European Electric Car Sales Growth Will Slow Before Spurting, While China Lurks

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are exploding in Western Europe, but growth will slow over the next couple of years, restrained by the semiconductor shortage, and actions by manufacturers who will seek to push demand for internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles before European Union regulations destroys ICE profitability.

Tesla TSLA +1.6% will retain its lead in BEV sales and profitability and only the best of traditional manufacturers like VW and Mercedes look like posing a serious challenge.

Meanwhile, Chinese carmakers, which tried and failed to penetrate Europe markets with traditional ICE cars, look like being much more of a threat with electric ones.

In Western Europe, BEVs are now linked with big numbers. Recently, sales passed one million in the year, while Germany recently announced there were now 1 million BEVs on its roads. BMW announced in early December it had sold its 1 millionth electric vehicle and plans to reach 2 million by 2025.

Western Europe includes the big markets of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain.

BEV sales more than doubled in 2020 to just under 750,000 and jumped again this year with sales of 1,143,000, according to Schmidt Automotive Research, representing a market share of 10.3%. The pace of growth will slow though with market share rising to 12.0% in 2022, 13e.0% in 2023 and 15.0% in 2024, before jumping 5 points to 20.0% in 2025 and an estimated total of 2,860,000.

Fitch Ratings warns that even though the number of available electric cars and SUVs is increasing and battery technology is improving, range anxiety is still an issue, and a slow expansion of the charging infrastructure could impede a major step-up in EV sales.

In addition, EV profitability does not yet match that of ICE vehicles and (manufacturers) earnings and cash flows will remain burdened by further heavy technology investments over the next several years,” Fitch Ratings said in a report.

“Margin dilution from a higher share of EVs has been manageable for carmakers as government subsidies enticed EV buyers, but a gradual removal of the incentives could weigh on profitability in the medium term, diluting manufacturers’ margins but helping them to avoid (excess CO2) fines (from the EU). We also expect greater competition for European carmakers from new entrants, notably China,” Fitch Ratings said.

According to David Leah, analyst with LMC Automotive, the number of Chinese electric models in Europe has more than doubled over five years and government backing at home has given them a competitive advantage.

“This has allowed Chinese (manufacturers) to develop more competitive battery technology, as well as control large parts of the battery material chain, thus enabling them to achieve greater economies of scale. BEV prices have halved in China during the last 8 years, whilst increasing by 42%-55% in the West,” Leah said.

“As a result, Western (manufacturers) are playing catch up in the mass market BEV space, and the growing threat of new entrants has forced Western companies to reassess their competitiveness as competition intensifies,” Leah said.

Prospects for BEV sales won’t have been helped by news Wednesday one of the biggest selling electric cars in Europe, the Renault Zoe, was awarded zero stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings, and the Dacia Spring only 1 star. Dacia is Renault’s value brand which uses mainly old technology to cut prices to the bone. Most modern vehicles score 5 stars in these tests.

Investment bank UBS expects strong global BEV sales, with Tesla remaining the undisputed leader.

“In 2021, Tesla has gapped away further from all others in terms of volume growth and margins, and Tesla’s lead should be undisputed in 2022 as battery cell supply could emerge as the next bottleneck for the industry,” UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said in a report.

“We expect global BEV sales to grow by about 60% again in 2022, reaching 7 million or 8% share globally. Only the fastest moving (traditional manufacturers) can avoid further bleeding to Tesla, such as Mercedes-Benz and VW Group. As BEV demand will likely continue to exceed supply, BEV pricing will be very solid and therefore margin parity vs. ICE cars reached over the next 1-2 years,” Hummel said.

And Schmidt Automotive Research said the slowing in BEV market share to 2024 is the result of manufacturers seeing a window to push profitable ICE vehicle sales before EU regulations on CO2 tighten. More regulation in 2027 will have a similar impact before BEV demand wins again, as ICE profit margins disintegrate.

Schmidt Automotive reckons BEV sales will gradually accelerate again and reach a market share of 60.0% by 2030, or 8.4 million vehicles.  VW has said its European BEV sales will hit 70% by 2030 while Ford Europe and Jaguar have set a 100% target.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

As a former European Automotive correspondent for Reuters, I’ve a spent a few years writing about the industry. I will penetrate the corporate

Source: European Electric Car Sales Growth Will Slow Before Spurting, While China Lurks

.

More contents:

Millions of Electric Cars are Coming What Happens To All The Dead Batteries

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/118173837_gettyimages-1231680055.jpg?resize=840%2C472&ssl=1

The battery pack of a Tesla Model S is a feat of intricate engineering. Thousands of cylindrical cells with components sourced from around the world transform lithium and electrons into enough energy to propel the car hundreds of kilometers, again and again, without tailpipe emissions. But when the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade.

If it ends up in a landfill, its cells can release problematic toxins, including heavy metals. And recycling the battery can be a hazardous business, warns materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester. Cut too deep into a Tesla cell, or in the wrong place, and it can short-circuit, combust, and release toxic fume.

That’s just one of the many problems confronting researchers, including Thompson, who are trying to tackle an emerging problem: how to recycle the millions of electric vehicle (EV) batteries that manufacturers expect to produce over the next few decades. Current EV batteries “are really not designed to be recycled,” says Thompson, a research fellow at the Faraday Institution, a research center focused on battery issues in the United Kingdom.

That wasn’t much of a problem when EVs were rare. But now the technology is taking off. Several carmakers have said they plan to phase out combustion engines within a few decades, and industry analysts predict at least 145 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, up from just 11 million last year. “People are starting to realize this is an issue,” Thompson says.

Governments are inching toward requiring some level of recycling. In 2018, China imposed new rules aimed at promoting the reuse of EV battery components. The European Union is expected to finalize its first requirements this year. In the United States, the federal government has yet to advance recycling mandates, but several states, including California—the nation’s largest car market—are exploring setting their own rules.

Complying won’t be easy. Batteries differ widely in chemistry and construction, which makes it difficult to create efficient recycling systems. And the cells are often held together with tough glues that make them difficult to take apart. That has contributed to an economic obstacle: It’s often cheaper for batterymakers to buy freshly mined metals than to use recycled materials.

Better recycling methods would not only prevent pollution, researchers note, but also help governments boost their economic and national security by increasing supplies of key battery metals that are controlled by one or a few nations. “On the one side, [disposing of EV batteries] is a waste management problem. And on the other side, it’s an opportunity for producing a sustainable secondary stream of critical materials,” says Gavin Harper, a University of Birmingham researcher who studies EV policy issues.

To jump-start recycling, governments and industry are putting money into an array of research initiatives. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has pumped some $15 million into a ReCell Center to coordinate studies by scientists in academia, industry, and at government laboratories. The United Kingdom has backed the ReLiB project, a multi-institution effort. As the EV industry ramps up, the need for progress is becoming urgent, says Linda Gaines, who works on battery recycling at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory. “The sooner we can get everything moving,” she says, “the better.

Now, recyclers primarily target metals in the cathode, such as cobalt and nickel, that fetch high prices. (Lithium and graphite are too cheap for recycling to be economical.) But because of the small quantities, the metals are like needles in a haystack: hard to find and recover.

To extract those needles, recyclers rely on two techniques, known as pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy. The more common is pyrometallurgy, in which recyclers first mechanically shred the cell and then burn it, leaving a charred mass of plastic, metals, and glues. At that point, they can use several methods to extract the metals, including further burning. “Pyromet is essentially treating the battery as if it were an ore” straight from a mine, Gaines says. Hydrometallurgy, in contrast, involves dunking battery materials in pools of acid, producing a metal-laden soup. Sometimes the two methods are combined.

Each has advantages and downsides. Pyrometallurgy, for example, doesn’t require the recycler to know the battery’s design or composition, or even whether it is completely discharged, in order to move ahead safely. But it is energy intensive. Hydrometallurgy can extract materials not easily obtained through burning, but it can involve chemicals that pose health risks.

And recovering the desired elements from the chemical soup can be difficult, although researchers are experimenting with compounds that promise to dissolve certain battery metals but leave others in a solid form, making them easier to recover. For example, Thompson has identified one candidate, a mixture of acids and bases called a deep eutectic solvent, that dissolves everything but nickel.

Both processes produce extensive waste and emit greenhouse gases, studies have found. And the business model can be shaky: Most operations depend on selling recovered cobalt to stay in business, but batterymakers are trying to shift away from that relatively expensive metal. If that happens, recyclers could be left trying to sell piles of “dirt,” says materials scientist Rebecca Ciez of Purdue University.

The ideal is direct recycling, which would keep the cathode mixture intact. That’s attractive to batterymakers because recycled cathodes wouldn’t require heavy processing, Gaines notes (although manufacturers might still have to revitalize cathodes by adding small amounts of lithium). “So if you’re thinking circular economy, [direct recycling] is a smaller circle than pyromet or hydromet.”

In direct recycling, workers would first vacuum away the electrolyte and shred battery cells. Then, they would remove binders with heat or solvents, and use a flotation technique to separate anode and cathode materials. At this point, the cathode material resembles baby powder.

So far, direct recycling experiments have only focused on single cells and yielded just tens of grams of cathode powders. But researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have built economic models showing the technique could, if scaled up under the right conditions, be viable in the future.

To realize direct recycling, however, batterymakers, recyclers, and researchers need to sort out a host of issues. One is making sure manufacturers label their batteries, so recyclers know what kind of cell they are dealing with—and whether the cathode metals have any value. Given the rapidly changing battery market, Gaines notes, cathodes manufactured today might not be able to find a future buyer. Recyclers would be “recovering a dinosaur. No one will want the product.”

Another challenge is efficiently cracking open EV batteries. Nissan’s rectangular Leaf battery module can take 2 hours to dismantle. Tesla’s cells are unique not only for their cylindrical shape, but also for the almost indestructible polyurethane cement that holds them together.

Engineers might be able to build robots that could speed battery disassembly, but sticky issues remain even after you get inside the cell, researchers note. That’s because more glues are used to hold the anodes, cathodes, and other components in place. One solvent that recyclers use to dissolve cathode binders is so toxic that the European Union has introduced restrictions on its use, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined last year that it poses an “unreasonable risk” to workers.“In terms of economics, you’ve got to disassemble … [and] if you want to disassemble, then you’ve got to get rid of glues,” says Andrew Abbott, a chemist at the University of Leicester and Thompson’s adviser.

To ease the process, Thompson and other researchers are urging EV- and batterymakers to start designing their products with recycling in mind. The ideal battery, Abbott says, would be like a Christmas cracker, a U.K. holiday gift that pops open when the recipient pulls at each end, revealing candy or a message. As an example, he points to the Blade Battery, a lithium ferrophosphate battery released last year by BYD, a Chinese EV-maker. Its pack does away with the module component, instead storing flat cells directly inside. The cells can be removed easily by hand, without fighting with wires and glues.

The Blade Battery emerged after China in 2018 began to make EV manufacturers responsible for ensuring batteries are recycled. The country now recycles more lithium-ion batteries than the rest of the world combined, using mostly pyro- and hydrometallurgical methods.

Nations moving to adopt similar policies face some thorny questions. One, Thompson says, is who should bear primary responsibility for making recycling happen. “Is it my responsibility because I bought [an EV] or is it the manufacturer’s responsibility because they made it and they’re selling it?” In the European Union, one answer could come later this year, when officials release the continent’s first rule. And next year a panel of experts created by the state of California is expected to weigh in with recommendations that could have a big influence over any U.S. policy.

Recycling researchers, meanwhile, say effective battery recycling will require more than just technological advances. The high cost of transporting combustible items long distances or across borders can discourage recycling. As a result, placing recycling centers in the right places could have a “massive impact,” Harper says. “But there’s going to be a real challenge in systems integration and bringing all these different bits of research together.”

There’s little time to waste, Abbott says. “What you don’t want is 10 years’ worth of production of a cell that is absolutely impossible to pull apart,” he says. “It’s not happening yet—but people are shouting and worried it will happen.

By Ian Morse

Source: Millions of electric cars are coming. What happens to all the dead batteries? | Science | AAAS

.

References

Best, Paul (19 November 2020). “GM doubles down on commitment to electric vehicles, increases spending to $27B”. FOXBusiness. Retrieved 20 November 2020.

How This Company Has Beaten Tesla With The World’s First Autonomous Electric Truck

When asked which company was the first creating an autonomous electric freight truck, most people will be wrong. And when asked which company was the first creating an autonomous electric truck that is allowed to drive on a public road, most people will be wrong too. It is not Tesla, it is not Alphabet’s Waymo, Uber, or Lyft, and it is not any of the big car or truck manufacturers.

It is Einride (pronounced as “n-ride”), a Swedish startup that was founded in 2016. I spoke to 29-year-old, Forbes 30 Under 30 listed co-founder and CMO of Einride, Linnéa Kornehed to find out how they have done this.

Some Facts About Einride

Founded in 2016, Einride has grown to around 100 people today, and has raised a total of $41M of funding. Nice for a startup, but totally incomparable to the many billions that all the large companies above have invested in electric and autonomous driving. And yet, it is this startup that has beaten all of them in getting its first truck on the road, or “Pod” as Einride likes to call them. As Kornehed explains, “on the day after Elon Musk announced the launch of the Tesla Semi, we already launched our Pod.“

If you aren’t impressed by that already, here are some more facts about Einride:

  • Named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021 in the Transportation category
  • Winner of the 2020 Edison Awards for Innovations and Innovators
  • Winner of the European Startup Prize for Mobility, a EU-founded Acceleration and Investment Programed for sustainable mobility startups
  • Listed is CB Insights Game Changers 2020 as one of the 36 startups that could change the world
  • Featured on 2020 Global Cleantech 100-list
  • First place in “Sustainable Transport” and “People’s Choice Award”, in the E-prize contest by energy company E.ON. and Veckans Affärer
  • Exclusive member of the World Economic Forum, Shaping the future of Mobility

Further evidence of their strength are the many brands that have already teamed up with Einride, including Coca-Cola, Lidl, Oatly, and Ericsson, and the fact that they are the first to set a record for an autonomous electric freight vehicle at the Top Gear racing track (see picture and watch here).

 Einride is not an ordinary truck manufacturer. It does not produce their Pod’s, nor are their Pod’s for sale. Similar to a company like Apple, Einride is in charge of the design, technology, and branding of their trucks, as well as the control of the complete chain to which they outsource production, assembly and logistics. But most important is its software platform. As Kornehed explains, “at its core, Einride is primarily a software company. It is our platform that makes the difference.”

Einride has adopted at Transportation as a Service (TaaS) model. This means that, as a customer, you don’t buy their products, but you subscribe to a monthly service. In other words, you buy transport, rather than a vehicle. The reason for adopting this innovative business model lies in the specific characteristics of autonomous and electric driving.

Kornehed: “both autonomous and electric driving require careful and systematic planning. This can best be done at the fleet level so that there is an overall planning that is efficient, safe, and that makes best use of the range and charging possibilities of the vehicles.” Through their TaaS model, software platform, and “control room,” Einride can plan much more efficiently than individual transportation companies would be able to do—and thereby help them save money and reduce emissions.

Why and Where Next?

When asked why Kornehed joined Einride and what the company’s drive is, there is no doubt: climate change. As Kornehed continues, “road freight transport is responsible for 7% of global greenhouse emissions. And the volume of shipped goods is growing at a 3-4% rate every year.” Electric, autonomous trucks, according to Einride, could transform road freight transport as we know it by reducing CO2-emissions by 90%. Furthermore, it could also lower operating costs by 60% and radically improve road safety.

When asked whether less transportation would not be a better solution, Kornehed responds, “logistics and transportation are so important in today’s global economy. We don’t want to let that go. The same for traveling, which is great. We should be able to keep all of that, but in a responsible, sustainable way.”

The company wants to set an example and show that the transformation to electric, autonomous freight transportation is within reach. As they show, the technology is there and the legal obstacles can be overcome. Admittedly, their current public road permit is very limited and restricted to a small section of one public road in Sweden. But it means the beginning is there, even in Europe where especially the legal side is a challenge.

Looking forward, Einride’s next steps are starting their operations in the US and expanding further in Europe. And, as Kornehed closes, “we hope to show people and businesses that it is possible to make a change. But change doesn’t happen by itself. By achieving all that we have achieved in just five years with our startup, we hope to inspire others to take their own sustainability initiatives.”

I help companies discover, formulate and execute their future plans, so that they will realize their ambitions in a complex and uncertain world. My drive is to bring people and companies to the next level by offering strategic guidance and training. I wrote “Strategy Consulting,” “No More Bananas,” and “The Strategy Handbook.” Reach out to me via jeroenkraaijenbrink.com,  LinkedIn or jk@kraaijenbrink.com

Source: How This Company Has Beaten Tesla With The World’s First Autonomous Electric Truck

.

Related Links:

Ford Doubling Investment In Electric Cars And Trucks To $22 Billion

Ford released its fourth quarter 2020 financial results Thursday after the markets closed and posted a net loss for the quarter of $2.8 billion and $1.3 billion for the full year. None of that was surprising. However, Ford also announced a doubling of its investment in electrified vehicles to $22 billion through 2025 and an increase in its total investment in automated driving to $7 billion from $4 billion.

Ford began delivering the Mustang Mach-E, its first purpose-built electric vehicle, in late December and plans to ramp up deliveries beginning this month. Mach-Es for North America and Europe are being produced in Mexico, but the automaker recently announced it would add production for the Chinese market from its Changan assembly plant this spring.

So far, Ford has announced three new battery electric vehicles, the Mach-E, the e-Transit commercial van coming this fall and an electric F-150 due out in 2022.

“We are accelerating all our plans – breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan,” Jim Farley, Ford CEO said.

PROMOTED Jumio BrandVoice | Paid Program 5 Ways To Keep AI Bias Out Of Online Identity Verification UNICEF USA BrandVoice | Paid Program U-Report: Using UNICEF’s Social Messaging Platform To Improve Lives Civic Nation BrandVoice | Paid Program Every Child Deserves To Be Seen, Safe, And Successful

As part of the expanded commitment, Ford says that electric vehicles will be fundamental to the premium Lincoln brand. Similar strategies are being followed by many other automakers including General Motors GM +0.5% GM +0.5% GM +0.5% GM +0.5% which is targeting 2030 to have all Cadillacs be electric.

Ford hasn’t revealed any other specific electric products yet, but as part of its latest contract with the Canadian UNIFOR union, it did commit to building electric vehicles at the Oakville, Ontario assembly plant. In addition to Oakville, Cuautitlán, Mexico is building the Mach-E, Dearborn, Mich will produce the F-150 and the Kansas City assembly plant will build the e-Transit. MORE FOR YOU

Elon Musk’s Ex-Chief Engineer Creates A New Car—And Says It Beats TeslaID.6 EV SUV Details Not Leaked By China, Volkswagen AdmitsDidi Makes $1 Billion Profit While Uber Bleeds — Good News For Robotaxis

In support of growing EV sales, Ford is also expanding the charging network available through the Fordpass app from 13,500 to 16,000. Ford EV owners can set up payment through the app and then automatically get billed at chargers that are part of the network when the vehicle is plugged in.

As part of the ongoing development of its automated vehicle program, the Argo AI fleet in Miami undertook a charitable goods pilot delivery program during the fourth quarter. Vehicles completed address-to-address autonomous deliveries of groceries and school supplies. Ford and Argo AI are now testing fourth-generation prototypes based on the Ford Escape Hybrid which feature the production intent hardware configuration prior to the planned commercial launch of services in 2022. Those services are expected to debut in Miami, Washington DC and Austin, Texas.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Sam Abuelsamid

 Sam Abuelsamid

I’ve spent my adult life working in and around the automotive industry. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from GMI I spent the next 17 years working on electronic control systems that help cars stop, go and change direction before I drove away to write about what other engineers were creating. Since then I’ve been trying to educate my readers, viewers and listeners about how the latest automotive technology works, what it can do and perhaps more importantly, what it can’t do. Since 2014 I’ve been combining my communications and engineering knowledge as a principal analyst with Navigant Research covering alternative fuels, advanced driving technologies and connected vehicles. I also co-host the Wheel Bearings podcast at https://wheelbearings.media/

More Content:

Brexit pushes cost of buying used cars from UK higher

Carmakers have been hit hard by a global chip shortage — here’s why

Renesas in talks to buy Dialog for €4.9 billion

The Boss For Super Bowl, How A Marketing Hotshot Roped In Stars

Hyundai, Kia deny EV talks with Apple

Apple: The Hyundai/Kia Gift. by Jean-Louis Gassée | by Jean-Louis Gassée | Feb, 2021 | Monday Note

Sales of electric vehicles jump above 10% for first time in Europe – EURACTIV.com

High-end car industry booming in Venezuela – CGTN

High-end car industry booming in Venezuela

Interview with Daniele Conversi | Association for the Study of Nationalities

Volvo Cars Receives Highest Possible Sustainability Performance Rating From EcoVadis

Going for the ’burne: $10 million to fund Victorian Hydrogen Hub  –

Ford to Use Google’s Android System in Most Cars — 2nd Update

Ford to Use Google’s Android System in Most Cars — 2nd Update

Ford to Use Google’s Android System in Most Cars — 2nd Update

National security and government regulations on tech

%d bloggers like this: