This week, Ford announced their new F150 Lightning, an electric version of their iconic pickup design. Sam says that the F150L is aimed directly at the commercial market, and it isn't strictly a lifestyle consumer-oriented truck. One of the cool benefits is the "Frunk," a 14 sq foot trunk where the engine normally goes, which can carry up to 400 lbs. The frunk also has 4 120v outlets for its pro power electric system. Great for working and building on location, where you don't have access to electricity. It also has a crew cab, dual motors, and four-wheel drive.
Scott joins Leo to talk about Citroen's new car subscription service called "Free2Move." It's a car-sharing subscription service that's ideal for people living in the city. Great for people who may have a need for a car from time to time, but don't really want the expense that comes with parking spots and insurance. The Citroen Ami cars are electric and have a top speed of about 28 mph and a range of about 200 miles on a single charge.
George keeps hearing about new Tesla car battery technology that promises a million miles before replacing. Leo says he'll believe it when he sees it. There are always stories about new battery technologies that promise great things but are short on delivering. However, the battery capacity is getting better every year and the range is improving as well, so he may have to charge less often, and when he does, it'll be faster to recharge.
But a million-mile battery? Not likely.
Sam joins Leo to talk about NVidia's developer's conference, which is coming up. It's free this year, and Sam says it will highlight the latest in video gaming technology and what they are doing in the Automotive space.
Meanwhile, electric vehicles are going off-road, with EVs taking on desert racing. EVs are just as fast as gas-powered cars, and the challenge is keeping the batteries in good shape during the sandy desert conditions.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the Netflix series: Drive to Survive, about Formula 1 racing. Leo says it's gotten him to start watching the actual races. Sam says that Formula 1 racing has been traditionally expensive, with companies spending nearly a half-billion a year on the effort. There is technology transfer between racing and actual car manufacturing. And companies like Ferrari have their entire reputation built on racing performance and success.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the challenges that are ahead producing enough batteries for widely adapting electric vehicles and making them more affordable. One of the big challenges will be the recycling of depleted car batteries. VW has opened a recycling plant and they believe they could recover up to 95% of the battery components and reuse them in new batteries. That would definitely make it easier to reach the goals of making EVs dominant in the car industry.
Check out the video of the process here -
Leo got his Ford Mustang Mach E and one of the interesting things is that it doesn't come with a key or a key fob because his phone is now his key. He inputs a code to unlock the car and has to use a password to start the car.
Sam Abuelsamid joins Leo with some car news! GM will announce that they will become a 100% electric vehicle car company at the Super Bowl today. The "Everybody In" campaign is designed to tell people that EVs are for everyone.
Reports are that Hyundai's KIA Motors has signed a manufacturing partnership with Apple for $3.6 billion. Does this mean that the Apple car is real? Leo says it sure looks that way. The cars may be built in Georgia, which Leo says is a good move to have more cars being made in the USA. The rumor is that we'll see an electric Apple Car in 2024/25, and there are plans for 100,000 cars a year.
Sam joins Leo to talk about CES and GM's keynote. Since everything was virtual, Sam didn't miss anything pertaining to electric vehicles. GM did an hour-long presentation on electric and autonomous vehicles. This included big news that they are created a business electric commercial vehicles unit called Bright Drop. Their first model is a delivery van called the EV600. A direct competitor to Rivian's delivery vans that they are developing for Amazon.