AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO – October 31, 2021: Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel’s
“take” on this past week’s automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.
LEARN MORE: Full versions of today’s news nuggets along with almost a million pages of the past 25 year’s automotive content, news, articles, reviews and archived relevant stories residing in
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Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending October 30, 2021 ; Below are the past week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as
expertly crafted easy-to-digest news nuggets.
* Quote of the week is from Joe White writing for Reuters. “At a high level, the investor community has slammed down the gavel on the debate over the future of combustion engine vehicles in the world’s major markets. The verdict: It’s over. Electric vehicles are the winners, and Tesla is so far and away the leader in EVs that it will take all the market share it can handle – like GM in the 1950s and 1960s, except moreso.”
* GM is planning to install 40,000 electric vehicle chargers across the U.S. and Canada as part of a new community charging program. The program, set to start next year, will work with its dealers to have charging stations in locations including workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, sports and entertainment venues and colleges and universities. Nearly 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a GM dealer. The EV chargers will be available to anyone with an electric vehicle regardless of brand.
* From a Detroit Free press story we learn a new report details costs to drive an electric vehicle compared with a gasoline car. Anderson Economic released the report “Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles.” The study has four major findings regarding additional costs to powering EVs beyond electricity: cost of a home charger, commercial charging, the EV tax and “deadhead” miles. For now, EVs cost more to power than gasoline costs to fuel an internal combustion car that gets reasonable gas mileage. Charging costs vary more widely than gasoline prices. There are significant time costs to finding reliable public chargers — and then a charger could take 30 minutes to go from 20% to an 80% charge.
* Hertz announced it has ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles for its car-rental fleets in the U.S. and Europe. Hertz will have access to the Tesla Supercharger network. Hertz also plans to build its own charging network with 3,000 chargers in 65 locations by the end of 2022 and 4,000 by the end of 2023. Hertz will provide Uber drivers with up to 50,000 rented Teslas – a deal that fleshes out the rationale for Hertz’s order of 100,000 Teslas. Former Ford CEO Mark Fields is the interim Hertz CEO.
* Record high used car prices over the past 15 months as a result of the microchip shortage have slowed down the average depreciation rate across all vehicles. The latest iSeeCars study found that the average depreciation of a five-year-old vehicle has slowed to 40.1 percent in 2021, compared to 49.1 percent in 2020. Jeep Wrangler tops the list of vehicles with the lowest depreciation, at 9.2 percent over five years. Nissan LEAF depreciates the most, losing 65.1 percent of its value, amounting to a $23,666 drop in value over five years. Trucks and truck-based SUVs hold their value the best, while EVs and luxury sedans see the most depreciation. See how your vehicle is doing HERE
* Land Rover unveiled the new 2022 Range Rover. The first redesign in a decade. It’s due to go into production next year as only the fifth generation of the large off-road luxury SUV since the model line was introduced in 1970. There will be a V8 as well as a mild-hybrid inline 6 engine. A pure battery electric version is coming in 2024. The New Range Rover is available to order now, priced from $104,000 in the U.S., with deliveries beginning spring 2022.
* The 2023 Kia Sportage made its premiere in the United States. The new Sportage grows in size compared to the previous model. The overall length is 7.1 inches longer, and the wheelbase increases by 3.4 inches.The fifth generation of the crossover arrives in America in the first quarter of 2022.
* The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is introducing a new, tougher side crash test to address higher-speed crashes that continue to cause fatalities. In the first tests of 2020-21 vehicles, only one out of 20 small SUVs, the 2021 Mazda CX-5, earns a good rating. Nine vehicles earn acceptable ratings: the Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Venza and Volvo XC40. Eight others — the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Kia Sportage and Lincoln Corsair — earn marginal ratings. Two more, the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, receive poor ratings. To address higher-speed crashes, the updated side test uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed to simulate the striking vehicle. The new barrier weighs 4,180 pounds — close to the weight of today’s midsize SUVs — and strikes the test vehicle at 37 mph, compared with a 3,300-pound barrier traveling at 31 mph in the original evaluation.
* Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ 5 has won a 2022 German Car of the Year (GCOTY) award in the “New Energy” category. As a class winner, the automaker’s full-electric midsize CUV will automatically take part in the final round of the GCOTY. IONIQ 5 will compete against the winners of the “Compact”, “Premium”, “Luxury” and “Performance” categories. The overall winner will be announced on November 25, 2021.
* The Lucid Air sedan went into production about a month ago in Casa Grande, Arizona. Lucid plans to deliver its first customer cars on Saturday, October 30, marking an important milestone for company. The first examples scheduled to be handed over to owners are the Dream Edition Range with a 520-mile EPA driving range estimate and the Dream Edition Performance with a 1111-hp output rating.
* Honda will demonstrate its diverse paths to fun and performance at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas Nov. 2-5, showcasing seven vehicles, including the debut of two all-new Civic Si race cars and a pair of rugged Honda light trucks custom-built for extreme overlanding adventures. Honda Performance Development (HPD) will showcase a prototype of its next-generation turn-key Civic Si race car. Designed for Touring Car competition, it will be displayed alongside the new Team Honda Research West (THR-W) Civic Si race car, which will compete in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race December 3-5.
* The Dodge brand is doubling down on its role as a pure performance brand with a sneak peek at one of two new performance-based programs set to be announced in early November. National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag-racing superstars Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett helped kick off the launch sequence by carrying special “Direct Connection” graphics on their respective race cars at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil, scheduled the weekend October 29-31 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “Tune” in for the virtual announcement of the Dodge brand’s two new performance initiatives on November 8 at Dodge.com.
* The winner was not a driver but an algorithm last Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the top car clocked an average speed of 135 mph, ushering autonomous vehicles into a new era. Setting the record pace over two laps, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) won a $1 million prize in the first Indy Autonomous Challenge, an event dedicated to self-driving cars. Each autonomous car relies on sensors, cameras, radar, but above all GPS, without which no controlled motion is possible, to the point that some have two onboard. The Dallara IL-15, used by every team, resembles a Formula One car but is smaller and comes with a price tag of $230,000. However, the technology on board makes each car worth more than $1 million, according to event organizers.
Stay safe. Be Well.