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0:29 Ford Revamps China Operations
1:14 UK Bans “Reckless” Car Ads
1:48 Tesla to Announce Earnings
2:53 Continental Develops Biometric Technology
3:38 Navya Opens Assembly Plant in U.S.
4:06 Renault Moves Twizy Production to South Korea
5:05 Why Long Range EVs Are Less Efficient
On today’s show…Jolly old England does not like car commercials with fast cars…there’s new technology that allows your car to recognize you just by looking at you…and why long-range electric cars are less efficient than short range ones. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the voice of the automotive industry.
FORD REVAMPS CHINA OPERATIONS
Things are going bad for Ford in China. Sales plunged 43% in September and are down 30% so far this year. Earlier this year, the head of its China operations, Jason Luo, abruptly resigned after just 5 months on the job, citing personal reasons. So Ford just announced it’s separating its China operations from its Asia Pacific division, to form a stand-alone business unit. That cuts out a layer of management between Ford China and the company’s headquarters in the U.S. Anning Chen was just named as the head of Ford China. He’s a 25-year veteran of the auto industry, and was the CEO of Chery before joining Ford.
UK BANS “RECKLESS” CAR ADS
The United Kingdom, home to the greatest motorsports industry in the world, does not like car companies promoting fast cars. Ford, FCA and Nissan are in hot water over advertisements that an industry watchdog says encourages reckless driving. The Advertising Standards Authority banned several commercials after receiving a number of complaints from viewers about the ads. The companies deny they were promoting unsafe driving but the agency didn’t see it that way and banned the ads.
TESLA TO ANNOUNCE EARNINGS
Tonight is the night that everyone who watches Tesla is waiting for. The company is going to release its third quarter earnings. And all eyes will be on whether Uncle Elon met his promise to finally deliver a net profit. Here’s my Autoline Insight. I expect Tesla to deliver a net profit that will surprise and delight Wall Street. I bet the numbers look really good. But now the question becomes, how sustainable is it? Will this be a one-time flash in the pan, or will it become the first in a string of profitable quarters? We’ll have a lot more information in tomorrow’s Autoline Daily.
Coming up next, the technology that allows your car to recognize you, just by looking at you.
CONTINENTAL DEVELOPS BIOMETRIC TECHNOLOGY
Continental is developing new technology that uses biometrics for vehicle access. Instead of using a key fob…voice, facial, eye and fingerprint recognition can be used to start the car. That info is stored in the vehicle and in the Continental cloud. And for more security, if a vehicle has a camera mounted on the side mirror, it can be used for facial recognition. Once it verifies the driver, the doors unlock and the vehicle automatically adjusts the seats, mirrors and music, to a pre-set preference. And this also allows for personalization, since the system can store multiple biometric settings for each driver.
NAVYA OPENS ASSEMBLY PLANT IN U.S.
It’s fascinating to see the market for autonomous vehicles develop. Navya, the French company that makes autonomous shuttles that run on fixed routes, just opened a small assembly plant in Michigan. Right now it’s only making one a month, though it has plenty of capacity to grow. The 15-foot long shuttle weighs 5,300 pounds and can hold 15 passengers, and sells for $300,000.
RENAULT MOVES TWIZY PRODUCTION TO SOUTH KOREA
Meanwhile, Renault is moving production of its electric Twizy out of Europe and over to South Korea. The Twizy never met sales targets, probably because it has tandem seating, where the passenger sits behind the driver in a very small and cramped space. A base model costs about $8,000. As a result of poor sales, only 33 people were making Twizy’s at a Renault factory in Spain. And since 90% of them were exported to South Korea, it made sense to move production there.
Coming up next, we’ll explain why electric cars with longer range are not as efficient as ones with shorter range.
WHY LONG RANGE EVs ARE LESS EFFICIENT
There’s a problem with electric cars that most people are not aware of but becomes very obvious once you point it out. EVs that are fitted with bigger batteries for longer range are less efficient. They use more electricity. That’s because batteries are really heavy. The 60 kilowatt hour battery in the Chevrolet Bolt EV, for example, weighs nearly 1,000 pounds. It’s simple physics. It takes more energy to move a vehicle with more mass. Tesla provides a good comparison. A Model X with the 75D battery pack uses 36 kilowatt hours of electricity to travel 100 miles, according to its EPA rating. But a Model X with the P100D battery uses 40 kilowatt hours to travel the same distance, making it 11% less efficient. People want bigger batteries to avoid range anxiety. Maybe as fast chargers become as common as gasoline pumps that anxiety will go away and they’ll buy EVs with smaller batteries. But right now the longer the range it has, the less efficient an EV becomes.
EV EFFICIENCY COMPARISON
Tesla Model X 75D 36 kWh/100 miles
Tesla Model X P100D 40 kWh/100 miles
A programming note here, there will not be an Autoline After Hours this week. But be sure to join us next week when we’ll have Tim Herrick, the chief engineer of the all-new Chevrolet Silverado on the show, with the truck in the studio. And we’ll take a deep dive into how they engineered that truck.
But with that we wrap up today’s show, thanks for watching.
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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.