HomeStation – Connected Home Charging for Electric Vehicles

Ken Zino of on Home Station EV charging

Indoor or outdoor installation is possible.

Electrify Home has launched HomeStation, a Level 2 residential electric vehicle (EV) charger. With adjustable charging power levels of up to 40 amps, professional and do-it-yourself installation options, and programmable WiFi features, buyers will have the ability to schedule charging times, which can help customers save on energy costs by charging during off-peak hours if such rates are offered.

HomeStation’s WiFi capabilities let users sync their product with the app – which can then be used to start and stop charging sessions remotely, schedule future home charging sessions, and view charging status and reminders. Switching back and forth between the public network of more than 2,400 chargers and the HomeStation is also possible, helping keep track of all charging history in one app. HomeStation also allows for integration with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, so customers can use their voice assistants to communicate with the charger.
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Brazil to Nationalize Ford Motor Plants?

Ken Zino of on Nationalizing Ford of Brazil

Ford has been in Brazil for more than a century.

Ford workers are looking for ways to protect their jobs and have agreed to begin talks with the US carmaker’s global management team today. (see on Latest Ford Restructuring – Brazil Manufacturing to Cease) They are also looking into the possibility of introducing a bill to nationalize Ford’s operations in Brazil. Ford Brazil will end production at its Camaçari, Taubaté and Troller plants during 2021 as weak sales have resulted in years of significant losses. Ford has been in Brazil for more than a century. Continue reading

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Daimler Earns €4.0 billion in 2020

Ken Zino of on Daimler Earns €4.0 billion in 2020

The pre-existing financial crisis at Daimler required drastic steps, which were underway and served it well when Covid struck.

Daimler AG (ticker: DAI) reports that net profit increased by 48% to €4.0 billion for the fiscal year 2020 while proposing a dividend of €1.35 per share (2019: €0.90). The Group’s total sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles decreased by -15%, to 2.84 million (2019: 3.34 million). Revenue was down at €154.3 billion (2019: €172.7 billion), a reduction of 11%. Due to extensive cost and cash preservation action and good performances across all divisions, EBIT of the Daimler Group increased by 53% to €6.6 billion (2019: €4.3 billion).

Adjusted EBIT, reflecting the underlying business, was €8.6 billion down from €10.3 billion in 2019. The numbers are based on audited financial statements. The reporting structure and previous year’s figures have been adjusted to reflect the newly formed Group divisions. (read on Daimler to Spin-Off Daimler Truck into Separate Compan,  Daimler Q3 Covid Results – Sales, Revenue Down. Earnings Up) Continue reading

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New St. Clair Magna Plant to Supply GMC’s Hummer EV

KKen Zino of on Magna Electric Vehicle Structures and Hummer

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Magna has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility in St. Clair, Michigan, that will build complex battery enclosures for the all-new 2022 GMC Hummer EV. Construction of the 345,000 square-foot facility, named Magna Electric Vehicle Structures, represents more than a $70 million investment that is likely to bring more than 300 jobs to the city during the next five years. This new business with GM marks an evolution as the company expands its capabilities in all aspects of the vehicle electrification. (see on Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for the New Hummer EV, GMC Hummer EV – Its First All-Electric Truck) Continue reading

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First Look – 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Sedan

Ken Zino of on 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Sedan

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Lexus claims that its front-engine rear-wheel-drive 2021 IS is the “perfect balance of sportiness and sophistication, making it the best IS to date.” Well, maybe until the all-new 2022 IS 500 F SPORT Performance model that is expected to arrive in dealerships later this Fall.

This is the first-ever Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance, with the addition of a 472-horsepower, naturally aspirated V8 engine and a quad exhaust system. It without question expands the IS family. It also appears to be the beginning a new line of F SPORT Performance models for driving enthusiasts that will spend big money for higher levels of performance over the standard F SPORT models. Current pricing on 2021 IS ~$39,000-$50,000. Continue reading

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Groupe Renault and Faurecia to Work on Hydrogen Storage

Starting at the end of 2021, Faurecia will supply hydrogen storage systems for a fleet of light commercial vehicles for Groupe Renault. These systems will be developed and produced at its global center of expertise in Bavans, France. As volumes, increase production will be extended to a new plant dedicated to hydrogen storage systems that Faurecia is building in Allenjoie, France.

Hydrogen, of course, is central to an ongoing energy transition toward zero-emissions mobility. Fuel cell electric vehicle technology will be significant in the powertrain and vehicle mix by 2030 promoted or demanded by government regulations, taxpayer subsidies and the growing realization that Global Warming is a significant health and economic threat. Continue reading

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Ford F-Series Recalls for Windshield Ejections, Wrong Labels

Ford Motor Company said today it is issuing a safety defect recall in North America for 2020-21 Ford F-Series vehicles for windshield adhesion failures. Affected versions of Ford’s bestselling vehicle do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards because the front windshields are inadequately bonded to the vehicle body structure.

In a crash, the windshield may not adequately stay in place, which may increase the risk of occupant injury. Ford said it is “not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.” Continue reading

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Groupe Renault Posts 2020 Loss of -€8.5 Billion

Ken Zino of on Groupe Renault 2020 Results

Pivoting the business model to tech, energy and mobility by 2025.*

Groupe Renault with sales at 2.95 million units, down -21.3%, had a net loss of -€8.5 Billion ($9.7 billion) during 2020 compared to a profit of €19 million in 2019 as Covid ravaged its results. Japanese partner Nissan – it holds a 43% share – contributed €4.9 billion of the loss. Group revenues were down -21.7% at €43.5 billion or -18.2% at constant exchange rates. Group revenues, however, were down -8.9% in total during Q3 and Q4, which if Covid ever abates provides a glimmer of a possible recovery. Another indicator –  Group operating margin of -€337 million (-0.8% of revenues) was positive at €866 million (3.5% of revenues) in H2.

The disastrous results take into account an increase of charges related to restructuring costs and impairments of almost a €1 billion. Net income of -€8,046 million (-€660 million in H2) compared to €19 million in 2019.  However, a  negative Automotive operational free cash flow of -€4,551 million is distressing even with a positive contribution of €1,824 million in H2. Continue reading

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Ford Europe is Planning on Shifting Passenger Cars to All EVs by 2030, Commercial Vehicles Will Eventually Follow

Ken Zino of on Ford Europe to Be All EVs by 2030

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Ford Motor claims there will be a step forward in its European reorganization with a new commitment to go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially increase and electrify its leading commercial vehicle business. By mid-2026, 100% of Ford’s passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, and will be completely all-electric by 2030. Ford’s entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. (See Europe’s F-Series – All-Electric Ford E-Transit Revealed, Ford – EVs Present Environmental, Human Rights Issues)

The news comes after Ford reporting, in the fourth quarter of 2020, finally, a return to profit in Europe and announced it was investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans. (See Ford Motor 2020 Loss $1.3 Billion. Microchip Shortage Looms) Continue reading

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Ford Motor Still Ensnared in Takata Airbag Shrapnel Recall

Ken Zino of on Ford Motor Takata airbag and other Safety Recalls

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Ford Motor Company today announced another safety recall for vehicles that may have had obsolete Takata airbags installed in collision and theft repairs after the Takata recall was completed.

Ford said it has identified that certain Takata airbag modules that produce life threatening shrapnel “were not purged from service stock after the parts for the permanent service fix became available.” Continue reading

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Canadian GM Engineers Can Now Develop Advanced Vehicles on the CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track

Ken Zino of on the Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track

Now operational internally, an official CTC grand opening is being planned for early spring, pending COVID-19 restrictions.

GM Engineers at the Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) can begin putting their “code-to-the-road” on the newly completed CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track (CTC MATT). CTC honors GM Canada founder, Colonel Sam McLaughlin. The 55-acre outdoor track is part of the Oshawa Transformation Agreement and the C$170 million GM investment announced in May 2019.

The 55-acre operation on the southern-end of the Oshawa Operations expands GM’s Canadian technology footprint to four sites. With campuses in Markham and Oshawa and the Kapuskasing Proving Grounds in northern Ontario, the CTC has grown to become the largest software engineering and development center for GM outside the U.S. (AutoInformed on Unifor Saves Some Canadian Jobs as GM Blinks on OshawaGM Canada Plans to Make Face Masks in Oshawa; GM to Federal and Ontario Governments – Oshawa Doomed; GM, Cruise, Microsoft to Commercialize Self-Driving Vehicles; GM Doubles Down on EVs in Bid to Win Global Race) Continue reading

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Hyundai Tweaks 2022 Kona and Kona Electric SUVs

Ken Zino of on Kona and Kona Electric SUVs

The Kona EV does not have any advances in EV or battery technology.

Hyundai has tweaked what are now 2022 Kona and Kona Electric SUVs models for the U.S. market. New to the EV is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and 10.25-inch navigation center stack display with new “connectivity features.” The screen comes with a split-screen function, multiple Bluetooth connections and additional voice-recognition features. Drivers can activate and control features such as climate, radio station, rear window and side mirror heating, as well as steering wheel heating through Dynamic Voice Recognition. Drivers can check stocks, weather, or perform POI searches using their voice when connected to Blue Link.

Otherwise,  the Kona EV does not incorporate any advances in EV or battery technology. Instead it has a different front fascia design. New headlamps and Daytime Running Lamps provide a different look. New lower fender sculpted vents are aerodynamically functional. In profile, a different alloy wheel design has been optimized for “efficient airflow.” Oh, there are new taillights as well. The real selling points are carryover. Continue reading

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Ford – EVs Present Environmental, Human Rights Issues

Ken Zino of on Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

Could there be a problem with acid runoff into essential water and food sources?.

Ford Motor said this morning in Dearborn that it is the first American automaker to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, IRMA, “to safeguard human rights, communities where such work is done, and the broader environment.” Ford said this is another step Towards its desire to responsibly source all raw materials used within vehicles globally. BMW Group and IndustriALL are already members.

This follows Fords desire to catch up with other global automakers on what now appears to be a headlong rush to electric vehicles and sustainable mobility. Ford has nearly doubled, to $22 billion, what it will invest in developing EVs and solutions.  This will increase the company’s reliance on mined material, particularly related to production of electric vehicle batteries. Continue reading

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Porsche SE Profit For Fiscal Year 2020 Forecast at €2.6 Billion

In Stuttgart this morning Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) said fiscal year 2020 profit is projected at ~€2.6 billion based on current data. The group result after tax of Porsche SE is influenced significantly by Porsche’s equityportion from its capital stake in Volkswagen AG of currently about 31.4%, and thus by the group result after tax of Volkswagen AG. Continue reading

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Census – 35% of Households Say it is Difficult to Pay Expenses

Census Bureau employees continue doing their jobs whilst under attacks from the Republicans and Covid19. Help is on the way, but it took President Biden to signal the “beginning of the beginning of recovery” on 20 January 2021 at noon. It’s a disaster recovery plan that is needed under the disastrous policies of the voted out of office Trump mis-adminstration.

Better late than never. But for the suffering it’s small compensation for enduring a seditious President for four years who – based on his actions in office was unemployed all the while being pampered, housed, fed and subsidized – aka welfare for the rich –  by taxpayers he disdains. ( see AutoInformed on Snapshot – The Trump Economic Depression, Small Business Pulse Weak – Large Negative Covid Effects) Continue reading

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