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Archive for the ‘EVs’ Category

Ford Plans for Growth in New Product Segments

Exec says new EV should help spur battery-electric sales.

by on Mar.16, 2018

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's product development chief, says promoting better EVs will help spur sales of battery-electrics.

Ford Motor Co.’s product development chief says one way to make electric vehicles more popular is to give them wider appeal.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president for product development, said noted that even when gas prices were high, consumers didn’t especially gravitate towards EVs or hybrids. Thus, Ford is preparing to roll out a unique EV with the broad appeal of a crossover and more performance.

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“EVs have great instantaneous low-end torque,” Thai-Tang told after briefing by senior Ford executives, including CEO Jim Hackett. (more…)

GM Investing $100M in Tooling for Cruise AV, Autonomous Roof Racks

by on Mar.15, 2018

The Cruise AV will be built at the Orion Township, Michigan plant were GM builds the Chevy Bolt EV.

General Motors continues to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to autonomous vehicles, this time to the tune of $100 million.

The company is investing that cash in two Michigan facilities that will build its Cruise AV driverless car as well as the roof modules that contain all of the equipment needed to make the vehicle drive on its own, such as radar, LiDAR, cameras, etc.

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The new Cruise autonomous vehicles will be built at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant, north of Detroit. This makes sense as another self-driving vehicle produced by GM, the Bolt EV, is also built at the plant. (more…)

Tesla Struggling With Major Quality Issues

Current, former employees claim poor quality parts adding to delays.

by on Mar.14, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant is churning out poor quality parts and vehicles, according current and former employees.

California-based EV maker Tesla’s ongoing struggles with two major problems – executive retention and manufacturing quality – reared their ugly heads again this week.

The company saw two high-level executives, Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, and Eric Branderiz, chief accounting officer, leave the company within about a week of one another.

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Repo left to become the chief financial officer of another company and Branderiz left for personal reasons, according to reports. (more…)

VW Ups EV Ante as it Places $25B in Battery Orders

German giant now outspending rival Tesla.

by on Mar.14, 2018

VW plans to have 30 fully electric vehicles ready by 2025, including models based on the ID Buzz and ID Crozz concepts.

As it ramps up plans to sell at least 3 million electrified vehicles annually by 2025, Volkswagen has announced orders for $25 billion worth of batteries and battery components – dwarfing the spending plans of all-electric competitor Tesla.

Longer-term, VW said it plans to more than double that total as it prepares to offer some form of electrified drivetrain for every vehicle in its line-up – including dozens of all-electric models. It plans to roll out its first three long-range battery-electric vehicles this year, including offerings from its Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi brands. It also will launch a new sub-brand, Volkswagen I.D., which will include in its portfolio the all-electric Buzz, a modern take on the automaker’s iconic Microbus.

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Among all 12 brands in the Volkswagen Group family, CEO Matthias Mueller said that there will be new battery-powered models launched “virtually every month,” as the new program ramps up, adding that “This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world.” (more…)

Tesla Shut Down Model 3 Line – Again – to Make Upgrades

EV maker makes improvements aimed at increasing production speed.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Tesla shut down its plant in California last month to make upgrades to its production line.

Tesla’s ongoing growing pains moving from a low-volume to mass market manufacturer continue as the EV maker had to shut down its production on the Model 3 for a week last month.

The company temporarily suspended production at its Fremont, California plant as well as at its Gigafactory in Nevada, Feb. 20-24, to adjust equipment to improve automation and increase production rates.

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The automaker has been under fire for continually missing deadlines for increasing the production run rates at its plant. The goal is ultimately to produce 500,000 vehicles annually, including 100,000 Model S and X vehicles. The current rate is significantly lower than that. (more…)

VW Developing Unique, Premium EV Platform for Porsche, Audi, Bentley

BMW goes the opposite direction, abandoning electric-only platform strategy.

by on Mar.09, 2018

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo is just a "study" for now, but expect a production version to follow.

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo is one of the big hits of this year’s Geneva Motor Show and while officially a concept vehicle, the battery-electric crossover is expected to soon follow into production the Mission E coupe launching next year.

Both cars will ride on a specially developed platform, dubbed J1. Meanwhile, sibling brand Audi’s upcoming E-tron Quattro battery-car will use the same MLB architecture as its more mainstream models, like the A4, as well as the new Bentley Bentayga SUV.

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But, going forward, Those three luxury brands are partnering up to develop an entirely new and unique platform they will share for all future electric vehicles, according to a senior company official. Codenamed PPE, for Premium Platform Electric, it will go into all Audi, Bentley and Porsche electric vehicles from 2022 on.


Live from Geneva!

Electric SUVs, hybrid sports cars, hot hatches and more.

by on Mar.08, 2018

The 88th edition of Geneva International Motor Show is basically over for the media and the show will open its doors to the public after dozens of new products from makers like Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and others made their debuts. is still working sources and looking to report news coming out of the show so be certain to check back often to see the latest. (more…)

GM Boosting Bolt EV Production as Demand Surges

CEO Barra asking Congress to expand electric-car tax credits.

by on Mar.08, 2018

There's significant room to expand Chevy Bolt EV production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant.

General Motors plans to expand production of its first long-range battery-car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, CEO Mary Barra said during an energy conference in Houston.

The Bolt has experienced stronger than expected demand in recent months, some analysts suggesting that is the result of the slow ramp-up of production for Tesla’s own mainstream EV, the Model 3.

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Demand has also been buoyed by $7,500 federal tax credits that bring the base price of the Bolt down below $30,000. But under the current rules, GM is expected to soon see the credits phase out, something that could cut into demand, leading Barra to say that, “We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefits going forward.”


VW Squashing the Beetle at End of Current Generation

“You can’t have a new, new, new Beetle,” says R&D chief.

by on Mar.07, 2018

The Dune Edition of the latest Beetle is shown with a Baja version of the original Bug.

Get ready to say buh-bye to the Beetle. Oh, you didn’t know they were still building it? Well, that may explain why Volkswagen is getting set to phase out the once-iconic coupe when the current, third-generation model reaches the end of its lifecycle.

Now, Volkswagen wouldn’t be Volkswagen without at least one icon in its line-up, but Frank Welsch, the brand’s R&D chief, told Britain’s Autocar that the focus will shift to the soon-to-be-reborn I.D. Buzz, an all-electric take on the classic Volkswagen Microbus that is due to market early in the coming decade.

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Noting that VW tried to revive the Bug with the “New Beetle,” and then redid it one more time, Welsch said enough is enough. “You can’t do it five times and have a new, new, new Beetle,” ad infinitum. In fact, the VW board did consider a way to keep the Beetle alive, but it turned thumbs down to the idea of an all-electric version during a product meeting last November.


Polestar’s First EV Looks Like Modern Take on Classic Volvo P1800

Order bank opens next week in 18 global markets.

by on Mar.07, 2018

The Volvo P1800 reborn? Not quite. This is the all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV.

It started out as a motorsports contender then went on to become Volvo’s in-house performance tuner. But with the debut of the Polestar 1 at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Polestar formally transitions into Volvo’s high-performance sub-brand.

And it will focus exclusively on vehicles with electrified drivetrains. The Polestar 1 features a twin-motor plug-in hybrid coupe churning out an impressive 600 horsepower. Pure battery-electric offerings will follow, company officials said, while adding that they plan to take a novel approach to selling their low-volume, high-performance offerings.


“We will focus on electric mobility and make it a reality by having something that is not just a dogmatic electric vehicle but something that is desirable to drive,” said Thomas Ingenlath, the former head of Volvo design who, late last year, was reassigned to run Polestar.