Final Word from Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Chair Ola Källenius of Mercedes told Handelsblatt that the e-vehicle transformation is a marathon and that we are now only at kilometer eight or nine. He was responding to a question about whether his company will be able to hit its target of 100% e-vehicle sales by 2030, from the current 11%, given that orders are slumping. Whether it sells its last combustion engine in 2030, 2033 or 2035 can't be predicted, he said, but he expects the market to flip to e-vehicles at some point this decade. He didn't mention batteries, but BYD of China has apparently made a breakthrough with sodium-ion technology for low-end e-cars, and Toyota made claims this month (here or here) about halving the weight, size and cost of batteries, increasing the range to 1,200km and cutting the charging time to 10 minutes or less. PM Petr Fiala told CNN Prima News that the CR has the largest lithium deposit in Europe and will have a huge competitive advantage if it attracts a gigafactory. Yet from kilometer eight or nine of this marathon, it appears that the CR's future as a lithium superpower will depend largely on battery advancements in faraway Asia. [ Czech Republic Volkswagen Japan electric ]

Glossary of difficult words

to slump - to undergo a sudden severe or prolonged fall in price, value or amount;

to flip - to undergo a dramatic directional change; to turn over or cause to turn over with a sudden quick movement;

advancement - a development or improvement.

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