Cox Auto Talks EVs At Detroit Auto Show

By Jeffrey Bellant October 05, 2023
Lea Malloy ( L) , head of Cox Automotive’s Electric Vehicle Battery Business, and Joe George (R), president of Cox Automotive Mobility, discuss the company’s increasingly significant role in electric vehicle (EV) battery lifecycle management at the Detroit Auto Show. Lea Malloy ( L) , head of Cox Automotive’s Electric Vehicle Battery Business, and Joe George (R), president of Cox Automotive Mobility, discuss the company’s increasingly significant role in electric vehicle (EV) battery lifecycle management at the Detroit Auto Show.

DETROIT –  Cox Automotive executives discussed EV issues during the Sept. 13 Mobility Global Forum segment of the Detroit Auto Show. Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility, and Lea Malloy, head of the EV Battery Business for Cox Automotive Mobility. “I went through the whole Internet change in 1998 when the internet was first coming around,” George said, “and it feels similar with this electrification and what a dynamic sea change this is going to be in our industry.” George pointed out that Q2 showed record sales for EVs, though those are in contrast to a much larger number of vehicles on the road. Still the 300,000 units sold was 50% more than the same period in 2022, George said.

Tesla Model Y at the Detroit Auto Show.   ( image/ J.Bellant/UCN)

Malloy said only 10% of new vehicle launches are electric. George said the industry will have to help push those numbers along. Govrnment policies and incentives are already helping drive EV adoption. In 2022, the Defense Production Act provided essential supply chain stability for critical minerals, and the even more significant Inflation Reduction Act, which came into play in January 2023, spurred sales and supported expanded battery manufacturing in the U.S. Malloy added the Inflation Reduction Act included new requirements for parts, including minerals, which will likely boost recycling and sustainable practices that the industry is embracing. In this arena, Cox Automotive has an ambitious goal: to be a leader in comprehensive battery lifecycle management.

Malloy said the Inflation Reduction Act includes expanded incentives for new vehicles as well as used vehicles, using these incentives to drive behavior. The core of Cox Automotive’s approach is the “re-X” activities — repair, remanufacturing, refurbishment, and renewal. This broad, sustainability-first strategy not only prolongs the life of batteries but also significantly reduces the need for mining new minerals. Cox Automotive’s pursuit is “urban mining,” which recovers raw materials from used batteries. In this sense, recycling is not just about responsible disposal but also resource conservation and a circular economy. “But we’re also committed to innovation around battery health,” Malloy said. “We also want some first class capabilities through our Manheim wholesale auto auctions to help drive confidence and transparency in the used-EV purchase, which is another key driver in EV adoption.”

The Detroit Auto Show Sept. 2023. (Image/J.Bellant/UCN)

Malloy said consumers are “conflicted” about EVs. While Cox data shows 50% of consumers are interested in purchasing an EV, that doesn’t translate into actual purchases. The top three concerns today, remain the same as they were three years ago: price, factors surrounding battery lifespan, replacement costs etc., and concerns about charging stations and availability. Malloy the spotlight on recycling incentives with grant money and other recourses could provide the research and technological advancement the industry with a more closed loop system for EV battery caretaking. 

Being able to extend the initial life of a battery pack or recycle it means not going back to mining the earth for new materials, Malloy said. “No. 2, we’re playing an important role in transitioning the industry – based largely here in Detroit – from a combustion industry into an electric future,” she said. Part of that value proposition is making the planet and neighborhood a better place, she added. It's also good from an economic perspective as any repaired part, especially in the case of a battery pack, can be offered up as a 30-50% less than a new part. More and more OEMs are also going to be required in producing battery packs with recycled materials.

Cox plays a big part in the “urban mining” of processing old EV parts and battery packs. Malloy said EV batteries will remain the most valuable component of these vehicles. This will battery marketplaces, trading these assets for second or third lives in the auto industry or energy storage industry. In addition, Manheim offers a battery health capability that is VIN specific that it provides a battery health score to its customer as part of a condition report, based on a number of factors. Mallow predicts new EV sales will hit about 1 million this year. “But this is a decades-long play,” she said 

Cox Auto ~ END-TO-END ~ EV Battery Services

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Thursday, 11 April 2024 21:30