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Denmark’s Orsted said Thursday it would “reuse, recycle, or recover” all turbine blades in its worldwide portfolio of wind farms once they’re decommissioned.  

The world’s largest offshore wind farm developer said it had “a clear responsibility to help find solutions to the challenge of recycling blades.”

The issue of what to do with wind turbine blades when they’re no longer needed is a headache for the industry. This is because the composite materials blades are made from can be difficult to recycle, with Orsted noting that “most” blades, once decommissioned, were landfilled.

As governments around the world attempt to ramp up their renewable energy capacity, the number of wind turbines globally looks set to increase.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said that in the offshore sector alone it wants capacity to hit at least 60 gigawatts by 2030 and 300 GW by the middle of the century.

The U.K., which left the EU at the end of January 2020, wants its offshore wind capacity to reach 40 GW by 2030. The U.S. is also looking to significantly increase its offshore wind capacity this decade.

Given the above, the problem of what to do with turbine blades will become even more pressing going forward. For its part, Orsted explained it would “temporarily store” decommissioned blades if finding a solution to recycling them took “longer to solve than anticipated.”

A number of companies involved in the sector have attempted to find solutions to the issue in recent years. In January 2020, wind energy giant Vestas said it was aiming to produce “zero-waste” wind turbines by the year 2040.

Last December, GE Renewable Energy and Veolia North America signed a “multi-year agreement” to recycle blades removed from onshore wind turbines in the United States.

More recently, it was announced that a collaboration between academia and industry would focus on the recycling of glass fiber products, a move that could eventually help to reduce the waste produced by wind turbine blades.

Orsted, Vestas and LM Wind Power — which is part of GE Renewable Energy — are also part of the DecomBlades consortium, an initiative focused on blade recycling.

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Volvo EX30 tops Mini in Europe as low-cost EV’s sales surge in May

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Volvo EX30 tops Mini in Europe as low-cost EV's sales surge in May

The cheapest and smallest Volvo EV is off to a hot start. After only five months on the market, the Volvo EX30 topped BMW’s Mini in Europe’s small premium segment as sales continued surging.

Volvo EX30 passes Mini in EU sales

Since EX30 production began in Zhangjiakoui, China, last fall, Volvo’s compact EV is already a top seller.

Despite its small size, the Volvo EX30 is having a significant impact. According to global data collection firm Dataforce, Volvo’s sales rose 27% last month in Europe. With over 32,800 models sold, Volvo propelled to number 14, up from 17 last year.

The EX30 accounted for the majority of the growth. Volvo’s EX30 topped the small premium segment, surpassing BMW’s Mini by 1,029 in sales.

Volvo’s EX30 is the third-best-selling EV in Europe through May, with 30,195 models sold. The Tesla Model Y took the top spot with over 79,100. Tesla’s Model 3 was second with 38,863 units sold, up 38% YOY.

The growth comes after the EU revealed plans for additional tariffs on EVs made in China last week. Volvo’s deputy CEO, Bjorn Annwall, criticized the decision, saying it would only hurt the buyer.

Volvo-EX30-Mini
Volvo EX30 (Source: Volvo)

Starting at around 36,000 euros ($38,500), Volvo’s EX30 is one of the most affordable EVs on the market.

Although Volvo had already planned to begin EX30 production in the EU in 2025, Annwall hinted the US-bound model would likely come from Belgium.

Volvo-EX30-Mini
Volvo EX30 interior (Source: Volvo)

Volvo plans to introduce the EX30 in over 90 countries by the end of the year. In the US, the EX30 starts at $34,950. It’s available in two powertrains, a single-motor extended range, and a twin-motor performance, offering up to 275 miles of range.

As you would expect from Volvo, the EX30 has the latest safety and connectivity tech. It includes Google built-in with Apple CarPlay as standard.

Electrek’s Take

Volvo EX30 sales surging in Europe is no surprise as demand for affordable EVs continues climbing. Most automakers are planning or have already launched low-cost EVs.

Kia opened orders for its EV3 in Korea, starting at $30,700 (KRW 42.08 million). Next year, Kia is expected to launch the EV4, an entry-level electric sedan, starting at around $35,000 (see a video of it captured in the wild).

Volkswagen finished design work on its ID.2all, a $27,000 (25,000) euro electric car. The production ID.2all is expected to debut later this year, with sales kicking off in 2025.

Hyundai, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan, and others have all revealed plans to launch more affordable EVs over the next few years.

Volvo’s early commitment to go all-electric is already paying off as the EX30 takes market share.

Source: Automotive News

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Ferrari’s new solar-powered e-building opens ahead of first EV sports car debut

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Ferrari's new solar-powered e-building opens ahead of first EV sports car debut

The Italian luxury sports car maker is preparing to launch its first EV. Ferrari’s new e-building opened its doors on Friday with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in attendance. The new plant, entirely powered by renewable energy, is set to launch the first Ferrari EV sports car.

Ferrari’s first fully electric sports car will be built at the new e-building. CEO Benedetto Vigna said the new factory will “light up” Ferrari’s future.

The e-building will enable Ferrari to continue to “audaciously redefine the limits of what’s possible.” Ferrari’s first EV sports car will be built at the facility alongside its next-gen hybrids and ICE vehicles. The facility will also produce batteries, electric motors, and inverters for Ferrari’s EV.

Ferrari has invested roughly $214 million (200 million euros) to make the facility a reality. After opening the doors Friday, Ferrari said the plant will help improve efficiency and flexibility.

The building will be entirely powered by renewable energy. Over 3,000 solar panels on the roof produce 1.3 MW of energy. Ferrari said that by reusing rainwater and energy in the production cycle, 60% of the energy used for battery and motor testing would be recovered and redirected.

Ferrari's-e-building
Ferrari’s new e-building (Source: Ferrari)

Ferrari’s new e-building opens with first EV coming soon

The new inauguration comes after sources told Reuters this week that Ferrari’s first EV sports car will cost at least $535,000 (500,000 euros).

According to the sources, Ferrari is already developing its second electric vehicle. It’s still in its early stages but will be built at the new e-building.

Ferrari's-e-building
Inside Ferrari’s new e-building (Source: Ferrari)

Ferrari launched its first plug-in hybrid last year, the SF90 Stradale, as it electrifies the brand. By 2026, Ferrari aims for EVs and PHEVs to account for 60% of sales.

The first fully electric Ferrari is expected to be revealed by the end of the year. Check back soon for more info.

Meanwhile, luxury rival Lamborghini revealed its first electric car, the Lanzador EV, last August (check out Lamborghini’s first EV here). Lamborghini is expected to launch the Lanzador in 2028.

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Spy photos hint at Xiaomi’s quick encore to the SU7 EV to compete against the Tesla Model Y

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Spy photos hint at Xiaomi's quick encore to the SU7 EV to compete against the Tesla Model Y

It’s only been six months since Xiaomi Automobile launched its first-ever BEV – the SU7. Following early success, Xiaomi has been developing a second model, and spy images from local media outlets in China have given us a (camouflaged) glimpse at the EV’s exterior design.

Xiaomi Automobile is the EV-centric arm of one of China’s largest smartphone and electronics manufacturers, founded three years ago. After following much of its surprisingly quick and encouraging process in BEV development, Xiaomi launched its flagship SU7 EV in December of 2023, garnering an impressive number of orders from Chinese consumers loyal to the parent brand.

The infant EV model received over 50,000 orders in the first 27 minutes of going on sale, creating a waitlist of up to seven months. This incited Xiaomi Automobile to restructure its production strategy to manufacture and deliver more SU7s than initially planned to keep up with growing demand.

After just 32 days of production, Xiaomi celebrated its 10,000th SU7 build. By May 2024, we reported the young automaker was already developing a second all-electric model to compete against the globally popular Tesla Model Y.

Most recently, local media outlets in China have captured spy photos of what appears to be Xiaomi’s new EV – a sleek SUV coupe.

  • Xiaomi EV spy
  • Xiaomi EV spy

Spy images show a sleek new Xiaomi coupe SUV EV

Local media outlet Xchuxing posted the spy images seen above, which appear to be the public’s first glimpse at Xiaomi’s next EV. The report also states the new model is a coupe SUV with a design similar to the Ferrari Purosangue and is expected to be released sometime in 2025.

These details align with our previous reports on Xiaomi’s second EV, which is expected to continue competing against Porsche and, in this instance, Tesla.

As you can see from the spy images, the covered Xiaomi EV has a LiDAR sensor on its roof, expected to be the same as its SU7 sibling, to enable the automaker’s NOA (Navigate on Pilot) ADAS.

The rear is larger than the SU7 sedan but appears to feature the same tail light design, further hinting that these spy images are, in fact, Xiaomi’s next EV. We will know more once the Chinese automaker publicly confirms the new model, hopefully alongside some non-camouflaged images.

However, from what we’ve seen so far, it looks sharp. We hope to learn more soon and report back.

Credit for all images: xchuxing.com

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