Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (18)

Honda plans to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of its vehicle sales by 2040, progressing from sales of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2035.

Toward these targets, Honda also plans to launch a series of new EV models based on a new e:Architecture, beginning from the second half of the decade. These plans for North America are in line with Honda's new global and regional targets, which were announced today by Honda global president & CEO Toshihiro Mibe, as part of the company's renewed commitment to advances in safety and environmental technology. In making the announcement, Mibe said that Honda sees the reduction of the company's environmental impact and realization of safety advances to protect human lives as the two major challenges facing the company. Accordingly, Honda is formalizing its goals for achieving carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities by 2050, as well as zero traffic collision fatalities involving Honda automobiles and motorcycles globally by 2050.

An analysis by Cox Automotive and Kelley Blue Book showed that sales growth of both electric and hybrid vehicles outpaced overall market performance in the first quarter of 2021. Electrified vehicles – automobiles featuring large battery packs and electric motors in the propulsion system – accounted for 7.8% of the total U.S. market, up from 4.8% in Q1 2020. 

Electrified vehicle sales growth of 81% far outpaced industry growth. Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) – battery only – grew by 44.8% year over year, reaching nearly 100,000 sales in the quarter, a record. Sales of hybrid vehicles outpaced both the market and EVs, doubling to more than 200,000 in the quarter. The overall automobile market increased by 11.4% in Q1. 

The Chevrolet Bolt EV has been on the market since 2016.

The Chevrolet Bolt was No. 3 on the EV list, with nearly 10,000 sales in the quarter. The all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E, which went on sale in December, was No. 4, outselling both the Tesla Model S and Model X. The EV market continues to be dominated by Tesla, which sold an estimated 69,300 vehicles in Q1 and remains the only significant automaker in the U.S. with an EV-only lineup. Tesla accounted for 71% of total EV sales in the quarter, down from 83% share in Q1 2020.

While sales of EVs are increasing, hybrid sales are increasing more quickly, according to the Cox Automotive analysis. Sales of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles jumped by 106% in Q1. Toyota, a hybrid pioneer, delivered most of that growth, selling 124,449 electrified vehicles in Q1, up from 49,576 in Q1 2020. Nearly 25% of new Toyota vehicles are now hybrids. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is now the best-selling hybrid in the U.S., with sales of 32,263 vehicles in the first quarter. The new Toyota Sienna minivan, which is available exclusively as a hybrid, is No. 2 with sales of 26,044.   

In all, there are more than 60 different hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles now available in the U.S.

The Washington State legislature passed legislation that sets a target for all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles sold in Washington State to be electric vehicles. The new law establishes the most aggressive state goal in the U.S. for moving to an all-electric future and puts Washington five years ahead of California’s 2035 target. Clean Cars 2030 passed as an amendment to E2SHB 1287, a bill mandating electric utility preparation for an all-EV future, with a vote of 25-23 in the Senate and 54-43 in the House. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for signature.

First introduced in the legislature by Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) as HB 1204, the bill is now the first gasoline phaseout target to be passed through the legislative process.

“With the passage of Clean Cars 2030, the end of the era of gasoline-powered cars is in sight,” said Matthew Metz, co-executive director of Coltura. “Clean Cars 2030 sets Washington on a nation-leading path consistent with climate science and an auto industry trend toward a fully-electric automotive future. We applaud Rep. Macri, Rep. Alex Ramel (D-Bellingham), and Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) for their leadership on this bill, as well as the many other legislators who made history with their votes.”

The 2030 target will be integrated into planning and financial decision-making by a broad group of government, automaker, utility, and other stakeholders. It will take full effect when 75 percent of vehicles on the road are subject to a road usage charge, a development which is expected within the next several years.

Ford Motor Co.’s electrified vehicles hit a new record sales start, trucks reported the best retail start in 13 years and SUVs posted the best first-quarter retail sales since 2001, according to Ford Motor Co.

Driven largely by the fully electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 PowerBoostHybrid, Ford’s electrified vehicle sales increased 74.1 percent to a new record sales start, with 25,980 vehicles sold.

First-quarter sales of the fully electric Mustang Mach-E totaled 6,614 vehicles, with days-to-turn of just seven days.

It's official, the Ford Bronco is back, and selling like hotcakes

F-150 PowerBoostHybrid sales jumped 110 percent in March compared to February making March its best sales performance since launch. Ford sold 7,176 F-150 PowerBoostHybrids in the first quarter, with 3,949 sold in the month of March.

Ford’s first-quarter retail sales were up 23.1 percent, selling above both 2020 and 2019 first-quarter results. Retail truck and SUVs were up 87,883 over a year ago, fully offsetting the retail loss of 13,688 from the discontinuation of cars. Combined retail trucks and SUV sales were up 30.8 percent providing Ford with its best first-quarter performance since 2007.

F-Series had its best start in 15 years – retail sales up 24.5 percent. Sales of America’s best-selling truck, Ford F-Series, totaled 203,797 vehicles in the first quarter. Ford brand SUV retail sales were up 37.0 percent – its best start since 2001, on strong new product introductions. Both Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E totaled 29,970, with March representing the strongest sales month to date.

Lincoln SUVs had their best retail sales start in 20 years. Navigator retail sales up 26.6 percent.

GM announced this week  it plans on building an all electric Chevrolet Silverado EV pick-up truck at its soon to be retooled Factory Zero in Hamtramck Mi. Factory Zero once known as the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly is in the process of getting a 2.2 billion dollar overhaul to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. In October 2020, GM renamed the plant Factory ZERO to reflect GM’s vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

The Chevy Silverado is getting an electirc makeover

The new Silverado has been redesigned from the ground up to be an EV and will be outfitted with the top of the line Utitium Battery Platform. The pick-up will offer drivers an estimated range of more than 400 miles on a full charge. GM is predicting the EV Silverado will be very popular, the automaker said.

“The vehicles coming from Factory ZERO will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles,” said GM President Mark Reuss on April 6th's press release  “The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy’s loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike.”

The automaker recently revealed the Hummer SUV EV will also be built at Factory zero. 

GM has said all of its light-duty vehicles will be zero emissions by 2035 and the company will be carbon neutral by 2040. The company plans to become a leader in the EV market by delivering over 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025.  GM has managed to reduce vehicle development times by nearly 50 percent to 26 months, making them a solid contender in global EV leadership. 

While the fleet market took a hit like most other industries due to the pandemic, electric vehicle fleet sales declined by only 14 percent compared to the overall vehicle sales decline of 28 percent in 2020, according to Beroe Inc., a provider of procurement intelligence and supplier compliance solutions.

The fleet management companies and car leasing companies are steadily increasing their dependency on electric vehicles as large MNCs have started framing electric vehicle policies. These car fleet management companies are piloting EVs in multiple countries and providing incentives to their staff for adopting this more environment-friendly mode of travel. This trend will see an upward surge in the next couple of years.

Governments are offering tax subsidies and incentives that have driven up EV sales. The debate on carbon emission has pressed organizations to look at zero-emission options.

“Autonomous vehicles are the future of mobility, with ride-hailing and car-sharing companies piloting the services. OEMs are investing and partnering with technology companies to develop AI platforms to manufacture a better autonomous vehicle, expected to provide higher safety and increase the overall efficiency,” says the report

The pandemic has forced global organizations to enforce policies to ensure higher safety for employees by selecting safer vehicles, implementing safety protocols for vehicle operation and disinfection. Commercial fleet leasing companies are framing standard operating procedures to ensure the vehicle's hygiene, which includes wearing masks, sanitizing the vehicle, daily temperature checks, etc.

VW stock has risen 7.1% over the past 5 days and on the heels of VW’s Power Day event held Monday. The German automaker unveiled its most in-depth strategy in forging a path to selling millions of EVs in the not too distant future. The event, led by CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, was streamed around the globe via Twitter and VW’s site. The German automaker’s bold plans to become a world leader in EV sales focused on two issues on the forefront of buyers' minds, battery charge and charging stations.  

After the diesel-emissions cheating scandal, VW is in the process of fully reorganizing the company from the ground up. The automaker offered early retirement packages over the weekend leading up to the Power Day event as one of many cost cutting measures during the retooling. The automaker will also build 6 new battery factories in the EU to gain more control over its supply chain. “E-mobility has won the race,” Dr. Diess said during the webcast. “Our goal is to secure a pole position in the global scaling of batteries.”

Battery costs have emerged as a major issue in the electric-car race. VW unveiled plans for its new battery cell called the unified cell. The new design will allow VW to reduce costs for entry-level EVs by 50 percent and for its mainstream vehicles, up to 30 percent. The automaker showcased its method of recycling the united cell batteries, a process that VW claims reuses a whopping 95 percent of the battery. 

Also on the docket at the event was bidirectional charging. VW said that by 2022, its cars' batteries will be able to power electronics in your home, using a bidirectional wall box.

VW is electrifying the classics like the I.D Buzz

Diess and VW have big plans to tackle the second major issue for buyers, charging station accessblity. The company is committed to expanding charging stations across the world by installing 3,500 Electrify America fast chargers in the U.S. this year, increasing the number of chargers it operates by five times, to 18,000 in the EU and a major expansion in China with 17,000 stations by 2025. It will invest 400 million euros ($477 million) by 2025 to build out the much-needed charging infrastructure in the EU after the region overtook China in EV sales last year.

VW has its sights set on China with that country's open door policy and its 2020 mandate on automakers requiring that EVs make up 40% of all nationwide sales by 2030. MIT analysts project this move will expand the production of EVs and EV batteries enough to bring down the worldwide cost of both, so it's no surprise VW is focused on the Asian EV market. 

The Volkswagen Group has pledged to make its global business carbon neutral by 2050, and electric vehicles will help make that possible. By 2025, the Group plans to build about 1.5 million electric vehicles a year worldwide – including at its U.S. factory in Chattanooga. 

In the U.S., EVs have been limited either to specific states or to luxury vehicles. VW plans on changing that with the release of the Volkswagen ID.4, which will come with 3 free years of charging at Electrify America fast charging stations across the U.S. The ID 3 and 4 are the first EVs in a whole ID family that VW will release by 2025.

The  automaker's first-ever all-electric SUV will hit dealerships later this year. The ID.Crozz crossover SUV is said to have a top speed of more than 110 mph and a battery that can charge up to 80% in just 30 minutes. It is also expected to have a range of more than 300 miles. VW is electrifing some classics for old school enthusiasts, too. The electrified Volkswagen bus, the ID Buzz, hits the EU market in 2022.

 

 

 

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess took some pointers from Elon Musk this week by tweeting that the automaker will livestream a morning event on Monday, March 15. Musk takes to Twitter regularly to promote Tesla’s Battery Day events. 

VW's event, called Power Day, will more than likely deal with VW’s new battery technology. The company is counting on its new tech, the MEB electric platform, to launch a bold plan that reinvents VW as an EV leader. The German automaker announced its commitment to having 50% of its U.S sales be EVs by 2030 along with 70% of its European sales. 

Tesla CEO Musk and VW CEO Diess maintain a friendly riverly

VW also recently gave some teasers on the release of its latest EV sedan, the Trinity, coming to the U.S in 2026. What we do know about the new Trinity is that it comes with the promise of setting new standards for charging times and battery range. Starting price? Around $42,000, making it slightly more expensive than Tesla’s model 3, but a good potential competitor with Tesla for EVs in that price range. Tesla still holds the title for longest EV charge range, with the Tesla S lasting just over 402 miles. One of the questions for the Trinity is will it come close to the 400 range? If so, it will give the Tesla S, with a whopping starting price of $69,000, a run for its money.

VW appears to be positioning itself to take on Tesla, the world's most popular EV automaker.
 
The automaker recently launched VW's first electric MEB-based vehicle in the U.S, the 2021 ID.4 compact SUV. The ID.4 has a range of about 250 miles, not even close to Tesla S’s 400 range, but the ID.4 compares favorably with the Tesla 3's 250-300 mile battery range. The ID.4 starts at around $39,995, with the Tesla 3 at about $36,990. 

 

The Power Day event can be watched live on Volkswagen's home site and on its Twitter feed on March 15th. 

 

Check out MotoSpot's March 8th video below on VW's Project Trinity | MotoSpot | 

Manheim is investing nearly $100 million in 2021 to continue integrating its extensive network of digital and physical offerings, connecting them to better align with the varied needs of its clients. A continuation of its auction redesign effort that introduced digital tools to create simpler dealer transactions, this year’s investment aims to connect all of Manheim’s auction processes for greater consistency and efficiencies, while positioning Manheim’s teams and services to work better for all client segments.

Grace Huang

“Our continued focus on process improvements will further drive Manheim’s commitment to make it easier for our clients to do business with us,” said Grace Huang, president of Manheim. “While our investments in this area began prior to the pandemic, it’s been fulfilling to see the benefits they provide to enhancing our clients’ experience.”  

Among the initiatives already in place to create a more connected client experience in 2021 are: 

  • Vehicle Arbitration: Designed to help resolve vehicle purchase disputes, Manheim recognizes the importance of having consistent processes, policy interpretations and timely resolutions across its entire auction network. To deliver on this need, Manheim has invested in a more streamlined solution that combines enhanced technology and digital tools to keep team members connected to each other and to clients. Started prior to COVID-19 and fully implemented in 2020, it supports vehicles purchased at both physical locations and through digital channels.
  • Client Response Center (CRC): The frustration that comes with trying to find the right person to resolve an issue is universal. Investments in cloud technology are now making it possible for Manheim to route calls quickly and seamlessly to the right expert who can best resolve an issue, regardless of where it originated. As a result, the CRC team fielded 1.5 million calls in 2020 with a 95 percent answer rate of 35 seconds.  Not only does this process improvement save time for dealers, but it also strengthens relationships and drives increased satisfaction. 
  • Virtual Block Specialists: Originally created to address the rise in offsite auction sales, this solution became critical during COVID-19. When the CDC’s strict safety protocols disrupted Manheim’s long-standing tradition of live, in-person auctions, the company’s 76 locations nationwide switched to all-digital sales nearly overnight and its virtual block specialists went into high gear to continue serving clients. Today, this flexible and vital workforce is nearly 200 strong, supporting multiple Simulcast-only sales to keep clients connected and able to continue moving their businesses forward. 
  • Market Centers: Introduced in 2019 to collaboratively share resources and support functions across field locations, Manheim’s 24 Market Centers focus on providing maximum flexibility and efficiencies to deliver the services clients need to achieve their business goals. The results include a more seamless delivery of team member expertise, improved service consistency and greater time savings.

“Throughout this year, we’ll be introducing even more initiatives that will offer added value to our clients, regardless of how they choose to do business,” added Huang.

Swapalease.com, a  car lease marketplace, unveiled its lease trends report from the fourth quarter of 2020, showing a leap in Tesla traffic.

The report looks at vehicle lease payment, term, shopping consideration and driver preference trends within vehicle leasing in the fourth quarter of 2020. Among the most notable trends, consumer searches for Tesla vehicles on the Swapalease.com marketplace increased 55 percent over the last 12 months, among the largest increases by any brand in recent history.

“The consumer demand for Tesla is very real, and while Tesla doesn’t have a traditional retail network, the vehicle’s makeup positions it perfectly for a lease environment,” said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President for Swapalease.com. “As it’s in the luxury category, many drivers enjoy the ability to lease rather than finance a Tesla. Furthermore, drivers feel the battery technology is improving at a rapid rate and enjoy the ability to change or upgrade every few years.”

 2018 BMW Techno-Classica 

The report also illustrates where BMW’s percent of total traffic reached 19 percent during the fourth quarter, up from 17 percent during the third quarter. Conversely, Mercedes-Benz declined from 8 percent down to 7 percent during the same time period.

Other foreign brands such as Honda, Acura, Nissan and Infiniti also continue to see falling search numbers in the marketplace. While these brands have traditionally experienced higher-than-average lease rates, they continue to experience lower-than-average search traffic and demand in the marketplace due to their unfavorable lease and lease transfer policies.

According to the report, Americans paid an average of $519.46 per month on their leases during the 4th quarter, down from $521.90 in the 3rd quarter. The report also shows that the average incentive has dropped from $583.65 in the 3rd quarter down to $545.66 in the 4th quarter.

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