The American Environmental Protection Agency should abandon its requirement that 60% of vehicles produced be electric vehicles by 2030. Canada, on the other hand, aims for 100% by 2035.

Different Objectives

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to drop the requirement that 60% of vehicle production should be electric by 2030, according to Reuters, with an announcement planned for March. In Canada, the federal government has committed to achieving 100% of zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035 for all new light-duty vehicles, with interim targets of at least 20% by 2026 and at least 60% by 2030.

Misalignment between Canada and the United States

Until recently, Canadian emission regulations followed those of the United States, but this changed in December 2023 when the federal government implemented its own ZEV standard. The fact that Canada has its own regulations, in addition to those of the United States, serves as an “insurance policy” to ensure they are not altered by leaders Canadians did not vote for.

A Divided American Market

The American market is already divided. We have states that are pro-clean cars and states that are not. In total, 17 states representing nearly 40% of the American auto market have adopted the rules in force in California. Canada is also following this path.

Concerns in Canada

$37 billion has been invested in EV and battery-related projects in Canada in the past three years. Canada has just surpassed China as the world’s leading country for its EV and battery supply chain potential, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. If our neighbors to the south do not keep up, much of these investments will not be fully utilized. Canada must also anticipate changes south of the border when making investment decisions, as it will become quite complicated for those working on this issue.

A shadow looms over the Volkswagen group as thousands of its luxury cars are stuck at American ports, accused of violating anti-forced labor laws.

Unknown Origin: Illegal Part at Fault

According to anonymous sources quoted by the Financial Times, the automotive group was unaware of the origin of an illegal part used in these cars. This part comes from an indirect supplier based in China, and its use has triggered a crisis.

Quick Reaction from Volkswagen to the Alert

Informed by the supplier, U.S. authorities were promptly alerted by Volkswagen. The reaction was swift: the vehicles were held at the port, and a replacement of the unit containing the incriminated part is underway.

No Impact on Volkswagen

In a statement, Volkswagen assures that the situation does not affect any of its vehicles. “No Volkswagen vehicles have been affected,” emphasizes the manufacturer, while committing to replacing the incriminated part and ensuring compliant deliveries.

Models Involved: Porsche, Bentley and Audi

The list of cars awaiting clearance includes around 1,000 Porsches, several hundred Bentleys, and several thousand Audis. The exact models are not clear, but the Audi Q8 e-tron is among the affected vehicles.

Presumed Violation of the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Luxury cars destined for the U.S. are alleged to have violated the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). This law prohibits the import of goods from the Xinjiang region, where forced labor is suspected.

An Electronic Component Involved

The controversy revolves around a small electronic component of a larger control unit. The precise origin of this part remains unknown, adding a dimension of uncertainty to the situation.

Volkswagen and SAIC: A Spotlight on Partnership

Volkswagen has had a factory in partnership with SAIC in the Chinese region for a decade. Allegations of mistreatment of workers led activists to disrupt the group’s annual meeting last year.

The automotive manufacturer asserts that it takes these allegations very seriously, emphasizing its commitment to human rights despite the challenges faced in its international operations.

Source: Carbuzz

The text Des milliers de voitures de luxe Bentley, Audi et Porsche interdites d’entrée sur le territoire américain is from L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile

As the EPA prepares to finalize its strictest rule to date to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions, the American automotive industry is urging the agency to relax the requirements, and they could succeed. Since the proposal was published in April, automakers, dealerships, and the UAW union have been lobbying the EPA to relax requirements they believe impose an aggressive increase in electric vehicle sales before supply chains, infrastructure, and the market are ready.

Industry Pressure on the EPA

In response to industry pressure, the EPA is expected to relax some parts of the rule, which could be finalized as early as March, giving automakers more time to increase electric vehicle sales, according to reports this month citing anonymous sources. Under the EPA proposal, automakers would be required to achieve an average emissions reduction of 13% across their fleets for model years 2027-2032, representing a 56% reduction compared to the targeted average emissions levels of the 2026 model year.

Impact on Electric Vehicles

If the requirements are finalized, they could push electric vehicles to represent 60% of new vehicle sales by the model year 2030 and 67% by 2032, according to agency projections, excluding plug-in hybrids from its analysis. An EPA spokesperson declined to comment on speculation about a final rule but stated that the agency was “committed to finalizing a feasible technology standard, ensuring reductions in air and climate pollution, and ensuring economic benefits for families.”

Time is Running Out

According to a revised plan, the EPA is expected to adopt a less aggressive pace of emissions reductions followed by stricter cuts after the model year 2029. Some believe this approach could resemble the “Alternative 3” option included in the EPA’s interim rule. This alternative would still require a 56% reduction in emissions from new vehicles by 2032 but would loosen the rigor of the early model years. For example, it would mandate an 11% reduction in emissions for the 2027 model year and a 17% reduction for the 2032 model year, compared to the desired EPA proposal of 18% in 2027 and 11% in 2032.

Industry Reactions

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation has referred to the EPA’s interim rule as a “de facto mandate for electric vehicles,” deemed unrealistic. The alliance wants the EPA to align the standards more closely with the goal of 40 to 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030, in line with President Joe Biden’s target. Dealerships have also urged Biden to reconsider the interim regulations, arguing that they would impose an unrealistic shift to electric vehicles in a market where consumers are not ready due to unresolved challenges such as financial accessibility and access to reliable charging stations.

Industry Challenges

Despite the transition to more electric vehicles, the industry faces several challenges, including lower-than-expected demand, prompting manufacturers to adjust their production plans and sales targets. Some may rely more on plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids to remain profitable while meeting stricter emissions rules.

Gaps to Fill

Although the industry has announced significant investments in electrification, gaps remain in the electric vehicle market, including a comprehensive offering covering every segment in terms of size, utility, and price range. Some believe the EPA should address these gaps to ensure that regulations remain reasonable and that the industry’s impact on climate and local environment is significantly reduced.

Conclusion

The balance between environmental requirements and the reality of the automotive market remains delicate. The industry is advocating for a more gradual approach, emphasizing the speed at which the market and supply chains can adapt. The EPA must navigate skillfully to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles while allowing the industry to realistically adjust to new standards, all while maintaining consumer choice.

With information from Automotive News

The text “Possible assouplissement des règles environnementales aux États-Unis” comes from “L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile”

Due to differences in quality, type, usage, and maintenance, there is no fixed lifespan for a car battery. However, generally, many sources cite an average of three to five years, although some car batteries have been known to last up to 10 years. It is quite varied. Let’s take a closer look at some of these “variations” that can affect the lifespan of a battery.

Quality of car batteries

As with many items, some batteries are better than others. In the case of car batteries, it partly depends on the quality of the battery.

Batteries lose a lot of their power when the temperature drops, so their cold-cranking amps rating is important as it is measured at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (where a battery has typically lost about 60% of its maximum starting power) and thus represents a sort of worst-case scenario for the battery. Since batteries also tend to lose power over time, a battery that offers more CCA when new may lose some but still retain the power needed to start your car, while one bought at the same time with a lower CCA rating may have deteriorated to the point of not being able to do its job anymore.

Additionally, as batteries lose some of their life by simply sitting idle, the battery you purchased as “new” might actually have been manufactured months earlier and spent the interim time degrading on a shelf.

Types of car batteries

The conventional car battery has long been what is called a lead-acid battery, which mainly contains lead plates immersed in sulfuric acid. But in recent years, another type has emerged, called an absorbent glass mat (AGM) battery. It operates on the same principle, but instead of being in liquid form, the acid is contained in mats of glass fibers surrounding the lead plates. These batteries are more expensive, but they tend to have higher power density, can undergo more charge and discharge cycles, are not as sensitive to deep discharge, do not leak, recharge faster, and are less vulnerable to vibrations.

AGM batteries are often found as original equipment in cars using start-stop technology to save fuel, where the engine shuts off automatically when you come to a stop and then restarts automatically when you release the brake. Since starting the engine requires an extremely high power demand and battery wear, these frequent engine starts would likely kill a regular battery fairly quickly.

If your car does not have start-stop technology, or did not come with an AGM battery, you may consider upgrading. However, this will cost more, and you need to ensure your car is compatible; for example, your alternator might produce too much power, which could damage an AGM battery. Therefore, it is advisable to have the battery installed by a professional who knows to check such things, like the alternator output, beforehand.

Battery usage

As hard as starting an engine can be, letting the car sit idle is not good for the battery either. Some of this is due to the fact that a battery naturally discharges over time, and starting the car activates the alternator, which recharges the battery as you drive. (Note that the alternator also has to power all the devices used when your car is running, and since the alternator does not produce much, if any, power at idle, it will not recharge the battery much on a short trip.) But on modern cars, there is another issue.

There are many computers and electronic devices in newer cars that require battery power to keep their memory active, and they consume power even when the car is “off”. For example, for cars equipped with remote locks, there is a small receiver that is constantly “listening” for a radio signal from your key fob, and this receiver draws power from the battery. All of this explains why the battery can drain just by staying in the car, as has happened in recent years when people suddenly started working from home and rarely went out.

Maintenance of car battery

It is not good for a regular lead-acid battery to be kept in a discharged state (although AGM batteries are not as sensitive to this), so even if the battery is not “dead” when you try to start your car after a long period of inactivity, it wears the battery out. If the vehicle has been unused for a long time, try to drive it for a while, ideally on the highway, to fully recharge it.

If your car is often unused for long periods, you may consider using what is called a “battery maintainer” or “battery tender,” which plugs in like a battery charger but is designed not to overcharge the battery – which a battery charger can do if left plugged in too long. Note that a maintainer is not good for charging a weak battery; it only maintains a fully charged battery at its maximum.

Extreme temperatures also affect the lifespan of a battery. While we often think cold weather is hard on a battery, and it does indeed reduce its power, heat is actually worse for longevity. Keeping your car shaded in the summer (or ideally in a garage all year) is an advantage.

Signs of a failing battery

Slow engine cranking or unusual electrical problems are usually an initial sign that your battery may be nearing the end of its life. This includes headlights or interior lights flickering slowly after starting, the engine running rough for a few seconds after starting, and loss of Bluetooth settings or radio presets in the car. The battery casing swelling on the sides is another indication of a failing battery.

However, it is best to have your battery tested. While this does not necessarily extend the life of your battery, having it tested periodically can help prevent it from going flat at the worst moment – which is practically any time. After two years, it is often recommended to have it tested with every change of season, or at least with every oil change. If the battery shows signs of weakness, a good charge may help, but it is more of a warning that you may want to get a new battery before the next cold spell.

With information from Cars.com

The text Combien de temps dure votre batterie d’auto is from L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile

Ford has halted deliveries of all 2024 model year F-150 Lightning electric trucks due to an undisclosed quality issue, while deliveries of some 2024 model year gasoline-powered F-150s have started this week, after hundreds, potentially thousands, of trucks had piled up in storage lots around Detroit since production began in December.

The delivery stop order for the F-150 Lightning took effect on February 9, said Ford, and it is unclear when it will be lifted. The company continues to produce Lightning trucks at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

The 2024 model year F-150 and F-150 Lightning, part of the country’s best-selling vehicle range, are the first in a series of high-profile launches this year, coming as company leaders have promised to address Ford’s long-standing quality issues.

While initial deliveries of both gasoline and electric trucks are in line with Ford’s announced sales timeline, some F-150s have been sitting in storage lots since late December. A commercial customer in the eastern United States told Automotive News that the delivery date for their order of nearly 100 trucks has been delayed by eight weeks so far.

A Ford spokesperson declined to specify if there are currently quality issues preventing the delivery of certain gasoline F-150s, although they said it is part of the standard launch procedure not to release products until they have undergone a series of thorough inspections.

Ford mentioned that a “supplier parts issue” had halted production of gasoline F-150s and Lightning electric F-150s for about a week at the end of January. However, the company did not specify if the issue pertained to vehicles produced before or after production was halted.

CEO Jim Farley, speaking during Ford’s fourth-quarter earnings call this month, said the launch of the 2024 gasoline and hybrid F-150 was “very important for our business.” Farley emphasized quality after admitting regrets and mistakes that have impacted the company for years.

Ford has recently revamped its vehicle testing and launch processes, starting with last year’s redesigned Super Duty. Farley said Ford lost $1 billion in pre-interest and tax profits last year due to a “significant slowdown” during the Super Duty launch in the name of quality.

This is a lesson that Ford’s rival, General Motors, is also learning. This week, GM announced the postponement of initial sales of the 2024 model year GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize trucks to ensure the vehicle software is functioning properly.

Storage lots around the Detroit metropolitan area have recently filled up with F-150 trucks. A parking lot at Ford’s former Regent Court office building in Dearborn, Michigan, was overflowing with hundreds of F-150s this week. A fleet customer with an order of about 100 trucks said they were concerned that their vehicles had not yet been delivered after being built in late December and had virtually no communication from Ford regarding the delays.

With information from Automotive News

The text Ford cesse la livraison de F-150 Lightning 2024 is from L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile

Sudden Price Reduction

The prices of the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E in Canada have undergone a significant reduction, making all models more affordable.

Significant Rebates on All Models

Each version of the electric SUV sees a price decrease of $5,000, except for the GT Performance Edition, which has a price reduction of $13,000.

Eligibility for Federal and Provincial Rebates

All Mach-E models are now eligible for federal and provincial rebates in Quebec, except for the GT Performance model.

Uncertainty Regarding 2024 Models

It is unclear if the 2024 incoming models will be offered at the same prices.

Details on the New Prices

The most affordable model, the Select RWD Standard Range, is now offered at an MSRP of $51,995. The GT Performance Edition remains the most expensive at $69,995.

Expansion of Eligibility for Federal EV Rebates

All versions, except the GT Performance Edition, are now eligible for federal EV rebates, reducing the additional cost by $5,000.

Additional Benefits in Quebec

In addition to federal rebates, all models except the GT Performance Edition also benefit from $7,000 in provincial incentives in Quebec, bringing the effective starting price down to $40,000 in the province.

Reasons for the Price Reduction Unknown

Ford has not explained the reason for this significant reduction, but it could be related to the imminent arrival of the 2024 models and slow sales of the 2023 model.

Uncertainty on 2024 Models Prices

It is not yet clear if the future 2024 Mustang Mach-E models will maintain the reduced prices or revert to their previous levels.

With information from Motor Illustrated

Text sourced from Significant Price Reduction of the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E in Canada from Automobile Yearbook – Automotive News

In 2022, General Motors’ president, Mark Reuss, declared to Business Insider: “We will not dilute our investment with hybrids.” However, since then, GM has changed its mind. During an investor meeting last month, CEO Mary Barra announced plans for plug-in hybrids. A recent report indicates that plug-in hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are currently in development.

GM in fast track mode for PHEV Silverado and Sierra

According to sources familiar with the matter, Autoweek claims that GM is hurrying to launch plug-in hybrid versions of the two trucks. The company has reportedly initiated an “intensive program” to accelerate the development and market launch of these electrified derivatives. We have requested comments from Chevy and GMC, and will update the story if we receive a response.

Bridging the gap with electric models

Plug-in hybrids would bridge the gap between the traditional gasoline-powered Silverado and Sierra models and the newly launched fully electric models. The PHEV duo would address range anxiety, particularly for vehicles used for towing and/or carrying heavy loads.

A strategic shift at GM

In 2019, Mary Barra emphasized during an investor conference that customers are generally not interested in hybrids. However, by 2024, the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is decreasing, prompting GM to consider plug-in hybrids as a temporary solution before full electrification.

Pressure from dealerships for hybrid models

The Wall Street Journal reports that influential dealerships are pressuring GM to launch hybrids in order to retain customers not yet ready to switch to EVs. In January, Barra confirmed that the future plan includes the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology in North America.

GM revises its electric plans

According to Autoweek, GM apparently will not replace the older Express and Savana with electric vans by 2026. The initial plans with the Ultium platform and the BrightDrop Zevo 600 model are being questioned.

Cancellation and suspension of electric truck projects

Plans for two electric trucks are affected: one has been canceled, and the development of the other has been suspended.

Return to hybrids for Silverado and Sierra

If a Silverado and Sierra hybrid hits the market, it wouldn’t be a first for GM. In the 2000s-2010s, GM had already paired a 6.0-liter V8 with two electric motors for a two-mode hybrid system.

PHEV successors on the horizon

The old hybrid models could operate on electricity only at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h). If GM is planning them, their successors will be PHEVs, with a charging port to recharge the battery, similar to the Silverado EV and Sierra EV models.

With information from Autoweek
This text comes from L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile

The CEOs of American automakers Ford and General Motors have stated that they are considering partnerships to reduce costs related to electric vehicle technology, as Chinese competitors are expanding into the American and European markets.

Ford CEO Jim Farley mentioned the possibility of collaboration with other automakers to reduce battery costs during a separate presentation at the same conference. Chinese company BYD is planning to open a factory in Mexico, and American automakers are struggling to compete with the prices offered by Chinese companies. Farley warned that if they cannot compete fairly with the Chinese globally, a significant portion of their revenue could be at risk in the coming years.

Ford expects to incur losses of between 5 and 5.5 billion dollars on their electric vehicles this year. The company has set up a dedicated team, separate from their main engineering operations, to design a small and affordable electric vehicle that could compete with BYD’s Seagull model. Ford is also reevaluating its battery strategy.

BYD is able to produce their small Seagull electric vehicle for $9,000 to $11,000 in materials, according to Farley. An analyst estimates that Chinese production costs are 30% lower than those of Western automakers. Farley has instructed Ford engineers to develop a new affordable electric vehicle that must be profitable within the first 12 months of production.

General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra stated that GM is well positioned to start reaching profitability on their North American electric vehicles in the second half of this year, provided they can achieve an annual production rate of 200,000 to 300,000 vehicles. In China, GM’s brands will focus on premium and more expensive segments, while Chinese automakers are investing in the mass-market segments.

Both Ford and GM are facing pressure from investors to reduce electric vehicle expenses and increase shareholder returns. Renault and Stellantis have announced plans to return money to investors through share buybacks and higher dividends. Earlier this month, Ford announced that they would distribute around $720 million to shareholders in the form of a special dividend of 18 cents per share.

The Volkswagen Tiguan was launched for the year 2009. It was initially successful but sales dwindled over time due to being kept in the catalog for too long. In 2018, Volkswagen decided to rework the Tiguan for the market, shifting the strategy.

Initially, the Tiguan was built on the Golf platform, resulting in solid road behavior. The strategy changed in 2018 to cater more to the American market, resulting in a larger, underpowered Tiguan that disappointed many in terms of road behavior. Despite criticism, sales boomed, particularly in the US, from 46,983 units to 103,022 units with the new generation.

In Canada, the sales growth was less spectacular. The current second-generation model received mechanical updates in 2022, improving acceleration and dynamic performance. The model features a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The Tiguan provides ample comfort and space with 1065 liters of cargo volume behind the second row, which can be expanded to 2081 liters with the seats folded.

The Tiguan offers four versions: Trendline, Comfortline, Comfortline R-Line, and Highline R-Line. Prices vary from $37,210 to $48,210. The top-of-the-line model is well-equipped but faces tough competition, selling less than the Toyota RAV4 in Canada.

Overall, the Tiguan is considered a decent product but struggles to stand out in its category due to intense competition.

The Japanese are too polite to say to the world’s face that they were right, we are not in the United States. But the recent upheavals in the direction the automotive industry is taking at the moment seem to vindicate Toyota, which had from the beginning of the electric revolution advocated for a cautious approach, stating that it would be a long and very costly process.

Other manufacturers are noticing the same thing

Investors, environmentalists, and electric advocates all criticized Toyota, calling it a desperately gasoline-dependent relic practicing ostrich politics. These same people reacted in a similar way when Toyota launched its hybrid revolution with the Prius. Yet, it was Toyota that was correct. The industry’s optimism about the rapid rise of EVs is suddenly faltering. Companies like Ford and GM have reduced production. Others like BMW claim that combustion engine production will continue beyond 2035. There are also canceled IPOs, dealer skepticism, slowing sales, reduced investments, and ruthless price wars, all of which are new realities that challenge the EV segment.

Revision of timelines

We are not saying that electric models will cease tomorrow, but we need to broaden our perspective beyond Quebec. Many places in the world are far too poor to even consider venturing into electric vehicle production. Many countries have no environmental laws. Frank Weber, head of product development at BMW, stated at a press conference in Portugal last week that no manufacturer is making money with electric models and that production costs are increasing. We must face the reality that this technology is currently out of reach for many people and that the transformation of infrastructure will still take time.

And what about hybrids

Meanwhile, hybrid vehicles are selling like hotcakes. Several manufacturers are preparing hybrid models with longer range that could satisfy many potential electric car buyers. Sales of 100% electric models are progressing much more slowly than expected in the United States and Europe. Automakers are revising their targets downward. Combustion engines still have a future. Many are looking at how combustion engines could coexist with electric models for a longer period.

Electric investments are not being shelved

Toyota CEO Koji Sato estimates that Toyota will be ready to sell 1.5 million EVs worldwide this year. The company, which is spending $13.9 billion to build electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in North Carolina, announced this week that it will invest an additional $1.3 billion in battery assembly in Kentucky. This additional amount complements the $5.9 billion already announced by Toyota for this operation. These are colossal sums that not all manufacturers can afford to spend.

Should we follow Toyota’s path again?

Investors are beginning to understand the message. Toyota’s shares have surged 70% over the past 12 months and 24% since January 1. Even Toyota cannot predict the future. But when it comes to Toyota’s critics, the world’s largest automaker may well have the answers to their questions. Only time will tell.