Plugin EVs Take 22.9% Share in Germany / BMW luxury sedan / GM chief stands by autonomous vehicles

Here are some of the trending news topics in the automotive and mobility markets from around the world. We will be curating three interesting pieces of news from the automotive industry and providing insightful summaries to give our readers a better understanding of the latest developments in this field.

By presenting the most significant information in a concise and accessible format, we aim to provide an engaging and informative reading experience.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about the exciting happenings in the world of automotive technology!

June 9, 2023

1. Germany — Plugin EVs Take 22.9% Share, Tesla Leads

In May 2023, plug-in EVs accounted for 22.9% of the German car market, down from 25.3% in the same month last year. The breakdown is 17.3% for battery electric (BEV) and 5.6% for plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

While BEVs and PHEVs had been well balanced until the year before last, recent policy changes related to emissions, which have resulted in the termination of all funding for PHEVs, have resulted in a sharp decline in share, with PHEVs' share ranging from 12% to 14% in the same period last year, to only 5% to 6% this year.

In terms of volume, BEVs grew by more than 46% y/y to 42,780 units, while PHEVs fell 40% y/y to 13,803 units.

In May, the share of gasoline-powered vehicles decreased 3% y/y to 53.1%. It fell below 50% at the end of the third quarter and is not expected to exceed 50% thereafter. The best-selling BEV in Germany in May was the Tesla Model Y, followed by the Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5. At Tesla's Gigafactory in Berlin, peak production increased to more than 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of March (4,000 vehicles per week at the end of February).

Elsewhere in the May sales ranking, the BMW i4 recorded its highest monthly sales volume ever, moving up to 8th place, while its sibling, the BMW iX1, ranked 9th.

In addition, the Stellantis Jeep Avenger made its first appearance, debuting with 313 units.

The BYD Atto 3 slumped in May with sales of 49 units. It expects to increase its volume in the future after getting feedback from customers, establishing an after-sales service, and resolving initial issues.

The Renault-Nissan Group dropped from fourth place last time to seventh this time, and its market share dropped from 8.6% to 4.7%.

May 31, 2023

2.BMW’s newest luxury sedan offers video games that use your phone as a controller

*Image credit: INSIDER

The ultimate "driving machine" has become the ultimate "game machine". BMW recently unveiled its latest model, the new 5 Series Sedan with an in-car game. Drivers and passengers will be able to use their smartphones as controllers and play the game on a touch screen while the car is parked.

By scanning a QR code displayed on the BMW's main screen and connecting their smartphones, people in both the front and back seats can participate in in-car games, which will include about 15 different games, including quizzes, races, sports, and puzzles. This game feature is the result of a partnership with Swiss game manufacturer N-Dream, and will be available in other BMW models in the future.

Since it is not uncommon for EVs to take more than 30 minutes for a pit stop to recharge, this game feature will be very useful for i5 EV owners who want to recharge their vehicles, BMW said.

BMW is taking a page from Tesla's strategy, which pioneered the use of large touchscreens in cars and has incorporated imaginative features such as Netflix, web browsers, and Nintendo's Mario Kart-like game feature that uses the actual steering wheel into the car. The company is also a pioneer in the use of large touchscreens in automobiles.

June 3, 2023

3. GM chief Barra stands by her bet on autonomous vehicles

Mary Barra, chief executive officer of U.S. auto giant General Motors (GM), said recently that the company has sent a message to investors and competitors who believe that self-driving cars have no profitable future, that they are wrong.

At the Sanford Bernstein conference, Barra said there is a “huge growth opportunity” for GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle unit, and predicted that personal self-driving cars will be on the market within 10 years.

Barra reiterated his prediction that Cruise could generate $50 billion in annual revenue by 2030. This goal assumes that Cruise’s technology and services will be deployed outside the U.S. Dubai and Japan are among the future markets, Barra said, as well as in goods delivery and personal self-driving vehicles.

GM is currently losing money at a rate of $2 billion a year on cruises. Competitors, including Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen of Germany, are halting development efforts for self-driving cars as losses mount.

Cruise expanded its market this year to Arizona and Texas. Barra said these states have a more welcoming regulatory environment for self-driving cars.

However, GM has faced regulatory hurdles in Washington state, where it has struggled for more than six years to get permission to launch a large fleet of purpose-built self-driving cars.

GM has petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to deploy up to 2,500 “Origin” vehicles, self-driving vehicles that lack subway-like doors and handles, but so far NHTSA has not responded to the request.

Barra noted that the battery cost of EVs is still too high to make a profitable vehicle that sells for $30,000 to $40,000. However, he predicted that the costs of EVs and internal combustion engines “will equalize in the second half of this decade, maybe a little longer.”

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