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0:00 Indonesia Gets More EV Investment
0:44 Porsche Sales Up, But EVs Down
1:26 Xpeng Copying Tesla Architecture
3:00 VW Pulls Camo Off ID.7
4:23 Lancia Concept Hints At Its Next 10 Years
5:34 Volvo Increases Rear Seat Luxury
7:01 i7 M70 is BMW’s Most-Powerful EV
7:59 Ram Leaves Little Doubt About Mid-Size EV
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
INDONESIA GETS MORE EV INVESTMENT
Indonesia is aggressively trying to become a hub for electric vehicles. It’s trying to lure Tesla to build a plant in the country. It recently proposed a free trade agreement with the U.S. for minerals needed to produce EV batteries. And now Volkswagen is joining a $4.5 billion nickel mining project with Ford, the miner Vale and a Chinese mineral producer. Indonesia wants to build up its EV sector because it sits on the largest nickel reserves in the world. And nickel is an important metal needed for EV batteries.
PORSCHE SALES UP, BUT EVs DOWN
Porsche sold a record number of cars in the first quarter. The automaker delivered more than 80,700 vehicles worldwide, a gain of 18%, compared to last year. But unlike its German rivals, Mercedes and BMW which saw significant growth with their electric vehicles, sales of the Porsche Taycan declined 3% in the first three months of the year. It delivered a little over 9,000 models of the EV. Porsche blames the decline on supply chain issues. Overall, The company recorded gains in all markets but it was especially strong in the U.S. and China.
XPENG COPYING TESLA ARCHITECTURE
And over in China, EV maker Xpeng saw its sales fall off a cliff in the first quarter. They were down nearly 50%. But maybe this can help turn around sales. It just introduced a new platform that it developed in-house that it says will help reduce the cost of developing cars and manufacturing them. Called the Smart Electric Platform Architecture 2.0, it’s very similar to what Tesla is doing right now. It integrates the batteries into the vehicle’s body and it includes front and rear aluminum die castings. Xpeng says the new platform reduces the costs of the powertrain, including the batteries, by 25%. Xpeng’s G6 SUV will be the first model to use the new architecture. And with a price war going on in China, the company says the platform will give it a cost advantage with its competitors.
VW PULLS CAMO OFF ID.7
I think it would be fair to say that the VW Group has done well with the electric vehicles off its MEB platform, but also that they haven’t performed quite as well as the company would have liked. That’s why we’re so interested to watch its newest electrics, like the refreshed ID.3 and all-new ID.7, which feature multiple platform upgrades. And we can finally show the uncamouflaged version of the ID.7, a vehicle that it refers to as the top model within its EV family. It features a new, in-house developed electric drive unit and improved charging system. The new motor produces 210 kW or 282 horsepower and VW expects charging of up to 200 kW, which is up from 135 kW. It also expects a pretty impressive WLTP range of 700 kilometers or 435 miles that is partly due to a pretty impressive coefficient of drag of 0.23. So, when do we get to see if these improvements really translate to the real world? The ID.7 launches in Europe and China this year and the U.S. next year.
LANCIA CONCEPT HINTS AT ITS NEXT 10 YEARS
Lancia, which is part of Stellantis, showed off a wild-looking concept, called the Pu+Ra HPE. That’s a mashup of pure and radical, while HPE stands for High Performance Electric. The 2-door, 4-seater is said to be its brand vision for the next 10 years and will first inspire a new vehicle, called the Ypsilon. That vehicle will come out next year and will be sold with both a hybrid and electric powertrain. Speaking of electrification, Lancia will launch an all-new EV, called the Delta in 2028, which is the same time it will transition to only selling electrics. But back to the Pu+Ra and its styling. We see a little of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 in the front lighting, but motoring fans may also see some inspiration from the famed Lancia Stratos. The interior is also pretty wild with futuristic bucket seats and a large dashboard that seems more like a digital drafting table than it does an actual dash.
VOLVO INCREASES REAR SEAT LUXURY
Volvo customers in the back seat of this next vehicle will have to turn up their pinky before taking a sip of anything. It debuted a new version of the EX90, called the Excellence, that has a much more luxurious rear seat environment. Instead of two rows in the back, there’s only one. And all those seats have been replaced with two well appointed captains chairs. Those chairs flank a small center console, partially topped in natural wood, that features multiple cup holders and the controls for the seat heaters and massagers. Rounding out the interior upgrades is a small fridge between the two seats. But also in its own words, the exterior of the EX90 Ecellence, will undergo “a few small tweaks.”
i7 M70 IS BMW’S MOST POWERFUL EV
BMW took the wraps off its most powerful pure electric model, the i7 M70 xDrive. The all-wheel-drive sedan cranks out a combined 650 horsepower and 748 lb-ft of torque. When the launch control or sport boost function is activated, its torque jumps to 811 lb-ft. The car can move from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155 MPH. The vehicle features a 101.7-kWh battery which provides an estimated 295 miles of range. The i7 M70 xDrive debuts at the Shanghai auto show this week. It will be built in Germany and it goes on sale worldwide in the second half of the year. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
NO DOUBT ABOUT AN ELECTRIC MID-SIZE RAM
There should be no doubt in your mind that Ram is working on an electrified mid-size pickup truck. In September of last year Ram CEO, Mike Koval, said it was considering showing a mid-size concept to dealers in March to “see what they say, and go from there.” Then in February, referencing the same dealer meeting, he said of an electric mid-size pickup, “We can clinic it to see if it is the right truck.” Well, now that March has passed, Koval was asked about the truck again and, according to Green Car Reports, said “I had 6,000 of my best friends in the arenas, and I was looking for the thumbs up or the thumbs down. And they would have to tell you but I think it’s overwhelmingly positive.” This all made it seem like the electric mid-size truck’s fate rode on the dealer’s reaction and with things looking positive it should be moving forward. But it’s quickly becoming a crowded space with Ford, Toyota and others working on their own models to launch.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for tuning in.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.