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It’s time for car companies to shut up about electric vehicles and just ship them – The Verge

Ford CEO Jim Farley calls it a “watershed moment.” GM’s Mary Barra says it’s an “inflection point.” Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess says it’s a “crucial moment for our company.” And Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, describes it as “a diversified and uncharted era.”

The auto industry is going electric. We know because they’ve been telling us, over and over, in earnings calls, virtual events, podcast interviews, and in many television commercials. (Hi, Malcolm Gladwell!) Gone will be the dirty internal combustion engines of yesteryear, replaced by zero-tailpipe emission electric vehicles. The future is here, and it probably has a light bar.

The spotlight is on the auto industry like never before. President Joe Biden, who is spearheading a plan to spend billions of dollars on EV charging infrastructure and new incentives for car buyers, has test driven not one but two electric pickup trucks this year. Car companies are under enormous pressure to help usher in this electric future. And they know it.

“The transition to EVs is both happening far later than many people had hoped for and far faster than most legacy OEMs expected two or three years ago”

“The transition to EVs is both happening far later than many people had hoped for and far faster than most legacy [automakers] expected two or three years ago,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst for electric mobility at Guidehouse Insights. He argues that car companies have been “downplaying” the prospect of mass adoption of electric vehicles for years, sitting back while Tesla soaked up market share. Now, EV sales are way up, Tesla is one of the most valuable companies in history, and the entire auto industry finally sees there’s profit in plug-in cars.

As expected, the transition has been stilted and plagued with problems. There’ve been battery fires, recalls, fraud allegations, a global chip shortage, and numerous missed deadlines. The number of new electric vehicles that went on sale this year is still laughably small compared to all the gas-guzzling, planet-warming, glacier-melting trucks and SUVs that still dominate the roads.

The rollout of new EVs remains fairly thin. There’s the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID 4 … and that’s about it. The Porsche Taycan and Polestar 2 helped fill out the premium segment, while shorter-range EVs, like the BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, and the VW e-Golf, got the ax. Audi released a $140,000 electric sports car that’s fantastic to drive but won’t move the sales needle that much.

Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge

Other rollouts have been a mixed bag. Rivian, which went public in one of the biggest IPOs of all time, saw its stock tumble on the news that production of …….

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2021/12/21/22846960/electric-vehicles-car-companies-promises-ship-dates

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NASCAR’s Symmetrical Next Gen Cars Are Getting Skewed In Practice – Jalopnik

NASCAR’s newest Next Gen cars may be designed to make these vehicles as symmetrical as possible, but some teams have already found a way around the rules. During this week’s test session at Daytona International Speedway, some cars have been running some fairly excessive skew — and right now, it could very well be totally legal.

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Is Norway the future of cars? – Kathimerini English Edition

The speed by which electric vehicles have taken over Norway has stunned even the cars’ enthusiasts. [Asya Demidova/The New York Times]

Last year, Norway reached a milestone. Only about 8% of new cars sold in the country ran purely on conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. Two-thirds of new cars sold were electric, and most of the rest were electric-and-gasoline hybrids.

For years, Norway has been the world leader in shifting away from traditional cars, thanks to government benefits that made electric vehicles far more affordable and offered extras like letting electric car owners skip some fees for parking and toll roads.

Still, electric car enthusiasts are stunne…….