Listen to “AD #3573 – If EVs Don't Sell, Ford Ready w/ ICEs; Wuling Mini EV Sales Plummet; Detroit 3 Back Cyber College Program” on Spreaker.
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0:00 If EVs Don’t Sell, Ford Ready With ICEs
2:13 8 EU Countries Oppose New Emission Regs
3:16 House GOP Opposes New Emission Regs
4:12 Tesla BYD Batteries Charge Faster Than CATL
5:40 Citroen Ramps Up More Ami Buggys
6:31 AMG Launches e-Scooter
7:31 Detroit 3 Back Cybersecurity College Program
8:18 Wuling Mini EV Sales Plummet
9:02 BYD Searching for EU Assembly Site
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
IF EVs DON’T SELL, FORD READY WITH ICEs
Ford shared a ton of information yesterday about how it will transition to EVs, and here are some of the bullet point highlights.
– Ford will come out with a 3-row SUV that CEO Jim Farely described as your own personal bullet train. It will provide a 300 mile range at 70 miles an hour, get 150 miles of range from a 10-minute charge, and will use a battery ⅓ the size of what is used now.
– The second gen Lightning will have the highest manufacturing efficiency in the industry for a pickup, with 30% less labor and overhead cost than today’s F-150.
– Ford is not giving up on its ICE products and is even going to add 160,000 units of more capacity. If EVs don’t catch on as quickly as expected, it will easily flex to more ICE vehicles. Even so, Ford expects ICE sales to start dropping after 2025.
– To improve quality, Ford is no longer testing its vehicles to a set standard. Now it’s testing them until they fail. That started with the new Super Duty pickups.
– Ford will not make a full lineup of EVs, but will only go into segments where it knows EVs will sell well. And it will not go head to head with Tesla or BYD.
– Starting this fall, all Mach-Es will be sold with no-haggle pricing, and that will eventually extend to all its EVs.
– Ford got $3 billion out of its investment in Rivian, which is twice what it invested.
– The company will get back to selling 5.6 million vehicles globally as supply chains get better.
Those are just some of the highlights. We’ll get to more of them tomorrow, and no doubt this will be a big topic on Autoline After Hours this Thursday.
8 EU COUNTRIES OPPOSE NEW EMISSIONS REGS
Not all countries in Europe are on board with stricter vehicle emission rules that go into effect in 2025. Eight countries, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, say the tougher limits are too ambitious and that automakers won’t be able to meet the targets. The new rules require on-board pollution monitoring systems and they also limit pollution from brakes and tires for the first time. The automakers say the rules will force them to invest heavily into improving emissions, which is money that should go in zero-emission vehicles instead. But regulators say the Euro 7 standards are necessary to improve health and they’ll prevent automakers from cheating on emission rules, like VW did in its dieselgate scandal. But some sort of compromise will be needed and the eight countries have enough votes to block the proposal.
HOUSE GOP OPPOSES NEW EMISSIONS REGS
That emissions fight isn’t just limited to Europe. More than 150 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the head of the EPA, urging the agency to rollback proposed emission regulations for 2027. The rules would cut light-duty vehicle emissions 56% and medium-duty emissions 44% by 2032. It would also push EVs to 63% of new car sales. Republicans say the goals aren’t achievable and that it’s “deliberate market manipulation to prop up EVs.” They also say the rules will benefit China since it controls most of the raw materials needed to produce EV batteries. The EPA will start taking public comments on its proposal starting in July and will release a final rule after.
TESLA BYD BATTERIES CHARGE FASTER THAN CATL
BYD’s batteries are better than CATL’s. That’s an oversimplification, but it is true for the charging rate for the Tesla Model Y. Versions of the electric crossover started rolling off the line in Berlin with what is reported to be BYD’s LFP or lithium iron phosphate Blade battery. And Tesla fans have been posting about their charging performance compared to versions of the Model Y that are sold with an LFP pack from CATL. Early indications show that Y’s with the BYD pack are able to maintain peak charging and overall higher charging rates over the entire charging cycle. One user showed their car going from 11%-71% SOC in 15 minutes. New and different battery chemistries have the potential to bring down EV prices, but they can bring other issues. LFP doesn’t perform in cold weather as well as other batteries and as we learned on the most recent Autoline After Hours there could be questions around recyclability.
CITROEN RAMPS UP MORE AMI BUGGYS
Chinese automakers have shown that if you can make truly affordable vehicles, buyers are willing to spend a little extra on customized versions. But this is not just limited to China. Citroen first showed off a buggy concept in 2021 of its cute, little electric car, the Ami. It was so popular it made a limited run of 50. It charged an extra 2,800 euros or $3,000 on top of the base price, which is about 6,500 euro or $7,000. Even so, those sold out so fast that Citroen decided to do another batch of 1,000 Ami Buggys and orders kick off in June. The models feature a unique body color, tube doors, a canvas roof and gold wheels.
AMG LAUNCHES E-SCOOTER
Mercedes-AMG is getting into micro mobility. It’s launching a new e-scooter in Europe that it says combines “performance, high-quality components and sporty elegance.” But really this is just a version of the Explorer e-scooter from Micro Mobility Systems rebranded with AMG graphics. It does come with a significantly bigger battery, which like an electric car, boosts range up to 40 kilometers but knocks top speed down to 20 km/h. No word on pricing, but a quick internet search says the version with the smaller battery sells for about 1,000 euro. And for a full circle moment in the industry, some of you may recognize Micro. It’s the same company that makes the Microlino, a new-age, all-electric version of the Isetta, which went on sale in Germany late last year.
DETROIT THREE BACK CYBER COLLEGE PROGRAM
As more technology is added to vehicles, protecting them from hackers is becoming more important. But there’s a shortage of talent to help protect vehicles. That’s why GM, Ford and Stellantis are part of a consortium that created a college program to develop cybersecurity engineers. The program, which is also funded by a grant from the U.S. Defense Department, is taught at the University of Detroit-Mercy, and is unique because it focuses specifically on vehicles. And it’s growing. Several community colleges in Michigan and the University of Arizona, provide research support. And next year, the University of Michigan and Henry Ford College are joining the program.
WULING MINI SALES PLUMMET
The Wuling Mini EV, which took the Chinese market by storm, looks like it’s losing steam. The little electric, with a base price of about $4,500, was the best selling EV in China, but now sales are taking a nosedive. April sales were down 32% compared to last year and down 26% percent compared to the month before. They’re down 29% for the first four months of the year, and that dropped the Mini from the number one sales position to number six. The little electric now faces a slew of low-cost competition from other automakers, and it shows how dynamic and volatile the Chinese EV market can be.
BYD SEARCHING FOR EU ASSEMBLY SITE
Speaking of China, Chinese automakers are ramping up EV exports to Europe, which is causing a backlash in some circles. Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, wants higher tariffs on those imports. Allianz, the giant German insurance company, says Chinese EV imports pose the greatest threat to European automakers. Maybe that’s why BYD is scouring the continent for a site to build an assembly plant. It reportedly is looking for sites in France, Spain and Germany. By making cars in Europe, BYD would protect itself from a protectionist backlash, and no doubt other Chinese automakers will look at doing the same thing.
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.