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Happy Thursday.  While traveling in London for the week, I decided to venture out to Greenwich to visit the Smart Mobility Living Lab. The lab is currently testing ServCity’s level 2 and level 3 autonomous technology on the streets of London. Visit our Instagram, MobilityEVo_ to see some photos I took of one of the cars, and make sure to follow us! It was great to talk with the lab’s top engineers for a bit to hear firsthand about the testing progress.

Our newsletter this week includes news on the ID.Buzz, Aston Martin, Kia, Kodiak Robotics, and plenty more.

Have an amazing day.

EV Headlines

General Motors’ joint venture with POSCO Chemical, a South Korean chemical maker, has led the two companies to build a factory in Quebec, Canada. The finished factory will cost around $400 million and supply 200 jobs by 2024. The new factory will be key to Michigan’s growing EV market by supplying cathode active material consisting of nickel, lithium, and other materials.

In other EV News

  • Sony and Honda are exploring the possibility of a joint venture to assemble electric vehicles. According to officials from both companies, Honda will own the manufacturing rights of the vehicles, while Sony will build a mobility service platform through image sensing, telecommunication, and network and entertainment technologies.
  • Late last week, the governor of Delaware announced that the state would be adopting California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations.  This will give consumers more options at dealerships to purchase EVs.  Delaware is currently investing $1.4 million in expanding its charging network and also offers a $2,500 rebate for the purchase or lease of an EV.
  • Volkswagen is proceeding with a $2.2 billion factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. The new factory will produce VW’s new electric car, a flagship model with a high level of efficiency and cleaner to manufacture. The “Trinity” project’s goal is to achieve a range of around 435 miles and a significantly shorter charging time. VW hopes to launch the Trinity project by 2026.  In other VW news, VW released the details of the ID.Buzz this week (check the video above for more details).
  • Kia wants to launch two new electric vehicles each year until 2027, totaling up to 14 cars. The first of these EVs will be the EV9 large SUV.  Kia also has plans for two EV pickups. The company plans to invest around $23 billion over the next five years to jumpstart the campaign.
  • Smart EV Charging has been shown in reports to substantially reduce transportation emissions, according to a study completed by RMI and WattTime. Optimized charging could possibly reduce around 800 lbs of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere annually.
  • Aston Martin plans to develop “high-performance battery cell technology” with Britishvolt to begin their venture into the electric vehicle market with a battery-electric vehicle launch by 2025.  The two teams have signed an MOU and will work together on the R&D to develop the battery pack.

AV Corner

The United States’ largest public autonomous shuttle deployment has been announced in Jacksonville, Florida. Balfour Beatty Vision 2 Reality team and Beep will deploy the three-mile service on the Bay Street Innovation Corridor in downtown Jacksonville. The project received $12.5 billion from the USDOT funding program.

In other AV News

  • In addition to the news above, Kia’s EV9 SUV will be the company’s first vehicle to use Kia’s autonomous driving tech, “Automode.” Automode is a range of autonomous capabilities including “Highway Driving Pilot” for driving on highways without driver intervention. The company hopes to expand “Automode” through its future launches after the EV9 SUV and will include OTA updates.
  • Radar-based sensors are proving to be AV’s saving grace in winter weather conditions. Instead of optical-based sensors becoming clouded in difficult conditions, radar-based sensors use radio wave-based input to collect data. Optical sensors can be obstructed by mud, snow, fog etc… while radar-based sensors don’t have this issue.
  • Japan’s government plans to change traffic laws to allow level 4 autonomous vehicles to drive on select roads in the country. Japan wants to be able to promote self-driving services to reduce the strain of a shrinking workforce. Lawmakers will be asked to change traffic laws by this month.
  • Atlanta’s infamous traffic congestion is a headache, but self-driving shuttles and congestion fees may be on the table to help relieve traffic. Driverless shuttles would carry passengers from Ponce City Market to Georgia Tech. With the North Avenue corridor already hardwired for autonomous technology, change in Atlanta may be coming sooner than we think.
  • Kodiak Robotics is moving freight with AV semi trucks for Ceva Logistics between Dallas & Austin, and Dallas & Oklahoma City. According to company officials, Ceva Logistics is a paying customer, therefore making this a company to company transaction and not a testing program.
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