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0:17 EVs Top Sales Charts in Europe & China
0:48 VW Not Planning New ICE Golf
1:12 Tesla Price Cuts Didn’t Help Sales That Much
1:49 Paris Votes to Ban Electric Scooters
3:01 BMW Prefers Recycling to Mining
3:41 U.S. EV Tax Credit Rules Released
6:21 GM Delivers First BrightDrop Vans
7:08 Ford Reveals New Mustang for Drift Competitions
7:52 Hyundai IONIQ 6 Driving Impressions
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EVs TOP SALES CHARTS IN EUROPE & CHINA
Well, here’s a historic milestone. Electric vehicles were the top selling models in China and Europe in February. LMC Automotive reports that the BYD Song, Tesla Model Y and BYD Yuan Plus were the best-selling models in China. In Europe, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling model. And it’s possible we’ll never see an ICE model top the sales charts in those markets ever again.
VW NOT PLANNING NEW ICE GOLF
Maybe this is why Volkswagen says that the current generation Golf will be the last one powered by an internal combustion engine. The head of the brand, Thomas Schaefer, says the Golf will get an update next year and after that “the car is set until the end of the decade.” In 2021, the Golf was the best-selling car in Europe.
TESLA PRICE CUTS DIDN’T HELP SALES THAT MUCH
It sure looks like that price war that Tesla kicked off in January did not do much to help sales. It delivered 422,875 cars to customers in the first quarter. That was up 36% from a year ago and set a sales record for the company. However, it was only up 4% from the 4th quarter of last year. So sales really didn’t go up that much despite significant price cuts. And that makes me wonder if sales would have dropped without those cuts.
PARIS VOTES TO BAN ELECTRIC SCOOTERS
Five years ago, Electric scooters took major cities by storm all over the world because so many people found them to be so convenient. But they also became a major nuisance for even more people, or at least in Paris they did. In a special vote to decide whether to keep or ban the scooters, 89% of Parisians who voted, want them banned from city streets. There are 15,000 electric scooters in Paris right now, but they’ll all be gone by the end of August.
BMW PREFERS RECYCLING TO MINING
We’re seeing more and more automakers investing in mines to get the raw materials they need to make electric vehicles. Ford just joined a partnership with an Indonesian and a Chinese mining company to get sustainable nickel in Indonesia. But BMW is taking a different approach. BMW’s Chief Financial Officer, Nicolas Peter, says this is not the right time to invest in mines. Instead he says it’s more important to get back raw materials from cars and other products. In other words, BMW believes it’s better to get raw materials from recycling.
U.S. EV TAX CREDIT RULES RELEASED
The Treasury Department released its rules for EV tax credits on Friday and they go into effect on April 18th which is when the Treasury will publish a list of which vehicles qualify and for how much. To earn the full $7,500, EVs must meet two specific requirements. One is for the minerals that go into the batteries, and the other is for the value of the battery components. Each requirement is worth $3,750 in tax credits. For the minerals, they need to be mined or processed in the U.S. or with a free trade partner. Or, they have to be recycled in North America. In 2023, 40% of the minerals have to meet that requirement, which increases 10% a year, until 2027 when the percentage tops out at 80%. The Treasury proposed a three-step process to determine the percentages. And it says countries with newly negotiated free trade deals with the US also qualify. As for the battery component requirement, a certain percentage of the value of components must be manufactured or assembled in North America. In 2023, it’s 50% and it rises 10% a year until it hits 100% in 2029. The Treasury proposed a four-step process to determine the value of components. Next year, none of the battery components can be manufactured by a “foreign entity of concern.” And in 2025 none of the critical minerals can come from them. The Treasury says it will issue rules on “foreign entities of concern” at a later date. But we already know who the main ones are: China and Russia.
GM DELIVERS FIRST BRIGHTDROP VANS
General Motors is now shipping its first 500 BrightDrop electric vans. They’re built in Ontario, Canada at the CAMI plant that re-opened three months ago. By 2025, it will have the capacity to produce 50,000 vans annually. GM says its Zevo 600 model is sold out for 2023 and it’s taking orders for 2024 models now with deliveries expected in the middle of this year. Last year Rivian made 24,000 vehicles, but it didn’t break out how many of them were its vans. So now it looks like GM and Rivian are in a race to see who can ramp up the fastest.
FORD REVEALS NEW MUSTANG FOR DRIFT COMPETITIONS
The all-new Mustang is going drifting. Ford worked with Drift King, Vaughn Gittin Jr. to develop several spec Mustangs for drift competition. Vaughn himself is returning after a year off to pilot one of the cars, which feature over 1,300 horsepower and completely custom steering and suspension systems. The first event kicks off this weekend in Long Beach, California. He also helped Ford develop a drift brake for the road-going Mustang that’s easy enough for a novice to use but provide more skilled drivers with a competition-ready system.
HYUNDAI IONIQ 6 DRIVING IMPRESSIONS
The week before last, while John was hosting the second half of the week, I was out near Scottsdale, Arizona driving the new Hyundai IONIQ 6. This is the newest EV to come off of the Hyundai Group’s E-GMP platform, so the basic specs are the same. There’s both rear- and all-wheel drive available and either a 53 or 77.4 kWh battery pack. But the 6 has a look all its own, which Hyundai did on purpose. It doesn’t want a family resemblance. The concept for the IONIQ 6 was called the Prophecy, which I think is one of the best-looking designs I’ve ever seen. While the 6 shares a strong resemblance to the Prophecy, there still are some angles on the production car that look a little weird to me and that doesn’t change when you see it in person. Even having said that, I still like the overall look, especially the swooping rear end. However, that has one big drawback. Rear seat headroom is not very good in the IONIQ 6. I’m 6’ 4” but even someone shorter will still have their hair matted against the roof. Rear seat legroom is exceptional, even with the front seat set for myself. It would have been even better but there’s a stiff fabric flap under the front seats that prevent rear seat passengers from really sliding their feet completely under the seat. It’s something that I wish wasn’t there. That also leads me to the front seats. The seating position is surprisingly high. My eye level was towards the upper part of the windshield. I’ve noticed this with other EVs. You don’t get the same amount of height travel as you do with ICE vehicles because the battery takes up the floor space. Now let’s get to the driving experience. The IONIQ 6 is quiet. It has very good power delivery. It doesn’t feel blazingly fast, but it will do 0-60 in under 5 seconds. And there’s no doubt in my mind there will be a performance N version. It’s very efficient. Even in spirited driving I was getting 3.4-3.5 miles per kWh, which is really good. So, 4 miles per kWh seemed achievable. It has good charging performance. It can go from 10-80% in 18 minutes. And the IONIQ 6 also handles surprisingly well. It doesn’t feel overly stiff but when you start pushing it the car responds logically to the inputs. Overall this is a good car. And that’s exactly what the EV segment needs more of right now.
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.