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0:07 Stellantis Could Use Foxconn’s EV Platforms
0:57 Stellantis Forms Battery JV with Samsung
1:19 Stellantis Starting Partnership for European Charging Network
2:21 Volvo App Helps Get More EV Range
2:51 Google Maps Will Display Efficient Routes
3:33 BMW Shows Electric Police Scooter
4:11 Toyota Cuts Production Again
4:38 XPeng Raises Money to Develop VTOLs
5:42 Prize Money Will Up Competition at AV Race
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
STELLANTIS COULD USE FOXCONN’S EV PLATFORMS
They already waved the green flag to start the race to make electric cars, but Stellantis is still in the pits. All it really offers is a couple of compliance cars. So CEO Carlos Tavares is racing to make up for lost time. Yesterday we reported on three different EVs that Foxconn is going to make. According to the consultancy Global Data, Foxconn’s Model E, which was designed by Pininfarina, could be the basis for a Dodge, Alfa Romeo or Maserati. Stellantis and Foxconn are already working together. They formed a joint venture to develop connected cars and deliver digital services. So a deal to use Foxconn’s EV platforms could let Stellantis quickly catch up.
STELLANTIS FORMING BATTERY JV WITH SAMSUNG
Of course, you need batteries for electric cars, and Stellantis isn’t wasting any time there either. Yesterday it signed a deal with LG to make batteries in North America. Today, Reuters reports that Stellantis is going to form a joint venture with Samsung SDI, also to make batteries in North America.
STELLANTIS FORMS EUROPEAN CHARGING NETWORK PARTNERSHIP
And you need a charging system for those batteries so Stellantis also formed a partnership to build a charging network across Europe. It’s teaming with a company called TheF Charging to build chargers for individuals, corporations and fleet customers. The goal is to have over 15,000 charging stations by 2025. Each location will be tailored to the types of customers that are expected to use the chargers. So put it all together and Tavares is making sure that Stellantis will quickly get the platforms, batteries and charging network it needs to get into the EV game.
NEW VOLVO APP HELPS INCREASE EV RANGE
How would you like an app that helps you get more range out of your electric car? Volvo has one, which is available as an over-the-air update in the XC40 Recharge. The Range Assistant App helps the driver understand what impacts their driving range and how to maximize it. It even automatically adjusts the cabin temperature to increase range, and harvests more energy from regen braking. Volvo says it plans to add more features to the app in the future.
GOOGLE MAPS NOW DISPLAYS EFFICIENT ROUTES
So how about an app for ICE vehicles that makes them more efficient? Google Maps has one of those. A few weeks ago it announced it would be launching new eco-friendly routing suggestions and now they’re starting to show up on phones. If you’ve used the service before, you know you’ll usually get multiple routes displayed, and now it can show you the most fuel efficient of those routes, including how much fuel you can expect to save, shown as a percentage, and the amount of time it will take to reach your destination. Google suggests if enough people use this, it could prevent over a million tons of carbon emissions each year.
BMW SHOWS OFF ELECTRIC POLICE SCOOTER
A few months back, BMW Motorrad unveiled a somewhat wild looking electric scooter called the CE 04. Now there’s a police version of it. Its 8.9 kWh battery provides 130 kilometers or 80 miles of range. And it has a maximum output of 31 kW or 41 horsepower which helps the scooter hit a top speed of 120 km/h or 74 MPH. Other features include automatic stability control, dynamic traction control and ABS.
TOYOTA MAKES MORE PRODUCTION CUTS
Toyota is getting clobbered by the chip shortage. It’s cutting global production by 15% in November. It initially planned to produce 1 million vehicles but now says it will make between 850,000 and 900,000 next month. But the good news is, Toyota says the worst is over and it expects to hit its annual production target of 9 million vehicles.
XPENG RAISES MONEY TO DEVELOP VTOLs
General Motors wants to make VTOLs. So does Hyundai. And Geely. And Mercedes. And now we can add XPeng to the list. The Chinese EV startup just raised half a billion dollars to develop a passenger drone. It created a subsidiary called HT Aero, which is now valued at $1 billion. Its VTOL is called the Voyager X2 and is expected to be revealed sometime this year.
PRIZE MONEY SHOULD UP COMPETITION AT AV RACE
This weekend, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host a historic racing event, the first ever race with autonomous cars. Called the Indy Autonomous Challenge, students from 21 universities have formed 10 teams to compete for a million-dollar first place prize. They’re using modified Indy Lights race cars that are equipped with autonomous technology. So is there going to be some real action or will it just be a parade of one following the other? On Autoline After Hours, John Waraniak from Have Blue and Patrick Lindemann from Schaeffler, who are both involved in the event, had this to say about it.
“Oh, there will be a technology demonstration. I fully expect position changes. What do you think Patrick?”
“I think the winner gets a million dollars, so I don’t think it’s going to be a parade. When there’s a million dollars on the line would you walk behind the other people or would you try to get out in front? So I think we’re in for a treat here.”
“Yeah absolutely. I think you’re going to see, I’ll call it the real factor too. When you watch qualifying at let’s say Indy, one car at a time on the track, just like back in May at qualifying at the Brickyard, it’s a lot different when you have 20 or 30 cars out there. So I think with the Indy autonomous cars, with nine other cars out there other than your Dallara, you’re going to see some pretty good action going on. It might start off kind of gingerly but I think you’re going to see them going for it. As Patrick mentioned, it’s a million-dollar race.”
Be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours this Thursday. We’re going to have Brian Smith, the head of Cadillac design, and Tristan Murphy, the head of interior design at Cadillac, on the show. We’re going to take a deep dive into the design of the Cadillac Lyriq which is the spearpoint of Cadillac’s transformation into an EV-only brand. We invite you to join us and learn first hand how Cadillac’s designers are changing the look of their entire line-up.
But that’s a wrap for today. Thanks for tuning in.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.