Inside Electric Vehicles - March 11th, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Mar 11th, 2020)

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1. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a few more details about its future U.S.-based production facility. In a tweet, Musk said the company was scouting out locations for its new facility, but only specified “central USA” as a location. Musk later clarified that the new facility would produce Cybertrucks, along with Model Y vehicles for the East Coast. One tweet, from @ThirdRowTesla, circulated this rumor: Austin, Texas is the leading candidate for the new production facility, but the automaker wants to make sure Texas changes its dealership and service center laws to be favorable to the automaker. Texas bans direct vehicle sales, making it illegal to buy a Tesla in person at a Tesla retail store. Texas lawmakers also considered passing legislation last year that would make it illegal for Tesla to service its vehicles in the state. — @ELONMUSK/TWITTER

Your take: Where do you think Tesla's next U.S. production facility should be based? Personally, Texas seems pretty logical, considering their low state tax rates and the likelihood for incentives, but many neighboring states are probably seeking out the automaker as well. Hit reply and let me know! I may publish your comments in a future issue of Inside Electric Vehicles.

2. Honda is discontinuing its only battery-electric vehicle available in the U.S.: the Clarity EV. After 2020, the automaker will continue offering the Clarity plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicle, but will no longer offer the battery-electric version of the vehicle. The Clarity EV, seen by many to be a compliance vehicle, was only available in California and Oregon. It was only available for lease and had about 89 miles of range on a single charge. Honda promised "more appealing" electrified options for the U.S. market in the future. — CAR AND DRIVER

3. The reveal of the Cadillac Lyriq EV has been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The vehicle was scheduled to be unveiled at a special event in Los Angeles on April 2. However, the automaker decided to cancel the event. Cadillac is now discussing a new reveal date for the vehicle, as well as a re-evaluation of its production plans. The Lyriq is Cadillac’s first electrified offering and is based on GM’s “Ultium” modular platform for electric vehicles. — MOTOR1

4. The New York Auto Show has been postponed to August, also amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The annual auto show, staged by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, was scheduled to begin on April 8. The cancelation of the New York Auto Show follows the cancelation of the Geneva Auto Show and other high-profile public events around the world. The press days are now scheduled to begin on August 26, with public access to the event available through September 6. — AUTO NEWS

5. A bill that would allow for the direct sales of electric vehicles in Colorado passed a key legislative committee in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill passed the state’s Senate earlier this month and went on to the state’s House. The House Energy and Environment Committee approved an amended version of the bill this week, which will only allow automakers that have no existing dealer franchises to sell electric vehicles directly to consumers. This will allow Tesla and Rivian to sell their vehicles using the model in the state. — AP

6. Tesla’s manufacturing director, Jatinder “Jat” Dhillon, has reportedly left the company. According to Dhillon’s LinkedIn, which has not been updated yet to reflect his departure, he was with the automaker since 2013 and joined the company as a production supervisor. He most recently led Model 3 production at the automaker’s facility in Fremont, California, and launched the company’s in-house seat manufacturing operations. — CNBC

7. Some workers at a Volkswagen plant in Spain’s Navarra region may be temporarily laid off should the automaker’s supply chain be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The production facility, which employs around 4,800 workers, is still operating normally, but the German automaker will later decide how many workers to temporarily layoff in case it becomes necessary. The coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in Europe, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying it was likely that up to 70 percent of the German population would likely contract COVID-19. — REUTERS

8. Chinese battery manufacturer CATL is reportedly entering the electric vehicle charging business. This is according to Chinese media reports, as the company has set up a parking, charging, and battery swapping joint venture with charging operator BACN. The joint venture has about $7.1 million in registered capital with CATL owning about 49 percent of the company. CATL is the top battery producing company in China. — @DKURAC/TWITTER

9. A new ride-hailing service that only uses Teslas, called Go360, is launching in Sacramento, California. The company will only service certain areas of the city, including downtown and midtown Sacramento, promising wait times of less than five minutes. The company said it will take advantage of Tesla’s APIs to allow passengers to adjust settings, like the temperature and music, through their ride-hailing app. Go360 will operate as a subscription, with the company saying most rides end up costing about $2.50 each. — KCRA

10. Pakistan is reportedly struggling to gain momentum in its shift to electric vehicles. The country kicked off a National Electric Vehicle Policy, which offers tax exemptions and incentives to purchasers, importers, and manufacturers of electric vehicles. But pushback from traditional automakers has prevented the country from finalizing the policy. By 2030, the government wants one-third of Pakistan’s vehicle sales to be electrified. — REUTERS

Johan Moreno is the writer and curator of Inside’s mobility-focused newsletters (Inside Automotive and Transportation). He joined Inside.com in February 2017 and has written over 700 issues of both newsletters collectively, so he knows a thing or two about the development of electric vehicles, autonomous cars and more.

Johan is also a contributing writer for Forbes and works for J.D. Power, an automotive data and analytics firm. For this reason, Johan does not include Forbes links or discusses anything related to J.D. Power in newsletters, to avoid conflicts of interest. Before that, he wrote for The Orange County Register's "Wheels" section, alongside veteran automotive journalist Susan Carpenter. 

Follow him on Twitter: @dudejohan

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