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0:08 U.S. Car Sales Drop 8% In 2022
1:04 Cadillac & Andretti Partner to Join Formula 1
1:47 Tesla Slashes Prices in China
3:05 Ram Reveals BEV Pickup Concept
5:03 Peugeot Unveils Wild Inception Concept
6:56 Mercedes To Open Own Charging Network
7:45 ZF Shows Off Autonomous L4 Shuttle
8:27 Solar EV Company Lightyear to Offer Low Cost Model
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
U.S. CAR SALES DROP 8% IN 2022
A lack of inventory, chip shortages and other supply chain issues put a dent in U.S. car sales in 2022. Automakers sold 13.9 million vehicles in the American market last year, which is a drop of 8%. General Motors, which sold more than 2.2 million vehicles, re-took the sales crown from Toyota, which sold 2.1 million vehicles. SUVs and pickups continue to be popular with consumers and they now account for more than three-quarters of sales. And EV sales are also soaring, more than 807,000 were sold last year, up 65% from a year ago. This year, analysts expect sales to increase by one million units because inventory is starting to improve. And while that’s good news for automakers, it’s still short of the 17 million vehicles the industry was selling before the pandemic.
CADILLAC & ANDRETTI PARTNER TO JOIN FORMULA 1
Formula 1 has grown in popularity over the last several years and it’s starting to attract more luxury brands. Audi recently announced it’s getting into Formula 1 by teaming up with the Sauber Group. And now Cadillac wants to join the series. The automaker has officially teamed up with Andretti Global and will submit a bid to race in F1. The team, called Andretti Cadillac, will be based in the U.S. with a support facility in the UK and it plans to have at least one American driver. There’s no current timetable for when the team could join the series but if F1 approves the application, Andretti Cadillac says it will compete “as soon as practical.”
TESLA SLASHES PRICES IN CHINA
As we said yesterday, China phasing out EV subsidies at the end of 2022 would likely impact EV sales at the beginning of this year. That could be a reason Tesla is cutting prices in China and other Asian markets, like Japan and South Korea. It’s slashing the price of the Model 3 and Y by about 6-13.5% depending on the version. For example, the Model 3 RWD is $5,000 less expensive in China. But this is still going to raise concern that demand is falling for Tesla’s vehicles. Since September, Tesla has cut the price of its models from 13-24%.
RAM REVEALS BEV PICKUP CONCEPT
Ram finally gave us a look at its electric truck, what it calls the Revolution BEV Concept. The model is said to preview Ram’s future styling and like all the other EV pickups the lighting elements are big and bold. When the production version launches in 2024, the company says it will be the leader in range, towing, payload and charge time. The reason it’s going to have that range title is because we know the truck will be offered with a range extender. Although, Ram’s not providing any details at this time. But it did say thanks to an 800-volt electrical architecture, it will be able to add up to 100 miles of range in 10 minutes using DC fast charging and it will initially have an AWD setup from two electric drive modules. But it’s capable of handling bigger drive modules, so there will likely be high-power versions in the future as well. The Ram Brand also packed a ton of tech into this truck. It’s got power everything, from the frunk, to the charge door, tailgate, mid-gate, door handles, side steps and even the rear step. There’s digital side view mirrors, big display screens, an augmented reality HUD and even a “Shadow Mode” where the truck will automatically follow the driver if they’re walking outside of the vehicle. The truck is built on Stellantis’ STLA Frame EV platform, which allowed designers to shift the cabin forward to increase overall cabin length. That then allowed them to design a pretty slick reconfigurable interior. A mid-gate, which opens the cabin to the bed area, has 3rd row jump seats mounted right to it and feature a removable lower section that can be used in the bed or for other uses like a sporting event. And if you’d like to learn more we’ve got an interview with Ram CEO Mike Koval that we’ll provide a link to.
PEUGEOT UNVEILS WILD INCEPTION CONCEPT
And sticking with Stellantis for the moment, Peugeot had its own concept to reveal, called the INCEPTION. While it’s got a radical design, Peugeot says from 2025 onwards it will inspire the brand’s future products all the way down to its smallest models. The concept it built on the STLA Large platform. It features AWD from two electric motors that combine 500 kW or 680 horsepower and provide acceleration from 0-100 km/h in under 3 seconds. Running off an 800-volt system, the INCEPTION’s 100 kWh battery pack can add up to 150 kilometers or about 93 miles of range in 5 minutes. And it has an overall range of 800 kilometers or just under 500 miles. The interior is also quite wild, with a hoop display screen for the driver and a square steering wheel that takes advantage of a steer-by-wire system. By the end of the decade Peugeot hopes to be the leading electric brand in Europe.
Those two vehicles were revealed at CES. And if you want to learn more about the new automotive technology and products at the show, be sure to check out our coverage on our website or YouTube channel.
MERCEDES TO OPEN OWN CHARGING NETWORK
One of Tesla’s biggest advantages over its competition is its large Supercharger network. And now Mercedes-Benz is following suit and will open its own charging network, starting in North America. It’s partnering with MN8 Energy and ChargePoint, to begin building the network in the U.S. and Canada, which will cost more than 1 billion euros. By 2027, Mercedes plans to have 400 charging hubs across North America with 2,500 individual chargers. Mercedes owners will be able to reserve a charging spot from their car and the stations will be open to other brands. The automaker will also build charging networks in Europe, China and other key markets and plans to have more than 10,000 chargers globally by the end of the decade.
ZF SHOWS OFF AUTONOMOUS L4 SHUTTLE
The German supplier ZF pulled the wraps off its next-gen autonomous shuttle. It’s equipped with lidar, radar, cameras and other sensors as well as ZF’s automated driving software to achieve Level 4 autonomy. The shuttle is electric and offers battery capacities between 50 and 100 kWh that provide up to 80 miles of range. It only has a maximum speed of 25 MPH but future models will be capable of 50 MPH. ZF is teaming up with mobility services provider Beep to bring the shuttle to the American market. But the companies did not reveal where or when it plans to deploy the shuttle.
SOLAR EV COMPANY LIGHTYEAR TO OFFER LOW COST MODEL
Solar EV company Lightyear is working on a new model, called the Lightyear 2. Unlike the Lightyear 0, which has a starting price of nearly $300,000, the 2 is aiming for a price under $40-grand. But it still incorporates a lot of the same philosophy. It’s extremely aerodynamic and uses solar panels on the roof to help extend the driving range, which Lightyear claims is up to 500 miles or 800 kilometers. The Lightyear 2 will be sold in the U.S., UK and Europe and the company is taking pre-orders right now.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.