Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

GM Presses to Extend EV Tax Credits

But automaker’s planned plant closings make it a hard sell.

by on Dec.11, 2018

General Motors is lobbying politicians to extend EV tax credits just a week after CEO Mary Barra was flogged for plans to close five plants and layoff thousands.

General Motors lobbyists are making a push on Capitol Hill to extend the tax credits the automaker’s customers can receive after purchasing one of its battery-electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The automaker is rapidly approaching the sales threshold set by Congress – 200,000 battery models – after which the incentives would be phased out. That would make vehicles like the Bolt as much as $7,500 more expensive and potentially short-circuit demand.

All Charged Up!

GM is by no means alone. Tesla has already crossed the sales threshold and will begin to have its tax credits phase out, starting January 1. They will be eliminated entirely at the end of 2019. Nissan and Ford aren’t far behind. Newer entries into the electric car field, such as Volkswagen and Hyundai, would effectively gain an edge by continuing to offer the credits. (more…)

Sales of Electric Vehicles Growing Steadily in California

Year-over-year increase in triple digits.

by on Dec.11, 2018

Electric vehicle sales are up 300% year-to-date in California.

Electric cars accounted for 7.1% of California car sales in the first three quarters of 2019 with fully electric, zero-emission car sales outrunning the plug-in hybrid sales.

EVs accounted for 4.1% of the vehicles sold in California while plug-in hybrids accounted for 3%, according to Veloz, which tracks the development of EV sales in the state.

News Now!

“It’s no longer a matter of whether electric vehicles will take off, but how soon,” said Josh Boone, executive director of Veloz, public-private coalition of major electric car industry stakeholders, told bingdb.info. California hit the 500,000 electric-car sales milestone in November. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Expresses Interest in Closing GM Plants

Exec expresses disdain for SEC, approvals.

by on Dec.10, 2018

Elon Musk expressed interest in buying one of the plants General Motors plans to close in the near future.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with General Motors — again.

Not, Musk doesn’t want to challenge GM CEO Mary Barra to appear on the television game show, but he did tell reporter Lesley Stahl on the CBS news show 60 Minutes he would be willing to buy one of the plants GM plans to shut down in the near future.

Dig Deeper!

“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” he said during the interview. (more…)

McLaren Offering More Open Air Speed With New 720S Spider

New convertible offered with transparent retractable roof.

by on Dec.10, 2018

The new McLaren 720S Spider is the latest creation born from the company's $1.6 billion Track25 plan.

British supercar maker McLaren Automotive keeps rolling out new models, extending its comeback from the brink of death. The latest is the 720S Spider, which is part of its Super Series product line.

The comeback is part of the nearly $1.6 billion Track25 business plan that was the latest effort to revive the iconic sports car company, and the only one that seems to have taken. The new 720S Spider is available right now.

Product News!

“The new McLaren 720S Spider offers an unparalleled blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury, driver involvement and daily usability – all with the additional exhilaration of open-air driving whenever required,” said Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer, McLaren Automotive. (more…)

Trump Administration Still Fighting to Roll Back Fuel Economy Rules

Critics say mistakes made in calculations nullify Trump-propsed gains.

by on Dec.07, 2018

The Trump administration is proposing revoking California's ability to make it's own emissions and fuel economy rules.

While the industry is focused now on issues such as trade, manufacturing capacity and employment, the fight over fuel economy and emissions hasn’t gone away and could roar back to life any time.

The Trump administration proposed rolling back the fuel-economy rules imposed in the waning days of Obama administration. It also has proposed eliminating California’s hold on the auto industry.

Beyond the Headlines!

California, powered by an overwhelming political victory by Democrats opposed to Trump in last month’s midterm elections and bolstered by new reports both from the Trump administration’s Environment Protection Agency and the United Nations Independent Panel on Climate Change, have vowed a long and expensive court fight to protect the Obama standards and its authority. (more…)

Tesla Hustling to Build New Plant in China

New site will build only Model 3s at launch.

by on Dec.06, 2018

Tesla Inc. has reached an agreement with the Chinese government to build an assembly plant in China.

Tesla’s $2 billion Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, may begin construction sooner than observers expected as the EV maker is accepting bids from companies to build the plant that will theoretically build all of the batteries for the maker in China.

The company is accepting bids from construction companies wanting to build the plant, and in fact, much of the prep work is complete, according to Reuters. The new plant will be noteworthy for two reasons: it’s going to accelerate Tesla’s ability to sell vehicles in the country.

Dig Deeper!

Perhaps more importantly, it will be the first wholly foreign-owned facility in China — a concession the government made to get more electric vehicles into the country. (more…)

Faraday Future Furloughs More Employees

Company blaming Chinese investor for woes.

by on Dec.05, 2018

A large portion of Faraday's workers have been furloughed, those remaining taking pay cuts.

After a lengthy silence, financially challenged EV maker Faraday Future issued a tweet reconfirming its commitment to build its FF 91 model, while warning if an infusion of cash doesn’t arrive soon that could change. The company noted a round of layoffs are on tap as well.

In mid-November, the company was assumed dead before some churn at the top of the company’s management structure lead to founder Nick Sampson departing the company and the new leadership team announcing the company would come back.

Dig Deeper!

Today’s Twitter missive laid the blame for their current financial issues squarely at the feet of Chinese investment firm, Evergrande Health. (more…)

Waymo Kicks Off Autonomous Taxi and Ride Sharing Service

Autonomous service starts in Phoenix.

by on Dec.05, 2018

This scene may become more common as Waymo One kicks off service in Arizona.

Self-driving ride-sharing service is here. Well, it’s in Arizona, technically, but the day that Uber, Lyft and others have waiting for has arrived with the debut of Waymo One, Waymo’s autonomous taxi and ride-sharing service.

The service operates in a 100-square-mile zone covering four Phoenix suburbs: Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. The company has been testing its vehicles in the area since 2016, including offering free rides earlier this year to generate some goodwill for autonomous vehicles.

Business News!

“Over time, we hope to make Waymo One available to even more members of the public,” John Krafcik, Waymo’s CEO wrote in a blog post. “Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully.” (more…)

Mercedes Enjoys Lead Late in Luxury Sales Championship

Sport-utes carrying luxury vehicle makers to strong sales.

by on Dec.04, 2018

The newly updated Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 is helping the automaker to another U.S. sales crown.

Mercedes-Benz is leading the race for the luxury vehicle sales crown for the third consecutive year, heading into December with an edge over its closest competitors, BMW and Lexus.

Mercedes reported it sold 31,022 vehicles in November, an increase of 0.6% from November 2017. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz sales totaled 283,943, with an additional 34,062 units for vans and 1,154 vehicles for smart, bringing total sales volume to 319,159.

Sales News!

“Demand for our SUV line-up including the GLA, GLC and new G-Class combined with increases for the E-Class and new CLS fueled results for the month,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of MBUSA. “We anticipate a solid close to the final weeks of 2018.” (more…)

Chevy Rolls Out New Silverado HD

Third new Silverado in 18 months.

by on Dec.04, 2018

The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD borrow plenty of exterior styling cues from the Silverado 1500, but enhances them for a tougher look.

Chevrolet continues to expand pickup buyer options with the debut of the all-new, 2020 Silverado HD, the third version of the bowtie brand’s truck to launch during the last 18 months.

The big trucks shares many of the now-familiar design cues first seen on the light-duty Silverado 1500, but adopts a more rugged look, with a massive front grille that presents an imposing presence, especially when viewed in one’s rearview mirror.

Product News!

“We know the needs and priorities of heavy-duty customers are different than those of either light-duty or medium-duty customers,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, the Silverado HD’s chief engineer. (more…)