Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
I don’t like adding chaff to these weekly summaries of underground automotive news, so this week’s is shorter than usual. With the Detroit Auto Show going on, the automotive media and mainstream media both have been pushing EV mandates big, crowding out most interesting stories. They also fawned so much over the “car guy in chief” Biden, clearly demonstrating their bias for anyone who wants to pay attention. Anyway, here are the stories.
1. Biden plunks down big cash for charging station network.
President Joe Biden sure loves spending taxpayer dollars or just straight-up printing money to cover his pet projects. One of his latest moves was to announce at the Detroit Auto Show $7.5 billion for creating a nationwide network of electric car chargers. Originally, the anticipation was that he would announce $900 million for such a network, which is still a colossal amount as the nation is in a recession and inflation is soaring.
Read more about this expensive plan here.
2. The new Mustang looks like a Camaro.
Ford unveiled the newest generation of the iconic Mustang. Not everyone is enthused with the looks, especially since at a side profile its appearance is curiously similar to the Camaro’s. Not only that, the reheated powertrain and chassis clearly indicate Ford is pouring its resources into electrification. That’s a huge, risky bet to be taking, which is why automakers like Ford are making a propaganda push like no other.
3. Buttigieg likes a national mandate.
While technically late last week, I still think it’s important to highlight some comments Pete Buttigieg, the current Secretary of Transportation, made about California and other states instituting the forced purchasing of new electric vehicles by a certain date. He wouldn’t tell reporters whether the Biden Administration will try doing something similar, but strongly hinted that was the case. This administration seems to like using Buttigieg to take the temperature of the water, like when he brashly declared per-mile taxation on driving would be a good idea.
Read more here.
4. Vietnamese cars are coming.
That’s right, we don’t have any Chinese brands in the United States, although we have a few Chinese-made cars now, but the Vietnamese are supposedly going to start selling VinFast, an electric vehicle startup, in this market. Supposedly this will begin as early as December but I don’t think many consumers here will be keen on driving a communist EV, especially once they experience the VinFast build quality. Still, there might be some who will buy these to be different, weird, ironic, or “own the capitalists” in an unironic way.
Learn more about the VinFast launch here.