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EV/AV Report: May 9, 2022

Toronto, Ontario – In this week’s electric and autonomous vehicle report, Tesla raises the price of FSD in Canada, EV charging stations are becoming a target for hackers and Canadian mining company Vale signs a deal to provide nickel for Tesla batteries.

Full Self-Driving, Fuller Price

Canadians will have to shell out just a little bit more to opt into Tesla’s  Full Self-Driving suite, as the automaker announced a price hike of $2,200, bringing the total cost of the software to $12,800.

The most recent price increase previous to this was announced in January, when Tesla bumped the cost of FSD in the U.S. from $10,000 to $12,000.

Many customers complained about the price adjustment, saying that the lack of improvements to the system does not warrant an added cost being set on consumers, and that the change was implemented without any prior notice.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk rebutted that as the system develops and the vehicles learn, the service will make up for the cost.

Theft from Afar

It seems the electronic hacking community has found a new target in EV charging stations, as reports of remote takeovers are leaving both everyday drivers and fleet owners concerned about the cybersecurity of their charging setup.

Yoav Levy, CEO of Israel-based Upstream Security, warns that the first major hacks are already being seen, and puts forth a question about the industry’s overall preparedness for these sorts of cyber vulnerabilities.

“Is a consumer going to pay ransomware to release their charging station at home? I don’t think so,” said Levy. “But if you have a fleet, or if this is your business, then you face a bigger risk.”

He says that while investing in EV infrastructure itself is important, “governments should also make sure they are securing their grids, securing their vehicles and securing their infrastructure as part of that.”

The Canadian Infrastructure Bank plans to spend $500 million over five years to build infrastructure to support the 1,500 charging stations due to be built across the country.

Breaching the Vale

Canadian mining giant Vale announced on Thursday that it has signed a deal with Tesla to provide the automaker with nickel from its domestic operations, for use in EV batteries.

Vale said it will supply Tesla with Class 1 nickel for its battery manufacturing facilities in the United States.

“This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries,” said Vale’s executive vice-president of base metals, Deshnee Naidoo, in a press release.

Experts expect this deal with Tesla to give the automaker an even stronger foothold for vehicle production in North America.

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