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Ethernovia wallpaper

Meet Ethernovia, the tech company simplifying your car’s brain for the future of safer driving

Cars are hard. Computing can be harder. Yeah, I get it. And it doesn’t help when the central nervous system of your car, the brains and all its connected gizmos and wiring, are as complex as they’ve ever been. But easy, now. There exist tech companies out there that still do what a successful (and likable) company does: provide solutions and alternatives to problems. Actual problems. Ones they didn’t fabricate or exaggerate Twitter clout. I had a chance to chat with one particular company’s representatives at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, and now it’s time for you to get to know the company, too. Meet Ethernovia, the award-winning, San Jose-based tech company poising itself to tackle issues the car companies gave themselves.

Keep in mind that I am no super hardcore tech junkie by any means. Too much Super Street growing up rots the brain. But even so, I found myself so enamored by the efforts of this company, and I wish nothing more than to share my learnings and their mission statement with you.

Solving issues the automakers created

Ramin-Motortrend-Award Ethernovia
Image credit: Ethernovia

As I waited to meet with a rep outside some random booth on the CES floor, my face sweaty from meandering around all day and donning nothing but jeans and a loose t-shirt, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I never saw anyone’s faces prior to this, nor did I have a real clear understanding of what exactly this company is or what they do. A rep, who I later learned was an Acceleramota fan, simply liked our work and wanted to connect to help share their mission.

And what a mission, indeed. Well, if you’re the techy kind that enjoys problem-solving, and God knows the auto industry could use some extra wisdom. Thankfully, Ethernovia and other companies like it are here to impart that wisdom to the glacially evolving auto industry, with the goal of simplifying their electrical and processing systems while maximizing performance in the name of improved safety and lower production costs.

Think of Ethernovia as a sort of automotive neurologist.

As I’m sure you’ve seen, cars are complicated. Over the decades, with legislation after legislation putting greater pressure on automakers to implement more safety systems and customer after customer clamoring for the latest toys and niceties, cars have evolved from the mechanical relics of an all-analog past to the rolling supercomputers they are today. Even something as basic as a rental-grade Civic or a sparsely-equipped 86 is brimming with enough writing and sensors to throw aerospace engineers of old into a spiral. And as I’ve learned, automakers haven’t necessarily been the most efficient in developing and implementing such tech. That’s not to say the current ways of doing things don’t work, as they clearly do! But Ethernovia feels it could be better.

How Ethernovia does it

Miles of wiring and mini-ECU after mini-ECU occupy the innards of every car. Clearly, it must be a conspiracy to keep the rubber insulation and copper wire industries thriving! But such an abundance is what Ethernovia considers to be of great excess, and it’s what the company seeks to reduce. Not only would more minimalist systems maintain or improve the performance of the automakers’ designs, but it’d also reduce complexity and margin for system error. This equates to lowered production costs for the OEMs and safer vehicles for consumers, especially in a future heavily leaning into the safety assists and autonomous driving tech that relies so heavily on computers and sensors.

You’d think simplifying such systems would be a given for OEMs, but such an effort can often be overlooked when engineers get spread thin on a project or said manufacturers would rather just use and install electronics from existing legacy brands (Continental, Bosch, Denso, etc.)

Ethernovia stock car wiring diagram
Typical car wiring diagram, Image credit: Ethernovia

One way Ethernovia achieves its goals is through the consolidation of your car’s computers into fewer, dedicated ECUs. Fewer ECUs to communicate with also mean less wiring and chips, simplifying the production and assembly of the car’s electricals while still enabling all the luxury or safety toys the OEMs and consumers want. Another is through the production of more efficient, sharper responding “high-performance” ECUs, with lower power draws and less latency in its computing power, which is crucial when implemented in lane-centering, automatic braking, or adaptive cruise where every millisecond counts in emergencies. Data can be processed quickly, and the safety systems’ actuators can react sooner.

Speaking of which.

Ethernovia stock car wiring diagram
Diagram of Ethernovia’s consolidated ECUs, Image credit: Ethernovia

New gizmos for the era of “software-defined vehicles”

Right on time for this little tech talk/introduction of mine, Ethernovia dropped details on new chips they’ve been developing with efficiency in mind. The company announced the launch of two new 7nm PHYs (physical layers or basically the hardware in a circuit, such as chips, ports, and cabling), dubbed ENT11100 and ENT11025, respectively. Their claim to fame reportedly is that they have the industry’s lowest power draw while still having levels of processing power that meet Ethernovia’s standards for appeasing software-defined vehicles. For the die-hard techies who’ll understand it better than I do, know these new PHYs are the first and only products in their field to support 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second, a measure of bandwidth and data transmission), 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and 1Gbps.

At its fastest, Ethernovia’s PHYs are capable of transferring data at 4,500 Gigabytes per hour. At its slowest, it’s more like 450 Gigabytes per hour. Compare that to the estimated average of 25 per hour in today’s connected cars.

Ethernovia services
Image credit: Ethernovia

“Electrification, increasing connectivity demands, and the advancement of automated driving functions result in ever-increasing requirements on fast and secure data transmission in the vehicle and to the cloud,” stated semiconductor expert and systems architect for Volkswagen Group, Andreas Aal. “Ethernovia’s new PHY meets these demands by offering energy-efficient, high-bandwidth, low-latency data transmission paired with embedded co-optimized safety and security IP to enable a seamless and holistic architecture transition that paves the way up to future software-defined vehicles.”

Essentially, the ENT11100 and ENT11025 chips possess greater data transmission abilities for improving safety and functionality in today’s field of cars while being capable of saving energy. When implemented in mass within a car’s entire electrical system, the resulting energy savings could bode well for system reliability as well as possibly prolong the range of electric vehicles. Single-port variants are currently being sampled by prospective customers, with quad-port variants due to be available for sampling later this year.

Yes, very creative with the nomenclatures, I know. But at least all the creative juices flowed into making their crop of gizmos work as advertised to help automakers and consumers alike.

Ethernovia is up to some pretty rad stuff, and it’s companies like this seeking real solutions to real problems that we should be backing, not those who pride themselves on nothing but glitz, glam, and publicity through controversy. I wish Ethernovia and other companies like them the very best in their efforts, for if they succeed on an industry-wide scale, it will truly lead to the safer and more affordable cars we’ve been yearning for. And in my opinion, although it’s not the most star-studded headline, it’s certainly worth more curiosity than some 8-bit tinker toy of an EV rendered in 144p.

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Fiat 500e
FeaturesHot TakesNews

The all-electric Fiat 500e is one of the coolest new EVs, but does it belong in the U.S.?

Perhaps I’m not the ideal candidate to write this piece, given my family’s affinity for the lil’ Ciquecentos, but no one else will, so here I go. It’s official. The all-new, all-electric Fiat 500e, reborn for the European market in 2020, now makes its way to American shores as we speak, heralding a new era for Fiat in the United States and Fiat’s first real, non-compliance-car attempt at an EV for the North American market. Hipsters rejoice! Rise, my beloved tinker toy! Rise!

At first glance, it’s undeniably easy to dismiss the new 500e as some unimpressive cash grab by Stellantis to resurrect the recently deceased (to Americans) 500, with okay range and Corolla performance numbers. But that’d be completely ignorant of us, even if it is very on-brand for mindless consumers in a blatantly more-is-better society. The new 500e is not here to wow us with any victories in the numbers game. It’s not here to win any drag races or set any world range records. As Fiat puts it, it’s just here to be a “damn good car.” And a damn good car, it might be. But is it the right car for this market?

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What is the new Fiat 500e?

The last Fiat 500e, while actually well-received for delivering solid driving dynamics, was often dismissed as a mere compliance car, something to keep Fiat’s foot in the door in California and nothing really more than a gasser Fiat 500 converted to run on electrons… for, like, less than 90 miles. It was akin to many other ICE-cars-turned-battery-powered science projects of the time, just a little over a decade ago, but that didn’t excuse its afterthought development, California and Oregon-only sales, and lack of usable range. Even Fiat’s own CEO famously slammed it as a money pit spawned out of necessity. Ironic that it garnered a cult following in the years since, and now half my neighbors have snatched one up to use as grocery store shuttles.

The new 500e rides on a bespoke platform intended for EV use from the start and is available for all 50 states. It ditches the old compliance car’s 24-kWh battery for a 42-kWh lithium-ion/nickel manganese cobalt unit, helping it produce a healthy 118 horsepower and 162 pound-feet. Despite the extra battery capacity, it weighs roughly 50 pounds less than the outgoing car, making it 600 pounds heavier than the old gasser 500s but hundreds of pounds lighter than any other EV in its segment. Keeping the battery down low and pairing the car’s revamped suspension with a wider stance and standard 17-inch wheels wrapped in 205-wide tires should translate into a superbly fun-to-drive commuter with more high-speed stability than any previous generation 500. Inside is a 10.25-inch touchscreen with UConnect 5, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in GPS navigation, a digital gauge cluster, and adaptive cruise control.

Fun facts. That wheel and tire package is the same size as the outgoing Abarth’s. And if certain tidbits inside and out seem familiar, it’s because they better be. The platform is bespoke, but consider that 500e’s details to be a little parts-bin hodgepodge of Stellantis’ finest. The 10.25-inch screen is from the Alfa Tonale/Dodge Hornet, while the door handles, start button, and interior door release buttons were plucked from Maserati. Get that. This shares a start button, and door switches with a GranTurismo and MC20. Viva Italia!

Base prices:$32,500
Motor/battery choices:AC three-phase with permanent magnet w/ 42 kWh lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt
Transmission choices:Single-speed direct drive
Drivetrain choices:Front-wheel drive
Power:118 horsepower
Torque:162 pound-feet
Weight:2,952 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph:approx. 8.5 seconds
Range:149 miles

The Fiat 500e cares not for your silly little numbers game

“Cares not for your silly little numbers game,” I say. Proceeds to infodump a bunch of numbers. Oops.

The 500e is part of Fiat’s “Dare Forward” bid to achieve 50% EV sales in the U.S. and 100% in Europe by 2030. And I’m sure they can get there if buyers can see the little econobox for what it is: perfectly fine urban transportation. It’s not meant to wow anyone with world-beating range estimates or instant charge times. Fiat knows this. And to many North American consumers, that may be enough to have them look the other way. Not the best first impression. Except the 500e was tailored to excel at being accessible transportation for urban environments, delivering just what you’d need and nothing more.

The average American commute is around 50 miles if not a little less. Fiat gives you 149 to work with. Most EV owners charge at home, assuming the car is sitting for hours overnight. The 500e will fast charge to 80% in 35 minutes, and the base price includes a Level 2 charger or Free2Move charge credits for those who already have their own charger. How thoughtful of them. 0-60 in 8.5 seconds is roughly on par with today’s econoboxes, and 162 pound-feet of torque available at 0 rpm means stop light drags or darting up and down the hills of San Francisco are more effortless in this 500 than in any prior iteration, turbocharged Abarth included. And did I mention this is reportedly the third most affordable EV on the market, third behind Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt?

Starting to see the gist here? Fiat is aiming for a usable EV that can thrive in most urban environments in a far more attractive and charismatic package than any Bolt or Leaf. No disrespect to those fine vehicles. But there’s no substitute for the Cinquecento’s cutesy Italiano vibes, which Fiat claims has the potential to shift and change throughout the 500e’s life cycle.

The Fiat 500e lineup will always evolve

According to Fiat North America’s current head honcho, Aamir Ahmed, the current 500e will launch in the U.S. and Canada as a fairly simple RED model (yes, it comes in more colors than red), serving as a sort of study as they see what buyers want and what Fiat thinks they can pull from European cars. There will initially be the sole RED model, which features three available colors and the option of all-seasons or summer rubber, but that’s only the start.

Fiat 500e
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

One way Fiat aims to make the 500e more appealing is through its goals of constantly evolving its lineup, like all the fan favorites in the automotive kingdom, from Mustang to 911 to Challenger. Buyers are told to expect something new, whether it’s some sort of flamboyant collaboration with brand partners, like the fashion brand concepts they debuted before, or a more content-rich model with goodies pulled from European cars, set to debut in “drops” like this initial drop of RED models. If Americans want a ragtop cabrio or a rip-snorting Abarth, then sure. They’re all certainly on the table, according to Ahmed, but Fiat is just playing its cards carefully for now while they see what really clicks and doesn’t click with American audiences.

And you know what? They’re right to tread carefully. Fiat should navigate its revitalization with extreme caution. Time to talk skepticism surrounding one of the most wishy-washy automakers in America.

Will the 500e survive?

Oh yeah, and that’s the other thing. I said it wasn’t a compliance car like the old 500e. It’s not. It’s a “compliance car” in different ways.

The Fiat 500e carries the torch of the outgoing generation and welcomes the Fiat 500 lineage back into North America. But sources have shared with me that it’s not the definitive end-all Fiat vehicle for our market, or at least it won’t be for very long, nor is it the cash grab I originally speculated it to be. Like a handful of other unique EV curiosities to have launched lately, the Fiat 500e is a placeholder. An appeaser. A stopgap. It’s a way to keep the Fiat name relevant until a new wave of “proper” USDM cars reportedly arrive in a few years, earn Stellantis some tax credits in the process, and allegedly serve as a low-cost, low-effort guinea pig for experimenting with their direct-to-consumer sales tools. Smart, I suppose. But that means it’s not the next big 500 I was hoping for. And frankly, this 500e could never be that, no matter how cool.

The 500e has been a hot seller in Europe since it dropped in 2020, moving hundreds of thousands of units in a few short years. That’s Europe. This is America, where EVs are the politically charged bane of many people, distances are long and far, and buyers can be a bit, uh, stubborn? Superficial? Extra careful and particular about car buying in the wake of shit-ass interest rates? Let’s say all of the above. In a time where even members of the Big Three are backpedaling on their heavy-handed EV efforts to explore other avenues, citing slow demand growth and high costs, here comes a company that failed to hang on in a highly competitive, ever-evolving market resting its hopes on a sub-200-miles EV city car without any other angle other than it being good in cities.

Sources have also fed me more deets regarding the 500e’s gestation, such as a troubled and confusing entry into the U.S. market stemming entirely from the notions of being “a day late and a dollar short” and “great car, wrong market.” It’s nearly identical to the European hot-seller but coming to a market that’s on the fence of EVs, has comparatively ill-prepared infrastructure, and lacks the sheer size, versatility, and practicality other EVs or even normal cars offer for similar money. Yes, it’s a solidly engineered, well-built car that oozes style and character. But how many American buyers are picking low-cost EVs based primarily on that? On top of that, being constructed in Turin, Italy hurts its chances of qualifying for all the possible EV tax credits, if any at all.

These are going to be sold or leased to careless hipsters who really, really want it (i.e., me) and affluent folk looking for a grocery getter as their fourth or fifth car. You’re not prying a prospective Model 3 Standard Range buyer away for this. And that’s a bit of a shame.

Fiat 500e
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

As Ahmed put it best, “We don’t want you to care that it’s electric or not. We just want you to care that it’s a damn good car.”

And I’m sure it will be a damn good car. Engineers and Euro journos alike all preach that it is indeed a damn good car. Time will tell how well the 500e will truly perform Stateside, but it will be viewed as a cutesy fashion statement for the few who want it. If you want one and your lifestyle can accept one, then by all means, get one! This thing will be just dandy in its intended environment, like New York, the Bay Area, or even my home of Las Vegas, where distances are short. Fiat’s efforts are welcome, but history and stigma work against any dream of cementing itself in our market with any semblance of stability and permanency. Perhaps they’ll surprise us. Perhaps not. But hey, any Cinquecento is better than no Ciquecento. So welcome back, little fella. Good to see you again. Please tell your 500e Abarth kin overseas I said hello and that I’d love a visit.

Fiat 500e
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

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Ford has a two-year-old skunkworks team dedicated to EVs

Automakers have long established secret divisions to work out challenging engineering and design issues. Their efforts often turn out some of the most impressive performance models seen from those brands, but Ford’s new skunkworks division is wholly focused on something else.

Ford’s CEO told investors that the company created its skunkworks division two years ago with the goal of building next-generation affordable electric vehicles. Alan Clarke, a former Tesla engineer, is heading the efforts in his role as executive director of advanced EV development. 

Surprise, surprise. EVs haven’t been a golden egg-laying goose for Ford, which reported losses of $1.6 billion on its Model E division last year. The automaker announced a pullback on investments and expanding EV production efforts, but this announcement shows that it hasn’t abandoned the program. CEO Jim Farley said, “We made a bet in silence two years ago. We developed a super-talented skunkworks team to create a low-cost EV platform. It was a small group, small team, some of the best EV engineers in the world, and it was separate from the Ford mothership. It was a startup.”

The skunkworks team developed a platform that will be flexible enough to underpin a wide range of vehicle types. Farley also said the team’s work will support software and connected services, such as Ford’s commercial telematics systems. 

While this is an interesting development, it’s unlikely to yield any immediate products. The team is said to be working on Ford’s third-gen EVs, which would come after the electric truck and SUV we already know about. In the meantime, Ford will lean on hybrids, saying its sales climbed 20 percent last year with an expectation of another 40 percent increase in 2024. 

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Porsche Macan EV
FeaturesHot TakesNews

The all-electric Porsche Macan EV is more of a “true” Porsche than you think

With the introduction of the Porsche Cayenne, the automotive industry saw the rise of the super SUV, a vehicle that provides the power and prestige of a supercar in a larger, more practical form. As these vehicles grew in popularity, especially within the luxury-performance segment, enthusiasts have been inundated with options like the Lamborghini Urus, Audi SQ8, Aston Martin DBX, and, a smaller companion to the Cayenne, the Porsche Macan

The first model year for the Macan began in 2015, and less than a decade later, we are seeing this performance SUV in a whole new light: an all-electric option. Enter the creatively named Macan Electric. If the Porsche Taycan Turbo S has proven anything, it’s that this German brand isn’t messing around when it comes to electric power, storming into this new powertrain endeavor with impressive acceleration, handling, styling, and high-tech, futuristic options. The Taycan Turbo S was the full package, giving us high expectations for an EV Macan. 

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What is the new Macan EV?

In a bold move to carry forward the Macan’s red-hot torch while feeding into the electric car frenzy sweeping the globe, the Macan EV is a full-on replacement for the outgoing gasser Macan. It sports a unique, slightly sloped roofline akin to the Cayenne Coupes or Audi Sportback crossovers and a plus-sized Taycan mug to accentuate that, yes, there is indeed a distinct lack of dinosaur juice flowing through this latest Macan.

The Macan EV will launch as two starter models, the lower-rung Macan 4S Electric and the Macan Turbo Electric. Both proudly tout Porsche’s acclaimed 800V architecture, which debuted in the Taycan. Final MPGe and range figures aren’t available as of yet, but Porsche states both Macan Electrics will launch with a 100-kWh battery, of which 95 kWh is usable, and a fast charge time of 21 minutes to juice from 10% to 80% charge.

In yet another interesting move, the electrified Macan won’t fully replace the current one immediately, at least not in all pockets of the world. Due to varying emissions and economic standards, this new generation will fully replace the gasser Macans in stricter places like mainland Europe but will sell alongside them in other markets like the UK and North America for an unknown amount of time.

Base prices:$78,800 (4) $105,300 (Turbo)
Motor/battery choices:Dual permanent synchronous motors w/ 100 kWh battery pack
Transmission choices:Single-speed direct drive
Drivetrain choices:all-wheel drive
Power:382 horsepower; 402 horsepower w/ Overboost Power + Launch Control (4), 576 horsepower; 630 horsepower w/ Overboost Power + Launch Control (Turbo)
Torque:479 pound-feet w/ Launch Control (4), 833 pound-feet w/ Launch Control (Turbo)
Weight:approx. 4,600 to 4,900 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph:approx. 4.9 seconds (4), approx. 3.1 seconds (Turbo)
Range:381 miles (4), 367 miles (Turbo)

Porsche increases release of all-electric production models

As a Porsche enthusiast, I was once incredibly skeptical about how a brand seeped in decades of racing heritage could follow the market trend into the world of electric vehicles. That was until I got behind the wheel of the Taycan Turbo S on an empty airport backroad. While we still have a lot yet to learn about the EV Macan, our hopes are high. Was Porsche able to dial in the electric motors and the already-in-production Macan to combine into one exquisite compact SUV? Supposedly, it does all that and more.

What might be harder to believe, however, is that despite initial feelings, the Macan EV is even more aligned with the hopes and dreams of Ferdinand Porsche than most may originally assume.

Porsche’s forgotten electric vehicle history proves Ferdinand Porsche would have been satisfied

While many consumers may consider the Taycan the brand’s first electric vehicle, this technology was seen in P cars over a hundred years ago before the modern EV revolution. Porsche purists may claim that creating an all-electric model was a sin, and diving deeper away from the brand’s heritage by creating an EV SUV is exponentially worse, but many forget that it was Ferdinand Porsche who originally placed an electric motor into one of his vehicles all those years ago. 

Porsche’s plans for electromobility were far advanced for the infrastructure and battery availability of the times, but that didn’t stop the vision. In 1898, Ferdinand designed his first electric vehicle, the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. From there, he went on to develop the electric wheel hub motor before introducing the first Lohner-Porsche Electromobile at the 1900 Expo in Paris. 

So, if Ferdinand Porsche was so interested in developing an EV, where did things go wrong? The answer is something we struggle with today but have managed to balance with new materials and more powerful motors: weight. 

While the new Porsche Macan is still heavy for a compact SUV due to the additional weight of the lithium-ion batteries, Porsche has maintained their focus on a striking power-to-weight ratio and weight distribution to sew along the thread of genetic Porsche driving experience. 

Porsche Macan EV aerodynamics and design 

All-new Electric Porsche Macan  rear image
Image credit: Porsche

Porsche has been a long-standing icon in the performance segment with a history steeped in motorsports heritage. Even as a heavier, larger, all-electric platform, the Macan still fits the bill for performance and handling that we expect from the brand. As an EV, the wheelbase of this compact SUV is stretched an additional 86mm, which will surely aid high-speed stability, compensated by a shorter overhang on the front and rear of the vehicle. The elongated appearance meshes with the coupe-like roofline and sleek body lines to give it a sports car appearance and proportions. 

Although it maintains its iconic Porsche appearance and is still notably a Macan at first glance, significant changes to the body styling and aerodynamics make it the most streamlined SUV on the market. That isn’t just conjecture, either. With the Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA), the Macan EV drops its drag coefficient to an impressive 0.25 — perfect for performance and optimized range. The PAA achieves this through several elements:

  • Flexible covers on the fully-sealed underbody 
  • Adaptive rear spoiler
  • Active cooling flaps on the front air intakes
  • Rear, lateral tear-off edges
  • Louvered diffuser

Porsche Macan EV driver dynamics and steering feel

In order to develop a car that aligns with the Porsche brand, handling and driving feel must be prioritized, and that is clear with the Macan EV. The additional weight of the high-voltage battery system does give the car a disadvantage, but from an engineering standpoint, the bulk of this mass sits low, giving the SUV a short center of gravity and allowing it to hug the road as it corners. Take the raving reviews of the Taycan as gospel for Porsche’s ability to make a heavy EV handle like a dream.

The EV also offers a notable change over previous model years, something we have seen in a handful of the brand’s sports cars and crossovers: rear-axle steering, which is a first for any Macan and capable of up to five degrees of angle. This is an additional option, but one we hope buyers who custom spec this vehicle will genuinely consider for both urban commuting and performance driving purposes. The benefit here is an impressively tight turning radius of 11.1 meters (36.4 feet) in traffic and increased handling stability at higher speeds.

Per usual, Porsche is using this new endeavor to bring us even more advancements in technology to enhance our driving experience. We see this not only with this Macan being the first to receive rear-axle steering but also in the addition of the two-valve damper technology in cars equipped with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that comes along with the optional air suspension. This gives drivers an even more noticeable difference in feeling between comfort and performance mapping.

While we may have to wait until these EV Macan models are released to get behind the wheel and let you know what we think of the execution of these designs for ourselves, we are optimistic about the engineering and aerodynamics that bring this car to life decades after Ferdinand Porsche himself first attempted to create his electric vehicle.

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4 Series goes hybrid, M4 adds power, and Z4 M40i gets a six-speed manual in 2025 BMW lineup

In a flurry of late-afternoon press releases, BMW announced updates to its product line for 2025. The automaker introduced refreshed 4 Series and M4 Coupes, as well as a new Z4 M40i. Here’s a quick look at the new vehicles BMW announced.

BMW adopted mild-hybrid tech for the new 4 Series, updating its four- and six-cylinder engine options. The turbocharged inline-six with 48-volt mild-hybrid power delivers 386 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, while the four-cylinder with mild-hybrid produces 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The car also got styling updates, a revised interior, and BMW’s latest iDrive version 8.5.

Image: BMW

The hotter M4 got more power, at least in the range-topping Competition models. The mainstream M4 delivers 473 horsepower, and the M4 Comp is up to 503 horsepower (523 with all-wheel drive). BMW offers a six-speed manual in the regular coupe, but the Comp is limited to an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Though it’s increasingly rare to find any new cars equipped with a stick shift and a third pedal, the 2025 Z4 M40i comes as a six-speed manual for the first time. That transmission is mated to a 382-horsepower turbocharged inline-six, sending the car from 0-60 mph in a respectable 4.2 seconds. The M40i model also gets upgraded suspension, exclusive wheels, and unique interior trim. 

Image: BMW

Pricing for the 4 Series Coupe starts at $50,700 before the $995 destination charge. The top M440i xDrive Convertible starts at $74,250. The M4 starts at $79,100 for the entry-level Coupe, while stepping up to the M4 Competition xDrive Convertible pushes the price to $95,300. Adding the six-speed manual package to the Z4 M40i bumps the price by $3,500. BMW will start sending all three cars to dealers’ lots in March 2024.

In the meantime, older model year M4, Z4 M40i, and “regular” 4 Series prices will only continue to decline on the used market. As auto industry expert Ross Litman said on a recent episode of Acceleramota’s Car Meet podcast (available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify), 60% of luxury cars on the road are leased. Enthusiasts interested in modifying their BMWs might consider buying used rather than financing a vehicle almost certain to lose value at a disproportionate rate.

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Dodge Hornet R/T
FeaturesNew Car Reviews

The Dodge Hornet R/T is America’s little Italian hybrid hot hatch for better and worse

I never go into the world of crossovers expecting much in the way of creativity or differentiation. Small family crossovers are all mostly drawn from the same cookie-cutter template. But that’s also to say they all do their job commendably well. They’re all roomy. They’re all reasonably fuel-efficient. They’re all easy to drive, easy to live with, and easy to use for all your family, commuting, or household needs. They’re fine cars, and if you throw a dart at anything on the board, you’ll probably land on something you’ll enjoy. Maybe not as a driving enthusiast, obviously. But it’ll serve its purpose well. And that’s why I’m so excited to sample an oddity like the Dodge Hornet R/T.

Where have you been the whole time, you shifty little rat?

In a sea of dull but glaringly obvious choices in the market, here comes the Hornet R/T (and, by extension, the Alfa Romeo Tonale) to rule its only little corner of the kingdom and do it its own way. In R/T guise, it can be had with a spunky plug-in hybrid akin to the RAV4 Prime. Except, unlike that longtime favorite, this diminutive crossover has… wait, Brembo brakes? Wait, dual-valve Koni shocks? Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires? Metal paddle shifters? Hold up. Something’s special about this gold jellybean on stilts, and I’m going to get to the bottom of this.

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Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

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Price and specs

GTI and GR86 fans, read it and weep. The Hornet R/T is indeed a threat. 288 horsepower and a sports car-rivaling 383 pound-feet place it squarely within the realm of entry and mid-level performance cars, and the big kid magazines’ test teams have the test numbers to prove it. Thank the 1.3-liter turbo four-banger assisted by a plug-in hybrid system consisting of two AC motors (one more than Tonale, likely resulting in its higher torque figure) and a 15.5-kWh battery, with the latter half of the powertrain being capable of up to 32 miles of EV-only commuting up to 84 mph. However, that impressive spec sheet comes at a wince-inducing price tag for our tester, which stickers at a hefty $52,405.

Base price:$41,400
As-tested price:$52,405
Engine:1.3-liter turbocharged I4 + 2 AC motors, 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery
Transmission:6-speed automatic 
Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
Power:288 horsepower
Torque:383 pound-feet
Redline:7,000 rpm
Weight:4,200 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph:5.5 seconds
¼-mile:14.2 seconds @ 96 mph
MPG:29 combined
MPGe:77 combined
Observed MPG:29.2 MPG
EV Range:32 miles
Fuel Capacity:11.2 gallons
(Author’s Note: Performance numbers reflected in Car and Driver’s review from October 2023)

Hornet R/T exterior design

Oh, thank the car gods that Italy had the heaviest influence in designing this vehicle. Yes, this is still very much an Alfa Romeo Tonale underneath, from the shape to the glass and the rear fascia. The starkest change is really just that Dodge Charger-fied mug, which itself looks pretty damn decent, and the headlights are still very much Tonale, albeit with a different lighting pattern inside the lens.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

If you care not for family crossovers, then perhaps you’ll find nothing remarkable here. But one must admit it’s a refreshingly smooth and elegant way to do a RAV4 rival, with hardly any sharp creases aside from the questionably functional hood vents and Dodge grille. The smooth, paper-thin light bar streaking across the rear hatch is a fun Euro touch, as are the dual-exit exhausts that protrude through the bumper rather than beneath it. Oh, and there’s no denying how gorgeous Acapulco Gold is, and I don’t even like yellows on cars.

Cough, Tonale still looks better. Just by a bit.

Perhaps what is most enjoyable is that it’s not a diminutive two-row crossover pretending to be something sportier, bigger, or more “off-roady” than it really is from the outside. It looks small. It’s styled small. It is small. It’s honest without being drab, which should be enough to lure at least a few prospective car buyers away from Toyota or Honda lots.

What’s hot?– Intoxicating power for a family crossover
– Nimble, responsive chassis
– “Just right” damper tuning with many talents
– “Just right” size for urban excursions
– Useful EV range with commendable regen abilities
– Italian styling

Hornet R/T pricing breakdown

Before we dive into our specific tester, do note that you can get lower-rung GTs for a starting price of $31,400. Not bad! GT and more tech and luxury-laden GT Plus trims feature a Dodge-exclusive, all-ICE, non-hybrid 2.0-liter turbo powertrain not currently offered on U.S. Alfa Tonales. For a notable ten-grand discount off an optionless R/T, you score a comparable 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, with performance figures that are barely slower. Hmm, interesting. However, no paddle shifters are available for that powertrain’s 9-speed auto, and there are obviously no hybrid drive modes or EV-only capability.

Our R/T Plus starts at $46,400 and adds a sizeable moonroof, Harmon Kardon audio system, heated and ventilated power seats, and power liftgate. Acapulco Gold adds $595, although other colors can be had for $495 or free. The $2,345 Tech Package adds surround-view cameras, front, rear, and side parking assist, and Level 2 autonomy with adaptive cruise and lane centering. Lofty, sure. Worth it? We’ll discuss it momentarily. But get this.

What gimmicky bundle of ironic coolness has me rolling my eyes to the back of my skull while also screaming “HELL YEAH” is the availability of the (drum roll) Track Package. Track. Package. You can spec your hybrid family compact crossover with a $2,595 track pack. Although this pack features a severe lack of oil coolers, stupid wings, or carbon ceramic brakes, you do get 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires, red-painted four-piston Brembos, and adaptive twin-valve KONI shocks.

I iterate once more: Hell yeah.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Hornet R/T interior and tech

Inside is a standard Stellantis affair with a unique Italian flair, resulting in a cabin that’s practical and comfortable without being a boring hodgepodge of flat surfaces. The center console and transmission tunnel gradually rise to meet the climate controls on the dashboard, leaving an angled surface for your wireless charger. And the center console storage bin provides ample space for wallets, phones, garage clickers, or maybe four or five small hot dogs. Maybe.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Rear passenger space is ample, with a fold-down center armrest with cupholders and a rear cargo area passthrough, which may come in handy from time to time, as the rear cargo area doesn’t appear any more spacious than a large hatchback. With 22.9 cubic feet of cargo volume, it’s roughly on par with a Kia Niro but down on a RAV4 or Ford Escape by several cubic feet. At least rear-seat passengers get their own climate vents plus USB charging, but I suppose that’s expected in this era and at that lofty price point.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

The aforementioned Tech Package means our Hornet tester is graced with Level 2 autonomy in the form of lane centering and adaptive cruise. Surround-view cameras bunched with front and rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring mean the Hornet should (theoretically) be uncrashable. Or so you’d hope. If any of these doo-dads bug you for whatever reason, they’re defeatable via hard buttons or through settings in the 10.25-inch uConnect touchscreen. The latter also houses wired and wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in nav (hallelujah!), and readouts for performance gauges, electric charge, and more. The standard digital gauge cluster can also display accompanying readouts for fuel economy and which half of the powertrain, gas or electric, is using how much energy.

A different kind of commuter car

Fascinating. This two-row family crossover excels as a two-row family crossover. I never would’ve guessed.

Slap it in Hybrid or Electric via the drive mode button on the wheel, and let the Hornet R/T deliver you from your typical bland commuter car woes. The perforated suede seats are cozy. The heated steering wheel is toasty and fits beautifully in your hands. The uConnect touchscreen is fast, responsive, and immediately easy to learn in a matter of minutes. A vertical stack of shortcut buttons keeps CarPlay, music, or nav functions at a finger’s touch at all times.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Out on the open road, the Hornet is fairly quiet and comfortable. In fact, I’d argue it exceeds expectations for something with such a small stature and short wheelbase. Props to the Track Pack’s KONI dampers for excellently dispatching most of what Cali roads have to throw at it. Speed bumps, expansion joints, point holes? Pfft. The Hornet moseys on over all of them with little harshness sent through the cabin, only occasionally wallowing over large undulations as one would expect from a smaller car, like a tiny vessel over a large wave. But even over the largest lumps, it’s as composed and settled as can be. And to think its Tonale twin is even more refined, according to a little birdie who helped engineer it.

Don’t let the cutesy silhouette fool you into thinking it’s a cheap tinker toy. The Hornet is a genuinely well-mannered city car with an affinity for navigating the concrete jungle.

Most impressive was the commendable EV range afforded by the Hornet’s wee battery pack. An EPA rating of 32 miles places it near the upper echelon of plug-ins alongside other strong contenders such as the Alfa Romeo Tonale (33 miles), Ford Escape Plug-In (37 miles), and the Kia Niro Plug-In (33 miles). During my stint bouncing back and forth between Glendale and Redondo Beach, I found that best-case range to be easily believable, consistently getting 30 to 31 miles of EV range. The eSave and Sport modes prioritize gas operation to preserve and even assist with battery charge once you’re low on electrons, but oftentimes, the Hornet will always find that extra ounce in its cells for the occasional power boost off the line or on the freeway.

What’s less impressive is the total range, which could only ever be roughly 360 miles, including Electric mode. After reading the specs, you know instantly the R/T works best as your lifted city runabout. Fear no parking garage or tight back alley in the Hornet. But possibly fear interstate expeditions, as you have more frugal options. Ho-hum fuel economy in gas-only operation, further hurt by how the Hornet rarely operates as a “normal hybrid” like Toyotas, and a small fuel tank (a little over 11 gallons) means fill-ups are cheap but more frequent than you’d like if your commute sees a lot of freeway miles.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Don’t get me wrong, an EPA combined rating of 29 mpg and my 29.2 mpg average, even factoring in some hard canyon runs, aren’t bad at all! But a RAV4 Prime gets 38 combined, and its Ford Escape equivalent gets 40. What a shame this only functions as a normal hybrid a fraction of the time, heavily prioritizing gas-only or electric-only, even in Hybrid mode, because the Hornet saw mileage figures of 40 to 42 mpg in my hands when it does. Fail. Once more, at least fill-ups will be cheap.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Questionable hybrid operation paired with wonky lane-centering programming that struggles with cornering and a service warning that randomly appeared a thousand miles premature and never went away without tricking it with a specific start-up sequence makes for a crossover SUV that’s tough to recommend to the average consumer. Like seriously, this tech has been around for many years, yet it feels like an early adoption here.

I’ll write them off as hiccups in this early-build Hornet specifically, but still. Oh, Italy. Why are you like this? Oh, I can take a guess why. You must have had your priorities elsewhere, such as trying to turn the Hornet into…

A different breed of hot hatch

Gotcha, suckers! You thought this was a family car? Shut up and get to the pits. Monza beckons for a new champion.

Should anyone dare to take the R/T badge a little seriously and head for the hills with Sport mode engaged, the Hornet will oblige with the best driving experience a car of its size and class could possibly deliver. Make sure you sprung for the Track Package before you do. Trust.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

The 235-wide Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires are a godsend. They were great on a base C8 Corvette Gabe and I had previously sampled. They’re stellar here, enabling enough grip that you feel like you’re going to grip roll this golden egg down the hill, but thankfully, the KONI shocks do a commendable job at keeping body motions in check. They reportedly firm up in Sport mode. Frankly, the difference, if any, is negligible and still comfy enough for daily duty. You feel the body tilt in corners, but it takes a set and rotates right around with assistance from the torque-vectoring electric motors, almost never getting upset by mid-corner bumps and undulations despite the thin tire sidewalls and short wheelbase.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Steering was expectedly a tad numb and light, but there was just an ounce of feedback coming through to let you know there was a bump or the road surface had changed. A little more weight could do nicely, but at least it was reasonably quick and accurate for what’s ultimately still a family car. You can tackle most right-hand city streets and tight canyon bends without ever crossing arms, which is always nice.

Brakes? Effective. But a little wooden-feeling, needing a heavy foot to haul it down from the lofty speeds the plug-in powertrain is capable of. Which, by the way…

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Did I mention this thing was fast? Because it’s fast. Quite fast. The big kid magazines have consistently clocked sprints to 60 mph around five and a half seconds, mirroring some V6 and turbo-four pony cars and posing a serious threat to GR86s and Miatas everywhere. The 1.3-liter pushing damn-near 30 pounds of boost out of its itsy-bitsy turbo must surely lag like a Group B rally car, but thankfully, its hybrid half fills in the torque more than adequately enough. Engage PowerShot mode, and you get 15 seconds of electric overboost with an extra 30 horsepower. Because that’s just what I needed on the way to Trader Joe’s. Whether that 30 horsepower is on top of the 288 or if the 288 is with PowerShot is unclear. But quick is quick.

Best of all, Sport mode’s battery regen, whether from the brakes or the engine itself, is far more aggressive than in eSave. Basically, whenever you’re not asking for juice for full-throttle sprints, it’s juicing the battery instead. This effectively means you can enter your local canyon road with a near-dead battery and come out with it nearly fully charged!

No charger? No problem. Just run for the hills (or your nearby freeway on-ramp).

As for the six-speed auto, it’s definitely no ZF or DSG. But it gets the job done and is thankfully responsive-ish to the familiar Alfa Romeo metal shift paddles. Sure, there were a few slight, quarter-second delays on a few upshifts. But its relative lack of sporting intent is forgiven when the paddles are this damn fun to click-clack around, just like its distant corporate cousins costing multiples more.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
What’s not?– Unremarkable mpg in gas-only mode plus small gas tank equals short range
– Rarely functions as a normal hybrid
– Brakes require a heavy foot for performance driving or emergency stops
– Somewhat small cargo area
– Italian electronic annoyances
– The Hornet GT and Alfa Romeo Tonale exist

Too lovable but too flawed

Could you tell I’m smitten? It’s got style! It’s got swagger! It’s got speed, handling, and real-world urban commuting chops! After only five days, I fell in love with the Hornet R/T. I just don’t know if I can ever recommend a Hornet R/T. Here’s why.

If you insist upon a plug-in for the handy all-electric capabilities, the Tonale exists. For a few grand more than the comparable R/T, you can nab the actual donor car that’s arguably far more attractive and, frankly, more authentic because it’s the original one. The performance, despite being down on torque, is nearly identical. And according to a former engineer behind the project, it’s quieter and more refined.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Back in Detroit, there’s the Hornet GT, which trades its plug-in powertrain for an all-ICE 2.0-liter powertrain with comparable performance, fuel economy, and total range for $10,000 less. A Hornet R/T could buy you one comparable GT without the worry of charging and with leftover dough for a decent Fiat 500e if that’s your jam. Both corporate cousins leave the R/T in an odd spot between, “You got to really want it,” and, “I could use that spare couple thousand bucks.”

But looking at the R/T for what it is. If you don’t mind drinking Dodge’s Kool-Aid and partaking in the Americanized Italian hybrid for all it gets right, and in spite of all it gets wrong, then be my guest. And for most urban commutes, it’ll be more than enough. You may never even feel the crunch of its comparatively unremarkable range if you never leave the asphalt grid. It’s just roomy enough for friends and their shopping if they’re not big spenders, and you have all the ground clearance and agility in the world to dart between lanes and around parking lots in total, all-electric comfort. And if you want to show them a party trick on the way to your favorite downtown bar, Sport mode and PowerShot ought to do the trick.

Dodge Hornet R/T
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

It’s hard to look at the Hornet R/T without seeing the sheer scope of its market and all with whom it competes. But on its own, it’s a rambunctious little RAV4 alternative with more charm and driving enjoyment than that cookie-cutter crossover will ever have. Hey. At the very least, I’m glad it exists.

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GM and Honda turn the ignition on hydrogen fuel cell production at Michigan plant

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) may become a significant part of the zero-emissions vehicle ecosystem in the near future, but for now, the tech is obscure and only available to a pocket of consumers in California. Toyota and Hyundai are the only automakers offering vehicles using the propulsion system, but General Motors and Honda have been quietly working together to develop fuel cell systems for several years, and the pair are ready to begin commercial production.

The GM-Honda joint venture is the first to yield large-scale fuel cell manufacturing, and the pair said their project created 80 jobs at the 70,000-square-foot facility in Michigan. It’s unclear where or how the automakers plan to implement fuel cell technologies, but they noted that the cells can be used across both companies in several business ventures.

Interestingly, the two companies have worked together since 2013 on the project. The collaboration yielded improvements to Honda’s FCEV, the Clarity, in 2019, but the vehicle is no longer on sale. Honda and GM said the partnership helps lower costs with greater economies of scale, and the two have come up with a range of industry firsts along the way. 

Even if the partnership doesn’t end up with a new fuel cell vehicle on the roads, the automakers could utilize hydrogen technologies to power manufacturing facilities or reduce emissions generated from logistics and shipping activities. That said, both automakers said they plan to build future FCEVs, so we’ll likely see a mix of products going forward.

While many automakers have gone all-in on EVs, this sort of partnership and the technologies behind it are likely the best path toward a zero- or lower-emissions motoring future. Toyota has taken flak for years over its stance that hybrids and FCEVs are viable alternatives to EVs, but the position is now looking quite smart, given that consumer demand for EVs is volatile, at best. 

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Chevrolet unveils the new, gas-powered 2025 Equinox

Chevy’s Equinox EV is just hitting the streets, but it’s time to talk about the new gas model. The automaker recently announced the 2025 Equinox, a significantly updated SUV with more tech, updated safety features, and new trims.

The 2025 Equinox comes in three trims: LT, RS, and the new Activ trim. Chevy equips a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, making 175 horsepower, which sends power to the front wheels through a CVT or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. The RS and Activ trims get drive modes with settings for snow and light off-roading. That said, the tiny engine’s middling output won’t do much to bring the thrills, on-road or off. 

Image credit: Chevrolet

New textured materials and more standard features highlight the refreshed interior. Chevy gives every Equinox a heated steering wheel and front seats, and the folding rear seats open up to 63.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The sporty RS trim adds red and blue stitching and “RS” logos throughout the cabin. Ventilated front seats and heated rear outboard seats are available.

A new 11.3-inch touchscreen comes standard, bringing 30 percent more screen real estate than the outgoing model. It runs Google built-in, which offers Google Assistant, Maps, and some Play Store functions. Buyers also get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, and more. 

Safety tech got a boost for the new model year, as the 2025 Equinox offers several advanced driver aids. The list includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alerts, pedestrian and bicycle braking, following distance indicators, lane keep assist with lane departure warnings, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, and a teen driver mode. 

We don’t have pricing or exact release date details yet, but Chevy said to expect the 2025 Equinox to hit dealers’ lots later in 2024. 

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Ram ProMaster EV in warehouse parking lot

The Ram ProMaster EV is a commercial van that happens to be electric

Some Ram commercial vans are about to go fully electric – minus the high-tech luxuries tacked on by most passenger EVs. With an approximate 162-mile city range and up to 150-kilowatt charging, the Ram ProMaster EV is poised to compete with Rivian’s EDV and Ford’s E-Transit. This van is part of the Dare Forward 2030 plan from Stellantis (formerly Fiat-Chrysler) to electrify 50% of its U.S. offerings in the next decade, as it’s doing with the unconventional 1500 RamCharger pickup truck.

Electrification doesn’t compromise what makes the current gas-powered ProMaster great. The delivery model can haul around 2,030 pounds, and the future cargo model is expected to be able to carry around 3,020 pounds. In the back, it has 524 cubic feet of cargo space, a best-in-class interior cargo height of 86 inches, and a 159-inch wheelbase. The cargo length is 12 feet for the delivery model and 13.5 feet for the non-delivery model.

Designed from the ground up for its electric powertrain, its flat floor means cargo capacity is not compromised compared to its internal combustion counterpart. The iconic rear-roll-up door makes offloading easy and perfect for last-mile deliveries.

And don’t think Ram is ditching the upfitters! The Ram ProMaster EV will have an electrical connector and an integrated cab configuration for easy conversions. For longer trips, expect Level 2 ADAS with multiple sensors, radars, and cameras. It has a digital rearview mirror as well as other safety and security features. In addition to commercial applications, it might also find a home in the #VanLife community.

In terms of power, a 200-kilowatt electric motor delivers 268 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque with a front-wheel drive configuration. If you’re looking for connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will keep you engaged. It’s even got Alexa with over-the-air updates.

Ram telematics brings real-time diagnostics, performance data, vehicle location, and driving insights for those in the commercial space. Last-mile navigation via the Uconnect smartphone app means your drivers will never look at house numbers again.

Stellantis still needs to release official pricing data, but based on the current Stellantis electric van offering, the Fiat E-Ducato, we expect pricing to start at approximately $50,000. This pricing also aligns with the Ford E-transit that starts at $48,000. It also faces stiff competition from another upcoming electric van, the Kia PBV.

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Hertz app running on an iPhone with Tesla logo in the background

For sale: 20,000 Hertz rental fleet EVs, never worn

In a “strategic decision,” Hertz is selling approximately 20,000 electric vehicles (one-third of its EV fleet), according to an SEC filing. The car rental company is among the latest in a recent wave of organizations backpedaling on earlier EV plans.

Hertz plans to reinvest some of the funds from the sale of EVs into purchasing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to meet customer demand. The plan is to reduce lower-margin rentals and the expenses of repairing EVs while gradually increasing the electric fleet.

The company will lose approximately $245 million from the sale of these vehicles based on vehicle depreciation. Later in the filing, Hertz acknowledged that it needs to balance EV supply and demand. Initially, it set a target of 25% electric vehicles for 2024. Take these numbers with a pinch of salt, as actual data can differ from SEC filing calculations, and fourth-quarter financial data has not been finalized.

In 2021, Hertz announced plans to place 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla into service by the end of 2022. It only has about 50,000 EVs in service, comprising 11% of its total fleet, with Teslas making up 80% of those vehicles.

This is just the latest blow to Hertz’s ambitious EV goals, but it’s not the first time it’s pulled out of a decision it made on EVs with an SEC filing. In 2023, Hertz signed agreements with Tesla and Polestar to buy nearly 200,000 EVs in 2023. In December 2023, it announced a rollout pause because of falling resale values and the high cost of repairs.

Hertz is far from the only company scaling back its EV plans, however. In a Q3 2023 earnings report, Ford announced it would pause construction of a $12 billion BEV factory because many North American customers were no longer willing to pay extra for electric vehicles over their ICE counterparts. GM told a similar story in November. Other companies like Mazda are choosing to focus on plug-in hybrids like the CX-90 PHEV.

“It’s actually become somewhat more of an issue in the past year or so, even though prices of a lot of EVs have come down,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights.

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