Toyota runs out of federal EV tax credits, pushing prices higher

Toyota is the latest automaker to run out of US federal tax credits and it will join Tesla and GM in losing access to the $7,500 subsidy. The company surpassed the qualifying sales threshold for EVs and hybrids in June, as Bloomberg reports.

The government limited each carmaker to 200,000 EV tax credits, though Toyota and other companies have been lobbying for that cap to be lifted. Toyota says losing the credit will mean its EVs are more expensive for consumers, which will slow the transition away from combustion-engine cars to EVs.

However, Toyota and Tesla have pushed back on a Biden administration plan to grant extra credits to unionized carmakers. GM, Ford and Stellantis (the parent of Fiat and Chrysler) have unionized plants. The Build Back Better Act, which passed through the House but stalled in the Senate, also included extra credits for cars made entirely in the US.

As things stand, Toyota's tax credits will be phased out gradually over a one-year period. Bloomberg notes that the value of the subsidy will be halved twice before it expires. However, Toyota will still be able to take advantage of incentives at the state level.

Toyota runs out of federal EV tax credits, pushing prices higher

Toyota is the latest automaker to run out of US federal tax credits and it will join Tesla and GM in losing access to the $7,500 subsidy. The company surpassed the qualifying sales threshold for EVs and hybrids in June, as Bloomberg reports.

The government limited each carmaker to 200,000 EV tax credits, though Toyota and other companies have been lobbying for that cap to be lifted. Toyota says losing the credit will mean its EVs are more expensive for consumers, which will slow the transition away from combustion-engine cars to EVs.

However, Toyota and Tesla have pushed back on a Biden administration plan to grant extra credits to unionized carmakers. GM, Ford and Stellantis (the parent of Fiat and Chrysler) have unionized plants. The Build Back Better Act, which passed through the House but stalled in the Senate, also included extra credits for cars made entirely in the US.

As things stand, Toyota's tax credits will be phased out gradually over a one-year period. Bloomberg notes that the value of the subsidy will be halved twice before it expires. However, Toyota will still be able to take advantage of incentives at the state level.

Tesla EVs can now scan the road for potholes and adjust the suspension height

Tesla has introduced a software update that allows its vehicles to scan for potholes, broken pavement and other defects, Electrek has reported. It can then use that to generate "rough road map data," and trigger the adaptive suspension in supported vehicles to adjust the ride height for more comfort. 

Back in 2020, Musk tweeted that such a feature was coming, and this appears to be the first step. "This adjustment may occur at various locations, subject to availability, as the vehicle downloads rough road map data generated by Tesla cars," the release notes state. That means pothole and other data should become increasingly refined as Tesla vehicles ply the roads. 

The ride adjustment will only work in Tesla Model S and Model X cars with adaptive suspensions, Elektrek notes. It's not clear if the Model 3 or Y vehicles also scan for rough roads, even if they lack the adaptive suspension to benefit from the data. Both the Model 3 and the Model S have eight cameras in total. 

To enable the feature you'll need the latest update 2022.20, then you tap "Controls > Suspension > Adaptive Suspension Damping, and select the Comfort or Auto setting," Tesla notes, adding that "the instrument cluster will continue to indicate when the suspension is raised for comfort."

Tesla isn't the first automaker to think up pothole scanning technology. Some manufacturers like Ford have proposed features that even detect individual potholes and instantly damp the suspension, for example. Tesla's system could be far more practical, though, by simply softening the ride parameters over known patches of rough road. 

German traffic watchdog says 59,000 Tesla cars affected by safety bug

Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt traffic regulator is calling on Tesla to recall more than 59,000 vehicles over a software issue. On June 29th, the KBA published a notice on its website notifying Model Y and 3 owners of a bug with the eCall safety system on those cars, according to Reuters. The glitch prevents the tool from automatically calling first responders in the event of a serious accident.

The KBA said the problem affects 59,129 vehicles globally, including Model Y crossovers manufactured at the automaker’s recently opened Berlin Gigafactory. German media first reported on the notice on Saturday.

Before this week, three of the 11 recalls Tesla issued this year involved a software bug. Most recently, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall involving approximately 130,000 vehicles over a glitch that could cause the infotainment system in 2021 and 2022 Tesla cars to overheat. The news of a new safety issue comes after Tesla reported a nearly 18 percent decline in vehicle deliveries on Saturday.

German traffic watchdog says 59,000 Tesla cars affected by safety bug

Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt traffic regulator is calling on Tesla to recall more than 59,000 vehicles over a software issue. On June 29th, the KBA published a notice on its website notifying Model Y and 3 owners of a bug with the eCall safety system on those cars, according to Reuters. The glitch prevents the tool from automatically calling first responders in the event of a serious accident.

The KBA said the problem affects 59,129 vehicles globally, including Model Y crossovers manufactured at the automaker’s recently opened Berlin Gigafactory. German media first reported on the notice on Saturday.

Before this week, three of the 11 recalls Tesla issued this year involved a software bug. Most recently, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall involving approximately 130,000 vehicles over a glitch that could cause the infotainment system in 2021 and 2022 Tesla cars to overheat. The news of a new safety issue comes after Tesla reported a nearly 18 percent decline in vehicle deliveries on Saturday.

Pandemic-related manufacturing shutdowns catch up with Tesla

Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter of 2022, the automaker announced on Saturday. While that’s a 25 percent year-on-year increase from the number of cars it made during Q2 2021, it’s also fewer vehicles than the company produced at the start of the year amid an “exceptionally difficult quarter.” In the first three months of 2022, the company manufactured 305,407 cars, meaning production volume declined by 15 percent from the previous quarter.

As a result, Tesla also delivered fewer vehicles in the past three months than it did at the start of the year. Deliveries declined by nearly 18 percent between Q1 and Q2 2022 to 254,695. The setback marks the first time in two years that Tesla’s deliveries have fall quarter over quarter.

The company saw production slowed by ongoing component shortages that affected the entire auto industry. Tesla was also forced to stop work at its critical Shanghai Gigafactory multiple times in March due to the strict COVID-19 lockdowns that hit China’s most populous city.

If there’s a silver lining for Tesla, it’s that the company would appear well-positioned to bounce back next quarter. According to Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt, the company said it achieved its highest monthly vehicle production volume in June. We’ll know more about Tesla’s outlook when the company shares its full Q2 2022 results on July 20th.

Pandemic-related manufacturing shutdowns catch up with Tesla

Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter of 2022, the automaker announced on Saturday. While that’s a 25 percent year-on-year increase from the number of cars it made during Q2 2021, it’s also fewer vehicles than the company produced at the start of the year amid an “exceptionally difficult quarter.” In the first three months of 2022, the company manufactured 305,407 cars, meaning production volume declined by 15 percent from the previous quarter.

As a result, Tesla also delivered fewer vehicles in the past three months than it did at the start of the year. Deliveries declined by nearly 18 percent between Q1 and Q2 2022 to 254,695. The setback marks the first time in two years that Tesla’s deliveries have fall quarter over quarter.

The company saw production slowed by ongoing component shortages that affected the entire auto industry. Tesla was also forced to stop work at its critical Shanghai Gigafactory multiple times in March due to the strict COVID-19 lockdowns that hit China’s most populous city.

If there’s a silver lining for Tesla, it’s that the company would appear well-positioned to bounce back next quarter. According to Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt, the company said it achieved its highest monthly vehicle production volume in June. We’ll know more about Tesla’s outlook when the company shares its full Q2 2022 results on July 20th.

GM is ramping up Hummer EV production to address huge order backlog

General Motors has only been producing up to a dozen electric Hummers a day in its Detroit factory, according to The Wall Street Journal, and that's far from ideal when the automaker has over 70,000 reservations. As The Drive notes, it would take GM 17 years to be able to fulfill all its orders at that pace. A GM spokesperson told The Journal, though, that the company's output will increase sharply in the second half of the year. They said production has been slower than usual for the vehicle, because it was developed from scratch and was built on top the company's new Ultium EV platform. The global supply chain shortage that's been affecting the tech and auto industries may have also contributed to the issue. 

In the coming months, the automaker expects to fulfill deliveries at a much faster pace, particularly after it switches from using outsourced LG battery cells. GM aims to start manufacturing its own battery cells later this summer in its new factory in Ohio built in partnership with LG. The company has been building multiple Ultium factories in the US over the past year, including one in Tennessee and another in Michigan in addition to its Ohio plant, as part of its efforts to achieve its goal of making more than a million EVs in the US every year by the end of 2025. One of its short-term goals, however, is likely being able to supply the batteries its Hummer EVs need. That battery makes up a third of the vehicle's weight, The Drive says, and is made up of materials that are high in demand. 

The spokesperson said:

"Our ability to satisfy that demand is only going to improve as we bring on vertical integration of battery cell production. You can expect to see hundreds of deliveries grow to thousands later this year."

GM didn't give out exact numbers, so those at the bottom of the waiting list may have a long wait ahead of them still. That said, they're not alone in waiting for their new EVs and hybrids to be delivered. Ford recently told customers who reserved a hybrid Maverick for 2022 that it's experiencing product delays due to the supply chain shortage and that they could convert their reservation into one for the 2023 model if they wish. The automaker also decided to invest more money and to close `orders for all F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E EV models due to the massive demand for them. 

GM is ramping up Hummer EV production to address huge order backlog

General Motors has only been producing up to a dozen electric Hummers a day in its Detroit factory, according to The Wall Street Journal, and that's far from ideal when the automaker has over 70,000 reservations. As The Drive notes, it would take GM 17 years to be able to fulfill all its orders at that pace. A GM spokesperson told The Journal, though, that the company's output will increase sharply in the second half of the year. They said production has been slower than usual for the vehicle, because it was developed from scratch and was built on top the company's new Ultium EV platform. The global supply chain shortage that's been affecting the tech and auto industries may have also contributed to the issue. 

In the coming months, the automaker expects to fulfill deliveries at a much faster pace, particularly after it switches from using outsourced LG battery cells. GM aims to start manufacturing its own battery cells later this summer in its new factory in Ohio built in partnership with LG. The company has been building multiple Ultium factories in the US over the past year, including one in Tennessee and another in Michigan in addition to its Ohio plant, as part of its efforts to achieve its goal of making more than a million EVs in the US every year by the end of 2025. One of its short-term goals, however, is likely being able to supply the batteries its Hummer EVs need. That battery makes up a third of the vehicle's weight, The Drive says, and is made up of materials that are high in demand. 

The spokesperson said:

"Our ability to satisfy that demand is only going to improve as we bring on vertical integration of battery cell production. You can expect to see hundreds of deliveries grow to thousands later this year."

GM didn't give out exact numbers, so those at the bottom of the waiting list may have a long wait ahead of them still. That said, they're not alone in waiting for their new EVs and hybrids to be delivered. Ford recently told customers who reserved a hybrid Maverick for 2022 that it's experiencing product delays due to the supply chain shortage and that they could convert their reservation into one for the 2023 model if they wish. The automaker also decided to invest more money and to close `orders for all F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E EV models due to the massive demand for them. 

Hyundai shows off its Ioniq 6 electric vehicle for the first time

Hyundai has revealed the design for Ioniq 6, its upcoming electric vehicle that was inspired by the Prophecy concept EV it showed off in 2020. It retains the Prophecy's futuristic elements without looking like it was a prop made for a sci-fi movie, with its aerodynamic profile and clean lines. Hyundai says the vehicle will have an ultra-low drag coefficient of 0.21 — most modern cars have an average drag coefficient of 0.25 or 0.3 — thanks to its low nose and active air flaps, among other elements. Its elliptical wing-inspired spoiler and slight boat-tail structure help make it more aerodynamic, as well. 

Inside, the Ioniq 6 has a cocoon-shaped interior that's trimmed in sustainable materials, such as eco-process leather or recycled PET fabric for its seats. The company's modular platform for electric vehicles enabled its designers to stretch the car's dimensions and give it a completely flat floor for more legroom and space. For its entertainment and navigation system, it has a modular touchscreen dashboard with a 12-inch touchscreen display and a 12-inch digital cluster. 

Hyundai
Hyundai

The automaker has yet to announce the EV's specs, but to give you an idea, the Ioniq 5 has a 72.6-kWh battery that can deliver up to 300 miles of range. It also boasts 320 horsepower, 446 pound-feet of torque and the capability to go from 0 to 60 MPH in under 5 seconds. Hyundai will reveal the Ioniq 6's full specifications and features during its world premiere in July.