By on June 14, 2021

Starting a car brand has to be among the more foolhardy endeavors one can embark upon. The industry is saturated with giant, multinational companies that don’t want competition and a regulatory environment that requires a ludicrous amount of wealth and plenty of time to overcome. Despite this, we’ve seen countless electric vehicle startups attempting to accrete into something profitable over the last few years. But even the winners have found themselves wholly dependent upon government-backed. carbon-credit schemes or blank-check firms designed to guarantee their IPOs are astronomically high — often before they’ve shown a functional prototype.

This makes distinguishing a company with potential from those that are dead on arrival incredibly difficult. Though it’s getting easier to see which side of the fence Lordstown Motors will be occupying after a particularly grim string of months. One of its prototypes spontaneously combusted during testing last March, at roughly the same time Hindenburg Research was accusing it of fraud. More recently, the business lost CEO Steve Burns and confessed that it was in desperate need of money to start production.  (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2021

After years of restarting and then killing its electric vehicle program, Apple has again signaled that it’s once again serious about developing something for your driveway. Ulrich Kranz, former Canoo CEO and brains behind the BMW i-cars, has reportedly been picked up by the company for its automotive team.

Apple has yet to verify the hire and Kranz hasn’t updated his LinkedIn profile. But there have been multiple reports that he’s been been taken aboard specifically for his EV expertise. Unless social networking platforms are becoming passé (fingers crossed), it’s likely that the tech company wanted to wait until it could make an official announcement accompanied by an update on development.

That’s assuming Apple is still doing a car, however. (Read More…)

By on June 7, 2021

Having covered the White House’s incredibly expansive and costly infrastructure plan, specifically as it pertains to transitioning the entire nation toward alternative energy vehicles, we’ve often found ourselves asking questions. Puzzlers include wondering whether or not consumers actually want this change and how can we possibly expect to pay for this when we’ve already starting conjuring money out of thin air for other government programs. We don’t even know where we’re supposed to get the rare-earth minerals necessary for production when mining them is heavily regulated in the United States and hardly an endeavor that would be considered kind to the natural landscape.

Last week proved that we weren’t entirely alone in pondering how all of this greenification is supposed to work.  (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2021

Image: Tesla

What does the future hold for Tesla in China? Expansion, or exports?

That’s the question being asked by an Automotive News story today.

(Read More…)

By on June 4, 2021

Recently Rare Rides featured a very clean example of the DKW Schnellaster van from 1956. The front-drive and transverse-engine layout of the Schnellaster previewed in the Forties the basic format of the family minivan that would arrive over three decades later.

Among the standard Schnellasters produced, there was an even rarer variant: An electric version, as DKW experimented with the possibilities of early EV tech.

(Read More…)

By on May 27, 2021

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee advanced the Clean Energy for America Act making a few tweaks from earlier proposals. Changes include raising the federal EV tax rebate ceiling to $12,500 and opening the door for automakers who already exhausted their production quotas.

It’s good news for General Motors, which recently begged the government for just such a handout. But any manufacturer participating in the sale of electric vehicles will find themselves similarly blessed by the updated rules — assuming they make it through the halls of Capitol Hill with the necessary support.

Let’s take a peek behind the curtain to see what the updated proposal entails.  (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2021

One of the biggest contributors to EV skepticism are the companies associated with furnishing the technology. While brands like Tesla have unquestionably proven that there’s a market for electric cars, there’s a cadre of startups that seem built on a foundation of falsehoods and do nothing other than vacuum money to feed hypothetical products that never seem to manifest in the physical realm. But the problem is that it’s incredibly difficult to distinguish between them when even Tesla participates in making wild promises it clearly has no intention of keeping and is heavily dependent on regulatory issues favoring EVs — specifically via the sale of carbon credits.

Lordstown Motors has occupied a gray area between the extremes. However, it recently cut this year’s production targets by more than half, warranting some legitimate concern.  (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2021

Pope Lamborghini

After clandestine meetings with Pope Francis, Fisker is reportedly going to develop an electric Popemobile — a term the Vatican has repeatedly asked everyone to stop using. Due to arrive next year, the vehicle is supposed to be a heavily modified version of the brand’s upcoming electric Ocean crossover.

Pope Francis has long been presenting himself as a surface-level environmentalist with absolutely terrible taste in automobiles. He added two Toyota Mirais to the Status Civitatis Vaticanae garage in 2020 while predictably flipping a Lamborghini Huracán (built specifically for him by the company) in 2018. His Alleged Holiness is also said to be partial to the Fiat 500L, Nissan Frontier, and Isuzu D-Max — though he frequently rides around in locally produced customs as a way to ingratiate himself with the masses he’s visiting. Provided they’ve met the needs of the trip and cater specifically to the pope’s preferences, he’s not picky.  (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2021

Toyota financial

Last week, Toyota financial results for the fiscal year that ended March 31st were announced. Vehicle sales totaled 7,646,000, a decrease of 1,309,000 units, or a little less than 15 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

Net revenue was $256.7 billion, an 8.8 percent decrease. Operating income decreased from $22.6 billion to $20.7 billion, while income before taxes amounted to $27.6 billion. Net income was up from $19.2 billion to $21.1 billion.

(Read More…)

By on May 20, 2021

Ford F-150 Lightning

The Ford F-150 Lightning has been the hot topic of the day in the auto world since its unveiling last night, and we here at TTAC HQ are no exception.

Just this morning, our Slack discussion was about the truck’s sales potential. We came to the not-at-all surprising conclusion that yes, it will sell.

(Read More…)

By on May 19, 2021

Texas lawmakers have presented Senate Bill 1728 as a way to nail electric vehicles for circumventing fuel taxes, sending everyone into a tizzy. Electrification has become about more than simply developing new powertrains under the auspices of environmentalism and it’s observable in this week’s headlines. But let’s discuss what SB 1728 hopes to achieve so that you might make up your own mind without this author’s forthcoming influence.

If passed, the bill would raise fees on EVs as a way to make up for the gas tax they’re not paying. The proposed legislation stipulates an annual fee of between $190 and $240, an additional fee of at least $150 for anyone who drives their car more than 9,000 miles a year, and then 10 bucks per year for the local charging advisory council. The rules would come into effect this September and raise an estimated $37.8 million for the State Highway Fund in 2022. While we cannot say whether that money will be used responsibly, the pretense is that the funds will be used to “[equalize funding for] road use consumption for alternatively fueled vehicles.” (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2021

Tesla autonomously

A Tesla autonomously rammed a Snohomish County, Washington sheriff’s deputy’s Ford Explorer SUV. As reported by Nexstar Media Wire, the incident occurred over the weekend.

The parked SUV sustained heavy damage. There were no injuries to the driver or the deputy. There was no word on the extent of the damages to the Tesla.

(Read More…)

By on May 17, 2021

Foxconn

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Technology Group, announced that it signed a development and manufacturing agreement with Fisker. Foxconn is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers and the producer of Apple’s iPhone.

(Read More…)

By on May 13, 2021

Hyundai Motor

Hyundai Motor Group, makers of Hyundai and Kia autos, announced today their intent to invest $7.4 billion in the US by 2025. Electric vehicles, production facilities, and smart mobility is where the money will go.

(Read More…)

By on May 10, 2021

General Motors is asking the federal government to reset the federal EV tax credit system, effectively requesting a personal favor. As one of the first manufacturers to get an electric vehicle to market that people actually wanted to buy, GM hit the 200,000 cumulative EV sales cap in 2018. While customers could still get money back through April of 2020, the automaker exhausted its allotment of $7,500 subsidies before most of its rivals.

Now it wants to see the government press the reset button on the program under a pretext of fairness. GM executives are claiming that companies investing in electrification shouldn’t be handicapped by not getting additional money from taxpayers. It seems anything but fair, frankly. Though it should be said that all-electric models have a poor track record in terms of profitability. The Chevrolet Bolt certainly didn’t make any money, however, GM CEO Mary Barra has said new versions of the model will be capable of turning a profit.  (Read More…)

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