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June 24

Electro Beat: Your monthly dose of EV news (May 2024)

Electro Beat news header

We're back with another Electro Beat; where we find the latest EV news so you don't have to!  

In this May edition, we chat about: Ford discontinuing the Focus model, used electric vehicles sales, Italy EV purchase incentives, the future of EVs and so much more! Keep reading for your unique new insight into EVs, charging infrastructure, and e-mobility worldwide.

Let’s get plugged in…

xxx

Shifting Focus: Ford discontinues Focus model in favour in EV innovation

It has been announced that next year (November 2025), Ford is planning on halting the production of their Focus model.

In 1913, Ford invented the moving assembly line - increasing the pace at which vehicles were being produced and encouraging the commercialisation of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle. But now, with their sights fully set on the future of driving, EVs are becoming Ford’s new main focus (pun intended!).

With the intention to electrify their fleet, comes the discontinuation of more and more of Ford’s petrol/diesel cars. Whilst some petrolheads may be disappointed with this change, this new and complete attention set on electrification will lead to exciting new EV prospects!

General Manager of Ford Europe, Martin Sanders, stated that:

“By the end of this year, we will have a full range of electric vehicles – both in the passenger vehicle sector but also in our commercial vehicle business line… We are quite flexible to adapt to market demand. For the next couple of years, we have a broad choice… Basically, our customers have the power of choice to pick what they want.”

Focus vs explorer

The end of the production of the Ford Focus aligns with Ford’s goal of hitting the Net Zero target; after 2030, Ford will no longer sell petrol and diesel cars in Europe! Already we are seeing the likes of the new Explorer compact SUV EV from Ford, scheduled to appear at the end of 2024. 

For anyone thinking what's next for the Ford Focus, the promise is that it will soon be replaced with an all-electric model - so watch this space!

UK sales of used electric vehicles spike to 71%, a new record market share of 2.1%

The second-hand vehicle market in the UK is off to a record year, growing 6.5% in the first quarter of 2024 - its sixteenth month of consecutive growth! With the sale of fuel-powered vehicles remaining fairly dormant, this growth can be directly - and rather excitingly - attributed to movement in the electric vehicle market.

Until recently, the second-hand market for electric vehicles has been slow, but with recent figures, it appears that the tide is turning as Q1 sales reach 71% (market share 2.1%). 

According to the SMMT, over 41,500 used electric vehicles were purchased, making electric vehicles the fastest-growing product on the second-hand market. With sales reaching 310,000 in 2023 (14% more than in 2022!), the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK has been steadily increasing; but, with the price of electric vehicles being a significant barrier, EV adoption and growth in the second-hand market are firmly linked. 

9 in 10 buyers who viewed a new EV also looked at second-hand models - with the recent increase in used EV sales, there is a strong indication that many drivers are waiting for a further explosion in the second-hand EV market before making the electric switch.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“A reinvigorated new car market is delivering more choice and affordability for used car buyers and, increasingly, they are choosing to go electric. To enable even more drivers to enjoy the benefits of zero-emission motoring, ensuring both supply and demand remain robust is essential. Incentivising new EV uptake and investing in a chargepoint network that is accessible, available and affordable to all will drive the nation’s net-zero transition.”

As the months roll on, other countries will likely have a similar story - for instance, in the US, 20,000 Teslas are about to hit the used-car market as Hertz (car rental giant) trades in its stock. Currently, on the Hertz Car Sales website (US), there are 200 used Teslas selling for less than $25,000 (£19,800).

Looking for a used electric vehicle to buy? AutoExpress has listed its Best used electric cars in 2024 - give it a read here.

Ethiopia surpasses its 10-year electric vehicle import plan in just 2 years!

Yes, you read that right - not only was Ethiopia the first country worldwide to ban the import of fuel-powered cars completely, but it has also surpassed its 10-year import goals of 100,000 electric vehicles 8 years ahead of schedule.

Ethiopia flag

Despite Ethiopia being the 11th most populous country (126 million), they only have 1.2 million vehicles registered but with increasing fuel prices, the country struggles to keep them running. In 2023, over 50% of the imported fossil fuels went into powering fuel vehicles, totalling around US $3 billion.

Alongside the fact that Ethiopia creates 100% of its renewable energy (90% of which comes from hydropower!), the Ethiopian government has implemented lofty EV goals. They initially outlined the import as part of its 10-year strategic plan of 148,000 electric vehicles and 48,555 electric buses, but since its recent import achievement, this import figure has been upped to 500,000 electric vehicles!

So, what about the public charging infrastructure?

Currently, Ethiopia has only a handful of public charging stations, but there are plans to change this:

In line with the 10-year plan, a total of 2,226 charging stations will be installed across the country (52% of these will be located in the capital of Addis Ababa, the rest, across other key cities and towns).

If you fancy keeping up with the progress on this, just check the Electroverse map! 

Italy's electric renaissance

Italy is gearing up for a cleaner, greener future with exciting new incentives for scrapping high-emission vehicles and making the switch to electric!

Announced on May 25th by the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy (MIMIT), this enhanced scheme aims to get the most polluting vehicles—those classed between Euro 0-3—off the roads. These older models currently make up 25% of the vehicles in Italy.

With these incentives, Italy is making it easier and more appealing to transition to electric vehicles, demonstrating a strong commitment to reducing emissions and improving air quality.

So, how much can I get?

As with most things, the answer is: it depends. Your vehicle class, income, and even the car brand you’re purchasing can impact how you benefit from the incentives. But don’t worry, we’ve broken it down for you!

You could receive between €5,000 - €13,740 towards the purchase of an electric vehicle if you scrap a vehicle up to Euro 2. For non-electric models and vehicles up to Euro 5, the discount is 40% up to €2,500.

And remember, your income can make a difference in how much you benefit from these incentives!

Incomes over €30,000:

The maximum incentive is €6,000 without scraping and can go up to €11,000 by scrapping a Euro 0 to Euro 2 vehicle.

Incomes under €30,000:

The state contribution is increased by 25% so the maximum discount can reach €13.75k.

We love to see national pride, and Italy is doing an incredible job championing home-grown brands. Through an initiative called “Diamo valore al Made in Italy”, certain brands like Fiat and Alfa Romeo are offering ‘social leasing.’

For instance, the first 1,000 customers with an ISEE under €30,000 can receive an electric Fiat 500 for three years at no additional cost.

Which vehicles qualify?

If you're thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid, or a heat-powered vehicle with CO2 emissions up to 135 g/km, you're eligible for subsidies. These incentives extend to electric motorcycles, mopeds, and light commercial vehicles too.

Fiat-500e-electric-vehicles-EVs-Italy

There’s also good news for fans of two-wheeled transportation: electric bikes, scooters, tricycles, and even quadricycles qualify for discounts. You can get up to 40% off if you scrap an old Euro 0-3 vehicle.

Here are the specifics: for cars with emissions in the 0-20 and 61-135 g/km bands, the maximum price to qualify is €35,000. For the 21-60 g/km band, the cap is €45,000.

This scheme kicked off this week and makes it easier and more affordable to switch to greener transportation. So, if you’ve been considering an upgrade, and are living La Dolce Vita, now might be the perfect time to take the plunge.

Amazon's big rig evolution: Retail giant rolls out largest electric truck fleet, ever!

Amazon started their electrification journey back in 2019 with electric yard tractors and has since expanded to ordering 100,000 electric vans for its US operations, as well as thousands of electric vehicles, including delivery vans, e-cargo bikes, and e-rickshaws, across Europe and India.

amazon trucks

While the retail giants are no strangers to the benefits of electric transportation, this move is set to be their biggest yet. 

In a bid to decarbonise every step of their delivery process, Amazon has 50 brand new heavy-duty electric trucks hitting the road. This is a huge step towards their goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

Umit Midan, vice president of Worldwide Amazon Operations said:

“We’re proud to launch our largest fleet of electric heavy-duty vehicles yet in California. Heavy-duty trucking is a particularly difficult area to decarbonize, which makes us all the more excited to have these vehicles on the road today. We’ll use what we learn from deploying these vehicles as we continue to identify and invest in solutions to reduce emissions in our transportation network, and to impact sustainability in the trucking industry more broadly.”

This fleet of 50 electric trucks will transport cargo containers and customer packages in Amazon’s operations, complementing the hundreds of electric vans already delivering packages across California.

Amazon's ‘first-mile’ is the journey of goods to the warehouses, this can cover national and international movement. Their ‘middle-mile’ is the movement of goods between warehouses. To further support this switch Amazon have installed over 45 direct current (DC) fast chargers across 11 sites

truck charger

California Governor Gavin Newsom had high praise for the move: "California continues to lead the way in setting world-leading climate goals. No other state has created the kind of environment where Amazon and other businesses can lead on sustainability and take major steps forward like deploying this fleet of electric trucks,” 

Customers in Southern California will have to keep their eyes peeled for the electric trucks - expected to cover over one million miles each year producing no carbon emissions. 

The bright future of EV sales 

There's been a lot in the news recently but you shouldn’t trust everything you read- particularly when it comes to slowing EV sales anyways. According to data from the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook 2024, global electric vehicle sales could hit 17 million in 2024- meaning 1 in 5 vehicles sold globally will be electric. 

Further projections from the IEA forecast that electric vehicles will make up 50% of all vehicles sold globally in the next 10 years. 

So what’s driving this sales surge for EVs? Well, the gap has narrowed rapidly when it comes to upfront purchase costs with many EVs costing the same, or even less, than traditional ICE vehicles. Combined with electricity prices coming down and fuel costs on the rise, more and more drivers are making the switch to electric.

The numbers don’t lie

While many news outlets have been hinting at the end of the EV revolution, the actual data shows that this couldn't be further from the truth. Looking at the three largest EV markets globally there has been nothing but growth, and some are even expected to smash forecasted targets for electric vehicle sales:

  • China, the driving force in the global auto market, is set to make a monumental shift towards electric vehicles this year. With EV sales expected to reach a staggering 10 million, they will constitute nearly 45% of all car sales in the country.

  • Meanwhile, across the Pacific, the United States is gearing up for an electrifying surge in EV adoption. Forecasts indicate a remarkable 20% increase in EV sales compared to 2023, accounting for approximately 11% of all new car sales.

  • In Europe, the third-largest car market, there's a palpable buzz surrounding EVs. Projections suggest a notable uptick of nearly 10% in EV sales, poised to represent a quarter of the region's total car sales.

electric car sale graph

According to the IEA, by 2030, EVs are anticipated to dominate the roads of China, comprising an impressive 33% of all vehicles. Similarly, in the U.S. and EU, the IEA predicts that 20% of vehicles on the road will be electric, marking a significant milestone in the global transition to sustainable transportation.

Despite the noise, the evidence is crystal clear: EVs are the way forward.

Altilium announces new global EV battery recycling technology

EV batteries can last between 8 - 20 years, depending on the battery type. Despite this lifespan increasing with each new innovation, there are still some questions about what happens to the old batteries once their EV lifespan comes to an end.

Clean technology group Altilium are aiding the global energy sector in the fight to go from fossil-based to zero-carbon! By upcycling and recycling old batteries and extracting cathode active materials (CAMs), Altilium aims to create a direct circle within the EV battery supply chain, where old EV battery materials can be reused in the manufacturing of new batteries.

In their determination to save resources and reduce mining, the firm has had a breakthrough! Altilium have confirmed details of their advancement in ‘EcoCathode hydrometallurgical recycling technology’.

altilium battery recycling

Without the rather long and technical words used above, let’s breakdown their recent discovery for you:

  • Their new technology makes it possible to extract even more Lithium from used EV batteries

  • Using the ‘EcoCathode’ process has meant Altilium has successfully processed LFP batteries (Lithium-iron phosphate batteries - a type of Lithium-Ion battery), recovering over 97% of the Lithium!

  • More Lithium means more cathode materials to utilise when manufacturing new EV batteries

Altilium’s production of advanced CAMs has resulted in “the potential to extend the lifespan of these batteries, while also reducing the carbon emissions by 60% and costs by 20% compared to virgin raw materials” - EcoCathode, Altilium.

Altilium’s research is creating exciting change in the EV landscape! By pushing towards an eco-friendly EV battery lifespan, they’re simply adding to the green driving solution that is EVs!

Tap here if you’d like to learn more about Altilium and their EV battery recycling technology!