AD #3273 – Elon Musk Invites UAW To Hold Vote; Volvo Tests Wireless EV Charging; Ram Teases New BEV Pickup

March 3rd, 2022 at 11:55am

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Runtime: 10:08

0:08 Elon Musk Invites UAW To Hold Vote at Tesla’s California Plant
1:22 Tesla Receives Green Light to Start Building Cars in Berlin
1:44 Kia Shares BEV Plans
2:56 Traffic Deaths Jump Despite Fewer Drivers
4:17 Geely Wants More Battery Swapping Stations in China
4:59 Volvo Tests Wireless EV Charging in The Real World
6:11 Ram Teases New BEV Pickup
7:21 February New Car Sales Weak
8:19 U.S. BEV Sales Show Solid Growth

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47 Comments to “AD #3273 – Elon Musk Invites UAW To Hold Vote; Volvo Tests Wireless EV Charging; Ram Teases New BEV Pickup”


    What I see on the roads with the lighter traffic is of course more reckless driving. What I see more though is a stark reduction in enforcement. It used to be that on any given day I would drive by several officers enforcing the rules. Now I am lucky to see 1 or 2 per week. Of course those who drive recklessly noticed that way sooner than I did and here we are.

    I will assume that maybe there was a reduction in the enforcement work force due to Covid. I would hope that we didn’t abandon enforcement as that was the only thing compensating for the pathetic driving instruction and lax licensing laws around here.

  2. Jim Haines Says:

    I could see Musk moving California plant in a heart beat any time as most states would rush to give incentives to move and I’m sure many already have

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I hope the Geely wireless charging is more efficient than wireless phone charging, which uses about 40% more energy than plugging it in.

    I was surprised by those EV sales figures. I would have expected Mach-E to be 3rd, after Models Y and 3. Maybe Ford was more effected by semiconductor shortages than H/K.

  4. Lex Says:

    Musk inviting the UAW to hold a vote is his way of not disadvantaging his workers, nor preventing Tesla buyers from any future government incentives for EVs. If the Tesla Workers do not join the UAW, then Musk’s legal team will have ammo against the arbitrary notion of only given EV incentives to US Union built vehicles.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    To blame deaths on ” speeding” I think is wrong as most drivers tend to speed. If you’re going 1 km/hr over the limit you are now speeding. Blaming speed for collisions or deaths tends to be a catch all for a bunch of other things. Its the go to when an accident investigation can’t or doesn’t bother to figure out the details.

  6. S65AMG Says:

    A. A language point. Tesla did not ‘receive’, as your writer put it, a Victory in Berlin. If you still want to use the word, tghe correct usage is “scored” a victory.

    Now to the substance of this news item. The ‘victory’ will be far more important if Tesla does have all its ducks in order (chips, batteries etc) so it can start in Berlin, and, most important, ramp up production real fast, so it reaches its huge steady-state volume soon. Since it has been waiting approval for so long, I assume it has had the time to do the above.

    B. Thanks for the Feb sales data, even tho the rounded numbers (1,000s) look like guesses for most makers. Many important observations.

    I. Tesla’s UTTER DOMINANCE of the fast growing BEV segment continues.

    II. The Model Y, which many here eagerly hoped to fail, and claimed tall tales of slow sales, in fact sold even more units than the Model 3.

    III. Total Tesla sales est. at 28,000, were the higest of any luxury maker (almost 5 times those of Porsche!) and only a couple thou off BMW’s 30,000.

    IV. The Porsche Taycan (one of the countless “Great White Hopes” that would “kill tesla” (not my words, but those of Auto journalists, and the PR units of the other makers (the losers). How many times did you hear “Tesla Killer”? It hasn’t shown up yet!), Taycan sales were less than 10% of the supposedly slow selling Model Y, And less than 3% of total TESLA sales.

    V. WV ID4, the alleged nth (100th?) Tesla killer, got a PITIFUL 1,000 sales, despite being new and bushy tailed, vs 28,000 Tesla sales. And VW is a mass market car, not a fLAGSHIP like the Taycan.

    VI. The other white hope, the “Ford Mach E” porker, sold a meager 2,001 units. WHo is its Tesla rival? The Model Y, with 14,731 (!!!). “Genius” Wim claims he bought not one but TWO MAch E’s. Did you even bother to test drive the Model Y, Wim? (Don’t bother answering, it’s a Rhetorical Question).

    VII. The other two Great White Hopes, the Hyundai-Kia BEV econoboxes that have luxury car prices, sold a MEAGER 2k units each.

    Given your above FACTS, Sean, your news yesterday that “stellaaa!” will have 75 BEV models should hardly disturb Elon Musk’s sleep. I predict they will sell about 75 units. (all 75 of them together).

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 I see lack of enforcement too. The last time I was on on I-95 in Florida a couple weeks ago, I saw no enforcement during a ~100 mile trip, and people driving really fast, like well over 90. People were also driving crazy, passing on the right when the car going 80 coming up on a truck in the right lane isn’t going fast enough, and barely getting in front of that car before rear ending the 18 wheeler in the right lane.

  8. Lex Says:

    I hope that Tesla production in Germany is no longer impeded by environmental law suits when you consider the huge amount of pollution current be cause the oil refiner bombings in Ukraine.

  9. S65AMG Says:

    Many other news. I checked gas and (esp) diesel prices in the old country, where I am about to spend May-December.

    In some locations, gas prices have alredy exceeded $10.00 US there. (2.3 Euros/liter), with Diesel, which I will use, at least 1.7 euro/lt. And these prices will go much higher before and IF) they go down by the time I arrive there. However, given that the BEV charging grid is nonexistent there, I don’t expect a big swing towards BEVs, even if that ridiculous Wu Ling $5k golf cart goes on sale there. And most people already drove their ICEs there even more than before the pandemic, worried they would catch Covid if they took the excellent metro or other mass transit.

    Finally, surpise-surprise! 0.7% market share VOlvo’s PR scored yet another victory, they squeezed another utterly unimportant story in today’s show as well. On the other side, Front-Runner TOYOTA (not GM! Toyota is the no 1 Seller even in the US market!) had NO news either yesterday or today. Go FIgure.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s an article about how much better the Ioniq 5 is than the Model Y, and for a lot less money.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    @8 I really don’t know how that makes any sense. There’s environmental problems going on over there so let’s add to it.

  12. motorman Says:

    with inflation getting near 10% people may not have money to buy new cars. there are studies showing it will cost $1500 a month just to feed a family of 4

  13. wmb Says:

    Looking at the BEV hardware that was in the cut of Stellantis EV announcement, I wonder if the Ram electric pickup will be body on frame like Ford’s 1st generation F-150 Lightning, or a SUT like the electric Silverado?

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean; maybe you can verify a rumor I heard that 2023 is the last year for the Ram Hemi. Which I could see that being the case for the 1500. I doubt they will switch to 100% BEV but I could see a BHEV or maybe a turbo 6.

    So EVs now account for 4% of US sales. So although they are seeing increases its still a small market.

  15. Wim van Acker Says:

    @14 and 4% is such a small market share that EVs should not be featured on this show at all because those are irrelevant :-) The AutoLine team should just show us what is going on at the OEMs with the highest market share Toyota, GM and Ford :-)

  16. Danny T Says:

    I don’t see to many police officers obeying the traffic laws themselves one of my favorites was a police car making an right turn on red with a sign clearing saying NO turn on red. He went about 2 blocks and pulled into a restaurant with about 4 police cars already there. But these guys and gals are the ones to give out tickets.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 I’ve read here, and elsewhere that the Hellcat cars are being discontinued after 2023, but not the other versions of the “hemi,” unless I’m forgetting something.,that%2C%20they're%20dead.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kia sharing its BEV plans along with everyone else having these ambitious plans for dozens of EV models. Is the mentality “Build it and they will come”? Are we really seeing a demand that can justify the 50-60 new EVs in the next two years? As mentioned in a previous show I believe we will soon see only the strong will survive. The market is going to be flooded with so many expensive EVs that those companies that need to see sales in the 50-60K range, in order to break even are going to really struggle when they only sell 20K because there are so many to choose from.
    Even if 25 other models only rake in 20K in sales. That’s 500,000 cars and Tesla could even see a huge drop if the market demand doesn’t keep up with whats being produced.

  19. Lambo2015 Says:

    17 This is a couple years old but sounds like it may be the direction Ram is headed. A inline turbo 6 would probably be a good choice.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14,17 I’m also reading that the Chrysler V8 will eventually be replaced with a turbo or supercharged inline six, probably part of a hybrid powertrain. I haven’t seen anything about when that might happen. That shouldn’t be a bad thing, if done right. Inline sixes are great, as done by BMW, and after a decade or two of V6s, M-B are now using straight sixes again.

  21. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lambo #14 – There are some reports out there that say it’s true, but I’ve yet to see it from any of our usual sources. It’s hard to imagine a Ram 1500 without a V8. Maybe that will be left to the heavy-duty?

  22. XA351GT Says:

    There should be no tax payer funded sales of anything. The product either sells itself or it fails on it’s own merits or faults. The fact that I will never buy a EV but I have to “help” someone else buy a ridiculously overpriced vehicle is Bull $hit. You either can afford it or you don’t buy it. Bribing people to use products is unfairly stacking the deck. The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers. Hey , by all means you want to buy a Tesla do so don’t ask me to put your down payment money on it. Want to buy a Porsche or a Audi you certainly don’t need my help. There are better things to spend tax money on.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s another article about the upcoming Chrysler turbo in-line six, but nothing about when the 5.7 and 6.4 “hemi” are going away.

  24. Wim van Acker Says:

    @22 I am with you, but this is more complex than just reducing/eliminating subsidies of EVs. To be consistent in reducing government influence, which I am a strong supporter of, too: the tax breaks for the oil industry should be reduced, as well as the multi-billion $ bail-outs like in 2020, and in 2009, and so on.

  25. motorman Says:

    @24 oil is not just used for vehicles as there is hardly anything you touch or use does not require oil in it manufacturing including food.


    24) I am with you as well. We also need to end the tax payer subsidies to all the power generation companies while we are at it. Those are higher than the subsidies for oil.

  27. Wim van Acker Says:

    @22 I drive a diesel-powered vehicle as my daily driver, but we have two electric vehicles. My wife’s EV is charged overnight at a low DTE rate which translates to $0.04 per mile. Her gasoline powered vehicle would cost her right now $0.18 per mile. So she is saving right now $170 per month on “fuel”, and never has to stop at a gas station.

    By no means I am stating that the EV is the solution for all, but for her it is very good. For the long road trips we use my diesel powered vehicle.

  28. Wim van Acker Says:

    @25 what is your point? Perpetuate government subsidies to the oil industry because food production requires petroleum?

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 The vast majority of oil is used for fuel, with less than 10% used for making plastic.

  30. Stu Says:

    @5 “speed kills” in the sense that the time the driver has to react is shorter, and stopping distances are longer, increasing the likelihood of crashes. When speeds are higher, the severity of injuries is typically higher.

    That said, the bigger issue is the recklessness of drivers. Driving on I-95 anywhere between DC and NYC, you constantly see cars weaving around traffic, cutting-off trucks, and driving well in excess of the limit. As was said elsewhere, I don’t know what happened to enforcement during the pandemic, but I rarely see vehicles pulled over compared to 3 or more years ago.

  31. Merv Peters Says:

    ram has a big promo for 2021 models here, $9750 discount plus $3000 loyalty cash, and from what I see they all have a fair number ready to go.

  32. XA351GT Says:

    27 I don’t care if anyone owns a EV I just don’t feel taxpayer money should be paying anything to entice you to buy it. Want one ? Get one , but do all on your own dime.

  33. Wim van Acker Says:

    @32 we are running in circles here. I have stated that I agree with eliminating EV subsidies. But currently ICE drivers are highly subsidized through tax breaks and the repeated bail outs. The oil and gas industry has proven to be not capable to survive the volatility of their own business and are propped up each and every time (2009, 2020). That has to end as well as far as this fan of small government (expenses) is concerned.

    Just yelling that EV subsidies have to end is lacking understanding of the overall picture of government subsidies. If you are interested in a real level playing field and lower government involvement. But maybe you do undertsand teh big picture and really just want the others to lose their EV subsidy while you enjoy the government dole to the oil industry. Also fine by me, “you do you”.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The end of the AAH discussion was interesting, with speculation that higher gas prices will increase demand for smaller cars, and decrease demand for big trucks and SUVs. If that happens in a big way, the former big 3 could be hurt badly.

  35. Bob Wilson Says:

    The best way to close Fremont is to give the unions a free hand and tie their payroll to production. A typical union will kill ‘the goose that laid the golden eggs’ and blame management.

    Then Tesla can ask for a subsidy to keep Fremont open and the problem is solved. Heck, hire the politicians to run the plant … into the ground.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 I suspect Elon’s “invitation” for a union vote in Fremont is a plot to give him an excuse to close down the plant, if they vote for the union.

  37. Bob Wilson Says:

    $36 – I appreciate the sentiment but Tesla really needs to let the union run the plant into the ground. Personally, I would have any conflict between a union leader and the ‘management’, give the manager a move package and promote the union advocate to that position.

    Let the union claim success …. with the plant closing.

    Bob Wilson

  38. cwolf Says:

    The wage difference between union and non union wages isn’t that far apart and fail to see how profit sharing is a bad thing and no one has shown data proving otherwise, just opinion. I do ask myself why the salaries of the top echelon are as over generous as they are considering the dollar gains are had from workers in countries whos wages are a pittance and fair working conditions are lacking.
    I don’t have a stance on subsidies only because I haven’t seen any data showing the pros and cons. But considering the ever growing profits made by the automakers off each vehicle makes me wonder why it is lawful for states to offer huge incentives to build or refurbish a plant when the manufacturer is flush with cash.
    This is just one example of state and federal money being taken advantage of. how many times have they asked for money in return for creating new jobs and never fulfill the promise.

  39. wmb Says:

    Adding to your points, years ago much of what automakers were saying contributed to the difference in pay between union works and those, at the time, transplants, were the healthcare and retiree pensions. The unions take that burden on themselves, giving the Big Three more capital to work with. Since everyone that works for automaker has a part in making the automaker succeed, why should only the white collar employees get to share in the company’s financial successes? Exec receive bonuses all the time, and waaay more then what union works have ever received. It was the union’s that worked out the profit sharing for their membership! The execs at the transplants get profit sharing bonuses too, but that’s not something that they share with their non union line workers, for the most part. Yet, the work that they do is just as important and vital as those of upper management! Are there bad apples in the unions? Yes, but no worst then what you find throughout the rest of the private sector! There are just as many factory union works that come to work to make an honest days work, as there is in any other type of employment. IMHO, the incentives talked about being given for vehicle built by union workers is over blown! Here’s why, throughout EVERY campaign, be it for president, Congress person or senator, ALL of them offer some type of ‘incentive’ for their support or vote. When the president wants something passed, they go to members of their own party and across the aisle, to either give or find some ‘incentives’ to get their support. How many times have politicians gone to other politicians and organizations looking for their support by offering ‘incentives’ or something to ‘incentivize’ individuals to back their agenda? The auto unions of the Big Three backed the current administration, so what is the big deal in offering incentives for their support?! If it is wrong in this case, it is wrong in every other case, every other promise a politician has ever made to support those who have supported them! If this is the case, politicians shouldn’t be in the promise making, promise keeping business! Yet, that is a big part of politics the world over. The problem is, the tax incentives of the current administration, touches close to home for those interested in the auto industry, especially with the disruptive BEV market. How things work out, though, remains to be seen.

  40. wmb Says:

    Regarding tax money being used to support EV sells. Right or wrong, the intent is to encourage the buying public to move into purchasing vehicle that do not hurt the environment, as much as ICE vehicles do (real or imagined and for the sake of arguements). While I do not believe the intent was for this to be forever, just to help reduce the cost initially and to encourage automakers to move in this direction. I’ve said nothing new that most do not know. Yet, the comment that ‘I don’t want my federal tax dollars going to support somebody elses…’, has me scratching my head. For federal tax dollars are spent on things and in ways most wouldn’t approve of all the time, if they know how said money was being spent! The billions in aid given to billion dollar companies is crazy! During this pandemic, the money that was set aside to keep small and medium size businesses afloat, ending up in the pockets of big businesses like Wal-Mart and Target. The NFL structured as a charity, so federal tax dollars dollars go to support them as well. My wife HATES football, so do you think she would happy to learn that her hard earned federal tax dollars, are going to support billionaires, who play millionaires to play a child’s game, in tax payer funded sports arenas?! Temporary incentives for BEVs are considered to be for the greater good. So, leaders of every country may decide to offer an incentive, to their to those living in their country, who purchase a vehicle made in their borders that meet a criteria that they set.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 I’m ok with government incentives for EVs, even though I won’t be buying an EV until/unless I have access to home charging at my condo. I don’t like that the current tax credits are only fully available for upper middle and higher income people/families, who pay $7500 and more in federal income tax. For the most part, people who can get the full incentive don’t need any incentive at all if they want an EV,

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 My sister in Indianapolis actually likes football, but is not happy that there are local tax increases to pay for a new stadium when the practically new 24 year old one, now demolished, was just fine for playing football.

  43. XA351GT Says:

    34 It just shows how tone deaf the industry is. We went through in the mid 70s . Detroit got caught with it’s pants down, again in the late 70s early 80s, Again in the late 2000s and now here we are again . Please list all the cars the big 3 make that would considered economy. I’ll wait. The Big 3 only make 10 possibly 11 if you consider the Bolt a car and not a small CUV. out of the 10 ( Mustang, Challenger, Charger,300,Camaro,Corvette,Malibu, Spark, CT4 and CT5 )only the Spark would be a economy car . One that no one wants I might add.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    In the overall scheme of things. The amount of money the Government will spend on EV incentives is a drop in the bucket. We waste so much more money on other crap that does nothing to help any American. The problem I have with it is offering it as a tax rebate. Why not offer a cash rebate that can be taken off the purchase price or installing a charging station? Most people can probably install a charger in their home for less than $7500.

    I don’t really see this government involvement being any different than the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs or leaded gas, seems to be the right direction. Although EV’s environmental impact might be somewhat short sighted. Time will tell if they really that much better for the environment.
    Either way its a short term thing to help jump start EVs and help them get to the low cost advantage of high volume. No one has identified where that threshold of high volume is and where they no longer should need assistance.
    Cause as raw materials keep climbing that low cost of high volume is being offset by higher material costs. Looks like we just are headed toward a average 60K for a new vehicle.

    As for Tesla and inviting a union vote. Maybe Elon thinks this extra money to a US made Union vehicle is going to pass. Maybe he is supporting it as a way to sell more cars. He knows a union will not really affect labor cost much but it may allow them to sell a lot more vehicles given the extra rebate/incentive applied to Fremont made union cars.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 …and of those 10 (or 11) cars sold by the “big 3,” Malibu is the only one that is in a major market segment. The current Malibu has been around since 2016, and while ok, is probably near the bottom of its class in desirability. It has been expected that it would go away in around 2024 and not be replaced.

  46. Lambo2015 Says:

    45 The true sign that the Sedan is dead will be, when gas prices continue to climb and people trade in their SUVs and trucks for a CUV. Or will they switch to an EV?
    What I’m kind of surprised to see is that with everyone getting away from sedans in preference of CUV/SUV vehicles why are so many new EVs sedans? I think Ford had the right idea with the Mach-e. That’s the family sedan of today.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If people ever really care about mpg with their gas vehicles, sedans, hatchbacks, and maybe even wagons will make a comeback. Crossovers have come a long way, though, with mpg, especially city mpg being close to sedans with the same powertrain. At high speed, there would be more difference between sedans and SUVs in actual mpg than the EPA numbers indicate.