The buzz around VW, top Caddy EV, another ICE ban – the week
Among Volkswagen’s battery-electric ID range, perhaps no model has generated as much excitement as the ID.Buzz. This half-van, half-MPV positions itself both visually and thematically as the spiritual successor to the popular Type 2 Transporter, which became an icon of the mid-1920s.ethe automobile of the last century thanks to its flexible interior and its “cute” and rounded style. After years of teasers and previews, VW has finally started full production of the ID.Buzz at its commercial vehicle plant in Hannover, with the first models slated to hit the European market later in 2022. The company expects initial production to be modest, with estimates for 2022 peaking at around 15,000 models, but could be less if there are speed bumps in the ramp-up of production. Ultimately, VW thinks the Hannover line could produce up to 130,000 ID.Buzz models a year, split between passenger and cargo versions. Regarding our latest sales forecast for the new model, we expect VW to reach this level of sales around 2030. Generally, for a new model, we expect sales to increase rapidly towards the beginning of its life cycle, as consumer hype will be highest at this point.
Some EVs aim to offer long ranges or quick acceleration, but a growing number are leaning into the luxury angle as a way to attract potential buyers. Models such as Lucid Air and Mercedes EQS emphasize their larger interiors compared to ICE luxury cars, made possible by the use of a BEV skateboard platform. Similarly, most premium EVs feature powerful yet quiet battery-electric powertrains, further reinforcing their luxury image. Incorporating luxury features into electric vehicles allows automakers to sell a smaller number of vehicles at a higher price with a higher profit margin compared to mainstream models. This strategy is well suited to BEV models which typically cost more to build than an equivalent ICE vehicle, and means that current cell supply constraints will have less of an impact on production figures. In this environment, Cadillac plans to launch the 2023 Celestiq – a new luxury flagship sedan for the historic American brand. Little is known about the Celestiq other than the few details announced by Cadillac in a recent press release, however, there are some significant clues in the reveal that point to what to expect from Cadillac’s latest flagship.
Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) this month recommended the government phase out the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040, as part of its broader strategy aiming for net zero emissions by 2060. Such a policy, she said, would benefit not only the environment but also the country’s economy by reducing its reliance on imported fossil fuels and further exploiting its natural resources. The agency expects more than half of the 96 billion liters of fossil fuels it estimates will be consumed by the country’s transport sector in 2030 to be imported. In the mid-1990s, Indonesia was still a net oil exporting country. As part of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the Indonesian government pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 29% by 2030 on its own, or 41% with international assistance . Bappenas has suggested that by 2055, up to 90% of vehicles on the road should be zero-emission vehicles, powered either by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, if the country is to meet its emissions targets at long term. The challenges are significant, given that the country lags behind most major global economies in vehicle emissions.
Attention is turning to the role of OEMs in the cybersecurity chain when it comes to bolstering vehicle digital defenses. Cybersecurity in vehicles must be expanded, defending both the frontend and backend of vehicle systems and the entire infrastructure that connected cars rely on. But cybersecurity competes with many other major automotive issues, which means many automotive companies are not adequately protected. However, best practices will be introduced over the next decade, giving automotive companies room to change.
In early 2021, reports began circulating that US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian was planning to open a new factory in Europe. The new site is initially expected to produce the delivery vehicle that Rivian is developing for Amazon, although it will eventually manufacture vehicles for private customers. The company is rumored to have spotted locations in Germany, Hungary, and the UK. There are also reports of a possible collaboration with the Dutch company VDL Nedcar, which currently produces cars for BMW. Investment Monitor analyzed 10 of Europe’s top automotive FDI destinations to determine the best location for Rivian’s new facility.
Denso has developed technology for wireless power transfer devices to automatically charge electric vehicle batteries when stationary or on the move. EV users know the challenges of finding charging stations, especially in cities or countries where EV usage is still low. This lack of charging points, combined with the range anxiety that comes with it, are some of the main considerations for potential buyers. Although this is not a problem at the moment, it may become a major concern as electric vehicles are increasingly used. One of the advantages of self-charging hybrid cars is being able to recharge the batteries while driving. Although the science behind how these self-charging systems work for hybrids and electric vehicles is very different, the concept is similar. It also reduces the likelihood of range anxiety, dead battery failures, long charging times, and social or work-related stresses that traditional electric vehicles that require stopping to charge can bring. Dynamic wireless power transfer has the potential to revolutionize the way electric vehicles fit into our daily transportation routine.
Porsche Cars North America is recalling 12,490 2020-2022 Taycan vehicles. A software error could cause the central display (including the image from the rear view camera) and the touch control panel to remain black directly after the ignition is activated. Also, the Real-Top-View (including rear-view camera image) might display a flickering image. Other notable recalls released this week include Chrysler and Ford models.
Toyota Motor announced further cuts to its production schedule for June and July, citing parts shortages caused by the recent Covid outbreak in Shanghai. The automaker said in addition to cuts announced last month, it would halt production at 11 assembly lines at seven factories in Japan for an additional 11 days in June and July. The company now expects its global vehicle production to be cut by another 40,000-50,000 units to 750,000 units in June, from an already reduced production schedule of 800,000 vehicles announced in May and 1 000,000 units expected at the beginning of the year. Affected factories include the Motomachi, Takaoka, Tahara, Iwate and Yoshiwara factories, which produce a wide range of Toyota and Lexus passenger cars and SUVs.
A fuel cell truck generates its own electricity from on-board hydrogen instead of being recharged from an external source. The only by-product emitted is water vapour.
To decarbonize transport, Volvo Trucks already offers battery-electric trucks and trucks running on renewable fuels, such as biogas. In the second half of this decade, a third CO2-neutral option will be added to its product line: hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks. The fuel cell electric trucks will have a range comparable to many diesel trucks – up to 1,000 km (600 miles) – and a refueling time of less than 15 minutes. The total weight can be around 65 tons or even more, and the two fuel cells have the capacity to generate 300 kW of electricity on board. Customer pilots will begin in a few years.
The latest data on light vehicle sales in Russia showed a continuation of the steep decline that followed the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions. Figures released by the AEB in Moscow show that the Russian light vehicle market (cars and LCVs) decreased by 83.5% compared to May 2021 with only 24,268 units sold. May’s drop follows a 78.5% drop in April (32,706 units sold) and a 62.9% drop in March (55,129 units sold). Contrary to usual practice, the AEB’s press release containing the data was notably devoid of any commentary on the data or market developments from a member of the AEB’s automaker committee. Market leader Lada achieved sales of 6,012 units in May (a drop of 84% compared to last year).
Have a nice week end.
Graeme Roberts, Associate Editor, Just Auto