Better now than later: US EV buyers have indicated that they'd much rather pay a little more for their vehicles with an upfront subsidy, instead of waiting to receive the full $7,500 tax credit. Photo:

Study: Upfront rebates valued far more than tax credits

A new study by George Washington University found that despite the US government offering $7,500 in tax credits for new EV purchases, customers actually far prefer to receive an upfront rebate. The nationwide survey calculated that this is because customers valued immediacy instead of having to wait for the credits to be applied after they filed their taxes. Thus, while the latter had been popular amongst the wealthiest buyers, the lower rungs would have much preferred a $6,000 upfront, “cash on the hood” rebate to make the purchase easier. Such a difference in the amount, the study reported, could have saved the federal government $2 billion ($1,440 per EV) over the lifetime of the tax credit. 

Coal India to set up EV charging infa for its own EV fleet 

India’s largest coal miner, Coal India Ltd., will set up its own charging infrastructure for its fleet of EVs that it plans to transition to, and the charging stations will be set up at the site of the vehicles’ operation. The move is a part of the miner’s steps to lower its CO2 footprint — the pre-feasibility studies have been completed — and the plan is to electrify the payloader vehicles that lift coal. The same is already being done in the western markets, although the heavy earth moving vehicles will be trailed for a transition to LNG instead, because CIL felt that the enormous loads they carry would not be supported by battery power. The LNG pilot will be carried out with Mahanadi Coalfields and GAIL, and is expected to be completed by September 2022. 

BYD outpaces Tesla as world’s top EV seller, Hyundai’s EVs impress Musk 

Chinese EV maker BYD (backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffet) overtook Tesla as the world’s largest EV seller, as its sales surged by 300% in the last half of 2021. The surge was so strong that BYD sold 641,000 units in the first half of 2022, compared to Tesla’s 564,000 electric cars in the same period. Also, the seller has posted a 500% increase in sales in the last five years. Surprisingly, when it launched its first car 10 years ago, Elon Musk dismissed the vehicle as not being “particularly attractive” and derided the technology, and added that BYD was not at all a competitor. 

Also, Hyundai’s two new EVs, the Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 (Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai), have garnered such strong sales that Elon Musk too, reportedly, was impressed. Tesla had taken 10 years to sell as many EVs as Hyundai has done in the last few months, and its dealerships in the US were reporting that the two models were selling “within hours”. 

Panasonic commits to investing $4 billion in second EV battery factory 

Tesla’s primary battery supplier, Panasonic, announced that it would invest $4 billion in its second battery manufacturing plant in Kansas. The announcement follows Tesla’s setting up of its second Gigafactory in Texas, and Panasonic output will mostly focus on the new, 4680 line of EV batteries. The manufacturer also plans to quadruple its output by 2028, and the site in Kansas was chosen for its tax incentives and its proximity to the Gigafactory. 

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