing employees, “We are grateful for all of their hard work and leadership,” according to her emailed statement. “We continue to focus on providing the best experience for Twitter users.”

(Updates with Twitter shares in the seventh paragraph.)

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Sila’s high-efficiency battery anode to power Mercedes-Benz’s electric SUV https://sfeva.org/silas-high-efficiency-battery-anode-to-power-mercedes-benzs-electric-suv/ Tue, 17 May 2022 17:22:08 +0000 https://sfeva.org/silas-high-efficiency-battery-anode-to-power-mercedes-benzs-electric-suv/

Mercedes-Benz plans to use a high-efficiency battery anode in a new electric SUV to be supplied by Sila, an upstart battery materials company led by an early Tesla engineer who says its new technology generation increases energy density and possibly can lower the cost of lithium-ion packs.

The luxury car company, which initially invested in Sila in 2019, plans to be the first automotive customer for Sila’s material, which will enter battery-powered Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUVs by around 2025. The new silicon-based anode offers up to 40 percent improvement in energy density and improves range per charge, Mercedes said. The companies did not provide financial details of the supply agreement.

“Sila has come a long way since we established our strategic partnership in 2019,” Mercedes-Benz Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer said in a statement. “Offering such high energy density is a real game-changer and allows us to think in completely new directions when developing future electric cars.”

The news comes after Alameda, Calif.-based Sila said this month it was building a plant in Moses Lake, Wash., to manufacture its battery anodes. The plant will produce enough anode material for the batteries of half a million electric vehicles per year in its first phase. Over time, the plant, which is due to begin operations in 2024, could expand to produce enough of its material for the batteries of millions of electric vehicles.

The anodes are one of the four main elements of a battery, along with the cathode, the separator material and the electrolyte. The active material with which it is covered, usually graphite, allows the electric current to pass through the external circuit and also allows the absorption of lithium ions from the cathode.

“We are focused on delivering materials that are cost-effective and capable of delivering on the promise of electric vehicles, working to ensure longer-range energy, improved charging times and lower battery cost per kWh,” said Sila co-founder and CEO Gene. Berdichevsky.

Berdichevsky was Tesla’s seventh employee, hired in 2004 as a lead battery engineer for the Roadster, the company’s first attempt at an electric car. At the time of his release, he was more interested in finding new ways to make the lithium-ion batteries he was working with much cheaper and more efficient. He co-founded Sila in 2011 and has raised $925 million over the past decade, including around $600 million in early 2021, to develop his silicon-based technology and fund the first phase of the Washington plant. .

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Rising credit costs, transaction prices slamming auto affordability, electric vehicle adoption https://sfeva.org/rising-credit-costs-transaction-prices-slamming-auto-affordability-electric-vehicle-adoption/ Tue, 17 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/rising-credit-costs-transaction-prices-slamming-auto-affordability-electric-vehicle-adoption/

Monthly car loan repayments hit historic highs, transaction prices continue to climb and sticker prices lose relevance as car buyers‘ wallets are ravaged by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the low inventories, rising inflation and interest rates. These conditions are holding back overall auto sales, but especially the adoption of electric vehicles.

It’s not all bad news. Exchanges bring lucrative payouts to dealers desperate for anything to sell, especially high-demand late-model pickup trucks and SUVs.

On the credit side, the consumer burden shows no signs of abating. As per Q1 2022 TransUnion

TRU
Credit Industry Outlook Report released last week the average balance of new auto loans reached $28,415 in the first quarter of this year. This is a 15.2% year-over-year increase. “This pushed the average monthly payment for vehicle purchases (including new and used vehicles) to $458, an increase of about $100 over a four-year period,” the report said.

“We’re definitely seeing this trend of increasing average monthly payments. In the first quarter of 2022, that number increased to $556 on average,” Satyan Merchant, senior vice president and automotive business leader at TransUnion told Reuters. Forbes.com “For new vehicle financing, the average was $651. Used, $490. Both all-time highs.”

Ironically, annual percentage rates (APRs) on car loans are actually falling according to Merchant who noted that they have plateaued with an average of 4% for a new car loan and 8% for financing. of a used car, both of which are below APRs in 2018 and 2019. Payments, however, are inflated by consumer preferences for expensive pickup trucks and SUVs, Merchant said.

He expects APRs to head north again after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a point to help curb inflation.

Consumers’ affluent tastes combined with their willingness to pay what it takes to land the vehicle of their choice has led to a break with buyers who traditionally negotiate to pay below list price.

“For nearly a year now, we’ve seen new vehicles trading above suggested retail prices,” said Rebecca Rydzewski, head of economic and industry news research for Cox Automotive in a statement. recent report. “High prices, lack of inventory, few incentives – the market is changing, pushing many potential buyers away and forcing others to order from future stock and wait. We expect the affordability of new vehicles will be a challenge for the foreseeable future.”

Indeed, according to Cox Automotive’s Kelly Blue Book unit, average transaction prices hit $46,526 in April, as “car buyers paid an average of $862 more than the list price.”

Just as automakers are producing electric vehicles in a wider variety of body styles, driving increased consumer interest, those on a budget may have to hang on to their commutes a little longer. essence.

“The issue here is one of supply and demand and the fact that these cars are more expensive to produce, mainly because of the cost of batteries,” said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst at subscription provider EV. . Autonomy.The long-term outlook is that prices will fall and premiums will start to erode, but that will take several years.

For those willing to at least try switching to an EV, Autonomy offers Tesla subscriptions

TSLA
Model 3. After a minimum of three months, subscriptions are monthly. Customers can choose between two payment plans: either $4,900 down payment and $490 per month, or $990 down payment and monthly payments of $990.

Toprak says it’s a good plan for those who aren’t sure they’re ready to make the switch, calling an EV subscription “an extended test drive.”

But he is convinced of the resistance to the adoption of electric vehicles, especially by those who drive work vehicles, by the introduction of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, going so far as to call it “the most significant introduction of a vehicle since the Model T.”

His reasoning? Appealing to the working class customer will open up a massive new market ready to pay the EV premium, if, “we can bring that segment into the EV fold and they’re starting to see this thing is amazing, don’t have to spend 800 $ per month in gasoline, but also my torque is better, my performance is better.

Currently, Autonomy only operates in California, but Toprak says the company is expanding its service area and also plans to expand its electric vehicle offerings.

The good news for consumers faced with rising prices and credit costs is that the car or truck you want to trade in can be worth a treasure.

According to a report published this week on the online car market Cars.comdealers with too many empty spaces in their lots pay bounties for cars and trucks to fill them.

“An overwhelming 99% of dealers surveyed said they pay more for trade-ins now than they did two years ago; nearly 60% estimate an increase in payment between 11% and 20%, and more than one in three dealers say they have paid more than 20% more than two years ago,” the Cars.com survey revealed. .

That extra cash may provide just enough zero to rock a new set of wheels, maybe even one that runs on batteries.

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Israeli electric vehicle group REE to build $15m UK factory https://sfeva.org/israeli-electric-vehicle-group-ree-to-build-15m-uk-factory/ Mon, 16 May 2022 16:20:52 +0000 https://sfeva.org/israeli-electric-vehicle-group-ree-to-build-15m-uk-factory/

Israeli electric vehicle start-up REE will open a factory in the UK and plans to double its workforce in the country, in one of the first manufacturing investments from the new wave of makers.

Its $15million production plant in Coventry will be heavily automated with few direct jobs, but the group expects its total UK workforce to drop from 150 to around 300.

The company, founded by Daniel Barel in 2013, specializes in integrating electric motors and technology into bespoke “wedges” that can be linked together to form the base or platform of a vehicle.

It has partnerships with vehicle builders, including Toyota Hino’s truck arm, Magna Steyr in Austria and JB Poindexter in the United States, who will take the finished bases and add vehicle bodies to ship to customers such as delivery groups.

The investment is a boon to UK hopes of attracting a new wave of electric vehicle specialists as the industry shifts to battery-powered models.

Nissan, Stellantis and Ford have invested in electric models or components in the UK, but so far few electric vehicle start-ups have opened production centers in the UK. Rimac, a Croatian start-up, and Polestar have both opened research or engineering facilities in the UK.

REE believes its approach allows it to meet the needs of electric vehicles of various sizes without the need to install expensive manufacturing equipment that traditional automakers rely on.

“We don’t manufacture anything,” Barel told the Financial Times, with the company ordering batteries, brakes and other components from existing suppliers.

REE’s facility in Coventry will cost $15million to install and will have almost no staff, relying on robotics to assemble up to 40,000 of its ‘corners’ – enough for 10,000 vehicles – a year . The site will be the first in the world for the company, which plans to open a factory in the United States twice as large next year.

“The beauty is that it’s built like a Lego factory, you can add more capacity as you wish, instead of shipping around the world from a single gigaplant,” Barel said.

The company also has an engineering base in Nuneaton, near Coventry.

He added that some automakers closing sites after the Brexit vote in 2016, such as Ford or Honda, made it easier for the company to hire engineers.

“People have worked for Honda, JLR, Lotus, Aston and others which has made it much easier for us to exploit Brexit,” Barel said. “I’m not saying we couldn’t have done it without Brexit, but competing for resources [would have been much harder].”

While it will export to Europe, the group also plans to open a continental site if there is customer demand. “I don’t see any challenges in terms of exporting to Europe,” Barel added.

REE received £41.2million from the UK government-backed Advanced Propulsion Center last summer to help design its specialist corner technology.

While the technology was developed in Israel, Barel said the engineering was centered on the UK, which is currently its largest global site.

The group went public through a special-purpose acquisition company last year, becoming one of nearly two dozen electric vehicle companies to hit the markets in the past two years.

It has no revenue yet and posted a net loss of $505 million last year.

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Tesla car owners have mined up to $800 a month in crypto assets with their hacked cars https://sfeva.org/tesla-car-owners-have-mined-up-to-800-a-month-in-crypto-assets-with-their-hacked-cars/ Mon, 16 May 2022 05:49:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/tesla-car-owners-have-mined-up-to-800-a-month-in-crypto-assets-with-their-hacked-cars/ Two Tesla car owners revealed in an interview with cnbc.com news that they had been mining crypto assets using their hacked Tesla electric cars on January 8. San Francisco-based Siraj Raval, owner of 2018 Tesla Model Mannequin 3, mined $800 a month in crypto assets with his hacked electric car. Another owner of the model’s Tesla car, Tesla Mannequin, is based in Wisconsin. Chris Allessi is an electric car dealer who mined monero and bitcoin. Automotive hacking is the manipulation of code in a car’s electronic control unit (ECU) to exploit a vulnerability and take control of other ECU units in the vehicle.
The two Tesla car owners mined Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero. They explained how they rigged their cars to mine digital currencies:
-Raval connected graphics processing units (GPUs) to his 2018 Tesla Model 3, in order to mine crypto assets with his car.
– Raval also hacked his internal Tesla Model 3 firmware to mine crypto, and concluded from the process that using GPUs was the most profitable method.
– Raval pointed out that tweaking the Tesla system voids the car’s warranty, but brings rewards.
+ Earned up to $800 worth of ether, when its value peaked in 2021.
– Chris Allessi started exploiting his hacked Tesla car from 2018.
– Allessi used an inverter and a Bitmain Antminer S9, and connected them directly to his Tesla Model S battery to mine bitcoin (BTC).
– Allessi used Tesla’s internal on-board firmware to mine the cryptocurrency, monero (XMR).
– He ran mining programs in the browser.
In 2021, a Canadian light electric vehicle (LEV) company, Daymak Inc., began mining cryptocurrency from June 29 with its first prototype Spiritus electric car.
For the latest crypto news and investment tips, follow our Cryptocurrency page. ]]>
America’s power grid has a $2 trillion problem https://sfeva.org/americas-power-grid-has-a-2-trillion-problem/ Sun, 15 May 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://sfeva.org/americas-power-grid-has-a-2-trillion-problem/

Bringing America to the goals of carbon-free electricity generation by 2035 and net-zero economy by 2050 with increased electric vehicle transportation and renewable energy installations will require massive investments in obsolete power transmission lines and the construction of thousands of kilometers of new lines. The undertaking is huge, and it is so huge not just because the price tag to make the US grid capable of running a net zero economy is estimated at a few trillions of dollars.

Permits, regulation and uncertainty about who is and should be in charge of the massive power grid transformation are also major barriers to the uptake of renewable energy generation and mass adoption of vehicles. electrical (VE).

The U.S. power grid is stretched as is, with disruptions and outages becoming more frequent in many areas where local network operators struggle to keep lights on during extreme winter weather or heat. These events would only become more frequent with climate change, such as the current early heat wave in Texas, which is testing ERCOT’s ability to withstand an increase in electricity demand.

In recent days, grid operators in a growing number of states have begun to warn of power shortages as grids cannot cope with the imbalance between demand and supply as they approach of summer. California warned last week that it would have to produce more electricity than it currently produces to avoid blackouts. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the nonprofit responsible for operating the power grid in 15 U.S. states and Manitoba, issued a warning about outages over the summer.

If the grids warn that they may not be able to meet an increase in electricity demand now, what would they do if renewables became the main source of electricity production (provided that the Biden administration’s goals of a carbon-free grid by 2035 and will 50% of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2030 be filled with zero-emission vehicles)?

Of course, the network needs huge investments, researchers and analysts say.

For example, in a “high electrification” or E+ scenario, with buildings and transportation aggressively electrified so that 100% of cars are electric by 2050, America would need $360 billion invested. in transmission through 2030 and $2.4 trillion by 2050, Princeton University said in a late 2020 report.

Yet, it’s not just about the money, but many industry analysts and consultants say so too. Indeed, the United States currently lacks a national strategy that clearly defines the roles of policymakers, states, federal agencies, grid operators, and utilities in preparing the transmission system at the national level to cope. to an increase in renewable energy generation, demand for electric vehicle charging, and the drive to “electricize everything” at home.

“We really don’t have anyone in charge,” Rob Gramlich, president of Washington DC-based energy consultancy Grid Strategies LLC, told Reuters for a special report on the hurdles facing the US grid.

Related: Europe turns to African gas to reduce dependence on Russian imports

“Politics is a nightmare,” Alison Silverstein, an independent industry consultant and former senior adviser to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), told Reuters’ Tim McLaughlin.

The regulatory “nightmare” is complicating grid investments, which could delay much-needed updates to transmission infrastructure and further push back the timeline for clean energy goals, analysts say.

“The majority of the national grid is aging, with some components over a century old – well beyond their 50-year life expectancy – and others, including 70% of the T&D lines, are well into the second half. of their lifespan,” said the American. Society of Civil Engineers said in a report last year.

Expanding network capacity 2 to 5 times over current levels and transmission investments totaling up to $2.4 trillion present “multiple technical, economic and public policy challenges,” Jonathan M. Moch, postdoctoral fellow, and Henry Lee, director, Environment and Natural Resources Program of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, wrote in a policy brief in February 2022.

“First, there is a lack of coordination between regional and national transmission planning. Organizations responsible for regional transportation planning are often legally compelled to prioritize reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, building a new transmission requires an extensive siting and permitting process that can stretch over more than a decade and can put the goal of a carbon-free power grid by 2035 out of whack. of range,” Moch and Lee wrote.

According to Brattle Group consultants, cross-regional planning processes are inefficient. In a presentation prepared for the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity’s Building a Better Grid Initiative, Brattle said in March that “essentially no major inter-regional transmission projects have been planned and built over the of the last decade”.

US climate envoy John Kerry also admitted this at the CERAWeek conference in Houston in March:

“We can send a rover to Mars, but we can’t send an electron to California from New York.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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