AD #2959 – Ford Unveils Electric Transit; Nissan Sues Ghosn For Millions; Volvo Takes Crash Tests to The Extreme

November 13th, 2020 at 11:58am

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Listen to “AD #2959 – Ford Unveils Electric Transit; Nissan Sues Ghosn For Millions; Volvo Takes Crash Tests to The Extreme” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:26

0:19 Nissan Sues Ghosn For Millions
0:59 Indonesia In Talks with Tesla
2:00 Volvo Takes Crash Tests to The Extreme
3:42 Tula Boosts Electric Motor Efficiency
4:43 Ford Unveils Electric Transit
5:54 Analyst Predicts Cybertruck Will Outsell Competition
7:22 BMW CEO Wants to Strengthen Toyota Partnership
8:07 New Bronco Optimized for Camping
8:56 VW Creates Colorful Beetle Out of Millions of Beads

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47 Comments to “AD #2959 – Ford Unveils Electric Transit; Nissan Sues Ghosn For Millions; Volvo Takes Crash Tests to The Extreme”

  1. MJB Says:

    I’m certain the new Bronco will do very well. However, if they’re really looking to lay the smack down on Jeep maybe they should consider filming one of these:

  2. Albemarle Says:

    I love art cars too Sean. So much more interesting than 13 colours of grey/black from BMW. Any colour is a plus. I like the Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota Rav4 colours. I don’t understand the difference but they are just straight ahead colour. Wouldn’t it be great to have a system for ordinary cars to get colourized but in a way that keeps them practical for the street.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 Rav4 doesn’t have much color choice in the US, with only two real colors, one shade each of red and blue, to go with black, white, and two shades of grey. In the 1950s, and even the ’60s, there was a lot of color choice. Now, there’s almost none. It’s even worse with car interiors.

  4. Bob Wilson Says:

    That electric Transit van is the first non-Tesla that appeals to me. With a wheelchair ramp and windows, it would be perfect patient and handicapped transport. It would also make a nice emergency vehicle.

  5. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Albemarle – It would be awesome if we could add a little more color or paint design to ordinary vehicles that’s still practical.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t see much connection between Cybertruck and minivans, but I certainly agree with Warren Browne that Cybertruck will outsell all of these other BEV trucks we’re hearing about. It has two big things going for it, the Tesla cult following, and if what Elon has been saying is correct, much lower price, with the base, RWD version for ~$40K. From what we’ve heard so far, the others will probably be at least $60K in their cheapest forms.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    2&5 Sure there are color choices. Its called wraps. Get any color design or graphic you like. Cheaper than having the car painted.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The electric Transit should be great for plumbers, etc., who work locally during the day, and can charge it overnight at home. The range vs price compromise should be a good one for that type of use. The 126 mile range should also be adequate for delivery use many places. Of course, the tall ones will have less range.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    Optimizing the Bronco for camping is a nice feature but I really wonder how often anyone uses it like that. I guess it cant hurt to provide a spacious interior but how many people will really sleep in the truck?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Dodge Challenger has more color choice than most of today’s cars, but it looks like Plum Crazy and that lime green color are not currently available.,PCD,X9,EZC,DEC,TR9,WHK,H7,UAG,22H

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Yeah, people who want to sleep in their vehicles buy vans. I occasionally sleep in my minivan, and people who want to sleep in, and carry a motorcycle in a van buy larger ones. A friend recently got a long, tall Transit van for that.

  12. George Ricci Says:

    If the Cybertruck sells well it will be because of the following Elon has, not that it’s a great truck. The large sail panels will make it impossible to reach over the side of the truck to get something out of the bed. Just ask any owner of the first generation Ridgeline. The stainless steel panels sound great on paper but, in the real world they just don’t work. You can not fix scratches and dents. We have seen this before with the DeLorean. The Tesla stylist\designer has never done a truck and it shows.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    Hey Sean I received an e-mail from Harley Davidson offering a $2000 HD card with the purchase of the new live wire bike MSRP $30,120 with a $350 destination charge.
    So already struggling to find buyers for this overpriced bike with only a 95 mile combined range. Not sure who is going to buy that other than collectors but offering $2000 rebate tells me its not selling.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 People buy Harleys for the “mystique,” and to make noise. The Live Wire checks neither box. I don’t think even Zero electric bikes are selling too well, and they are a much better value, and work pretty well. I test rode one about a year ago and liked it, but I’m not in the market for a bike.

  15. Kevin A Says:

    Not that it matters to Elon Musk, but Labrador in Canada already has hydro electricity it cannot get rid of (Churchill Falls) and an enormous nickel mine (Voisey’s Bay). If Elon provides jobs the power and nickel is just waiting for him.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    1 I am intrigued why you are ‘certain’ the new Bronco will do very well. First, could you define ‘very well’ specifically in terms of units sold? and Second, is this prediction just for the first year, or does it continue when its novelty wears out a few months later?

    6. Browne made a general point that the CT will do well because of its much lower price compared to every other BEV truck. It was unneccessary to use minivans as an example, this is true for any car segment. The Cybertruck was developed as kind of a joke, and it looks line one, just for fun, Musk said. Its weird looks may attract fans of that POS the De Lorean, and also .. Trekkies. It has this flavor of bad Sci Fi shows and movies. I don;t know how many losers still go to Star Trek COnventions, or if they have a driver’s license, much less if they have the $ to get one.

    4. While I also liked the Transit BEV, even its exterior styling, it is really disappointing that in the BEST case (lower roof) they can only squeeze a pitiful 123 miles from a 67 KWH battery. Tesla usually gets TWICE the miles from such a large battery. Also, what is the price of the ICE Transit? If it is half the $45,000, the BEV will not sell well.

  17. Kevin A Says:

    The Cyber truck has always looked like a van with the back cut off at an angle. Is there a plan for a Cyber van? ie same vehicle but without the back cut off?

  18. Kevin A Says:

    Sean, I noticed that the BMW Z4 has a wheelbase and width (97 in, 73 in) that is not much different that the original swb E type Jag (96 in, 65 in). If BMW needs another partner for their sports car, how about Jaguar with a “reborn” E-type. The weight and power seems to work out as well!

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16.4 Even the “low” Transit van is 82 inches high, and 80 inches wide. It is a big vehicle, so comparing range/kWh of battery with any Tesla is absurd. There is no similarity in the vehicles. The tallest Teslas, Models X and Y, are 64 inches tall.

    The cheapest gas Transit cargo van is ~$36K.

  20. joe Says:

    The Cybertruck is quite an ugly truck. Who in their mind, except Tesla fans, would buy such homely looking truck even if it’s cheap? Elon Musk promoting what he thinks again as being the best. I’m sure he’s got to be worried about his competitors who will have electric trucks that look like a truck….not like something someone built in their garage.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    usually I don’t watch ATW, recently the topics were too much about AVs and mobility and other topics I’m not too interested in, but the ATW linked in today’s transcript is much more interesting. I am watching it now. Browne has been following pickups for almost 50 years, and he makes a convincing presentation.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    19 not at all. The Transit is just all empty space, it’s not a heavy vehicle like the F 150 and its variants. It is made in Turkey for the EUro market, where vans are usually pretty small, and it has always been a rather SMALL van. On top of this, it does not need to go fast, it will be going slowly around town for most of its miles, so, 100% UNLIKE what you claim, if it was designed INTELLIGENTLY, it should be able to get far more than 126 miles from a 68kwh battery.

  23. XA351GT Says:

    Ford really missed a opportunity to tie the new van to the old one. Why they didn’t call it the Transit E series seems like a miss to me.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 The smallest Transit is 220 inches long, 82 inches high, and 81 inches wide, without mirrors. It weighs about 5000 pounds, with the non-turbo V6. Yes, for local deliveries, it wouldn’t need to go fast, and when driven slowly, its actual range might be better, relative to the EPA numbers, than most EVs.

    To you, I guess an “intelligently” designed cargo van would be 55 inches tall. Whatever you say.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 You don’t seem to know the difference between a Transit, the one this EV is based on, and the much smaller Transit Connect, the one formerly made in Turkey, now made in Spain for the US market.


    What I found interesting about ATW is the number of 1/2 ton trucks sold in the USA for over $60,000. That number according to Browne is 95,000 trucks total. That is amazing insight and goes against the perception that everyone is buying super expensive luxury 1/2 ton trucks. They simply are not.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Yeah, not too many over $60K, but a lot of them over $50K. According to Edmunds and J.D. Power, the average price of new pickups is about $50K.


    27) you have to be careful with that number. It likely includes 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. That’s why I found the number so fascinating. It isolated the total truck numbers that get commonly shared and broke it into the proper segment. I suspect the vast majority of 1/2 tons are fleet sales single cab 2wd which you can get in the 30s. I suspect the average 1/2 transaction is mid to high 40s.


    28) Update, Edmunds put the 1/2 average at $48,377.

  30. cwolf Says:

    Just by happenstance, I recently looked at truck prices at various dealers. Most were in the $50′s and mid-size hovered around $40-$43K.
    I always thought RAM was about $10K cheaper but I didn’t see it. I thought Toyota mid-size was less expensive than others but that,too, was not the case. I wonder if rebates and dealer discounting favors one brand over the other.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just checked the Silverado 1500 inventory at the local dealer in Cocoa, Florida, and it looks like they are discounting them a lot, especially the 2020s. The MSRPs of the cheapest ones are in the mid $40s, but they show “net price” of ~37K for most of them. A “High Country” with an MSRP of $66,690 is shown with a net price of $57,090.

  32. cwolf Says:

    I just viewed an article that Rivian and Ford have patents to extend the range of their electric pickups. Rivian’s idea is a removable battery pack that fits in the bed behind the cab. Ford ‘s similar idea is a gas generator to extend the driving range.
    My take is that both are heavy to remove if needed. I’m curious if the battery pack can be charged when the main plug-in is used and the added time it takes.
    I don’t know what to make of Ford’s idea. My first thought was, why not just buy a house generator, then get the proper adaptor that Ford uses. Not sure if I’m sold on any of these ideas.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 It probably takes some special electronics to be able to charge from a generator while driving, if it can do that. The whole idea of the generator sounds stupid, and probably environmentally much worse that just driving a gas truck. The generator probably doesn’t meet vehicle emission controls, but even if it does, the overall efficiency is probably less than a gas vehicle without all of the conversion loss.

    With the battery in the bed, maybe you can use two chargers at a charge station and speed things up.

  34. Sean Wagner Says:

    Ford E-Transit range

    Quote from Ford direct/
    By leveraging more than 30 million miles of Ford Telematics™ data, we learned that the average daily range for commercial vans in the U.S. is 74 miles. Of course we also understand that there are days when those distances are higher, and recognize the need to adjust for factors such as cold weather. We consequently designed E-Transit with a targeted 126 miles of range (Cargo Van low-roof models).

    I have to agree Ford’s quoted range is low compared to our usual (EVial?) culprits, but frontal area and the dimensionless coefficient of drag will substantially affect it, especially at higher speeds.

    So how much of the EPA standard is based on highway speeds matters, and how that diverges from actual vehicle use.

    Commercial vans certainly have enormous potential for electrification.

  35. cwolf Says:

    34) Thinking as if I were a commercial van driver, I would have the heater on most of the time in the winter. So real winter range would be around 80 miles. Since the average is 74 miles/day, I fret the thought of being out in the bad part of town or in the rurals with no heat or power to get home. My backup kit would include STERNO and a hand gun.

  36. Sean Wagner Says:

    A heat pump like Tesla now uses would help in that respect, but it’s definitely a point worth noting. Especially if there’s a lot of stop-open-close-open-close-go involved.

    On the other hand, with 62 kWh of battery capacity, you can burn through quite some energy. Maybe that explains the unexpectedly low quoted range.

    And there’s always the below median range part of the market. Commercial vehicles operate in predictable areas.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Here’s some info about how the EPA tests range of EVs, and measure MPGe. As with mpg of gas cars, the range ratings are downwardly adjust to more closely reflect reality.

    I suspect Ford just picked an initial battery size for the van, as a compromise between price and range. Businesses will buy, or not buy it based on the range needed for their purposes. With a big, flat floored box like the Transit, there is probably room to more than double that 67 kWh battery, if they decide that there are customers willing to pay for it.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They could put a gasoline heater in the electric Transit, like were sometimes used in VW Beetles, Corvairs, and air cooled Porsches.

  39. Sean Wagner Says:

    34 Kit – Thank you, very useful.

    Ford put together a nifty page that’s worth looking at. This is a well thought-out solution for diverse transportion needs and not just an afterthought (like the hybrid in Europe).

    I appreciate details like the note that 67kWh is the battery’s usable capacity. And that remote pre-conditioning is available.

    Also, different battery-packs may be added later, which makes a lot of sense in a fleet context where the vehicle mix can be tailored to the tasks.

    I think SAAB in its heydays once offered an optional heat-storage device for its cars. In Norway, some parking lots come with connections to engine-block heaters.

    And of course anyone who’s driven a modern Diesel without additional electric compensators knows how flippin’ long it can take until you get some warmth on a winter’s day.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    39 only dinosaur diesels had such problems. Maybe in WW II at the RUssian front? My 2007 and 2008 are hardly “modern” and they NEVER, EVER failed to start IMMEDIATELY regardless if it was -20 or -40 F in the morning. And last winter, as I had filled the garage with some of the 200 heavy boxes of books I would move in March, the car was outside overnight all the time.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    Here we see several small and more affordable VOlvos than the one in front of me, blocking my way, and as slow as molasses, I saw last Fri as I did the scenic drive to my weekly shopping.

    It was a top of the line XC 90 Breadvan on stilts, with a sign on the right that must have been “V8″ (it looked almost a 6 but I don’t think VOlvo offers 6s on this model).

    TO make matters worse, I was late for a 1 PM appointment (it was 12:45 PM and it was a half hour drive back)

    the country road had just one lane each way and there was enough traffic to make passing this hippopotamus risky, so I waited and waited (about 5 mins) as this jerk drove the V8 at what seemed like 20-30 MPH. Finally he turned left and made my day. He (not 100% sure if it was a he or a she or an it driving it) was the proud recipient of my immense middle finger.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 Yep, my 2004 VW TDI warmed up slowly, especially at low speed/light load. Diesels warm up slowly because they are efficient, not burning as much fuel as gas engines. Also, because they don’t normally have throttle valves, they are pumping a lot of air through the engine, providing engine cooling “internally,” so less heat goes to the cooling system than a gas engine.

    40 Did you even read Sean’s post? He didn’t say anything about starting difficulties with diesels.

  43. Sean Wagner Says:

    42 Kit – Precisely.


    The E-Transit is $10K more then the ICE transit. I think this is priced correctly for the right user. It isn’t going to work for everyone, particularly the rural deliveries in northern climates because of range, but that is OK. That is why the ICE transit still exists.

    From what I can see, the current ICE Transit has a $0.20 cost per mile to run. Not sure what the cost per mile is for the E-Transit just yet. Assuming it was half of the ICE variant, then you would break even on it. I could see the running costs being 50% of the ICE if charging was done off peak and factoring in the reduced maintenance schedule.

    Ford could put a larger battery in the transit and give it more range, but it appears that they are trying to keep it to that $10,000 price difference so that the math works out to a break even scenario for a large cross section of their buyers.

  45. Lambo2015 Says:

    44 Yeah if companies that operate within that EV range bought EVs and installed their own charging infrastructure it could have a decent impact on pollution and the sales of EVs. Would it be enough to bring battery prices down?
    This whole pandemic thing could help EVs too as more and more restaurants and stores are offering delivery service themselves or at least through a third party.
    In metropolitan areas where a person can get almost anything delivered to them, and ride sharing some folks like retirees may not need a car anymore.

  46. cwolf Says:

    45) As many small businesses offer delivery services, they do so just to stay afloat and cannot afford to purchase any vehicle. If they begin to open their doors by next year, then they are stuck with payments on a vehicle with a rather low range, plus fewer deliveries.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think a moderate range electric version of Ford’s smaller van, the Transit Connect, would be good for deliveries of restaurant food, etc., if the price could be kept reasonable, like ~$30K.