AD #2453 – Ford to Use Parts Made Out of Graphene, NHTSA Considers AV Pilot Program, New Mercedes S-Class Plug-In

October 10th, 2018 at 11:30am

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Runtime: 5:57

0:30 NHTSA Considers AV Pilot Program
1:19 GM Harnesses Wind Power at Several Plants
2:19 New Mercedes S-Class Plug-In
2:54 Ford to Start Using Parts Made Out of Graphene
4:31 Bosch Launches Electric Van Sharing Service
4:53 Ford Develops Electric Vans for DHL

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25 Comments to “AD #2453 – Ford to Use Parts Made Out of Graphene, NHTSA Considers AV Pilot Program, New Mercedes S-Class Plug-In”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    NHTSA Is also looking for volunteers to ride in AV vehicles with no steering wheel and pedals.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Graphine also has its downside especially when using it around fuel lines or rails. Like a metal, graphite is a very good conductor of electricity so static electricity that commonly builds up in fuel lines can eventually find its ground burning through plastic fuel lines.
    Dont ask how I know.. GM knows.

  3. Lex Says:

    If Ford is going to survive by switching it’s production lines from sedans to CUVs and SUVs, what configurations of either are they going to offer? I heard that the new Honda Passport will be going up against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. The Passport will most likely grab market share from both.

    I got to believe Toyota must also be developing and similar sized vehicle to fight in that space also. The Rav4 could grow to be the Rav5 to fill the gap. Ford should save nameplate history by going with Taurus X and Fusion X when developing these newer CUVs and SUVs IMHO.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    3- I’m thinking Ford needs to do everything it can to shake the current blandness of its brand. It has a long history playing a big part in the auto industry. However their conservative designs and commitment to eco-boost engines provide uninspired driving in most of its cars.
    The Taurus was a hit and did well 18 years ago when they sold 380,000+ cars a year. Last year it was 33k.
    Horoscope for the Taurus: is your time has passed and its time to retire the name for a more exciting new vehicle. Branding it to a SUV/CUV would be a mistake. IMO

  5. Lamarl Says:

    Return to Mercury Marauder and Cougar…
    Its Time…

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 Ford is going to have an Edge ST.

    Somehow, a lifted wagon with an automatic doesn’t remind me much of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST, which I like, but that is where Ford is going.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    Followup on yesterday’s discussion.

    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 kw 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.

    You should really read the hundreds (43 for 2013 alone) of reviews of owners of the Tesla S, at the site. I ranked them from the worst to the best, and for that 2013 year, after one who gave it 3 stars and one who gave it 4, all 41 others gave it a perfect 5/5 stars, and their written comments were really amazing, how impressed they were with the car and its performance.

    This is not your average Compliance EV for sure.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    5 they go on for 10 pages for a variation of the Edge pretending it is a ‘performance’ vehicle?

    Isn’t the Edge based on the defunct Ford Minivan? I don’t think it is based on either the Explorer or the Escape.

    For a real SUV, performance should mean that it excels at what it SHOULD, ie, off road and towing, not wallowing its 4,500 lbs on a test track as if it was some NUT that thinks it is a Lambo or a Ferrari!

    I never had a high idea about either the Fiesta or the Focus performance pretenders. A Mustang would be much better.

    I have rented the Focus and the Camry almost back to back a few years ago, and the difference in quality was justr AMAZING. (the Focus was an utter POS, and I only paid $4 ($77 vs 73) more to rent the Camry.

    I was in Denver when I got the Camry, and soon I found myself doing 100 MPH without even realizing it, this is how smooth it was. The Focus I had to rent in Detroit a day before was absolutely unacceptable, in comparison, or even without the comparison.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    6- Your search of used Teslas raises a good question. So I wonder how difficult or expensive it is, to get replacement parts for a Tesla? Anywhere from a brakes to a smashed fender. Are they on par with other cars in price and delivery? That certainly would a factor to consider. Do you have to order direct from factory cause I did a quick search at Autozone and you cant even get brake pads.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    8 if interested, you can find a ton of relevant data and stories directly from the owners, if you look for used Tesla S’s at, and then choose one car and go down the page to the consumer reviews. There were 47 of them for 2013 alone, and I did not have time to read many of them, but I did notice one who had to repair or replace the driver’s window, and was happy with the service and the price was reasonable

  11. Victor West Says:

    Rock Auto lists Tesla brake pads.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    7 PS Now I remembered that maybe the Edge is related to the Ford Flex, which is basically a minivan. True?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 The Edge is based on the Mondeo/Fusion/MKZ platform

    A friend has a Focus ST, which is a fun, but utilitarian hatchback. With the back seat folded down, it has about the same cargo space as a Prius. Strictly for “sportiness,” a Mustang would be better, but the Focus is better for rear passengers, and for cargo. Also, Focus ST and Mustang “ecoboost” have similar acceleration. I suspect they are rarely cross shopped, though.

    I drove a Fiesta ST, and it was a fun car, fairly quick, a great shifting 6-speed manual, and good handling. For space, though, the Fiesta is only a little better than my two door Mini.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 The Flex superseded the Freestyle and Taurus X. I think it uses a platform shared by Volvo and Ford, which goes back a while.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    Shouldnt the NHTSA call the AV a Pilotless program?

  16. Bobby T Says:

    11 & 12: the Flex, Explorer and Taurus use the Ford platform first used on the 500 and Freestyle (not To be confused with the Freestar minivan). The 500 and Freestyle were later renamed Taurus and Taurus X. That platform used Volvo architecture, but I’m pretty sure no actual Volvos used it. The original Edge was based on a modified Mazda MPV platform. The Flex that I worked on started out on that same MPV platform and was going to be a minivan, but then Ford decided to get out of the minivan business and switched the Flex over to the “Volvo” platform.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Flex always struck me as being a REALLY BIG Scion xB, or vice versa.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    16 While I’d never mistake the Flex for the Scion B, it does remind me of the Range Rover, if it ever made a minivan it would look like that.

    15 So it was the MPV. I knew the Edge was a minivan in disguise, I just did not remmeber which one.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Finally some signs of (economically) intelligent life in the sub-20k new car sales segment!

    I have been saying it until I was blue in the face, what terrible deals most new cars are, and how much better used cars are by comparison.

    One market segment, the sub-$20k one, is finally beginning to realize it. Buyers with $20k or less budget for their next vehicle are unimpressed by the POS you can buy for that $ if you insist on buying new, AND are switching to used cars of that amount or less instead.

    With the average price of a new car at $35k, transaction prices, $20k gets you only the worst of the wurst (sorry for the pun).

    Maybe other segments will wake up to sound economics later.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 The current Edge used the “CD4″ platform. Multiple sites say that.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I wouldn’t confuse a Flex and xB either, but their boxy shape reminds me of each other. The Flex is longer and lower than Range Rover, a little wagony, but yeah, both are boxy.

    18 Used cars are always a better buy, and the “under $20K” choices keep getting less appealing, as prices go up. In a few years, we’ll be talking about “under 25K” in the same way.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    19 many, very different, vehicles share the same platform. The Rolls Royce Ghost and the 7 Series come to mind. (current and previous models). The Edge was much more related to the MPV than just sharing the same platform.

    On another matter, the story about GM using renewable energy is rather amusing, since it uses it to produce gas guzzling elephants like the Suburban and the Tahoe and all these pachyderms, at its Texas plant.

  23. BobD Says:

    18 – I bought a new 2016 Chevy Cruze LT for right at $20k with incentives and I think you can still do that with a year-end 2018. Great car and I can get 50+ mpg highway (granted I have a light foot). You can even get a diesel for a few thousand more. I also owned a 2011 Cruze which was okay, but the second-gen is a lot better.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 It looks like the Cruze diesel gets only 1 mpg better EPA city rating than the 1.4T, but 10 better highway. I doubt if many people would save money with the diesel, especially since diesel fuel costs more most places, 15% more where I am.

    I also see that Cruze no longer offers a manual transmission, no surprise, given the take rate.

  25. Brett Cammack Says:

    I was reading some comment threads on another page about the turbo fours and it seems that the reality is that, while there may be a V8 that has similar torque specs, you have to rev the heck out of it to generate those numbers, whereas the fours are configured more like a diesel with the torque coming on strong at between 1,500 and 2,000 RPM and pull hard up to about 4,000 RPM. Sort of counterintuitive.

    The other comment was “You can have Eco, or you can have Boost, but you can’t have both.” Which makes sense to me.

    I personally find it amazing that these enormous vehicles are able to get 22-24 MPG on the highway at 70 MPH unloaded.