Listen to “AD #3413 – EU Could Ban PHEVs; Tesla Model Y Has Best BEV Resale Value in China; Toyota Ends Production in Russia” on Spreaker.
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0:08 EU Could Ban PHEVs
1:23 Gas Shortage May Force VW To Move Production Out of Germany
2:03 Toyota Ends Production in Russia
2:38 Mazda In Talks to Sell Russian Joint Venture Stake
3:38 Audi Wants to Use More Recycled Plastic in Vehicles
4:35 Ford Focus ST Gets New Performance Pack in Europe
5:27 Citroen Creates Berlingo Van Inspired By 2CV Classic
6:57 VW Forms Battery Partnership with Umicore
7:48 Tesla Model Y Has Best BEV Resale Value in China
8:46 Wuling Launches Mini EV Convertible
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EU COULD BAN PHEVs
Will the European Union ban plug-in hybrid cars? It could happen. That’s because a report from the ICCT, the International Coalition for Clean Transportation, says owners don’t plug in their PHEVs nearly as much as regulators assumed they would. Regulators thought PHEVs would only use 0.2 liters of gasoline and emit about 37 grams of CO2 per 100 kilometers driven. But in fact, those emissions are up to 5 times higher than that. The EU also assumed owners would plug in their PHEVs up to 85% of the time and mainly drive on electric power. Instead, the ICCT found that private owners only plug in around 45% of the time, and executives who get company cars plug in as little as 11% of the time. Those execs don’t pay for the fuel in their company cars so they are not incentivized to plug in. Germany is moving to phase out subsidies for PHEVs, and this could really hurt luxury automakers that are counting on plug-ins to meet CO2 standards.
VW MAY MOVE SOME PRODUCTION OUT OF GERMANY
Volkswagen is considering shifting some production outside of Germany because of natural gas shortages. Germany relies on gas from Russia but Russia has cut back on supplies. VW says it currently has enough fuel but if the cutbacks continue into the winter, it may relocate some production outside of Germany to its other plants in Europe. VW also identified areas where it can cut back on fuel use at its plants to help ration supplies. And if VW is considering these plans, we think it’s likely other automakers could be forced to do the same.
TOYOTA ENDS PRODUCTION IN RUSSIA
And back to Russia for a moment, Toyota announced it is ending production in the country because it can’t get the parts and materials it needs to keep the lines running. The automaker suspended production back in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and hoped to resume building cars but now it says that there is “no indication that we can restart in the future.” Toyota built the Camry and RAV4 in Russia and according to Russian media, the plant, which has a capacity of 100,000 units a year, might be sold in the future.
MAZDA IN TALKS TO SELL RUSSIAN JOINT VENTURE STAKE
But Toyota isn’t alone, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper says Mazda is also discussing ending production in Russia because it’s having trouble securing parts. The automaker operates a joint venture with Sollers in the country and the two companies are in talks for Sollers to buy out Mazda’s stake in the JV. Last year, Mazda sold 30,000 vehicles in the country.
AUDI WANTS TO USE MORE RECYCLED PLASTIC IN VEHICLES
Audi estimates that its vehicles have more than 200 kilograms or 440 pounds of plastic in them. So, it’s working on ways to recycle more of these pieces so it can turn them into new parts, which will help reduce its carbon footprint. One of the new methods it’s testing is physical recycling. This is where a part is dissolved with solvents so no chemical degradation takes place and the polymer chains of the material remain undamaged. What you end with is plastic granulate that matches the quality of virgin material. Audi says more testing needs to be done to ensure its feasibility and cost effectiveness. But today the Audi Q4 e-tron has 27 components made from recycled parts and with projects like physical recycling it hopes to expand that to even more.
FORD FOCUS ST GETS NEW PERFORMANCE PACK IN EUROPE
Ford of Europe is offering a new performance pack for the 5-door version of the Focus ST. And this is more than an appearance upgrade, although it does include new parts and pieces to give it a gnarlier look. The biggest improvement of the Track Pack is likely the coilover suspension system. There’s 28 adjustment steps between jounce and rebound on the dampers, while the springs are 50% stiffer and reduce ride height by an additional 10 mm. Also part of the package are lighter 19-inch alloy wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, bigger front brake rotors and Brembo front brake calipers. Interested customers can make an order today, but no word on pricing yet and it won’t show up until November.
CITROEN CREATES BERLINGO VAN INSPIRED BY 2CV CLASSIC
Citroen classics, like the Type H and 2CV, hold a real soft spot in many people’s hearts, but sometimes the past should be left in the past. Citroen and coachbuilder Caselani are showing off a special edition of the Berlingo van that was inspired by the 2CV type AU, which first came out in 1951 and was a 2CV with a covered rear section. You’ll actually be able to buy the 2CV Berlingo Fourgonnette. Orders start next month with production slated for early next year.
VW FORMS BATTERY PARTNERSHIP WITH UMICORE
It seems like every day there’s a battery announcement from an automaker. And today it’s Volkswagen’s turn. Its new battery company called PowerCo, is forming a battery parts joint venture with Belgian materials company Umicore. They’re investing 3 billion euros in the joint venture and by the end of the decade, are aiming to produce cathode materials for 160 GWh of cell capacity a year, which is enough for 2.2 million vehicles. The two companies also plan to collaborate on recycling batteries but did not specify a timeframe. Umicore has deals with several other automakers, including Stellantis and Mercedes as well as Tesla, whose partnership goes back to 2011.
TESLA MODEL Y HAS BEST BEV RESALE VALUE IN CHINA
Speaking of Tesla, the Model Y is red hot in China. According to the China Passenger Car Association, the crossover sold more than 31,100 units in August, which is a gain of nearly 170% compared to a year ago. That makes it the best-selling premium SUV in China. And this should help boost sales too. The Model Y has the highest resale value among all battery electric vehicles in China, with a value retention rate of nearly 89%. Tesla’s other models also do well, the Model X is fourth on the list and the Model 3 is seventh. The Porsche Taycan has the second highest resale value among BEVs in China and interestingly the tiny Hongguang Mini EV is third.
WULING LAUNCHES MINI EV CONVERTIBLE
Speaking of that MINI EV. Wuling just launched the all-new convertible version. It starts at just under $14,000, which is about $9-grand more than the base version of the car and the convertible only comes with two seats, not four. But it also has a bigger battery and a more powerful electric motor. With new editions like the Gameboy and now the Cabrio, Wuling hopes to keep the MINI EV at the top of China’s EV sales chart.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for tuning in and we hope to see you again tomorrow.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.