Shift

Carmakers shift up a gear in race to go electric

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – With electric car sales soaring and regulations increasingly favouring zero-emission vehicles, a flurry of announcements on Monday showed how the global auto industry has kicked into a higher gear as it races to speed past the fossil-fuel car era.

As part of its own 30 billion euro ($34.7 billion) electrification plan Stellantis – born out of a merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler earlier this year – said it had entered a preliminary agreement with battery maker LG Energy Solution to produce battery cells and modules for North America, where the world’s No. 4 automaker expects more than 40% of its U.S. sales will be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.

That follows a recent announcement that Daimler AG will take a 33% stake in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC), founded in 2020 by Stellantis and TotalEnergies in 2020.

Carmakers are racing to

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Europe to boost battery production as electric shift accelerates



a crane truck in a field: Europe has domestic sources of lithium, notably in the Czech Republic and Germany, but it will also probably have to depend on imports


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Europe has domestic sources of lithium, notably in the Czech Republic and Germany, but it will also probably have to depend on imports

As electric car sales take off and petrol engines face being phased out by 2035, Europe is looking to develop its own battery production base.

Far from being autonomous, Europe needs to accelerate domestic battery output as a national security issue as well as a boost for businesses and jobs.

Batteries that power electric cars and which weigh up to 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds), represent a considerable part of the vehicle’s value.

At the moment, they are mostly produced in Asia, with China, South Korea and Japan the leading manufacturers.

With a mid-July announcement that it intends to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, the European Commission has set a timetable for the bloc’s shift to electric cars.



a close up of a car: Batteries have become the key component of tomorrow's vehicles


© OLI

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Waymo’s leadership shift spotlights self-driving car challenges

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Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary, has reshuffled its top executive lineup. John Krafcik, Waymo’s CEO since 2015, announced on April 2 that he would be stepping down from his role. Krafcik is being replaced by former COO Tekedra Mawakana and former CTO Dmitri Dolgov and will remain as an advisor to the company.

“[With] the fully autonomous Waymo One ride-hailing service open to all in our launch area of Metro Phoenix, and with the fifth generation of the Waymo Driver being prepared for deployment in ride-hailing and goods delivery, it’s a wonderful opportunity for me to pass the baton to Tekedra and Dmitri as Waymo’s co-CEOs,” Krafcik wrote on LinkedIn.

John Krafcik Waymo CEO

Above: John Krafcik, former CEO of Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car subsidiary.

The change in leadership could have significant implications for Waymo, which

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US Car Sales Shift Into High Gear In Q1

The car buying craze is on. According to recent reports, consumers are snapping up new vehicles at pre-pandemic levels, as a  massive case of FOMO (fear of missing out) seems to be sweeping the entire commerce landscape.

Auto sales were up 8 percent in Q1, as vaccines continued to circulate and consumer confidence in an eventual return to normal began to tick up, leading to vehicle shortages that have only accelerated the buying binge, according to Bloomberg reports. According to researcher J.D. Power, retail deliveries are forecast to have reached 3.16 million vehicles during Q1, the second-highest total on record.

“There’s a little FOMO going on here, fear of missing out,” said Jeff Schuster, president of the Americas and global vehicle forecasting at researcher LMC Automotive. “Consumers have sacrificed on choice because the color combination or option combination they wanted wasn’t available,

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