EV Adoption Targets Are Unachievable, Say 59% of Auto Industry Experts

First Up 03/10/23

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On Saturday March 4, Vic Vaughan Toyota of Boerne (VVTOB) in Texas, celebrated Boerne ISD teachers with $16,000 in gifts at the Boerne Education Foundation's Rock On Gala. VVTOB honored teacher of the year, Rachel Bunker, 6th grade Math Teacher, with a $10,000 check and the runner-up, Brook Taylor, 6th grade Social Studies teacher, with a $1,500 check. All other honorees received $500 checks for their hard work and dedication to the district. VVTOB has been a proud supporter of BISD and the Boerne Education Foundation for nine years with over $150,000 in donations to support the incredible teachers and schools shaping the youth of the Boerne community. Click here to view a photo.

EV Adoption Targets Are Unachievable, Say 59% of Auto Industry Experts

Six months ago, the news was dominated by stories suggesting combustion cars would be pretty much extinct across large parts of the world 15 years from now. The EU and California were poised to impose zero-emissions limits from 2035 and other states were getting ready to follow suit. But now the cracks are beginning to appear. Germany and Italy are threatening to derail Europe’s ICE ban unless concessions are made for synthetic fuels that could keep the combustion engine alive, and now it emerged that more than half of auto industry experts surveyed think the mass switch to electric vehicles is unachievable within regulatory timelines anyway. Carscoops reports, Research joints carried out by ABB Robotics and Automotive Manufacturing Solutions found that 59 percent of respondents doubted that the switch to EVs was possible within the timeframe specified by lawmakers. Reasons given included the challenges the auto industry faced adapting to a new battery supply chain, concerns over high levels of capital investment required, shortages of raw materials and a lack of grid capacity and charging infrastructure. Click here for the full story.

Massachusetts Intends to Enforce Updated Right-To-Repair Law In June, Court Filing Says

Massachusetts' newly elected Attorney General Andrea Campbell said she intends to enforce the state's updated right-to-repair law in June, according to a court filing. Campbell, said in the filing that terminating her office's non-enforcement stipulation is "in the public interest" and would take effect June 1. Former state Attorney General Maura Healey, who is now governor, had previously said her office will not enforce the state's revised law until after the federal court rules on claims brought by automakers challenging the legislation, reports Automotive News. U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock has delayed ruling on the more than 2-year-old lawsuit at least six times. "The people of Massachusetts deserve the benefit of the law they approved more than two years ago," Campbell said in the filing. "Consumers and independent repair shops deserve to know whether they will receive access to vehicle repair data in the manner provided by the law." She said automakers and dealers "need to understand their obligations under the law and take action to achieve compliance." The Alliance for Automotive Innovation is representing automakers in the lawsuit to block the voter-approved measure that revised and expanded the state's existing right-to-repair law. Click here for the full story.

VW Confirms Debut of 2024 ID.Buzz LWB U.S.-Spec Version in June

VW's Microbus revival, the electric ID.Buzz van, is already on sale in Europe, and now we're finally getting some updates on the U.S. version and when it will arrive on our shores. Volkswagen has confirmed that the long-wheelbase version of the Buzz will make its debut in June before going on sale in America for the 2024 model year. Car and Driver reports, the difference between the short-wheelbase European model and the long-wheelbase U.S. model is most obvious if you look at the length of the rear sliding doors. Otherwise, the two look nearly identical on the outside. The U.S. version will come standard with three rows of seats and should offer seating for seven passengers, while the Euro version has two rows of seats. VW has also said that the bigger U.S.-bound Buzz will have a larger battery pack than the 77.0-kWh pack available elsewhere. The base model will have a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 201 horsepower, and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive upgrade will be optional and should offer the same 295 horsepower as the AWD option in the ID.4 SUV. Click here for the full story.

Online Shopping Prompts Mercedes to Redesign its Showrooms

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a digital-focused store redesign aimed at dialing down the high-pressure, transactional experience that has defined auto retail. The luxury automaker is also experimenting with alternative formats, including small-footprint showrooms in retail centers and service-only sites. Automakers are giving their retail strategies a rethink in response to the emergence of online car-shopping and direct-sales competitors, notably luxury segment leader Tesla. "We are moving away from traditional big locations to add small, lifestyle formats where people can walk in, see a product, get some information," Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dimitris Psillakis told Automotive News. A prototype for that boutique concept has opened in an upscale Atlanta-area mixed-use development. The 2,000-square-foot store, operated by retailer RBM of Alpharetta, displays just two vehicles and primarily introduces the brand to curious shoppers. "You show products, but it's not a place where you go and kick tires. There is no aftersales," Psillakis said, referring to a service department. David Ellis, general manager at RBM of Alpharetta, described the concept as a "show and tell." Click here for the full story.

Federated Insurance’s Claim of the Month — Could it Happen to You?

An insured auto dealership had snow removed in main areas of their lot but did not move their vehicles to have snow removed between cars for multiple weeks. Snow and ice buildup occurred between them, and a customer slipped and fell while looking at the vehicles, fracturing her hip and requiring surgery. Although the hazard was open and obvious, the dealership had no plan in place to move the vehicles. In doing so, proper snow removal and road treatment with salt or sand could not take place over the entire lot, leaving them open for risk.
CLAIM AMOUNT: $450,000 in total damages with liability being shared 50-50 between the dealership and the customer.

Claim advice: Have a snow removal plan in place to ensure as much of the snow and ice can be removed in the lot and around vehicles. In addition to removing the snow, treat the lot with sand or salt in a timely manner to prevent ice buildup. If ice forms, remove it right away, or park vehicles where ice and snow have not built up. Post signage warning of icy spots to help keep customers away from dangerous areas.  

Federated Mutual Insurance Company is recommended by 19 state and national auto dealer associations for customized insurance programs and value-added risk management services, such as mySHIELD®, the Risk Management Resource Center, and the Federated Employment Practices Network®. Visit federatedinsurance.com or contact your local marketing representative for resources you can use to create or enhance your own risk management program.


Around the Web

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Named the Most-Shopped Electrified Vehicle [Carscoops]

Hands-On With the 2025 Sony Honda Electric Car: Entertainment to Go [Motortrend]

New Hyundai Kona Electric Boasts Bolder Design, Longer Range [CNET]

Kia Is Planning to Give the K5 a Substantial Facelift [Carbuzz]