Posted on

What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea.

OBER-RAMSTADT, Germany — On a highway south of Frankfurt recently, Thomas Schmieder maneuvered his Scania tractor-trailer and its load of house paint into the far right lane. Then he flicked a switch you won’t find on most truck dashboards.Outside the cab a contraption started to unfold from the roof, looking like a clothes-drying rack with an upside-down sled welded to the top. As Mr. Schmieder continued driving, a video display showed the metal skids rising up and pushing gently against wires running overhead.The cab became very quiet as the diesel engine cut out and electric motors took over. …

Read More

Posted on

Volkswagen Sheds Bugatti, Maker of Over-the-Top Sports Cars

Volkswagen said Monday that it was giving up control of Bugatti, the storied automaker whose absurdly expensive hypercars are worshiped by aficionados but seemed incongruous at a company better known for economical Golfs and Passats.Bugatti, whose Chiron model starts at close to $3 million, will become part of a joint venture between Volkswagen’s Porsche unit and Rimac, a young Croatian company that has made a name for itself doing design and engineering projects for large carmakers.Rimac will own 55 percent of the joint venture, known as Bugatti-Rimac, and Porsche will own 45 percent. Mate Rimac, the 33-year-old founder of Rimac, …

Read More

Posted on

Volvo, Daimler, Traton invest $593 million to build electric truck charging network

Volvo Group, Daimler Truck and Volkswagon’s AG heavy-truck business the Traton Group announced on Monday a non-binding agreement to build a network of high-performance public charging stations for electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and buses around Europe. The news was first reported by Reuters.
The three major European automakers will invest €500 million (~$593 million USD) to install and operate 1,700 charging points in strategic locations and close to highways. They intend to finalize the agreement by the end of this year and start operations next year, with the hopes of increasing the number of charge points significantly as the companies seek additional …

Read More

Posted on

Biden’s Push for Electric Cars: $174 Billion, 10 Years and a Bit of Luck

But production is only one piece of the puzzle. The transition away from gas-powered vehicles rests on convincing consumers of the benefits of electric vehicles. That hasn’t been easy because the cars have higher sticker prices even though researchers say that they cost less to own. Electricity is cheaper on a per mile basis than gasoline, and E.V.s require less routine maintenance — there is no oil to change — than combustion-engine cars.The single biggest cost of an electric car comes from the battery, which can run about $15,000 for a midsize sedan. That cost has been dropping and …

Read More

Posted on

How Volkswagen’s Sins Fueled Its Redemption

Christian Strenger, a vocal Volkswagen critic and a former member of the commission that wrote Germany’s corporate governance code, sees little chance the company’s overseers will expose themselves to more scrutiny. The supervisory board has only one member out of 20 who is not a representative of the three main shareholders or Volkswagen employees.“Nothing will change as long as the old guard is there,” Mr. Strenger said.The diesel scandal remains a financial burden. The company disclosed in its annual report this week that potential liabilities from lawsuits, such as one by shareholders claiming the company misled them, …

Read More

Posted on

Volkswagen Aims to Use Its Size to Head Off Tesla

Volkswagen is going all in on electric cars, with plans to build battery factories in Europe, install a network of charging stations and slash the cost of emission-free travel.That was the message Monday as the German carmaker staged a so-called Power Day to showcase its latest electric car technology. The event was Volkswagen’s answer to Tesla’s Battery Day presentations, which draw intense attention from investors and electric car buffs.The session included a number of attention-getting announcements, including a promise that Volkswagen would cut the cost of batteries by up to 50 percent by the end of the …

Read More

Posted on

The Auto Industry Bets Its Future on Batteries

“Today’s batteries are not competitive,” said Jagdeep Singh, chief executive of QuantumScape, which is based in San Jose, Calif. “Batteries have enormous potential and are critical for a renewable energy economy, but they have to get better.”For the most part, all of the money pouring into battery technology is good news. It puts capitalism to work on solving a global problem. But this reordering of the auto industry will also claim some victims, like the companies that build parts for internal combustion engine cars and trucks, or automakers and investors that bet on the wrong technology.“Battery innovations …

Read More

Posted on

G.M. Announcement Shakes Up U.S. Automakers’ Transition to Electric Cars

And China’s decision late last year to require that most vehicles sold there be electric by 2035 is also critical because G.M. sells more cars in that country through its joint ventures than in the United States. And Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands have said they will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2030.G.M. has been talking about moving to zero-emissions vehicles for about two years. Last March, it unveiled modular battery technology that it said would lower costs. A few months later, G.M. said it could reach a point where electric vehicles …

Read More

Posted on

Tesla Might Finally Have Some Competition. From Ford.

The Mustang Mach-E and the Volkswagen ID.4, which is due in dealerships in March, go about 250 miles on a full charge — about the same as the cheapest version of Tesla’s Model Y — and start at about $43,000 and $40,000. The base Model Y starts at about $42,000, but the Ford and Volkswagen models are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit that will lower the final cost to well under $40,000, or close to the average price of new cars sold in the United States. The tax credit no longer applies to purchases of Teslas.Start-up automakers will also put new cars on the …

Read More

Posted on

Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide

The semiconductor shortage came out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous moment. Sales have plunged worldwide. In Europe, for example, they were down 25 percent in 2020.This is all happening while automakers are trying to navigate a shift in basic technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California company that has become the most valuable automaker in the world by far, and emerging Chinese manufacturers like Nio.Exactly how long the shortage will last is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed …

Read More