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EVEN IN these days of e-this and e-that, I find the weekly print Automotive News the most useful and authoritative source of what’s happening in the world auto industry. And make no mistake, despite shrill comments to the latter, it is a world industry. Started in 1925 as Automotive Daily News, today’s Automotive News has vibrant electronic editions as well, though I confess I get my automotive fix from its traditional print format each week.
Here are tidbits from print Automotive News, July 16 and July 23, 2018, with references to their electronic equivalents as well.
New U.K. Homes to be BEV-Ready. According to Automotive News, July 16, 2018, (first appearing online July 9 at autonews.com), the U.K.’s Road to Zero reads, “It is our intention that all new homes, where appropriate, should have a charge point available.”
What’s more, the British government is putting money where its mouth is: A £400 million ($531 million) fund will underwrite companies installing these charging points. There’s a £40 million ($53 million) program evaluating low-cost wireless charging technology. Also, a government Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill proposes that charging points be included at freeway service stations and at large gasoline retailers.
Around the world, home charging is seen as a key element in BEV acceptance, one reason being off-peak overnight charging. As I discovered when R&T would occasionally have use of a battery electric car, our own home built in the 1960s isn’t exactly BEV-friendly. For example, were we to have reasonably quick-charge capability, major electrical work would be required. And, along similar lines, I have remembrances of charming British homes seemingly displaying only relatively recent signs of electrification (those funny rectangular exposed conduits to “the mains”).
BEV Rebate? Welcher Rabatt? According to europe.autonews.com, July 18, 2018, some 800 German drivers have been ordered to pay back the €4000 ($4650) subsidies on their Tesla Model S BEVs.
The rebate is intended as an “environmental bonus,” but Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control have deemed Teslas too expensive to qualify.
Tesla is said to be appealing the decision and will cover the bonus until matters are resolved. Part of the problem is the government’s requiring a subsidized BEV or plug-in hybrid to cost no more than €60,000 ($69,750). The only Tesla Model S initially available in Germany was its 75D, listed at €72,000. The company has since included the basic Model S; German customers buying it after March 6, 2018, can keep der Rabatt.
What U.S.-built Cars are Foreign? Trade war squabbles are complicated by the global nature of the auto industry. Autonews.com, July 23, 2018, gives details. An interesting aspect to me is just how many “foreign” marques are built here in the U.S. and exported to the 28-country European Union.
In 2017, 272,346 BMWs were exported around the world from its Spartanburg, South Carolina, facility. This makes BMW the largest automotive exporter in the U.S., ahead of any “domestic” brand for two years now. Each day in Spartanburg, some 1400 X3, X4, X5, and X6 models are produced. An X7 joins the lineup later this year.
Were one to quibble that BMW is headquartered in Munich, Germany, I’d address that argument to the people of Spartanburg, its environs, and the Port of Charleston, through which these vehicles pass to their new “foreign” homes.
A trade war in a global market? It gets complicated. But Automotive News and others sort it out. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2018