The most important EV information of the final week must be the official begin of Tesla Semi deliveries, which have been completely timed (deliberately or not) to drown out the information that the electrical automotive model had been pressured to slash costs in each China and the US within the face of lowered web site visitors and waning approval for the model as-a-whole.
“Waning” approval could be underplaying it, in reality, as Tesla’s public approval rating has actually gone negative for the first time in the company’s history, with the electrical automaker beginning 2022 with a net-positive rating of 5.9 p.c, then peaking in Might at 6.7 p.c earlier than falling to -1.4 p.c in November, while Car News China reported that traffic to Tesla showrooms has dropped by as much as 50% in recent weeks.
As a truck, the Tesla Semi, itself, appears off to a adequate begin. The corporate not too long ago confirmed a completely loaded electrical semi finishing a 500-mile journey “absolutely loaded,” on Twitter.
The primary deliveries of the Tesla Semi are going to Pepsi Frito-Lay, which is type of the best associate for an electrical semi, since deliveries of bagged chips are extra about transferring a given quantity of products, quite than weight, permitting a BEV truck to tug simply as many baggage as a diesel with out those self same batteries placing the rig as-a-whole over any authorized weight limits.
There appeared to be a particular form of irony in Tesla asserting a driverless semi on the identical time that the US authorities was making strikes to crush a rail union strike, too, however that looks as if one thing for the Greatest and Brightest to kind out, not me.
Extra Cybertruck Information
The Semi wasn’t the one electrical truck information to come back out of Tesla’s press occasion. The corporate has added “megawatt charging” to the lengthy record of capabilities of its perpetually in-progress Cybertruck mannequin, which now provides “absolutely charged in much less time than it takes to replenish a fuel tank” to a laundry record of guarantees that already included bulletproof glass, a bioweapon protection mode, and amphibious capabilities with a $39,900 beginning worth.
In the meantime, Tesla’s troubled electrical truck rivals at Lordstown Motors have defied the predictions of plenty of trade insiders — mine, included! — and have put their Endurance pickup into restricted manufacturing, obtained EPA and CARB homologation, and begun deliveries of their hub-motored electrical pickup truck.
The previously GM-owned Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing facility that builds the Endurance is now owned by Foxconn, which can also be set to construct electrical farm tractors and the upcoming, sub-$30K Fisker Pear compact.
Sure, That Fisker
Sure, this is similar Henrik Fisker that designed the BMW Z8 roadster earlier than setting off on his personal to construct high-end physique kits for the R230 Mercedes SL within the early ‘00s, solely to be employed by Tesla to work on the styling of the Mannequin S, then get sued by Tesla for growing his personal, competing EV mission within the type of the Fisker Karma (that 2008-12 period was a completely wild time for EVs!).
Along with the Foxconn-built Pear, Fisker can also be launching the Magna Steyr-built Ocean electrical SUV, however a current report from the Fisker shorts at Fuzzy Panda Research claims that issues won’t be as rosy for Fisker as they’d have us consider.
The brief model is that Fisker pitches itself as an “asset-light” automotive model, the “Apple” to Magna’s “Foxconn,” if you’ll, and infrequently cites its giant money stability as proof that they’ve created a greater enterprise mannequin than different automakers. The difficulty is, that money could be all tied up.
“We found Fisker has giant undisclosed financial institution ensures that units a minimal money stability,” reads the Fuzzy Panda doc. “The financial institution ensures are to Magna and estimated at ~$790-825 million … that is Fisker’s total present money stability!”
The report additionally claims that Fisker has tried to cover the truth that the EV platform they’re licensing was constructed for a Chinese language EV, reminding among the Electrical Final Mile Options (ELMS) debacle, by which one other EV SPAC tried to cover their automobiles Chinese language origins — and, it ought to be famous, was additionally “outed” by Fuzzy Panda.
Different Startups Are Doing Higher
If it looks as if a number of this week’s information is about new manufacturers, versus “legacy” manufacturers, that could be by design — the legacies all obtained time to shine in Europe and LA in current weeks, whereas we missed “Watts Up” Fridays throughout Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving weekend, so it could possibly be known as “good” for these smaller manufacturers to attend till the noise died down a bit.
One model that undoubtedly took that route was Walmart-backed, Canoo, which delivered a prototype of its new Mild Tactical Automobile (LTV) to america Military this week, in achievement of a contract for Evaluation & Demonstration awarded to the corporate in July 2022.
The Canoo LTV is being known as a “jack-of-all trades” within the official press equipment, which claims that the Mild Tactical Automobile may be transformed from a pickup to a flatbed truck, a cargo automobile, “and extra,” whereas promising that its transformable flatbed platform may be configured to “simply” carry normal sized plywood, development supplies, and tactical gear or attachments (learn: big-ass weapons) for regardless of the given mission requires.
“The LTV is one other milestone proving the ability of our know-how and the way it may be used, even in tactical conditions,” mentioned Tony Aquila, Chairman & CEO at Canoo. “It is a profitable algorithm for our prospects and firm.”
In Different Information
In different EV information, each Ford and Volvo spinoff Polestar introduced main manufacturing milestones for his or her first mainstream EVs, with Ford claiming it’s constructed its 150,000th Mustang Mach-E and Polestar claiming its 100,000th 2 sports activities sedan.
In the meantime, one other EV startup model, Drako, has revealed a brand new, all-electric, 2000 HP Dakar-style rally raider of an EV full with gullwing doorways, sub-2.0-second 0-60 MPH time, and the now requisite quilted leather-based seats and massive ‘ole touchscreen.
Lastly, within the spirit of, “if the mountain gained’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed should go to the mountain,” hydrogen gas cell hypercar model Hyperion has introduced that, for the reason that US authorities doesn’t appear to be in a rush to roll out a hydrogen infrastructure any time quickly, it would guarantee its well-heeled hypercar patrons have a prepared provide of H (and hydrogen, too) within the type of a cellular hydrogen filling station that’s blessed with among the finest, atomic-age GM styling I’ve seen in many years.
It is all vaporware and nonsense meant to generate eyeballs and deposits that can in all probability by no means result in something greater than tax write-offs, however I can dream, can’t I?
[Images: Screenshot of Tesla launch; provided by the manufacturers]
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