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EV News This Week: Exciting Updates on Electric Vehicles, Tailored for Easy Comprehension and Maximum Visibility

Tesla Hits Major Battery Production Milestone: This Week in EVs

Tesla Reaches Battery Production Milestone

Tesla, the prominent electric vehicle (EV) giant, recently achieved a significant production milestone by creating its 20 millionth 4680 battery cell at its Texas Gigafactory. In just four months, Tesla has effectively doubled its production of these high-performance cells, designed to enhance vehicle range, power, and durability. The company first unveiled these cells during Tesla’s Battery Day in 2020. While some Model Y vehicles have already utilized these cells, they may also be reserved for the upcoming Cybertruck.

In addition to this achievement, Tesla is currently challenging a $230 million legal fee claim by shareholder lawyers related to a dispute over director compensation. The company argues that the claim is an “unwarranted windfall” and is seeking approval for a fee not exceeding $64 million. It’s important to note that CEO Elon Musk’s separate $56 billion compensation is not part of this lawsuit. The dispute was settled in July 2020, with directors agreeing to reimburse Tesla $735 million in a $919 million deal. Shareholder lawyers are seeking 25% of this settlement, which Tesla believes is inflated and doesn’t reflect the company’s actual benefit from the deal, estimated at $295 million. The main discrepancy arises from stock options valued at $458 million, but Tesla clarified that these options couldn’t be exercised, highlighting a more modest advantage of approximately $20 million due to reversing accounting costs. Elon Musk is not involved in this settlement.

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OSHA Concerns Plague GM and LG

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended imposing hefty fines of $270,000 on the Ohio joint venture battery plant operated by General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solution. OSHA’s recommendation comes after the discovery of several violations, including inadequate safety training and failure to comply with federal guidelines for personal protective equipment usage. The joint venture, called Ultium Cells, has been instructed to adhere to OSHA’s directives, including the installation of mandatory machine guarding and the implementation of comprehensive worker training programs for hazardous energy control and emergency response procedures.

In response to OSHA’s recommendation, Ultium Cells released a statement affirming its commitment to prioritizing workplace safety. The company has requested a hearing with OSHA to address these issues through dialogue. OSHA has been conducting an ongoing inspection at the Ultium facility, prompted by a fire incident in June. The agency has also launched three separate inquiries, one related to workers’ exposure to chemicals due to a pressure gauge failure in August, which resulted in the leakage of battery slurry onto the plant floor.

VinFast Boosts Position with VinES Acquisition

Vietnamese EV maker VinFast has strategically enhanced its position by acquiring a 99.8% stake in battery maker VinES. This move is expected to ensure a stable battery supply for VinFast’s EVs despite initial increases in expenses. The acquisition aims to optimize operating costs and elevate the technological capabilities of VinFast’s EV offerings, with an anticipated 5%-7% reduction in battery expenses. Additionally, VinES’s founder, Pham Nhat Vuong, has committed to covering all interest payments tied to VinES’s current borrowings until 2027, demonstrating strong support for VinFast’s electric vehicle ventures.

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These recent developments in the EV industry showcase the continuous progress being made by major players like Tesla and VinFast, as well as the challenges faced by companies like GM and LG in maintaining workplace safety standards. As the demand for EVs continues to rise, it’s crucial for manufacturers to prioritize safety, innovation, and partnerships to stay ahead in this rapidly evolving industry.

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