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Lithia Motors Acquires Top Buick GMC Dealerships in Memphis
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Rhode Island Tops U.S. for Average Collision Repair Costs
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Michigan Bill Aims to Ease Burden on Auto Repair Shops
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Regional News

Keep up with the latest collision repair industry news in your area.

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EVs & Hybrids

  • ‘A Miracle’: Tesla Passengers Survive 250-Foot Plunge Off Cliff at Devil’s Slide

    ‘A Miracle’: Tesla Passengers Survive 250-Foot Plunge Off Cliff at Devil’s Slide

    Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
    Published
    Jan. 3, 2023

    A family of four inside a white Teslawas rescued after the EV fell about 250 feet off a cliff at Devil’s Slide in California.

    Considering the factors surrounding the accident, the survival of all the Tesla’s occupants has been dubbed by rescuers as “nothing short of a miracle.”

    The incident happened at about 10:50 a.m. Jan 2. Per the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire, the EV went off the roadway and plunged down a cliff on Highway 1, just south of the Tom Lantos Tunnel. The vehicle was carrying two adults and two children.

    The state of the Tesla’s wreckage initially did not make rescuers very optimistic about the survival of its occupants. But upon realizing the vehicle’s passengers were alive, the rescuers went into overdrive, immediately extricating two children, a 9-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister. The children’s injuries were described as mild to moderate.

    The two adults’ injuries were more severe, and they were airlifted from the site. It was a difficult rescue, conducted in bad weather and in challenging terrain, putting the rescuers in the helicopters at risk themselves. They were able to safely extricate the two adults, who were rushed to a trauma center, where they are currently recovering. Their injuries have been described as critical.

    Battalion Chief Brian Pottenger later told the media the results of the accident were remarkable. “We come out here, unfortunately, all too often for things like this. And this, this was nothing short of a miracle that they survived,” Pottenger said.

    Robin Johnson, a witness to the accident who called 911, told NBC Bay Area the Tesla seemed to be driving far too fast, at least according to what she could tell from her rearview mirror. Johnson said she saw the Tesla just go over the edge of the road and straight down the cliff.

    “As I’m driving by, I’m like, ‘Wow, he’s driving extremely fast to take that exit.' You’re not even supposed to be going up that way. And I can see in my rear-view mirror this car just go over the edge and straight down,” Johnson said.

    We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

  • ‘Hertz Electrifies Atlanta’ Launched

    ‘Hertz Electrifies Atlanta’ Launched

    PublishedApril 21, 2023

    Hertz chair and CEO Stephen Scherr and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens launched Hertz Electrifies Atlanta, a public private partnership aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and expanding the environmental and economic benefits of electrification throughout Atlanta.

    As part of the partnership, Hertz aims to bring up to an additional 4,000 rental EVs to Atlanta---including models from GM, Teslaand Polestar---for availability to leisure and business customers as well as rideshare drivers. In partnership with bp, Hertz will support the installation of up to eight public fast chargers at its Hertz Uber Rental and EV Charging Location near Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    In addition, Hertz is partnering with Atlanta College and Career Academy (ACCA) to help bring EV education and training opportunities to its students and making summer job opportunities available through the city's Summer Youth Employment Program.

    "We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Dickens in launching Hertz Electrifies Atlanta, particularly given the city's position as a global transportation hub and an important center of innovation and commerce," said Scherr. "As Hertz creates the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America, we are proud to bring a range of EVs to our broad customer set in Atlanta, and to work with Atlanta College and Career Academy to help train the EV workforce of the future."

    The initiative aligns with Dickens's pledge to put Atlanta on track to meet City of Atlanta Historic Clean Energy Plan goals to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035. In addition, Hertz's partnership with Atlanta College and Career Academy and participation in the Youth Employment Program underscores the Mayor's Year of the Youth initiative.

    "The City of Atlanta wants 100% clean energy for 100% of Atlantans by 2035, and public-private partnerships like the Hertz Electrifies Atlanta initiative will help us move closer to our goal," said Dickens. "This initiative will help ensure our students have access to a high-growth industry and be part of our green energy future."

    Atlanta is home to Hertz's third largest total fleet and third largest EV fleet in the U.S., which will expand significantly through Hertz Electrifies. Additionally, Atlanta is an important location for EV rideshare driving, through a partnership between Hertz and Uber. Nearly 50,000 drivers on the Uber platform have rented electric vehicles from Hertz through the partnership, traveling more than 260 million miles with zero emissions nationally and 15 million miles with zero emissions in Atlanta.

    As part of its work with Atlanta College and Career Academy, Hertz is donating a ChevyBolt and providing EV educational and training materials to enable the school to incorporate EV technology into its auto servicing curriculum.

    Atlanta is the third city to partner with Hertz through Hertz Electrifies, as part of a multi-city rollout of this national public-private initiative.

    Source: Hertz

  • ‘Hertz Electrifies Orlando’ Launched

    ‘Hertz Electrifies Orlando’ Launched

    PublishedMay 15, 2023

    HertzChair and CEO Stephen Scherrand Orlando, FL, Mayor Buddy Dyer launched Hertz Electrifies Orlando, a public private partnership aimed at accelerating the adoption of EVs and expanding the environmental and economic benefits of electrification across Orlando.

    As part of the partnership, Hertz aims to add up to 6,000 rental EVs to its existing fleet in Orlando, for availability to leisure and business customers as well as rideshare drivers. To help expand charging, Hertz will support the installation of up to 50 public fast chargers across the Greater Orlando area, in partnership with bp.

    In addition, Hertz is working with Orange Technical College (OTC) to help bring EV tools and training to its auto servicing students. Hertz is also making summer jobs available through the city's Summer Youth Employment Program.

    "We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Dyer to launch Hertz Electrifies in Orlando, the largest rental car market in the world," said Scherr. "It seems fitting that we are launching this public private partnership during National Travel & Tourism Week, given the city's enormous importance as a destination for travelers around the globe. Hertz is excited to expand our EV offerings to our diverse customer set in Orlando, and to partner with Orlando Technical College to help bring EV education and training opportunities to students."

    Hertz Electrifies Orlando aligns with Dyer's 2030 Electric Mobility Roadmap goals to accelerate EV adoption in multiple transportation sectors and develop a robust charging ecosystem to reduce emissions that harm public health, bolster climate change resilience and increase access and affordability for all communities.

    "We have the opportunity to transform our transportation landscape as we work to be the most sustainable city in the southeast," said Dyer. "Our partnership with Hertz Electrifies will help us meet our goal of accelerating electric vehicles and expanding charging infrastructure. We are making Orlando ready for the future and working to ensure that everyone experiences the benefits that electric mobility options can bring, including our future workforce."

    To help support the next generation of EV technicians, Hertz is donating an EV to OTC and providing EV education and training materials that will enable the school to incorporate EV technology into its auto servicing programs.

    "Having access to electric vehicles provides critical hands-on experience with new technology for students in Orange County," said Dr. Maria Vazquez, superintendent of Orange County Public Schools. "We are truly grateful for Hertz for donating this vehicle and we look forward to a future partnership to increase education and training opportunities."

    Orlando is the fourth city to partner with Hertz through Hertz Electrifies, as part of a multi-city rollout of this national public-private initiative.

    Source: Hertz

  • $135M in EV Tax Credits Disbursed to Dealers Already in 2024

    EV-tax-credit-point-of-sale-dealerships

    As of Jan. 1, EV buyers can transfer federal tax credits to dealerships at the point of sale, effectively reducing their purchase price.

  • $23 Million in Federal Funds Awarded to Expand Michigan EV Infrastructure

    Michigan-federal-funding-EV-charging-infrastructure

    The development of new EV charging stations will increase accessibility and reliability for Michiganders as they travel the state.

  • 1 in 4 Vehicles Sold in CA in First Half of 2023 Were Electric

    1 in 4 Vehicles Sold in CA in First Half of 2023 Were Electric

    California was by far tops in the U.S. in EVs' share of total passenger vehicle sales through the first six months of the year.

    Written by Dan Mihalascu, InsideEVs
    Published
    Oct. 5, 2023

    While EV adoption is on the rise nationwide, EV market share is far from being homogenous, as pointed out by BloombergNEF's latest research that takes a detailed look at the speed of adoption across all U.S. states.

    The paper revealed the share of passenger EV sales in the U.S. exceeded 7.5% in 2022 as major automakers including Tesla, GMand Hyundai-Kiaoffered a wider selection. A total of 972,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. last year, up from 652,000 the year before.

    Things are looking even better in the first half of 2023 as the EV share of car sales rose to 9%, stimulated partially by the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act that introduced new subsidies for consumers, carmakers and battery producers.

    If the trend continues, BloombergNEF forecasts EV sales to make up 23% of total U.S. passenger car sales in 2025 and 51% by 2030.

    Until that happens, current EV share of passenger vehicle sales data at state level for the first half of 2023 highlights some stark differences between states. Unsurprisingly, California recorded the highest EV share of total car sales, with 25% of all vehicles sold in 1H 2023 being electric---nearly three times the national average.

    Washington comes closest to California with an EV share of 18%, followed by Oregon with 17%. Several states have already broken the key milestone of 10% EV share of passenger vehicle sales, including Hawaii (15%), Nevada (14%), Colorado (13%), New Jersey (13%), Massachusetts (11%), Virginia (10%) and Maryland (10%).

    The lowest electric share of the 20 states where data was available was in Ohio (4%), but it's worth noting the states in the list are among the largest automotive markets in the U.S., which means there are many other states with a much lower electric share.

    Why does the 10% EV share matters? BloombergNEF said this has been seen as the point at which EV sales begin to significantly accelerate. For example, California surpassed 10% market share in 2021, ending the year at 13%. A year and a half later, the electric share has almost doubled for the Golden State. Granted, California is a special case, but if the runner-up states have a similar evolution, the share of EV sales may explode nationwide in the next few years.

    The study also offers insight into another important factor, EV fleet penetration---the percentage of EVs in a state's passenger vehicle fleet. While EV sales are on the rise, things don't look so good nationwide as battery-electric vehicles make up only a tiny part of the U.S. passenger car fleet: 1.2% at the end of 2022.

    Among leading states, California once again is on top with 3.5%, followed by Washington, DC (2.8%), Hawaii (2.4%) and Washington (2.0%). These are positive results, but they also highlight how much more room for growth EVs have, even in an EV-friendly state like California.

    We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

  • 1.2 Million-Mile Tesla Model S on 14th Motor, 4th Battery Pack

    high-mileage-Tesla-Model-S

    It's the highest-mileage Tesla in existence.

  • 2024 VW ID.7 Electric Sedan Unveiled at CES 

    Volkswagen-CES-ID7-reveal

    2024 VW ID.7 Electric Sedan Unveiled at CES

    Written by Thanos Pappas, CarScoops
    Published
    Jan. 5, 2023

    Volkswagenchose the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to preview its first fully electric sedan, the ID.7.

    The production version of the ID.Aero concept will launch in the second quarter of 2023. VW covered the exterior of the car with a “smart” camouflage, but showed the interior and detailed some of the tech features of the upcoming MEB-based model.

    In terms of styling, the VW ID.7 looks very similar to the ID.Aero concept from June, retaining its aerodynamic silhouette, although some details have been toned down for production. Those include simpler LED lighting units, larger mirror caps, slightly redesigned bumpers and smaller-diameter alloy wheels.

    The special camouflage VW used on the ID.7 creates electroluminescent light effects in different colors, with graphics inspired by QR codes. In order to achieve this result, VW applied 40 layers of paint with conductive or insulating properties, allowing 22 areas of the body work to be independently illuminated and create a special show when connected to the sound system.

    Thankfully, the interior is fully uncovered, revealing the final production-spec design. The large 15-inch free-standing tablet-style touchscreen for the infotainment center is combined with a small digital instrument cluster and VW’s augmented reality heads-up display. The touch sliders under the screen, which control the climate functions and the volume, are now illuminated. However, the steering wheel retains the touch-sensitive controls that will soon be replaced by regular buttons in VW models following customer feedback.

    A highlight of the interior is the digitally controlled “smart air vents." According to VW, the system recognizes the driver from the key, and cools or heats the interior before they step into the vehicle. The air conditioning system can automatically distribute the air over large areas, or direct the flow towards the body of the passengers. Those functions can be activated for each passenger through the central touchscreen or by using voice commands.

    The VW ID.7 rides on the MEB architecture, upgraded to MEB+ for a longer range and faster charging rates. While we don’t have detailed specifications yet, we expect the model to be offered in single and dual electric motor configurations, with a large floor-mounted battery pack. The German carmaker describes the model as an “efficient electric sedan with long-range capability," announcing an estimated range of up to 435 miles based on a simulated WLTP cycle.

    VW also revealed the ID.7 will have a wheelbase of 116.9 inches, 3.7 inches longer compared to the Tesla Model 3 and 0.8 inches longer than the HyundaiIoniq 6, both of which are considered rivals. The EV’s wheelbase is also 6.5 inches longer than in the ICE-powered VW Passat, resulting in a more spacious cabin.

    The VW ID.7 will be available on three continents, Europe, Asia (China) and North America. Its official launch is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023. For European markets, production will take place at the Emden plant in Germany together with the ID.4.

    The electric sedan will be the sixth model in the ID range, and one of 10 new EVs Volkswagen will launch by 2026.

    We thank CarScoops for reprint permission.

  • 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger Has 'Unlimited' Range, Requires No Public Charging

    2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger Has 'Unlimited' Range, Requires No Public Charging

    The truck can use its gasoline generator to make electricity for the battery, but its range is actually limited due to the fact the gas will run out.

    By Eric Loveday, InsideEVs
    Published
    Nov. 15, 2023

    Ram's approach to marketing the new Ram 1500 Ramcharger seems a bit questionable at best. At worst, it's deceptive.

    Tim Kuniskis, Ram brand CEO, made this statement in the press release announcing the Ramcharger: "With unlimited battery-electric range, the Ram 1500 Ramcharger is the pinnacle of the light-duty pickup truck segment and the ultimate electric truck. The new Ramcharger is a beast of a light duty---663 horsepower, 615 lb.-ft of torque, 4-second 0-60 mph, 14,000 lbs. of towing… and zero need for a public charger."

    The "unlimited battery-electric range" mention stands out the most. Yes, the Ramcharger can use its gasoline generator to provide electricity for the battery and that juice propels the truck down the road, but its "unlimited" range is actually limited due to the fact the gas in the tank will eventually run out.

    Also, operating the truck in this manner reduces the benefits of having a battery since it's actually running on the gasoline that's being burned up and then emitted into the atmosphere by the generator.

    Kuniskis also mentions "zero need for a public charger," which is true of any plug-in hybrid. But why fit the Ramcharger with 400-volt DC fast-charging capability?

    Ram offers customers a quick and convenient recharging solution with the ability to add up to 50 miles of all-electric range in approximately 10 minutes with 400-volt DC fast charging at up to 145 kW.

    Surely you won't be charging your Ramcharger at home on your non-existent 400-volt DC fast charger. Fortunately, the Ramcharger does have some at-home charging options for your convenience though: the charge port features Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging on the top half and DC fast charging on the bottom half of the charger.

    Admittedly, the Ramcharger seems like a strong package, especially for a PHEV (or extended-range electric vehicle, to be more precise). Ram said the target electric-only range for the Ramcharger is 145 miles---or unlimited too, it seems. The battery pack is 92 kilowatt hours. Pricing has not been announced.

    All told the Ramcharger seems to be an impressive package, but the marketing could stand to be a little more in line with actual science.

    We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

  • 31% of Americans Still Won’t Consider EVs: Poll

    EV-poll-consider-buying

    31% of Americans Still Won’t Consider EVs: Poll

    Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
    Published
    March 22, 2023

    A new poll revealed 31% of Americans still would not consider electric vehicles when purchasing their next car, while just over one-third would consider it.

    The U.S. is currently in a serious EV push, as President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid cars.

    A recent seven-day poll from Reuters/Ipsos, which concluded March 20, revealed 34% of respondents were open to the idea of purchasing an electric car, while 31% responded they were not considering it. The survey also indicated Democrats were more inclined towards EVs, with 50% considering the idea. This number was only 26% among Republicans and 27% among independents.

    The poll further revealed 56% of respondents were not willing to pay more than $49,999 for an EV, a price point that’s already been met by some popular electric cars, such as the base TeslaModel 3, which starts at $42,990.

    Around 35% of the poll’s respondents also wanted an EV with 500 miles or more per charge, a metric only met currently by the LucidAir. However, 37% of the poll’s respondents said they wanted a minimum range of 300 miles per charge, which has been achieved by several EVs on the road today, such as the Tesla Model Y and the FordMustang Mach-E, as well as premium EVs from younger companies like Rivianand Lucid.

    The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online. It involved 4,410 participants across the U.S., and its credibility interval is approximately 2 to 3 percentage points in either direction.

    We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

  • 5 Trends That Changed the Auto Repair Industry in 2022

    collision-repair-industry-2022-trends

    5 Trends That Changed the Auto Repair Industry in 2022

    PublishedDec. 28, 2022

    CCC Intelligent Solutions, Inc., recently took a look at the factors that had the biggest impact on the collision repair industry in 2022, many of which were financial.

    Inflation

    Inflation---perhaps one of the words that best defines 2022. At the close of 2021, many were hoping we had seen the worst of rising inflation as supply chain issues were getting better, whether it was the lower cost of shipping goods or automakers predicting improved supplies of semiconductor chips. But then Russia invaded Ukraine and the cost of oil and other raw materials shot up.

    Overall inflation hit a forty-year high at midyear, and the 6.6% increase in September in the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes energy and food prices, was the biggest increase since August 1982.

    People cooped up at home for nearly two full years splurged on travel, shifting their spending from big goods like furniture and home improvement to trips abroad and dining out. This left many businesses with too much of the wrong inventory and other businesses with not enough employees.

    The “great resignation” and “quiet quitting” emerged alongside soaring wages. Incomes for many workers improved substantially---leaving industries like the collision repair industry further strapped for new entrants. Other industries that experienced increases in early retirements in CY 2020 found themselves unable to backfill those positions when workloads returned to pre-pandemic levels.

    Wages across all industries have been growing at much faster rate than in many years, and while wage growth in the trade and transportation industry outpaces growth across all industries, it still trails inflation overall.

    Good news? Overall inflation has started to fall slightly, as some widely purchased goods like clothes, vehicles and appliances have seen their prices fall. Unfortunately, these types of goods account for only one quarter of the CPI. Inflation in services, food and energy continues to rise, and non-energy services makes up more than half of the CPI.

    So, what might we expect moving forward? All things related to owning a vehicle in 2023 will continue to cost more.

    Shifting Consumer Behavior Around Vehicle Purchases

    According to the NADA, the average new vehicle retail selling price was $45,646 for the first half of 2022---up nearly 14%---while the average used vehicle retail selling price increased nearly 26%.

    Higher interest rates and a more expensive vehicle mix have also led to larger and longer new and used vehicle loans payments and terms. Higher cost vehicles, limited inventory and fears of a recession have kept more people out of the market---Cox Automotive predicts new and used vehicle sales will fall in 2022 to 13.7 million and 36.3 million respectively.

    Should the U.S. experience a recession in late 2022 to early 2023, vehicle sales will likely decline or stay flat, and new and used vehicle prices may soften further.

    However, supplies of new and used vehicles remain below pre-pandemic levels, so declining demand will likely have only marginal impact on pricing. For example, U.S. dealers had only 32 days’ supply of new vehicle inventory Sept. 30, 2022, versus 66 days on Sept. 30, 2019. And while Cox Automotive data shows wholesale days’ supply have improved, overall wholesale used vehicle volumes will drop to 9 million in 2023 versus 13.1 million in 2019, keeping future supply constrained.

    The average new vehicle retail selling price dropped 1.6% during the last Great Recession in 2007 to 2008, while wholesale used vehicle values fell more than 6% and the BLS CPI used car and truck index fell more than 5%.

    During that period, the industry also had a healthy supply of both new and used vehicles. Subsequently, even if vehicle prices were to fall in a similar manner from a recession in 2023, they would remain well above pre-pandemic levels. In fact, Manheimreports its wholesale used vehicle value index rose 46.7% by December 2021 versus the prior year, and forecasts it will fall nearly 14% by December 2022, and decline less than 1% by December 2023.

    So while used vehicle prices and subsequently total loss costs may trend lower in 2023, it’s likely they could remain as much as 20% higher than pre-pandemic.

    At the same time, those consumers buying new vehicles are buying more expensive vehicles like light trucks and electric vehicles. Through Q3 2022, sales of EV’s in the U.S. were nearly 600,000, up 70% from the same period in 2021, accounting for nearly 6% of all new vehicle sales.

    With automakers all racing to get more EV models into production, demand for the raw materials needed in the manufacture of EV batteries has surged, driving up their costs. Higher raw material prices mean EVs are costing more.

    Looking to keep the U.S. competitive as it electrifies its fleet and to make it less reliant on other countries, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS & Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act combined will invest more than $135 billion to build on the growing demand for EVs, including critical minerals sourcing and processing and battery manufacturing in the U.S.


    5 Trends That Changed the Auto Repair Industry in 2022 (article continued)

    Increased Cost to Repair Damaged Vehicles

    Automakers are also incorporating more technology in their vehicles---things like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control or L2 vehicle autonomy; connected car technology; and more. As more vehicles come equipped with this technology, vehicle repair cost and complexity grow.

    More vehicle repairs include costs associated with vehicle scan and calibration, operations that have added $66 and $27 per claim respectively versus just $4 and $5 per claim in early 2017. More parts are replaced per repair, and more labor hours are needed---both have seen steady growth over time. Average repair costs have been climbing steadily for years, even when prior years’ average total cost of repairs are adjusted for inflation.

    In fact, just taking the five-year average growth in labor hours, part replacements and frequency of scan and calibration per claim and assuming no increase in labor rates or part costs suggests repair costs could climb another 4% to 5% in 2023 versus 2022. Given the current and anticipated shortage of collision repair technicians and continued push by repairers to raise rates to help recruit more to the industry, labor rates will likely see further increases in 2023, and average cost of repairs may climb as much as 10% in 2023.

    Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in vehicles continue to proliferate. By Sept. 1, 2022, nearly all automakers have committed to minimally equip all vehicles of 8500 curb weight produced for the U.S. market with front crash warning and automatic emergency braking. As of Sept. 1, 2021, it’s estimated approximately 80% of the newest vehicles were already meeting that commitment.

    As more vehicles come so equipped, many are also coming with additional ADAS technology like L2 autonomy (aka adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assist) which, unfortunately, data from IIHS and others shows may be leading drivers to take on more risk from speeding and distraction.

    Additionally, real-world data on driver-assistance technology from IIHS/HLDI shows these systems help drive down frequency of low-value claims, but collision and property damage liability (PDL) average claim severities are shifted upward. For example, their analysis showed a nearly 40% drop in the frequency of PDL claims less than $1,500 involving an insured striking vehicle with AEB, and a more than 20% drop in the frequency of PDL claims costing between $1,500 and $6,999, pushing the average severity of all PDL claims up by nearly 20%.

    Rising Insurance Premiums

    In response to frequency continuing to climb to pre-pandemic levels and soaring loss costs, the auto insurance industry has been working to raise premiums. Comparison of the year-over-year increases in other CPI categories like used cars and trucks, motor vehicle body work, motor vehicle parts and equipment illustrates the challenge carriers face in responding to significant inflation affecting auto claims.

    Higher Gas Prices

    Last, but certainly not least, gas prices are also expected to remain elevated in 2023. While prices for gasoline have fallen from over $5 per gallon in June, the Energy Information Administration forecasts gasoline prices will average $3.57 per gallon in 2023, versus $2.78 per gallon in the first half of 2021. As miles driven in the U.S. build, and congestion levels grow, higher gas prices will drive down spending in other areas among most consumers.

    2023 is shaping up to be another year where the expense of owning a vehicle won’t be cheap.

    Source: CCC Intelligent Solutions, Inc.

  • 7 Carmakers Partner to Launch New EV Charging Network in North America

    BMW-GM-Stellantis-Honda-Mercedes-Benz-Kia-Hyundai-EV-charging-network

    7 Carmakers Partner to Launch New EV Charging Network in North America

    Written by Dan Mihalascu, InsideEVs
    Published
    July 26, 2023

    A new EV public charging network joint venture will be created in North America by seven major global automakers.

    BMW GroupGeneral MotorsHondaHyundaiKiaMercedes-Benz and Stellantishave joined forces to create "an unprecedented new charging network joint venture that will significantly expand access to high-powered charging in North America."

    The companies said they are aiming to install at least 30,000 high-powered charge points in urban and highway locations "to ensure customers can charge whenever and wherever they need."

    The seven automakers say their charging network will offer an elevated customer experience, reliability, high-powered charging capability, digital integration, appealing locations and various amenities while charging. The goal is for the stations to be powered solely by renewable energy.

    The new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker, as they will offer both Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors.

    The first charging stations of the as-yet-unnamed network are scheduled to open in the U.S. in summer 2024 and in Canada at a later stage. 

    According to initial plans, the charging stations will be deployed in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and vacation routes, so a charging station will be available "wherever people may choose to live, work and travel."

    Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers and will offer canopies wherever possible, as well as amenities such as restrooms, food service and retail operations, either nearby or within the same complex. A select number of flagship stations will include additional amenities, although the press release did not offer specifics.

    The new charging network promises to offer a seamless integration with participating automakers' in-vehicle and in-app experiences, including reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications, transparent energy management and more.

    In addition, the network will leverage Plug & Charge technology for a more user-friendly customer experience.

    The coalition includes two automakers that have already announced they would equip their EVs with NACS connectors from 2025, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz Group. The others---BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Stellantis---said they would evaluate Tesla's NACS connectors on their vehicles, but neither has committed to implementing the port on its EVs yet.

    The automakers expect their charging stations to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, and aim to become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America. 

    The seven partners will establish the joint venture this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

    We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

  • Action Needed to Keep Charging Concerns from Short Circuiting EV Purchase Consideration

    EV-consideration-study-J-D-Power

    Action Needed to Keep Charging Concerns from Short Circuiting EV Purchase Consideration

    PublishedJune 17, 2023

    As automotive manufacturers pour billions of dollars into their electrification strategies and roll out new fully electric vehicles, new-vehicle buyer consideration is increasing, albeit slowly, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study, released June 15.

    This year’s study reveals that 26% of shoppers say they are “very likely” to consider purchasing an EV, up from 24% a year ago, while the percentage of shoppers who say they are “overall likely” to purchase an EV increases to 61% from 59% in 2022.

    Influencing the modest year-over-year increases are a combination of positive and negative market factors: lower gas prices, inflation, rising interest rates, greater model availability and charging availability. Charging availability is growing more slowly year over year (13% vs. 33% in 2022), while model availability has increased, with 42% of buyers now having a viable EV model that meets their needs.

    “With all of these influences shaping today’s EV market, the biggest friction point for consideration is the availability of public chargers,” said Stewart Stropp, executive director of EV intelligence at J.D. Power. “The growth in public charging isn’t keeping pace with the rising number of EVs on the road. While owners are impressed by what automakers are offering, they’re also thinking about how, when and where they’ll be able to charge their vehicles away from home. A resounding effort to build out and improve the public charging infrastructure will emphatically increase EV purchase consideration.”

    Nearly half (49%) of shoppers rejecting the idea of buying an EV say their primary reason is a lack of charging station availability. Charging availability has been the top reason for rejection since the inception of the study in 2021. In fact, across all J.D. Power EV studies, public charging infrastructure consistently scores low in satisfaction.

    “Most EV owners will say charging is one of the greatest benefits of ownership, because 85% of it is done at home,” Stropp said. “But it’s the exceptional use case---like a vacation road trip---that’s holding shoppers back. Proactively taking ownership of the public charging experience is a huge opportunity for automakers to differentiate. The recent announcements by Ford and GM to establish a charging collaboration with Tesla are particularly noteworthy.”

    Key Findings of the 2023 Study

    Longer commutes mean increased consideration: The more miles that vehicle owners drive, the more likely they are to consider an EV. As in prior-year studies, daily commuters faced with higher fuel expenses are trading in their gas-powered vehicles for EVs. Among those who commute more than 45 minutes each way, 35% say they are “very likely” to consider an EV, which is 14 percentage points higher than among those with a commute of 15 minutes or less (21%).

    EV experience helps with purchase consideration: Getting consumers into an EV plays an important role in purchase consideration. Just 12% of consumers who have no personal experience with an EV say they’re “very likely” to consider one, while that percentage more than doubles to 25% among those who have simply ridden in an EV as a passenger. The ratios continue to climb in proportion to shoppers’ experience with EVs, with a response of “overall likely” reaching 80% among those who have owned or leased an EV in the past.

    EV consideration grows with owners looking to replace their vehicle: Among owners looking to replace their current vehicle, the percentage of those who say they are “very likely” to consider an EV increases across all powertrain types. Owners of plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) who say they are “very likely” to consider an EV increases 11 percentage points year over year, followed by battery electric vehicle (BEV) owners (6 percentage points); hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) owners (2 percentage points); and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle owners (2 percentage points).

    California leads in EV consideration: California has the highest percentage of shoppers (73.1%) who say they are “overall likely” to consider an EV and those who say they are “very likely” (40.5%) to consider an EV. New York ranks second in “very likely” at 33.7%.

    Gen Z fastest-growing segment for EV consideration: As more affordable EV models come to market, consideration among Gen Z consumers shows a higher year-over-year increase (6 percentage points) than among other age groups. Gen Y consumers have the highest level of consideration (72%) and the highest percentage of those who say they are “very likely” to consider an EV (37%).

    EV consideration not limited to Tesla: While Teslaremains the most-considered EV brand, the three most-considered models are all from perennial full-line automakers---not Tesla. Notable, however, is that shoppers who are considering a Tesla say charging station availability is a greater reason to buy than among those who are considering other EV brands.

    The U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study is an industry benchmark focusing on gauging fully electric or battery electric vehicle shopper consideration, simply referred to as EVs in the study. Study content includes overall EV consideration by geography; demographics; vehicle experience and use; lifestyle; and psychographics. It also includes model-level consideration details such as “why buy” findings and analysis of reasons for EV rejection. This year’s study measures responses from 8,136 consumers and was fielded from February through May 2023.

    Source: J.D. Power

  • AGI to Support Stellantis Dealerships’ EV Charging

    AGI to Support Stellantis Dealerships’ EV Charging

    PublishedAug. 23, 2023

    Stellantisand its U.S. dealership network are driving toward their electrified future. Working with its 2,600-plus dealers, the company is focused on the transition to EV sales and service. 

    The addition of AGI's electrical engineering, project management, fabrication and maintenance capabilities will provide an additional significant resource for Stellantis dealers to help accelerate their electric-vehicle (EV) readiness. The move adds AGI to the Stellantis U.S. roster of EV infrastructure and training partners, including Future Energy and Vehya.

    "As we accelerate the drive toward EVs, Stellantis is in full-execution mode with an electrification strategy designed specifically to address the needs of our dealership network," said U.S. Head of Sales Jeff Kommor. "We are working lockstep with our national dealer council to develop and support their long-term plans during this industry-changing transition. From business operations and inventory management to service centers and employee culture, our goal is to work directly with our dealers to best prepare for, be successful in and address any challenges they may face as the automotive industry continues to move toward electrification."

    "Stellantis recognizes the importance of dealer EV readiness and customer experience, both at the dealership level and as a leading global OEM. With the push toward electrification, having the right electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) for charging, installed in the optimal location and with continuous uptime and in clean, proper working order is critical to delivering this overall experience," said Dave Clower, SVP and GM of AGI's Electrical Lighting and Maintenance Division. "AGI has been helping our customers build out EV charging capabilities for nearly a decade, and as one of the leading EVSE providers in the nation we are excited to expand our relationship with Stellantis dealers as an approved, turnkey EV charging solutions provider."

    Stellantis unveiled its strategic plan for the coming decade, Drive Forward 2023, that will drive Stellantis employees to be "second to none" in value creation for all stakeholders. Stellantis has committed to becoming the industry champion in the fight against climate change, reaching carbon net zero emissions by 2038. As part of that leadership, the company plans to offer more than 25 BEVs by 2030.

    Stellantis is one of seven world's leading automakers, including BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kiaand Mercedes-Benz Group, creating a joint venture to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in North America by making EV charging more convenient, accessible and reliable.

    Source: Stellantis

  • All the New EVs Launching in the U.S. in 2023

    2023-new-evs-coming-to-US

    All the New EVs Launching in the U.S. in 2023

    Written by Iulian Dnistran, InsideEVs
    Published
    Jan. 4, 2023

    Among the cars hitting the showroom floors in 2023 are the highly anticipated TeslaCybertruck, FiskerOcean, and ChevroletSilverado EV, but more down-to-earth models like the refreshed HyundaiKona, Chevy Blazer and NissanAriya are also on this list.

    2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6

    Sitting on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform, the sleek-looking Ioniq 6 will be available in the spring, with a maximum estimated range of 340 miles, a max power output of 320 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a 0-60 mph sprint in five seconds.

    A 77.4 kWh battery provides power through an 800-volt architecture and can be fully charged in seven hours when using the included 10.9 kWh charger. Connected to a 350 kW fast charger, the Ioniq 6 can top up from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes.

    2024 Hyundai Kona Electric

    It’s an all-new generation, with more space inside and a fresh exterior design. Details are still scarce, but Hyundai did show the interior and mentioned it would feature 12.3-inch dual wide displays, as well as a so-called Curveless Bench Seat.

    2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

    Basically a performance version of the Ioniq 5, it’s expected to come with a sportier suspension setup, as well as more power than the “regular” Ioniq 5. There’s nothing official regarding the powertrain yet, but it would make sense for Hyundai to use parts from the Kia EV6 GT, which has 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque.

    2024 Kia EV9

    Based on the same E-GMP platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Ioniq 5, Kia’s biggest electric SUV is scheduled to make an official appearance in the second half of the year. With an estimated price of around $50,000, the EV9 will offer Telluride-levels of space, three-row seating and fast charging.

    2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

    As the name suggests, this is the all-electric version of the GV70 SUV, and it’s also the first-ever Genesismanufactured in the U.S. Official details for the U.S.-bound model are yet to be released, but we have the South Korean specs at hand, and they should be similar to what’s going to be available in America.

    The 77.4 kWh battery powers a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup that outputs a maximum of 320 kW (360 kW in Boost Mode). The sprint from zero to 62 miles per hour takes 4.5 seconds with Boost Mode activated, and the battery pack can fast charge from 0% to 80% in 18 minutes.

    2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

    One of the biggest rivals to the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy’s EV truck is set to bring a whole lot of power to the electric truck game, with a maximum of 754 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque, as well as an impressive 400 miles of range.

    The Chevy Silverado EV is scheduled for launch in the fall of 2023, with a towing capacity of up to 20,000 pounds and an estimated MSRP of $39,900 for the Silverado EV TW and RST variants.

    2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV

    With a starting price of $44,995, the new Blazer EV will offer up to 557 horsepower and as much as 320 miles on one charge, depending on the trim level. There’s also a peculiar selection of powertrain options: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. It will be available in summer 2023.

    2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV

    Hitting the showroom floor in fall 2023, the all-electric Equinox will start at around $30,000 for the base, front-wheel drive trim level. More expensive, all-wheel drive variants will also be on offer, with up to 290 horsepower and 346 pound-feet.

    2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

    The SUV version of the Hummer EV pickup should see the light of day in the first half of this year, although it’s a bittersweet situation, as the Edition 1 version has been sold out for some time now.

    In any case, reservation holders should finally receive their 830-horsepower electric SUVs and put the 300-mile range to the test, along with all the off-road goodies GMCis touting, like the awesome Crabwalk.


    All the New EVs Launching in the U.S. in 2023 (article continued)

    Tesla Cybertruck

    This has been long in the making and it’s still uncertain if Tesla’s futuristic electric pickup will go into production this year, seeing how there’s no official word on it yet. But by the look of things, Tesla might just pull it off in 2023.

    Tesla Roadster

    It’s been five years since it was first revealed and, just like the Cybertruck, it has been delayed several times. But some reports are now saying if Tesla’s electric truck goes into production, the second-generation Roadster will be next.

    2023 Nissan Ariya

    Nissan’s all-electric crossover debuted in 2019 and has been available in Europe for a while already, but this year, finally, it will be available in the U.S. as well.

    With two battery options available---63 kWh and 87 kWh---the Ariya has a starting price of $43,190.

    2024 Polestar 3

    The brand’s first-ever SUV is made in the U.S. and comes with an interesting exterior design and a starting price of $83,900 for the base, 489-horsepower and 620 pound-foot version.

    A 111 kWh battery pack with 107 kWh usable capacity is standard on all trim levels and offers between 280 and 300 miles of range, depending on the power output.

    2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback

    Essentially, these are the facelifted variants of the previously-available E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback. They now look more like the internal combustion-engined flagship Q8 and offer a lower drag coefficient than before, which should help with the range.

    Two battery packs are offered, but the EPA has yet to release the range ratings for the two electric SUVs. However, we have the figures from Europe (WLTP): the Q8 Sportback model can go up to 373 miles on one charge, while the Q8 e-tron can go 360 miles with the big battery. With the smaller battery, the Q8 is expected to achieve a range of around 298 miles, while the Q8 Sportback brings that up to 311 miles.

    2023 Lexus RZ 450e

    It is mechanically related to the ToyotabZ4X and the SubaruSolterra, but it’s more powerful than either of the two, both of which have just 215 horsepower from their two electric motors.

    The LexusRZ 450e makes around 308 horsepower and has a usable battery capacity of 71.4 kWh, which should result in 225 miles of range on one charge.

    With an estimated starting price of around $50,000, it was supposed to launch in December 2022, but that didn’t happen.

    2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV

    Revealed in November 2022, the EQE SUV is the German brand’s eighth EV and sits below the EQS SUV in terms of size and price.

    Four versions will be offered: the base will be the 288 horsepower rear-wheel drive EQE 350+ SUV, then the all-wheel drive EQE 350 4Matic SUV, the 536 horsepower EQE 500 4Matic SUV, with the AMG 53 variant capping the range. The longest-range model is the rear-wheel drive variant, which Mercedesexpects to exceed 341 miles, at least for the European market where it will be rated on the WLTP test cycle.

    Fisker Ocean

    With a starting price of $37,499 in the U.S., Henrik Fisker’s latest creation looks like a good deal, with its 75 kWh battery, 250-mile range, and 275 horsepower motor that can push it to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds in base Sport trim.

    The other two versions, Ocean Ultra and Ocean Extreme, both feature the same 100 kWh battery pack with Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) chemistry, which should provide over 350 miles of range in the Extreme. Both have a dual-motor setup, with 540 and 550 horsepower respectively, resulting in 0–60 mph acceleration times of 3.9 and 3.6 seconds. The Ocean Extreme has more range because it gets a solar roof, which can add over 1,500 miles of free range per year.

    2023 Vinfast VF8

    The VF8 has just arrived in the U.S. The City Edition Eco---limited edition, but the only one available right now---starts at $56,700. The City Edition Plus starts at $63,700, and the base VF8 Eco starts at $60,200.

    Unfortunately, the EPA ratings are much lower than Vinfast had predicted. Vinfast said the City Edition would go about 260 miles per charge, but the EPA rating is just 180 miles. The City Edition comes with an 82-kWh battery instead of the 87.7-kWh battery in the series production VF8.

    We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

  • Amazon Has Tripled Its Fleet of Rivian EDVs to 3,000 Across the U.S.

    Amazon-Rivian-EV-van-delivery

    Amazon Has Tripled Its Fleet of Rivian EDVs to 3,000 Across the U.S.

    Written by Dan Mihalascu, InsideEVs
    Published
    April 3, 2023

    Amazoncontinues to expand its all-electric delivery fleet, and the online retailer claims the rollout of RivianEDV vans is the fastest of an electric delivery fleet at this scale in the U.S.

    Since launching last year, Amazon claims it has more than 3,000 custom electric delivery vehicles from Rivian making deliveries in more than 500 cities and regions across the U.S. That's triple the number of Rivian EDVs reported by Amazon in November 2022.

    To date, more than 75 million packages have been delivered using the zero-emission vehicles, Amazon said. That's a massive increase over the 10 million packages reported in February 2022. Rivian EDV vans will soon start delivering packages to customers' doorsteps in Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Tampa and Toledo, among other locations.

    As part of The Climate Pledge co-founded by Amazon in 2019, which saw the company commit to achieving net-zero carbon by 2040, the e-commerce giant announced a partnership with Rivian to bring 100,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road by 2030 and eliminate millions of metric tons of carbon per year in the process.

    Obviously, the 3,000 vehicles currently in Amazon's fleet represent a tiny fraction of the 100,000 units Rivian is bound to deliver by 2030. The EV startup had problems ramping up manufacturing of the EDV as well as its R1S and R1T vehicles, but the fact it managed to deliver 2,000 vans to Amazon in five months suggests production has increased.

    Amazon started testing Rivian EDV vans in February 2021 in Los Angeles, expanding to more than a dozen cities by summer 2021. In November 2022, the e-commerce company said the rollout was going on as planned, with more than 1,000 Rivian electric vans ready for the holiday season across more than 100 U.S. cities.

    In addition to the Rivian EDV, Amazon has been adding more than 15 models of battery electric vehicles to its fleet, including delivery vehicles, e-cargo bikes and e-rickshaws. The company has been testing these vehicles across the U.S., the European Union and India.

    In March, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon informed Rivian it would buy about 10,000 EDV vans this year. Since that number was purportedly at the low end of a range Amazon previously provided Rivian, the EV startup is said to have proposed removing the exclusivity clause.

    This would allow Rivian to sell the EDV, which has been co-developed with Amazon in three years, to other fleet and retail customers. It remains to be seen whether the e-commerce giant will accept that.

    We thank InsideEVs for reprint permission.

  • AmpUp Gets $1.7 Million to Spearhead EV Charging in Connecticut

    The grant was awarded by the state's Public Utility Regulatory Authority to explore creating an affordable electric grid.

  • Apple Aims for 2028 Launch of EV with Limited Autonomy

    Apple-car-EV

    The company had previously announced it was working on a fully autonomous vehicle.

  • Apple Ends EV Project As Consumer Preferences Shift

    Apple-car-EV-ended

    The tech giant had been working on the concept for a decade, first as a fully self-driving car and later as one with limited autonomous features.

  • As California Sales of Zero Emission Vehicles Increase, Rebates Underfunded

    As California Sales of Zero Emission Vehicles Increase, Rebates Underfunded

    Written by Ria Roebuck Joseph, The Center Square
    Published
    Jan. 26, 2023

    At the heart of California’s push toward green energy is the promotion of affordable and efficient electric vehicles.

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom set a goal to eliminate sales of new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035, signing legislation to fund a number of climate-action initiatives.

    The affordability of EVs---which range from around $26,000 for a ChevroletBolt to $191,000 for a PorscheTaycan---is all part of the equation in achieving this zero-emissions goal.

    The state supports three programs that assist in transitioning to or owning a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV). This class of vehicle includes fuel cell electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles and plug–in hybrid electric vehicles. Each program has parameters for eligibility.

    The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)---the largest of the three---Clean Vehicle Assistance Program and Clean Cars 4 All administer rebates for low-income households.

    Rebates from these programs range from $7,000 up to $9,500 for the purchase of a ZEV. Californians with household incomes less than or equal to 400% of the federal poverty level, or $54,360 annually, are eligible for an increased rebate amount. Individuals making below $135,000 can qualify for a rebate, but at a reduced amount.

    To date, more than 30,000 low-income residents have been successful in accessing the CVRP rebates. The state will now only apply rebates to the most affordable ZEVs in its list of approved vehicles. The vehicles must be new and purchased in the state of California.

    In 2022, almost 19% of all new cars sold in California were ZEVs, a 38% increase from the previous year.

    “California continues to lead the zero-emission vehicle revolution with groundbreaking policies and investments that drive innovation, create good jobs and expand ZEV access and affordability across the state,” Newsom announced in a statement released by his office Jan. 20.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported in 2021 that 65% of all California EV owners had accessed the rebates, and $1.84 billion had been spent on the rebate programs since 2010. 

    However, the rebate process has become lengthy. Funding for some of the 2022 programs ran out in April and saw a waitlist as long as four months. The backlog was so great, the lists were suspended. Additionally, the price of EVs has been on the rise, keeping it out of reach for some consumers even with the rebate in place.

    Last November, the CARB approved $2.6 billion to support ZEVs and the infrastructure to sustain their use in California. Seventy percent of that funding was allocated to low-income neighborhoods and disadvantaged communities. 

    The California Legislative Analyst’s Office said of the $6.1 billion proposed in the 2022-2023 budget for ZEV related activities, $925 million was earmarked for the rebate program for all five years, averaging around $185 million per year until 2026.

    In 2022, 345,818 ZEVs were sold in California.

    We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.

  • Ascend Elements Opens EV Battery Recycling Facility in Georgia

    Ascend Elements Opens EV Battery Recycling Facility in Georgia

    PublishedMarch 30, 2023

    Ascend Elements celebrated the grand opening of its first commercial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility at the end of March.

    Located in Covington, GA, the $50 million Base 1 facility is North America's largest electric vehicle battery recycling facility. As demand for EVs increases, lithium-ion battery recycling is becoming an increasingly important part of the EV battery materials supply chain.

    The facility began partial operations in August 2022 and now has an annual capacity to process 30,000 metric tons of used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap---equal to 70,000 EV batteries per year.

    "This facility is an important part of America's EV battery infrastructure, and this is just the start," said Ascend Elements CEO Mike O'Kronley. "As an industry, we need to continue building our closed-loop battery materials supply chain to make electric vehicle batteries cleaner and more sustainable."

    Ascend Elements recovers up to 98% of the critical battery metals in used EV batteries and gigafactory manufacturing scrap. By recycling used lithium-ion batteries and scrap with its patented Hydro-to-Cathode™ process, Ascend Elements can reduce the carbon footprint of new EV battery cathode materials by up to 90%.

    The ultra-clean and efficient facility is powered by renewable energy and features onsite wastewater recycling and treatment systems. The facility currently employs about 100 team members, and the company plans to increase headcount to 185 by 2024.

    Source: Ascend Elements

  • ASE Updates Accreditation Standards for High Voltage System Safety

    ASE-EV-safety-standards-training

    ASE Updates Accreditation Standards for High Voltage System Safety

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Sept. 25, 2023

    The ASE Education Foundation revised its accreditation standards for truck and collision repair training programs, specifically focusing on tasks, tools and equipment related to high-voltage (HV) systems, including those found on electric vehicles and hybrids, it announced in a news release. 

    Additionally, the foundation has published a list of training resources that schools can use when planning updates to their curriculum and training equipment to address EV technologies. These updates reflect the foundation’s continued commitment to provide solutions to the technician shortage. 

    “As more and more electric vehicles enter the marketplace, we feel it is imperative to ensure that students entering the workforce today are properly trained to work safely around these systems, even if they are not yet repairing the high voltage systems themselves,” said Mike Coley, president of the ASE Education Foundation. “Collaborating with individuals representing all facets of the transportation industry, as well as instructors and industry trainers, we are developing an evolving road map that programs can use to begin integrating EV technology into their current programs, including a list of training resources for both instructors and students.”

    The ASE accreditation standards are updated about every three years to account for changes in technology, tools and service practices. In 2022 and 2023, technical revision committees from industry and education, recognizing the growing number of high voltage systems and electric vehicles, began to add related tasks, tools and equipment to the standards. The initial focus of most of these changes is to ensure entry-level students are able to learn and work around these systems in a safe manner.

    “The ASE automobile program accreditation task list will be reviewed and updated in early 2024, so no new high voltage/EV/hybrid required tasks have been added yet,” said Coley. “It is likely that tasks, tools and equipment similar to the ones developed for medium/heavy duty truck and collision repair will be added at that time. We strongly encourage automotive program instructors and administrators consult with their advisory committees, start adopting the new HV/EV tasks, and begin curriculum and budget planning to prepare for the growing need for this knowledge.”

    For more information about the new standards and training resources, click here.

  • ASE Vouchers Now Available for EV Testing

    ASE-EV-training-vouchers

    ASE Vouchers Now Available for EV Testing

    PublishedJuly 31, 2023

    The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has made vouchers available for EV certification testing. 

    ASE recently announced the creation of Electric Vehicle Technician/Shop Personnel Electrical Safety Standards. The purpose of the standards is to provide guidance, document and establish electrical safety requirements, standards, procedures and safe work practices relating to the development of an electrically safe working area for service professionals in North America working on or around electrified vehicles (xEVs).

    The intent of these standards is to minimize exposure to these hazards and their associated impacts. These standards were developed in conjunction with vehicle manufacturers, aftermarket personnel and other electric industry subject matter experts. Visit www.ase.com/ev to see the standards.

    In addition to the Electric Vehicle Technician/Shop Personnel Electrical Safety Standards, ASE has now launched two tests in this series. They are the xEV Electrical Safety Awareness Certification (Level One) which is designed for anyone who may encounter an EV in the workplace and the xEV Technician Electrical Safety Certification (Level Two) for service professionals, technicians or specialists who have received high-voltage electrical training; have demonstrated skills and knowledge related to the construction, operation and repair of electrically powered high-voltage vehicles; and maintain an electrically safe working area and use required personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Automotive service professionals and shop owners who want to purchase ASE EV test vouchers for their employees can visit the myASE portal and take the following steps:

    • Step 1: Login into your account or create an account at the ASE Log in.
    • Step 2: In the myASE portal, go to the “Store.”
    • Step 3: Using the menu on the left, go to the “xEV Test Vouchers” section then click on “xEV Test Vouchers.”
    • Step 4: Click “Add To Cart” for whichever test(s) you want to buy vouchers. Quantities can be adjusted in the cart.
    • Step 5: If you are a company buying for your employees, send the vouchers to yourself by ordering in your name or send the vouchers directly to the employee by clicking on the test associated with their name.
    • Step 6: Proceed to checkout. Email with the voucher will be sent to the purchaser. 
    • Step 7: The purchaser can distribute vouchers to individuals that need to be tested. The individual receiving a voucher should create an account at ase.netexam.com to begin testing.

    “We have had a very positive response to the recent introduction of our new EV standards and testing program,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president. “These tests were developed in conjunction with industry experts so they will be challenging, but more importantly, they will ensure that automotive service professionals who earn the credentials are well prepared to service and repair hybrid and electric vehicles.”

    To learn more about the new ASE light duty hybrid/electric certification program, visit www.ase.com/ev.

    Source: ASE

  • asTech Announces Scanning Support for Tesla Vehicles

    asTech-Tesla-remote-OEM-scans

    asTech Announces Scanning Support for Tesla Vehicles

    asTech remote OEM scans are now available for more than 99% of Teslas.

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Oct. 27, 2023

    asTech, a Repairifycompany, announced an expansion of its remote OEM solutions to now include remote OEM scanning support for Teslavehicles.

    asTech diagnostic devices are now able to complete authentic remote OEM scans for virtually every Tesla vehicle---more than 99% coverage. This is an important update that continues to demonstrate the power and adaptability of asTech’s technology as well their dedication to ensuring their customers are ready for the future of collision repair.

    “The industry is changing rapidly, and a major part of that is the rising numbers of electric vehicles on the road today. The expansion of our remote OEM solutions to now include Tesla vehicles is part of our commitment to consistently stay at the forefront of vehicle technology, like electrification, for the benefit of our customers,” said Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify Global Holdings, Inc.

    Existing asTech users can contact asTech customer care for an adapter to connect their device to Tesla vehicles. Non-asTech customers looking for more information can contact asTech at info@asTech.com or by visiting astech.com.

  • Autel Energy Starts EV Charger Production in North Carolina Plant

    Autel Energy Starts EV Charger Production in North Carolina Plant

    The facility will eventually produce 5,000 DC Fast chargers every year and employ 400 people.

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Oct. 5, 2023

    Autel Energy announced Oct. 5 in a news release it will begin production later in October at its North Carolina facility with the MaxiCharger 180kw–240kw DC Fast EV charger.

    Autel plans to produce up to 5,000 DC Fast chargers at the facility annually, employing 150 people initially and 400 within five years.

    The 200,000-square-foot facility in Greensboro, NC, has undergone significant renovation and modernization since being purchased in May of this year. Autel chose the Greensboro location after conducting an extensive site selection process throughout the U.S.

    "Autel was attracted to the Triad region for its embrace of new energy technologies, a conducive business environment and a skilled, hardworking workforce," said Frank Li, chairman of Autel Intelligent Technology Corp., Ltd., parent company of Autel Energy North America.

    The MaxiCharger 180kw–240kw DC Fast EV charger is National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding program-ready and meets Federal Highway Administration Build America, Buy America requirements.

    NEVI, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, funds states to deploy EV fast chargers along designated highway corridors to build a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers. NEVI funding is available to retailers, businesses and fueling stations that meet program requirements, including being no more than one mile from an established corridor, accommodating DC solutions power requirements and offering the ability to charge four vehicles at 150 kW simultaneously.

    The MaxiCharger 180kw–240kw DC Fast EV charger also offers in-depth data collection, including station use, dispensed energy, peak session power and reliability, essential to NEVI compliance.

  • Automotive Supplier to Build $205M Plant in GA, Incentives Remain Unknown

    Automotive Supplier to Build $205M Plant in GA, Incentives Remain Unknown

    Written by T.A. DeFeo, The Center Square
    Published
    Jan. 5, 2023

    An automotive parts manufacturer plans to spend $205 million on a new manufacturing facility.

    Ecoplastic Corp., a South Korean company, said it would create 456 new jobs as part of the new facility near Statesboro, GA, in Bulloch County. Ecoplastic manufactures plastic interior and exterior components and supplies Hyundai Motor Group and Kia.

    "The project is still active," a Georgia Department of Economic Development communications representative told The Center Square. The designation allows state officials to decline to release details about tax incentives the state offered to entice a company to locate or expand in Georgia.

    Georgia officials have targeted electric vehicle manufacturers and associated companies. According to state officials, companies have announced more than 30 EV-related projects in Georgia since 2020.

    Last May, Hyundai Motor Group announced it had selected Georgia for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, its "first dedicated EV plant in the U.S." The company said it plans to invest more than $5.5 billion to build the facility.

    "By increasing new jobs within the area and providing a stable supply of high quality products to our client, HMGMA, we look forward to contributing to the economic development of the State of Georgia and Bulloch County," Han Shang, president and CEO of Ecoplastic, said in an announcement.

    However, not all projects have been lauded.

    In December, the Michigan-based Center for Economic Accountability named Georgia’s decision to give $1.5 billion in incentives for a Rivian Automotiveelectric vehicle assembly plant 2022’s "Worst Economic Development Deal of the Year."

    State economic development officials have not responded to requests for comment on the recognition.

    We thank The Center Square for reprint permission.

  • Autonomy, Atlantic Coast Automotive Partner to Offer EV Subscription Service

    Autonomy, Atlantic Coast Automotive Partner to Offer EV Subscription Service

    Autonomy's subscription package covering insurance, maintenance and more will now be available to customers through Atlantic Coast Automotive's network.

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Oct. 17, 2023

    Autonomy, an electric vehicle subscription company, announced its partnership with Atlantic Coast Automotive in its aim to make affordable and hassle-free EV ownership accessible to dealerships nationwide.

    Autonomy's EV subscription package includes a range of benefits, including vehicle insurance, maintenance, wear and tear coverage, and roadside assistance, simplifying the EV ownership experience. Atlantic Coast Automotive dealerships, equipped with Autonomy's platform, will offer customers a seamless experience from vehicle delivery to service and support.

    Autonomy's technology platform will let Atlantic Coast Automotive dealerships diversify their services, addressing the needs of customers seeking alternatives to traditional financing. This collaboration expands the customer base for both Autonomy and Atlantic Coast Automotive.

    Subscription models are at the forefront of transforming the automotive industry, providing dealerships with a versatile and customer-focused approach to car ownership. This partnership offers a new avenue for dealerships to meet evolving consumer preferences and market dynamics.

    "Our collaboration with Atlantic Coast Automotive represents a major step forward in our mission to democratize EV ownership,” said Scott Painter, CEO and founder of Autonomy. “By expanding our reach and services, we're making it easier than ever for customers to embrace electric mobility, and we're excited to work with Atlantic Coast Automotive to drive this transformation."
     

  • Autonomy, EV Auto Partner to Expand Access to EVs

    Autonomy, EV Auto Partner to Expand Access to EVs

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Sept. 22, 2023

    Autonomy, an EV subscription company, is partnering with EV Auto, an EV-only car dealership located in Utah and expanding nationally, to expand access to affordable EV ownership in dealerships across the country, the companies announced in a news release.

    A recent Deloittestudy titled “The Future of Automotive Mobility” shows a shift in consumer preferences, with 43% of respondents between 18-24 years old expressing an interest in replacing traditional vehicle ownership in favor of a simplified subscription model, which offers a single monthly payment covering all aspects of the service.

    “With interest rates skyrocketing, EV residual values being almost impossible to predict, and a sea change in how people think about owning vs. subscribing, now is the perfect time to support the dealer community through the subscription model,” said Scott Painter, founder and CEO of Autonomy. “It’s the third leg of the stool that gives dealers a way to serve and monetize customers who might not be the right fit for traditional loan and lease instruments.”

    Through this partnership, EV Auto can serve a broader range of customers, including those who may not qualify for conventional loans or leases.

    "Finding the perfect EV for our customers has always been at the core of EV Auto's values, and for some, that means we need a new way to do that," said Alex Lawrence, CEO and co-founder of EV Auto. "Our collaboration with Autonomy lets us serve customers who might otherwise have been turned away.”

    The subscription package provided through Autonomy includes vehicle insurance, maintenance, wear and tear coverage and roadside assistance, simplifying the EV ownership experience, effectively reducing the potential barriers that customers might encounter when transitioning to electric mobility. EV Auto can deliver all of these things and more as a partner with Autonomy in providing vehicle delivery, service and support.

    "Subscription is undoubtedly the future," said Georg Bauer, chairman and founder of Autonomy. "We’re excited to work alongside innovators like EV Auto to make EVs accessible to all. This is pivotal in our journey to disrupt the automotive industry.”

  • Autonomy’s EV Subscription Service Makes Texas Debut

    Autonomy’s EV Subscription Service Makes Texas Debut

    PublishedDec. 15, 2022

    Autonomy, the nation’s largest electric vehicle subscription company, on Dec. 14 announced its service is now available in Austin, TX.

    The debut in Texas comes after a successful launch in California earlier this year and a recent expansion into Florida and Washington.

    Texas, ranked third in EV registrations behind California and Florida, is showing great promise for electrification, with nearly 30,000 new EVs on the road between 2020 and 2021. This growth and natural demand makes Texas a compelling state for Autonomy to expand operations into.

    About 46% of Texans under age 45 say they are considering purchasing an electric car, per a statewide poll conducted earlier this year by Texas 2036, a policy planning group.

    Autonomy offers the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to get a Teslaand does not require the long-term debt or commitment that comes with buying or leasing. Additionally, Autonomy vehicles are available for delivery or pickup within weeks, compared with the monthslong wait for a loan or lease. Today, Autonomy offers the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y and will soon add the full Tesla lineup, among other makes and models.

    “The EV adoption rate in Texas signals to us that there’s even more demand for EVs and more of a need for alternative ways to access one,” said Scott Painter, founder and CEO of Autonomy. “Today, Texas has more than 156,000 EVs on the road, with 22,122 in Travis County alone---the highest-ranking EV county in Texas. These numbers are encouraging, and we’re excited for Autonomy service to help boost EV adoption in the second-most-populous state in the country and increase EV adoption statewide.”

    Austin has more than 1,300 public chargers across the region, with more than 500 new chargers added in the last 90 days. Unique to Austin is the Austin Energy Plug-In EVerywhere network subscription plan, which offers unlimited charging for $4.17 per month at any of Austin Energy’s 1,000+ level 2 charging ports throughout its service area.

    Autonomy’s monthly payment covers the traditional costs of ownership, including routine maintenance and roadside assistance, and standard wear and tear on tires, which are usually additional expenses with a traditional lease or loan. Qualified subscribers will now receive Autonomy’s subscription with its fully integrated month-to-month insurance offering.

    Autonomy will leverage its recently announced national partnership with AutoNation, Inc., the largest retailer in the U.S., for vehicle preparation and delivery services in connection with customer activation, as well as maintenance, repair and reconditioning services for Autonomy’s growing subscription fleet of electric vehicles.

    As well as expanding geographically, Autonomy is also expanding its fleet of vehicles. In August, Autonomy ordered 23,000 electric vehicles from 17 different global automakers, with the order totaling more than $1.2 billion.

    Source: Autonomy

  • Ava, EV Realty to Build Oakland's Largest EV Charging Hub

    Ava, EV Realty to Build Oakland's Largest EV Charging Hub

    The 33-stall charging station, to be located at Oakland City Center Garage, will boost the city's public fast charging capabilities by nearly 45%.

    Written by Autobody News Staff
    Published
    Nov. 21, 2023

    Ava Community Energy, the primary energy provider in Alameda County and the City of Tracy, alongside EV Realty, a developer of EV infrastructure, announced they will build Oakland, CA's largest public electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging hub to enhance local charging infrastructure and promote environmental sustainability.

    The development, underpinned by a 10-year services contract between Ava and EV Realty, entails the creation of a 33-stall EV charging station at the centrally located Oakland City Center Garage, boosting Oakland's public fast charging capabilities by nearly 45%, directly benefiting the adjacent disadvantaged community often overlooked in such advancements.

    "We're looking forward to collaborating with EV Realty and EV Connect to bring meaningful environmental change to the residents of Oakland," said Nick Chaset, CEO of Ava. 

    EV Realty was selected through a competitive process, reflecting its expertise in providing high-quality infrastructure. Patrick Sullivan, CEO of EV Realty, noted the partnership's potential as a model for future EV charging infrastructure deployment across the U.S. The novel contract structure allows Ava to set consumer-friendly prices, while ensuring project revenue certainty for EV Realty, fostering private investment in public EV charging solutions.

    Challenges in electrification equity are at the forefront of this project. California's policy aims to direct investments towards supporting disadvantaged communities. However, barriers such as high upfront costs of electric vehicles and limited access to at-home charging, particularly in areas with high-density multi-dwelling units, persist. This project seeks to address these challenges, ensuring equitable access to charging infrastructure.

    Ava, a nonprofit public power agency, operates a Community Choice Energy program serving 14 cities with 1.7 million residential and commercial customers.

    Construction of the Oakland charging hub is slated to begin early next year, with completion expected by the fourth quarter of 2024.

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