AD #3124 – VW Puts the Sport in Sport Utility; Rivian Scouting for Another Plant; GM’s Super Cruise Gets Even Better

July 23rd, 2021 at 11:51am

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Listen to “AD #3124 – VW Puts the Sport in Sport Utility; Rivian Scouting for Another Plant; GM’s Super Cruise Gets Even Better” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:50

0:07 GM’s Super Cruise Gets Even Better
0:43 Rivian Scouting for Another Plant
1:13 Chip Shortage About to Ease Up
2:13 Magna Buys Veoneer
2:47 VW Puts the Sport in Sport Utility
3:48 Mercedes Taps F1 Team to Improve EVs
5:40 Test Driving Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
8:23 Recycling EV Batteries for Raw Materials

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12 Comments to “AD #3124 – VW Puts the Sport in Sport Utility; Rivian Scouting for Another Plant; GM’s Super Cruise Gets Even Better”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Hyundai hybrid powertrain is ridiculously complex compared to what Ford and Toyota use, but at least the Hyundai gets bad gas mileage.

  2. Denis T Says:

    By the time they get to 95% recycle rate for the batteries or enough to require no mining we will be on to the next solution in 5-10years. Maybe liquid charged batteries, metal hydride hydrogen storage, micro fusion reactors??

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Who knew that Microchip manufacturing was running on the ragged edge prior to 2020? Usually when contracts are awarded its for a price that includes a “Maximum Material Count” which in the case of automotive they speculate an annual volume of say 80K vehicles but will contract the supplier up to 100K.
    What I don’t understand is during the Covid shutdowns it sounds like the micro-chip plants were still running suppling chips for phones and gaming consoles etc.. Meanwhile the automotive sector was down which should have left plenty of extra chips for this influx of routers and game consoles they claim is using all the chips. But as everything opened back up we are somehow way behind? Then the panic of shortages caused some suppliers to buy up what they could to further make the shortage worse (like it was toilet paper).
    But like I started with, each buyer is typically contracted for a specific volume which I would have thought would somewhat limit over-buying or hording.
    It would be interesting to see the sales numbers for X-box and whatever they claim these chips went to. Just seems really hard to believe that the supply was so close to capacity that a surge in gaming consoles can shut the automotive industry down.
    Weird we would stop production on products that are somewhat a necessity and sell for $36,000 and employs thousands of people to make $400 gaming consoles which are a luxury and employ a fraction of people.
    Maybe the auto industry should start buying game consoles to remove the chips for their vehicles and then replace them and sell when they catch up.. :-)

  4. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Slight clarification on the Supercruise towing; lane change is not available when towing but will be with the GM pickups when not towing and equipped with Supercruise.

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    Rivian is going to be conducting their plant search for the next several months. Instead of building an all-new plant, they may be able to buy one out of a bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar and which would allow them to start production much sooner. There might be a large plant available in the Lordstown, OH area soon, which would be plenty big enough to produce vehicles and batteries under the same roof. Just sayin . . .

  6. GM Veteran Says:

    The new Santa Fe Hybrid might end up being a great sales helper, for Ford and Toyota! Premium or not, that’s a lot of coin for a brand new entry that is not competitive. The main reason for buying a hybrid is to get great mileage, but this one doesn’t. Look for BIG rebates on these models in the near future!

  7. Bobby T Says:

    #1, good one Kit.

  8. Roger T Says:

    Interestingly I used to get 4 miles/kWh on my (now gone) 2013 Volt. I drove 40 miles exactly to work and back on 10kWh every day, mostly highway driving with AC on. With better aero and tech why don’t new EVs do better today? Or was Bob Lutz right when he saw the Volt as a great little gem?

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I liked the idea of the Volt, a plug-in hybrid that was truly an EV, without the engine starting, as long as there was charge in the battery. I might have bought one, if “home” charging were available at my Florida condo. Unfortunately, the Volt wasn’t trucky enough for the US market, and didn’t sell very well.

  10. Sean Wagner Says:

    1 Kit – Hilarious.

    8,9 – The Volt’s engineering was sound – gm might have usefully leveraged it to make a hybrid Hummer that weighed less than 4 tons.

    3 Lambo – Running on the ragged edge of chip manufacturing means excellent margins… while smallish Japanese plants that use older tech produce a large part of the automotive industry’s simpler IC’s used to control hardware, it seems.

    I wager that the sensors and entertainment systems run on higher integrated, more advanced and far larger chips. Just like crude oil comes in different qualities, and not all refineries are set up to process all kinds.

    2 DenisT – I found an older document that show the results of exhaustive (and interesting!) tests done on some of Sony’s early LI-cells from 1994. I’ll eat my hat if this wasn’t once studied by some people at Tesla around the time of its inception.

    Conclusions on page 27. Worth a look.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Interesting data with the Sony battery test.

  12. Sean Wagner Says:

    11 Indeed. Quotes:

    • Life of more than 7 years in slow cycling applications has been demonstrated at 75%
    depth of discharge (after an initial 10% capacity degradation), suggesting that performance at this depth of discharge may be possible out to beyond 15 years.

    • Cells assembled into batteries continue to diverge from each other over their lifetime, but
    this divergence is very slow if the cells are well matched at beginning oflife.

    Unquote. This matches up very well with my two main sources of Tesla battery cell information, namely Dr. Jeff Dahn, and much later on Sandy Munro. The former (among many other things) showed how to project battery durability from carefully selected measurements (fascinating), and the latter once emphatically pronounced he had never come across cells as well matched as in a Tesla battery pack.

    Audi is participating in the Paris-Dakar rally with a pretty wild hybrid vehicle.

    Also, I found an older analysis of EV battery composition (original source one of the periodic UBS teardowns). Advanced modern cells mix in far less Cobalt, and LiFePo batteries that are seeing increased use have a different composition.

    Need to scroll down a bit:
    Breakdown by weight
    Chevy Bolt battery pack (435 kg)
    Al 16 % / Graphite 15% / Steel 13% / Iron 9% / Copper 8% / Cobalt 6% / Nickel 5% / Mg 5% / Polyester 3% / Li 2% / Other 8%

    The gelatinous electrolyte may be hazardous. Chucking electric scooters into our rivers never was a good idea.