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    May 2, 2018 in Chicopee, Massachusetts, Electrify America opened their first Ultra-Fast Charging Station. Less than three years later they have 600 Ultra-Fast Charging Stations with 2,600 fast charger connections.

    Electrify America has released that they will have 800 Ultra-Fast charging stations with 3,500 fast charging connections by early 2022 covering 47 states and the District of Columbia.

    Currently Electrify America is working on new Ultra-Fast charging stations in Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont that will complete the 47 states. Electrify America says they are also opening additional stations in Montana, Minnesota and New Hampshire, states with a small EV charging network presence. States that have passed legislature such as Washington state which starting in 2030 will ban the sale of new ICE auto's will have significant expansion of Ultra-Fast charging stations.
    Electrify America Ultra-Fast Charging Stations support 150 kW charging which adds 7.5 miles of battery per minute for capable BEVs in metro stations and highway locations that support up to 350 kW chargers which add 23 miles of battery per minute. Select stations will have solar panel canopies that not only give shade to customers while charging but help to minimize the impact on the local electrical grid via a battery storage system.

    Electrify America Opens 600 Public Ultra-Fast Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Less Than Three Years - Electrify America NEWSROOM

    William Maley

    We'll Pick You Up (in a used car)

    Around this time last year, rental car companies found themselves selling off a fair amount of their inventory as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the travel industry. With travel starting to bounce back, rental car companies now find themselves with a new problem - a shortage of vehicles to rent. Usually, they would turn to automakers and buy up a batch of new cars to shore up inventory. But the on-going semiconductor shortage has automakers cutting back on production, and causing rental companies to look at used cars.
    “You would never go into auction to buy routine sedans and SUVs. These are special circumstances. There is a shortage of cars,” said Maryann Keller, an independent consultant.
    Bloomberg reports that rental car companies do buy a small amount of used cars in the event of an sudden rise in demand, but not to fully outfit their fleet.
    New car production has been hampered since last year as plants were shut down to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Production was starting to climb back up later in the year only to be hampered again by another crisis, the lack of semiconductors and chips needed for various systems. In their first-quarter earnings call, Ford reported production was down 17 percent and could fall as much as 50 percent in the second quarter. Other automakers are making similar statements.
    “Our fleet acquisition team is working hard to secure additional vehicles -- both new and low-mileage used vehicles -- through all channels to meet the ongoing increase in demand.Overall, though, both new and used car inventory remain low. Our teams will continue to do everything we can to help customers with their transportation needs,” Enterprise spokeswoman Lisa Martini said via email.
    There is a silver lining for rental car companies as they'll be able to charge higher rates as many people begin to take vacations after spending a lot of time at home. For example, the average rate at Avis increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter, to $59.43 a day according to Hamzah Mazari, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. He expects that number to rise to $60.00 when Avis reports their first quarter results.
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)


    LiNa Energy is commercializing a cobalt and lithium free solid-state sodium battery suited for the growing BEV and grid storage markets. LiNa technology believes it can not only help the world get to a net-zero by 2050, but help achieve it sooner.

    As of February 23rd, 2021 ion Ventures and LiNa Energy released their results of their first successful trial of the proprietary solid-state sodium battery platform at an undisclosed South East England location. ion Ventures, a 21st century utility and energy storage infrastructure specialist with LiNa Energy a solid-state battery technology developer had finished the final milestone of the prestigious UK BEIS Award.

    LiNa Energy was formed in the summer of 2017 as a spin-out of Lancaster University. The goal was to apply modern material engineering to the sodium-nickel-chloride battery allowing them to create a game-changing battery storage technology.
    The goal here was to commercialising a safe, cobalt-free battery platform that would be suited for both BEV and Grid Storage by the Utility industry at a substantial reduced cost. The achievement was that they hit $50 per kWh which is a substantial reduction over current battery technology. LiNa Energy went even further in focusing on a superior solid state cell design that also did not need Lithium removing both rare earth elements as they successfully created a solid-state sodium battery.
    Development time was just under two years from concept to development and finally operational prototype that produced energy density comparable to todays existing lithium/cobalt batteries. They went even further in building a battery pack that can operate in a wide range of temperatures and does not require expensive cooling systems. 
    The aim of this trial was to demonstrate the ability to charge and discharge a battery module containing LiNa's patented system design which included optimized thermal and electrical management and control systems. LiNa Energy created the battery platform and ion Ventures is leading the deployment of the battery in real-word environment with a view to deploying it in the grid storage market near future.
    The benefit of LiNa battery cell design is that this helps to manage grid volatility created by the decline in fossil fuel generated power by providing a synthetic source of inertia as the world moves towards green power generation. Lithium-ion technology is the dominant chemistry for battery storage systems. The LiNa Platform is a disrupting technology to the Lithium-Ion batteries currently being used in Grid storage markets, passenger and commercial vehicles (BEVs). 
    The clean-tech specialist consultancy BEIS Award, E4Tech performed an independent, strategic study of the stationary grid storage application based on LiNa's Technology. They identified that LiNa's platform was superior to existing Lithium-Ion based storage in regards to distribution, generation level storage and behind the meter owing to superior CAPEX, OPEX, LCC, battery self-discharge and safety metrics.

    The next step is to setup a commercial large scale production for taking this battery technology to market focused on the following:
    Utility Scale Storage: Transmission grid Distribution grid Generation level storage Behind the meter Transport: Passenger EV Commercial/heavy duty EV Bulk transport Maritime Railway Aerospace LiNa Technology hit's these very important points:
    High Performance Higher volumetric and gravimetric energy density than incumbent lithium-ion Expected significant operational cycling improvement vs. lithium-ion Low Cost: Cell Cost as mass manufacturing of c.$50 kWH Uses abundant raw materials, cobalt and lithium free and easily recycled Safe: Inherently safe system reduces system-level costs and complexity Ceramic separator is non-flammable Chemistry & IP: Underlying NaNiCl chemistry proven commercially LiNa IP is protected by several patents and 60+ years of combined specialist materials know-how
    LiNa and ion Ventures conclude successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery platform - LiNa Energy
    Technology - LiNa Energy
    ion Ventures • ion Ventures and LiNa Energy conclude successful test of pioneering solid-state sodium battery platform
    ion Ventures • homepage


    Yamaha opened the books for excepting orders for their new Hyper-EV electric motor with up to 350 kW power output per motor, 1.4 MW total in four motor AWD configuration.

    Yamaha Motor Co. announced April 12, 2021 their new Hyper-EV motor allowing them to reach the highest output density for the EV class. In the past, Yamaha has been selling their first generation EV motor that had a range of 35 - 200 kW for auto's and mobility applications. Today's new generation of Hyper-EV motors now boasts output up to 350kW (469 hp) @ 800 volts per motor or a total of 1.4MW or 1,877 hp in a four motor AWD configuration.

    Yamaha is taking EV motor development to a new industry leading level by leaving behind the module components mechanical and electrical separate units. This newly developed electric motor is a compact unit that combines mechanical and electrical as a single entity, integrating the gear, inverter into a single unit. This is in anticipation of installation of multiple units on a single vehicle.
    Yamaha will be presenting this new motor line at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2021 in Yokohama scheduled for May 26th to May 28th 2021.

    More information is expected to be released at the auto engineering show, but one can make some assumptions based on the few details on this new motor line and past details of Yamaha EV motors. Torque vectoring and redundancy of controllers is a benefit of this compact single unit in a multiple motor application.
    Consider also that Yamaha Motor Co has a considerable investment in ownership by Toyota Motor Company and since Toyota currently uses Yamaha ICE engines in certain Toyota/Lexus auto's, that this motor line could very well show up in Toyota's BEV product line that is coming. Toyota has also stated they will show off this year their 800 volt solid state battery system in a BEV that will launch a complete line of auto's for global sales. It would make sense that this motor could cover from entry level to luxury level and performance BEVs.

    Another interesting take is this motor line could find it's way into 3rd party sellers of conversion products. Convert your ICE Chevrolet Avalanche to AWD four Yamaha Hyper-EV motors with 1,877 HP giving you a large potential FRUNK with a battery pack between the wheels for a low center of gravity.
    Electric Motors | Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (yamaha-motor.com)
    Yamaha Motor Begins Accepting Orders for Prototype Hyper-EV Electric Motor Development — New electric motor reaches 350 kW class in maximum output — - News releases | Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (yamaha-motor.com)


    Project Z is the focus of Hino USA to offer zero emission Class 4 to 8 trucks to the market in the USA by 2024. March 12, 2021 Hino and Cummins announced a deal that will allow Hino to move to zero emissions sooner as they convert to Cummins motors.

    October 5th, 2020 Hino Trucks, a subsidiary of The Toyota Group Company announced their Project "Z". This was the Company's development plan to offer zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) for class 4 to 8 medium and heavy duty trucks in the North American market with customer demonstrations in 2022 and production starting in 2024.

    Project Z was a development plan to bring Fuel Cell and BEV to the whole medium and heavy duty product line for customers along side Diesel as the industry started to convert over. The long 5 year plan was expected due to the continued R&D that would be needed on Diesel trucks to meet global emission standards and the development time for fuel cell and BEV trucks.
    During the Virtual 2021 NTEA Work Truck Show, Hino Trucks announced their intent to produce all class 4 to 8 trucks using Cummins engines for sale in North America. This is the Cummins B6.7 and L9 motors to start being produced in the Hino's L and XL Series models at the end of 2021. Additional models moving forward will come out to cover all truck lines allowing for a much reduced investment in R&D while at the same time allowing Hino to ramp up their efforts to move over sooner to a Zero Emission fleet of trucks.

    As such, this announcement allows Hino and Cummins to secure long term diesel motor production for existing sales of such trucks and Hino is able to focus on Zero Emission vehicles (ZEV) using BEV and Fuel Cell technology. Hino has now moved up their time line with production of Fuel Cell and BEV trucks in Q4 of 2022 with full production by the end of 2023 rather than the end of 2024.
    A couple of take aways from both the Cummins and Hino announcements and projects:
    Hino can shift resources from Diesel R&D to Project Z. Cummins secures long term diesel powertrain commitments. Both OEMs secure a new partnership that helps offset R&D investments. Cummins partnership contracts for diesel powertrain also secures revenue stream allowing Cummins to invest in their own ZEV Powertrains. Both companies have stronger long term growth prospects with this partnership allowing both stocks to grow. Additional commitments by HINO to the battery production industry securing large size battery cell production contracts. Battery suppliers another grow industry to consider. HINO is a very popular truck line used in inner city deliveries as well as the suburbs and rural areas. Having a diverse portfolio of ZEV and Diesel trucks with a solid know power train from Cummins is a win win for Fleet buyers. Hino is lookin to lead the medium / heavy duty truck market in North America as well as around the world being ready for the needs of ZEV solutions while strongly supporting the needs of Diesel fleets.


    During 2020 Pandemic, auto sales continued in Norway giving electric auto's a 54% market share allowing the country to stay on track to stop all gas and diesel auto sales starting in 2025.

    Per Norway's own news and electrek story following up on the local news in Norway, they hit a record 54% electric auto sales market share for 2020. As more and more EV options come to market, gas and diesel sales have crashed. 
    March 2021 gas auto sales were 4.8% of the market with diesel following at 4.7% market share. This is less than half of the market share they had for the same period a year ago. Norway originally set 2025 as a target of electric auto sales only for the whole country and now are on track to ensure this happens without any issue.
    As electrick story does point out, Norway is a small and rich country with strong EV incentives. As such, this has made the auto industry take notice and try to figure out how fast the rest of the world could follow.

    Industry analysts believe the global market will hit 30% at best by 2030 for EVs. Even with or without incentives by local governments, there is strong belief by some that once enough variety is on the market, many will forgo ICE auto's for the simpler to maintain EV's.
    Frp vil fjerne bensinbilene | DN
    Norway's gas car sales are crashing to a crawl and rest of the world will follow faster than you'd think - Electrek


    Could a modular engine similar size and shape to a battery module be the answer to hybrid auto's and commercial trucks is the question Libertine of the UK believes they have answered. 

    Libertine a UK firm was awarded a 2.6 million British pounds or $3,572,543 US dollars to take their free-piston generator concept to commercial production.

    Per Libertine web site, the IntelliGEN 20-40 kWe Smart Engine platform is for OEM builders of Hybrid buses, trucks and auto's as well as distributed power applications.
    Quoting their web site:
    Robust and flexible platform for lab-based combustion development and prototype validation 20-40kWe* two stroke engines with uni-flow scavenging, configurable for light, heavy and gaseous fuels Ground-breaking free piston motion control solution for the most demanding combustion applications Advanced controls platform and analytics for low temperature combustion methods De-risks and accelerates Smart Engine generator product development programmes This free-piston engine propels magnet-equipped shafts back and forth generating electricity, the design does not produce torque. A big benefit of this motor design is that it can run on a variety of fuels from bio-fuels to renewable alcohol fuels. A small battery pack with efficient onboard generator using 100% renewable fuels Libertine believes is a solution that can drive uptake of net zero trucks before the end of this decade.
    This engine concept is not new and has been around since the early 1900's. The solution that Libertine brings to this is the software management and problem solving on how to incorporate this design into a hybrid auto. 1934 is when the first patented free-piston generator happened and these crank less engines have many characteristics that people feel benefit being applied to hybrid auto's.  

    Free-Piston motors can easily have variable compression ratio for optimized operation. Based on modern computer control allows for variable stroke length by pulse pause modulation control. Frictional losses and manufacturing costs are reduced greatly allowing for less maintenance and increased lifetime. Less lubrication is required due to the purely linear motion also giving much less vibrations due to reduced balancing issues. The advantages of a free-piston engine are pretty clear with them being as follows, simple design with fewer moving parts, giving a compact engine with low maintenance costs and reduced frictional losses. Operational flexibility via variable compression ratio allows operational optimization with multi-fuel. High piston speed and a fast power stroke expansion enhances fuel-air mixing, reducing heat transfer losses and formation of NOx or nitrogen oxides.
    gm did considerable research for the time in developing the XP 500 free-piston concept auto. Multiple reasons for not coming to market as management of the motor via software and enhanced controllers was not available then.
    Today, Libertine is leaving no stone unturned in finding solutions to help the European Union and the world become fossil free by 2040 for all heavy-duty vehicles as their pledge. The details of the intelliGEN platforms key performance was delivered in a webinar organized by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
    For more information you can reach out to the company about their various free-piston solutions / uses. 
    Home - Libertine
    intelli-GEN (intelli-gen.com)
    News & Press - Libertine
    Free-piston engine - Wikipedia
    Libertine is not the only company researching the use of free-piston motors. Durham Energy Institute is also looking to use this technology for range extending electric auto's. If costs are able to be kept low, then free-piston range extenders are a potential game changer for fully electric commercial trucks that have big energy needs.
    Full details of the Libertine technology can be reviewed here: Technology - Libertine


    The three way joint venture of GM, Shanghai Automotive and Wuling Motors has a home run with their Mini EV as they sell 200,000 EVs in 200 days.

    According to China Daily Wuling Motors, a joint venture of GM, Shanghai Automotive and Wuling Motors sold 36,000 mini EVs in January 2021 toppling Tesla's Model 3 as the worlds best-selling electric car and to add insult even if you combine Tesla Model 3 and Y combined they still did not sell as many EVs as Wuling Motors.
    Wuling Motor's Mini EV, has no connection with BMW Mini and it comes in two configurations, two or four seater, range of 106 miles and top speed of 62 mph and depending on options sells starting at $4,500 and $6,300.

    Four months before it went on sale, auto reporters were invited to share their views in March 2020. They over all said it would not sell in big cities where international brands were preferred and chances would be slim in small towns or rural areas where people were constantly choosing gasoline auto's. These views have proved wrong and with it the facts that EVs at an attractive price point would sell in large numbers to the general population.
    The Mini EV has safety front and center with 57% of the auto made of High Strength Steel. It also has anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and reversing radar. The back seats are equipped with two ISOFIX child safety seat restraint interfaces to cater to young families.
    The auto has 13 kW of Power (17.5 hp) and 85 Nm of torque (115.3 ft-lbs) to go along with a smart battery management system that uses pre-heating and battery insulation to deal with cold or heat as well as IP68 water proofing and dustproofing of the battery system. The mini EV is 2,917 mm long (115 inches), 1,493 mm wide (59 inches) and 1,621 mm high (64 inches) on a 1,940 mm (76 inches) wheelbase. Ultimate inner city or urban commuting auto.

    Wuling Motors now has requests from 150 counties / regions in China asking when will the Mini EVs go on sale. As production ramps, so will new outlet offering the Mini EV.
    Statistics are currently showing that the majority of buyers are in small cities / towns with 72% of these buyers born in the 90's and 60% of them are female.
    Where Tesla is considered a toy for the Rich, Wuling has gone after the Companion to the young independent Woman / Man. Selling points have been easier to park and maneuver especially for new drivers. The range while short in comparison to Tesla is more than enough for commuting to work, easy to charge at home over night as well as cute, customizable and affordable.

    Wuling motors has been showing GM how to build profitable small auto's and market them for success. Wuling says you sell them like designer clothes, not like traditional auto's. Wuling has achieved this by partnering with Pantone, the global authority on Color and Design.  In addition, Wuling / GM / Shanghai automotive are working on partner deals of co-branding with Disney and Nike for the regional markets.
    The focus has been  rather than copy everyone one else on making auto's that look like Tesla and sell much higher, Wuling has focused on the last mile of mobility and looking good while arriving. Wuling is also launching e-bikes and scooters as it has branded itself as a Lifestyle Brand not an auto company.


    Alpha Motor Corporation releases for reservations the WOLF two person electric pickup truck. Available in AWD or FWD with with a 3000 lbs towing capacity, zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.2 seconds and a 275 mile range.

    Alpha Motor Corporation or AMC released for reservation the WOLF pickup truck March 11th 2021.

    The WOLF has the following projected specifications:
    MSRP $36,000 to $46,000 depending on configuration (does not include $7,500 federal EV tax credit) Battery range of 250 to 275 plus miles with rapid charging, battery heating/cooling for optimum performance Single motor FWD or Dual motor AWD 0 to 60 mph of 6.2 seconds acceleration 1360kg or 3000lbs towing capacity Length - 4765mm or 188 inches Width - 1930mm or 66 inches Truck bed - 1652mm or 65 inches (5ft 4 inches) length, 1490mm or 59 inches wide, 397mm or 16 inches deep Wheels - 16" to 18" LED lighting with Daytime running lights Two passenger seating Interior cargo 34.5 cubic feet Digital display for driver and wide format center display Premium seat and trim material Bluetooth connectivity Premium Sound system.
    The WOLF truck is a multi-purpose electric utility truck designed for those wanting a solid four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive pickup with no carbon emissions representing Alpha's commitment to move humanity with innovations in electric vehicle modularity, customization flexibility, and practicality.
    This is one of 6 auto's to be built on the Alpha platform with deliveries currently scheduled to start in 2023 to customers.
    This is where old school truck looks meet 21st century technology allowing for the best of both worlds in a comfortable clean air mini pickup.
    As comparison, the shortest Toyota Tacoma pickup is 212 inches, if you go back to the 70's such as the Chevrolet Luv truck with it's standard 6ft bed was only 173.8 inches long or 190.9" long with the optional 7 1/2ft long bed.
    AMC Wolf Electric Pickup - Cheers and Gears
    Alpha Motor Corporation (alphamotorinc.com)


    Magna's eBeam technology brings electrification to todays pickups removing the need to have a separate EV platform.

    Magna's eBeam technology announcement today aims to reduce the cost of building a new EV or electrical vehicles platform. The costs associated with a new platform to move to electrification from a traditional ICE is slowing down the ability to get product to market.

    Magna's eBeam technology is focusing on allowing to keep the existing pickup trucks capabilities while transitioning to electrification. This is the first significant solid beam rear axle change in more than 100 years according to Magna.

    Magna's eBeam technology is scalable giving auto makers the ability to electrify their trucks without sacrificing utility and functionality. eBeam technology can be integrated with a battery for pure BEV or connected to a Hybrid system thus supporting high-payload vehicles and matching continuous-duty power usage.
    This technology supports existing breaking and suspension systems giving auto makers a quick way to electrify their trucks and preserving towing and payload capabilities.

    Magna's eBeam family comes in power choice of 120 kW (161hp) and 250 kW (335hp) and allows three variants.
    Single motor, single speed Single motor, two speeds Twin motor, single speed including torque vectoring

    Magna has additional powertrain solutions for the front of the truck to support electric 4WD that includes software and controls for a seamless integration.
    News Release - Magna Drives Pickup Truck Electrification With Its New eBeam Technology


    Canoo Life Style vehicle company confirmed today that a slip on Reddit about a pickup truck is factual and will be out for sale in 2023. 

    Canoo is an EV startup that in 2019 showed to the world a subscription service auto called the Life Style Vehicle.

    This EV had a center based driving position and to some reminded people of the VW Microbus. Fast forward a few years and Canoo is now a publicly traded company that has considerable patents on EV powertrain and other components and under a new CEO had up to today two products planned that the public knew about. The Canoo LifeStyle auto pictured above and their MPDV or Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle pictured below.

    An unknown source leaked on Reddit that Canoo was planning to enter the lucrative and highly competitive North American truck market. As such Canoo has confirmed and released a press release about their new Lifestyle Pickup truck.
    According to Canoo, this truck will be the perfect work truck as it will feature a powered workbench, tool storage along with a modular expandable bed and more.

    Press Release Quote:
    Pull-out Bed Extension:
    The pickup truck bed is six feet long and can extend to a fully enclosed eight feet, allowing big items such as a 4 by 8 ft sheet of plywood to easily fit inside. The pull-handle bed extension also helps with loading and unloading the truck. The extension also serves as a license plate holder. When the bed is extended, a second layer of tailgate doors can be swiveled out. The bed-extension also houses a secondary lamp, containing all tail lamp functions, so the truck can be driven while the bed space is maximized.

    Fold Down Worktable + Cargo Storage:
    To offer the greatest customer utility, the pickup features a front cargo storage area that can hold tools or gear, also includes a fold down worktable with electrical outlets. The workstation table is extendable to allow customers to have maximized work surface on the go, in addition to providing an area to put on gear before heading out exploring.

    Flip-Down Side Tables:
    Both sides of the vehicle house a flip down table in two expandable depths. Built into the side panel of the truck bed, the flip-down side table becomes a workbench with multi-functional power sources in close proximity.

    Side Step + Storage:
    On the side of the vehicle there is a hidden step to allow quick and easy access to the truck bed. Underneath the step is a flexible storage area for items including: a first-aid kit, cooler for snacks and drinks, lockable laptop storage and more. This space efficient feature is only possible due to Canoo’s ultra-flat platform.

    Modular Bed with Space Dividers:
    The truck bed is modular with the use of Canoo’s space divider system designed to keep items separate and secure. The bed wall also incorporates modular wheel chocks to secure bikes and configurable tie downs for ladders, large equipment and other materials.

    Multi-Accessory Charge Port:
    The pickup truck can double as a powerplant with exportable power accessible on all sides of the vehicle. Power can last all day for tools and devices, with as little as 10% impact on vehicle range.

    Integrated Overhead + Bed Perimeter Lighting:
    The third break light doubles as an overhead light to see inside the cargo bed at night. The vehicle is also equipped with perimeter lighting on all sides of the bed wall for added visibility.

    Roof Rack:
    The pickup truck has optional roof racks in variable sizes for added cargo storage. The roof rack is easily accessible from the flatbed or via the sidestep.

    Camper Shell:
    The pickup truck has been designed to accommodate a variety of camper shells to fit as many use cases as possible.

    Canoo's Pickup Lifestyle vehicle will have the following specifications:
    Dual (AWD) or rear motor configurations Up to 600HP and 550 lb-ft of Torque with Dual Motors Payload capacity of 1,800 lbs 200+ battery range as default with longer range options. Steer and brake by wire Tow hitch receiver Wheel base of 112.2 inches / 2850 mm Overall length of 184 inches / 4677 mm (bed extension: 213 inches / 5400 mm) Width: 78 inches / 1980 mm with mirrors, 87 inches / 2209 mm Height: 76 inches / 1920 mm with roof rack 82 inches / 2085 mm Bed width & Length:  64 inches / 1627 mm x 72 inches / 1817 mm, with extension 64 inches / 1627 mm x 102 inches / 2600 mm Bed Depth: 21 inches / 525 mm Roof rack: width x length: 48 inches / 1230 mm x 54 inches / 1360 mm Tires: 265 60R18 (as shown) Canoo's Lifestyle Pickup is a cab-forward, space efficient design featuring a largest cargo capacity in the smallest footprint capable modern day truck. Bumpers have integrated tow hooks, metal skid plates and integrated fog lights. The cabin has a standard 2 buckets seats with a customizable rear compartment that can accommodate additional seats or support purpose built use-case configuration of storage.

    Full details along with the full range of battery options, motor options, etc. will be released closer to production. Welcome to the ultimate lifestyle custom configurable truck by Canoo.

    Canoo's New Pickup Is All Electric, All American – Ready For Work & The Weekend | Press | Canoo
    Canoo: Electric Lifestyle, Sport and Working Vehicles


    Electric is the future and FedEx is delivering sustainability by partnering with BrightDrop for all new first-to-last-mile automotive products and ePallets as they electrify delivery of packages.

    FedEx has 700 planes and over 180,000 vehicles that range from Semi's to delivery vans. Reducing emissions is not easy especially with daily package volume grew by 99.2% from 2009 to 2019. Yet over this same period FedEx reduced CO2 emissions by 40%. This is not an easy feet.
    FedEx has focused on a simple three-pronged approach to sustainability:
    Reduce Replace Revolutionize This simple focus has allowed FedEx to reduce their environmental impact in their fleet, facilities and material choices. FedEx has accomplished much through upgrading their fleet of planes to be one of the most modern around to reusable shipping packages.
    FedEx now move to make another major change and that is to replace their diesel delivery fleet of vans with electric vans. FedEx has choosen BrightDrop, a gm startup that has two new products at the lauch. An electric ePallet and the electric delivery van.
    The electric ePallat or EP1 is a propulsion-assisted electric pallet developed to move goods over short distances. Examples are from the delivery vehicle to the customers door. The EP1 will reduce touch points, costs and physical strain on delivery drivers. The EP1 features and benefits include the following:
    Built-in electric hub motors with adjustable speed up to 3 mph depending on the operators walking pace. Maneuverable in tight spaces. Carries and secures approximately 23 total cubic feet of cargo. Payload capacity of 200 lbs. Adjustable shelving organizes contents. Lockable cabinet doors allow for secure, remote access to contents.
    BrightDrop EV600 which will be their first electric van out in late 2021 is a light commercial vehicle purpose-built for delivery of goods and services over long ranges. The EV600 includes advanced safety features and conveniences found in modern day consumer electric auto's. EV600 features and benefits include the following:
    Powered by the ultium battery system, the EV600 has an estimated range of 250 miles per charge. Peak charge rate of 170 miles per hour via 120kW DC fast charger. Over 600 cubic feet of cargo area GVWR of less than 10,000 lbs Segment leading safety features Standard safety features2 include: Front and Rear Park Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicator, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, IntelliBeam automatic high beams and HD Rear Vision Camera. Additional available safety and driver assistance features include: Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Blind Zone Steering Assist, Reverse Automatic Braking, HD Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, among others. Cargo area security system with motion sensors to help keep cargo secure. 13.4 inch diagonal full color infotainment screen Front Sliding pocket doors, wide cabin walkways and a large auto-open cargo bulkhead door all contribute to optimize driver efficiency. FedEx in partnership with gm found that their delivery drivers using the EP1 were able to deliver 25% more packages per day. BrightDrop and FedEx have additional pilots of new products taking place in 2021.
    Quote: “Our need for reliable, sustainable transportation has never been more important,” said Richard Smith, FedEx Express regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support. "BrightDrop is a perfect example of the innovations we are adopting to transform our company as time-definite express transportation continues to grow. With this new suite of products, we will help improve the safety, security and timeliness of FedEx Express deliveries, while reducing our environmental impact and protecting the well-being of our couriers."
    FedEx is the official launch customer for the BrightDrop EV600 and EP1 in the Americas region with Canada and the United States being first before expanding across the rest of Americas.
    Per FedEx, they are assessing all options for their global operations and will expand existing supplier products as possible to new regions as well as consider other products from various vendors.
    FedEx Sustainability
    GM Launches BrightDrop, a New Business That Will Electrify and Improve the Delivery of Goods and Services
    BrightDrop | Electric first to last mile delivery products (gobrightdrop.com)


    February 23rd 2021 the USPS awarded to Oshkosh Defense a contract for delivering up t 165,000 U.S. built vehicles over the next 10 years to modernize the postal delivery fleet. This will be made up of gas powered, Hybrid and electric vehicles with the first auto's set to be delivered in 2023.

    Oshkosh Defense was awarded a 10 year contract by the USPS to create, build and deliver up to 165,000 auto's for postal delivery across the United States of America. These auto's will be made up of traditional internal combustion engine, Hybrid and electrical vehicles. These purpose built, right-hand-drive vehicles will be used for mail and package delivery. A minimum of 50,000 to a maximum of 165,000 auto's over a 10 year time frame was agreed upon contract for a modern AC equipped NGDV or next generation delivery vehicle.

    Under the initial $482 million up front payment to Oshkosh Defense is the commitment to finalize the production design of the NGDV on a undefined new platform that will support ICE, Hybrid and battery electric powertrains. This is to include in this initial payment plant tooling and build-out of the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur.
    According to the press release by the USPS, the following is to be included in the final design of the NGDV.
    Modern air conditioning and heating Improved ergonomics Advanced vehicle technology to include 360-degree cameras advanced disc brakes traction control air bags front and rear collision avoidance system visual, audio warning automatic braking increased cargo capacity with standing room in the back Modern powertrains to meet the needs of extreme rural to inner city delivery The contract is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract. The USPS will have the ongoing ability to order more NGDV over the 10 year period. This is part of the current USPS Boards plan for a 10 year plan to transform the USPS into a efficient preferred delivery service provider for the American Public

    ZETA or Zero Emissions Transportation Association which is made up 51 major companies from the Auto industry to the electrical and high tech industry have come out in protest to this contract. 
    ZETA has come out protesting the locking in of the worlds largest government fleet of auto's for the next 40 years at a time when some of the largest industry leading companies are working to reduce over the next 20 years to be carbon neutral. This move by companies to be BEV leading from UPS, FedEx and Amazon shows that our own USPS needs to also move to a pure BEV. ZETA questions if the U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has the USPS best interests at heart and mind with this decision which is seen as a reckless contract awarded to a company driven by building petrol powered military vehicles.
    ZETA is asking companies across the U.S. to speak out and call on Congress to act on what is best in the U.S. interest for clean air.


    FedEx has committed to being Carbon-Neutral by 2040 by going Green Globally with an initial investment of $2 Billion dollars for auto electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration. 

    FedEx has committed to being Carbon-Neutral by 2040 by going Green Globally with an initial investment of $2 Billion dollars for auto electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration. 

    FedEx has started their corporate march to a greener cleaner planet by pledging $100 million dollars to Yale University in establishing the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. In the drive to offset current airline emissions which is a big part of FedEx business, they are heling to support the research into various methods of carbon sequestration at scale. This is where they scrub the CO2 emissions from our air and lock it away much the way trees and plants take it in and capture it inside the tree or plant which does not get released till you burn the wood or plant and release all that CO2.
    FedEx has put forth an ambitious carbon neutral goal with the following key points in this Carbon-Neutral plan.
    Vehicle Electrification. By 2040, the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet will be zero–emission electric vehicles. This will be accomplished through phased programs to replace existing vehicles. For example, by 2025, 50% of FedEx Express global PUD vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by 2030.   Sustainable Customer Solutions. FedEx will work with customers to offer end-to-end sustainability for their supply chains through carbon–neutral shipping offerings and sustainable packaging solutions.   Sustainable Fuels. FedEx will continue to invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions.   Fuel Conservation and Aircraft Modernization. FedEx will build on its successful FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives designed to reduce fuel consumption in its aircraft. Since 2012, the FedEx Fuel Sense and Aircraft Modernization programs have saved a combined 1.43 billion gallons of jet fuel and avoided over 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  Facilities. FedEx will continue efforts to make its more than 5,000 facilities worldwide more sustainable through continued investments in efficient facilities, renewable energy, and other energy management programs.   Natural Carbon Sequestration. FedEx funding will help to establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture to support applied research into natural carbon sequestration solutions.   Per FedEx own statement, since 2009 they have reduced their own CO2 emissions by 40% while package volume has increased 99%. FedEx has also ranked first in the industry on Just Capitals 2021 list of "America's Most Just Companies" for environmental category as well as first for the travel, transport and logistics sector of Newsweek's "America's Most Responsible Companies 2021".
    FedEx is leading the way for businesses who have a large impact on CO2 in reducing it and the affect on climate change.
    FedEx Press Release FedEx Commits to Carbon-Neutral Operations by 2040

    William Maley

    Remember the Detroit Auto Show?

    It has not been an easy go for the organizers of the Detroit Auto Show. Last year, they had to cancel the revamped show due to concerns about the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The hope was to launch the indoor-outdoor event that would sprawl various parts of Detroit for 2021. But with COVID-19 still a major issue, organizers this afternoon announced the 2021 version would be canceled.
    Automotive News reports that a new, outdoor program called Motor Bella will take its place from September 21st to 26th at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac - about 40 minutes north of Detroit. The new program "will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts," according to a statement released by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) - the organizers of the show. Plans are to have "1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space," along with the 1.5-mile road course for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
    “The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business. This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products," said Rod Alberts, executive director of DADA.
    Motor Bella was originally planned to be a festival for European supercars that would take place with the updated Detroit Auto Show. 
    "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars, and everything in between, It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors," said event chairman Doug North.
    There are some big questions that face organizers. Will they be able to get the revamped Detroit Auto Show launched for 2022, or will Motor Bella take the place? Plus, will COVID-19 be a point where all of us can go this event safely?
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), DADA

    New All-Outdoor Motor Bella at M1 Creates Bridge to the Future While North American International Auto Show Pauses for 2021
    TROY, Mich. – (January 11, 2021) – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today announced it will not hold its 2021 auto show as planned. Instead, show officials revealed a "bridge to the future" with an auto-centric event called Motor Bella.
    The new event will bring next-generation mobility and exciting vehicle debuts to media, show-goers and the automotive enthusiasts' world in a never before experienced way while also addressing continued COVID-19 concerns about indoor events.
    Motor Bella will be held from Sept. 21-26, 2021, at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich. Centrally located in the metro Detroit area, M1 Concourse, often referred to as an "87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts," enables exhibitors to showcase key vehicles and technologies in an outdoor setting.
    Plans call for 1.6 million square feet of dynamic vehicle and technology display space including terrain ideal for showcasing off-roading capabilities. M1 Concourse also offers a 1.5-mile hot track on the grounds for technology and vehicle demonstrations.
    "The pandemic has caused changes in our society and world in ways not previously imagined, and we all should be looking for new and highly creative ways of doing business," said Executive Director Rod Alberts. "This new event captures that creative spirit. It will provide new mobility experiences and increasingly innovative approaches to tapping into the industry and its products."
    Alberts said attendees can expect a multi-sensory experience at the new event. "This all-outdoor venue, with adrenaline-pumping track activities and a full complement of OEM and technology exhibits, is going to offer the sights, sounds and even the smell of all that the new world of mobility has to offer." 
    As auto shows around the world are being reimagined and will continue to do so in the wake of the pandemic, NAIAS had been reimagining its position for some time.
    "While auto shows remain an important platform to promote new mobility innovations and to help people make major vehicle purchase decisions, the traditional auto show model is changing," Alberts said. "We cannot ignore the major disruptions caused by the pandemic and the impact it has had on budgets. As such, we will be providing an amazing experience to the media, the auto industry and the public in a cost-effective way."
    Event Chairman Doug North noted that the M1 Concourse was envisioned as part of the 2021 Motor Bella activities, so it was "a natural progression" to build upon it in light of the growing demand for experiential mobility shows and an increased appetite for outdoor events as a result of the pandemic. Motor Bella was originally conceived as a celebration of Italian and British supercars and classic vehicles and was to have debuted at the June 2020 NAIAS.
    "With our new program for 2021, we will take the Motor Bella concept to the next level with multiple brands and mobilities represented, from hometown to international nameplates, autonomous vehicles to high-performance supercars and everything in between," North said. "It will be a mobility-filled event. One that will provide our show partners with a cost-efficient backdrop to share all of their brands, products and technologies in a fun and festival-like atmosphere that's completely outdoors." 
    Jordan Zlotoff, CEO of M1 Concourse, said, "We are proud and honored to be hosting this world-class automotive event. Motor Bella will allow journalists, industry executives and the public to interact with vehicles in a fully dynamic and experiential format, well beyond the limitations of static displays. As the largest Private Garage community in the world, we at M1 Concourse share the enthusiasm for creating a unique automotive environment built specifically for car enthusiasts."
    North added, "We see this outdoor experience at M1 as a bridge to the future. One that will continue to evolve as we explore new ways of presenting mobility and as we navigate through these unprecedented times. We are very cognizant of the importance and impact our show and our events have on the state and the entire metro Detroit area. This will always be part of our considerations for the future."
    Dates for the 2021 Motor Bella are: 
    Press Preview, Tuesday, Sept. 21 AutoMobili-D, Tuesday, Sept. 21 through a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Industry Preview, Wednesday, Sept. 22 and a half-day Thursday, Sept. 23 Public Show, Thursday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 26


    What is ZETA you ask?

    This is the first industry-backed coalition of 28 businesses and growing covering employees in all US states advocating for a national policy that supports the sale of electric vehicles only starting in 2030 of light, medium and heavy-duty auto's. This group calls for the accelerated transition to EVs.

    Securing American global EV manufacturing leadership, dramatically improving public health and significantly reducing carbon pollution is some of the key goals that ZETA or Zero Emission Transportation Association was formed for.

    This industry association is focused on creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. In quoting their www.zeta2030.org web site they state the 3 core points.
    Job Creation - Enacting ambitious, but realistic policies to accelerate transportation electrification will create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs. Congress must seize this opportunity or risk ceding this economic growth to others. Cleaner Environment - The transportation sector emits more carbon pollution than any other sector of the U.S. economy. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions and are 67% less carbon intensive than gasoline-powered auto's over their lifetime. Real Savings - By going electric, vehicle owners can save over $700 a year in Fuel and an additional $330 in annual maintenance costs. Federal, state and local incentives can drive greater consumer benefits. Their press release has the ZETA five key policy pillars:
    1. Outcome-driven consumer EV incentives. Point-of-sale consumer incentives drive adoption, provide cost reductions and achieve real results in pushing transportation electrification. In addition, incentivizing early retirements while encouraging EV adoption will speed the transition and meet the urgency of the moment.
    2. Emissions / performance standards enabling full electrification by 2030. Emission targets are a key piece of protecting public health and sending the correct market signals to support and accelerate the transition to zero emission transportation.
    3. Infrastructure investments. Strong federal charging infrastructure investments will drive the electric transportation transition and ensure that the United States is leading the way in a clean recovery where everyone is better off.
    4. Domestic manufacturing. We should not only accelerate U.S. transportation electrification, but also work to ensure that we secure domestic economic growth and leadership in EV manufacturing. Federal policies must encourage job creation and economic activity across the entire EV supply chain and lifecycle, from critical materials to vehicles.
    5. Federal leadership and cooperation with sub-national entities. Federal support should invest in research and development, provide an aligned vision for electrification, and ensure local leaders are empowered with the expertise and resources to support full vehicle electrification.
     Further details about their key issues can be found here: https://www.zeta2030.org/key-issues/
    ZETA includes the following founding members:
    ABB Albemarle Corporation Arrival ChargePoint ConEdison Copper Development Association, Inc. Duke Energy Edison International Enel X EVBox EVgo Ioneer Li-Cycle Lordstown Motors Lucid Motors Piedmont Lithium PG&E Corporation Proterra Redwood Materials Rivian Siemens Southern Company SRP Tesla Vistra Volta Uber WAVE ZETA mission statement:
    ZETA brings together those whose values and strategic interests support 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030.
    This diverse non-partisan group coordinates public education efforts and federal policy development to promote EV adoption with the goal of creating American electric vehicle manufacturing jobs, better serving consumers, improving air quality and public health, and significantly reducing carbon pollution.
    ZETA can be contacted at the following:
    Joe Britton
    Executive Director, ZETA
    David Ganske
    Communications and PR for ZETA

    William Maley

    Expect the Age to Climb Higher Due to COVID-19

    IHS Markit recently published their analysis on how long Americans are holding onto their vehicles. The average according to the firm stands at 11.9 years, the highest amount since they have been tracking this. Also, about one in four vehicles is over sixteen years old. We should note that this data came before COVID-19 started to wreak havoc on the U.S. IHS notes that new cars only made up 6.1 percent of vehicles in operation in 2019, down 0.8 percent when compared to high of 2016. This highlights falling new car sales.
    But the question lingering over automakers and analysts is will the pandemic cause sales to fall even further as more people hang on to their vehicles.
    "People are going to keep their vehicles because they don't know if they're going to be driving to work in the future, they don't know if they're going to be driving to work anytime soon even. If you're not accumulating the miles, you might keep that vehicle on the road a little longer," said Todd Campau, associate director of aftermarket solutions at IHS Markit.
    IHS estimates that new cars in operation could drop to 5% or less in the coming year or so. The firm also expects the age to climb upward in the coming years as owners consider whether or not to spend the hefty amount on a car, when their current vehicle is still quite good.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CNBC

    William Maley

    How much did the two spend on consultants to come up with this name?

    We'll excuse you if you forgot that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group have been working towards finalizing their merger considering the state of the world at the moment. But the two are making serious headway as they have announced the new name of the multi-national corporation that will form once the two merge. Meet Stellantis.
    Don't worry, you're not the only who is thinking "What" or thinking of some clever joke to make fun of this name. We'll let the two explain what this name means?
    Yeah, if this doesn't like something from a branding agency, we don't what does.
    We should note here that Stellantis will only be used at a corporate level, not as a individual brand for vehicles.
    Source: FCA
    Press Release is on Page 2

    STELLANTIS: The Name of the New Group Resulting From the Merger of FCA and Groupe PSA
    July 15, 2020 , Vélizy-Villacoublay, France and London - In a major step as they move toward the completion of their 50:50 merger as defined in the Combination Agreement announced on December 18, 2019, Peugeot S.A. ("Groupe PSA") and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. ("FCA") (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) today announce that the corporate name of the new group will be STELLANTIS.
    STELLANTIS is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars.” It draws inspiration from this new and ambitious alignment of storied automotive brands and strong company cultures that in coming together are creating one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility while at the same time preserving all the exceptional value and the values of its constituent parts. STELLANTIS will combine the scale of a truly global business with an exceptional breadth and depth of talent, knowhow and resource capable of providing the sustainable mobility solutions for the coming decades. The name’s Latin origins pay tribute to the rich history of its founding companies while the evocation of astronomy captures the true spirit of optimism, energy and renewal driving this industry-changing merger.
    The process of identifying the new name began soon after the Combination Agreement was announced and the senior management of both companies have been closely involved throughout, supported by Publicis Group.
    The STELLANTIS name will be used exclusively at the Group level, as a Corporate brand. The next step in the process will be the unveiling of a logo that with the name will become the corporate brand identity. The names and the logos of the STELLANTIS Group’s constituent brands will remain unchanged.
    As previously stated, completion of the merger project is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by both companies’ shareholders at their respective Extraordinary General Meetings and the satisfaction of antitrust and other regulatory requirements.

    William Maley

    The Trucks Are Alright, Everyone Else TBD

    Automakers for the most part were hurting in sales during the second quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economy coming to a screeching halt for a brief time caused new car sales to drop by a third according to Automotive News. But there is a slim silver lining to this, full-size pickups have moved into being the best-selling segment of vehicles.
    According to data from Automotive News, one out of four vehicles sold between April and June was a pickup truck. This helped put them ahead of compact crossovers, which have held the top spot for some time. The reason is that trucks didn't take as big of a hit due to 0 percent financing offers from automakers to help bring in buyers. A large number of dealers said they sold the majority of trucks sitting on their lots.
    Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service provides another reason why trucks didn't fall off a cliff. Speaking to AN, he said that people need trucks for work and "affluent consumers who often buy such vehicles have been less affected by the pandemic."
    Trucks still took quite the hit in the quarter,
    Chevrolet Silverado: Down 14% Ford F-Series: Down 23% GMC Sierra: Down 4% Ram: Down 35% Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Is this a good idea or not?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has basically brought most of the world to halt. Orders to stay at home, businesses either having workers to their work from home or closing down, and unemployment skyrocketing is causing the economy to crater. There are efforts to try and jump-start the economy such as $1,200 stimulus checks. But an executive at Ford wants to see a return of a "cash for clunkers" like program.
    “We think some level of stimulus somewhere on the other side of this would help not only the auto industry and our dealers, which are a huge part of our overall economy, but will help the customers as well,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service to Bloomberg.
    “Cash for clunkers was very effective at that time. It would be nice to think we could have something equally as effective for 2020 when we get out of this because it was a great program.”
    According to LaNeve, internal discussions are taking place at Ford about doing a similar program and there are plans to bring the Government in to these talks.
    When asked by Automotive News about this, Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said, "The auto industry is America’s economic engine.We are encouraging Congress to look at a variety of ways to drive job creation, increase demand, support customers and provide long-term stability for the entire auto ecosystem."
    A brief refresher on the Cash for Clunkers program. In 2009, the U.S. Government introduced a billion initiative called the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gave a voucher worth between $2,900 and $4,500 to anyone replacing a vehicle newer than 1984. Their old vehicle would be taken away and disposed of. The program was nicknamed Cash for Clunkers.
    On the surface, the program was a success. Within first month, all of the funds were exhausted. This prompted the U.S. congress infuse an addition two billion into the program, which would be all gone within 17 days. But begin to look deeper and the results are mixed. In 2012, a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics described the program as being a bit of a wash,
    "...the effect of the program on auto purchases is almost completely reversed by as early as March 2010 — only seven months after the program ended.”
    Other studies have come to the same conclusion.
    There's also the question of how many perfectly good used cars were taken off the road due to the program.
    Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Drive, The Truth About Cars

    Drew Dowdell

    ...open up!...

    A Pittsburgh Port Authority Bus became stuck in a sink hole in downtown Pittsburgh this morning.  The bus was waiting at a traffic light when the road gave way.  There were two people on the bus who were able to get off the bus safely. A Kia Optima was also left with its front wheels hanging into the hole.
    The incident occurred at about 7:40 a.m. outside the Westin Hotel downtown on the corner of 10th street and Penn Avenue. The hole is about 20 feet deep and 75 feet wide.  The bus is sitting on three powerlines, two of which are high voltage 22,000 volt lines.  Several gas lines and fiber lines have also be impacted. 
    The cranes to lift the bus out of the sink hole are being set up and will take 6 to 8 hours to assemble. 
    Traffic and bus routes will be rerouted around 10th street until it can be repaired. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...bracing for a No-Deal Brexit...

    Jaguar Land Rover has announced a temporary halt in production in November as the threat of disruption from a No-Deal Brexit looms.  BMW and Toyota have already announced plans for temporary work stoppages at their UK factories. All four of JLR's UK factories are affected. 
    Although No-Deal Brexit is still not a certainty. Manufacturers like JLR have to plan for the worst.  JLR uses 20 million parts a day and needs to have those parts available at just the right time. 
    Toyota will be stopping production of the Corolla Hatchback and Avensis on November 1st. BMW is planning on stopping Mini production in early November, but Rolls-Royce and BMW engine plants are expected to continue production. 


    Empowering super-fast charging batteries is the moto for Echion Technologies unique platform for battery material and composite manufacturing.

    Echion Technologies is addressing today's biggest challenge for electric vehicles is the speed at which the battery is recharged. Current technology pretty much has your 300 mile battery recharging in 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    In 2017 Toshiba came out with a battery that goes into production for select new EVs that come out at the end of 2019 with general availability in 2020. The Generation 1 SCiB battery was 200 miles in 6 min and with generation 2 they have now made it 353 miles fully recharged in 6 min. 
    Now we have Echion Technologies that has come up with a unique material solution for Lithium-ion batteries.
    According to the interview by Cambridge Independent newspaper Dr. Jean De La Verpilliere was studying at the University of Cambridge for his PhD in nanoscience when he created a material that could be used in Lithium batteries.

    His focus and expertise on high performance materials innovations for lithium brought about the following benefits that current batteries in current EVs do not have.
    Ultra-fast charge - Re-charge of Li-ion batteries in a matter of minutes. High energy - No sacrifice of energy for power Sustainable - Materials are entirely sustainable Safe - Fast charge without dangerous lithium dendrites Cost-effective - NO expensive or rare feedstocks needed The benefit of this new material according to Echion Technologies is that this patented technology material will help to drive the global electrification movement across the supply chain.  The benefit is that this material simply drops into the existing battery manufacturing infrastructure with no capital cost.
    Per the interview by Cambridge Indepenent is that they have replaced graphite with their own mass produced neutral material. One of the biggest benefits here is that current Li-ion batteries can explode when re-charged too fast. With the Echion material you have no explosion at any speed of charging.
    People will remember the Samsung Note 7 nightmare of exploding batteries. This was the push by Cambridge and various scientist who were researching various options for safer battery charging. Dr. De La Verpilliere was the one to figure out a non-explosive material that could replace the solid and liquid current design of Lithium batteries.
    With the startup of Echion Technologies they are taking their 1,000 tonnes manufactured a day and scale it as they work with various OEMs in building new next generation Lithium solid state batteries.
    Echion Technologies was funded by Cambridge Enterprise and NewablePrivate Investing. They have since been joined by Vantage Power, a company that designs and manufactures electric and hybrid systems for Buses and commercial goods vehicles.
    Backed with money and now working with various OEM vendors, Echion says their battery technology will show up in various EVs from consumer cars / CUV / Trucks to commercial applications and should bring the recharge time down to you going inside to get a cup of coffee, pay for it and walk back out and be ready to hit the road.
    Echion Technologies Founding Team

    Drew Dowdell

    ...They've gone as fast at they'll go...

    A near-production prototype Bugatti Chiron on special Michelin tires has broken the 300 mph barrier in Germany at the Ehra-Lessien proving ground. Though full specs were not announced, but it is suspected to have 1,578 horsepower, carbon fiber components, taller gearing, lowered suspension, and specialized Michelin tires. 
    The test mule received a clip on rear tail with a more aggressive diffuser. If the car makes it into production, it will hold the record as the fastest production cars. The current holder is the Koenigsegg Agera RS that maxed out at 277 mph.
    Just after the record setting run, Bugatti's president Stephan Winkelmann has said that the brand is done chasing speed records. He added, "From now on, we will focus on other areas". 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...New tech to replace old tech...

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun testing vehicles that have cameras in place of real mirrors.  The request to test such devices goes back to March of 2014 when the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers along with Tesla filed a petition with the NHTSA to get approval to install based rear or side vision cameras and screens  in their vehicles.  Daimler filed a similar petition in 2015 for their heavy duty trucks. Japan and Europe have already approved the technology. 
    The first car with cameras replacing the side mirrors was the Lexus ES sold in Japan, followed by the Audi e-tron in Europe back in December.  Both vehicles are sold in the U.S. with standard mirrors instead of the cameras.  Honda's coming Honda e will have the technology standard when it goes on sale in Europe later this year.
    Mirrorless systems are an area where the legislation has not yet caught up with the technology according to Mark Dahncke of Audi.

  • Posts

    • Base prices on the Ford vans here are apparently about 8 grand apart. However, the ‘snake oil’ sales pitch of some BE-fans seem to not read their own source materials. The Forbes link above states the fueling cost in Hawaii is about $400 different/yr, and about $500 in Alabama. That would equate to 20 years and 16 years for the EV to achieve price parity with IC on ‘no gas’ alone. Or; no where near either “18 months” or 5 years.
    • Obviously... heavy duty trucks like class 8 are going to be required to run flaps in any state. I kinda just stated that above. Seems Seattle has a lot more on it’s enforcement mind than mud flaps. If you think about it, a vehicle’s tire isn’t throwing rocks from the middle of a tire as often as it’s more likely to be coming from where the tire meets the ground. There; almost nothing is ‘properly covered’.  Hm-mmm... I wonder if a vehicle that is scampering to 60 in 3 secs is more often going to be throwing rocks than the average lifted pickup. 🧐
    • That is interesting, I still think that is wrong, all auto's especially heavy duty trucks like Class 8 should have the wheels covered and the back with mud flaps to minimize throwing rocks. The construction of lite rail in the Seattle area has played hell with cracked windshields from all the dump trucks and semi trucks delivering all over the area product with no mud flaps. Then you have the lifted pickup trucks with idiots that push the wheels outside the wheel well and through stuff at your auto. I just find it wrong to cause so much damage by not properly covering up the wheels.
    • Have to say that Ford is really bringing it in competition to Jeep with the partnering with Yakima to ensure off-road fans have the ultimate play time outdoors.
    • The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline edition is the most off-road capable Explorer ever due to increased ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, steel skid plates, Torsen limited-slip differential, Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, new shocks, springs and stabilizer bars. The Timberline sports a functional, capable appearance with unique front and rear styling combined with three rows of seating for everyone. Fords marketing data shows that over the last 10 years, SUVs have jumped to command 55% of the U.S. Market with sales growing from 4.6 million units in 2011 to 7.8 million for 2020. This same Ford data is saying that owners are reporting a 56% increase in off-road use over the last 3 years alone. Timberline was built to give customers more confidence and capability to get to the their next adventure be it fishing or a remote off the beaten path spot. A second very important trend is the data showing people are now participating in more outdoor activities and adventures than before due to the pandemic. 40% of all Americans surveyed say they spent more time outdoors since the pandemic began. The Ford Explorer Timberline off-road credibility starts with Ford's standard intelligent four-wheel drive. A system that automatically adjusts torque between the wheels based on conditions and driver inputs delivering best traction, pre-empting wheel slip with proper application of torque per wheel. Ford continues the off-road passion with the following details: Intelligent four-wheel drive Torsen Limited-slip rear differential Terrain Management System featuring seven drive modes (based on 2020 version, could be different on the 2021) Normal mode Eco mode Sport mode Slippery mode Deep Snow and Sand mode Trail mode Tow/Haul mode Standard Hill Descent Control for constant speed control between 2 to 12 mph maximum Timberline capability Heavy duty steel skid plates Enhanced steering calibration Heavy duty stabilizer bars and springs tuned for the Timberline Includes exclusive rebound springs in the front to prevent sudden jarring off-road Heavy Duty Shocks raises the ride height 0.8 inches (Developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor) Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 All-Terrain tires Approach angle of 23.5 degrees and departure angle of 23.7 degrees Minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches EcoBoost 2.3L engine producing 300 HP and 310 lb/ft of torque paired with a 10 speed automatic transmission giving a 5,300 lb towing capability. Ford only states a couple modes in their press release and as such it could be using the same 7 modes from the 2020 Explorer, but since this is the Timberline edition of rugged off-road prowess, it could be using the Bronco 7 G.O.A.T. modes which stands for Goes Over Any Type of Terrain. This would be the first 5 listed above and then would include a Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes for the final two. Either way you will have a very capable off-road SUV. The Explorer Timberline edition launches a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color with a blackout treatment and red ember tow hooks rated at 150% gross vehicle weight. Ford has already incorporated a heavy duty wiring harness that allows Fords wide dealer network to install Ford Performance auxiliary lights giving an output of 160,000 candelas of illumination for nighttime trail riding. This equates to 2.5 times the brightness of the Explorer Timberline high-beam headlamps. Ford's Deep Cypress interior trim color compliments the new Forged Green Metallic exterior and includes the standard Co-Pilot360 with Assist+ technology featuring Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Speed sign recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering assist and voice activated touch screen navigation. Standard 360 degree cameras provide views of all potential obstacles including a front view camera to help with cresting hills off-road. Ford has partnered with Yakima Rooftop accessories for customer to take any and all the equipment they want on their adventure. 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at Ford dealers summer of 2021. Ford Grows Rugged SUV Lineup with New Ford Explorer Timberline – Most Off-Road-Capable Explorer Ever | Ford Media Center What’s New in the 2020 Ford Explorer Terrain Management System? (akinsford.com) Terrain Management System - Ford Technology| Ford KSA 2021 Ford® Bronco Sport First Edition SUV | Model Detail & Specs View full article
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