Listen to “AD #3546 – Nissan Plans EV Strategy w/o Renault; Toyota Partners with Exxon On eFuels; Silverado HD Gets ZR2 Package” on Spreaker.
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0:08 Nissan Plans New EV Strategy Without Renault
1:00 Ferrari Has Record Number of Orders
1:43 Lucid & Faraday Struggle to Ramp Up Production
3:45 Toyota Partners with Exxon To Develop eFuels
4:35 Toyota Tests Hydrogen Utility Tractors
5:30 Scania Introduces Electric Car Hauler
6:54 Chevy Silverado HD Gets ZR2 Package for First Time
8:07 Ford Reveals More Powerful Electric Drag Car
9:02 New Lincoln Nautilus Interior Teased
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
NISSAN PLANS NEW EV STRATEGY WITHOUT RENAULT
Earlier this year, Renault and Nissan reached a deal to become more equal partners in their alliance. Renault agreed to slash its stake in Nissan from 43% to 15%, the same share Nissan has in Renault and Nissan got voting rights for the first time. The Japanese automaker also agreed to invest in Renault’s EV unit, Ampere. But Reuters reports Nissan wants to be more independent and is seeking development deals without Renault. It’s looking for a partner outside the auto industry to develop software and it’s working on a strategy for its EVs in North America and Asia, separate from Renault. It won’t share engineering support to Ampere and it won’t provide its e-Power hybrid technology to an ICE joint-venture Renault has with Geely and Aramco.
FERRARI HAS RECORD NUMBER OF ORDERS
Ferrari is on a roll. Last year it sold a record number of vehicles and also set all-time highs for revenue and net profit. And it appears the good times are going to continue to roll. Chairman John Elkann revealed that the automaker has “a record number of orders well into 2024.” And that’s thanks to its two new models, the 296 GTS plug-in hybrid and its first SUV, the Purosangue. Ferrari will introduce 15 new models between now and 2026, including its first-ever pure electric, which will debut in 2025.
LUCID & FARADAY STRUGGLE TO RAMP UP PRODUCTION
It’s tough being an EV startup. This time it’s bad news from Lucid Motors and Faraday Future. Lucid reported that its production and deliveries in the first quarter were down compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The company built just over 2,300 Air sedans in Q1 compared to almost 3,500 in Q4 2022. And it only delivered 1,400 vehicles during the first quarter, down from 1,900. But that’s not a surprise because in February Lucid announced a production target of 10,000 to 14,000 vehicles for the year, well below analyst estimates of 22,000. And in March Lucid announced it’s cutting 1,300 jobs in order to save cash. Now let’s move on to Faraday Future, which said it is pushing back deliveries of its FF91 again. This time by another two months. It started producing its first vehicles last month after many delays. But Faraday says it only has $30 million in cash and deliveries will depend on raising more funding, receiving parts from suppliers and completing crash tests. At this point is there anyone out there that actually trusts Faraday? It’s been in business since 2014, hasn’t delivered a single customer vehicle and continues to say it needs cash.
TOYOTA PARTNERS WITH EXXON TO DEVELOP E-FUELS
When Toyota revealed its new management policy and company direction under new CEO Koji Sato, it put a greater emphasis on EVs, but it also reassured its commitment to a multi-powertrain approach, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel cells. And it says it wants to become carbon-neutral with fuel options as well, which would be used in new and classic cars. Now we can report it’s teaming up with Exxon to develop e-fuels. They say they’re working on a cleaner e-fuel that uses a more sustainable refining process compared to gasoline and claim the fuel could cut 75% of the greenhouse gasses produced by ICEs. But there’s no timetable for its release at the moment.
TOYOTA TESTS HYDROGEN UTILITY TRACTORS
As we just mentioned, Toyota is still committed to fuel cells and it’s launching a new hydrogen-powered transportation truck. It recently wrapped up a multi-year test of fuel cell semis at the Port of Los Angeles, but you may not have seen it was also testing hydrogen powered Utility tractors or what are called Yard Dogs in the same location. These vehicles typically move around cargo containers, which can weigh up to 120,000 pounds. And Toyota is now using them at its parts distribution center in California. It says it’s also working on new fuel cell powertrains that are more efficient and provide more operating time that matches or exceeds diesel. In the future Toyota thinks it could become a Tier 1 supplier of the fuel cell stack, hydrogen tanks and associated hardware and software.
SCANIA INTRODUCES ELECTRIC CAR HAULER
And while hydrogen seems best for moving heavy loads and traveling long distances, battery electric heavy-duty trucks will likely handle most other transportation needs. Scania, which is part of the VW Group, already has electric haulers, mining tippers and crane trucks. And now it’s adding another to the lineup, electric car transporter. It says it can carry up to 8 cars at a time and features a 230-kWh battery pack. While it doesn’t give a range estimate, Scania says the truck can be fully charged in 90 minutes at 130 kW, which is about the same amount of time that it takes to load and unload the cars. So, it will always have a full charge for each leg of the trip.
CHEVY SILVERADO HD GETS ZR2 PACKAGE FOR FIRST TIME
Chevy introduced a ZR2 version of its Silverado HD pickup for the first time. The off-road package is offered exclusively in the 2500 Crew Cab and is available with a gasoline or diesel engine. The ZR2 suspension is raised 1.5-inches, both front and rear, compared to the standard Silverado HD. It also features Multimatic spool valve dampers, larger steel transfer case skid plate and front aluminum skid plate, 35-inch tires and an Off-Road Driving Mode that adjusts the anti-lock brakes and stability and traction control to improve off-road ability. There’s also an HD ZR2 Bison variant that was developed in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles, which kicks things up another notch. Its standard features include 18-inch wheels, stamped steel front and rear bumpers with recovery points, and stamped steel underbody skid plates for the front of the vehicle, the steering rack, exhaust and transfer case. Pricing for the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison will be announced closer to when the trucks go into production later this summer.
FORD REVEALS MORE POWERFUL ELECTRIC DRAG CAR
Ford is upping its electric drag race car game. It just introduced the Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800, which is an evolution of the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. It features a new transmission, redone battery system, revised rear end setup and new control and data gathering systems. Ford says the changes removed hundreds of pounds of weight and increased its horsepower to 1800. The company is targeting several new NHRA world records for electric vehicles including the less powerful Cobra Jet 1400’s quarter mile record of 8.1 seconds at nearly 172 miles per hour. It will also attempt to set NHRA EV records later this year for 0-60 MPH time and fastest two-wheel drive EV.
NEW LINCOLN NAUTILUS INTERIOR TEASED
And we’ve got a super quick teaser before we end today’s show. Lincoln says it’s going to debut an all-new Nautilus next Monday, April 17th and showed the welcome animation that plays on a massive display screen that looks like it stretches from pillar to pillar. It even looks like lighting on the doors is included in the animation.
But that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for joining us and I hope you have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.