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0:07 GM Dips Its Toes Into Electric Watercraft
0:58 Renault Will Develop Axial-Flux Motors
1:37 Volvo Wants Windshield to Act as a HUD
2:51 Polestar Precept Concept Inspires Production Car
3:51 Faraday Future Production Finally in Sight
4:03 Ford to Make Electric Corsair in Canada
4:34 Next-Gen LEAF Coming in 2025
4:51 Next-Gen Mach-E Production Details
6:01 Dealer Acquisitions on Record Pace
6:48 Human Horizons Shows Production Intent HiPhi Z
7:20 Chevy Updates the Menlo EV
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM DIPS ITS TOES INTO ELECTRIC WATERCRAFT
Every time a traditional automaker like GM, Ford or Volkswagen say they want to be the market leader in EVs, the critics come out of the woodwork. And with good reason. It’s going to be really hard for them to rush past Tesla. But the critics seem to overlook how big the commercial segment is and that the term ‘EV’ covers a broad range of vehicles. There are some segments that Tesla will likely never dabble in. For example, GM just took a 25% ownership stake in Pure Watercraft, a company that makes all-electric components for boats. The two will develop battery electric watercraft and GM will specifically help improve range and charging. That sure sounds to us like it’s going to leverage its Ultium technology, which is going to help GM gain greater scale in its race to bring down costs.
RENAULT WILL DEVELOP AXIAL-FLUX MOTORS
Speaking of EV investments, Renault took a 21% minority stake in Whylot, a French company that’s developing axial-flux electric motors. These motors are typically pancake in shape and have strong magnets that rotate around the outside of the wire winding. The advantages are they have better cooling and are smaller, yet have more power density and torque compared to a traditional radial motor of the same size. Renault says axial-flux motors will be especially useful in hybrid electric vehicles and will produce them on a large scale in 2025.
VOLVO WANTS TO TURN WINDSHIELD INTO A HUD
Ok, one last investment to announce. Volvo is teaming up with a company that specializes in optical and imaging technology, called Spectralics. They plan to work on filters for various applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof cameras and digital holographic projections. But perhaps the coolest application would be for Spectralics’ thin optics film, which could be used to turn the entire windshield into a head-up-display. As autonomous transportation starts to become more common, technologies like this will too.
POLESTAR TO MAKE PRODUCTION VERSION OF PRECEPT CONCEPT
The design team at Polestar is itching to show off what they’ve got coming next. They walked away with 3 of the 4 trophies at the Eyes on Design award ceremony this past fall. The top automotive designers in the world chose the Polestar Precept as the best concept car of the year. And now Polestar is making it abundantly clear that the Polestar 5 will be a production version of that concept car. Polestar is leaking all this information now because in just a few weeks it’s going to do a SPAC that will get it listed on the NASDAQ. Next year we’ll see the Polestar 3, an SUV version of the Polestar 2. A year after that, the Polestar 4 debuts as an entry level car. And then comes the Polestar 5. The company hopes to cash in on the EV mania that’s gripping investors all around the world. And one way to entice investors is to show them that there’s plenty of product in the pipeline.
FARADAY FUTURE PRODUCTION FINALLY IN SIGHT
In fact, the EV segment is going to get real crowded. Autoforecast Solutions reports that the Faraday Future 91 will go into production next July in Hanford, California.
LINCOLN TO MAKE ELECTRIC CORSAIR IN CANADA
Then, in February of 2025 Lincoln will start making EV versions of the Corsair in Oakville, Ontario in Canada. We’re pretty sure that will be built off the all-new dedicated EV platform Ford is developing, instead of having Rivian develop it. And the fact it will be made in Canada suggests that Ford will not support the Biden Administration’s effort to give $4,500 in extra EV incentives to people who buy EVs made by UAW workers.
NEXT-GEN LEAF COMING IN 2025
In 2025 Autoforecast says we’re finally going to see the next generation Nissan Leaf that will launch at Smyrna, Tennessee in March of that year, followed a month later by production in Oppama, Japan, followed a month after that in Sunderland, England.
NEXT-GEN MACH-E PRODUCTION DETAILS
And then in June, 2026, Autoforecast says the next gen Mustang Mach-E will go into production in Chongqing, China. Interestingly, there was no mention of production in Hermosillo, Mexico, so we’re going to have to dig into that for you.
DEALER ACQUISITIONS ON RECORD PACE
Goodbye mom and pop stores, here come the retail giants. According to the Haig Report, dealer acquisitions are expected to hit a record this year as investor money pours into automotive retailing. About 575 dealerships will change hands this year. That’s up 24% from the previous record of 463 in 2015. Next year is shaping up to be a record-breaker, too. Investors love that dealer profits are setting records while the chip shortage keeps inventory low. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average dealership net profit before taxes is over $3 million through the first nine months of the year. That’s more than double what it was last year.
HUMAN HORIZONS SHOWS PRODUCTION INTENT HIPHI Z
Here’s another cool looking EV coming out of China. Meet the HiPhi Z which is made by Human Horizons. The production version makes its debut at Auto China 2022 in Beijing next April. The company already unveiled the concept version, which is 95% representative of the production version, at least from a design perspective. It will come with a driver assist system with 31 sensors, including lidar, two cameras, radar and two infrared night vision cameras.
CHEVY UPDATES MENLO EV
And speaking of the Chinese EV market, Chevy just introduced an updated version of its Menlo EV. It gets a new 61.1-kWh ternary battery pack which boosts range to 518 kilometers or 322 miles based on the NEDC test, which means you can take that range with a grain of salt. Previously it had a 52.5-kWh battery that provided 410 kilometers or 255 miles of range. And it now comes standard with Chevy’s MyLink+ infotainment system with OnStar. Pricing for the Menlo ranges from $25,800 to $28,000, including national subsidies for electric vehicles.
But that’s it for today, thanks for joining us.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.