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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up Week Ending April 9, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - April 10, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Full versions of today's news nuggets along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million-page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a bold headline and then inserting into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending April 9, 2022 Below are the past week's important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy-to-understand automotive universe news nuggets.

* The U.S. DoE reports net petroleum imports to the United States continue to decline. Following increased domestic production of petroleum in the United States and the repeal of the Crude Oil Export Ban in December 2015, overall net imports of petroleum have declined. Petroleum consists primarily of crude oil, refined petroleum products, and hydrocarbon gas liquids. Although net imports of crude oil are still positive, they have decreased from a peak of 10 million barrels per day in 2005 to just 2.7 million barrels per day in 2020. Increases in exports of refined petroleum products and hydrocarbon gas liquids over the last decade have greatly contributed to the decline of net petroleum imports.

* The governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, signed a multi-state agreement that pledges at least 30% of all new trucks and buses sold will be zero emission by 2030, and 100% will be zero emission by 2050. Nevada joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia as signatories on the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (MHD ZEV) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which represents 40% of the US population. The 16 other states that have signed the MOU are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

* According to the General Motors and Honda announced plans to expand the two companies’ relationship to a new chapter by codeveloping a series of affordable electric vehicles based on a new global architecture using next-generation Ultium battery technology. The companies are working together to enable global production of millions of EVs starting in 2027, including compact crossover vehicles, leveraging the two companies’ technology, design and sourcing strategies. The companies will also work toward standardizing equipment and processes to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput and greater affordability. The compact crossover segment is the largest in the world, with annual volumes of more than 13 million vehicles.

* Car rental company Hertz is planning to buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Swedish premium electric car maker Polestar over the next five years as it looks to boost its electric vehicle rental fleet. The vehicles are expected to be available in Europe in the spring and in North America and Australia later this year. The announcement comes more than five months after Hertz said that it will buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla.

* Motor has a report coming from a Ford exec in Australia that a new Ford Mustang is coming for 2024. It'll have a V8. Most likely it also will by electrified with an available hybrid engine. It could be the rear wheels are ICE driven and the front wheels have electric motors for all-wheel drive. A manual transmission may not be offered any longer.

* Porsche is investing $75 million in HIF Global LLC. In return, the sports car manufacturer is acquiring a long-term stake in HIF Global LLC, a holding company of internationally active project developers of eFuel production facilities. Among other projects, the Santiago de Chile-based company is building the Haru Oni eFuel pilot plant in Punta Arenas (Chile). Initiated by Porsche and implemented with partners including Siemens Energy and ExxonMobil, production of eFuels from hydrogen and CO2 using wind energy is expected to start there in mid-2022. These electricity-based synthetic fuels enable nearly-CO2-neutral operation of combustion engines. So, combustion engines may be around for longer than some now think.

* U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation into electric and hybrid vehicle batteries after five automakers issued recalls due to possible defects that could cause fires or stalling. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the probe covers more than 138,000 vehicles with batteries made by LG Energy Solution of South Korea. General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Stellantis and Volkswagen have issued recalls since February of 2020, most due to internal battery failures that can increase the risk of fires.

* Electrified power, legendary 4x4 capability and commanding performance will be front and center during this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, the Jeep brand’s home away from home. The Jeep brand and Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) by Mopar team are bringing their A game with an extraordinary lineup of custom-built 4x4 and 4xe concept vehicles to conquer the iconic red-rock terrain in Moab, Utah. Thousands of off-roading enthusiasts and Jeep brand loyalists from all over the world will descend upon Moab, April 9-17, for the weeklong annual tradition of trail rides and technical off-roading.

* DeLorean Motor Company, the short-lived 1980s automaker behind the DMC DeLorean sports car turned pop culture staple thanks to the Back to the Future franchise, is returning with an EV model. DeLorean Motor Company has announced a new reveal date and released its first sneak peak of their electric vehicle. The concept car is now slated to premiere Thursday, August 18 at the prestigious Awards Ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

* Packard luxury cars were built from 1899 to 1956. Now, 66 years after the last car was built, a judge in Detroit has ordered the demolition of the long standing but now deteriorating Packard auto plant because it has become a public nuisance. The Peruvian owner, Fernando Palazuelo, and his company, Arte Express Detroit, must remove all rubbish and debris from the sprawling site and demolish all buildings a structures.

* Dan Parker, a blind racecar driver, achieved the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the "Fastest Speed for a Car Driven Blindfolded" on Thursday, March 31. Parker set a new speed record of 211.043 miles per hour on the runway at Spaceport America in his custom-built Corvette, which included an innovative audio guidance system designed to his specifications. The previous record was held by Mike Newman of the United Kingdom, who achieved a speed of 200.51 miles per hour in 2014. Parker went blind as the result of a racing accident that took place ten years before. The record attempt was made as part of the acceleration of the National Federation of the Blind's Blind Driver Challenge — an initiative that aims to call attention to the importance of breaking barriers in mobility and to demonstrate the incredible achievements of blind people.

Stay safe. Be Well.