Each week TheDetroitBureau.com reports on the biggest news and events about new vehicles, mobility, technology, trends as well as offering our years of experience and insights in our car reviews. Then we put it all into our weekly the Headlight News podcast.
After hitting record highs this spring, gas prices are on the decline, reports Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein. Prices hit $5 a gallon on average earlier this summer, but have retreated to an average of $4.68 a gallon over the weekend. Crude oil prices are down as are oil futures. This could be the beginning a long slide — or just temporary relief if demand (i.e. more drivers on the roads) picks up.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Those high gas prices is one reason why, according to a new study by Consumer Reports, one in seven Americans is open to buying a new electric vehicle. Nearly three out of four has at least considered the idea. However, the big issue is still the charging network;
- Tesla’s massive Supercharger network is soon to be accessible by non-Tesla EV owners as well. CEO Elon Musk revealed the company is moving to open it up to all EVs in the U.S., perhaps as soon as this fall. Is this Elon being a good guy? Maybe, but it also gives him access to $5 billion in federal funding dedicated to expanding the U.S. charging network;
- Vietnamese EV maker VinFast is preparing to make its U.S. debut, including opening 30 showrooms in the U.S. before year’s end. The first dozen will make their debut in California later this month;
- While most automakers suffered through another rough month in June, Ford, which reports is sales later than the others managed a more than 30% increase riding full-size trucks and SUVs as well as EVs to the positive numbers. However, to be fair, the automaker was running against it’s worst month of 2021, due to a massive shortage of semiconductor chips; and,
- Soon you may be able to charge your vehicle for fun — using the sun. Companies like Lightyear and Aptera are covering their vehicles in solar panels that will give the vehicle a free way to draw power, even if for now, it means only 10 or 20 miles of range.
Electric truck and SUV startup Rivian told shareholders it built a little more than 4,400 vehicles in the second quarter. That’s nearly double its first quarter output with officials confirming the company’s on track to meet its goal of producing 25,000 vehicles in 2022.
The second-quarter numbers beat the projections of analysts, who predicted the fledgling automaker would put out just 3,400 vehicles during the period. The company plans to run two shifts, five days a week for the remainder of the year to meet the goal. Naturally, Rivian’s stock jumped about 10% on the news.
In his famous 1915 ad for Cadillac titled “the Penalty of Leadership,” Thomas MacManus writes that “the leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership.” The sentence springs to mind with the arrival of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic Sedan, says Executive Editor Larry Printz, who says if one can look past the 1998-inspired Ford Focus taillights, and focus on its sleek, muscular form, you’re onto something impressive. Get the rest of the review at TheDetroitBureau.com.
Managing Editor Michael Strong says this week will kick off with a sneak peek at some vehicles headed to the auction at this year’s Monterey Car Week in California, which ends with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Congress is back in session, which means more discussion about the possible EV tax credits that have been in limbo for months and gas prices dropped all last week, TheDetroitBureau.com will be looking to see if that’s a long-term trend or short-term relief.
Printz returns to walk us through this week in automotive history, starting this week in 1952, the last Crosley automobile rolls off the assembly line in Marion, Indiana. It’s the creation of appliance magnate Powel Crosley, who patented the idea of placing shelves on refrigerator doors. It debuted in 1939.
Find out more the industry’s history and more by listening to TheDetroitBureau’s latest edition of the Headlight News podcast by clicking here. And look for a new episode every Monday!