Our occasional roundup of new car news and notes
The team at the TechForce Foundation is focused on answering the questions in the headline, and has announced a new tech-school scholarship program in conjunction with the WD-40 Brand and Advance Auto Parts stores.
The joint effort is designed to fund 40 scholarships to those who need financial support in pursuing a career in the skilled trades, TechForce said in its announcement. Scholarship winners also will receive “additional resources and career development opportunities.”
“We’re currently facing a shocking labor shortage in the skilled trades, with nearly five jobs for every new tech school graduate, making it critical to help aspiring trade professionals overcome financial barriers,” Jennifer Maher, TechForce chief executive, is quoted in the news release.
“The scholarship program creates a powerful opportunity to allow men and women to pursue a stable and rewarding career in the trades that have built our communities for centuries, while reducing the financial burden.”
“Now, more than ever, America needs young people to enter the skilled trades and we are honored to support TechForce and Advance in their mission to support students in their education and careers as professional technicians,” added Erin Bala, WD-40 Company senior director of brand experience.
“I started my professional career as an automotive technician, and am incredibly thankful that TechForce, Advance and great partners like WD-40 Brand share a passion for attracting, educating and retaining men and women in the rewarding careers available in the automotive industry,” said Advance vice-president Chris Blanchette. “Together, we look forward to solving for a critical need while launching the careers of aspiring technicians across the U.S.”
Speaking of the car of the future, meet Spiritus
Toronto-based Daymak, “a pioneer in personal Light Electric Vehicles,” has unveiled the prototype of its Daymak Spiritus, which it claims will be “the world’s fastest three wheeler.”
Daymak president Aldo Baiocchi said five more Spiritus prototypes are in the production process. The company plans to completed testing and certification of the vehicle in June 2023 and to begin deliveries to customers in September 2023. Plans call for the production of 50,000 Spiritus 3-wheelers powered by IONiX Pro Battery Systems from EV Battery Tech.
Preliminary pricing is targeted at $22,995 for the Spiritus Deluxe basic 3-wheeler and at $149,000 for the Spiritus Ultimate version. The Deluxe unit is aimed at 180 miles of range, a top speed of 85 mph, and a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.9 seconds. The carbon-fiber bodied and autonomously driven Ultimate, with all-wheel drive — yes, that’s all 3 wheels — would have a 300-mile range, a 130 mph top speed, and sprint to 60 mph in 1.8 seconds, according to the Daymak website.
Daymak says it has sold more than 100,000 LEVs since its founding in 2002.
Mercedes reimagines the road trip
Mercedes-Benz says its Vision EQXX concept model presents “the road trip reimagined with a new technology blueprint for series production,” adding that the electric vehicle concept “allows us to explore new frontiers of efficiency.”
Such a vehicle would have 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) on a single charge despite having a surprisingly compact battery. It also notes that such electrical consumption is 10 kWh per 100 kilometers, or more than 6 miles per kWh, or equivalent to a much smaller and less luxurious gasoline-powered “1-liter” car.
So how much electricity is represented by 10 kWh? Watching 100 hours on a 50-inch LED television or running a typical home air conditioner for 3 hours.
BMW unveils 2023 iX M60
BMW has unveiled a vehicle is calls “the best of three worls: i, X, and M.” The vehicle is the 2023 BMW iX M60, which the company says will go on sale in the US in June 2022 with an MSRP of $105,100.
BMW says the iX M60 is the first high-performance sport activity vehicle designed for “purely electric mobility.” With its pair of electric motors, BMW says the iX M60 will provide as much as 610 horsepower but also 280 miles of range on a charge. BMW says that with launch control activated and with 811 pound-feet of instantaneous torque, a 0-to-60 sprint should take only 3.6 seconds.
BMW says its electric motors are designed to eliminate the need for rare-earth metals in magnetic components of the motor rotors. Instead of permanent magnets, the motors use “current-energized synchronous” technology.
Sony car being tested
At CES — the Consumer Electronics Show — a year ago, Sony stunned visitors by unveiling the Vision-S, a car produced by the entertainment and electronics company. Sony is back at CES 2022 with a second car, this time a crossover style SUV, the Vision-S 02, and with news that it’s Vision-S has begun validation testing in Europe.
Sony also said it will launch a new division, Sony Mobility, in the spring with an eye on potential electric vehicle production.
Cadillac shows electric 2-seater
Also in conjunction with CES, Cadillac expanded its “Halo Concept Portfolio” to include the InnerSpace, an autonomous, 2-passenger electric luxury vehicle “focused on elevating the passenger experience.”
“The vehicles of the Cadillac Halo Concept Portfolio are designed to provide effortless travel through extraordinary means,” said Bryan Nesbitt, GM executive director of design and architecture. “They are visions for the next decade and beyond, showing the possibilities enabled by General Motors’ comprehensive approach to autonomous drive technology with the goal of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
Cadillac introduced the first two Halo concepts a year ago at CES 2021. They were PersonalSpace, a single-seat, vertical takeoff and landing concept, and SocialSpace, an autonomous vehicle for six occupants.
“Electrification and autonomous driving will fundamentally change the role of vehicles and the experiences customers have with them,” Nesbitt added. “We’re exploring where that will go with these innovative concepts, envisioning mobility as an ally of wellness, giving customers the ultimate luxury, more personal time rather than taking it.”
Chevrolet shows 2024 electric pickup
In conjunction with CES, Chevrolet unveiled its 2024 Silverado EV, the electric version of its full-size pickup truck. At launch, Chevy said, two versions will be available — an RST First Edition and a fleet-oriented WT.
Chevrolet said the Silverado EV will offer an anticipated 400-mile range, will be equipped to supply power with a 10.2kW “offboard” power system, and will offer 4-wheel steering, a fixed-glass roof, as much as 10 feet, 10 inches of load floor, an a 17-inch infotainment screen.
Chevrolet also showed its 2024 Equinox EV SUV, which is says will have a base price of around $30,000.