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Here’s Why One Electric Car Is Outselling All The Others Combined

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According to the year-end plug-in vehicle sales scorecard compiled by the website InsideEVs.com, Tesla sold 158,925 Model 3s in the U.S. during 2019. That not only makes it the most-popular plug-in vehicle in America, it’s handily outselling all the other electric cars on the market combined, and by a substantial margin.

The Model 3 quite literally beat the pants off all comers last year, including its own showroom siblings, the older and far pricier Tesla Model Y at 19,225 units and the Model S at 14,100 delivered in 2019. Other top sellers in this segment, though nowhere near the Model 3, include the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Nissan Leaf, responsible for an estimated 16,416 and 12,365 units, respectively. No other EVs recorded five-figure sales last year.

Tesla reportedly pulled out all the proverbial stops to make fourth-quarter sales before its federal tax credit granted to EV buyers expired. The credits phase out for any automaker that sells more than 200,000 plug-in cars, which is something Tesla accomplished in 2008. Its credits dwindled to $1,875 as of July 1, 2019, and were eliminated altogether on January 1.

But that still doesn’t explain the Model 3’s overwhelming dominance in the still nascent electric vehicle market. A close look reveals that, unlike most other automakers, Tesla seems to be much of everything right with regard to its smallest and least-expensive vehicle.

For starters, it’s priced near, if not in the sweet spot for Tesla intenders, starting at $39,990 for the Standard Range Plus version. The mid-to-upper $30,000 range is a popular price point among mainstream EVs right now. Surveys almost unanimously cite the higher cost of battery-driven vehicles as being one of the biggest barriers to more widespread adoption. That could be one reason why luxury-oriented models like the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar i-Pace, priced in the $70,000 range, have yet to connect with consumers.

Range anxiety is frequently cited as a major concern with potential EV buyers, and the Model 3 largely avoids it. The base version can run for an average 250 miles on a charge. That’s more than enough to meet most motorists’ needs and is roughly on a par with smaller and less expressively styled electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric at 259 and 258 miles, respectively. If you have a bigger budget, the $48,990 Long Range model can traverse an estimated 322 miles with a full battery, which is about as much as anyone could drive in a single day.

Lack of a public charging infrastructure is also frequently mentioned as an issue among consumers with regard to EVs. For its part, Tesla gives Model 3 buyers access to its extensive network of Supercharger quick-charge stations, installed in myriad locations on well-traveled routes across the country. And this is in addition to the ability to charge at other expanding networks like ChargePoint, EVGo, and Electrify America.

Another lingering myth about electric cars is that they’re lacking in terms of performance. In fact the opposite is generally true. The base version of the Model 3 can race from 0-60 mph in a frisky 5.3 seconds, and a downright fast 3.2 seconds in the top Performance iteration. As with all electric cars, having the battery mounted under the passenger compartment in a skateboard-like configuration warrants a low center of gravity, which inherently helps afford crisp handling skills.

Another problem with widespread EV adoption is that many models are only sold via select dealerships in California and one or more states that adhere to its stricter emissions regulations. For example, for 2019 the Kia Niro EV was only available in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. The Honda Clarity Electric was restricted to California and Oregon.

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Though Tesla is barred from establishing a company-owned retail presence in some states or is restricted to the number they can open due to long-established franchise laws, its vehicles remain widely available and the company seems to have developed a cult following. There are company-owned Tesla Stores in 26 states where consumers can see, touch, and learn about the vehicles. Tesla also sells its cars direct to customers via the Internet, though again with exclusions in some states.

At that, the traditional sales model doesn’t seem to be delivering the goods when it comes to EVs. A recent study conducted by the Sierra Club found a disturbing lack of enthusiasm among more-established automakers and their dealers to sell electric cars. The organization sent 579 volunteers out into the field to visit over 900 auto dealerships in all 50 states to assess how well battery powered vehicles are being supported on the retail level. They found disturbing shortfalls in electric car availability, how they were presented and charged for test drives, and salesperson knowledge regarding the products.

How will the Tesla in general and the Model 3 in particular are moving forward, with another model year under its belt?

Though the Model 3 is currently king of the proverbial hill, the electric car market will see several important new models coming to market in the coming months (including some pricey pickup trucks and sports cars). For its part, Ford is generating tons of enthusiasm with its coming Mustang Mach-E full electric crossover SUV, already racking up enough pre-orders (with refundable $500 deposits) to sell out its allotment of First Edition models. The Mach-E will come to market late in 2020 and will compete most directly with Tesla’s new Model 3-based Model Y compact crossover, expected around mid-year. As it is, with consumers shunning sedans in favor of taller crossovers these days, the Model Y will undoubtedly cannibalize Model 3 sales and could fast become the automaker’s top-selling model.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle Tesla will face in 2020 will be the lack of a federal tax credit as a deal sweetener. Congress has yet to extend or amend the current federal incentives that were enacted in 2010 to help spur sales of plug-in vehicles. While Tesla’s spiffs have expired and General Motors are slated to go away on May 1, all other automakers can still offer the full $7,500 credit. Despite lobbying by the auto industry, legislators declined to address the tax credits in a year-end spending bill, with the White House said to be staunchly opposed to their retention.

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I’m a veteran Chicago-based consumer automotive journalist devoted to providing news, views, timely tips and reviews to help maximize your automotive investments. In addition to posting on Forbes.com, I’m a regular contributor to Carfax.com, Motor1.com, MyEV.com and write frequently on automotive topics for other national and regional publications and websites. My work also appears in newspapers across the U.S., syndicated by CTW Features.

Source: Here’s Why One Electric Car Is Outselling All The Others Combined

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How Coatings Are Making Electric And Autonomous Vehicles Safer

Over the next couple of decades, the cars people drive will look dramatically different than they do today. From electric vehicles to autonomous rides, the auto industry is in the midst of the biggest automotive revolution since Ford introduced the Model T in 1908.

According to the International Energy Agency, there could be between 57 million and 300 million electric vehicles on the world’s roads by 2030, up from 4 million vehicles today. The autonomous vehicle market, now in its infancy, could be worth $7 trillion by 2020, says Strategy Analytics.

This has Peter Votruba-Drzal excited. The global technical director of research and product development, automotive coatings and mobility at PPG is responsible for developing coatings-related products to enable electronic vehicle (EV) performance, allow cars to communicate with smart city technology and more. “This is a tremendously exciting time for us,” he says. “It’s the first time in more than 100 years that there’s an industrial revolution around power train.”

While traditional auto companies are producing more electric cars and newer technology operations, such as Google and Uber, are working on autonomous rides, PPG hopes to have its products in all types of vehicles.

The cars of tomorrow will need more specialty coatings to protect their technology, while slicker interiors will require better looking paints. “Cars used to be about the driver experience, but now the steering wheel, the aesthetics of the dash – it’s changing to more of a passenger experience,” he says. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for PPG to deliver functional and tactile coatings.”

New solutions for new technology

There are two areas in particular that Votruba-Drzal, a scientist who has a PhD in materials science and engineering, is focused on: Internet of Things (IoT) technology and EV battery technologies. With the former, autonomous vehicles work by communicating with one another and their surroundings. The cars use a laser-like technology called LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) that send signals that reflect off other objects, then return light to the detector. The system then constructs a map of the surrounding area based on the information received.

It only works if those LIDAR signals make it where they need to go and return to the detector on the vehicle. That’s where PPG comes in. “Right now car surfaces are mostly for beautification,” says Votruba-Drzal. “But they will need to be functional, to improve reliability. They have to be highly visible in rain and snow. Coatings must be easy to clean or have self-shedding surfaces that prevent the formation of ice.”

IoT-connected cars will also have hundreds of little antennai on them to help them communicate with their surroundings. Some of PPG’s existing products, which are used in the industrial consumer electronics space and help protect important electromagnetic technology, are now being used in the automotive market. “It’s dramatically increasing the amount of real estate for our solutions,” he says.

With electric vehicles, PPG’s coatings are being used in a variety of ways. For instance, the company is creating a cathode binder system that eliminates N-Methylpyrrolidone, a harmful solvent used in lithium-ion batteries, and helps increase battery performance.

It also has dielectric coating and thermally conductive adhesives (transmitting heat to/from the batteries while maintaining electrical isolation) that can help control the heat a battery emits, while its liquid applied sound dampening solution, called PPG Audioguard, reduces noise made by an EV’s electric motor.

Faster innovation

Working in a quickly evolving sector requires the ability to react swiftly to its customers’ needs. In many cases, industry-standard EV and autonomous vehicle (AV) regulations are not yet in place, which can make product development a challenge. “It requires a different level of speed for our organization because there aren’t specifications yet,” says Votruba-Drzal. “Customers are innovating as they go, and so it requires us to be agile and to have a deep understanding of our clients’ problems.”

Fortunately, PPG’s mobility team includes several researchers focused exclusively on connected, autonomous, shared, and electrified (CASE) trends. That, along with their connection to their customers, helps PPG react quickly. “We’re able to innovate and build prototypes fast,” he says. “We know that we may be at an early stage, but what we do will lead to mass production.”

It’s also important to embrace failure, says Votruba-Drzal, which is something he’s been encouraging his team to do. “A concept may change direction and doesn’t move forward, but we learned a lot quickly,” he says. “We’re embracing and celebrating that.”

Fortunately, Votruba-Drzal thrives on the constant change. He may be testing all kinds of coatings, some of which may never get used, but it’s all part of the process. “We’re in an emerging transformational space,” he says. “But we know it’s going to be big and we want to be a major part of it.”

By: PPGView

Source: How Coatings Are Making Electric And Autonomous Vehicles Safer

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Zoox, a Silicon Valley start-up that has largely been shrouded in secrecy, is developing the complete self-driving package. In addition to the autonomous technology that will pilot its vehicles, it is building a car from the ground up specifically tailored for autonomous driving that will one day shuttle passengers around like ride-sharing services available today. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #Zoox #SelfDrivingCars Zoox Wants To Challenge Uber With Safer Self-Driving Cars

Volkswagen Is Accelerating One Of The World’s Biggest Smart-Factory Projects

Volkswagen is set to take a significant step forward with what Martin Hofmann, the German auto giant’s group CIO, calls “one of the biggest industrial cloud projects in the Western hemisphere.”

This year, the company has piloted its smart-manufacturing initiative, which launched in March, at three of its plants. In 2020, it will roll out to another 15 of its 122 factories around the world as part of a five-year strategy to create a much more agile production base, using a combination of cloud computing, sensor-laden equipment, big data and machine learning. Hofmann is part of a senior team leading the project, which also includes Gerd Walker, VW’s group head of production.

The industrial cloud is a key part of VW’s plan to boost productivity by 30% by 2025 and is being introduced at a time of wrenching change in the German automotive industry. In November, Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, said it would cut 10,000 jobs, or 3% of its workforce, by 2022 and use the savings to invest in electric models. Its announcement followed one from VW’s Audi luxury car unit, which will cut 9,500 jobs by 2025, or 1 in 10 of its staff, as it pivots towards electric vehicles too.

To help it adjust faster, VW, which ships almost 11 million vehicles a year, is counting on cloud computing to solve a big headache. Hofmann says a “spaghetti architecture” of hundreds of different IT systems across each of its factories frustrates some efforts to optimize efficiency. If a better process for monitoring quality in a paint shop is developed in one location, he notes, it can’t be applied easily by others because of differing software languages and protocols. The tech spaghetti also makes it harder to control costs and spin up production of new models quickly.

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VW’s industrial cloud project, which it’s developing in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), will solve such issues by creating a digital production platform with common interfaces for all kinds of equipment. Over time, all of VW’s plants will be brought onto the platform and production teams will be able to tap into an app store to share applications that can be implemented in all of its factories.

Amazon’s AWS is providing a range of cloud-related services for the project, whose cost hasn’t been disclosed, while industrial-engineering firm Siemens is working on systems that control the machinery in VW’s plants. Eventually VW hopes to bring its suppliers into its industrial cloud, too, which will mean integrating around 1,500 companies with 30,000 additional locations.

The aim is to share data as well as software. VW is creating a data lake that will suck in information from systems and sensors in all of its factories. The data will be used to develop and train machine-learning models for things such as predictive maintenance that can be deployed within plants, or to optimize operations across them. Once its suppliers are integrated into the industrial cloud, VW will be able to leverage more of their data to boost the efficiency of its supply chain and logistics operations.

It’s a compelling vision, but a recent survey of more than 1,000 executives in 13 countries by consulting firm Capgemini found that only 14% of organizations considered their smart factory projects to be successful; almost 60% said their initiatives were either struggling or that it was too early to comment on progress.

The biggest challenge, says Jean-Pierre Petit, Capgemini’s director of digital manufacturing, in an emailed comment to Forbes, is to “cross the chasm” from an initial pilot in a single plant to full-scale deployments, which is where the real benefits of digitization kick in. In particular, smart-factory projects require IT teams to work closely with “operational technology” (OT) groups managing machinery and other tech inside factories. Often, OT teams have become used to working quite independently and may resist IT’s efforts to drive change.

By working closely together on VW’s industrial cloud project, Hofmann and Walker are sending a strong signal to their respective teams about the need for tight collaboration. The decision to launch pilots at several factories this year rather than just one was also deliberate. “You can put a ton of slides up [about the industrial cloud], but nobody is interested in that,” says Dirk Didascalou, one of the senior AWS executives involved in the project. “They need to see it working first.”

The three factories were chosen partly to highlight the fact that VW’s industrial cloud will span all of its activities. The two in Germany, at Wolfsburg and Chemnitz, make cars and components, respectively. A third, at Polkowice in Poland, makes commercial vehicles. The goal next year is to bring at least one factory for each of VW’s 12 brands, which include Porsche, SEAT and Scania as well as Audi, into the industrial cloud. “We want to give them all a showcase,” explains Walker.

It will take time for workers used to dealing with older, inflexible systems to adapt to a world in which tech services can be tapped on demand via the cloud. But VW sees the shift as essential if it’s to compete successfully in a fast-changing market. The company is also developing an “automotive cloud” to help it deliver software and services directly to its vehicles, and VW’s IT function has championed cloud projects in other areas, such as sales management.

If it can help deliver the industrial cloud successfully, Hofmann’s team will further enhance its reputation. Along with moves to beef up VW’s in-house software-development capabilities, the shift to the cloud is already transforming the way the group’s 15,000-strong IT staff is viewed within the company. “IT isn’t just a supporting function now,” says Hofmann. “IT … is becoming a driving force.”

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I am the editor of the CIO Network at Forbes, leading coverage of the rapidly evolving role of senior technology leaders. I also develop topics and programming for Forbes CIO events. Previously, I covered frontier technologies such as AI-driven cybersecurity and quantum computing for MIT Technology Review. Before that, I was a partner at a Silicon Valley VC firm that invests in enterprise tech, which I joined after covering the Valley for The Economist Newspaper for many years. Follow me on Twitter @martingiles.

Source: Volkswagen Is Accelerating One Of The World’s Biggest Smart-Factory Projects

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Tesla Model Y Will Crush The Crossover Competition, Here’s Why

There’s a lot of EV crossover competition coming down the pike but don’t expect established gas-engine automakers to suddenly wrest the EV market from Tesla.

In short: The Tesla Model Y will dominate the EV crossover category because it’s the most recognized EV brand – certainly in the U.S.

With over 500,000 VIN registrations for the Model 3, it’s not a giant leap of faith to see the Model Y – with a starting price of $39,000 for the 230-mile range version – garnering market share and mind share quickly.

Crossover competition has arrived

Yes, the EV crossover competition has already arrived in the U.S., including the Audi e-Tron, Hyundai Kona EV, Jaguar I-PACE, and the Kia Niro EV – not to mention the 2020 Chevy Bolt (with an upwardly revised range of 259 miles), and the Nissan Leaf S Plus.

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But, remember, all the above EVs are from traditional automakers. They’re ICE vehicle makers first, EV makers second. And right now EVs are a distant second in sales. Don’t believe me? Go visit the U.S. dealer lots of any of those car manufacturers. It’s wall-to-wall gas-engine vehicles (with a few exceptions in markets like Los Angeles).

Still don’t believe me? Check out this sales chart from InsideEVs for the month of September. The much-vaunted Audi e-Tron sold a whopping 434 copies, the Hyundai Kona EV 190, The Jaguar I-Pace, 160, Kia Niro EV 90 etc.

Even if you allow for lack of availability because the above are just coming on the market, long-established nameplates like the Nissan Leaf (in its current iteration as the 226-mile-range Leaf S Plus) and the BMW i3 are not going gangbusters, with sales of just over 1,000 for the Leaf and half that for the i3 in September.

The only EV really in the running at all in September was the Chevy Bolt* with 2,125 copies sold, according to InsideEVs.

And the Model 3? Over 19,000 sold in September, about 8 times the closest competition. It’s not ludicrous to expect that the Model Y will post monthly numbers certainly higher than, for example, a Bolt EV. And probably much higher.

Model S and X will bow to the Model Y, launch to happen in summer

Meanwhile Tesla is ramping up production of the Model Y earlier than expected.

Regarding Model Y, we’re also ahead of schedule on Model Y preparations in Fremont, and we’ve moved the launch timeline from full 2020 to summer 2020. There may be some room for improvement there, but we’re confident about summer 2020.

Elon Musk, October 24, 2019, third quarter earnings conference call (via Seeking Alpha).

And Tesla’s priorities are pretty clear as the company gets ready for Model Y production. In responding to a question from an analyst on the October 24 call Musk said:

The Model S and X are really niche — they’re really niche products. I mean, they’re very expensive, made in low volume. To be totally frank, we’re continuing to make them more for sentimental reasons than anything else. They’re really of minor importance to the future.

Musk also mentioned that Tesla will “build out more facilities for Model Y production at Shanghai.”

Production glitches are the X factor

Of course, a surge in Model Y deliveries in, let’s say, early 2021 is dependent on Model Y manufacturing being as ready as Musk claims. And the CEO has a tendency for excessive bullishness and exaggeration when it comes to expectations.

Barring an unforeseen event, however, Tesla is more ready now for large-scale mass production than it was back in July of 2017 when it faced a year of production hell and was in the throes of becoming a high-volume car manufacturer.

NOTES:

The Long Range and Performance variants of the Model Y —which you can order now from Tesla’s website – start at $48,000 and $61,000, respectively.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I drive a 2018 Chevy Bolt.

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I was a founding member of CNET news and hardware editor at CNET, a contributing technology reporter for the New York Times, and a reporter and editor at the Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly — the latter in Japan, where I lived for ten years. Currently a contributing reporter for Fox News.

Source: Tesla Model Y Will Crush The Crossover Competition, Here’s Why

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Volvo’s Hottest New Models For 2020 – V60, XC60, XC90 – What You Need To Know

The Volvo brand has been on fire lately, coming out with exciting new models as well as smashing sales goals at a time when many manufacturers sales are slowing. There is a focus for 2020 on sportier SUV variants like the XC60 Polestar Engineered and active lifestyle cars such as the V60 Cross Country. So let’s take a close look at three of Volvo’s hottest new models.

2020 XC60 Polestar Engineered

The XC60 is one of Volvo’s most popular SUVs and for good reason. It has a reasonable starting price of around $40,000 which is comparable with many midsize luxury SUVs and it offers plenty of interior space without being cumbersome to drive.

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For 2020 however, Volvo decided to cozy up with high-performance German rivals like the Audi SQ5 and BMW X3M, by giving the XC60 Polestar Engineered their potent T8 powertrain which is actually a plug-in hybrid, but one that generates a staggering 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque.

That’s enough power to get it from 0-60 in just 4.9 seconds, which is a hair quicker than the SQ5 rated at 5.1 seconds 0-60. It’s worth mentioning base SQ5 starts around $55,000 but with options you’re hitting the $67,000 dollar mark where as the XC60 PE is just a few thousand more and comes fully loaded with all but two options which are a 22” wheel upgrade and metallic paint, both priced at $800 or less. So when you consider pricing, the XC60 has more capabilities plus it’s faster for about the same money.

2020 V60 Cross Country

The V60 Cross Country is now in its second generation and adds more capability off the beaten path than what its sibling the V60 offers. The Cross County model gets 2.5″ more ground clearance, all-wheel drive is standard, plus there are a few added exterior design elements which make it stand out, such as rugged wheel arches and moldings. If you’re a big fan of mountain biking, hiking, camping or kayaking and need a vehicle that isn’t afraid to get a little dirty and offers plenty of cargo space, then the V60 Cross Country could be the perfect option for you.

There is only one engine option available, which is Volvo’s turbocharged T5 powertrain creating 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It feels more than adequate, with plenty of low-end torque and solid fuel economy rated at 22 city and 31 highway.

2020 XC90 Inscription

The XC90 is the most popular Volvo in the United States and while it hasn’t gotten a major redesign since it was introduced in 2015, it has gotten many small updates to keep it competitive with everything else on the road. The XC90 was such a revolutionary vehicle in terms of design and quality when it came out in 2015, there just hasn’t been a need for a full redesign and it can still keep with the best of the best in the segment today.

However, there are a few new changes for 2020 which include a new 6-passenger seating configuration, which is great for families with kids. They’ve also added a new concave front grill design, new wheel designs, high-end wool seats, and additional wood trim options.

Final Thoughts

Volvo is keeping the brand fresh with fun new models like the XC40 and XC60 Polestar Engineered while keeping their most popular XC90 updated with unique trim options and updated seating configurations. But they haven’t forgotten the adventure seeker either with the V60 Cross Country, which would also work well for people with kids who don’t want to drive an SUV. We’re excited to see what the Volvo brand has instore for us next, regardless it should be exciting.

Having been born in the Detroit area, I grew up with motor oil running through my veins. Wanting to put my passion to good use, at age sixteen I co-founded and hosted an automotive-focused YouTube channel, the Oakland Car Review, which garnered millions of views during its run. Transitioning toward written content, I was an early-stage partner in DRIVE Magazine and eventually oversaw its conversion to a fully digital platform. I now lead web operations at ThisIsDrive.com. My work extends to other outlets as well, these include some well-known names, such as Kelly Blue Book’s technology-focused Ride.Tech website. I remain up-to-date on the latest industry happenings by doing hours of research per week so that I can keep you informed. I am pleased to have been published on automotive topics for over five years and I look forward to bringing my passion for the industry and cars themselves to Forbes readers.

Source: Volvo’s Hottest New Models For 2020 – V60, XC60, XC90 – What You Need To Know

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Small Luxury SUV with Scandinavian Premium Feel from Inside and Modern Robotic Look from Outside! New XC40 completes global Volvo line-up for fast-growing premium SUV segment Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, today further expands its line-up of SUVs with the launch of its new XC40 small premium SUV in Milan, Italy. At the same time as it introduces the XC40, Volvo Cars also reinvents the traditional model of car ownership with its new ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service. Care by Volvo, first available on the XC40 from launch, makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a phone. A monthly flat-fee subscription means down payments, price negotiations and local price differences belong to the past. Depending on regional availability, Care by Volvo will also include access to a range of digital concierge services such as fuelling, cleaning, service pick-up and e-commerce delivery to the car. The XC40 with Care by Volvo is available to order online from today in selected markets. XC40 drivers will also be the first Volvo customers who can share their car with friends and family via Volvo on Call with a new digital key technology. Car sharing comes as standard for Care by Volvo customers. The arrival of the XC40 means that for the first time in its history, Volvo Cars has three new, globally available SUVs in what is the fastest growing segment of the automotive market, paving the way for further growth in terms of sales and profitability. The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 Series including fully electrified vehicles. Co-developed within Geely, CMA provides the company with the necessary economies of scale for this segment. “The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president, and chief executive. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up. So it only feels natural to reveal the XC40 here in Milan, a buzzing European hotspot for fashion, art, design, and lifestyle.” In terms of technology, the XC40 brings the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies known from the new 90- and 60 Series cars to the small SUV segment. Like its larger siblings, the XC40 highlights the transformational effect of these new, in-house developed technologies on brand and profitability. These technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs on the market. Safety and driver assistance features on the XC40 include Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off-Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with brake support and the 360° Camera that helps drivers maneuver their car into tight parking spaces. The XC40 also offers a radically new approach to storage inside the car. Ingenious interior design provides XC40 drivers with, among other things, more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones including inductive charging, a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console. From start of production, the XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain. Further powertrain options, including a hybridized as well as a pure electric version, will be added later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo Cars’ new 3-cylinder engine. Production of the new XC40 starts in Volvo Cars’ plant in Ghent, Belgium in November, while order books and the Care by Volvo subscription package are open for customers now. SUBSCRIBE: https://goo.gl/pL84j2 New Car Videos: https://goo.gl/5nPYXv YouTube: https://goo.gl/eSkzhw Facebook: https://goo.gl/3AZk9U Twitter: https://goo.gl/kj00z5 Instagram: https://goo.gl/zAOTrp Google+: https://goo.gl/QWO4jX Website: http://www.alphasquadofficial.com Submit Your Video: as.official2015@gmail.com

 

Electric Truck Unicorn Rivian, Backed By Amazon And Ford, Lands $350 Million Investment From Cox

Rivian, an innovative truck startup planning to produce all-electric pickups and SUVs that’s backed by Ford Motor Co. and Amazon, said Cox Automotive is investing $350 million and may partner with it on future business operations.

Led by 36-year-old founder and CEO RJ Scaringe, Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian has ginned up excitement in the auto industry with its plans to launch a line of long-range, rechargeable light trucks, including the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, built off a highly functional “skateboard” platform that integrates the battery pack, drive components and suspension system. Ford invested $500 million in April and Amazon led a $700 million round in February.

Cox, which owns an extensive range of businesses related to auto sales and services, including consumer information sites Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, retailer data services Dealer.com and Dealertrack, and automotive auction business Manheim, will also explore ways to help Rivian with service operations, logistics and digital retailing.

Today In: Business

“We are building a Rivian ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that go into our vehicles,” Scaringe said in a statement. “Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us.”

A Clark Kent look-alike with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT, Scaringe has refined his ideas for electric vehicles over the past decade and could prove to be a major competitor to Tesla’s Elon Musk, who has his own plans for battery-powered trucks, ranging from a pickup to 18-wheel semis.

Rivian aims to begin production and sales of its first two models from late 2020, building them at the former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, that it purchased in 2017 and is renovating. The company already has more than 1,000 employees and wants to begin selling its electric vehicles internationally from 2021.

Both the R1T and R1S are to have electric range of up to 400 miles per charge–well more than any of Tesla’s current EVs–and they are priced from $68,000 and $72,500, respectively.

Rivian’s fundraising in the past year has been prodigious and totals at least $2 billion with Cox’s investment. Still, it declined to provide an estimate valuation or confirm what stake is owned by Scaringe. In addition to the funding from Ford and Amazon, it raised $450 million in an earlier round that included Saudi Arabia-based investment group Abdul Latif Jameel, Su­mi­tomo Corp. of Japan and London’s Standard Chartered Bank.

“We are excited by Rivian’s unique approach to building an electrified future and to be part of the positive impact its products will bring to our roads and the world around us,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive. “This investment complements Cox Automotive’s own commitment to environmental change through our Cox Conserves efforts.”

Along with its equity stake and potential business operations, Cox Automotive will have a seat on Rivian’s board.

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From Los Angeles, the U.S. capital of cars and congestion, I try to make sense of technology-driven changes reshaping transportation, cities and how we get around. I’ve tracked global automakers, advanced vehicle tech and environmental policy for more than two decades, including 15 years at Bloomberg, and squeezed in stints in the financial and corporate worlds. What’s your story?

Source: Electric Truck Unicorn Rivian, Backed By Amazon And Ford, Lands $350 Million Investment From Cox

( http://www.TFLcar.com ) The new electric Rivian SUV and Truck will be able to turn on a dime.
Here are all of the details ( http://www.patreon.com/tflcar )
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Check us out on: Facebook: ( https://www.facebook.com/tfltruck ) Twitter: ( https://www.twitter.com/tfltruck ) and now even Truck Videos on YouTube at: The Fast Lane Truck
and classic cars as well at: TFLClassics ( http://www.youtube.com/user/ClassicsU… ) #rivianTruck #rivianSUV #electric

Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road

Topline: BMW rolled out its first vehicle painted with “vantablack”, known as the world’s blackest black⁠—and although the company claims it would like to see the car on the road, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  • The BMW X6 was selected as the first vehicle to receive the inky-black paint job and will debut in September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Vantablack in its purest form absorbs all light, without reflecting any back.
  • To make sure the X6 didn’t appear completely two-dimensional, the vantablack paint used on it reflects back 1% of light.
  • Although X6 designer Hussein Al Attar said he “absolutely” could see vantablack joining BMW’s lineup of color options for car buyers, the automaker has no immediate plans.
  • According to Ben Jensen, CTO of vantablack developer Surrey Nanosystems, “The limitations of vantablack in respect of direct impact or abrasion would make this an impractical proposition for most people. It would also be incredibly expensive.”

Chief critic: Auto enthusiasts. They question why a car needs to be painted with vantablack, especially since it won’t be for sale anytime soon. And safety studies show that regular black cars are already more dangerous to drive over lighter-colored cars⁠—chances of crashing a black car at dawn and dusk are 47% higher than that of a non-black car.

Key background: Developed by Surrey Nanosystems in 2014, the pigment in vantablack is made from tiny bits of carbon. Originally designed to be used in outer space, vantablack can be applied at temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing. It has also been used in space cameras to block out light from the sun, letting the devices take clearer photos of distant stars and galaxies.

Surprising fact: The “vanta” in vantablack stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road

The History of Rolls-Royce

A century of perfection

The turn of the 20th century marked the beginning of an extraordinary partnership between two of the most innovative minds of the moment. Henry Royce, a successful engineer and Charles Rolls, owner of one of the UK’s first motor car dealerships, agreed to sell motor cars under the name Rolls-Royce.

At that moment, a new company was born: Rolls-Royce.

The Best Motor Car in the World

In 1907, the Silver Ghost was declared ‘The Best Car in the World’ after its record breaking success. Travelling from London to Glasgow 27 times – covering 14,371 consecutive miles – the iconic motor car broke the world record for a non-stop motor run while demonstrating unrivalled reliability and comfort.

1930s

In the 1930s, Rolls-Royce broke world records on land and sea. And automation saw the arrival of Phantom III – the first ever Rolls-Royce to be built with a V12 engine.

1940s

The 1940s saw new developments in craftsmanship and design. Until 1959, each Silver Wraith had an individual, coach-built body.

1950s

The 1950s marked the start of a long-standing relationship between Rolls-Royce and the royal family.

1960s

By the time the Swinging Sixties began, Rolls-Royce had begun to appeal to a new breed of owner. Actors, rock stars and celebrities chose the marque as a symbol of their success.

1970s

The 1970s was a challenging decade for Rolls-Royce but, following re-launch as two separate companies, the decade saw the arrival of two exciting new motor cars.

1980s

By 1980, British defence company Vickers had bought Rolls-Royce Motors Limited, producing Rolls-Royce alongside Bentley motor cars. The new Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1985.

1990s

The 1990s marked a new chapter in the marque’s history when the BMW Group bought the rights to produce Rolls-Royce motor cars. With the change came a brand new manufacturing facility: the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. It was here that an exciting new chapter would begin.

On the day it acquired the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brand, BMW Group said it intended to build a plant in England. From a shortlist of possible sites, Goodwood in West Sussex in the south east of England emerged as the natural choice.

Tucked away in the heart of the South Downs National Park in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Goodwood is a quintessentially English setting. Perfectly in tune with our brand values and customer expectations. Despite it being an entirely new location for Rolls-Royce manufacturing, Goodwood has a strong historical connection to the brand. Sir Henry Royce, one of the company’s founders, lived less than 10 miles away in the charming village of West Wittering from 1917 until his death in 1933.

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, the project was approached in light of one of Sir Henry Royce’s famous quotes: “Strive for perfection in everything you do.” Not only did the facility have to be an extension of the brand, we also wanted to have minimal impact on the environment. So we brought in renowned British architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, whose portfolio includes the Eden Project in Cornwall, the International Terminal at London’s Waterloo Station and the National Space Centre in Leicester.

Built over four and a half years, the award-winning manufacturing facility opened its doors on 1 January 2003. Designed on a 20 x 20 metre grid with steel columns supporting roof lights, the main building is set two metres below the surrounding ground level, to blend into the landscape.

The floor-to-ceiling windows run the length of the Assembly Hall, providing essential natural light for our craftspeople and – for visitors who come to Goodwood – a front-row view of the entire production line. We like to call it ‘the glass mile’.

But, much like the design of a Rolls-Royce motor car, there’s more to our Goodwood home than first meets the eye. The eight-acre curved living roof – the largest in the UK – is home to hardy sedum plants. The green coverage improves the building’s insulation and reduces rainwater runoff, while also acting as an effective camouflage.

After being fully operational for nine years, we extended the Assembly Hall in 2012. By adding an extra 2,500 square metres, we were able to add new space to the Surface Finishing Centre and also to our Bespoke service, which has more than doubled in size since 2003.

As well as blending into its rural surroundings, Goodwood is designed to have the smallest possible impact on the environment. The exterior is clad with a mix of limestone and cedar wood, both from sustainable sources. And the timber louvre panels, activated by a weather station on the roof, control how much light enters the building and reduce our demand for electricity.

The large central lake attracts numerous wild birds, and also guards against flooding by storing excess water. Across the 42-acre site, we’ve established over 400,000 plants and trees of more than 120 species. We also compost all our green waste.

Source: The history of Rolls-Royce

Rory is let loose inside the Rolls-Royce factory in West Sussex, England, and discovers how the Wraith, Phantom and Ghost Series II are built. Subscribe for more great content: http://bit.ly/1f3dxSq

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Mercedes-Benz G-Class Celebrates 40 Years – 3 Reasons Why People Love It

As the legendary Mercedes-Benz G-Class (commonly known as the G-Wagon) celebrates its 40th anniversary, one would be hard-pressed to think of another vehicle which has accomplished so much. But what makes a hard-core military vehicle so appealing to Hollywood elites and country club goers alike?

Why We Admire It

Everyone loves the G-Class.  The car has an almost cult-like following, with customers returning to buy one after another. Chances are, if you’ve purchased a G-Class in the past, you’ll own one for the rest of your life. The car itself is essentially a box on wheels, and is preferred by militaries all around the world because of their extreme off-road capabilities and dependability.

I’ve literally driven up a mountain in a G-Class, experiencing off-roading like I never thought possible. This vehicle practically defies all laws of gravity, able to do things such as scream down a mountain at 60 MPH and stay intact once you reach the bottom. The G-Wagon offers a superior level of capability and durability that you will not find on any other vehicle.

On-Road Capabilities

Most people who buy G-Classes won’t take them off Rodeo drive. But that’s ok too, as the AMG version offers a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine which makes 577 hp, and 627 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm.  This provides a sense of effortless acceleration and will certainly put a smile on your face. The G63 completes a sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, an incredibly impressive number for an SUV, especially one weighing in at 5,800 pounds.

New Level Of Luxury

Just think of an S-Class interior and convert it into the G-Class; that’s the level of quality we’re talking about. Every button, switch and handle is made from high-grade metal, and feels as though it belongs in a six-figure vehicle.

When you go for the AMG version, you’ll be greeted by a specially designed AMG wheel and carbon-fiber interior trim plus extra buttons for that crazy loud exhaust note and suspension adjustments which make this box drive a little less like one.

Final Thoughts

When you want a vehicle which can be the master of the streets and commanding off-road, you get a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. There’s truly nothing else which can compare to its off-road grit and on-road presence. With and iconic design and legendary G badge, people will know what you’re driving, from deep corners of Africa to the sparkling streets of Beverly Hills.

Having been born in the Detroit area, I grew up with motor oil running through my veins. Wanting to put my passion to good use, at age sixteen I co-founded and hosted an automotive-focused YouTube channel, the Oakland Car Review, which garnered millions of views during its run. Transitioning toward written content, I was an early-stage partner in DRIVE Magazine and eventually oversaw its conversion to a fully digital platform. I now lead web operations at ThisIsDrive.com. My work extends to other outlets as well, these include some well-known names, such as Kelly Blue Book’s technology-focused Ride.Tech website. I remain up-to-date on the latest industry happenings by doing hours of research per week so that I can keep you informed. I am pleased to have been published on automotive topics for over five years and I look forward to bringing my passion for the industry and cars themselves to Forbes readers.

Source: Mercedes-Benz G-Class Celebrates 40 Years – 3 Reasons Why People Love It

The third episode of “The Driven” takes a new path: off-road! G-Class and Unimog come together in Graz. Both cars allow what not many people dare to allow themselves: to break out. Subscribe to Mercedes-Benz on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… Experienced reporter Florian Ambrosius enters the terrain of the G-Class Experience Center and tests Unimog and G-Class – only with an instructor at his side. The Experience Center is the training – to beat the Schöckl with the G-Class. G 350 d: Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 9,8–9,6 l/100 km; CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 259–252 g/km.* ► More information about the G-Class: http://mb4.me/g-class-com_ytb ► Configure your G-Class: http://mb4.me/your-g-class_ytb ► Experience the world of Mercedes-Benz: http://benz.me/international ► More videos featuring the G-Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… ► More interesting playlists: G-Class Strong Stories: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Top 10 G-Class Moments: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… X-Class: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… ► Mercedes-Benz on Social Media: https://facebook.com/MercedesBenz https://twitter.com/MercedesBenz https://instagram.com/mercedesbenz #MBgclass #strongerthantime #mercedesbenzTV #gclass #w463 #unimog #mercedes #mercedesbenz Product may vary after press date on 16.08.2019. * Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Die Angaben beziehen sich nicht auf ein einzelnes Fahrzeug und sind nicht Bestandteil des Angebots, sondern dienen allein Vergleichszwecken zwischen verschiedenen Fahrzeugtypen. Die Werte variieren in Abhängigkeit der gewählten Sonderausstattungen. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter http://www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

Toyota’s new car subscription company Kinto is gamifying driving behavior — TechCrunch

Toyota has officially launched Kinto, a company first revealed late last year that will manage a car subscription program and other mobility services in Japan, including the sale and purchase of used vehicles as well as automotive repair and inspection. Kinto is jointly funded by Toyota Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota, and Sumitomo Mitsui…

via Toyota’s new car subscription company Kinto is gamifying driving behavior — TechCrunch

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