Listen to “AD #3036 – Kia Unveils 1st Dedicated BEV; VW Plans to Switch EV Battery Type; Lordstown Accused of Misleading Investors” on Spreaker.
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0:08 VW Plans to Switch EV Battery Type
0:48 Panasonic Needs to Reduce Reliance on Tesla
1:21 Kia Unveils 1st Dedicated BEV
2:49 NTSB Calls for Stricter AV Regulation
4:09 Drivers More Likely to Speed Using Adaptive Cruise Control
4:58 Mercedes Owners Can Pay for Fuel Digitally
5:53 Lordstown Accused of Misleading Investors
7:28 Martinrea Applies Graphene Coating to Brake Lines
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
VW PLANS TO SWITCH EV BATTERY TYPE
Volkswagen plans to switch the type of batteries it uses for electric vehicles. Reuters reports it will phase out the use of pouch batteries in favor of prismatic. LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation supply VW with the pouch batteries while CATL and Samsung SDI supply it with prismatic ones. The automaker may be making the switch because prismatic batteries are relatively safer than pouch batteries according to one analyst. He also says there isn’t enough supplies of prismatic batteries, so it could take a while before VW fully adopts them.
PANASONIC NEEDS TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON TESLA
And speaking of battery supplies, Panasonic’s outgoing CEO, Kazuhiro Tsuga, says the company needs to lessen its reliance on Tesla and needs to start supplying more global automakers with EV batteries. He said “…we need to graduate from our one-legged approach of relying solely on Tesla.” While Panasonic may need to diversify the companies it supplies, last month it said its Tesla battery business will be profitable this year.
KIA UNVEILS 1ST DEDICATED BEV
Kia revealed its first dedicated battery electric vehicle, the EV6. But we’re not really sure what type of vehicle this is. Is it a sedan, station wagon, crossover or fastback? It’s almost like a combination of all four. One thing that’s for sure is this is a progressive design. Frequent viewers already know we’re a fan of the grille-less front end, which we think ages better, and that really allows for the hood to have this cascading effect, like water flowing over a boulder. Note how designers created a floating roof with blacked out A-pillars and a shark fin at the rear. We have a feeling a two-tone paint scheme on the EV6 would look great. Rounding out the exterior styling is what looks like a single light bar that extends from rear wheel arch to rear wheel arch. Like the exterior, interior styling is uncluttered. The instrument cluster and infotainment screen blend together and float in the middle of the dashboard. Kia didn’t reveal any specs for the EV6 but it’s based on the same platform as the Hyundai IONIQ 5, so we would expect similar figures; battery sizes that range between 58 kWh and 77.4 kWh that provide somewhere around 375-500 kilometers or 230-300 miles of range.
NTSB CALLS FOR STRICTER AV REGULATION
The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for stricter autonomous vehicle regulation. The agency wrote a letter to NHTSA saying, in part, that it needs to implement rules that prevent driver assistance systems from operating beyond their intended use. We agree, but the NTSB seems to have a particular issue with Tesla’s FSD and Autopilot system. It mentions the EV maker multiple times in the letter and says NHTSA’s lack of requirements has allowed Tesla to operate a highly-automated system “with limited oversight or reporting requirements.”
IIHS SAYS DRIVERS MORE LIKELY TO SPEED USING ACC
Adaptive cruise control is a great feature when you’re on a long trip or stuck in traffic. But the IIHS says drivers are more likely to speed when using the feature. That’s because the system can be set above the legal speed limit. While some research shows adaptive cruise control can lower crash risks, the IIHS did its own study and found that drivers were 24% more likely to speed on limited-access highways. Drivers exceeded the speed limit by the largest margin in 55 MPH zones by an average of 8 MPH over the limit. The IIHS says more research needs to be done but it suggests that the systems should not be allowed to be set over the speed limit to help prevent speeding.
MERCEDES OWNERS CAN PAY FOR FUEL DIGITALLY
Connected car technology is going to allow Mercedes owners in Germany to fill up the tank without digging into their wallet or purse. Using either the Mercedes me App or the vehicle’s infotainment screen, owners first select a participating station and then start the navigation to that location. Geofencing automatically identifies the station and once the engine is shut off, the customer picks a fuel pump. The system calculates the price based on how much room is left in the tank, the type of fuel selected and its price. Then the customer authorizes that amount, starts filling and drives off once they’re done. They’re only charged what they put in and even have a receipt sent to them. There’s over 900 filling stations in Germany already participating and Mercedes will roll this out to other European countries by the end of the year.
LORDSTOWN ACCUSED OF MISLEADING INVESTORS
Well Hindenburg Research is back at it. This time it’s accusing EV startup Lordstown Motors of misleading investors about its demand and production capabilities. The report caused Lordstown’s stock to drop by as much as 23% on Friday. Hindenburg says Lordstowns claims of 100,000 preorders of its truck is “largely fictitious” based on conversations it’s had with former employees, business partners and document reviews. It also claims Lordstown is facing issues that will delay production by at least three years. Lordstown denies the allegations. But it’s important to note that Hindenburg has a short position on Lordstown, so it stands to gain from a drop in its stock price. But last year, Hindenburg accused Nikola of similar wrongdoing, which turned out to be true and led to the ouster of then CEO Trevor Milton.
MARTINREA APPLIES GRAPHENE COATING TO BRAKE LINES
For those of you that don’t know, Graphene is a form of carbon that was discovered fairly recently that has all kinds of great qualities that we’re only just starting to scratch the surface of for possible uses. Canadian parts supplier Martinrea owns 20% of a graphene company and has come up with an interesting application for the material. Here’s the CEO of the company to explain…
(The Martinrea soundbite is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
Pat D’Eramo goes on to call graphene a “wonder material” and says the average brake line will fail after going 5,000 cycles in an abrasion test. The graphene line lasts for nearly 500,000 cycles, so it’s 100 times more durable. You can watch that entire interview on our website in the Autoline Exclusive section or on our YouTube channel.
And don’t forget to join us for Autoline After Hours this Thursday when our guest will be Rob Mantinan, the program manager for the new Chevy Bolt EUV. If you have any questions about that vehicle send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But that wraps up this show. Thanks for watching and we hope to see you 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.