LAW: Foley Automotive Report – Rail, Road & Cycling



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Key Developments

  • Foley & Lardner shared highlightsfrom the Outlook Panel featured at
    the recent OESA 2022 Automotive Supplier Conference.

  • U.S. new light-vehicle inventory reached
    1.56 million units at the end of October, representing a 49
    days’ supply and the highest level since May 2021, according
    to
    estimates from Cox
    Automotive. Separate
    analysis from Cox
    Automotive indicates
    used light-vehicle
    inventory
    reached 2.44 million units at the end of
    October, which is “close to pre-pandemic 2019
    levels.”

  • The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers
    Association
    announced a new
    business structure which will operate under the MEMA umbrella and
    represent vehicle suppliers with two groups: MEMA Aftermarket
    Suppliers Group and MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers Group.

  • Mexico exported over 267,000 vehicles in
    October, representing a 19% increase from volumes one year ago and
    the highest level since December 2020, according to analysis in Bloomberg Law.

  • Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Craig Dillard
    is quoted in theAutomotive Worldarticle, “US lithium mining: not if, but when,”
    discussing the likelihood of future U.S. lithium mining operations
    as the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues
    surrounding in-demand rare metals evolve worldwide.

  • More than 530,000 new battery-electric vehicles
    were registered in the U.S. in the first nine months of this
    year
    representing an increase of 57% compared to the same
    period last year, according to data from Experian Automotive
    excerpted in
    Utility
    Dive
    .

  • Retail sales of new-energy vehicles in China
    reached 4.43 million units for the first 10 months of the year,
    according to data from the China Passenger Car Association
    excerpted in Bloomberg. NEVs are projected to
    reach sales of 6.5 million units in China this year, and the
    category is comprised of pure-electric cars and plug-in
    hybrids.Foreign automotive joint ventures in China
    are expected to face challenging market conditions if they have not
    prioritized the production of NEVs in the nation.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports
    several major automakers may increase the usage of
    lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries as a more
    cost-effective alternative to the more commonly used
    nickel-and-cobalt variety. The article notes EVs equipped with LFP
    batteries may have shorter driving ranges.

  • A study by utility company
    National Grid predicts that highway
    fast-charging sites
    will “see drastic increases in
    power demand compared to usage today.”The analysis indicates
    certain sites will have power demands equivalent to small towns or
    industrial sites, and notes that
    larger transmission
    interconnections and upgrades can take as long as eight years to
    construct.

Market Trends and Regulatory

  • The National Automobile Dealers Association
    released a statement of support for a bill in the U.S.
    Senate, the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART)
    Act,
    which intends to combat a rise incatalytic converter
    theftsin the nation.

OEMs/Suppliers

  • BorgWarner announced a strategic partnership with
    Wolfspeed that includes a multiyear agreement to
    purchase $650 million of silicon carbide devices
    annually in support of products including electric vehicles.

  • Sources in Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal
    indicate Volkswagen intends to review
    projects and investments in areas including autonomous driving and
    battery-electric vehicles. The potential reviews arrive roughly two
    months after the automaker named a new CEO, and are attributed
    to
    factors including software delays.

  • Renault is reorganizing into multiple units and plans to
    pursue a separate stock market listing forits electric-vehicle
    division.

Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services

  • Stellar will acquire Budapest-based automated driving
    technology startup AiMotive for an undisclosed
    amount.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology

  • The U.S. Department of Energy awarded nearly $74 million for 10 projects in
    seven states to advance recycling and reuse of batteries for
    applications including electric vehicles. The funding is supported
    by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

  • Battery recycling company Redwood Materials
    reached a multi-billion dollar deal to supply
    Panasonic with high-nickel cathode for battery
    production beginning in 2025.

  • Analysis in The Wall Street Journal provides an
    assessment of the supply chains for EV components
    including batteries, electric motors and electronics.

  • Our Next Energy was selected to supply
    Bollinger Motors with Aries battery packs on Class
    4-6 chassis cabs. Bollinger anticipates production will start in
    late 2023.

  • GM expects its North American EV sales to
    be “solidly profitable” by 2025
    due to factors
    including federal incentives and tax credits, as well as reduced
    battery cell costs.

  • Analysts quoted in Supply Chain Dive predict
    battery manufacturers may experience market
    headwinds in the near-term due to supply constraints of components
    such as lithium, copper and graphite.

  • Amazon has over 1,000 custom electric vehicles
    designed by Rivian making deliveries in more than 100 U.S.
    cities
    .Amazon has delivered more than 5
    million packages with the vehicles since the program first rolled
    out in July.

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s Pizza
    Inc
    . announced it will roll out a fleet of
    approximately 800 Chevy Bolt electric vehicles
    around the country to deliver pizza orders.

  • Volvo and Pilot plan to build a network of charging stations
    for battery-electric Class 8 trucks at Pilot and
    Flying J locations across the U.S. Earlier this year,
    GM announced a partnership with
    EVgo and Pilot to install 2,000
    fast chargers at up to 500 Pilot and Flying J locations.

  • Japanese electric motor manufacturerNidecCorp.
    plans to invest approximately $715 million to
    build a plant in Mexico to produce electric car
    motors.

  • Fisker started production of its electric Ocean SUV
    in Austria, and the company intends to build approximately 42,400
    units in 2023.

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