Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up September 10-16, 2023
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Here are Larry's picks among 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. for Nutson's Auto News Weekly Wrap-up September 10-16, 2023
* The art of negotiation. Ask for more than you want to achieve your objective. The UAW went on strike against all three Detroit-based automakers. This is an historic move that exploited the leeway created by the just expired contract even as automakers offered raises as high as 20 percent. The UAW struck GM's Wentzville Assembly that builds Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups and the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, Ford's Michigan Assembly that builds Ranger and Bronco and Stellantis' Toledo Assembly that builds Jeeps. About 13,000 members across the three plants are walking the picket lines.
* Joe White for Reuters writes: The strike is about who gets the billions in profits being spun out by the automakers’ combustion truck and SUV franchises, and who will benefit from the billions in electric vehicle subsidies on offer from Washington. UAW President Fain wants UAW workers to get a much bigger share of both pots of money.
* The average price Americans paid for a new vehicle in August 2023 was virtually flat year over year due to higher inventory levels and increased incentives. Kelley Blue Book reports that the average transaction price (ATP) of a new vehicle in August was $48,451, up only $42 from one year ago. Prices increased slightly by 0.6% ($286) compared to July’s revised ATP of $48,165. Since the start of the year, transaction prices are down 2.4%, or $1,212, the largest decrease in the past decade. In August, manufacturers’ incentives averaged $2,365, reaching the highest point in a year. This increase brought incentives to 4.9% of ATP, which is still historically low. Electric vehicle (EV) prices continue to fall, with Tesla leading the way. In August, the average price paid for an EV was $53,376, lower than the previous month and significantly less than a year ago when an EV cost more than $65,000. Incentives for EVs in August were 8.1% of the average transaction price, or $4,298.
* US DoE factoid of the week: Electric vehicle charging consumed less energy than water heating in a typical U.S. household in 2020. In U.S. homes with electric vehicles (EVs), annual household electricity consumption for EV charging averaged 2,363 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2020, which is less than several other household appliances. According to recently released estimates from the 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, water heating consumed 2,706 kWh of electricity on average in 2020—similar to consumption for space heating and air conditioning.
* US Dept. of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm‘s summer trip through the southeast United States had a few glitches. Granholm and her entourage used a fleet of electric vehicles to journey from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Memphis, Tennessee, with town hall events along the way, NPR’s Camila Domonoske wrote in a report. A Cadillac Lyriq, Ford F-150 Lightning and a Chevrolet Bolt provided the transport. Charging in one location didn't go so well to the point that someone called the cops. Have a read HERE
* BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced that they have entered into an agreement to create ChargeScape, LLC, a new equally-owned company that will create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers. Benefiting both EV customers and the electric utility industry in the U.S. and Canada, ChargeScape will unlock entirely new value that EVs can provide to the electric grid, while enabling EV customers to earn financial benefits through a variety of managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
* From AP we read: Most major car manufacturers admit they may be selling your personal information--though they are vague on the buyers, a new study finds. Half say they would share it with the government or law enforcement without a court order. Mozilla Foundation said in their latest "Privacy Not Included" survey, drivers are given little or no control over personal data. HERE
* Roads with built-in charging infrastructure could go a long way toward solving the range anxiety associated with electric vehicles. The roads would allow for wireless charging as consumer, freight and transit vehicles cruise along, as Israel-based Electreon is demonstrating with several pilot projects in Europe, and one planned for Detroit. Have a look at this report from CNBC: HERE
* On the eve before media previews at the 2024 Detroit Auto Show Ford introduced the refreshed 2024 F-150. The F-150 gets new base engine, new tailgate, and design updates. To simplify manufacturing there will be 90 percent fewer build combinations. Ford said it expects to double the truck's hybrid mix from 10 percent today.
* At the Detroit Auto Show the new 2024 Jeep Gladiator 4x4, the refreshed 2025 Cadillac CT5, and the 2024 GMC Acadia were revealed. BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Tesla and Volkswagen participated in the all-new indoor EV track. Like other auto shows, the Detroit show is morphing to more of a mobility show and the first-ever Mobility Global Forum was held.
* Twenty-five vehicles were announced as the “Best of 2024” by the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards organization. The list, which emerged from a preliminary field of 52 eligible vehicles, was announced during the kickoff press conference of the Detroit Auto Show in Detroit. Ten cars, five trucks and ten utility vehicles will advance to finalist round of the awards process. Three finalists in each category will be announced in Los Angeles on November 16, and winners will be announced at a special event in Detroit on January 4, 2024. HERE
* Researchers in Sweden have created a female crash test dummy that represents the average-size woman, a first for the industry. Eva Epker of Avestria Ventures sees advancements in data collection and improved safety innovations ahead: "This dummy's very existence may mark a pivotal point in car crash testing and the safety of women in cars."
* The EU is requiring 100% of city buses to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and electric city buses now claim a 40% market share in the EU. Meanwhile, electric trucks in the EU are facing a slower transition, accounting for less than 1% of new sales. Truck manufacturers recently indicated that by 2030 they expect electric trucks will have a market share of 60%, with the sector becoming completely fossil-free by 2040.
* All 2023 model year Porsche Taycan vehicles and certain 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT vehicles are being recalled due to improperly sealed batteries. Sealant was not applied properly and allowed liquid to accumulate in the battery which can cause arcing and a possible fire, according to the NHTSA. The recall affects around 7,000 vehicles.
* From zero to 100 kph (62mph) in less than a second: A racing car built by students has broken the world record for electric vehicle acceleration. Students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences designed and built the "Mythen" vehicle that achieved the feat. The vehicle weighs just 140 kilograms (309 pounds) and boasts 240 kilowatts of power, or around 326 horsepower. Driver Kate Maggetti, a friend of students involved in the project, was selected "due to her light body weight" and "willingness to take on the challenge." This beat the previous world record of 1.461 seconds, set in September 2022 by a team from the University of Stuttgart by more than a third.
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