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Arrival is using its patents as collateral for new cash, filings suggest
The latest news from the world of EVs
Morning, I’m Tom Riley and welcome back to The Fast Charge, a British EV newsletter.
Top story in today’s edition… from one of the UK’s brightest stars to a company scraping by. In a new report I’ve published, I look at how Arrival went from a £9.5 billion valuation to the cusp of insolvency.
Elsewhere… The Department for Transport missed more than £720,000 in charger grant awards since last year, and BEVs took 20% of the market in August.
Finally, I’ve included an update about the Fast Charge at the bottom. As ever, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do get in touch. My contact details are here or simply reply to this email.
Arrival or departure? The rise and fall of Britain’s EV unicorn
This morning I published online a new special report on Arrival. It’s based on research through hundreds of articles and comments to plot the past three years for the firm, starting with its early success, moments it began to unravel, and what the future may hold.
This special feature includes…
How the start-up surged to become one of the UK’s most valuable companies
All the details of what caused its near collapse, including recent stories about its HQ office in Charlotte closing, plus
News that Arrival may be on the cusp of announcing a fresh cash injection – as the struggling firm has registered its intellectual property as collateral for lenders, according to 450+ pages of filings to Companies House published last week (which is being first reported today by The Fast Charge).
You can read the full report online here 👇
The article will be emailed to all subscribers on Wednesday morning. Please do share it if you find it interesting.
DfT missed £720,000 in charger grant spend
Three months ago, I reported how, after one year of operating, the government’s updated charger grant scheme was failing to deliver for people in flats or rented homes. The latest quarterly statistics were out last week, and it seems the Department for Transport has recalculated all its figures - going back to the scheme’s launch last March. See this table to compare the previous quarter’s figures to the latest ones…
What this shows is DfT, by my calculations, missed almost three-quarters of a million in grant funds being awarded (or £721,348 to be exact) in the period from March 2022 to April 2023 - this represents about 600 chargers. On their stats page, DfT does say it can take grants ‘several months’ to process, but this update changes them all.
It does at least mean the scheme has been used a bit more than first expected - though it’s still pretty low. In the latest quarter (April to the end of June), only 224 renters were able to use the scheme to get a grant for a charge point installation.
And in total - including landlords - there were only 489 installations. Are those with off-street parking an afterthought?
Latest EV news…
☝️ New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trades have revealed that EV’s (including hybrids) accounted for almost four in ten (37.8%) registrations in August - pure EVs secured a 20% market share.
🚗 Renault’s CEO, Luca de Meo, told a radio show on Monday that “China is very competitive when it comes to the supply chain of electric vehicles....we need to catch up fast.” Read more. Similar sentiments were shared by the CEO of BMW about the threat the country faces. See here.
📈 Speaking of China, the country’s share of the European electric car market has more than doubled in less than two years, according to new a report published this week. Read more.
🔋 As part of a series of articles in the FT, there was a really good feature on battery recycling. See here (paywall).
🥳 Tesla revealed a new look Model 3 last week. Based on the videos, it looks a bit sportier. See Carwow’s video here.
💶 The CEO of Mercedes-Benz, Ola Kaellenius, has said he believes that the cost for producing EVs will remain higher than making combustion engines for the ‘foreseeable future'. Read more.
🏎️ At an event over the weekend, I came across the Little Car Company – which makes small electric versions of luxury cars. I got to have a go in the DB5 junior. So much fun! Check them out here if you’ve not heard of them.
🚴 Good news for owners of VanMoof ebikes, the company has been bought out of administration by the British escooter company Lavoie. Read more.
💰 And now good news for all EV owners, as AA reports that with the latest Ofgem price cap change, that should knock off about 11.8% from charging up a car. Read more.
🤷♂️ A new study has suggested that men who prioritise acting ‘like a real man’ are more likely not to buy electric cars - as petrol cars apparently instead display masculinity. Obviously, this was a story published in the MailOnline. And while I would always recommend avoiding the comments of Mail stories, the ones on this are hilarious. My personal fave… “Manly men aren’t stupid like weak pathetic liberal men and buy something you cant charge”… Are these people real haha?
⏰ As a reminder, this Saturday 9 September is World EV Day. You can find out more about it here.
Parish notice: Update on The Fast Charge
In June I wrote that paid subscriptions for this newsletter were on the way. Specifically, that it will cost a small amount to see the ‘latest EV news’ section of this email. This is no longer my intention.
The reason is there are now so many ways people get their news each day - from automated alerts to LinkedIn posts - and also there is now so much EV news each week. So, I’m changing tack. The conclusion is this newsletter will likely move away from weekly summaries and instead focus on delivering more impactful feature stories – such as the one on Arrival today.
These posts will probably not be weekly – as I have a day job to contend with – but bi-weekly. Instead, I’m going to be shifting reporting of the day-to-day EV news to my TikTok channel.
I started TikTok about a year ago as an experiment, and to be honest it’s always been an afterthought to this newsletter. However, increasingly whenever I speak to people in the community, at motoring shows, or businesses, it’s the TikTok videos people have seen or follow – so I will now be adopting a TikTok-first strategy.
What does this mean? Firstly, please keep sending me your news or comments, as the stories will now be made into video content. Likewise, if you do send me a press release, if you are able to, please send video footage. As an example, earlier this year Fastned sent me some drone footage of a new site that I was able to create a video from.
Secondly, I am open to partnerships. My planned-out videos regularly get high views – the seven car reviews I did last year were viewed hundreds of thousands of times each on average (e.g. see Honda-E, Citroen AMI, Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60, Hummer EV). For transparency, here’s a breakdown of the demographics of my followers.
Drop me a note if you want to chat, and as ever thanks for your continued support!
By Tom Riley | Check my Linktree for LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok