Highlights from this week include: Audi encourages more driver comfort stops with its new EV’s; Nearly 750,000 GM Trucks/SUV’s have non-deploying airbags – oops; M-B launches an OTT Luxury EV car; After a 6-year wait – it’s finally here; EVs accounted for 2almost 1/3 of Kia’s total sales in Europe this year; Electric Ambulances are coming; VW launch a new CUV – and it’s NOT electric; Stellantis goes electric; FIA creates a New Electric GT Racing series and more…
This week electric vehicles dominated the news, better get used to it, we’re ALL going to be driving them sooner or later!
Audi has taken the wraps off its two newest additions to the e-tron family – the 2022 Q4 e-tron and the Q4 e-tron Sportback. Most notably is the doors will be able to store bottles of up to 1.5 litres!! Wow!! Hold me back!
The electric SUVs are arriving at less than $45k (U.S.)! Available in RWD and AWD versions, they will be built upon Volkswagen’s new MEB platform. The Q4 will come in two flavours: the 40 e-tron and the 50 e-tron Quattro. The 40 e-tron has one electric motor driving the rear wheels with an output of 200 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque (150 kW / 310 Nm). Its 0-62mph (0-100km/h) time is achieved in 8.5 seconds.
The 50 e-tron Quattro features two electric motors driving all four wheels, featuring an output of 295 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque (220 kW /460 Nm) The 50 e-tron Quattro will get to 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 6.2 seconds. The same 77 kWh battery is standard in both vehicles. The Q4 40 e-tron’s estimated range is 402 kms (250 miles), while the Sportback gets an additional 10 km (6.2 miles) of range. More info HERE More pictures at the end of this article…
More Airbag Issues For GM
This time it’s not Taketa that’s in the news…the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 749,312 GM vehicles over possibly bad wiring that could result in airbags not deploying. The NHTSA reports that it has evidence of six incidents in which accidents with severe frontal collision damage have not resulted in airbags deploying. It has also received nine consumer complaints of airbag malfunction indicators illuminating on the dashboard.
The investigation targets the 2020 and 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL, as well the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. Fortunately, there are no reports of fatalities at this time.
A Couple Of Follow-up Articles… (After we put last week’s That’s A Wrap online)
It’s Finally Here – Hyundai revealed the All-New 2022 Santa Cruz last Thursday, and it’s going on sale this summer. More info HERE, along with pictures.
Also on Thursday, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS was launched, showing us how to do OTT (Over-The-Top) luxury. The tech marvel is marque’s first car designed from the ground-up as an EV only and gets a 56-inch touchscreen-as-entire-dashboard, biometric ID for driver profiles. Mercedes-Benz said the EQS will have a range of up to 770 kilometres (just under 478 miles) on the WTLP cycle, and 516 hp. That should translate to an EPA range rating of more than 644 kms (400 miles). By the look of this thing, don’t expect to see it retail for anything under $100,000. There’s a ton of extensive information HERE, so there’s no point in us going into the details. Here are some pictures though…
More EV Charge Stations In Canada
The electric car charging company EV Connect announced plans to expand into Canada and they’ve opened their first office in Toronto, with an initial plan to empower businesses of all sizes to provide 1,000 EV charging stations by the end of 2022.Established in 2010, EV Connect serves customers across 41 states in the U.S., across Europe, Australia, and Asia.
From their website…
EV Connect’s trademark ability to simplify the set-up, management, and optimization of EV charging with premium driver support will now be offered to Canadian businesses, utilities, energy suppliers, multi-family properties, educational campuses, fleets, and those in the hospitality industry. As part of the launch, EV Connect will establish a network of value-added resellers (VARs) and installation companies to serve the Canadian market.
The new 14-brand car company has given more details about its electrification plans.
- They want to substantially increase sales of electrified cars in Europe from 14% this year, (around 400,000 vehicles), to up to 70% in 2030
- For the USA, the plan envisages an increase from 4% this year to 35% by 2030
- An electrified version (BEV and PHEV) is to be offered for 98 per cent of its models in Europe by 2025
- By 2030, there will be at least one battery-electric version for all models
- In the USA, 96 per cent of the models will be electrified by 2025
Stellantis – the world’s fourth-largest carmaker was created by the merger of Fiat-Chrysler and PSA, which in-turn created an umbrella for 14 brands: Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram and Vauxhall. More details about their electrification plans HERE
Sold 9,072 Taycan EVs in the first three months of the year, that’s almost as many buyers opting to go electric than purchased the 911 (9,133) and more than the 718 series (6,190) and the Panamera (5,600). The most popular Porsche models in Q1 2021 were the SUV’s – Macan (22,458) and the Cayenne (19,533).
IKEA Canada Goes Greener
IKEA Canada has taken a bold step towards 100% zero-emission deliveries by 2025. The home furnishing retailer has partnered with last mile delivery provider, Second Closet and they will begin integrating zero-emission trucks into its fleet for IKEA home deliveries in several markets across Canada. The IKEA and Second Closet co-branded five tonne EV trucks that will service last mile deliveries for IKEA locations in Boucherville, QC, Etobicoke, ON, Richmond, BC are scheduled to hit the streets in fall 2021. More information HERE
Although very late to the game for going fully EV, Toyota appear to have been busy in the background. On Sunday they debuted an All-Electric SUV Concept named bZ4X.
Jointly developed with Subaru, the Toyota bZ4X SUV Concept is built on the new e-TNGA BEV- dedicated platform. The concept conveys Toyota’s legendary quality, durability and long-term reliability (QDR) in combination with Subaru’s AWD capabilities to achieve a driving experience that is both comfortable and engaging.
The Toyota bZ4X Concept joins a full line-up of electrified vehicles – a line-up that, in total, accounts for more than 40% of all alternative powertrain vehicles sold in the U.S. that includes battery electric (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell electrics, hybrids and plug-in hybrids (PHEV).
Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future line-up will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, including seven carrying the bZ (Beyond Zero) brand moniker. In addition, Toyota intends to bring electrification to its pickup truck line-up in the near future, including hybrid and BEV powertrains.
Toyota plans to produce the Toyota bZ4X in Japan and China; it hopes to begin worldwide sales of the model by the middle of 2022. U.S. product details will be shared at a later date.
The popularity of Kia’s electric vehicles continues to soar. In the first quarter of 2021, Kia’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for 28.4% of total brand sales in Europe – that’s up from 18.9% during the first quarter of 2020. Kia will be introducing 11 new EV models by 2026, the first of which, the EV6, is available to pre-reserve now. The Kia Niro range, available with three types of electrified powertrain, grew in popularity by 29% – with the full electric version improving sales by 124%. The Sorento’s sales increased 108% across its range, mainly due to its plug-in hybrid version.
Kia (non EV) Here’s a picture of the updated Kia Forte…
Meee-Maw Meee-Maw (electric ambulances)
Commercial vehicle manufacturers Lightning eMotors and REV Group announce they are co-developing zero-emission, all-electric ambulances with Leader Emergency Vehicles, a REV Group subsidiary. Once completed, the partners plan to make the electric ambulance available to government agencies, municipalities, commercial operators, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. The delivery launch to customers is expected to take place at the end of this calendar year. Lightning eMotors has been steadily ramping up production capacities for their electric van this year. The company recently secured a battery supplier and has been scaling their vehicles to suit the needs of last-mile delivery with both Ikea and DHL in the USA.
Volkswagen has begun shipping the first units of the Taos from the Puebla plant in Mexico. The 2022 Taos is a compact SUV that is positioned under the Tiguan. Combining a 1.5L turbocharged engine and a DSG dual-clutch gearbox, the Taos delivers 158 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Pricing will be announced shortly, but it will be more affordable than its larger sibling that has a starting MSRP of $29,795 Cdn. More info HERE
FIA Announces The Creation Of A New Electric GT Racing Series
The cars competing in the series will race at full-length permanent circuits and operate in a similar performance window to the current generation of GT3 cars. However, the FIA says the vehicles will outperform their combustion engine counterparts in acceleration and qualifying pace. Output will be capped at 577 hp and 700 kW fast charging that will allow them to replenish 60% of their capacity within just a few minutes during mid-race pit stops. More info HERE
Some idiot HAD to be the first… think it’ll buff out?
More Pictures of the 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback…
That’s A Wrap! For this week. Until next time…
Copyright © 2021 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Respective Manufacturers/Outlets