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Originally posted on EVANNEX.
by Charles Morris

There’s an intimate connection between electric vehicles and renewable energy, and that connection — both literally and symbolically — runs directly through the electrical grid. Intermittent energy sources such as solar and wind need grid-connected storage in order to be viable, and the most flexible and scalable type of storage is a battery, which just happens to be the core technology behind EVs. Thus, advances in battery technology, and expansion of battery manufacturing, have applications for two very different industries.

Tesla understood this early in the game — it launched Tesla Energy, a division that provides stationary storage batteries for residential (Powerwall), commercial (Powerpack) and utility-scale (Megapack) applications, in 2015. Elon Musk has said on several occasions that Tesla Energy could someday become bigger than Tesla’s automobile business.

That hasn’t happened yet, but Tesla’s energy business has been scaling up quickly. On its Q4 2020 earnings call, the company said battery deployments increased by 83% in 2020, driven mainly by sales of the Megapack to utilities. And the potential for more expansion is enormous — Grand View Research estimates that grid-scale battery storage will become a $15 billion market by 2027. On Tesla’s 2021 Q1 earnings call, Musk predicted that the transition to electric cars will cause electricity demand to double, and the transition to electric heating systems for buildings will cause it to triple. “This is a prosperous future both for Tesla and for the utilities,” said he.

A new video from CNBC offers an in-depth look at Tesla Energy. CNBC visited one of Tesla’s Megapack sites, an installation for Pacific Electric & Gas (PG&E) in Moss Landing, California, for a first-hand look at how smart energy storage systems like Tesla’s are enabling the rapid adoption of renewable energy.

A look at PG&E’s Tesla Megapack site in Moss Landing, California and why energy storage systems like this could be the future (YouTube: CNBC)


Unlike electric cars, utility-scale energy storage is not something that has been discussed much in the popular press — except perhaps in Australia, which has suffered several embarrassing energy outages in recent years. A rapid expansion of solar power, enabled by massive battery farms provided by Tesla and others, is bringing the problem under control.

The recent cold snap in Texas, which led to widespread power outages, brought energy storage to America’s nightly news. California has also had to deal with brownouts and other power problems of late, and CNBC explains why stationary storage is becoming necessary to keep the modern electrical grid up and running.

Storage is not just about enabling renewable energy — it’s also an important tool for ensuring the reliability of the grid, smoothing out peaks in demand for power and preventing sudden surges that can overload local distribution systems. David Bissell, the CEO of the local utility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where Tesla built a massive storage system in 2017, tells CNBC that batteries are “amazing” at helping to balance energy supply and demand, because they can respond instantaneously to imbalances. “We had our best reliability ever last year,” he says.

Tesla isn’t the only player in energy storage — venerable electronics giants such as Toshiba, Siemens, Panasonic, General Electric and ABB, as well as utilities such as NextEra Energy, are also claiming pieces of what’s shaping up as a large and lucrative pie.

Demand for storage is being driven both from below and above — governments around the world are mandating energy storage as part of strategies to modernize electrical grids. China has made storage part of its plan to get 16.5% percent of its energy from solar and wind by 2025. California launched a major energy storage program in 2014. The Biden Administration’s energy plan calls for $100 billion of investment in upgrades to the grid, including storage.

For companies that can move quickly to join the transformation of the world’s electrical grid, it looks like a prosperous future indeed.


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Wheel-E Podcast: Micromobility Europe 2024, 80 MPH army e-bike, more

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Wheel-E Podcast: Micromobility Europe 2024, 80 MPH army e-bike, more

This week on Electrek’s Wheel-E podcast, we discuss the most popular news stories from the world of electric bikes and other nontraditional electric vehicles. This time, that includes all the cool stuff we saw at Micromobility Europe 2024, new low-cost Lectric XP Lite 2.0, an 80 MPH military e-bike, how Paris cleaned its air by kicking out cars, and more.

The Wheel-E podcast returns every two weeks on Electrek’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

As a reminder, we’ll have an accompanying post, like this one, on the site with an embedded link to the live stream. Head to the YouTube channel to get your questions and comments in.

After the show ends, the video will be archived on YouTube and the audio on all your favorite podcast apps:

We also have a Patreon if you want to help us to avoid more ads and invest more in our content. We have some awesome gifts for our Patreons and more coming.

Here are a few of the articles that we will discuss during the Wheel-E podcast today:

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 12:00 p.m. ET (or the video after 1:00 p.m. ET):

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BYD cuts prices on its best-selling Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia to rival Tesla

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BYD cuts prices on its best-selling Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia to rival Tesla

A new price war is fueling EV sales in Australia as the competition heats up to gain overseas market share. BYD launched its new Atto 3 electric SUV in Australia with several updates, including lower prices, as it looks to chip away at Tesla’s lead.

Chasing Tesla’s lead

Last month, electric vehicle sales in Australia were boosted by price cuts from leaders like Tesla and BYD.

According to the latest data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), 8,974 fully electric vehicles were sold in Australia last month. That number is up from the 6,194 EVs sold in April 2024 and 8,124 handed over last May.

The growth was enough for EVs to capture 8.1% of all vehicles sold in Australia last month, up from 7.7% in May 2023.

Tesla still leads with Model 3 sales reaching 1,958, surpassing its best-selling Model Y (1,609). Tesla has now sold 8,823 Model 3s and 9,610 Model Ys in Australia year-to-date.

Although Tesla has maintained a market share of over 60%, BYD is chipping away at its lead.

With 3,567 EVs sold in May, Tesla held a 40% share. BYD’s new Seal was the third best-selling EV last month, with 1,002 units sold, while the Atto 3 was fourth with 737. The growth bumped up BYD’s market share to 18%.

BYD-prices-Australia
BYD SEAL (Source: BYD)

BYD launches new Atto 3 with lower prices in Australia

The Atto 3 is still BYD’s best-selling EV in 2024, with 3,366 models sold, while the Seal is a close second at 3,306.

BYD believes 2024 will be a pivotal year as it rolls out new models and aims to take leadership in Australia’s EV market.

Following the new Seal, BYD launched a “major upgrade” for the Atto 3 Friday. BYD’s new Atto 3 features a 15.6″ screen (up from 12.8″). In addition to new features like added camping mode and karaoke, the new Atto 3 features lower prices.

The standard range Atto 3 now starts at AUD 44,449, while the Extended Range costs AUD 47,449 (before on-road costs). BYD’s new Atto 3 prices are down AUD 3,562 and the cheapest they have been so far, according to Australia’s Drive.

Powered by a 50 kWh battery and 150 kW electric motor, the new standard Atto 3 features up to 214 miles (345 km) WLTP range. The Long-Range model, with a 60 kWh battery, can travel up to 261 miles (420 km).

BYD Atto 3 vs Tesla Model Y Price
(AUD)
Range
(WLTP)
BYD Atto 3 Standard Range $44,449 214 miles (345 km)
BYD Atto 3 Long Range $47,449 261 miles (420 km)
Tesla Model Y RWD $55,900 283 miles (455 km)
Tesla Model Y AWD Long Range $69,900 331 miles (533 km)
Tesla Model Y AWD Performance $82,900 319 miles (514 km)
BYD Atto 3 vs Tesla Model Y prices and range in Australia

Meanwhile, Tesla’s RWD Model Y starts at AUD 55,900, with up to 283 miles (455 km) WLTP range. The Long-Range AWD model starts at AUD 69,900 with up to 331 miles (533 km) WLTP range.

Which one are you buying? The new BYD Atto 3? Or the Tesla Model Y? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Drive, BYD

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Tesla produces 1,300 Cybertrucks per week, moving from Foundations Series next quarter

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Tesla produces 1,300 Cybertrucks per week, moving from Foundations Series next quarter

Tesla confirmed that it managed to produce 1,300 Cybertrucks in a week and it is moving from its Foundations Series production run next quarter.

We haven’t had a lot of updates from Tesla about the Cybertruck production ramp.

Actually, the best one we got was from a recall, which confirmed that Tesla had produced just short of 4,000 Cybertrucks as of April.

Shortly after, Tesla confirmed that it achieved a production of 1,000 Cybertruck in a week in April.

We haven’t seen an update since, but we noted that Tesla seemed to be ramping up production based on sightings at Gigafactory Texas.

Yesterday, at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Tesla released a bit more information about the Cybertruck production ramp:

  • Elon Musk said Tesla recently produced a peak of 1,300 Cybertrucks in a week
  • Elon Musk said Tesla would move away from production Foundation Series Cybertrucks in Q3
  • Tesla said it aims to be at 2,500 Cybertrucks per week by the end of the year

This would currently put Tesla at a capacity of 65,000 Cybertrucks per year and looking to exist the year with an annual capacity of 125,000 units.

Tesla has previously stated that it aims to have a full capacity of 250,000 Cybertrucks, but it plans to achieve that next year.

Moving away from the Foundation Series would presumably mean that Tesla is going to stop bundling all options together for the Dual Motor and Cyberbeast. The automaker might also release new trims – though those weren’t expected until next year.

Electrek’s Take

The Foundation Series bundles push the Cybertruck price to $100,000. Despite the hype around the Cybertruck, there’s a limited market for trucks at over $100,000.

Moving away from the Foundation Series bundles should reduce the price a bit as the dual motor is actually supposed to start at $80,000.

It will also give us more clarity into the option pricing.

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