Hello dear readers and riders! Before we jump into this week’s EV news, we wanted to announce our new exhibit at the Petersen Museum spotlighting the electric renaissance. Opening April 9th, the ‘Electric Revolutionaries’ exhibit  showcases 12 pioneering designers/teams that are leading the way for the EV industry. Standouts in the exhibit include the ‘KillaJoule,” the swiftest sidecar streamliner developed by mechanical engineer Eva Håkansson, Hugo Eccles’ “XP Zero,” and the global debut of Curtiss Motors’ “The One.”

If you’re in the LA area, and want to join the reception on April 14th, here’s where to buy tickets.  We’d love to see you there!

Now let’s get into this week’s stories, which include some awesome women making headway on EV production in Mexico, Lexus’ new electric car that features a steering yoke, and the obstacles preventing the U.S. from moving the needle on its ambitious goals regarding electric vehicles.

If you see a story you’d like us to cover, send it to stephanie@thevintagent.com. Our inbox is always open. Let’s roll.

Meet Zacua, the Mexican EV Developed by Women

Mexico has a small motor manufacturing industry, for both motorcycles and cars; the Zacua is the newest, with an all-woman workforce making EVs. [Zacua]
When it comes to electric vehicles, it seems like there’s always a man behind the machine. Mexico’s Zacua is about to change all that. The Zacua is a car created mostly by women. While this EV has been in development for the last five years, a 7.1-degree tremor that rocked the region in September, 2017 delayed plans. Luckily, the company has recently introduced two models to the market, including the Zacua MX2 coupe and the MX3 hatchback. Both cars can reach speeds of 85kph. The batteries are protected by an aluminum chassis that is designed to absorb energy in the event of an impact. The battery has a range of about 160km, but this number will vary depending on speed, incline, decline, and daily driving habits.

The Zacua M2 looks like a perfect urban runabout that has the potential of cleaning up Mexico City’s smog issues. [Zacua]
Zacua aims to accelerate the use of environmentally friendly energies in Mexico by manufacturing small, non-polluting urban vehicles with great functionality and aesthetics. They plan to gradually open 150 charging stations in Mexico City.

How the War on Ukraine Will Impact the EV Industry

[Alain Pitton / NurPhoto/ Getty Images]
In Rivian’s latest SEC filing, the startup forecasted “significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future,” citing the effects of the conflict in Ukraine among the factors that will severely impact its success. “The cascading impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently the conflict in the Ukraine, have impacted our business and operations from facility construction to equipment installation to vehicle component supply,” Rivian stated. The war has prompted other automakers to halt production, including Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Renault, and Porsche. Since Russia and China, their greatest ally, are leading suppliers of the raw materials needed to produce EV batteries, EV makers are faced with the additional hurdles of rising prices and declining availability of these resources.

UPS’s New Adorably Tiny Electric Delivery Vans

Brown gettin’ down! The last-mile UPS EV delivery vehicle, the eQuad, that’s technically a bicycle in disguise. [UPS]
UPS tested out their new electric delivery vans this week and they’re downright adorable. Technically considered quadricycles, the vans are powered by an electric bike motor and measure less than 10 feet long and 33 inches wide. Called the eQuad, the small vehicles can efficiently zip through long lines of traffic, making last-minute deliveries a breeze. The vehicle’s drivetrain is nearly identical to that of an electric cargo bike and features a traditional bicycle seat, handlebars, and an electrical assist system that comes alive when a rider begins pedaling. UPS is now trialing 100 of their tiny vans in EU markets and plans to expand testing into the U.S. soon.

Lexus’ First EV Will Be Piloted by a Steering Yoke

Amazing that Lexus doesn’t already have an EV offering; this is the RZ450e, coming soon. [Lexus]
Luxury automaker Lexus will be revealing the RZ 450e, their first EV, on April 20th. To promote the release, the company recently dropped two teaser images, one of which features a steering yoke. We’d love to hear if Lexus’s steering yoke is a yea or nay for you.

America is Losing Speed in the Race for EVs

At the FIA Formula E race at Templehof airport in Berlin: – Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE05, leads Sébastien Buemi (CHE), Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO1. [FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images]

The Washington Post published an article this week about America’s difficulty to keep up in the EV battery race. Despite efforts to boost the domestic availability of raw materials, China still monopolizes 60% of battery production, and controls 80% of some vital minerals like Cobalt. With rising material prices and market imbalances, the hurdles will only continue to get higher for US companies. Furthermore, the U.S. government currently has only 1% of the chargers it needs to support EV usage in the next decade. According to recent testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. government owns only 1,100 of the 100,000 stations it needs to power a planned shift to electric government vehicles.



Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.


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