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0:00 EV Shift to Cause Thousands of Job Losses in EU
1:13 VW Takes Action to Stop Slide in China
2:24 Toyota Suspends Shipments Of 10 Diesel Models
3:22 AutoX Expands Robotaxi Operations in China
4:18 Tesla Cybertruck Generates Big Buzz in China
5:25 Musk Says Dojo a Long Shot but Worth the Risk
6:23 Rio Adds BYD EVs To Police Fleet
7:09 Volvo Trucks Launches New Lineup
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EV SHIFT TO CAUSE THOUSANDS OF JOB LOSSES IN EU
The shift to electric vehicles is going to result in hundreds of thousands of job losses in Europe. A study from PwC, commissioned by the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, forecasts the loss of 359,000 jobs related to ICE powertrains between 2030 and 2035. The EU plans to ban new ICE vehicles in 2035 but there are some exemptions for vehicles that run on synthetic fuel. However, the study says that jumps to over 500,000 job losses if the EU goes with a strict EV approach. The EV push will create around 226,000 EV related jobs, but that still means there will be a net loss of 275,000 jobs with the higher estimate. So, to help cushion that blow, the auto industry is calling on EU lawmakers to provide more funding and training programs to transition from ICEs to EVs.
VW TAKES ACTION TO STOP SLIDE IN CHINA
The Volkswagen Group has stumbled in China and continues to try and find its footing. In 2019, it sold 4.2 million vehicles there. Last year that dropped to 3.2 million. The problem? VW has not kept up with the rapid transition to EVs in the Chinese market. Last year it only sold 155,000 EVs to Chinese customers. So to try and catch up fast, it’s buying Chinese technology. Volkswagen will use an electronic architecture from XPeng, while Audi is buying an EV platform from SAIC. And the electric Porsche Macan will use batteries from CATL. To try and streamline its decision making, Volkswagen is cutting its board of management from 8 members to 7. The board member it’s cutting is Thomas Ulbrich, but he was appointed as VW’s new CTO for China. China is a critical market for the Volkswagen Group, accounting for roughly 50% of its sales and 40% of its profits. So, unless it stops the slide there, it’s going to really hurt the company.
TOYOTA SUSPENDS SHIPMENTS OF 10 DIESEL MODELS
Well this is a big black eye for Toyota. The automaker announced it’s suspending global shipments of 10 diesel powered vehicles because it discovered certification irregularities with the engines. They were built by Toyota Industries Corporation which is part of the Toyota Group. The models include its Hiace vans, Hilux pickups, Fortuner SUVs, Innova minivans, the Land Cruiser and the Lexus LX. The vehicles are sold in Japan, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This is hugely embarrassing for the company as it doesn’t like to be seen breaking the law. CEO Koji Sato even bowed in apology before addressing the media on the issue. But this isn’t an isolated incident at Toyota. The automaker is also in hot water for similar problems at its Daihatsu and Hino subsidiaries.
AUTOX EXPANDS ROBOTAXI OPERATIONS IN CHINA
China is slowly but surely making progress on robotaxis but they have eyes at dominating the market. And now Chinese autonomous startup AutoX has received approval to test its vehicles without a safety driver on public roads in the city of Guangzhou. AutoX also operates driverless vehicles in three other cities in China as well as in Silicon Valley in the U.S. The company is aiming to deploy a fleet of Level 4 robotaxis in the future. And we find it interesting that it’s using Chrysler Pacificas for its service and not a vehicle from a Chinese automaker.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK GENERATES BIG BUZZ IN CHINA
Chinese consumers are going ga-ga for Tesla’s Cybertruck. CarNewsChina reports that Tesla has officially kicked off a tour of the Cybertruck in the country and at least one location had a line over 2 hours long just to see the truck. But Elon Musk has previously said it would be difficult to get the Cybertruck road legal in China and there’s currently no word if it will sell it in the country. This is likely related to a ban of pickups from cities, which was first implemented in 2000 as a way to curb pollution and traffic. However, a number of big cities have started to lift those bans and China sells about half a million pickups every year. Ford even sells the F-150 Raptor there. But it could be that sales volume is not enough to justify bringing the Cybertruck to China in Musk’s eye. So, he could try to get around classifying the Cybertruck as a pickup. The same report says Tesla has been calling the Cybertruck an “Off-Road Adventure Vehicle” in promotions in the country.
MUSK SAYS DOJO A LONG SHOT BUT WORTH THE RISK
Speaking of Tesla, it’s investing $500 million into a Dojo supercomputer at its Gigafactory in New York. Dojo was designed and built for computer vision video processing and recognition to train its machine learning models so it can improve Full Self Driving. But the efforts could fall flat on their face. On its most recent earnings call Elon Musk called Dojo a long shot that doesn’t have a high probability of success. But he said it’s a long shot worth taking because the payoff could be high. Even so, it looks like Tesla is going to rely more heavily on a supplier to build supercomputers that help train its AI system. Musk says Tesla will probably spend more than that $500 million on hardware from NVIDIA this year and that to be competitive in AI you have to spend at least several billion dollars a year.
RIO ADDS BYD EVs TO POLICE FLEET
Chinese automakers are boldly going where traditional automakers don’t dare to go. At least with electric cars. While traditional automakers say South America isn’t ready for EVs, that’s not stopping BYD. It bought an assembly plant in Brazil to make EVs, including police cars. Autoline viewer Eduardo Azevedo got these pictures of BYD police cars in Rio de Janeiro, and maybe this shows that there are big cities in South America that are absolutely ready to go electric. By the way, we get great tips from our viewers from all around the world, so if you spot something that you think we ought to be aware of, send it our way.
VOLVO TRUCKS LAUNCHES NEW LINEUP
Volvo Trucks is launching an all-new lineup of long-haulers that ride on an all-new platform. This allows for a wide range of powertrain types, including BEV, fuel cell, ICE and ICEs that can run on renewable fuels, like hydrogen. It will also incorporate a 24-volt electronic architecture and efficiency improvements of 5-10% depending on the type of truck. In North America, Volvo Trucks launched the all-new VNL, while Europe, Australia and markets in Asia get the all-new FH. And have you ever wondered why big trucks look different in the U.S. and Europe? Well, there’s restrictions in Europe to total vehicle length, so if you had a U.S. style semi in Europe it would have to have a shorter trailer. So, that’s why what is called a cab-over design is so popular in the EU.
And that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for tuning in.
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