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GM Lauded by EPA for Commitment to Renewable Energy

Arlington Assembly plant makes top 100 list.

by on Oct.10, 2018

GM's Arlington, Texas plant is one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.

General Motors’ Arlington Assembly plant has earned a spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Top 100 List of the largest users of green power.

The Arlington plant ranks 76 on list, earning the recognition of the Green Power Partnership effort to power all its global facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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“Receiving this recognition from the EPA is a true honor for the men and women at Arlington Assembly and UAW Local 276,” said Lamar Rucker, plant executive director at Arlington Assembly. “We take great pride in responsibly building world-class vehicles for our customers around the globe,” he said. (more…)

Trump Set to Allow Year-Round Sale of E15 Fuel

President appears to be catering to corn farmers.

by on Oct.09, 2018

President Donald Trump is expected to lift the summer time sales ban on E15 gasoline, allowing year-round sales.

President Donald Trump is looking to make farmers happy, corn farmers anyway, with plans to remove the ethanol restriction on gasoline and allow E15 blends to be sold year-round.

Currently, the blend is banned between June 1 and Sept. 15 each year because of concerns that the special blend combines with the higher summer temps to produce smog. Advocates for ethanol claim the charge is unfounded.

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E15 contains 15% ethanol while most gasolines are already made up of 10% ethanol.  (more…)

Power Study Finds “Total Lack of Trust” in Autonomous Vehicle Technology

More than four in ten say they “would never ride” in self-driving vehicle.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Looks like its going to take Waymo rides, er, way more rides in Waymo's autonomous minivan to change opinions.

Even as automakers rush to bring autonomous and completely self-driving vehicles to market, perhaps as soon as the end of the decade, there’s a deep distrust of the technology, with more than four out of 10 Americans saying they “would never ride in a fully automated vehicle.

The lack of trust runs deep, according to Robert Lajdziak a researcher with J.D. Power and Associates, which conducted the new study in partnership with the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, or NAMIC. Significantly, just as federal regulators have announced plans to ease restrictions on testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, those surveyed by Power and NAMIC questioned whether the government – as well as automakers and tech companies – can properly ensure the safety of the public.

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The new study likely reflects the fact that “people’s opinions have been swayed” by recent incidents involving semi- and fully autonomous vehicles, including a fatal Uber crash earlier this year in Tempe, Arizona, said Lajdziak, in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com ahead of the release of the new study. (more…)

Jeep to Launch Renegade Plug-In Hybrid in 2020

Automaker set to have 12 electrified models in productions by 2022.

by on Oct.09, 2018

In 2020, Fiat Chrysler will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade to kick off its electrification program.

After a slow start, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is plugging into battery power in a big way, the Euro-American automaker confirming plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade in early 2020.

That follows the launch of a so-called “mild” hybrid system on the all-new Jeep Wrangler launched last year. The system, known as eTorque, is also being used on the completely overhauled 2019 Ram 1500 pickup just now rolling into U.S. showrooms.

Product News!

The Jeep Renegade PHEV will mark a major push into battery power for FCA, the company recently announcing that its various brands will introduce a dozen more advanced electrified models by 2022, ranging from conventional “full” hybrids to plug-ins to all-electric offerings. They will cover a wide spectrum of models and price segments, including the all-new plug-in supercar being developed by the Alfa Romeo brand. (more…)

Faraday Fritters Away Funding, Future Fading Fast — Again

Company not paying vendors while fighting with investor.

by on Oct.08, 2018

More than 300 Faraday workers gathered at the plant last weekend to help clean it up.

Less than a year after it was rumored to be out of money, budding electric vehicle maker Faraday Future appears to be out of money again — even after getting an $800 million infusion from a Chinese conglomerate.

According to a filing with Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the healthcare division of Chinese real estate group Evergrande is accusing Faraday Future founder and CEO Jia Yueting of trying to back out of the deal the two sides made in January.

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Evergrande officials claim that Jia blew through the $800 million and wanted another $700 million, and say they will take “all necessary actions” to protect itself and its shareholders. Conversely, Jia claims the company agreed to make two payments and after making the first, is trying to get out of the second, a $700 million payment due in 2019. (more…)

Musk Under Fire Again, This Time From His Supporters

Tesla CEO slammed for attack on SEC; his latest twitter storm could cause problems with settlement.

by on Oct.08, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk cannot help himself, taking a shot at the SEC via Twitter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking heat again, this time from supporters, as well as his long list of critics, for his attack on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After reaching a deal with the SEC early this month that forced him to step down as Tesla chairman, the 47-year-old executive fired off the latest in an ongoing series of tweets dubbing the federal agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.” That was a reference to the investors who have been betting on Tesla stock to fall and who have become one of Musk’s biggest concerns.

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Musk came under the SEC microscope after tweeting in August about a supposed plan to take the battery-carmaker private. Federal regulators subsequently accused the Tesla founder of making “false and misleading” claims, finding no basis to support the proposal and, in particular, Musk’s initial tweet stating “Funding secured.” The SEC could have completely barred the exec from serving in any capacity on a public company and it could have levied substantially more fines than the $14 million penalty Musk had to pay. (more…)

Ford Readying for Launch of New Midsize Ranger Pickup

Once mothballed nameplate being built near Detroit.

by on Oct.08, 2018

Ford will offer a wide range of Ranger body styles, beds and powertrain configurations.

Ford Motor Co. has released the horsepower, torque, towing and payload numbers for the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger, as the launch of Ford’s long-awaited now-midsize pickup draws closer.

The company confirmed it will begin building the new version of the Ranger, which was one of truck the automaker’s most popular and most durable vehicles, at the Michigan Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit before the end of the year.

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The original Ranger made its debut in the early 1980s and remained in production until December 2011 when Ford finally closed the assembly plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. (more…)

Ford Redesigning Company Structure, Salaried Job Cuts Coming in ’19

Number of white collar jobs to be shed unknown right now.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has talked about a turnaround at the automaker and now it looks like it's happening.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett has talked about making the automaker a more “fit” company going forward, and now it’s clear what that means: salaried job cuts.

The automaker is “redesigning” its white collar workforce to be leaner, have few layers and offer the remaining employees more power to make decisions, and implement those decisions more quickly.

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Currently, Ford employs 70,000 salaried workers, among its more than 285,000 overall employees worldwide. Of that total, about 85,000 work in the U.S. The number of jobs that will be cut is unknown at this point as the plan is still be formulated. (more…)

Honda Implementing New Tech to Make Smart Intersections

Automaker working with Marysville, Ohio, to test technology.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Honda's Smart Technology uses V2X technology to make drivers aware of potential hazards in an intersection.

Honda has demonstrated its “Smart Intersection” technology that connects a vehicle to its surroundings to help reduce traffic collisions at intersections, which account for 20% of the 35,000 traffic deaths that occur annually in the U.S. and 40% of all collisions.

The technology was developed in partnership with Marysville, Ohio, the home of Honda’s Research and Development unit where, as part of a Smart Mobility Corridor project that addresses the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors in reducing traffic collisions at roadway intersections.

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“Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society,” said Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas Inc.  (more…)

Polestar Moving Ahead With Development of New EV

Company testing verification prototypes in Sweden.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV is taking another step toward production with verification prototypes being tested in Sweden.

The development of the battery electric vehicles from Polestar, Volvo’s emerging battery electric vehicle brand, has taken another step forward.

The development of the Polestar 1 has moved off the computer and drawing board “with the production of the first series of “road-going” verification prototype, or VP, cars in Sweden.

Global News!

“The assembly of the VP cars means that the Polestar 1 has taken its next step towards production,” says Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer of Polestar.  (more…)