⚡️ Slowing EV demand

Plus, Tesla's energy storage business and $50M for EnergyX

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In today’s email:

  • The auto industry is suffering from slowing EV demand

  • Tesla’s energy storage business continues to shine

  • EnergyX raises $50M for lithium extraction

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A few good links

⚡️ Clean Energy

  • Tesla's solar business is tanking but energy storage is making up for it - Tesla's solar business is in decline. In the third quarter of 2023, the automaker's solar deployments slipped to 49 MW. (via TechCrunch)

  • Solar stocks tumble to 3-year low as Solaredge drops nearly 30% on demand warning - Solar stocks, which have already had a difficult year, fell to their lowest levels in three years on Friday. (via CNBC)

  • Electric grids could be the ‘weak link’ of clean energy transition, IEA warns - A large-scale transmission buildout and development of more flexible grids are keys to keeping the Paris climate accord goals in reach, according to the International Energy Agency. (via Utility Dive)

  • How many chargers will the Northeast’s electric trucks need? National Grid aims to find out - The U.S. Department of Energy-funded analysis will span some of the nation’s largest cities, targeting highways with heavy trucking traffic and commercial areas such as ports. (via Smart Cities Dive)

  • The US just made its biggest-ever investment in the grid - The power grid is not ready to handle the energy transition — or extreme weather. The Biden administration hopes $3.5B in new investments will fix that. (via Canary Media)

🚙 Mobility & Transport

  • Electric cars are seeing their highest discounts yet - EVs are still more costly than the $47,899 average transaction price for a vehicle overall, but incentives are starting to add up and bridge that gap. (via Business Insider)

  • E-Bikes Are Bicycles Not Motorbikes, Rules EU Court Of Justice - The EU Court of Justice has today ruled that as e-bikes are not propelled exclusively by mechanical power they are bicycles not motorbikes. (via Forbes)

  • Electric truck maker Volta Trucks files for bankruptcy in Sweden - Electric truck maker Volta Trucks said on Tuesday it has decided to file for bankruptcy proceedings in Sweden, after difficulties at suppliers made it hard for the startup to raise funds. (via Reuters)

  • GM delays EV truck production at Michigan plant by year - General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will delay production of electric pickup trucks at its plant in Michigan's Orion Township by a year as the No. 1 U.S. automaker grapples with flattening demand for electric vehicle. (via Reuters)

  • Ford cutting F-150 Lightning factory shift is 'emblematic' of changing EV demand - Ford confirmed that it has temporarily cut a production shift for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup, possibly signaling demand is drying up for the highly rated EV. (via Yahoo Finance)

🏠 Buildings & Cities

  • Climate Pledge Arena First Arena To Earn Net Zero Carbon Certification - The Seattle Kraken Zamboni runs on electric power, just one small example of converting an entire building from fossil fuels to renewables. (via Forbes)

  • Climate Change Threatens 400-Year-Old Jamestown and Its Buried Secrets - Archaeologists in Virginia are racing to study and save the remains of North America’s first permanent English colony from rising seas and flooding. (via Bloomberg)

Startup funding

  • Hayden AI, a leader in artificial intelligence and geospatial analytics, is pleased to announce the successful closing of its $53M Series B funding.

  • EnergyX, an Austin, TX-based lithium extraction and refinery technology company, raised $50M in Series B funding.

  • Cosmos Innovation raised $19.7M from undisclosed investors to work on accelerating the solar transition with an AI fab platform.

  • Harvest Thermal raised an undisclosed amount for their sustainable heat pump solution.

  • Urban Sky raised $9.75M in Series A funding from Playground Global and Airbus Ventures to work on earth imaging operations using reusable balloons.

  • Ampacimon raised $10.6M in Series C funding from Junction Growth Investors, Korys, Noshaq, Creos, and Gesval to work on grid monitoring solutions.

  • Skoon Energy raised €5M from SET Ventures and Social Impact Ventures to work on an AI-powered clean mobile energy platform.

  • Volteras raised $2.9M from Exor, Long Journey Ventures, and Scott Banister to work on connecting electric vehicles with chargers, home batteries, and energy retailers.

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⚡️ Slowing EV demand

Debrief: The car industry miscalculated the demand for electric vehicles this year. As they exhaust the initial pool of EV enthusiasts, an impending economic surge poses a risk to the significant progress made thus far.

Key takeaways:

  • The EV segment has experienced a significant period of exponential growth, but this growth is now slowing down. Some are questioning if automakers introduced EVs too soon.

    • Ford temporarily dropped an F-150 Lightning production shift and is refocusing on hybrids.

    • General Motors postponed some of its electric truck production by a year.

    • Many EV startups, such as Lordstown, Volta, and Lucid, are either folding or not meeting their predictions.

  • EVs accounted for 9% of all sales through September 2023, up from less than 1% of the total US market in previous years.

  • The auto industry is facing challenges such as high-interest rates, difficulties in obtaining loans, and high monthly payments, making EVs harder to justify for the average driver.

  • The average price paid for an EV in September was $50,683, down from over $65,000 a year ago. However, this price point is still unaffordable for many. Price parity between EVs and gas-powered cars is closer in the luxury market but not in the mass market.

🌶 Hot take: The transition to EVs is inevitable, but the turning point might not be until around 2030. Rising interest rates make large purchases more challenging right now. Overtime, prices and rates will come down. Federal and state purchase incentives help too.

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- Rick Jarrell, Founder of Acclimate