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December 9, 2019
GM Ramps Up Battery Investment with New Plant
Source: GM
The flood of new models expected in 2020 is going to require a surge in battery production. Anticipating potential supply crunches as battery demand rises, automakers are stepping up their investment in batteries with several looking to produce them domestically in the United States. GM, which has been under fire from labor groups following a prolonged labor strike that concluded in late October, announced last week that they will be investing in a new battery plant and creating 1,100 jobs in Ohio.

GM will partner with LG Chem on the $2.3 billion deal in an effort to bring jobs to the Midwest in addition to meeting the demand for cheaper EVs. This investment will contribute to GM’s wider electrification strategy, which has committed more than $8 billion to electrification over the next several years. For their part, LG Chem is also increasing their investment in the U.S. battery sector with customers including Tesla, Ford, VW, Volvo, Renault, and Hyundai.

Battery investment is being made to head off potential supply shortages as automakers around the world ramp up EV production in 2020. In anticipation of new releases, automakers have discontinued older offerings throughout the year. From the beginning of 2019 through November, states offering more than 20 EV models decreased from 26 to 18.

Battery investment is not only accelerating in the United States. China continues to dominate global battery production, and LG Chem is planning an additional $2.8 billion investment in a plant servicing Tesla’s operations in Shanghai. Globally, the EV Hub Private Investment dashboard is tracking more than $113 billion in battery investment for EVs. China and Germany lead with more than 80 percent of the batteries-only investment tracked.

GM faces tough competition as U.S. automakers also ramp up their EV investment. Tesla, which accounts for more than 60 percent of U.S. EV sales through September 2019, is leading battery investment in the United States with almost $5 billion committed. Neighboring auto giant Ford is also accelerating their electrification strategy and relying on partnerships with leading automakers like VW to support their new models. Ford’s EV platform is on the rise following the recent announcement of the the highly-anticipated Mustang Mach-E, which has already sold out its first round of pre-orders.

Ford is also positioned to be a tough competitor for GM’s planned electric pickup. GM’s offering and the all-electric Ford F-150 are both planned to hit the market in 2021. Sales of the Ford F-series were almost double the sales for GM trucks in 2018 and Ford’s partnership with Rivian is expected to deliver a high-performance powertrain for the all-electric F-150.

Regulatory divergences are also likely to play a part in the electrification race. While Ford has sided with VW, BMW, and Honda in support of California’s efforts to maintain tougher emissions standards, GM has aligned with Toyota and Fiat-Chrysler in support of the Trump administration’s proposed rollback. This split coincides with a period of waning EV sales through the third quarter of 2019. If this trend continues through the end of 2019, automakers will face a tough start to the new year as they attempt to drum up demand for new EV offerings. Stay tuned for the end of year wrap up on the EV Hub as fourth quarter sales are reported.
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EV Hub News

National Grid Opens Fleet Advisory Services Program Survey

The National Grid Fleet Advisory Services Program Survey is now available for your participation. The Fleet Advisory Service Program is intended to analyze customers’ current fleets and provide a roadmap to electrification in support of the electric vehicle and carbon-reduction goals of Massachusetts. The responses of the survey will inform a subsequent RFP; we look forward to your participation. The subsequent RFP is expected to go to market in Q1 of 2020.

The survey will close on Wednesday, January 8th, 2020, 4PM EDT. Contact Steven.Hopengarten@nationalgrid.com with any questions. Read More Here

Michigan Awards $4.2 million in VW Settlement Money for Electric School Buses

On September 12, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced an award of roughly $4.2 million to go towards the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation Electric School Bus Pilot Project. The first buses are expected to be in operation by Fall 2019 and will be deployed in areas that suffer disproportionate air pollution burdens. The buses will also be equipped with technology to enable bi-directional vehicle-to-grid power exchange. 

This pilot program represents the first school bus award made by the state through the VW Settlement funds. Michigan is only the fifth state to use settlement funds to invest in electric school buses. This award more than doubles the $4 million of VW Settlement funds invested in this technology to date. Read More Here

California Energy Commission Approves $95 Million for EV Charging and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

On September 11, 2019, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced the approval of $95 million in new investments to go towards clean transportation programs throughout the state. The investments will contribute to CEC’s Clean Transportation Program that seeks to accelerate progress towards the state’s climate and clean transportation goals.

The $62.7 million being invested in EV charging infrastructure increases the state’s total public funding for EV charging to almost $200 million according to the Public Funding Awards dashboardRead More Here

Catch Up On EV Hub News Alerts
Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at info@atlasevhub.com.
Upcoming Events

The electric, shared and smart mobility industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, with advancements in battery technology, charging infrastructure expansion and continuing growth in EV sales. Forth’s Executive Director, Jeff Allen will join AVERE’s Secretary General, Philippe Vangeel to recap the top electric transportation industry news of 2019, as well as give key insights into what’s to come in 2020. This webinar will highlight the growth of the industry nationally and internationally, as well as provide a sneak preview of what to expect in 2020. Read More Here

December 10th @ 1:00pm EST

Join Forth as we celebrate the holiday season – and the growth that the electric, shared and smart mobility industry has experienced over the past twelve months! We will host an electric transportation trivia, provide a recap of the biggest local and national news of 2019 and host our second food drive. Enjoy special holiday appetizers, plus local beer and wine. Don’t miss our last networking event of 2019! As a special THANK YOU to our MEMBERS, registration for this event is FREE for Forth members and $25 for the general public. Read More Here

December 18th @ 7:00pm EST

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