Google and Apple disabled features on their maps upon Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
GM plans on testing EVs as power backups for homes
General Motors has revealed plans to test EVs as power backups for homes, NPR reports. As EVs grow in popularity, companies are looking for ways to further their usage, and potentially reduce greenhouse gases. This initiative sees bidirectional charging used, to allow the EV to pull power from the grid, store it in its battery and then use it for something else, such as a home. The program is due to start in the company’s service area of central and northern California this summer, a move supporting the state’s sustainability goals.
Complications with selling EVs ahead
With oil prices rising and demand for EVs growing, US carmakers are facing the challenge of providing vehicles they don’t have. Alongside the current global semiconductor shortage, as well as the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain issues are hindering the distribution of EVs. With many major auto groups shutting down their Russian plants, and Ukraine being a major producer of connectors and cables vital to many EVs’ electrical systems, more roadblocks can be expected in terms of supply and demand.
The Financial Times reports on how the lack of preparation by the west for a higher demand of EVs will limit the market’s growth. While the spike in oil prices is driving interest in electric vehicles, long wait times for EVs are leaving customers frustrated to the point they’ll and likely turn back to the gas engine in the short term.
Ford to launch 7 new EVs by 2024
Ford has announced its plan to release seven new EVs in Europe by 2024. The three-strong range of cars will feature a crossover with Volkswagen’s MEB platform technology, Autocar reports. The first car to be launched will be based on Volkswagen’s ID4, and due to be released in 2023. It will be built at Ford’s new EV manufacturing plant in Cologne, Germany. The second EV to be built will be a ‘sports crossover’ and will likely focus more on performance. Four more electric commercial vehicles will also be launched from next year, including the Transit Custom one-tonne van, which will be available in 2023. The push in EVs is a part of Ford’s goal for zero-emissions, as well as carbon neutrality across its European suppliers by 2035.
Honda to equip Ontario factories for hybrid vehicles
Honda Canada is preparing its shift towards electric vehicles by equipping its Ontario factories to make hybrid cars, Autonews reports. The $1.1 billion retooling will see a step forward for the company’s plan for a fully electric product line by 2040. The federal and Ontario governments are giving $103 million towards the initiative, with the timeline for the first hybrid models to be made in the factories set for this summer. According to Honda Canada CEO Jean Mark Leclerc, this decision was made due to the expected increase in demand for hybrids and electric vehicles. Honda aims for its line up to be 100% zero emission electric vehicles by 2040.