Daily Shorts: Subaru ups EV sales target, VW eyes Leapmotor platform and more
Japan's Subaru announced it will target sales of 600,000 electric vehicles a year by 2030, or half the company's annual sales. The company also announced plans to invest $10.5 billion towards electrification this decade, with CEO Atsushi Osaki telling reporters the coming five years to 2028 were "a really important period". Subaru's ramp-up of EV targets — it earlier aimed for 40 percent EV sales — and other moves is in line with other Japanese carmakers such as Toyota, who have redoubled focus on EVs after lagging behind and risk losing markets to China.
Germany's Volkswagen is in talks with Chinese EV startup Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology for cooperation for VW's Jetta brand cars, Chinese media outlet Cailianshe reported. It said a joint venture between VW and China's FAW Group could "buy" an EV platform from Leapmotor. The news comes days after Leapmotor unveiled a new EV platform that it said would be licensed to others. VW last week tied up with Chinese EV company Xpeng for software and autonomous driving programs.
Canadian startup Tenstorrent has raised $100 million from investors, including automakers Hyundai Motor Group and Kia, the company said. Headed by Jim Keller, a chip industry veteran who has developed chips for Tesla, Apple and Intel, Tenstorrent is valued at $1 billion. The company is focused on developing artificial intelligence chips. Hyundai, which is investing in EV technologies, has said it plans to use Tenstorrent technology in "future Hyundai, Kia and Genesis" cars.
The US could receive greater access to Mongolia's rare-earths and copper deposits, with Prime Minister L Oyun-Erdene announcing in Washington plans to deepen their co-operation. The two countries had signed an MoU over mining in June. The PM also said his country was in talks with Tesla CEO Elon Musk over investments in the EV and space sectors, pointing out the Mongolia's Gobi Desert has an environment similar to Mars, which Musk hopes to colonize.
Canadian mining company TMC announced plans to mine the Pacific Ocean floor from the end of 2025 in search of critical materials. The company said it would apply for permission next year. TMC is a pioneer in seabed extraction of polymetallic nodules, which could boost supplies of critical metals such as nickel and cobalt. Environmentalists have decried the move, pointing out damage to marine ecosystems.