Tuesday, May 17, 2022

EV news roundup: Germany’s allowance to Mercedes-Level Benz’s 3 Drive Pilot self-driving technology to Canoo transferring EV production from Europe to the United States

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Germany has given the green light to Mercedes-Level Benz’s 3 Drive Pilot self-driving technology on the road:

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) officially certified Mercedes-Level Benz’s 3 self-driving system Drive Pilot, allowing it to drive on German roads. Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce Drive Pilot to its S-Class and EQS models in the first half of 2022.

Since Honda introduced the Honda Legend Level 3 self-driving car in 2021, which is now only available in Japan, this is the first major breakthrough in the global self-driving area.


The most significant distinction between Level 3 and Levels 0-2+ is that at Level 3, drivers have conditional freedom, allowing them to watch movies and perform office work, among other things.

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Automakers will be held accountable if problems develop. According to supply chain sources, the biggest breakthrough comes from rules. The rate of penetration will be directly influenced by the cost of chips and the progress of laws in other places. Other countries can use Germany’s legislation as a model.

Mercedes-Drive Benz’s system has been approved by Germany. The pilot may only be used on Germany’s 13,000-kilometer highway system. To activate Level 3 capabilities in other countries, users must follow local rules. It can also only be used with pre-made high-precision maps, geofencing, and closed expressways with a top speed of 60 km/h.

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Furthermore, if the vehicle sends a warning, the driver is required to take control within a certain amount of time. Lane lines, traffic conditions, and traffic signs can all be recognised by Drive Pilot.

Level 3 is appropriate for busy expressways due to the 60 kph speed limit. When driving at speeds of 100 kph or above, adaptive cruise control (ACC) level 2 is sufficient. According to supply chain organisations, the most significant difference between the two is that Level 2 still requires the driver to be in command and accept responsibility for driving.


The full self-driving (FSD) capability on Tesla battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has significant regulatory difficulties, despite the fact that it claims to be Level 4. Tesla has reduced its claims to Level 2+ under criticism from various governments but emphasises that their BEVs already have advanced driving capabilities that can only be triggered by local government restrictions.

Germany has taken the lead in promoting Level 3 self-driving cars, with other countries following suit soon. While Level 3 is now only accessible in high-end car models, Mercedes-technology Benz’s is undergoing extensive testing in China and the United States. Mercedes-self-driving Benz’s algorithms and technology will be replicated on a large scale if laws are agreed to allow Level 3 cars on the road, according to industry sources.

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Next year, China will reduce EV subsidies by 30%:

According to government standards, China will offer 30 percent fewer EV subsidies in 2022, and will only subsidise EVs priced below CNY300,000 (US$47,000). Carmakers will be put to the test in the coming year as they deal with semiconductor shortages, battery shortages, and subsidy reductions.

EV sales are expected to expand about 50% to five million units in 2022, despite the reduction in subsidies, according to Vice President of China EV100 Ouyang Minggao, mostly because demand is driving sales and production scale has increased.

In actuality, the subsidy reductions will have little effect on the top-selling vehicles, as luxury high-end models have never been eligible for subsidies and low-end models have received various sorts of subsidies.

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CNY3,900-5,400 is equivalent to a 30% reduction. In November, Tesla was the first to increase the price of the Model 3 and Model Y. After subsidies, the former cost CNY256,000, while the latter cost CNY280,000. Some promotional offers, including zero-interest down payments, have been discontinued by XPeng, while NIO has extended its 2021 pricing through March 2022.

Price spikes are a method to close the gap between supply and demand in the face of persistent shortages of chips and lithium batteries, but price hikes for whatever reason will put sales to the test.

According to Chinese media reports, overall new car sales grew 3.1 percent to 26.1 million units in 2021, up from 25.1 million units the previous year. To split it down, passenger automobile sales grew 5.6 percent to 21.3 million units year over year, while commercial vehicle sales fell 6.4 percent to 4.8 million units. Year-over-year, sales of new energy vehicles climbed by 150-160 percent to almost 3.4 million units.

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Battery manufacturers in South Korea are preparing for the EV market:

According to statistics collected from January to October this year, LG Energy Solution (LGES) and SK On, both based in South Korea, are now among the top-5 electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturers in the world. Both opponents are increasing production capacity and forecasting for the coming year.

According to Korean local news agencies Maeil Business News Korea and Ddaily, LGES, a subsidiary of LG Chem, is increasing production capacity from 170GWh to 280GWh by 2023 and 420GWh by 2025; capacity in the United States is scheduled to expand to 150GWh by 2025. KRW5.6 trillion will be invested in the United States, with a portion of that going to Ultium Cells, a joint venture with General Motors.

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LGES is investing KRW10 trillion in order to expand capacity, set up new production lines, develop advanced battery technology such as lithium-sulfur batteries and solid-state batteries, and provide BaaS in the future. It plans to go public in January 2022.

The IPO of LGES was scheduled for this year, however, it was postponed due to a GM Bolt recall due to fire concerns.

LGES filed a lawsuit against rival SK Innovation (SKI, from which SK On was spun off) in 2019 for allegedly stealing a patent secret. SKI paid KRW1 trillion in cash and another KRW1 trillion for patent licencing when the matter was settled earlier this year.

For the coming year, SK On expects to have solid earnings growth. Following a third-quarter operating loss of KRW373.3 billion, SK On plans to increase sales to KRW6 trillion next year and turn profitable.


LGES had about 21% of the global EV battery market share in the first ten months of this year, while SK On had about 5.8%. According to SNE Research numbers quoted by Ddaily, another South Korean battery company, Samsung SDI, which is working closely with Stellantis and wants to invest KRW2 trillion in the US, has roughly 4.6 percent global market share.

South Korean battery makers lost around 4.5 percentage points in market share over that time period, compared to Chinese battery makers’ total market share of 43.2 percent. All are aiming for the 2022 US market, with SK On collaborating with Ford and LGES collaborating with Hyundai and Stellantis.

After the IPO, LGES market value is estimated to reach KRW75-80 trillion, while SK On has announced that it is seeking pre-IPO investors with a goal of raising KRW3 trillion. The money will be utilised to expand the company’s international manufacturing facilities.

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Canoo moves EV production from Europe to the United States, shortening time to market:

Canoo, a publicly-traded electric car company in the United States, will move production from Europe to the United States in order to decrease supply chain risks and shorten time to market.

Founded in 2017, the company released its current production guidance and aims for the years 2022 to 2025 on December 15, 2021.

Canoo will grow output from 500 to 1,000 to 3,000 to 6,000 in 2022, according to the press statement. The forecast for 2023 has also been raised from 15,000 to 14,000 to 17,000 units. 40,000 to 50,000 units are planned in 2024, with 70,000 to 80,000 units predicted in 2025.

Canoo announced the revised production schedule after saying it had discontinued discussing contract manufacturing with VDL Nedcar of the Netherlands in order to promote its potential to receive Oklahoma and Arkansas incentives.

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In 2022, Canoo hopes to release its first lifestyle car. By relocating production from Europe to the United States, the corporation claims it would decrease supply chain vulnerabilities and shorten time to market.

Canoo will have more control over future innovation and IP creation as a result of this move. It also saves the company thousands of dollars by removing warranty risk, tariffs, and overseas shipping costs, as well as providing advanced career prospects to the brand’s supporters.

“We also happily achieved another key milestone,” said Investor, Chairman and CEO, “100% built in the heart of the United States and acquiring 96 percent of parts from the United States and its friends.” According to Tony Aquila. In a Canoe, he explained.


Northwestern Arkansas was chosen as the headquarters, R&D centre, and EV industrialisation site by automakers in November. Oklahoma was chosen to house a canoe research and development facility, as well as software development, customer service, and fundraising centre.

The canoe will be manufactured in an Arkansas facility, according to the news release. In the second half of 2023, we also plan to start up the “Mega Micro Factory” in Oklahoma.

Canoo’s $ 30.4 million prepayments will be refunded by VDL Nedcar. The two companies are searching for ways to work together, according to a news release. Canoo shares will be purchased for $8.4 million by VDL Group, the parent company of VDL Nedcar.

Canoeing is spreading into the European market, according to Aquila, who is searching for the best technique and timing to capitalise on innovative production technologies.

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