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0:00 Hertz Taps Oil Giant for U.S. Charging Network
0:57 China Extends Incentives for NEVs
1:42 Tesla Not Running Shanghai Factory at Full Capacity
3:22 Renault Makes Good Use of Engine Compartment on Electric Megane
4:22 Peugeot e-208 Gets More Power, Range
5:11 Citroen Debuts New Logo
6:12 Chevy Boosts Silverado HD’s Diesel Power
7:19 Toyota Wants to Expand Fuel Cells Into China
8:03 Amazon Alexa Assists ID.4 Test Drives
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
HERTZ TAPS OIL GIANT FOR EV CHARGERS
Rental company Hertz is quickly expanding its fleet of electric vehicles. Its goal is to have a quarter of its fleet be electric by the end of 2024. Last week, it ordered 175,000 EVs from GM, which is on top of deals it already made with Tesla and Polestar. And now it signed a new agreement to make sure customers can charge all those EVs. Hertz is teaming up with BP to open a network of charging stations at Hertz locations across North America. The chargers will be available to customers, including taxi and ride-sharing drivers, as well as the general public. BP is aiming to operate 100,000 chargers globally by 2030, 90% of which will be fast chargers.
CHINA EXTENDS INCENTIVES FOR NEVs
China is once again extending incentives for the purchase of NEVs or New Energy Vehicles. NEVs are battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. The government originally planned to phase them out at the end of this year but officials announced they will extend the incentives until the end of 2023. Consumers who purchase an NEV are exempt from vehicle purchase taxes, which saves them around $1,400 on average. China first started offering the tax breaks in 2014 to help spur EV growth but it wants to eventually eliminate the incentives because it doesn’t want automakers relying on them to sell NEVs.
TESLA NOT RUNNING SHANGHAI FACTORY AT FULL CAPACITY
Tesla recently upgraded its factory in Shanghai to boost output but the automaker won’t run the plant at full capacity through the end of the year. The updates increased capacity by 30% to 22,000 vehicles a week but Reuters reports that the plant will only run at 93% of capacity, which translates to a rate of 20,500 vehicles a week. It’s not known why Tesla is holding back production but it’s a bit surprising since the company usually runs the plant at maximum capacity when it can. While Tesla’s sales in China are up 60% so far this year, it’s a bit behind the overall NEV market, which has more than doubled over the same period.
RENAULT MAKES GOOD USE OF ENGINE COMPARTMENT ON MEGANE EV
Many of the new EVs coming out are still based on ICE platforms. And one of the drawbacks is they’re not as efficient as dedicated EVs since the vehicle is being designed to accommodate multiple power types. Check out our video on scar tissue if you’d like to learn more. But at least engineers are coming up with good ideas for any unused space. Instead of locating the heater and air conditioning box, which is big and bulky, inside the car and behind the dash on the electric version of the Megane, Renault moved it into the engine compartment, between the two shock towers. This could help with traction by putting more weight over the tires, but it also frees up space on the interior as well as freeing up designer’s creativity. And as a former automotive technician, myself, having access to the HVAC box under the hood sounds much better than having to tear apart half the interior to work on a typical one.
PEUGEOT e-208 GETS MORE POWER, RANGE
Speaking of EVs, Peugeot continues to make improvements to the electric version of the compact 208. The vehicle first launched in 2019 and last year got upgrades that increased its range by 22 kilometers or over 13 miles. Now it’s getting the same powertrain as the electric 308. A new motor boosts power by another 15 kW or 20 horsepower and it comes with a 400 volt 48.1 kWh battery pack, which is estimated to return 400 kilometers or about 250 miles of range. That means since its debut, the e-208 has over 17.5% more range and uses 15% less energy.
CITROEN DEBUTS NEW LOGO
And sticking with Stellantis for a moment, Citroen has a new logo. It still features the dual, stacked chevrons, but they’re now encased in an oval, very similar to its original logo from 1919. This is now the 10th different logo in the company’s history, including two recent changes, one in 2009 and again in 2016.
CHEVY BOOSTS SILVERADO HD’s DIESEL POWER
Chevy introduced the new Silverado HD pickup. Its 6.6L V8 diesel gets a power boost and now cranks out 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque. It also comes standard with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission for both the diesel and the 6.6L V8 gas engine. The front-end gets a styling refresh with an updated fascia, grille and headlights. And a 13.4-inch infotainment screen is available for LT trims and above. Some new features include Adaptive Cruise Control that works even when towing a trailer as well as blind zone alert for the trailer. And a ZR2 version will be added to the lineup for the first time. The Silverado will be built at GM’s Flint Assembly plant in Michigan and Oshawa Assembly in Canada. That starts in the first quarter of 2023 and pricing will be revealed closer to when production kicks off.
TOYOTA WANTS TO EXPAND FUEL CELLS INTO CHINA
Toyota is very bullish on fuel cell vehicles and now it wants to grow the market in China. The automaker is launching a pilot project with 111 Mirai’s that will be used for short term rental, ride hailing services and fixed route tourism in several large cities in China. Toyota also plans to sell imported Mirai’s at the end of this year, but the car ain’t cheap. The model will cost more than $104,000 in China, which compares to a starting price of $50-grand in the U.S. Toyota is also working with local governments and hydrogen companies to build 70 hydrogen refueling stations in China.
AMAZON ALEXA ASSISTS ID.4 TEST DRIVES
Volkswagen is offering a unique way for customers to get to know its ID.4 electric crossover. The automaker is launching test drives for potential buyers that are guided by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It will first be available in select markets in the U.S. this fall that sell the ID.4. Shoppers who sign up will get a brief walkaround with a VW product specialist before heading out on a 30-minute test drive with Alexa, which can answer questions about the vehicle’s functions. The topics Alexa can talk about include the ID.4s battery, charging, blind spot monitor, infotainment, cost and more.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.