Green Auto Market is undergoing a format change with stories organized in five categories that tend to be of much interest to readers and stakeholders. Plus, more on the next edition of GAM’s Market Intel.
Vehicles — sales, launch trends, incentives and funding, regulatory, and auto/truckmaker news
Are full self-driving Tesla’s safe, Super Bowl ad asks: Tesla CEO Elon Musk was probably relieved to be attending the Super Bowl game as the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles played a tightly scored championship game. He didn’t have to watch the Super Bowl TV ad placed by Dawn Project, an organization founded by tech entrepreneur Dan O’Dowd. It starts with a warning about the full self-driving Tesla Model 3 hitting a child in a crosswalk, running into an empty baby stroller, and hitting an adult pedestrian near the end of the video; each of the two being crash-test dummies. The point comes across clearly. It ends with the question: “Why does NHTSA allow Tesla full self-driving?”
“Deceptive marketing and woefully inept engineers” are two of the charges made as causes for it in the TV commercial.
The U.S. Justice Department is currently investigatingTesla over its autopilot and Full Self-Driving features. Musk has had his own share of problems to deal with, separate from the safety challenges Tesla faces. Along with advertiser and revenue loss on Wednesday, when users in the U.S. and Canada were unable to send messages or post tweets for about a half hour.
Another Super Bowl ad: “Premature Electrification” — Ram Trucks.
Ford adds to EV battery offerings: Ford announced today it is investing $3.5 billion to build the country’s first automaker-backed lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant, offering customers a second battery technology within Ford’s EV lineup. Ford says that it’s committed to build both nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) and LFP batteries in the U.S., helping America’s No. 2 EV company in 2022 bring EVs to more customers and diversify its U.S. supply chain. This plant – called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan – initially will employ 2,500 people when production of LFP batteries begins in 2026. The company may further grow its battery capacity at its Marshall, Mich., plant, which will be part of a wholly owned Ford subsidiary.
Kia PHEV wins Vincentric award: Getting a strong value rating on a plug-in vehicle is a very good thing, as Kia found out winning the 2023 Vincentric Best Value in America award for two of its vehicles — the 2023 Sorento PHEV and the 2023 Rio. Those vehicles took the Mid-Size SUV and Subcompact categories, respectively, and Kia took the passenger car category. Value is determined using a statistical analysis that incorporates the current market price and total cost of ownership of 2023 model year vehicles. Other electrified vehicle winners: Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Hyundai Ionic Electric, Lexus LC Hybrid in Luxury Hybrid, Volvo S90 Plug-In Hybrid in Luxury EV/PHEV, Kia Sorrento Hybrid in Hybrid SUV, Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid in EV/PHEV SUV, and Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid in Luxury EV/PHEV SUV.
Mercedes-Benz Vans is bringing a cargo van variant of the all-new eSprinter in the U.S. and Canada in the second half of 2023, while the market launch in Europe will follow towards the end of 2023. The all-new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter will be produced in Charleston, S.C. and Ludwigsfelde, Germany in the future, in addition to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf.
Fuels and Infrastructure — renewable and clean fuel, fueling and charging infrastructures, renewable energy, alternative fuels
Hydrogen and fuel cells: Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota just participated in the 2023 Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Seminar (HFCS), held in Long Beach, Calif. Organized by the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) and supported by the U.S. government, HFCS is the largest hydrogen industry event in North America, with a history of more than 40 years. At the event, Hyundai Motor discussed hydrogen cooperation with government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy and leading global companies in the hydrogen industry. The company presented its vision to create a Hydrogen Society on a global scale, displayed its XCIENT Fuel Cell hydrogen electric truck and introduced the ‘Waste-to-energy’ concept of hydrogen production.
Association name change: The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition is now the California Renewable Transportation Alliance – CRTA. The change is in response to the organization’s expanded focus on the use of renewable fuels to reduce trucking emissions. Transportation is the leading source of climate-altering greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as smog and other air pollutants. Diesel trucks are the biggest contributors. They are responsible for 70 % of the smog-causing pollution and 80 % of diesel particulate matter (soot), even though they number less than 7 percent of the 30 million registered vehicles in the state. “Building on a successful legacy, CRTA will remain the premiere organization that delivers on renewable fuel policies and near zero emission strategies here in the Golden State,” said Todd Campbell, Chair of the CRTA Board of Directors. “The Alliance will continue to promote sensible solutions that aggressively advance clean air, climate protection, job creation, and real-world solutions to California’s daunting mobile source challenges.”
Advanced transport — autonomous, shared rides, mobility, smart cities
Nissan is holding Nissan Futures, an event showcasing how Nissan is shaping the future of sustainable mobility and innovative design, at its Global Headquarters Gallery in Yokohama, Japan, from Feb. 4 to Mar. 1. As part of the event launch, Nissan today unveiled a physical concept model of its Max-Out EV convertible. The model was previously shown in virtual form as part of the Nissan Ambition 2030 vision announced in November 2021 under the Nissan Futures banner. The Max-Out—which will be on display for the duration of the event—embodies Nissan’s ambition to support greater access to both sustainable and innovative mobility.
Uber is working with unnamed automakers to design EVs customized for its ride-hailing and delivery services, according to The Wall Street Journal (and thanks to Green Car Reports). The company confirmed the project recently at an event hosted by the paper, but declined to say which automakers the company was working with. Ride-hailing could have seats that allow passengers to face each other, while two- or three-wheeled vehicles are being considered for delivery services owing to their smaller footprint, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said.
Sustainability and carbon reduction — setting and hitting targets, studies, regulatory, global alliances, sustainability drives
BP has further tarnished its opportunity to redeem its role in the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, and for being a major fossil fuel supplier. When Bernard Looney took over the British oil company three yeas ago as CEO, he’d promised to lead the way on BP becoming a an oil company transforming into a green energy giant by cutting way down on oil production and and putting billions into renewable energy. That came to an end last week while announcing record-high profits in oil sales and and a sharp rollback in meeting those sustainability and carbon reductiion targets.
Check it out! — reports, events, webinars, and more
In this edition of GAM’s Market Intel, you’ll find a comparison between Tesla and BYD in their compeition to be the global leader in plug-in vehicle sales and market presence. Plus, Sustainable Transportation Market Data. Two of them are featured — Alternative Fuel Stations in the U.S. — February 2023; and Price Comparisons in Available Fuels. Renewable diesel has been added to the data this time.