AD #3122 – Mercedes S-Class PHEV & Hybrid Details; CR Slams Tesla FSD Beta; Buick Introduces GL8 Avenir Minivan

July 21st, 2021 at 11:58am

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Listen to “AD #3122 – Mercedes S-Class PHEV and Hybrid Details; CR Slams Tesla FSD Beta; Buick Introduces GL8 Avenir Minivan” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:18

0:08 Stellantis Hires Amazon Exec as New CTO
0:46 New Study Shows EVs Cleaner Than ICEs Over Lifecycle
2:43 Baidu Reveals Robotaxi Rider Cost
3:09 Another Company Launches Robotaxi Service in China
3:40 Ford, Argo AI & Lyft Plan Autonomous Ride Hailing Service
4:06 Mobileye Testing AVs In New York City
5:39 Mercedes Shares S-Class PHEV & Hybrid Details
6:56 Buick Introduces Avenir Version of GL8 Minivan
7:35 Tesla to Open Supercharger Network to Other Automakers
8:03 Consumer Reports Slams Tesla Full-Self Driving Beta

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26 Comments to “AD #3122 – Mercedes S-Class PHEV & Hybrid Details; CR Slams Tesla FSD Beta; Buick Introduces GL8 Avenir Minivan”

  1. TERRY Says:

    It wasn’t the ICCT that blew the whistle on VW. It was a scientist in California working for CARB. Don’t give credit where it wasn’t earned.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 I thought it was university researchers in West Virginia.

  3. Victor West Says:

    AVs and EVs will never meet the transportation needs of a sizable part of North American and especially world transportation needs. The constant reporting on them seems more pipe dream than reality.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    1 Not according to this article.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    3 I wouldnt say “never”, but yes anyone that’s been through states like Nebraska knows that even a 300 mile range isn’t going to cut it until charging stations are as prevalent as gas stations. I drove through Arizona once where I was a bit worried finding a gas station let alone a charging station. Those desolate areas will take a while to justify the cost of adding charging stations for the few visitors that will need them.

  6. Norm T Says:

    That S-class sounds similar to my 2018 CT6 2.0E plug-in with 432 lb-ft of torque with 2.0T and battery combined and +40 miles of range.

  7. Lew Says:

    Who can give a “Chart Reading for Dummies”
    idea on what that “ICCT” chart means?


    2) It was actually both. The researchers at WV tech did the work and report. They were being funded by the ICCT though. Had the ICCT never sponsored the study, it would have gone undetected.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    7 At the top of the chart you can see the 4 countries which each have two column’s a 2021 and 2030. Each column has ICE and BEV(I guess to show how they suspect less coal power plants so emissions will come down even more).
    The key in the upper RH corner shows how much of the emissions is attributed to vehicle manufacturing, Electric production , maint, etc etc. The whole life cycle of a vehicle. So no yellow in the ICE column for battery production and no dark blue fuel consumption in the BEV column.

    Shows China is worse for current ICE and India is worse for current BEV but by 2030 Europe will be worse ICE and India still worse for BEV pollution.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 I was surprised how bad it would be to drive a Tesla on a southwestern US trip, like Oklahoma city to Los Angeles. Even with their longest range car, Model S Long Range, their trip planner takes you hundreds of miles out of the way.,%20OK,%20USA_Oklahoma%20City%20Oklahoma%20County%[email protected],-97.5164276&s=&d=Los%20Angeles,%20CA,%20USA_Los%20Angeles%20Los%20Angeles%20County%[email protected],-118.2436849

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5,10 Nebraska doesn’t look like a problem for Tesla, though.,%20IL,%20USA_Chicago%20Cook%20County%[email protected],-87.6297982&s=&d=Denver,%20CO,%20USA_Denver%20Denver%20County%[email protected],-104.990251

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 Thanks for the info. I didn’t know who had funded the work, or had forgotten.

  13. XA351GT Says:

    Lambo at 5 . The elephant in the room with EVs is when charging. When it takes a hour to get a decent amount of range how are charging stations going to keep up. You would need a parking lot full of them . It’s not like a gas station where you pull in and 5-10 minutes later you pull out and someone else fills up. You will have vehicles sitting perhaps hours to get enough range to get where they’re going. if you have a gas station with 10 pumps realistically they can handle up to 60 cars a hour , 10 charging stations will charge hopefully 10 a hour. Do you want to be the one stuck waiting in line for a open charger? This is what will kill the desire for electric cars in the US. Home charging is great if you can pull it off. Apartment dwellers and those that have on street parking are out of luck.

  14. Roger T Says:

    Wow Tesla opening superchargers to others is the highlight of today’s report. Charger infrastructure is the single biggest bottleneck to going electric and is a key selling point to Tesla. Supercharger access and GM or Ford financing / reasonable lease options along with decent trade-in valuation can really steer lots of consumers to electrics. There are locations though where superchargers are already crowded (west coast), I wonder how Tesla owners feel about this.

  15. John McElroy Says:

    #1 and #2. The ICCT hired West Virginia University to conduct tests of several VW and BMW diesel cars driving across the US. UVW had the necessary mobile test equipment which is why the ICCT hired them. It was these tests that showed the VWs emitted far more pollution in real world testing than they did on a dynamometer.

    The ICCT says it conducted the tests to prove to EU regulators that they could tighten up their diesel emission testing procedures. Or did it have an idea that VW was cheating? The ICCT says no. But it wouldn’t be the first time the one automaker blew the whistle on another.

  16. Roger T Says:

    #14 continued – most people finance vehicles and have trades. Tesla is notoriously bad in interest rates and trade evaluation, not necessarily transaction prices alone. Giving a choice to buy a Mach-E and charge at Tesla infrastructure I suspect will be great for Ford. Same for Etron, Ipace, and others who have better lease and financing deals. And add insurance cost to that equation, too.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d read that the testing by WVU was commissioned to try to determine how VW made their diesels “clean” without need for the urea aftertreatment, while everyone else needed the urea. They found out.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect Tesla is “opening up” the supercharger network to other cars, to better utilize installations like one in Kokomo, Indiana with 8 chargers, where I’ve never seen more than one in use. The Tesla owners in high use areas will not be happy, though, when they have to wait for chargers being used by VWs and Fords.

  19. Lambo2015 Says:

    13 Totally agree and when you think about how many gas stations with 12 pumps are out there and a fill-up taking 10 min. That means in 8 hours 12 pumps can fill 576 cars. If it takes an hour to recharge (6x as long) you would need 6×12 or 72 charging stations.

    If people only take 5 minutes 1152 cars can be filled. meaning you need 144 charging stations to recharge the same volume of vehicles.

    So granted that’s assuming everyone is driving an EV and not charging at home but it puts the need into perspective.
    Driving across country and needing to stop for an hour every 300 miles would be frustrating enough but if you add 45 min waiting for a person ahead of you to finish charging just so you can start to charge would be unacceptable for me.

  20. Sean Wagner Says:

    Interesting reading up on the details of the emissions sleuthing again. Am I the only one who recalls Honda’s then-chief engineer saying they didn’t have a clue how VW was able to pull off their combustion magic? (Paraphrased from memory.) I think it was in an interview with the German Auto Motor & Sport. If eve he was puzzled, there must have been more “murmurings”.

    10 Kit – That seems like a glaring lapse in algorithmic judgement. Get a grip on that trip, Tesla!


    2:43 h total charging time with seven stops during the 1335 miles. It’s more efficient that way. Not that the idea of nearly an entire day spent driving is my thing.

    I’ve been wondering for a while if car batteries will have several kinds of cells optimized for different parameters.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 That’s surprising that the Tesla planner is so algorithmically challenged. Maybe they just want to keep you out of New Mexico, which I think still bans Tesla sales, but I think Arizona now allow sales.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I remember wondering about the “combustion magic,” when the VWs did not need the urea, while the Benz and BMW diesels did. Could it be a better combustion chamber shape?

  23. Sean Wagner Says:

    22 Kit – More like the cheating chambers!

    That Buick GL8 in the Avenir version has an interior that reflects something of the S-Class. And a price too. I’d be interested on a follow up of its sales.

    An electrically augmented inline six could have been Buick’s signature propulsion system. Nice combo.

    Also regarding SpaceX launches, two more Starlink missions to go, and then it’s other customers all through this year, including two US spy sats (I presume).

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    Off subject;
    For anyone that likes cars and is interested in the American history of the automobile there is a great show on History Channel called “The cars that made America”.
    Lots of information is well known but there is a lot of information not so well known. I learned that the Dodge brothers dies of the Spanish flu. They don’t paint Henry Ford in the best of light and sounds like he didn’t have much faith and treated his son Edsel pretty badly. You can watch first 3 episodes free here;

    Sorry if this is old news I know it was released in like 2017 but I watched the first episode a couple years ago and saw it was back on the history channel so I watched it again and the rest. Car people will find it interesting.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 I watched the start of the History Channel show to see if they mentioned Elwood Haynes, who claimed to have made “the first car” in Kokomo, Indiana. They didn’t mention him by name, but briefly showed what may have been a picture of him in his car, which first ran about 12 years after Benz. I’ll watch more later. It is interesting.

    22 Yeah, definitely cheating chambers. Things just didn’t make sense, until we learned what was actually going on. It’s still almost unbelievable that a huge company like VW would do that, not expecting to get caught at some point.


    24) Henry Ford was not a person I would ever be friends with.