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February 2024
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The Economist (February 3)

2024/ 02/ 04 by jd in Global News

Between 2012 and 2022, half of the Americans who adopted EVs and PHEVs were “living in the 10% of counties with the highest proportion of Democratic voters.” Polarization may best the biggest obstacle limiting “the American market for electric vehicles.” Polarization “is cursing not only America’s politics but, increasingly, its culture and marketplace.”


Wall Street Journal (September 19)

2022/ 09/ 21 by jd in Global News

“A few years ago, auto executives weren’t sure there would be enough buyers for plug-in electric models. Now, they worry they can’t build them fast enough, while they intensify a multibillion-dollar rush to accelerate timelines and bring factories online.” In July, EVs and PHEVs accounted for “five of the six fastest-selling vehicles in the U.S,” where EVs have tripled in vehicle share over the past two years as “sales of other types of vehicles have declined.” Waiting lists now exceed a year for new electric models at GM and Ford.


Bloomberg (July 27)

2019/ 07/ 28 by jd in Global News

With over 300 million vehicles, China’s fleet is the world’s largest and the impact will be increasingly felt worldwide. “Secondhand car exports are starting modestly and the country will take time to catch up to more established players.” Still, it’s clear that “China will have more used cars to sell than anybody and its export business will inevitably grow into the world’s biggest.” This will place pressure on new vehicle sales as well. “Global automakers might want to strap on their seatbelts.”


Bloomberg (June 30)

2016/ 07/ 02 by jd in Global News

“In total, Toyota recalled 3.4 million vehicles worldwide on Wednesday…. Kind of a big deal, but you won’t find a hint of it on the company’s investor relations site, or its global corporate newsroom or SEC filings.” While “Toyota is doing right by its customers” and notifying them of these problems, “it’s letting its shareholders down by making that information so difficult to quantify at a company level.” Toyota isn’t even “the most egregious offender.” That distinction arguably goes to Takata, but Toyota certainly has an opportunity to improve information disclosure.


The Economist (June 27)

2015/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Electric buses in parts of South Korea, Italy, Britain and California are, today, recharging themselves from underground wireless chargers.” Wireless charging isn’t new. Nicholas Tesla used resonant induction in the 19th century, but it may finally prove revolutionary. From mobile phones to cars and kitchen appliances, “sales of such machines, now half a billion dollars a year, will grow 30-fold over the next decade.” Furthermore, the technology may succeed in “decarbonising the world’s road vehicles.”


USA Today (November 9)

2014/ 11/ 10 by jd in Global News

Instead of urgent action to remove defective air bags from vehicles, “air bag maker Takata and its biggest customer, Honda, conducted glacial, piecemeal recalls that have left drivers in jeopardy.” Why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn’t done more remains a mystery, though it’s clear why the other parties have dallied. “The problem might pose an existential threat” for Takata. “And for Honda, finding and replacing the faulty air bags—installed in many models for many years—imposes a massive cost.”


Chicago Tribune (February 18, 2014)

2014/ 02/ 19 by jd in Global News

“Automakers have outfitted their vehicles with cutting-edge technology that goes way beyond the now-common mapping and music options. New cars these days act like smartphones on wheels.” While some new features improve safety, others create dangerous distraction. “Like so much of the digital world, car-borne technology is changing fast. Government watchdogs and corporate innovators should work together to accelerate progress, while keeping motorists safe.”