AD #3304 – BMW Won’t Commit to Full EV Lineup; Honda Axes Insight Hybrid; bZ4X Is Exactly What You’d Expect from Toyota

April 15th, 2022 at 11:47am

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Listen to “AD #3304 – BMW Won’t Commit to Full EV Lineup; Honda Axes Insight Hybrid; bZ4X Is Exactly What You’d Expect from Toyota” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:27

0:08 BMW Won’t Commit to Fully Electric Lineup
0:54 Honda Axing Insight to Replace with Civic Hybrid
1:40 VW Makes Big Profit on Nickel Price Surge
3:03 Stellantis Partners with Qualcomm On Connected-Car Technology
3:39 Baidu To Provide VOYAH With AV & Connected Car Tech
4:15 Ford to Start F-150 Lightning Deliveries Soon
4:40 Mustang Is Top Selling Sports Coupe Globally
5:38 bZ4X EV Is Exactly What You’d Expect from A Toyota

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20 Comments to “AD #3304 – BMW Won’t Commit to Full EV Lineup; Honda Axes Insight Hybrid; bZ4X Is Exactly What You’d Expect from Toyota”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    It looks like the bZ4X took some styling ques from the Lexus line (a lot of sharp angles), so for me, that’s a negative. The numbers don’t really impress either; Toyota loyal may still make this a successful launch for BEV though.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Honda makes a hybrid Civic hatchback, Prius will have a worthy competitor, though the mpg of the Honda won’t be quite as good.

    Toyota is going a different direction on drive wheels with their EV than many of the newer entries, with the 2WD version being FWD. That will make it better in snow than the RWD Model 3 and Mach-E, but most will probably be sold with 4WD anyway. While I like Toyota hybrids, I’d probably do elsewhere if buying a BEV.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I never saw the point of the Insight, after they downgraded it from a liftback to a sedan. The current Insight is, basically, a more expensive competitor to the Corolla hybrid.

  4. johno Says:

    1&2 your right, i don’t get the angles or the two tone paint.

  5. Bob Wilson Says:

    BMW did the same mistake as GM when they chased off their brilliant EV engineers. GM after killing the EV1 and BMW after the i3. Now they play catch-up with their B team engineers.

    Commitment is having quality products, not press releases. Catalog engineering EVs will always be second place.

  6. Albemarle Says:

    The big advantage the bz4x has is the fwd. All the rwd ev models coming out limit themselves to fair weather regions in today’s market. With the Toyota, some customers in snow country will be willing to take the entry model because of the longer range and lower cost. It also charges faster.

    I wonder how long it will be before manufacturers develop a motor shut off system for awd versions so in nice weather one motor could be disengaged and range would be improved. As well, by having the awd model with the same total power as the single motor version, they could improve range.

  7. Bob Wilson Says:

    Some use an induction motor in the front that can freewheel. But there are CVT losses and weight. There is no free lunch.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 It’s funny how everyone thinks they need 4wd, even in Florida. My first 16 years of driving in Indiana, where it snows, were in rwd cars. After that, I had fwd cars which were much better. It’s only since I’m old enough to not be concerned about running out of money that I’ve had Corvettes, clearly not good snow cars.

  9. wmb Says:

    #6, 8.) I don’t know that FWD EVs benefit the same as FWD ICE vehicles in the snow. With FWD ICEs vehicles, they have better in the snow, due to the engine being on driving wheels, providing better traction. In FWD EVs, while the motors as on the front axles, the vehicle is now dragging the heavy battery behind the drive wheels! With that dynamic, I maybe wrong (and probably am), but I don’t believe there is much difference between a FWD and a RWD in the snow under those circumstances. One is pulling a load of heavy batteries through the snow and another is pushing them!

    IMHO, much like the Chrysler Airflow concept in yesterday’s program, this bZ4X is an even bigger disappoint! I have no words! To have as much time as they have had, to survey the competition and come to the table with this?!? We all know that making EVs are hard, but who knew it would THIS difficult for some legacy OEMs, to field a serious competitor to the upstart automakers. It’s hard to except that Toyota has produced a vehicle that is barely mediocre and falls so far behind in power, range and charge time! No one is asking Toyota to make a 2000hp, 650 mile rage, AWD hyper car, with a 0-60 time of 1.99 seconds, neither are we asking that they build vehicle better than they Model Y, but can they after all this time, NOT be this far away?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 FWD EVs won’t have the 60-40 weight distribution of FWD ICEers, but FWD still is better in ice and snow. The back end won’t be sliding to the side of the crowned road, unrelated to the steering, a problem with bad drivers. An aunt of mine had a Plymouth Arrow, an RWD Mitsubishi sold in the late ’70s-early ’80s, and repeatedly ran off the road when things got slick, because she didn’t understand what was going on when spinning her rear wheels. She did much better with a Neon that replaced the Arrow. Also, with FWD, the drive wheels “climb” the snow, doing better than RWD at keeping moving in winter conditions.

    As far as the Toyota EV, for people who will buy it and charge it at home, it will work fine. It has plenty of power, and will probably be reliable. 6.5-7 seconds 0-60 is better than at least 3/4 of the gas CUVs being sold. I wouldn’t buy it, but Toyota loyalists will. I buy Toyotas, but just Toyota hybrids.

  11. Sean Wagner Says:

    I remember that 30 years ago, a rear-wheel drive sedan with the appropriate electronics could easily cope not only with snow, but an asymmetrically slippery road.

    Great interview with Mark Reuss, by the way. It’s rare that one gets to listen to someone in his position laying it out at length.

    I still have to wonder what a conceptually sound hybrid Hummer could have been. Similar performance, far greater offroad range, half the battery size, and a gross vehicle weight a little less on the insane side of things.

    It’s not like there are unlimited amounts of cells to go around.

  12. Bob Wilson Says:

    John made a good YouTube video discussing EV efficiency (see link.) I could not find a reference in the web page hence my post.

    Some minor comments, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus has improved EPA 24 kWh / 100 miles due to more efficient heating and air conditioning. Also, the EPA kWh value needs 1/10 kWh precision as there is up to 1 kWh between the buckets.

    Regardless John’s YouTube video is fairly short and accurate.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 That was interesting. It looks like the Europeans don’t do so well with EV efficiency. The obscene Hummer is no surprise, but the iPace is pretty bad, for the size of the vehicle.

  14. Bob Wilson Says:

    There is a lot grief in the Tesla community about Tesla dropping the portable EVSE connecting 120 VAC to a Tesla plug. I’m not affected because my 2019 Model 3 came with one and I added grid adapters for NEMA 14-50 and other 240 VAC power plugs. But the newer buyers have to pay $200 more, an option, and they are out of NEMA 14-50 (240 AC, 40 A) adapter plugs.

    Turns out there are lots of 3d party dual voltage, 120-240 AC and 40 A EVSE. Just new Tesla buyers may face an extra cost and delay. Sort of like finding no spare tire, jack, and tire tool.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 I recently read that Teslas have special foam lined tires to decrease road noise. If you’ve replaced your tires, did you get OEM tires? If not, is there a very noticeable increase in tire noise?

  16. Bob Wilson Says:

    The original Tesla tires did not last longer than 30k miles. In contrast, my replacement Bridgestones go twice that distance, lower rolling resistance, and lighter. However, there is a tight king-pin clearance on the front that has to be checked.

    The tire foam ‘road noise’ suppression is more subtle than my ears can detect especially in traffic. Furthermore, the foam liner makes plugging an OEM tire to stop a leak a challenge. In contrast, the Bridgestone tires are easy to plug.

  17. XA351GT Says:

    It’s funny that before the late 70s people seemed to be able drive in snow without FWD or AWD . No traction control none of the electronic doodads that just seem to make people drive worse year after year. The fact that we get less snow every year makes no sense. My Dad who was born in 1931 said when he was a kid it would be snow covered from Thanksgiving to Easter most years in the Northeast and people were still able to get around .

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16. Thanks for the reply.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 My dad was born in 1914, and the cars of his youth, like a Model T with really skinny tires were good in snow, and on the muddy dirt roads still in Indiana when he started driving. Wide tires may be good for cornering on dry pavement, but their need to plow snow is not good for getting around in snow.

    My last RWD vehicle that I drove in snow was a 1995 S10. I got by just fine with it in Indiana, but I started driving in the 1060s, when people still had to learn to drive without traction control, 4WD, or even FWD. Also, the short bed, regular cab S10 had 205 width tires, unfashionably narrow by today’s standards, but better in snow than wider ones.

  20. ChuckGrenci Says:

    17,19 I think your both on to something; people got around (though certainly less crowded roadways than now), skinnier tires back then (VW Beetle was stellar in the snow). I did fine with my ’66 Tempest with F-70′s in the snow, so even though four and all wheel drive with traction control etc., maybe a general reliance on the new tech and maybe us old-timers did know how to drive a little better, by necessity.