As we start this new year, there’s a feeling that there is much to play for in the automotive industry’s transition from conventional ICEs to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Market momentum is building.
In the end-year UK car sales data released earlier this week, December saw BEVs claim their largest ever monthly market share, of 32.9%, while for 2022 as a whole they comprised 16.6% of registrations, surpassing diesel for the first time to become the second most popular powertrain after petrol. Tesla, naturally, figured prominently in the model-level data as Model Y sales in Britain surged.
At the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this week, Volkswagen showcased its first fully electric sedan based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB); the model is a near-production-ready version of the upcoming flagship ID.7.
VW Group brand Audi has also presented its electrification plan; from 2026 only BEVs will be launched to global markets. Audi is also targeting halved factory costs by 2033.
In China, competition in BEVs is hotting up between Tesla and BYD and as BEV adoption rapidly accelerates across Asia-Pacific, competition is intensifying for Japanese carmakers in the region.
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Keep an eye on Hon Hai (Foxconn). Hon Hai has been expanding aggressively in the global EV sector in the last few years as it looks to reduce its dependence on Apple.
Also at CES this week, there was a first glimpse of what can be expected from the US-based JV between Honda and Sony.
ZF also showed a shuttle that points to continuing efforts to redefine the future urban mobility space. Beep-beep!
Mercedes announced plans more than 10,000 high-power chargers worldwide across North America, Europe, China and other main markets.
And there was news of an industry veteran taking on the ambitious business plan challenge of a start-up in the batteries space. Good luck to him.
Finally, Saudi Arabia and cars? I guess there’s always been a shovel in the face synergy of sorts, but Saudi’s rulers were traditionally more than happy to keep pumping out the black stuff to willing customers overseas. Times are changing though and Saudi Arabia has ambitions to develop a local auto industry capability as it diversifies its economy away from reliance on energy production. There may well be a few people eager to help.
Have a nice weekend.
Dave Leggett, Editor, Just Auto