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0:08 Senators Urge Biden To Pick Date to Ban ICE Sales
0:58 Analyst Predicts Tesla Market Cap to Explode
1:46 Musk Denies Tesla’s Used for Spying
3:27 Lexus Equips Custom IS with Record Player
4:04 Jeep Shows Off Electric Wrangler Concept
5:22 Plug-In Wrangler Electric Range Falls Short of Estimates
6:19 Chip Shortage Likely to Get Worse
7:00 Geely Plans to Create Premium EV Brand
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
SENATORS URGE BIDEN TO PICK DATE TO BAN ICE SALES
Banning internal combustion engines is becoming quite the thing to do. Last year, California announced an ICE ban by 2035. And now the state’s two senators, Diane Feinstein and Alex Padilla, sent a letter to President Biden urging him “to follow California’s lead.” They also asked Biden to restore California’s ability to set its own emission standards, which was revoked under the Trump Administration. Shortly after Biden was inaugurated in January, his administration ordered U.S. agencies to revisit fuel economy targets in July and it announced plans to electrify the government’s fleet of vehicles. During his election campaign however, Biden declined to endorse a specific date to ban new ICE vehicle sales.
ANALYST PREDICTS TESLA MARKET CAP TO EXPLODE
Tesla has a market cap of $628 billion, more than any automaker. But that’s nothing. How about a $4 trillion market cap by 2025? That’s what Cathie Wood, from Ark Investment, is predicting. And so far, her predictions for Tesla have pretty much been on the money. She says Tesla will generate $327 billion in revenue a year thanks to Full Self-Driving. And somewhere between $234 billion and $376 billion a year by selling cars. It’s enough to make your head spin. But that’s actually something of a downgrade for Cathie Wood. Last year she predicted Tesla stock would hit $7,000 a share by 2024.
MUSK DENIES TESLA’S USED FOR SPYING
Meanwhile you probably heard that China is banning Tesla’s from military and government properties. That includes banning military people and government employees from driving them anywhere. It’s all got to do with all those cameras on the cars. China is afraid they’ll be used for spying. Elon Musk denied his cars are used for spying and that Tesla would be shut down if it did. But it also looks like Tesla could get caught in the crosshairs as the U.S. and China ramp up their war of words.
Last week on Autoline After Hours we took you on a deep dive into the new Chevrolet Bolt EUV. This week we’re taking you on a deep dive into the Volkswagen ID.4. Our guest will be Hein Schafer, the Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy at Volkswagen of America. If you’ve got questions you’d like us to ask him, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet it to @Autoline. Then join John and Gary for some of the best insights into what’s going on in the automotive industry.
LEXUS EQUIPS CUSTOM IS WITH RECORD PLAYER
There’s a history of mixing record players and automobiles and it’s like trying to mix oil with water. Bumps in the road make records skip and don’t even get me started on the distracted driving aspect of it. But Lexus teamed up to make a custom version of the IS, called the Wax, with a record player mounted in the glove box. And get this, it says it won’t skip, even going over bumps. Parts of the player were 3D printed and modified with carbon fiber to make it fit into the glove box. And impressively it still fits a 12-inch record.
JEEP SHOWS OFF ELECTRIC WRANGLER CONCEPT
Easter is coming up, which means Jeep is sending a number of custom machines to Moab. We’re going to focus on the Magneto, a two-door Wrangler Rubicon that’s been converted to run on electric power only. A single electric motor, which was tuned to put out the same power as the 3.6L V6 it replaces, is still mated to the vehicle’s manual transmission. In the lowest possible gear setting, Jeep said it clocked the Magneto at a true snail’s pace of 5-feet per minute. Remember there’s no need to feather the clutch in an EV with a manual. The electric motor is fed by 4 battery packs, one mounted in the front, two in the middle and one in the rear, that combine for a total capacity of 70 kWh. It’s capable of doing 0-60 in 6.8 seconds and still driving through up to 30-inches of water. Jeep didn’t reveal range, but did confirm it weighs 5,750 pounds, which is about 1,500 pounds more than a standard 2-door Wrangler Rubicon. But this is not a production vehicle. It plans to bring it to Moab for the next 3 years to learn more and says, if it ever produces a Wrangler EV, it would have a different powertrain layout.
PHEV WRANGLER ELECTRIC RANGE FALLS SHORT OF ESTIMATES
In other electrified Jeep news, the plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler, called 4xe, is officially rated by the EPA as having 21 miles of electric-only range. But that’s a bit disappointing. Jeep initially estimated that its 17.3 kWh battery pack would return 25 miles of range.
CHIP SHORTAGE LIKELY TO GET WORSE
The global chip shortage continues to go from bad to worse. Supplies are likely to become even more crunched after a fire broke out at one of Japanese chip maker Renesas’s plants in Japan. The company, which controls 30% of the automotive semiconductor market, said it will take at least a month to get production of its 300 millimeter or 12-inch chips restarted. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are meeting to discuss the impact the incident will have on their operations. But with Renesas controlling such a big chunk of the automotive chip market, it will likely affect companies outside of Japan as well.
GEELY PLANS TO CREATE PREMIUM EV BRAND
Chinese automaker Geely is adding another brand to its portfolio. It currently owns Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, Proton and Lynk & Co and now Reuters reports it will create a premium EV brand called Zeekr. Its vehicles will be built on an open-source EV chassis Geely revealed last year called the Sustainable Experience Architecture. The new brand will have showrooms or “hubs” instead of dealerships and will sell cars at a fixed price. And to form a deeper connection with customers, it will open lifestyle lines for clothing and accessories and launch a car owner’s club, which is something Chinese EV maker Nio has done. The goal of Zeekr is to compete in the high-end EV segment with companies like Tesla, Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto.
That brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for watching and you’ll find us right here 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.