Lordstown Motors was sort of the homegrown hero of recent EV startups: an impressive electric truck designed and built in America. However, everything is not as it seems with Lordstown, if a recent report is accurate.
Many if not most of these orders aren’t actually orders. Hindenburg Research calls them “mirages.”
The research indicates that the pre-orders weren’t actually pre-orders. They are nonbinding letters of intent to purchase, essentially a piece of paper saying customers intend to purchase but aren’t contractually obligated to do so.
Read the article at Jalopnik.
Canoo is adding a ton of practical work features to the new model to its line-up of already slightly unusual electric vehicles.
Canoo’s truck is close in stature to the new Ford F-150, coming in about as high and two inches narrower, though on a wheelbase 10 inches shorter. Because it has no combustion drivetrain to accommodate, though, its extended cab is pushed far forward, giving its bed more space than the Ford.
A more complete sheet of specs is promised closer to launch, and that it’ll open pre-orders for its subscription-only pickup in the second quarter of 2022. Deliveries are slated to follow in 2023, by which time we’ll have a better idea of how the Canoo stacks up against offerings from Rivian, GMC, and Ford, arriving in that order over a year or so starting this summer.
Read the article at The Drive.
General Motors announced a new joint venture with SolidEnergy Systems, a spinoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is focused on improving the energy density in lithium-ion batteries.
“In the long run, what this is going to mean is more range and lower cost,” Kent Helfrich, executive director of GM’s global electrification and battery systems said. “And it’ll also mean most likely smaller batteries, so a lighter weight vehicle.”
The first vehicle to be built with an Ultium battery will be the forthcoming GMC Hummer EV, which the company says will have an estimated 350 miles of range. The Hummer is expected to go into production at the end of 2021.
Read the article at The Verge.
Car and Driver
When you’re driving on a public road, your license plate is public information. Cameras used as license plate readers (LPRs) can be mounted on stationary infrastructure like traffic lights or on things that move, like police cars or garbage trucks.
A discussion about massive data collection by cameras that can automatically read vehicle license plates has been going on for about a decade now. Most states do not have any explicit regulation on LPRs, which means their use was fairly wide open.
Law enforcement, unsurprisingly, is generally in favor of automatic LPRs. Chicago police said in 2020 that LPRs could help them solve more expressway shootings. In 2018, a Florida sheriff’s office said it used LPRs to recover stolen cars and a person wanted for sex crimes in another state. In a more recent case, the Journal noted, LPRs were used to arrest “a number of suspected rioters” who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Read the article at Car and Driver.
Fleet Management Weekly Staff
Although subrogation ensures fair compensation after an accident, too many fleets leave money on the table due to inexperience and the inordinate amount of time it takes to pursue owed compensation.
Yes, the collection process is complex. It is time-consuming and obstacle ridden. The amount of time it takes to investigate a claim fully, gather the proper recovery documentation, and negotiate a settlement places a heavy burden on already-busy fleet departments.
The onerous work and length of negotiations for subrogation has given rise to subrogation specialists, and more fleet operations now rely on dedicated and skilled subrogation experts who know how to collect every dollar that is rightfully owed to the fleet.
Drivers are using adaptive cruise control (ACC) as a tool for speeding, possibly undermining the feature’s potential safety benefits, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found.
ACC is a more advanced version of traditional cruise control that uses sensors to calculate and maintain a preselected following distance from the vehicle ahead, eliminating the need for the driver to repeatedly brake and reset the system. With the addition of lane centering, the vehicle also maintains its position within the travel lane automatically.
Drivers are substantially more likely to speed when using ACC or partial automation that combines that feature with lane centering than when not using either technology, the study showed. When selecting a speed to “set and forget,” many drivers choose one that’s over the limit.
Read the article at IIHS.
By Richard Mallek, Director of Business Development, FLD
Each quarter, FLD produces our quarterly White Metal Market Report, an in depth look at the factors affecting the wholesale used vehicle market.
And as in just about every industry, Covid has made predicting the future of the wholesale used vehicle – or really any used vehicle – market an exercise in futility. From shuttered businesses, to sheltering in place, the world is a much different place than any of us could have imagined just one short year ago.
Looking back, most of the companies and industries we work with were at a virtual standstill once the pandemic hit. And for the first few months, little happened as fleets took a wait and see attitude.
Then, something very surprising happened. Suddenly, the remarketing business kicked back into gear, and the second half of 2020 was a flurry of activity.