There is an unwritten rule in the media world that says the voices we hear the most are those of dissatisfied people, and it’s true. We are more likely to express our dissatisfaction than our satisfaction. This also applies to electric vehicles, whose popularity continues to grow despite what their critics may say.

The latest proof of this comes courtesy of the American analysis firm J.D. Power, which has just released its projections for electric vehicle sales in the United States in 2024. And its conclusion is simple: electric vehicles will account for 12% of the entire American automobile market in 2024, and will rise to 18% of the market in 2025. This is essentially a growth rate that should allow the United States to approach the target set for 2030, where it is hoped that half of the vehicles sold will be zero-emission.

The good news for us in Quebec and Canada is that this electric shift in our southern neighbors will inevitably lead the industry in that direction. We therefore expect manufacturers to continue to offer more electrified models, regardless of what we see or read on social media. And some of these vehicles will be reserved for the Canadian market, which will increase choice for our drivers as well.

Obviously, not everything is perfect during this transition. This is actually the second conclusion reached by J.D. Power in its forecasts. The organization notes that people in the United States who already drive electric vehicles are dissatisfied with the availability of public charging, which is not very extensive or reliable. There are few charging stations in the United States, and their maintenance is lacking.

The immediate consequence is that manufacturers have decided to invest in their own public charging networks, and these networks should begin to emerge as early as this year.

In other words, there will be more electric vehicles sold in the United States this year (and in Canada), and the public charging infrastructure should also improve.

The text “Non, les ventes de véhicules électriques ne ralentiront pas en 2024” is from “L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile.”

Kia is recalling over 1,200 EV6 and Niro EV vehicles due to a transmission defect that could cause a loss of power.

The recall affects the 2023 models of Kia EV6 and Kia Niro EV 2023-2024.

Kia estimates that 1,243 vehicles could potentially be affected.

Kia has informed the NHTSA of the recall due to a faulty transmission shaft.

There is a possibility of the shaft breaking under pressure due to incorrect heat treatment.

Kia dealerships will replace the faulty transmission shafts with new ones that have been properly heat treated.

There will be no cost to the owners for this operation.

The problem was identified after an incident in Turkey reported by Kia headquarters earlier this month.

No similar incidents have been found on Niro EV models after field analysis, but the EV6 models share the same supplier for the interior rear transmission shafts.

No accidents or injuries have been reported, but Kia is recalling the vehicles as a precautionary measure.

Notification to owners is scheduled for March 9.

The affected vehicles and production periods are:

– 2024 model year Niro EVs produced from June 27, 2023, to July 13, 2023.
– EV6 models produced from January 26, 2023, to April 8, 2023.

A total of 204 Niro EVs and 1,039 EV6s are affected by this recall.

The RS6 Avant GT, influenced by the legendary Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO, takes power to a breathtaking level. Audi will produce only 660 units worldwide, with only 7 units being sold in Canada. Under the hood, it boasts exhilarating performance:

  • 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine (621 horsepower/627 lb-ft of torque)
  • 0-100 km/h acceleration in 3.3 seconds, reaching a top speed of 305 km/h

Superior Dynamics: Differential and Suspension Adjustments

  • Improved handling thanks to differential and suspension adjustments
  • Adjustable suspension for a tailored driving experience

An Explosive Farewell

The RS6 Avant GT comes back with more power, menacing design, and an attitude ready to challenge exotic cars. It’s the ultimate farewell to the RS6 as we know it, promising to “blow our minds.” Let’s find out what this beast has to offer.

On the Road: A Race Car Beast

  • Impressive power with a 621 horsepower twin-turbo V8
  • Lightning-fast acceleration, going from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds
  • Assured stopping power with RS ceramic brakes

Driving Dynamics: A Concentrate of Technology

  • Locking center differential for precise power distribution
  • Specific sport quattro differential tuning for sporty and precise driving

A One-of-a-Kind Family Car

  • Adjustable spring suspension
  • Height adjustments for a perfect balance between comfort and dynamics

Style and Elegance: Design Inspired by the Past and Present

The RS6 Avant GT not only offers exceptional performance but also features a design inspired by the GTO concept and the legendary Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO.

Aggressive Grille and Carbon Fiber

  • Gloss black Singleframe grille and aggressive air intakes
  • Use of carbon fiber for the hood and front fenders, a first for Audi

Wheels and Aerodynamics: Impressive Attributes

  • Model-specific 22-inch wheels and distinctive side skirts
  • Functional diffuser and double rear spoiler for optimal aerodynamics

Customization Options: Bold Choices

  • Five exterior finishes, including the exclusive Arkona White
  • Decal packages inspired by the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO for customization enthusiasts

Elegant Interior: Sport Seats and Panoramic Sunroof

  • Exclusive RS bucket seats with red stitching and leather (for Europe)
  • Electric panoramic sunroof for a unique driving experience

Guaranteed Exclusivity: Only 660 Units Worldwide

  • Limited production of 660 units, with 85 reserved for the United States and 7 for Canada
  • A tribute to the RS6 with a combustion engine before its future electric transition

Audi has not announced a price yet, but it will be higher than the $150,000 of the regular RS6 version.

The text Une Audi RS6 inspirée de la course comes from L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile

Newport Beach, California – Electric elegance is hidden under the familiar exterior of the new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. Sporting a nearly identical appearance to its gasoline counterpart, the eSprinter reveals its transformation under the hood. With a 113 kWh battery housed in its belly and a rear-wheel drive electric motor, this electric van offers a silent alternative for delivery.

The resemblance between the electric eSprinter and its gasoline counterpart is striking at first glance. Mercedes-Benz even left the fuel cap from the internal combustion model, adding a subtle touch to the aesthetics. However, the true revolution takes place under the body, with an all-new electric architecture.

The interior space of the eSprinter offers a cargo volume of 13.8 cubic meters, slightly less than the gasoline version’s 15.05 cubic meters. The maximum payload is 1,191 kg, still offering considerable carrying capacity. The features of the electric model are complemented by a window near the ceiling, providing a functional view of the cargo space. You have the option of a windowless separate cabin that comes with a camera in the rear-view mirror. The eSprinter is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz’s infotainment software, including an MBUX voice assistant and various safety features. With an announced range of 440 kilometers (WLTP), the model promises top-notch electric performance, although our test drive in pouring rain in California suggests a range that will be closer to 300 km in everyday life.

The synchronous permanent magnet electric motor, combined with a lithium/iron phosphate battery, delivers 201 horsepower and an impressive torque of 295 lb.-ft. Improved thermal management and the heat pump ensure optimal efficiency, while charging times range from 42 minutes to 12 hours depending on the chosen options. Later, Mercedes is preparing a 64 kWh motor in a different package that will offer 134 horsepower. No marketing details have been announced for this model yet.

The driving experience of the eSprinter, although focused on functionality, features notable characteristics. Heated seats, adjustable driving modes, and five regenerative braking modes offer a driving experience tailored to the driver’s needs.

The main obstacle seems to be the high initial price of $107,273, with options that can easily bring the bill to $115,000 or $120,000. Compared to the fully equipped Ford e-Transit at just $76,000, the eSprinter could be a difficult investment for many small businesses.

Although the eSprinter impresses with its quiet driving, navigation system, and anti-side wind efficiency, the high cost raises questions about its viability for a wide audience. The future may reveal more affordable versions that meet the needs of small businesses, while giants like Amazon, DHL, or UPS could be the early adopters of this electric revolution on wheels. Do cheaper batteries justify the high cost of the eSprinter? Will a base version planned for next year really be more accessible?

Strengths:
– Quiet driving
– Optional navigation system
– Anti-side wind efficiency

Weaknesses:
– High price
– Extensive options list
– Room for improvement in terms of loading capacity

The text “Mercedes-Benz eSprinter 2024” is from “L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile”

The President of Stellantis, John Elkann, has categorically denied any plans to merge with other car manufacturers, particularly with the rival Renault. Elkann stated in a statement on Monday that there were “no plans under consideration regarding merger operations with other car manufacturers.”

Stellantis, committed to a plan to achieve common goals related to the transition to electric vehicles, has brought together the Italian government and industry players. This statement comes in response to speculation from the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero about a merger project between Renault and Stellantis, fueled by the interest of the French government, Renault’s main shareholder.

While Renault’s shares initially increased by over 4% due to these speculations, they later reduced their gains to 1% after Elkann’s comments. Stock market analysts highlight obvious antitrust obstacles and potential social issues due to duplication of facilities in France in the case of such a merger.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, has recently fueled the debate by discussing factors that strengthen the potential for a merger, including the rise of Chinese manufacturers, the European Union’s efforts to eliminate combustion engines, and the high costs of new contracts with the UAW.

Tavares has predicted consolidation in the automotive industry, warning of a possible “bloodbath” in the race for affordable electric vehicles. He has highlighted Renault’s perceived vulnerability but has not ruled out interest in other manufacturers in the future.

In response to criticism from the Italian government, Tavares mentioned that Italy should instead protect jobs in the automotive sector. Italian Minister of Industry, Adolfo Urso, even mentioned the possibility of government participation in Stellantis to counter French influence.

With information from Automotive News.

Mazda has announced its intention to accelerate research and development (R&D) efforts in the field of Wankel engines.

As the brand most closely associated with rotary engines, thanks to sports cars like the RX-7 and RX-8, the Japanese automaker is now interested in their use as generators for vehicles with electric motors.

Most recently, the company explored the use of a rotary engine in the MX-30 e-Skyactive R-EV plug-in hybrid in Europe. Its 0.8-liter Wankel engine charges the vehicle’s small battery, increasing its range by 85 km for a total range of 600 km. This development was successful enough to convince the brand to invest further in the technology.

Since yesterday, a team of 36 engineers has been working together to make a breakthrough in rotary engine technology, according to Ichiro Hirose, Mazda’s director of technology. He promises technology that can help create “attractive cars that excite customers.”

Mazda wants to develop rotary technology beyond what the MX-30 has. However, the company specifies that the engine will continue to be used as a generator and is well suited to this task. Rotary engines are known for their small size, making them easier to integrate into a hybrid vehicle.

Although details of Mazda’s plan for the rotary engine remain unclear, the company has hinted that it is considering producing a sports car based on the technology. The iconic SP concept car was unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show in October and would have been equipped with a “rotary EV system with two rotors” that can run on hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels.

With a surprisingly attractive design, around 365 horsepower, and a perfect 50-50 weight distribution, it could be a perfect iconic car for the company’s new technology.

Source: Carscoops

Tesla recently reduced the prices of both base versions of the Model Y in Canada, offering buyers of the popular AWD Model Y a discount of $12,000 in Quebec.

The two-motor version of the electric SUV is highly sought after in Canada, so this decision could have a significant impact. In an overnight update to its online vehicle configurator, Tesla significantly reduced the price of the Model Y in Canada.

The rear-wheel drive (RWD) Model Y now starts at $53,990, a decrease of $4,000. The Dual Motor All-Wheel-Drive Long Range Model Y also received a price reduction of $4,000, now starting at $63,990.

The starting price of $54,000 is a new low for this popular model, eligible for a federal rebate of $5,000 and a provincial rebate of $7,000. More importantly, the Model Y AWD is now cheaper than $65,000, which also allows for the $12,000 discount in Quebec.

This new pricing policy could create high demand. Quebec residents are quickly turning to electric vehicles, but there is still a strong preference for all-wheel drive and increased range to handle difficult weather conditions.

Anticipating an increase in Model Y orders in Canada, particularly in Quebec, with this attractive new pricing. Consumers who were hesitant due to the price threshold for the Quebec incentive may now choose this electric SUV, stimulating the market.

Information sourced from Electrek.

The significant involvement of Volvo in Polestar, where it holds approximately 48% of the electric vehicle manufacturer’s shares, has been criticized by analysts who view this investment as a burden on Volvo’s resources. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the parent company of both brands, is preparing to provide more funding to Polestar as part of a potential redistribution of shares to alleviate the pressure on Volvo.

An expected announcement
Geely stated on Thursday that it would fully support Polestar as an independent brand, with no impact on its 79% stake in Volvo. Geely also praised Volvo’s decision to focus its resources on its own development. According to the proposed agreement, Volvo would transfer a portion of its 48% stake in Polestar to Geely, Volvo announced on Thursday.

A stock turnaround expected
This redistribution of shares follows a slower-than-expected ramp-up at Polestar, combined with a general cooling down of the electric vehicle market, causing its shares to plummet to a record low. Since its listing in the US in 2022 through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Polestar’s shares have fallen by 83%.

Difficult first steps
Like other new electric vehicle brands, Polestar is struggling to make progress, especially since Tesla launched a price war last year. Polestar delivered 54,600 cars in 2023, below its target of 60,000 cars. According to Bernstein analysts, Polestar would need an additional billion dollars in the next 12 months to stay afloat, recommending that the brand should not be independently listed.

Polestar announced last week its intention to cut approximately 450 jobs worldwide, or about 15% of its workforce, due to “difficult market conditions”.

In November, it also stated that it would seek to reduce its reliance on outside assistance, releasing a revised business plan that included obtaining additional loans from Volvo and Geely.

This news could raise questions about the viability of Polestar, which aims to achieve financial balance in 2025. Some analysts have suggested that it might make more sense to integrate Polestar into Geely.

Volvo’s challenges
Volvo, which previously owned Polestar as a performance sub-brand, faces its own challenges. Last year, it began cutting 1,300 jobs as part of an initiative to reduce costs globally.

The automaker is also dealing with software development issues that have delayed the launch of the brand’s new electric models, the EX30 and EX90.

On Thursday, Volvo announced a larger-than-expected increase in its operating profit for the fourth quarter, reporting an operating profit, excluding joint ventures and associates, of 6.7 billion Swedish kronor (644 million dollars), compared to 3.9 billion kronor the previous year.

With information from Automotive News

A Shock in the World of F1

  1. Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula 1 champion, will leave Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025.
  2. Carlos Sainz will vacate his spot for the British driver at the Italian team.

Early Departure from Mercedes

  1. Despite an announced extension until 2025, Hamilton terminates his contract with Mercedes earlier than expected.
  2. Sky News reports the surprising decision by the most decorated driver in F1 history.

An Impressive Track Record

  1. Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, holds the record for 103 victories and 104 pole positions.
  2. His tenure at Mercedes includes 82 victories and six drivers’ world titles.

A New Challenge at Ferrari

  1. Hamilton will join Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, strengthening the Italian team.
  2. After challenging seasons at Mercedes, Hamilton seeks new challenges with Ferrari.

Tough Years at Mercedes

  1. Mercedes’ dominance declined after major rule changes in 2023.
  2. Hamilton, after two winless seasons, is looking for a fresh start at Ferrari.

Objective: Dethrone Red Bull

  1. In pursuit of competitiveness, Hamilton hopes that Ferrari will be able to challenge Red Bull, the current reigning champion.
  2. Red Bull, led by Max Verstappen, has been dominant since the start of the new era of F1.

A Second Seat at Mercedes

  1. With Hamilton’s departure, the question of Mercedes’ teammate remains open.
  2. Carlos Sainz and others, like Alex Albon from Williams, could be contenders for the coveted position.

This announcement marks a turning point in recent F1 history, leaving motorsport fans eager to see how this new dynamic will influence the upcoming season. Stay tuned.

With information from Sky News

The text “Lewis Hamilton rejoint Ferrari en 2025: Un tournant majeur dans le monde de la Formule 1” is from “L’annuel de l’automobile – Actualité automobile” website.

Buick seems to be becoming the “Made in China” brand of the General Motors automotive group. We were talking about the small Envista coupe SUV, and this week, we reinforce this impression a bit by taking the road aboard the Encore GX, another entry-level small SUV signed by Buick and assembled in the Middle Kingdom.

Apart from their country of manufacture, there are many similarities between the two models, but to quickly differentiate them, let’s just say that the Envista is a coupe SUV, with a slightly more urban vocation than the Encore GX, which is a bit narrower but taller, and despite all that it has a more generous trunk. Buick also includes as standard on the Encore GX the towing equipment necessary to tow a small trailer or caravan.

So let’s say that the Encore GX is a slightly more utility vehicle than the Envista, which would be a bit more sporty if it weren’t powered by a not very powerful 3-cylinder turbo engine.

Note that this engine, with a displacement of 1.3 liters, is the same one that powers the Encore GX. It produces a power of 155 horsepower and a maximum torque of 174 pound-feet, and all of this is transmitted to the driving wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s a very good transmission, by the way. It is accompanied by an electronic system that switches from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive as needed.

You can also activate the all-wheel drive manually, which is particularly appreciated on slippery roads, where you can really feel that the system is working hard. Fuel consumption is around 10 liters per 100 kilometers in all cases, which is nothing spectacular.

Behind the wheel, the driving position is good. The Encore GX does not have a very high ground clearance, but the body is still a bit higher than that of a sedan, which will reassure many people. There are not a ton of distractions on board either, as Buick uses a minimalist multimedia system and a finish that could be described as “simple”, but which in reality deserves to be called “cheap”. Let’s just say it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of originality. At least we have wireless CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces.

Otherwise, it is noticed quite early on that the Encore GX is comfortable for four people, but just barely. It is a small, small SUV, just vertical enough to accommodate tall people, but not too much.

All this, for a retail price that is quite reasonable starting at $34,475 for the base version, and which goes up to almost $40,000 for the Avenir edition, which is probably the most attractive of the bunch.

We would like to say that it is a good deal, a $40,000 Buick Encore GX, but compromises have to be made in terms of driving and performance, as well as comfort and entertainment technologies, so we will keep a little reserve, even if, it must be said, the Encore GX is perhaps one of the few SUVs sold here for less than $35,000.