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0:08 New Energy Vehicle Sales in China Red Hot
0:56 Stellantis Reveals EV Strategy
1:46 NIO To Open Swapping Stations Outside of China
3:26 Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess Gets Contract Extension
3:44 VW Wants to Sell Stake in Electrify America
4:21 Rimac Takes Majority Control of Bugatti
4:41 Hyundai & Kia Form Partnership with Canadian Hydrogen Company
6:22 BMW i4 & iX to Arrive in U.S. Next March
7:31 BMW’s Bold Grille Here to Stay
8:01 Kia Unveils New Sportage
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
It’s great to be back from our summer break. We have a couple of things to catch up on, as well as reports on the latest developments, so let’s get going.
NEW ENERGY VEHICLE SALES IN CHINA RED HOT
China’s auto industry was roaring back after the pandemic hit, but now the chip shortage is hurting production and sales. Automakers sold 12% fewer cars in June compared to a year ago, and they were down 8% compared to May. Even so, sales of New Energy Vehicles, which includes EVs and plug-in hybrids, set all-time sales records and now account for 12% of the total market. Chinese brands also keep taking more market share away from foreign brands and they now account for nearly 47% of the market.
STELLANTIS REVEALS EV STRATEGY
Stellantis is behind other automakers when it comes to EVs but now it wants to make up for lost time. It will invest $35 billion through 2025 to electrify its 14 brands, including full electric vehicles and hybrids. It will create four new battery electric platforms: small, medium and large, as well as a frame platform. The vehicles that come off those platforms will have ranges between 300 and 500 miles. The first will launch in 2023. Stellantis will use two different battery chemistries, and it will build three plants to make batteries. Its goal is to have 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% in the U.S. be low emission by 2030.
NIO TO OPEN SWAPPING STATIONS OUTSIDE OF CHINA
China is actively promoting battery swapping for electric cars. That’s because most people in China live in apartments and don’t have their own charging outlet. To encourage more EV adoption, the national and municipal governments are offering incentives for battery swapping. NIO, a Chinese EV car company, is leading the charge and says it will have 4,000 battery swapping stations operating by 2025. Even more interesting is that 1,000 of those will be located outside of China, with the first ones going into Norway. And NIO says it will offer its swapping system to any automaker that wants to use it.
VOLKSWAGEN CEO HERBERT DIESS GETS CONTRACT EXTENSION
Volkswagen’s board of supervisors likes what their CEO is doing. They just extended his contract until October, 2025. Herbert Diess set out a goal of surpassing Tesla as the Number One EV car company in the world, and the board wants him to see that through.
VW WANTS TO SELL STAKE IN ELECTRIFY AMERICA
And speaking of Volkswagen, it’s looking to sell some of its stake in Electrify America. That’s the EV charging network it was forced to create in the U.S. as part of its diesel scandal punishment. It has to spend $2 billion over a ten-year period to set-up and maintain the network. But according to Reuters, the automaker has partnered with Citibank to find an investor who will invest $1 billion into the charging network. This isn’t too surprising, with the exception of Tesla, most automakers have shown little interest in operating their own charging networks.
RIMAC TAKES MAJORITY CONTROL OF BUGATTI
And in other VW news, it handed majority control of Bugatti over to Croatian electric hypercar maker, Rimac. It formed a joint venture called Bugatti Rimac, with Rimac controlling 55% of the company while Porsche owns the rest. Bugatti’s headquarters will remain in France.
HYUNDAI & KIA FORM PARTNERSHIP WITH CANADIAN HYDROGEN CO.
Hyundai and Kia continue their push into hydrogen fuel cells and have entered into an agreement to secure clean hydrogen. They’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with Canadian company Next Hydrogen to develop an alkaline water electrolysis system and its related stack to produce green hydrogen. A pilot test is scheduled to start next year and the companies will also explore potential applications including for automotive and even commercial, like drones and trains.
Hydrotech is the name of the business unit at General Motors that makes fuel cells. And Charlie Frieze is the Executive Director of Hydrotec. He’s also going to be our guest on Autoline After Hours this Thursday. So if you want to learn why you keep hearing about companies investing in fuel cell technology, we invite you to tune in. And if you’ve got questions for Charlie, you can tweet them to @Autoline or send an email to viewermail@Autoline.tv.
BMW i4 & iX TO ARRIVE IN U.S. NEXT MARCH
At a recent event in the Detroit area, BMW announced that its next BEVs, the i4 and iX, will start rolling down the production line in November. For those of you in the U.S. that means deliveries kick off in March of next year. Both are made at plants in Germany; the i4 in Munich and the iX in Dingolfing. And both are estimated to return 300 miles of range. The i4 shares an architecture with its gas-powered counterparts, while the iX rides on a new dedicated BEV platform. With carbon fiber, clearly visible around both door openings of the iX we suspect most of the passenger compartment is made from the material. And here’s a new term you might have to get used to; ShyTech. It’s how BMW refers to technology that it tries to hide out-of-sight, like the ADAS sensors behind the grille or the cleaning nozzle for those sensors under the BMW roundel on the hood and even radiant heating behind panels of the interior.
BMW’S BOLD GRILLE HERE TO STAY
And no matter what you think of the new twin-kidney grille, it’s here to stay. BMW continues to embrace the look, and in the case of the new Black Vermilion edition of the X5 and X6, it’s practically screaming at you to look at the grille. With a matte black paint finish and bright red accents added to the bars of the grille it’s hard not to look anywhere else. Market launch for the new editions start in August.
KIA UNVEILS NEW SPORTAGE
Before we go, here’s a look at the all-new Kia Sportage. The lighting signature is very distinctive with boomerang LED daytime running lights at the front and that same hard-edged look is picked up in the rear taillights, which are linked together with a thin accent bar. You could say the interior is cutting-edge too and is highlighted by a large curved display screen. The all-new Sportage will celebrate its global market launch later this year.
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.