Fossil Fuels Estimated to Only Have 15 Years Left in the United Kingdom

In 2035, Britain will begin to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars the ban will start five years earlier than planned. For the first time, hybrid vehicles will also be included in the ban. The UK government felt it was necessary to fight the climate crisis by helping the country to cut carbon emissions to “net zero” by the year of 2050.

The accelerated time frame drew pushback from automakers, who have concerns about the lack of clarification on whether the government would continue to subsidize sales of electric vehicles, as there is currently limited charging infrastructure. Automakers expect there to be several job losses. The new commitment puts the UK in a group of countries taking charge to phase out cars that are run by fossil fuels.

Norway is another country that wants all passenger cars and vans sold in the country to be zero-emission by the year 20205. India has also called for any new cars sold in the country to be electric by 2030.  If the UK wants to meet the 2035 goal, it would require an entire transformation of the UK car market.

The use of battery-powered electric vehicles has increase in Britain by over 144% since last year, but sales still only made up for a total of 2% of automakers revenue. Hybrids, which is also included to be in the ban under the new policy in 2035, made up for about 8% of total vehicle sales.

Automakers like Volkswagen are investing billions of dollars in developing electric cars. According to data from the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders, UK car production decreased by 14% last year. The shift away from diesel in Europe plated a significant role in the decline. Many automakers feel the interrupt in production will ultimately erode their bottom line.

Hyundai is at a Standstill with Korea Production as Coronavirus Causes Parts Shortage

Hyundai Motor said it will cease production in South Korea, its biggest manufacturing base. They are the first major automaker to do so outside of China due to the lack of supply and parts resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Hyundai has seven factories in South Korea, providing for the local market as well as the U.S, Europe, Middle East and other countries. Hyundai’s production in South Korea accounts for about 40 percent of its global business.

The cease of production follows a shortage in wiring harnesses that Hyundai uses mainly in its cars distributed in China.

Kyungshin and Yura Corporation are the two main suppliers who will be affected. They have both noted they are trying to increase production at their factories to reimburse Hyundai for any short supply in China.  They both also plan to resume production at their Chinese factories after Feb. 9.

“Hyundai and Kia may be more affected as they tend to import more parts from China than other global automakers,” a representative from the company said.  Hyundai has grown to be more and more reliant on China as there was built a huge production capacity in the country several years ago when its business was booming there.  According to trade data it shows South Korea imported $1.56 billion worth of auto parts from China in 2019 versus $1.47 billion in 2018. Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co has also warned that due to the virus outbreak may slow down manufacturing activities in automobiles and other sectors.

Other global automakers, including Tesla, Ford, PSA Group Nissan and Honda, have already halted their production efforts in China this week along with government guidelines. The flu-like virus has killed over 420 people and has spread to about 24 countries. Many fear for global economic growth and a downslide in markets, with Shanghai’s stock index losing about $400 billion in market value.

Hyundai’s decision to freeze assembly lines could delay its recovery form a sales slump. The automaker recently had  its best quarterly profit in over two years and said it projected for higher profit margins. They expect more sales of SUVs such as the Palisade and Kona. The production of the Palisade has been stopped by Hyundai due to a shortage of components from China. Hyundai’s South Korean factories are expected to restart Feb.11 or Feb 12, a union official said. “Hyundai Motor will closely monitor developments in China and take all necessary measures to ensure the prompt normalization of its operations,” the automaker said.

The New Hyundai Genesis Luxury SUV is Completely Electric

Genesis, the luxury brand of the Hyundai Motor Group that launched back in 2015, will have a lineup of vehicles that will be closer to what is trending in the automotive world, with intentions adding three crossovers in the next two years- one of them will be a fully electric vehicle. This is good news, because Genesis’s models so far consist of only sedans such as: the G70 which was the 2019 MotorTrend Car of the Year, the G80, and the recently improved G90. Only having a car lineup in an SUV world could be restricting the brand’s growth.

Genesis only unveiled its first SUV in the midsize GV80; it’s the first vehicle on a new rear-wheel-drive platform known as M3 and which will soon also be categorized under the next-generation G80. The current G80 was launched back in 2016. In addition to the new fully electric Genesis there will be a new smaller GV70 compact crossover that shares a separate rear-drive platform with the G70 sport sedan; this model was introduced in 2017.

Genesis executives have previously stated the lineup is planned to have six vehicles by 2021. The plan has three sedans, two crossovers, and a coupe. Since that plan has been created, Genesis has seen changes in leadership and market tastes. The new lineup plan contains and even split consisting traditional sedans and crossovers. This results to the coupe being on the back burner for right now. Genesis displayed the Essentia electric two door concept with butterfly doors at the 2018 New York auto show.

Infiniti To Delay Production Of New Models

Infiniti recently announced there will be a delay to start the production of its QX55 by five months. The original projected date was supposed to be in the beginning in June. Now the date has been now moved to November of 2020. Nissan’s North America’s manufacturing team in Aguascalientes, Mexico sent out a letter to its suppliers dated January13th to inform them about the change of date. The letter vaguely disclosed that the plant needed “to ensure production capability.” A U.S. spokesman for Infiniti did not expand on the situation, except this was noted in the letter “from the production facility to supplies, operational efficiencies drive projects to move- sometimes forward, sometimes backward- as we progress toward the start of production of a new model.”

The Infiniti QX55, like the QX50, will also be assembled at the $1.4 billion joint-venture Aguascalientes plant co-owned by Nissan and Daimler. The inspiring first-generation FX performance crossover influenced the designs for the QX55. Even though the models QX55 and QX50 share similar design elements, there are some differences between the two such as the fascia and the grille has a new sporty design. The QX55’s audience targets mostly couples and singles who are willing to give up some space for style in return.

The coupe-like derivative is a low investment way to try and get interest from new customers into the brand. The launch of the model QX50 did not have a very successful launch. Executives held the QX50 at high steaks because it was considered to be the brand’s most important product since the original Q45 luxury sedan three decades ago. The model was unsuccessful and failed to gain market traction. U.S. sales of the crossover decreased 27 percent last year. Last year the brand’s management recognized that the QX50 was not launched with the correct configurations.

Could Smartglass Technology Improve Noise Reduction in Vehicles of the Future?

Smartglass technology is known for producing noise reduction glass for the interiors of aircrafts and other commercial vehicles. One of the things that the auto industry is very proactive about is decreasing the internal sound pollution, even if it is only a few decibels.

Paring Smartglass with electric vehicles could spur a new level of sound reduction. As autonomous vehicle technology continues to expand, so will passenger experience.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are making glass a much bigger focal point on developing “AV-First” passenger experiences. For example, instead of using traditional windows, the use of Smartglass could transform the interior of the vehicle into an entertainment hub for the passenger to enjoy. The technology may also aid in allowing or blocking interaction between occupants and the outside environment, or make use of the windows as forms of external communication.

In todays day and age, turning up the radio is the norm.  However future AV passengers may want to take advantage of their traveling time to do work or sleep. Research on noise reduction is expected to continue at a rapid rate. Noise reductions not the only feature that smartglass can provide.

Not only is Smartglass effective in noise reduction, it’s considered sustainable.  Due to increasing demand and new regulations that require sustainable technology, the glass was also created with this benefit in mind. New Environmental regulations, primarily in Europe, require new vehicles to have some level of sustainability. 

In addition to being sustainable, the technology has the ability to raise the EV driving range by over 5% and reduce CO2 emissions by four grams per kilometer. 

BMW Has Record Year

BMW recently announced that they had a record year for car sales and that 2020 could be even better. The automaker sold 2.52 million vehicles in 2019, sales chief Pieter Nota said in an emailed statement. The result is a 1.2 percent increase over 2018, when BMW sold 2.49 million cars.

“We look at the coming year with confidence and aim to increase sales again in 2020,” Nota said in the statement.

The company is optimistic as high-end utility vehicles like the flagship X7 and an upgrade to the stalwart M8 performance coupe are their bread-and-butter.

German car production fell to its lowest in almost a quarter of a century last year as Europe’s biggest economy suffers from the fallout of a global trade war, according to the country’s VDA car lobby group.

Like many of their competitors, BMW had to balance their reliance on gasoline-powered vehicles and shift toward electric cars to avoid emissions fines from the EU, who recently enacted strict emissions laws. The rules will sharpen again next year, leaving automakers potentially facing billions in fines if their fleets don’t meet the average emission targets.

The Automotive Industry in Transition for 2020

Automotive is the second most data-driven industry in the world. Growing IoT and mobile technology manufacturers are able collect tons of information about drivers, their destinations, the routes they’re taking, traffic patterns, and even predict when maintenance will be required.

Now more than ever, customers are always connected and want a seamless experience. In 2020 and beyond, that means not just connection via mobile phone, home, and office, but in their vehicles, as well.  Drivers want to be connected to their apps, music and entertainment while kids are connected to games or homework. We’ve seen car-equipped WiFi in the past, but moving into the 2020s, we’ll see it become a staple of every new car purchase, rather than an upgrade.

Level 4 fully autonomous vehicles have continued to be the holy grail and with the likes of Waymo, Uber, Tesla and plenty of other companies showing off their capabilities in the space, there is still a ways to go before the average consumer is going to buy their own fully autonomous vehicle and sip a latte while plugging away on their laptop on their way to work. However, many expect a bigger dose of autonomous technology coming post CES.

In the navigation, most cars have voice control systems.  Many companies are improving the customer experience by using systems like Apple Car Play that will mirror what’s on your iPhone creating a seamless transition between phone and car. The pressure to digitize is about more than adding new digital features to every vehicle. It also means that the average car lifecycle will be modeling technology’s lifecycle, with drivers trading up when new technology becomes available.

Imagine if you didn’t need to stop into your local mechanic shop every time the check-engine light in your car turned on. Moving forward, you won’t have to, thanks to always-on connectivity. Using remote access, manufacturers will be able to provide technology updates, safety updates, recall information, etc., like magic—without you ever needing to set foot in a repair location.

Today, cars are able to pull multitudes of data and send it up to the cloud for processing, alerting drivers of potential issues they may be about to experience in the future, from engine trouble to faulty brakes, or a taillight that’s about to burn out.

As in all industries, digital transformation trend in automotive are shaking things up moving into 2020 and beyond. By and large, these changes will be huge improvements for drivers, making time in the car safer and more enjoyable for the long haul.

Detroit Auto Show Debuts Several SUVs, American SUV Sales Continue to Strengthen

The Detroit Auto Show debut several SUVs and hybrids with little room for cars. SUVs are more popular than ever before, with several automakers at the North American International Auto Show showing their latest models. Many automakers are addressing their impact on industry transformation, the rise of electric propulsion and shared ownership models.

According to Wired, there were very few cars on the show floor this year. Of the cars that were on the floor, most were high-performance luxury sports cars and a few electric vehicles. One show attendee notes “The Detroit show is all about business as usual for global car builders. And these days, that means catering to the tastes of American buyers with SUVs.”

Of several notable mentions, Ford showed off its update to the Explorer earlier this year, but chose the Detroit Show for its official debut. Kia brought a much larger, boxier SUV called the “Telluride,” which is being manufactured in Georgia. “The latest Cadillac isn’t a classic sedan, but a three-row land yacht from General Motor’s luxury brand,” says one attendee. The vehicle is similar to the XT5 Crossover, but longer.

The show also featured an electric SUV from Infiniti and Cadillac.

Turning Coffee into Car Parts

It’s the most unlikely pair you can imagine, Ford and McDonald’s are teaming up to make vehicle parts lighter and more sustainable. In an effort to reduce waste, the automaker is using old residue from coffee beans to make light housing for the Lincoln Continental.

So… how does this work exactly? Well, it begins with McDonald’s saving the remnants of coffee beans, then the old beans are sent to Ford where they are then turned into composite material that is used for the light housing on headlights and/or taillights on their new vehicles. According to McDonald’s, a “big portion” of it’s used coffee beans will be donated to Ford. In an effort to increase sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint, both Ford and McDonald’s are committed to the cause. 

This level of innovation has the potential to significantly reduce waste and may also inspire other automotive manufacturers to do the same. According to Debbie Mielewski Ford’s senior technical leader in sustainability and emerging materials research, “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump-starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

 

Ford is notorious for using sustainable products to build and produce automobiles (plants, shredded money, and even tomatoes! Their deal with McDonald’s is surely one of their greatest strides yet. In the future, there is expected to me many more innovations in sustainability with Ford and many other automotive companies.

The 2021 Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E Sells Out

The highly anticipated 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is the first ever zero-emissions mustang to ever be introduced to the automotive market. Ford revolutionized the AV market with the introduction of their new EV mustang at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. The First Edition, retailed for $61,000 has already sold out in only nine days. Ford has not said how many vehicles they will be making, but according to a Ford press release, there are a “limited quantity” of Mustangs to be released.

Although the new Mustang Mach-E is branded with the classic Mustang logo,  the car has been revolutionized from the inside out. The Mach-E has two available battery sizes and rear or all-wheel drive. The Mach-E boasts a 300-mile driving range and seats up to five people. The car also features an impressive array of technology including an infotainment system for all your driving needs. The MachE premium includes ultra fast charging capabilities, 19-inch heels, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, and a Band & Olufsen sound system.

When it comes to the powerhorse behind the car, Ford went above and beyond to provide the most impressive motor yet. The 2021 Mustang Mach-E is available in two different battery power options: standard-range (75.7 kWh) or an extended range (98.8kWh). Ford claims that the new Mach-E will go from zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds. This extreme engine power sounds a lot like that of Tesla. The GT model features 459 Horsepower and 612 1b-ft torque. 

 

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first crossover to be completely electric. The name “Mach-E” pays homage to the classic “Mach 1” moniker often seen on vintage high-performance Mustangs. According to Ford, they chose the name “Mach-E” because they wanted the car to sound electrified. Speaking of electrification, the Ford Mach-E comes out of the box with a Ford mobile charger that can add up to 30 miles of range per night with a 120-volt outlet and up to 80 percent of battery life overnight with a 240-volt outlet. A Ford charge station can also be ordered online and installed by certified electricians, with the ability to replenish 32 miles per hour and recharge the battery overnight.

Although the 2021 Mach-E has not yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the SUV is available with driver assistance technology including forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. The vehicle also comes with different warranty packages including Limited (covers 3 years of 36,000 miles) Powertrain (covers 5 years or 60,000 miles).

All in all, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is looking to be a great success for Ford. The Mach-E is just one of the many new Electric Vehicles hitting the automotive market in the near future.