Watch Out Tesla: Hyundai and Kia is coming soon, like today


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The 2019 Kia Niro EV

The Hyundai Group (Hyundai-Kia-Genesis) is serious.    Hyundai’s popular Sonata and Elantra models as well has Kia’s Optima’s and Forte has seen huge declines in sales.  Like the most of auto industry, consumers are choosing SUV’s over passenger cars.  With one exception Tesla.  If you in any major city you have seen a Tesla.

There are more 2018 Model 3’s on the road than the Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, and Nissan Altima.

Elon Musk now has the worlds attention.  Within the next 16 months, nearly every automaker will have an electric vehicle with a range of at least 200 miles in their lineup. The problem is, most of the planned vehicles are out of the price range of the average car buyer.  Jaguar I pace starts at 69K , Audi’s E-tron with 240 mile range will hit the streets in April starting at 74K.

The Tesla Model 3 was supposed to be at 35K the affordable electric car.  However, few has seen one. The average Tesla is selling for a pinch over 50k.   Tesla says, they will begin offering the base model this spring.  If you buy the base model as advertised, it will have a range of 264 miles and if your sticking to that price you must like the color black. Any other color is a fifteen hundred dollar option.

General Motors electric offering is the Chevy Bolt.  For 35,000 you can get a nicely equipped Bolt with a range of 240 miles.   The designers at GM went the Prius direction when it came to styling.   A car that said, I’m driving  I’m driving an environmental friendly non polluting car. Unfortunately the Prius isn’t selling and the Chevy Bolt are accumulating dust at Chevy Dealerships.

Its a sound car and a good alternative to Tesla. Unlike Tesla, no one would call the Chevy Bolt sexy.

Enter Hyundai

Hyundai, developed its first all electric car in 1991.  In 2011, the Company introduced the Hybrid Sonata Hybrid to the US Market. Currently, the automaker has seven variations of Hybrid, Plug In Hybrid models including two all electric models the Kia Soul EV and the Hyundai Ioniq models.  Those two electric models have a range of less than 115 miles.

Last November, Hyundai announced they would sell an all electric version of the Hyundai Kona.  This car,while smaller than the Tesla has an all important range of  258 miles.  Only seven fewer miles than the standard Tesla model 3 and a well equipped model will begin at $37,000 excluding the $7500 Federal Tax Credit, no longer available on the Tesla***

The  Hyundai Kona, recently received the Prestigious “North American Utility Vehicle of the Year” a first for any Hyundai.   The Kona. should go on sale any moment in California. That’s the good news for California Residents.  The bad news, is there is a long waiting list.

However, the Kia is plans to release an all electric version of its Niro next month. The NiroEV is larger than the KonaEV. The two vehicles share the same  64-kWh battery  however the range on the NiroEV is 239 miles.    Unlike the KonaEV, the NiroEV will offer faster charging,  a CCS DC fast-charging setup, which can refill the battery to 80 percent in 75 minutes.  30 minute will add approximately 100 miles of range.

  Kia says the NiroEV will go on sale mid-to-late February and will be available in 12 states.  California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

Pricing for the Niro EV will began around 38,000 before the $7500 Federal Tax Credit.

What is the Federal Tax Credit and why is it no longer available on Tesla’s? 

The Federal EV Tax Credit is not a rebate on the price of the car that you get instantly when making the purchase. You have to apply to receive it when you file your annual tax return. You or your tax professional will fill out an IRS Form 8936, which is submitted with your return. Since it is a tax credit, you have to wait until you file your next year’s return before you will receive the tax incentive.

You cannot claim the tax credit until you take delivery of the new vehicle. Deposits and prepayments do not count. It is not available on leased vehicles.

Each vehicle manufacturer is allowed to sell up to 200,000 qualifying plug-in electric vehicles (battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids) before the EV tax credit on their products begins to phase out.  This isn’t for one model, its applies to all EV models sold by a single Auto maker.

***Last year, Tesla sold nearly 150,000 Model 3’s,  When you include Tesla’s Model S and the Model X its has sold more than 200,000 cars.   To stay competitive, Tesla has reduced prices on all of their models.  

General Motors is projected to reach its maximum by late spring early summer**

In addition to the Federal Tax Credit,  some states are offering credits and rebates. Colorado is currently the most generous of the states, offering a credit of up to $5,000 that can be used in conjunction with the federal tax credit to save you up to $12,500 off the price of the car. In some cases, the incentives come in the form of an instant vehicle rebate.

California offers rebates up to $7000*  for residents on purchased and leased Electric Vehicles, plug in’s and fuel cell vehicle.  The state offers higher rebates for lower income car buyer.  *Unlike Colorado, California’s rebates are based on specific models and the is less you earn, the greater the rebate.

Sometime, Somewhere in 2019  “The 2020 Kia Soul EV “

The Kia Soul is Kia’s best selling model by a wide margin.  It is known for its generous interior space and urban dimensions.   It will also be powered by the same battery as the Kona EV, and the Niro EV.   The Kona and Niro storage is larger the the Soul’s but the Soul upright interior is larger.   The 2020 Soul’s are all new, and with an estimated range of 239 miles the 2020 SoulEV has more than double the driving range of the 2018 SoulEV . The release date of the SoulEv is unknown.  Some sources say next month, others say mid summer.

Currently on sale in California, is the first SUV fuel cell vehicle the Hyundai Nexo

with a base price of 59,000 and a range of 380 miles. Last month Hyundai sold 35 models.   The challenge for fuel cells vehicles, is refueling  stations.

If your keeping count, the Hyundai group has four electric vehicles, four plug in vehicles and one fuel cell SUV.

The demand is high for electric vehicles, with prices under 40K Hyundai will be Tesla’s largest competitor this year in the US.

While Tesla has an apple like following, Hyundai will put a sizable dent into Tesla’s sales by the third quarter of this year.    Tesla’s Model 3 was to be the peoples car, and its technology is superior to anything on Hyundai’s drawing board.   However, what separates these companies is price and service.

 Tesla, has a much smaller dealer network than the Hyundai Group and a shorter warranty.  However, many of Tesla’s fixes can be done electronically without the customer stepping into a service department.  Hyundai has more experience building cars.

If I wanted to buy an electric car today, are there any deals?  

With the exception of the European makes and the Chrysler Pacific plug in hybrid models, deep discounts are available.  There are also deep discounts for the lower range (less than 150 miles) all electric vehicles.

However, the best buy is on the all electric Chevy Bolt.  The Bolt has a range of nearly 240 miles.  When it was released, they sold quickly at full price.  Today, they are sitting on dealers lots.  Deep discounts and are available (check Chevy’s website for rebates) and as of this writing The Chevy Bolt still qualify for the full ($7500 Tax Credit-today**)  

How does the Niro Drive?

CityFella

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Why the General Motors plant closures are good for America and not so good for Donald Trump


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2019 Cadillac CT6
One of the best cars on the road and discontinued

Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for more than two decades. In the last few years the Honda Accord was the second best selling car in America.    Last year, Toyota and Honda introduced all new versions of the Camry and Accord and while the cars two remain the best selling cars in America. Sales of the two cars are substantially lower than 2017. 

Its not just Toyota and Honda, most passengers cars are crawling off dealer lots.  With one exception, nearly every automaker is offering incentives to move  passenger cars off the lots as American tastes have shifted to SUV’s.  

Kelly Blue Book says passenger cars sales are down 12% this year. Autodata says passengers cars represented 32% of all vehicles sold this year. This is a major drop from 2015 when passenger cars represented 51%. 

General Motors has spent billions in developing new fuel efficient cars.     The newest generation Chevrolet Impala and the Chevy Cruise received some of the best reviews for the brand in decades.   Consumer Reports said the Impala was the best in class. And despite the good reviews both models are under preforming, selling fewer cars than the previous generation.  

General Motors revamped its stodgy Buick and Cadillac divisions with Cadillac building cars that can out maneuver Germany’s best.   The problem is no one wants the relatively new Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac’s CT6.  

General Motors recently announced they were closing down five plants in North America.   The Lordstown Ohio plant that builds the Chevrolet Cruze. The Hamtramck Plant in Detroit that builds the Chevrolet Volt, Buick Lacrosse and the Cadillac CT6.   Transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland and the plant in Oshawa, Ontario that builds the Chevrolet Impala.  An estimated 14,000 workers will be affected.

Donald Trump is outraged. During his candidacy he promised to increase auto manufacturing jobs. To punish GM, he’s threaten to cut all subsidies. The President is particularly angry about the closing of the Lordstown Ohio plant,in state that overwhelmingly supported him in 2016.  It was a foolhardy promise, as no one can predict changes in the marketplace.   

While our president was tweeting, the auto industry changed.  Automakers like Volkswagen, Hyundai Kia and General Motors underestimated the popularity of the SUV’s and no one predicted the popularity of Tesla and Electric Car. 

Preparing for a New World

Some believe in the next few years fewer people in urban areas will purchase cars. A new generation is embracing ride sharing and other modes of transportation.  Technology is allowing millions to work from the home and the growing demand for Electric Cars may, require a                                                        different type of auto worker.                                                      

For years, domestic automakers ignored changes in the marketplace.  In the early 70’s Americans were attracted to the low prices and quality of the Japanese automakers.   The Ford, Chrysler and General Motors (The Big 3) responded with mediocre small cars.  The profits for the Big 3, was in large cars with V8 engines and trucks     

In 1973, (OPEC) The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries  stopped sending oil to the US. Resulting in fuel shortages and higher prices.   Buyers, of fuel efficient small cars, abandon Ford, Chrysler and General Motors for small cars at Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) Honda and Volkswagen. Many of them continued buying cars from the Japanese Automakers.

 When Gas Prices increased again in the early 2000′ American Automakers heavenly invested in SUV’s  Despite slowing sales American  Automakers continued to build over saturating the market.   The industry was to slow to react to changes in the industry, the demand for more fuel efficient cars and trucks. 

General Motors one of the largest automakers in the world and Chrysler needed a bailout loan from the government to remain in business.  

General Motors Positioning Itself for the Future

If the Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had their way, GM would continue to build  unprofitable vehicles to keep their constituents employed. 

To avoid a catastrophic 2008 meltdown, General Motors and other automakers are being proactive. 

General Motors CEO Mary Barra  is implementing billions of dollars in cost-cutting measures in preparation for the next economic downturn. Shifting the company’s focus toward costly, emerging technologies such as autonomous and fully electric vehicles.  

 Shrinking its employee ranks is part of the plan, especially on the manufacturing side of its business, but GM also is sending a message that it’s working to change the makeup of the work force that remains.

“We are going to continue to hire, because when we look at the skill sets that we need for the future, the vehicle has become much more software-oriented, when you think about the hundreds of millions of lines of code that are in a vehicle that operates today,” “That’s only going to increase.”     Mary Barra

Just the first round……….

This is just first round of layoffs and plant closures.    Ford Motor Company is planning to stop building every sedan except the Mustang, and the Focus which will be built in China.   Unlike General Motors, Ford doesn’t plan to close any plants, however some shifts may be eliminated.  Most of Fords sedans are assembled in Mexico.   

Tesla and the new world order

A few years ago the California Air Resources Board required 15 percent of cars sold in California to be all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen vehicles.  This requirement would cost the industry billions in an untested market.  Billions more to build a hydrogen car.  Initially most of the industry converted gas engines for short range electric engines in existing models.    In 2010, GM Introduced one of the first plug in hybrids, the Chevrolet Volt, which allow the car to drive on pure electric power for up to 60 miles and then the car combustion engine powered the car and recharged the battery. 

Enter the California Fuel Cell Partnership:   In January 1999, two state government agencies—California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission joined with six private sector companies—Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, BP, Shell Hydrogen and ChevronTexaco—to form the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Headquartered in West Sacrmamento.  The goal was to demonstrate and promote the potential for fuel cell vehicles as a clean, safe, and practical alternative to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Within a very short time, other government agencies and private businesses became members.  Today, the members include Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and General Motors.  Today there are three hydrogen fuel cell cars for sale in selected markets.  Honda Clarity, Hyundai Nexo and the Toyota Mirai. The challenge for hydrogen vehicles is suppliers of hydrogen and a network of fueling stations.  

In 2010 Nissan introduced the Leaf, one of the first all electric cars sold in several countries including the United States.  Nearly 400,000 Leafs has been sold globally.  Most of the Leafs sold in the US were sold in California.  Initially the Leaf had a range of less than 80 miles.  The newest models have a range of 151 miles.

In 2012, Tesla Inc. A small company in Northern California. Introduced the first full size luxury, all electric car called the Model S.  The standard Model S had a driving  range of 208 miles, more than double the Leaf . Buyers could  increase the driving range to over 300 miles by opting for a larger battery.  By 2016 the Model S was the second best selling electric vehicle in the world. 

While sales of nearly all combustion engines passengers cars are down.  Sales for Tesla’s Model 3 us up over 400%  It was the sixth best selling sedan last month in the United States. 

  American and Domestic automakers are investing more than 100 billion dollars to bring more electric and  hydrogen vehicles to the marketplace. 

The transition in the Auto Industry is troublesome for Donald Trump as some workers will not survive.   The proactive measures taken by Ford and General Motors to avoid a repeat of the 2008 meltdown may not be good for the President, however it is good for America. 

CityFella 

Family Brand


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There are entire families who for whatever reason buy a specific car brand or make.   There are Ford, Chevy, Honda, and Toyota Families where most of the people in that family buy a particular make

My parents brought me home from the hospital in an Old Green Buick Roadmaster, I’m not sure if it was made in the late 1940’s or early 50’s.  I’m sure my older brother who was in high school at the time,hoped they had dropped me with another family.

The Roadmaster ran until it didn’t, it was replaced with my mothers dream car, 1955 white and blue Buick Century.  As a very young child I remembered the heater didn’t work and neither did the radio.  The engine made a very loud sound on the freeway when you accelerated.  My mother loved that car.

The Century stopped running a couple of years after my dad died.  While I had dreams of being a passenger in a Mustang, T-Bird or Pontiac GTO, she replaced the Buick with an ugly hang your head in shame 1964 Brown Chevy Bel Air.    It was the first car we owned that wasn’t of a different decade. In this car the heater worked and the am radio was intermittent, a bump in the road could bring music or take it away.

My brother was a Chrysler fan and owned a bright blue Desoto when I was a child.  After he married be bought a Cadillac.

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His first new car was 1965 Buick Skylark Grand Sport, it was Red and a black vinyl roof the car had 4 on the floor attached to a monster 455 cubic inch V8.    My mother became a legend the first time she drove the car.   It was a perfect day, everyone seemed to be outside.  My mother was used to driving the BelAir with a small block V8 .  Not the monster 455.   Pulling away from the curb she left two perfect skid marks half way down the block.   People cheered, my brother and I were proud.  We also knew she was scared shitless.  When she returned, people crossed the street surrounding my mother in the car. She acted as if she did this everyday.  No longer was she the widow, Sunday school teacher,  she was a bad ass!

I’m not a psychologist I wonder why do entire families buy a certain brand?    At the time, Buick’s weren’t  reliable cars, they shared parts with other General Motors vehicles.  But its something about the Buick, they always get my attention.  Its like the brand is in my blood, I have never owned Buick.

  The first brand my son remembers was a Mazda, years later his first car was a Mazda. A couple of years ago he bought a Toyota SUV but he looks at Mazda ‘s as I do Buick’s. I know there is a a part of him wishes he bought a Mazda.           Zoom Zoom

CityFella

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Don’t be surprised when these 3 types of cars flood the market


By: Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press
Get ready for a flood of new vehicles unlike what you’ve seen before as automakers explore three market niches that are primed for growth.
As car companies de-emphasize production of low-profit sedans, at least two new classes of SUV-type vehicles are coming — prestigious midsize and basic transportation.

We may also see the return of compact pickups like the old Chevrolet S-10 and the modest Japanese pickups that helped Toyota and Nissan build their reputation for durable, inexpensive vehicles.

Smokin’ hot SUVs

First up: Five-passenger midsize SUVs that are loaded with style, not extra seats.

Ford and Nissan cottoned on to demand for these models years before other automakers.

The Ford Edge and Nissan Murano set the pace for the class with striking looks, roomy interiors and advanced features. They look good, command top dollar and compete with luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 for thousands of dollars less.

The 2019 Chevy Blazer that was recently revealed is the first of the new midsize SUVs to break cover. It goes on sale early in 2019.

At least one more will debut from a Japanese competitor later this year, and Hyundai is reworking its Santa Fe family for a ritzier appeal.

The expected boom in these vehicles comes as buyers desert midsize and full-size sedans like the Ford Taurus and Hyundai Sonata.

Those customers want all the latest infotainment and driver assistance features, plus room to carry two couples to dinner comfortably.

Most automakers ignored five-passenger midsize SUVs until recently. They thought the big bucks were in selling six- and seven-passenger family hauling SUVs like Ford Explorer Toyota Highlander.

Those models are beginning to get some of the mom-mobile image that plagues minivans. The up-and-coming status symbol is spending as much or more on a slightly smaller, but really good looking SUV that says you’ve got plans beyond taking the soccer team for ice cream.

Just don’t call it a wagon

Automakers may quit building small, entry-level cars, but the people who bought those inexpensive models will still need transportation.

One answer, small SUV “ish” vehicles that look vaguely like an SUV but scrimp on features like all-wheel-drive, navigation systems and touch screens.

They’re the spiritual successors to the old Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. Those cars  were basically Corolla station wagons with optional AWD, but their main appeal lay in a smidgeon more ground clearance and styling looked almost indefinably tougher than other small cars.

The new Nissan Kicks is a great example. Plastic cladding around the wheel wells and extra ground clearance belie its base price of $17,990, making it look just classy enough to be a first new car a young buyer isn’t embarrassed to arrive in.

As sales of subcompact cars like the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic trickle down to nothing, other brands will try to match the Kicks’ ability to look costlier than it is.

Return of compact pickup

Compact pickups’ first surge of popularity came when a generation of college grads discovered they cost less than a small sedan, had all the room a young single person needed, and came with a veneer of capability, even if they couldn’t tow or haul much.

Rising prices of midsize pickups and compact SUVs have convinced some automakers to study a revival of the truly small pickup, models that are three-fourths the size of a Chevy Colorado, or maybe even as small as the rather comical car-based 1980s Subaru Brat.

Today’s midsize pickups are as big as a full-size pickup 35 years ago. That could open the door for a return to some really small pickups with low prices to attract first-time buyers.

Contact Mark Phelan: mmphelan@freepress.com or 313-222-6731. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.

Are the American auto manufacturers giving up on cars?


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A few years ago, familiar American nameplates started to disappear, Plymouth, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac victims of overcapacity.    These models share most components with other corporate models.   Plymouth shared engines, suspensions with Chrysler and Dodge. Mercury with Ford and Lincoln.   Chevrolet, Buick shared parts with Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

American manufactures have long struggled building fuel efficient cars. This was evident in the 70’s when fuel charges increased and in low supply.   Toyota, Nissan and other Japanese automakers flourished and established a sizable foothold on the American market.  While then the big four ,General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and American Motors struggled.

Where American dominate, is trucks. The Ford F-150, has been the best selling vehicle in the United States for more the 30 years.  At GM and Chrysler its the same, trucks.  While they sold more cars,  profit was in the truck business.

Today, trucks and SUV’s are the best selling vehicles. In 2016, Chrysler announced they were discontinuing the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 to focus on Suv’s and trucks.   Chrysler currently sells three car models, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger all three model share the same platform that dates back to 2005.   Chrysler sells 8 Suv models.

Last month the Ford Motor Company announced in the next few years they plan to discontinue every car except the Focus Hatchback which will be assembled in China and the Mustang.   They cite profitability.

General Motors, said they may discontinue the Chevy Sonic and the slow selling Impala.

Every Automaker is experiencing slower auto sales .  However, none of the Japanese and  Korean auto makers plan to discontinue car.   For 2018, GM released an all new Buick Regal sportback and wagon.  Toyota introduced an all new Camry and Avalon.  Honda, an all new Accord.   Nissan a new Altima.  Volkswagen and Subaru have introduced all new models.

Could History Repeat Itself ?

A lot of capitol is needed to build  fuel efficient vehicles.   The industry has spent hundreds of millions to develop and build new fuel efficient, engines and transmissions in addition to being fuel efficient the vehicles are laden with mandated safety equipment.

Ford was one of first american automaker to equip most of their car and truck fleet with turbo charged engines and aluminum it its truck and Suv’s.  While GM and Chrysler truck fleet have the old school V8 engines, Ford uses smaller displacement 4 and 6 cylinder turbo engines.  The investment has paid huge dividends for Ford.  Demand is up for the F-150 pickup.  The full size Ford  Expedition and one hundred thousand dollar Black Label Lincoln Navigators are flying off dealer lots.

American automakers have historically resisted building fuel efficient cars.  The fuel crises in the seventies took a toll an American automakers as car buyers bought smaller more fuel efficient cars.    Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) flourished and gained a major foothold in the North American Market. Chrysler went bankrupt.  (A loan from the Government saved Chrysler)

American automakers hasn’t successfully found the secret sauce in building a small car.  But they were coming close.  Instead of starting with a fresh piece a paper, they imported existing models from their foreign subsidiaries.   The Ford Focus and the Chevy Cruze are built on a global platform.  What they aren’t, is profitable.

Low gas prices has driven the market. The hot segment is the compact SUV and the large SUV’s,  Toyota’s Rav’s 4 and Nissan’s Rogue are on fire.  With gasoline prices on the rise, will history repeat itself?     Ford unlike Toyota ,has not expanded their hybrid technology.  Toyota has three hybrid passenger cars, and two Suv’s .   Ford currently has two hybrid passengers cars .  Ford says future  F-150, Mustang, Explorer, Escape and returning Bronco with have hybrid options.  However there is no specific date to when these vehicles will come to market.   Gasoline prices nations wide as of this date is $2.92 a gallon (a three year high) by late summer, based on current projections we may see $3.60.  (California $4.20) .  History:  Should fuel prices remain high, it will have an impact on sales.

Who will Survive? 

Of the domestic automakers. Chrysler is by far, the most vulnerable to high fuel prices, the only fuel efficient car option is the slow selling Fiat 500.    Ford can weather the storm for 2018 and they have the option of extending the execution date of its Fusions and Fiesta’s currently piled high on dealers lots.   General Motors has the best mix of cars and trucks.   It currently offers a diesel option on a few of its Suv’s, it has the successful electric Chevy Bolt and can quickly adapt that technology to future models.

The Competition?

If fuel prices continue to increase, the Japanese and Korean automakers are in the best position. Toyota and Nissan has the largest selections.  Nissan is the only foreign automakers to offer compact to full size trucks and full size cargo/passenger vans.

Volkswagen wants to be a serious player in the North American Market, its has a well rounded fleet with vehicles achieving 40mpg.    In the last few years VW has  introduced an astounding, 6 new models with a new luxury midsize due this fall. For 2018, the company now has a new 6 year 72,000 mile, bumper to bumper warranty in the US.  Unlike Hyundai/Kia the warranty is completely transferable.

The Hyundai Group, which saw a dramatic drop in sales of its mid size Sonata and Optima mid size sedans.  Is committed to sedan . Despite slow sales, Hyundai  has introduced 3 new hybrids and four subcompact and compact cars.  Hyundai is planning to bring an all electric Suv, the Hyundai Kona to market this fall with a range of 250 miles.

Ford was the only American automaker that survived the last economic downturn.  Will their plans for the North American market hurt them in the long run?   FCA has had several lives in North America, will their reliance on an Suv’s and trucks finally seal their fate?   Will General Motors follow suit?

News at 11

Cityfella

 

 

 

 

Zzzzzz Your next-NEXT car will be Electric!


Yes, your next NEXT car will be electric.   A report from research firm,Bloomberg New Energy Finance says by 2022,” the report says, the cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.  Bloomberg projects by 2040 25% of the cars globally will be electric.

In 2016, nearly 160,000 electric vehicles was sold in the US . Last year Toyota sold nearly 390,000 Toyota Camry’s

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion vehicle.

The current challenge for electric car production is the availability of batteries which currently accounts for one third of the cost of the vehicle.

California Clears The Air

Automobiles are responsible for more than 40% of air pollution.

Air pollution exposure can trigger new cases of asthma, exacerbate (worsen) a previously-existing respiratory illness, and provoke development or progression of chronic illnesses including lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

1.2 million die each year in India to diseases related to Air Pollution.  In China over 2 million people die annually.

In 1967, The State of California established the Air Resources Board(CARB).  One of the goals of CARB is maintaining air quality.  One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards.  California is the only state permitted to issue emission standards.  Other states can choose to follow CARB standards   There was a time when Automakers  built two engines, one designed for California and the other for the other 49 states.

A few years ago CARB set a mandate for cars sold in the state. By 2025,15% of all cars sold in California must be zero polluting vehicles.  These would include, Electric, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Naturally there was resistance by auto manufacturers.  How committed was the state to implement this programs in 2006 there were a few charging stations and no hydrogen stations.

To build an electric vehicle from the ground up would cost the industry billions without a guarantee of acceptance by the public.

To meet this mandate, Auto manufactures modified existing vehicles adding an electric motor.  The problem is these cars had a very limited range(most were less than 100 miles) and to completely charge the cars took 8 hours or more.  The electric vehicles were based on a compact or subcompact platform, the average cost for these electric cars was $40,000 (before state and federal incentives) The manufactures lose money on each electric sold.   As for styling ,automakers seems to be dragging their feet, building something to meet the requirements.

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BMW I-3

The worlds best selling electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf was introduced in 2011 and more than 250,000 Leafs has been sold worldwide.   The current Leaf has a range of 107 miles.

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 Tesla Brings Sexy

Founded in 2003 The Palo Alto, California based Tesla started building electric vehicles in 2008.,  A two seat Roadster with a range of 200 miles.  It was the first production automobile to use the lithium-ion battery.

In 2012, Tesla introduced the model S.

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  Unlike the other automakers,the S was built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.  The batteries are larger and is a part of the cars structure. thus having a considerable longer range (265 to 351) than other electric vehicles .

The S was an instant hit.  With a price range from $80,000 to $100,000 its style attracted buyers who would normally purchase premium luxury cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

In 2015, Tesla introduced the model X, SUV.

Tesla has a network of high-powered Supercharges located across North America, Europe and Asia for Tesla vehicles.  Software within the vehicles navigation directs Tesla to charging stations.  The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under where shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers. As of  December 2016, Tesla has nearly 1000 stations globally, and 6,400 and charging locations. 

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Tesla Supercharing Center, Rocklin, Ca

Earlier this year, Tesla briefly surpassed Ford and General Motors in market capitalization for a couple of months, making it the most valuable American automaker.

An Electric World?

The Government of Norway intends to ban internal combustion engine cars fueled by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

  Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands do not have an official mandate, however,their governments are  looking at 2025.  Implementation in Japan and the Netherlands would not be difficult. In the Netherlands 6% of the cars sold are electric.  In Japan 14%

China, home to some of the world’s most polluted cities has a mandate similar to California requiring manufacturers to sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by next year.  Virtually every car company argued the time table was too aggressive. Even though sales of the low or zero emissions vehicles are higher than in most other countries, except Norway, they still account for less than 3% of the Chinese new car market.

There are now strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but qualified NEV models are exempt, encouraging buyers to shift. With some of the world’s most polluted cities, some observers believe China could call for an outright ban on internal combustion technology in the not-too-distant future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       India wants all its cars to be battery powered by 2030 — and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal combustion vehicles but convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible.

France and Germany, the ban is expected to be far more contentious. Auto manufacturers in both countries have condemned the moves by their respective governments to ban the internal combustion engine, saying that it would make the economy less competitive. European automakers have lagged behind Japanese and American ones in both hybrid and all-electric car technology, as conventional

European gasoline based and diesel cars already have high fuel economy. In response to so-called range anxiety, in which an electric car’s limited range may leave the driver stranded on the motorway, the Holland administration is expected to pair the proposed phaseout with national investment into charging stations as well as additional investment into TGV lines, to make it easier to travel long distances in France without a car.

Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.

Volvo Leads the Way

In July, Volvo told the world ,all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

Volvo headquartered in Sweden, is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Next!

With the American automakers focus on the very profitable SUV’s  will they have the billions necessary to build electric vehicles?  Currently every electric vehicle sold in America loses money.

Last year General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt, the first car built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.   The car has been well received by the press.  Car and Driver says the Chevy Bolt ” is so cutting edge that it makes all other affordable electric vehicles seem irrelevant.”  At 238, it has more electric range than any car on the market with one exception, Tesla. It actually has a greater range than the highly anticipated Model 3

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Nissan just announced their next generation Leaf will have a range of 150 . Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan says a Leaf with a range of 300 miles is possible within 3 years.

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Unlike Tesla, this car is affordable. its very quick and roomy AND it starts at $38,000 (before incentives) $40,000 less than the current Tesla model S.   If there is one problem with the car, its the styling.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 

It not ugly or Toyota Prius Quirky.   Tesla gave buyers a reason to trade in their BMW’s and Mercedes . One would expect more from the General.

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Waiting in the wings is Tesla’s people’s car the  Model”3”. Tesla began building the car in its Fremont, California plant in July.    Pricing for the “3” begins at $35,000(before incentives), if its the “3′ you want, you’ll have to get in a very long line as 450,000 people have placed deposits on the “3”.  Based on Tesla’s track record the 400 thousandant should receive his “3” by 2020   Tesla has an Apple like, cult following and those people are willing to wait.

Game Changer?

With all the luxury manufacturers taking aim at Tesla. Jaguar, a company known for its stately vehicles, is introducing a compact luxury electric SUV called the I-Pace( Est arrival is first quarter 2018).  Its engineering comes from Tesla’s play book.  The batteries anchor the car with two electric motors, one at each axle.  Jaguar says the range of the I-pace is estimated at 220 miles.

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The SUV, will be built in Austria and the platform will be used on other Jaguars as the company says half of its vehicles  will be electric by 2025  The cost for I-Pace begins a tick under $100.000.

If $100,000 seems hefty.  Tesla sells to variations of the Model S for $100,000 and the Model X SUV sells for over $100,000.    If Jaguar is remotely successful, expect the automakers to quickly follow suit.

Perhaps with the assistance of Tesla’   Tesla build a Gigafactory, outside of Reno Nevada.  Panasonic is currently building car batteries in a section of the uncompleted building and Tesla will eventually build cars there.

  Cummins, known for diesel trucks recently introduced its first application for inthe first electric commercial truck

The truck has a range of 100 miles and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.  Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins’ goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

There are challenges ahead for the industry.  There isn’t a standard for charging. In Most charging stations uses Level 2 J1772 charger.these will work on all electric cars. Those charging stations are fairly slow, often requiring hours to fully charge your vehicle.  If you own a Tesla you can drive from coast to coast due to their network of superchargers where owners can charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes. Those charger are exclusive to Tesla vehicles.

The other challenge is much greater.  Is  our national electrical (grid) prepared for an  increase of electric usage?  As a result of individual scharging their vehicles at home?

Your next-next new car is likely to be an electric car.  With ranges considerable more than the cars of today.

Like your cell phone, charge it and drive.

CityFella

A new direction for Cadillac?


If your a person who reads Car magazines you know Cadillac is building drivers cars. Cars that out BM BMW, out Mercedes, Mercedes Benz.  The ATS-V and CTS-V have won rave reviews through the years.  The new CT6 has received positive notices.

The problem is few people are buying Caddies.  As Buick is rapidly shedding its Grandpa image,Cadillac struggles.   There are still a few new 2015 Cadillac on the lots.  In the Luxury segment, only Lincoln sells fewer vehicles than Cadillac.

Some of the problems may be traced to the popularity of crossovers. Cadillac has one, Audi and Mercedes Benz has three each. There are two crossovers in the pipeline,  next up like likely to be a seven passenger crossover to join the newly released XT-5.

2017 Cadillac XT5 wheel.

Last year Cadillac moves their World Headquarters from Detroit to New York City’s trendy Soho district.

The 2017 CT6 is the current flagship.

See the Cadillac CT6 in action, where performance meets beauty.Discover a truly refined sedan in the Cadillac CT6

 Cadillac plans to develop eight new models by 2020.

Cadillac recently  unveiled the Escala “Spanish for scale” concept a vision for its new flagship sedan. It suggests a new direction for Cadillac.  The hard lines are softer, more fluid.

Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen introduced the vehicle at a private estate multi-million estate in Pebble Beach, California billed as the Monterey version of its New York-based Cadillac House  .

The Escala is the third redesign in recent times for  Cadillac. The billion dollar question will GM build it ?

CityFella