Listen to “AD #3096 – Ford Maverick is a 40MPG Hybrid?!; More Apple EV Rumors; Kia Reveals All-New Sportage” on Spreaker.
Follow us on social media:
0:07 Ford Maverick Revealed
2:11 Biden Admin Wraps Up U.S. Supply Chain Review
2:57 Apple Rumors Have It Teaming with CATL & BYD
4:14 Kia Reveals All-New Sportage
4:55 Renault Testing Electric Megane CUV
5:37 New Report Says Tesla’s Sales Were Up in China
6:49 Plug-In Sales Surge in China
7:29 GM Opens OnStar to Anyone
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
FORD MAVERICK IS A 40 MPG HYBRID?!
No more waiting. Here’s the all-new Ford Maverick pickup. And did Ford pull a fast one on us, or what? We thought we had a good, basic idea of what this truck was going to be like. But a standard hybrid powertrain that should deliver up to 40 MPG in the city was not expected. That setup pairs a 2.5L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder to an electric motor and CVT to drive the front wheels. Combined it puts out 191 horsepower and has the ability to carry 1,500 pounds or tow 2,000 pounds. There’s a more powerful 250 horsepower setup that features a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, an 8-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. With an optional tow package it’s able to handle up to 4,000 pounds. As we’ve been saying, the Maverick is intended to fit a number of lifestyles and as such Ford tried to make it as customizable as possible. A specially designed slot in the back of the center console allows a number of attachments, from additional cupholders to hooks for bags and purses. Ford is even working to publish the dimensions of that slot so people can 3D print their own, customized solutions. The 4.5 foot bed area is also particularly customizable. There’s ways to segment storage, create an elevated floor or bike or kayak rack as well as two tie-downs, four D-rings and built-in threaded holes. Two 110 volt 400 watt electrical outlets, one in the bed, one in the cabin, can support anything from a cell phone to a jigsaw. We’ve seen our comments section light up over the years about the need for a truck like this to come back, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the Maverick sells once it hits the American market this fall with a starting MSRP of just under $20-grand.
BIDEN ADMIN WRAPS UP U.S. SUPPLY CHAIN REVIEW
The Biden Administration wrapped up its findings of a 100-day review of the USA’s supply chains for a number of industries, including automotive. The goal is to rebuild domestic manufacturing of critical materials and products, and diversify the sources to make sure the U.S. doesn’t suffer shortages. The Administration is taking immediate steps to secure supplies for advanced batteries, invest in production and processing of critical minerals and address the chip shortage. There will also be requirements that companies that develop products with federal support must manufacture them in the U.S. The White House will release more supply chain related details over the next few weeks and months.
APPLE RUMORS HAVE IT TEAMING WITH CATL & BYD
There’s been a lot of speculation and rumors over Apple jumping into the electric car market. And now Reuters reports that the tech giant is in early talks with Chinese battery maker CATL and car company BYD about battery supplies for its EV. All three companies declined to comment on the report. Sources say Apple wants to manufacture the batteries in the U.S. but CATL is reluctant to open a facility in the U.S. due to tensions between China and the U.S. While Apple has not confirmed plans for its EV, last December Reuters reported that its aiming to introduce it in 2024.
KIA REVEALS ALL-NEW SPORTAGE
The Kia Sportage is losing its bubbly appearance in favor of a more aggressive style for the all-new 5th-generation. Note the hard, sharp lines around the rear exhaust, taillamps, D-pillar and probably best highlighted by the boomerang DRLs at the front. The look of the front end is somewhat mimicked on the interior by air vents that seem to bookend the large display screens that make up the instrument cluster and infotainment. You might not expect to see such a nice interior in a compact vehicle like this, but the segment is so hot and competitive, automakers want something that is going to set them apart from the crowd.
RENAULT STARTS TESTING ELECTRIC MEGANE CUV
Like Ford, Renault is taking one of its strongest car nameplates and using it for an electric crossover. The Megane E-Tech Electric or what it also calls the Megane e is now entering testing out on the open road with a fleet of 30 pre-production cars. There’s not a lot of details at the moment, but we can tell you it’s based on Renault’s modular EV platform, features a 217 horsepower motor, a 60 kWh battery pack and an estimated 450 kilometers or roughly 280 miles range based on the WLTP test. I’m sure we’ll have more details soon.
NEW REPORT SAYS TESLA’S SALES WERE UP IN CHINA
Last week, it was reported that Tesla’s sales in China were down 50% in May. However, according to the China Passenger Car Association, Tesla had more than 33,000 wholesales of locally made vehicles last month, which is an increase of about 30%. Of those, more than 11,500 were exported, down from than 14,000 in April. We think Tesla would avoid a lot of speculation about its sales if it hadn’t shut down its PR department, which could address the discrepancies in the sales numbers.
PLUG-IN SALES JUMP IN CHINA
All of a sudden plug-in hybrids are a hot commodity in China. Last month PHEV sales grew faster than BEVs or regular hybrids. PHEV sales were up 45% in May compared to April, while hybrids were up 26% and BEVs were up 16%. One reason is that more PHEV models are coming into the market. BYD just launched three new models that use its latest plug-in tech called DM-i that can go 120 kilometers or about 75 miles on a charge, and offers AC slow charging or DC fast charging.
|May, 2021 NEV Sales in China|
GM ALLOWS ANYONE TO ACCESS ONSTAR
General Motors has something that no other car company has: OnStar. The connected car technology offers a host of digital services including real, live operators you can talk to who are trained in emergency response. The system is so effective at tracking cars and traffic flow that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security works with OnStar during mass evacuations for hurricanes. In the past OnStar has only been available on GM cars. But now GM is reaching out to anyone who wants to download the OnStar app on their phone for $15 a month. That means users can get emergency services that track their location by their phone. In other words, OnStar is now branching out beyond cars. Reuters reports that GM thinks the total addressable market for these services is $30 billion a year.
We’ve got a great Autoline After Hours coming up on Thursday. We’re going to have Phil Eyler, the CEO of a supplier called Gentherm. Maybe you’ve never heard of them but they have just about cornered the market for heated and cooled seats in cars and they’ve got a great story of how they got there. Then we’ll also have Martin Fischer, a board member at ZF, the giant supplier, which is undergoing an amazing transformation from traditional ICE supplier to becoming a leader in EVs and AVs for passenger and commercial vehicles. So join John and Gary as they track the evolution of the automotive industry.
And that’s a wrap for this report. Thanks for joining us today.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.