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    NOT ANOTHER HUMMER, GMC confirms joining the GM family having an electric Pickup.

    GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred has confirmed GMC will offer a second full size pickup taking Professional Grade to new levels.

    Lifestyle pickup is what GMC calls the GMC Hummer EV, shortly afterwards the Chevrolet division announced their electric full-size pickup truck and now GMC will also have a full-size pick that will fit in with their traditional GMC Pickup truck line.

    Aldred according to the various news sources declined to confirm or deny if the truck will be named Sierra matching their current ICE full-size traditional pickup line. GM did confirm that the GMC Hummer is on track to start production and deliveries this fall about the same time Rivian starts shipping to customers as their electric assembly plant ramps up to full scale production which now will include a Chevrolet and GMC traditional electric pickup.

    GM executives are on record that they are not surprised by the pricing Ford has taken with F-150 Lightning and Ford as well as Ram should expect a very competitive assortment of offerings from GM in various trims. Aldred has stated that the biggest segment is the North American Pickup truck segment representing 15 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. alone and still growing, he sees plenty of room for all competitors.
    GMC is having a bit of a heyday as the first half of the year retail sales are up 35 percent with details of sales as follows: 
    Sierra up 28% Yukon up 104% Yukon XL 90% Acadia up 53% Canyon up 31% GMC high ATP according to the various write ups is due to the two most popular trim levels, Denali and AT4 which is making up the bulk of purchased auto's.
     Green car reports that due to GM having been very clear about only a 26 month development cycle now indicates that the Chevrolet and GMC electric pickups should arrive at dealerships summer of 2023 as the earliest.
    2023 should be a huge year for GM as they roll out a large assortment of BEV's.
    GM confirms third electric pickup truck ahead of Hummer production (msn.com)
    GMC Announced A New Electric Pickup Truck After Hummer EV (fossbytes.com)
    GMC Adding Second All-Electric Pickup — A Battery-Powered Sierra - The Detroit Bureau
    Beyond Hummer EV: Fully electric GMC pickup confirmed (greencarreports.com)
    GM confirms third electric pickup truck ahead of Hummer EV production (cnbc.com)
    GMC Getting Its Own, Non-Hummer Electric Full-Size Pickup (motortrend.com)

    Quick Drive: 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL & Palisade Limited AWD

    Looking at the smallest and largest Hyundai crossovers

    Walking around the Venue, you become surprised at how small this crossover is. It comes in at 13 feet long and just under 6 feet wide, making it slightly smaller than the Accent sedan. The design is very chunky and boxy, which helps with maximizing interior space. The front has some interesting design traits such as a similar grille seen on larger Hyundai crossovers and a split headlight arrangement. With a large glass area and tall roof, the Venue feels very open and spacious. Finding a comfortable position upfront is no problem and the seats provide a good balance of comfort and support. The rear legroom is a bit tight for any over six-feet. Cargo space is on the small end with 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 31.9 with them folded. The Nissan Kicks as a comparison offers 25.3 and 53.1 cubic feet of space respectively. The interior design is quite pleasant with contrasting plastics used on the dash and door panels. I also like how all models get an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Power for the Venue is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower and 113 pounds-feet of torque. The base SE has a six-speed manual as standard*, while a CVT is optional. My SEL tester only comes with the CVT. Power goes to the front wheels only. If most of your driving takes place in an urban area, then the Venue is a perfect partner. It responds quickly off the line and can keep with the flow of traffic. The small size and quick steering make it a breeze to nip around and fit into tight parking spots. The highway is a different story as it takes the engine a bit of time to get up to speed. I should note that isn’t exclusive to the Venue as all cars on the subcompact class experience this issue. Fuel economy is rated at 30 City/34 Highway/32 Combined. My average landed around 30.2 mpg in a 60/40 mix of rural and city driving. Having a short wheelbase usually means a pretty choppy ride. But the Venue’s suspension does a surprising job of minimizing the impacts. For the money, the Venue is surprisingly well equipped. All models come with automatic headlights, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and an eight-inch touchscreen. The SEL is the sweet spot adding 15-inch alloys, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system. It also allows you to order the Convenience package that adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a sunroof. The Venue is perfect for someone who is looking for a new car and lives in an urban environment. The small size, nimble nature, and list of equipment make it a strong contender in the growing subcompact crossover class. But if you need more cargo space or planning on driving on the highway more than the city, save up a little bit more money and move up to a Kona. (*Author’s Note: Hyundai dropped the six-speed manual for the 2021 model year.)

    Palisade Limited
    The Palisade is certainly a looker. Take the front end. There is a unique grille shape with a massive chrome surround, flanked by a split headlight arrangement. The Limited adds more a bit more chrome along with the windows and a set of 20-inch multi-spoke wheels. I think the abundance of chrome is a bit much. The interior could make some people at sister brand Genesis a bit envious. My Limited tester featured a suede headliner with openings for the dual glass roof panels; quilted door panels, and aluminum trim used throughout. Technology is another strong point to the Palisade. Similar to the Hyundai Sonata I drove earlier, the Palisade Limited comes with a reconfigurable 12.3-inch gauge display and a 10.2-inch infotainment system. Both are vibrant and easy to read even in direct sunlight. Hyundai's infotainment system still leads the way in being easy to use. Space is plentiful for front and second-row passengers. Third-row passengers get short-changed on legroom and seat padding. Limited and SEL come with seating for seven, while the base SE seats up to eight. Cargo space is in the mid-pack with 18 cubic feet with all seats up, 45.8 with the third-row folded, and 84 with all seats folded. The Palisade comes with a 3.8L V6 producing 291 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed is teamed with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. My tester had the latter. I never felt that I was looking for more power from the V6. Whether I leaving from a stop or needing to make a pass, the V6 and eight-speed automatic delivered a smooth and steady stream of power. Fuel economy is average for three-row crossovers. EPA says the Palisade AWD will return 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw 22 in my week-long test. Ride quality could rival some luxury sedans as various road imperfections seem to be ironed out. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. To be clear, the Palisade isn't trying to be any sort of sporty crossover. But I was surprised at how well it minimizes body roll when on a winding road. Considering Hyundai's past attempts at a large three-row crossover, the Palisade is a clear winner. The interior is class-leading, it offers a pleasant ride, performance is smooth, and the trademark value proposition is here. The Limited seen here comes in at just under $48,000 with destination. What may set some away is the Palisade's styling, which I'll admit I did like for the most part. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Venue and Palisade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Hyundai
    Model: Venue
    Trim: SEL
    Engine: 1.6L DPI Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
    Horsepower @ RPM: 121 @ 6,300
    Torque @ RPM:  113 @ 4,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/34/32
    Curb Weight: 2,732 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
    Base Price: $19,250
    As Tested Price: $23,405 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
    Premium Package - $1,750.00
    Convenience Package - $1,150.00
    Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    Year: 2020
    Make: Hyundai
    Model: Palisade
    Trim: Limited AWD
    Engine: 3.8L GDI D-CVVT 24-Valve V6
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 291 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 5,200
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
    Curb Weight: 4,387 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
    Base Price: $46,625
    As Tested Price: $47,905 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
    Carpeted Floor Mats - $160.00

    Stellantis Delivers a Detailed Packed EV Day for 2021

    Many auto companies have recently come out stating they are investing X amount of Billions of dollars with no real clear details on how the money is being spent or what type of models other than spending X amount with EVs out starting by 2025. Stellantis rocks this press release by delivering a very detailed roadmap for their global company on Stellantis EV DAY 2021.

    Let get to the meat and potatoes of this big day and post in their bullet list of what Stellantis is going to do:
    Plans to invest more than €30 billion through 2025 in electrification and software, while continuing to be the automotive efficiency frontrunner, with investment efficiency 30 percent better than industry average 
    Targeting over 70 percent of sales in Europe and over 40 percent in the United States to be low emission vehicle (LEV) by 2030
    All 14 brands committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions
    Delivering BEVs that meet demands of customers, with ranges of 500-800 km/300-500 miles and class-leading fast charging capability of 32 km/20 miles per minute 
    Four flexible BEV-by-design platforms, scalable family of three electric drive modules and standardized battery packs to cover all brands and segments 
    Platforms designed for long life via software and hardware upgrades
    Global EV battery sourcing strategy of over 260GWh by 2030, supported by five “gigafactories” between Europe and North America
    Plans include dual battery chemistries: a high energy-density option and a nickel cobalt-free alternative by 2024
    Solid state battery technology introduction planned in 2026
    This game plan is having Stellantis targeting what they believe is an achievable, double-digit Adjusted Operating Income margins in the mid-term of 2026 for profitability selling globally a mixture of BEV, PHEV or what they are calling (LEV) Low Emission Vehicles along with ICE auto's and an OPEN end date in regards to totally retiring ICE auto's except where mandated by country.
    Stellantis is targeting to have the 70 percent LEV for Europe and 40 percent LEV for the US market by 2030 by introducing exciting and desirable LEV auto's. Stellantis believes that once especially in the US market the LEV Trucks and Cars that they are planning to introduce that this will drive the switch from ICE to BEV or LEV. This will come via their plan at sourcing 130 gigawatts of battery capacity by 2025 with more than 260 GWh of battery by 2030. The EV battery component needs will be accomplished via a total of five gigafactories in Europe and North America with additional supply contracts / partnerships to support total global demand. Stellantis has signed two Lithium partners to ensure sustainable supply of Lithium  for North America and Europe.

    Stellantis believes they can reduce 2021 costs of batteries by 40% by 2025 via their synergies in manufacturing and an additional 20 percent reduction in cost by 2030 over todays costs. All aspects of the battery pack will be optimized to reduce costs. Battery life cycle for repair, remanufacturing, second-life use and recycling as a complete sustainable system will be implemented to address concerns by customers and partners.
    Stellantis believes they will have total cost of ownership of EV's to be equivalent to ICE by the start of 2026.
    Stellantis 14 iconic brands are all committed to offering best-in-class electrified solutions that enhances the DNA of each brand. The following is the statements expressing each brands electrification approach:
    ● Abarth – “Heating Up People, But Not the Planet”
    ● Alfa Romeo – “From 2024, Alfa Romeo Becomes Alfa e-Romeo”
    ● Chrysler – “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families”
    ● Citroën – “Citroën Electric: Well-Being for All!”
    ● Dodge – “Tear Up the Streets… Not the Planet”
    ● DS Automobiles – “The Art of Travel, Magnified”
    ● Fiat – “It’s Only Green When It’s Green for All”
    ● Jeep® – “Zero Emission Freedom”
    ● Lancia – “The Most Elegant Way to Protect the Planet”
    ● Maserati – “The Best in Performance Luxury, Electrified”
    ● Opel/Vauxhall – “Green is the New Cool”
    ● Peugeot – “Turning Sustainable Mobility into Quality Time”
    ● Ram – “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet”
    ● Commercial Vehicles – “The Global Leader in e-Commercial Vehicles”
    Stellantis has stated that the driving range and rapid recharge are key to widespread consumer acceptance of BEVs. This will be achieved by delivering BEVs that have a range of 500-800 km/300-500 miles and with class-leading fast charging of 32 km/20 miles per minute.
    Stellantis will have four BEV-centric platforms as the backbone of their global strategy for all 14 brands. The platforms are designed with a high level of flexibiliity (Length and Width) along with component sharing, delivering economies of scale globally while supporting two million units per year to begin.

    The four platforms are as follows:
    STLA Small - range up to 500 km/300 miles STLA Medium - range up to 700 km/440 miles STLA Large - range up to 800 km/500 miles STLA Frame - range up to 800 km/500 miles
    The power train systems will cover FWD, RWD, AWD and 4xe using three electric drive modules that combine the motor, gearbox and inverter. These EDMs (electric drive modules) when combined with high energy density battery packs will deliver best in class performance, efficiency, range and recharging per Stellantis.

    Hardware upgrades and over-the-air software updates will extend the life of the platforms well into the next decade. Stellantis states they will deliver software and controls in-house that maintain the characteristics unique to each brand.
    To quote Carlos Tavares: “Our electrification journey is quite possibly the most important brick to lay as we start to reveal the future of Stellantis just six months after its birth, and now the entire company is in full execution mode to exceed every customer’s expectations and accelerate our role in redefining the way the world moves,”
    More details on Stellantis EV Day 2021 can be reviewed here: Stellantis EV Day 2021 | Stellantis
    Stellantis has been busy as they have also announced plans with major partners such as Foxconn who will help deliver class leading digital cockpits with personalized connected services for Stellantis 14 brands globally. This joint venture will be focused on infotainment, telematics, cloud service, software innovations incorporating A.I., 5G communication, over-the-air services, e-commerce and smart cockpit integrations.

    Ram and Dodge both had major presentations showing off their future roadmap of BEVs for North America. 
    Dodge has introduced the American eMuscle with the promise to "Tear up the Streets, not the Planet!"
    Watch the video as they show the 100 years plus of auto's at the Historic Dodge family home. Very cool!

    We then move onto RAM and their plans for the electric pickup by 2024. Pretty much they are going to start with a 1500 EV crewcab pickup with 500 miles of range out by 2024 for the masses and will like FORD offer it in a series of package versions to entice people to change over to RWD/AWD BEV trucks.

    Ram's pickup like Ford and what we can assume GM's Chevrolet and GMC EV pickups will stick to the traditional style that allows them to sell millions a year with style adjustments due to the efficiency of the EV powertrain over ICE in needs of air flow for cooling.

    Jeep then comes front and center, YES BEV will end up in Jeeps lineup, but Hybrid is the focus first for Jeep starting with the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe.

    Jeep seems to be on track to deliver that freedom while being greener and keeping the JEEP DNA in-tack. 
    As one who has questioned why Fiat even thought of coming back to America let alone it's purpose in the global market, seems Stellantis is taking a page from Daimler in that the FIAT brand will be converted immediately to an all BEV brand including an Abarth EV Performance version.
    The one thing I did notice about Stellantis EV Day is a clear absence of Chrysler from the EV plan. If anyone does spot it in any of the links, please post about it below to share as I do wonder about the brand's future as the only thing I could find was their logo in this screen capture from the presentation.

    For those that are interested in the Financials, they have the following video to watch:
    Conclusion to their EV Day 2021 by CEO Carlos Tavares:
    Stellantis starts the new week with a Spotlight on the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
    Stellantis Intensifies Electrification While Targeting Sustainable Double-Digit Adjusted Operating Income Margins in the Mid-term | Stellantis
    Mobile Drive Joint Venture | Stellantis
    EV Day 2021 Presentation Slides (stellantis.com)
    Stellantis Media - Stellantis Intensifies Electrification While Targeting Sustainable Double-digit Adjusted Operating Income Margins in the Mid-term (stellantisnorthamerica.com)
    Stellantis Media - Stellantis Spotlight Wraps the Week (stellantisnorthamerica.com)
    Stellantis Media - Jeep® Brand Reveals First Images of All-new Electrified 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe (stellantisnorthamerica.com)

    Mazda CX-30's Rotary Range Extender Goes Into A Holding Pattern

    Was Designed to Help Extend the Range of the Electric Crossover

    Mazda and the Rotary Engine has been a "will they or will they not" since production of the RX-8 ended many moons ago. Recently, the Japanese automaker announced the engine would make a return as a range extender for the new MX-30 electric crossover. Those plans have been put on the back burner.
    "We are still considering using the rotary engine as a range extender, but the timing of its introduction is undecided," said Mazda spokesperson Masahiro Sakata to Automotive News.
    But the Japanese media tells a different story. AN says Japanese newspapers Nikkei and Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun report the rotary engine plans have been canned because it would require a larger battery, which in turn, increases the price. However, another Japanese outlet, Response says those reports are mistaken.
    Currently, the MX-30 is on sale in Japan and Europe as an electric only. Mazda will be offering the MX-30 for California later this fall. 
    Many reviewers in Europe say the biggest weak point of the MX-30 is the range - currently rated at 124 miles on the very optimistic WLTP test cycle. Numbers for the U.S. aren't out, but we wouldn't be surprised if its under 100 miles. Using the rotary engine as a generator (see Chevrolet Volt) would have increased the range.
    We do know Mazda has 10 hybrids and three electric vehicles in the pipeline between 2022 to 2025. Whether or not they will be using a rotary engine is unclear.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Autoblog

    Electrify America stake will cost $1 Billion as Volkswagen looks to expand.

    According to a Reuters story, two people familiar with the investment have stated that Volkswagen is looking for outside funds to expand their infrastructure for BEVs.

    According to the sources, Citi is representing Volkswagen as they shop for a co-investor willing to inject at least $1 billion dollars  in Electrify America. This is being shopped among infrastructure groups, electrical companies and other energy companies such as big oil.
    Volkswagen, Electrify America and Citi have all declined to comment. Yet as various oil companies buy up electrical charging companies and manufactures of charging equipment, Volkswagen is now in the aftermath of their emissions cheating scandal that forced them to spend $2 billion in building out EV charging stations across America from 2017 to 2026 has now looked to join the long term energy supply chain for BEVs.

    Electrify America has signed long term contracts with Lucid, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Ford who offer either unlimited charging for up to 3 years or a yearly credit amount for the first few years using EA charging network.

    Audi BEV owners not only get 3 years of unlimited charging at EA stations, they also get a 220V home charger installed by EA with each BEV purchase.

    Last year EA rebooted their pricing system to charge by the kilowatt-hour where allowed. This revamp resulted in higher costs to charge for many EV drivers and set the company up as a fuel dispenser with margins that are maintained by state or region according to their agreement that were signed.
    As of last month, June 2021 EA had 635 charging stations across the United States with 2,850 charging spots that were up and running allowing Ultra-Fast high-speed charging up to 350 kilowatt allowing for BEVs that support it to fully charge in under 20 minutes.

    EA has stated they expect to have 800 charging stations with 3,500 charging spots by end of December 2021 covering 45 states with two cross-country routes. CEO Giovanni Palazzo stated in March at Volkswagen Power Day event that Electrify America has plans to expand further beyond their original charter from the diesel emission settlement and now this seems to be what he might have been hinting at as EA pushes to court more auto companies to sign onto using the EA charging network and be one of the top competitors right up there with the Tesla Supercharging network that has just announced it will open to everyone as they retrofit the stations with standard charging plugs and Ionity, Europe's largest charging network co-owned by BMW, Daimler, Ford and Hyundai. Ionity also according to sources has Renault and Shell Oil who have both offered investment capital for a percentage.

    Volkswagen is presenting on July 13th 2021 their new strategy as they consolidate all their various global charging efforts under a single new Charging & Energy business division led by Elke Temme a long time executive in the energy utility area.
    Seems the Charging infrastructure is the next big expansion of competition that will decide who wins and looses in the wake of a global EV rollout.
    Volkswagen to sell stake in charging unit Electrify America -sources | Reuters

    Quiet Flight 2040, The New Luxury Lincoln of the 21st Century

    Ford Motor Company has charged Lincoln with finding it's Mojo in the Luxury segment. As such, Lincoln brought back names and Luxury to their latest SUVs. Now Luxury has challanged the ArtCenter College of Design with the challenge of using their Quiet Flight 2040 concept to picture the Lincolns of the future. Are these the Lincoln's of the Future?

    June 29th 2021 Lincoln released online via their YouTube channel the work of their latest push for luxury and the creative boundaries in transportation design. The goal was to challenge 4 teams of the ArtCenter College students in Southern California to tell a meaningful story of the future of luxury transportation.
    The four teams were built with each team having a team of students from the following disciplines:
    Film Enterainment Illustrators Animators The mission for each team was to envision a Lincoln vehicle of 2040 and beyond, but the world in which those vehicles would live, even the lives of the people who would drive them. Lincoln asked  just not for great looking vehicles, but a great narrative, rich storytelling and understand the ecosystem in which the concept vehicle would live.
    Each team was guided by the Lincoln promise of Quiet Flight. The goal of creating ultimate sanctuary for human transportation while conforming to the company's CASE acronym of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric.
    To ensure diversity of ideas, each team was assigned a vehicle type to be represented as follows - a two passenger, a four passenger, a four passenger with elevated ride height and a six passenger vehicle.
    The executive team at Lincoln was awe struck and inspired by the presentations of Quiet Flight DNA.
    To quote the Lincoln press release:
    Collectively, the four concepts embody a wide range of futuristic, luxurious Lincoln vehicles. From a monitor on the ArtCenter College of Design campus in Pasadena, to dozens of other monitors across the country, the animated stories came to life.
    The Lincoln Glider sedan, taking cues from classic Zephyr and Continental models, is the inspiration for a short film, “Now You Drive,” which opens with Dominic in the driver’s seat of a futuristic two-seater. The 36-year-old Lincoln designer heads into the city to pick up his father, Dolan, who is paralyzed. After storing his dad’s wheelchair in a dedicated slot in the car, Dominic says, “Dad, now you drive.” As the vehicle’s gas and brake pedals disappear into the firewall, Dolan marvels at a car smart enough to take over some of the driving duties for him – allowing him to get behind the wheel again for the first time in years. In “Anniversary,” a four-passenger Lincoln vehicle leverages its digital technology to enable its passengers to connect the present and the past. In celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary, Julianne and Greg set out to revisit some favorite spots from their youth. As they reminisce about the moments that bind them and re-explore the path of their relationship, their Lincoln sedan is able to access digital images of the past and display their fond memories on the dashboard. The future of the family SUV is envisioned in “Amongst the Stars,” with tech advances that give passengers access to features such as touch-screen windows. As astronaut Claire Boron prepares to take her first steps in space, she recalls her first close experience with the stars on a family trip to White Sands National Park. Riding in a four-seat Lincoln, she gazes through the windows and moonroof and first tastes the excitement that has come to shape her life as an explorer of the unknown. The film “Ensemble” imagines next-level autonomous driving, putting a group of musical artists in the cabin of a six-passenger luxury cruiser that more closely resembles a well-appointed living room. Ahead of their opening show, the six musicians find sanctuary as they glide through a bustling, fast-paced city in a self-driving vehicle that enables them to luxuriate in peace and comfort as they get ready to perform. While the four teams delivered on the assigned challenge, they also delivered so much more by also presenting images of what they see even normal driving BEVs should be like on the inside and out. The students believe electric auto's will allow the passion of flowing designs to return in ways that have never been thought of in the last couple of decades.

    Lincoln continues to strive forward as a top tier luxury auto company in the US and now with the top sales satisfaction.

    Lincoln Earns Top Spot in J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study for 2020 | Lincoln Media Center
    2020 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study | J.D. Power (jdpower.com)
    ArtCenter College of Design Students Imagine Lincoln Quiet Flight in 2040; Push Creative Boundaries in Transportation Design | Lincoln Media Center

    BrightDrop EV600 Production Accelerated as GM CAMI Assembly Plant Changes End Date of Chevrolet Equinox Production

    GM announced that the Chevrolet Equinox production at the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario will end sooner than planned due to EV600 BrighDrop orders.  

    GM announced today that April 2022 will be the last month of Chevrolet Equinox production at CAMI Assembly plant. Production at other plants will be increased to cover Chevrolet Equinox production as BrightDrop equipment will be installed over a 4 month period allowing for large scale production to begin of the BrightDrop EV600 van beginning in November 2022.
    This comes as gm works with Merchant Fleet that is ordering 12,600 BrightDrop EV600s for last mile delivery service. Merchant Fleet expects the EV600 to enter fleet use starting in Early 2023 making them the second large scale last mile Major Customer.

    Merchant Fleet plans for the EV600 to by 50% of their mobility fleet by 2025 in North America allowing them to be one of the largest last mile delivery companies with a focus on being 100% electric fleet by 2030. Merchant Fleet HQ is in New Hampshire with their innovation center located in Chicago Illinois.
    gm Canada is leading gm push into the full commercial EV market with the new BrightDrop division of commercial electric e-pallet's and EV vans allowing commercial fleet operators to reduce costs as they move to zero-emission fleets.
    The CAMI Assembly plant is scheduled to start with a single shift of EV600 assembly and move to two shifts at the start of 2023 and market permitting three production shifts as soon as the start of 2024.
    BrightDrop is allowing gm to reimage commercial delivery and logistics with an all-electric future. CAMI Assembly plant will be instrumental in allowing gm to offer commercial customers an ecosystem of connected / electrified products and services that allow delivery/logistic companies to move goods and services more efficiently, driving down costs while reducing harmful emissions in cities and on congested streets.
    CAMI Assembly will play a critical role in gm's vision for a zero emission future.
    GM’s CAMI Assembly Accelerates BrightDrop EV600 Production
    Merchants Fleet is Slated to be BrightDrop’s Second Major Customer (gm.com)
    Merchants Fleet to be BrightDrop’s First Fleet Management Customer

    Canada joins a growing list of European counteries, Asian and a growing list of US States to ban New ICE Sales starting 2035

    Some would say after your two most populous provinces ban new ice auto sales that it was inevitable for Canada to do this but affective June 29th 2021 Canada's government has banned all new ICE car and light truck sales starting January 1st 2035 onward.

    In the summer of 2019 the British Columbia province of Canada shocked the rest of Canada and many countries by stating that all new car and light truck ICE auto sales would be banned beginning January 1st 2040. They then stated that 10% of all new auto sales had to be electric by 2025 and had at the time a $57 million Canadian incentive program to encourage people to buy BEVs.

    The Canadian province of Quebec then in November 2020 joined the British Columbia province in banning all new ICE car and light truck sales starting January 1st 2035. Premier Francois Legault told reporters this was necessary to ensure they hit their target of a 37.5% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and over all clean air plan for reducing health issues for the citizens.
    Quebec being the second most populous province behind British Columbia has joined the California initiative to move everyone to BEVs. This has not come without push back from the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association which has criticized these provinces with the following statement: “Consumers need more support to buy new (zero-emission vehicles) ZEVs, not bans on internal combustion vehicles.”
    At the time Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised sweeping measures to fight climate change, boost economic growth which included making zero-emission auto's more affordable to the Canadian citizen and investment in a country wide charging infrastructure. Yet due to the Pandemic, the current focus was on emergency aid to help businesses and people get through the pandemic.
    Now that Canada is daily increasing their vaccinated rate for Covid19, the Canadian government had moved onto long range business and with that we get the June 29th 2021 announcement that Canada will ban the sale of fuel-burning new cars and light-duty trucks beginning January 1st 2035. This will help Canada reach their commitment to the Paris accord of reaching net-zero emissions across the country by 2050.
    Canada is committed to aligning with zero-emission vehicles sales targets with the most ambitious North American Jurisdictions as stated by the Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. This supports following the lead by California that has moved to ban new car and light-duty truck sales beginning January 1st 2035 even while the United States has not yet set a fixed date for this.
    Canada did state that they will work with the United States to harmonize fuel efficiency regulations by investing in consumer rebates, charging stations, business tax breaks and industry transition costs per Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
    Canada also stated that they cannot reach their targets in emission reductions without the ban on ICE cars, SUVs, and Trucks especially as the SUV/Truck segment is the fastest growing segment of new auto sales as BEVs only make up 3.5% of new auto sales at this time.
    Ford has committed to helping Canada change by stating that all Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus ICE production for North America will end by December 31st 2023 with BEVs production worth at least $2 billion will start beginning of 2024. The Oakville, Ontario plant will produce five new electric vehicles under Unifor Union workers. This joins Fords union work force commitment to manufacture BEVs across North America that covered at the time the US and Mexico and now Canada becomes part of that equation.
    With the end of ICE production, Unifor union workers at the Windsor, Ontario plant that builds ICE engines was worried, but have since have commitment to change over the electric motor production ensuring the 3,000 Ford workers will continue to work and retire with a pension per Fords commitment.
    This shows the growing Ford commitment to a BEV future globally as in February 2021 Ford had gone ALL-IN on EVs for Europe with their $1 billion transformation of the Cologne Germany auto production site to change over to production of BEVs and plug-in hybrids only by mid-2026 with all-electric only by 2030.
    Ford is backing up the transition to a zero-emission future both in Canada, Europe and the greater North America by ensuring jobs as they transition plants. Currently the Van Dyke Transmission plant is now in conversion and renamed to the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in support of the F-150 Lightning retaining the 225 jobs there much in concert with the preservation of jobs in Canada. Ford has stated that the Van Dyke will produce a new eMotor every 75 seconds as full production begins this summer 2021 and will lay the ground work for the same performance of work at the Windsor, Ontario plant and other plants globally.
    Canada sees a bright future for electric auto production and cleaner air with reduced CO2 emissions in the near future.
    Canada to ban sale of new fuel-powered cars and light trucks from 2035 | Reuters
    Quebec to ban sale of new gasoline-powered cars from 2035 | Reuters
    British Columbia Bans Sale of Gas-powered Cars by 2040 | (ens-newswire.com)
    Ford Canada to Build Electric Cars, The Canadian Business Journal (cbj.ca)
    Ford Europe Goes All-In On EVs On Road To Sustainable Profitability; Cologne Site Begins $1 Billion Transformation | Ford Media Center
    Van Dyke Plant’s Name Change Aligns with Expanded Production Line, Ford’s Commitment to Electrification | Ford Media Center

    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition and Land Cruiser Heritage Edition

    Driving around in Toyota's old school SUVs

    4Runner Venture Edition
    Not much has changed outside since we last checked out the 4Runner in 2016. It still has a blocky and chunky look that helps it stand apart from other SUVs. This Venture model adds several goodies such as TRD wheels, blacked-out trim pieces, and a Yakima roof rack; perfect if you decide to go adventuring. Inside, Toyota has made a massive update to the infotainment system. A larger eight-inch touchscreen running an updated version of Toyota’s Entune system is standard. This change makes it so much easier to operate the system either parked on while on the move. It doesn’t hurt that this system also brings forth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Aside from this, the interior hasn’t changed. There is plenty of space for those sitting in the front or back, and controls are well marked. Power comes from the old, but reliable 4.0L V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The base SR5 can be equipped rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, while other trims only come with four-wheel drive. The 4Runner’s performance is adequate. Around town, the V6 can get up to speed quickly and smoothly. But it struggles when trying to get up to higher speeds. Adding an extra gear would allow for more flexibility in terms of performance. It would also help fuel economy as I saw 15.4 mpg for the week. EPA figures are 16 City/19 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 15.4 mpg. The 4Runner’s roots of being an old-school SUV show up prominently when driving on pavement. It has noticeable body roll-around turns and the ride quality is rough. One area that I sadly did not get to test was the off-road capability. With such features as Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control, this helps make the 4Runner very capable off-road. The 4Runner should be considered by someone who wants to venture off-road. For those who are planning to commute or go on family trips while on pavement, Toyota has other models that should be considered first.
    Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
    The Heritage Edition adds some nice touches to the Land Cruiser’s exterior such as 18-inch BBS wheels with a bronze finish, black accents for the front grille, and vintage-style “Land Cruiser” badges on the rear pillars. The Heritage Edition does lose the entry steps found on the standard model, making it somewhat difficult to get in and out. The interior looks somewhat boring in terms of the design, but Toyota nails the materials. Wood trim, supple leather, and soft-touch materials make this a very pleasant place to be in.  Despite having one of the larger screens in Toyota’s utility lineup, the Land Cruiser’s infotainment system leaves a lot to be desired. Using an older version of Entune, it feels sluggish and the graphics look somewhat dull. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to be found here as well. Anyone sitting in the front or second-row will have no complaints about space or comfort. No third-row is available on the Heritage Edition which helps boost cargo space from 41.3 cubic feet (with the third-row folded) to 53.5. Under the hood is a 5.7L V8 engine producing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system.  Performance from this engine is impressive considering the Land Cruiser’s curb weight of almost 6,000 lbs. It will move away from a stop much faster than you first think. The only place where the engine seems to run out of steam is on the highway. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of providing smooth and quick shifts. I do wish it wasn’t giddy with trying to shift into top gear quickly. Fuel economy isn’t great with EPA figures of 13 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I only got 13 mpg during my week. I was surprised at how well the Land Cruiser drove on pavement. It felt stable and provided a ride that made even some of the roughest roads feel smooth. There is a fair amount of body roll when cornering, but that is to be expected considering the size and intended purpose of this vehicle. I am bummed that I didn’t get the chance to take the Land Cruiser off-road during my week. But from reading other reviews, very few vehicles can match what is on offer. How to sum up the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition? This is a vehicle that will not impress most due to the poor fuel economy and aging infotainment system. But for a small group who are wanting something that can take them anywhere and back, and do it in comfort, the Land Cruiser is the right vehicle. (Addendum: As I post this review a few months late, I have some news on the Land Cruiser. Earlier this month, Toyota unveiled the next-generation model with a new twin-turbo V6 replacing the V8. The outside doesn't look that much different from the current model, but the interior has underwent some major changes. It is unclear whether or not we'll see this model arrive in the U.S. The best chance we possibly have is next-generation LX. Stay tuned. -WM)
    Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the SUVs, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: 4Runner
    Trim: Venture
    Engine: 4.0L DOHC 24-Valve V6
    Driveline: Five-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 270 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 278 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/19/17
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
    Base Price: $44,285
    As Tested Price: $48,877 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge and $730.00 Keep It Wild discount)
    Kinentic Dynamic Suspension Suspension System (KDSS) - $1,750.00
    TRD Pro Exhaust - $799.00
    Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof - $730.00
    Running Boards - $345.00
    Cargo Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $269.00
    Door Edge Guard - $79.00
    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Land Cruiser
    Trim: Heritage Edition
    Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve VVT-i V8
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
    Curb Weight: 5,715 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
    Base Price: $87,645
    As Tested Price: $89,239 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge)
    Glass Breakage Sensor - $299.00

    Honda Prologue SUV, Next American Chapter in BEVs

    Honda America has announced the Prologue EV based on the Ultium Powertrain and battery packs of GM will go on sale in North America as a MY2024 with the functionality and quality that Honda customers have come to expect.

    2024 is a New ERA of electrified Honda vehicles that are coming. The start is the all new 2024 Honda Prologue SUV, offering versatility and driving range on par with Honda's current lineup of ICE SUVs. Honda Prologue is the first in a series of EVs leading to a global leading lineup of 100% zero-emission Honda lineup by 2040.
    Honda USA says that more details will be forthcoming about the Prologue and other future BEVs and to start for those that want to get updates on the Prologue, to follow this web site: 2024 Honda Prologue – Fully Electric SUV | Honda
    In addition to the BEV Prologue that goes on sale in early 2024 as a MY 2024 SUV, an all-electric Acura SUV will also join the companies portfolio of products as a MY 2024 SUV at Acura dealerships. Both SUVs will utilize the highly flexible global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries and power train based on the companies strategic partnership with General Motors. This is the start of a major change with Honda launching a new series of BEVs under Honda and Acura in the second half of the decade based on a new e:ARchitecture global platform with development led by Honda.
    Honda Global CEO Toshihiro Mibe has announced a carbon-neutrality for the global company that see's sales ratio of battery -electric and fuel cell electric vehicles in North America to progress from 40% by 2030 to 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. Details of that road map can be read here: https://hondanews.com/en-US/honda-corporate/releases/release-32797eaea7316f1bed4bfcd27919f703-honda-targets-100-ev-sales-in-north-america-by-2040-makes-new-commitments-to-advances-in-environmental-and-safety-technology
    Honda has a long history of electrified vehicle leadership with the initial EV Plus electric auto in 1997, followed up by the 1999 Honda Insight Hybrid. The Honda FCX in 2002 as the industry's first fuel cell vehicle in the hands of individual owners and followed this up with the Clarity series in 2017.
    As Honda prepares to launch the Prologue, the company has announced that they will introduce hybrid-electric systems to all core models to continue to reduce CO2 emissions and bridge customers from the Volume ICE auto's to Volume BEV auto's now in development.
    Honda in the last three years has achieved record sales of electrified vehicles with sales momentum continuing in 2021. Led by CR-V Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, Honda has recorded its best-ever first-half year of electrified vehicle sales.
    Check out the current lineup of Electrified Vehicles here: Here

    New Honda Prologue SUV Begins Next Chapter in Brand’s EV Direction in North America (hondanews.com)
    2024 Honda Prologue – Fully Electric SUV | Honda
    Honda will call its GM-based EV the Prologue (autonews.com)

    gm/BrightDrop Working with Shell, University of Washington and Liebherr to Enact Green Change.

    Reaching Carbon Neutral in your global products is bringing together an interesting group of bedfellows as gm collaborates with various companies and schools to enact change for the future. From Green Home Power to Aerospace applications, gm is leading a green revolution in the industry.

    gm has had a busy week on top of a busy year as gm moves forward with their global plan to be a green carbon neutral company by 2040. To do this, gm has reached out to like minded businesses in putting together a 21st century portfolio of technology options for a cleaner future.

    Today June 23rd 2021, gm announced a program with Shell via the MP2 Energy, LLC, to provide comprehensive energy solutions to gm's customers and supply chain partners, including fixed-rate home energy plans backed by 100 percent renewable energy resources.
    This program is currently available to all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicle owners in the state of Texas. What does this program entail one would ask. Starting this summer gm/Shell will offer gm electric vehicle owners the opportunity to select home energy plans that include the option for free overnight hours of EV charging. Starting this month, the companies will also begin providing gm suppliers access to a tailored suite of renewable energy products to assist in setting and achieving their individual emissions-reduction goals. Employees of participating gm suppliers will be eligible for the home energy plans mentioned above.

    gm plans to be carbon neutral in global products and operations by 2040 and has committed to the science based targets set forth in the Paris Agreement. Shell also plans to be carbon neutral in global products and operations by 2050. Shell is expanding their energy production across the portfolio via wind, solar, geothermal and more. This commitment to green energy, cleaner transport is part of the company change across the globe as Shell converts or adds to their existing gas stations in turning them into energy Hubs.

    Shell has committed to 500,000 charge points by 2025 globally in addition to the various charging companies they have bought across Europe, Asia and the US. Shell just launched in May their first Mobility Hub in Central Paris as the launch of Shell Recharge. Expect this to become common across the globe as Shell installs and expands their Mobility Hub Shell Recharge stations.

    Part of the Shell push into the Green energy production business also starts the close on a past chapter as Shell divest itself of refineries such as the Anacortes, Washington refinery and the Mobile, Alabama refinery. The funds from these sales will be invested into green energy production, home and retail energy charging solutions. Shell estimates there are 1 billion ICE auto's on the road today and forecast 300-400 million EVs on the road out of the estimated 2 billion EVs by 2040 and plans to be the leader in offering global charging for them.

    gm and Shell see a BRIGHT future in green energy for their customers.
    gm has also this month joined the University of Washington's Urban Freight Lab, City of Seattle and Tech Startups in launching sustainable Last-Mile delivery hub in Seattle. The following start-ups AxleHire, Coaster Cycles and REEF are the nations first zero operating-emissions, last-mile neighborhood delivery hubs. These companies are working with BrightDrop / gm, the UW and the City to transition 30% of goods delivered to zero operating emissions solutions.

    From food to parcel deliveries, BrightDrop electric pallets and electric solutions for bikes BrightDrop is helping to build a smarter, safer way to deliver goods and services the last-mile.
    gm is not ignoring their leading edge technology to just the auto industry or the last-mile delivery business. On June 17th 2021 gm and Liebheer Aerospace joined forces in taking gm HYDROTEC fuel cell technology from the auto to the aircraft.

    gm and Liebherr will co-develop a hydrogen fuel cell power generation system for aircraft. The precisely crafted fuel cells, HYDROTEC power cube and fuel cell systems along with gm's controls and software models will be used to develop an aerospace power train system. Liebherr-Aerospace is one of the industry leading aerospace on-board aircraft system suppliers and believes with gm hydrogen technology that they can deliver a power train solution that will lower emissions, lower aircraft noise and improve quality of life for humanity.
    gm through it's relationship with Honda, is one of the world's most advanced fuel cell developers in many industrial fields and looks to expand that into the aeronautics field. gm's fuel cell business benefits from decades of investment in engineering and manufacturing expertise in high volume processes that can bring economy of scale to fuel cell production.
    To quote Global HYDROTEC gm Executive Director Charlie Freese, Aircraft are a great litmus test for the strength and versatility of our HYDROTEC fuel cells. The HYDROTEC technology can be used to address a wide range of uses in reducing a key issue, CO2 on land, sea, air or rail. The collaboration with Liebherr will open up new possibilities for aircraft.
    General Motors and Shell Offer Renewable Energy Solutions to U.S. Homeowners, EV Owners and Suppliers (gm.com)
    BrightDrop Joins University of Washington's Urban Freight Lab, Tech Startups to Launch Sustainable Last-Mile Delivery Hub in Seattle (gm.com)
    GM and Liebherr-Aerospace to Collaborate on HYDROTEC Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Based Power Systems for Aircraft
    Liebherr and GM to develop HYDROTEC fuel cell-based electrical power generation system for aerospace application - Liebherr
    GM, Shell Offer Renewable Energy Solutions for Homes, EVs, Suppliers | Shell United States
    Shell launches its first European EV Mobility Hub in Paris | Shell Global
    Cleaner Transport | Shell United Kingdom
    Shell sells Alabama refinery to Vertex Energy | Shell United States
    Shell Sells Washington Puget Sound Refinery to Hollyfrontier | Shell United States
    Electric Vehicle Charging | Shell Global

    Fisker Sign Long-Term Manufacturing Agreement with Magna

    Fisker has announced a long term binding manufacturing agreement with Magna International Inc. on EV platform sharing and ADAS package for production of Fisker BEVs at Magna's carbon neutral facility in Graz Austria.

    Fisker debut the Fisker Ocean SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 2021. At that time they had a tentative agreement with Magna that they entered into on Oct. 15,2020. As of June 17th 2021, a binding agreement was reached between Fisker and Magna for production to start November 17th 2022 for the first of Fisker BEVs, the OCEAN Suv.

    This binding agreement is a broad-based, comprehensive plan covering volumes, manufacturing costs and quality metrics over the program's lifecycle that runs to the end of 2029. This plan covers all critical planning, launch and manufacturing phases. This agreement underpins all facility investments, including bodyshop, a clear defined path to start-of-production in 2022 and the rapid ramp-up to full run-rate production.
    This contract covers the everything including opportunities to increase production volumes based on sales and adding other architecture variants. Fisker Ocean SUV will use a Magna-developed electric vehicle architecture modified by Fisker to create the FM29 platform. This platform is an aluminum-intensive platform projected to deliver class-leading range, interior space at a Bill of Meterials and Manufacturing cost that enables the Ocean to enter the market at a starting MSRP of $37,499 in the United States excluding EV-related subsidies and below the Euro 32,000 in Germany (including taxes and EV-related Subsidies) offering a compelling, high-value option packages to customers across the Ocean's entire price range.

    Magna is excited by this partnership where they see a future where everyone can live and move without limitations. Magna has been developing auto parts to complete auto's for various vendors for decades and has expanded from ICE to Hybrid and now full line of Electric power trains that will compliment Fisker's line of Battery Electric vehicles.

    Magna line of eDrives to eBeams move the world in todays products and in the future of Fisker BEVs. The latest product, eBeam is built for Offroad capable auto's to commercial grade auto's. Fisker as they get closer to production will clarify what all components made by Magna will be in the RWD/AWD Fisker Ocean SUV.

    The Fisker Ocean | Meet The Fisker Ocean. How It's Made Matters| Fisker, Inc. (fiskerinc.com)
    Home (magna.com)
    PFXwdbuYTJmxHqeWsQAY (fiskerinc.com)
    Company Information (magna.com)
    Powertrain Electrification (magna.com)

    2022 First BEV, All BEV by 2030 as Lincoln Celebrates it 100th Anniversary in 2022

    Lincoln first fully electric vehicle will debut in 2022 as Lincoln moves to be a full battery electric portfolio by 2030. Effortless, personalized luxury experience is the Lincoln way as part of the Ford+ plan 

    Mid-decade Lincoln expects half of all global production to be zero-emission vehicles with the goal to be 100%BEV globally by 2030. This is part of Ford Motor Companies plan to invest $30 billion in electrification by 2025. gm just upped their investment to $35 billion, time for Ford to up theirs?

    Per Joy Falotico, President of Lincoln, "Electrification will take Quiet Flight to a new level with the smooth, exhilarating take-off feel and serene quietness our clients expect from a Lincoln." 
    The company will move forward with all-new RWD and AWD battery electric flexible architecture that will enable Lincoln to deliver four new distinct BEVs. The first electric Lincoln will join the existing plug-in hybrid Aviator and Corsair SUVs in 2022 and is the start to be an all-electric brand by 2030.
    To quote the Lincoln president, "Our clients deserve the very best from Lincoln. Our world-class vehicles, effortless services and advanced connected technology will allow us to create an always-on relationship with them and help transform the Lincoln brand for the future." The Lincoln Way app will be one way they will deliver an enhanced suite of connected services that will become the norm of the electrified future.
    Quiet Flight DNA is the brand's evolving signature design and drive experience with maximized luxury comfort for all. Spacious interiors that create the ultimate expression of Lincoln sanctuary, a rejuvenating space with clever storage solutions, minimalistic panels, expansive panoramic vista roof to enhance the natural light in an airy open feel.

    Lincoln is proud to off their coast-to-coast display that offers a sweeping view of the horizon, Lincoln's new digital design language. CONSTELLATION includes exclusive themes showcasing the night sky allowing clients to choose the theme that best reflects their current mood.
    The Lincoln Enhanced Platform will feature over-the-air software updates quarterly keeping your navigation system on the cutting edge and in sync with your Apple or Android device via the SYNC 4-enabled system. Lincoln offers the Lincoln ActiveGlide for hands-free highway driving using advanced camera, radar and driver monitoring technologies.
    “The space that surrounds you has an immense effect on your overall mood,” said Kemal Curic, design director, Lincoln. “Crafting a space that goes beyond the traditional – a serene sanctuary that elevates the senses and impacts a client’s mood every single day – reveals that as designers, we contribute so much more to the overall experience than just creating vehicles that look good.”
    Highest sales satisfaction among luxury brands was recently bestowed on Lincoln by J.D. Power and Associates. The dealer network is key to delivering an effortless, connected experience for our Lincoln Clients. Today one third of Lincoln purchases are completed oinline through the Lincoln remote sales platform. Lincoln is continuing to integrate a complete digital experience online while backing it up with their global dealerships providing the ultimate in client services.
    To Quote:
    “Technology allows us to enhance the traditional transaction and make the ownership experience for our clients as convenient and effortless as possible,” said Michael Sprague, North America director, Lincoln. “Meeting clients on their terms is important today, and will be even more so in a digital, connected future.”
    In North America, a focus on the top 130 luxury markets, Lincoln is growing their Lincoln-exclusive Vitrine dealerships. Simplifying the buying process, this experience moves away from the traditional transaction space to a modern experience centered around the client.
    To date, 28 all-new Vitrin facilities, including Lincolns first boutique established in Arizona have opened across the country with another 50 in process.
    Look for an upcoming reveal of the first of many Lincoln BEVs.
    Lincoln Accelerates Brand Transformation; Plans to Deliver a Full Portfolio of Connected and Electrified Vehicles by 2030 | Lincoln Media Center

    GM Ultium Battery and HYDROTEC Hydrogen Fuel Cell Leading the Rail Industry!

    GM is pleased to announce their partnership with Wabtec Corporation to develop the next century of Locomotives using Ultium battery technology with HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell systems to power the 21st century Locomotives around North America and the world. Welcome to the Ultium based FLXdrive Locomotive and the future.

    On Tuesday June 15th 2021, GM and Wabtec announced their partnership to take the Locomotive, the backbone of America and the world for moving freight into the 21st century with the FLXdrive Locomotive and what the future holds.

    The rail industry for over a century has depended on the carbon heavy diesel technology to serve companies in delivering products all over North America and the World. In the last few decades, Locomotive's have been moving from pure diesel to an electric driven powertrain using diesel generators to provide electricity to the powertrain in moving freight. 
    Customers have more and more asked for green Locomotive solutions that replaced the use of Diesel with an alternative solution. Today Wabtec is pleased to introduce the battery electric FLXdrive Locomotive. This is the worlds first 100% Ultium battery powered locomotive that has proven to slash carbon emissions by 30% when operating at 6 MWh.

    Wabtec took the time in 2020 to look at what GM had built so far with their Ultium Battery cells and the Hydrotec fuel cell systems. With this they built the FLXdrive Locomotive, a pure Ultium battery pack Locomotive to work with Diesel Hybrid Locomotives in testing and came away with amazing noticeable results.

    The Ultium based heavy-haul freight locomotive uses 18,000 Ultium cells in the FLXdrive locomotive. This locomotive in a traditional heavy-haul train with diesel locomotives proved to reduce fuel consumption by 11% and greenhouse gas emissions by 30% resulting in a reduction of 6,200 gallons of diesel fuel saves and a reduction of 69 tons of CO2 not created. This pilot was over a three-month period with BNSF railways covering 13,320 miles of hilly terrain in Dan Joaguin Valley, California. This is an area that is classified as a non-attainment area, where the air quality is worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
    The 430,000 pound FLXdrive locomotive was charged overnight in the railyard and then with connection to the Diesel Hybrid Locomotives and via regenerative braking was able to optimize battery pack levels throughout the day and still have deep reserves to add additional torque / power when needed in moving freight especially up hills at a much faster rate with an average train length of 1 mile hauling several thousand tons of freight.

    FLXdrive also introduced Wabtec's next generation of Trip Optimizer system, an A.I. based intelligent cruise control system programmed to respond to every twist and grade of the track to optimize the most energy-efficient way in moving freight as fast as possible.
    This technology would not have been possible without the advanced R&D gm had done with BEVs and is coming in the all new Hummer line and future products from gm.

    Wabtec has now moved forward with moving into production the FLXdrive locomotive a second generation of the FLXdrive which will also have options for battery packs that have more than 6 MWhs in size. Yet Wabtec is not stopping there, customers across North America from both Locomotive companies such as BNSF here and in other places like Europe have asked for a way to replace the diesel generation component and with that is where gm's HYDROTEC fuel cell technology comes into play which was shown as a successful options for the military in advanced high power, high speed auto's.

    Wabtec has two sides of their business, first building and selling new locomotives the second is the repowering of existing locomotives. This second business stream is where Wabtec believes gm's HYDROTEC technology will help them in having a very clear path for the 21st century as they repower existing locomotives with Ultium batteries and Hydrogen generators using HYDROTEC fuel cells.

    gm has a very large carbon footprint as does the whole auto industry in how they move new auto's from manufacturing to sales via rail transport with the last mile usually on a semi truck. As such, the ability to improve air quality while reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes via this very important business of repowering existing locomotives and Wabtec's vision for the rail industry see's gm and Wabtec playing a leading role in the clean energy economy and carbon reduced emissions globally by up to 300 tons per year.

    Wabtec and GM to Develop Advanced Ultium Battery and HYDROTEC Hydrogen Fuel Cell Solutions for Rail Industry
    GM Corporate Newsroom - United States - Home
    Wabtec and GM to Develop Advanced Ultium Battery and HYDROTEC Hydrogen Fuel Cell Solutions for Rail Industry | Wabtec Corporation
    Locomotive | Wabtec Corporation
    Wabtec’s All-Battery Locomotive, FLXdrive, Lowers Freight Train’s Fuel Consumption by More Than 11 Percent in California Pilot | Wabtec Corporation
    Homepage | Wabtec Corporation

    2022 Maverick Release with Hybrid Standard and Now Ford is Saying BEV to also be Added!

    On June 8th Ford Motor Company released the All-New Ford Maverick Mini-Pickup on the world. This newest truck comes standard as a Hybrid with AWD versions as upgrades. Now Ford is telling us a BEV is on it's way!

    Ford released on Tuesday June 8th 2021 the All-New Ford Maverick. A name plate that once graced a compact car is back now on a mini-pickup truck. Ford is coming out of the gates swinging for a home run and seems to be hitting all cylinders by making this a FWD Hybrid as Standard with AWD as an upgrade.
    Ford hits this market reborn with four clear points about the benefits of the Maverick.
    All-new Ford Maverick is the first standard full-hybrid pickup in America and the most fuel-efficient truck on the market with a targeted EPA-estimated rating of 40 mpg in the city*; while its compact size makes it easy to maneuver and park, there’s room for five adults and plenty of storage space Maverick offers lots of smart technology, including a standard 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® compatibility, standard FordPass™ Connect with embedded modem and Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking and Automatic High Beam Headlamps – all for a starting MSRP of $19,995 The Maverick FLEXBED™ system provides organization and cargo solutions to fit owners’ lifestyles, with a multi-position tailgate, slots to use lumber to subdivide the bed, 12 available anchor points, two 12-volt 20-amp prewired sources at the back enabling DIY electrical solutions, plus two available 110-volt outlets for powering a laptop or tailgate party Built Ford Tough durability and capability means 1,500 pounds of payload capacity – equal to 37 bags of 40-pound mulch; standard hybrid provides 2,000 pounds of towing to haul personal watercraft to the lake, while the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost® gas engine can tow up to 4,000 pounds, enough to bring a typical 23-foot camper on a weekend getaway The Maverick is a standard five-passenger, four-door pickup with full-hybrid powertrain with an EPA-estimated rating of 40 mpg city and 500 miles of range on a single tank. This is based on the Mavericks 13.8 gallon tank, using the combined 37 mpg estimated rating, final EPA released figures will be out later in 2021.
    Per Ford, they wanted a truck that would beat some of the best compact cars out there like the Honda Civic with better fuel economy and challeneged their team to start conceptualizing what that would look like and since the Concept stage have stayed very true to the images.

    Fords truck group marketing manager believes the Maverick will challenge the status quo on what an economical pickup can be with a compelling message and feature list that will make many questions why they would want a compact car compared to a compact pickup truck all starting at under $20,000 dollars.

    Starting from the City, the Maverick is the solution to getting away economically for a day of fun in the mountains. Camping, boating or playing on the water is what the Maverick can handle in spades.

    The Maverick is also an excellent truck for those home improvement projects be they in the yard or home remodel, the Maverick can handle it.

    The Ford Flexbed is the most versatile truck bed out there for compact trucks. The bed is designed with a unique set of standard features and opportunity to transform the cargo box into a complete makerspace giving the owner a complete custom organizational storage solution with secure cargo features.
    The Flexbed comes with two tie-downs, four D-rings and built in threaded holes in the sides to bolt in new creations. By using 2x4 or 2x6s you can slot these pieces of wood into sections that are stamped into the bed allowing for a variety of ways to customize the Flexbed.

    This 4.5 foot long bed can carry 1,500 pounds of payload and comes with a built in 110V outlet for all your DIY electrical projects including a compressor compartment. There is 400 watts of power starting with the Bed, inside the cab that can pretty much power anything.
    The interior comes like all Ford products with a wide range of customization depending on trim level that covers from Backup Camera viewing to storage under the rear seat for tools and can even hold your mountain bike. Easy and flexible enough for anyone to use. One will find an 8 inch touch screen as standard that supports both Apple and Android compatibility and the standard FordPass Connect with embedded modem and Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices along with the Ford Co-Pilot 360.

    For a comparison of the Trims, look at the press released PDF file.
    The Ford Maverick sports the Iconic Ford Pickup Truck Styling. This truck launches with three trim levels, XL, XLT and Lariat. You will also be able to add the FX4 package to the AWD XLT or AWD Lariat versions giving one a more aggressive off-road capability.

    First edition models are the only thing available for 2021. These will be built off the Lariat trim level and include unique graphics on the hood and lower doors, high-glass black painted roof, soft tonneau covers, body-color door handles, high-gloss black skull caps and bloss black painted and machined 18" wheels for Hybrid or unique 17" aluminum wheels for gas models. Unique to the First Year Edition Mavericks will be three colors only, Carbonized Grey, Area 51 black and Rapid Red.
    Pre-orders can be done now on the Ford web site for the 2022 Ford Maverick.
    2022 Ford® Maverick Compact Truck | Introducing the First Hybrid Pickup Truck
    Per inside evs web site, Mike Levine, Fords North American Product Communications Manager has confirmed that Ford will be building a complete series of BEVs. The Electric versions will include the Ford Explorer, Ford Bronco, Ford Maverick, Lincoln Navigator, Lincoln Aviator and other variants. 
    Plenty to follow on his twitter account: 
    Mike Levine (@mrlevine) / Twitter
    Maverick Press Release
    40 MPG City. Standard Hybrid. Seats Five. Starts Under $20K. All-New 2022 Ford Maverick: Did We Mention It’s a Truck? | Ford Media Center
    Maverick Pictures
    40 MPG City. Standard Hybrid. Seats Five. Starts Under $20K. All-New 2022 Ford Maverick: Did We Mention It’s a Truck?
    FlexBed Pictures
    40 MPG City. Standard Hybrid. Seats Five. Starts Under $20K. All-New 2022 Ford Maverick: Did We Mention It’s a Truck?
    Concept pictures
    40 MPG City. Standard Hybrid. Seats Five. Starts Under $20K. All-New 2022 Ford Maverick: Did We Mention It’s a Truck?
    Gabrielle Union Actress / Musician marketing pictures 
    40 MPG City. Standard Hybrid. Seats Five. Starts Under $20K. All-New 2022 Ford Maverick: Did We Mention It’s a Truck?
    Electric Maverick and so much more coming confirmed
    Ford Confirms It’s Considering Second Smaller Electric Pickup (insideevs.com)

    Should Dodge Offer their M28 Hood and Fender Molding Option Again?

    In the 1970's Dodge offered on the Charger and Challenger a M28 Hood and Fender Molding option. This transformed the look of the 426 Hemi powered auto's that really set them apart in the Pony wars. Today a new artist has built what they think Dodge should offer. What are your thoughts?

    It is 1971, your in your local Dodge Dealer trying to decide between the Charger or Challenger. As a single adult, you choose the Challenger with the 426 Hemi option. Now comes the next big question, do you order it with the M28 Hood and Fender trim package or not? If so, which hood option do you go with and do you go coupe or convertible?

    Even today, these rare pony cars are now bringing in big bucks if you have them with matching numbers, restore them and take them to auction. Yet those are the pony cars of the past and now we have todays Chargers and Challengers with modern monster versions of the Demon, SRT, etc. to name a few and still one thing is missing. The factory option of the Hood and Fender molding.
    A Artist and 3D modeller with a passion for American Muscle Cars was asked by his daughter what he thought a modern take on the M28 Hood / Fender molding might look like if Dodge was to offer one today. He took to it with gusto and came up with the following that he posted to Instagram.
    As such he did the models in various colors which you can check out at the link above and figured a modern Glory Model with the Supercharger would be the way he would go if he was Dodge.

    So the question being asked here especially for those muscle car enthusiast, what do you think of this take and should Dodge offer this package again for the current lineup of Charger/Challenger auto's?

    The designer posted the various pictures with the following:
    Last time i made a car for my girl made me think that i probably going to make this Glory name as a brand like hennessey or saleen or shelby.
    So heres my Glory concept of the Challenger, this is a remastered version of my original bodykit design back in 2019, new front bumper design, new rear diffuser lower valance, and new Blower Scoop on the hood bulge 💪

    Its also have new supercharger with Glory signature carbon plenum. With goals to make this capable of 1000hp.. the Glory Challenger will be a production ready tuned challenger, probably with better handling package as well, since it has wider widebody, wider tires.

    With the glory challenger i want to bring back the good old Muscle car key design element back, the front facia will have a chrome like the old 70 Charger or body color option. The blower scoop is integrated into the hood with active butterflies that open with computer controlled valve. quad exhaust, and thicker rear wheels for better grip at the quarter mile.

    I really wish this Glory name could be my performance brand one day. A new breed of Streetmachines

    What do you think about this concept?
    Credit to Adry53 Customs
    He also has a YouTube channel here:
    Adry53 - YouTube

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