Inside Electric Vehicles - February 5th, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Feb 5th, 2020)

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1. Tesla CEO Elon Musk signaled that the automaker might open an additional Gigafactory in Texas. In a tweet, Musk ran a poll asking his followers, “Giga Texas?” giving two options, “hell yeah” and “nope.” When Tesla was looking for a site for its second Gigafactory, the automaker highly considered the Lone Star State, which offered Tesla tax and other business incentives. SpaceX runs a commercial rocket launch facility near Brownsville, Texas, and reportedly received $2.3 million in incentives from the state to open the factory. — @ELONMUSK/TWITTER

2. Tesla's share prices continue to rise in the stock market. Some believe the automaker’s stock price rise was caused by a “short squeeze,” which is when traders buy stock to cover their short bets. However, other analysts believe investors see the potential in the automaker’s plan to make mass-market vehicles, amid two-quarters of profits. The company is valued at around $170 billion, nearly double the combined market cap of GM and Ford combined. — REUTERS via YAHOO FINANCE

3. Britain will ban the sale of new gasoline, diesel and gasoline-hybrid vehicles, starting in 2035. The country will ban the sale of these vehicles about five years earlier than expected, as Britain attempts to reduce air pollution and fossil fuel emissions. More than a dozen countries have announced similar initiatives, including France and Norway. EV registrations grew 144 percent between 2018 and 2019 in the U.K. between 2018 and 2019. — NBC NEWS

4. Nissan and Honda, along with joint venture partner Dongfeng, are considering re-starting the production of vehicles in the Hubei province of China next week. This comes amid the coronavirus outbreak affecting the region. Hubei is the epicenter of the epidemic, where Dongfeng operates facilities in Wuhan. Honda plans to resume production on February 14, after Hubei’s government extended the Chinese New Year holiday break to February 13. Nissan also plans to continue production on that date. — US NEWS

5. Hyundai will suspend production in South Korea because coronavirus has affected the automaker’s parts supplies. The production suspension is the first to happen outside of mainland China, due to the spread of the virus, which has resulted in other vehicle facility closures throughout China. Hyundai and Kia import more parts from China than other European and American automakers, which have largely keep localized supply chains. — REUTERS

6. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was jealous of Tesla's ability to pit five U.S. states against one another for incentives when the automaker was constructing its Gigafactory, according to 12 people familiar with Amazon’s HQ2 negotiation efforts​​​​. Tesla’s $1.3 billion tax break with the state of Nevada was partially a motivation for Bezos to launch its very public search for Amazon’s second headquarters, which pit many cities states against one another. Ultimately, Amazon drew criticism from progressive politicians on incentives offered by New York, with Amazon withdrawing from the project. — BLOOMBERG

7. A man embarking on a planned 10,000-mile road trip in his Porsche Taycan EV was stranded in Calgary when his vehicle no longer accepted fast charging. Initially, the driver (Don Louv) thought the charger and not his car were causing the issue, so he drove around looking for another fast charger, but that also didn’t work. He ended up taking his EV to a Porsche dealership in Calgary with a three percent battery left. Porsche did correct the issue, but an exact reason why the vehicle did not accept fast charging was not discovered.— INSIDE EVS

8. Formula E canceled an upcoming race in China due to concerns about coronavirus. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) said it is working with the local government and Formula E to find alternate dates the series can run. Formula E, an electric vehicle racing series, was supposed to run on March 21 in Sanya, a city in Hainan province. — THE VERGE

9. Reuters reports that GM is backtracking on a plan only to offer three-cylinder engines in some Chinese vehicles. While three-cylinder engines are cleaner and more fuel-efficient than their four-cylinder counterparts, many Chinese consumers see the engines as noisier and more prone to vibrating. Reuters reports that the automaker believes the new engine rollouts have directly correlated to a slide in sales. It is unclear when GM will bring back four-cylinder engines to key models. — REUTERS

10. Some Reddit users are discussing why the Model Y Performance is the only approved variant for a California HOV lane sticker in 2020. While one user thought it was odd only one variant of the Model Y would be eligible for HOV lane access, the snafu comes down to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) only listing vehicles that have passed its certification. The Model Y Performance is the only variant to date that has passed that certification. — /R/TESLAMOTORS - REDDIT

Correction: In Monday's issue of Inside Automotive, I wrote that Maisie Williams was the star of "Frozen." However, she was actually not in "Frozen." She is best known for her role as Arya Stark on HBO’s "Game of Thrones." I regret the error. (I should start watching "Game of Thrones" finally) 

This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of San Antonio, Texas and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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