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0:08 EU Falls Short in EV Sales Goals
0:52 BMW To Move Electric MINI Production from UK To China
1:18 Former Nikola Chairman Convicted of Fraud
2:46 U.S. Honda Dealers Want to Sell Sony EV
3:37 Mercedes Reveals Electric EQE SUV
5:11 Renault Shows Off Dune-Buggy Like Concept
6:51 Jeep Unveils New Avenger BEV
8:16 Amazon Adds Electric Volvo Trucks to Its Fleet
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EU FALLS SHORT IN EV SALES GOALS
Europe is falling short of its goals to sell electric vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions. That’s according to Transport and Environment, which is a European environmental lobbying group. It says sales of EVs in Europe are stalling out, and are up only 1% from last year. EVs only accounted for 11% of new car sales in the first half of the year, and 20% of them were made in China. Transport and Environment is calling for legislation similar to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act which provides subsidies for EVs and batteries made in the US. It wants European subsidies for EVs and batteries that are made in Europe.
BMW TO MOVE ELECTRIC MINI PRODUCTION FROM UK TO CHINA
And hot on the heels of that report, the Times of London reports that BMW is going to move production of the electric Mini out of England and build the car in China instead. BMW denies the report but The Times says production of the electric Mini in England will stop at the end of next year. BMW makes 40,000 Mini EVs a year in England.
FORMER NIKOLA CHAIRMAN CONVICTED OF FRAUD
Trevor Milton has had his day in court and jurors agreed with the prosecution that the former Nikola Chairman and founder lied to investors about the company’s capabilities and the vehicles it was developing. He was convicted on three of four charges, which carried a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Milton was accused of allegedly misleading investors for about a year before he stepped down from the company shortly after a damning report by Hindenburg Research. We’ll provide a link if you’d like to learn more about that. But Nikola has done just about everything in its power to distance itself from Milton since the time of the report and put out a statement with this latest development, saying, in part, it was “pleased to close this chapter.”
U.S. HONDA DEALERS WANT TO SELL SONY EV
Honda dealers in the U.S. want in on the new joint venture with Sony. Last week, the two companies announced they’ll launch an EV in the U.S. in 2026 and that it will be sold online. But Reuters reports that Honda dealers want to sell the EVs as well and some warn that not doing so could violate franchise agreements. However, since the vehicles will be sold under the Sony Honda Mobility brand, Honda could be avoiding that risk. The two companies also say they haven’t ruled out selling through dealers and Honda could use them for servicing the vehicles. Honda has more than 1,300 dealers nationwide, including Acura. Honda and Sony will reveal a concept of their first vehicle at CES in January.
MERCEDES REVEALS ELECTRIC EQE SUV
Mercedes revealed the latest electric vehicle in its EQ journey, the EQE SUV. This is very similar to the EQE as well as the EQS and EQS SUV, so both the interior and exterior styling should be pretty familiar to you by now. Mercedes made it hard to find the battery size in the book that it calls a press release, but it does say it’s a 10-module pack, which is the same as the EQE, which has 90.6 kWh battery. It says that pack will return more than 550 kilometers or 342 miles of range on the WLTP test cycle. Depending on the market, both rear- and all-wheel drive models will be available with power outputs ranging from 215 to 300 kW or about 290 to over 400 horsepower. There’s also an AMG version that has a combined 617 horsepower from two electric motors as well as an additional 60 horsepower for a short time with a boost function. That extra power helps this electric SUV go from 0-60 MPH in 3.4 seconds. Other upgrades include an AMG specific suspension, rear wheel steering and better brakes. No word on pricing for either version of the EQE SUV just yet.
RENAULT SHOWS OFF DUNE-BUGGY LIKE CONCEPT
Like other legacy automakers, Renault is dipping into its past to help it transition to the future. The Renault 4 went out of production 30 years ago, but that didn’t stop it from coming out with a new concept inspired by the car, called the 4EVER Trophy. It’s meant to draw on the heritage of the old model and build on that with the go-anywhere, dune-buggy-like styling of this new concept. Renault says the 4EVER Trophy will pave the way for a future all-electric B-segment SUV, which will be paired with a new version of the Renault 5. Those models will be positioned like the current Clio and Captur, with the 5 being a hatchback car and the 4 being a low-riding crossover.
JEEP UNVEILS NEW AVENGER BEV
Earlier in the show we reported that sales of EVs are starting to stall out. Well, maybe the new Jeep Avenger will help turn that around. It’s a B-segment vehicle, the smallest Jeep in the lineup, even smaller than the Renegade and was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show this morning. It will be built in Poland and is specifically designed for the European market. It comes with a 54-kWh battery pack that will deliver 400 kilometers on the WLTP test. That’s about 250 miles. In city driving it will deliver 340 miles. Power comes from a single 115 kilowatt electric motor, which is about 156 horsepower. Stellantis says it’s a 400-volt system and the battery can go from 20% to 80% charge in 24 minutes using a 100 kilowatt DC fast charger. A 240-volt charger will take a battery from 0% to 100% charge in 5.5 hours. Though Jeep is taking pre-orders for the Avenger right now, it will not go on sale until sometime next year. No word on price, but with a relatively small battery and only one relatively small motor, we think it will be relatively affordable.
AMAZON ADDS ELECTRIC VOLVO TRUCKS TO ITS FLEET
In addition to electrifying its fleet with Rivian vans, Amazon is also adding electric heavy-duty vehicles from Volvo Trucks. The retail giant will take delivery of 20 Volvo FH trucks by the end of the year in Germany. The trucks, which just went into series production in September, have a battery capacity of 540 kWh and they produce 657 horsepower or 490 kW of power. The trucks have a range of 300 kilometers or 186 miles and they’re expected to drive more than 1 million kilometers or 620,000 miles every year delivering packages. By the end of the decade, Volvo Trucks is aiming for half of its sales globally to be electric or fuel-cell vehicles.
But with that we wrap 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.