Sam is back from CES and joins Leo to talk about what he saw. What surprised Sam was the Sony Vision S Concept Car. A 4 door electric sedan, it looks a lot like a Tesla. The car was built by Magna International, which creates a lot of the parts that come in today's cars. They also build cars in Europe for Toyota, Jaguar, and others. This doesn't mean that Sony is getting into the car manufacturing business, but was meant to showcase all the electronics that they make for the Car industry.
Sam joins Leo to talk about something a bit different, but still an electric "vehicle." It's an electric skateboard. It was a GM concept from 2001, and it used hydrogen fuel cells. The concept has been adapted over the last 20 years to just about all dedicated electric vehicles. Leo wonders if Detroit is working to make car manufacturing more modular, so you can mix and match components for different electric models. Sam agrees.
Sam joins Leo to talk about electric vehicle news. The news from the Ford Mustang E is that Ford has sold out of their preorders.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new Ford Mustang Mach E, Ford's first dedicated electric vehicle. Leo says he's pretty excited about this one. Sam said Ford didn't want to create a "compliance car" to meet regulatory requirements. They wanted to create a car people would talk about. So they called it a Mustang and got designers to create something in the Spirit of Tesla, that's fast, has the Mustang DNA, and gets people excited. Sam says he thinks the Mach E is going to be a winner. It may not look like a Mustang, but Sam says that the performance will rival a gas-powered Mustang.
This week, Elon Musk announced the angular CyberTruck, for $39,000, due in 2022. Leo says that while Elon thinks out of the box, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Leo says it's a crazy design that looks like the Army would buy it. And there was a mishap with the so-called
"bulletproof" glass, which promptly shattered when tested. But Leo likes Elon Musk because he throws his hat over the wall and believes there's no limit to his imagination. And Leo respects that.
Sam joins Leo to talk about tire pressure. When the weather turns colder, tire pressure will drop. Warm air expands, while cold air contracts. So you may find in the wintertime that your tires are under-inflated. If your tires are too low or too high, it can affect the wear of your tire, as well as the handling. It can also cause tire failure as well. So it pays to make sure your tires are properly inflated, be it in hot or cold weather.
Sam joins Leo from the back seat of a new electric vehicle called the Byton, founded by former executives from BMW and Nissan. Sam says it's a decent design with a nice interior. But the key design is a massive 48" display that spans the entire dashboard. The screen, which isn't a touchscreen, is too far away to touch it, so you use a touch interface to manipulate it. Because it's so far away, it's closer to your line of sight, making it easier to keep it in focus and prevents you from looking away from the road. Leo says it's pretty weird.
Sam says there's a new electric vehicle coming called the Canoo. It's a passenger or cargo van that looks like a "lozenge" on wheels and is one of the first to use steer by wire steering. You will also bring your own device to have an instrument panel through the Canoo app. The idea is that you won't own the car, but you'll have a monthly subscription fee to drive it. And if you want to trade it for another color or style, you can. It also includes service and insurance. Future plans include having trucks and sedans. Monthly fees will vary by location. Available in 2021.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Ultra Wide Band (UWB) which is coming to mobile phones and cars. The iPhone 11 has UWB, but it's not turned on yet. It's wireless band technology that operates within 6-8 GHz. Google's Pixel 4 will probably have a UWB chip as well. The benefit is going to be that you can directionally connect with devices. It can work with IoT devices, and carmakers will shift to it for keyless entry. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to put hardware into a device even when the software isn't ready, and then turn it on with a firmware update.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new Porche Taycon, which is going to be very expensive at around $150,000. But it also goes 0-60 in 3 seconds, so it's extremely fast. Its range is only about 200 miles on a single charge in ideal conditions. Most likely, it's more like 130-140 mile range. The eTron is going to be a lot more affordable from Audi. But Sam says that some of the technologies in cars like this will eventually trickle down to lower-priced cars as time goes on. And look for a Mustang-inspired EV at next year's LA Auto Show. Ford is also going to put out an F150 EV next year.