Italian icon Ferrari outlined his vision for the future yesterday, a future that will never include a self-driving supercar. Furthermore, Porsche was ordered to debunk fuel economy repair claims and VW bosses questioned the United States’ ability to manufacture batteries. All this and much more at The Morning Shift to June 17, 2022.
1st gear: You never willand a self-driving Ferrari, according to its CEO
It’s been a big week for Ferrari news. After outlining your ambitions to electrify your portfolio of amazing supercars, the company announced yesterday that we would be a glimpse of its first SUV in September this year.
What’s more, this new SUV will be the first of 15 new models from the company due to launch between now and the end of 2026. But any tech-savvy car fan will expect one of the these new models may include some level of autonomous driving will be very disappointed. According to Bloomberg,
“The Italian company recently received some experts in artificial intelligence who wanted to present why Ferrari should adopt autonomous driving. CEO Benedetto Vigna instead invited them to take a ride in a Ferrari at the company’s Fiorano racetrack.”
In typical Ferrari fashion, Vigna added that AI experts admitted that his pitch to try to bring Ferrari to the autonomous side was “useless”.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Vigna said: “No customer is going to spend money on the computer in the car to enjoy the trip.
“The value of man, of the human at the center, is fundamental.”
Instead, the company will continue its focus on driver assistance technologies, which are commonplace in most modern days. Ferrari supercars. These systems help with traction, starts and make it easier for Ferrari owners to get the most out of their Italian performance.
Vigna confirmed to Bloomberg that Ferrari would “never” deploy a Level 5 autonomous driving system in its cars. That ttechnology çwould mean that the cars could operate completely without human intervention, which, for Ferrari, it’s a bridge too far.
2nd gear: Musk sued for discrimination allegations at Tesla
If Ferrari is having a good week, Elon Musk and his plethora of companies are having a bad week. Later SpaceX employees began circulating an open letter urging board members to distance themselves from the erratic CEO, a Tesla investor sued the company and its CEO over allegations of discrimination at the electric car maker.
According to ReutersTesla shareholder Solomon Chau has sued electric car maker Musk and the company’s board, accusing them of “failure to handle complaints about discrimination and harassment in the workplace”, which they claim led to a “Toxic Culture in the Workplace”.
In the complaint, Chau says:
“Tesla has created a toxic workplace culture based on racist and sexist abuse and discrimination against its own employees.
“This toxic work environment has been brewing internally for years, and only recently has the truth about Tesla’s culture emerged.
“Tesla’s toxic workplace culture has done financial and irreparable damage to the company’s reputation.”
Reuters reports that the lawsuit against Tesla alleges that the failure to resolve allegations of discrimination and harassment at the company “caused Tesla to lose high-quality employees.” added that such lawsuits also resulted in large expenses for the company as it fought legal proceedings and settled fines.
The case is just the latest in a long list of problems. for Tesla and CEO Musk. Perhaps it is questions like this that led him to convene a team of lawyers earlier this month?
3rd gear: Porsche for Pis $80 million to resolve fuel economy disputes
German sports car brand Porsche is joining VW and Stellantis in exclusive club “automakers who had to pay to settle fuel economy repair claims.”
Automotive news reports that the 911 manufacturer agreed to pay $80 million to settle fuel economy claims on 500,000 vehicles sold in the US between 2005 and 2020. According to Automotive News:
“The settlement, filed in US District Court in San Francisco, must be approved by a federal judge and covers Porsche vehicles from 2005 to 2020.
“Vehicle owners accused the automaker of physically altering test vehicles that impacted emissions and fuel economy results. Impacted owners of eligible vehicles will receive payments ranging from $250 to $1,109 per vehicle.”
According to Porsche’s lawyers, the owners claimed that the company altered the cars’ hardware and “manipulated the software” of the test vehicles to achieve more favorable fuel economy. This meant that the vehicles used in the tests “emitted less pollutants and were more fuel efficient” than those sold to customers here in the United States.
Despite coughing up $80 million to resolve the claims, Automotive News reports that Porsche “has not acknowledged the allegations in these proceedings”, instead hoping the settlement will be a means to “end the problem”.
The settlement against Porsche and the relevant claims made against it only apply to vehicles that were sold in the USA.
4th gear: The US can’t make EVs fast enough
US automakers claim to be increase production of electric vehicles to meet growing consumer demand and increasing pressure to reduce emissions. But the head of Volkswagen Group of America warned that there are still some challenges to be overcome before companies can match the demand for EVs here in America.
Speaking at a forum in Washington, Reuters reports which Scott Keogh, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, said challenges such as limited manpower, mining capacity, supply chain issues and broader infrastructure issues could make it difficult for the United States to shift to a battery-powered future. .
“Keogh estimated that the United States is producing 150,000 to 200,000 batteries a year and that seven years from now “we need to produce 8.5 million batteries” annually.
“Keogh also said the US needs to do more to increase manufacturing capacity. The US manufacturing sector has dropped from 17 million jobs in 2000 to 12.8 million today, which has recovered to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.”
TThe VW executive said that massive investment in the industry was needed, aand that the country as a whole needed to stop being a “service economy” and go back to being a “manufacturing society”, which, good luck.
5th gear: Essential tax credits for EV adoption
But once the US has overcome all these manufacturing constraints, there are still more challenges to overcome to encourage EV adoption. The biggest obstacle is the rising cost of driving electric cars, and how cut tax credits for these vehicles can cripple your popularity.
General Motors is a big supporter of electric vehicle tax credits, and David Strickland, the company’s vice president of global regulatory affairs, said the industry “needs consumer incentives” as it transitions to a battery-powered future.
According to Automotive Newsthe GM executive said that “the tax credit is ‘how do you get the amount of vehicles at a price where you’re actually going to get mass adoption’.”
Tax credits of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric car in the US help the first to acquire these new vehicles. The growing demand as a result of the credits helps to lower the production costs of EVs, which Strickland says could help the industry get to a point where one day “make a vehicle unassisted”.
Here in the US, this credit for the purchase of a new electric car expires. after an automaker sold 200,000 qualifying vehicles. And that means companies like GM and Tesla are now unable to offer the credit to potential buyers.
That should explain, then, why GM has teamed up with Stellantis, Toyota and Ford to lobby Congress to try to extend the tax credits to future EV customers.
Reverse: Come on Fields!
On this day, in 1960, Spanish pilot Adrián Campos was born. Campos raced in F1 in 21 grands prix but never scored a point. He found better fortunes as a team manager, founding the Campos Meta Formula One teamwhich would become known as HRT and offer Daniel Ricciardo his first F1 race.
Neutral: What are Yor Up to Tyour Wekend?
looks like it is set to be a burner in NYC. Do Do you have any good plans for the weekend? I’d really like to go to the beach, or go swimming, I think.