TOYOTA TO SLASH EV COSTS BY HALF
Targets 10% range degradation in 10 years
Toyota on Tuesday outlined a battery-development push aimed at slashing costs and increasing battery lifespan. The automaker plans to spend $13.5 billion on battery development through 2030, with the goal of reducing battery cost per vehicle by 50% over the Toyota bZ4X, the electric crossover the automaker plans to launch next year, CTO Masahiko Maeda said in a presentation to media and investors.
Beginning with the bZ4X (concept vehicle shown at 2021 Shanghai Auto show), Toyota plans to reduce the amount of electricity used per kilometer (or mile) of driving by 30%, Maeda said. That will allow for reduced battery capacity, which by itself should reduce cost per vehicle by 30%, he added. Other cost reductions will be achieved through material and battery-structure changes. Toyota is also targeting long battery lifespans. Starting with the bZ4X, the automaker believes it can limit range degradation to just 10% after 10 years of use.
"We will also aim to commercialize all-solid-state batteries," Maeda said in the presentation. In June of last year, Toyota began testing a prototype vehicle powered by solid-state batteries on a test track, moving to public-road tests in August, he said.
However, initial data showed that "short service life" was a problem, Maeda said. He noted that development work will continue, but didn't confirm a target date for the launch of solid-state batteries in production cars. This ambitious talk doesn't entirely match up with what Toyota has been saying in the United States. So far, the automaker has outlined goals that essentially match what it would be required to do under California's next-generation ZEV standards, which aim for 80% EVs by 2035. While claiming Toyota isn't anti-EV, executives have suggested it's too early to focus on EVs, and that the automaker will wait until it feels demand is stronger.
In addition to the bZ4X, which is scheduled to go on sale globally in 2022, Toyota has at least one more electric model planned for the U.S. By 2025, Toyota wants 40% of its U.S. sales to be electrified models (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs), and expects that to increase to nearly 70% by 2030.
Source: Green Car Reports
CANADA'S NEW AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHT RULES COMBAT "PHANTOM VEHICLES
As of September 1, all new vehicles must have headlights and taillights that turn themselves on at dark and dashboards that stay dark if the headlights are off.
Transport Canada's new law, known as the Canadian Vehicle Lighting Regulation, requires changes to the way car headlights operate in the Great White North. First, any vehicle with daytime running lights will have to also turn on the taillights when the DRLs come on. Second, headlights, taillights, and side marker lights will have to turn on automatically when it's dark out. Third, and this is the part that would have helped me, the dashboard has to stay dark until headlights are turned on, to make sure the driver realizes that their lights are off. All new vehicles—including cars, trucks, SUVs, three-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles, and heavy trucks—sold in Canada will be subject to this new regulation.
Automakers have had time to get their vehicles to comply with the new regulations, because they've been in the works since 2019, when Transport Canada announced the changes. No similar change has been announced for the U.S.
Source: Car and Driver
HOW LONG CAN OEMS HOLD ON TO THEIR ICE OPERATIONS?
The internal-combustion engine is in the sunset of its existence. How long it will be around is something we can debate, but with so many countries banning sales of new cars with piston engines within a decade, the end is in sight. Now the question for OEMs is, how do you wind down your traditional powertrain operations? Volvo Cars is going all-electric by 2030. It recently spun off its ICE powertrain ops, including R&D, engineering, procurement, IT and manufacturing. It formed a joint venture with its parent company Geely and that JV will make ICEs for some of Geely's other brands and will try to sell ICEs to any customer who will buy them. Other automakers should study what Volvo did.
MORE CHIP SALES IMPACTS
Ford's U.S. Sales Decline 33% in August as Chip Shortage Devastates Auto Industry
U.S. sales of Ford Motor's new vehicles last month declined by 33.1% from a year earlier due to an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips that's wreaking havoc on the automotive industry, the company said Thursday. The Detroit automaker's sales capped off a dismal month of U.S. auto sales in August, which plummeted to an adjusted selling rate of 13.09 million vehicles. That's the worst pace since June 2020 and down from this year's peak of 18.5 million in April, according to auto data firm Motor Intelligence.
Geely's Volvo Cars Warns on Sales as Supply Woes Dent Output
Sweden-based automaker Volvo Car Group warned on Friday that sales volumes in the second half of 2021 could fall year-on-year after it was forced to cut production due to material shortages. The carmaker, owned by China's Geely Holding, said sales fell 10.6% from a year ago in August, despite strong underlying demand, and cautioned the potential decline in volumes in the second half could impact revenue and profit.
Customers Lose Patience as Chip Crisis Shows No Signs of Letting Up
As the global microchip shortage drags on, depleted dealership lots are sending some customers into a frenzy. When one shopper at Burns Chevrolet in Rock Hill, S.C., saw another customer peering into the Tahoe that he wanted to buy, he began shouting at her. Customer frustration likely will worsen this month as shuttered plants and slowing production lines prevent dealerships from being able to restock.
Source: Automotive News
Mercedes, VW, BMW Warn Chip Shortage Could Last Until 2023
The global semiconductor shortage may not entirely go away next year and could take until 2023 to be resolved. executives said at the IAA Munich auto show. Soaring demand for semiconductors means the auto industry could struggle to source enough of them throughout next year and into 2023, though the shortage should be less severe by then, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said. BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said he expects supply chains to remain tight well into 2022. Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said shortages will continue for the next months or even years because semiconductors are in high demand.
Source: Automotive News
Chip Shortage Seen Limiting Mexico Auto Output to 2020 Levels
Mexico's auto output this year is now expected to be similar to last year's level amid a worldwide chip shortage that had production plants running at just over 50% capacity in August. The nation produced 21% fewer vehicles last month than a year earlier, when production was already lower than usual due to the pandemic. The month's output was 6.5% lower than the average for the same month over the past 10 years, said Fausto Cuevas, head of Mexico's auto chamber, in a press conference Monday.
Ford Extends Production Downtime at Kansas City Plant Due to Chip Shortage
Ford Motor Co. next week is cutting back production at a key North American plant due to the semiconductor chip shortage that continues to disrupt auto production worldwide. The Dearborn automaker on Wednesday confirmed that both F-150 truck and Transit van production will be down at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri next week. Production and support employees for both vehicle lines will be temporarily laid off beginning Sept. 13, with an expected return date of Sept. 20, according to a notice sent to employees Wednesday and obtained by The Detroit News.
Source: The Detroit News
BUILD-TO-ORDER TREND UNLIKELY TO CIRCUMVENT IN-STORE F&I
Asked about the prospect of automaker build-to-order emphasizing captive finance and products, and costing dealers an F&I opportunity, the National Automobile Dealers Association said the transactions still end up at the dealership. Elliot Schor, JM&A Group vice president for sales operations, said he felt build-to-order was more done "out of necessity" because of the limited inventory and rare from a customer demand perspective. He also doubted dealers would lose the opportunity to sell F&I products should automakers focus more on the order bank model.
Source: Automotive News
BMW BOOSTS BATTERY ORDERS
BMW AG has boosted orders for battery cells to keep pace with accelerating demand for electric cars that made up more than 11% of deliveries during the half of the year. The German carmaker now has contracts for more than 20 billion euros ($23.8 billion) of batteries, up from 12 billion euros previously, Chief Executive Officer Oliver Zipse said in an interview. The cells are destined for i4 sedans, iX sport utility vehicles and other models BMW is producing through 2024. The company plans to start switching to a new generation of batteries the following year.
2021 FORD MUSTANG MACH-E POLICE CAR CONCEPT DEBUTS IN UK
In recent months, the Ford Mustang Mach-E has made quite the impression in the UK, taking over an entire town in the country and breaking not one, but three range and charging-related records in the process. The Mach-E also offers up plenty of range to get to the beach, no matter where European owners might reside, so perhaps it's no surprise that the all-electric crossover has also attracted the attention of the law, which has led to the debut of the new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E police car concept.
Ford's "blue light" livery test car started life as a Standard Range all-wheel drive model, though the automaker plans on also offering Extended Range rear- and all-wheel drive versions. It was converted for duty by Ford's long-time partner, Safeguard SVP, a specialist vehicle company based in Essex. To transform the Mach-E into a police car, Safeguard fitted the crossover with mounting pods and brackets for the required LED lighting, which were placed in a manner that caused minimal damage to the vehicle. That lighting draws its power from the Mach-E's 12-volt battery, which is capable of lasting a long time thanks to very low power consumption. The exterior of the Mach-E police car is finished in a special livery that's designed to be highly visible both during the day and at night. "The vehicle range is uncompromised as the blue light equipment is being drawn from the vehicle's 12V battery and not the drive battery," said Terry Adams, Blue Light Direct Sales Manager, Ford of Britain and Ireland. "In future developments, we will look to increase this battery capacity to allow for additional equipment to be fitted."
Ford did not reveal when UK police departments may be able to order this specialized Mach-E, but given the strong interest shown thus far, it seems very likely to make it to production.
Source: Ford Authority
VW PLANNING TO RE-LEASE ITS USED EVS - TO KEEP HOLD OF BATTERIES
Volkswagen plans to crack an industry barrier and offer used-vehicle leases on its ID family of electric vehicles, including those in North America, as a strategy to keep control over their valuable batteries, VW executives told Automotive News. Speaking on Monday with journalists here at the Munich auto show, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said the secondary leases would allow VW to recycle the valuable battery packs into new uses, including home power centers and fast chargers.
Source: Automotive News
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