Tag: EVs

By on March 30, 2020

With the United States on pause for the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve been left scratching our heads as to how it might impact the timetable of numerous vehicles slated to debut later this year. Apparently, working remotely isn’t as big a hassle for engineers as one might assume — provided the car is nearing completion. Ford is reportedly continuing development of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E by allowing staff to tweak and test prototypes from their homes.

Ideally, the crossover would be spending more time on factory proving grounds while being fussed over by a full complement of engineers. Yet Ford faces a situation where that’s not possible and doesn’t want it stalling the model’s launch. This is the automaker’s first real attempt at a purpose-built EV and the timing is important. A bad impression could send investors running for the hills; meanwhile, any delay would bring the Mach-E that much closer to obsolescence in the minds of customers.  (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

News arose yesterday that General Motors’ and Ford Motor Company’s battle plans rely heavily on SUV and pickup sales, rather than electric vehicles. Details of the corporate strategies, first shared by Reuters, soon circulated through the media, with many outlets upset that the pair seem to have oversold the role electrification will play in their respective lineups through 2026. One wonders how they could possibly be this surprised.

Using data issued to parts suppliers from the two automakers, AutoForecast Solutions predicted North American production of SUV models from GM and Ford will outpace the assembly of traditional cars by more than eight to one in 2026. Roughly 93 percent of those models are expected to be dependent upon gasoline. Meanwhile, Reuters compared the manufacturers’ strategy against Tesla — a company that only exists for the explicit purpose of selling EVs and has never assembled a gas-powered automobile — as if all manufacturers are equal in scope and cater to the same type of customers.  (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

A brace of road-oriented electric crossovers will join the upcoming XJ at Jaguar Land Rover’s historic Castle Bromwich assembly plant, Autocar reports. The UK plant, formerly home to wartime aircraft production, will pivot to EVs with the help of a $1.2 billion investment.

With Jag pulling the bulk of its volume from crossovers, the addition of a larger crossover is a no-brainer; meanwhile, Land Rover’s shadowy Road Rover is said to be a go — minus the name itself. That leaves the slow-selling XE and XF sedans as the big question marks in the brand’s future lineup. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

It was hardly much of a secret, but BMW’s development of a fully electric 7 Series sedan is now officially confirmed. In comments made Wednesday at a financial press conference in Germany, BMW boss Oliver Zipse ushered the long-rumored sedan into the realm of reality.

The coronavirus pandemic may have Europe in a near-lockdown, but brighter days lie ahead. Eventually. And when it reaches that point, Bimmer will have to contend not just with zealous regulators, but slinky rivals, as well. (Read More…)

By on March 17, 2020

Self-isolation and social distancing — it’s all the rage these days, though your author hopped on that bandwagon long before it was cool. Lonely nights lead to fewer viruses, the thinking went. A strategy that’s panned out over time.

As you digest that completely unnecessary and frankly uncomfortable information, you may as well ponder something that’s crossed my mind repeatedly over the past few days. Perhaps you can come up with an answer. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

Volkswagen Group’s transition toward electric vehicles has been no secret. Since getting busted with software designed to defeat emissions testing five years ago, the manufacturer has trumpeted the merits of electrification at every opportunity. Still, some continue to wonder how an EV-dominant world will work, expressing concerns that peak charging hours could stress national energy grids past the breaking point.

One proposed solution is to use the connectivity available in modern cars to take power from the grid only when surplus energy is available, while feeding electricity back into it during peak draw hours. Michael Jost, VW’s head of product strategy, said this was something the automaker has been working on.  (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

Eager to make a good impression with its first serious inductee in the wild world of electrification, Ford has released winter testing footage of the Mach-E crossover. While primarily an opportunity for the Blue Oval to show its pre-production prototypes drifting through a white background, Ford also wanted to take the opportunity to explain that the all-wheel drive variant has proven particularly popular among those placing preorders.

According to the manufacturer, reservations were strongest in California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Washington. The Midwest also had elevated take rates, with snowier states opting for all-wheel drive three-quarters of the time. Ford said that ratio jumped to 9 in 10 pre-orders for areas like New England, proudly announced that reservations have finally been made in all 50 states. However, it stopped short of giving up the total number of orders placed, encouraging us to do some digging.  (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

When rumors began to spread that Jaguar was on the cusp of axing its long-running XJ (seen above) in favor of an electric car with a more versatile body, the purist in everyone no doubt squirmed at the thought. The XJ is meant to be a flagship sedan, and part of that role involves looking like one.

Jaguar did end up discontinuing the model. Now, as the XJ’s replacement draws near, we can at least inform you that it won’t look like a made-over Citroën C6 that hums. (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Image: GM

The public debut of Cadillac’s first all-electric model has hit a snag in the form of the fast-growing coronavirus epidemic. A splashy (aren’t all reveals splashy?) unveiling scheduled to take place April 2 is now scrapped, Bloomberg reports.

The article, which (strangely) positions the cancellation as a major blow for General Motors CEO Mary Barra, notes that the automaker has yet to come up with a fall-back plan for the model’s debut. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

Honda has discontinued sales of its Clarity EV in North America for 2020. Given that the manufacturer was one of the few OEMs to publicly express doubts about rampant electrification, this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise — with any residual shock being nullified by the model’s lackluster demand.

Between the Clarity Electric, (hydrogen) Fuel Cell, and Plug-In Hybrid models, Honda only saw 11,654 U.S. deliveries last year. That’s a marked decline against the 20,000 units sold in 2018 and a hint as to why the EV has been quietly put out to pasture. Most of those sales undoubtedly went to the nationally available Clarity Hybrid. Fueling restrictions have locked the hydrogen variant to California, with the Electric similarly being isolated to the Golden State and Oregon (the Beaver State).  (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2020

GM

Shedding models is a hot pastime at General Motors these days. As the automaker embarks on an electric product push, it was CEO Mary Barra’s axe that cleared the way… by chopping waning ICE-powered nameplates. With the recent loss of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6, it seems the cull is nearly complete.

Lineup pared, GM now promises electric models in every segment and at every price point — a strategy made possible (and more importantly, profitable) by a modular electric vehicle platform juiced by cutting-edge Ultium battery tech.

With economies of scale supposedly on its side, which corner of the market should GM not ignore? (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2020

2019 Cadillac XT4

God, that’s an awkward word to type… and pronounce. Regardless, the upcoming Celestiq is a halo for the brand — a fastback-style four-door electric with exclusivity in spades. General Motors envisions it as a limited-production offering, and its price will reflect its status. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2020

Yesterday was EV Day at General Motors, with the automaker revealing a $20 billion roadmap to electric vehicle dominance. By 2025, a slew of EVs riding atop a new modular platform (and powered by an innovative new battery) will find a home in every GM brand, segment, and price point, the automaker claims.

Some of those vehicles already have names. Perhaps we were too quick to call for the return of traditional naming conventions at Cadillac. (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2020

While prophecies have a habit of coming true in films and books, they rarely come to pass here in reality. Sadly, this will probably be the case with Hyundai’s new concept EV — appropriately named the Prophecy.

Responding to a voicemail left by the God of Electrification, Hyundai has moved on what is arguably one of the best-looking concept designs since the 1938 Phantom Corsair. Black, minimalist and extremely retro-futuristic, both cars rely almost entirely on the long lines of the respective aerodynamic shells to make an impression, with small details providing additional, attention-grabbing flourishes.

Hyundai says the timeless design was intentional, yet it still manages to adhere to the brand’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design philosophy. Truth be told, we’ve had a difficult time finding a common theme among its latest concepts. Some are all angles (45 Concept) while others are all about smooth curves (Le Fil Rouge Concept). The only real through line seems to be that they all look rather good wherever they’re displayed. (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2020

fca

There’s no mistaking the vehicle you see here. It’s undoubtedly a Fiat 500, and a cursory glance leaves the impression that it hasn’t changed much.

It’s true, some things haven’t changed: the next-generation Fiat 500 is still small, still a two-door, still comes in hardtop or cabriolet form, and it still wears the overall design of the previous one, albeit with subtle alterations. And yet there’s a serious change afoot here, hiding beneath a vehicle that has, actually, grown a little. (Read More…)

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