AD #3062 – Does China Feel Threatened by Tesla?; BMW Aiming for Better/Cheaper EVs; 1st Ford Mostly Developed in China

April 20th, 2021 at 11:49am

ZF 468 x 60 driving intelligence March 29 2021

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Listen to “AD #3062 – Does China Feel Threatened by Tesla?; BMW Aiming for Better/Cheaper EVs; 1st Ford Mostly Developed in China” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:34

0:07 Chinese Government Complains About Tesla Safety
1:16 BMW Aiming for Better/Cheaper EVs
3:05 Israeli Startup Sees More Interest for EV Skateboard
3:58 Porsche Using Video Game Software to Train ADAS
4:43 ZF Introduces New AV Supercomputer
5:36 Schaeffler Bringing EV & Fuel Cell Tech to China
7:03 Maserati Shows Off Levante Hybrid
8:00 Mercedes Debuts 2nd-Gen Battery for Citaro Bus
8:41 EVOS is 1st Ford Developed Mostly in China

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26 Comments to “AD #3062 – Does China Feel Threatened by Tesla?; BMW Aiming for Better/Cheaper EVs; 1st Ford Mostly Developed in China”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean; Has anyone conducted a study to predict what would happen to many of the manufacturers like BMW, if the EV sales can not account for 1/2 of their sales by 2030? So many manufacturers are expecting to launch so many models and devote almost 1/2 of their manufacturing capability to EVs in less than 10 years. What happens when those sales don’t materialize?

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Maybe a few of the Chinese EV manufacturers are tired of competing with Tesla. I wonder how they see Tesla as not respecting their people or complying with local laws and regulations? Sounds like sour grapes to me, and in typical Chinese fashion they will protect local business even at the demise of Tesla or any outside companies. Unlike the US where we would sell our soles for the quick buck.

  3. victor west Says:

    Cost and ability to charge, along with the US power grid issues are a gigantic problem for the mass adoption of BEVs in the USA.

  4. rick Says:

    evos is 1st ford developed mostly in china, lincoln zephyr reflection, beautiful car.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Could the reactions with Tesla in China be partly tit-for-tat about the US banning Chinese companies like Huawei, and almost banning TikTok? I’m sure protection of the local car companies is part of what is going on, but I’d think it might be deeper.

  6. Roger Blose Says:

    It will not be too long before Ford / Lincoln begins shipping sedans from China to be sold here. The car concepts look great and would sell well to sedan buyers. Let’s hope that Jim Farley wakes up and returns to car sales for America.

  7. Marshy Says:

    I see a lot of mache in that China Ford concept!

  8. Lex Says:

    It seems to me that Tesla / Elon Musk has over stayed it’s welcome in China and the CCP is beginning a campaign to discredit and oust Tesla from China.

  9. Kevin A Says:

    Elon Musk is well know for ignoring governments rules in California. Unlike Caly though, Elon is a GUEST in China and Germany. He has no ‘right’ to be there. He should try harder to behave or Tesla can be ‘un-invited’. In China, that could mean anything up to forfeiting all factories and local patents. A similar thing happened to Exxon and Shell in Venezuela and they just had to live with it.


    Tesla was allowed into China to help them boost there EV knowledge, suppiers & manufacturers. A lot of the CPP members have finacial connections to the domestic EV manufacturers. They will not allow Tesla or other foreign Automakers to dominate.

  11. Albemarle Says:

    If I remember correctly there is a 27% duty on Chinese manufactured vehicles. Don’t see a lot of Chinese competition arriving on these shores.

  12. Sean Wagner Says:


    VW is the best-selling vehicle manufacturer in China, and the other German marques make bumper profits with their upmarket offerings over there.

    But maybe Tesla is indeed felt to be impinging on the goal to create local EV champions that can also take on the world.

    The extent to which Tesla leverages advanced materials science and innovative engineering is sometimes underestimated too. Those Italian Gigapresses can’t just be ordered up like a burger from In-N-Out’s secret menu, just like the bespoke alloy Tesla developed to use them effectively.

    Meanwhile, China dominates the world production of battery cell cathode materials. And I don’t like it one bit. I generally dislike barriers to trade, but we must beware of the Chinese communist party’s designs.

    As for BMW and EVs – they’re being quite cute. Whatever.

    While the first thing that comes to mind when I see the REE platform is military applications.

  13. John McElroy Says:

    #1. Lambo, the EU fines for missing CO2 targets in 2030 are so high it would bankrupt BMW. It will hit that 50% EV sales rate even if it has to limit sales of ICE vehicles.

  14. GM Veteran Says:

    The EVOS concept certainly looks like a Mustang Mach-E with a different front fascia. The body lines look to be nearly identical.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I think the bulk of vehicles coming to the US from China are Buick Envisions, with a few Volvo S90 sedans coming from China. The biggest losers in the car part of the Trump trade war have been BMW and Mercedes, which export quite a few X5s, GLEs, etc. from the US to China. There’s now a 25% tariff on those, unless it has changed recently.

  16. Merv Peters Says:

    that overhead charging for the mb bus is pretty cool, could extend the range a lot.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    16 – I have also seen in-ground inductive charging prototypes they have been working on in Europe. I always wonder how much charge a bus could take on during a stop. They don’t typically sit there very long.

  18. Joe G Says:

    #1 Well said. I was thinking the same thing as I watch more proposed EV’s appearing every day. The market will be flooded with EV’s for 20% of the 2% market in the US. And as the technology advances each year, my 60K EV purchased 3 years ago will be worth a lot less unless I Lease.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Inductivecharging would be “convenient,” but it’s an environmental disaster.

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” and it could be the Chinese safety agencies are asking about Tesla incidents. If someone reports they are ignoring the Chinese incidents, then cite a source. A TSLA stock holder, the reports look pretty normal for Tesla and the Chinese safety organization … mirroring our own NHTSA and other USA safety organizations.

    As for BMW, in 2014 they released a remarkable, BMW i3 with a carbon fiber body on an aluminum shell. Since then, nothing showing an original design or technology. BMW has tried to apply ICE design rules (aka. I8) and continues to fail. There is no ‘magic’ battery and to claim otherwise is wishful thinking by non-engineering MBAs.

  21. Sean Wagner Says:

    20 Agreed on Tesla incidents and the slow but steady progress in key battery parameters.

    While I still like the somewhat iconoclastic i3, its engineering tradeoffs remain dubious and have never been duplicated. Incidentally, when BMW went on an EV-development hiatus after the i3 and i8, many top people on that team left, some for China.

    I don’t doubt BMW can build boatloads of EVs in a couple of years using off-the-shelf components, given access to sufficient battery cell capacity. (BMW China sales in 2010: 63K, in 2020: 612K).

    The question is how a laggard sans any special sauce will be able to command premium prices?

  22. Sean Wagner Says:

    Addendum: above sales of BMWs in China only include domestically produced vehicles. Global sales in 2020 were roughly 2 million.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know about now, but in 2018, BMW exported more than 60K vehicles from South Carolina to China.

  24. Sean Wagner Says:

    … and was the US’ top exporter of automobiles by value.


    When I read the Bloomberg article, it appears to me that there is nothing unique about the consumer complaints to TESLA. The only difference is that the people in China are not putting up with it. Thus the lady jumping on the car during an autoshow. In the end, TESLA might actually have good quality and customer service in China. A shame that this transformation will not occur in the USA because the owners in the USA have accepted and defend sub-par performance from TESLA.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    13 John; doubt you will see this today but in response to BMW slating 1/2 of their vehicles to be EVs by 2030 to meet the EU requirements, doesn’t that mean in markets like the US or any country will lesser requirements can expect to see less offerings from BMW? Or do you suppose many manufacturers will produce EVs strictly to me meet EU CO2 targets and may never be shipped to the US?

    Also how might it affect BMW or MB or any other manufacturer for that matter that spends all this money develops a bunch of EVs and gets them to market only to have the EU carbon requirement extended out a few more years, or some relief provided that would allow more ICEs to be sold. They could have a bunch of EVs with no buyers and limited ICEs with a huge demand driving up cost on those. I think its going to be a balancing act that I doubt will be handled well.