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Bio: John is the COO at EPG, a company focused on helping electric and autonomous vehicle companies hire the best talent. In addition to these services, EPG puts out an informative weekly newsletter that is cleverly titled Electric and Autonomous Weekly. You can sign up for the newsletter here

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Ice White Edition

Blue Oval

Ford announced three new battery factories and a truck plant which will cost around $11.4 billion. The planned $11.4 billion will be split between Ford and its main battery supplier SK Innovation out of South Korea. Two of the battery plants will be in Kentucky and the third battery plant will be in Tennessee with the truck plant also being located in Tennessee. Tennessee is giving Ford $500 million in incentives to build the $5.6 billion, 3,600-acre mega campus in Memphis. Dubbed ‘Blue Oval City’, the campus will produce Ford’s new F-series of electric trucks and battery manufacturing starting in 2025.

The project is expected to create 5,800 jobs at the Memphis Regional Megasite. The project is expected to generate more than 27,000 new jobs, indirectly and directly, to support the operations of the plants. This will result in $1.02 billion in annual earnings and will contribute $3.5 billion annually to the state. This will also include $5.6 billion in temporary construction benefits related to land, buildings, and other real property improvements.

Lucid Air start of production.

A Dream Come True

Lucid has begun producing its first cars with deliveries scheduled in late October, just in time for Halloween. Lucid’s first car is a $169,000 special edition of its flagship sedan called the Air Dream Edition, with an industry-leading range of up to 520 miles, according to the EPA. Lucid has received more than 13,000 total reservations so far. Lucid told investors in July that it expects to produce 20,000 Lucid Air Sedans in 2022, generating more than $2.2 billion in revenue. 

Ultium battery pack

A Quick Charge

Mahle Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have created a new lithium-carbon technology with a fast-charging capability and a lifetime of over 100,000 cycles. Li-C cells are free from rare-earth metals, are fully recyclable, and are not susceptible to runaway events. Mahle Powertrain’s Head of Research, Dr. Mike Bassett, hopes the quick charging time will dissolve range anxiety.

Allotrope Energy’s lithium-carbon technology combines the benefits of supercapacitors and traditional lithium-ion batteries that allow the battery to be recharged quickly and also retains its energy density. The battery cell will be able to withstand thermal degradation effects. As an example, Mahle compared the charging times of an e-moped. A lithium-ion battery took around 30 minutes to recharge vs. the lithium-carbon pack took just 90 seconds.  

Man travelling in autonomous self-driving autopilot Tesla Model S

Did You Pass?

Tesla has begun rolling out a Full-Self Driving (FSD) beta request button that allows users to try autonomous technology before its wider release. If requested, Tesla will assess user driving behavior for a week to determine if users can use the technology. Basically, if you’re a good driver, Tesla will allow you to try the autonomous tech.

The scoring is based on a scale between 0-100, and Tesla said most drivers will have a score of 80 or above. The scoring will be based on five key factors including Forward Collision Warnings per 1,000 miles, Hard Braking, Aggressive Turning, Unsafe Following, and Forced Autopilot Disengagement. The automaker hopes the program will boost uptake for Full Self Driving Betas and help refine the system for wide releases. 

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