My High EV Tales Of 2023


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After writing concerning the tales I believed had been essentially the most impactful for EV charging in 2023, I noticed that there was some fairly large information this yr concerning the vehicles themselves. Whereas a few of these tales weren’t about essentially the most wonderful vehicles, they’re those that can have the best impression on EV adoption, the general market, and the setting.

The Volvo EX30

One story that’s rather a lot greater than it appears to be like was the discharge of the Volvo EX30. One of the best ways to explain the discharge was a Bolt EUV, however with higher energy and charging. Pricing underneath $35,000 additionally makes it an enormous hit for the way forward for EVs as a result of individuals have to afford them to have the ability to really purchase them.

However, the opposite large side of the story is the hazard to U.S. home automakers. A low-priced EV is already one thing they aren’t going to have a solution for in 2024, many individuals don’t know that Volvo is now a Chinese language firm. Which means that the entire auto business might be seeing a repeat of the Malaise Period, a time wherein declining home automobile high quality mixed with robust import competitors gave Japanese corporations a foothold that was by no means misplaced.

Affordability is sweet, however the U.S. industrial base and the union staff who’re working in factories have to each work collectively for future survival. Sadly, survival means affordability, and that’s dangerous for each earnings and worker pay. Failure to get there might imply that as a substitute of diminished pay and earnings, every part goes to zero.

The Demise and Deliberate Rebirth of the Chevy Bolt

Not less than one large home automaker noticed the issue coming and altered course. GM initially wished to kill the Bolt and make room for dearer and worthwhile autos on the Orion plant. However, seeing the incoming cheaper imports that aren’t junk most likely freaked them out good. Then, rates of interest and falling EV gross sales made the executives assume once more, once more. So, a course correction was made, and now the Bolt EUV can be coming again.

The upgraded EUV can be somewhat cheaper, have a lithium-iron battery pack, and upgraded software program. However, it received’t be constructed on the Ultium platform (no less than not totally), as a substitute being primarily based on the design of the present EUV. Which means that GM can save loads of growth cash, and hopefully get again into the sport rather a lot quicker to maintain Chinese language EVs from taking the entire lunch cash.

However, this nonetheless leaves the query of what different home automakers are going to do about affordability. If solely GM can give you an reasonably priced EV, the home automaking might nonetheless be in for some critical issues.

Autonomous Automobile Woes

One other large story of 2023 is that autonomous autos aren’t going as nice as everybody hoped.

GM’s Cruise division, as soon as seen as a significant participant within the area, had some severely reversed fortunes this yr. Simply as issues gave the impression to be getting good in cities like San Francisco, the corporate had its Uber Tempe second, hanging however not killing a pedestrian. What frightened the general public this time wasn’t that somebody received hit (this was the fault of a automobile with a driver that hit the pedestrian first), however that the Cruise Bolt ended up dragging the pedestrian underneath the automobile for a methods earlier than coming to a cease.

All the firm’s plans at the moment are on maintain, together with plans to take the Cruise Origin to Japan in a partnership with Honda.

Tesla can also be having some issues, particularly with authorities officers. NHTSA and NTSB have been investigating the corporate’s Autopilot and FSD Beta software program packages all yr, after which wished the corporate to place out a recall, delivered within the type of an over-the-air replace. Submit-update, Autopilot now works in fewer locations and with extra restrictions.

It’s additionally price noting that the ultimate FSD, promised for years and years and years subsequent yr, remains to be not out.

Waymo and Zoox don’t appear to be hitting the skids, however the Teamsters need them to be extra closely regulated. However, Waymo does declare to be in an important place safety-wise.


We’ve been reporting rather a lot about Gogoro, a Taiwanese firm that has been working onerous to not solely construct an important charging community in Taiwan, however to increase into many growing nations globally. What makes the corporate significantly nice is that it designed a community that matches the wants of scooter riders in Asia and past.

Many locations around the globe are like Taiwan in that scooters and different bikes are extremely popular, however the locations to cost them in a single day are nearly non-existent. There are many locations to park a scooter, however few of these locations have a plug. Worse, low cost two-stroke scooter motors are an enormous supply of air pollution in growing nations, making for an actual downside.

By constructing scooters with swappable batteries and placing in a bunch of locations to swap a useless one out for a fully-charged one, the corporate bypassed the entire downside. Now, the most important polluters can go electrical simpler and cheaper than ever.

Whereas we wrote loads of authentic items about Gogoro’s progress into the Philippines, Japan, and Singapore (amongst others), this piece from RMI that we shared does an important job of explaining the rise.

About the one factor I don’t like concerning the firm is that I haven’t had an opportunity to strive one out, however the firm is doing loads of good for locations which might be very totally different from the place I reside, so my sort of driving wouldn’t actually play to the corporate’s strengths very effectively in any respect.

2024 Most likely Has Surprises Coming

Many of those tales weren’t simple to see coming. In late 2022, issues appeared wonderful for autonomous autos. No one noticed that the Bolt would get canceled after which introduced again. The Home EV business didn’t look like it was going to take such a success from extra reasonably priced imports. And scooters? That was most likely simpler to see from locations the place scooter driving was widespread.

So, it’s nearly assured that 2024 can have extra surprises in retailer. The business is shifting quick, and typically you’ll miss the massive stuff.

Featured picture by Gogoro.

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