Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (35)

After a number of delays in production, EV start-up Rivian is finally close to releasing its first EV, the R1T, the first fully electric truck to make it to market. With production right around the corner the EV automaker is also eyeing its highly anticipated IPO.

Rivian released a statement last week that the company has submitted its S-1 registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission in advance of an initial public offering.

Rivian is seeking an approximately $80 billion valuation, up from a speculated $50 billion earlier in the year, according to Bloomberg, who has spoken with sources familiar with the situation. Bloomberg's sources also said that Rivian is aiming to have its initial public offering around Thanksgiving.


The automaker’s retrofitted manufacturing facility in Normal, IL

 

The company, based in Irvine, Calif. and Plymouth, Mich., would be more valuable on paper than GM or Ford if the $80 billion proves accurate. Ford has been a major investor in Rivian, having invested $10.5 billion, alongside giants like Amazon. The company is slated to produce around 100,000 EV vans for Amazon over the next 10 years. The deal between Rivian and Amazon is contributing to the potential high IPO.  

The start-up will not be alone for long in the EV truck category, with stiff competition from seasoned automakers coming fast on its heels. The Rivian R1T will go up against Ford's fully electric F-150 Lightning and GMC's Hummer EV, both are expected to go on sale within the next several months.

The EV start-up Rivian got some good news this week. The mileage range of its first model, the Rivian R1T, has been vetted by the EPA. The organization announced the fully electric truck has a 314-mile range in its Launch Edition with the 135.0-kWh battery. The $73,000 R1T returns an estimated 74 MPG in the city, 66 MPG on the highway, and 70 MPG combined. Rivian’s SUV the R1S has a slightly longer range with 316 miles according to the EPA report. The SUV is not due out till early 2022. 

The California- and Michigan-based start-up has had both pandemic based delays and some final kinks to work out before rolling out the truck to the public. Originally due out in July, the date was pushed to September, which should work well with the EPA release of its mileage range, one of the most important prerequisites to boosting sales. 

 

 

An auto shop survey from the marketing firm, UpSwell, found that only 4 percent of auto shop owners consider themselves EV experts, while 49 percent are either not worried about expanding their shop to include EV services, or only cater to hybrids. The survey provided additional insights into marketing, revenue, and growth plans for auto shop owners.

According to respondents, the top marketing channels that bring in new auto shop customers are Google (42 percent) and Direct Mail (29 percent). However, there was a big split when comparing UpSwell clients with non-clients. A majority, 52 percent, of UpSwell clients reported that Direct Mail is the channel that brought them the most customers, compared to only 18 percent of non-clients.

Most auto shops surveyed experienced growth this year, with 68 percent reporting a revenue increase in 2021. The average repair order (ARO) among respondents was $562.08, with 70 percent of auto shop owners reporting they have seen an increase in ARO compared to 2019. However, finding qualified technicians was selected by 60 percent of respondents as the top difficulty in running their business.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said that customers are spending more to hold onto their car longer. This lends to more opportunities for auto shops to see higher ARO and attract customers that are looking for the highest quality solutions that are longer lasting rather than the most budget friendly options.

Additionally, 40 percent of respondents are planning to continue running their shop within the next three to five years versus 19 percent of owners who are planning to retire. Twenty-nine percent of respondents are planning to expand their business in the next three to five years. That number is higher among UpSwell clients, with 38 percent planning to expand their business compared to only 17 percent of non-clients. 

The survey was conducted in July 2021 and included 209 respondents in the United States.

GM is expanding the current Chevrolet Bolt recall to include model year 2017-2022 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles. With this expansion, all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles are now recalled due to the risk of the high-voltage battery pack catching fire. The recall applies to all Bolt vehicles, including those that may have received an earlier recall repair for the fire risk issue. 

Currently GM is asking all Chevrolet Bolt vehicle owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures, and to not charge the vehicles overnight. Additionally, GM is instructing owners of these vehicles to take the following actions:

  • Set their vehicle to the 90% state of charge limitation using Hilltop Reserve mode (2017 and 2018 model years) or Target Charge Level mode (2019-2022 model years). If owners are unable to set their vehicles to the 90% state of charge limitation mode, or if they feel uncomfortable making the change, GM is asking owners to visit a local dealer immediately to have the change made.
  • Recharge the battery on their Bolts after each use and not wait until the battery is almost run down (deep discharge mode) before charging it back up.

GM continues to investigate the issue and work toward a final remedy. Until this is completed, owners should follow the above steps.

This new recall affects an additional 59,392 model year 2019-2022 vehicles which were not covered in previous recall announcements in November 2020 and July 2021. The earlier recalls for model year 2017-2019 vehicles involved 50,932 vehicles. NHTSA is aware of one fire with the interim remedy and three fires with the subsequent remedy. NHTSA opened an investigation in October 2020 and continues to evaluate the recall remedies and reported incidents, including fires.

The $1.2 trillion “hard” infrastructure bill passed the Senate’s final vote on Tuesday by a bipartisan vote of 69-30 . The bill will rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure with funding for priorities like roads, bridges, rail, transit and the electric grid. 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced last night that there had been a final agreement on the bipartisan bill.  "This will do a whole lot of good for America," Schumer said.

This follows last week's executive order signed by President Biden that aims to encourage US auto makers to make and sell more electric vehicles. The Detroit Three's  support for the voluntary, unenforceable goal is contingent on funding from the federal government for EV infrastructure, research and development of new electric technologies, and new incentives encouraging car buyers to choose EVs. 

The infrastructure bill includes $15 billion for EV-related projects including $7.5 billion for EV charging stations nationwide.  

The two main concerns for car buyers when thinking about going electric is battery life and where to charge their vehicles. Fewer than 10 percent of Americans have easy access to an electric vehicle charging station, a serious issue considering the administration's goal of 40 to 50 percent of vehicles sold in the US being electric, plug-in hybrids or hydrogen-powered by 2030. The bill will go a long way to creating a viable charging infrastructure across the U.S and meeting the administrations long term electrification goals. 

 

Kelley Blue Book reports no segment is growing more quickly and relentlessly than electrified vehicles – defined as the combined total of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and plug-in hybrids. New-vehicle demand is up across the board as the country emerges from the depths of last year’s pandemic-ridden 2020, and while inventory-shortage challenges and supply-chain struggles remain, the general public’s interest in electrified vehicles continues to grow.

As automakers produce more electrified vehicles, consumers are increasingly eager to buy them. According to an analysis of Q2 2021 data from Kelley Blue Book, sales of pure EVs surpassed 100,000 units in the quarter – a first – and hybrid sales were over 250,000 units. Sales of electrified vehicles for Q2 climbed 201.1% year-over-year, reaching beyond 375,000 total combined EVs and hybrids. Accordingly, electrified vehicles are capturing more total market share as consumer demand expands. Electrified vehicle sales accounted for 8.5% of total sales in Q2, up from 7.8% in Q1 and 4.2% in Q2 2020.

 2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, Ford's Mustang Mach-E! 

 

Gas prices continue to increase – according to AAA, with prices rising 40% from the beginning of the year – and research consistently shows that when prices are up, consumers start dreaming about more efficient vehicles.

“While low inventory could impact the market’s current trajectory, it’s still safe to say that 2021 will be a record-setting year for electrified vehicles in the United States – and we’re confident that 2022 will beat 2021,” said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book.

Consumers can’t buy a new Toyota Sienna minivan without buying a hybrid, and hybrids now account for roughly 25% of Toyota’s total volume. Hybrid off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler 4xe satisfy the needs of the outdoorsy crew, and luxury seekers will find more plug-in hybrid models available in increasing volumes.

Rivain's R1S debuts in early 2022. The company has already announced the opening of its second production facility .

 

EV sales are charged up by new products like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. While Telsa is still the dominant force in the EV market, its notable market share lead continues to erode even as sales increase. Tesla’s Model Y remains the best-selling EV on the market – one in three EVs sold is a Model Y – but as the months and quarters pass, Tesla represents a smaller piece of the growing electrified vehicle pie. In Q2, Tesla’s share of the EV segment in the United States stood at 64%, down from 71% in Q1 and 83% a year earlier.

There are quite a few EV auto start-ups bringing some competition to the establishment to keep an eye on . Startups like Rivain, Fisker, Arrival, Faraday Future, Lucid, Lordstown Motors and others. It’s going to be a huge battle over who will dominate the EV landscape over the next 10 years. 

Michigan-based EV start-up Rivian plans to open a second U.S. auto assembly plant. Rivian has not released details of where the plant will be located and several states are apparently in a bidding war to host the new facility. In addition to electric vehicles, Rivian’s new factory will build battery cells, sources told Reuters.  

The automaker has financial backing from Amazon and Ford, with both companies investing heavily in the EV start-up. Rivian has a contract to build Amazon’s EV delivery fleet of 100,000 trucks over the next 10 years. 

As of July 2021, the company is valued at $27.6 billion. Experts are predicting Rivian will announce an IPO in the early to late fall of around $50 billion. 

Company headquarters are in Plymouth, Mich., and Irvine, Calif., with its existing assembly plant in Normal, Ill. At this point, it's anyone's guess where the new plant will pop up, and the company plans on keeping it under wraps for several more months. 

 

North America’s largest e-mobility event is set to launch this fall with three events held in Southern California, Florida and Texas.

The massive outdoor Electrify Expo promises a one-stop shop for people looking to experience electric vehicles and new product debuts from exhibitors including BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Polestar, Bosch, Super 73, Onyx Motorbikes, Evolve Skateboards and many more.

“Electrify Expo brings together the world’s leading e-mobility brands for consumers to experience interactive displays, test drives and product debuts, in a fun family atmosphere,” said Electrify Expo founder BJ Birtwell.

Lordstown Motors will unveil its new burley pick-up truck.  

An EV ride-and-drive area makes up the heart of the show and attendees are invited to experience the whole range of e-mobility products including EVs, e-motorcycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-skateboards.

Each of the three weekend events promise a festival atmosphere with over more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, along with food trucks and music for the whole family to enjoy.

Tickets are on sale now for the three 2021 events, with the tour starting in the EV industry’s Southern California home of Irvine, Sept. 18-19. Electrify Expo hits Miami, Oct. 16-17 and Austin, Nov. 12-14. 

Stellantis is making the jump into an all-electric future. Not to be left behind by GM, Ford, VW,  and other automakers, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares announced the auto company is accelerating its EV strategy. The plan includes spending more than $35 billion over the next five years to meet the goal of electrifying 98% of Stellantis’ new models, across the company's 14 brands, by 2025. All 14 brands are turning their attention to EVs, including the company's American bread and butter brands Jeep, Ram, and Dodge.

Stellantis has plans to launch 55 electrified vehicles in the U.S and the E.U by 2025. The company expects by 2030 that its EV and hybrid lineup will account for around 40% of sales in North America and 70% in the E.U.

Four EV platforms have been developed, the STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large and the STLA Frame. The platforms will ensure that all vehicle types, sizes, and shapes, will be offered as EVs, from the popular Fiat models to off-road super sellers like the Jeep brand and Ram trucks, all the way down to commercial vans.

The automaker unveiled new taglines for some of its brands. Chrysler’s new tagline is “clean technology for a new generation of families" and Maserati’s is ”the best in performance luxury-electrified." Fiat will fully phase out gas-powered cars. All future Abarth vehicles will be electric starting in 2024. Fiat will be an EV-only brand by 2030 and the Opel brand will be fully electric by 2024. 

Stellantis said most of the new EVs will be fully electric, but some hybrid models will remain. 

The White House used the Chevrolet Bolt EV in a video to show President Biden’s commitment to converting the federal fleet to all-electric. The video features Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy riding in a Chevy Bolt, talking about the benefits of EVs, the president's Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework plan and building up America’s EV infrastructure. There are 122 Chevy Bolts in the fleet that are leased by the General Services Administration. 

GM executives were taken by surprise by the Bolt’s starring role in the WH video. Pleasantly surprised! GM will be happy to hear the video got around 850,000 views over the holiday weekend. 

Watch The Video Below:

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