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    The rise of brand-new, second-hand electric vehicles / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 16 April - 13:00 · 1 minute

Used Tesla model 3 sedans available to purchase at an all-EV dealership.

Enlarge / Used Tesla model 3 sedans available to purchase at an all-EV dealership. (credit: shaunl | Getty Images)

David Cottrell got his $39,999 Tesla Model Y last February. The compact electric hatchback was a fantastic car, he says. But just a few months later, he decided to input the make and model into the website of an online used car retailer. Surprise! The Tesla was already worth $10,000 more than he and his wife had paid for it. They were thinking of buying a house in their hometown of Seattle, and the extra cash felt like a no-brainer. By June they had sold for $51,000—a tidy profit.

Now, Cottrell looks back at the transaction with a twinge of regret. He loves his new home and is excited about his reservation for a roomier Rivian electric truck, which is set to be delivered this summer. But when he plugged the same Model Y into the online used retailer again this month, he found the car would be worth only about $2,000 less than what he sold it for—even after factoring in the 20,000 miles he’s driven since then. “If we could have kept it, I could have driven for a year here and could have come out pretty equal,” he says.


This is not the way a car’s life span is supposed to work. They’re supposed to lose their value over time. This is why used cars are, generally, less expensive than new ones. But right now, everything is topsy-turvy. A toxic mix of pandemic-era supply shortages and inflation have spiked prices of used cars and trucks, which were up 35 percent in March compared to the same time last year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . It’s not unusual for certain used luxury cars, like Porsches and Corvettes, to go for more than their original sticker prices, says Luke Walch, the owner of Green Eyed Motors, a dealership outside Boulder, Colorado, that specializes in electric and hybrid vehicles. Now, “it’s trickled down into the commoner’s car,” he says.

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    Ford reorg prioritizes EVs, keeps fossil fuel vehicles as “engines of cash” / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 2 March - 21:17

Promotional image of electric crossover vehicle.

Enlarge / Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. (credit: Ford )

Ford announced today that it will be splitting its electric and fossil fuel vehicle business into two separate divisions. The announcement has investors rallying to the stock but leaves plenty of questions unanswered about the future of the 118-year-old company.

The reorganization caps weeks of speculation that the automaker might split into two separate companies. Ford has said that its future lies in electric vehicles, but for now, the vast majority of its profits come from fossil fuel cars and trucks.

“We are going all in, creating separate but complementary businesses that give us start-up speed and unbridled innovation in Ford Model e together with Ford Blue’s industrial know-how, volume and iconic brands like Bronco, that start-ups can only dream about,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

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    Rivian surprises, outrages EV truck buyers with 20% price hike / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 2 March - 16:33

A man is about to open the door of a Rivian truck in the wilderness

Enlarge (credit: Rivian )

Automaker Rivian announced yesterday that it is raising the prices of its R1T truck and R1S SUV and that the new prices would apply to nearly all preorders.

Both the R1T and R1S weren’t inexpensive vehicles to begin with—the truck started at $67,500 before any eligible tax credits, and the SUV started at $70,000. At those prices, the vehicles came equipped with a quad-motor drivetrain and a “large pack” battery that would provide about 315 miles of range.

Now, to get the same vehicle, buyers will have to fork over $79,500 for the R1T and $84,500 for the R1S, increases of 17 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The only customers locked in to the old pricing are those whose vehicles are already in production or will be soon. Given Rivian’s slow ramp-up, there aren’t likely to be many who qualify.

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    Lithium-metal “hybrid” battery promises lighter, longer-range EVs by 2025 / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 November, 2021 - 13:45

A Kia EV6 drives past the camera

Enlarge / Smaller vehicles like the Kia EV6 could benefit from lighter, more energy-dense batteries. (credit: Kia )

Solid-state batteries have been hailed as the Holy Grail for electric vehicles, and while that might be an overstatement, they do promise to boost range and slash charging times, bringing zero-emissions vehicles that much closer to parity with their fossil fuel competition.

Yet, solid-state batteries , which use a solid electrolyte, as opposed to a liquid or gel, remain just over the horizon . Recently, they’ve started to look less like vaporware and more like a real product, and they’ll probably start making their way into cars and trucks by the end of the decade. Still, that’s a timeline that gives competitors an opening.

One of those competitors is a company called SES , which last week announced that it had made a new battery that promises to nearly double the energy density of today’s lithium-ion cells. The key was eliminating a piece of the battery that added weight and thickness while not introducing dangerous conditions that could lead to a fire.

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    41 percent of consumers say their next car will be electric / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 - 14:41 · 1 minute

symbol indicating a place to charge an electric car with energy in Catalonia Spain

Enlarge / The biggest impediment to EV adoption appears to be cost of ownership, according to EY's 2021 Mobility Consumer Index. (credit: Carlos Sanchez Pereyra/Getty Images)

Electric vehicles are increasingly breaking into the mainstream. According to a new survey conducted by EY , 41 percent of consumers planning to buy a car say their next vehicle will be a plug-in. And they're mainly making that decision because of the environmental impact.

EY surveyed 9,000 consumers across 13 countries (Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, and the US) in June of this year as part of its Mobility Consumer Index. The last time the firm conducted this survey, in September 2020, just 30 percent said their next car would be either a battery EV or plug-in hybrid EV.

Where do BEVs beat ICE?

EV adoption is moving faster in some places than others. In China, for example, 48 percent say their next car will be an EV, and only 43 percent say it will have an internal combustion engine (with 3 percent looking for a hydrogen fuel cell EV and the remaining 5 percent saying they are unsure). Sweden's numbers are near-identical, with a matching 48 percent wanting an EV.

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    Will Ferrell and GM want to prank Norway with pizza, but why? / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 February, 2021 - 16:18 · 1 minute

GM and Will Ferrell took a Cadillac Lyriq EV to Sweden to highlight the fact that Norway buys more electric vehicles per capita than the US.

Enlarge / GM and Will Ferrell took a Cadillac Lyriq EV to Sweden to highlight the fact that Norway buys more electric vehicles per capita than the US. (credit: General Motors)

Although a bunch of automakers chose to sit out 2021, General Motors still saw value in advertising during this year's Super Bowl. The automaker used the event to promote its electric vehicle aspirations, which include plans to have an all-electric lineup by 2035 .

This project will be propelled by a new platform called Ultium and will start with next year's Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV . But you wouldn't know that from the ad campaign—at least not at first. Instead, we learn that Will Ferrell is really angry with Norway, and he wants to prank the nation of more than five million by sending them all anchovy pizzas.

The cause of this rage? Norway is doing better at EV adoption than the US. Much better, in fact, as 54 percent of all new vehicles sold in the Scandinavian country in 2020 were electric. Here in the US, plug-in vehicles accounted for a mere 2.2 percent of the 14.6 million new cars and trucks sold last year (although in absolute numbers, the US still bought about three times as many EVs as Norway).

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    Amazon begins delivering packages with prototype electric trucks / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 3 February, 2021 - 21:28

An Amazon-branded truck drives down a street lined with palm trees.

Enlarge / A prototype Amazon delivery truck in the Los Angeles area. (credit: Amazon )

A year and a half after Amazon announced it would buy 100,000 electric trucks to reduce its carbon footprint, Amazon says it has begun using prototype vehicles for real-world deliveries in Los Angeles. Amazon expects to spend a few more months testing the vehicles before the start of mass production later this year.

Amazon placed the massive order with Rivian, a startup that has raised billions of dollars to build electric trucks. Amazon is a Rivian investor.

Rivian has designed a "skateboard" electric truck platform that can be used to build a wide variety of vehicles. Rivian is aiming to begin deliveries of its flagship pickup truck, the R1T , and the R1S SUV later this year.

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    The automotive industry has got SPAC madness, and it may not end well / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 16:34

Fisker Ocean showing

Enlarge / Fisker now has a market cap of $4.1 billion thanks to a SPAC reverse merger in 2020. It says that the Ocean SUV will be the most sustainable vehicle ever sold. (credit: Fisker)

With technology disrupting the automotive industry, investors have raced to secure exposure to potential winners—whether battery makers, manufacturers of other forms of power storage or developers of the “lidar” sensors that some believe are key to the development of self-driving cars.

Yet according to a Financial Times analysis, the nine auto tech groups that listed via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year expected revenues of just $139 million between them for 2020. They include QuantumScape, a battery company backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen; the hydrogen truck start-up Nikola; and the lidar company Luminar Technologies.

While the past 12 months proved a hot market for tech groups doing conventional IPOs, bankers and lawyers say that the SPAC process gives companies—and the vehicles acquiring them—far greater latitude in disclosing future financial projections. The nine auto tech companies, for example, together predict their revenues will reach $26 billion by 2024.

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