All the EV Tech we Found at CES 2022 [Video]

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The show must go on. Despite the sparse attendance and looming threat of new Covid variants, the CES trade show had a limited opening during these difficult times. Electrek put boots on the ground and takes you along to see some of the latest tech in the electric vehicle space.

And space, there was… lots of it.

Normally, this gargantuan trade show puts sitting space at a premium, but this year the convention center felt less like a city subway, and more like a bake sale at the high school gym.

Among the empty slots and long walks between booths, we found a few other oddities. I’m not sure if they paid for it, but LG occupied a huge space with only ply-board and wooden blocks to sit on. I’m going to make a wild guess and say this would have cost them over 1 million dollars years ago, and this conspicuous consumption would have generated quite a buzz.

At the last minute, 1 of the 3 main exhibit halls was closed, CES canceled an entire day of the week long show, and exhibitors pulled out and cut their losses, all the way up to General Motors.

For the rest that braved this difficult storm, we’ll showcase their efforts with this video. After the video, the article resumes with my take on the products and companies we found. 

Electrek’s Take

With the sprawling show, re-located booths, and limited time, I didn’t have a chance to catch ‘em all, but I was close. After filming the short intro for each of these companies, I had a chance to talk for a minute or two. Here’s my take:

INDI

INDI believes that passengers want to use a computer in their friends’ car with full computing power; gaming, streaming, or for me, editing video. They say they are looking into providing a privacy screen for the driver, so as not to lead to distracted driving accidents.

I think that INDI has a tough road ahead of them. Aside from the regulatory concerns of distracted driving, they would also need to entice people into the new behavior first, then plunk down money for this car to fit that new purpose.

Fisker

Fisker is entering the market with the production version of the Ocean SUV. It wasn’t long ago that skeptical eyes were on this company. You wouldn’t know it by looking at their product, though. With solid suppliers and a wide audience for their first vehicle, I anticipate they will sell very well.

Edison Future

Their single platform/two model program is quite common, but the look of these vehicles isn’t. Their truck looks like a mix of the Canoo and the Rivian. Also, the truck includes a solar panel bed cover that looks like a bug carapace. 

TuSimple

TuSimple recently hit the news with a successful freight test run, with no driver inside. Their advancing AI system is working to eventually create a ‘virtual driver’. TuSimple has been working with actual semi truck trips for a long time, gathering data and needs from real truckers and shippers. 

Stellantis

Stellantis showed off the Airflow concept car for Chrysler. It looks pretty far along, and a version of this might be closer to release than they are putting out there. 

Sony

I’m skeptical of Sony’s EV aspirations – there are a lot of things that this very large corporation will have to overcome to make this happen. It’s not a secret that Japanese companies have been slow to embrace the EV transition. Sony very well could have a harder time meeting their goals in Japan. Hiring talent, sourcing parts, using test facilities, and a myriad of other adjacent EV goods and services will be hard to get in a country that still uses mini-disc players.

John Deere

Someday, they will have some electric options, but for now, they were showing off their autonomous tractor technology. Since their tractors are made to run in high-torque applications for 72 hours straight, I’ll agree that battery power isn’t viable in this case. The folks at John Deere really thought this out, and they have some amazing advantages in the field of farming AI. I did not discuss with them the right to repair.

Elms

Electric Last Mile Solutions (Elms) is the first company to market with an electric delivery truck. Well, the first one available for purchase. Rivian has been making electric delivery vans for Amazon for a while now, but those are for an exclusive partnership. Elms is excited that you can buy one today.

Splitvolt

It’s so simple, why didn’t someone do that? They did! Splitvolt allows you to use a home dryer plug to charge an EV safely and easily. Inside is not only safety equipment to prevent damage to the home or car, but it also includes an easy switch to allow the charging function. My wife might not want a cord going out to the garage, but I’ll find a way to make it up to her.

Togg

Togg is an electric car company springing out of Turkey. They have a special focus on the user experience, and showed off a concept car to build excitement. Togg has an SUV on the horizon, and sales will begin first in Turkey, and then to the European Union.

Wallbox

Wallbox had a myriad of products, many for the European market, but the new hotness is the bi-directional charger, the Quasar 2. The unit looks like a regular home charger, but it not only charges a car faster, but it allows for using the EV battery to back up a home in case of a power outage. Some vehicles are promising this in the future, but it’s Wallbox who has it now, with some limited compatibility (for now).

Hesai Lidar

Hesai showcased a new advanced over-the-car-sensor suite that has a very long reach. They have partnered with a few companies, such as Lyft, to grow the capabilities of their system. I asked for their response to Elon Musk’s comment that “lidar is a fool’s errand”. Hesai asserts their system adds a great deal of safety and that Musk’s comments were made a long time ago. Things have changed.

Ree

I think Ree has outstanding potential to take the market by storm. While the industry is scrambling to make the coolest car, the most dense battery, the best user experience, Ree is over there in the corner making something truly revolutionary. Imagine taking all the essential drive components of an EV (except the battery), and fitting them all into the form factor that is hugely modular and full of features. Is anyone else doing this? Is anyone else paying attention?

Lastly, on a personal note

I was around more people at CES that I have in the last two years. Everyone at the show was very kind, accommodating, and respectful of personal space and preferences with social distancing. Everyone was vaccinated, wore masks, and also understood they were risking infection while attending. I’m not going to soap-box about the virus, but I’m glad that everyone was so nice.

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