The Detroit Bureau
Amazon plans to add another 1,800 battery-electric delivery vans to its growing fleet, this time turning to Mercedes-Benz to supply the zero-emissions vehicles for use in Europe.
The new vans will quickly roll into operation in Europe, but Amazon will have to wait until 2022 before it begins taking delivery of the new vans being developed for its U.S. operations by start-up Rivian. Eventually, that fleet will include 100,000 of the new, zero-emissions models, the biggest order to date by Rivian, which landed $2.5 billion in new funding last month from a consortium of investors led by T. Rowe Price.
While Amazon may be pushing to bring climate change under control, there’s a more practical and “completely unemotional” reason for the surge in EV demand, said Pat Romano, the CEO of ChargePoint. As battery costs drop and useful range increases, all-electric vehicles are both easier to maintain and cheaper to operate.
Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.
A recent study conducted by Compare the Market, an automotive insurance comparison website based in the United Kingdom, discovered the top five dirtiest parts of a car’s interior—and let’s just say that if you’re the type who constantly eats in your car—it might make you reconsider.
Ten vehicles ranging from family cars and luxury vehicles to work vans, were swabbed in the following places: shifter, indicator stalks, steering wheel, driver seatbelt and seat, interior door handle, windshield, stereo/touchscreen, and rearview mirror. The study also swabbed a toilet seat at an office building to have a comparison in bacteria levels.
According to the results, the dirtiest area of a car is the stereo with total Relative Light Units (RLU) reading that was 371 percent dirtier than an office toilet seat. In second place was the shifter. That is gross, but not surprising considering how many objects we grab, touch, and scratch before reaching for the stereo volume knob or touchscreen.
Read the article at The Drive.
The Detroit News
Voyage and May Mobility, two autonomous-vehicle companies that charge riders to go on simple, specialized routes, are putting UV-light emitters in their shuttles to help keep their services running. The rays are already used in ambulances and can destroy viruses, fungus and bacteria between rides.
The effort echoes Avis Budget Group Inc.’s move to market its partnership with Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc to boost disinfection protocols for its rental cars. Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. also have taken steps to keep riders safe, though both are transporting far fewer people than before Covid-19.
Voyage’s service offers low speed trips on predictable routes to riders in two massive retirement communities in California and Florida. The company is putting the UV system in its third-generation vehicle – a retrofitted Chrysler Pacifica minivan – that costs half as much as previous models, helping make the roughly $2,000 added cost of the UV system more palatable. The new vehicle also can run without a safety driver.
Read the article at The Detroit News.
Detroit Free Press
The latest version of the American Customer Satisfaction Index shows that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, maker of Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs, actually improved its score compared to a year ago. That can’t be said for either General Motors or Ford.
The survey is based on interviews with 10,414 customers, “chosen at random and contacted via email between July 1, 2019, and June 14, 2020,” so the period covered also includes the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic.
“A year ago, Fiat Chrysler was the biggest loser in satisfaction, but for 2020, the carmaker rebounds 3% to tie with GM at 77. The improvement brings Fiat Chrysler … in line with both GM and Ford for the first time in five years. While the company benefits from high and stable satisfaction for its Ram nameplate, both Dodge and the self-named Chrysler brand post positive driver satisfaction upswings this year,” the report said.
Read the article at Detroit Free Press.
Coming from California, it should be no surprise that Senator Harris has a long record of action on climate change including investigating Exxon Mobil in 2016, voting against repeals of methane emissions, and sponsoring the resolution of disapproval for the 2019 rollbacks on power plant carbon pollution limits.
It is unlikely that Harris would “drive” fuel-efficiency regulations to more painful heights, though, since automotive manufacturers are already facing international pressures regarding fuel economy.
Specific to the automotive industry, Harris opposed the Trump Administration’s attempts to reverse the Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. A more likely influence might be the introduction of “… incentives for cars to be replaced with zero-emission vehicles manufactured in America, and extra, targeted assistance for low and middle-income families.” Harris said emphatically during a 2019 Town Hall that, “By my plan, by 2045 we will have basically zero emission vehicles only,” but her climate plan calls for 100% of vehicles as soon as 2035.
Read the article at Forbes.
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory was the target of a concerted plot to cripple the company’s network with malware, CEO Elon Musk confirmed.
The plan’s outline was divulged on Tuesday in a criminal complaint that accused a Russian man, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov of offering $1 million to the employee of a Nevada company, identified only as “Company A,” in exchange for the employee infecting the company’s network. The employee reported the offer to Tesla and later worked with the FBI in a sting that involved him covertly recording face-to-face meetings discussing the proposal.
“The purpose of the conspiracy was to recruit an employee of a company to surreptitiously transmit malware provided by the coconspirators into the company’s computer system, exfiltrate data from the company’s network, and threaten to disclose the data online unless the company paid the coconspirators’ ransom demand,” prosecutors wrote in the complaint. “This was a serious attack,” Elon Musk says.
Read the article at Ars Technica.
McKinsey & Company
In these stressful, surreal times, it’s understandable for CEOs to fixate on urgent corporate priorities at the expense of more intangible, personal considerations. How important is getting your people to think about their “purpose in life” right now when you’re worried about their well-being—not to mention corporate survival?
It’s more important than you think. During times of crisis, individual purpose can be a guidepost that helps people face up to uncertainties and navigate them better, and thus mitigate the damaging effects of long-term stress. Purposeful people also live longer and healthier lives.
Purpose can be an important contributor to employee experience, which in turn is linked to higher levels of employee engagement, stronger organizational commitment, and increased feelings of well-being. People who find their individual purpose congruent with their jobs tend to get more meaning from their roles, making them more productive and more likely to outperform their peers.
Read the article at McKinsey & Company.