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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Back in February, Amazon helped Rivian by investing $700 million into the company. Now Amazon is helping further with one first big order.  Amazon is ordering 100,000 vans to be delivered by 2024. The first deliveries should start in 2021 and prototypes will likely be seen next year.  At that rate of production, Rivian would immediately start outselling the Nissan NV and NV200 combined.  The van is exclusive to the Amazon partnership and Rivian says it will not delay any of the R1T or R1S deliveries as it is being built on a separate assembly line at the Normal IL. facility. 
      Rivian used a skateboard chassis for their R1T and R1S, so building a van body (R1V?) over top of the skateboard shouldn't be too hard of a task. The R1T has a claimed range of up to 400 miles on a single charge and being capable of getting to an 80 percent charge inside of an hour. 
      Amazon's use for the vans is clear. They have committed to reaching the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement 10 years early with 80% of their energy use being renewable by 2024 and 100% by 2030. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Back in February, Amazon helped Rivian by investing $700 million into the company. Now Amazon is helping further with one first big order.  Amazon is ordering 100,000 vans to be delivered by 2024. The first deliveries should start in 2021 and prototypes will likely be seen next year.  At that rate of production, Rivian would immediately start outselling the Nissan NV and NV200 combined.  The van is exclusive to the Amazon partnership and Rivian says it will not delay any of the R1T or R1S deliveries as it is being built on a separate assembly line at the Normal IL. facility. 
      Rivian used a skateboard chassis for their R1T and R1S, so building a van body (R1V?) over top of the skateboard shouldn't be too hard of a task. The R1T has a claimed range of up to 400 miles on a single charge and being capable of getting to an 80 percent charge inside of an hour. 
      Amazon's use for the vans is clear. They have committed to reaching the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement 10 years early with 80% of their energy use being renewable by 2024 and 100% by 2030. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford released their new 2020 Ford Transit yesterday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. 
      While it has been updated alll over, the biggest changes are mechanical.  The biggest news is around the new all-wheel drive system. Ford designed the Transit's AWD to not raise the load floor or seat height, making the AWD model as easy as the RWD model for entry, exit, and loading.  The AWD system can send 100% of the torque to the front wheels when needed in low traction situations.  All-wheel drive will only be available on gasoline engine equipped Transits.
      Under the short hood is a choice of an all-new gasoline V6 which replaces the 3.7 liter, an all new 2.0 liter bi-turbo 4-cylinder diesel which replaces the 3.2 diesel, and a carryover 3.5 liter Ecoboost gasoline V6, now with start/stop.  Both of the gasoline engines can be ordered with heavy duty alternators to help run add-on equipment.  No matter which engine is chosen, power is shifted through a 10-speed automatic.
      All new 2020 Transits get standard driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system, and auto high-beam headlamps.  Passenger XLT versions are equipped with those features plus Ford's Co-Pilot360 which includes blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, and side and rear sensing system. 
      The 2020 Ford Transit will hit dealers Fall of 2019.
      Ford Press Release on Page 2


      A MOM, A HIKER AND A DELIVERYMAN WALK INTO A SHOWROOM; EACH DRIVES OUT IN A NEW 2020 FORD TRANSIT
      New features for best-selling Ford Transit family include available all-wheel drive for improved traction; 2020 Transit also sees two all-new engines and new 10-speed automatic transmission New driver-assist features – including standard Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and available Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies – help improve on-road confidence, uptime and productivity for customers Standard FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices helps drivers stay in touch with their vehicle, business and customers INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2019 – Proving once again that the best never rest, Ford – America’s van leader for 40 years – improves its best-selling Transit family with smart new technology, advanced driver-assist features and enhanced capability for a wide range of customers whether they use their vans to carry kids, seek out adventures or deliver cargo.
      “When we introduced Transit five years ago, it immediately became America’s go-to full-size van for fleets, small businesses and large families,” said Mark Buzzell, Ford director, fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “We listened to our commercial and family customers and updated Transit with useful amenities like standard Wi-Fi so kids or crew can stay connected, and helpful driver-assist features like available adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of traffic.”
      Upgrades include an available all-wheel-drive system, all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel, all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 gasoline engine with port fuel and direct injection and new 10-speed automatic transmission, plus new interiors and seating options.
      The 2020 Ford Transit offers the most vehicle configurations in its class to help customers specify just the right van for any job. In addition to cargo van, passenger van, chassis cab and cutaway, a new crew van joins the lineup. It can carry five people in two rows of seating with side curtain airbags. Tailored for owners who need to move larger crews plus gear to a job site, the crew van is an enhancement to the 2020 Ford Transit family based on customer feedback.
      A more capable Transit
      Because work doesn’t stop when the weather gets bad, Transit offers an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s always on to provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads.
      “We integrated Transit’s new all-wheel-drive system into the vehicle design early on to ensure it does not raise the load floor or seat height, making this van configuration as easy to enter and exit as the standard rear-wheel-drive model,” said Ray Eyles, Ford Transit chief program engineer. “This is a significant benefit for commercial drivers who are in and out of their vehicles dozens of times a day, as well as for shuttle bus passengers and families.”
      In normal mode, this all-wheel-drive system continuously monitors and optimizes torque output with the capability of sending up to 100 percent of available torque to the front wheels to help prevent slipping on loose surfaces. Using the vehicle’s selectable drive modes, the driver can engage mud and ruts or slippery modes at any speed to help increase the all-wheel-drive system’s capability for traveling in challenging conditions. All-wheel drive is available with gasoline powertrains.
      With 2020 Transit chassis cab and cutaway models, customers can also carry more, as the maximum GVWR increases from 10,360 pounds to 11,000 pounds.
      New and improved powertrains are designed to meet a wide range of customer needs including advances in fuel efficiency. The all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 is the new standard gasoline engine. It features port fuel and direct injection for improved efficiency versus the outgoing 3.7-liter engine. An available all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel engine is more fuel-efficient and offers more power and torque than the outgoing 3.2-liter diesel engine. It is equipped with Auto Start-Stop and is quieter than its predecessor. Customers can also choose the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost® gas engine, which now includes Auto Start-Stop Technology, as well. Both gas engines can be ordered with dual 250-amp alternators to provide a robust power supply for upfit equipment.
      All engines are paired with Ford’s proven 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers a wide span of gear ratios, off-the-line performance and low engine speeds while highway cruising – all designed to contribute to improved fuel efficiency for model year 2020.
      Nicely equipped, Transit is easy to drive
      Ford adds new driver-assist features to an already well-equipped van to create the smartest Transit ever. These features can decrease the likelihood of an accident and improve uptime.
      New driver-assist features standard on every 2020 Transit cargo van, crew van, passenger van, cutaway and chassis cab include Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps.
      Transit passenger van XLT is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™, which includes the features listed above plus Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage and cross-traffic alert. A new side sensing system joins the existing reverse sensing system as standard on XLT.
      Available enhanced active park assist can simplify maneuvering into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots. With the touch of a button, it provides prompts to the driver to manage gear selection, accelerator and braking, while Transit automatically steers itself into place. Enhanced active park assist includes park-out assist, which automatically steers the van out of a space while the driver controls the gear shifter, accelerator and brakes, making for less stress.
      Other new driver-assist features available include adaptive cruise control, front and rear split-view camera and adjustable speed limiting device.
      Smart and connected Transit is incredibly useful and fun
      The ability to stay in touch comes standard with the new Transit with an embedded FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices – fun for families and incredibly useful for commercial customers who use their van as mobile office or workshop. USB outlets in every row of the passenger van can even mitigate family squabbles.
      Fleets can further enhance efficiency by choosing available new Ford Telematics™ and Ford Data Services™, which put an array of tools at the disposal of fleet managers. Fleet managers can optimize their business with easy-to-use features like detailed live map GPS tracking with order-to-delivery status, geofencing with alerts and key performance indicators. Fuel waste reporting helps identify ways to save costs, while Ford Telematics suggests coaching opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and reveal concerns like seatbelt use or speed compliance. Managers can receive proactive maintenance notifications and vehicle health alerts, enabling them to schedule service, plan ahead and maximize uptime.
      Other technology updates include a center stack that can be optioned two different ways – either with a standard 4-inch full-color multifunction display or 8-inch slim-line touch screen display, each with the latest in SYNC® 3 plus Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ compatibility. A 4.2-inch productivity screen in the cluster provides vehicle information and phone call status. AppLink for SYNC allows customers to control select apps on the touch screen without plugging in their Android or iOS device.
      Form follows function
      Exterior updates for Transit are subtle but functionally driven. A new power sliding door is available for cargo van and passenger van to make getting loaded up as well as exiting the vehicle easier. Premium high-intensity discharge headlamps with signature LED surround are available. Three grilles will adorn different models in van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations – a three-bar design with black or chrome bars and an open mesh design for maximum cooling. Vans equipped with the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine get a larger grille for maximum cooling.
      Transit has a new interior with a modern dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as durable new fabrics on the seating surfaces, plus myriad cupholders and compartments for storing gear and gadgets. Grab handles are improved, vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air, and overall ergonomics are enhanced to make using everything a bit easier. Optional swivel front seats are available for the first time in response to recreational vehicle customer requests.
      The upgraded 2020 Ford Transit will ship this fall to Ford’s nationwide network of 3,000 dealers, including more than 675 dedicated Commercial Vehicle Center locations.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford released their new 2020 Ford Transit yesterday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. 
      While it has been updated alll over, the biggest changes are mechanical.  The biggest news is around the new all-wheel drive system. Ford designed the Transit's AWD to not raise the load floor or seat height, making the AWD model as easy as the RWD model for entry, exit, and loading.  The AWD system can send 100% of the torque to the front wheels when needed in low traction situations.  All-wheel drive will only be available on gasoline engine equipped Transits.
      Under the short hood is a choice of an all-new gasoline V6 which replaces the 3.7 liter, an all new 2.0 liter bi-turbo 4-cylinder diesel which replaces the 3.2 diesel, and a carryover 3.5 liter Ecoboost gasoline V6, now with start/stop.  Both of the gasoline engines can be ordered with heavy duty alternators to help run add-on equipment.  No matter which engine is chosen, power is shifted through a 10-speed automatic.
      All new 2020 Transits get standard driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system, and auto high-beam headlamps.  Passenger XLT versions are equipped with those features plus Ford's Co-Pilot360 which includes blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, and side and rear sensing system. 
      The 2020 Ford Transit will hit dealers Fall of 2019.
      Ford Press Release on Page 2


      A MOM, A HIKER AND A DELIVERYMAN WALK INTO A SHOWROOM; EACH DRIVES OUT IN A NEW 2020 FORD TRANSIT
      New features for best-selling Ford Transit family include available all-wheel drive for improved traction; 2020 Transit also sees two all-new engines and new 10-speed automatic transmission New driver-assist features – including standard Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and available Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies – help improve on-road confidence, uptime and productivity for customers Standard FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices helps drivers stay in touch with their vehicle, business and customers INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2019 – Proving once again that the best never rest, Ford – America’s van leader for 40 years – improves its best-selling Transit family with smart new technology, advanced driver-assist features and enhanced capability for a wide range of customers whether they use their vans to carry kids, seek out adventures or deliver cargo.
      “When we introduced Transit five years ago, it immediately became America’s go-to full-size van for fleets, small businesses and large families,” said Mark Buzzell, Ford director, fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “We listened to our commercial and family customers and updated Transit with useful amenities like standard Wi-Fi so kids or crew can stay connected, and helpful driver-assist features like available adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of traffic.”
      Upgrades include an available all-wheel-drive system, all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel, all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 gasoline engine with port fuel and direct injection and new 10-speed automatic transmission, plus new interiors and seating options.
      The 2020 Ford Transit offers the most vehicle configurations in its class to help customers specify just the right van for any job. In addition to cargo van, passenger van, chassis cab and cutaway, a new crew van joins the lineup. It can carry five people in two rows of seating with side curtain airbags. Tailored for owners who need to move larger crews plus gear to a job site, the crew van is an enhancement to the 2020 Ford Transit family based on customer feedback.
      A more capable Transit
      Because work doesn’t stop when the weather gets bad, Transit offers an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s always on to provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads.
      “We integrated Transit’s new all-wheel-drive system into the vehicle design early on to ensure it does not raise the load floor or seat height, making this van configuration as easy to enter and exit as the standard rear-wheel-drive model,” said Ray Eyles, Ford Transit chief program engineer. “This is a significant benefit for commercial drivers who are in and out of their vehicles dozens of times a day, as well as for shuttle bus passengers and families.”
      In normal mode, this all-wheel-drive system continuously monitors and optimizes torque output with the capability of sending up to 100 percent of available torque to the front wheels to help prevent slipping on loose surfaces. Using the vehicle’s selectable drive modes, the driver can engage mud and ruts or slippery modes at any speed to help increase the all-wheel-drive system’s capability for traveling in challenging conditions. All-wheel drive is available with gasoline powertrains.
      With 2020 Transit chassis cab and cutaway models, customers can also carry more, as the maximum GVWR increases from 10,360 pounds to 11,000 pounds.
      New and improved powertrains are designed to meet a wide range of customer needs including advances in fuel efficiency. The all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 is the new standard gasoline engine. It features port fuel and direct injection for improved efficiency versus the outgoing 3.7-liter engine. An available all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel engine is more fuel-efficient and offers more power and torque than the outgoing 3.2-liter diesel engine. It is equipped with Auto Start-Stop and is quieter than its predecessor. Customers can also choose the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost® gas engine, which now includes Auto Start-Stop Technology, as well. Both gas engines can be ordered with dual 250-amp alternators to provide a robust power supply for upfit equipment.
      All engines are paired with Ford’s proven 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers a wide span of gear ratios, off-the-line performance and low engine speeds while highway cruising – all designed to contribute to improved fuel efficiency for model year 2020.
      Nicely equipped, Transit is easy to drive
      Ford adds new driver-assist features to an already well-equipped van to create the smartest Transit ever. These features can decrease the likelihood of an accident and improve uptime.
      New driver-assist features standard on every 2020 Transit cargo van, crew van, passenger van, cutaway and chassis cab include Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps.
      Transit passenger van XLT is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™, which includes the features listed above plus Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage and cross-traffic alert. A new side sensing system joins the existing reverse sensing system as standard on XLT.
      Available enhanced active park assist can simplify maneuvering into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots. With the touch of a button, it provides prompts to the driver to manage gear selection, accelerator and braking, while Transit automatically steers itself into place. Enhanced active park assist includes park-out assist, which automatically steers the van out of a space while the driver controls the gear shifter, accelerator and brakes, making for less stress.
      Other new driver-assist features available include adaptive cruise control, front and rear split-view camera and adjustable speed limiting device.
      Smart and connected Transit is incredibly useful and fun
      The ability to stay in touch comes standard with the new Transit with an embedded FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices – fun for families and incredibly useful for commercial customers who use their van as mobile office or workshop. USB outlets in every row of the passenger van can even mitigate family squabbles.
      Fleets can further enhance efficiency by choosing available new Ford Telematics™ and Ford Data Services™, which put an array of tools at the disposal of fleet managers. Fleet managers can optimize their business with easy-to-use features like detailed live map GPS tracking with order-to-delivery status, geofencing with alerts and key performance indicators. Fuel waste reporting helps identify ways to save costs, while Ford Telematics suggests coaching opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and reveal concerns like seatbelt use or speed compliance. Managers can receive proactive maintenance notifications and vehicle health alerts, enabling them to schedule service, plan ahead and maximize uptime.
      Other technology updates include a center stack that can be optioned two different ways – either with a standard 4-inch full-color multifunction display or 8-inch slim-line touch screen display, each with the latest in SYNC® 3 plus Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ compatibility. A 4.2-inch productivity screen in the cluster provides vehicle information and phone call status. AppLink for SYNC allows customers to control select apps on the touch screen without plugging in their Android or iOS device.
      Form follows function
      Exterior updates for Transit are subtle but functionally driven. A new power sliding door is available for cargo van and passenger van to make getting loaded up as well as exiting the vehicle easier. Premium high-intensity discharge headlamps with signature LED surround are available. Three grilles will adorn different models in van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations – a three-bar design with black or chrome bars and an open mesh design for maximum cooling. Vans equipped with the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine get a larger grille for maximum cooling.
      Transit has a new interior with a modern dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as durable new fabrics on the seating surfaces, plus myriad cupholders and compartments for storing gear and gadgets. Grab handles are improved, vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air, and overall ergonomics are enhanced to make using everything a bit easier. Optional swivel front seats are available for the first time in response to recreational vehicle customer requests.
      The upgraded 2020 Ford Transit will ship this fall to Ford’s nationwide network of 3,000 dealers, including more than 675 dedicated Commercial Vehicle Center locations.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQV Concept at the Geneva International Auto Show today.  The concept features a 100 kWh battery that enables the van to travel up to 249 miles (400 km) on a single charge.  Rapid charging functionality enables 62 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
      The concept utilizes a front drivetrain with 201 hp electric motor.  The motor, transmission, cooling system and power electronics come together in a compact integral unit.  The battery is placed under the load floor and takes up no room in the passenger compartment.
      While this is a concept, Mercedes says that a production version of this van will come to market. No word yet on when that will be, though the word "soon" was used.




       
       
      Related:
      Geneva 2019: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC gets a refresh
      Mercedes Benz Introduces the New AMG GLE 53
      Curtains for the Mercedes-Benz SLC
       
  • Posts

    • Only have ridden it 3 times so far because of the weather here, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. The clutch is heavy, I'm going to need to do hand exercises or just ride it a heck of a lot more to work up the muscles in my left hand.  I brought it to work this morning so I can drop it off for state inspection. Thinking back, this is the biggest bike I think I've ridden, maybe not the heaviest, but certainly the largest engine and most powerful.  It's a lot of bike and I'm still getting used to it. One of the nicest things that makes me glad I bought it is that once I'm rolling, it doesn't really matter what gear I'm in, I can just roll on the throttle and go without having to downshift. Love the torque.
    • The only reason ICE vehicles considerably increased in costs is because now active safety systems became standard.  That alone increased costs of all vehicles by at least $3-5k.  Before active safety systems came into play the yearly increase in vehicle cost was only few hundreds at most to compensate for the inflation. The price disparity between comparable  ICE and BE vehicle is still significant and so far doesn't seem to decrease.  It might change in the future, but as of right now it is a valid argument.  It is a dead horse argument already but so is getting daily bombarded about other side of the argument which you seems to ignore.  
    • I feel you are omitting the competition factor here. Plywood, I suppose, only competes with OSB, tho I imagine the same companies manufacture both. It's pricing is much more directly tied to supply & demand, having no 'MSRP'. BE's have to compete with IC directly, and built by a multitude of companies. Price is the primary factor for consumers. Look at it this way- if the Model 3 came out at $25K, where do you think it's sales (sans production limitations) would be?
    • And all of those models (with the exception of the TB due to it short time out) have gradually gone up in price with every passing year. Again, it should be stated that BEV cost savings have been mostly with batteries in mind. It does not take into consideration how those BEVs will be packaged or optioned before they are shipped off to dealerships. Same reason why ICEs engines have gone down in certain costs while the cars they go into have not. There is a clear distinction to made here if folks bothered to actually see it instead of the endless back and forth and dead horse beating about "Well, David said they'd be cheaper and they're not so lets continually attack him while not understanding the context of what he was saying in the first place". Apparently one week timeouts have not changed this habit for some. Actually the timber industry has had a history of promising lower prices on lumber while rarely delivering on it, going all the back to the early 1900s. They are still doing it despite the sharp increase in lumber prices over the last year. It's an easy search.
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