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    A silicon chip shortage is causing automakers to idle their factories

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 4 February, 2021 - 16:37 · 1 minute

A silicon chip shortage is causing automakers to idle their factories

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

You may have noticed that it's difficult to get a hold of new high-end graphics cards and game consoles these days. In large part, that's due to an ongoing global shortage affecting semiconductor foundries. As it turns out, the problem is even more pronounced in the auto industry. In fact, it's getting so bad that a number of OEMs, including Ford and General Motors, have had to go as far as idling shifts and even entire factories.

Ford had to stop production in Kentucky in December of 2020, and in January, it ordered a month-long pause at a German factory. Stellantis (the new company formed by a merger between Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot) reduced output at factories in the US, Mexico, and Canada around the same time. As did Audi, which had to idle 10,000 employees in Germany, CEO Markus Duesmann telling the Financial Times that the problem involved "a very long chain with different supply levels on the components that we are short." Subaru's Gunma factory in Japan has been affected. Production of Toyota's Texas-produced Tundra has, too.

This week, more hits keep coming. Mazda just announced it might have to cut output by 34,000 units this year due to a lack of chips. Nissan's truck factory in Mississippi has reduced its hours . And on Wednesday, GM said it will halt production at factories in Kansas, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. In many cases, the automakers are trying to prioritize their more in-demand products, but as some of those closures show, that isn't always possible.

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    General Motors’ new climate policy says EVs-only by 2035—we think

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 20:25 · 1 minute

The GM logo has been superimposed over verdant leaves.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images )

Around the world, governments are starting to discuss, or even schedule, banning the sale of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Here in the United States, as is often the case, we may well have to wait for private industry to move first, thanks to the sclerotic nature of US politics, particularly when it comes to climate change. This week, such a move happened, and it came from an unlikely source.

On Thursday, General Motors Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra announced a new climate pledge. The nation's largest automaker says it will become carbon neutral across its global operations by 2040, which it will achieve through "science-based targets." GM has also now signed a pledge by businesses to try to keep global warming to 1.5˚C . That's a remarkable change for an automaker that, until very recently, supported the previous administration's plan to make US market cars less fuel efficient.

Making this happen will require GM to transition its vehicle portfolio to battery electric vehicles, as well as other hydrogen fuel cell EVs. In fact, the company says it has "an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035."

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    FedEx will be the first customer for GM’s new electric delivery van

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 16:32

On Tuesday morning, General Motors Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra announced a new business for the company during her keynote speech at this year's all-virtual CES. It's called BrightDrop, and the goal is to provide a range of electrified products for the logistics and delivery industries.

"We are building on our significant expertise in electrification, mobility applications, telematics and fleet management, with a new one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers to move goods in a better, more sustainable way," Barra said.

BrightDrop's first product is called the EP1, and it's a pallet with an electric propulsion assist meant to transport things short distances, such as from a delivery van to the customer's door, at speeds of up to 3mph (5km/h). The EP1 can carry up to 200lbs (91kg) and about 23 cubic feet (651L) of cargo, with adjustable shelves and lockable cabinet doors. GM says the EP1 will be available early this year.

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    Pourquoi Epic Games se lance dans l’automobile

    news.movim.eu / Numerama · Thursday, 8 October, 2020 - 08:11

General Motors et Epic Games se sont rapprochés pour permettre au futur Hummer électrique de s'appuyer sur une interface basée sur le moteur graphique Unreal Engine. On peut s'attendre à un joli design. [Lire la suite]

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L'article Pourquoi Epic Games se lance dans l’automobile est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    Teardrops and wind tunnels: A look at the world’s most aerodynamic cars

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 May, 2020 - 18:02 · 1 minute

With no car launches to work on thanks to COVID-19, some automakers' press offices are filling the gap by digging into the archives to share interesting stuff with the rest of us. On Thursday, Volkswagen North America reached out to tell us about the company's most aerodynamic car ever. It was called the Aerodynamic Research Volkswagen, and it was built in 1980 as a demonstration of how to make a vehicle as slippery as possible, with a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.15. Powered by a 177hp (132kW) 2.4L inline-six cylinder engine, the ARVW reached a speed of 225mph (362km/h) at the Nardo test track in southern Italy. But the ARVW isn't the lowest-drag vehicle ever built, just the lowest-drag VW. So what is the most aerodynamic car of all time?

Production cars

When Tesla revealed its Model 3 sedan a few years ago, it was justifiably proud of the car's Cd of 0.23, which bettered the Models S and X by 0.01. Tesla didn't optimize the Model 3's aerodynamics just for bragging rights. The lower a car's drag, the further it can go per unit of energy because it doesn't have to work as hard to push its way through the air. However, a Model 3 is only this slippery through the air when the car's 18-inch wheels are fitted with the aero wheel covers, something Car and Driver put to the test late last year . (If you're a Model 3 owner and into hypermiling, you can cut your car's drag—and thereby boost its range—even further by fitting aftermarket front- and rear spoilers .)

But the Model 3 isn't the lowest-drag car to have gone into production. Porsche's Taycan battery EV bested Tesla's best when it went on sale last year. Both the Taycan Turbo and Taycan 4S manage a Cd of 0.22, although again, only with the most aerodynamic wheels fitted. The Taycan Turbo S uses a different design and in the wind tunnel, that adds 0.03 to the Cd.

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