Advertisements

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.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

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 )
Please visit to support TFLcar & TFLtruck.
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

Advertisements

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.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

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

Another Alfa Romeo Comeback Story May Be Ending

After a brief surge, Alfa Romeo's comeback plan looks to have stalled, outsold in Europe by Lancia.

Has yet another Alfa Romeo comeback story fizzled out before it ever really got going?

It’s hard to see it any other way, with the fabled Italian sports and premium brand outsold in Europe for the first half of the year by its ignored, underfunded Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stablemate, Lancia.

Alfa Romeo has five models on its books, including the 4C sports car, the dated MiTo three-door hatch, the just-facelifted Giulietta five-door hatch and the expensively developed Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.

Lancia, on the other hand, sells just one car – the eight-year-old Ypsilon five-door hatch. It might be a legendary name, with some of the most desirable cars ever built on its books and with multiple World Rally Championships to its name, but its reputation for quality is so bad in Europe that it has retreated to just one market: Italy.

FCA analyst Fiat Group World pointed out that Alfa Romeo sales fell to 29,187 in the first half of 2019, while the Ypsilon, based on the budget Fiat Panda, managed 34,691 sales in Italy alone.

Alfa’s sales fell 42 percent year-on-year in Europe, while Lancia’s rose 29 percent with an ancient product that wasn’t terribly good to begin with.

It has been an across-the-board pummeling for Alfa, with its business sales dropping from 33,400 last year to 19,200 this year, while its private sales fell 40 percent.

It was hammered in France, where its sales fell 61 percent, but the biggest concern will be its collapse in its home market of Italy, where it dropped 47 percent to only 14,700 registrations.

The clunky, one-market Ypsilon is single-handedly embarrassing Alfa Romeo.

The clunky, one-market Ypsilon is single-handedly embarrassing Alfa Romeo.

In a frightening buyer revolt, only 5000 Alfas were privately registered in Italy in the first half of the year.

Even the newest Alfa model, the Stelvio, saw its European sales drop by 18 percent this year to just 13,800 registrations as it was overtaken by updates to rivals like the BMW X4.

The heavily publicized Giulia sedan, which shares its expensively developed rear-drive architecture with the Stelvio, saw its sales fall 44 percent to 5767 registrations across Europe.

There was more bad news in the US, where it sold 9037 cars in the first half; down on the 12,265 it sold in 2018.

Alfa is twinned with Maserati within the company and the Modena-based brand at least has plans to pull its product lineup into the next decade with a range of plug-in hybrids, a Porsche Macan-testing crossover and an all-electric sports car.

Follow me on Twitter.

I have been testing cars and writing about the car business for more than 25 years. My career began in daily newspapers and developed into editorship of two automotive magazines. I’ve been based in Italy as a freelancer for more than a decade, covering the European car business, with a focus on product testing and product development for readers around the world.

 

Source: Another Alfa Romeo Comeback Story May Be Ending

Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

Image result for Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

While vehicle-based electronic devices are hardly a new concept, only an in-car PC can match the function and performance of a full-fledge computer. You can easily browse the web, receive e-mail while on the go, and have real-time access to data and programs stored on your work PC.

You can also run any programs that run on the Windows platform. If you are looking for the perfect mobile IT solution, these are some reasons why getting car computers should be on top of your list.

Secure

You may be wondering about how secure is to have car computer installed on your vehicle. Fact of the matter is, the PC, where the data will reside, will be completely out of sight. Rest assured that onlookers will not be able to spot a huge desktop-like computer inside the vehicle. For added security, however, it can be bolted to the chassis of the vehicle using anti-theft bolts. This gives ample protection for both the hardware and the data. As for the screen, it will be heavily integrated to the interior – making it look like part of the vehicle. The screen, of course, can be easily removed when leaving the vehicle.

Robust

The PC part of car computer will not be handled directly by the user. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental damage. The only parts that the users will use are the screen and wireless keyboard. If somehow these fail to work, which is very unlikely, replacements will be provided swiftly.

Screen size

There are a wide range of display sizes to choose from. You can get the screen from 6.5-inches to 15-inches – and even beyond. It is recommended to get the screens that are designed specifically for the car computer, such that allows to be used even under sunlight. There are plenty of models to choose from and the screens can be easily upgraded as your company grows.

Screen Placement

As for the placement of the touch screens, they can actually be mounted anywhere within the vehicle. It is, however, recommended to get the in-dash model, which can be neatly integrated into the dashboard. This means you are not required to remove the screen while leaving the car for safety purposes. Some screen models can also be integrated to the sun-visor, the headrest or roof mounted. Whichever placement you choose for the screen, rest assured that it will be done to look as professional as possible, while taking into consideration the practicality.

Data Input and communication

The in-car PC can handle a range of data input methods depending on your need or circumstance. These include wireless QWERTY keyboards, touch screens and voice input and recognition systems. Data can also be communicated to the PC via Bluetooth or using a 3G modem which will allow internet connectivity.

Performance and customisation

You can expect top notch performance from the in-car computer. The standard specs include the use of Intel Core 2 Duo and hard drives with storage of up to 500 GB. If you need more power and storage, it is possible to build a more powerful system from scratch to meet your company’s needs.

Professional Installation

If required the in-car pc can be professionally installed thus proving you with a a full service from manufacture to end use.

By getting an in-car computer, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff, especially those who must spend a good amount of their time being on the road.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar