Ever had a car repossessed?

Ever had a car repossessed?  

As I was working on this newsletter at 5 am yesterday morning, I heard a very unfamiliar sound and I immediately ceased what I was doing.  It was a chirping sound.  Was it birds perhaps?  Is it almost springtime?  Nah, can’t be. 

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“Just stopping off for a quick breather, kid. Old Mack needs a rest.”

-Mack from Cars


Elon said what about the next-gen Tesla platform and autonomous capabilities?

  1. They won’t have any autonomous capabilities.
  2. They’ll operate almost entirely in autonomous mode.
  3. They’ll destroy the competition.
  4. No comment!

EV Headlines

Mack Trucks launched its Mack MD Electric, its first electric vehicle in the medium-duty segment, during the National Truck Equipment Association 2023 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. The MD Electric, which will be produced at Roanoke Valley Operations in Virginia,  will be produced in both Class 6 and Class 7 ratings and both will be exempt from the 12 percent Federal Excise Tax. 

The MD Electric’s three-phase Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor and all on-board accessories are powered by Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide lithium-ion batteries sized at 150 kWh or 240 kWh and can be charged through AC or DC charging units.

In Other EV News

  • How about a Fisker with over 300 miles of range?  How about a Fisker with over 300 miles of range and a starting price of $29,900.  This might become a reality with the Fisker Pear.
  • Clear your calendar in March, it’s almost here.  Kia has released teaser video clips of the exterior design of its upcoming electric SUV, the Kia EV9. The videos showcase the vehicle's sleek silhouette with the EV9 set to be revealed in mid-March, with product information to be disclosed during the Kia EV9 World Premiere in late March.
  • Despite grappling with production challenges that caused a temporary halt in the production of its Endurance electric pickup - only six vehicles have been produced - Lordstown Motors had over $220 million in cash reserves by the end of 2022.  Lordstown has begun a pivot to a new EV program that will incorporate Foxconn, which invested $52 million.
  • Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new conductive polymer coating called HOS-PFM that could lead to more powerful, longer-lasting, and less expensive lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The new material conducts both electrons and ions, enhancing battery life, stability, and high charge/discharge rates.
  • FLO, an innovative EV charging network operator, has joined forces with ChargerHelp!, a charging station maintenance company, to announce the groundbreaking EV Charging Reliability Transparency Act in the New York State Senate. By mandating the disclosure of reliability data for all public and ratepayer-funded EV charging stations deployed across New York, the act will empower EV drivers by providing them with unfettered access to reliable charging stations that they can count on.
  • Hyundai has unleashed the deets of its fresh Kona subcompact SUV, which has tackled former grievances of minimal rear seating area and cargo capacity. The latest version boasts an elongated length of 6.9 inches, and slimmed-down front seats, while a full-width light bar at the front and a red taillight graphic at the rear jazzes up the design. Additionally, the Kona Electric comes with a 65.4-kWh battery pack, producing a range of around 260 miles, and a recharge from 10% to 80% in a mere 41 minutes.
  • Tesla has begun deploying its Hardware 4 (HW4) computer, with a Model X owner confirming the upgrade. The new system features additional camera ports, a radar heater, and an updated radar system called "Phoenix".

Story of the Week

I took this picture on Sunday at the base of Eldora Mountain where my buddy and I parked and charged his Model Y. They recently installed 30 level 2 ChargePoint chargers, which to my surprise were nearly all taken by EVs charging. And the best part? Parking and charging were completely free.

I can't think of many better places to install EV chargers than at the base of a ski resort where people are inherently parking their cars for hours on end. When will Vail Resorts get that message? I can't answer that but I hope it's soon.

Some *fun* facts

Autonomous Snapshots

Ever had a car repossessed?  I haven’t and I hope you haven’t either.  In the hopefully unlikely event you are in that position, Ford may have a new way of repossessing cars with a new patent they’ve been granted.  

Essentially, the patent outlines a system that would allow a car to be repossessed remotely if the owner has defaulted on payments. The system would start with disabling the air conditioning and radio, followed by audio being activated to emit an unpleasant sound, and eventually escalating to vehicle lockouts and repossession. Oh, and the repossession may involve the car driving itself to a designated location.  

However, it's important to note that while the patent was granted earlier this year, there is no indication that Ford is actively pursuing the development of this technology at this time.

In Other AV News

  • Honda will be unveiling its third-generation Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) prototype at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 in Las Vegas, in a bid to commercialize the technology and attract partners for field testing. The all-electric Honda AWV is designed to support construction-related activities and optimize workforce productivity, boasting the capability to operate autonomously or manually through remote control.
  • Details of the Ultra Cruise autonomous driving system from GM have been unveiled, which will rely on a combination of three sensor arrays to guide the vehicle. This includes a camera and short-range ultra-sonic radar system for object detection at low speeds and in urban environments, as well as long-range radar and LiDAR systems for higher speeds and poor visibility conditions.
  • Volvo is launching its most advanced vehicle yet, the EX90, with autonomous capabilities enabled by an array of sensors, including a roof-mounted LiDAR.
  • Ford has created Latitude AI, a subsidiary aimed at developing hands-free, eyes-off-the-road automated driving systems for millions of vehicles. Located in Pittsburgh at the former headquarters of defunct autonomous car start-up Argo AI, Latitude will be led by Sammy Omari, Ford's executive director of ADAS Technologies, who will spearhead the development of future driver assist technologies.
  • As underwater exploration and military operations expand, autonomous robot submarines, or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), are becoming increasingly important. With the military being the largest sector of the AUV market, navies worldwide are investing in unmanned underwater vehicles to strengthen their below-water defense tools, which has become particularly crucial in the Russia-Ukraine war.


During a recent appearance at a Morgan Stanley conference, Elon Musk briefly commented that Tesla’s next-gen platform vehicles will operate “almost entirely in autonomous mode,” leaving humans behind the wheel only rarely.

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