AD #2602 – Subsidies Fuel EV Sales, Why Consolidation Hasn’t Occurred in China, Back Seat Reminder Mandate Proposed

May 24th, 2019 at 12:07pm

Audio-only version:

Listen to “AD #2602 – Subsidies Fuel EV Sales, Why Consolidation Hasn’t Occurred in China, Back Seat Reminder Mandate Proposed” on Spreaker.

Follow us on social media:

Instagram Twitter Facebook


Runtime: 10:34

1:03 Back Seat Reminder Mandate Proposed
1:47 EV Sales Fueled by Government Subsidies
3:22 Why Consolidation Hasn’t Occurred in China
6:02 GM Autonomous Vehicle Feedback
6:40 2nd Leg of Buick Regal GS Road Trip

Visit our sponsor to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone.

»Subscribe to Podcast |

5661 rss-logo-png-image-68050 stitcher-icon youtube-logo-icon-65475

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website:

39 Comments to “AD #2602 – Subsidies Fuel EV Sales, Why Consolidation Hasn’t Occurred in China, Back Seat Reminder Mandate Proposed”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    On GMs attempt to get an exemption on their AVs to operate on public roads with no steering wheels and pedals; I just have to ask WHY? I’m not sure what information they could possibly gain in a vehicle without a steering wheel that they couldn’t gather with one with one.
    The only advantages I can fathom is, if they do have an accident their is not driver to blame for not taking control like with the UBER AV and it will go a long way toward giving the public an example that might gain some trust in the technology if it works perfectly.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    The problem with mandating the back seat reminder is it becomes mundane. Having driven a rental with this feature at first I was like why is the car still dinging and then I saw the message on the dash. By the second day I don’t even remember it going off. Its like living near an airport or RR tracks. After a while it just becomes ambient noise.
    If they really want it to be affective they should provide about 40 different chimes that each time the car is shut off it rotates to the next one so it takes 40 times before you hear the same chime. It also should be able to be disabled for those that do not have little ones.

    Todays report on EVs again emphasises that the sales numbers of EVs are falsely inflated by subsidies. Not debating if its the right thing to do but saying without help the sales will and are falling. The technology is very obviously available but that doesn’t mean its affordable. Without help EVs may flatline.

  3. MJB Says:

    What a great find that Dwarf Car Museum was. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m still shaking my head at the thought of forming all those body panels from scratch and by hand. Incredible. This guy needs greater recognition.

  4. MJB Says:

    #2. So, wait a minute… Are you saying, Lambo2015, that the rear seat warning chime in the rental you had was a regular occurrence? I thought for certain it would be triggered by some sensor in the back seat letting the car know that someone was back there.

    Kinda like the front passenger seat in my ’06 LS430. The car has air vents in the center stack that automatically reciprocate side to side between driver and passenger. But when there’s no passenger in that seat, the system knows to reciprocate air only on the driver.

  5. bradley cross Says:

    Back seat reminder seams lame.
    Noticed the new RAV4 we test drove had the rear seatbelt reminder that is already in other countries.

    China can resolve their company issue by forcing them to merge given the control they have.

    Some subsidies are ok if part of a long term plan that benefits the majority of people. Hard to predict the EV tipping point in the US; I do like the quietness and lack of exhaust for EVs

  6. Albemarle Says:

    Operating cars without pedals and a steering wheel is like how my Uncle Bob taught his kids to swim. Throw them off the dock. Most swam and the one that didn’t he fished out, rested a bit and threw back in.
    Don’t know how this works with cars.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 I guess I misunderstand what the back seat reminder does. I thought it beeped if you got exited and walked away from the car with something like a kid in the back seat. Does it beep at you while driving, for some reason?

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 That’s “I thought it beeped if you exited and walked away from the car with something like a kid in the back seat.”

  9. Sean McElroy Says:

    @MJB – Not all back seat reminders operate in the same way. GM and, I think, Nissan both base it on the sequence in which you open and close doors. If you open a rear door and close it before the front is opened and closed, the reminder will go off when you stop the vehicle and shut it off. Hyundai has a system in the new Santa Fe that uses a motion sensor. If it detects movement and the vehicle is off it will beep, then blare the horn and then send a message to your smartphone. So, there is some difference.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I usually just read the transcript, but watched the video today, to see the dwarf cars. Amazing! How are there enough hours in a lifetime for him to pound out all of those body panels, especially curvy ones like the ~1951 Mercury?

  11. Drew Says:

    Conventional seat sensors can be too easily tricked by a child seat that is left in-place…. often empty. So, I believe Chevy’s rear seat monitor simply remembers that the rear door was opened prior to the start of the trip or sometime during the trip/key-on cycle. But why should I be nagged for leaving a sports duffle bag or briefcase back there? The frequency of “innocent/benign” rear usage versus failure mode usage (admittedly catastrophic) does not seem to warrant such a device. In the name of Customer Satisfaction, Chevy allows the customer to disable the feature. But if becomes regulated, I suspect the Nanny State will not allow it to be disabled.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    Are we as a society so stupidly distracted that we can forget our children are with us? When my kids were young and I have 3 that were all in car seats at the same time. I never once forgot that I had them with me. I know it sounds cold hearted but seriously where does it end?

    #4 The vehicle I drove,(I think a Hyundai Tucson) that had this feature dinged with each time I shut the vehicle off. I’m not sure what triggered it as I did keep my laptop on the backseat. I was by myself so the first time it went off I just chuckled to myself as I found it odd to be notified to check the rear seat. Like a horror movie and did the car know something I didn’t? :-)

  13. MJB Says:

    #12. Short answer…”Yes”

    You heard the stats of infant car deaths. Due to the absent-mindedness of the few, there have been just enough incidents to warrant a new mandate that impacts the many.

    Think back to the landmark, ‘shark-jump’ case of 1994 – Liebeck vs. McDonalds. When a 79-year old woman sued Mickey-D’s essentially because her coffee was too hot. AND SHE WON!! (still scratching head over that one…)

  14. MJB Says:

    I guess that McDonald’s lawsuit wasn’t all bad, because it wasn’t until after it that those ubiquitous ribbed cardboard cup holder sleeves got invented. You can’t buy a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea without one nowadays.

  15. merv Says:

    those dwarf cars are amazing,and thanks for sharing your road trip,great fun,enjoy the long weekend

  16. w l simpson Says:

    Re: back seat mandate—–as comedian Ron White often says—” You can’t fix stupid “

  17. buildmore2doors Says:

    I’d like to see all cars get rid of steering wheels and pedals and use a joy stick controller mounted either in the center console or in between the drivers legs like a helicopter uses instead, I’m tired of using 20th century controls for my 21st century vehicles. But then, I’m kooky that way…

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cars need phone jammers. That would save a love my lives than the “kid in back” warning.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s “lot more lives.” I need to turn off that predictive text thing, that comes up with weird stuff sometimes.

  20. Wine Geek Says:

    Reasonable governments that understand the dangers of global warming understand that an investment in alternative propulsion systems development as a potential way to keep its citizens alive and prospering on a long term basis.

    You might look back on the Apollo program that took us to the moon in the 60s as an example of valuable and worthwhile government investment to develop technologies.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 The Apollo program was certainly impressive at the time, as science fiction became reality. As far as going back 50 years later, I don’t see the point. It would create some jobs where I spends 2/3 of the year, though.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    “Dwarf” cars, or, more politically correctly, “Little people’s cars” roamed the roads of Europe all through the 50s and early 60s. There was a ton of them. BMW ISetta, Messerschmitt, even the original (NOT the bloated heavier and much larger current ones!) Fiat 500 and Mini were all “dwarf cars”. And there is no need to put a real auto engine in them, such as the Toyota engines this guy used, they usually had motorcycle engines, and not big ones either, 200-300 cc.

    I was too young to see many of the above in the flesh but I do remember BMW 700s, a car that pretended it was a real car but was actually quite small, narrow and short in both length and height, although looking like a real car.

    As for this guy who spent half his life making those cars, I assume he got a huge kick out of it, but because he made them himself with crude instruments, as a tourist, I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to visit his garage. I’d rather go to Jay Leno’s.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 I remember seeing an Isetta in regular use in Indiana, probably in the late ’50s. I don’t remember seeing any Fiat 500-600s in the US, but I have seen a few in regular use in Europe, as recently as probably the ’90s.

    While the original Mini was very small, ~120 inch length, it had a “real” car engine, the smallest being an 850 cc four cylinder of the same family as used in the rear drive Morris Minor. The original Mini had one “feature” of a Model T Ford, and many motorcycles; the engine and transmission used shared oil.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    Doing my weekly shopping at noon today, I parked next to a ‘dwarf pickup’, obviously it was not from the last two decades, very squarish and short in height, width and length, a Chevy (did not bother to look for the model name) but it had a dark green electric sort of custom paint job plus some white stripes or artwork on the sides.

    Yesterday I was behind a Toyota Hybrid RAV4. It looked good from the back, no crazy flares. The air smelled very unhealthy (I had the sunroof and some windows down), obviously not due to the RAV4, other cars near me included a Wrangler, a Prehistoric Rustbucket Geo Prizm Corolla Clone with a bad exhaust (maybe the culprit), or maybe it was my own fumes but I doubt it.

    The other day I saw my first Cruze Hatch or 5-door, from the back also, it looked too similar to a 5-door Focus, same proportions, sheetmetal, windows and probably dimensions too.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 The little Chevy badged pickup was probably an Isuzu, which Chevy called Luv.

    You mention Cruze and Focus hatch, which I like, and are both going away. I guess I didn’t help them, since I bought neither.

    I looked up the engines used in the Adams dwarf cars, and at least two of them used a 1300cc pushrod four used in some rear drive Corollas. I suspect the engine is physically small, and would be easy to use with the entire Toyota powertrain. Those engines might be hard to find in the US, though, last used nearly 50 years ago.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    25 Actually when I first saw the Cruze hatch from behind I thought it was one of these Hyundais (Veloster or whatever). Later I saw the back of the Focus hatch and it looked quite similar to the Chevy.

    Just checked the diesel prices again, and no change, very recent reading, 6 PM today, still $2.81 (or $2.16 for me) and $2.99 for regular. It’s hard to empty the 21 gallon tank, it is still more than 1/4 full and the range indicator sez 242 miles

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 I came close to buying a used FOcus Electric with very low miles and an asking price of $10k, as a second car for all but long trips, but upon examination of its Carfax noticed it had a serious defect and had to be taken back to the factory and fixed, and did not want to take the risk. Even its tiny winter range would be sufficient for most of my local driving here.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    “Ford indicated that a battery of an all-electric vehicle similar to that of the Focus Electric (which had a tiny 26 KWH battery!) weighs around 600 to 700 pounds and costs about US$12,000 to US$15,000, or between US$522 and US$650 a kilowatt-hour.[23] Researchers estimate that the production of the battery emits 140 kg CO2 per kWh of capacity.[24] The Focus Electric has a top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h)”

    That 84 MPH top speed would be ok around town but I would often reach it on the highway. The old Pontiac 2000 from 1983 did better than that, probably 95 or so.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like the Focus EV was not a very serious effort. CR got 10.2 seconds 0-60, and 75 miles range, as opposed to 6.8 seconds and 250 miles for the Chevy Bolt. I suspect they artificially limited the top speed of the Focus to 84, so it would have at least 25 miles or so of range in real world driving.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 I guess EVs aren’t so environmentally friendly after all, even beyond the source of electricity. Based on what you found about CO2 generated from battery production, making the small battery of the Focus EV would generate the same amount of CO2 as burning the gas to drive a Camry hybrid about 18,000 miles.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 Even if this is true, first, the source is Wikipedia, so one can’t use it as a reference in a tech paper (unless their ref is legit, and you use that one), second, it is 18k miles on the Camry Hybrid, not the Dodge Hellcat, and third, even then it is pretty good, really, if to make it you emit less than 20k miles on a 45 mpg car, when the average car does 200k miles lifetime, and this is equivalent to 400k miles on the Camry Hybrid.

    The Focus Electric was made until 2018, unbelievably. It started in 2011.

    EV deniers and skeptics should actually study the Focus Electric and compare it to today’s EVs, esp the Teslas. And realize what HUGE progress was made in just a few years.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 Yeah, true, and even making a big enough battery to have 200+ mile range would only generate CO2 equivalent to ~50K miles in a 45 mpg car, or 30K miles in a more typical vehicle.

    That Focus Electric was part of an attempt by Ford to be a “leader” in EVs and hybrids. From around 2011-2013, they introduced the Focus EV, the Fusion and C-Max hybrids, Fusion and C-Max plug-in hybrids, and maybe something I’ve forgotten.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, it’s impressive how little progress has been made in mainstream EVs in 20-some years. Motor Trend got 7.7 seconds 0-60 for a GM EV1. The car had about 75 mile range with lead-acid batteries. Replace those lead-acid batteries with today’s lithium batteries, and minor changes to the electronics to accommodate, and you get at least 250 miles range. Yeah, it’s a two seater, but still, performed impressively for a car from more than 20 years ago.

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 Yeah I’m not a big believer in conspiracy theory’s but there is no doubt companies will buy technology to bury it, if it could potentially hurt their bottom line. Many people have heard the folk tales of the guy that develops a 100+ MPG car only to have big oil buy the patent and the device never sees the light of day. Makes ya wonder if maybe big oil companies are still putting up roadblocks for EVs or has the technology really not improved that much? Same could be said for the MPG of a gas engine.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Except for batteries, EV powertrain technology is nearly mature, with motor efficiency near 90%, and the electronic controls efficient and reliable.

    An area where current EVs are far beyond the EV1 is packaging. The EV1 had the batteries in the back seat/trunk area, while today’s EVs have the batteries down low, in space that is largely wasted in ICE cars.

  36. XA351GT Says:

    I still find it amazing that they would have to put in a warning to check your back seat for your kids. They should be your most valuable asset. I really get irked when I hear the news tell people to put something important back there like their cell phone so they won’t forget the kids. Really? your phone is more important than your kids? I’m sorry ,but if you could possibly forget putting your kids in the car maybe you shouldn’t be driving one. Last time I checked they do still put rear view mirrors in the cars , right?

  37. XA351GT Says:

    #34 back in the 80s Roush had a Capri getting 60-75 MPG, I was on 20/20 or 60 minutes if I remember. Then you never heard about it again and Jack had the cash to open his NASCAR shop.

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    36 I couldn’t agree more and feel that a child who dies from being left in a car is probably better off than being raised by parents that need to be reminded that they have their baby with them. Remove all warning labels and weed out some of the dumb people.
    Of course I would never want to see someones baby die in what would be a horrible death. So I guess we need to do certain things to protect the dumb from themselves.

  39. Stephen Says:

    While making batteries will of course generate C02, so does fossil fuel and we know that mpg in a EV is ALOT better (range is another issue). Also C02 is dumped for free into the atmosphere and your taxes.national premiums etc will all rise to pay for whats dumped for free now.