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0:00 Tesla Beats Analysts Sales Estimates
1:10 BYD Passes Tesla in Q4 EV Sales
1:38 Honda To Test Used Fuel Cells for Energy Storage
2:16 NIO Adds Solar Panels to Battery Swapping Stations
2:51 Stellantis Employees Snap-Up Company Stock
3:54 New Taycan Beats Model S Plaid on The Nurburgring
5:14 Lancia Teases New Ypsilon
6:08 Store Your Key Fob in Metal Can to Prevent Car Theft
6:53 Jim Farley Launches Second Season of DRIVE Podcast
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
Happy New Year everybody, and welcome back to our first show of 2024. Our mission is to keep you up to speed with the most important developments in the industry, so let’s get to the news.
TESLA BEATS ANALYSTS SALES ESTIMATES
Tesla surprised analysts by selling more cars than they expected in the fourth quarter. It sold 484,507 vehicles globally, well above the 473,000 that analysts predicted on average. In December alone, Tesla sold over 94,000 cars in China, up more than 68% compared to last year, and an all-time record for the company. For the year, Tesla sold just over 1.8 million vehicles globally, up 38% compared to 2022. It expects to sell 2.2 million vehicles this year, which would be a growth rate of 22%.
BYD PASSES TESLA IN Q4 EV SALES
Even so, BYD was able to grab the EV sales crown for the 4th quarter by selling 526,409 EVs, though Tesla kept the crown for the full year. BYD has a broader line-up of vehicles that are generally priced much lower than Tesla’s cars. And those cars don’t generate as much revenue or profit as Tesla’s do.
HONDA TO TEST USED FUEL CELLS FOR ENERGY STORAGE
You’ve heard of re-using old EV batteries for energy storage, right? Well Honda is looking into using old fuel cells for the same thing. It’s partnering with Mitsubishi and the chemical engineering company, Tokuyama, to test the system at a data center in Japan. Honda will develop the stationary storage system using old fuel cells and by-product hydrogen will be produced by Tokuyama to supply electricity to the data center operated by Mitsubishi. The 2-year project kicks off in March and will study the economics and feasibility of the system.
NIO ADDS SOLAR PANELS TO BATTERY SWAPPING STATIONS
NIO is going to start using solar panels on its battery swapping stations, which the company estimates will generate 18,000 kWh of electricity a year. Called Power Swap Stations 4.0, they’re also compatible with other brands since NIO recently signed battery swapping deals with several automakers. The stations can also change a battery 22% faster than before. The company has already built more than 2,000 swapping stations and says it will build another 1,000 this year.
STELLANTIS EMPLOYEES SNAP-UP COMPANY STOCK
Last November, Stellantis started giving employees the opportunity to buy shares in the company at a 20% discount. And they responded resoundingly. The program is called Shares to Win and was offered to 85,000 employees in France and Italy, and the company matched 100% of whatever they bought up to 1,000 euros. Stellantis says employees invested 65 million euros, snapping up around 4.4 million shares. Now Stellantis will expand the program to 242,000 employees in 18 countries in the first half of this year, and in 2025 it plans to roll it out to all its employees worldwide.
NEW TAYCAN BEATS MODEL S PLAID ON THE NURBURGRING
Porsche and Tesla have traded punches for fastest sedan on the Nurburgring and Porsche just landed a hard upper-cut. A pre-series version of the new Taycan, which is expected to be revealed soon, lapped the Nurburgring in just under 7 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s 26 seconds faster than Porsche’s previous EV record on the track and 18 seconds faster than the Tesla Model S Plaid with a track package. This pre-series Porsche no doubt has some sort of performance package as well and it was also equipped with a roll-cage and racing seats for the test. The company says the new car was going 25 km/h or over 15 miles per hour faster on the straight aways than the previous Taycan with a performance pack. However, Porsche does not have the fastest EV lap time on the Nurburgring. That tile belongs to the Rimac Nevera, which is about two and a half seconds faster than the new Taycan. But considering the Taycan is a 4-door sedan that will probably cost around $200,000 for this particular model and not a $2 million dollar plus 2-door supercar, the Porsche time is pretty impressive.
LANCIA TEASES NEW YPSILON
Lancia, which falls under the Stellantis umbrella, is teasing the all-new Ypsilon that debuts next month. The model features design inspiration from the Pu+Ra HPE concept as well as past models, like the round taillights that were inspired by the Stratos. The new Ypsilon will debut a new infotainment system, called SALA, which is short for Sound Air Light Augmentation. It features a centralized control panel that allows users to make changes with gesture or voice commands. The first version, teased here, will be an all-electric model limited to just over 1900 examples. But it’s also possible there will be ICE versions as well. Stellantis’ EV platforms allow for multiple powertrain types. And hopefully we’ll learn more in about a month.
STORE YOUR KEY FOB IN METAL CAN TO PREVENT CAR THEFT
Do you have one of those wireless key fobs to open your car and start the engine? Did you know that car thieves can capture the signal from your fob, open your car, start the engine and drive away–even if the fob is safely inside your house? But you can stop them cold. The CEO of a tech company called GuardKnox Cyber Technologies tells the Detroit Free Press that you shouldn’t just toss your key fob on a table when you get home. Instead, he says put it in a metal can, like a coffee can. Or wrap them in tin foil, or in some kind of Faraday cage, like a wire mesh. That blocks the signal from the key fob and prevents thieves from stealing your car.
JIM FARLEY LAUNCHES SECOND SEASON OF DRIVE PODCAST
Ford’s CEO Jim Farley launched a podcast in 2022 called DRIVE. He snagged quite a few A-list celebrities as his guests, like NFL star Tom Brady, actor Dax Shepard and late night TV host Jimmy Fallon. Well, Farley liked being a podcast host so much that he’s kicking off another season. Jimmy Fallon is back, and the singer Kelly Clarkson is coming on as a guest. Farley put out a trailer promoting the podcast that has other celebrities on it. But we only hear their voices, and don’t get their names. Maybe you can guess who they are. We’ve got a link in the transcript and description box.
They call them SDVs, or software defined vehicles. It’s one of the hottest topics in the auto industry right now. But which car company is doing the best job of developing SDVs–who’s in the lead? That’s the topic on Autoline After Hours tomorrow when we’ll have Mark Wakefield from Alix Partners, which surveyed 180 executives at automakers, suppliers and tech companies to learn where they stand with software defined vehicles. If you want to stay up to speed on the hottest trends in the industry, don’t miss Autoline After Hours.
And don’t miss our coverage of CES that kicks off next week in Las Vegas, as we bring you interviews and insights from experts and executives about the latest automotive tech the world has to offer.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for making Autoline a part of your day.
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