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0:08 EPA Toughens Heavy-Duty Truck Emission Rules
1:15 U.S. Postal Service Boosts BEV Purchases
2:22 Herbert Diess Joins Infineon’s Board
3:42 Magna Bolsters ADAS Business
4:27 Acura Teases Ultium Powered ZDX EV
6:19 Porsche Opens E-Fuel Plant in Chile
7:28 Global Auto Production Up Despite Disruptions
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EPA TOUGHENS HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK EMISSION RULES
For the first time in more than 20 years, the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing stricter emission regulations for heavy-duty trucks. Starting in model year 2027, the new standards are 80% tougher than current ones and will reduce NOx emissions by 45%. They’re also expected to increase the life of vehicles by 1.5 to 2.5 times. The new rules are designed so trucks meet EPA standards as they age and they require manufacturers to make sure engines and emission control systems work properly on the road and can’t be tampered with. The new regulations are expected to prevent up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths and provide $29 billion in net benefits. This is just the first phase to curb emissions from big trucks. In the coming months, the EPA will also issue new rules for greenhouse gas emissions for heavy trucks and stricter standards for light and medium-duty trucks that also go into effect in 2027.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE BOOSTS BEV PURCHASES
The U.S. Postal Service received a lot of criticism earlier this year when it announced plans to replace its aging fleet with mostly inefficient gas-powered vehicles. But now it’s reversing those plans. The USPS announced it will purchase at least 66,000 BEVs as part of its plan to add 106,000 new vehicles to its fleet between now and 2028. It will acquire at least 60,000 New Generation Delivery Vehicles from defense contractor Oshkosh and 45,000 of them will be all-electric. It will also purchase another 21,000 “off-the-shelf” battery electric delivery vehicles and had a Ford E-Transit on display. All vehicles it acquires after 2026 are expected to be all electric. The USPS is investing about $9.6 billion to update the fleet which also includes $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act.
HERBERT DIESS JOINS INFINEON’S BOARD
Former Volkswagen Chairman, Herbert Diess, attempted to push the company further into software and electrification than it ever had before, but he seemed to try and do it faster than the company was ready for. Now Mr. Diess will get his chance to be right on the bleeding edge of technology. He’s reportedly going to be announced as chip maker Infineon’s chairman of the supervisory board and will take over that new role in February. Diess was previously a member of the Infineon board from 2015 until 2020. We’ve all become painfully aware of how vital semiconductor chips are to vehicle production, so he should be busy.
MAGNA BOLSTERS ADAS BUSINESS
The giant supplier Magna is spending over $1.5 billion to strengthen its driver assisted technology business. It’s spending that much to buy Veoneer, which makes radar, cameras and software for self-driving systems. Not only does Magna get access to its tech, but also Veoneer’s engineers and customer base. Veoneer is expected to generate $1.1 billion in sales this year and $1.9 billion by 2024. The company was spun off from the supplier Autoliv’s electronics and AV driving divisions in 2018, sold in 2021 and now its current owner is selling off Veoneer’s assets.
ACURA TEASES ULTIUM POWERED ZDX EV
Acura revealed that it’s started testing its first electric vehicle in real-world conditions. This is Acura’s BEV, which is called the ZDX, that’s based on GM’s Ultium platform and is powered by Ultium batteries. But despite being based on a GM platform the ZDX was designed at the Acura Design Studio in Southern California, which is where the original ZDX was styled in 2007, which was the very first vehicle to be designed from the ground up at that studio. As for the new electric ZDX, it will feature “many” of the same styling themes as the Acura Precision EV Concept that debuted last August. And we’ll see how much of that holds true when the production version is unveiled sometime next year. Sales of the ZDX kick off in 2024.
And be sure to join John and Gary for Autoline After Hours this week. They’ll be talking about the biggest stories this year and will also be making their predictions for 2023. So be sure to tune in Thursday afternoon for what’s going to be a lively discussion.
PORSCHE OPENS E-FUEL PLANT IN CHILE
Porsche continues to hope that synthetic- or e-fuels will save ICE vehicles. It, along with other international partners, announced they have started production of the fuel in Chile. In the pilot phase, it will make around 130,000 liters or over 34,000 gallons of e-fuel a year, which will be used in racing and at Porsche Experience Centers. Towards the end of the decade they hope to ramp that up to 550 million liters or 145.3 million gallons a year. Porsche hopes that e-fuels can help get vehicles around ICE bans and keep classic cars on the road longer. But as we’ve said, e-fuels currently take three times the energy to make and are three times as expensive as gasoline. We’d need a lot more refineries like the one in Chile, so the question will become, can e-fuels come on fast enough to offset EVs, and maybe even fuel cells, which continue to make improvements.
GLOBAL AUTO PRODUCTION UP DESPITE DISRUPTIONS
Despite suffering through supply chain disruptions, lockdowns in China, and the energy crisis in Europe, automakers managed to increase production around the world. According to S&P Mobility, global light vehicle production is expected to reach nearly 82 million units this year, up 6% compared to 2021. But it is forecasting a modest 4% increase next year, up to 85 million units. The reason for the slower increase is because of continued supply chain issues, and not just with semiconductors, but also access to labor and logistics. And while production was up, sales were down this year. S&P is forecasting 79.2 million sales globally, a 1.3% decrease from 2021. But it expects a slight rebound in 2023 and estimates sales will hit 83.6 million units, a 5.6% increase. But S&P is cautious about next year’s growth because of a slowing economy and fading pent-up demand. There is one bright spot though and that is electric vehicles. BEV sales are expected to reach 10 million units in 2023, accounting for 13% of global passenger vehicles.
But that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.