AD #1244 – States Sign ZEV Pact, No VW EVs for China, 2014 Honda Civic Si

October 25th, 2013 at 11:44am

Runtime: 7:54

Eight U.S. states sign a memorandum of understanding to help spur the sales of electric and other zero emission vehicles. VW’s CEO of China says the German automaker will not be selling EVs in the country. Honda shows off the new 2014 Civic Coupe that will make its debut at next month’s SEMA show. All that and more, plus how the industry is going down to the molecular level to come up with lighter weight steel.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily and TGIF. And now let’s move on to today’s top stories.

In an effort to spur the sales of electric and other zero emission vehicles, governors from eight U.S. states signed a memorandum of understanding to help create the infrastructure needed for those types of vehicles. Very tellingly, this agreement doesn’t commit them to spend any money, but their goal is to get 3.3 million zero-emission cars on those state’s roads by 2025. The states involved are California, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Of course, we’re seeing governments trying to force the sale of electric cars because those pesky consumers just don’t seem to be going along with the program. And that’s especially true in China, which once had grandiose plans to dominate EV technology. But EV sales in China are going nowhere, so now Volkswagen, which is the biggest automotive brand in China, says it has no plans to sell electric cars there. Instead, Jochem Heizman, the CEO of VW China, speaking at the Global Automotive Forum last week, says they’re going to offer plug-in hybrids instead. He says battery electrics face problems in extreme hot and cold weather, and that’s one reason why VW has no plans to sell them there. Instead, he says they’ll offer a plug-in in every segment of the market, starting with the Porsche Panamera plug-in.

Earlier this month, John Krafcik, the CEO of Hyundai America, predicted that October sales could drop by as much as 10% due to the U.S. government shutdown. But it looks like the market may be more resilient than everyone expected. Sales forecasts from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and JD Power now predict that sales will be up 8 to 13 percent this month, compared to a year ago. Car sales are expected to total over 1.2 million units in October which translates to a SAAR of around 15.4 million.

On Monday we showed you a teaser video clip of the new BMW 2 Series, but you could hardly tell what the car looks like. Now we have the Full Monty, and guess what? Not much has changed from the outgoing 1 Series. Despite being slightly longer, wider and lower the new 2 sure looks a lot like the old 1. The biggest change is on the front fascia, the twin kidney grille has been massaged and muscled up, and the headlights and lower air intakes are more pronounced. The 228i is powered by a 240 horsepower 4-cylinder engine and will carry a price tag of just over $33,000, while the top of the line M version gets a 322 horsepower 6-cylinder and a $44,000 price tag. The 2 Series will first be shown to the public at the Detroit Auto Show.

We’ve shown you some of the wild concept cars that will make their debut at next month’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, but this one from Honda is a little bit different. The company will be showcasing the 2014 Civic Coupe there. There is no info on the new Coupe but Honda did give us a rear end photo of the Si version, a perennial favorite of the enthusiast crowd. We’ve spotted some subtle changes. The taillights have been tweaked a bit, the lower portion of the bumper has some new moldings and the lines of the car are crisper and look more defined. As soon as we get more info, we’ll let you know.

Coming up next, a look at how the steel industry is helping getting down the the molecular level to come up with lighter weight steel.

On Autoline This Week, the topic is all about steel. In the following clip, Lou Hector, from General Motors Research and Development labs, explains what kind of research is being done to help make steel lighter.

(Clip about how steel is being made lighter can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Also joining John for that show is Terry Cullum from the Auto/Steel Partnership and Ron Krupitzer from the Steel Market Development Institute. And you can watch that entire show right now on our website,

But that wraps up this week’s worth of show. Have a great weekend and please join us again here on Monday.

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76 Comments to “AD #1244 – States Sign ZEV Pact, No VW EVs for China, 2014 Honda Civic Si”

  1. Bob Zigmanth Says:

    Bad new for Toyota:,0,2222494.story#axzz2ikYv2IMH

  2. Buzzerd Says:

    Sooooo how is the battery in a hybrid/plug-in sooooo much different than the battery in a plug-in?

  3. T. Bejma Says:

    Honda Civic Coupe? Or is it Hyundai Civic Coupe?


    Most of the Battery only vehicles rely on air cooling/heating for their batteries to maintain temperature rather than sacrifice range to have a separate cooling/heating system. Most plug in’s, like the Volt have a separate system to keep the batteries at their optimum temperature.

  4. Jon M Says:

    Fortunately, I don’t think the government shutdown lasted long enough to negatively impact auto sales. But certainly Hyundai of America’s senior management felt confident in their prediction, given the furlough incentive they offered. There is nothing wrong with being proactive though.

  5. Tony Gray Says:

    EVs in the cold northeast which reduced range due to increased heater use and lower temps. Maybe offset by shorter trips than out west. Who knows.

    I am usually against government intervention in the free market, but I think the steel research described is a good use of our tax money. This isn’t where the government is picking a winner or loser out of a host of competitors and/or competing technologies, it is the support of pure research that has wide application and benefits across many aspects of the economy.

  6. Tom H. Says:

    Hi John,
    You recently reported on a study done in Germany regarding the “Carbon Footprint” of an electric car vs. a clean diesel auto through its life cycle. The “Carbon Footprint” including manufacture, refueling, and recycling at the end of the vehicles life was the same for ev’s and diesels.
    Given the horrendously dirty business of manufacturing of batteries, and the range anxiety of ev’s, it would seem that the only reason to purchase an ev would be to get the government rebate, and “make believe” that these vehicles are somehow helpful to the environment.

  7. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @1 – Going back to the Audi unintended acceleration in the 60′s(?) there has NEVER been evidence it was the vehicle at fault. It’s always the driver. It may be Toyota was at fault in this one. Somebody is going to be the first. But I kind of doubt it. My cousin was the guy who did the technical investigation and held the data used in the Audi trial. My other cousin recently claimed her vehicle had an acceleration incident that hurt her and seriously injured her mom, my aunt. I am not sure what happened but my engineer cousin and I both agree it wasn’t the car.

  8. Chuck @ GM Says:

    Maybe now that the precedent has been set, we can move on from Obamacare and invent Obamacar and force everyone to buy EV’s.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    #7 you may think it’s a joke, but if they make us buy health ins and the court agreed, they could make us buy recycled bung-hole paper too! EV’s too, unless you live in a condo, or they could make the condo assoc install EV power outlets, at our expense, of course.

  10. HtG Says:

    Does anybody else think that 2series could find truffels pretty easy?
    Off Topic-Auto computerizaton

    EETimes has a piece on how the need to integrate multiple computer systems in a car is being served by virtualization software vendors. From what I could pick up, when a chip is tasked with running multiple different devices, engineers need a way to keep track of and compartmentalize different functions. Hence, virtualization, called a hypervisor, a term I had only seen before in server settings.

  11. HtG Says:

    Toyota’s Old Lady Issues

    Again, EETimes writes that they will be talking to the experts in the Toyota trial, hired to investigate possibilities of software being a culprit in sudden acceleration. Said experts have been under a gag order which lasts through the punitive phase of the trial.

    We’ll see

  12. HtG Says:


    Ars Technica has a longish piece on different racing hybrid approaches. Audi, Williams, Toyota are all described. The article nods a bit to racing tech getting into your street car.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps they will bring back the old accelerator to throttle body by way of cable system? Nah, that won’t happen.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7, 8
    What we need is Medicare for everyone. Obamacare is the what the Dems presented with the mistaken belief that Republicans would come on board, since it started as Romney’s idea.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    If we did not have the astronomical military budget that we heed in order to be the world’s police force…… all these European countries with their “free” healthcare have almost zero such expenses nor do they hand out foreign aid like their money gets printed out of a money machine…oh $hit, wait ,it DOES get printed!!!

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The European countries spend less per person on health care than we do. Way more money is syphoned off by insurance companies here, and too much very expensive health care is delivered to uninsured people by emergency rooms, and the hospitals end up eating the cost. Other countries’ systems have their problems too, like long waits for knee replacements. They do better with preventive care, though.

  17. Mike Says:

    EV’s are an argument over who should fund new technology. Lot’s of people will be interested once someone else has paid to develop the new more wonderful product and the price has fallen to the commodity level. Current EV funding comes from Corporate R&D budgets, Government incentive funds, and the handful of early adopters willing to pay ahead for new technology.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the link. Interesting stuff.

  19. T. Bejma Says:


    Good “geeky” ;-) info there HtG.

    Why would anyone be under a gag order if they didn’t have anything to “gag”? Hmmmm….

  20. T. Bejma Says:


    You’re right Pedro, it will never go away. There is a lot more good than bad coming from throttle by wire (traction/stability control, mileage increases, packaging/weight savings, etc.). Too bad Toyota had to “F” it up for everyone by screwing up their software…

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB now I would be scared to buy any car with electronic throttle, I feel like I don’t have 100% control of the vehicle, for example, I would never feel comfortable with this Q50 steering gizmo! TB do you think the new Mirage will cut into Spark sales? it’s cheaper, but Mitsu’s uncertain future may keep buyers away.

  22. HtG Says:

    18 If I were to read into the article, TB, I’d venture that the reporters have already spoken with the ‘experts.’ Why make promises otherwise?

  23. RS Says:

    Unintended acceleration experiment…

    Two people get in a car. One gets the brake pedal the other gets the accelerator. (There’s no clutch because there has never been a case of unintended acceleration in a vehicle with a clutch)

    Guess what…the car is NOT going anywhere! Brakes overpower engine every time. If you have two feet, try it at the next traffic light when the guy in the next lane wants an impromptu drag. A bit hard on the tranny but gives a great launch

  24. HtG Says:

    22. Here’s my angle. What if someone is on the highway and the car ‘runs away.’ But they DON’T press hard enough on the brake pedal, such that the discs and pads overheat, leading to brake fade. Won’t the engine, at least in some cases, be able to over power the over heated brakes? The engine ain’t running out of gas. Critique this logic, please.

  25. HtG Says:

    Couldn’t one also extend the argument to say that some women may not have the strength to crush the brake pedal?

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    That all depends on the conditions of the brakes, right now my rear drums could not stop a tricycle being ridden by a 3 yr old kid.

  27. RS Says:

    Good point, but not in my experience. Get on the highway and pick your speed. Now stomp on both pedals. You are going to stop, not continue to accelerate.

    Brakes always overpower engine.

    Weight would be a factor though. In a tractor pull a light vehicle would not be able to hold the heavy vehicle back.

    But in the same vehicle, brakes win every time.

    Tell the jury it’s the driver.

  28. T. Bejma Says:


    You nailed it Pedro. Having the dealer network of GM should make the customers feel more comfortable. Who knows if Mitsubishi will even be around in a few years. Don’t think the Spark will be hurt by the Mirage.


    And I would venture that they already know there is a software issue as well


    That’s the kicker there RS (as in Sonic RS, Camaro RS, Cruze RS – like me?). Toyota did not have brake systems that were strong enough to overcome the accelerator. They have since corrected, but if you were to perform your experiment with an older Lexus RX, the accelerator would win. Most automakers, including GM had braking systems that were more powerful than the engine (and verified it as part of the validation process), but apparently Toyota thought that was not an important consideration.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, 22
    I like throttle by wire, because the pedal works smoothly, and you generally have a choice of sensitivity. I like low gain at tipin, as with “normal” on my MINI, and “eco” with the Prius. As RS says, the brake will overpower the engine. In my younger days, I used that capability to lay rubber with my ’57 Chrysler. Maybe I’ll check and see how hard I have to push the brake to hold my recently acquired Corvette from moving.

    I certainly don’t want “brake by wire” with no mechanical/hydraulic connection, or Nissan’s “steer by wire.”.

  30. HtG Says:

    ‘Bellweather’ was the term used to describe this latest trial. We shall see(nous voyons, TB)

  31. RS Says:

    You are right – there must be brakes

    But I bet the brakes would win even if the pads/shoes were down to the rivets

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve heard that explanation, and it make sense. I forget where I heard it, but the recommendation was to stop quickly if you find that your engine has gone to full throttle on its own. If you use the brakes to, say, maintain a steady speed of 80 mph with the engine running WFO,, you will fade the brakes of any car.

  33. HtG Says:

    28. The throttle by wire is also good fun. When I’d get G sedan loaners from Infiniti I noticed that at one point in the 90′s the tip-in response got really muscular. I thought the Nissan guys had decided to make the car feel more powerful, and the service manager did agree that the throttle mapping had been played with. The only thing I don’t like about throttle by wire is when the computer takes over how much juice you is gonna git. So lame, but then, I’d say it’s the right answer for most drivers. :(

  34. RS Says:

    I agree – you could overheat the brakes on purpose and degrade their performance.

    But we are talking about “unintended acceleration.” These people claim they were standing on the brake pedal and the car just ran away. Not in any of the dozens of cars I have experienced.

    I have lost count of the number of vehicles I have owned and driven – hard. Even on my dad’s cars in the fifties and sixties era, the brakes (bad as they were!) would still stop the engine.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB has GM (Chevy) encouraged their dealers to update or modernize their stores, I’ve noticed around here in the last couple of years, there has been remodeling or new showrooms being built for Chevy, do they find that these newly restyled stores sell more than the older, neglected ones?

  36. Buzzers Says:

    Pedro I’ve seen many stuct throttles in racing and none of them where electronic, it’s time to stop being scared of the future.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve been told that they were required to remodel the showroom at the Chevy store near me in Indiana. It had been about the same for 30 years, so it kind of needed it.

    Maybe TB can tell us there is reason to believe that the remodeling helps sell cars.

  38. Jesse W. henry Says:

    #2 Buzzard – I don’t think there is any real difference. I think VW just figures that when your range runs low in extreme temperatures you will just spend more time in still very efficient hybrid mode.

    I can tell you from driving electric forklifts here in MN that once the outside temp dropped below zero a battery that would normally last an 8 hour shift was only good for about four or five before needing a recharge.

    This first hand experience of mine has been what has always made me consider hybrids a better option than pure electrics for the near future. In a hybrid your MPG’s just go down as the battery becomes able to store and release less overall energy. In a pure electric your range can easily be cut in half, not something that is easy to live with until we have electrics with four or five hundred mile ranges.

  39. Jim Haines Says:

    Sounds like eight states I want nothing to do with. Vermont greenie’s are all over the nuk power plant they have so where do you plug in? Quebec imported power or COAL power for your EV car. LA LA land is growing.

  40. Bradley Says:


    “Toyota did not have brake systems that were strong enough to overcome the accelerator.”

    That is a bold statement. Is there any evidence to support it? If it was true, there would be a large amount of Toyota owners rolling through stop signs, etc.


  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Apparently my electric utility in Florida thinks they have extra capacity, as they are promoting plug-in vehicles.

  42. Don B. Says:

    Sounds like GM is working on a CAD program for designing steel and how it will work when shaped. Once done you can punch in your requirements and it will come out with a formula of the steel.I wonder if it will formulate transparent aluminum.

  43. T. Bejma Says:


    Here you go Bradley…

    ‘Brake override:’ The fix Toyota should have had

    By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writerFebruary 17, 2010: 10:20 AM ET

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — There’s one safety feature that Toyota could have had in its cars for years that would have stopped many, perhaps even most, cases of unintended acceleration — it’s called ‘brake override.’

    Toyota has been saying for several weeks that it will add the feature to all of its new cars, and singled out the technology again at a press conference in Japan Wednesday.

  44. T. Bejma Says:


    Yes, since the pairing down of the dealer network, GM has been on a quest to improve and modernize all of it’s dealers. GM has been assisting the dealers with the cost and also specifying what changes can be done. The purpose is to strengthen the brand image and, of course, to improve the customer experience.

    Does it work, I don’t know. The marketing guys probably have some fuzzy math that shows it does, but regardless, it is a lot nicer going into one of the new modern dealerships compared the old ones.

  45. Bradley Says:


    Wow! So Toyota should have a technology that no one else is putting in their cars (at least at that time), because it is possible to have the technology?

    This has nothing to do with Toyota’s not having enough brake power.

  46. T. Bejma Says:

    Read the whole article…

    Several were putting it in their cars…

    “Mercedes-Benz, one carmaker that already uses this technology on all of its cars. Volkswagen also uses this technology on all of its cars, including Audi models, and Chrysler Group uses it on all of its Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.”

    “GM has technology similar to brake override, but only on cars like the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V, vehicles with engines so powerful they threaten to overwhelm even strong braking. A GM spokesman said the brakes on most of its cars are strong enough to stop cars even at full throttle.”

    You have to read into the article to understand that if Toyota had either brake override or brakes strong enough to stop the car, then all of the crashes and deaths could have been avoided when the drivers stood on the brakes.

  47. Bradley Says:


    Absolute BS. I don’t know what has my head spinning more, the fact you may believe that or the fact you think you can get others too.


  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB today I happened to pass by a very old Chevy dealer in Miami, that has been owned by Autonation for quite a few years, the place was really old and decrepit looking, also happens to sell a lot of cars cause it is in Little Havana and to most older Cubans, Chevy is and was king and Ford is cheap crap and so they buy a lot of Chevies Now this place is being partially rebuilt, I am very curious to see how they will manage to make it modern w/o tearing down the old historic building

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How can you use throttle and brake together, if you have brake override? That technique can be useful when autocrossing front drive cars, and also for ice racing.

  50. T. Bejma Says:


    Ease up there Brad, all I am doing is putting information out there. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I put it out there and you decide for yourself.

    And what does Newton’s 2nd Law have to do with this?

    Force = Mass x Acceleration means that the force acting on an object will cause an acceleration of an object, and the product of its acceleration and its mass equals the force.

  51. T. Bejma Says:


    Thanks for the observation Pedro. I just hope whatever they do to the dealership it is viewed as a positive by their customers and we don’t end up losing a customer.

  52. HtG Says:

    47 ! L/H=C


  53. T. Bejma Says:

    Sorry forgot to put ;-)

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45, 48
    I always liked a Ford dealer that recently closed in a small town in Indiana. They still had some, probably original posters of early Mustangs, and cars older than that. I don’t know if Ford closed them, or if they quit on their own, but it was unusual to have a new car in a town that small, probably about 1000 population.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Maybe TB can answer this, but I wonder if you get a better deal from a small town dealer with little overhead costs or a big one that sells a lot and even though their overhead is larger, they make more money just based on sales, plus don’t OEM’s give them bonuses for selling more units?

  56. cwolf Says:

    pedro, as rule of thumb, a large dealer can usually can sell a car for less due to volume and resulting lower interest rate. These remodels sure don’t help the little guy. The best time to buy is at the end of year and for slow selling models which are over-loaded. And to save more from the dealership, shop at the end of the month before they have to pay more interest on the inventory. Again, consider a vehicle that has been on the lot for a long duration. A dealer will often reduce the price another $500 to avoid the shipping charge to swap with another dealer. I know of many instances where a dealer will take a loss (up to a grand) for a long time/frquent customer because of the increased probability the loss will be made up in future service visits.

  57. cwolf Says:

    This may also be of interest to you,pedro. When a CCo has too large of inventory of a certain model,rebates are increased and larger incentives are made to dealers often @ 0% int.
    But if these cars are not a hot seller,these cars just take up the space of better selling/profitable units. Recall that grocers put the best selling stuff on shelves in front of the shopper and no brand stuff less accessible. So if ya see a dealer with limited lot space and these cars packed in the corners of the back lot,the odds are the dealer will sweeten the pot just to have the space for models needing to be replenished. There are many factors like this buyers are unaware of. Heck, the mood of the manager has importance, as well.

  58. HtG Says:

    Sunday Teas

    Which car was it?

    I enter a large commercial parking lot, wherein a precious car is parked in two spots at once. So I spend a couple of minutes checking it out, when walking away the owner shows up. I say to him, “I’ve been admiring your car… It’s very clean.” To which he chuckles and says, “It doesn’t get out much.”

    The questions, 1 What car? 2 Do I need to work harder at being less subtle?

  59. HtG Says:


    Sunday Teaze

    erffen ALD spell check has no business messing with HtG.

  60. T. Bejma Says:


    Might be a classic since a newer car would already be “clean”. Probably foreign since it seems that you prefer them. Might be German.

    I’m going with Boxter. ;-)

  61. HtG Says:

    Loser!! :)

    (foreign is correct, but car was recent vintage)

  62. HtG Says:

    Hint: mid-engine, no manual

  63. HtG Says:

    Really big hint: Ferrari 458 1talia

    CK was dead on about these cars not being driven.

  64. HtG Says:

    ComeOn! Spell Check needs to meet the garroter.

    Ferrari 458 Italia

    (three times, I had to correct the checker)

  65. T. Bejma Says:

    Is there such thing as a “dirty” Ferrari? ;-)

    No offense HtG, I would have said “How fast have you had it?”, other than admiring his wash job. Heehee…

  66. HtG Says:

    garage queens, TB

    Why do they matter?

    (In fairness, a couple of years ago I walked by a well used Ferrari parked in a local posh town. Just parked in the road, with dreck inside, and dusty. Just once, though.)

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You should have told him, “you can get your car keyed that way, taking two parking places,” and seen his reaction.

  68. HtG Says:

    I’m too nice, Kit. He was parked at the furthest extent of the lot.

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just returned to FL from IN. I think I’ve done that drive too many times. It is not much fun.

    Anyway, I saw no CLA’s on the road, kind of surprising, with all the advertising, and dealers actually have them. It seemed that more than half the vehicles on the road were either SUV’s or pickups. I guess I’m in a shrinking minority, still driving cars.

  70. HtG Says:

    You’re driving into our future, Kit. I can feel it, people want those small CUVs.

    ps How’s the weather down there?

  71. HtG Says:

    Last week at the car show, I got to look at a Ferrari FF which was on display. Again, it was a used example with ~4K miles on it, as offered for sale by Miller Motorcars, follower of Greenwich CT’s Chinetti dealership. I don’t understand the way owners use their F cars, or how Ferrari feels about it.

    (FFs smell marvelous inside. New Car Smell is a vulgarity for this sexkitten.)

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If he was at the far end of the lot, he should be ok, but while I’d never key anyone’s car, it pisses me off when someone deliberately takes two parking places “up close,” no matter what the car.

    I tend to park far out, but in only one parking space. I want to avoid door dings, and figure the exercise of walking an extra couple hundred feet is a good thing.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The weather is nice, mid 70′s and clear. It think it’s supposed to be similar for the next few days.

  74. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I find that on long trips like that, you don’t see the same vehicles you see in the city, very few compacts, like Civic and Corolla, lot of SUV and rentals as well.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    While, as always, there were a lot of big SUV’s, there seemed to be a lot of RAV4, CRV, Escape, etc., mostly, it seemed, driven by unaccompanied women.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, there were a LOT of previous generation Impalas. I don’t know if they would be rentals, or if they’d be business people’s company cars or something.