Listen to “AD #3083 – Kia Shares More EV6 Details; Biden Visits Ford EV Plant; Multimatic To Build Porsche's LMDh Chassis” on Spreaker.
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0:08 President Biden Visits Ford EV Plant
1:14 EV Stocks Jump After Biden Touts Investment Proposal
1:42 Kia Shares More EV6 Details
3:01 Kia Makes Slight Name Change in North America
4:15 New Hummer EV Is Quite Beefy
5:05 Porsche Taps Multimatic To Build LMDh Sports Car Chassis
7:05 Labor Unions Concerned Autonomous Trucks Will Cost Jobs
7:39 Daimler Begins Fuel-Cell Truck Tests
8:36 New Mercedes SL Structure Lighter but Stronger
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
PRESIDENT BIDEN VISITS FORD EV PLANT
Yesterday, President Biden visited Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan where it will build electric vehicles, to tout his $174 billion proposal to speed up EV growth in the U.S. He urged automakers to build EVs in the U.S. and not abroad, in an effort to save jobs. Biden also got to take the new electric F-150 Lightning out for a brief spin and was impressed, saying “This sucker’s quick.” By the way, you can watch the reveal for that F-150 tonight at 9:30 PM Eastern time on YouTube. The majority of Biden’s proposal, $100 billion, would go towards rebates for purchasing an EV, although not for higher priced luxury models. Another $10 billion is earmarked for credits for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. He also wants to spend $15 billion by 2030 to build more EV charging stations and $45 billion would be spent on electric school and transit buses.
EV STOCKS JUMP AFTER BIDEN TOUTS INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
Investors loved hearing President Biden’s push to spend big on EVs. Lordstown’s stock shot up 20% on the news. XL Fleet jumped 10%, while Workhorse, Fisker, Lucid and Hyliion also posted strong gains. And so did Blink Charging and QuantumScape. Strangely, Tesla’s stock didn’t react to the news, staying almost unchanged.
KIA SHARES MORE EV6 DETAILS
Details are coming in about Kia’s first dedicated BEV, the EV6. And for a bit of a size comparison, its wheelbase is about the same as the Telluride SUV. It will be offered as both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models, of which there’s two power outputs for each setup. The lower power RWD model has 167 horsepower and a 58-kWh battery pack, while the other has 218 horsepower and a 77.4-kWh pack. The AWD versions come with the larger battery and puts out 313 and 576 horsepower, respectively. The latter will do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. Kia didn’t reveal range for the smaller pack, but says the 77.4-kWh one will provide up to 300 miles or 482 kilometers of range. And thanks to fast charging capability up to 210 miles of range can be added in as little as 18 minutes. Kia will start taking reservations for the limited First Edition on June 3rd, while regular sales are expected to kick off early next year.
KIA MAKES SLIGHT NAME CHANGE IN NORTH AMERICA
In other Kia news, it announced it’s changing its name in the American market. Kia Motors North America will now be known as Kia North America. And in the U.S., it will change from Kia Motors America to Kia America. It’s a small change, but the name rolls off the tongue easier.
NEW HUMMER EV IS QUITE BEEFY
I know it will surprise some to learn that Jeep’s new Grand Wagoneer can tip the scale at over 6,400 pounds or about 2,900 kilos, but that’s nothing compared to the Hummer EV. GMC confirmed reports the pickup will weigh more than 9,000 pounds or roughly 4,100 kilos are accurate. Before you say, ‘that’s as much as a dually pickup,’ just know we’re talking about the Launch Edition model. That’s the one with three electric motors, which combine for 1,000 horsepower, and is rumored to have an equally massive 200 kWh battery pack. It does help explain why the Hummer EV weighs nearly 1,000 pounds more than some versions of the H1 Hummer, but it’s still an attention-grabbing number.
PORSCHE TAPS MULTIMATIC TO BUILD LMDh SPORTS CAR CHASSIS
Two weeks ago, Porsche revealed it’s partnering with Penske to race in the new LMDh category in IMSA and the WEC. And now we know who’s supplying the team with cars. It’s going to use a chassis developed by Canadian company Multimatic. The car weighs about 1,000 kilograms or 2,200 pounds and is powered by a hybrid setup that generates 680 horsepower, but they won’t hit the track until 2023. Audi will also use the same chassis. Multimatic is a name you probably recognize by now. It’s the same company that builds the Ford GT and those wicked spool valve shocks for the Colorado ZR2.
We’ve got a great Autoline After Hours coming up tomorrow. Joining John and Gary will be Eric Noble from The Car Lab and Sam Fiorani from AutoForecast Solutions. Some of the topics they’ll tackle include; Would Americans buy a Hong Guang Mini EV? Will OEMs become “tech” companies, before tech companies become “OEMs”? Did COVID kill car sharing? Will EVs have hockey-stick growth? And will OEMs price themselves out of the market? I don’t know how they’ll manage to fit it all in, but it all gets going at 3 pm eastern time and you’re invited to join in.
LABOR UNIONS CONCERNED AUTONOMOUS TRUCKS WILL COST JOBS
The Teamsters Union and the AFL-CIO are worried that autonomous vehicles will eliminate thousands of truck driver jobs. They’re calling on the U.S. Congress to mandate that all commercial AVs that weigh over 10,000 pounds must have a human on board. Trial lawyers whose income comes mainly from traffic accidents are also opposed to autonomous cars. The pressure is on. Waymo and Cruise recently applied to expand operations in San Francisco.
DAIMLER BEGINS FUEL-CELL TRUCK TESTS
While there’s debate over whether fuel cells make sense for passenger vehicles, a number of automakers think it’s the perfect solution for long-haul trucks. And Daimler revealed it started testing its fuel-cell semi-truck, the GenH2, on the track in April. By the end of the year, it plans to test it on public roads and in 2023, Daimler will hand the truck over to customers to test. By 2027, Daimler plans to have it in series-production. The truck is equipped with all-new components which is what engineers are focusing on during the tests. The GenH2 must meet the same durability requirements as its traditional big trucks, which are required to last at least 1.2 million kilometers or more than 745,000 miles over a ten-year period and a total of 25,000 hours of operation.
NEW MERCEDES SL STRUCTURE LIGHTER BUT STRONGER
And speaking of Daimler, two generations ago Mercedes Benz actually put lead weights in the body of the SL convertible to eliminate cowl shake. They had lead weights on the firewall, in the trunk and in the top of the windshield frame. But the new SL is all about lightweighting. It’s body-in-white is a composition of aluminum, steel, magnesium, fiberglass and carbon fiber. It uses castings, stampings and extrusions. And it’s all put together using MIG welding, laser welding, punch riveting, blind riveting, MIG soldering and structural adhesives. The structure that you’re looking at here weighs only 595 pounds, yet has 18% more torsional rigidity, 40% more longitudinal rigidity and 50% more transverse rigidity. And we’re guessing that Mercedes’ engineers figured out how to get rid of those lead weights.
But that’s it for today’s show, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.