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0:08 Tesla to Open Factory in Mexico
0:40 Tesla’s German Plant Output Slower Than Expected
1:10 Pepsi To Roll Out 100 Tesla Semis In 2023
2:35 Buick Reveals 1st Electric SUV
3:23 Waymo Expands Fully Autonomous Ride Service
3:50 TuSimple Plans Large Layoff
4:59 Rivian Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award
5:32 Dogs Like EVs Better Than ICE Vehicles
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA TO OPEN FACTORY IN MEXICO
Elon Musk has ambitious sales goals for Tesla. He’s aiming to sell 20 million vehicles a year by the end of the decade. But the company is going to need a lot more factories to make that a reality. And it looks like that expansion will happen soon. Bloomberg reports Tesla is planning on opening a plant in Mexico and could make an announcement as early as this week. It will be located in Monterrey but it’s not known yet what models it will produce or when production will kick off.
TESLA’S GERMAN PLANT OUTPUT SLOWER THAN EXPECTED
And speaking of Tesla production, the automaker is building vehicles at its plant in Germany at a slower pace than it originally planned. The factory produced 3,000 Model Ys last week, short of the 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles it was targeting by the end of the year. While the company has slowly ramped up production, it is still running into red tape in its attempts to expand battery production and logistics operations at the site.
PEPSI TO ROLL OUT 100 TESLA SEMIS IN 2023
And in one last bit of Tesla news, Pepsi said it plans to roll out 100 Tesla Semis next year, to transport chips and beverages. They’ll first be deployed in California, before expanding to the central U.S. and then the east coast. All of the trucks will have 500 miles of range but how far they travel will depend on what kind of product they are carrying. Because of the lighter load, trucks transporting chips will drive up to 425 miles. But trucks transporting beverages will initially travel on 100-mile routes since it’s a heavier load. Pepsi didn’t reveal how much it paid for the Semis but they do qualify for $40,000 federal subsidies, which helps offset the costs.
BUICK REVEALS 1ST ELECTRIC SUV
Buick is providing a better look at its first electric SUV, the Electra E5, which it says “it will soon introduce” in China. We’ve shown you a few pictures of this EV already, but as you can see it bears a strong resemblance to the recent Electra-X Concept. Based on GM’s Ultium platform, it will get the automaker’s hands-free Super Cruise technology as well as an all-new Virtual Cockpit system. Although, it’s not showing any pictures of that yet. The Electra E5 is the same size as the upcoming Chevrolet Equinox EV. Its wheelbase is about 116 inches, its 75 inches wide and roughly 192 inches overall.
WAYMO EXPANDS FULLY AUTONOMOUS RIDE SERVICE
Autonomous vehicles continue to make progress. Waymo announced it is now offering fully autonomous rides, with no driver on board, from Phoenix international airport to downtown Phoenix. The service is available 24/7. At the same time, the company is expanding the size of the service areas where the general public can hail fully autonomous rides in San Francisco and Phoenix.
TUSIMPLE PLANS LARGE LAYOFF
Things aren’t looking good for AV startup TuSimple. Earlier this month we announced it abruptly parted ways with Navistar on developing Level 4 self-driving trucks. And now the Wall Street Journal says it could have to lay off half its workforce next week. It’s said the cuts would affect about 700 people. In fact, things aren’t looking good for a number of AV startups. We’ve had recent reports of Apple scaling back its AV operations as well as Ford and Volkswagen ending their partnerships with Argo AI.
RIVIAN EARNS TOP SAFETY PICK AWARD
Despite reports of manufacturing issues, Rivian is getting a good bit of news from the IIHS. The agency that crash tests vehicles in the U.S. gave Rivian’s electric pickup, the R1T, a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award. In order to earn that a vehicle must get good ratings in all 6 of its crashworthiness tests, be available with a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating and have good or acceptable headlights on all trim levels.
DOGS LIKE EVs BETTER THAN ICE VEHICLES
Dogs like EVs better than ICE vehicles. That was one of the conclusions of a recent study by the University of Lincoln in the UK and CarGurus. They watched video and used biometric data to analyze the results of 20 dogs that took a short 10-minute trip in both an EV and diesel-powered vehicle. It looks like they used a Genesis GV70 and VW ID.3 for the tests. And based on their observations dogs layed down longer in an EV, seemed less prone to motion sickness and had a lower heart rate. But there’s still good news even if you had a dog but not an EV. The study showed that the heart rates in two-thirds of the dogs went down when traveling in both the ICE and electric vehicle.
And be sure to join John and Gary for Autoline After Hours this week. They’ll be talking about the biggest stories in the automotive world that happened this year and will also be making predictions for what will happen in 2023. So be sure to tune in Thursday afternoon for what will be a fun show.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for joining us today.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.