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0:07 EPA Raises Fuel Economy Standards
1:11 Rest of Economy Needs Help to Cut Emissions
1:59 Renault Wants to Cut Development Time
2:39 Renault Partners with Geely on Hybrids
3:49 Ford Offers Vehicle-to-Vehicle Charging
4:39 Grand Cherokee L Gets Passenger Front Screen
5:06 Next-Gen Mustang Coming in 2023
6:21 Honda Makes Electric Hospital Vehicle for Kids
6:50 MoonBike is an Electric Motorcycle for Snow
7:36 Mitsubishi Teases Electric Kei Car Concept
7:52 Nissan Tricks Out Caravans for Tokyo Auto Show
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EPA RAISES FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS
Automakers in the U.S. are facing much stricter fuel economy standards from the Environmental Protection Agency. Under President Obama automakers had to improve fuel efficiency by 5% a year from 2022 to 2026. Under President Trump that was cut down to 1.5%. And now under President Biden, the EPA is returning to the 5% improvement rate. The Trump Administration regs meant automakers needed to achieve a fleet average of 43.3 miles per gallon by 2026. With the new regs, that bumps up to 52 miles per gallon. Of course, automakers can use a number of offsets to hit that number—like selling more electric cars. The EPA estimates BEVs will account for 8% of all new car sales by 2026, or about 1 million vehicles. It wants even more drastic regulations to fight climate change starting in 2027 and is now asking for comments from all interested parties.
REST OF ECONOMY NEEDS TO HELP CUT EMISSIONS
Regulators and environmentalists point out that the transportation sector accounts for most greenhouse gas emissions. That’s true. It used to be the electric utilities, but they’ve switched so much from coal to natural gas that their emissions are now less than the transportation sector. But don’t forget that the transportation sector includes ships, planes, locomotives, mining trucks, agricultural equipment and a host of other sources. And they’re not affected by these regulations. Here’s our Autoline Insight. Light duty vehicles only account for about 16% of emissions. And while we’re in favor of the auto industry doing its part, it seems to us that the other 84% of the economy is not doing its fair share.
RENAULT WANTS TO SPEED UP DEVELOPMENT TIME
Speed to market is extremely important in today’s auto industry. That’s why Renault is adopting a cloud-based software platform called 3DEXPERIENCE from Dassault Systemes. It’s all about developing new products faster, including mobility services. The virtual reality system will be available to 20,000 employees globally to share, in real time, all product data and digital twins of its product configurations. And it’s able to simulate their entire life cycle, including manufacturing. Not only will it cut costs, Renault says it will cut product development time by around one year.
RENAULT PARTNERS WITH GEELY ON HYBRIDS
OK, here’s one we didn’t see coming. French automaker Renault is partnering with Chinese automaker Geely to build hybrids in South Korea to export to the United States. Got that? Twenty years ago Renault bought the car making operations of Samsunng in South Korea. So, as part of this new deal, Renault will build Lynk & Co’s 01 model in Busan, South Korea. Lynk & Co is Geely’s premium brand and Geely wants to export the vehicle to the U.S. since South Korea and the U.S. have a free trade agreement. That means Geely can avoid any import tariffs. In addition, Geely will help Renault create a new plug-in hybrid brand in China, which will develop cars on Geely’s Compact Modular Architecture that Volvo also uses.
FORD OFFERS VEHICLE-TO-VEHICLE CHARGING
Ford snagged a lot of headlines over the summer when customers used the onboard generator from F-150 Hybrids to power their homes during a massive power outage in Texas. And it’s now offering another benefit of the generator, which is also available on the F-150 Lightning, vehicle-to-vehicle charging. All that’s needed is a special adaptor that goes between the 240-volt plug on the truck and the power cord. Then just plug into the EV that needs charging. Ford says it can add 10 to 20 miles of range an hour to its newest BEVs and it will also work with any vehicle that uses an SAE J1772 plug design. But the truck will have to have the optional 9.6 or 7.2 kilowatt power system to perform vehicle-to-vehicle charging.
GRAND CHEROKEE L GETS PASSENGER FRONT SCREEN
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is getting a few updates for the 2022 model year. A new 10.25-inch front passenger display screen and two 10.1-inch rear seat displays with built-in Amazon Fire TV are now available for certain trims. It’s also offered with two new appearance packages and three new colors. The 2022 Grand Cherokee L is available to order now.
NEXT-GEN MUSTANG COMING IN 2023
OK pony car fans, get ready for the next generation of the Ford Mustang. But you’ll have to wait until March of 2023. That’s when it will go into production at Flat Rock, Michigan, according to Autoforecast Solutions. Some may speculate that it will be electric, but we don’t think so. Ford recently announced it’s boosting production of the Mach E to 200,000 units a year, and that should take care of electric Mustangs for now. But we wouldn’t be surprised if Ford comes out with a hybrid version with blistering performance and much better fuel economy numbers.
HONDA DEVELOPS HOSPITAL CAR FOR KIDS
Honda is trying to take some of the stress out of hospital stays for children. It developed the Shogo, a small electric vehicle that kids ages 4-9 can drive around the hallways of a hospital. It can go between 1-5 MPH and includes an IV pole holder, push bar, toy bucket, cup holder and horn. Children’s Health of Orange County is the first to use Shogo but it sounds like it will make its way to other hospitals as well.
MOONBIKE IS AN ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE FOR THE SNOW
How would you like to tear up the slopes in one of these? It’s like one of those mini bikes that have a simple steel frame, small motor and knobby tire, but for the snow. Called the MoonBike, it features a snow track in the back and a ski up front. And it’s electric. There’s space under the seat for two removable 2.5 kWh battery packs. They provide enough juice to ride for 1-3 hours if you opt for the two battery setup. And a 3 kW electric motor can power the MoonBike up to 42 km/h or 26 MPH. MoonBike is a French company, but it’s now expanding to the U.S. as well and will have examples to show off at CES. Pricing starts at $8,500.
NISSAN TEASES NEW CONCEPTS
Mitsubishi is getting ready for the Tokyo auto show, which starts on January 14th. It teased two concepts it will have there; one for an electric kei car and the other a new performance oriented vehicle that will show its vision for the Ralliart brand.
NISSAN TRICKS OUT CARAVANS FOR TOKYO
And speaking of the Tokyo show, Nissan tricked out a couple of Caravans to display. The Caravan Mountain Base Concept looks ready to go off-road and features a giant, roof-mounted solar panel, solar panels where the side windows used to be, wood-like paneling that’s picked up on the interior as well and even a fake fireplace. The Caravan Myroom Concept on the other hand looks like a nice place to relax and get some rest. It’s highlighted by a built-in couch, bookshelves and cupboards.
A programming note here. The Autoline crew is going to take a well deserved break over the holidays. Tomorrow will be the last show of the year, and there will not be an Autoline After Hours this Thursday. But Autoline Daily will be back on January 3rd bringing you the most important news in the global automotive industry.
But that’s a wrap for today. See ya.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.