Toyota Pulls Forward Electrification Plan

First Up 06/07/19

U.S.-Mexico Talks Continue Under Tariff Threat as Trump Returns From Europe
U.S.-Mexico migration talks were set to resume on Friday as Mexican officials continue their push to reach an agreement that would avert U.S. tariffs set to take effect on Monday, reports Autoblog. Vice President Mike Pence said progress has been made after two days of talks but gave no specifics. He said President Donald Trump, who returns from a week-long trip to Europe on Friday afternoon, would have final say on any deal. Trump rattled global markets, Mexican officials and his fellow Republicans in Congress last week by threatening 5% tariffs on Mexican imports starting on Monday if Mexico did not step up efforts to stem an increase in migrants heading for the U.S. southern border. Wall Street futures signaled a positive opening for U.S. markets on Friday after stocks rebounded on Thursday amid optimism that a deal could be close. Still, it remained unclear if Mexican pledges to curb migration flows would persuade Trump to drop his tariff threat. Read more here. 

Toyota Pulls Forward Electrification Plan
Toyota is ramping up electric vehicle deployment plans, pulling forward its goal of selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles by five years and aiming to develop a solid-state battery by next summer as it races to meet a "sudden surge" of EV popularization, reports Automotive News. Toyota now aims to sell some 5.5 million traditional gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, EVs, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2025. Nearly 1 million of them could be pure EVs. Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi, Toyota's r&d chief, outlined the new roadmap in a June 7 briefing about the company's EV plans. In December 2017, the company had said it wanted to sell that many electrified vehicles by 2030, five years later than the revised outlook. Terashi added that the company wants to unveil a solid-state battery for electrified vehicles ahead of next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The technology, which promises lighter, more powerful and safer batteries, could be a breakthrough in popularizing electric vehicles. "Wanting to make an effort is not enough. You really should be able to deliver," Terashi said. Read more here. 

Automakers Urge California, U.S. to Restart Mileage Talks
Major automobile manufacturers urged the Trump administration and California on Thursday to restart negotiations over vehicle mileage standards to prevent a lengthy legal battle, warning that moving ahead with two sets of standards would create instability in the auto market, reports The Detroit News. “What works best for consumers, communities, and the millions of U.S. employees that work in the auto industry is one national standard that is practical, achievable, and consistent across the 50 states,” the 17 companies including General Motors Co., Ford, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz wrote in a letter addressed to Trump. At issue is a Trump administration roll back of tougher Obama-era mileage standards that would require cars to get 36 miles of real-world driving per gallon of gas by 2025. The goal is for Americans to fill up their gas tanks less frequently, sending fewer climate-changing emissions and pollutants into the air. Read more here.

Death of the Minivan? As Americans Buy More SUVs, is the Minivan Headed for the Junkyard?
More Americans are saying no to minivans, once considered synonymous with suburban family life, even as the vehicle celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. In fact, reports USA Today, Fiat Chrysler – whose Chrysler division is known for inventing the minivan – could soon kill off one of the segment's best-known models. Minivan sales as a percentage of the entire U.S. auto industry fell from 4% in 2009 to 2.6% in the first quarter of 2019, according to research and data firm IHS Markit. The primary factor hurting minivan sales is the nation's love affair with SUVs and crossovers, which have soared in number, giving shoppers a bevy of alternatives to the sliding-door minivan. George Augustaitis, director of industry and economic analytics at CarGurus, said the nation's declining birth rate and a movement toward city life have also contributed to the decline of minivans. Read more here. 

VW's Electrify America to Build More EV Chargers at Walmart Stores
Volkswagen unit Electrify America will significantly expand its U.S. network of electric vehicle charging stations at Walmart store locations with an emphasis on America’s heartland states, the two companies said on Thursday. According to CNBC, Electrify America already has more than 120 operational charging stations installed at Walmart stores in 34 U.S. states, in line with an announcement made by both companies last year. The companies did not disclose the number of new charging stations they plan to build. But according to sources familiar with Electrify America’s plans, the company will build 180 more charging stations at Walmart locations by the end of 2019. U.S. electric vehicle ownership is now concentrated on the country’s east and west coasts. Electrify America’s chargers at Walmart stores provide fast charging for vehicles, with speeds of up to 20 miles of range per minute of charging. Read more here. 

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