Newsflash: Audi TT wordt een elektrische cross-over

0

+++ Makers of AIRLESS TIRES such as Bridgestone hope driverless cars will herald a breakthrough for their niche technology, which is more than a decade old but underperforms standard tires in every way except resistance to puncture. Autonomous driving (and the eventual introduction of self-driving taxis) could mean greater demand for puncture-resistant tires as greater usage of vehicles exposes them to more flat tires. “In the past, a car would be driven about 20 % of the time and spend the other 80 % in the garage”, Atsushi Ueshima of Bridgestone said at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show. “In the age of shared, autonomous vehicles, it will be the opposite, and preventing breakdowns will be a top priority”. Michelin pioneered the technology, showcasing the first prototype in 2005 on a wheelchair. The commercial launch came in 2012, but uses have so far been mostly limited to ride-on lawnmowers and golf carts, along with construction machinery, where the chance of a puncture is high. Truckmaker Hino used the motor show to display a vision of the future where electric, modular, people-to-parcel movers run on airless tires of its own design. Toyota showed a hydrogen-powered concept car fitted with Sumitomo Rubber Industries prototypes at the previous event in 2017. Michelin and General Motors have announced a joint research agreement aiming to have airless tires on passenger cars by as early as 2024. Testing starts this year on the Bolt electric vehicle in Michigan. For electrified vehicles (EV) in particular, the tires’ design (a band of rubber encircling polymer spokes around an aluminum hub) allows for motors to be fitted directly inside the wheel, opening up space in the chassis to extend leg room or expand the trunk. EV manufacturers also hope that airless tires will in the future weigh less than their standard cousins, allowing crucial extra kilometers of driving range given consumer concerns about running out of power far from the nearest charging station. So far though, making them more lightweight has proved difficult. Sumitomo Rubber says it has been able to reduce weight slightly by changing the shape of the polymer spokes, but the heft of the rubber tread still makes it a little heavier than current conventional tires. Structurally, too, there are challenges. Sumitomo Rubber has been able to increase the size of its prototypes somewhat since the last motor show, but it is still far from making them big enough and strong enough for a bus or truck. “There will definitely be demand for airless tires for commercial vehicles in the future, but making something than can support that weight is a really huge obstacle”, Hiroshi Ohigashi, of Sumitomo Rubber, said. Manufacturing costs are also a little higher than for pneumatic tires, but both Sumitomo Rubber and Bridgestone expect an eventual move to mass production would solve that. +++ 

+++ A few months ago, AUDI confirmed it would kill off its TT, and now additional details have surfaced about the vehicle that will replace the sports car. In May, Audi chairman Bram Schot said that the TT would be phased out and replaced by a “new emotive model in the same price range” with an all-electric powertrain. This vehicle will take the shape of an all-electric crossover. It’s claimed that Audi has been debating the future of the TT since 2014, when former boss Rupert Stadler proposed replacing it with a petrol-powered Sportback or a crossover. Since then, the automaker has fast-tracked its introduction of various electric models following dieselgate and decided that an electric crossover is the way to go that’s internally referred to as the ‘e-TTron’. The EV will reportedly be smaller than a Q3, at about 4.35 meters in length and be much lower and more streamlined than current crossover models being produced by Audi. Underpinning it will be the Volkswagen Group’s entry-level MEB architecture in a bid to keep costs down. VW’s MEB platform also happens to be very flexible, allowing the car manufacturer to offer a multitude of different variants with varying levels of performance. Sitting at the base of the range will be a rear-wheel drive model with a single electric motor delivering 204 hp. Taking a step up in the range will lead customers to a dual-motor, all-wheel drive model comparable to the current TT RS. Battery sizes of 45 kWh, 58 kWh and 78 kWh will e available, with ranges varying between 330 km and 550 km. +++ 

+++ BMW has told United States trade representatives that intensifying a global trade war could threaten jobs in South Carolina, chief executive Oliver Zipse said. An imposition of trade barriers would hamper the ability of BMW’s largest car factory, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina to export around 70 % of its produce across the globe, the German executive said. “If they do this, then we are all losers”, Zipse said of his discussions. “I have the impression they are listening carefully. The export model sustains many jobs in the United States”. The Spartanburg plant has not had to reduce production capacity so far but any additional barriers to global trade could change that, he said. +++ 

+++ HYUNDAI will offer autonomous ride sharing services in California from next month to study consumer behavior in an autonomous driving environment, the companies involved said. The South Korean carmaker will team up with Pony.ai, a self-driving start-up, and mobility service provider Via to build a fleet of at least 10 Kona Electric cars to provide autonomous ride-sharing services called BotRide in Irvine, California. Sequoia Capital China-backed Pony.ai, which has a partnership with Toyota, will build self-driving systems with Hyundai, while Via will develop mobile phone applications for the service, the companies said. While the vehicles will have self-driving functions, 2 safety operators will be onboard to take over if there is an emergency. The service will start on November 4. Hyundai has announced plans to invest $35 billion in mobility and other auto technologies by 2025. +++ 

+++ JAGUAR LAND ROVER (JLR) turned profitable in its latest quarter while working through a cost-cutting program. The UK automaker’s pretax profit was 156 million pounds ($200 million). Revenue rose 8 % to 6 billion pounds, JLR’s owner, Tata Motors, said. Tata Motors itself lost 2.17 billion rupees ($31 million) in the 3 months ended September 30, compared with a loss of 10.5 billion rupees a year earlier. Tata Motors has been hit by the worst-ever slump in India’s auto market and an economic slowdown in China that’s hurting demand for vehicles including Jaguar Land Rover’s premium offerings. Demand for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in China in now stabilizing, P.B. Balaji, group chief financial officer, said. JLR has suffered from quality issues and troubles with its dealership network in the world’s biggest auto market. In Europe, JLR is closing its UK factories for a week in November to guard against disruption to supply chains from a possible no-deal Brexit. The unit has almost completed a 2.5 billion-pound ($3.2 billion) savings drive that includes cutting thousands of jobs worldwide, the automaker said. Tata Motors bought JLR from Ford in 2008. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein last month described JLR as “severely challenged” and said Tata Motors should look at BMW as a buyer for the unit because the German company is “awash with cash”. The Tata Group, the Indian conglomerate that owns Tata Motors, is open to finding partners for the automaker but is not planning on selling the embattled division, chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in an interview this month. +++ 

+++ Tesla started selling its China-made MODEL 3 with an autopilot function priced from 355,800 yuan ($50,310), making it the company’s cheapest model on sale in the country. It suspended website sales of a less expensive variant of the same model, lacking an autopilot function, it had previously offered at 328,000 yuan ($46,389). The company surprised investors with a quarterly profit that sent its shares soaring this week, but it has yet to prove that it can be consistently profitable while managing the start of production at the Shanghai plant. Billionaire Elon Musk’s flagship company has started trial runs at its new $2 billion China factory ahead of schedule as it races to reach an ambitious target of an annualised production rate of 500,000 vehicles by end-2019. The company has obtained the certificate it needs to manufacture in the country, but analysts contend that uncertainties around labour and suppliers will make it a challenge to start mass production. Tesla is also in the process of obtaining a key certification needed to sell China-made cars in the country, it told local media, though it is unclear when the government will grant it sales clearance. The U.S.-made Model 3 has so far fared well in China, the world’s biggest car market. Sales likely surged more than 3-fold to 10,542 cars in the quarter ended September 30. +++ 

+++ Investors were chirpy after electric-car maker Tesla unveiled an unexpected profit for the third quarter. It also said its Shanghai factory is almost ready, putting icing on the cake. But founder Elon MUSK has over-promised before and there are questions about his China strategy. Traders who added almost a fifth to the company’s market value could use a pinch of salt. The $143 million net profit reported marked a welcome change from last quarter’s $408 million loss, and shares popped 18 % the following day. But the outperformance reflected cost cuts, not growing sales; automotive revenue fell 12 % from a year earlier. The new China factory could deliver a much-needed boost to volumes. It might take a while, though. Trial production is underway in Shanghai, but that only marks the end of the beginning. Final government approvals are still pending. Musk wants the facility to eventually produce almost a third of the 500,000 Model 3 units Tesla plans to churn out every year globally, but the initial production target is 1,000 units a week. The company notes that deliveries of premium sedans in the People’s Republic outstripped both North America and Europe last year. But that glosses over another inconvenient truth: the market is in the midst of an historic downturn. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects overall sales to drop 5 % this year. At the same time Beijing is winding down subsidies for new energy vehicles. Sales of electric autos fell by a third in September compared with the same month in 2018. There could be worse to come: new policies seem to favour hybrids, according to analysts at Bernstein. Tesla’s earlier models are aimed at wealthy consumers, which is good because that segment remains a bright spot in China. But Musk’s “Master Plan, Part Deux”, calls for “an affordable, high volume car” to take up most of the Shanghai plant’s capacity. The Model 3 is pricier than many Chinese rival’s electric cars, but it is less exclusive nevertheless. This could tarnish the brand’s appeal to well-heeled mainlanders, while being too expensive for ordinary buyers.  It’s possible the Model 3 could be an instant hit in the People’s Republic. That would be a surprise too. +++ 

+++ Renault is on the hunt for NEW PARTNERS to buy its cars and components as the automaker pushes ahead on a strategic review with “nothing off the table”. The review is expected to be completed within a few months and investors are hoping that will allow Renault to turn a page on months of uncertainty after the arrest last year of Renault-Nissan alliance boss Carlos Ghosn. All aspects of the business (including Renault’s longtime, high-profile participation in Formula One motor racing) are being examined, interim CEO Clotilde Delbos told analysts. Renault has been trying to regain momentum after Ghosn’s November 2018 arrest in Japan, on financial misconduct charges that he denies. Earlier this month, Renault’s alliance partner, Nissan, appointed a new CEO and days later Renault CEO Thierry Bollore (who had been appointed under Ghosn) was pushed out, to be replaced on an interim basis by Delbos, who is Renault finance director. On the call with analysts, she said there was little prospect of sales to partners rebounding in the near future, so the company would look for new partners to sell cars and components to. She did not give details on what kind of savings Renault was seeking with Nissan. She said the company hoped to conclude within a few months a review of its “Drive the Future” strategy, a plan that was launched in 2017 by Ghosn and which now is set to be changed as part of the alliance’s effort to put the Ghosn era behind it. F1 motor racing, a pet project of Ghosn’s that costs Renault millions of dollars to fund each year, is among everything being looked at, though it is not being targeted, she said. “Everything can be on the table at some point”, Delbos said. “It is too early to mention the routes we are working on, we need to refine, we have quite a few ideas already that have been put on paper, before we can announce everything, I guess in a few months”, she said. A plan for Renault to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was withdrawn by FCA after Nissan and the French state, which has a 15 % stake in Renault, failed to give their backing. Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on October 22 that a possible deal with FCA was not on the table for now, although he did not rule out it being re-examined at some stage in the future. +++ 

+++ NISSAN plans a new all-wheel-drive electric drivetrain, a sweeping pillar-to-pillar digital cockpit display and even a virtual-reality avatar to keep drivers company in their self-driving cars. The automaker unveiled its plans for a next-generation technology blitz here at its advanced technology center outside Tokyo this month. Some of the goodies (such as the full-electric AWD system) are closer to production than others. But the offerings underscore Nissan’s push to promote itself as a leader in the burgeoning fields of electrification, autonomous driving and connectivity. Among the powertrain developments, Nissan says it is working on its own solid-state battery technology for electric vehicles as well as a super-efficient internal combustion engine. Speaking during a briefing at the tech center, Kazuhiro Doi, Nissan vice president of R&D engineering, said solid-state batteries will be safer than today’s lithium ion batteries while offering greater energy density at lower costs. “This can be a real game changer”, Doi said. Nissan is developing the technology in-house with partners, added Atsushi Teraji, deputy general manager of powertrain and EV engineering. The solid-state batteries will likely be market-ready within 10 years, Teraji reckoned. Nissan is also working on more efficient internal combustion engines to use as an electricity generator in the company’s range of e-Power hybrid vehicles. Those vehicles use a small gasoline engine to charge a battery that runs an electric motor, which then turns the wheels. Nissan said the thermal efficiency of its engines is around 40 % today, but it expects to boost that to 50 % as early as 2040. Thermal efficiency is a measure of how much energy is lost to heat through internal combustion. A higher efficiency rate is better. Nissan believes it will get there through a combination of efforts, such as developing more efficient lean-burn combustion cycles, making improvements in heat recovery and taking new approaches to variable compression. Also in the works is a new twin-motor, all-electric awd system. It is expected to debut in a production crossover as early as 2020 and reach the U.S. in 2021. That vehicle is previewed by the Ariya Concept Nissan is revealing this week at the Tokyo Motor Show. A prototype drivetrain demonstrated for reporters at Nissan’s Oppama proving ground south of Tokyo had a 218 hp motor on each axle. They were powered by the 62 kWh lithium ion battery used in the Leaf Plus, the longer-range version of Nissan’s EV hatchback. Overall output of that system is limited to 310 hp because of the battery size. A larger battery would be able to produce more oomph, said Toshiyuki Nakajima, the lead engineer of the system. The actual production version will have different specifications, Nakajima noted. Engineers demonstrated the technology by wedging the new powertrain into a retrofitted Leaf. If the production version appears in an Ariya-inspired crossover, it would be expected to ride on a new dedicated EV platform jointly developed by Nissan and French partner Renault. The 2-motor system delivers high-torque, precision handling and outstanding stability, Nissan said. It achieves this by optimizing power delivery to each of the 4 wheels. Power flow to the front and rear motors can be independently controlled, while torque to the left and right wheels can be further modulated through coordinated braking. “This has a lot more precision than an internal combustion engine or even an ordinary EV”, Nakajima said, adding that the system has been in development for more than 3 years. Aside from exhilarating acceleration and sure-grip handling on slippery surfaces such as snow and wet pavement, dual-motor control also makes for smoother deceleration. By blending the braking of both the front and rear wheels, the car lurches less and eases the strain on passengers’ necks. Nakajima declined to say when it will reach market, but said, “We’re almost there”. The 2-motor system can be applied to a range of vehicle types, from SUVs and sedans to hatchbacks, and it can be mated to Nissan’s e-Power setup, Nakajima said. Another technology that can be found in the Ariya Concept is a new “seamless integrated” 2-screen cockpit display. It consists of two 12.3-inch screens mounted onto a single instrument panel. The one in front the driver shows the gauges. The one in the center column is touch sensitive and controls navigation and infotainment. It is expected to hit the market as early as next year. But that display is just a steppingstone toward the true goal of a screen that stretches the width of the cockpit. Nissan also showed a prototype of that system. Its whole front screen can project a live video stream of the road ahead, with superimposed digital navigation arrows to guide drivers to a specified destination. It is voice controlled and follows the driver’s line of sight to help predict what the driver wants to do. Engineers hope to have that for sale as soon as 2025. Nissan is turning to virtual reality in an effort to spice up the commute in a future when people aren’t tied down by having to drive themselves. With all that free time, drivers and passengers may want to connect with others who aren’t even in the car. Hence the development of Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible system. The invisible components are the people far away from the car: those at home, in school or at the office. They are made “visible” to people zooming down the highway through the magic of virtual-reality goggles and a high-speed 5G cellular connection. A Nissan demonstration of the technology had 2 women rigged with goggles and sensors beamed as virtual-reality avatars into a vehicle, where they could chat and interact as if sharing the car with its goggle-wearing passengers. Nissan envisions this being used to make the most of downtime in self-driving cars. Passengers can hold meetings, take guided tours or attend virtual classes. Still unknown is how practical this will be. The company says it could be commercialized as early as 2025, if public demand for virtual reality takes off. +++ 

+++ RENAULT ‘s revenue fell in the third quarter, weighed down by a drop in production at partners Nissan and Daimler, declining demand for diesel engines and a slowing global market. Revenue declined by 1.6 % to €11.296 billion, Renault said in a statement. Third-quarter vehicle sales were down 4.4 % to 852,198 units. Vehicle deliveries in Europe dropped 3.4 % percent, even as the market rose 2.4 %, the company said, blaming a strong year-ago comparison and the new revamped Clio still in the process of rolling out in the region. Some versions of the new Clio have experienced delays, a spokesman said. The decline mostly affected the Renault brand, with vehicle sales down 10 %. At the low-cost Dacia nameplate, deliveries jumped 9.3 %. In China, the world’s biggest car market where Renault has struggled to grow beyond a limited presence, sales plunged 16 %, outpacing a market decline three-fold. Issuing its quarterly results, Renault revised downwards its forecasts for the growth of the global auto market, saying it expected a year-on-year decline in 2019 of around 4 %, compared to around 3 % previously. In a profit warning last week, Renault had said sales were likely to drop between 3 % and 4 % this year, compared with its previous forecast for a similar outcome to 2018. The company also said last week its operating margin was set to come in at 5 %, versus a previous 6 % goal, as it struggles to contain research and development costs. In Renault’s main market of Europe, which accounted for half of vehicle sales last year, demand is likely to fall by as much as 1 %, compared with an earlier prediction for a flat market, the automaker said. Renault is currently looking for a new chief executive officer with automotive and international experience, after ousting Thierry Bollore, and appointing Clotilde Delbos as interim chief this month. In the past year, Renault has weathered the arrest in Japan of former CEO Carlos Ghosn on allegations of financial misconduct, which he denies, laying bare as-yet unresolved tensions with alliance partner Nissan. Nissan has since torpedoed a plan for Renault to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Nissan is battling its own challenges, including a slide in profits and mass job cuts. Renault owns 43.4 % of Nissan and has an industrial partnership with Daimler for light commercial vehicles, engines and small cars. Renault uses its plants to manufacture vehicles for Nissan and Daimler, and it is a specialist in making diesel engines for other automakers. Sales of the vehicles it makes for partners have slowed, with a knock-on effect on Renault’s revenue, while demand for diesel engines in Europe has declined. Renault said those effects were compounded by the closure of the Iranian market since last year as a result of U.S. trade sanctions. +++ 

+++ When Toyota launches its all-battery Lexus next year, the luxury model will be able to drive autonomously on highways, a big step for the Japanese automaker, which has so far trailed rivals in bringing SELF-DRIVING CARS to market. Announced at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, the new Lexus shows how Toyota is putting its research on self-driving technology to work in cars that have limited automation. That strategy comes as more automakers, and even governments, are taking a longer view toward artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars, paring back development targets after fatal accidents in Tesla cars have shown the complexity of the technology. Right now, component manufacturers and venture companies working on the technology “are revising their timeline for AI deployment significantly”, executive vice president Shigeki Tomoyama told a small group of reporters this week. While Toyota is using the motor show to tout its push to become a “future mobility company” showcasing futuristic, AI-based driving companions and miniature delivery robots, on the sidelines, Tomoyama injected a dose of reality about the pace of developing future cars. “Right from the get-go, we figured it’s going to be a time-consuming endeavor”, he said. “There’s no particular need to rethink the time frame for our AI self-drive technology investment and development”. Toyota next year will release its first so-called Level 2 autonomous car, capable of driving itself on the highway, “from entrance to exit, with traffic merging capability”, Tomoyama said. Other automakers already market Level 2 cars, but a growing number are pushing out their schedules to develop future autonomous technologies, citing the high hurdle to clear before enabling cars to perform more driving tasks. Nissan also has abandoned an earlier in-house target to develop cars which can drive themselves on city streets by 2020. At the moment, its cars are able to drive on highways and park autonomously. To develop the more advanced Level 3 hands-free automated driving technology, Nissan will need at least until the late 2020s, Tetsuro Ueda, an expert at Nissan’s mobility service research center, told reporters this month. Volkswagen is also grappling with the size of the challenge. “We really thought at the beginning, it would be just maybe next year or so”, said Aria Etemad, a project manager at Volkswagen Group Research. “But as we dig into that topic, we see huge complexities that we are facing”. Tesla is a notable exception to the cautious view. Chief executive Elon Musk told investors that Tesla could release software to enable “fully functional full self-driving” capability by the end of this year. However, Musk qualified that by saying cars would still need to be “supervised” by a human driver. By the end of next year, Musk said Tesla hopes to release autonomous driving software “reliable enough that you do not need to pay attention”. But he added “acceptance by regulatory authorities will vary by jurisdiction”. It’s not just car manufacturers that are tempering expectations. Singapore, a pioneer for practical testing of autonomous vehicles, has struck a more cautious tone. “We are not in a rush to be the first adopter”, Khaw Boon Wan, the transport minister, said this week. “I look forward to a larger-scale adoption of AV (Autonomous Vehicle) technology in Singapore, but I think this will not be in the near future”. The comments surprised industry experts who view Singapore as the ideal test bed for driverless vehicles given its wealth, small size and top-notch infrastructure. The city state has even created a test zone for driverless vehicles with traffic lights, bus stops and a rain simulator. “If Singapore is saying this, then maybe other governments will follow suit”, said Hussein Dia, professor of future urban mobility at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. “Whatever comes out of Singapore, the world watches and listens”, he added, referring to its driverless expertise. General Motors’ self-driving unit, Cruise, said earlier this year it was delaying the commercial deployment of cars past its target of 2019 as more testing of the vehicles was required. In GM’s case, unexpected technical challenges, including the difficulty for cars to identify whether objects are in motion, are requiring the company to take more time and caution to develop its technology, sources have told. The Japanese components maker Denso, Toyota’s biggest supplier, believes it will take years for the technology for fully self-driving cars to hit the roads. For now it is working toward developing cars that can accelerate and brake on their own with driver monitoring. “The most difficult aspect of developing these driving systems is to anticipate unexpected movements in the vehicle’s surroundings”, said Hajime Kumabe, the head of Denso’s engineering R&D center in Tokyo. +++ 

+++ Jaguar Land Rover owner TATA MOTORS posted a smaller-than-expected loss in the second quarter as a pick up in sales of its luxury car in China helped it ride out weak vehicles sales in India, its home market. Improved sales for JLR is an indication of recovery for the iconic British brand which had been hit by a trend to move away from diesel cars towards cleaner fuels in markets such as China and Britain. Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008 for $2.3 billion. The company launched a revival plan last year to revive JLR business. Revenue from the unit rose 8 % to 6 billion pounds ($7.69 billion) during the quarter, the company said. However, overall revenue for Tata Motors fell 9 % to 654.32 billion rupees as India’s auto industry struggles from a slump in demand for vehicles due to a credit squeeze in its shadow-banking sector and higher insurance costs. +++ 

+++ TESLA shares soared 17 % after the electric carmaker surprised Wall Street by delivering on chief executive officer Elon Musk’s promise of a profit in the third quarter, even as doubts remained about its long-term prospects. Trading at $298, Tesla’s market capitalization was $53 billion, surpassing General Motors’ $51 billion stock market value and making it the United States’ most valuable car company. It has been the No. 1 U.S. car company by market cap before, but recently GM has had a substantial lead. Tesla reported a quarterly profit, citing improvements in operating efficiency and a reduction in manufacturing and material costs. The strong report unleashed a bloodbath on traders shorting Tesla, the second most shorted U.S. company, after Apple, in terms of the overall amount of money shorted. With $10.5 billion bet against Tesla, short sellers suffered paper losses of $1.4 billion, erasing 70 % of the profits they had logged in 2019, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm. Tesla’s shares remain down 10 % year to date. Tesla’s $1.8 billion junk bond due in August 2025 surged 3 points in price following the results, driving its yield to the lowest since March 2018. “A strong step forward, yet Tesla will need to put together a string of similar data points to demonstrate the sustainability of results and its track record has been spotty on this”, said analysts at brokerage Credit Suisse. At least 8 brokerages raised their price targets on Tesla shares, while the company’s average rating on Wall Street remained “hold”, with just 11 of 34 analysts recommending investors buy the stock. Investors in the past have shown impatience with the company’s serial failures to meet financial and production targets and shares in the company are still down more than a third from their 2018 peak of almost $390. The company has been struggling with margins and a new Chinese factory is expected to be help on that front, but analysts said the jury was still out on whether it can sustain the push into profitability. +++ 

+++ There appears to be a budding friendship between the bosses of the VOLKSWAGEN Group and Tesla, the electric-car company suddenly back on the ascent. At an event where VW was presenting the new Golf, chief Herbert Diess quibbled with reporters who suggested Tesla is in trouble because it’s too small. “Tesla is not niche”, Diess said. “The Model 3 is a large-series model and they are one of the biggest manufacturers of electric-car batteries”. “We have a lot of respect for Tesla”, Diess continued. “It’s a competitor we take very seriously”. The words of praise may have been a response in kind to Musk, 48, who tweeted last month that Diess was “doing more than any big carmaker to go electric”. 4 years after VW admitted to cheating on diesel-emissions tests, it’s committed to spend almost $50 billion on electric vehicles. The first of a new family of core-brand EVs, the ID3, will launch next year. +++

Reageren is niet mogelijk.