AD #2678 – Renault ZOE Gets Range Increase, EPA Takes Aim at California, GM Offers Workers Minor Wage Increase

September 18th, 2019 at 11:38am

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Runtime: 6:34

0:30 GM Electric Truck Planned for Detroit Plant
0:55 UAW Medical Benefits Cut During Strike
1:35 GM Offers Workers Minor Wage Increase
2:20 Toyota Installs Fuel Cell Generator at Plant
3:30 Renault ZOE Gets Range Increase
4:33 European Car Sales Drop
5:06 EPA Takes Aim at California

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74 Comments to “AD #2678 – Renault ZOE Gets Range Increase, EPA Takes Aim at California, GM Offers Workers Minor Wage Increase”

  1. Larry D. Says:

  2. Bradley A Says:

    This is the amount from the pay check.
    “UAW members kick in about 3% of their paycheck for medical insurance.

    Did GM want employees to pay 15% of the total cost, or use 15% of their paycheck towards medical costs??
    GM wanted to raise that to 15%.”

    This is probably the percent of the medical cost payed by the average worker.
    “Most American workers pay about 29%”

  3. Larry D. Says:

    2 15% of their paycheck, as with the 3%

  4. Larry D. Says:

  5. Larry D. Says:

    4 thst’s very interesting, if the price is right, I can get a boxster for the summer home, will pay $0 license fees, and will do all the weekly driving on cheap electricity!

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s interesting how Trump and Republicans in general are so supportive of states’ rights, for things like denying abortion access, but not so supportive in a state’s right to have cleaner air.

  7. lambo2015 Says:

    So who is asking for these electric trucks? Is there really a market or is everyone just building them in hopes that they will sell? Hopefully GM will release a design that is very flexible and can be offered in a truck, van, 2 door and 4 door configurations.

    Renault Zoe; they increased range but its still a $16,000 car they want $27,000 for because its an EV. PASS.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    6 Why would it be, maybe because abortion is NOT A “choice’ but MURDER of the innocents?

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4,5 Before Porsche goes too overboard with make everything except the 911 battery electric, they need to have charging stations. Yeah, most Porsche owners probably live in fancy houses with attached garages, where they can install chargers at home, but some of them, in fact a lot of them, use the cars to actually go places. This is true, even with Caymans and Boxters.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    6 Having different states have different standards is economic SUICIDE, especially for the automakers, but also the consumers and the US econ as a whole.

    And even if CA has its own standards, all the millions of tourists and other out of staters who have business there will continue to pollute it.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 I will not need charging stations, I will have 100% of my Boxster charging done at home overnight, and not even using a fast charger, just the regular outlet. The round trip plus is never more than 60 miles, 80 tops.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 There are many other examples. That’s just the one that’s in the news the most. As far as murder of innocents, more state performed executions are murder of innocents, than George W. Bush and others would want to admit.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 CA has had their standards for decades, and other states have joined them. The auto makers are dealing with it just fine.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 I’d think there would be a market for electric trucks for local use by businesses, if they have enough range for a day’s use, and can be charged overnight at their “depot.” As far as regular customers, it would depend on the price. An electric one would work for most pickup owners I know. They could charge them at home, and they rarely use them for long trips. I most cases, they have another vehicle.

    Still, the pickup drivers I know wouldn’t want to pay $80K, rather than the $45K they are paying now.

  15. Gary Susie Says:

    Instead of saying that the UAW workers should pay more insurance cost why don’t we say the rest of the country should be brought up to the UAW standard.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    7 “So who is asking for these electric trucks? Is there really a market or is everyone just building them in hopes that they will sell? ”

    I have often asked if all these EV Pickup makers and mindless investors who throw billions of $ out the window, if they had ever done a market survey and how many serious (ie existing owners) pickup buyers would give a rat’s behind for the goofy looking RIvian (which should cost a pretty penny too, judging from its HUGE batteries alone), and so far I have got NO answer, so I assume it is wishful thinking on their part.

    These plants have huge capacities and I don’t see more than a few 1000 of these EV pickups sold, if any.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 …or brought up to the standard I have by virtue of being old, with Medicare for all.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    This Zoe would not fly in the US but in Europe it is different, and depending on tax credits, no license fees, no fees to enter city centers, easy to parallel park etc, it may do OK there.

    There was an earlier Zoe, much smaller, a city EV, did not even have doors/sides, with a much smaller range, at about half that price, which did sell a few units. (“Zoe City Car” in 2005)

  19. Albemarle Says:

    17 Wasn’t that car the Twizzy? I think it’s still being made. Saw an interesting video about the great Stirling Moss using one to get around London. Looked like fun in a tight city environment.

  20. Denis Tomassi Says:

    GM worker wage should be 10% of what Mary Barra was compensated this year…..

  21. Larry D. Says:

    19 The name does ring a bell.

  22. cwolf Says:

    I expect the UAW will try to do away with annual bonuses in exchange for higher wages given the fact that EV’s are not profitable.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18,19 The Zoe is about the size of a Honda Fit, about 160 inches long. It would make a good city car, but like some other EVs, it probably will be significantly pricer than a similar ICE car.

  24. cwolf Says:

    I had to look up what a Twizy was. I saw one last week. This one had a small flat bed on the back. I always thought these things were gussied-up golf carts!

  25. XA351GT Says:

    Maybe what GM should have offered was you can continue to pay 3% for your medical IF , you are a non- smoker, non- drinker , can pass a mandatory monthly drug exam and are not obese. I can understand why companies don’t want to pay for their employees bad habits. Physically fit people shouldn’t have to pay their co-workers either.

  26. lambo2015 Says:

    22 I think GM wants exactly the opposite. They do not want to raise their fixed labor cost (which is already an industry leader) in preparation of the next downturn, but offer bonuses that are profit based. So when the company is doing well everyone gets a good bonus. An effort to keep labor rates in check but still share in the wealth when the company is making money. Seems like a fair offer.

  27. cwolf Says:

    26 yur right, lambo. Thants going to be a sticking point. Profit shares won’t exist as long as more and more $ is spent on EV’s. The truck plants may benefit for awhile.

  28. lambo2015 Says:

    Hope UAW settles soon as the plant I work in has been 85% idle since Monday. We have some Ford business that is keeping one line running but its real quiet for a manufacturing floor.

  29. cwolf Says:

    I hear you!
    I remember when my plant was going through the same experience. Not sure how it worked, but my plant, at times, would offer so many tradesmen to take a few week layoff. Us ol’timers used to jump on it in a heart beat! We had weeks off with unemployment pay. It was like a paid vacation. Not certain, but I believe we received about 80% of our wages.
    Your place never does this?

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Yeah, the companies have always liked giving lump sum “bonuses” with a a contract rather than increasing base pay, so the starting point will be lower when negotiations begin for the next contract in 3-4 years.

  31. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    The air is clean enough, cares don’t pollute like they did years ago, if people would stay at home and watch ballgames on tv instead of driving to see them it would save lots of gas and not burn fossil fuels

  32. Bob Wilson Says:

    In the 1980s, there were California and non standard cars. It has been done before so do it again. Better still, tag fees tied to the ratio of EV vs regular cars in non-CARB states.

    Call it the polluters tax for bad air.

    Bob Wilson

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Some states, like Indiana, now charge more to register EVs because of lost gas tax, never mind that things are a lot more complex than that.

  34. cwolf Says:

    EV’s cost too much, are often taxed unfairly, lack of structure and hook up compatibility, just to name a few.
    Is it really that necessary to move ahead so fast without having thought out the whole picture? Heck, most people don’t even know what EV’s are and don’t even care nor want one.

  35. cwolf Says:

    To better correlate my views on the rush towards EV’s is like having a huge electrical fire and everyone is trying to use water to put it out. Just adds more chaos.

  36. Ctech Says:

    I am not against electric trucks, I think they may make more sense in some applications than gas and diesel small trucks. The demand is questionable. A cautionary tale is Smith trucks

  37. Ctech Says:

    Sorry that should be

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 That was interesting. I’d heard of them, barely. I’d never seen anything like their milk wagon of the ’50s. I remember having milk delivery when I was very young, but I think the trucks were standard Divco, or similar.

    While electric trucks should be good for local use in urban area, the Smith ones were probably too slow, and too short range, even for that type of use, and were probably already expensive, with a 120 kWh battery in the Newton. While the milk wagons would have used lead-acid batteries, the Newton and the modified Ford vans used lithium batteries. Maybe something today’s electric truck makers could learn from Smith’s, is that 50 mph top speed is too slow, and 100 mile max range, probably without heat or A/C, is probably too short. To increase those numbers substantially for a BEV big box on wheels is still expensive.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    Ι΄m sure this will make the day of “Joe”, Cwolf, and all the other BEV afficionados here.

  40. cwolf Says:

    I don’t get your point.
    There isn’t a person here who doesn’t appreciate safe vehicles of any type or make.
    Not only that, we “aficionados” also know that ICE vehicles catch fire much more frequently than battery powered vehicles, despite all the attention Tesla has gotten.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    25 That’s a BIG issue. Like in most other areas, same in health care, the innocent pay for the guilty. If you have a hereditary disease, that’s fine. But if you are irresponsible and don’t know (and don’t want) to eat healthy and exercise and not smoke and drink only 1-2 drinks a day for males and 1 for females, then your company should NOT be responsible for your health troubles, sure not 100%, you should cough up a huge co-pay, and if you have to do that, you will see the behavior of most workers change REAL FAST to healthy living.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    41 and I forgot to add doing illegal or (in most cases) legal drugs and opioids, which has become a huge deal costing the economy hundreds of billions of $, and even the penalty of that one opioid company alone, recently in the news (legal settlement) was $12 billion.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    40 what is this with the fires? I have never ever seen any vehicle catch fire, ICE or BEV, except in these dishonest phony investigative reporting shows, NBC was caught with its pants down having rigged a pickup truck with explosives to make it catch fire in the video.

    That’s also exactly what they do in action movies, the cars and trucks that fall off cliffs virtually NEVER catch fire, but when you make a fairytale action movie, you want the kids to enjoy it, so you fake a fire there too.

  44. cwolf Says:

    And just to get your blood boiling this morning Larry, let me just say the head light safety issue is rather moot…yep.
    Bolt owners never go out at night because they know their car is inferior to the Tesla. The Bolt doesn’t even need them because the drivers are too busy texting behind the wheel anyway…
    Whilest the Tesla driver just falls asleep!!

  45. cwolf Says:

    There are about 150+ gas fires/day according to FEMA

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 You think so? A lot of behaviors are hard to change. I’ve known many people who have tried to lose weight, tried to quit smoking, etc., and have found those things very difficult to do. I drink more alcohol than I really should, and I might have a hard time changing that.

    Along those lines, didn’t Henry Ford attempt “lifestyle enforcement,” maybe in the 1920s?

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I’ve seen two car fires over the years, one spontaneous, and one the result of a crash. One that made the news in a big way in Indianapolis a couple years ago was a Tesla S that hit a tree or something at high speed, and scattered burning debris over a hundred feet or more. I never heard if they determined how fast the car was going, but I suspect very fast.

  48. lambo2015 Says:

    36 & 38 That was kind of my point was you notice those trucks are small delivery type trucks. Which I can see being very useful for inner city use. Lots of conventional vans are used to make deliveries within major cities where a box truck or semi is too difficult to maneuver and has way too much capacity for what is actually being dropped off. EV trucks for Fed Ex, UPS, Post office and many other inner city delivery and transport make sense. My fear is GM will try and basically build a Silverado EV and it will sell as well as the Volt did. I mean I can see places like Home Depot where you can rent their truck for like $20 an hour if you buy something that wont fit in your trunk. You don’t own a truck but need one for a single delivery. I could see an EV being a great option. Probably wont need a huge range and sits at the store most of the time and at least every night. Maintaining a gas engine and the fuel no longer is a problem. I just don’t see there being a huge market for a EV truck

  49. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’ve experienced a car fire. ’68 GTO (happened quite a while ago); it was a glorious sight, flames approximately 20 feet into the air. The only reason for my cavalier explanation is because it happened so long ago and I’m still trying to let it go (in my head). It was somewhat traumatizing.

    As far as electric (and autonomy) in vehicles, I believe that they should go commercial first, and when the public says, “hey, I want one of those”, and they say that in volume, then that’s when they will take hold, sans incentives. We’re seeing a little of that (but still slow adaption).

  50. cwolf Says:

    47) There is no clear data, but someone estimated there is about one Model S fire /day world wide, but that was with early models.
    Battery fires are much hotter are they not? Also, chemical fires from batteries are another issue. Isn’t the best way to handle these is to smother them? I think many First Responders have special training to deal with various types of fires. But, I for one as a helping by-stander, would be reluctant to help. Getting someone out of their car would be my only concern. I’d be afraid of getting a shock that could kill me.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    46 I think so because I saw what happened in May 2008, when gas prices passed $4 and hit $4.50 for the first time ever, and when I looked at the May US sales data, the perennial No 1 F 150 plummeted to not just 2nd but FIFTH place, the No 1 best seller was the Civic, then the COrolla, then the Camry and then the Accord, if I remember well, and for sure the F 150 was FIFTH!

    So consumers do react, or even overreact in this case, since the spike would be temporary as oil price spikes always are, and next month the markets returned to normal.

    But in the case of health, these incentives and disincentives will be permanent, and I sure expect people, with the exception of addicts, who need more help, to change their behavior substantially.

  52. lambo2015 Says:

    Car fires are rare and sensationalized on TV and in movies. They always burst into flames for affect just like during a car chase and one rear ends a parked car and flips. Which would only happen with the use of a ramp. But it makes for an exciting chase scene.
    I have actually attended crash tests for fuel systems and cars are rear ended at 50 mph knocked out into the parking lot where they are then picked up by a fork lift flipped upside down and monitored for leaking fuel, which none is allowed. The same test is conducted with a side collision directly into the fuel filler door. Plus vehicles are equipped with fuel shutoff systems to prevent leaks from damaged lines. 150 fires a year is probably not even one half a percent of all crashes and more than likely involve unusual circumstances.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    46 ” A lot of behaviors are hard to change. I’ve known many people who have tried to lose weight, tried to quit smoking, etc., and have found those things very difficult to do.”

    What incentives or disicentives did they have? I bet they were not strong enough.

    “I drink more alcohol than I really should, and I might have a hard time changing that.”

    If your alcoholic drink cost $1,000 a liter instead of $10 or even $100, even if you wanted to, you just could not afford to consume as much.

    I noticed in myself with the gas price, when gas was cheap I used to do many more miles, when I had the time to do them. When it hit $4.50, I kept driving the 740 which got barely 10 MPG in the winter, 100% city driving, short trips, cold starts, but I made every effort to combine my shopping trips, omitting unnecessary trips, and even walking to work that 1 mile if it wasn’t raining.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    “Along those lines, didn’t Henry Ford attempt “lifestyle enforcement,” maybe in the 1920s?”

    HAven’t heard of it but wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t need enforcement if the price is right, people, esp in the US, are economic animals and react predictably to incentives and disincentives. No need to limit their freedoms to get them to do the right thing.

  55. lambo2015 Says:

    53 All very true but its also relative. What gas increase just curbs your driving habits might put another person in serious financial trouble. Another person might need to see $20 a gallon before they would change what they drive or how. Same for living healthy. Financial incentives are not always the answer. Right now the incentive it to eat unhealthy. Healthy food is more expensive while junk food, processed meats and items loaded with chemicals always seem to be convenient, cheap and have longer shelf life due to preservatives.
    Also on the flip side of that some people smoke their whole life and never have a health related issue from the smoking. They would argue why should they pay anything more for the same coverage? You could be a healthy eater who regularly jogs but gets cancer. Yeah percentage wise you can say those unhealthy habits tend to increase your odds. Same goes for car insurance and how get a speeding ticket and they raise your rates. Which makes me mad as I have had more than my share of tickets yet have never been involved in an accident that was my fault. My only accident was I was stopped at a red light when a drunk driver rear ended me. But many people on the road that shouldn’t be pay a lower rate because I speed sometimes.

  56. cwolf Says:

    At a glance, it seems logical and appropriate to charge higher co-pays to those living an unhealthy life style. But would this really establish lower/fairer over-all health care costs? Wouldn’t this, more or less, require the insurer to write an individual policy for each and every person? I would expect the added manpower, overhead and time required would substantially increase co-pays, even for the very healthy.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54 This article describes it, details starting about 1/3 of the way down.

  58. cwolf Says:

    These are some good issues and thoughts being shared this morning. Maybe good enough for Autoline to look into. Would add a twist to the usual stuff.

  59. Larry D. Says:

    “What gas increase just curbs your driving habits might put another person in serious financial trouble.”

    They don’t have to. They can downsize, get an econobox and not a huge 8 mpg superduty, use mass transit etc.

  60. Larry D. Says:

    55 Just because some people get lucky and live 94 years, like my father did, although he smoked more than a pack a day until he was 67 (and then finally I ridiculed (I called the cigarette a “pacifier”) and scared him into quitting), so what? Should they be rewarded for their irresponsible lifestyle which harms their own family as second hand smoke first of all, and their coworkers and friends that are around them? This makes no sense.

    There is always luck, and lack thereof in other people who eat very healthy and are very fit (like my mother always was, and instead of burying all of us, as we joked, and live to 105, died at only 86), but they get a nasty cancer or aneuyrism, through no fault of their own, and drop dead.

  61. Larry D. Says:

    And re tickets, I have sped like hell in the 740 on highway trips, three digit speeds on cruise or not, and never got a ticket, but I did get one around town when I was in a rush and accelerated hard and in no time I was doing 60 in a 30 zone. The cop was ‘nice’ and wrote it as 35 MPH, but tickets here start at 140 and only go $10 higher for 5 extra MPH over the limit, so he only gave me a 20% discount.

    I am more pissed up at tickets given at stop signs, they are just as expensive as speeding tickets, and after paying one or two over the years, I DID modify my behavior, as much as I hate to wear the brakes and come to a full stop and waste time and energy, I now obey them religiously.

  62. cwolf Says:

    59) The less fortunate can’t afford to down size nor do they own a newer car (there is always 1). Most drive an older used car/a clunker that’s affordable to them without the option to be picky about mpg’s and emission concerns. Mass transit may not exist or realistic.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 Yeah, if what I usually drink, craft beer and cheap wine cost even $100/liter, I would drink less. Also, I might get into home brewing.

    As far as gas prices, they would have to get pretty high before it would affect my driving much. I already have an efficient car, and another which is fairly efficient, considering what it is.

    I was always mystified at how a few times, like in 2008, a number of people would trade their gas hogs on more efficient vehicles, losing huge amounts of money, when gas prices would spike. Everyone should know that gas prices constantly fluctuate, and that they can buy a lot of $4 gas for the $15K they lost on their one year old gas hog.

  64. Larry D. Says:

    62 oh yes they do. Used econoboxes are a dime a dozen. What the poor cannot afford are the STUPID pickups they buy when they drive 20,000 miles a year, and do not need.

  65. lambo2015 Says:

    59 So at a factory that is in a rural area where there is no mass transit. Many of the workers are young kids just starting out. They drive a hand-me-down cars they might have bought in high-school. They are making like $12 to $16 an hour. So maybe $500 a week before taxes. They have enough to pay their rent and utilities, groceries and put gas in the car. They are days away from going under during a strike like right now and if gas would go to $4 a gallon they have a choice to go to work and eat Ramen every night or maybe find someone to carpool with. I know you have never been that poor Larry but many Americans are and when people just say raise a tax or charge more they have no idea how it might affect those folks. They cant even imagine trying to buy a more efficient car. they’re happy if they can just keep the one they have running.

  66. Larry D. Says:

    63 could be panic buying. But i never saw such a big change in the top 5 as in May 2008.

    “they can buy a lot of $4 gas for the $15K they lost on their one year old gas hog.”

    That’s an argument against buying a hybrid or BEV

  67. Larry D. Says:

    65 come on., Corollas last forever and CIvics are pretty good too. a 10-15 year old one of these is $1-2 grand. Give me a break. #Everybody can afford them, AND they get 45 MPG Highway!

  68. lambo2015 Says:

    64 Your comment just shows how out of touch you really are. You should really try and live on $1200 a month and see if you feel stupid cause you are driving the old used farm truck your dad gave you because you cant afford another car. Not because you want a truck or like the amount of gas it uses but it was free. See you have no idea what being poor is like. Being able to go buy a 12 pack on Friday night is a luxury to some people.

  69. Larry D. Says:


  70. Larry D. Says:

    69 OFF, not OF.

    68 you should live OVERSEAS, even in EUROPE, EUROZONE nations where a POOR AMewrican is a RICH man there. No time to educate you more, got a job to do.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    66 It’s more an argument against selling a nearly new vehicle at a huge loss, when it will be worth $5000 more in two months.

    Buying a hybrid or BEV when gas is cheap is more of a far sighted thing.

  72. lambo2015 Says:

    69 Its certainly not a stupid high horse I’m on Larry. Its called awareness and concern for those less fortunate. And sounds like your whole life of that silver spoon you’ve had has not allowed you to expeience real struggles. Seems your the one that is being educated. Oh wait you would actually have to listen to someone for you to grasp anything. Nevermind!

    Its not a matter of how a poor person in America is compared to Europe either. Which again is just another way you deflect the conversation when you are wrong, by going off topic. The subject at hand here is many people live check to check and they cant set aside money for a savings let alone $1200 for a used up civic. Their priorities are food and bills not buying a more efficient car to drive. In fact many already are driving old used 4cyl cars that are cheap on gas and still would be hurt by a doubling of gas prices. Be thankful you have never lived that way.

  73. Brett Cammack Says:

    72 I am anticipating the channeling of the Duke of Wellington who once stated that public railways would simply allow the underclasses to move about needlessly.

  74. lambo2015 Says:

    73 He is obviously clueless and so far removed from people that really struggle day to day. Again more proof that wealth and intelligence are not mutually inclusive.