AD #2780 – Automakers Hit Hardest by Coronavirus; Polestar Reveals Precept Concept; Wireless Charging Breakthrough

February 25th, 2020 at 11:44am

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Listen to “AD #2780 – Automakers Hit Hardest by Coronavirus; Polestar Reveals Precept Concept; Wireless Charging Breakthrough” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:30

0:23 Automakers Hit Hardest by Coronavirus
1:43 Polestar Reveals Electric Precept Concept
2:37 Renault Twingo Gets First EV Powertrain
3:20 Mercedes Winter Testing Electric EQA Crossover
3:53 BMW Teases Electric i4
4:08 WiTricity Makes Wireless Charging Breakthrough
6:05 Volkswagen Touareg Gets Plug-In Powertrain
6:44 Audi A3 Using Material Made from Recycled Bottles
7:34 Nissan Updates Roox Minivehicle

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32 Comments to “AD #2780 – Automakers Hit Hardest by Coronavirus; Polestar Reveals Precept Concept; Wireless Charging Breakthrough”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    A. “Mercedes and BMW, which sell twice as many cars in China as in the U.S.”

    This is AMAZING. I saw a ton of them in China every time I visited, but would not have guessed. This is for all those who cluelessly in the past thought that cars in China are all crappy Kias and 30 year old VW passats.

    B. “do vehicles like this make anyone else miss the first generation Scion xB?”

    Absolutely not. I have ridden in xB’s sister, the tinny xA, for a 4 hour drive to Columbus to pick up my 2nd E back in April 2008, and it was a truly LOUSY vehicle, the slightest wind made you believe the tinny little car will fly off the road. No car felt as unsafe to me EVER.

    C. Renault Twingo BEV. If the price was below $20k, I could use this overseas, due to its diminutive size and adequate range (my round trip from my summer place to downtown is less 60 miles), and will be a breeze to park in the narrow downtown streets, BUT its LOUSY interior, especially these accursed FAUX aluminum silver color plastics on the dash, are a BIG turn-off.

    D. Polestar. Ask me if i care, Volvo-Geely.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Wireless charging, the ultimate technology for the very lazy. WiTricity claims their wireless charging will be as efficient as connecting the car with a wire. I’m not convinced.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sorry Sean but I never found the Sion xB nor do I find that Roox attractive. They look like small boxes on little wheels. To each their own!

    I don’t think Witricity is on the leading edge as I’m pretty sure AD showed this exact concept a good year or so ago. I remember the same comment I made back then which was I wonder how anyones feline friends will fare if they decide to crawl under the car during charging?

  4. ChuckGrenci Says:

    2, Kit, wireless charging. 91 to 93 percent efficiency; I wonder if they are massaging the numbers or they really came up with a technology this efficient. I would think just the conversion of a/c to d/c would lose efficiency (before the induction loss comes to effect). Hope I’m wrong and they are not just finagling their calculations.

    1B, Larry, I’m in your court.
    Xb, not a fan either; of all the box vehicles, I liked the Honda Element the best.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Hopefully Polestar decides to change mustard yellow seatbelts out of what is otherwise an attractive interior.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    2 I believe my e-toothbrush is charged by induction, been using them since 2005 or so. why couldn’t this be scaled up for a BEV?

    I looked at the link and googgled to find the price of that Renault BEV but found nothing. Its 250 km claimed range they say is really 180 km city, which is more than 110 miles. Since I will be using this in the summer, or from April to October at most, when temps are quite high, I would expect much more than 90 mi range. (I just need 60 anyway).

  7. Larry D. Says:

    1 correction, it was a 2008 E, I picked it up in April 2017, not 2008.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    8 did you even read my post????

    FOr VERY important reasons, such as PRICE ($20k or less, NOT $40 and $60 k a 3 costs!) AND SIZE, it would be ideal to drive downtown when the E is a HUGE vehicle to drive around the narrow double-parked streets. I would KEEP my 2008 E.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    8 and first of all, I have said a zillion times I would ONLY consider a Tesla S. You are confusing me with Bob WIlson.

  10. Bob Wilson Says:

    I understand there is a slightly used, Model X available for about $30k (see link.)

  11. Larry D. Says:

    11 Thanks, but I am not in the least interested in the Model X, the Model Y, or the Model 3. I have said many times here, IF I ever buy a Tesla, it will be a Model S. Probably a high-end performance version, which you can get used for less than $35k (2013-15 models)

  12. Tim Beaumont Says:

    Like the hair cut and trim! Was looking a bit scruffy yesterday. Keep up the good work.
    Regards, Tim Beaumont

  13. Brett Cammack Says:

    I heard them mention 80 kilohertz and that would be pretty darned efficient, particularly if they can fine tune the energy output via PWM (pulse width modulation).

    My first career job was with a company that perfected the commercial application of the switcher power supply that is the standard today. If they still used the old-fashioned linear power supply, your computer would way about 150 pounds.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 My thoughts exactly about the probably loss with all that converting, and induction loss, as opposed to just taking what comes out of the wall, and rectifying it to charge the batteries. I’m sure we’ll hear more about actual efficiency of such systems, beyond mfg’s claims, at some point.

    I kind of the miss the first generation xB, but the Kia Soul is sort of a replacement for the automotive landscape. I wouldn’t buy either one, though.

    6 Your inductively charged tooth brush would be wasting a few watt-hours of juice a year, while charging a car that way would probably waste a few kilowatt hours a week, if the car is used and charged regularly. My phone has wireless charging capability, and I rarely use it, because it makes the phone get much hotter, not good for the phone, even if you don’t care about the wasted energy.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 The high frequency would greatly decrease the size of the elements needed to transfer the power to the car, but efficiency? There would be loss in the transfer, and in the electronics needed to get the 80 kHz power.

  16. Lambo2015 Says:

    15 Not a question of being able to read its a question of discerning what is worth reading, and the clue I have, is that most of what you post isn’t worth reading.
    Comprehension isn’t your strong point. I was not comparing the Renault to the model 3. It was actually about if you were going to buy an EV it just seemed a Tesla would be the obvious choice after gushing on Elon for so long.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 My thoughts on the used Model X. I posted this earlier this morning in comments for yesterday’s show, so it may be redundant for some of you.

    That was interesting. It appears that they have a very good “secret warranty,” replacing many thousands of dollars of high voltage battery and rear drive unit for free, at over 300K miles. It said the battery may have had unlimited mileage warranty at that time, with no mention of degradation, rather than the current 8 year, 150K mile warranty, with retention needed to be below 70% for the warranty to kick in.

    I was surprised that the 12 volt batteries lasted only about a year. They must not do a very good job of keeping those batteries at near full charge. They should last at least 5 years. I’m assuming the 12v battery is lead-acid, but it should last a lot longer than a year, whatever it is. I was not surprised about the trim related things. That has never been a strong point with Tesla, and using the car as a taxi wouldn’t help.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    17 The problem with secret warranties is only the people who know get to take advantage of such a warranty. Would certainly create some upset customers to find out they paid for repairs tat others did not.

  19. GM Veteran Says:

    1 – Have never understood your anti-Volvo stance. In 2019, Volvo sold 705,452 vehicles worldwide and made a profit doing so. Tesla sold 367,500 vehicles worldwide in 2019, according to their website, and did not do so profitably. Seems as though Geely is doing a good job managing the Volvo brand and leveraging their engineering expertise. Unless the styling is off-putting, what’s not to like?

  20. cwolf Says:

    19). I like The Volvo wagon but would never buy one.
    The reason; The Chinese are part owners.

  21. Brett Cammack Says:


    Very little loss using power MosFETs. We only saw the layout of the receiving side of the system and it was bigger than a cookie sheet, by the look of it. The coils on the sending side are probably finer an far more numerous.

    We also don’t know if they’re doing anything exotic to contain and focus the magnetic field straight up towards the receiving panel.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Yeah, I’d think the focus/positioning would be very important to keep efficiency up. Maybe they would use some kind of channel things to exactly position the tires when you park to charge.

  23. cwolf Says:

    Trying to view the bigger picture, I hear Tesla is making a greater effort to sell their batteries to others. This is an indicator of two things; First, Despite Tesla growth, battery production exceeds their own car/ semi needs. Second, it indicates they need capital. Selling stock and credits are not enough to offset the huge expenditures they took upon themselves.
    If I had to guess, I think Tesla will be selling more of its product and technology to increase revenues. While Tesla keeps loosing $, others are waiting until EVs become profitable, then they will give Tesla enough competition to make their heads spin. They can massage the mpg’s to keep swaying buyers but other manufactures aim is to beat them on price. And they will because most all others are profitable and Tesla isn’t!!!!!

  24. Andrew Bellis Says:

    At my house survey says:

    1) He looks better with a haircut.
    2) Jury is still out on the beard.

  25. michigan miniac Says:

    I thought EXACTLY the same thing when I saw that little Nissan box. I missed my 2003 xB so much I just purchased a used one recently and really enjoy driving that brave little toaster fast. My wife thinks I’m crazy (she drives a Cadiillac), but I am having so much fun it should be illegal!It’s true what they say – it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow ;)

  26. Larry D. Says:

    Careless auto writers call this small hatch the size of a Golf, the VW id3, with an “under €30,000” price tag which has a 45kWh battery and offers 330 kilometers, or 205 miles of range (which means an EPA 150 mile range tops, 100 in winter), a “Model 3 Fighter” aiming for ‘mass market’ like the Model 3 has already achieved, even though the Model 3 is much BIGGER, 1-2 sizes bigger, and $10k more expensive, and VASTLY superior in performance.

    Anyway, this alleged Model 3 fighter is in deep doodoo, and VW has 10,000 technicians trying to fix its problems, as the link sez.

    PS this GOlf sized hatch with the puny battery and range, IF it sells for under 30,000 EUROS ($35,000) in Germany, it might do ok, but in the US, forget it. People will NOT pay $35k for a hatch that is inferior even to the failed BOLT and its far bigger battery and Range.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 It looks like VW has a major problem there.

    As far as the Model 3 being 1-2 sizes bigger, some people care more about how big a car is inside, than outside, especially in places outside the US. That VW may have as much cabin room as a Model 3. A Bolt does.

    If the VW is $35K equivalent, including VAT, it would be mid 20s without VAT a decent price. They need to get things fixed, though.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    25 This is really boring. You have tried many times, using one out of 100 different statistics, to pretend that a hatch is the same size as a car that is actually bigger than the 3 Series. You are in DEEP DENIAL.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    26 Car size groups differ usually by less than 6″. My E class is only 4″ shorter than the regular length version 7 series I had before. The Model 3 is a foot or more longer than the GOlf.

    ALso, the Golf is the size of an A3 (a clone really) which is one size smaller than the A4, which is a 3 Series segment car. The Model 3 is bigger than even the 3 and the A4, and, as I CORRECTLY stated, MUCH bigger than the VW id3 Golf-sized BEV.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Yes, you have a “size” fetish of some sort, but to many people, especially in Europe, Japan, and some other places, cabin space is what matters, more than length.


    Kit, I think that wireless charging is far more important than just allowing someone to be lazy. For instance, wireless chargers for street parking. This would allow users in urban apartment situations to charge their car overnight without fear of vandalism by a passerby on the sidewalk. It thusly allows BEV market access to people who otherwise would of had no reasonable options.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 Yeah, true. I’m hoping I’ll be proven wrong, and wireless charging can be done efficiently.