GM tries Tesla tease

General Motors’ EV Teaser Reveals Low-Slung, Sporty Coupe

General Motors intends to debut 20 electric vehicles in the next five years, and the company’s teaser image hints that at least one of them could be something to excite enthusiasts.

The photo shows the Chevrolet Bolt in the foreground, and there are 9 vehicles under sheets behind it. A model slightly to the left from the center is clearly a low-slung coupe with prominent fenders. The low, pointed nose has a resemblance to the Corvette, and the angular sculpting at the rear takes a cue from the Camaro. Judging by the models around it in the photo, the coupe appears to be fairly compact, too.

GM has produced two solid cars: The Volt (PHEV) and the Bolt (BEV). That’s great, but they were also the company that literally destroyed the EV1, and their former CEO is a virulent critic of Elon Musk. I like the idea that they claim they are going to produce more EVs, but would prefer that they simply show us what they have. Although they (and all other legacy automakers) are professing a new found love of electric driving, they are also currently spending millions of dollars on lobbyists to roll-back fuel-efficiency standards so they don’t have to make more efficient cars. Criticize Tesla all you like for missing delivery numbers, but there are still 200+ more M3s on the road than GM/Ford/Chrysler have promised

Our state is run by idiots

Tesla is asked by DMV to stop giving test drives out of Charlotte gallery

Tesla has a really big location in Charlotte, North Carolina – pictured above. In most other states, it would be considered a Service plus location, which includes both a store and service center, but due to direct sales restrictions and Tesla’s inability to obtain a dealer license, the location is considered “gallery” and service center.

And now we learn that Tesla is subject to further restrictions as the DMV asked the automaker to stop offering test drives out of the location.

Nonetheless, Tesla was still operating its Charlotte location as a “gallery”, where it doesn’t make any transaction, but where it still educate the public on its products. The company told us that they had an understanding with the DMV commissioner that they could still offer test drives to the public with the goal to educate them on their offering.

But Tesla confirmed to Electrek that they were asked by the DMV this week to stop giving test drives out of the Charlotte location.

The demand comes a few months after the DMV had a change of leadership and Torre Jessup was named the new commissioner of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

I look forward to the auto dealerships going the way of shopping malls.

Ford’s EV plans less than they seem

Ford to cut costs $14 billion, invest in trucks, electric cars: CEO

Ford Motors plans to slash $14 billion in costs over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett told investors on Tuesday, adding that the No. 2 U.S. automaker would shift capital investment away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars.

By 2022, Ford plans to cut spending on future internal combustion engines by a third, or about $500 million, putting that money instead into expanded electric and hybrid vehicle development, on top of $4.5 billion previously announced. Ford had already promised 13 new electric or hybrid vehicles within the next five years.

Right, this looks good on paper (or on photons if you prefer), but it is a bit misleading and somewhat contradictory. Moving 1/3 of your spending from ICE to EV is nice, but you are still investing a lot of money in polluting vehicles (and I doubt they will be discontinuing their pickups and SUVs anytime soon. But hey, I’ll take what I can get). But, I am puzzled about how you can develop “13 new electric or hybrid vehicles within the next five years” and cut $14 billion in costs. Designing and building new vehicles takes a LOT of money. Perhaps he thinks he can just take gasoline cars and stick electric motors in them. If so, he will soon learn that it’s a bit more complicated. Sure, you can do that, but you wind up with a car with lackluster range and performance (like the Ford Focus EV).

Also, are these cars for the U.S. market, or the Chinese market? He doesn’t specify.

He did have two ways of saving money that made sense.

One way to cut costs will be to offer fewer variations of Ford’s models, Hackett said. The slow-selling Ford Fusion midsize sedan can now be ordered in 35,000 combinations of features, colors and powertrain options. The future model will come in just 96 combinations, meaning fewer parts to design, produce and store in inventory, Ford showed in a presentation.

He said Ford also will cut the time it takes to engineer a new car by 20 percent, and invest in “factories of the future” that will occupy less space and use more robots.

Golly, he sounds just like Elon Musk.

Tesla wins one, loses one

Tesla delivers record 26,150 vehicles, only 220 Model 3 sedans

Tesla confirmed today its third quarter 2017 delivery numbers and the automaker delivered a record number of vehicles, including a few Model 3 sedans for the first time.

The automaker had previously guided over 23,000 Model S and Model X deliveries during the third quarter and it significantly beat the guidance with 14,065 Model S sedans and 11,865 Model X SUVs.

It represents a 4.5% increase quarter-over-quarter and 17.7% increase over the same period last year.

It’s a new record global delivery number for Model X – beating the previous record in Q1 2017 by over 300 units.

As for Model 3, Tesla confirmed slow production of only 260 units.

Oops. Yeah, that’s a big miss. The short sellers are going to be all over this. That said, should we worry? Telsa seemed to think we shouldn’t.

It is important to emphasize that there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain. We understand what needs to be fixed and we are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

Of course, they would say that. But, Tesla has an excellent track record of missing deadlines, but still delivering the goods. I don’t think this will be any different.

Washington Post bailing on gasoline cars

Death of gas and diesel begins as GM announces
plans for ‘all-electric future’
Washington Post

After nearly a century of building vehicles powered by fossil fuels, General Motors — one of the world’s largest automakers — announced Monday that the end of GM producing internal combustion engines is fast approaching.

The acceleration to an all-electric future will begin almost immediately, with GM releasing two new electric models next year and an additional 18 by 2023.

At a media event at GM’s technical campus in Warren, Mich., on Monday, Mark Reuss, the company’s chief of global product development, said the transition will take time, but the course has been set.

“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Reuss said. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.”

While I am very glad that a mainstream newspaper can read the writing on the wall, to be fair to GM, they didn’t exactly say they were relegating the internal combustion engine to the landfill of history. Their language was pretty non-committal and they avoided any timelines. The rest of the article notes that, as we have seen, automakers are tripping over each other to announce “plans” for EVs to be delivered at some future date, in the meantime check out our “concept cars”.

Ford was rather amusing in their announcement, telling us about their plans which involved the formation of “Team Edison”, name after a man of questionable genius, but an enormous talent for stealing other people’s ideas, to compete against Tesla, a company named after a certified genius whom Edison cheated out of $50,000 when Tesla proved he could improve Edison’s own dynamos. Ford’s EV exec, Sherif Marakby was quoted as saying:

“We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles. We feel it’s important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing.”

“Strategy plans”? Seriously?

What was that line again from Shakespeare? “…Tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Yeah, that was what that sounded like to me.

In the meantime the only folks to believe are those actually making EVs, and not just “compliance” cars.