The New York Times
Commercial vehicle fleets across the country are replacing their diesel buses, delivery vans and garbage trucks with their electric equivalents.
Electric motors offer the low-speed torque such vehicles need, without the noise or exhaust of their diesel counterparts. Range anxiety is not a concern as operators of buses and similar vehicles tend to stay close to home, needing a range of 100 miles or less.
“McKinsey & Company, the management consulting group, forecasts that electric light- and medium-duty trucks — a group that includes pickups, flatbeds and some trash haulers — could achieve between 8 percent and 34 percent sales penetration by 2030.”
Read the article at The New York Times.
Poorly working touch screens and phone connectivity were top complaints that Ford received and addressed by switching partners and spending years to smooth out the system’s features.
Audio, communication, entertainment and navigation systems remain the most problematic category of problems consumers are having with new cars, but the industry has improved for three straight years, contributing to the best overall quality ever, according to J.D. Power.
“Our competitors are about two to three years behind us now,” Jim VanSlambrouck, director of quality for the Americas said. “They are still refining how their tech works, and these are things where we’ve gotten out in front and will stay there.”
Read the article at Bloomberg.
According to a government report, if self-driving cars are successful, people might take more car trips, which could lead to Americans consuming more energy even if the new autonomous vehicles are electric or hybrids.
The benefits of hands-free driving could entice people to hit the road more often, and might discourage people from taking local public transportation or allow people without licenses to drive.
Researchers calculate that there would be a 14 percent increase in the number of driven miles in 2050, from 3.3 trillion miles to 3.8 trillion upping the energy demand by 4 percent.
Read the article at The Verge.
Although the majority of women aspire to hold top leadership and board roles, today only 5.2 percent of the CEOs of S&P 500 companies and slightly more than 21 percent of their board seats are held by women. How can that change?
It has to start at the top with identifying high-potential women and helping them get to the next level by encouraging mentors and sponsorships. Mentors can help employees think about their career growth, while sponsors can actually help make it happen.
Companies have to set goals, measure them and hold leaders accountable.
Read the article at Forbes.
The Washington Post
Although Mexico, Canada and Japan would likely be affected, Trump has singled out German vehicles in particular with his proposed auto tariffs.
Germany’s prosperous city of Stuttgart, lays justifiable claim to being “the cradle of the automobile.” The region is packed with assembly plants, parts makers and engineering firms — all supporting an industry that is considered a pride of the nation.
“We are watching the U.S. debate very closely,” Porsche said in an emailed statement. “A third of our sales are in North America and since we don’t have production sites there, we have to take the situation seriously.”
Read the article at The Washington Post.
The Detroit Bureau
According to a new survey by Cars.com, the Jeep Cherokee is the “Most American” car, which is made at the company’s plant in Belivdere, Illinois.
The Cherokee, last year’s No. 2 car on the index, has a domestic parts content of 72% for the 2018 model year — and all engines and transmissions from the U.S., the Illinois-built Cherokee topped more than 100 vehicles to top the list.
“Being American made, or at least considered so, is important in today’s climate. Cars.com surveyed more than 1,000 licensed drivers, and 83% named assembly location as an important factor in determining economic impact.”
Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.
San Francisco Chronicle
Uber and Lyft are both heading towards a future in which they’ll handle every conceivable way to get you from Point A to Point B — and in the process disrupt the very concept of personal car ownership.
Both ride-hailing companies have joined the many firms ready to release electric scooters, launch electric-bike rental services, provide rentals of people’s personal cars and use an app that will let users buy public transit tickets.
“Not many people in our country take bikes and scooters for utilitarian trips, for going to work, the grocery store, out at night even though it’s a low-cost healthy way to get around,” said Paul Mackie, director of research and communications at the Mobility Labs think tank. “It’s great that Uber and Lyft are putting money and publicity and building interest in these other great ways to travel. It lends credence to them as mobility companies, not just tech companies.”
Read the article at the San Francisco Chronicle.