Listen to “AD #3543 – Hyundai Wants to Be #3 in EVs; New MPGe Calculations Will Slash Mileage Ratings; BYD Builds Its Own Suspension System” on Spreaker.
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0:00 Hyundai Group Wants to Be #3 in EVs
1:07 Kia Invests in Purpose Built Vehicles
2:00 BMW Sales Down, But BEVs Up
3:14 China Car Sales Flat Overall, NEVs Up
4:09 U.S. Exports to the EU Down, China Up
5:27 New MPGe Calculations Will Slash Mileage Ratings
7:17 Chevy Drums Up Excitement for the New Blazer EV
8:26 BYD Becoming More Vertically Integrated
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
HYUNDAI GROUP WANTS TO BE #3 IN EVs
The Hyundai Group says it wants to be one of the top 3 EV manufacturers by the end of the decade and it’s going to invest $18 billion in South Korea to achieve that goal. It plans to boost EV production to 1.51 million in Korea and 3.64 million globally by 2030. And by that time, it will have 31 EV models from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis in the market. To reach its production targets, Kia is building a dedicated plant to make Purpose Built Vehicles and the Group will expand EV production in Korea at its existing plants. The company also plans to invest heavily in R&D and that includes developing next-gen EV platforms for each vehicle class. It says the one for passenger vehicles called eM will be introduced in 2025.
KIA INVESTING IN PBVs
And Circling back to Kia Purpose Built Vehicles or PBVs or what you could really just call electric commercial vehicles and by the looks of the pictures, mostly vans and delivery vehicles. They’ll be built at a new facility in South Korea, which Kia is investing over $750 million into. It says mass production will start in 2025 and in its first full year it will be able to make 150,000 vehicles. 2025 is also when it will show its first model, a mid-size PBV built on a dedicated skateboard chassis that can accommodate a number of body types. After that a large PBV launches followed by small PBVs and mid-size robotaxis.
BMW SALES DOWN, BUT EVs UP
BMW significantly boosted sales of fully electric vehicles in the first quarter. The automaker sold nearly 65,000 BEVs in the first three months of the year, a gain of 83%. That’s for both BMW and Mini. The BMW brand sold just under 56,000 BEVs in Q1 and that was up 112%. But while its EV sales surged, the BMW Group’s overall sales declined 1.5% in the first quarter.
CHINA CAR SALES FLAT OVERALL, NEVs UP
Car sales in China were flat last month. According to the China Passenger Car Association, automakers sold 1.61 million vehicles in March even with the help of price cuts and incentives from local governments. Without those sales likely would have dropped. Through the first three months of the year, sales are down 13% in China with 4.33 million vehicles sold. But NEV sales, which include BEVs, PHEVs and fuel cells, were up 22% in March and the segment accounted for more than a third of all vehicles sold. Analysts expect sales in April to increase compared to a year ago but that’s because the Chinese government imposed COVID lockdowns in major cities last April, which put a big dent in sales.
U.S. EXPORTS TO THE EU DOWN, CHINA UP
U.S. car exports to Europe are on the decline. This isn’t too surprising since General Motors pulled out of the market, Ford scaled back its operations and Tesla now produces vehicles in Germany. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. automakers exported 221,600 vehicles to the EU last year, and 81,000 were EVs, including hybrids. But in 2021, just under 274,000 cars were exported from the U.S. to the EU and around 115,000 were EVs. And at the same time fewer American cars are being sent to Europe, Chinese exports are surging. According to Eurostat, the value of EU imports of BEVs from China was $500 million in 2017 and in 2021 that jumped to $12.5 billion. China had the largest share of EV imports to China in 2021 at 43%, South Korea was second at 20% with the U.S. at 17% and Mexico at 10%.
NEW MPGe CALCULATION WILL SLASH MILEAGE RATINGS
The U.S. Department of Energy is proposing to revise the way it calculates the Miles Per Gallon equivalent for hybrids and electric vehicles. The change would reduce the EV mileage ratings to meet fuel economy requirements. The DOE says the current system gives too high a rating for EVs which allows automakers to more easily meet CAFE or Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements. And because of that they don’t have to make big improvements to the fuel economy of their overall fleets, which the DOE says leads to more oil use. Under the new proposal, a Volkswagen ID.4 for example would get a 107.4 MPGe rating, down from its current 380.6 MPGe. And a Ford F-150 Lightning would drop from 237.1 to 67.1 MPGe. The MPGe ratings are calculated by using values for electricity, oil generation and distribution efficiency and driving patterns.
CHEVY DRUMS UP EXCITEMENT FOR NEW BLAZER EV
Chevy is trying to drum up some excitement for the new all-electric Blazer that launches this summer. It released a video of two of its NASCAR drivers getting behind the wheel of the sporty SS version of the EV SUV. It brags how it will have AWD, 557 horsepower, 648 lf-ft of torque and in Wide Open Watts or WOW mode, which is like the Hummer’s Watts to Freedom or WTF mode, the Blazer SS can do 0-60 in under 4 seconds. While other versions of the Blazer EV launch this summer, the SS model comes a little later in the fall with a starting price around $66,000. And the real test for GM will be producing EVs in volume. It made over 20,000 EVs in the first quarter, but almost all of that was the Bolt EV and EUV. Between the Lyriq and the Hummer it made less than 1,000 Ultium-based EVs.
BYD BECOMES MORE VERTICALLY INTEGRATED
Chinese automaker BYD is becoming more vertically integrated. It’s going to start equipping its NEVs with a new in-house developed suspension system. The entire setup is controlled by an intelligent body control system and comes in several levels depending on the price point of the vehicle; from a more basic damping system to complete hydraulic setup. It even showed an extreme version on its brand new hypercar, the U9, from its brand new luxury NEV brand, YangWang, which can drive on three wheels and do like a little hop to get all 4 wheels off the ground. While automakers have more upfront costs and have to worry about things like building the components, bringing systems in-house should get rid of sourcing issues and can have a big impact on manufacturing efficiency, if they can build it at scale, which is why BYD is spreading the new suspensions systems across many brands and models. Reuters reports that BYD’s gross profit margin for automobiles was over 20% in the 4th quarter, 11-times higher than the previous year. And bringing suspension development in-house has the potential to increase its profits even more.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.