Now to wait for the bookings: The EaS-E's design is targeted very much towards to urban EV buyer, but the price tag and the quirky design may prove to be a hassle | Photo: HT Auto

India announces first micro-electric quadricycle, EaS-E

PMV Electric announced India’s first electric quadricycle, called the EaS-E, at a price of INR 400,000 – 600,000, and the vehicle is essentially an electric two-seater that rides on four wheels. The EaS-E is designed to be recharged to full capacity in four hours from a regular power outlet and will offer 120-200km of driving range from its lithium-iron-phophate battery pack. The vehicle’s top speed will be limited to 70 km/h and its occupants will be offered 170mm of ground clearance, apart from several modern features like power windows, air conditioning, over-the-air updates and LED headlamps. 

UK to scrap EV subsidies

The UK’s Department of Transport announced that the country would scrap its £300 million subsidy package for EVs for new orders, ostensibly to free up resources to expand its EV charging infrastructure and re-invest the funds towards plug-in grants for electric trucks, vans, taxis and wheelchairs. The argument behind the scrapping put forward was that the subsidies had worked to mature the UK EV market from a mere 1,000 units sold in 2011 to around 100,000 units from January to May 2022 alone

However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chided the decision, saying that it would result in the UK being the only market amongst the major European nations to be without any EV subsidies, and instead suggested that the support be continued for the customers who wanted to switch over from ICE vehicles. 

Major lithium producer in Europe faces closure over new classification

The German plant of major lithium producer Albemarle could be forced to shut down if the EU decides to classify the mineral as a hazardous substance. The European Commission is currently assessing a proposal from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to classify lithium carbonate, lithium chloride, and lithium hydroxide as substances hazardous to human health. Such a change in classification would mandate big reforms in the way lithium is processed and stored, according to the company, which might ultimately prove unviable for the lithium producers in the economic bloc. 

While the proposal is up for discussion in early July, a decision on the matter is expected only by the end of 2022-beginning of 2023. A decision to reclassify lithium and its derivatives could affect the EU’s plans for self sufficiency in batteries over the current decade, while also adding to the stress on supply chains of key minerals used in EV and battery manufacturing.

Cobalt Institute: EVs now the dominant demand segment for cobalt 

A new report by the UK-based Cobalt Institute found that the global EV and hybrid vehicles industry overtook mobile phones and computers to become the world’s largest consumer of the metal. In 2021 it accounted for 34% of the global cobalt consumption — at 59,000 tonnes — and the demand is expected to swell to 50% by 2026. However, with supplies of the metal acutely concentrated in the Demographic Republic of Congo and Australia, there remain concerns about the environmental and human rights footprint of the metal, especially when mined in Africa. 

Cobalt-based EV batteries also remain the preferred choice for high-end applications, and the paucity of supplies has reportedly caused Tesla to consider setting up its own mining facilities for the metal. 

Ferrari to target 80% EV sales by 2030 

Luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari announced that it would target for 80% of its car sales by 2030 to come from electric and hybrid vehicles. The carmaker had previously been defiant against the switch to the electric powertrain, but its Chairman argued that doing so would not affect the brand’s appeal. Ferrari will also develop its own electric motors, batteries and inverters, and its first all-electric car will be launched in 2025, while the share of fully-electric cars in its lineup is expected to be 40% by the end of the decade.