400 Groups Urge U.S. Lawmakers to Take 'Immediate Steps' to Block Potential Rail Strike

First Up 11/29/22

400 Groups Urge U.S. Lawmakers to Take 'Immediate Steps' to Block Potential Rail Strike

More than 400 groups on Monday called on Congress to intervene in an ongoing railroad labor standoff that threatens to idle shipments of food and fuel and strand rail travelers while inflicting billions of dollars of economic damage. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, American Petroleum Institute, National Restaurant Association, American Trucking Associations, American Farm Bureau Federation, American International Automobile Dealers Association, and other groups warned impacts of a potential strike could be felt as soon as Dec. 5. Workers in four unions have rejected a tentative contract deal announced in September, while eight approved it. "The risks to our nation’s economy and communities simply make a national rail strike unacceptable," says the letter to congressional leaders seen by Reuters. "Therefore, absent a voluntary agreement, we call on you to take immediate steps to prevent a national rail strike and the certain economic destruction that would follow." A rail traffic stoppage could freeze almost 30 percent of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, stoke inflation and cost the American economy as much as $2 billion per day. Click here for the full story.

Hyundai Teams with SK to Make Batteries for U.S.-Built EVs

Hyundai Motor Group, just months after announcing it will build a dedicated electric vehicle plant and battery manufacturing factory in Georgia, said it has agreed with South Korean battery maker SK On Co. to supply power packs to its U.S.-built EVs. Automotive News reports the deal will “secure supply of EV batteries in North America” as the carmaker embarks on a plan to sell 3.23 million a year EVs globally by 2030. The companies said deliveries would begin after 2025. But they did not say where the new batteries would be produced or detail what volume would be delivered. “Further details on the cooperation will be revealed at a later stage,” they said. Hyundai Motor Group — No. 2 in the U.S. EV market through September — said in May it will plow $5.5 billion into its first dedicated EV factory in the world in Ellabell, Ga. Heung-soo Kim, Hyundai Motor Group executive vice president, said the memorandum of understanding will help the automaker meet U.S. emissions regulations while building sales. Click here for the full story.

VW-Backed Northvolt May Delay German Battery Plant for U.S. Push

EV battery supplier Northvolt is considering postponing its planned factory in Germany as surging energy costs threaten to stall the country’s bid to build a sizable electric-vehicle supply chain. Automotive News reports the Swedish manufacturer will decide next year whether to build the Heide facility in northern Germany in time for production to start in late 2025 or expand first in North America, where U.S. President Joe Biden is wooing cell manufacturers with billions of dollars in incentives. “Given what is happening in North America and what is happening in Europe on the other hand, with energy prices not the least, we are during next year going to decide what to prioritize,” said Jesper Wigardt, a Northvolt spokesman. A decision in favor of North America might delay the German plant “a bit.” The Heide facility is among the first EV projects in Europe’s biggest economy that may get pushed back because of runaway energy inflation. Northvolt’s deliberations also point to intensifying competition among countries trying to attract key manufacturers supplying the shift away from the combustion engine. Click here for the full story.

BMW Wants Customers to Buy Cars Less Often and Keep Them Longer

BMW's sustainability chief has a message for car buyers: keep those vehicles longer instead of replacing them every few years. It might seem like an unusual sales model, especially since automakers, including BMW, bring big profits from used vehicles. But times change, and so does messaging. Carbuzz reports Monika Dernai recently told a media gathering in London that the auto industry is able to reduce waste by encouraging customers to hold on to their existing cars and update them regularly. "We really need to think about prolonging the life of cars; not having a used car market where you sell cars to each other, but maybe take a car and extend its lifespan," she said. "The idea could be that you could freshen up the interior." That's all fine and good if a vehicle can receive over-the-air updates, but that's not always going to be the case. Click here for the full story.

Polestar Exec Says Porsche 911 Serves as Benchmark for its Upcoming Sports Car

Polestar is working hard to gain ground in the electric vehicle market worldwide. Part of that growth plan is the introduction of the 6, a two-door sports car The details come to Carscoops through a report that quotes Edward Trinh. He’s Polestar Australia’s Product Planning Manager and evidently made several comments about the upcoming 6 at a recent event in Melbourne. The Polestar 6 was originally hinted at with the O2 concept and to hear Trinh tell it, it’s going to be one well-rounded driver’s car. “We’re benchmarking this dynamically against a Porsche, 911, the Taycan – they’re the types of cars we’re looking at. We believe they’re the benchmarks in the industry for vehicle dynamics,” he said. We can’t disagree with those comments. Porsche continually impresses with its ability to produce similarly great driving dynamics regardless of the size and shape of the vehicle in question. Trinh went on to describe a little more of how the team planned to achieve such dynamic handling. “Speaking to the R&D team, we got a bit of insider information from the head of vehicle dynamics for this vehicle [that] they’re looking [into] trick suspension systems,” he said. Click here for the full story.

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Lancia Reveals New Logo and Pu+Ra Zero Sculpture Teasing EV Design Language [Carscoops]

Hurricane Ian Results in Multiple EV Fires in Fla. [Automotive News]

Crash Tests Are About to Get Much More Stringent [Carbuzz]

AAA Says These Are America's Most Dangerous Roads [Autoblog]