This week’s automotive headlines – 11 June 2022
11 June 2022
Autovista24 looks at automotive developments from the past seven days. This week, StoreDot receives a significant funding boost, Tata Motors inks a major EV deal, Apple reveals the next generation of CarPlay, Buick commits to an electric future, and the Polestar 3 premiere date is announced.
StoreDot receives funding boost
Lithium-ion battery developer StoreDot has boosted its financial portfolio with the completion of a series D funding round. The Israel-based company has raised a total of $200 million (€186 million), with investments from automotive manufacturers including Daimler, Volvo, Polestar, VinFast, and Ola Electric. StoreDot’s plans include mass production of its ‘100in5’ electric-vehicle (EV) battery cells by 2024. This technology will allow an EV to charge 100 miles (160km) worth of range in just five minutes. The developer recently completed a live demonstration showcasing this extreme fast-charging system. Manufactured in China alongside Eve Energy, samples of EV-size pouch cells are already being shipped for testing. ‘It is essential that we engage with the right partners, including a global manufacturing footprint, to rapidly progress towards volume production in 2024,’ commented Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO. ‘Moreover, our roadmap for automotive manufacturers spans into the next decade, by which time we target to achieve 100 miles of range in just two minutes of charge.’
Tata Motors inks major EV deal
Indian carmaker Tata Motors has signed an agreement with BluSmart Electric Mobility, a provider of EV-based mobility solutions. Tata Motors will provide 10,000 Tata Xpres-T vehicles in the biggest electric fleet order to date in India, in addition to the 3,500-unit deal that was signed by both companies in October last year. Deliveries are slated to begin imminently, and vehicles are set to be used across the country as part of BluSmart Electric Mobility’s platform aimed at commuters, and the promotion of electrification across India. ‘We are building a large-scale integrated EV mobility ecosystem in India – from the country’s largest fully-electric ride-hailing service to the largest network of EV-charging super hubs,’ Stated Anmol Singh Jaggi, co-founder, BluSmart Electric Mobility. ‘With the increasing fleet size, we are leading India on the path to reliable, sustainable and zero-emissions mobility, and also creating more inclusive and economic opportunities for driver partners.’
Next generation of Apple CarPlay
Tech giant Apple is talking to several carmakers regarding the integration of its CarPlay software, which could become a core system within vehicles. Using its Worldwide Developers Conference event as a platform, Apple announced significant updates to CarPlay. It also revealed a list of companies that could potentially endorse the programme, including Ford, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Honda, and Jaguar Land Rover. EV-maker Polestar already uses the current version of Apple CarPlay in the Polestar 2. The latest iteration of CarPlay is intended to be deeply integrated with automotive hardware, providing multiple screens within the vehicle, and will allow users to directly control the radio or adjust the climate control settings. Apple states that further information about the next generation of CarPlay will be shared in the future, and vehicles set to feature the updated technology will be announced late next year.
Buick commits to an electric future
Buick is to go fully electric by 2030. As part of parent company General Motors’ aims for a zero-emission, all-electric future, the US carmaker plans to bring its first EV to market in North America in 2024. An additional revamp will see all future Buick products carry the Electra name. For the first time in over three decades, the circular logo will be replaced with a tri-shield badge harking back to the company’s roots. ‘Our forthcoming products will adopt a new design language that emphasises a sleek, dynamic and forward-looking appearance,’ said Sharon Gauci, executive director, Global Buick and GMC Design. ‘Our exteriors will incorporate fluid movements that contrast with tension to convey motion. Interiors will balance modern design, new technologies and attention to detail to evoke warmth and a rich sensory experience.’
Polestar 3 premiere date announced
The world premiere of the Polestar 3 will be in October 2022. At launch, the carmaker’s first SUV will feature a dual-motor drivetrain and a large battery, with a range target of over 600km (WLTP). Production is expected to begin in early 2023, with manufacturing taking place in both the US and China. ‘Polestar 3 is the SUV for the electric age. Our design identity evolves with this high-end large luxury EV, with a strong, individual brand character,’ says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. ‘With this car, we bring the ‘sport’ back to the SUV, staying true to our performance roots.’ Polestar plans to launch a new car every year for the next three years and aims to expand its global presence to at least 30 markets by the end of 2023. This supports Polestar’s plans to grow ten-fold from global sales of approximately 29,000 in 2021 to approximately 290,000 by the end of 2025. Meanwhile, patent images of the Polestar 5 have emerged via the EU’s Intellectual Property Office. The Swedish carmaker teased the Polestar 5 in late 2021, with the follow-up model to the Polestar 3 and 4 expected to be available from 2024.