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The US government has announced wider tariffs on several categories of Chinese goods, including various green products like solar panels and batteries, medical goods, and in particular an increase of tariffs on Chinese EVs from 25% to 100%.

Rumors were first reported last week that tariffs on Chinese-made goods would be extended and expanded after a multi-year review of “section 301 tariffs” that had been implemented under the previous administration.

Previously, all cars made in China were subject to a 25% tariff when imported to the US, on top of an additional 2.5% tariff that all foreign-made cars were subject to, totaling 27.5%. This large tariff has had the effect of excluding most Chinese autos from the US market, as it’s easier to export to countries with lower tariffs first.

However, given Chinese EVs are incredibly affordable, even a 25% tariff might have resulted in competitive prices. For this reason, it was considered inevitable by most observers that eventually Chinese EVs would make their way into being sold in the US.

It seems that Biden has also decided that the 25% tariff wouldn’t be enough to forestall China’s advance, and has decided to instead quadruple it to 100%, meaning that Chinese EVs will effectively sell for double the price they would otherwise if brought to the US.

The move also includes increased tariffs on batteries, battery minerals, solar panels, steel and aluminum, and computer chips. Most of these tariffs go into effect this year, though some will be imposed next year, and there is a tariff exclusion process available for certain exceptions. A list of what products are targeted is available on this White House fact sheet.

Currently only two EVs in the US are made in China, the Polestar 2 EV and Volvo S90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid. Both companies are owned by Geely, but still headquartered in Sweden, with manufacturing in various parts of the world depending on model.

But the excellent Volvo EX30 is set to release this year at a starting price of $35k, which was inclusive of the 25% tariff. With no other changes, its price would rise to ~$54k – unless or until Volvo moves production out of China, something BYD has also considered in order to enter the US market.

We reached out for comment from both Volvo and Polestar, and this is what we heard back:

As a global manufacturer Volvo Cars is in favor of free trade and open markets. Free trade creates jobs, wealth and economic growth. Volvo believes strongly in the benefits of investing and contributing to the main markets in which it seeks to sell cars, reflected in our $1B South Carolina manufacturing plant where we are creating thousands of jobs building EVs for the US and world markets.

-Volvo spokesperson

We are currently evaluating the announcement of tariff increases from the Biden Administration. As a global company headquartered in Sweden, listed on NASDAQ in New York and operating across 27 markets, we believe that free trade is essential to speed up the transition to more sustainable mobility through increased EV adoption. Production of Polestar 3 is set to begin in South Carolina in the summer diversifying our manufacturing footprint and supporting job creation and economic growth in the region. This important SUV for us will be built in the USA for U.S. and Canadian customers as well as for export to European markets.

-Polestar spokesperson

Unfortunately, neither company was able to provide more details on their current plans for various models – in particular, the two models mentioned above, and the upcoming EX30. We imagine more info will come on that soon.

In general, reaction to the move was positive from domestic manufacturing trade associations and labor groups, but negative from economists, consumer advocates and foreign/global manufacturers. And negative, of course, from China, whose Ministry of Commerce said it “will take resolute measures to defend its rights and interests.” This likely includes a lawsuit in front of the World Trade Organization and/or retaliatory tariffs, as is usually the case in trade wars like this.

These tariffs had been called for by several entities in the US (and Europe), as Chinese EV manufacturing has rapidly ramped in recent years.

China was originally somewhat slow to adopt EVs – in 2015, EV market share was just .84%, similar to the US market share of .66% and well below California at 3.1% at the time. But in 2023, US market share had risen to a meager 7.6% and California to just 21.4%, whereas China’s EV market share was a whopping 37%, leapfrogging several other leading countries in the process (and it was just 5% in 2020, so the turn upwards has been very rapid over the last 3 years). It caught foreign manufacturers by surprise, leaving ICE car values plummeting in China as consumers are simply not interested.

Despite the massive swing upwards in Chinese EV interest, EV manufacturing has risen even more rapidly. This has left Chinese automakers with more than enough vehicles for the export market, and they have started exporting so many to Europe that they can’t find enough ships to carry them.

Those EVs haven’t made their way to the US yet, but most thought that it was inevitable they would soon. But with these increased tariffs, that makes it less likely that US consumers will gain access to these cheap, high-tech Chinese EVs.

This isn’t the first move that Biden has made to limit the ability of the Chinese auto industry to operate in the US. The Inflation Reduction Act which updated the US EV tax credit included protectionist measures to disallow Chinese-sourced EVs from taking advantage of the credit. To qualify, EVs must be assembled in America and must have a certain percentage of components sourced in the US or US free trade countries, and can’t include parts from “foreign entities of concern” (though there are some ways around this).

The net effect of the IRA is that batteries sourced from China have a harder time getting access to US tax credits, thus reducing their competitiveness in the US market.

Electrek’s Take

I wrote a piece this weekend about how these tariffs are not a good idea. It’s long but I’d encourage giving it a read.

The basic idea is that protectionist trade measures generally cause more chaos than they’re worth, fail to protect the industries they are intended to protect, and lull industry into a false sense of security thus making it less competitive in the long run. If protectionist measures are needed, it’s better to encourage domestic industry with incentives than to implement tariffs.

And Biden has implemented targeted incentives and regulations to help the domestic EV industry – the Inflation Reduction Act, various EPA regulations and grants, and so on – most of which have helped to keep prices down for Americans while making the US more competitive in EV manufacturing.

But it seems like there’s no way these particular tariffs don’t increase the price of goods for Americans, which is something America (and the world) is struggling with right now.

The administration says that it does not expect much overall inflation because these tariffs are aimed at industries which Biden has targeted for growth, but for us in the EV world, that means prices of the main thing we follow – EVs – will likely rise.

Current EVs that get affordable batteries from China will be made more expensive, or will need to find new suppliers which can now charge higher prices since they don’t have to compete with the previously lowest-priced option.

And same with EVs as a whole – the existence of excellent small cars like the EX30 exerts downward price pressure on competing vehicles, which now won’t have to worry about that particular car (or any other affordable EVs which might make their way here) as competition.

And the net effect of that is lower EV adoption – which means Americans won’t get cleaner air as quickly as we would otherwise.

Meanwhile, while it may give a little breathing room for the American auto industry to catch up, it may also make them think they don’t need to work as hard to do so. American automakers already lobby to slow down the EV transition, so it’s clear they aren’t interested in moving as fast as they possibly can.

But most importantly, I don’t see how artificially raising the prices of EVs helps to meet climate goals. Climate change is the most important issue humanity has ever faced, and needs to be priority number one of every human on Earth. This decision does not do that.

But even though tariffs hurt the US economy, they are still popular. So this decision doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it happens with an important election just months away.

Of course, despite this being a bad move, there aren’t many other options. President Biden’s election competitor, Mr. Trump, also favors increased tariffs, though is less targeted in his approach.

Trump further favors torpedoing America’s manufacturing competitiveness by actively seeking to harm EV production. He recently asked oil companies for a billion dollars in bribes, promising to shut down incentives for American auto manufacturing if they give it to him, which would in fact hand even more of a lead to China.

So there is still a clear better choice for how to handle the issue of the EV trade – even if both seem committed to making some poor decisions on the way.

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

Want your electric bike to have utility as well as comfort and style? Then, the Invanti Tornado, with its impressive array of optional accessories, could be your ideal ride.

Invanti is developing multi-functional e-bikes to reinvent the e-bike industry. It will launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on May 22 for its first product, the versatile Tornado e-bike series. Early backers can purchase the Tornado for a super early bird price of $1,299, significant savings vs. gas bikes.

Invanti makes it easy to protect your e-bike from theft with its “invantimobility” app. The smart version Tornado Pro has a smart front hub lock feature that, once activated, can only be unlocked using the app.

This zippy and efficient utility e-bike has a 750W rear hub motor, 1,000 peak power, and a 48V 14.7Ah battery with Samsung cells that give a top speed of up to 25 mph. The Shimano 7-speed transmission, 80 mm travel suspension, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, and torque sensor means riding is smooth. It also sports a pair of 20-by-3-inch puncture-resistant tires.

The Tornado provides a range of 60 miles on pedal assist and 25 miles on throttle only. You can additionally install an extra 48V, 10.4Ah battery that you take with you, giving a cumulative total of 100 miles on pedal assist and 43.5 miles on throttle only. Plus, you can use the extra battery as a portable powerbank for your phone.

What makes the Invanti Tornado stand out is the cool accessories it comes with. Your e-bike arrives with a front rack, a rear cargo rack, a rear fork storage bag with lockout, and rear wheel mudguards. It also features front and rear lights with integrated turn signals.

Plus, it offers a choice of nine upgrade accessories, which give this bike an almost modular feel. This means you can make your e-bike bespoke:

If you want to cart around passengers, you can make it happen with the Invanti Tornado’s optional rear seat pad and passenger foot rest, and there’s also a child safety handrail. Its dual-tube aluminum alloy frame can handle payloads of up to 440 pounds.

Invanti’s super early bird price on the Tornado is $1,299, and the official crowdfunding price is $1,499.

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

Aeromine Technologies just closed a $9 million funding round, and it’s ready to scale up production of its bladeless rooftop wind turbines.

Energy research, investing, and strategy firm Veriten is the lead investor in Aeromine Technologies’ Series A funding round.

Aeromine, launched in 2022, makes compact 50 kW or larger “wind harvesting platforms” that it mounts on the edge of a building’s roof. The rooftop wind units, which have no external moving parts or blades, capture wind flowing up and over the building and convert it into onsite electricity. Its generator system is a rotor-stator system with a highly efficient 5 kW permanent magnet generator. (Specs are here.)

The noiseless technology leverages aerodynamics like airfoils on a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow to generate energy. Aeromine says its systems typically consist of 20-40 units installed on the edge of a building facing the predominant wind direction.

Each 1,000-pound unit can withstand winds of between 120 and 158 mph depending on specification.

Aeromine’s units can operate independently or be integrated with existing rooftop solar arrays. Onsite power generation eliminates grid supply disruptions.

Maynard Holt, founder & CEO of Veriten, said:

We believe that distributed power innovation will play a vital role in helping companies fulfill their need for reliable, reasonably priced electricity and desire for low-impact power. We’re excited to partner with Aeromine, as its ability to quickly and affordably help a wide variety of companies meet their energy needs with wind resources is unique among distributed energy solutions.

The bladeless wind turbines are designed to power apartment buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, offices, hospitals, retail centers – basically any big box building with a flat, unobstructed roof.

The company says it has 400 qualified projects in its pipeline and expects to roll out commercially in Europe and North America in 2025. 

Read more: How renewables could beat natural gas in US generating capacity within 3 years – in numbers


If you live in an area that has frequent natural disaster events, and are interested in making your home more resilient to power outages, consider going solar and adding a battery storage system. To make sure you find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –ad*

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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

With changes expected to Ford’s electric vehicle certification program, all Ford dealers will likely be able to sell EVs. Ford is reportedly preparing to open the program amid feedback from its dealers.

Ford poised to open dealers network to sell EVs

After asking dealers to pause EV investments this week, Ford is finalizing changes to the program. Ford already eased requirements last year due to “changes in the market.”

Ford spokesperson Marty Gunsberg confirmed that several dealers opted out of the program this past December. Gunsberg said, “Enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network.” That’s down from about two-thirds confirmed by CEO Jim Farley a year prior.

According to Automotive News, after a series of meetings between dealers and executives, Ford is now preparing to allow all dealers to sell EVs.

Ford is expected to update the financial requirements needed to qualify. Previously, dealers were required to invest at least $500,000 to enroll in the program. For $1.2 million, dealers could be eligible for the “Elite” tier, which included additional chargers, demo units, and a presence on Ford.com.

Ford-dealers-EVs
Ford Mustang Mach E at a Tesla Supercharger (Source: Ford)

If dealers didn’t want to invest, they couldn’t sell Ford EVs. Ford’s vice president of EV programs, Lisa Drake, said the company no longer believes having select dealers sell EVs is the right plan.

More dealers want in but with less financial commitment

“What we’re finding is more dealers want to be involved in it and we don’t want to be exclusive to just a handful,” Drake said. “And so we’re making a change where we’re opening up that and not requiring as many certifications or investments for a dealer to participate in the EV revolution.”

Meanwhile, the changes will not be finalized until early June, when Ford meets with its dealer council.

Ford-dealers-EVs
2024 Ford F-150 Lightning lineup (Source: Ford)

It’s unclear how much Ford will reduce financial requirements to sell EVs, but many believe it will be drastically relaxed to promote participation.

Drake said Ford will be “more ubiquitous with our training and make sure essentially all of our dealers are equipped to sell them” going forward. Ford will need to figure out how to deal with those who have already made investments at the upcoming dealer council meeting.

Ford-dealers-EVs
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Bronze edition (Source: Ford)

Ford slashed prices on its popular Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning in recent months to boost sales.

After cutting Mach-E prices by up to $8,100 earlier this year, Ford introduced a new 0% APR offer on 2024 models this week.

2024 Mustang Mach-E trim Range Starting Price
Mustang Mach-E Select 250 mi $39,995
Mustang Mach-E Premium 320 mi $43,995
Mustang Mach-E GT 280 mi $53,995
Mustang Mach-E Rally 265 mi $59,995
2024 Mustang Mach-E price and range by trim

Ford also introduced new discounts on the 2023 F-150 Lightning this week, offering up to $15,000 off MSRP. F-150 Lightning lease prices were cut by over $400 a month.

If you’re in the market for a new EV, now’s the time to start shopping. You can use our links below to find deals on Ford’s electric vehicles at a dealer near you.

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