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0:08 Toyota, Honda Lose Most Customers to EVs
0:34 Toyota To Build Electric SUVs In U.S.
1:09 Tesla Could Shift Cell Production from Germany To U.S.
1:40 Ford Lines Up Battery Plant in Turkey
2:50 GM Updates OnStar Services
4:08 Ford Strategy to Extend EV Range
5:46 VW, BMW, Mercedes Face Emissions Recall
7:20 Women Discriminated with Car Insurance
7:55 Stellantis Reports Blow-Out Earnings
8:44 Geely #1 With Thermal Efficient Hybrid
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TOYOTA, HONDA LOSE MOST CUSTOMERS TO EVs
Toyota and Honda are losing more customers to EV buyers than any other brands in the American market. And most of them are going to Tesla. BMW and Mercedes are also losing customers to Tesla but at half the rate that Toyota and Honda are. The two Japanese brands account for over 28% of new Tesla customers, according to S&P Global.
TOYOTA TO BUILD ELECTRIC SUVs IN U.S.
We’ve had a feeling that Toyota would do an about-face with its electrification strategy after CEO Akio Toyoda becomes Chairman in April. Akio is skeptical of EVs, and has prioritized hybrids instead. But now the Nikkei reports that Toyota will start building electric SUVs in the U.S. in 2025. Toyota hopes to make 10,000 EVs a month in the US by 2026. We think this is clearly an effort to get its EVs to qualify for tax breaks under the IRA.
TESLA COULD SHIFT CELL PRODUCTION FROM GERMANY TO U.S.
Same goes for Tesla, which is thinking of shifting battery cell production from Germany to the U.S. because of generous IRA subsidies. Tesla is assembling batteries in Germany, but is also moving to make more cells in the U.S. The EU is angry about those IRA subsidies, which it feels will move battery production out of Europe and over to the US. But so far, the EU hasn’t proposed any subsidies of its own.
FORD LINES UP BATTERY PLANT IN TURKEY
Hot on the heels of announcing a new battery plant in the U.S with CATL, Ford lined up LG Energy Solution and Koc Holding to make batteries in Turkey. Ford has operated in Turkey for nearly a century and its current operations there are equally owned by the automaker and Koc. They want to break ground on the battery cell plant this year and start production sometime in 2026. It’ll start with 25 GWh of annual capacity, which could go as high as 45 GWh.
GM UPDATES ONSTAR SERVICES
Around August of last year GM started making OnStar a standard feature that cost $1,500. That actually ticked off a lot of people because it was listed on the window sticker as “optional” even though it still cost customers $1,500 even if they didn’t activate OnStar. GM claimed at the time it was all about enhancing the ownership experience. And here’s the type of ‘enhancement’ we think that GM was talking about. OnStar is joining forces with RapidDeploy to use its tech to help emergency responders. When OnStar Emergency Advisors are notified of a car crash, a stolen vehicle, or a call from a member, they will now have more info, like the car’s location based on cellphone data, potential evacuation routes, local emergency shelters, weather forecasts and available street cameras. All this information is displayed on a map for Emergency Advisors to use. GM will offer over 50 connected vehicle products and services and hopes to generate over $80 billion a year through subscription services. That would equate to roughly $135 a month.
FORD STRATEGY TO EXTEND EV RANGE
Heated seats and steering wheels are pretty common in EVs these days, but soon, even more surfaces will be heated and cooled. That’s because you can use less energy if you can make passengers “feel” comfortable by heating or cooling surfaces. Ford engineers discovered they could reduce energy consumption by 13% compared to an E-Transit’s standard HVAC system just by heating additional surfaces around the driver. Their approach is similar to one Gentherm is supplying to the Cadillac Celestiq. Ford tested heated armrests, floor mats, door panels, sun visors and a panel below the steering wheel. Ford said it could extend EV range by 5% typical day, but even more can be added in winter weather. Gentherm says it was able to improve a retrofitted Chevy Bolt’s range by 33% in cold temps. And Ford didn’t stop at heated surfaces. It also tested a thermal management system for the powertrain that can keep the motors and power electronics at an optimal temperature and use the waste heat they generate in the cabin or battery pack. Ford says a pre-conditioned E-Transit with a partial load will keep 75% of its range at 32-degrees Fahrenheit or 0-degrees Celsius compared to only 66% of range if not pre-conditioned. Ford says the results from these tests will be fed into future electric vehicles.
VW, BMW, MERCEDES FACE EMISSIONS RECALL
The German Ministry of Transport just lost a big emissions lawsuit which could lead to millions of recalled cars for VW, BMW and Mercedes. VW has been selling Golfs with software that regulates the vehicle’s emissions based on the outside temperature. In colder temps, they emit more pollution. Environmentalists argued that the software allowed VW to avoid emission regulations. VW claimed it needed to do this to avoid engine damage, which is why the Ministry of Transport approved them for sale. But a German court just agreed with the environmentalists. And now they plan to target other VW models as well as cars from BMW and Mercedes. This could lead to as many as 10 million vehicles being recalled. The ruling will be appealed, but after Dieselgate we’re surprised any automaker would risk anything to do with emissions and software.
WOMEN DISCRIMINATED WITH CAR INSURANCE
Women are being discriminated against when it comes to car insurance. They pay more than men do, about $20 more per year, $739 a year versus $720. That’s despite the fact that 18-year-old men pay $1,000 more than 18-year-old women because teen males are riskier drivers. At 25 years old, the cost evens out and at 35 years old women start paying more. There’s no clear answer as to why, because women do not get in more accidents.
STELLANTIS REPORTS BLOW-OUT EARNINGS
Stellantis reported blow-out earnings this morning. It sold 6 million vehicles last year which was down 2%, but it brought in over €179 billion of revenue which was up 18%. It posted an operating profit of €20 billion, up 31% and net profit of €16.8 billion, up 26%. About 58% of the profits came from North America, or the old Chrysler group. And UAW workers are going to get an average check for $14,760 in profit sharing. These are extremely impressive numbers and CEO Carlos Tavares is going to end up on a lot of Executive of the Year awards.
GEELY #1 WITH THERMAL EFFICIENT HYBRID
Toyota once had the most thermal efficient automotive engine in the world at about 41% but it’s been passed up by the Chinese. Geely says it started mass production of a new generation of its Raytheon Hybrid engine that achieves 44.26% thermal efficiency, which is up from a previous version that got over 43%. Although it doesn’t say exactly, power is also up from that previous engine, which produces 133 kW or 178 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque. The new engine will be used in a number of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles from Geely’s various brands. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, that other roughly 56% is wasted energy in the engine, which gets radiated as heat or pumped out the tailpipe. A typical EV motor is 85-90% thermally efficient.
And 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.