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0:07 BrightDrops Adds Another Customer
0:58 Chevy Reveals Equinox EV
1:55 Cadillac Shows Future AV
2:42 GM Co-Developed UltraCruise w/ Qualcomm
4:07 BMW Concept Features Color Changing Wrap
4:54 Stellantis & Amazon Partner
5:47 Toyota to Run Out of EV Credits
6:31 LG Eyes Autonomous Shuttle Tech
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
BRIGHTDROP GETS ANOTHER CUSTOMER
GM made a big splash at CES with the Silverado EV, but that’s only one part of its EV strategy. Brightdrop, GM’s electric commercial vehicle brand, continues to expand. It just added Walmart to its list of customers. The retail giant plunked down a 5,000 unit reservation for Brightdrop’s EV600 and EV410 vans. Walmart says it wants to operate a zero-emissions fleet by 2040. FedEX, which was one of Brighdrop’s first hand raisers, announced it’s upping its reservations from 500 vans to 2,500 vans with the possibility of that reaching 20,000 in the years to follow. The delivery company will also expand its use of Brightdrop’s electrified container to 10 markets this year.
CHEVY REVEALS EQUINOX EV
Now let’s shift back to Chevy, who also previewed the Equinox EV. It’s based on GM’s Ultium platform, will come as both fleet and retail versions and will have a starting price around $30,000 in the U.S., which should be a little more palatable than the Silverado EV’s range topping $105,000 price tag. There were a lot of comments about that yesterday. But back to the Equinox EV, which we’d say has a pretty sporty appearance with a bit of a shark nose and a shark fin at the rear pillar. The sharp character lines carry over into the interior, which is dominated by two large, slightly overlapping display screens. Chevy announced the Equinox EV will launch in the fall of 2023, while the Blazer EV will come slightly before in the spring of that year.
CADILLAC SHOWS FUTURE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE
Cadillac’s first BEV, the Lyriq, starts hitting customer hands later this year, which will be followed by the Celestiq luxury sedan sometime in 2023. The brand also shared more about its Halo Concept Portfolio, which is a range of autonomous vehicles for the future that it first debuted with the PersonalSpace eVTOL and SocialSpace shuttle. Today it’s teasing the OpenSpace concept, which looks like it could be an autonomous off-roader, as well as the InnerSpace, a dramatic 2-seat luxury vehicle. This vehicle is meant to let passengers focus on the journey by using biometric data and AI to provide tailored experiences, including augmented reality.
GM CO-DEVELOPED ULTRACRUISE WITH QUALCOMM
While that’s the faroff technology, the here and now tech includes SuperCruise, GM’s hands free highway driving feature. It announced SuperCruise will expand to 22 models by 2023. That’s also the same year UltraCruise, which will be able to take users door-to-door hands-free, launches in the previously mentioned Cadillac Celestiq. That system was actually co-developed with Qualcomm and uses its Snapdragon Ride Platform that handles the processing for the system.
BMW CONCEPT HAS COLOR CHANGING WRAP
BMW is taking personalization to the next level. It revealed the iX Flow concept which features a specially designed body wrap that changes color when it’s exposed to electrical signals. Called electrophoretic coloring, the technology is based on displays used in eReaders. Once the color changes, it doesn’t need any more energy to keep it that color. BMW is also looking at bringing the technology to the interior of the vehicle, to help cut the amount of heating and cooling from the HVAC. In hot weather, the interior can turn white to reflect sunlight, while in cooler temperatures it can turn black to absorb heat. Sounds pretty cool.
STELLANTIS & AMAZON PARTNER
Stellantis and Amazon are teaming up to collaborate on software-based products for the automaker’s new digital cabin platform starting in 2024. Stellantis will also use Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider on vehicle platforms. And Amazon will become the first commercial customer for the electric Ram ProMaster van in 2023. And that last bit of news spooked Wall Street, resulting in Rivian’s stock tumbling 11% yesterday. Amazon was one of Rivian’s early backers and has a contract to buy 100,000 vehicles from the EV startup by 2030. An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that its new deal with Stellantis doesn’t change anything about its partnership with Rivian. But obviously investors weren’t happy with the news.
TOYOTA ABOUT TO RUN OUT OF EV CREDITS
General Motors and Tesla have already run out of federal tax credits for EVs and plug-in hybrids in the U.S. and now Toyota is about to join them. According to InsideEVs, Toyota has sold more than 190,000 plug-in hybrids, just 10,000 units shy of the 200,000-vehicle threshold. Once an automaker hits that mark, the tax credit is phased out. Toyota will hit that number sometime this quarter. That means customers interested in its all-electric bZ4X that comes out in the middle of the year will have a short period to qualify for the full incentive. Ford is also expected to hit the 200,000-vehicle mark sometime this year.
LG EYES AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLE TECH
Everyone seems to think we’ll be travelling in little mobility pods or shuttles in the future. We showed one from Cadillac earlier and even LG, the electronics and appliances company, has one to show off. Called the Vision OMNIPOD, it’s meant to be like another home. Some of the things you might normally find in a home, like a champagne chiller, have been standardized for vehicles. It also features a large moving screen that can help change the interior environment or interact with users through a virtual assistant. But is this how you expect to be getting around in the future? Let us know in the comments.
And if you’d like to see more from CES, we’ll be posting our coverage on our YouTube channel and website, autoline.tv throughout the week.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for tuning in.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.