This week all the top auto industry headlines are dominated by one thing – the seemingly unstoppable march of electric vehicles. Major brands from BMW to Porsche, Renault, and more are making ever-bigger investments in the technology, leading to better handling and longer battery life.
BMW joins forces with Jaguar on EVs.
As reported in the BBC, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW have announced that they are teaming up to share best practices and technological developments on electric vehicles. Both companies have struggled to remain profitable in the face of ever-stricter emissions targets and rising production costs. The pairing would save both companies money as research and component purchasing costs could be shared across the brands. Jaguar’s Chief Executive Ralph Speth previously worked at BMW for two decades which might explain the new-found synergy.
They are not the only companies considering working together to beat the challenging automotive manufacturing climate. As we reported last week Fiat Chrysler and Renault have been exploring a merger (it remains to be seen whether the deal will be revived), while Ford and Volkswagen also collaborate on technology.
Renault’s Zoe gets a spruce up.
As more and more auto manufacturers make the switch to investing in electric vehicles the competition to offer customers the best product is in full force. French carmaker Renault is hoping to tempt auto buyers to invest in its Zoe EV with a series of upgrades including a more powerful motor, bigger battery, and redesigned interior. The new Zoe has a range of 380 km (235 miles).
Auto News Europe reports that while the compact Zoe is currently the second-most purchased EV in Europe (after the Tesla Model 3) new models are entering the field all the time – as well as strong showings for the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, a new generation Opel Corsa and an electric Peugeot 208 are both set to enter the European market in 2020.
Porsche says Americans ready for EVs.
In an editorial in USA TODAY this week, Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America says he believes that the American public are ready to embrace electric vehicles. Noting that over 361,000 EV’s were sold in the country last year, Zellmer writes that while that’s only a fraction of the 17 million combustion-engine cars sold in the same period, it’s also an 81% year-on-year increase.
Citing the fact that Tesla’s Model 3 outsold any other premium sedan in the US last year, Zellmer says that in his opinion the market is clearly showing that American consumers are ready to make the big switch. Would you invest in an electric car? It seems that for an increasing number of US car buyers, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”
Domino’s Pizza to test self-driving delivery cars in Houston, Texas.
Have you ever wondered why your pizza delivery takes so long to arrive? If you live in Houston you’ll no longer be able to blame the driver – Auto News reports that Domino’s Pizza is planning to implement self-driving delivery cars in the city later this year. Domino’s – well known for embracing new technologies – is partnering with Nuro, a California-based robotics startup to test out delivery via fully autonomous vehicles.
Domino’s previously worked with Ford on an autonomous vehicle test, and they are not the only ones; Pizza Hut and Toyota started working together last year on a similar pilot scheme. Nuro’s two founders both previously worked on Google’s self-drive startup Waymo.