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Top Auto Executive Calls For Stricter Environmental Regulations


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 23:00

Jörg Grotendorst, senior vice president of research and development at Magna International, is calling for stricter environmental regulations to make automobiles more sustainable.

 

 

https://www.thedrive...ation-heres-why

 

 

 



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#2 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 01:17

"pay the extra cost to drive electric cars."

Yes...



#3 Magoo

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 12:31

For me, I don't think there's any question that EVs will ultimately be cheaper than ICE.

 

Lower component count, fewer assembly operations, fewer workers. The UAW has already figured out that last part. 



#4 mariner

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 12:58

In one way I am not surprised as Magna makes lots of money from sub assemblies etc. so teh more legislation is imposed the more bits they sell - until it's 100% EV.

 

His " autos only get used 10%" argument is a bit false as many forms of public/shared transport have load factors under 40%. Also individual cars are a straight a to B proposition whereas pubic systems require radial routes form hubs to be viable and that increases both journey time and cost if your A to B doesn't go via a hub.

 

As and when cars are 100% EV i di think the " evil car vs good bus/train" arguments will need re-thinking outside crowded city centres.

 

Having said all of that I am old enough to remember how European OEM technical directors and journalists treated the California/US actions on pollution and safety in the 1970's with utter distain and arrogance. Today that legislation has been copied in Europe.



#5 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 21:55

Grins, SAAB and Volvo were the first companies to 100% fit seat belts (the disdain was for non manual seat belt regs, ie unbelted airbags and automatic seat belts. The attitude was that if you were stupid enough not to put a seat belt on why should the manufacturer cater for your stupidity). Victoria Australia was the first legislature to mandate their use if fitted.

 

The emissions regs were introduced because of smog in LA. Even large European cities at the time didn't have an automotive smog problem (in context, specifically smog, not pollution), different climate, less car use.


Edited by Greg Locock, 24 May 2024 - 22:07.


#6 Magoo

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 22:33

In one way I am not surprised as Magna makes lots of money from sub assemblies etc. so teh more legislation is imposed the more bits they sell - until it's 100% EV.

 

 

 

Oh, for sure. The remarks were remarkably self-interested. That said, he is also correct that adoption will be slower without regulatory nudges. 

 

It's not clear how much of a hit Magna took on the Fisker assembly arrangement. It appears the company was well-protected with up-front payments and so forth. 



#7 Canuck

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 23:50

Maybe it's always been this way, but it seems "car manufacturers" are moving closer to "car assemblers" and perhaps designers (and  of course marketers/distributors etc).

 

I think adoption would be quick at the right price but there remains the hurdle of charge times and cold-weather distance. Recognizing that it is a specific scenario, it remains a very real one. If you can't get your electric car from the city to the ski hill and back again on a single charge, this is not a trivial issue to solve (unless you solve the capacity). My favourite place to spend the winter has 1900 stalls and an additional 500 along the access road (give or take). On a slow day, the parking lot would be half full and the road empty but I like round numbers so let's go with 1000 cars. Even if you dropped massive charging networks in the 4 logical locations (1 the hill, 3 more in communities on the highway home), that is an absolutely enormous synchronous demand.

 

I'm not opposed to having an electric vehicle in principle, but the current political narrative seems to be "damn the problems and screw your concerns, you're going to do it anyway". Absolutely ZERO feasible grid capacity in place, California is already buying electricity from other states (and other countries), and that's just charging at home. There seems to be precious little acknowledgement that then tens of thousands of vehicles traversing the highways right now will create a (calculable) stratospheric demand for charging stations. Those advocating for legislated / enforced adoption of this seem to think this will all be a minor discomfort and not (as the technology exists now) a complete change of our way of life.



#8 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 00:01

" it seems "car manufacturers" are moving closer to "car assemblers" and perhaps designers (and  of course marketers/distributors etc)."

 

That's been the case for half a century - gearboxes and alternators were among the subsystems that car manufacturers black boxed fairly early on. These days there are very few components where the Tier one supplier has no design input, if not entire design and development, the classic examples of the latter being tires, pistons, brake pads, and to a lesser extent EPAS and dampers.  I have no doubt that many OEMs hand off all their ABS/TC/ESC/ROM tuning to Bosch holus bolus, either using remote access or an embedded Bosch engineer.



#9 Magoo

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 02:08

Tesla is bucking the trend with its high degree of vertical integration, especially in electronics. It's the best, maybe the only way to do zone programming and SDV. 

 

CEO Farley at Ford has been vocal about trying to bring the electronics back in-house, but it's not easy. 



#10 Magoo

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 02:16

I think we tend to overestimate the amount of electrical energy needed for the EV transition, and the pace required.

 

This may be in part because we underestimate the greater mechanical efficiency of EVs compared to ICE,

 

The attitude of the electrical utilities seems to be hey, we got this. The suggestion is that increased demand for air conditioning is an equal or greater issue. 



#11 gruntguru

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 04:07

The pace of the EV transition is the other factor the naysayers tend to exaggerate. Sure electricity generation and charging infrastructure can only be expanded at a finite rate - guess what - the car fleet can only be replaced with EVs at a limited rate too.



#12 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 08:00

Given the age of the fleet I'd guess you might manage 5% per year organically, in the first decade. Of course once you start erecting tariff walls and protecting high priced local manufacturers you end up with the Australian car industry.



#13 Canuck

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 11:57

The pace of the EV transition is the other factor the naysayers tend to exaggerate. Sure electricity generation and charging infrastructure can only be expanded at a finite rate - guess what - the car fleet can only be replaced with EVs at a limited rate too.

That’s fair, but we are seeing more options today from automakers than there were even 2 years ago. The car side ~appears~ to have a greater rate of change than the utility side. Of course we don’t see the utility side expansion the same way we see changes in the car mix however there appears to be little to no updates in the local distribution networks.

#14 Canuck

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 12:02

CEO Farley at Ford has been vocal about trying to bring the electronics back in-house, but it's not easy.


As we’ve seen in any number of industries, once you’ve removed the jobs, re-acquiring the skill sets is a large undertaking. The longer those jobs have been third-partied the more likely a large segment (or all) of it has been off-shored. This makes the probability of finding people who still know how it was done even harder.

#15 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 23:09

There's a couple of ways Farley can approach that. One is to acquire a company with the relevant expertise. I suggest that integrating an exisiting successful company into the Borg is unlikely to work. The other option is to grow the capability organically, that is, bring more and more of the design and manufacturing work in house. That could work, it would need time and money. An example of that is ADAT, where they have built a good AV/driver assistance organisation internally.



#16 Canuck

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 05:28

I suggest that integrating


I used to be here:

an exisiting successful company into the Borg


And now I am here:

is unlikely to work.


Entrepreneurial culture and people do not fit within the Borg without substantial change and most of the former can't be the latter.

#17 Magoo

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 21:36

The U.S. legacy car companies are now older than many nation-states. Enacting change at an auto manufacturer has been likened to turning an aircraft carrier around, but it may be more like rotating the Sphinx on its axis. 

 

I was standing around at a classic car event press thing with a couple of senior executives when one of them said, "I'll be glad when Mary gets f**king EVs out of her system and we can go back to making V8s." 


Edited by Magoo, 26 May 2024 - 22:59.


#18 Canuck

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 00:00

:rotfl:



#19 Greg Locock

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 06:30

When Nasser was in charge the thing we were regularly clobbered with was The Business Equation, a less than rigorous attempt to figure out if it was profitable to develop a new model. One i worked on would have had to sell 175000 over the life of the model to meet that criterion, and if you squint it did.

 

Obviously  EVs never had to pass the Business Equation. I don't understand how giving a customer a car and a suitcase full of dollar notes makes sense. The EV space is chock full of startups proving the hilarious book "Burn rate" right. Divide your cash in hand by the rate you are losing money and that's your expected lifetime. 


Edited by Greg Locock, 28 May 2024 - 06:39.


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#20 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 21:56

The U.S. legacy car companies are now older than many nation-states. Enacting change at an auto manufacturer has been likened to turning an aircraft carrier around, but it may be more like rotating the Sphinx on its axis. 

 

I was standing around at a classic car event press thing with a couple of senior executives when one of them said, "I'll be glad when Mary gets f**king EVs out of her system and we can go back to making V8s." 

and that is why they will fail. Hopefully, but I feel the gov will come to the rescue again because votes are needed



#21 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 21:57

When Nasser was in charge the thing we were regularly clobbered with was The Business Equation, a less than rigorous attempt to figure out if it was profitable to develop a new model. One i worked on would have had to sell 175000 over the life of the model to meet that criterion, and if you squint it did.

 

Obviously  EVs never had to pass the Business Equation. I don't understand how giving a customer a car and a suitcase full of dollar notes makes sense. The EV space is chock full of startups proving the hilarious book "Burn rate" right. Divide your cash in hand by the rate you are losing money and that's your expected lifetime. 

That is true but you also have Tesla - they actually made it work. Developed cars, a charging network and make money by leading cost effectiveness.

You are right that there are a lot of cash burning startups out there...lucid, rivian, the late fisker



#22 Greg Locock

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 00:01

Sorry I meant Ford EVs, not in general. One day somebody will write a book about what Tesla and BYD did right, but I have a horrible feeling the method was throwing cubic money at problems and not taking no for an answer.



#23 Magoo

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 21:29

Sorry I meant Ford EVs, not in general. One day somebody will write a book about what Tesla and BYD did right, but I have a horrible feeling the method was throwing cubic money at problems and not taking no for an answer.

 

At Tesla, the process involved much screaming at people and sleeping on the factory floor. Also moving the assembly line into a giant tent so the robot system could be completely done over. 



#24 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 22:49

That's clearly part of the reason Tesla succeeded.

Another part is they really looked at the problem differently from the start - not tried to look at how an ICE car is build and build an EV but challenged a lot of the assumptions there. Stuff some manufacturers can't do/won't do because the temptation is too big to think you can leverage things from ICE cars. In reality, you are also solving problems that are not there (see the start button on electric cars) or just involving too many people. 



#25 Bloggsworth

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 20:08

Sorry I meant Ford EVs, not in general. One day somebody will write a book about what Tesla and BYD did right, but I have a horrible feeling the method was throwing cubic money at problems and not taking no for an answer.

Funny that, I recently watched a news report about high voltages leaking through the bodywork of BYDs, several people registered voltages of up to 100V "Not enough to kill you" they were told... The Party quickly shut down reporting on the subject, but ot quick enough.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=C7PubmPu-3I


Edited by Bloggsworth, 30 May 2024 - 20:09.


#26 Magoo

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 20:20

That's clearly part of the reason Tesla succeeded.

Another part is they really looked at the problem differently from the start - not tried to look at how an ICE car is build and build an EV but challenged a lot of the assumptions there. Stuff some manufacturers can't do/won't do because the temptation is too big to think you can leverage things from ICE cars. In reality, you are also solving problems that are not there (see the start button on electric cars) or just involving too many people. 

 

 

Oh, yes. Musk constantly goes on about working from "first principles." By which he means, among other things, disregarding all previous approaches and asking, "what are we trying to do here?" 

 

Often it means looking at the part in question and asking, "Do we really need this thing?" He loves to say, "The best part is no part." Which is Chapman-esque. See also Henry Ford. Through most years of Model T production, the component count went down. 

 

From there, he compares the cost of the raw materials in a given component to the cost of the finished piece. The cost of the raw material (for the sake of argument) is fixed, while the manufacturing and handling costs are almost infinitely variable, and thus ripe with opportunity. 

 

From this basic approach arise all the crazy statements about 10 micron stamping tolerances and so on. Obviously he is crazy, a raving lunatic. He's the richest lunatic in the world. 



#27 gruntguru

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 21:44

I am half way through Walter Isaacson's biography https://www.theguard...-things-learned of Musk. It is a gripping read.

 

The first 5 pages answer a lot of questions.



#28 Magoo

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 22:49

It's a very revealing book. Isaacson pulls no punches.