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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up September 4-10 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - September 11, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel 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: Complete 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 headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - Week Ending September 10, 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.

* Drivers have shelled out almost $90 more per month to own and operate their vehicles in 2022 than they did in 2021, according to the latest research from AAA. In 2021, the average annual cost to own and operate a vehicle was $9,666, or $805.50 a month. The rising cost of things like fuel and maintenance have driven this figure to $10,728, or $894 a month, in 2022. According to AAA's research, owners of small sedans and electric vehicles spend the least to operate their cars.

Electrify America has unveiled a redesign of its charging stations designed to make them more consumer friendly. The changes include labels that clearly indicate charging levels, a new "balanced charging" system that delivers the maximum charge possible to each vehicle and clearer payment options. The updates were made following EV driver surveys and are designed to create a more familiar "gas station"-like experience, the company said.  Electrify America will keep the CHAdeMo for low-level (up to 50kW charging), but use new labels above that: Ultra-Fast (up to 150 kW and Hyper-Fast (up to 350kW), not unlike mid-grade and premium gas options. It also shows one, two or three lightning bolts for charging levels, the type of plug, and CHAdeMO or CCS labeling up top.

*U.S. DoE factoid of the week: The sale of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) increased by 76% from 2020 to 2021. HEVs are fueled with gasoline and cannot be plugged in but have better fuel economy than conventional gasoline vehicles due to their electric drive systems. HEV batteries store energy from regenerative braking, provide electric power to the wheels, and support electrical vehicle systems for short periods while the engine is stopped. The first full year of HEV sales in the United States was in 2000. Since then, there have been two distinct periods of growth prior to the 76% surge in sales from 2020 to 2021. The surge from 2020 to 2021 is possibly related to rising gasoline prices. The price of gas, however, is just one of the many factors affecting vehicle sales.

* Consumer Reports writes about "How Temperature Affects Electric Vehicle Range." CR tested popular EVs from Ford, Hyundai, Tesla, and Volkswagen in cold, mild, and warm weather. Learn More HERE

* The Jeep brand announced a comprehensive plan for its next generation of fully electric 4xe vehicles as part of a sustainable transformation to become the leading electrified SUV brand in the world. The brand will introduce four zero-emission vehicles in North America and in Europe by 2025. Electrified models will be offered across the entire U.S. portfolio, including Wagoneer 4xe vehicles. 50% of sales in the U.S. and 100% of sales in Europe will be battery-electric vehicles (BEV) by 2030. Jeep showed the first images of two fully electric SUVs – the all-new Jeep Recon and an all-new Wagoneer, code name Wagoneer S. Jeep Avenger, first-ever fully electric Jeep SUV for Europe, will debut at the Paris Motor Show on October 17.

* AP reports seventeen states with vehicle emission standards tied to rules established in California face weighty decisions on whether to follow that state's strictest-in-the nation new rules that require all new cars, pickups and SUVs to be electric or hydrogen powered by 2035. Under the Clean Air Act, states must abide by the federal government's standard vehicle emissions standards unless they at least partially opt to follow California's stricter requirements. Among them, Washington, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Vermont are expected to adopt California’s ban on new gasoline-fueled vehicles. Colorado and Pennsylvania are among the states that probably won't.

* EPA fined two suppliers $10 million for emission defeat devices. Diesel Ops LLC and Orion Diesel LLC were caught through a national crackdown by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against companies violating the Clean Air Act.

* A NASCAR executive says “it’s unacceptable for the cars to catch on fire” and that series officials continue to look into the matter after Kevin Harvick’s car became the latest to catch fire this past weekend in the Southern 500. Harvick was critical of NASCAR and the Next Gen car after exiting his burning vehicle. Asked by NBC Sports’ Marty Snider what caused the fire, Harvick said: “I’m sure it’s just crappy parts on the race car like we’ve seen so many times. They haven’t fixed anything. It’s kind of like the safety stuff. We just let it keep going and keep going.

* Paul Duchene, an automotive journalist for 40 years, has died from injuries suffered in a fall at his home.  He has owned about 250 cars, and drove an Isetta three-wheeler daily as a reporter in London in the 1960s. He’s raced motorcycles and ran the 1,000 mile Moto-Giro d’Italian on a 1957 Ducati and he ran the 5,000 mile Alcan Winter Rally six times. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Car and Driver, Autoweek, and Roundel, and was the Automotive Editor at The Oregonian and the Portland Tribune, and Executive Editor at Sports Car Market Magazine.

* Famed 1960s drag racer Judy Lilly-Gunson, known as "Miss Mighty MOPAR", passed away August 9, 2022 at Platte Valley Hospital in Brighton, CO at the age of 80. A prominent figure in the pioneering age of drag racing, Judy married Dennis Maurer and Chrysler became her sponsor. She was so good and quick in the driver's seat that she won five National Hotrod Association championships, five divisional championships and was named driver of the year three times by Car Craft Magazine. Judy became known to a generation as " Miss Mighty Mopar". She drag raced for 23 years and was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1998 and became the first woman inducted into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005.

* From Autoweek we read the proposed partnership between Porsche Motorsport and Red Bull Racing in Formula 1 from 2026 has collapsed. The proposed deal between Red Bull and Porsche would have led to Porsche supplying power units to Red Bull Racing beginning in 2026. Porsche desired an equal stake in the company that operates the race team. Porsche reportedly wanted the team rebranded as Red Bull-Porsche, rather than just joining as a power unit provider.<

* Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away this week, had served her country well during a reign of almost 70 years. The 96-year-old monarch remained a steadfast, stable force in British life throughout her lifetime of public service. After debating her royal parents for over a year, the future queen signed up for the Auxiliary Territorial Service in February 1945 as a truck mechanic. She stayed in until after VJ Day, and kept driving herself throughout her life, even teaching her children and grandchildren to drive. A Life Well Lived, Rest in Peace Your Majesty.

Stay safe. Be Well.