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Bio: John is the COO at EPG, a company focused on helping electric and autonomous vehicle companies hire the best talent. In addition to these services, EPG puts out an informative weekly newsletter that is cleverly titled Electric and Autonomous Weekly. You can sign up for the newsletter here.


The Big Show

There were some great EVs at the LA Auto Show this year. It was almost hard to keep track of all the EVs being unveiled. We got to see the Subaru Solterra, the Fisker Ocean, EdisonFuture EF1-V, the Vinfast e35, two new Taycans, and many more.

All of the cars were amazing in their own rights, but my top favorites are the Mission R and the Hyundai Seven. The Mission R has a 0 to 62 mph time of fewer than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 186 mph. The car can also recharge from 5% to 80% in 15 minutes. A final version is expected in 2025 or 2026. What an unbelievable race car and with so many lines and features to look at.

On the more practical level, we also got to see the Hyundai Seven concept unveiled and it was amazing to see. The production version is expected in 2024. It has three rows of seating with a center console reaching the width of the vehicle. There’s also a built-in mini-fridge and shoe-car compartments.

The Seven has a range of over 300 miles and can charge from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. I especially like the suicide doors. It’s great to have the LA Auto Show back and we’re looking forward to new EVs next year. Let us know if you attended, and share your thoughts on the Auto Show in the comments below.

Car of the Year

We got into LA on Tuesday night and ran into a Lucid Air on the road. We tried to chase it down, safely, of course, but it got away quickly. We just wanted to see the 2022 MotorTrend Car of the Year up close. For the COTY, the competition consisted of 24 competitors from most major manufacturers. This is the first time that an initial product from a new automotive company has been awarded such a prestigious award. 

MotorTrend Car of the Year judges evaluated six key criteria: efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, and performance of the intended function. The Lucid Air was compared against finalists such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Mercedes-Benz EQs, Porsche Taycan, and the Honda Civic.

MotorTrend Group Head of Editorial credited Lucid Air’s incredibly long driving range, the longest ever rated by the EPA at 520 miles of range, and its sleek design for a historic win. As stated in one of our earlier newsletters, Lucid began customer deliveries of the Air during Halloween Weekend.  We’ll try to catch you next time Lucid. 

School Bus, Magic Bus

Remember back in the day when all of the cool kids sat in the back of the bus? Well, maybe I sat in the back of the bus and thought I was cool. School buses are changing, maybe not the seating inside the bus, but how they are powered. The new infrastructure bill approved last week by the House opens the door for federal funds to be allocated to help localities purchase battery-powered school buses.

While the bus portion is only $5 billion within the $1.2 trillion bill, this will make a huge impact on the American school system. Right now, about 95% of current school buses are diesel, and their fumes have been linked to poor test scores and bad health for children. Electric school buses will be a huge win for public health and the environment. While the EV buses are pricey ($400,000 in some cases), some states, such as California and Maryland, have pushed measures to fund electric buses. Biden’s infrastructure plan was signed this week and will boost funding nationwide. My son looks forward to being a cool kid in the back of an electric bus one day.

US President Joe Biden visiting GM's Factory ZERO EV plant

Unhappy Neighbors

Senior officials in Mexico City and Ottawa have raised concerns that President Biden’s push for EV manufacturing in the US is breaking international trade rules. Biden will be meeting with the leaders of both Mexico and Canada this week to discuss the bill, something that hasn’t happened since 2016. Opposition from the U.S.’s closest allies raises many concerns for the President.

Since taking office in January, Biden has wanted to lower tensions between trading partners. In addition, Biden feels very strongly about the infrastructure bill to boost green industries to combat climate change. According to Mexico and Canada’s trade and economic ministers, the new infrastructure bill violates USMCA, a North American trade deal. The tax credit gives strong incentives to locate factories in the U.S. instead of Canada or Mexico. Right now, the North American motor industry supply chain has factories throughout all three countries. Let’s figure out how we can get along with our closest neighbors.  

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