Quick Charge Podcast: February 27, 2021

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from Electrek. Quick Charge is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn and our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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Stories we discuss in this episode (with links):

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Fisker aims to capture iconic appeal of the Mini, VW Beetle with ‘affordable’ EV

Fisker’s new full-electric car developed with Apple partner Foxconn Technology Group will be an affordable five-seater that will have the same broad appeal as the original Mini and Volkswagen Beetle, CEO Henrik Fisker said.

Fisker and Taiwan’s Foxconn on Wednesday announced a partnership for Foxconn to build a car targeted at markets including North America, Europe, China and India, and sold under the Fisker brand. Production is set to start in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Fisker said he has moved to the 3D modeling phase of the design of the car.

The former Aston Martin designer said it would appeal to a wide base of buyers just like the original Mini launched in 1959 and the first-generation Beetle that became an icon in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Billionaires had them, ordinary people had them. That’s the sort of iconic vehicle that we are looking to make, a feel-good vehicle,” Fisker said. “I want to create a vehicle that can go across social borders.”

Fisker would not be drawn on the car’s size nor its body shape but promised something radical. “The only thing that makes it a car is that it has four wheels and needs to be certified as a car,” he said.

The car will be priced below Fisker’s upcoming full-electric Ocean SUV, which will cost $37,499 in the U.S. before incentives, Fisker said. Production of the Ocean, the company’s first model, will start at the end of next year.

Foxconn is expected to build more than 250,000 vehicles annually as part of the Fisker partnership, according to a statement from the companies.

The Ocean will be built by Magna International’s Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, where the contract manufacturer also builds cars for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Jaguar.

Fisker said no decision had been taken on where the second model developed with Foxconn will be built. He said he envisaged the car would be built in “several places” around the world.

“The acceleration we have in terms of product is only possible with multiple partners, and multiple existing manufacturing facilities,” Fisker said.

Foxconn in October introduced its first EV chassis and a software platform aimed at helping automakers bring cars to the market faster, but Fisker would not say whether the new model would use that platform. The Ocean will use a platform developed by Magna.

“Foxconn will take the lead in manufacturing supply chain and we will take the lead in design, development, distribution and branding,” Fisker said.

Foxconn and Fisker will jointly invest in the model, Fisker said.

The two companies have not discussed Foxconn taking a stake in Fisker as Magna International has done. As part of the deal to build the Ocean, the supplier will receive warrants to purchase a stake of up to 6 percent in Fisker, worth about $3 billion.

In January, Foxconn signed a manufacturing deal with Chinese electric-vehicle startup Byton to start mass production of the Byton M-Byte by the first quarter of 2022.

A week later, Foxconn and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said they would join forces to provide production and consulting services to global automotive enterprises.

Audi RS6 Avant And Lamborghini Urus Engage In Super Estate Vs. Super SUV Duel

Audi RS6 Avant And Lamborghini Urus Engage In Super Estate Vs. Super SUV Duel

If you want a luxurious family car that provides the type of performance you’d expect from a supercar, the Lamborghini Urus and Audi RS6 Avant are two of the finest options available.

Top Gear put the two against each other during the TV show’s 29th season that aired in late 2020. Driving the RS6 Avant was Chris Harris while Paddy McGuinness was piloting the Urus. The review has since been re-posted to YouTube.

Watch Also: Chris Harris Prefers New Audi RS6 Over Lamborghini Urus, But Wouldn’t Buy Either

To see which is better, the hosts set up a short handling course designed to simulate the drive from home to school. Harris managed to set a best time of 1:20.28 with the Audi, while McGuinness completed the course in 1:24.6 in the Lamborghini, although some of the discrepancy between the two could be chalked up to the driving skills of the pair.

As a matter of fact, The Stig drove both the Urus and RS6 Avant around the show’s test track during the same episode. He set a best time of 1:21.7 in the Lamborghini and a 1:21.9 in the Audi, proving just how well matched these two are.

If we had to choose between the two, we’d probably opt for the Audi because of its more restrained styling, cheaper price tag, and lower center of gravity. Which would you rather own?

How to protect everything with paint protection film

How to protect everything with paint protection film

If you want to keep your car’s paint looking new, paint protection film is a great option. The name is pretty self-explanatory, but this video from Ammo NYC founder and car-detailing evangelist Larry Kosilla shows just how versatile this material can be.

It turns out you can use paint protection film on more than just cars. Kosilla starts out with the cabinet tops in his garage, which are prone to damage from regular use. This first step is to dust and measure the surface. Kosilla uses Xpel, which makes pre-cut kits for everything from cars to iPhones, but also sells material by the foot and in non-standard sizes.

The film adheres to surface with an application gel, while a top-surface “slip agent” and a squeegee are used to get it into position and iron out lumps. While the surface is still wet, it’s also possible to remove any dust that you might have missed before. That’s important, as any leftover particles will create bumps in the film.

Ammo NYC paint protection film video screenshot

Ammo NYC paint protection film video screenshot

When applying the film, it’s a good idea to have some extra material in case of mistakes, Kosilla said. That excess material will have to be trimmed away, and the best way to do that is to score the cut line with a razor blade, and then peel the material away like a zipper, he added. Scoring rather than cutting straight through avoids disfiguring the material.

You can apply these basic techniques to all kinds of surfaces, Kosilla said. For example, Xpel makes a kit for the Porsche Macan that covers not only exterior surfaces, but also interior lights, the trim piece that surrounds the shifter, door and dashboard trim, and even the face of the clock on Sport Chrono Package models.

If you’re car-detailing perfectionist, Kosilla has plenty of other how-to videos, from small jobs like removing scratches from door handles and interior trim, to installing a vinyl wrap.

Jeep keeps Cherokee name, opens dialogue

DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles contacted the Cherokee Nation last summer about setting up an educational program for its employees.

It was supposed to be a cultural enrichment endeavor to shine a light on the people whose name has been attached to one of Jeep’s most popular vehicles for nearly 50 years.

The event didn’t pan out, but the dialogue wasn’t over.

Months later, after FCA merged into Stellantis, the automaker approached the nation again. The Cherokee were the ones making a request this time: Stop using our name.

The meeting occurred after Car and Driver learned of the Cherokee’s stance on the use of the name and raised it with Jeep. The Cherokee Nation didn’t go out of its way to make it a public issue, said Chuck Hoskin Jr., its principal chief.

Hoskin just answered a question honestly.

“We don’t go out across America’s cultural landscape [looking] for things that offend us and speak out on it,” Hoskin told Automotive News. “What happened in this case is Car and Driver reached out for comment.”

The nation’s position adds to the larger conversation around corporate sensitivity to issues of diversity and equality, which sprouted during the social justice movement that erupted last year after the death of George Floyd in police custody. The resulting discussions have put pressure on companies to reevaluate some business practices, and discontinuing the use of Native American names — a controversial topic for years — has been among the more visible measures organizations have taken.

The former Washington Redskins of the NFL played this past season known only as the Washington Football Team. The MLB’s Cleveland Indians announced in December that they would change their name.

Jeep is now in the hot seat, with the names of two of its three top sellers at stake. This is a high-profile year for the Grand Cherokee, with a redesign on the way along with a three-row version called the Grand Cherokee L.

Hoskin said Stellantis approached the Cherokee Nation in late January to get a better understanding of its position. Hoskin credits the automaker for engaging proactively, though he made clear that he wasn’t giving his blessing for Jeep to keep using the name.

“I thought it was the right move to drop it,” Hoskin said. “And I think they respectfully declined to take that action. But they also left the door open, I think, for further discussions, and so did we. So I think it was a good discussion in that respect.”

Jeep, in a statement, said its vehicle names have been “carefully chosen and nurtured over the years to honor and celebrate Native American people for their nobility, prowess and pride.” The brand said it was committed, more than ever, “to a respectful and open dialogue.”

For Hoskin and the people he represents, the issue goes well beyond Jeep. He believes it’s time for corporations and sports franchises to do away with the use of Native American names and imagery in their entirety.

“In 2021, the country is in a better position than they’ve been, say a generation ago, to think about what it means to use the names of Native peoples,” Hoskin said. “Beyond just the Jeep issue, to depict our culture in the form of mascots or chants at football stadiums, I think the country’s in a better place to have a discussion about those and hopefully move away from those depictions and those name usages.”