Listen to “AD #3441 – EVs Poised to Outsell Diesels in EU; Ram Readying Range Extender?; GM Adds to American EV Supply Chain” on Spreaker.
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0:00 OEMs Shrug Off Bad Economic News
1:06 EVs Poised to Outsell Diesels in the EU
2:03 Ram Readying Range Extender for EV Truck?
3:33 Optima Designs Off-Grid Chargers for Off-Roading
4:26 Ford Transit Gets Off-Road Edition
5:23 Transporting Honda Scooter Concept a Snap
6:49 GM Adds to North American EV Supply Chain
7:28 Toyota & Mercedes Have Highest Brand Value
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
OEMs SHRUG OFF BAD ECONOMIC NEWS
Chip shortages are crippling production. Prices at the pump are pinching pocketbooks. And sky high interest rates are sweeping subprime buyers out of the marketplace. That’s usually a recipe for disaster for automakers. But instead they’re basking in the sunshine. Stellantis says sales were up 13% in the third quarter and revenues shot up 29%. BMW saw sales fall a tiny bit, but its net profit shot up 23%. And somebody forgot to tell Ferrari we might be headed into a recession. Sales were up 16%, revenue was up 19% and it put 10% more money on the bottom line. You know, these are the kinds of numbers you expect to see when the global economy is roaring ahead, not when everyone is worried about war, recession and political upheaval. And it sure shows that we’re living in very strange times.
EVs POISED TO OUTSELL DIESELS IN EU
If diesel sales in Europe continue to fall at their current rate, fully electric vehicles could outsell them sometime next year. As recently as 2015, diesels held over 50% of the market in Europe, but that’s fallen to 16.5% in the latest quarter. And they’re dropping about 6% a year. Fully electric vehicles on the other hand rose 22% over the last year and now control nearly 12% of all new car sales. And if you add in all electrified vehicles, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids, they outsell ICE vehicles, 43% to 38%. Automakers, like BMW and Stellantis, have said it will be difficult to meet the EUs ban of new ICEs by 2035, but at this snapshot in time, customers are having no issue buying up electrified models.
RAM READYING RANGE EXTENDER FOR RAM EV?
As we reported yesterday, Ram was going to unveil the electric version of its pickup truck at the LA Auto, but changed that to CES in January, because CES is a technology show and Ram says it’s going to show technology the world has never seen before. We think it’s going to be some sort of range extender. The reports that the Ram EV would get a range extender started circulating nearly a year ago. The website EV Pulse quoted Ram CEO Mike Koval as saying it will be a “class shattering” technology. While EVs have gobs of torque for towing, they can’t tow very far because that drains the battery so fast. And Ram could have a real competitive advantage in the EV pickup segment with an on board range extender that gets rid of towing range anxiety.
RIVIAN & OPTIMA OFF-THE-GRID CHARGERS
Rivian’s electric pickup and SUV were made for off-roading but there aren’t many charging solutions when you’re traveling off the beaten path. That’s why Optima Batteries, which is a brand from battery maker Clarios, is showing off two custom made Rivian’s that are capable of charging off-grid. They feature a solar-powered trailer that is equipped with a 110-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and they store enough energy to recharge at Level 2 charging speeds from 0 to 80%. Optima also upgraded the Rivian models to include bigger wheels, tires, an improved suspension system and other off-road features. The EVs are making their debut at SEMA but Optima plans to show them at other off-road and racing events throughout 2023.
FORD TRANSIT GETS OFF-ROAD EDITION
According to Ford, more motorhomes are built on a Ford chassis than any other brand and it wants to get in on a piece of that action. So, it’s coming out with the Transit Trail van, which comes with off-road and adventuring goodies right from the factory. The van is available in three configurations; medium-, high-roof or high-roof extended wheelbase. And it comes standard with AWD and Ford’s 3.5L Ecoboost V6. Upgrades include a ride height that was raised by 3.5 inches, wider track thanks to bigger wheels and tires, splash guards, wheel arch liners, side steps and heavy duty trailer package. There’s also a number of cosmetic upgrades to give it more of an aggressive look. The Transit Trail is covered by a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty and will start at nearly $66,000.
TRANSPORTING HONDA’S SCOOTER IS A SNAP
One of the problems with shared, last-mile, micro mobility, like scooters, bikes or mopeds, is that users leave them wherever they want, often creating an eye soar. Honda might be able to help with that. It filed a patent for a tiny electric motorcycle that has special attachment points by the front tire and foot pegs. Those special attachments allow it to hook up with other versions of the bike, so one rider can control a fleet of them. Four are shown linked together in the patent filing. The inputs of the lead bike, like throttle control, are also transferred to the trailing bikes and it will even control the motor speed of the outside or inside bike during turns, like torque vectoring. So, what do you think of Honda’s micro motorcycle? A good idea or an accident waiting to happen?
GM ADDS TO ITS NORTH AMERICA EV SUPPLY CHAIN
General Motors just made another move to secure its North American EV supply chain. It’s partnering with battery maker Microvast to open a new plant in the U.S. to produce battery separators. They’re also getting a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the technology. The separators do just that, separate the anode from the cathode, so ions can flow from one to the other. The separators will be used in GM’s Ultium batteries and are designed to increase thermal efficiency of the battery, which the automaker says will help improve safety, charging and battery life.
TOYOTA & MERCEDES HAVE HIGHEST BRAND VALUE
Which automaker has the best brand value? If you guessed Tesla, you’re wrong, at least according to Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands list. Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are ranked ahead of Tesla. Interbrand looks at a company’s financial performance, the role it plays in purchase decisions and its competitive strength and ability to create loyalty to come up with the valuation. Toyota is valued at nearly $60 billion, Mercedes is at $56 billion and Tesla is valued at $48 billion. But Tesla improved by 32% compared to last year, which was the largest year over year growth among automakers. And Hyundai had the largest year over year increase among mass market automakers, with a 14% increase to just over $17 billion. Of the top 100 global brands on the list, 15 are automotive. Apple has the highest brand value by a landslide and has topped the list for ten consecutive years. It’s valued at $482 billion, which is over $200 billion more than Microsoft, the number two brand on the list.
VIA MOTORS ON AAH
Remember when Bob Lutz started stuffing Corvette engines in Fisker Karmas? That was with a company called VL Automotive. Around the same time, Lutz was named chairman of a company called VIA, which converted GM trucks into PHEVs. VIA went through several iterations. And now it’s back with a modular, scalable electric medium duty truck chassis. Bob Purcell, CEO, will be on Autoline After Hours to talk all about it. Sam Abuelsamid from Guidehouse will also be on the show. So join John and Gary when they get going live later today at 3 pm eastern time.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show, thanks for tuning in.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.