Listen to “AD #3299 – Musk Promises “Massive Wave Of New Products”; Renault To Split BEV and ICE Business; Jeep's Latest Moab Concepts” on Spreaker.
Follow us on social media:
0:08 Musk Promises Massive Wave of New Products
1:41 Renault To Split BEV & ICE Business
2:10 Alarm Bells Go Off At R-N-M Alliance
3:44 Mahle Develops Inexpensive EV Charging System
4:29 Continental Stops Wrong-Way Drivers
5:35 BMW Goes With “Green” Wheels
6:25 Ford E-Transit in Production in Turkey
7:11 Smart Is Back with an EV
7:49 Citroen C4 Goes Electric
8:31 Jeep’s Latest Moab Concepts
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
MUSK PROMISES MASSIVE WAVE OF NEW PRODUCTS
Tesla opened its assembly plant in Austin, Texas last night to great fanfare. Elon Musk drove up on stage in an original roadster in front of an adoring audience of thousands of people. Between the screams and hoots and hollers, we learned some important things.
“That’s Cybertruck that’s coming next year, we’ll be in production with Cybertruck next year. We’ll be in production with the roadster, and with semi. So that’s all coming. This year is all about scaling up. And then next year there’s going to be a massive wave of new products.”
Wow, that’s a lot. The Cybertruck, the new roadster and the semi next year. And while we’ve heard the “next year” promise for several years, AutoForecast Solutions reports that the Cybertruck will start rolling down the assembly line in Austin in October, 2023. Musk also said Full Self Driving, but only the beta version, will be made available to all Model Y owners in the U.S. this year. Interestingly, all the Model Ys built in Texas will be dedicated to sales just in the eastern United States. And with both Austin and Berlin now operational, Tesla will really ramp up sales and production this year. Eventually, Tesla wants to get about 20% of global market share, which would be over 20 million vehicles a year.
RENAULT TO SPLIT BEV & ICE BUSINESS
Ford was the first traditional automaker to split into two business units: BEVs and ICE. And now Renault is looking at doing the same thing. Reuters reports that the BEV unit will be called Amphere, while the ICE unit will be called Horse. Renault’s CEO Luca de Meo told analysts they’re even looking at spinning off the BEV unit under its own IPO, probably next year.
ALARM BELLS GO OFF AT R-N-M ALLIANCE
And that set off alarm bells at Nissan, because that IPO could upset the whole Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Bloomberg reports there will be a big meeting in Japan next month with top executives and board members from Renault and Nissan. Both companies are in a crisis right now. Nissan is losing money and Renault just lost its second largest market, which is Russia, and is going to take a big financial hit. An IPO of Renault’s BEV business could upset the whole structure of the Alliance. Renault owns 43% of Nissan and has voting rights at the board level, while Nissan only owns 15% of Renault and doesn’t have any voting rights. Moreover, Renault is floating the idea that the Alliance should take on another partner for the ICE side of the business.
MAHLE DEVELOPS INEXPENSIVE EV CHARGING SYSTEM
German supplier Mahle is gearing up to expand its EV charging infrastructure business. Called chargeBIG, it’s now an independent subsidiary of the company and since 2018 it’s installed 1,500 charging points. It’s also offering a DC fast-charger with up to 750 kW of power. That will be used for charging parks that have up to 20 charging points for long-distance routes. It also has AC charging solutions with 7.2 to 22kW of power, which are ideal for parking spaces where vehicles are parked for longer periods of time like airports, offices or apartment buildings.
CONTINENTAL STOPS WRONG-WAY DRIVERS
One of the scariest things you’ll ever encounter in a car is a driver going the wrong way on a highway. Hopefully it will never happen to you. It almost always leads to an accident, often with deadly consequences. In the U.S. alone, it accounts for 400 fatalities a year. So the supplier Continental is developing a warning system to try and prevent this. As a driver turns the wrong way onto a highway ramp, bright flashing lights warn them that they’re going the wrong way. But 75% of the people who do this are drunk, and if they ignore the lights and merge onto the highway, a second set of sensors beams out an alert to the cloud so the police can quickly track down where the car is and stop it. That alert can also get beamed to cars on the highway via Google or Apple maps to warn them about the wrong-way driver. Continental is still developing the system, but it sure seems like something that could become mandatory someday.
BMW GOES WITH “GREEN” WHEELS
Here’s a stat we find interesting. The BMW Group makes about 10 million wheels every year and of those 10 million, 95% are aluminum. And since aluminum wheel production is so energy intensive, it accounts for about 5% of CO2 emissions in all of BMW’s supply chain. So, it’s taking a two-pronged approach to attack this. The first is switching to 100% green power to make the wheels, which will cut CO2 emissions in half. The second move is to start using recycled aluminum in its wheels. The MINI Countryman will be the first model to feature wheels with 70% recycled aluminum sometime next year. And when those wheels are made with green power, it reduces emissions by 80%.
FORD E-TRANSIT IN PRODUCTION IN TURKEY
The E-Transit is rolling down the line at Ford’s plant in Turkey and it’s shipping the van to European customers. The company says it received more than 5,000 orders from EU customers before it even started production. That’s on top of 10,000 orders in the U.S., where it’s made at Ford’s Kansas City, Missouri plant. The E-Transit is also going into production in China.
SMART IS BACK WITH AN EV
Smart is jumping back into the EV segment with the introduction of its smart #1 compact crossover. While it’s still tiny, the styling is much more appealing than the electric versions of the fortwo it sold several years back. It also has more technology, including AI voice control and OTA updates. The new model, which was co-developed by Mercedes and Geely, features a 66-kWh battery that provides up to 440 kilometers or 273 miles of range based on the WLTP cycle.
CITROEN C4 GOES ELECTRIC
Even though the critics turn up their noses at EVs with low range, Citroen says they’re more practical. It argues it’s more economical to have a smaller, lighter battery that can charge quickly, than a bigger, heavier battery that takes longer to fully charge. It’s probably saying that because the electric version of the C4 is equipped with a 50-kWh battery that provides 357 kilometers of range or about 220 miles based on the WLTP cycle. But customers don’t seem to mind. The e-C4 accounted for 35% of C4 sales in the first quarter of the year.
JEEP’S LATEST MOAB CONCEPTS
We’ve been showing you those Jeep teasers of the concepts it’s taking to Moab. Well, here they all are. But we don’t have time to go through all of them, so we’ll highlight one and provide a link if you’d like to check out more for yourself. Meet Bob. He’s based on Gladiator Rubicon and gets his name from the trend of “bobbing,” or chopping down the size of the bed to make it a better off-roader. But Bob is also missing all of his doors, most of the B-Pillar and has a perforated hardtop with a canvas roof stretched over it. He also features a 3-inch lift kit, Dana 60 axles and huge 40-inch tires mounted on 20-inch beadlock wheels. All the concepts will be on hand at the Easter Jeep Safari, which kicks off this weekend.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for making Autoline a part of your day and I hope you have a great weekend.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.