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May 11, 2020
COVID-impacted Automakers Allowed to Resume Production May 11
Source: CNN
After almost two months of stagnation, auto plants around the country are gearing up to resume production. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on May 7th that manufacturers in the state affected by coronavirus shutdowns will be allowed to begin reopening today, May 11th. GM, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler are all targeting May 18th to get assembly lines moving again.

Michigan is not the only state to open the gates for vehicle manufacturing, as Ohio also permitted automakers to begin reopening plants on May 4th. In some southern states including Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina with less stringent shelter-in-place orders, automakers elected to shutter their factories in March in accordance with industry guidelines. Factories operated by Daimler, Volkswagen, and BMW began to reopen in early May. Some states including California have been slower to ease restrictions and after announcing plans to restore “limited operations” at its Freemont facility on Friday, Tesla filed a lawsuit on Saturday May 9th against Alameda County to expedite the return to production.

This news comes at a time when the unemployment rate has skyrocketed, reaching 14.7 percent with 20.5 million jobs lost in April. The U.S. auto industry employs more than 835,000 workers and accounts for six percent of national economic output. Both American and foreign automakers have furloughed tens of thousands of employees throughout the pandemic. Employment impacts have also percolated throughout the dealership network with the nation’s largest auto dealership chain, Auto Nation, announcing a 7,000-person furlough in early April.

Automakers expect to bring their employees back to work slowly, citing concerns about supply chain backlogs and weak market demand as sources of further delays. U.S. automakers rely on Mexican imports to make vehicles, a dependency that is cause for concern as restrictions south of the border could remain in place through May 30th. On the demand side, several major automakers saw sales drop by more than 50 percent in April amid one of the worst months in decades for the U.S. auto market.

There are signs of recovery on the horizon as analysts estimate the industry hit rock bottom between mid-March and mid-April with the used market bouncing back in the final two weeks of April. Recently released earnings reports indicate that some American autos may emerge from the fray with profits to boot. Riding high after a record first quarter for global vehicle deliveries, Tesla saw its stock price surge throughout April with an additional boost after reporting $16 million in profits for the first quarter on April 29th. GM managed a net profit of $294 million for the first quarter based on their report published on May 6th, an 87 percent drop from last year. The story was not as rosy for Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, which both reported losses in the billions for the first quarter.

Profits have come at the cost of restructuring on GM’s part, and the auto giant is expected to achieve $2 billion in savings for the year by idling five plants and laying off 14,000 workers. EVs continue to drive investment for the company, which plans to invest $7 billion in electrification efforts this year. Part of this includes retooling their Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility to be the company’s first EV-only plant with a $2.2 billion investment announced at the beginning of the year. This move is expected to create 2,200 jobs after the transition is complete.

While automakers remain committed to their electrification strategies, upcoming models are expected to face delayed release schedules due to complications from the pandemic. All eyes are on the highly anticipated electric pickup trucks with Ford, GM, Tesla, and Rivian all vying to enter the untapped market as quickly as possible. On the crossover market, Tesla and Volkswagen are both racing to release new EVs with deliveries for the Model Y already underway and VW working to bring the Audi e-tron Sportback and VW ID 4 onto the U.S. market by the end of the year. We are working on a new product with our friends at Climate Nexus that will consolidate all the information on upcoming EVs and production delays.
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2020 EV Hub User Survey Now Available!

In an effort to help us stay resilient in this time of upheaval, we want to hear from you on what’s working and what you would like to see on the Hub. This will help us identify the most important pieces of the Hub for you and opportunities to improve content across the platform.

We would appreciate if you took the time to fill our 2020 User Survey. This should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete.
 

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EV Hub News

New Jersey Will Allocate Remaining $45 Million VW Settlement Funds to EVs and EV Charging

Strengthening the state’s transportation electrification leadership, policymakers in New Jersey announced on April 22, 2020 that the remaining VW Settlement Funds worth almost $45 million will go towards EVs and EV charging. Roughly $32.7 million of this will go towards the replacement of old diesel buses, trucks, trains, port equipment, and marine vessels with electric alternatives. New Jersey has already awarded more than $24 million to EVs across several different vehicle categories and is one of only six total states awarding funds for electric trucks. 

The new round of funding also includes an RFP for charging infrastructure through the state’s It Pay$ to Plug In worth $7.6 million. The program that has already awarded $3.2 million for both DC fast and Level 2 charging stations throughout the state. 

The RFP will be open through June 22, 2020. Read More Here

NYSERDA Adds $5 million to the Charge Ready NY Program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has added $5 million to the Charge Ready NY program which offers $4,000 rebates to public and private organizations that install Level 2 EV charging stations at public parking facilities, workplaces, and multifamily apartment buildings. This announcement brings the program’s total budget to $12 million. Since launching in September 2018, the program has supported more than 1,800 charging ports, of which over 1,000 have already been installed. Read More Here

National Grid and Oregon DOT Seeking Vendors for EV Charging Programs

In Massachusetts, the electric utility National Grid in Massachusetts has issued an RFI in order to execute residential off-peak charging rebate program. The survey seeks vendors that could provide charging data from varying technologies. The Off-Peak Rebate will pay customers a fixed per-kWh rate for charging their EV during the hours of 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The survey will be open until February 28th and an RFP will be issued afterwards. 

In Oregon, the Department of Transportation is hosting a pre-proposal webinar to provide an overview of a new funding opportunity. Public agencies in the state are providing funding to upgrade and enhance Oregon’s network of 44 charging stations available as a part of the West Coast Electric Highway Initiative with new, dual-protocol, DC fast charging capability. The upgrades will allow fast charging using CHAdeMO or CCS connectors at each of the 44 sites. The pre-proposal webinar will be held on April 20th at 10:30 a.m. PST. Read 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 number of users on EV Hub is growing and the content on the platform is constantly expanding to new areas. To help new folks get acclimated and to help existing users find out about new features, we’ll be hosting an online tour/training of EV Hub. This event will occur on a quarterly basis. Anyone can join, including those who aren’t on EV Hub. 

You can join the event here: https://bit.ly/3eVG1yl

 Read more here.

May 12th @ 1pm EST

As discussions in Washington DC turn to a long-term economic recovery, prospects for a substantial infrastructure bill that can also stimulate that recovery seem better than ever. Our speakers will include a cross-section of public and private sector leaders in this discussion. Speakers will discuss the transportation electrification ecosystem working together towards a collective goal for clean, affordable and equitable energy policies. Read more here.

May 12th @ 10am PST

Sales of traditional new cars were already showing signs of weakness as much of the world reached “peak car” this year. But the coronavirus and the resulting economic fallout are likely to drive sales sharply lower for 2020. At this webinar, our speakers will highlight the impact COVID-19 to the electric vehicle industry and provide strategies to continue to accelerate transportation electrification. Read more here.

May 19th @ 10am PST

Join the Electrification Coalition’s Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative team for a webinar to learn how to save money by leasing electric vehicles for your fleet. The speakers will discuss city experiences and examples of leasing from across the country. Read more here.

May 20th @ 2pm EST

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