Hyundai develops AI-infused adaptive cruise control and it's production-bound

Hyundai develops AI-infused adaptive cruise control and it's production-bound

Adaptive cruise control is perhaps, by and large, one of the best functions bundled into increasingly standard active safety system suites in new cars. The technology does a splendid job of keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles at freeway speeds, but it appears the next advancement is upon us.

Hyundai said on Monday its new Machine-Learning Smart Cruise Control (aka SSC ML) is capable of analyzing a driver's patterns and learning them effectively to create a custom experience. While some drivers may not care for how close or how far an adaptive cruise control system places their car from the car in front, SSC ML is designed to learn your preference.

Hyundai's machine-learning algorithm learns how a driver would follow the car on the freeway. Analyzing this information, the system learns how the driver drives, and when the adaptive cruise control is active, it mimics that behavior. Wild stuff, to say the least.

Hyundai said it was impossible to give drivers the ability to totally fine-tune how close or how far a vehicle should follow with adaptive cruise control. So it tossed the problem to the computers. Sensors and radar feed data to a computer, which then extracts the data needed to learn the driver's behavior. Artificial intelligence then works its craft to determine three key things: following distance, acceleration and overall responsiveness.

There's really no need to worry if SSC ML will be able to distinguish your driving habits; Hyundai said the algorithm can understand 10,000 patterns. Remember, this system is literally designed to learn three distinct elements. But, if you think you can teach the machine to learn unsafe patterns, that's a no-go.

This technology will make its debut in a Hyundai Motor Group vehicle in the future, according to the automaker. We could see it in a Genesis, Hyundai or Kia, but more than likely, the Genesis luxury brand will be the debut marque.

 
Hyundai Turns Veloster into Crazy Off-Roader with Grappler Concept

Hyundai Turns Veloster into Crazy Off-Roader with Grappler Concept

Some cars are never meant to go off-road. Who in their right mind would take, for example, a Hyundai Veloster dune running? The answer is, anyone with a Veloster like this Grappler concept, which will appear at the 2019 SEMA aftermarket show held in Las Vegas in November.

The Grappler has been customized for the dirt roads, dunes, and mud pits where you'd normally expect to find the likes of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The first thing that Hyundai engineers did was increase the ground clearance and approach and departure angles of the car. They then attached custom brush guards in the front and back, along with aggressive oversized all-terrain tires mounted on "rally inspired" wheels from Method Racing. In order to accommodate the wheel and tire setup, the Grappler also features wider fenders and a modified front and rear fascia.

The Grappler should turn some heads even in the midst of the gaudy SEMA show, as it's been wrapped in a custom vinyl wrap with a Hyundai theme. If the wrap doesn’t grab your attention, the Borla catback exhaust will. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a Seibon carbon-fiber hood.

The interior features a integrated roll cage that allows for a spare wheel and tire mount. It surrounds the occupants, who are strapped into custom Recaro seats in a vintage houndstooth-check pattern. The interior is holds off-road goodies including traction mats, a utility shovel, Goal Zero mobile power station and crush lights, roadside-assistance kit, first-aid kit, and a Napier outdoor dome tent. Hyundai's own accessories—sport shifter, sport pedals, all-weather floor mats, and ambient lighting system—are in there, too.

In the same way a Veloster N belongs on a racetrack, the Veloster Grappler belongs on a dirt road. It sure packs the equipment to do so. And, Hyundai? Putting a Veloster Grappler into production would be a good idea—that way, we could have one Veloster for the road and another one for the trail.
 
Source: Car & Driver
Hyundai wants the 2021 Tucson to be a game-changer

Hyundai wants the 2021 Tucson to be a game-changer

Hyundai is pulling out all the stops to make the next-generation Tucson a game-changer. The company pledged to deliver a smart, stylish, and well-built model that will stand out from its rivals on paper, in the metal, and from behind the driver's seat.

"It's very interesting visually, it's going to appeal to a very broad audience, I think. Probably the biggest shift for the car is going to be style and design," predicted Andrew Tuatahi, the South Korean company's product planning manager, in an interview with Australian website Which Car.

He explained his team benchmarked the bigger, more expensive Santa Fe when they selected the materials that will be used to build the Tucson, so it should feel nicer than the current model. It will also benefit from the latest round of in-car technology, including entertainment-oriented features, and it will receive new safety equipment like an airbag mounted between the front passengers. 

Tuatahi didn't reveal what the Tucson will look like, but spy shots show a more evocative design that follows the path blazed by recent additions to the Hyundai range, like the Palisade and the aforementioned Santa Fe. The grille is wider, shorter, and it underlines the headlights. It seemingly borrows styling cues from its bigger siblings without copying them. Hyundai wants to avoid the Russian doll approach to styling at all costs to give each nameplate its own design identity.

While technical specifications remain under wraps, Hyundai will almost certainly make an electrified powertrain available on the Tucson. It likely won't be fully electric; a hybrid is a safer bet. Non-electrified options will return, and we might even see a sportier model spiked by Hyundai's go-fast N division. Rivals like Ford and Volkswagen have shown there's an appetite for hotter crossovers.

The next Hyundai Tucson is scheduled to make its debut in 2020, meaning it won't arrive on our shores until the 2021 model year. Additional information about the model will emerge in the coming months. When it lands, it will compete in the same hot compact crossover segment as the perennially popular Toyota RAV4.

Source: Autoblog

Hyundai Veloster N ETCR revealed: Mid-engined, electric and ready to go racing

Hyundai Veloster N ETCR revealed: Mid-engined, electric and ready to go racing

Hyundai continues to partake in a number of motorsport series, but it's making the jump into electrified motorsport. When the ETCR electric race car series commences in 2020, there will be a fully electric Hyundai on the grid: the Veloster N ETCR.

After nudging us with teasers over the past couple of weeks, Hyundai revealed the electric race car at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show on Tuesday. While it may look a lot like a standard Veloster N TCR race car, it's a different animal. Gone is the internal-combustion engine in favor of a midmounted electric motor.

The South Korean automaker didn't mention the battery, however, and it's unclear what kind of power the race car will make. The undisclosed power does, however, flow to the rear wheels only. The mid-engine and rear-wheel drive configuration are firsts for Hyundai Motorsport.

Another unknown is if Croatia's Rimac had anything to do with this race car. Hyundai's N division, responsible for the sportiest road cars, announced a $90 million investment in Rimac in May that will lead to an electric high-performance car for the road. Said car is supposed to be a mid-engine electric performance vehicle. Perhaps Rimac's influence is already part of the race car because Hyundai said the project "mirrors [a] wider strategy for development of electric road cars."

Work started on the Veloster N ETCR back in 2018, but with the sheet off, a rigorous and full test program will commence next month. The race car is planned to hit the track and silently clip apexes in 2020.

 

Source: CNet Roadshow

2020 VW Golf Officially Previewed Inside And Out

2020 VW Golf Officially Previewed Inside And Out

We’ve seen our fair share of spy shots of the new Volkswagen Golf over the last few months, but these official renderings are our best look so far at the eighth generation of the hugely popular compact hatchback. In typical Golf fashion, the exterior design can be best described as evolutionary, but the headlights have been overhauled and appear to feature a thin light strip that runs across the front fascia.

“More dynamic than ever before” is what VW says about the Golf Mk 8’s exterior styling, while the cabin will represent a dramatic change compared to the outgoing model. We can clearly see it has pretty much nothing in common with the car it’s about to replace, with considerably fewer physical buttons. That’s because many of the controls have been integrated into the touchscreen, which merges with the digital instrument cluster and what appears to be another touch panel to the left of the driver’s display.

2020 VW Golf teaser

As previously reported, the new Volkswagen Golf will receive its world debut on October 24 and will go on sale in Europe before the end of the year. The five-door hatchback will be out first, with the confirmed wagon to arrive shortly thereafter. One body style that’s likely not coming back will be the three-door version due to poor demand, which will also likely be the case with the mechanically related Audi A3 and SEAT Leon due in 2020. In addition, the minivan-esque Golf Sportsvan is also dead.

Source: motor1

Hyundai 45 Concept Draws Inspiration From Past, Looks Into Future

Hyundai 45 Concept Draws Inspiration From Past, Looks Into Future

When Hyundai teased its new electric concept back in August, we had the feeling it’s going to be a pretty special study. It turns out, our assumptions were correct as the brand’s new 45 concept is a rather interesting and good-looking prototype. Not only that but it also serves a very important role for the company, previewing the future design direction of its production EVs. But we’ll get to that later.

The somewhat weird name of the concept actually has a pretty simple explanation – the study takes a look at Hyundai’s past, where exactly 45 years ago it presented the Pony Coupe Concept. The connection between the two is probably most visible at the front where the 45 concept reinterprets its predecessor’s distinctive lattice radiator grille with what Hyundai describes as “kinetic cube lamp” design.

 

The name 45 also stands for one more thing – the 45-degree angles at the front and rear, forming “a diamond-shaped silhouette that further foreshadows the design direction of future EV models.” The South Korean manufacturer also says “the iconic character” of the study is defined by its “monocoque-style body, aerodynamic and light-weight design inspired by aircrafts from the 1920s.”

As mentioned above, with the new concept, Hyundai is previewing the design of its future production electric models and is also highlighting future technological developments that “may influence” forthcoming production vehicles.

These include the so-called Camera Monitoring System – basically, a system that replaces the side mirrors with small cameras and tries to overcome visibility challenges caused by dirt gathering on the mirror by using an embedded turntable module, which rotates the lens past a brush.

Hyundai 45 Concept

While the exterior is minimalistic and retro-styled, the cabin is an entirely different world. The interior embodies Hyundai’s Style Set Free strategy, which allows for personalization, and is said to be inspired by the world of furniture design. Being an autonomous concept means the front seats can rotate to face other passengers. The infotainment system features a projection-beam interface, which replaces the central touchscreen display with a number of smaller displays integrated into the dashboard.

Source: Motor1

The great electric car race is just beginning

The great electric car race is just beginning

On the southern edge of Brussels, where the city turns to suburbs, the future of Germany’s most successful automaker is taking shape inside a peculiar sort of car factory. Here, there are no exhaust pipes, transmissions or fuel tanks. There are no spark plugs, radiators or manifolds. What the Volkswagen Group factory does have, however, are batteries stacked to the rafters.

Thirty-six shoebox-sized battery modules, each containing a dozen lithium-ion cells, are packed into seven-foot long electric-battery packs and slung under the floor of each sport utility vehicle produced here. The first electric SUV from Volkswagen’s luxury Audi brand, the e-tron, can go 400 kilometers (nearly 250 miles) on a single battery cycle and be recharged in as little as half an hour. The styling is conventional, the interior is luxurious and the ride is nearly silent.

The e-tron SUV has one job for Volkswagen: Prove that a carmaker that has relied almost exclusively on the internal combustion engine since it was founded 82 years ago can produce electric vehicles people want to buy and policymakers will embrace as they cast around for ways to tackle the climate crisis. Success means that Volkswagen will overtake rivals, including Tesla, in electric car sales and fend off new challengers from China and Silicon Valley; failure could signal the beginning of the end for a company with 665,000 employees and annual revenue of $265 billion.

Volkswagen isn’t alone. Established carmakers around the world are ripping up their business models in the hope of adapting to a new world in which electricity replaces gasoline and diesel. Factories are being overhauled to produce electric cars, and automakers are snapping up every battery they can find. The high cost of developing electric cars is forcing some companies to find partners and turning others into acquisition targets. The need to meet strict emissions standards in China and Europe means that executives are paying far more attention to the policies being put in place in Beijing or Brussels, than what rivals are building in Detroit or Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s hometown.

 

The German group, which also owns Porsche, Bugatti, Skoda, Lamborghini and SEAT, is rising to the challenge with a radical transformation that is unparalleled since World War II. The company is spending €30 billion ($34 billion) over the next five years to make an electric or hybrid version of every vehicle in its lineup, and it plans to launch 70 new electric models by 2028. By the end of 2030, it wants four of every 10 cars it sells to be electric, a mass market play that hinges on the success of a new line of vehicles called the “ID.”

The overhaul has profound implications for the world’s largest carmaker as it tries to turn the page on its costly diesel emissions scandal. Volkswagen is spending billions of dollars to retrofit factories from Germany to China to produce cars based on its modular electric car production platform, or MEB. The company has also signaled that it will use some of the money it makes from selling fuel-powered cars to produce its own batteries and build charging networks.

 

The initiatives are expensive. But the level of investment by Volkswagen and its competitors, coupled with the aggressive emissions targets set by regulators, show there’s no turning back. All of this leads to a new question: Can Tesla maintain its lead in the global race to the electric car?

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The e-tron on display at Volkswagen's 2019 shareholders' meeting in Berlin, Germany. - Credit: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

False starts

History isn’t the best indicator of who will emerge from this battle victorious. The industry has a poor track record with electric cars. General Motors’ EV1 appeared on American roads in 1996, the same year the auto industry successfully lobbied against a mandate from the California Air Resources Board to make more electric vehicles. The model was canceled in 2003, producing a trail of unhappy customers and the conspiratorial documentary ‘Who Killed The Electric Car?’ Chevrolet pulled the plug on the Volt, which never sold in significant numbers, last year. Nissan’s Leaf remains in production but it has failed to achieve the level of commercial success envisioned by the company’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn. More broadly, demand has been hampered by fears over the driving range of the cars, a lack of charging infrastructure and high sticker prices.

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An EV-1 pictured in California in 1997. The EV1 was a pioneering electric car, but it failed to attract many drivers. - Credit: John B. Carnett/Bonnier Corp. via Getty Images

Until recently, Volkswagen never had much reason to bother with electric cars. Instead, it poured investment dollars into making its diesel engines more fuel efficientand affordable, which helped it to sell huge volumes of cars and overtake Japanese rival Toyota. In 2018, Volkswagen delivered a record 10.8 million cars. It says just 40,000 of those, or 0.4%, were electric vehicles. Another 60,000 were plug-in hybrids. Global sales of electric cars have been only slightly less anemic: 1.3 million of the roughly 95 million cars sold around the world in 2018 were battery electrics, according to the consultancy LMC Automotive.

Disinterest on the part of traditional carmakers cleared the way for the opening laps of the race to be won by Tesla, the company run by indefatigable entrepreneur Elon Musk. Tesla sold over 220,000 electric cars in 2018, according to LMC Automotive, roughly 70,000 more than its nearest competitor, Chinese state-owned BAIC Group. The global alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors sold roughly 130,000 electrics last year, while Volkswagen’s German rivals BMW and Daimler sold 33,000 and 14,400, respectively. At the bottom of the heap was Toyota, the world’s second largest carmaker, which has chosen to focus on hybrid cars and fuel cell technology. It sold only 1,000 electric vehicles last year, an increase from zero in 2017. LMC, whose data does not include sales in South America, Canada and Mexico, or commercial vans, has Volkswagen selling 26,000 electrics.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Tesla 'D' model in Hawthorne, California in October 2014. Musk has turned Tesla into the global leader in electric car sales. - Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Build it and they will come

While the electric car has a checkered past, there is a consensus among auto industry executives and analysts that a tipping point is approaching where mass adoption will become unavoidable because of falling battery costs, pressure from regulators and generous government subsidies. “These factors have come together to force the traditional industry to take electrification seriously — faster than we had previously expected,” said Max Warburton, an analyst at research firm Bernstein. “This is now really happening.”

According to Bernstein, dramatic declines in the price of batteries will allow leading automakers to sell fully electric vehicles for less than cars powered by gasoline and diesel as soon as 2022. Electric cars, they argue, are already gaining traction: As recently as 2010, annual sales were close to zero. “There’s just such an incredible amount of money being poured into electric cars,” said Al Bedwell, the director of global powertrain at LMC Automotive.”I’ve been looking at this industry for 20 years, and my real gut feeling is that it’s kind of unstoppable now.”

Bedwell said that traditional carmakers are being prodded to move more quickly by two additional factors: strict new EU regulations that require auto manufacturers to dramatically reduce the CO2 emissions starting next year. And, in China, already the world’s largest market for electric cars, the government has implemented a system that requires carmakers to make clean vehicles or purchase credits for the CO2 emissions their cars produce.

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Greenpeace activists demonstrate at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, in November 2015. Volkswagen is still dealing with fallout from its 2015 emissions scandal. - Credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Volkswagen, which has paid more than $30 billion in penalties since admitting in 2015 to rigging the emissions of millions of diesel cars, has embraced electrics with the enthusiasm of a religious convert. “Volkswagen will change radically,” CEO Herbert Diess told shareholders in March. “Some of you may still be rubbing your eyes in amazement. But, make no mistake — the supertanker is picking up speed.”

While the company has telegraphed its mass market ambitions for electric cars, its luxury brands are taking the lead. The first fully electric Porsche, the Taycan, is scheduled to go on sale later this year. Audi, meanwhile, plans to offer 12 purely electric models by 2025. The brand brought only electrified vehicles to this year’s Geneva Motor Show, including a compact SUV that is expected to enter production by the end of 2020. The success of these early luxury models is vital: Volkswagen produces over 10 million vehicles each year but relies on selling 2 million Audis and Porsches for 65% of its profit.

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Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess speaks at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany in March. Diess is betting the company's future on the MEB, or modular car platform. - Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The challenge for Audi

The man charged with making Audi electric vehicles a success is Stefan Niemand, the brand’s head of electrification. In an interview at Audi headquarters in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt, the barrel-chested executive argued that the company is well prepared for its electric future. The next generation of electric vehicles, he says, will be cheaper and packed with technology that customers want. “We learned a lot with the e-tron battery system, the crash system, the cooling system, the connection system and all this stuff. And of course, we now better understand where we can bring costs down, where we can optimize the system, where we can gain range or performance.” The most important question is whether customers will respond to vehicles like the e-tron. “I think we did all that we can. We made the first car, and I think for the first car, it’s very, very good,” says Niemand.

 

Pressed on whether consumers are ready to adopt electric vehicles en masse, Niemand thinks back to his first experience with the R8 e-tron, an electric version of the Audi 2-seat sports car that has been tested in various forms since at least 2010. Before driving the car, a professional driver warned the executive that it would be much faster than he expected. Niemand said he thought the driver was joking. “Then I pushed the throttle, and … I knew, forget about everything else.”

His experience left him in no doubt: “This is the future.”

 

If the hearts and minds of die-hard speed freaks can be won, the question for Audi is how to gain an advantage over Tesla, which has become synonymous with electric cars and competes for the same luxury customers as the German brand. For Niemand, the answer lies in doing what Audi has done for more than 100 years: build cars that people want to drive. “This is what we’re really, really good at,” he said. “That’s the advantage. If you compare the e-tron to other fully electric cars from newcomers, then you see the knowledge that we have in building cars. I think customers will respect this.”

Niemand acknowledges that there are things Audi can learn from Tesla, especially when it comes to the speed of innovation. But when it comes to production, he said that Audi has a major advantage. “Mr. Musk talked about the production hell,” he said, referring to comments the Tesla CEO made in 2017. “This is where we have much more experience and knowledge. With the launch of the e-tron, we were not in the production hell, and we are still not, and we will not get into any kind of production hell.” Niemand is more dismissive of attempts by tech companies like Uber, Google and Apple to break into the auto business. “If you look at all the autonomous driving efforts from Uber and Google and Apple, and if you see the outcome up to now, it’s close to nothing. Why? Because it is still about a car.”

 

Everything changes

Tesla has one major advantage over its more traditional competitors: No baggage. The American upstart doesn’t have a big dealership network, entrenched unions or a legacy business to manage. “It’s a very costly exercise for traditional carmakers to get into the electric vehicle space in a big way,” said Bedwell, the LMC Automotive analyst. “At the same time, they’ve got to support all of their conventional activities. That’s where most of their revenue is. Volkswagen, for instance, can’t stop selling internal combustion engine cars. It can’t stop selling diesel cars in Europe.”

The urgent need to free up cash for new technology is causing automakers to find partners to share the costs. BMW and Daimler, which compete hard in the luxury market, have announced a partnership focused on highly-automated and autonomous driving. They’re also investing $1 billion in a new venture to develop mobility services, including ride-sharing and charging systems for electric cars. Ford will build vehicles using Volkswagen’s electric platform under a deal announced in July. Volkswagen will meanwhile join its US rival in investing in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle company valued at $7 billion. More dramatic changes are under consideration. In May, Fiat Chrysler proposed a merger with Renault that would have created the world’s third largest carmaker and produced annual cost savings of more than €5 billion ($5.6 billion). When the proposal was withdrawn, Renault lamented the lost opportunity, saying the merger had “great financial merit” and “compelling industrial logic.”

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At a press conference in July, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and Jim Hackett, the CEO of Ford, announced they will work together on electric cars. - Credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The survival of some of the world’s most storied car brands hangs in the balance. According to LMC Automotive’s forecast, the huge amount of investment being deployed by Volkswagen will help it sell over 1.4 million electric cars a year by 2025 — more than any other carmaker and over three times the sales Tesla is expected to produce. The alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors is on track to rank second in 2025, selling nearly 590,000 electric vehicles that year. China’s Geely, which owns Volvo, will rank third. Tesla will be fourth with 413,000 vehicles, followed closely by Toyota. Daimler, Hyundai, General Motors and Ford are each forecast to sell between 330,000 and 400,000 cars in 2025.

Bedwell said that Volkswagen’s resources and expertise will help it power past Tesla, which will face intense new competition for luxury car buyers and could continue to experience growing pains that inhibit its ability to scale up production dramatically. “They just have that position,” Bedwell said of Volkswagen, “to ship those kind of volumes and to produce them more efficiently than Tesla can and to make money on it.”

 

The entire industry is gearing up for the challenge. Ford CEO Jim Hackett recently told CNN Business that building cars is not just about technology. “We have to have an industrial model. Ford is really good at this,” he said. And he took a shot at Musk, who is also the CEO of spacecraft company SpaceX. “I happen to compete with a rocket scientist who’s really smart, and I respect that about him,” Hackett said. “And yeah, he’s competing with the ultimate disruptor in Henry Ford.”

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Electric and hybrid Volkswagen cars are moved on elevated platforms at a factory in Wolfsburg, Germany in April 2016. - Credit: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For now, however, Tesla has the advantage. The company expects to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles this year. It says production could increase to 500,000 in the 12 months to June 30, 2020, depending on how quickly a new factory in Shanghai comes online. And leaks suggest that the Porsche Taycan, which is often described as a “Tesla killer,” won’t live up to those expectations. According to analysts at UBS, the car will take a half second more than the Tesla S Performance model to go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour. The Porsche also won’t have the range of the Model S.

Porsche says performance is about more than raw speed. Taycan buyers will get better craftsmanship and materials, but they’ll be paying more too. The car is expected to sell for at least €90,000 ($100,000) in Germany, and the Turbo version will cost upwards of €150,000 ($167,000) — that’s roughly €50,000 ($56,000) more than the souped up Model S. “We find it intriguing that not even a leading sports car producer could beat Tesla on key metrics,” said the UBS analysts.

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Porsche's electric Taycan sits on display in Stuttgart, Germany, in June 2018. The Taycan has been billed as a "Tesla Killer."

Speaking a stone’s throw from a museum that is packed to the rafters with diesel and gasoline cars, Audi’s Niemand makes the case for radical change.

“Thirty years ago or 40 years ago, a diesel was a no-go engine. It had nearly no horsepower, it needed like one minute to pre-heat the system before you could start the engine, all this stuff. And then you see what diesel can do today, it’s a totally different story,” explained the executive. “The same I think is true for electric mobility. We have now [reached] a point where you can make cars like the e-tron that really meet the demands of a lot of customers. They are not perfect, but they are very good.”

Speaking in March as he unveiled the Model Y, Tesla CEO Musk said: “Our goal all along has been to try to get the rest of the car industry to go electric.”

Whoever comes out on top, Musk will soon get his wish.

Source: CNN Business

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