5% of all new car sales in the US are for EVs.
EV startups are pulling the plug on jobs
EV automakers such as Arrival and Rivian have announced job cuts. Around 800 jobs are at risk at UK startup Arrival, the Financial Times reports, and EV industry darling Rivian is facing a cut of around 5% to its 14,000 strong workforce.
Arrival, which was due to start production on its EVs last year, suffered a $10.4 million net loss in its first quarter, saying it was due to supply chain issues, inflation, the pandemic and geopolitical issues.
Meanwhile, Rivian, which went public on the stock market last year, suffered a fall in share price of about 70%, and announced that it would only be able to meet half of its expected amount of vehicles this year. And it’s not just startups that are facing the pressure – Tesla has seen a 40% dip in shares in 2022.
VW and Audi join recycling program
VW and Audi have agreed to join Redwood Materials in its EV battery recycling program. Redwood Materials, one of Tesla’s cofounder’s companies, has compiled a roster of various automakers, in an attempt to make EVs more sustainable through a closed loop supply chain. It will work with over 1,000 VW and Audi dealerships in the US by collecting used EV batteries and bringing them to their factories for recycling, Forbes reports.
Through the recycling process, Redwood claims that they can reuse 95% of the high-value metals present in the battery, such as cobalt, lithium, nickel and copper. These materials can then be used to create new battery anodes and cathodes. Redwood is a growing presence in the EV industry – in the past two years, it has raised over $800 million in funding, and plans to build a $1 billion plant for producing cathode and anode materials.
Small batteries for the win
EV battery makers are beginning to focus on making their batteries smaller, Reuters reports. Although the main focus for automakers is range, battery producers are predicting that a smaller battery will be more important as it will mean less expensive and more efficient EVs.
By experimenting with materials such as silicon-carbon, tungsten and niobium, battery makers hope to reduce charging times and lead to broader EV adoption. It may also be a more sustainable method of producing batteries, as less CO2 will be emitted when making them. Faster charging could also prove to be more popular, once charging stations become widespread, and an assured convenience around every corner. One battery maker focusing on downsizing, Echion, says it hopes to have its batteries ready by 2025.