Listen to “AD #3536 – Toyota Developing Auto PHEV Charger; Tesla And CATL Want U.S. Plant; Senator Threatens IRA Lawsuit” on Spreaker.
Follow us on social media:
0:00 Senator Manchin Threatens IRA Lawsuit
0:50 Tesla & CATL Want U.S. Battery Plant
1:52 Average American Can’t Afford a New Car
3:50 Lamborghini PHEV Specs
5:13 Cadillac House to Pamper Celestiq Customers
6:11 Kia EV9 Powertrain Specs
8:22 Ford Raises Lightning Prices Again
8:55 Toyota Developing Automated PHEV Charger
10:01 Tesla Launches Beer Brand
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
SEN. MANCHIN THREATENS IRA LAWSUIT
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is so mad he’s threatening to sue his own government. Manchin is angry that the U.S. Treasury Department is going to allow foreign made electric cars using foreign made batteries to get $7,500 U.S. tax subsidies. Manchin says that was never the intent of the law and calls it a betrayal. Those EV subsidies are part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was written to generate EV manufacturing in the United States. The Treasury is expected to release its final rulings on the subsidies today. And then we’ll find out if Manchin is really going to go on the warpath.
TESLA & CATL WANT US BATTERY PLANT
Tesla is looking to build yet another battery plant in the U.S. And this time it could partner with Chinese battery maker CATL. Bloomberg reports it will be similar to the deal CATL has with Ford, where Tesla would own and operate the plant while licensing technology from CATL. It could be built in Texas but a location hasn’t been finalized yet. If the deal goes through, look for a political backlash in both the US and China. Several members in the U.S. Congress criticized Ford because they say it allows Chinese companies to benefit from U.S. subsidies. And China’s Xi Juin Ping recently criticized CATL for growing too quickly. Maybe that’s why Elon Musk is reportedly going to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang next month. Mr. Musk seems to have a knack of getting what he wants from the Chinese government.
AVERAGE AMERICAN CAN’T AFFORD A NEW CAR
The average American pretty much can’t afford a new car anymore. Historically, it always took about 24 weeks of income for the average person to buy a new car, or just under half a year’s income. Today, after the massive runup in prices from Covid shutdowns and the chip shortage, that stands at nearly 44 weeks. That’s 84% of the average worker’s annual pay. Per capita income in the US is $68,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So, under the old 24 weeks formula, the average car should cost $34,000. Instead it costs $49,000. And it’s expected to top $50,000 sometime this year. Worse still, used car prices are going back up again. They shot up $700 just last month alone to $27,000 according to Black Book, and they’re expected to keep on climbing. The reason? With new car sales down so much over the last three years, there are about 3 million fewer cars coming off lease this year, which means there are fewer used cars in the used car market. By the way, affordability was the main topic on Autoline After Hours yesterday and if you’d like to know more about this crisis, be sure to watch that show.
LAMBORGHINI PHEV SPECS
Lamborghini has been teasing its first plug-in hybrid for the last couple of weeks and now it’s finally showing it off. Called the Revuelto, it’s powered by a 6.5L, 12-cylinder engine that’s paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and three electric motors. Two of the motors control each of the front wheels and the third motor is integrated into the transmission that supplies power to the rear. The setup combines for 1,001 horsepower, a 0 to 100 km/h time of just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 350 km/h or 217 MPH. The entire monocoque as well as the roof and front structure are made from 100% carbon fiber. The rear structure, which surrounds the engine and suspension, is made from aluminum. Inside, it features three display screens, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, an 8.4-inch center screen and a 9.1-inch display on the passenger side. Info can be switched between the displays just by swiping with your fingers like with a smartphone. The Revuelto goes on sale next year but we still don’t know what it’s going to cost. Of course, you know the old saying, “If you have to ask…..”
CADILLAC HOUSE TO PAMPER CELESTIQ CUSTOMERS
Cadillac is going to pamper customers who want to buy its $300,000-plus hand-built Celestiq with a special purchasing experience. It refurbished one of the buildings at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan that was designed by world renown architect Eero Saarinen. They call it the Cadillac House at Vanderbilt, named after Suzanne Vanderbilt, who worked at GM starting in 1955 and was one of the few women in automotive design at that time. A concierge will meet customers and take them through the design process. Or, if they can’t make the trip to the Cadillac House at Vanderbilt, they’ll go through a virtual experience to customize and personalize their car with a Cadillac designer who is assigned to them. The facility opens at the end of this summer and deliveries of the first models will start in late-spring of 2024.
KIV EV9 POWERTRAIN SPECS
Kia revealed images of its upcoming EV9 electric SUV earlier this month and now it’s giving us more details about the powertrain. Two battery packs are available. The standard Rear-Wheel Drive model gets a 76.1-kWh battery paired to a 160-kW electric motor. The RWD Long Range and All-Wheel Drive versions get a 99.8-kWh battery. The RWD Long Range comes with a 150-kW electric motor, while the AWD model has two electric motors with a combined 283-kW. Kia only revealed the range of the RWD Long Range model–541 kilometers or 336 miles based on the WLTP cycle. And that’s with 19-inch wheels. 20 and 21-inch wheels are also available. It features an 800-volt charging system, which provides 239 kilometers or 148 miles of range in just 15 minutes. A GT-Line model is also available, with different front and rear fascias, different wheels and an exclusive design pattern for the grille lighting. The GT-Line also comes with Kia’s Highway Driving Pilot, which provides Level 3 autonomous driving where it is legal. Kia will start taking pre-orders for the EV9 in South Korea in the second quarter and will launch it in global markets in the second half of the year.
FORD RAISES LIGHTNING PRICES AGAIN
Ford is once again raising the price of the F-150 Lightning. The Pro model now costs just under $60,000, which is $4,000 more than before. The Lariat model gets a $1,500 price hike and now starts at about $76,000. And the Platinum version costs just over $98,000, a $1,200 increase. Ford said it raised prices because of “current material costs, market factors and supply chain constraints.”
TOYOTA DEVELOPING AUTOMATED PHEV CHARGER
Plug-in hybrids are a great bridge technology to pure battery electrics, as long as their owners plug them in. But research from the International Coalition on Clean Technology, found that in Europe, PHEV owners drive on electric power less than half the time they drive. In the US, it found that PHEVs actually consume 42% to 67% more gasoline than the EPA thought they would. That’s why Toyota, which is heavily committed to hybrids and PHEVs, is developing a an automated charging system for homeowners. That way, owners could just drive into their garages and the system would automatically start charging their cars. Toyota is researching whether it needs a wireless system, or whether it should physically contact the car. And it wants a system that provides robust reliability. Toyota is still trying to figure out what to do for apartment dwellers. No word yet on when this might be ready, but it’s developing this system for future models.
TESLA LAUNCHES BEER BRAND
One last item before we go. Tesla is expanding its brand with a brand new product. But this one isn’t a new car, it’s a beer. The company just launched its own beer in Europe called GigaBier, which is a pilsner brewed in Germany with a 5% ABV. The bottles have a sleek design inspired by the Cybertruck. And like most Tesla products, it isn’t cheap. It costs nearly $100 a 3-pack– three 11-ounce bottles. You only buy one pack at a time and it’s only available in Europe. And if any of our European viewers out there get a chance to knock one back, let us know what you think about it.
And on that high note, we wrap up today’s report. Have a great weekend and thanks for watching.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.