This week, we have news on BYD, GM, Solid State Batteries, and an Electric Cargo Plane: Our Top EV News for the week of Feb 2, 2023.
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BYD predicts its 2022 net profit to be more than five times the previous year, with a net profit of $2.37-$2.52 billion versus around $445 million in 2021. The company attributes its success to strong sales growth and improved profitability, and it stopped producing combustion engine vehicles in April 2021.
BYD's best-selling models, the Qin and Han sedans, increased by 83% and 132% respectively in 2022. BYD still lags behind Tesla in terms of global electric car sales by nearly 400,000 vehicles but plans to increase sales with its new BEV products, including the Seal model, and begin EV sales in the UK with the Atto 3 SUV this quarter.
General Motors is investing $650 million in Lithium Americas to secure access to lithium for electric vehicle batteries. The investment will give GM exclusive access to the first phase of lithium production and the right of first offer on the second phase from the Thacker Pass mine, the largest source of lithium in the US.
The investment will allow GM to make as many as 1 million EVs per year. Lithium production at Thacker Pass will start in the second half of 2026 and create 1,000 jobs during construction and 500 during operations. GM is on track to produce 400,000 EVs in North America from 2022 to the first half of 2023 and is planning for 2023 to be a "breakout year" for its Ultium Platform.
QuantumScape, an American company specializing in solid-state lithium metal batteries for electric cars, has announced impressive performance figures for its new battery. The company claims that the battery has a volumetric energy density of 1 kWh/l, which is four times that of the current Tesla Model 3 battery, and a weight energy density of 380-500 Wh/kg, compared to 260 Wh/kg for Tesla. The battery can be charged from 0 to 80% in just 15 minutes and can retain over 80% of its capacity after 800 cycles.
Volkswagen invested $100 million in the company in 2018 and made an additional $200 million investment in 2020. QuantumScape merged with Kensington Capital Acquisition in 2020, receiving $1 billion in financing and listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol QS.
Electric Cargo Plane
Pyka has introduced the Pelican Cargo, a large autonomous electric aircraft, as the latest addition to its industrial aircraft fleet. The Pelican Cargo is the world's largest zero-emission cargo airplane with a range of 200 miles, a 400-pound payload, and 66 cubic feet of cargo volume.
Pyka has received over 80 pre-commitments for the Pelican Cargo from three launch customers in North America and Europe. The aircraft is undergoing testing and is expected to start commercial operations in the second half of 2023.
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