Listen to “AD #3507 – Stellantis Unveils Fascinating Hybrid; IRA Threatens 1/2 Dozen Automakers; Italy Opposes Full ICE Ban” on Spreaker.
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0:00 Italy Opposes Full ICE Ban
1:04 IRA Threatens 1/2 Dozen Automakers
1:56 Manheim Scans Cars for Auction
3:45 Ram Developing Mid-Size EV Pickup
4:19 Cadillac to Intro 3 New EVs This Year
4:43 Solar Farm Powers EA Chargers
5:18 Magna Lands Ford, GM Battery Enclosures
6:30 Buick Updates the Encore with EV Styling
7:20 Stellantis Unveils Fascinating Hybrid
8:37 Plastic Omnium Levels Up Light Projection
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
ITALY OPPOSES ICE BAN
The European Union formally enacted a law to ban the sale of new IC vehicles from 2035 onward. But not everyone is on board. Instead of eliminating 100% of tailpipe emissions, Italy wants to eliminate 90% of them. The idea is to give car companies more time to adapt. One reason may be that sales of electric cars plummeted 26% last year in Italy. And it was an across the board drop, including Fiat, Tesla, Renault, Peugeot and Volkswagen, who sell the most EVs there. A couple of automotive CEOs, including Carlos Tavares of Stellantis and Oliver Zipse of BMW have questioned the wisdom of the EU’s ICE ban. So we’ll have to keep an eye on this to see if these are the first cracks in the effort to ban the IC engine in the next decade.
IRA THREATENS HALF DOZEN AUTOMAKERS
The IRA or Inflation Reduction Act is a game changer for the U.S. auto industry. It will provide billions of dollars in subsidies to make EVs in the U.S. But it’s also a massive threat to a half dozen different automakers who either don’t have plants in the U.S. or don’t have plans to make EVs there. Subaru, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Porsche and Audi will be at a serious disadvantage because they won’t be able to qualify for EV subsidies. And that will be one of the topics on Autoline After Hours this afternoon. Mike Barrott, a principle from Plante Moran, Mike Martinez from Automotive News and Devin Lindsay from S&P Global will be on the show. So join John and Gary when the show goes live at 3 pm eastern time.
MANHEIM SCANS CARS FOR AUCTION
Not too long ago if car dealers and brokers wanted to buy used cars at auctions, they had to go walk the lanes at the auction house. Not anymore. Now online sales dominate that business. They account for 75% of Manheim’s auction volume, which is up from 50% before the pandemic. To ensure that online buyers really get a good sense of what they’re bidding on, Manheim acquired imaging technology from Synthetik Applied Technologies to take high-resolution images of vehicle underbodies. Manheim worked with Synthetik the past four years to develop the technology to make inspections faster and more convenient. The car drives over the device and it takes a high-res image in less than 10 seconds, which can be invaluable to a potential buyer. Before this an inspector would physically have to look under the vehicle to check its condition. In the business they call this representation. Does the description of the car the seller provides really represent the condition the car is in? So this technology really helps with representation and there’s another term you can add to your automotive vocabulary.
RAM DEVELOPING MID-SIZE EV PICKUP
We’ve said before that the first automaker to come out with an electric mid-size truck could have a real first mover advantage in the marketplace. But it’s quickly going to be a crowded segment. MotorTrend reports that Ram CEO Mike Koval says it’s going to show a mid-size truck concept, which would be electrified, at a large dealer meeting in March. He says, “We can clinic it to see if it is the right truck.” So, who knows, maybe we’ll have a Dakota EV. Let us know what you think of the idea in the comments section.
CADILLAC TO INTRO 3 MORE EVs THIS YEAR
Speaking of new EVs, Cadillac says it’s going to introduce three new models this year. At least some of the BEVs will be for global markets, but production won’t start until 2024. Nothing was said about the types of vehicles, but we’re guessing a couple of SUVs close in size and setup to the Equinox and Blazer EVs and maybe even a sedan for China.
SOLAR FARM POWERS EA CHARGERS
Electrify America broke ground on a massive solar farm that it first announced last year. Located in California, Solar Glow 1 as it’s known, won’t be online until late this summer. But once it’s at peak capacity it’s expected to generate 75 MW of electricity a year. It says that’s comparable to the energy used by over 20,000 American homes. This is part of Electrify America’s goal to have a net-zero carbon footprint for energy delivered to EVs charging on its network.
MAGNA LANDS GM, FORD BATTERY ENCLOSURES
Canada is becoming a hotbed for EV development. It has many of the raw materials used in batteries and motors and it should help automakers meet sourcing requirements for the IRA. And now the giant supplier Magna says it’s investing $470 million to expand several facilities in Ontario, Canada. One of those sites will be a new plant that will make battery enclosures for the Ford F-150 Lightning and other OEM programs. Operations will begin there in the second quarter of this year and in total Magna’s expansion will bring in more than a thousand new jobs.
BUICK UPDATE ENCORE WITH EV STYLING
Buick updated its tiny, little crossover the Encore. Its styling is now much more in line with Buick’s upcoming EVs, even though it’s still powered by a couple of IC engines. And it’s the first to wear Buick’s new logo in North America. The interior also sees some big changes, highlighted by two digital screens combined under one piece of glass. Two new trim lines have been added as well. Avenir is more upscale and offers unique design cues and features and premium materials, while Sport Touring has, you guessed it, a more sporty appearance. Although, we’re a little surprised at how close the ST badge is to Ford’s ST logo used for sporty cars. Production of the new Encore kicks off next month and sales start in the spring.
STELLANTIS UNVEILS FASCINATING HYBRID
Stellantis developed a fascinating 48-volt hybrid system that will first be used in the Peugeot 3008 and 5008. It consists of a 1.2L 3-cylinder gas engine that develops 100 kW or 134 horsepower, a 6-speed automatic trans and a small battery mounted under the front left seat. What makes it interesting is a 21 kW or 28 horsepower electric motor has been incorporated into the transmission. The motor can assist the gas engine or drive the vehicle itself at low speeds. It also has the ability to restart the engine during a stop/start event via a drive belt that goes from the motor to the crankshaft pulley. Despite the battery having less than half a kWh of usable space, Peugeot says in the city these vehicles can drive more than 50% of the time on pure electric power and lower overall fuel consumption by up to 15%. The Peugeot 3008 and 5008 Hybrid will launch in the second quarter of this year. Soon after a number of models in Peugeot’s lineup will get the hybrid system and we’re certain it will spread across most of Stellantis’ European brands.
PLASTIC OMNIUM USES LIGHTING IN
Puddle lamps that project a car’s logo on the ground are becoming more popular. But the supplier Plastic Omnium is taking light projection to a new level. For example, as a car comes to a stop it can project a red stop sign onto the pavement behind the car and a green go-ahead signal so pedestrians know it’s safe to cross. And when a car is coming up to a corner to make a turn, it will project the turn signals onto the pavement for better situational awareness. It uses a technology called micro lens array and it can even be used for headlamps. By connecting the lamps with the car’s GPS, the headlights will anticipate upcoming turns and can move the headlamps to point at where the car will be going before it even starts to turn. By projecting the image of a deer on the road, it can warn drivers when they’re in a deer crossing area. Or it could project a snowflake to warn of ice on the road. Plastic Omnium won an Innovation Award at CES last month with this technology.
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.