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0:08 China Dominates Global EV Race
1:14 Affordability Hurts EV Adoption
2:06 Rivian Misses Delivery Target
3:19 Volkswagen Reveals ID.7 EV Sedan
4:23 Chrysler Teases Future Interior Tech
5:23 Model Y & Mustang Mach-E Miss Out on EV Tax Credit
6:57 Nvidia & Foxconn Partner to Develop Autonomous Platforms
7:29 New Qualcomm Chip Combines ADAS & Infotainment Functions
8:17 Verge Unveils Electric Motorcycle
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
CHINA DOMINATES GLOBAL EV RACE
China is cementing its dominance in the global EV race. According to auto analyst Michael Dunne from ZoZoGo, an estimated 10.5 million EVs were built and sold globally in 2022. And the vast majority of those were in China, which accounted for 6.7 million of them. That was more than all other regions combined. Europe accounted for 2.5 million and the U.S. only built and sold 925,000 EVs. And as far as global EV penetration goes, European countries dominate the list of top 20 countries, especially the Scandinavian nations. 86% of all car sales in Norway in 2021 were EVs. It was followed by Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to round out the top 5. While the U.S. ranks 19th in terms of EV market penetration rates at just 5%, Japan didn’t even make the list of top 20 countries.
AFFORDABILITY HURTS EV ADOPTION
And speaking of EV sales in the U.S., a new survey from Deloitte found that more car buyers are interested in purchasing an EV but the lack of affordability is the top concern for a majority of Americans. Nearly 7 in 10 of those looking to buy an EV expect to pay less than $50,000 for their next vehicle. And while EV prices are trending higher, the intent to purchase one, including hybrids and plug-in hybrids is up 9% compared to a year ago. At the same time, the intent to purchase an ICE vehicle dropped to 62% from 68%. Globally, China ranks number one in consumer interest in BEVs. 27% of buyers intend to purchase one, which is 10 points higher than last year.
RIVIAN MISSES DELIVERY TARGET
Rivian struggled to ramp up production last year and not surprisingly the EV startup fell just short of its production target. The company was aiming to produce 25,000 vehicles but ended up building just over 24,000 units and only delivered a little over 20,000 of them. In the fourth quarter, it built more than 10,000 vehicles and delivered around 8,000. Wall Street wasn’t impressed and the company’s stock tumbled 6% yesterday. But Rivian wasn’t alone. Tesla also missed its delivery targets and its stock dropped 12%.
VOLKSWAGEN REVEALS ID.7 EV SEDAN
Even in its transition to electric, Volkswagen is not giving up on sedans. Previewed as the ID.AERO Concept, a camo version of the ID.7 made its debut at CES as it works its way towards production. Like most electric sedans, the ID.7 has a fastback rear end and almost no trunk lid to speak of, which improves aero. That helps this EV achieve a driving range of up to 700 kilometers or 435 miles based on the WLTP test cycle. The interior is a slight evolution from other ID models and features a new 15-inch center display, a small screen for the driver and a head-up display with augmented reality. The series production version of the ID.7 will make its debut in the 2nd quarter of this year. As far as we know right now the electric sedan will be made in Germany for the European market and in China by its two joint venture partners, but no word on the U.S. yet.
CHRYSLER TEASES FUTURE INTERIOR TECH
Chrysler is going to launch its first EV in 2025 and is showing off what some of its interior tech might look like. The Synthesis concept is a 2-seat demonstrator that can be broken up into three main categories; STLA Smart Cockpit, STLA Brain and STLA AutoDrive. The Cockpit is basically the infotainment system and also enables shopping and payment services through its huge 37.2-inch display screen. The Brain runs on centralized computing to control 30 modules inside the vehicle and allows for AI tech that adapts to the user over time, OTA updates and even a virtual personal assistant. And AutoDrive should be pretty self-explanatory. It’s a Level 3 system that enables hands-free driving. By 2028, Chrysler expects to have a full battery electric portfolio.
MODEL Y & MUSTANG MACH-E MISS OUT ON EV TAX CREDIT
Is the Tesla Model Y an SUV? How about the Ford Mustang Mach-E? Well, it seems even the feds are confused. The IRS released the full list of EVs that are eligible for the new $7,500 tax credit and in some cases the Model Y is being treated like a sedan and all models the Mach-E are treated like sedans. To qualify for the credit an electric truck and SUV can’t cost over $80,000 and $55,000 for other vehicles. To be classified as an SUV the IRS looks to go by weight, but that still doesn’t explain why some versions of the Model Y don’t qualify for the higher limit. Same goes for the Mach-E. But other vehicles with less range and space than the Model Y do qualify for the higher limit, so it’s a bit confusing. However, you can help clear this up. The government is taking public comments on the new rules right now.
NVIDIA & FOXCONN PARTNER TO DEVELOP AUTONOMOUS PLATFORMS
While companies like Ford and Volkswagen have backed away from developing autonomous vehicles, others are forging ahead. Chipmaker Nvidia and Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn are forming a partnership to develop self-driving platforms. Foxconn will build the electronic control units for vehicles based on Nvidia’s Orin chip that’s designed for connected and autonomous vehicles.
NEW QUALCOMM CHIP COMBINES ADAS & INFOTAINMENT FUNCTIONS
And speaking of chip makers, Qualcomm unveiled a new chip that can handle both advanced driver assistance and cockpit functions. The features were previously handled by separate chips and Qualcomm says the new one can help cut costs because it reduces the amount of memory needed and the number of components. The new chip, called Snapdragon RideFlex SoC, is scheduled to go into production in 2024. Qualcomm has steadily been building its automotive business and says it has $30 billion worth of orders in the pipeline.
VERGE UNVEILS ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLE
A new electric motorcycle is coming to town and it’s called the Verge TS. The big news here is that it uses an electric hubless motor to drive the rear wheel. There’s several versions available with power ranging 107 up to 201 horsepower. Those provide 0-60 times of 4.5 seconds, down to 2.5 seconds. With no need for running gear and the motor mounted in the rear wheel, Verge says it cleared up more space for the battery pack. It features up to 20.2 kWh battery, which is more than the Livewire at 15.4 kWh and the top Zero electric motorcycle with 17.3 kWh. That pack provides a range up to 233 miles, but we also suspect there’s a smaller battery because there’s a version that’s rated at 155 miles of range. The company says it’s currently working on entering the U.S. market and hopes to start sales this year.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for making Autoline a part of your day.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.