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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
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
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
MORE CHIP SALES IMPACTS
Ford’s U.S. Sales
Decline 33% in August as Chip Shortage Devastates Auto
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.
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
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.
Production Downtime at Kansas City Plant Due to Chip
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
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
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
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
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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