AD #2520 – Inventory Levels Piling Up in China, Zotye Locks Up U.S. Dealers, EU Push for EVs Could Hurt Industry

January 29th, 2019 at 11:43am

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Runtime: 6:49

0:33 Inventory Levels Piling Up in China
1:08 Byton Hides Its Autonomous Sensors
1:56 Volvo to Test Hands-Free Driving in Sweden
2:58 Top F1 Drivers Paid Handsomely
3:36 China’s Zotye Motors Locks Up U.S. Dealers
4:09 Stare at Your Phone, Win a Volvo
5:20 Porsche Provides Taycan Owners 3-Years of Charging
5:51 EU Push for EVs Could Hurt Auto Industry

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30 Comments to “AD #2520 – Inventory Levels Piling Up in China, Zotye Locks Up U.S. Dealers, EU Push for EVs Could Hurt Industry”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Some may say that Ed Welburn is still somewhat responsible for the recent GM design degradations, but I’m thinking that he’d have vetoed some of the recent faux pas’s of late. Ed’s lead in styling and design have been, in my opinion, pretty spot on. The recent descent should only be minimally be attributed to his direction. I will be watching Thursday (hopefully live).

    Even the lowest paid F1 driver is making enough for something they would probably do for nothing. And while the lower on the totem pole drivers are making relatively low wages (note, I said relatively) I’m sure there are moneys that are coming in, that are not listed, that make the pay package (much) better.

  2. Ctech Says:

    Right now someone is working on a way to fool the facial recognition software in the Volvo game. If you aren’t cheating, you ain’t trying hard enough, lol.

    Can someone ask Ed Welborn about the styling of the next generation Camaro, should Chevrolet abandon the “1969″ influence and move on?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 Even the lowest paid F1 drivers probably get free lodging in fancy hotels during the season, and Albon would get all of the free Red Bull he could stand.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    So can Volvos facial recognition software tell the difference if its a live face or just a picture cause thinking if not I could stare at the phone the whole superbowl.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    EU may think that EVs will hurt workers but Tesla’s giga-factory employs 3000 workers to build batteries for one high volume car and two low volume vehicles. Meanwhile a typical engine plant like Ford Dearborn employs 900 and builds 2 high volume engines the 2.0L and 2.3L used in many Ford vehicles. So the change shouldn’t be that significant unless they plan to buy batteries outside EU.

  6. Phred Says:

    In your many cheer-leading stories for EVs you never reveal that there are almost no new power plants in permitting or construction. And where was all that electrical over capacity last summer when brown outs were forecast ed and the public service messages calling for people to raise their thermostats above 77 degrees ? There is another story that is being purposefully ignored!

  7. Larry D. Says:

    5 I agree with the EU, EVs are far simpler compared to gas or diesel ICEs and will require far less service. It will be a huge game changer for the Dealers, who make most of their profits from service and not from selling new or even used cars, I have their own NADA charts to prove it, too bad I cannot post them here.

    Second Gen EVs may not even need batteries at all, but get electricity as they drive from below the road surface or above them,

    6 This is some laugable conspiracy theory. really? “purposefully” ignored? Grid power is more than adequate for fleets of EVs, especially if it is rationally and efficiently allocated, and if we need any more, the price of solar panels has dropped like a rock recently, Tesla plans to eventually have solar-powered superchaergers that will give the finger to the utilities and be 100% self – sufficient. Many consumers will choose the same for their home chargers, using solar panels.

    These are the pioneering years for EVs and everything is going in the direction of lower costs and improvements. Gas cars were unaffordable to the middle class for decades after their introduction. In Europe, even in the 30s cars were a luxury for the rich, while in the US they were widely used thanks to Henry Ford and the Model 3 and its affordability.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    1 Wellburn did a good job in styling, esp exterior styling, and the 20 year old “art and science” or whatever they call it design style in Caddilac cars has aged well and still looks better than recent Mercs and BMWs. Interior styling, quality of materials, ergonomics etc is a different matter, though.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 High peak time pricing should help encourage people to charge their EVs at times of lower demand, but yeah, if there are enough EVs, more capacity will be needed. A lot of electricity could be saved, though, if stores and restaurants weren’t air conditioned 10 degrees colder than what is comfortable when it’s 90 degrees outside.

  10. Len simpson Says:

    When it comes to styling—” Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder “

  11. BobD Says:

    F1 driver compensation…. I wonder if some of those top numbers are exaggerated just for sake of the top teams to have bragging rights.

    Does anyone know what the top IndyCar, NASCAR, and NHRA drivers are paid? Do F1 drivers make a lot on personal merchandise sales like the American drivers do?

  12. Kevin A Says:

    LarryD, maybe you can do the math for us to support your point. If you multiply the power produced by 1 solar cell, times the size of a gas station sized “charging area”, you’ll find the power produced won’t charge a significant number of cars per day. And even at full price for power, there isn’t enough revenue raised to pay for the solar cells, the batteries and the person who does the maintenance on site.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I don’t know if it was true, but it was common belief in the ’50s and ’60s that the Indy 500 drivers’ pay was that they got half of the prize money, and the team owners got the other half.

    Tesla uses a lot of employees for the number of cars they build. In addition to batteries, do they make their own motors and other drive train parts? They probably make their own electronics, and assemble the battery cells into packs. If all of the parts manufacturing is considered, there might not be much difference in total work involved in producing an EV and ICE car. If the EU companies would get their batteries and motors from China, while they now make their engines and transmissions in Germany, France, etc., that could cost a lot of local jobs.

    7 Yeah, both dealers and Jiffy Lube places will lose a lot of business if/when EVs make up most of the fleet. Even if an ICE car never breaks, it will get a bunch of oil changes over its service life. I don’t know if the motors and shiftless transmissions of an EV have any scheduled maintenance, but if so, it would be very infrequent.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Does Ford build all of their 2.0 and 2.3 engines in that one plant with 900 workers? Do they do casting, machining, etc. there? If yes, and yes, that plant must be very automated, and efficient. That would be a lot of engines.

  15. GM Veteran Says:

    #6: Phred, I think you need to check your sources. There are many new power plants being planned, permitted and built. They just completed a natural gas powered plant in the Upper Peninsula to replace a coal-fired plant they closed. The utility companies are phasing out coal-fired plants and replacing them with natural gas plants, wind and solar – all of which produce electricity more cheaply than coal and do not have the pollution challenges that coal has.

    Perhaps you meant nuclear powered plants. There are no utilities applying for permits for new nuclear powered electrical plants in the U.S. They are very expensive to build, provide rather expensive electricity and pose a waste clean-up challenge that goes on nearly forever.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some coal plants have been switched to natural gas, but also, in my area in Florida, there are natural gas burning gas turbine plants that can be relatively quickly started up and shut down as needed, unlike steam turbine plants, whether burning coal or nat gas.

    There is a big nuclear plant not too far from me in Florida. Hopefully, there won’t be any earthquakes causing tsunamies.

  17. Terry Quinn Says:

    When I hear about “high speed” chargers for electric cars, I chuckle. The current high speed chargers in Europe provide about 350kW power during charging (and they are much faster than the “superchargers” put in by Tesla. If you had a large SUV or pickup truck, and you wanted to charge your vehicle to 80% of its charge, at 350kW, (batteries don’t take high speed charging after 80%) you are looking at more than a half hour to do that charge. To get to the sweet spot (by my definition, where you can go to the bathroom and get a snack in 10-15 minutes and get into your car and leave) will require one megawatt of power, AND a vehicle that can accept that power (none do yet, even in Europe). And to deliver 1 megawatt will take either really high voltage, or very high current, or both, which can be dangerous for consumers.

    Electric cars can regenerate some of their braking power, but not all of it. So you are going to need almost as much energy (in joules) as a gasoline or diesel car does at the fuel-up point (either liquid fuel or electricity). And it isn’t a function of battery technology for electrics. In the end, you have to get the joules into the battery, and it isn’t going to be fast.

  18. Terry Quinn Says:

    Kit: “there won’t be any earthquakes causing tsunamies.” Fukashima’s tsunami caused disaster wasn’t because it was a nuke, it was because the Japanese engineers didn’t follow good failure mode and effect analysis, which would have easily shown that the backup generators and their fuel supply were susceptible to tsunamis. If those generators and their fuel tanks had been properly placed, there would not have been a disaster. New nuclear plants do not require backup cooling systems like the ones that failed at Fukishima. They are fail-safe in that respect.

  19. Terry Quinn Says:

    Larry D. Says: “Grid power is more than adequate for fleets of EVs, especially if it is rationally and efficiently allocated, and if we need any more, the price of solar panels has dropped like a rock recently, ”

    A typical solar power station generate 1 megawatt, peak, in the middle of the day. That means it will charge 1 car or truck with a really fast charger that isn’t even designed yet, or it will do three cars with a European fast charger that takes a half hour to charge. When it takes 5 minutes to refuel a car with fossil fuels, do you really think that is competitive.

    There certainly will be huge infrastructure costs to provide all the electricity needed in the right place, and a lot more electicity than is currently generated for current usages.

  20. Terry Quinn Says:

    Larry D. Says: “Grid power is more than adequate”

    I just ran a quick analysis, which may be flawed. But if I’m right, you take the average power of a nuclear power plant (the gorilla of power plants), then you take all the gallons of gasoline used in the U.S. per year (140 billion gallons per year), and you want to replace the gasoline with nuclear power plants, you would need to build 22 of those plants. A new nuke plant costs between $3 and $9 billion, so let’s call it $6 billion, that means you will need to pay $132 billion for those. It’s not outrageous, but it also proves that the existing power source and grid are NOT adequate for if all cars are electric.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 You say “Fukashima’s [sic] tsunami caused disaster wasn’t because it was a nuke,” WTF are you talking about? I don’t really think there would have been a release of radioactivity from a natural gas, coal, or any other power plant other than a nuclear plant.

    Yeah, maybe the emergency systems could have been designed to work when the place was under water, but to me, it doesn’t seem a good idea to have a nuclear plant in an area with a high risk for earthquakes, or tsunamis caused by earthquakes.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    17 So if the Fukushima plant was a bunch of solar panels and a water heater, or a wind farm, and not a Nuke plant, you are saying with a straight face that it would have been the same disaster? Laughable. No need to comment on your other posts, which, in addition to total lack of common sense, betray gross economic illiteracy. Such as, what happens when energy demand goes up? Do we EVER “run out” (LOL) of the stuff? NO. Supply and demand takes over, prices go up and spoiled brats WASTE LESS.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    I don’t see how with a strait face you can say the current power grid is adequate? If that were the case we would not experience brown outs in the midst of summer in many cities. We have that now with only something like 0.5% of all cars being EVs.
    Plus many older neighborhoods have thousands of homes all over the country that still have inadequate lines that feed their homes. Many older homes with just 60amp service with wire that can only handle 100amp max would require upgrades to not only the power feeding the house/garage, but many of the lines on the poles cannot handle the power draw if all the homes were to increase their usage. I have personally experienced this while flipping older homes. The power company has had to add transformers to meet the small increase in demand. So even if they have the capacity to generate the power it cannot be delivered to many of the consumers with the current system.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The power company needs to paint the housing of the 60-70 year old transmormer feeding my house in Indiana. If left as is, with the paint wearing through from years of weather, the transformer will fail when it rusts through.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    23 You may not see how I, with a strait(SIC) face said the data-backed truths I said, but this will not change any of their validity. You are lucky i can answer at length because our organization decided to close down because of the extreme cold (and, worse, wind) but I only learned it after i arrived at work, and all my meetings are canceled today and tomorrow, so I have time to respond.

    I was being serious, was not thinking about some invonvenient blackouts that happen all the time due to failures in the grid, due to whatever reason, and not to increased electricity demand. The US is one of the few developed industrial nations that has its power lines on the surface, naked for every little storm to mess up with just a few fallen trees, and voila, millions lose power. UTTERLY LUDICROUS and a DISGRACE. Advanced nations hide the wires underground.

    I was being DEADLY serious in my comments that the US consumers are some of the most spoiled, inconsiderate BRATS on the planet, in how they WASTE energy as if it was free. Only a few tiny nations like the Saudis that have virtually free oil (it costs them less than $1 to get a barrel out of the sand) waste energy like that. Not only do we waste it on our Pickups and SUVs with their lousy mileage, we waste it at home, who heard of having our waterheaters on ALL DAY? Go to Germany, one of the richest nations of the world, because they know to CONSERVE, they turn on the little waterheater only when they NEED it. Then we set the A/C to 60 in the summer and the heat to 80 in the winter, and our average home size is three times that of the typical german apartment.

    So what I am saying loud and clear is we have ENORMOUS belt-tightening potential whenever we have a bottleneck, so we can have PLENTY of energy we NEED and NOT we WASTE, until a couple years pass and the new power plants are ready to create new supply.

    AND to blame any of these blackouts on a few more EVs is just laughable.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There was a power outage this morning at my place in Indiana. I don’t know the cause, but in the interest of saving pipes from freezing, I’m glad it came back on fairly quickly.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 Not only the size of homes, but the nature of living spaces has a huge effect on energy usage. Many more people live in high density housing in Europe, and high density housing is much, much more efficient than single family houses. My condo in Florida and my smallish ~80 year old house in Indiana are about the same size, about 1250 square feet. When it’s 90 degrees, my total electric bill in Florida, cooling my place to 78 degrees, is about $35. In Indiana, it would be three times that, and the old house has been fairly well insulated.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    27 Very true. My condo in MI (used to be a townhouse, we converted at considerable cost in 2008 or so) was built in the 70s, it was never luxurious, but has fantastic views and a big 2nd floor wooden balcony overlooking a small lake (both bedrooms view the lake too), is almost the same size as yours, 1280 ft2, and has a single closed attached garage. My unit has common walls with two others, but the end units are more exposed to the elements. I used to turn the heat totally off when i would go to work in the winter but now I set it to its lower limit of 45 F or so. (Today i set it at 50 because of the extreme cold), but end units must set it to 60 when they go out. I have AC but never use it because I try to go to my summer home for the 3 summer months, or I may be visiting another overseas location for work. The furnace is the same I found in 87 when I bought it (it was almost new then) and still works fine, but in Jan 2009 I believe, during a cold spell, the control unit failed, and I could not get the new one for a week, and had some very cold nights with only a small space heater. (I ended driving to get the delayed part myself). Now every year they do an inspection and they find it fine, but tell me to replace it (the inspectors run a furnace business also) but I don’t.

  29. Lambo2015 Says:

    Very good catch on the Straight vs strait error you would make a good English teacher but not so much when it comes to debate. Your comments were that our grid system is adequate, which it is not and I don’t care what data you drummed up even though you didn’t. I personally know for a fact that many neighborhoods and homes could not install a 240V car charging system without significant changes to the homes electrical system let alone the lines that feed the home. Then you back peddle and say that its because we waste energy and so you elude that we have an adequate system if we Americans would learn to conserve and stop wasting energy which is a totally different topic and has nothing to do with adequate capacity. That’s as stupid as saying you can drive an SUV as long as you only drive to work 3 days a week. Conservation doesn’t improve MPG, just consumption. Just as conservation doesn’t improve our grid capacity. So as it would happen more EVs will be bought used and charged at home and no one will change their usage habits until the grid goes down for the many reasons you mentioned but including usage. So your idiotic answer to the problem is everyone tighten their belts and learn to do without rather than fix the problem. I truly hope you are not in any public office that would support such a total lack of problem solving and put the problem back on the public. Amazing.

  30. FSTFWRD Says:

    Larry D. Says: “Grid power is more than adequate”

    How do you explain the “Rolling Brownouts” and “Rolling Blackouts” in So Cal? Marketing? I don’t think so.

    Will people with EV’s just drive/charge in the middle of the night when the grid is less busy?

    Just wondering