The two-by-four, the 4×8 plywood sheet, the standard brick: Without standardized building materials, building houses would be a mess. The car industry is in that kind of a mess (more or less.) To get out of the mess, to shorten development times and to lower cost, just about every large automaker is on some kind of a standardization drive. Usually, these standards won’t go beyond the company, even alliances have problems agreeing on a common standard. When Nissan unveiled its Common Module Family (CMF) last Monday at its R&D center in Atsugi, we asked whether this Common Module Family also would extend to Renault. After all, both companies had standardized on the same CEO. (Read More…)
Did you ever arrive in a foreign country, and the plug of your battery-depleted cell phone did not fit? Or worse, it did fit, and the charger went up in smoke? That’s nothing compared to the impending EV disaster. Buy an EV, and you will find yourself between the battle lines of plugs, voltages, and technologies. Imagine the horror: Guided by your GPS, you limp into a charging station on the last watts in your battery, and their round plug doesn’t fit your square socket. (Read More…)
Japan’s Automobile Manufacturers Association said “hai, wakatta” (yes, we understand) to their government, and promised to “actively support the creation of an international mutual-recognition framework for passenger cars,” reports The Nikkei [sub].
Turns out, the Japanese government is behind the idea to agree on an International Whole Car Type Approval. The idea had been floated in Geneva, and received widespread agreement. No wonder: The Europeans are intimately familiar with the concept, due to their European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). And the Americans aren’t part of the party. They are doing their own FMVSS thing. (Read More…)