Posts with «autos» label

Tesla has won the EV charging wars

Stellantis is the latest manufacturer to commit to using Tesla’s NACS (North American Charging Standard). The company was the last remaining holdout among major automakers, meaning the NACS is becoming a true common standard.

According to a press release, electric vehicles from Stellantis brands (which include Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Ram, Jeep and Alfa Romeo) will start using the NACS connector in select models next year. The automaker will also offer an adaptor for existing vehicles, meaning drivers will be able to charge using either NACS or Combined Charging System (CCS) ports.

Stellantis says its embrace of the NACS builds on its commitment with six other automakers to build a network of more than 30,000 fast charging points on highways and in urban areas in North America by 3030. These stations will support NACS and CCS.

The automaker has joined the likes of Volkswagen, GM, Volvo, Polestar, Mercedes, Honda, BMW and Lucid in supporting the NACS. EV charging network operators ChargePoint and Electrify America also pledged to adopt the NACS after Tesla open sourced the connector in late 2022.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Porsche's new Taycan EVs have more range, faster acceleration and a higher price

Porsche first debuted its first EV line, Taycan, in 2019, and now it's giving the series a revamp. The high-end car manufacturer has announced the 2025 Taycan sports sedan, Cross Turismo and Sport Turismo models, featuring "a particularly extensive update." 

The 2025 Taycan EVs have "reached new heights in terms of performance, with exceptional driving dynamics and driving pleasure," Kevin Giek, head of the Taycan model line, said in a statement. "At the same time, we were able to significantly improve efficiency, range, day-to-day usability and comfort." Updates include faster acceleration, with the rear-wheel drive Taycan sedan shooting from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds — 0.6 seconds faster than its predecessor. The Turbo S sedan makes the same jump in 2.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.3 seconds. 

In terms of power, there's 430 bhp behind the base Taycan, while the Turbo reaches 872 bhp. The top-spec Turbo S, however, hits a mighty 940 bhp (up from 750 bhp in previous models). 

Porsche also claims its 2025 Taycan line has a 35 percent better range with up to 422 miles between charges, helped by improved regeneration. Juicing up should also be quicker as it can charge using up to 320kW (that's 50kW more than previous models) via an 800-volt DC charging station. Other new standard features include adaptive air suspension, Lane Change Assist and a heated steering wheel. On the outside, Taycan models have been given a slight design refresh, which include high-resolution matrix headlights.

The 2025 Taycan line starts at $99,400 for the entry-level model and reaches $211,700 for the Turbo S Cross Turismo. Porsche adds another $1,995 to each order for delivery, processing and handling. Porsche says the new Taycan models will be available starting in the spring, and it looks like they'll hit the United States in the summer or fall. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Tesla recalls over 2 million EVs because the warning light text is too small

Tesla is having to conduct another mass-scale recall of its electric vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the font size on several instrument panel warning lights is too small per federal guidelines. As such, the company is recalling nearly 2.2 million EVs — almost every car it has sold in the US — to resolve the issue.

Thankfully, for both Tesla and its customers, the automaker won’t require drivers to bring their EV to a dealer or repair shop. It will issue a fix via an over-the-air update.

The NHTSA discovered the problem during a routine safety compliance audit last month. It found that the text on the brake, park and antilock brake warning lights is smaller than required under federal rules. The agency noted that can make it hard to read the information, which could increase the likelihood of a crash.

Affected EVs are the Model S (model years 2012-2023), Model X (2016-2023), Model 3 (2017-2023), Model Y (2019-2024) and the Cybertruck. Tesla has not received any reports of injuries or crashes related to the issued, though it has found three potentially linked warranty claims.

In December, Tesla issued a similarly large-scale recall due to an Autopilot issue. It was also able to resolve that with an OTA update. Since then, it has issued other recalls connected to door safety and backup camera issues, each of which affected more than 120,000 vehicles.

Meanwhile, as the Associated Press reports, the NHTSA has upgraded an investigation into steering issues. The agency is conducting an engineering analysis. That brings the probe, which covers more than 334,000 vehicles, closer to a recall.

The NHTSA opened the investigation last July after receiving 12 reports of steering control loss in 2023 Model Y and Model 3 EVs. Since then, the agency has received 115 complaints related to the issue, which it has obtained another 2,176 from Tesla after seeking information from the automaker. One of the complaints is linked to a crash.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Volvo pauses deliveries of its EX30 due to software issues

Volvo's EX30 EV was a hit from the get-go thanks in part to the use of technology, along with the relatively low $35,000 price tag. However, its reliance on that tech is apparently catching up to it (much as it has for other recent vehicles), as the automaker has delayed deliveries in Europe due to software bugs, Automotive News has reported. 

"We confirm that Volvo is working tirelessly to resolve the problem," the company told Automotive News Europe. "Important progress has been made but the software version 1.2 does not yet meet all the requirements necessary to be released." The problem apparently couldn't fixed over the air, so updates needed to be done at dealerships.

Volvo didn't explain exactly what the error was, but customer correspondence stated that the 1.2 software "contains, among other things, some Google certifications and key updates." I encountered several glitches (Google Maps stopped working, for instance) when testing a pre-production model in Barcelona.

Steve Dent for Engadget

The vehicle has experienced multiple delays that have lasted around two weeks. Volvo has apparently resolved the issues and the EVs are ready to be driven off dealers' lots as soon as they're fixed, according to Automotive News. "We want the best possible experience for our EX30 customers," Volvo said in a statement.

The EX30 generated a lot of interest thanks to a charming design, low starting price, solid performance, decent range and use of eco-friendly materials. All models sold to start with will be built in China, so the vehicle isn't eligible for federal US tax credits. 

As the company subsequently announced, though, some models will be be built later on in Volvo's Ghent, Belgium plant. The EX30 is key to Volvo's plans to boost sales by 69 percent and sell 1.2 million cars as early as next year. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

EV maker Polestar cuts 15 percent of its workforce globally

Swedish electric car company Polestar is slashing its workforce by 15 percent globally. About 450 employees are expected to be let go due to “challenging market conditions.” The news comes despite its six percent increase in global car deliveries compared to 2022, according to its recent fourth quarter global fiscal report.

The company did, however, warn that it would reduce its headcount back in May 2023 which was around the same time it announced its production goals were disappointingly off by 10,000 to 20,000 cars from its initial goal. Polestar defended its decisions and explained it was “intensifying its focus” on cutting costs to make the business more efficient.

Despite delays in shipments last year, the 2024 Polestar 2 lineup is coming in strong with a suite of new upgrades, including longer mileage and faster charging. However, the company is faced with the issue that buyers might be turned off by its nearly $50,000 price tag when they can get newer models produced by rivals like Tesla for more than $10,000 less.

Job cuts across the EV sector have become commonplace, with rivals like Lucid Motors’ announcement to cut 18 percent of its workforce last year and Rivian slashing six percent. These trends might be due to the fact that supply chain issues are a huge problem in the EV industry, coupled with buyer hesitancy to invest in electric cars.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Tesla recalls 200,000 vehicles because of a faulty backup camera

Tesla is recalling 200,000 vehicles in the US due to a malfunctioning backup camera. There were reports that the cameras wouldn’t engage when the cars were in reverse, which is a pretty big safety issue and the whole point of those cameras in the first place. Tesla has processed 81 warranty claims potentially related to the issue, according to Autoblog.

The recall includes certain Model Y, Model S, and Model X vehicles from 2023. Tesla says it delivered 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, so this recall accounts for more than 10 percent of the company’s yearly output. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a statement on the matter and said that a software issue was to blame for the problem, according to Reuters.

To that end, all of the recalled vehicles feature Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” computer 4.0 and run software version 2023.44.30 through 2023.44.30.6, or 2023.44.100. Tesla owners can check to see what software versions they’re running. The company has released an over-the-air (OTA) software update to fix the glitch, according to the NHTSA.

Tesla became aware of the problem in December and decided on a recall on January 12. Customers will receive a letter alerting them to the problem by March 22. The company says that it’s not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths associated with the malfunction.

This latest recall comes just six weeks after Tesla recalled over two million vehicles after serious safety issues regarding its Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system. That was also addressed via an OTA software update.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Porsche’s all-electric Macan SUV boasts a 381-mile range and up to 621hp

Porsche just officially revealed the new all-electric Macan SUV, after giving us a little tease last year. Along with the reveal, the company dropped specs, pricing information and an approximate release date. 

This looks to be a direct rival to vehicles like Jaguar’s I-Pace and the Polestar 4. To that end, this is a well-equipped vehicle. First and foremost, the battery is on point, allowing for 381 miles before running out of power. That’s Miami to Jacksonville on a single charge, with some juice to spare. It’ll be available in two variants: the 397hp Macan 4 and 621hp Macan Turbo. The company promised 600 horsepower and it looks to have delivered, with the Turbo at least. It’s worth noting that the range here dwarfs the popular Porsche Taycan EV, though that model’s made for speed and not distance.


On the interior, the EV Macan features three digital displays as part of a robust infotainment system. There’s a standard 12.6-inch curved instrument cluster and an 11-inch infotainment touchscreen. The vehicle also offers another 11-inch touchscreen for passengers, to allow them to stream content and adjust controls. The whole platform’s powered by Porsche’s proprietary voice assistant, which is built on top of the Android Automotive operating system. There’s even a dedicated app store, appropriately named the Porsche App Center.

You’ll also notice a streamlined exterior that looks exceptionally sleek when compared to earlier iterations of the Macan. The rear even boasts a retractable spoiler that automatically adjusts positioning to increase downforce. The front motor was developed by Bosch, but the rear motor was made in-house at Porsche’s manufacturing center in Zuffenhausen, Germany.


There’s also a new electronically-controlled traction management system, which Porsche says is up to five times faster than the four-wheel drive system of the existing gas-powered Macan. The vehicle also includes Porsche’s Torque Vectoring Plus system, for enhanced steering behavior.

The Porsche Macan EV, which is no longer called the E-Macan, will be sold alongside the gas-powered version until next year, at which point the company will sunset the OG model. This is part of the company’s promise to transition 80 percent of global sales to electric vehicles by 2030.

Porsche should release the car by the end of the year, though it was originally supposed to show up in 2023, so we shall see. The EV Macan SUV will cost $88,600 for the standard model and a whopping $120,000 for the Turbo, according to Autocar.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Elon Musk confirms a new low-cost Tesla model is coming in 2025

Elon Musk has confirmed that a "next-generation low-cost" Tesla EV is in the works and is "optimistic" that it'll arrive in the second half of 2025, he said in an earnings call yesterday. He also promised "a revolutionary manufacturing system" for the vehicle that's far more advanced than any others in the world by a "significant margin."

An article yesterday from Reuters indicated that the new vehicle would be a small crossover codenamed "Redwood." Tesla reportedly sent requests to suppliers for quotes, predicting a weekly production volume of 10,000 vehicles. Musk previously stated that the automaker is working on two new EV models that could sell up to 5 million per year, combined. 

"Our current schedule shows that we will start production towards the end of 2025, sometime in the second half," he said on the call. The vehicle will be built in Tesla's Austin, Texas Gigafactory to start with and other locations around the world later. Musk hinted that there would be a strong push to ramp up assembly: "We'll be sleeping on the line practically," he said.

We achieved a record production and deliveries of over 1.8 million vehicles, in line with our official guidance. And in Q4, we're producing vehicles at an annualized run rate of almost 2 million cars a year. And people are often surprised that the the highest-output... car factory in North America is in the San Francisco Bay area.

Musk stated that the company's new manufacturing technique will be "very hard to copy" because "you have to copy the machine that makes the machine that makes the machine... manufacturing inception." He added that as before, the new line could start slowly before production significantly ramps up. 

He warned shareholders of "notably lower" sales growth for 2024, however, as the wave of Model 3 and Model Y sales subsides. The company predicted a second sales wave that will start with the next-generation vehicles coming in 2025. 

Musk also touched on Tesla's FSD (full self-driving) progress, noting other "car companies should be asking for FSD licenses" and adding that the reasons "will become obvious probably this year." Musk has made similar rosy predictions for FSD before, though, and it still remains at Level 2 capability. Meanwhile, rival Mercedes-Benz recently gained Level 3 approval in the US. 

As Musk admitted himself, the production forecast "should be taken with a grain of salt as I'm often optimist... regarding time." He was accurate when he said the Model 3 would arrive in 2017, but was very wrong about the $35,000 price (it debuted at just under $50K and Tesla only briefly sold a $35K model). If that history holds, the next-gen model may arrive on time, but it may take some time for the price to come down.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Ford is cutting F-150 Lightning production due to waning demand

Ford says it's cutting production of the F-150 Lightning due to lower than expected demand. As of April 1, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (the Michigan plant where the electric pickup is built) will transition from two production shifts to one. That will have an impact on roughly 1,400 workers.

The automaker says it will transfer around half of those to its Michigan Assembly Plant, where it's putting together a third crew to build more of the Bronco and Bronco Raptor, as well as the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor to meet demand. The company is hiring another 900 workers to fill that shift.

The rest of the affected F-150 Lightning workers will be reassigned to different roles at the Rouge plant or Ford's other facilities in the region. That is, unless they take up a retirement incentive offer.

Ford didn't say by how much it's reducing production of the F-150 Lightning. However, by moving from two shifts to one, that indicates output will drop roughly by half, which aligns with recent reports. According to CNBC, Ford planned to cut production from around 3,200 units per week to 1,600.

The automaker retooled the Rouge facility in 2023 so that it would have an annual F-150 Lightning capacity of up to 150,000. However, demand hasn't kept up. While sales of the EV were up by 55 percent last year, it hasn't been selling as quickly as it did previously.

The company says that it expects EV sales to continue to grow globally this year, but at a lower rate than previously anticipated. With that in mind, as well as the fact Ford is readying next-gen EVs, the company has decided to pull back on F-150 Lightning production for the foreseeable future. 

That isn't the only EV Ford has scaled back on either. In November, it slashed production of the Mustang Mach-E.

“We are taking advantage of our manufacturing flexibility to offer customers choices while balancing our growth and profitability. Customers love the F-150 Lightning, America's best-selling EV pickup,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said. “We see a bright future for electric vehicles for specific consumers, especially with our upcoming digitally advanced EVs and access to Tesla's charging network beginning this quarter."

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Nissan unveils its latest Nismo-enhanced EV

Nissan has unveiled its latest Nismo electric vehicle. The Ariya Nismo is based on the Ariya e-4orce and it's scheduled to be available in two trims. The B6 has a 66kWh battery, while the B9 has a 91kWh version. With Nismo being Nissan's performance division, it's no real surprise that the EV will offer a little more power than other Ariyas. The B6 model will have 362 hp and 413 lb-ft while the B9 is set to have 429 hp and 443 lb-ft, though Road and Track points out that these figures might change before the electric SUV hits the road.

The Nismo team is said to have tuned the acceleration and added an exclusive driving mode that aims to maximize response. Nissan claims that the tuning, combined with the four-wheel-control tech of e-4orce and tires mounted on rigid 20-inch aluminum wheels, will help deliver "superior stability and turn-in ability as well as better line-tracing and enhanced cornering ability at high speeds."

Nismo also added an optional Formula E-esque sound to the Ariya Nismo for additional "excitement," Nissan said. The automaker added that the cabin has a premium feel with specially designed Nismo seats and trim.

This isn't quite the first Nissan EV that the Nismo team has worked on. It debuted the Leaf Nismo RC concept at the 2011 New York Auto Show. A second-gen model went into production in Japan in 2018. Nissan has yet to announce pricing and a release window for Nismo's new flagship EV.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at