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0:07 VW Makes Massive EV Investment in the U.S.
1:01 Tesla’s Made in Berlin Reach Customer Hands
1:39 Bridgestone Continues Expansion Into Mobility Services
2:43 Porsche Says EV Cost Will Match ICE in 2-3 Years
3:28 Cadillac Kicks Off BEV Production
4:00 Ford F-150 Lightning Range Released
4:41 Audi Develops Filter to Clean Water
6:05 Volvo C40 Recharge 1st Drive Review
9:13 Lotus Comes Out with “World’s Most Powerful 4-Cylinder”
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
VW MAKES MASSIVE EV INVESTMENT IN THE U.S.S
Volkswagen is making a huge investment in North America. The automaker announced it’s spending $7.1 billion over the next five years to expand its line-up, boost R&D spending and increase manufacturing. By 2030, it’s aiming for EVs to account for 55% of new car sales in the U.S. and the entire Group will introduce 25 BEVs to help reach that goal. VW plans to stop selling gasoline powered vehicles in the U.S. by early next decade. And it will build up battery cell production in the region to help power all of those new EVs. In addition, by 2030, VW wants to localize all major design and engineering for bodies and interiors of vehicles that will be sold in North America. And it plans to develop more software in the U.S.
TESLA’S FROM BERLIN START HITTING CUSTOMER HANDS
Tesla delivered its first vehicles to customers today built at its Berlin gigafactory. Elon Musk was at the event which handed over 30 Model Ys to customers. Tesla spent $5.5 billion to build the plant which will have the capacity to produce half a million vehicles annually by 2025. The site will also generate 50 GWh of battery power. With the plant now coming online, Tesla won’t have to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai factory to Europe, which will allow it to focus on boosting sales in China.
BRIDGESTONE CONTINUES EXPANSION INTO MOBILITY SERVICES
Bridgestone is looking to become more than just a tire company and wants to get into mobility services. Last month, it partnered with Spanish startup Scoobic to provide it with tires, maintenance and telematics for its last mile electric vehicles. And now Bridgestone is investing in autonomous vehicle startup, May Mobility but it didn’t say how much. As part of the deal, May Mobility will integrate Bridgestone’s predictive tire-centric and fleet management technologies into its vehicles to help reduce cost of ownership. And Bridgestone will provide service and maintenance for May Mobility’s autonomous vehicles through its network of 2,200 service centers in the U.S.
PORSCHE SAYS EV COST WILL MATCH ICE IN 2-3 YEARS
Porsche hit instant success with its first electric car, the Taycan. It outsells all of Porsche’s cars, though not its SUVs. Even so, Porsche claims that the Taycan is earning double-digit profit margins. Next up is the electric version of the Macan, which is nearly $30,000 cheaper than a Taycan. When it launches it’s not going to be as profitable as the ICE version of the Macan. But Porsche says it knows how to take out cost and that in 2 to 3 years it will be as profitable. Porsche is going all in on electrics, and by 2030 it predicts that 80% of its sales will be pure battery electrics.
CADILLAC KICKS OFF BEV PRODUCTION
Cadillac is celebrating a big milestone with the launch of its first all-electric vehicle. Yesterday, the Lyriq started rolling down the production line at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant. GM spent $2 billion to upgrade the facility to build the electric SUV, which also produces the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 and the GMC Acadia. Cadillac says the Debut Edition of the Lyriq is all sold out but it will start taking orders again in May.
FORD F-150 LIGHTNING RANGE MAY SHOCK YOU
Ford will start delivering the all-electric F-150 Lightning to customers this spring and it just confirmed the truck’s EPA range. Models with 318-kW of power and the Standard-Range 98 kWh battery have an estimated 230 miles of range and models equipped with 420-kW and the Extended Range 131 kWh Battery are rated at 320 miles. But there is one exception. Platinum models will only have 300 miles of range, even though it comes with the extended range battery.
AUDI DEVELOPS FILTER TO CLEAN WATER
Humans generate trillions of pieces of microplastics which end up in the ocean and harm marine life. To help prevent that from happening, Audi has created a filter for sewer drains that prevents the particles from getting into water. Every car ride creates tire and road wear particles. In Germany alone, 110,000 metric tons end up on streets every year. Audi is testing the system in Berlin and says the initial results show the filter is effective. It can trap microplastics up to 3 millimeters in size and is designed to operate for a year without the need for maintenance or cleaning. The next step is to expand tests and gather more info on their effectiveness.
VOLVO C40 RECHARGE DRIVE IMPRESSIONS
Volvo has another vehicle that’s hitting dealer lots in North America like the XC60 Recharge Extended Range we reported on yesterday. It’s its first electric-only model, the C40 Recharge. But that ‘electric-only’ part of its name is a little misleading. The C40 is based on the same platform as the XC40 and built in the same plant, which is located in Belgium, as the gas-powered and plug-in hybrid version of the XC40.
But with the C40 being a fastback and electric, it looks quite a bit different from those other models. However, that does lead to two of the biggest drawbacks of this vehicle, in my opinion. I think the grille looks awful and driver visibility is terrible. The grille thing is subjective and I understand it cuts down on assembly time and cost by not going too far from the XC40, but I don’t think it fits the overall design. And while all fastback SUVs I’ve been in have terrible visibility, I had to adjust my side view mirrors differently and duck down on occasion so I could see behind me better.
Maybe that’s why designers made the interior look so good, to take your mind off other things? The vehicle is completely leather-free, which is a first for Volvo, and I really liked this two-tone black and blue combination. It really was eye-catching and these pictures don’t do it justice. The body and chassis are another highlight. The suspension is a bit on the stiff side for an SUV, but the whole package feels very tight and there’s no rattles or things vibrating around in the C40. And with 402 horsepower on tap there’s plenty of get-up-and-go. It will do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and it will plant you into the back of your seat if you punch it anywhere between 15 and 45 MPH.
One interesting aspect to the C40 is that there’s only one additional regen braking mode and no drive modes. Volvo says its customers are the kind of people that ‘set it and forget it.’ I’ll be interested to see if it stays that way. Now let’s get to battery and range. It has 75 kWh of usable space, which returns an EPA range of 226 miles. That’s certainly less than other electric crossovers like the Mach-E and Model Y, but I would hope that Volvo will improve EV efficiency when it stops sharing platforms with ICE cars. The C40 Recharge is on sale now, both at dealers and online, with either one of two prices before incentives, $58,750 or $59,445. There’s only one option for the C40 and that’s metallic paint, which accounts for the price difference. Everything else comes standard.
LOTUS RELEASES ‘WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL 4-CYLINDER’
Speaking of new models, Lotus is coming out with a version of the Emira that it says has “the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine.” It’s a turbocharged unit plucked from AMG’s parts bin and custom tuned, including a bespoke exhaust system, for the Emira First Edition. It makes over 350 horsepower and sends it all through an 8-speed DCT with paddle shifters, a first for Lotus. Pricing for the Emira First Edition starts at about 72,000 pounds in the UK and nearly $86,000 in the U.S.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll be right back here again tomorrow.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.