Listen to “AD #3337 – Meet the Future Face of Buick; ICE Vehicles in Permanent Decline; Ford's Farley Predicts EV Price Wars” on Spreaker.
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0:07 ICE Vehicles in Permanent Decline
0:59 Jeep Going Mostly Electric in Europe
1:35 Meet the Future Face of Buick, Electra-X
5:03 Chevy Cuts Price of Bolt EV & EUV
5:43 Toyota Testing Swappable Hydrogen Tanks
6:17 Toyota Selling Stationary Battery Storage Systems
6:54 Geely Launches Satellites to Improve AVs
8:03 Ford’s Farley Predicts EV Price Wars
9:50 Ford Makes Big U.S. Investment
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
IT’S OFFICIAL: ICE VEHICLES IN PERMANENT DECLINE
Sales of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines actually peaked in 2017 and are now in permanent decline. That’s according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance or BNEF. Besides the decline in sales, the research firm says the total number of ICE vehicles already on the road will start to decline in 2024. And that’s having an impact on the demand for oil. BNEF says all EVs, including 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles, busses, passenger cars and commercial vehicles are already displacing 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, and by 2025 that will rise to 2.5 million barrels a day. It predicts that gasoline demand will start to fall in 2026.
JEEP GOING MOSTLY ELECTRIC IN EUROPE
And along those lines, Jeep’s CEO Christian Meunier said the company will only sell hybrid and plug-in hybrid models in most of Europe by the end of the year. Jeep hasn’t decided when it will shift to an electrified only line-up in the U.S. but Meunier said it won’t be anytime soon. He added that Jeep will be 100% electric in Europe and 50% in the U.S. by 2030. Jeep will launch its first BEV next year and by 2025 it will have a BEV model for all of its segments.
MEET THE FUTURE FACE OF BUICK
Buick is making waves in the industry. It says it’s going all-electric by the end of the decade, it unveiled an all-new logo and it keeps digging up old names from the past for new vehicles. First, here’s the new logo. The round ring around the outside is gone and the three shields have been broken apart and sit level with each other, all in a row. As we revealed the other day, Buick is reviving the Electra name for an Ultium-based SUV, called the Electra-X. In fact, Buick says that all its future EVs will carry the Electra name. And here’s the concept that previews what the Electra-X will look like. There’s not a whole lot of specs on the EV, but based on this picture, it looks like it will have AWD and up to a 100 kWh battery pack. One interesting note is that this concept previews GM’s Virtual Cockpit System, which “enables new design thinking and a connected experience in a seamless digital ecosystem.” Whatever that means. But it uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile platform. That’s the same platform used by the new UltraCruise, hands-free, door-to-door, system, which was also co-developed with Qualcomm. Buick says it will introduce 5 all-new electric vehicles in China through 2025 and the Electra-X will make its way to North America in 2024. It also pulled the wraps off a new concept, called the Wildcat EV, which we know doesn’t go with the Electra naming structure, but it’s still a concept. Wildcat is a name Buick used from 1963 until 1970 on a full-size car. We even see a little influence from that classic in the roofline of this new concept, but that’s about where the similarities end. Based on the Wildcat and Electra-X you can start to get a sense of where Buick’s design is headed in the future. The Wildcat also previews an interior full of display screens. The instrument cluster and infotainment are combined under one big screen. There’s one at either end of the dash for the digital side-view mirrors. And even one for vehicle controls at the end of the center armrest. Look for Buick’s new logo to start showing up on models sometime next year. (Pictured: Buick Electra-X – top; Buick Wildcat EV – bottom)
CHEVY CUTS PRICE OF BOLT EV & EUV
While a lot of vehicles are getting price hikes because of parts shortages, Chevy is cutting the price of the Bolt EV and EUV. The Bolt EV now has a starting price of $26,595, $5,900 less expensive than before. And the Bolt EUV now starts at $28,195, which is $6,300 cheaper. Both prices include destination charges. Chevy is trying to kick start sales of the models after it had to suspend sales and idle production last year due to battery fires.
TOYOTA TESTING SWAPPABLE HYDROGEN TANKS
We’ve shown you portable and swappable battery packs. Well, now here’s a portable and swappable hydrogen power pack. It comes from Toyota who plans to test them out in a number of situations, including generating electricity in a fuel cell system or used as a combustion fuel. This means it could heat a house, power devices or even a motorcycle or small car. Toyota says it will continue to work on the system to make it easier to use, to improve the cartridge and its energy density.
TOYOTA OFFERS STATIONARY BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM
But it believes in both hydrogen and battery electric, so Toyota also revealed a stationary battery storage system for homes, which can be pre-ordered now in Japan. It has a capacity of 8.7 kWh, a maximum output of 5.5 kW and weighs 142 kilograms or 313 pounds. Toyota shows how it can also be linked up with a solar panel system or even a Toyota plug-in vehicle, which allows the user to tap into the electricity stored in the vehicle.
GEELY LAUNCHES SATELLITES TO IMPROVE AVs
Most autonomous systems require fairly precise GPS to operate properly. So, in order to provide even more accurate navigation for its autonomous vehicles Geely just launched 9 satellites into low earth orbit. It plans to launch another 63 by 2025 and will eventually have a blanket of 240 satellites to provide even more accurate GPS. They’re designed to last for 5 years and eventually burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.
FORD’S FARLEY PREDICTS EV PRICE WARS
Ford CEO Jim Farley says it costs $25,000 to $27,000 more to build a Mustang Mach-E than a Ford Edge with an ICE engine. But he also predicts that the cost of electric cars will drop dramatically with clean sheet BEV designs. In fact, he predicts that around 2026 the auto industry will be consumed by a price war over electric cars that cost $25,000. Farley spoke at a conference organized by Bernstein, the financial management company. Here are some of the other highlights:
· Farley predicts there will be a lot of industry consolidation amongst traditional automakers, EV startups and automotive suppliers. He thinks there will be more buyouts than joint ventures.
· Ford is going to build an electric, special built vehicle for Uber and Lyft drivers and other ride hailing services. It will be designed for the lowest operating costs. And it will have a lot of ADAS technology so it has the lowest insurance costs. Instead of selling them, Ford will offer them on a per-mile or on a daily or weekly basis.
· He said using the franchise dealer way of selling vehicles adds $2,000 to $3,000 the cost compared to Tesla, and that advertising adds another $600 to $700 per vehicle.
· LFP, or lithium iron phosphate batteries are 20% cheaper than NMC, or nickel, manganese, cobalt batteries. That’s about $2,000 cheaper for a battery pack.
FORD MAKES BIG INVESTMENT IN THE U.S.
And Ford announced it’s making a big commitment in the U.S. It’s investing $3.7 billion and will add more than 6,200 UAW jobs in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri. It will also convert nearly 3,000 temporary workers to full time employees and it will upgrade plants for new products. A new electric commercial vehicle will be built in Ohio that debuts in the middle of the decade. The new global Mustang and Ranger will be built in Michigan and Ford is adding jobs at its Missouri plant to build more Transits and e-Transits. The company claims this investment will lead to the creation of 74,000 indirect new jobs in the U.S. by 2026.
And be sure to join John and Gary for Autoline After Hours this afternoon. They’ll be talking with entrepreneurs who participated in the Global Automotive and Mobility Innovation Challenge. It’s an annual competition to discover the most promising automotive startups. And we’ve got the top winners on Autoline After Hours, so be sure to tune in at 3PM eastern time today.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.