Thursday, May 14, 2020

Brazil April 2020

Comparativo híbrido vs. diesel: Qual Volvo XC60 é melhor?

Volvo XC60 PHEV is King of the Hill in Brazil

In the midst of a devastating Covid pandemic, that has plunged the Brazilian overall market by 77% in April, the local PEV market is thriving, with sales up 55% in 2020, and registrations in April growing a meritable 28%, quite an achievement once we consider the doom and gloom around it. 

This has allowed some activity to the plugin share needle, with last month plugin share hitting a record 0,18% score, pulling the 2020 count to...0,07%. 

A lot needs to be done in this large market (the overall market averages 2 to 3 millions per year), especially considering that 80% of this year plugin sales concern PHEVs. 

Maybe a Tesla GF here would start the local EV Revolution?...

Looking at the Best Sellers, we can see the great popularity of the Volvo XC60 PHEV, that owns more than half of the market, and was already last year Best Seller, by far.

At a great distance we have the newly introduced(!) Chevrolet Bolt, that has already surpassed the BMW armada, and is the main reason why BEVs are tripling sales this year.

Below the GM product, we have four BMW's (the 745e is #6), with the 330e landing in April with 21 units, so the German midsizer should reach the runner-up spot sometime this year

In the Manufacturers ranking, Volvo is leading the way, with 62% share, followed by BMW (19%) and Chevrolet (14%)



    This webpage claims

    "The cost of CATL's cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery packs has fallen below $80 per kilowatt-hour, with the cost of the battery cells dropping below $60/kWh, the sources said."

    If this is true, then the average cost of lithium battery / KWh in general is much less than $156 / KWh that bloomberg estimated at the end of last year. So the lowest priced batteries are also below the $100 / KWh threshold that EV supporters where looking for.

    1. Most passenger EVs use NMC (or NCA) batteries nowadays, though -- so that's what is dictating the average cost.

      Chinese EVs used LFP in the past: but after the government reversed course a couple of years ago, they all moved to the "ternary" chemistries as well. Only now, BYD (and apparently CATL) are attempting to stage a comeback for LFP, counting on the better space utilisation of their cell-to-pack architectures to enable decent ranges with reasonably-sized batteries... We'll have to see how that works out.

  2. There is zero chance of a Gigafactory in Latin America any time soon... Building a factory makes no sense, unless there is an expectation of six-digit yearly sales. Even with an optimistic assumption that sales will increase severalfold with local production, they'd already have to be well in five digits (for the entire region) before it's worth considering -- which isn't likely to happen there for many years... I don't think we will be seeing any Tesla factory outside North America, Europe, or China in the foreseeable future.

    (Most like candidate would appear to be Asia/Pacific region -- but that might be too close to China to justify separate factories?...)

    Having said that, I wonder whether we might see more final assembly plants in various places in the future, for sidestepping tariffs...

  3. You really think the BMW 330 could overtake the Bolt? Given that it's the first month of deliveries, it wouldn't be unusual if it turns out it's only pent-up demand responsible for the strong start...

    1. AnonymousMay 15, 2020

      Absolutly! Make no mistake on it.
      Very unlikely that the EV segment reaches any significance (say 0,5 or 1%) for the next years in Brazil (... until 2030?).
      The first large volume EV available in Brazil was the BMW i3, way in 2014. It remains to be shown here, how many of them have been sold in this market since then. Unless a large scale charging infrastructure is built, and the EV ecosystem is competitive compared to ethanol, all the chances are in the PHEV segment, where (also BMW) and Volvo have the biggest chances, unless the Volkswagen Group brings in PHEV powertrains to South-American models (and imported ones too).
      No way any chances for EVs to go from Sao Paulo to Manaus anytime soon, and that is 2030, not a moon shot!

    2. These same arguments could be made for any other market as well -- and yet we see PEVs, and especially BEVs, taking off in more and more places. Of course it will take longer in markets that are more price-sensitive and less eco-minded: but it's only a matter of time until improving cost competitiveness, technological superiority, model availability, and shifting mindshare catch up in each and every place on Earth. And as early adopters start creating demand, charging infrastructure will inevitably follow, in turn bringing in more buyers...

      Given the pace of development in the EV market, I bet it won't take more than a couple of years until things start moving big time even in Brazil.

    3. Antrik, many nascent EV markets are growing due to high end PHEVs, like in Malaysia, where the BMW 530e is king, where plugins are seen as a fashion trend, what i find surprising in the case of Brazil is that BMW isn't betting in the X5 PHEV.

  4. Are there no Chinese makers trying to sell in this market? Or are they trying, but not succeeding?...

    1. JAC is trying, but so far with no success. It has to do with what i said earlier, EVs aren't seen as a mobility solution, but as a fashion trend, so high end is the way to go here.

    2. The Bolt is not exactly high-end, though...

  5. Brazil has flex fuel vehicles that can run on 100% ethanol and 88% of the vehicles sold there are FFVs while another 10% are heavy vehicles running on diesel, leaving only 2% for petrol.

    All petrol sold there has minimum 27.5% ethanol which means quite a lot of biofuel is consumed.
    Toyota Prius sold there can run on petrol / ethanol which makes it tribrid.

    Nice to see Brazil entering PEV territory which will further intensify the competition and most likely PHV sold there will be a quadbrid (regenerative electricity, grid electricity, ethanol, petrol).

    1. The ability to swap one liquid fuel for another (with marginally different properties) doesn't make for a hybrid; nor does the ability go generate electricity on-board vs. charging from the grid. (By that twisted logic, every BEV would be a hybrid...)

      And BTW, "full" hybrids -- including all PHEVs as far as I'm aware -- can also generate electricity directly from the combustion engine, not just from braking.

  6. It shows the long way to go when you look at those huge market with so tiny market share!