AD #2503 – Daimler Delivers 1st Electric Trucks to U.S., Ghosn Back Behind Bars, New Engine Breakthrough

December 21st, 2018 at 11:33am

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Runtime: 7:47

0:29 Ghosn Back Behind Bars
1:03 Musk Hints He Could Buy GM Plant
1:47 New Engine Breakthrough
3:32 Daimler Delivers 1st Electric Trucks to U.S.
4:31 Toyota & PSA Partner on Commercial Vans
5:38 Why Lincoln Is Avoiding Hybrid Badges

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99 Comments to “AD #2503 – Daimler Delivers 1st Electric Trucks to U.S., Ghosn Back Behind Bars, New Engine Breakthrough”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    While the electric revolution continues to try to gain traction it is nice to see that ICE also continues to evolve. With microwave ignition, economy goes up, pollution goes down and so that leads me to ponder: can ICE surpass ‘economies’ and ‘pollutions’ equal or even better than electric after all things get considered. Unless electricity gets greener, the ICE remains viable now even further into the future. Let the battle continue and the best system prevail (or at least co-exist).

  2. WineGeek Says:

    Ford/Lincoln just can’t seem to present a compelling argument for buying their vehicles beyond the F-150/Mustang. This Navigator hybrid that they don’t want to call a hybrid seems to be another continued attempt to recreate a luxury brand without making the requisite investment in product development or quality.

    Too bad Henry, I hope you don’t spin in your grave too much over Xmas!

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If microwave ignition actually reduces fuel consumption of a gasoline engine 20%, and cleans it up as claimed, that is huge. I don’t see how it would affect diesels much, since the charge already ignites pretty much all at once, but there may be more to it than that.

  4. DanaPointJohn Says:

    Remember a few years ago when GM said the word “Chevy” was no longer permitted to be used when referring to “Chevrolet?” Well, Ford has done them one better with this inane plan to hide the word “hybrid” from Aviator buyers. The future of vehicle propulsion is electrification of some sort, so running away from the word hybrid by saying that “consumers are very confused” with the whole concept of electrification, is an insult to their customers. Lincoln buyers are educated, successful, well read and certainly have done their homework before visiting a Lincoln dealership. Also, what research did they do where people think “hybrid means no power?” Certainly not in California, the largest hybrid market in the country, and one where Lincoln hopes the HYBRID Aviator will be a huge sales success.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    So, do the Japanese have a revolving door on their jail? Reminds me of the State Farm commercial where the fisherman pulls away the dollar..”gotta be a little quicker” as they put the handcuffs back on.

    Musk would struggle to take over any auto plant in the Midwest where the UAW has a long history and support.

    Lincoln; trying anything to attract buyers. Replace turbo with eco-boost and now hybrid with grand Touring.. hum seems like they are out of ideas.
    The microwave engine sounds amazing that its a technology that can be retrofitted to existing motors. So I assume its the size of the spark plug. Wonder what the cost will be.

  6. Ziggy Says:

    Does the new microwave ignition system have a popcorn setting?

    Like Kit mentioned, I fail to see how it would apply to diesels since they really don’t have an ignition system, the fuel burns automatically when injected into the cylinder, maybe something to do with the glow plugs and a substitute for them?

  7. JWH Says:

    I find the Microwave Ignition fascinating if it works as promised. The proof will be in data down the road.

    Having been very disappointed in the performance of vehicles for 30 plus years, starting with the change to no-lead fuels & the required compression ratio reduction at the time, I am pleasantly amazed at the performance, fuel economy, & driveability of current vehicles. While there are many factors my belief is the major contributor is fuel control via electronics.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    John and Sean,

    Great show to end the year, you are right on many counts today, both for having fully deserved the break next week, and for understanding the wide reach of the EV revolution in all segments of the industry. Having medium duty trucks doing city deliveries go fully electric will make big city downtown areas far more pleasant to live in, cleaner and less noisy.

    3 I am a skeptic re this engine improvement. And since they give a 13-20% range, I would expect at best a 10% improvement, not 20. As for the ‘theoretical’ 30%, theoretically, pigs are capable of transatlantic flight.

    Lincoln’s attempt to hide the fact their vehicle is a plug-in hybrid and calling it instead the totally irrelevant ‘grand touring’ (as if that breadvan is a Rolls or a Bentley or a Mercedes S-class coupe, is really pitiful, and betrays the obvious, that the vast majority of the very few people who will buy a Lincoln are NOT automotive Enthusiasts any more, and do not have a clue about the different levels of electrification. FCA did something similar to their plug-in Minivan, it hid the fact it is a plug-in, which to me is a major advantage, by calling it just a “Hybrid”. I have colleagues who owned and still own Lincoln (sedans) and others who own Tesla S’s. The one with the Lincolns is a now retired sympathetic former ‘tech comm’ instructor (really a BA in literature) and has graduated from a stretched TAurus at twice the price Lincoln from the 90s, to a Lincoln Continental that must be more than 10 years old currently. The prof with the Tesla S is a pioneer in Space Science, highly decorated, has brought millions and millions of NASA funding, and you can spot his cars as he has a vanity plate with his first name, Tamas (Thomas in Hungarian), before the Tesla s he drove a sporty Lexus GS400 or sth.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    In other news..

    The continuing Ghosn saga. It is really incredible that a guy who must be either a billionaire or close to it (with annual salary and benefits of $80 mill, and being at the helm of Renault-Nissan for 20 years, it shoulda accumulated), cannot avoid repeated arrests and imprisonments. i cannot imagine this happening to any Fortune 500 CEO here in the US, and his team of $1,000 an hour corporate ambulance chasers.

    Musk Buying Lordstown… Mary Barra keeps getting a new “employee of the month” award every other week, but it would be so ironic if Musk buys her plant for peanuts…

    BTW, why in the world would GM make its first mass-produced pure EV the Bolt so unattractive, and so underpowered, compared to the SUCCESSFUL competition from Tesla? WHY in the world did they have to choose this ugly shape, short in length and bulky, like a mini-minivan and worse, and have accelerations of 6-7 sec when the competition has 5 or even ’3 seconds’ (as leslie Stahl touted the Model 3 on that 60 min show, obviously taking the very top version’s performance). Talk about wishing it to fail. Was it a deal like the late and great Marchionne and his 500 E Fiat, which he urged the consumers NOT to buy, because he was losing $15,000 in every one he ever built? maybe we should ask Munro that on Jan 3!

    Merry Christmas (Long live political incorrectness!) and Happy new Year to all!

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    #9 I will answer your question about GMs Bolt. They built such a pathetic offering because they are stuck in the mindset that an EV will be a city commuter car and needs to be compact and maneuverable. However what they tend to forget is the EVs require a premium price and so for that price people expect to get a bit more than tiny sub-compact. Tesla has the right idea to offer an attractive/innovative car that just happens to be electric. Where GM Ford and almost everyone else still thinks an EV cant be inclusive with luxury performance and style. Its too bad as it will be their loss.

  11. ArtG Says:

    #2. The vehicle in question is an Aviator, not a Navigator. WRT not being able to create a compelling argument to sell their vehicles, Navigator sales are up 70%, and they can’t build them fast enough. The GM of my Lincoln dealer told me that they’re selling “off the trailers” at $100G or better. I suspect, the Aviator will be equally successful or better.

    By “vehicles,” did you mean sedans? Every other mfr. has the same problem in this market.

  12. MJB Says:

    Sean, please be sure to update us when that ‘bolt-on’ microwave ignition system gets far enough along in commercial development for them to know how much it will cost (plus installation costs). This is promising.

    If I can retrofit that to my Lexus V8 and potentially squeeze another 5mpg out of my current 27mpg city mileage, that’d be great!

  13. Larry D. Says:

    10 I doubt this was the number one reason (city car, compact etc) since a pure EV with 200+ miles range like the Bolt can also be a great suburban commuter that rarely has to face big city parking issues. Here in SE Lower MI, we never have any parking difficulties, spots are always spacious, and most people commute from one suburb to another to work, or from a big city suburb to a small town in the area.

    I think GM’s mindset was more like Lutz described here the other day, they view EVs as a nuisance, a compliance vehicle that loses them billions, and instead of coming up with a comprehensive plan to make them at a profit, like Musk did with his electronics innovations, the Gigafactory, the well thought out design etc, GM just surrenders to the fact they will lose one more billion with he Bolt, and the ‘suckers’ who buy the Silverados, the Tahoes and the Escalades will pay for them.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I would be very surprised if Musk would be even remotely interested in the Lordstown plant, which is noteworthy for labor problems, from when they made Vegas, clear up to the recent past.

    To me, the Aviator, hybrid or otherwise, is just another big, ugly bread box on wheels, but it will be a little interesting, because it is built on a new rear-drive based platform. That platform might work to build a real Continental, if they ever decided to do that.

    9 While the Bolt may not be attractive to some, or maybe most people, it is NOT underpowered, being substantially quicker than most other small cars, CUVs, etc. It was not intended to be direct competition for $60K-100K Tesla. Yeah, in CR’s test, the Model 3 did 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, while a Bolt took 6.8. So what? The Bolt is quicker than the most sold versions of 3 series and E-Class, which are plenty quick enough.

  15. ArtG Says:

    #5. It was “Turbo” or “T” that replaced EcoBoost for Lincolns. Not the other way around. Just can’t win with that one. People complained that the EcoBoost engines were not delivering the advertised MPG, so they took the “Eco” part out of the designation(in addition to wanting to distance themselves from Ford). The “Turbo” designation is good enough for every other mfr. on the planet. What would you have them call their engines?

  16. Larry D. Says:

    11 Those percentages are very misleading. The new NAvigator is a $100,000 breadvan on stilts. If it sold 100 units last year and 200 this year, it is a 100% increase, but it is a negligible contribution to Ford’s profits.

    I follow the sales stats in detail every month, and while I don’t have Navigator numbers handy, ALL Lincoln models, cars AND trucks together, there must be a dozen or so of them all together, sell less than 9-10,000 units a month, while TESLA, who came out of nowhere, sells 20,000-30,000 a month with just three models!

  17. Larry D. Says:

    14 I insist the Bolt is absolutely underpowered in the segment and the price range it is offered. DO not compare it with the Sonic. It is a pure EV that costs $40,000! 6.8 0-60 and especially 7.2 seconds do NOT cut it in this segment! Buyers have high expectations of sporty performance and acceleration.

    Compare it with the base Tesla Model 3, a far larger, longer, more elegant vehicle. GM just did not try hard enough, because, as Lutz said, they have the suckers who buy the Pickups and the SUVs to pay for the billion they will lose for this ‘compliance vehicle’.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As far as Bolt have the proportions it has, they may have been emulating the expanding “subcompact SUV/CUV” segment, with Renegade, HR-V, Encore, etc. The Bolt has a similar footprint and cabin space to those but, of course, is much quicker. I agree that they could have done better with the styling, though I don’t find it particularly offensive. All short, tall wagons look like short, tall wagons, which means not too great.

  19. MJB Says:


    Wow, Kit. Tell us what you really think of the Aviator – haha.

    Honestly though, I actually love the design of this vehicle. Of course, I also like the Porsche Panamera and BMW X6, while loathing the back end of the Audi A7. So my opinion probably doesn’t count for much… ;)

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 If you consider Bolt’s “class” to be all electric cars, including those that cost twice as much, yeah, I guess it’s underpowered. If you compare it with similar size and space ICE vehicles, all of the others are “underpowered,” but are less expensive. If you compare Bolt to all $36,660 cars in the U.S. market, it’s probably about mid-pack in acceleration.

    Yes, the Model 3 is larger {on the outside, about the same inside}, more attractive and “elegant,” but so far, it costs almost twice as much. When/if that $35K Model 3 shows up, the Bolt would be a hard sell for anyone, unless they, for some reason, need a 20 inch shorter car, or really want more “normal” controls.

  21. merv Says:

    Happy holidays to you and all your support team. Another great year of autoline daily,thank you and best wishes.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Yeah, we seem to have different tastes. I like the A7, but not the X6. I like the Panamera, the new one better than the previous one.

    Yeah, all of our opinions on aesthetics are, well, opinions.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    #22 No doubt about the opinions on aesthetics.. Someone bought the Aztek, Gremlin, Granada, Cimarron, Nissan Cube, Omega, Juke, Brat and Dart. Proving some people just don’t care what their car looks like.

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    Have a great holiday everyone!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Happy New years too!

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #23 I’ve known people who bought Azteks, not because of, but in spite of the way it looks. The Cimarron looked ok, but was a really bad value proposition, almost double the price to get leather seats in a Cavalier.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Happy holidays John, Sean, and staff, and everyone who comments here.

  27. joe Says:

    Elon Mus is again in a dream world. Where would he get the money to buy the Cruze plant? Tesla is deeply in debt and has a huge loan that coming due next year. This guy is full of it.

  28. Drew Says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to ALD and all the enlightened commenters.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 He might be able to get the plant for next to nothing, but I can’t imagine he’d want to operate there.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    In another daily video, they predict that 2018 sales for the year will be even higher than Calendar 2017 sales. They attributed this to record low unemployment, increased fleet sales by the usual suspects (not Honda!), and the Meteoric Rise in Tesla sales.

    There may be a fourth reason. Inventories currently stand at a wasteful, almost criminally wasteful, 4 million light vehicles. Dividing 17 mill by 365, you get an average of 46,500 vehicles sold every day, so 4 million means over 85 days inventory.

    The alleged “optimal” inventory is 60 days. I 100% disagree. 60 days may have cut it at the time of Fred Flinstone, but NOT for the last 30 years, when TOYOTA implemented LEAN and was followed by all COMPETENT automakers, being able to satisfy its customers with 25-40 day inventories.

    This means, back to Dec sales, that they will put a ton of incentives on the hoods to get rid of them by the end of the year, and here you have the FOURTH reason 2018 may be another record sales year.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    Re the Aztek and other butt-ugly vehicles: I do know a colleague who owned one. He is a former student of ours (only 4 years younger than me) who used to work at GM labs but left them for a more challenging position as chair of Mech Eng in a well known Detroit area U. He of course did not care for the styling, but he bought it at a rock-bottom price and used it to commute many miles a day. This guy, when working at GM labs, would visit us once a week, and instead of paying for parking, I’d get whatever car he drove (usually an almost new GM product, they also paid the fuel) and drive it for the one-two hours he was here. There were plenty of “crappy” vehicles among them, to quote Mary Barra. The Trailbazer SUV was far better inside than the awful Lumina and its terrible seats that cut into your back. The Northstar V8 in the Eldo was sweet, the others may have been ok but were hampered by the awful auto transmissions of the time.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    Re the Bolt, I cannot count the ways, as the poem says, in which GM bungled it.

    First of all, which manufacturer in its right mind decides to make its mass produced pure EV, to be sold in the US for about $40,000, a body style which has the proportions of a short, tall hatch, a body style that the Almighty Consumer HATES and associates with CHEAPNESS, and does not buy even at $15,000-20,000, let alone $40,000?

    Automakers that offer such design see DISMAL sales and heavy losses, even when they are brilliant designs as Honda’s Fit (it still sells a lousy 3-5,000 units a month, vs 30,000 for each of the Civic, Accord, and CR-V!)

    The Bolt has already had its chance. Its best days are over, meaning the years it was allowed to sell unopposed by the $35k Tesla 3 and any other similar priced 200+ mile range EVs. Even unopposed, what did it sell? between 1,000-3,000 units a month. Is this what GM planners really hoped?

    So, the judge of success is the sales and the profits, and I would bet the Bolt’s lousy sales have produced a river of red ink, just as the more elegant Volt sales have. because if you can satisfy your needs with a $22,000 Honda Civic, why bother with a same-sized $40,000 Chevy Volt?

    Anyway, RIP Volt and soon Bolt, and hopefully the planners at GM gave gotten a clue.

  33. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I agree that the Bolt has not been a success but to me it seemingly should have been. It was presented as a small CUV (type) vehicle that was electric. CUV’s are hot and I thought that if a person was looking for an ‘electric’, an electric CUV would be a hit, but it sure wasn’t. It certainly is capable, but again, so reasons I can’t figure, just doesn’t sell well.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Buick’s best seller in the U.S. is a short, tall hatch, Encore. Maybe that’s why they made the Bolt that body style.

  35. Stephen Says:

    Microwave ignition- not good news for spark plug makers. Note test results are still test results- so 20-30% improvement will rarely make it in real world ICE. Also would such ignition not need high power input?
    Might PSA/Toyota not export these vans to the US- Ford/Merc and FCA both make cash from these. Toyota and PSA both offer good gas engines and Toyota could offer a hybrid.
    The Cascadia-E is just a test fleet- batteries will have to make a big jump even if costs fall and gas stations would need to offer super 400V rechargers not unlike what Porsche is thinking

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Spark plugs are now a very small business. With leaded gas, plugs lasted about 10K miles, before they were so lead fouled that engines would misfire under load. Now, with unleaded gas, and with most cars, iridium plugs, they last 100K miles or more.

    I’d be pretty sure that, to possibly get a big improvement in fuel economy with the microwave ignition, other modifications would be needed. Maybe higher compression ratio could be used if the fuel all ignites at once, rather than via a flame front.

  37. joe Says:

    GM makes great cars, but they sure do know how to advertise them. Why is it that way year after year?

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37. Have they ever advertised the Bolt at all? If so, I haven’t seen it. They need to have ads showing a Bolt blowing away all of its similarly shaped competition in drag races.

  39. Keith Meintjes Says:

    > it reduces fuel consumption by 13-20%, but
    > theoretically can reduce it 30%. It also
    > results in significant reductions of NOX, > CO, CO2, Hydrocarbons and Particulate
    > Matter.

    This is all BS, and demands a repeal of the laws of conservation of matter and the laws of thermodynamics.

    How do you burn fuel to result in a lower temperature? That is more efficient?

    If CO, CO2, Hydrocarbons and Particulate Matter are all reduced, where did the carbon go?

    John McIlroy should be ashamed of himself. This is disgraceful.


  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m watching a broadcast of the Mecum Las Vegas auction, and it really drives home what we are missing. In the ’50s and ’60s, instead of dozens of tall body lifted 4 door wagons that look about alike, and some 4 door sedans that look alike, there were 2 and 4 door sedans, wagons, and pillarless hardtops. There were convertibles from every brand. Every brand was distinctive, and recognizable from any angle. Of course, today’s cars are the best ever in nearly every way, but it’s no wonder there is little interest in the annual
    new model introductions.

  41. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Here is the link to MWI, after going to this page scroll down to the bottom and on the left side of the page is the ‘how it works’ video (in English). The description is surely believable. Whether the numbers they declare are reachable, or not, I can surely believe that through increasing compression ratio (of the engines) and possible less catalytic converter involvement would certainly provide feasible incentive to use this system. John and Sean certainly do not have anything to be ashamed of.

    Many ICE engineers have stated that there is a lot of life still in internal combustion and I believe this may be part of the story.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 I suspect we may be hearing more about this. It real does seem to have potential. Does it work only for 5 cylinder engines? Just kidding, obviously, but I thought it a little humorous that the opening animation showed an in-line 5, not the most common engine configuration.

  43. ChuckGrenci Says:

    42, The video and the description states that this will work with all engines; it lists, gasoline, Wankel, 2-stroke and even diesel (more exact and complete burn, I’m guessing for the diesel). I consider this technology even more viable than the OPOC scenario’s that never really gained traction and also pretended progress. So here lies another, wait and see.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    33 I don’t remember GM claiming (with a straight face or not) that the fat hatch or mini-minivan Bolt is a… CUV, but regardless if they did, their claim could not possibly be believed, if you have actually SEEN the Bolt. It is NOT a CUV by any stretch of the imagination. it has very little ground clearance, for one thing. There are two GM “sub-compact crossovers” that have the same bulky shape (but they DO have the required clearance), the Buick Encore (?) and the Chevy Trax, and every time I look at one of them I want to vomit.

    Chuck, if you read my posts here, I gave ALL the MANY reasons the Bolt did not sell, EVEN when it was all alone in the affordable, pure EV- 200+ mile range category.

    I am sure if it even JUST LOOKED like a CUV, it would sell much better. Now the opportunity is gone, The $35k Model 3 and, worse, the inexpensive VW EV, will eat its lunch.

    34 the ENCORE is not a hatch. I see no reason to pretend one is confused here and call Mini-Minivans like the Bolt… CUVs and a 100% NON-Hatch, a SUB-COMPACT CUV like the AWFUL Looking Encore and its clone the Chevy Trax, a… hatch. Can we be serious here? it is not a matter of opinion, but fact. The BOLT is NOT a CUV and the Ugly Encore and Trax ARE. As explained above.

    37 VERY FEW of GM’s ‘cars’ are “great”. Obviously you never test drove, let alone owned, the truly great cars available (most of them German Imports).

  45. Larry D. Says:

    39 I am with you. Far better attempts have failed. Remember the Wankel Engine? Everybody was so excited because it could get the same HP from 1/3 the displacement. Who cares? The MPG was not any better! Sounds like the Achates engine, the Elio, the Fisker, and the Delorean, as far as the probability of success is concerned.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    In the local public library, I looked at the “employee of the month’ issue of Motor Trend and the latest CR. MT chose FCA for the truck (Wrangler!), Pickup (Ram) and Person (Marchionne) of the year, and of course, being nice to its marketing department, chose the much advertised Genesis 70 cheap 3 series clone as… the Car of year… DESPITE such game changers with HUGE impact like the MODEL 3. Laughable.

    I also saw a comparison test between the A6 and the A7. Both were RIDICULOUSLY expensive. They are in the E class model class, and were always a much cheaper alternative to the E and even the 5 series. Today these hybrids with identical powerplants are in the $75 to $85k range. Such prices for an E class size vehicle are 100% LUDICROUS, in a bad sense, not in the… Tesla “ludicrous mode” sense. the A7 is the worst fraud of the two, as it has LESS rear room than the A6 AND costs 10k more, and as the mag correctly complained, there was not enough differentiation between the two. it is inconceivable to pay S-class money for a SMALLER A6.

    Audi is not the only culprit here. I believe Mercedes was the first to scam the consumer with the allegedly oh-so-beautiful (I do not find it so hot) CLS, also an E class variant with much less rear room AND a much higher price. Suckers of the world, come buy this ermaphrodite ” four door coupe”…

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 OK, to you, I guess a CUV is a tall bodied hatch with a mild lift, and a tall bodied hatch with an inch or two less lift is a “fat hatch or mini-minivan.”

    You say the Encore is not a hatch. Actually, in marketer jargon it is probably an SUV. The term CUV is mainly used by car geeks and industry people, like ourselves.

    To me, a hatch is a vehicle with a top hinged lid in the back that goes from the rear of the roof to near the rear of the vehicle, and includes the rear window. Examples are Golf, Prius, CR-V, A7, X5, X6, and many more. They compete in much different “market segments,” but they are all hatches. Yes, I’m sure you disagree. Opinions are, after all, opinions, mine included.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 The base MSRP of an A6 is about $5K more than an E-Class, but the Audi has a turbo V6 and AWD standard, while the E has RWD and a turbo 4 standard. Comparably equipped, the price would be about the same. The price of the A7 is crazy, though, $10K extra to get a hatch rather than a sedan. I suppose the A7 is better equipped in “base” trim, though.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    39 When I responded I had not seen the end of your post, only the main body of it. I strongly disagree with your statement that John should be ashamed about anything here. His job is to report the auto news, and he did. He did not say he agrees with these ridiculous claims.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 “If CO, CO2, Hydrocarbons and Particulate Matter are all reduced, where did the carbon go?”

    IF they are reduced, which time will tell, all of the things on you list will be burned more completely, making a small amount more CO2. That is where the carbon would go.

  51. ChuckGrenci Says:

    44, not to get into semantics, but the Bolt is a lot better than you seem to assign it. Yes, it is not technically a CUV, however a quote from C&D:
    “Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
    Likes: Lofty seating position imitates crossovers, colorful and configurable touchscreen, upright proportions allow ample cargo room.
    Dislikes: Thinly padded front seats, touchscreen is slow to respond to user inputs, Toyota Prius Prime has more back-seat cubby storage.”

    The Bolt is much better than represented, and until the 35k Model 3 reaches market, other than styling, the Bolt should compete fairly well. There is the irrational opinions of Tesla fans that I admit is hard to overcome. Tesla diehards are as passionate as say Harley Davidson owners/enthusiasts. And while nothing is wrong with either, some mighty good vehicles tend to be overlooked through customers with blinders. I do not profess to call anyone who wants to buy, what they want to buy wrong, when the dust settles, I believe electric vehicles may not be so lopsided as they currently exist.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t driven a Bolt, but both CR and Car and Driver liked the way it drives, and the utility. They both generally do a good job of pointing out the good, and bad points of of cars, as I see them.

    Yep, Harley riders are certainly passionate. I know a few of them in Indiana, and they wouldn’t ride anything else. With motorcycles, as with cars, I’m less “brand loyal” than many, or most people I know. When I worked for GM, I always had a GM car that I drove to work, but I almost always had another car, usually not GM, like the ’89 van that I bought new while working, and still have.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    The ultimate judge of the appeal (if any) of the Bolt have been and will continue to be NOT me or you or Chuck but the actual people who ‘vote with their wallets” and go out and BUY one.

    I have enumerated in great detail and repeatedly the many faults of the Bolt, so I am not surprised by its failure in the markets so far, a failure which will become worse as more affordable and far more attractive pure EVs are available.

    The Bolt had a captive market of the 500,000 people who waited patiently not for weeks and months but YEARS to get their Model 3 and put down deposits for it. The Bolt and the Leaf and all the other Pure EVs have failed DISMALLY to atrtract that huge pool of potential buyers.

    Some here seem to not know why, and may believe that buyers are irrational. They are NOT. The Model 3 is a very attractive alternative to the 3 Series, and priced about the SAME, while the now defunct Volt AND the Bolt are in the size class of the Civic/Cruze and the Sonic respectively, yet they are priced twice as much.

    The above are not opinions, they are facts, and explain the success of the Model 3 and the failure of the Bolt.

    it is even more amazing (and John has realized it in recent AAH) how this stellar success has been achieved not by a titan automaker with 100+ years experience and infinite engineering resources like GM or others, but by an UPSTART Auto company led by a brilliant and charismatic CEO who understands BOTH the Technology AND the ECONOMICS of the production and has solved the WHOLE PROBLEM of how to make the Model 3 at a PROFIT without fleecing his non-existent SUV or Pickup buyers, as Lutz’s plan was.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    The auto industry in the US will be very interesting to watch in 2019, esp the shifts in market share already huge in 2018. The rise of Tesla is the answer to Czaba Czere’s critique of the US automakers (at an alumni gathering, not published, but in answers to our questions). Czaba explained why the Germans make so much better cars than the US domestics by claiming that in the US, the 160 IQ engineers go work in Silicon Valley while in Europe many go to Porsche and BMW and M-B and the VW Group, leaving the 120 (still quite above average, BTW) IQ Engineers to work for the US domestics. Maybe Musk is the first such entry into the Auto business.

    It also proves that necessity is the mother of invention. Lutz/GM does not need to design a brilliant EV as, as Lutz clearly said here in a recent AAH, the billions in losses will be at the expense of the masses of SUV CUV and Pickup buyers. Tesla did not have that option, and had to figure out an intelligent solution, involving clever electronics, and especially the Gigafactory, to drive their costs down.

    No matter if they become a huge Automaker with a 10% Market share like Honda, or 4% like VW or Subaru, or less, Tesla and Musk have made their mark on the US and World Automotive Industry. Their Major Achievements cannot be taken from them.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 “I have enumerated in great detail and repeatedly the many faults of the Bolt, so I am not surprised by its failure in the markets so far, a failure which will become worse as more affordable and far more attractive pure EVs are available.”

    The “many faults” of the Bolt are these two. It’s expensive for a small car that is not from a “premium” brand, and it doesn’t look very good to many, or most people. Those two “faults” of the Bolt are enough that it hasn’t sold well.

    As far as appearance, I don’t find the front end of the Model 3 to be that great, but buyers overlook that. It certainly looks good, to most people, from other angles.

  56. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I was trying to make my point that the Bolt is not woefully under-performing as a vehicle (much to the contrary); still the early adopters have chosen the Tesla to make a ‘technology’ statement, and perhaps have shunned the other pedestrian auto makers in the new electronic vehicle field to also make a statement. I agree that the Tesla’s are pretty darn good but not as irrationally better compared to the competition even though that doesn’t support my assertions. Something’s weird when sales of electric vehicles are down without the Tesla effect (included in the sales numbers).

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just went over to the local Jaguar/Land Rover store 3 miles away to see what the iPace looked like. They had a black one, with big white graphics on the side, saying that it was an EV. I didn’t drive it, but no matter how well it drives, there was nothing that would make me want to spend the MSRP of ~$85K for it. On the outside, it looked a little funny, neither good nor bad (to me), but the interior was truly underwhelming, for a car that expensive, or for any Jaguar.

    The guy at the dealer said they had sold three of them, and I’m not surprised. It’s as close to a Tesla X as you can buy “the regular way,” and it looked well put together. Still, it seems like a very expensive commuter car, and that’s what it is, with the current state of charging infrastructure for any pure EV that is not a Tesla.

  58. Larry D. Says:

    Merry Xmas to all,

    A few days ago I saw an amusing video of a Model 3 owner who commuted 52 miles each way to work in real bad weather, cold, heavy snow etc. it was a youtube video. I tried to find it this morning, there is a whole bunch of them but they are much shorter, that one was 25 mins or so.

    The owner reminded me of that woman who, seriously or not, tried to put gas in her Tesla. This owner seemed shocked that his range did not go down by the 110 or so miles he drove round trip, but 150 miles instead. He lost 25 miles in the morning and 15 in the evening commute, which makes sense temp-wise. He made it home safely and with more than 100 miles range left when he returned home (apparently his employer did not offer charging at work), but he kept bitching and whining about the 40 miles range he lost, as if he never heard of the laws of Physics and how EVs lose a ton of range in cold weather.

    Back to the Bolt, to claim it is the poor man’s model X does not really hold much water. The most accurate description of the Bolt is that it has the proportions of a short minivan, which has been sawed off by an extra foot or two, making it very short indeed, as short as a small hatch. Neither its dimensions and interior space, nor (definitely also!) its meager performance can match that of the X. This is worse than saying that the Impala is an affordable S class, because the Impala at least has the same size as the S.

    Also, many of the Bolt’s “sold” were not really sold to private buyers, but to GM’s CRUISE program (I keep seeing Bolts with that logo) and other such AV or whatever fleets.

    December Sales should go out Jan 3 or earlier. So far we have the results of plug-in (dirty or pure EVs) sales for the 11 months until Nov 2018, and the top 10 or so are:

    1. (by a mile) Model 3, 114,532 units
    2. Prius prime, 24,836
    3. Model S, 22,495
    4. Model X, 22,000
    5. Volt, 18,648
    6. Bolt, 16,907
    7. Clarity PHEV, 15,424
    8. Leaf, 13,048
    9. BMW 530e (never heard of it), 7,301
    10. Ford Fusion Energi, 7,284.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    58 That winter commuter was lucky he/she didn’t get stuck, or have other major slow downs, and leave the cabin heat on. The cabin heat uses about 4kw, according to multiple posts on a Tesla forum. That would really hurt range, if you sit for a few hours, stuck in the snow.

    The BMW 530e is a plug-in hybrid with a 2.0 liter turbo 4 (imagine that), and an EPA electric range of 15 miles.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

  61. Larry D. Says:

    I just found that (28 min) video again. The driver documented the whole trip. This is just “part I”. Have not seen part II.

  62. Larry D. Says:

    61 PS he had the all wheel drive version of the Model 3.

    60 the link does not exist, what was it about?

    59 the all-electric range of that 530 is too small. If the 3rd gen Prius Prime gets an 80 mile range (even in warm weather) it would cover my needs and I would use no gas in all but real long distance trips from the summer home.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    60 It did work, but apparently has been deleted. It is an article about the Detroit News “vehicle of the year.” Maybe this link will work.

  64. Larry D. Says:

    63 Thanks, this one worked, the writer was on AAH talking about his own Model 3 a while ago. The ZR1 as first runner up was also a good choice. I am quite curious to see what its mid-engined succesor will be like.

    61 I watched those again, there were 3, one after the other, and a nice data summary at the end. One thing I envied in the Model 3 was its huge screen, where the navigation shows up like a big lighted map with all the details, very legible. Both my E class screens are much smaller, 4 by 6 or so, and the one in the summer home is not compatible with the Europe cd/dvd, which I ordered at the local dealer from Germany, it arrived, they spent an hour trying to make it compatible with my car, and failed. They returned the part and did not charge me a dime for anything, and a friend gave me his extra aftermarket GPS that works fine, but it has to be on the windshield and has a tendency to fall down (poor suction).

    That commuters range losses in bad weather for some reason were less and less every day, from 40 the first day to 25-30 the second and less than 20 the third, all very reasonable given the cold and pre-warming of the cabin for 8 minutes that he did.


  65. Larry D. Says:

    The End-of-the-year show of ATW was quite good, just listened to it on this website.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    64 Pre-warming the cabin would clearly help range. I only watched the first video, but might it have been warmer outside on subsequent days, accounting for less range loss?

    The nav display on the Model 3 looked impressive in the video, but if I had that car, I’d probably have something else on the screen most of the time. My navigation is my phone, and I just use the voice commands, and never even look at the display while driving. I did the same with a Garmin I used before I had a smart phone.

    63, 64 Detroit News’ being “late” with their awards apparently allowed them access to a Ranger for testing. The other “vehicle of the year” awards won’t include it until next year.

  67. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Just watched the yearly wrap-up as well. The topics they hit were all good and they probably could have used another hour or so (to review a very active news year). Still in all; good job John (and company). Looking forward to 2019.

  68. Larry D. Says:

    yesterday I drove the 18 quick miles to Northville MI, invited by a retired cardiologist friend, his German wife, and his car collector son (himself an oncologist-hematologist with 24 years experience, I assume he counts the med school years as experience too), who showed me his impressive, mostly US Muscle car collection. I am sure I will not remember all the cars here.

    The large house was filled to the brim with double-stacked muscle cars. I had to ask how he got them in an out as there were no obvious garage doors. He also collected related memorabilia, road signs, scale models, even a functioning jukebox.

    His most valuable possession must have been a $500k Mustang, beautiful navy blue paint, I could only see the sides and the back of it, he gave me all the details but don’t remember them, a Corvette Convertible from the 60s, nice skyblueish metallic original color, he told me it had a 350 HP engine. There was a Lincoln LSC or sth coupe from the 80s, great shape, and out in the lot there was a Merc 500SL 1992 convertible with low miles he got at an estate sale. Back to the muscle cars, there was a Goat (pontiac GTO) with gruesome provenance, it belonged to some schoolteacher in Georgia or some other southern state, he went hunting with some of his students and one shot him dead, the defendant was convicted and serves a life sentence. The car had beautiful maroon color. There were other cars in the collection I don’t remember now. The father also gave me a fancy bottle of extra virgin olive oil from his own grove in the old country (I visited him there last summer but he gave me fruit and veggies, all organic of course, instead). Then they took me to dinner where most food was excellent but the portions were huge, and even though I put more than half of it in a doggie bag (had half of the leftovers for lunch just now and the other half tomorrow) I gained 2 lbs!

  69. Larry D. Says:

    There is a lengthy article abt Ghosn in today’s NYT Business section. I used up one of my few free articles (5 or 10 a month) and just read the whole thing.

    After a page or so of fluff, the article gets more serious. The Japanese do not tolerate personal Greed. Ghosn was making TEN TIMES what the CEO of fasr more successful TOYOTA is making. Even Macron in France has criticized Ghosn’s 8 mill a year JUST for being Renault’s CEO as excessive. Socially promoted Mary Barra at GM, on the other hand, gets almost DOUBLE Ghosn’s combined salary for being CEO of THREE automakers (Renault, Nissan and Mitsu).

    When Ghosn did well, early in his tenure, the Japanese tolerated him, but recently, when his latest initiatives have failed, not so.

    WHen he was doing well, on top of the many perks and millions in pay, he was the ONLY Non-Japanese to receive a major award from the Emperor Himself (there is a photo where the Foreigner Ghosn shakes hands with the Emperor, who used to be revered as a GOD by the Japanese).

    The faster they rise, the harder they fall…

    PS the collection in 68 above also had a Chevelle but I remember very little about it.

  70. ChuckGrenci Says:

    @68 your GTO reference:
    I was a Pontiac ‘Junkie’ as my first three cars I’ve owned were Pontiacs. My first was a ’66 Tempest with the 326 and a three speed (I remember fond memories just because it was my first car owned). My second was a ’68 GTO (400 with the automatic), didn’t have it long enough and certainly would like it back. And my third, the most pedestrian, but nevertheless a fine ride was a ’70 T-37 four door which did great service for a newly married. But alas, Pontiac lost its way, and rightly so, was discontinued when the overlap between Chevy and Pontiac was hardly noticeable (anymore).

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A college friend had a Tempest with the 389/2 and manual transmission. I think it was a 1962. It was floor shift, don’t know if it was 3 or 4 speed. As I remember, it drive ok, and probably got good mpg for an Amercan car of the time.

  72. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The Tempests had the transaxle till ’63 (with independent rear suspension). Starting in ’64 it went to the solid rear axle and front engine with tranny bolted to it, and along with the Tempest and Lemans, gave us the GTO in ’64. But them Tempests, pre ’64 with the 326 were fairly potent.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Was the reliability of the Tempests with the transaxle and bent drive shaft ok? My friend’s car seemed to be ok, but it wasn’t very old at the time.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The pre ’64 Tempests were probably pretty light. Apparently that powertrain would take only half of a 389, but an entire 326.

  75. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The 326 was a sedate engine; good economy (for the time), moderate power and pretty smooth. The 389 was in the GTO for 64 till 66 and for 67 was punched to 400 cubes.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Wasn’t the 326 the same basic engine as the 389, but with smaller bore and/or stroke?

  77. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I think you are correct Kit; same block and there were some higher output 326′s with higher compression and a 4 barrel. But obviously they let the 389/400 do the heavy lifting.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Pontiac V8 must have been fairly light weight, for the time, since they used it in those early Tempests. The 50s V8 I had was a ’57 Chrysler, and even its 354 non-hemi was really big and heavy. The Pontiac V8 that started 4 years later was probably much lighter.

  79. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to Wiki the Pontiac 326. Lots of info I never knew; same block for 287 all the way up to the 455. Dry weight was listed at 550 to 650 pounds. The V-8 was even halved to create an I-4 for the Tempest.

  80. Larry D. Says:

    The site which predicted GM’s bankruptcy ten years ago makes a few predictions for 2019:

    1. New Vehicle Sales will continue Downward. Even Compact crossovers sell for over $28,000, which is $8,000 more than compact CARS, and given the market preferences, they will become more unaffordable.

    2. Other automakers will slash cars like Ford and GM did. They bet on Nissan. (If Ghosn made the decision, I would expect it to happen)

    3. Genesis may be DOA, despite all the “employee of the month’ awards for the G 70 (and its heavy advertising in the publications that give it the awards, wink wink)

    4. Subsrciptions will fail. Not ready for prime time now OR any time soon, they claim.

    5. There is a paragraph on Tesla but no clear prediction other than (of course) they will not go broke and “they will not dominate the industry from top to bottom” (sure, but dominating the segments they do is more than enough!)

    6. Hackett will not be employed by end 2019. (Hope springs eternal!)

    What do you think?

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    79 In reading about the Pontiac V8s, I saw that they used the Chevy-type rocker arm pivots.

    With engine weight, I found that the 354 “poly” in my ’57 Chrysler weighed 700 pounds. The 331 hemi that began life in 1951 weighs about the same. The Pontiac V8s were light, at least compared to early Chrysler V8s.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    80 Interesting list, and it mostly makes sense.

    While at least some Genesis products, like my friend’s base G80, are a good value, they are not selling well, and with car business fading, they are not likely to. We’ll see what happens when they have crossovers. I don’t expect Genesis to go away any time soon, though. Hyundai is a huge conglomerate with deep pockets, so they’ll keep Genesis. As the TTAC article says, though, the dealers aren’t going to be happy about spending $1.5M+ for the privilege of selling a handful of cars. The last I knew, the local Hyundai dealer was selling Genesis without a separate showroom. If they are given the choice of adding a separate showroom or dropping Genesis, I suspect they will do the latter.

    I don’t see Nissan dropping Altima in the U.S. in the near future. They sell over 200K of them, even in a bad year. Sales are down the last few months, but the current one is at the end of its life. If the new Altima sells poorly, I can see them dropping it at the end of its life cycle.

    The (non) prediction on Tesla seems right on. The are not going away, but they are not going to dominate the entire market either. There is not a market for a half million $150K electric pickup trucks a year.

  83. Larry D. Says:

    82 Re the Altima, there are too many dogs in this segment chasing after too few rabbits. Given the impracticality of Sedans and all their other disadvantages (low seating position, difficulty of entry, poor cargo space etc) that have caused consumers to walk away from them, only the best will survive in this segment, (hint: Accord, Camry, maybe a few mazda 6s and passats) and the Altima is one of the worst (and quality and reliability wise, probably THE worse). As I said, if Ghosn was still Nissan’s CEO, he sure would have done something about it rather than same old, sale old in the next model.

    They made more predictions I did not discuss, such as Acura dropping its comatose sedans etc. Honda has been notorious for keeping many models with dismal sales, whose losses are paid by the buyers of CRVs, Accords and Civics, so I am not sure. Also that Mary Barra may also join Hackett in the unemployment line.

    But I was more intrigued by

    82 “There is not a market for a half million $150K electric pickup trucks a year.”

    I googled Tesla future products and I found no word on a pickup truck at ANY price, let alone $150k.

    Here are the planned New products so far (in addition to the various Ss Xs and Model 3s):,_Inc.

    1. “2020 Roadster: will have a range of 620 mi (1,000 km) on the 200 kWh battery pack and will achieve 0–60 mph in 1.9 seconds; it also will achieve 0–100 mph in 4.2 seconds,[261] and the top speed will be over 250 mph (400 km/h). ”

    These numbers are TRULY STELLAR. WHY in the world could GM or Ford produce such a supercar that dominates ALL supercars ever made? AND is 100% clean?

    “At the time, the base price was set at US$200,000 while the first 1,000 units, the Founder’s series, would sell for US$250,000.”

    If this is not an UNbelieveble BARGAIN to boot, I don’t know that is. Best $200k-250k anybody has ever spent.

    2.”Tesla Semi: an all-electric Class 8 semi-trailer truck… Musk confirmed that the range would be 500 miles and that the zero to 60 mph time would be 5 seconds versus 15 seconds for a similar truck with a diesel engine… will include an extensive set of hardware sensors to enable it to stay in its own lane, a safe distance away from other vehicles..Musk also announced that the company would be involved in installing a solar-powered global network of the Tesla Megacharger devices to make the Semi more attractive to potential long-haul customers. A 30-minute charge would provide 400 miles of range”

    Given the many pre-orders by Fortune 500 top copmpanies, I take this seriously and wait with great interest to see how it does.

    And 3. “Model Y.. a full-sized SUV aimed for families.[269] Tesla had trademarked the name “Model Y” in 2013.[270] In August 2017, Tesla announced that the Model Y would use the Model 3 platform.[271]. In February 2018, Tesla announced that they would unveil Model Y production plans within the next 3–6 months[272] and posted open positions for Model Y production and design. The job description on the Tesla website states: “The new Programs Engineering, Design Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and delivering prototype level components and systems for the Tesla Model Y as well as future Tesla product programs.”[273] In May 2018, Musk said that the Model Y will be built on a platform that shares many components with the Model 3, and that the Model Y will be in production at the earliest in early 2020.[274] Musk revealed that the Model Y will be unveiled in March 2019.[275] “

  84. Larry D. Says:

    83 some typos above. re the roadster, I wondered why couldn’t Ford or GM (or FCA), with their vast resources, produce such a dominating supercar as the Tesla Roadster themselves, but instead let an amateur like Musk come up with it?

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    83 “Given the impracticality of Sedans and all their other disadvantages (low seating position, difficulty of entry, poor cargo space etc) that have caused consumers to walk away from them, only the best will survive in this segment,”

    To some of us, things that go along with low seating position, namely, a lower vehicle height with lower center of gravity, are advantages, not disadvantages. Cars handle better, and they get better fuel economy than tall vehicles. Ease of entry? I don’t need to use a step to get into my Prius, like with my friend’s F150. Yeah, we all know that sedans are in a big downward slide, for now. As far as Altima, if they were ready to drop the car soon, would they have bothered to introduce a new one this year? We shall see.

    Regarding Tesla, the TTAC article said “I don’t think they’ll go out of business, and I don’t think they’ll dominate the industry from top to bottom.” My reference to pickup trucks regards “dominating the market top to bottom.” To do that, they would need to sell a lot of pickup trucks. I’m just guessing on how much they would need to cost, but as big as pickup trucks are these days, to get the range of a model S or X, an electric pickup the size of today’s trucks would need a really big, and expensive battery. I am just agreeing with TTAC that Tesla is not going to “dominate the industry from top to bottom.” For now, though, they are certainly dominating the electric sedan/hatchback market.

  86. Larry D. Says:

    85 To be successful, an automaker needs to respond to the demand at any time. I was merely explaining to you (for the nth time) why the dominance of the crossovers, today’s wagons and minivans, and the demise of the sedans in year after year of poorer and poorer sales. Trying to explain that buyers are not all irrational. The millions who buy the crossovers are not slaves to fashion like the secretaries who buy the pickup they do not need. A tiny minority who prefers low sedans may have to do with other vehicle types, if it is not economically feasible to make them for the US market. The vast majority of buyers, AS sales numbers PROVE, are not enthusiasts who take them to the track and value dynamics above utility.

    Making an all electric pickup fo $150,000, as you suggested, not only is not in Tesla’s plans, as I showed, but it is a total “Strawman”. As is the RIDICULOUS expectation that upstart Tesla, who two years ago had a ridiculous 0.1% market share, and even today has less than 2%, would, in 2019 (this is the year the predictions were made, NOT… 2050!), “dominate ALL segments of the industry” (!!!!). This is clearly a RIDICULOUS statement, the dictionary definition of a “STRAWMAN” which an orator builds so he or she can easily take down.

  87. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla pickup truck. Who knows how serious they might be about it?

  88. Lambo2015 Says:

    I thought AD would be back today. Guess not. Look forward to a new show tomorrow.

    #85 BTW the SUV isn’t always on the loser to a sedan when it comes to handling. Michigan state police switched to the Tahoe when it was announced the end of the Crown Vic. during their testing the Police Tahoe out performed the Crown Vic in the slalom and 0-60. So between that and a marginal if any fuel economy savings the sedan will continue to be less attractive.

  89. Lambo2015 Says:

    Oh and if Tesla was really smart he would launch that compact pick-up that everyone says they wish the new Ranger would have been. He could launch an electric small truck that would be very attractive and have basically no competition. Again leaving everyone else to play catch up.

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    88 I agree that a “special” version of an modern SUV can outhandle a sedan that is a 25 year old design, and almost obsolete when new, but a slightly more modern sedan, like a Charger or Taurus does better. The report from the Michigan tests in interesting. There is a lot of information there, but it is interesting to look through. I’m surprised that the Tahoe uses a 5.3 rather than a 6.2 engine. I guess they are a little interested is saving gas. The Tahoe is very close to the cars in gas mileage, at least the EPA numbers are close. The big outlier in gas mileage was the Fusion hybrid, but those probably aren’t used much as highway patrol cars on the interstate.

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    89 Yeah, an actual compact pickup, and they could keep the price down by using non-huge batteries, for a range of maybe 150 miles. I know a couple people with older Rangers, and they way they use them, 60-80 miles of range would be plenty, and they could charge overnight at home. With 150 miles of nominal range, you’d be covered for the cold, snowy weather with the heater on.

  92. Lambo2015 Says:

    Thanks Kit interesting read as I never saw the report but heard about the results I mentioned in, I think the free press way back when.

    Was interesting to see the BWM bike beat all the Harley motorcycles in every category and the Yamaha also beat the Harleys except braking.

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Where I have lived, police bikes are used mostly for “ceremonial” purposes, like leading funeral processions, and they were always Harleys. For well rounded performance, that BMW would be hard to beat. I was a little surprised that it was quicker than the Yamaha.

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found it interesting that the V6 Charger and non-turbo Tauruses essentially tied the BMW on the road course, though the bike accelerates much quicker. Four wheels are better than two when cornering hard, even with, presumably, very skilled riders and drivers.

  95. Larry D. Says:

    A ton of news these days, including the December and Calendar 2018 auto sales in the US that are rapidly been published this morning.

    As expected, FCA had another stellar month and year, while Ford, GM and Toyota were all down, and for Ford and GM it was the 2nd straight year of lower sales.

    Automotive news estimated (looks too round a number to be accurate) December Tesla sales at STELLAR 31,700 units (to get an idea, this is more than ALL of BMWs and MINIS and Rollses sold in a typical month), achieving more than 2.0% market share for the month, and 182,400 for the year, which is barely above 1.1% market share.

    I expect some discussion in AAH this afternoon but not on the noon daily show today, as usual.

  96. Lambo2015 Says:

    Yea the cars were faster then the bikes but I’m guessing the lean angle of the Harleys don’t allow for great cornering. Put those cars against a Moto GP or sports bike and they would probably lose. However an F1 car will outperform a moto GP bike on the same road course.

  97. Larry D. Says:

    More details, GM sold more than a million crossovers in Calendar 2018, while Car sales slid a HUGE 24.0% in the 4th Q and 21% for the year, while light trucks rose 2.4%.

    Ford had similar results, a 3.5% decline for the year, caused by the 18% decline in CAR sales.

    Given gas prices are now below $2 around here, and oil prices have skidded recently, with not much chance of a price spike any time soon, the future seems safe for Crossovers and SUVs and Pickups in the US market.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    96 Yeah, the lean angle of the Harleys would not be good. With the BMW and Yamaha it might be good enough that cornering is limited by the tire traction. It would be interesting to know what times the same riders could turn with a recent sport bike.

  99. Larry D. Says:

    InsideEVs has Dec and 2018 sales for mosrt green vehicles, and its Tesla estimate is even higher than Autonews’s:

    it estimates in Dec 25,250 Model 3s, 4,100 Model Xs, and 3,250 Model Ss, for a total of 32,600 for Dec!

    For 2018, it shows 139,782 Model 3s, 26,100 Model Xs and 25,747 Model Ss, for a total of 191,627.

    other green cars in dec:

    Prius Prime, 2,759

    Volt, 1,058

    Honda Clarity PHEV, 2,787

    Bolt, 1,412.. and many of these are not bought by private owners but by CRUISE to use as AV experiments

    Leaf, 1667