AD #2506 – Nissan’s Jose Munoz Takes Leave of Absence, Tesla Breaks Ground in China, Infiniti Teases New Electric SUV

January 7th, 2019 at 11:42am

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Listen to “AD #2506 – Nissan’s Jose Munoz Takes Leave of Absence, Tesla Breaks Ground in China, Infiniti Teases New Electric SUV” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:32

0:26 Tesla Breaks Ground in China
0:54 Autopilot Racks Up a Billion Miles Driven
1:24 EV Mileage Based Fee Proposed
1:59 Ford Reveals Police Version of The Explorer
2:41 Infiniti Teases New Electric SUV
3:40 Nissan’s Jose Munoz Takes Leave of Absence
4:24 Solid State Batteries a Long Way Off
5:01 Italdesign Creates Autonomous Wheelchair
6:12 Munro Compares Model 3 To Bolt and i3

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29 Comments to “AD #2506 – Nissan’s Jose Munoz Takes Leave of Absence, Tesla Breaks Ground in China, Infiniti Teases New Electric SUV”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    South Carolina has already instituted an E.V. fee of 120 dollars per year in order to derive some funds for the highway department. While this seems fair to me I think perhaps an increase of highway taxes to more encompass the major detriment to the roadways and bridges, the trucks, would be in order. Of course this will be passed on to the consumer but this would also spread out the burden of all taxpayers to help with roads. Whether these taxpayers drive or not, they certainly derive a lot of their goods that are delivered by these trucks.

  2. George Ricci Says:

    The big advantage of solid state batteries (and the most important in my opinion) is that when they get damaged they do NOT ignite into intense fire ball. Which we have see several times with Tesla cars.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Indiana has, or will have a $150 EV surcharge.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.autonews.com/video/first-shift-nissan-exec-munoz-leave-amid-ghosn-probe

    The Automotive news AM 5-min video today had a segment on the groundbreaking of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, they were all dressed up like they were going to a prom (or a funeral), with black tuxedos, even Elon Musk. You can all watch the video for free, requires no subscription. it’s about 2.5 minutes into the video.

    The plant will ***initially*** make 3,000 Model 3s a week. Of course the Chinese market can take 5 times that, eventually.

    Currently mid-level trim Model 3s are far more expensive in China, at over $70k, than here. Musk mentioned a 50-60% price disadvantage, maybe the 3s he makes in China will sell for $45k -50k instead.

    The most important info in John’s segment today about this Shanghai plant is that it is the first ever *** 100% Foreign *** plant in China. BIG win for Musk to get the Commies in Beijing to agree to that! they usually want a 50-50 and they steal the technology to boot!

    I am 100% opposed to the idiotic per mile fee for EVs. It makes ZERO sense, if you want to encourage clean vehicle adoption, on the one hand to have a $7,500 Federal and many State tax credits and giveways for EVs, and with the other hand to slap these silly fees.

    After all, who damages the highways? It is NOT cars and light trucks, but 18-wheelers! ONE 18W does as much damage to the pavement as 9,000++ cars!!!! (Look it up.) But because we don’t want to undermine the Economy, we let these guys get away with murder.

    The PER MILE charge is a TERRIBLE idea also because it does NOT reward the fuel inefficient vehicles, but slaps a per mile charge across the board. Most consumers are against it too. It would be great for me, because I do few miles per year here (I do more in 2 months in my summer home than I do here in 10 months!), but I am opposed to it on Principle.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    4 correction of course I meant the per mile charge does not reward the fuel ***Efficient*** vehicles.

  6. Tim Beaumont Says:

    John, How did Tesla avoid the intellectual ‘property transfer’ while building a factory in China? Was it because it is wholly owned by Tesla? If so, how did Tesla avoid the minimum 50% Chinese ownership rule? Was that just because of Tesla marketing clout?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 As one who drives fuel efficient vehicles, I strongly support higher fuel tax.

    6 As part of efforts to mitigate a trade war, China agreed a while back to ease joint venture rules. It look like Tesla is the first big beneficiary.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/business/china-auto-electric-cars-joint-venture.html

  8. JWH Says:

    I believe there should be a charge for EV vehicles to use the roads which for many years have been allegedly funded by fuel taxes. EV vehicle wear & tear on the roads will be very similar to internal combustion powered vehicles. There will be many variances on this since we have Federal government & many state governments involved. I hope, although not totally optimistic that a system is implemented that is fair to the vehicles involved since heavier vehicle will contribute to higher wear.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    4 I agree that the trucks do the majority of the damage and if the laws were changed to not allow large trucks to pass each other and regulated to the right lane they could spend the extra money needed to pave the right lane to handle the loads and not have to replace the entire highway every 10 years. Plus traffic would move allot more efficient if the light vehicles were not backed up by the one semi going 63 trying to overtake the other semi going 62. They ride side by side for 2 miles to make one pass.

  10. Bob Wilson Says:

    Make the fee universal and cut the State gasoline tax. Index the fee by the number road wheels or gross weight.

    Bob Wilson

  11. JWH Says:

    #7 – Kit – Thanks for the info on China joint ventures. I now remember reading this a while ago, however, the memory is not quite as good as it was years ago.

    Side note – I laugh at your including your Corvette in the fuel efficient camp, especially since our 2016 is more fuel efficient than our Volvo & Fusion. Not that anyone cares, at 6700 miles total in 2018 on 3 vehicles, I don’t get too concerned.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    So I’m not sure of the cost increase to make the Tesla vehicles autonomous but is it really worth it for 14% of your driving? Probably very similar to the use of cruise control. Like CC I’m guessing once you’ve had the feature you probably don’t want a vehicle without it.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    Toyota seem to think they would have solid state batteries by the early 2020s according to this article in July of 2017. Maybe they are not so optimistic now.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/toyotas-next-move-solid-state-batteries#gs.mHGj6KcP

  14. MJB Says:

    Off-topic, but I went to AutoTrader just to see used Tesla Model S’s are running. I was actually amazed to see that there are over 700 1st gen S’s up for sale.

    Maybe that’s not a lot, but it exceeded what I thought I’d find…

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 The Corvette is fuel efficient on the highway, averaging about 29.5 mpg for 1100 miles trips between Florida and Indiana. It does a lot less well in short trip, and stop-and-go driving.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Electric Harley

    https://electrek.co/2019/01/07/harley-davidson-livewire-e-motorcycle/

  17. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/muddy-field-musk-sees-future-china-tesla

    I think you can also read this article for free.

    My original comment was inaccurate when I said they were wearing black tuxedos, they wore long black coats, incl. Musk.

    The ***initial*** Tesla production of 3,000 a week in its Shanghai plant will soon be dwarfed by its steady-state rate of 500,000 a year, or, assuming 50 week operation and 2 weeks of holidays and service/repairs to the plant, we are talking 10,000 a week, or double what Tesla makes here at its peak production, with much ridiculed ‘tent’ (which is actually not a tent at all, it is a hangar with steel supports etc)

    There was a lot more on Tesla in the news yesterday, including lengthy segments in the Nightly Business Report (produced by CNBC, shown on PBS).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3K0_qd-SKY

    Re used Model Ss, there are many, but they are not cheap, at least $35k for the older ones with some miles on them. IF you can wait 2 years, there will be a FLOOD of 3 year old Model 3s, which I estimate you will be able to get for about $20k.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    16 That’s hard to imagine. I did not look at the link, but does it come with a fake engine sound? if not, I wonder who will buy it.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    15 The Corvette was not intended to put on cruise control and drive at 70 – 80 MPH on a straight line. You might as well drive a Civic, if you use it mostly for this, and not on the track to take full advantage of what it offers. I wonder how many Corvette owners care about its MPG.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    The fuel efficiency of the Corvette is probably one of the last aspects of the car buyers are concerned about, and yea not best use of its capabilities but pretty amazing to achieve almost 30 mpg with over 400 hp. As for using it as intended many Civic owners buy their car to take to the track so….

  21. Larry D. Says:

    20 They don’t race standard Civics but either the R version, which is impressive, or souped up Civics. The R is to the standard Civic what the ZR1 is to the standard Corvette. I should have said Corolla, or, more appropriately, Prius.

    I too was impressed 20 years ago that a 6 sp Corvette would get an optimistic EPA 28 Hwy, but this was due to the gear ratios, the 6th gear was 0.50 only and the 5th 0.75, if i remember well. I bet Corvette owners would have preferred less MPG if instead the car was geared to beat the living daylights of the 911 in the usual Car and Driver comparos.

    I have posted some links re the China Tesla factory and i see it is still awaiting moderation. I wonder if it is because it had two links. I will post them separately again.

    here is the first half

    https://www.autonews.com/manufacturing/muddy-field-musk-sees-future-china-tesla

    I think you can also read this article for free.

    My original comment was inaccurate when I said they were wearing black tuxedos, they wore long black coats, incl. Musk.

    The ***initial*** Tesla production of 3,000 a week in its Shanghai plant will soon be dwarfed by its steady-state rate of 500,000 a year, or, assuming 50 week operation and 2 weeks of holidays and service/repairs to the plant, we are talking 10,000 a week, or double what Tesla makes here at its peak production, with much ridiculed ‘tent’ (which is actually not a tent at all, it is a hangar with steel supports etc)

  22. Larry D. Says:

    And here is the 2nd

    There was a lot more on Tesla in the news yesterday, including lengthy segments in the Nightly Business Report (produced by CNBC, shown on PBS).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3K0_qd-SKY

    Re used Model Ss, there are many, but they are not cheap, at least $35k for the older ones with some miles on them. IF you can wait 2 years, there will be a FLOOD of 3 year old Model 3s, which I estimate you will be able to get for about $20k.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17. I don’t know if the electric Harley has fake engine sounds, but what will kill it, is that it costs twice as much as Zero bikes, which are kind of the Tesla of motorcycles.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Today’s Corvettes are pretty much “do everything” cars, as long as you don’t want to carry much. Obviously, they were designed for handling and acceleration, but they work quite well on cruise control at 75 mph. The main downside is road noise.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The projected timeline for the Tesla Shanghai plan is amazing, muddy field to production in less than a year. It will be interesting to see if they meet it.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    23 Never heard of Zero (interesting choice of name, I guess they wanted to underline ‘zero emissions’. Looked it up, as well as the electric Harley. Neither looks like a classic Harley, the zero looks more like the BMW 1200 my summer home neigbor commutes with. The Harley price is not as outrageous as the prices of the Volt and Bolt, electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles are very expensive in the US. back in 2006 I asked for the price of the numerous small electric scooters popular among young women students in Shanghai and somebody (not an official rep of the maker) told me they only cost $500. It was a daily sight, usually driven by a young woman while a second woman sitting behind her would hold an open umbrella, rain or shine. I don’t remember seeing any gas scooters, but maybe this is because they would not be as noteworthy.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    24 The present Corvette has much more cargo space in the back than the usual mid-engine exotics, but the new mid-engine one might have much less.

    Have you ever taken it to a track? or do you have a radar detector and risk going fast with it on the highways?

  28. Larry D. Says:

    25 The link to the youtube NBR show I gave, there are two auto stories, starting at around 12 mins, and ending at 17 m,ins into the show. The first is about Tesla, and the second has the Toyota boss in the US (Bob Carter?) questioned about his company’s lack of EVs (it currently only offers one plug-in, they said), and his answer was rather garbled and disappointing.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 You can’t compare prices of electric motorcycles with 125 mile range, and electric cars with over 200 mile range, because the car has 8-10 times the battery capacity.

    27 I haven’t had my Corvette on a track, but may do so at some point. No, I don’t use a radar detector. On the highway, I drive the Corvette the same speed as I drive other cars, with the faster of the traffic, but not in the fastest 5%, where you are asking for tickets. I suppose a Corvette would be more of a “target” for speeding tickets than a Prius, but so far, so good. The places I’ve had the Corvette the fastest are on lightly traveled two lane roads, in places where you can see a mile ahead if there are hazards of any kind.

    The Corvette probably has more cargo space than a Porsche Cayman, the only current mid-engine car that would more-or-less be in my price range. The Cayman has some cargo space both front and back, but both are small. I suspect the mid engine ‘Vette will be that way.