Inside Electric Vehicles - February 7th, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Feb 7th, 2020)

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1. Tesla remotely removed Enhanced Autopilot features from a customer’s used Model S, after an audit from the automaker. Jalopnik reports that Tesla had sold a Model S to a dealership at auction in November 2019, acquired at auction because the car suffered from a “yellowing screen.” A customer eventually purchased the vehicle. While the car’s vehicle window label said it had Enhanced Autopilot and Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Package included, a remote Tesla audit found that the vehicle had been mispriced and the package was not paid for by the dealership. Tesla then flagged the features for removal from the customer’s vehicle. Tesla did not respond to Jalopnik on the issue. — JALOPNIK

2. GM said it would add its “Super Cruise” technology on 22 additional vehicles by 2023. At the moment, the technology can only be found on one vehicle, the Cadillac CT6. However, there are plans to quickly roll out Super Cruise across GM’s product lines, according to GM President Mark Ruess. Seven vehicles will be adding the automated driving suite next year, while an additional 12 will be receiving Super Cruise in 2022 and 2023. In the meantime, GM will be adding Super Cruise to the Cadillac 2020 CT4, 2020 CT5, and 2021 Escalade. — CAR AND DRIVER

3. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are proposing a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Andy Levin (D-Mich) unveiled the “EV Freedom Act,” which would create a network of high-speed charging stations within five years. The legislation proposes these chargers be located along the roads of the national highway system, to drive adoption of EVs. Two Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, have also proposed a similar initiative. — REUTERS

4. Nuro’s autonomous delivery vehicle will be exempt from some National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) vehicle requirements. This means that the startup’s R2 vehicle, which features no driver, can operate on roads without components like side-view mirrors, a windshield, and a rear-view camera, all requirements on new vehicles sold on the market. The R2 will be initially launched in Houston for grocery deliveries and will operate at low speeds. Nuro applied for the exemptions in October 2018 and has been working with the NHTSA for three years to receive them. — TECHCRUNCH

5. In the latest installment of the “Third Row Tesla” podcast interview with CEO Elon Musk, Musk said he has a goal of having vehicle production on each continent. The CEO said it is “insane” to be making cars in California and shipping them to Europe and Asia. Musk pointed out that exporting vehicles comes with high capital carrying costs, as well as transport costs, damage costs, and of course — tariffs. Tesla already opened a production facility in China and has plans to open one in Europe. Musk said that Tesla’s facility site in Germany was targeted by BMW previously, before pulling out, which meant “a ton of environmental work and permits had already been done.” — INVERSE

6. Uber narrowly beat analyst loss and revenue expectations, as the company looks to reach profitability sooner than expected. The company lost 64 cents per share versus an analyst expected 68 cents per share. The company also generated $4.07 billion versus an analyst expected $4.06 billion. On the company’s earnings call, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is moving its EBITDA profitability target to Q4 2020, earlier than expected profitability in 2021. — CNBC

7. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported strong results in North America in its Q4 earnings report. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose to $2.3 billion versus an analyst expected amount of $2.1 billion. For 2019, the company’s adjusted operating profit landed at $7.31 billion, almost hitting its target of $7.34 billion. This comes as FCA looks to merge with PSA Group. — AUTOBLOG

8. Chevrolet’s VP of marketing, Paul Edwards, exited the automaker. Edwards had been with GM for over three decades, in various sales and marketing roles at the company. Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s current director of cars and crossovers marketing, will take over Edwards’ position at the company. Majoros has been overseeing the launch of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Edwards took over the reins of Chevrolet’s marketing in 2014 and left the company to pursue other opportunities. — AD AGE

9. Waymo made it easy for its engineers to quickly locate any object in the unit’s driving history and logs by creating its own “Content Search.” Content Search is powered by similar technology that underpins Google Photos and Google Image Search. The technology speeds up the time it takes Waymo engineers to locate samples and other information that would help in the development of future technology. It does this by indexing catalogs of data by running image comparison queries. — VENTURE BEAT

10. Redditors call out Ford on this bold claim: "Ford has North America's largest electric vehicle charging network." The automaker claims it has more than 12,000 chargers on its FordPass Charging Network. But what it does not mention is that the FordPass Charging Network is a variety of third-party EV charging networks cobbled together, including Electrify America and Chargepoint. These networks are compatible with EVs from other automakers. It is unclear what percentage of chargers on the FordPass Network are not compatible with competitor's vehicles. One Redditor said: "When you can't win with your products, you lean on marketing." — /R/TESLAMOTORS - REDDIT

This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of San Antonio, Texas and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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