AD #2452 – BMW Says Batteries Will Always Be Expensive, Jeep to Make 1st PHEV, Fiat 124 Has Highest Inventory

October 9th, 2018 at 11:51am

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Runtime: 6:41

0:26 BMW Says Batteries Will Always Be Expensive
1:25 Luxury Brands Struggling in China
2:09 Ford Revamps Its Advertising
3:05 Jeep to Make Renegade PHEV
3:30 Even Bugatti is Considering an SUV
4:06 Toyota Helps Promote Wheelchair Moto Cross
5:01 Trump to Give Thumbs Up to E-15
5:34 Fiat 124 Spider Has Highest Inventory

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47 Comments to “AD #2452 – BMW Says Batteries Will Always Be Expensive, Jeep to Make 1st PHEV, Fiat 124 Has Highest Inventory”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Motorcycles and boats as well as most non road going combustion engines just can’t support E-15. If E-15 is added, it should be just that added, as without a choice many engines will/can be ruined by this new fuel. And as E-10 carries a 3% fuel mileage penalty (over pure gasoline) expect close to a 5% fuel mileage penalty which will negate most of the lower price that E-15 is touting.

  2. Barry T Says:

    1 Agreed. It seems to me a better solution would be to take ethanol out of our current low octane fuel, and just add ethanol to make the 91/93 octane or a new high-octane “super premium” for all the OEMs that want more octane to work with for high compression new engines. The ethanol can go there. Our fleet of older vehicles are suffering enough with 10% ethanol.

  3. XA351GT Says:

    I agree 100% Chuck.

    Those octane numbers make no sense to me. How come if it raises the octane by 3 points we still have 87 as the lowest level at the pump? If they are dropping the octane in the gas because the ethanol offsets it is meaningless to mention it’s benefits . All I know is ethanol fuel ahs almost caused my collector car to burn to the ground when the alcohol destroyed the fuel lines . The car has also run like crap ever since it’s introduction. I have decided to run leaded race fuel. As by the time I add octane booster, lead substitute, ethanol conditioner. I’m halfway to price of a gallon of 110 octane leaded race fuel. Now the car runs as it should . The minimum octane rating for this engine was 98-99 octane back in 1972.

  4. XA351GT Says:

    Barry they wouldn’t do that because not many people now will pay the extra 50 cents a gallon for premium.

  5. Tony Gray Says:

    Not a big fan of E-15 either. I’m like XA351GT in that my older collector vehicles require high test plus octane boost. A local station used to sell race fuel but no longer.

    With the apparent riches we have in new deposits, what is the economic benefit to going to 15 anyway, other than to the ones who make the ethanol?

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    If I was in charge of Bugatti, Sure I’d make an SUV. In the super small market of elite supercars surly there are folks that have the money and a family. They can take 3 or 4 friends for a ride at one time.
    I would design it like an SUV but most likely have very little off-road capabilities. Probably on air ride suspension to get low when needed.
    I would not try and create a SUV to compete with the likes Range Rover or Jeep when it comes to off-road capabilities as I doubt after dropping a few hundred grand on a SUV you would head through the woods and rivers. Just make an SUV with supercar capabilites. To a very much smaller scale what GMC did with the Typhoon pick-up.

  7. Jon M Says:

    If I ran Bugatti would I make an SUV? Well, if the SUV would make money, a resounding YES. That’s the short answer at least. I would not just to “keep up with Jones.” However, if I can get my brand more recognition and the market for such is proving itself, then why not boost my P&L to fund what I do best.

  8. Bob Wilson Says:

    The Tesla/Panasonic partnership uses nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) with a lower cobalt content than BMW nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM). Musk is already committed to eliminating cobalt from the Tesla batteries (see link.)

    Was that the “North American International Powertrain Conference
    September 12-14, 2018″?

  9. Larry D. Says:

    A Bugatti SUV is a totally, 100% idiotic and 100% unnecessary idea, and here is why:

    Bugattis never made VW ONE DIME. They are “HALO CARS”.

    VW lost $3,000,000 on EACH of the 300 or so Bugatti Veyrons it ever made. Apparently they did not mind losing a fortune, they make others from Porsche, Audi and VW.

    Lamborghini already has an ugly-as-sin SUV. Rich folks with no taste can go buy that one instead, if Audi Q7s and Porsche Cayennes are too cheapo for them. I have no idea if Lambo made any $ from its ugly SUV.

    Bugatti and VW also do NOT need another SUV. Bugatti is sufficiently “Halo car” without needing to have an SUV variant, and lose another 300*$3 mill= close to a billion bucks unnecessarily.

    Any questions class.

  10. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    Once again the government is picking winners and losers in businesses, farmers are the winners and the people who drive gasoline powered cars and trucks are the losers.
    Less gas mileage, older vehicles may need additives adding to the cost of driving them.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    8 Bob:

    Thanks for the info.

    I asked you before, whenever you give us those very high estimates of Tesla sales numbers, from that EV site, how do they calculate them?

    because for September, the differences are just ridiculous. Ward’s estimated only 17,000 sales, Autonews 21,700 or so, and your site 29,975.

    So is nobody above right?

  12. Larry D. Says:

    DO they put stupid ethanol in diesel fuel? If not, I need not worry.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My 42 year old lawn tractor and 30 year old minivan do fine with E10, but I wouldn’t want to chance E15 in either. If/when E15 goes on the market, I certainly hope it is in addition to, rather than instead of E10.

    As others have said, the main purpose of allowing E15 seems to be to make the owners of factory farms, and the Archer Daniels Midlands of America even richer, while running up the cost of foods.

  14. Barry T Says:

    4 Yes, I refer you to earlier stories of the OEMs Asking Congress to change the fuel for everybody, offer one grade that is 97 octane (high ethanol) which will really destroy our older vehicles and will also cost more money at the pump. But they don’t care – they’re happy to let us pay more money for gas that’s worse for our vehicles, adds no value to existing fleet, so they can sell us new ones!

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In addition to battery materials, won’t the “rare earth” materials, like neodymium, used in EV motors potentially prevent EV prices from coming down? That could be exacerbated, by China’s controlling the world’s sources of some of these materials.

  16. Cycles Says:

    It is always important to point out that Ethanol is not always bad. Many enthusiasts use it as an improved fuel to increase power output. It is a very good fuel in terms of knock resistance. For anything with forced induction it can be a huge enabler for tuners. OEMs also can take advantage of the fuel in their calibrations, sadly they have not done this historically so all you get is a fuel economy penalty without the available performance boost.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:


  18. Cycles Says:

    15 – Not all EV motors use rare earths or use it in great quantities. Tesla for example uses an induction motor on the Model S & X which does not require rare earths. The Model 3 uses a SRM (Switched Reluctance) motor. Most other pure EV manufacturers are using PM (Permanent Magnet) motors which do as you mention require allot of rare earth magnets.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 A friend has a drag car set up specifically for E85. The engine is a carbureted, naturally aspirated Chevy V8, but he can run very high compression with the fuel. He gets his fuel mixed for him at a production plant nearby, so he will know what he is getting. Pump E85 can vary widely in actual ethanol content. Modern cars adjust for it, but a carburetor, obviously wouldn’t. You’d need to change jets.

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    11 – Larry D.

    Sad to say, the only believable Tesla sales numbers come from their quarterly report and SEC filed press releases (see link.) Third party reports are spotty.

    So far, InSideEvs monthly reports seems to be most accurate with good agreement with the quarterly results. Bloomberg tries but seems to have problems. Least accurate, anything a TSLA short seller claims (i.e., FOX, CNBC, Business Insider, e.t.c.)

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    20- Does Tesla consider a deposit a sale? Or more likely delivery of the vehicle a sale? Considering they now said they can produce 5000 cars a week sales of the model 3 cant really exceed more than 20,800 a month and not sure what they produce of S&X models. Also not sure how many of those are US sales and how many are exported.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 Thanks. Good to know that the inside EV estimates are the most accurate. I think Tesla would benefit, at this stage, to start regular monthly sales numbers announcements. GM should also go back to monthly.

    21 of course not! Tesla has 500,000 deposits, it never claimed 500,000 sales!!!

    21 ALL Model 3s are sold in the US market so far.

    5000 is not a hard limit, they can go up to 6,000 a week at times. Or even more.

    As we mentioned many times, in September 2018, the best estimate of Tesla sales are

    22,550 Model 3s, all of which went to US buyers

    3,270 Model S

    3,975 Model x

    for a total of 29,975

    which were greater than half of US automakers sales in September, incl. even the BMW Group, even if you add MINI and RR to it. AND very close to Mercedes Sales.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 The Tesla web site says you can order a rear wheel drive Model 3 and get delivery within 4 weeks. I don’t quite understand, because they haven’t nearly caught up with those hundreds of thousands of deposits, unless a lot of them have been cancelled. Either that, or a lot of depositers are waiting for the $35K cars to be sold.

    Here is the “order agreement.”

  24. Larry D. Says:

    23 I’d guess many of the deposits are for the more affordable $35k Tesla 3. There could also be deliveries that were canceled by unsatisfied customers, and will still be sold as new cars available much sooner.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    9 I forgot to add the VW Group also owns Bentley and there is the Bentley Bentyaga upscale SUV one can buy. Making a Bugatti one makes zero sense. I doubt that the existing Lambo Urus SUV is doing that well, its reviews were not that good. AND the Maserati Levante SUV got really bad reviews (although Maserati is not part of the VW group)

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    22- Yeah I agree it seems if sales were that great at Tesla they would want to be telling everyone. Better way to boost stock prices is showing big sales numbers rather than false rumors about going private.

  27. Brett Cammack Says:


    Saw a Bentley Bentyaga double-parked in front of a Publix the other weekend in Winter Park. I could see our 2016 Outlander SEL sitting in a parking spot beyond it, and, honestly, I think the Outlander came off as a classier, more understated styled vehicle.

    The Bentley Bentyaga has a “new money” crassness to it that doesn’t work for me.

  28. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Ethanol should be for you orange juice (i.e., vodka, rum), not your gasoline. Just thought I’d clear that up. :D

  29. Dale Leonard Says:

    I don’t think we need a 250 MPH $2 Million dollar SUV.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Isn’t the Bentyaga a very expensive VW Touareg?

  31. Cycles Says:

    24 – I believe a great many of the deposits are for overseas customers in Europe and elsewhere which they have not started delivering to. We don’t know the mix of the 500k deposits going in to NA vs overseas.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. According to this article, the motor in the Tesla Model 3 long range, the only 3 being built so far, uses neodymium.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, it doesn’t make sense to use the Bugatti name today, even for cars, much less SUV’s. I don’t think Duesenberg should be revived either, as a VW division, or even as a Daimler brand.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    30 No, and I think you know that. The Touareg shares much more with the very successful Porsche Cayenne, and is much closer to it in price.

    Sales successes (of the German imports) and failures (of the domestics) provide a significant hint that the domestics, GM and Ford in particular (and today after four years of dropping continuously, as I just saw in the 5-year chart), Ford Shares finally dropped even below $9) do crass rebadging, while the Germans do an excellent job at Product Differentiation.

    You will never confuse a Rolls Royce Ghost with a 7 Series, despite the fact they are built on the same platform and share a lot of mechanicals. The top of the line Phantom was even built on its own different platform, yet it also shared mechanicals w the 7.

    Compare that with all these lousy Lincolns. They do not even bother making the engine a bit different than the one they offer in Fords. And same with GM and the same old Chavy-Buick-Caddy-GMC rebadges. (annd before that, add Olds and Pontiac, RIP).

    Anyway the Bentyaga is too cheap now, when you can get the Rolls Royce Cullinan, a much bigger vehicle, and far more expensive, but I did not like its dash. I could not see even one square inch of wood, and I did not like the depression it had in the middle. I wish we could post photos here, it would be far easier to see.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    33 funny you should say that, since you do own a retro vehicle (Mini). Legendary brands are worth reviving, provided the modern versions are worthy of the name, and this is not always easy to accomplish.

    On another comment you made yesterday, I believe, that GM’s EVs failed because they sold for $40k and not for twice that, as the Tesla S, this is not true at all. GM DID offer a $75k EV, and not even a pure EV at that, but just a Volt COupe with a Caddy Logo and an alphanumeric silly name I totally forget (XLR? or was that the non-EV roadster that failed too?). So they tried it.

    The problem with the GM EV was that it never convinced the buyers that they got their money’s worth. While with the Tesla S and especially with the tesla 3, they do. So they buy them, and shun the $40k Cruzes and Sonics masquerading as EVs. And that is not just my opinion, it is a fact.

    Something that would help GM, Nissan and other peddlers of poor EVs, would be to do a Lexus.

    EV buyers do not want their vehicle to have a dirty gas and diesel brand name.

    How many would buy Lexuses or Lexi if they were called the Toyota LS400 or LS460? or the TOyota RX (actually this IS a Toyota, the Highlander, as the ES is the Camry)

    So GM, Nissan and all other EV wannabes should establish independent divisions that ONLY do EVs.

  36. Len simpson Says:

    Re: “batts will always be expensive

  37. Len simpson Says:

    1/2 ton Battery only is EV’s biggest mistake

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Yeah, the Bentayga is more closely related to the Audi Q7, which has the same wheelbase. The Touareg is a little shorter in wheelbase and overall length. Yes, I was being facetious. There is no comparison in how the VW and Bentley are trimmed out, and the VW doesn’t offer a W12 engine.

    36 To me, there is a huge difference. Minis have been made continuously since 1958, until 2001 or so by Austin/Morris/BMC etc., and by BMW since then. Bugatti, for all intents, ended in about 1935, though a handful of cars and prototypes were made in the ’50s and ’60s. Somehow, the current Bugattis don’t seem nearly as much of a “continuation” as the BMW Minis. The VW Bugattis are “worthy of the name,” as in very high performance, and very expensive.

    I always thought the Cadillac ELR was a mistake, especially after they announced the price. I thought it looked good, but for almost $80K with the Volt powertrain? No way.

    RXs have a nicer interior than a Highlander, and different body work, buy yeah, the Lexus name allows them to sell it for more money. Regarding the LS, I agree that it wouldn’t have done as well as a Toyota, and Hyundai probably should have created the Genesis “brand” a few years ago, instead of selling Hyundai Geneses before making it a separate brand.

    Somehow, I question a $60K+ Tesla Model 3 being “worth the money,” but that’s what people are now paying for them. When, and if the $35K ones are sold, it will be a bargain, and I might start working with my condo board to get charging facilities here.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 Yep, as 48 volt mild hybrid systems become commonplace, it makes sense to have a few standardized batteries, as 12 volt batteries have been for 60 or 70 years. It would be nice if there were standardization of traction batteries for EVs, but I don’t see that happening any time soon, or ever.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    38 I prefer a Tesla S to the 3, and well used. I’ll wait until their prices come down, and when the fit and finish etc also improve, later in their cycle.’

    The Tesla 3 ranges from $35 base to $68k. The top model is a high performance one. If BMW can sell, and 10 years ago, M3 Convertibles for $80k each (a colleague in the east coast bought two, his and hers), then I can easily see people paying $68k for a same sized, top performing Tesla 3.

    BTW Wall Street types expect Ford to fire 20,000 or so of its 70,000 salaried employees. Maybe the stock will rise 50 cents when all is said and done, and come back above $9. (but still down from the $16 it was 4 years ago). Or maybe the dismal sales of a Car-less Ford will not even produce that much improvement.

  41. Roger T Says:

    Would I build a Bugatti if it were up to me? Certainly not, I would focus on more economical sports car variants at higher volumes, to make the brand a little bit more accessible. Would I ever buy a Bugatti SUV? Never, even if I had Bill Gates sized bank account, that would be a pointless eccentric aberration.

  42. Chuck Grenci Says:

    And speaking of high-end SUV’s, even Rolls Royce has one, see here:

    Most of these are an abomination but this is just my subjective opinion, and if the manufacturers see a cash cow, they are going to go for it.

    The Cadillac ELR was just too expensive. At 75k to start, and while it had great exterior styling (IMO) and a decent interior, had it had a price more in the 60k area might have been more successful. The Voltaic architecture made sense to me but it just wasn’t inexpensive enough for the common man (commuter). Again, just an opinion.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 The very cheapest Model 3 you can now order is $50,200, in Model T Black. Other colors add $1500-2500. It will be interesting to see when the cheaper ones become available.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    43 I just went to and checked used Tesla S prices, and since the last time I checked (last spring), the minimum has gone below $35k.

    In all of the USA, there are more than 300 Tesla Ss for sale under $40k, but only SEVEN under 35k, and one of them is a rare $29.5k (has only 64.6k miles), and the owner says it is a rare S40 with the 40 kwh battery and a range of only 120 miles, and “needs to sell it to make room for his Model 3″. THis car would satisfy all my US driving, both weekdays and almost all weekends, even without recharging.

    The $34-35k cars (6 of them) all have higher miles, 74k, 98k, 70k, 69k and 92k. Two are private sellers and 4 at dealers.

    These firm prices at 35k minimum and heavy mileage show that battery life and reliability is not a major concern.

  45. Brett Cammack Says:


    Interesting idea: Pitch the charging facilities to the condo HOA as something that will *increase* property values for everyone! Hit ‘em with current EV sales figures and projected sales figures. I wonder if anyone’s studied payback as a “home improvement” for an EV charging station.

  46. BobD Says:

    My guess is that the E15 announcement is simply to hold on to farmers for the upcoming elections and after Nov 6, you will not see or hear about E15 for another two years.

  47. Enn Norak Says:

    E-15 indeed ! The ethanol boondoggle knows no bounds. Count me among legions of ethanol haters. I recently switched exclusively to Shell “V-Power Nitro Plus” which contains no ethanol in Canada (a label on Canadian Shell pumps confirms it). The only merit of growing corn for ethanol production is that animal feed is a valuable by-product in the ethanol production process. Some scholars claim that the environment suffers a net loss when the entire process, including farming, is considered.