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0:08 Biden Wants EV Chargers Every 50 Miles
0:58 Siemens Invests in Wireless EV Charging
1:37 AAA Says Don’t Waste Money on Premium Gas
2:25 Chinese OEMs Capturing More EV Sales
3:30 Cadillac Celestiq Is Handbuilt Flagship
4:39 Genesis to Make One-Off Luxury Cars
5:00 VW Expands AWD Option on ID.4
5:49 VW To Recycle EV Batteries Multiple Times
7:09 Volvo Pushes Dealers Aside with Phone App
7:57 Nexteer Uses AI To Detect Changing Road Surfaces
9:07 Emergency Flashers Enter the Modern Age
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
BIDEN WANTS EV CHARGERS EVERY 50 MILES
President Biden wants half of all new car sales to be electric by 2030 and to help make that happen, the Administration will make $5 billion available to states to build a network of 500,000 EV chargers by the end of the decade. And the Department of Transportation just issued proposals for the minimum standards and requirements for projects to get funding. The rules will help ensure that the chargers are available to all Americans and that they’re interoperable between different charging companies with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds and more. Earlier this year, the Federal Highway Administration proposed placing chargers 50 miles apart within one mile of interstate highways and have at least 450 kW of power.
SIEMENS INVESTS IN WIRELESS EV CHARGING
And speaking of EV charging, the German supplier Siemens announced it is investing $25 million to acquire a minority stake in WiTricity, a company that’s developing wireless EV charging technology. The two companies will work together to promote the adoption of wireless charging for both passenger and commercial vehicles globally as well as enable interoperability between vehicles and infrastructure. Siemens says the market for wireless charging will hit $2 billion by 2028 in Europe and North America. And if you’d like to learn more about WiTricity you can check out the interview we did with the company.
AAA SAYS DON’T WASTE MONEY ON PREMIUM GAS
Many drivers are under the impression that premium gasoline will improve horsepower, fuel economy or emissions. But according to research by the AAA, unless your car requires it, there isn’t any benefit to using premium fuel. AAA says 16.5 million Americans fill up their vehicles with premium when regular fuel would work just as well. And with the price of gas soaring, AAA says drivers should consider using regular fuel to save money but should also check their owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. And here’s an interesting fact, 88% of the gas sold in the U.S. is regular, 11% is premium and the rest is mid-grade.
CHINESE OEMs CAPTURING MORE EV SALES
Foreign automakers have dominated the Chinese market, but that’s changing fast, especially when it comes to electric cars and plug-ins. So far this year, New Energy Vehicles have accounted for 45% of sales of Chinese branded cars, but only 4% of sales for joint-venture cars. Foreign brands still dominate the luxury segment, but Chinese automakers are making great inroads with electrics and plug-ins in the lower and middle segments of the market.
CADILLAC CELESTIQ IS HANDBUILT FLAGSHIP
Later this summer Cadillac is going to officially reveal what may be the most ambitious car it’s ever made, the Celestiq. But for now, it’s just teasing out a few images. The Celestiq will be the flagship sedan for the brand. It will be handbuilt in very low volume at a facility near GM’s Technical Center outside of Detroit. General Motors showed a fiberglass mockup of the Celestiq to the media at its Battery Day in March of 2020. It features a clean, long design, with a fastback rear end that tapers into something of a boattail, with a diffuser underneath. It also has a sail panel that’s very similar to the Lyriq. That mockup didn’t have any door handles or side view mirrors, to give it an even cleaner look. One image that shows the design detail that Cadillac is getting into is this door hinge. It looks like a precision-crafted component, not some cheap stamping. So how will Cadillac price the Celestiq? We’re guessing it will be somewhere around $200,000. What do you think it will cost?
GENESIS TO MAKE ONE-OFF LUXURY CARS
Speaking of potentially expensive vehicles, a South Korean newspaper reports that Genesis is going to create a new division, called One of One, that will make one-off and super limited edition vehicles. An announcement is expected sometime this month and it should show off its first design at the same time.
VW EXPANDS AWD OPTION ON ID.4
Volkswagen is expanding its AWD offerings for the ID.4 in Europe. It used to be that you could only get AWD on the GTX version of the ID.4, which features a few unique styling cues. But it will now be available on the ID.4 Pro model as well. The dual motor system provides 195 kW or roughly 260 horsepower and it has a 77-kWh battery that provides 517 kilometers or 321 miles of range on the WLTP test cycle. Pricing starts at just over 49,000 euros or $52,600 in Germany, which is a little more than 1,400 euros cheaper than the GTX.
VW TO RECYCLE EV BATTERIES MULTIPLE TIMES
Speaking of Volkswagen, it’s part of a research project that wants to prove you can recycle EV batteries multiple times. The idea is to create a sustainable closed loop material system that will continue to capture the most valuable components of a battery. That includes graphite, cathode metals and the electrolyte. However, it doesn’t say if there’s a limit on the number of times these materials can be recycled or how long the project will last.
VOLVO PUSHES DEALERS ASIDE WITH PHONE APP
Automakers love to establish direct relationships with customers, but it used to be one of the only ways to do that was through their dealerships. Now, technology is changing that. Volvo says it will use OTAs and its smartphone app to connect with customers and is close to a goal of 5 million users. So, rather than interacting with its thousands of dealers worldwide to build relationships, it can connect with 5 million people. There will also be a push to move shoppers online. Volvo wants 50% of sales to be done online. Dealers may be enjoying record profits right now, but if I were a dealer, I’d be worried about all this talk of moving sales online and the splitting or separating of EV-only brands.
NEXTEER USES AI TO DETECT CHANGING ROAD SURFACES
As we keep pointing out, most of the innovation in the auto industry comes from suppliers, and we are intrigued by this development from Nexteer. It partnered with an Israeli company called Tactile Mobility to develop a system that can detect changing road surfaces as well as any wear and tear on tires, shocks, brakes and steering. Most interestingly is that it does this without any additional sensors on the car. Instead, Nexteer developed some simple algorithms and artificial intelligence for its electric power steering to measure microslips at the tires. The software is so simple and it doesn’t use up a lot of memory. Better still, the data it collects can be used by automakers to detect early problems with cars, and the data can be sold to insurance companies, municipalities and motor vehicle departments. BMW started using it last year, but it still hasn’t given Nexteer permission to identify which models use it. It seems to be available on models that are equipped with BMW’s iDrive 7.0 system.
EMERGENCY FLASHERS ENTER THE MODERN AGE
A supplier company called Emergency Safety Solutions, or ESS, developed emergency flashers that flash at a far faster rate than the ones that are currently on cars. Today’s flashers haven’t changed since 1951. They flash at rates of 1 to 2 hertz because that’s all that incandescent bulbs and controls could handle. But with LED lights, ESS can pulse the flashers at a far faster rate, which is far more noticeable to oncoming traffic. And it can beam out a warning to other cars that will show up on their navigation screen, or the map on their phone. Good news for automakers: as long as your cars have LED lights, this system can be adopted with zero hardware changes.
But that’s a wrap for today. Thanks for tuning in.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.