Roundup: News and innovation in EVs in Q3

Mercedes-Benz and Rivian collaborate on commercial vans: Partnerships in the EV space continue with traditional automakers seeking EV startups to help accelerate adoption. A joint venture unites Mercedes-Benz and Rivian to build vans in Europe, per CNBC.

  • “We are sharing investments and technology [with Rivian] because we also share the same strategic ambition: accelerating the electrification of the van market with sustainable and superior products for our customers,” said Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes’ commercial van unit.
  • The partnership will yield results in 2025 starting with a next-generation version of a light van it developed for Amazon.

Harbinger develops a versatile platform for delivery EVs: California-based startup Harbinger is setting its sights on delivery vehicles with its new chassis for battery-electric Class 4 to Class 7 medium-duty vehicles, per Forbes. 

  • Harbinger's key innovation is the eAxle, which combines the motor, inverter, and gearbox into a replaceable integrated unit. A floating beam could generate 15% improvement in energy efficiency over the incumbent solutions in the industry.
  • The company intends to make its EV truck chassis available to trucking companies. “Our cost-basis for battery packs is anywhere from 50% to 80% lower than other companies in the trucking space that are buying full packs,” said CEO John Harris.
  • Harbinger is looking to pilot tests in mid to late 2023, and deliveries to customers will begin in 2024.

Tesla opens up voting for chargers: While there’s no shortage of EV news and new models, the supporting (and necessary) charging infrastructure seems to be slow to catch up. Tesla, which leads the market with Superchargers, is putting future charging locations to a vote, per Electrek.

  • Unsurprisingly, Tesla is allowing people to vote on new Supercharger locations via Twitter. Responses to the tweet will be included in a poll to determine which locations make the most sense.
  • With the shift to EVs involving more than just passenger cars, some allowances will need to be made for vehicles of various sizes. Tesla might need to design more flexible charging stations for larger vehicles like Cybertrucks and delivery vans. 

Jeep is pivoting to all-electric SUVs: Jeep is leaning into EVs by announcing it will “electrify” all of its models in the US.

  • “The BEV acceleration is going full speed,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier
  • The company previewed two fully electric SUVs, the Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon and an electric Wagoneer. Both are expected to arrive in North America by 2024.
  • Jeep is aspiring to become the No. 1 seller of electric SUVs in the world, Pivoting its popular models and lines to all-electric is certain to spur competition in the SUV space.

Wrap-up: The recent EV news shifts focus from passenger cars to the development of trucks, SUVs, and service vehicles, as well as plans for ways to increase range and improve infrastructure. 

  • The EV industry and adjacent businesses are growing as consumers become more open to the idea of switching to electric vehicles.
  • 2024 will be the watershed moment for the transition to EVs in the US, with various models from popular car manufacturers coming to market. Hopefully, a more sustainable charging infrastructure will be available to support the shift. 

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.