Newsworthy: AutoMobility LA, the special media preview days at the LA Auto Show, will see crossovers and SUVs take the stage, including a long-awaited Jeep Wrangler revision. Speaker panels and displays will emphasize the future of mobility, including autonomous, electrified vehicles. BMW will be showing the i8 Roadster plug-in hybrid two-seater that will go on sale in early 2018. It had been initially shown in 2014, and this one will have 358 horsepower and 330 miles of range with 14 in EV only. Porsche will show four models including the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo that gets 680 horsepower. The 2017 Top Ten Automotive Startups Competition startups range from enterprise carpooling and in-air hand controlled devices, to electric motorcycles and analytics software for commercial vehicles. The “Smarter LA 2060” challenge will show what the city would be like of a major international sporting event such as the Olympics were to be held in the city in 2060………. The Tesla Semi will start at an “expected base price” of $150,000 for a truck with a 300-mile range per battery charge, the company announced. That price will go up to $180,000 for a 500-mile range truck. The first 1,000 Tesla Semis as “Founder’s Series” models and priced them at $200,000 (but fleet orders probably won’t be included)………….. BMW AG said it’s talking to suppliers of cobalt and other battery materials as fears intensify over supply running short, pushing already inflated prices higher. Sourcing of cobalt and other materials is “the most important” question BMW has to address before it decides whether to produce its own battery cells, the company said.
Electrified shared rides: Friday saw Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra and Uber announcing a pilot project to test out electric vehicles on the Uber platform in India. Hundreds of EVs will roll out in Delhi and Hyderabad starting in March, and other Indian cities will be under consideration. This announcement came days after Uber acknowledged that it had paid off hackers $100,000 over a year ago to destroy stolen data on more than 57 million customers and drivers. That’s brought up a few class-action lawsuits and a federal probe. Mahindra will be adding two new EVs to its fleet, with one being jointly developed with its South Korean unit, Ssangyong Motor Co, India’s national government continues to push forward on the plan for clean vehicles and energy, with some of it being deployed through public transportation. Uber and Mahindra will work with public agencies and private companies to establish charging stations, starting in Hyderabad.