Listen to “AD #3200 – Chip Shortage Worse Than Thought; Silverado EV Coming in 2023; Geely Group Reveals Electric Semi” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Chip Shortage Worse Than Thought
1:14 Silverado EV Coming in 2023
1:57 U.S. Could Mandate Drunk Driver Monitor
3:20 Pepsi Claiming Tesla Semi Deliveries in Q4
4:07 Geely Group Reveals an Electric Semi
5:02 Bridgestone Seeing More Interest in Retreaded Tires
7:06 Dodge Shares Details of New Business Plan
8:07 Porsche Gives Entry Panameras More Flair
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
CHIP SHORTAGE WORSE THAN THOUGHT
At the OESA conference yesterday, onsemi, one of the largest U.S. semiconductor companies, warned that the chip shortage is not going to get better. The OESA is the Original Equipment Supplier Association. Electric and autonomous and connected cars use a lot more chips and those are exactly the kinds of vehicles the auto industry is coming out with. And that booming demand is going to eat up all the extra capacity that’s going into place now. Even worse, automakers want chips that are made from silicon carbide because they’re more efficient. But they take much longer to make. Chip makers can grow regular silicon to 6-foot lengths in 2 days. But silicon carbide only grows one inch in 11 days. Simon Keeton from onsemi warned automakers and suppliers that they need to lock in 5-year contracts if they want to get the chips they need. Because unlike what others have been saying, this chip shortage is not going to get better in another year or two.
SILVERADO EV GOING INTO PRODUCTION IN 2023
Over the last several months, Chevy has been teasing the all-electric version of the Silverado which it will unveil at CES in January. But it’s going to be a bit of a wait before customers can get their hands on one. According to AutoForecast Solutions, the Silverado EV won’t go into production until March of 2023 at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Factory Zero plant. And production of the electric GMC Sierra kicks off at the same facility in October of 2023. AutoForecast also reveals that General Motors will start building the Honda Prologue BEV at its Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico starting in January of 2024.
U.S. COULD MANDATE DRUNK DRIVER MONITORING
We’re getting more details about the infrastructure spending bill Congress recently passed. And one of the mandates includes an in-car monitoring system to detect drunk drivers. The legislation doesn’t specify the type of technology that has to be installed in cars, but it must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” The Transportation Department will have the final say on the monitoring technology and the mandate could go into effect as early as 2026. According to NHTSA, about 10,000 people die every year in drunk driving accidents, accounting for a third of all traffic fatalities.
PEPSI CLAIMING TO GET TESLA SEMIS IN Q4
Tesla recently pushed back customer deliveries of its Semi truck until next year due to a limited supply of batteries, but according to the CEO of Pepsi, which placed an order for 100 Tesla Semis in 2017, it’ll start taking deliveries sometime before the end of the year. So, does the CEO know something we don’t or is he just plain wrong? I’m sure we’ll know soon enough. But we also think it’s possible, like Mercedes, which is letting customers test pre-production versions of its big, hydrogen-powered commercial trucks, Pepsi, too, will take delivery in Q4 of pre-production models to test. Those trucks will come out of a low-volume facility that’s next to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.
GEELY GROUP DEVELOPING ELECTRIC SEMI
Speaking of the Tesla Semi, it’s getting some competition. Geely’s commercial brand, Farizon Auto, just introduced its own big commercial semi, called the Homtruck. It will be built on a new connected platform and while it didn’t reveal range, Farizon says the package can accommodate a range extender, methanol hybrid or a pure electric setup with battery swapping. If the interior looks quite comfortable, that’s on purpose. It claims a well-rested driver is better, so it tried to make the cockpit as much like a living area as possible. Another trick to keeping drivers rested is a Level 4 hands-free, autonomous driving system as well as a platooning feature for long trips. But if Tesla can hit its production targets, it’ll have a leg up on Farizon. The Homtruck is not scheduled to come out until early in 2024.
BRIDGESTONE SEEING MORE INTEREST IN RETREADED TIRES
Did you know it can take up to 7 gallons of oil to make one tire? So if you reuse a tire instead of throwing it away when the tread wears out, it saves oil and helps save the environment. A tire can be reused by retreading it, and Bridgestone says it’s seeing a lot more interest in retreaded tires. Truck fleets have used retreaded tires for years on semi trucks. But now Bridgestone sees demand coming from fleets that make last mile deliveries. Those fleets want to cut costs and retreaded tires can cost half of what a new tire costs. A tire can be retreaded several times, so the savings can be significant. Retreads have a bad reputation for delaminating, but Bridgstone’s subsidiary called Bandag, which specializes in retreads, says that’s a misconception. Look closely when you see those rubber gators on the shoulder of the highway, Bandag says. If they have wire in them, that’s not a retread. Right now there isn’t much interest in retreaded tires for passenger vehicles. But that could change because they’re so much cheaper and better for the environment.
DODGE REVEALS NEVER LIFT BUSINESS PLAN
Dodge revealed its new business plan, called Never Lift. It says it will have a minimum of one product or enthusiast announcement every 3 months for the next two years. That will include what Dodge calls Operation 25/8. It’s a 25-car giveaway in partnership with Amazon that will give enthusiasts a chance to drive off in a Dodge of their choosing. Next up, it’s looking to hire a new brand ambassador who will get a Hellcat to drive, a $150,000 a year salary and have the title of Chief Donut Maker. Select dealers can now be certified as Power Brokers as well. These dealers have trained staff to offer everything an enthusiast needs to reach the next level of performance. And lastly is Direct Connection. This is the performance parts brand that will sell the brand’s factory-back performance parts and handle technical information. More details on 25/8 are coming this friday.
PORSCHE GIVES ENTRY PANAMERAS MORE STYLE
Porsche is taking the entry-level Panameras, giving them a little more style and calling the new trim the Platinum Edition. Available on the Panamera, Panamera 4 and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, customers will get 21-inch wheels with a satin finish that’s picked up in air vent grilles as well as the badges and lettering, LED headlights and taillights with a new design, sport tailpipes, adaptive air suspension, unique interior accents, soft-close doors and 14-way comfort seats. The Platinum Edition models start out a little over $103,000 and while that is a lot of money, it would cost thousands more if you spec-ed out each option individually. Look for the models to start hitting U.S. showrooms in the spring of next year.
And hey, be sure to join us this Thursday for Autoline After Hours. Our guests will be Ron Harbour and Dean Weston from a startup called Rite Angle, which developed a breakthrough process to make hydrogen from water cheaply and safely. If you have any questions for them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @Autoline. And join us this Thursday afternoon to learn more.
But that’s it 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.