EV 2.0: Next level emobility

Zooming out from the constant daily feed on EV stories, manufacturer, fleets and charge point operator news, there are some super significant change happening. Over the last week, I’ve witnessed, first hand, two of those from Tesla and from Renault and both, I believe, offer up some exciting insights into the new world of electric cars and the wider ecosystem of mobility: EV 2.0.

Last week, I had the privilege of working alongside Tesla, to witness the launch of their new UK customer delivery centre in Birmingham, UK: a centrally located hub to handover vehicles to the ever-growing cohort of consumers of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles (the right-and drive Model S and Cybertruck not being UK-ready vehicles). It was a powerful insight, both into the hyper-fast growth of the world’s leading EV OEM, and into Tesla’s new customer centric approach.

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What we’re witnessing is, I believe, the birth of Tesla 2.0 for the early mainstream audience, who just need everything to work, frictionlessly. Tesla 1.0 served early adopters who were happy to do some of the heavy lifting to acquire an EV. In the early years, with Tesla’s direct to consumer sales model, you would, literally, have to collect your vehicle fresh off the boat, far away from the warm world of a dealership.

Now, at delivery centres like the Birmingham facility, you’ll have a frictionless, digitally led process to taking ownership of your Tesla ‘carputer’. Still a long way removed from dealership model, but, for many, this is going to be a better experiential model.

There are over a hundred vehicles, neatly lined up in the facility: a powerful visual indicator of the constant ramping up of production and consumption of the world’s favourite EV manufacturer.

The day before the official launch of Tesla’s new facility, I was in Brussels to hear Luca de Meo, the CEO of Renault Group, speak on the new world of Renault following the launch of the hugely warmly received R5; the return of an automotive icon in electrified form.

Aside from the all important mainstream consumer friendly £24k price tag, and the even better than the original styling, the key feature is, I believe, the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functionality. Mr de Meo highlighted that he was the architect of V2G. His personal endorsement of this fundamental technology is significant. It bodes well for this to be central to Renault’s future line-up of vehicles and to any cross-OEM partnership Renault may have with Nissan and other partners. 

For me, V2G is key for two reasons: one, smoothing out pricing to enable us to charge our EV with electrons at off-peak pricing; two, using the same tools to ensure that renewable energy is both deployed for EVs and stored in our EVs. It is one of the three key building blocks of a sustainable automotive world, along with two other crucial developments: a circular economy for materials; decarbonised manufacturing. The seeds of both of these are already being sown by leading OEMs like Polestar.

EVs are not the green bullet for zero emissions driving, yet, but they are well and truly on the way to becoming so. 

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