Igniting the Future: February 2024 Electric Mobility Industry News(II)

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Welcome to our EV Charging Blog, where we unpack the latest in electric vehicle (EV) charging developments. From VinFast’s remarkable stock market debut to Swinburne University’s cutting-edge electric truck charging platform and the evolving charging landscape in Spain, join us as we navigate the dynamic world of EV infrastructure.

National flag of Vietnam

VinFast Surpasses Ford and GM in Valuation: Leading Vietnamese Electric Vehicle Manufacturer

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VinFast's Stock Market Debut:

  • VinFast, the Vietnamese EV maker, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange with shares closing at over $37, giving it a market valuation of $85 billion.
  • This surpassed the valuations of established automakers Ford ($48 billion) and GM ($46 billion).
  • The listing increased VinFast’s chairman Pham Nhat Vuong’s wealth by around $39 billion.

Spac Listing Strategy:

  • VinFast chose a unique path to go public by using a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), facilitating a quicker and less expensive process.
  • The backing of Vingroup JSC sets VinFast apart from other EV companies using Spacs, potentially ensuring a more stable funding source.

EV Market Challenges and Competition:

  • VinFast faces stiff competition in the EV market from leaders like Tesla and BYD, backed by Warren Buffett.
  • Investors see potential in Vietnam as a strong contender in the U.S. electric vehicle market.
  • Despite strong growth and Vingroup’s support, VinFast operates in a fiercely competitive landscape, with market leaders strategically cutting prices to boost sales.
National flag of Australia

Swinburne Secures Federal Funding for EV Charging Platform

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Development of Electric Truck Charging Platform:

  • Swinburne University has secured a $3 million grant to develop a platform for enabling electric trucks to charge while driving on highways.
  • The technology focuses on integrating embedded dynamic wireless charging into roads, aiming to facilitate the adoption of electric heavy vehicles.
  • The project leader, Mehdi Seyedmahmoudian, envisions a transformative impact on the heavy vehicle industry by seamlessly incorporating dynamic wireless charging systems into road infrastructure.

Potential Impact on Electric Heavy Vehicles:

  • Swinburne highlights that electric heavy vehicles equipped with sufficient charge for heavy loads and long distances could save Australia $324 billion by 2030.
  • The project aims to contribute to a greener, safer, and more efficient transport sector by promoting the adoption of electric heavy vehicles.
  • The initiative aligns with a shared vision for a sustainable transportation ecosystem, emphasizing a reduction in the environmental footprint.

Funding, Collaboration, and Research Background:

  • The $8.2 million prototype for advanced wireless charging infrastructure on regional roads is funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grants scheme.
  • Project collaborators include Swinburne University, ACE Infrastructure, SEA Electric, Fleet Plant Hire, RMIT, Siemens, ARRB Group, and Net Zero Stack.
  • The project is the culmination of several years of research conducted by Swinburne’s New Energy Technologies Research Group, involving collaboration with industry partners and bridging the gap between research and practical application.
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Electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Spain - Statistics & facts

AFIR Targets and Charging Infrastructure Needs:

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  • Spain faces challenges in meeting the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) targets set by the European Union.
  • The country would require over 183,900 electric vehicle chargers by 2030 to fulfill AFIR objectives.

Current State of Charging Infrastructure:

  • As of the fourth quarter of 2023, Spain had 30,345 public charging points, meeting the 2024 target but falling short of the 2030 requirement.
  • Most of the existing public charging infrastructure in Spain consists of slower alternating current (AC) chargers, with a need for faster solutions.

Demographic Hurdles Impacting Charging Network:

  • Spain faces demographic obstacles in expanding its charging network, with disparities between large cities and less populated areas.
  • High population density in cities contributes to lower charging infrastructure scores, impacting areas outside urban regions.

Regional Disparities and Complexities:

  • Disparities between autonomous communities in Spain, with Catalonia and Madrid leading in charging networks.
  • Challenges in meeting AFIR objectives are intensified by demographic variations, with complexities arising from differences in charging station distribution, population density, and regional market dynamics.
National flag of Sweden

Expansion of Tesla Strike in Sweden to Include Charging Stations

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Expansion of Tesla Strike in Sweden:

  • The strike against Tesla in Sweden, ongoing for nearly four months, initially initiated by the metal workers’ union IF Metall on October 27, has broadened its scope.
  • The conflict emerged due to Tesla’s refusal to sign a collective wage agreement, leading to mechanics at 10 Tesla repair shops across seven cities walking off the job.
  • The strike has evolved into a larger confrontation involving almost a dozen unions, including postal workers, dock workers, and extending to neighboring Nordic countries.

Blockade on Tesla Charging Stations:

  • Swedish union Seko announced the extension of the strike to include a blockade on Tesla charging stations.
  • The measures include a halt in maintenance and installation of Tesla charging stations, impacting planning, preparation, new connections, network expansion, service, maintenance, and repairs.
  • The industrial action is set to take effect on March 4, intensifying the standoff between Tesla and the unions seeking to uphold Sweden’s labor model.

Nordic Labor Market Model and Challenges:

  • The Nordic labor market model, based on sector-by-sector negotiated collective agreements with unions, is fundamental in Sweden and Denmark, covering a significant percentage of employees.
  • Tesla’s 127,000 employees worldwide, including many in Sweden who are union members, cannot benefit from collective bargaining agreements unless Tesla agrees to sign them.
  • Despite calls for unionization from its employees, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has consistently rejected such initiatives, leading to a prolonged and complex labor dispute.

In conclusion, the journey towards widespread EV adoption is a collective effort showcased by VinFast’s success, Swinburne’s innovations, and Spain’s charging infrastructure challenges. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the ever-evolving realm of EV charging, shaping a cleaner and sustainable future for mobility.

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