EV, Charging & Battery News: CDK Global Inc., Porsche, Polestar, Tritium Partners, EnelX Way & BMW

In electric vehicle charging and battery news are CDK Global Inc., Porsche, Polestar, Tritium Partners, EnelX Way & BMW.

Survey Finds EV Satisfaction & Charging Concerns

CDK Global Inc., a leading automotive retail software provider and a Brookfield portfolio company, released results of a survey that found significant challenges and opportunities the industry must address to get to an all-electric future.

CDK’s study found that while EV owners are extremely satisfied with a net promoter score (NPS) of 69, they still have concerns about the amount of time it took to charge their vehicle (69%), the availability of charging networks (60%), and vehicle range (56%).

For non-EV shoppers, nearly half (46%) reported they do not plan to buy an EV at any point in the future, which reveals a need for dealers to better educate shoppers on EV options, while continuing to sell and service gas-powered vehicles through the next decade and beyond.

The survey also revealed several insights for dealers looking to stay ahead of the curve with their customers, such as:

  • 26% of shoppers who bought or planned to buy a gas-powered vehicle considered an EV—with 88% pointing to the dealer’s sales representative as introducing the option.
  • EV buyers listed advanced technology as the top purchase motivator (25%), with a desire to reduce impact on the environment coming in second (23%).
  • 40% of EV shoppers postponed buying an EV until they had their own garage due to concerns around easy and convenient access to charging facilities.
  • Four out of five EV owners (81%) plan to get their vehicles serviced at the dealer. And while oil changes are the primary worry for owners of gas-powered vehicles, EV owners report the need for heath checks on batteries (61%), tire changes (44%) and high-voltage cable inspection (40%).

“While the headlines shout about the inevitability of an all-EV future, there is still a lot of work we must to do to pave the way, while continuing to take care of consumer needs in the meantime,” said Barb Edson, chief marketing officer, CDK Global. “We believe the dealer is—and will continue to be—at the heart of automotive retail. By helping them better understand the realities of the market, they can plan more impactful sales and service programs and investments in their dealerships to meet consumer needs through this transition.”

Taycan Experience Center in Atlanta Powered by Renewable Energy

All-electric Taycan fleet at the Experience Center in Atlanta will be powered by renewable energy generated on-site.

Atlanta. Porsche is tapping the sun to meet the energy needs of its growing U.S. headquarters campus.

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) today announced a contract with Cherry Street Energy, LLC, the largest non-utility provider of solar energy in Georgia, to build and operate a solar power microgrid at One Porsche Drive – the site that combines PCNA corporate headquarters with the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta. A microgrid is an on-site electrical network with its own power source, in this case solar panels, that also connects to the wider electrical grid.

At One Porsche Drive, energy from solar panels will provide a significant portion of annual electricity needs. It will also mean the all-electric Taycan sports cars that are part of the visitor fleet can be charged from purely renewable power. The Experience Center, one of two in the U.S. and 10 in the world, is a track-based attraction where the public can drive the latest Porsche models with a personal coach as well as dine, shop or just grab a coffee in a Porsche-themed environment.

The solar power project will contribute to PCNA’s sustainability goals as the campus adds major new facilities. One Porsche Drive is currently undergoing a $50 million development that includes building a second driver development track for the public, due to be operational in early 2023.

New features of the development also include a Porsche Classic Factory Restoration facility, a parking deck and the already-opened Porsche Service Center South Atlanta. These developments are on 33 acres adjacent to the existing 27-acre headquarters and Porsche Experience Center, which first opened in 2015.

“Powering our North American home and our Taycan fleet through harnessing Georgia sunshine makes perfect sense, and is a great demonstration of our commitment to sustainability,” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of PCNA. “This solar project contributes to the overall sustainability targets of Porsche AG. In 2030, Porsche aims to be CO₂ net neutral across the entire value chain and life cycle of newly sold vehicles.”

Cherry Street Energy estimates the array of solar panels on the headquarters campus will generate 2,050 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually– enough to power 191 average homes for a year. Compared to using fossil fuel sources, this renewable electricity represents an estimated CO₂ reduction of 3.2 million pounds per year, equivalent to avoiding 3.6 million miles of driving by an average passenger vehicle.

Installation of the solar microgrid will start in September and is expected to be completed in 2023, kicking off a 25-year operating agreement between PCNA and Cherry Street Energy. Panels will be mounted on new and existing buildings, the roofs of staging areas by the two tracks where customers start their drives, and on a new 950-foot covered walkway from the parking garage to the headquarters building. Cherry Street Energy will own, operate and maintain the microgrid, selling the power to PCNA. Through this direct transaction, Cherry Street Energy will provide stabilized energy rates and generate significant, measurable reductions in carbon emissions for Porsche.

“The Cherry Street Energy team welcomes the opportunity to partner with Porsche on this innovative infrastructure program, leading the transition to reliable, renewable electricity,” said Michael Chanin, founder and CEO of Cherry Street Energy.

PCNA has made sustainability measures a priority for the campus expansion since the early stages on the project. In addition to the solar power microgrid, the campus will use concrete specially formulated to lower its embodied carbon content, benefit from extensive water re-use and recycling, utilize native non-irrigated landscape solutions, green walls and walking trails to increase bio diversity, and incorporate extensive new electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The new campus expansion is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification recognizing the high standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which was previously awarded to the existing One Porsche Drive campus.

EV Volume & Uncertainty

While 2022 continues to add to the challenges electric vehicle (EV) makers face, markets are still growing. Indeed, electric car sales for the first half of 2022 reached ~3.5 million, according to IDTechEx research.

In recent years, IDTechEx has underestimated the growth of electric car markets in the face of uncertainty from global events and changes (often U-turns) to government policy. In the following article, IDTechEx outlines recent developments in key markets and discusses the corresponding impact on forecasts.

Since the Biden administration has come to power, the US has seen much greater support for electrification. In 2021, a 50% by 2030 electric vehicle target (new sales) was introduced; volumetrically, the target is the largest in the world (for an individual country) and would represent 7-8 million annual sales using today’s figures. In addition, new emissions standards are to be introduced from 2023: average carbon emissions from cars and light trucks will decline from ~224g CO2 per km to ~161g CO2 per km in 2026. The new standards bring the US more in line with Europe and, for the first time, will be national, not determined by individual states.

Moreover, in August 2022, plans to modernize the EV federal tax credit, first introduced in 2009, have narrowly been passed. The update is included in the broader ‘inflation reduction act’ and was enabled by a U-turn from one senator. It will make a tax rebate of up to US$7500 per EV available to market leaders such as Tesla and GM for the first time in years. IDTechEx forecasts for the US market have greatly increased since 2019 (today’s forecast is ~80% greater by 2035), reflecting some of these policy changes. The key difficulty is now not targets and commitments but ensuring battery.

Polestar Roadster Production Planned

Polestar (Nasdaq: PSNY), the Swedish electric performance car company, confirms plans to put the Polestar electric roadster concept into production. The production car is expected to launch in 2026 as the Polestar 6 electric performance roadster. Interested customers in all active Polestar markets are able to reserve a build slot online starting August 16, 2022.

“With the overwhelming consumer and press response, we took the decision to put this stunning roadster into production and I am so excited to make it a reality,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “Polestar 6 is a perfect combination of powerful electric performance and the thrill of fresh air with the top down.”

Revealed in Los Angeles in March as the Polestar O₂, the electric roadster concept builds on the design, technology and sustainability ambitions laid out by the Polestar Precept and showcases the brand’s vision for future sports cars.

The hard-top convertible will be built on Polestar’s bespoke bonded aluminum platform. Developed in-house, it will feature the high-performance, 800-Volt electric architecture already confirmed for Polestar 5. This includes output of up to 884 hp (650kW) and 663 lb-ft (900 Nm) from a dual motor powertrain, a targeted 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

To celebrate the launch, 500 numbered units of a special ‘LA Concept’ version, the ‘Polestar 6 LA Concept edition’, are planned to be produced. They will exclusively feature the unique ‘Sky’ blue exterior, light leather interior and unique 21-inch wheels of the original Polestar O₂ concept.

The production confirmation headlines the brand’s attendance with the electric roadster concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’ events during Monterey Car Week in California, August 18-21, 2022.

Further technical details and specification confirmations will be released as the production car becomes reality, leading up to the expected launch in 2026.

Tritium Partners with EnelX Way

Tritium DCFC Limited (Tritium) (Nasdaq: DCFC), a global leader in direct current (DC) fast chargers for electric vehicles (EVs), and Enel X Way, the Enel Group’s global business line that offers smart EV charging solutions and services, announced the signing of a global framework agreement and first contract in the US, deepening Enel X Way’s access to Tritium’s fast charging hardware and software. Enel X Way is a global leader in smart EV charging solutions with over 380,000 charging ports worldwide.

Under the agreement, Enel X Way will pair its JuiceNet software platform with Tritium’s 175kW fast charger and a 50kW variant of the company’s award-winning RTM to deliver smart fast charging solutions for fleets, automakers, utilities, and public charging sites along highways. The more than 250 fast chargers are expected to qualify for a tax credit that was recently modified and extended as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Under the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit, commercial projects now qualify for a maximum incentive of 30% or $100,000 per charger (up from $30,00 per property), whichever is of lesser value.

In the future, the companies intend to further expand their relationship to meet the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program objectives, which will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to develop a national network of 500,000 EV chargers. To meet NEVI demand, Enel X Way intends to deploy Tritium’s Buy America-compliant PKM150 DC fast chargers. Tritium’s PKM150 and RTM are expected to begin US production at the company’s Tennessee factory this fall and meet the Federal Highway Administration’s Buy America compliance requirement in the first quarter of 2023.

Through smart charging, utilities can manage and benefit from this growth while ensuring a reliable, balanced, and clean electric grid for all users. Enel X Way offers site hosts and partners a complete line of interoperable, hardware agnostic, OCPP compliant, SOC-2 compliant, smart grid EV charging solutions, meeting the highest industry standards.

Tritium and Enel X Way have a long-standing business relationship with the common goal to decarbonize transportation, and this new agreement is the latest success in the companies’ partnership. The companies plan to sign additional regional contracts to further expand access to fast charging around the world.

In North America, Enel X Way is qualified for more than 60 commercial utility and state incentive programs, including 30 DC fast charging incentive programs. The Enel X Way software platform allows utilities to monitor and analyze demand from participating charging stations and manage charging to respond to and align with real-time grid conditions. Enel X Way has also received AICPA SOC 2® certification, which safeguards customer and driver data demonstrating its commitment to the highest cyber security standards.

BMW Testing E-Concepts

BMW M GmbH is opening the next chapter in its transformation towards electric mobility. With the first test drives of a so-called concept test vehicle for innovative drive and chassis control systems, a multidisciplinary team of developers is now putting to test the hardware and software solutions designed for future fully electric high-performance cars. The concept testing focuses on a four-wheel drive system comprising four electric motors and an integrated driving dynamics control system, which together provide an unprecedented level of performance and experience.

With the completely new drive concept, BMW M GmbH is underscoring its development expertise and, therefore, also its ability to transfer the essence of the letter M into the world of locally emission-free mobility. The purely electric drive system is combined with innovative control systems to redefine the combination of dynamics, agility and precision that is characteristic of BMW M automobiles in a high-performance sports car.