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Electric Vehicles

Rolls-Royce will produce only electric cars by 2030, joining other premium brands making the switch. The company’s first fully electric-powered car, Spectre, will be on the market in the fourth quarter of 2030. BMW, the company that owns Rolls-Royce, hasn’t set an end date for producing fossil fuel-burning cars. Instead, they’ve set a goal of 50% electric vehicle production by 2030.

In other EV News

Rivian plans to build battery cells in-house after sourcing batteries from a South Korean supplier. Rivian is also planning an autonomous driving system and a potential subscription model. The autonomous capability will cost around $10,000 and the subscription of membership fees and connectivity-based services is expected to be about $5,500 for 10 years per vehicle.

Witricity has announced wireless charging in Hyundai’s Genesis GV60. This technology will initially be available in South Korea, before hopefully moving on to other countries. Wireless charging has the potential to provide Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power and dynamic charging to power vehicles.

Ricardo and Lightning eMotors has announced a partnership to deploy powertrains for the electric commercial vehicle market in the United Kingdom. It is unclear when the program will officially begin. 

General Motors is building a new 300,000 square-foot battery research facility in Michigan to build EV batteries that are longer-lasting, quicker to charge, and more sustainable. One of their main goals is building EVs that can travel up to 600 miles on a single charge. The Wallace Battery Innovation Center, named after Bill Wallace, a battery engineer who died in 2018

The governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin signed the Regional Electric Vehicle for the Midwest Memorandum of Understanding (REV Midwest.) This nonbinding agreement is set to provide the ‘foundation for cooperation’ on fleet electrification. This agreement will help accelerate vehicle electrification while safeguarding economic security, reduce harmful emissions, improve public health, and advance innovations.

Foxconn has struck a $230 million deal with Lordstown Motors to buy Lordtown’s Mahoning Valley manufacturing facility. Foxconn will also buy $50 million in Lordstown stock and have the right to use Lordstown’s electric vehicle technology.

Mazda’s fully electric MX-30 is a compact crossover vehicle with seating for 5. It was designed after Mazda’s CX-30 and Mazda 3 Platform while replacing the combustion elements with a 35.5 kWh battery pack and a 107 kW / 143 hp front-wheel-drive motor. The vehicle’s battery pack improves the structural rigidity of the vehicle. Mazda’s compact design is helped by a smooth split door design. The rear hatchback offers an impressive storage capacity of 21 cubic feet of gear. The vehicle starts at $33,470 while delivering 100 miles per charge, a perfect amount for the average American commuter.

Autonomous Snapshots

The Citroën Skate is a self-driving electric vehicle platform that can be fitted with different types of pods depending on the job at hand and cuts a slender profile through the streets to keep disturbances to a minimum. The vehicle is designed to operate nearly continuously, topping itself up at dedicated induction charging bases to stay on the move. Top speed can be limited to 25 km/h (15 mph) or 5 km/h (3 mph) depending on how it is being used, while hydraulic suspension softens the bumps and jolts for those on board. The Wheels are fitted with small electric motors and spherical tires to allow the vehicle to move in any direction. The vehicle measures 2.6m long, 1.6m wide, and 51 cm high. It’s designed to travel in dedicated lanes while a smart fleet management system governs its movements around a city.

Self-driving ride-hailing companies Cruise and Waymo have been granted permits to operate commercial autonomous taxi services for paying customers in San Francisco. Cruise is allowed to pick up passengers in designated parts of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at the maximum speed of 30 mph without a human driver in the vehicle. Waymo can operate cars within San Francisco and San Mateo County at speeds of up to 65 mph with a backup driver. There has been no announced timeline for this operation, so to our San Fran subscribers, make sure to definitely keep an eye out for more news!

Cruise predicts its ride-hailing business to reach $50 billion in revenue in the next couple of years. GM’s shares have jumped an impressive amount recently, the most in nearly 3 months. The company hopes to charge for rides as soon as next year and could expand in 2023 once they get the okay from California regulators.

Alexandria has begun laying groundwork for autonomous vehicles in the city. The recognition of AVs was noted as one of the changes highlighted at a joint Transportation Commission and Alexandria Mobility Plan Advisory Committee meeting. The plan proposes several actions to prepare for autonomous vehicles:

  • Evaluated effectiveness of AV technology
  • Develop maintenance and infrastructure plans for AV use 
  • Develop policies to manage potential increases in traffic volumes, including limiting zero-passenger miles and incentivizing shared use
  • Ensure that safety is always a priority

Qualcomm and SWW Partners of New York announced they are acquiring Veoneer for $14.5 billion. The company hopes to become a top supplier of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving technologies through its Snapdragon Ride Platform. Qualcomm’s main motivation in acquiring Veoneer is to obtain Arriver’s computer vision and driving policy technologies.

Lidar developer Ouster Inc. has agreed to buy Sense Photonics and will set up a new automotive division to be run by Sense CEO Shauna McIntyre. Ouster will buy Sense for 9.5 million Ouster shares, or about $68 million. 

With $1.6 million in funding, researchers from the University of Waterloo will be seeking solutions for securing autonomous vehicles against cyberattacks. This will be a 5-year project that will focus on developing theories, methods, and tools to create “complex automotive software” for connected and automated vehicles.

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