0:29 Consumer Reports Will Not Recommend Tesla’s Model 3
1:14 China Pushes Buyers Into EVs, Out of Gas
2:05 China Reduces Import Tariffs
3:09 Low-Cost 3D Surround-View Camera from Magna
3:48 Dodge Viper Badges & Their Nicknames
4:25 Aerodynamic Wheels for Big Trucks
5:19 Bosch Helps Motorcycles from Wiping Out
On today’s show… Consumer Reports says, “Don’t buy a Model 3”… some Chinese cities are practically forcing car buyers to get an EV… and Bosch develops a system to prevent motorcycles from wiping out. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS, “NOPE, WE DON’T LIKE IT”
Consumer Reports will not recommend that anyone buy Tesla’s Model 3. It came to that conclusion after its Model 3 test vehicle took 152-feet to come to a stop from 60 miles-per-hour. That’s not very good. To put that in perspective, that’s 7-feet more than it takes for an F-150 to stop from the same speed. Other media outlets have also complained about the Model 3’s poor stopping distance. But Tesla never reacted to them. Obviously it really cares what Consumer Reports has to say because Tesla was quick to address the issue. It says the braking distance can be improved with new hardware that it will roll out in a couple of days.
CHINA PUSHES BUYERS INTO EVs
Sales of electric cars are soaring in China and now we know one of the reasons why. In major cities in China it’s almost impossible to get a license plate for a new car with a gasoline engine. Bloomberg reports that one Beijing resident waited two years to get a license plate, then threw in the towel and bought an electric car instead. He got a BYD Qin 300, which costs $37,000. Beijing, a city of 21 million people, has a lottery two times a year where residents can compete for 40,000 license plates, so they are very hard to get. You can buy one at an auction, but those plates cost over $12,000. However, if you buy an electric car the plate is for free and you can get it a lot faster.
CHINA REDUCES IMPORT TARIFFS
China is going to reduce its import tariffs on cars. It was at 25% but is going down to 15%. That’s still pretty high. Import tariffs for cars going into the European Union are 10%. In the U.S., import duties on passenger cars are 2.5% and 25% for trucks. China is also going to reduce the import tariff on car parts from 15% down to 6%. This will help foreign automakers and suppliers importing products to China, but it’s only a modest step forward.
Still to come, a new kind of surround view system for entry level cars.
LOW-COST SURROUND-VIEW FROM MAGNA
360-degree surround-view camera angles are especially helpful for parking big SUVs and pickup trucks and soon they’ll be even more useful. Most current systems just show the vehicle from a bird’s eye point-of-view, but the giant supplier Magna and semiconductor maker Renesas have a new 3D surround view. In parking and low speed maneuvers, it allows drivers to toggle between a number of different camera angles. This is a low-cost solution that is meant for entry-level to mid-range vehicles and the two companies say a European automaker will be the first to adopt it.
YES WE NEED THESE STINKIN’ BADGES
Did you know there were three different Dodge Viper badges? And did you know each badge has its own nickname? The badge from 1992 to 2002 is called “Sneaky Pete,” the one from 2003 to 2010 is “Fangs” and the final badge from 2013 to 2017 is called “Stryker.” That’s Stryker with a “y,” just like some convertible Spyders are spelled with a “y.” And if you’re a giant Viper fan, the 2nd ever Viper-only Concours will be held next year, May 3rd – 5th at the historic Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
AERODYNAMIC TRUCK WHEELS
We’re no strangers to aerodynamic wheels on this channel and here’s something that caught our eye at the Great Designs in Steel Seminars last week. It’s a steel insert that goes into an already existing wheel for large commercial vehicles to improve aerodynamics. The company that developed the wheel, Maxion Wheels says it still needs to test the setup to see how it works and it could be several years before we see it on trucks. But you saw it here first.
Coming up next, Bosch developed a way to prevent motorcycles from wiping out.
BOSCH STOPS MOTORCYCLES FROM WIPING OUT
Advanced safety systems are common for cars, trucks and SUVs and now the supplier Bosch is working to bring the same technologies into motorcycles. It’s adding radar for bikes that allows for automatic cruise control, blind spot recognition, and collision warning where the rider gets an audio or visual signal if another vehicle is dangerously close. Bosch has also developed a solution that greatly reduces the risk of wiping out. If a sensor detects sideways wheel slip, a gas is vented through a nozzle that provides a lateral force to help keep the motorcycle upright and on course. Bosch says it’s like a magic hand that helps keep the bike upright and interestingly enough, the gas accumulator they use is plucked from passenger car airbags. And that should help keep down the cost.
And that brings us to the end of today’s report. Thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.