General Motors believes in an all-electric future

DETROIT — General Motors announced today how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, recently announced by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”

In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023.

Given customers’ various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements.

GM also introduced SURUS — the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS could be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance — all emissions free.

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Is Hyundai thinking about buying FCA?

This is from a question posted on TFLcar.com’s “Ask Nathan” weekly post.

You can read the whole column (here).

Q:Hi Guys, it is true that Hyundai will buy FCA?

Is this for real? If it is true, what’s going to happen to Jeep and Ram?1!? I have nothing against Hyundai, but this seems like a drastic idea. Hyundai is known for smart sensible engineering. As Nathan puts it, everything Italian is built for an emotional connection. They are two completely different philosophies with Hyundai appealing to the brain and Fiat battling for your soul. Also =, with all the instability in Korea, is it such a good idea to absorb a company that American consumers are so reliant on?

What’s your take?

Love your Ike Gauntlet and off road shows!
‘Schmitty

 

A: Hi Schmitty!

Normally, emails take time to post, but your email is rather timely. I just caught wind of this through our friends at Carscoops.com. I investigated this rumor and found out that – yes – there is some truth to the rumor.

My take? If this happens (and that’s a big “IF”), I think Hyundai would gradually make changes to allow the cash-cows of FCA (Jeep and Ram) to expand a bit while they get rid of models that are undesirable or competitive with their brands. I think they would kill off vehicles like the Fiat 500L, Chrysler 300C, Dodge Journey and more. They would plan to platform-share as well; perhaps something like a Chrysler sedan based on a Genesis platform?

There are lots of possibilities. The bottom line in my book is: this could be a good thing. It would make Hyundai the largest automaker on the planet, add to FCA’s financial stability and it would give Hyundai something its wanted for decades, a competitive pickup truck.

N

 

A: Hi Schmitty!

Normally, emails take time to post, but your email is rather timely. I just caught wind of this through our friends at Carscoops.com. I investigated this rumor and found out that – yes – there is some truth to the rumor.

My take? If this happens (and that’s a big “IF”), I think Hyundai would gradually make changes to allow the cash-cows of FCA (Jeep and Ram) to expand a bit while they get rid of models that are undesirable or competitive with their brands. I think they would kill off vehicles like the Fiat 500L, Chrysler 300C, Dodge Journey and more. They would plan to platform-share as well; perhaps something like a Chrysler sedan based on a Genesis platform?

There are lots of possibilities. The bottom line in my book is: this could be a good thing. It would make Hyundai the largest automaker on the planet, add to FCA’s financial stability and it would give Hyundai something its wanted for decades, a competitive pickup truck.

2017 Hot Rod Rock and Rumble car show at PPIR Starts this Friday, September 30th!

 

Come one, come all, come on you rockers!

The Autowerkz.TV crew hopes to see you at the 2017 Hot Rod Rock and Rumble car show at the Pikes Peak International Raceway 2017 Hot Rod Rock and Rumble car show at the Pikes Peak (PPIR), located near Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Vintage hot rods, racecars and rockabilly bands will be on hand along with vendors, great food and a dance party on Friday, September 29th!

The address is: 16650 Midway Ranch Rd, Fountain, CO 80817

For more information, go to http://www.HOTRODROCK.com

We hope to see you there!

The Best Off-Road Pickup Truck “Ever?” [TFLtruck Video]

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was built to take on the toughest off-road obstacles. This isn’t just lip-service, with front and rear locking differentials, a serious off-road suspension and belly armor (the tires were “pretty good”) – the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 took on a legendary off-road obstacle while the boys at TFLtruck filmed.

Check it out!

India is Shifting to All-Electric Cars VERY Soon

Recently, India officially committed to reducing emissions bu 37% and to sell only electric vehicles by 2030. This is one of the most ambitious announcements regarding electrification next to China’s new commitment to all-electric vehicles.

“This is part of the Narendra Modi government’s vision to helm a renewable-energy revolution in the country. It reckons that the automobile sector’s massive conversion will cut its oil bill by some $60 billion, reduce emissions by 37%, and curb the burgeoning demand for road infrastructure over the next 13 years.” – – Quartz India (online magazine)


They go on to say: “As a precursor, India’s new and renewable energy ministry has been appointed the nodal agency to help procure some 10,000 electric cars this year to replace existing government vehicles.
Various state governments are making their own plans in this regard.

Last week, the southern state of Karnataka approved a policy to promote research & development in electric mobility. It has now made it mandatory to have charging points and pods in all high rises. Maharashtra had waived various taxes for EVs when it became India’s first state to have an electric mass mobility system—in May, taxi aggregator Ola began operating 200 EVs, including taxis, buses, e-rickshaws, and auto-rickshaws in the state’s Nagpur city.”

Considering the fact that India is already taking serious steps towards automotive electrification, the future of electric cars in one of the most populous places on earth looks like a good one indeed.

Autowerkz.TV’s 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel V6 4WD

We were lucky enough to secure a 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel V6 4WD for a week’s worth of use. Full disclosure: FCA/Dodge agreed to loan it to Autowerkz.TV for a one week loan

It was a brilliant shuttle, assisting in the transport of over thirty dinner guests from airport to hotel and hotel to dinner party. During that time, we used every inch of its seven-seat capacity. It hauled people, film gear, bicycles, luggage and food platters (enough Hors d’oeuvres for 200 people) that were piled floor to ceiling in the Durango.

It performed flawlessly and more than one guest at the massive dinner party were considering purchasing one by the end of the evening.

There are a few things you need to know about the Dodge Durango with the 293-hp 3.6-liter V6:

It moves: 0 to 60 mph happens in about 7.5 seconds. It’s mid-pack among challengers.
It pulls: Maximum of 6,200 lbs – that’s best-in-class.
It sips: Combined fuel efficiency is 21 mpg. It’s mid-pack among its challengers.
It looks: good…
It is reasonable: MSRP* for the 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel 4WD starts at $43,995


Weak points? Just a few, minor issues.

We wish it had heated and cooled seats front and back. We think the automated breaks, the ones that stop you if you’re too slow engaging them, are far too sensitive. We also wish the exhaust note was beefier… but that’s all.

In this class, with its overall ability, luxury, fun-to-drive appeal and 4WD traction – the 2017 Dodge Durango Citadel 4WD is hard to beat.

Off-Road Hybrids and the Shape of Future Off-Road Electric Cars [Autowerkz.TV Interview]

Recently, Autowerkz.TV had an opportunity to interview an industry insider who follows hybrids and electric cars. While he asked for his name to be omitted, (his publication rarely allows him to ‘officially’ post outside interviews) his professional credentials are impeccable.

Autowerkz.TV: Thanks for meeting with us, we know you’re busy.

Insider: No problem. I like what Autowerkz (Autowerkz.TV) is trying to do.

Autowerkz.TV: Can you share with our viewers what you told me about off-road hybrid and electric vehicles?

Insider: Will do. Many of my cohorts in the automotive and high tech industries have seen a shift in research regarding near-future electric and hybrid vehicles.

Autowerkz.TV: Can you elaborate?

Insider: Automakers realise that, in North America, a disproportionate amount of consumers buy trucks. The Ford F-150 is still one of the most popular vehicles in the USA. A majority of those trucks (including trucks from GM, Ram, Toyota and Nissan) are 4x4s. Automakers know that, if they hope to make inroads into the truck market, they need to build hybrid and all-electric trucks.

Autowerkz.TV: Didn’t we get a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 hybrid?

Insider: That’s a poor example. It’s a half-step at best. Automakers need to make a compelling argument for (plug-in) hybrid and electric trucks.

Autowerkz.TV: Can’t they already point to the torque and capability of electric motors?

Insider: Soon you’ll see vehicles like the Bollinger SUV destroy off-road trails. It should be very impressive, but it’s just a drop in the bucket. Until we see a Silverado, Ram or F-150 out-perform its gas counterparts using electricity, it’s just a novelty.

Autowerkz.TV: What about Tesla?

Insider: Tesla should have built an electric pickup truck a year ago. As it stands. Tesla charges too much for its vehicles as it is. No practical truck lover is going to spend $100,000 on a pickup truck. Sure, trucks are already expensive, my neighbor bought a F-250 for almost $70,000. But that truck can go almost 600 miles on a tank of diesel and it can haul his trailer and toys reliably – for many years.

Autowerkz.TV: This leads us up to the purpose of this interview, what can you tell us about the future of plug-in hybrid and electric trucks?

Insider: It looks like just about every automaker that sells or WILL sell trucks in America is looking at the possibility of using plug-in hybrid systems and all-electric power. Out of all of these automakers, I think Nissan will be one of the first to introduce an all-electric truck or van. We’ve already sampled a Nissan NV200 Electric, which is basically an NV200 with a Leaf power module. It worked well. Nissan is a pioneer in mass-marketing electric vehicles and I think they will be the first large automaker to introduce an electric or, possibly, a plug-in hybrid pickup truck to this market.

Autowerkz.TV: We’ll keep an eye out and we appreciate the information.

Curious about the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s Performance? [Video]

If you were waiting for an honest, first hand assessment of the driving impressions of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, we have a great video for you. The boys at TFLcar went out east to test the 707 horsepower, all-wheel drive monster on country roads, highway and a brand new racetrack.

You can read the story behind the driving impressions (here).

Check out this video!

Odd Truck Dragrace: Diesel vs Big Displacement at High Elevation! [TFLtruck video]

 

Photo via: TFLtruck.com

These boys love to race just about anything against each other. Minivans, crossovers, sports cars, electric cars and – yes – even big trucks. This time it’s old vs older as Roman Mica and Andre (the Cowboy) Smirnov race their own vehicles against each other.

“What happens when you Drag race a old Ford Raptor vs an older Heavy Duty Silverado with the Duramax Turbo Diesel? Watch this video to find out.”

 

Mazda Donates to Help Hurricane Victims

 

Via: TFlcar.com

While Mazda is a fairly small automaker, they tend to punch above their weight-class. Not just in automobiles, which have impressed the TFL team over the years, but in charitable causes. The Mazda Foundation, Inc. and Mazda North American Operations announced that they will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief fund.

Photo via: Tflcar.com

In the past few years, I’ve seen several charitable causes Mazda has donated to in times of need. You can click (here) to read about the Mazda connection to the SPCA or (here) to read about their generous contribution to the earthquake relief fund for Nepal. These are just some of the ones I covered. There are many other causes Mazda has donated to over the years. Yes, other automakers are generous as well – but I admire a small automaker that wants to make a difference.

Here’s a summary of their recent announcement: The Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. and Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) together are donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief fund to help those being impacted.

If you would like to make a personal contribution to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund, please click this link.

In addition to this story, I would like to mention (this link) which will take you to the New York Times page that features many hurricane relief scams that are out there.