The story of a man’s search for a charging station during his trip from Boston to New York demonstrates how Tesla owners still have an advantage over other electric-car owners

Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition 03
Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.

  • A Mustang Mach-E driver had to pull over four times to find a charging station during a 200-mile trip.
  • Axios editor Dan Primack said he felt panicked as he searched for a charger that would work with a non-Tesla car.
  • Increasing charging infrastructure is a key step toward electrifying transportation in the US.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Charging infrastructure poses a major hurdle for electric-vehicle adoption and one man found that it represents an even greater difficulty for drivers who don’t own a Tesla.

During a drive from Boston to New York City, Axios editor Dan Primack said his battery dropped past 23% before he was able to find a charging station that would work with his Ford Mustang Mach-E.

“EV owners not only need to plan, but also need backup plans when the original ones fall through,” Primack wrote.

Driving range anxiety has been identified as one of the main issues the US faces when it comes to the electrification of transportation. A June study found that last year one in five EV owners switched back to a gas-powered car due to the hassle of charging their electric car.

Primack said while the Mustang Mach-E, which has an estimated range of about 230 miles per full charge, has been efficient for short drives, he faced some difficulty on the over 200-mile commute to New York City. During what should have been a simple drive, he was forced to pull over at four different charging stations in order to find a station that he could use to recharge his Mach-E.

At two of the four stations, he was only able to find Tesla chargers, and at one there were no chargers. He said he was not able to recharge his car until he found the fourth station in a parking garage.

Primack said he felt “panic” during the experience – a feeling he had not expected to experience in an area of the country that had prioritized electrification. He pointed out that his trip cut through high traffic roads in the northeast – an area that was known for being early EV adopters.

His account raises the question of how much more stressful his trip could have been, had it taken place in a more rural area.

Efforts to expand the charging infrastructure in the US

Increasing the US network of charging stations is a top priority in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, which sets aside billions of dollars for EV charging.

As of February, there are just under 100,000 electric car charging stations in the US, according to a report from I. Wagner, a researcher on traffic and motor vehicle manufacturing. To date, Tesla supercharging stations alone account for over 25,000 stations, according to data from the company’s website. While regular Tesla stations can be used with non-Tesla EVs through a special adapter, supercharging stations are not yet compatible with other electric cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter earlier in July that he plans to make Tesla’s entire charging network accessible to all EV drivers by the end of the year. Though, the CEO said during the company’s earnings call on Monday that non-Tesla drivers will have to pay extra to use the company’s supercharging network and would likely have to purchase an additional adapter.

“It is our goal to support the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk said at the meeting. “It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors, which is sometimes used by some companies.

For now, Primack’s story highlights the need for greater charging infrastructure in the US, as well as the advantage Tesla holds over its competitors when it comes to EV charging.

Read the full story on Axios.

Read the original article on Business Insider

General Motors sues Ford over its ‘BlueCruise’ self-driving branding, saying it’s too similar to GM’s ‘Cruise’ and ‘Super Cruise’

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford BlueCruise.

  • General Motors sued Ford for trademark infringement over its “BlueCruise” self-driving tech.
  • “Ford knew exactly what it was doing” when it used a brand name similar to GM’s “Cruise,” GM said.
  • Ford said the term “cruise control” has been widely used for decades, Reuters reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

General Motors on Friday filed a lawsuit against Ford over the branding of its “BlueCruise” hands-free driving tech.

Ford’s April announcement of its BlueCruise tech amounted to a “brazen attempt” to co-opt GM’s branding, the complaint said. GM said the name infringed on the trademark of its subsidiary, Cruise, and its self-driving vehicle software, Super Cruise, launched in 2017.

“Ford knew exactly what it was doing,” the complaint said. “If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique, brand, it easily could have done so without using the word ‘Cruise,’ as shown by Ford’s branding for the same automated driving technology in their luxury car models.”

In some models, Ford’s hands-free features were branded as “ActiveGlide.”

GM in its lawsuit – filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California – accused Ford of trademark infringement and unfair competition. GM sought damages and an order that would permanently stop Ford from using the branding.

In a statement, Ford said the branding was an extension of the cruise-control features that vehicle manufacturers have long used, Reuters reported.

“Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is common shorthand for the capability,” the company said.

The lawsuit detailed a “protracted” exchange between the two companies following Ford’s April announcement. During those talks, the companies “agreed to multiple standstill agreements,” but were unable to come to a solution, GM said.

“Cruise and GM do not file this lawsuit lightly,” the complaint said.

Insider has reached out to Ford for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 10 longest range electric cars you can buy in the US

Tesla Model Y crossover
Tesla reigns supreme when it comes to range.

  • Range anxiety is one of the biggest hurdles facing widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Many EVs on the US market can go well over 200 miles on a charge.
  • But Tesla is still the brand to beat when it comes to range.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Range anxiety is almost always cited as one of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Today, most people would rather own a car that they can drive vast distances and fill up with dinosaur goo in a matter of minutes over a battery-powered vehicle with limited range and a slower charge.

But the fear of running low on electrons without a plug nearby may soon be a thing of the past.

Battery technology is improving quickly, and there are several electric cars on the US market that can travel well over 200 miles between charges – plenty for most short or medium-length trips. The best of the best can go more than 300.

Here are the 10 longest-range EVs you can buy in the US today.

10. Kia Niro EV – 239 miles

2020 Kia Niro EV.
2020 Kia Niro EV.

Starting at $39,000, Kia’s electric crossover offers solid range for less than the price of the average new car in the US. Plus, when you factor in the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, the Niro becomes even more of a bargain. There’s also a fancier trim on offer for around $45,000.

9. Chevrolet Bolt EUV – 247 miles

EMBARGO 2/14/2022 4PM ET 2022 Chevrolet BoltEUV 010
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

For 2022, Chevrolet launched a compact crossover version of the Bolt EV – the Bolt EUV, standing for “electric utility vehicle.” The $33,995 EUV is a bit bigger and rides a bit taller than its cousin, giving it a slightly shorter range.

8. Hyundai Kona Electric – 258 miles

Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai Kona Electric.

The 2021 Kona Electric retails for $37,390 and puts out 201 horsepower. It’s built on the same platform as the Kia Niro. An Ultimate trim is available for around $46,000.

Read more: The 5 best companies to bet your career on in the booming electric vehicle industry

7. Chevrolet Bolt EV – 259 miles

EMBARGO 2/14/2022 4PM ET 2022 Chevrolet BoltEV 006
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Chevy gave the Bolt EV a radical redesign for the 2022 model year, keeping the hatchback’s egg shape but bestowing it with sharper looks all around. The new model has an identical range to its predecessor, but a reduced starting price of $31,995. That makes it one of the cheapest EVs you can buy.

6. Volkswagen ID.4 Pro – 260 miles

Volkswagen ID.4
Volkswagen ID.4.

Volkswagen is trying hard to catch up to Tesla, far and away the dominant force in EVs. And although its rebrand to “Voltswagen” turned out to be a badly timed April Fools’ Day joke, the company is making strides toward that goal. The ID.4, its first US-market EV, launched in early 2020 for $40,000.

5. Ford Mustang Mach-E – 305 miles

Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition 03
Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.

The Mustang Mach-E came on the scene in late 2020 as Ford’s first EV. Its California Route 1 trim has the most range, while the base Select model delivers 230 miles. Other ranges are available depending on whether customers choose a larger battery or all-wheel drive.

The Mach-E California Route 1 will run you $50,400 to start.

4. Tesla Model Y Long Range – 326 miles

Tesla Model Y.
Tesla Model Y.

The Model Y ranks at the bottom of Tesla’s lineup in terms of range, but it still beats out every other EV on the market. The Long Range model will run you $53,990. As with other Teslas, a pricier high-performance model is available with less range.

3. Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 353 miles

Tesla Model 3_4
Tesla Model 3.

The Long Range Tesla Model 3 delivers more than 350 miles of range for $50,000. The base model, by comparison, delivers 263 miles of range for $10,000 less.

2. Tesla Model X Long Range – 360 miles

2021 Tesla Model X crossover
Tesla Model X.

The $95,000 Model X crossover is Tesla’s second-oldest model behind the Model S. The burly family SUV not only has one of the most impressive ranges in the industry, it also claims to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

1. Tesla Model S Long Range – 405 miles

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S.

Tesla’s flagship Model S has been the EV to beat for years. The sleek sedan leads the industry in range, and its most souped-up variant – the Model S Plaid – launched last month as the quickest production car in existence.

A handful of future EVs – notably the Lucid Air sedan – promise to go further than the Model S, but for now, Tesla remains the clear choice if range is your top concern.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ford is recalling nearly 800,000 Explorers, as well as its Lincoln Aviator and F-350 Super Duty pickup truck. Find out if your vehicle was impacted.

Ford Explorer
  • Ford recalled nearly 800,000 Explorer SUVs that were made between 2013 and 2017 due to crash risk.
  • The company also recalled select 2020 and 2021 Lincoln Aviator and F-350 Super Duty models.
  • Six allegations of injury have been connected to a potential defect in the Ford Explorer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford issued three safety recalls on Friday, impacting its Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, and F-350 Super Duty pickup truck.

The recall covers over 850,000 vehicles which were identified as having increased risks of crash or fire.

In a press release, Ford said it was recalling nearly 800,000 Ford Explorer models that were made between 2013 and 2017 due to a malfunction that could significantly diminish steering control and increase the probability of a car crash.

Drivers of the SUV that have been impacted by the defect may notice “a clunk noise, unusual handling, or a misaligned rear wheel.” The company said that six allegations of injury have been connected to the issue.

Read more: How Ford, GM, and VW overcame skeptical investors and unseated Tesla as the auto industry’s hottest stocks

The majority of the impacted vehicles are in North America and in locations that experience cold weather, high humidity, as well as the use of road salt.

The recall also covers about 35,000 2020 and 2021 models of the Ford F-350 Super Duty that have a 6.7-liter engine. The car models have been identified as at an elevated risk of a crash, though the company said no injuries related to the pickup truck’s potential for a disconnected driveshaft have been reported to date.

Similarly, the 2020 and 2021 Lincoln Aviator’s recall has not been connected to any injuries. Though, Ford is recalling over 40,000 of the cars that are equipped with a 3.0-liter gas engine, due to fire risk caused by the interaction between the A/C pulley and the car’s battery.

Ford will notify customers of the individual recalls by mid-August and dealers will inspect the vehicles for the potential defects.

The vehicles are some of many products that Ford has recalled in the past year. Last month, Ford recalled 1.2 million Explorers for a suspension issue. In May, the car company recalled over 600,000 of the SUVs due to concerns the SUVs roof rail could spontaneously detach.

A few months prior, Ford recalled 2.6 million vehicles due to airbag issues. At the time, the company anticipated the recall would cost about $610 million. A Ford spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From Tesla to Workhorse, here are the 50 most popular stocks among retail investors on Robinhood

GettyImages 1291817095
Robinhood is hugely popular among day traders, putting it at the center of the GameStop frenzy

Robinhood has been the poster child of the commission-free trading movement that has drawn a new generation of investors into the stock market, and its user base skews heavily to Millennial and Gen Z investors. From iconic companies like Apple, to upstarts looking to disrupt whole industries, here are the top 50 stock picks among Robinhood users.

50. Workhorse

Workhorse Truck

Workhorse, the Loveland, Ohio-based electric-vehicle maker, has become a retail favorite among other auto manufacturers, like Lordstown Motors and Canoo.

49. Boeing

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Shares of the plane-maker have rallied more than 12% so far this year.

48. Zynga

Zynga Peak
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The mobile-gaming company sees more than $1 billion in sales opportunity if it expands beyond mobile games to consoles and computers, Bloomberg reported.

47. Uber

Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company have been barely changed so far this year.

46. United Airlines

Flying United Airlines during pandemic
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The airline slumped amid the COVID-19 pandemic but has turned around as air travel picks back up.

45. SPDR S&P 500 ETF

A number of value stocks have been surging on the S&P 500 in 2021.
Kena Betancur/VIEWpress

The ETF tracking the benchmark index has risen about 15% so far this year.


nvidia impressive ceos 2x1
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia. Nvidia; Skye Gould/Insider

The chip and graphics card producer has rallied more than 50% year-to-date.

43. General Motors

General Motors headquarters Detroit
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The automaker is among a slew of others in the industry that retail traders have rallied behind.

42. Coca-Cola

Coca-cola billboard
Peter Macdiarmid/Reuters

Shares of the Atlanta-based beverage company have rebounded from a slump earlier this year.

41. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF

Vanguard vs Fidelity
MoMo Productions

The exchange-traded fund has rallied 14% so far this year.

40. Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Prima cruise ship
Norwegian Cruise Line

The cruise industry was hit hard amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but shares of cruise operators are on the rebound as the world reopens.

39. Ideanomics

GettyImages 539998802
P. Steeger/Getty Images

Ideanomics, a small company focused on sustainability, has rallied alongside other meme stocks like GameStop this year.

38. Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

The space tourism company has been a focus among Reddit retail traders for months. Shares soared in May after the company announced its successful test flight.

37. FuelCell Energy

fuel cell
REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

The Danbury, Connecticut-based company creates “clean, efficient and affordable fuel cell solutions,” according to its website.

36. AT&T

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The media and telecommunications company based in Dallas is among retail-trader favorites on Robinhood.

35. Moderna

woman getting vaccine
A physician injects someone with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Moderna shares have rallied in recent days since the pharmaceutical company announced its COVID-19 vaccine should work against the Delta variant.

34. Starbucks

A Starbucks barista makes coffee in Florida.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The popular Seattle-based coffee maker recently added oat milk-based drinks to its menu.

33. Twitter

Twitter logo over computer
NurPhoto/Getty Images

The social-media site has been a hub for retail traders exchanging ideas this year.

32. Advanced Micro Devices

austin amd
Jack Plunkett/AP

Advanced Micro Devices, a semiconductor company, is frequently mentioned on Reddit investing threads like Wall Street Bets.

31. Canopy Growth

canopy growth
REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The Canadian cannabis company is one of a handful of its kind that are among retail-trader favorites.

30. Facebook

facebook logo

The social media behemoth is now worth more than $1 trillion after a federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits against the company.

29. Tilray

Tilray marijuana

The Canadian cannabis company has seen a lot of Reddit hype as retail investors look to position themselves for the possibility of legalization in the US.

28. Coinbase Global

The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency

Coinbase was the first major cryptocurrency exchange to go public on April 14.

27. Bank of America

BofA logo
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank have rallied about 36% so far this year.

26. OrganiGram

weed thc marijuana cbd cannabis
Olena Ruban/Getty Images

The Canadian cannabis company is one of several retail traders have hyped up.

25. Alibaba

alibaba jack ma NYSE
Alibaba went public on the NYSE in 2014. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Shares of the Chinese e-commerce company have fallen about 2.6% this year.

24. Netflix

Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

The streaming site recently launched an e-commerce store to sell items from popular shows like “The Witcher.”

23. Snap Inc.

Snapchat messaging application.JPG
REUTERS/Thomas White

Shares of the social site have rallied about 35% so far this year.

22. Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines Airbus A320
A Delta Air Lines Airbus A320. Philip Pilosian/

The airline is among several others that struggled during the pandemic but has begun to rebound.

21. Churchill Capital Corp IV

Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images

Shares of the special-purpose acquisition company have nearly tripled in price since going public earlier this year.

20. Palantir

Alex Karp - CEO of Palantir Alex Karp speaks to the press as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the "Tech for Good" summit, in Paris, France, on May 23, 2018.
Palantir CEO Alex Karp. Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Palantir CEO Alex Karp said the surveillance company is a favorite stock pick because the company respects the intelligence of the retail-trading community.

19. GoPro

GoPro Inc's founder and CEO Nick Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc's IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City, June 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar
GoPro Inc’s founder and CEO Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City. Thomson Reuters

The maker of wearable cameras has rallied 38% so far this year.

18. Zomedica

Westend61/Getty Images

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company is focused on helping meet the needs of veterinarians, according to its website.

17. GameStop

gamestop store
John Minchillo/AP

GameStop was recently added to the Russell 1000 Index, a list of the largest companies based on market capitalization, thanks to its epic rally pushed by retail investors.

16. Carnival

carnival cruise
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The cruise line industry shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but operators like Carnival are making a comeback as the pandemic recedes.

15. Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis
Alberta Cannabis Inc/Handout via REUTERS

Aurora is another Canadia cannabis company that retail traders have flocked to amid excitement over potential legalization in the US.

14. Pfizer

pfizer vaccine us
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The pharmaceutical company has surged in popularity, largely thanks to the production of its COVID-19 vaccine.

13. Nokia

FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

Nokia has been looped into the basket of meme-stocks, like GameStop and AMC, that have gripped retail-traders attention this year.

12. Plug Power

Saudi Aramco hydrogen fueling station
Photo by Wang Haizhou/Xinhua via Getty Images

Plug Power, based in Latham, New York, is focused on creating hydrogen fuel cells to power vehicles.

11. American Airlines

American Airlines tails
American Airlines’ planes parked at a gate in Washington. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline has rallied about 35% year-to-date.

10. Amazon

amazon warehouse truck shipping
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The e-commerce giant is among the biggest companies in the world with a $1.7 trillion market capitalization.

9. Microsoft

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Sean Gallup: Getty Images

Microsoft is among the largest companies in the world with a $2 trillion market capitalization.

8. Disney

Disney World
The Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, Florida. Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the media and entertainment conglomerate have dropped about 3% so far this year.

7. NIO

STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese electric-vehicle maker has rallied more than 600% in the past year.

6. General Electric

General Electric reports strong earnings. Hussein Faleh/Getty Images

Shares of the long-time company have been on the rise this year, rallying about 25%.

5. Ford

Biden Ford
President Joe Biden drives the new electric Ford F-150 lightning at the Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan on May 18, 2021. Nicholas Kamm/Associated Press

The legacy automaker garnered attention earlier this year when President Joe Biden floored one of its electric trucks.

4. Sundial Growers

Marijuana Cannabis
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Sundial, among other Canadian cannabis companies, is a favorite among retail traders.

3. AMC Entertainment

AMC stock
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AMC Entertainment became a retail-trader favorite earlier this year, and led a rally in memes last month amid renewed interest in meme stocks.

2. Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The iPhone maker is the most valuable company in the world with a market cap of more than $2 trillion.

1. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has captured retail-trader attention in both his company and in the realm of cryptocurrencies.

Read the original article on Business Insider

It’s not just Tesla. Experts say the entire industry is struggling to safely introduce automated features to the masses.

Ford BlueCruise.
Ford BlueCruise advertises “hands-free driving.” Experts say that gives drivers the wrong idea.

  • Tesla often catches heat for the fast-and-loose way it markets Autopilot.
  • But virtually all automakers are caught up in a messy transition to automated driving.
  • Better education, marketing, and engineering can make roads safer as tech takes over, experts say.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When a fiery Tesla Model S crash killed two people in April – with nobody behind the wheel, officials said – Elon Musk’s carmaker came under fire once more over the risks of its Autopilot tech. It wasn’t the first time, and it likely won’t be the last.

Over the years, critics have called out Tesla for the misleading and potentially dangerous way it brands its driver-assistance features, Autopilot and Full-Self-Driving Capability, neither of which make Teslas autonomous. And a growing number of high-profile crashes and countless viral videos show that even if Tesla doesn’t endorse reckless driving, its cars certainly allow it to happen.

But Tesla isn’t alone. The messy transition to automated driving is upon us, and the entire auto industry has work to do to make roads safer. Advanced driver-assistance systems aim to make driving safer and more comfortable with features like lane centering, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. Still, their rollout has been far from perfect, experts say.

Plenty of other automakers give drivers an imperfect impression of what their cars can do. General Motors and Ford market their systems as “hands-free driving” on approved stretches of highway. And although the companies warn drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times, Missy Cummings, a Duke University engineering professor who studies automation, says “hands-free driving” is an invitation for people’s attention to wander.

“The message that you are sending to consumers when you say ‘hands-free’ – even though they don’t mean this – is ‘attention-free,'” Cummings told Insider. “There is a lot of confusion already in the customer’s mind about what cars are capable of. And by endorsing ‘hands-free,’ you are only going to see more distracted behavior.”

“Representatives from Ford and GM pushed back, telling Insider that their vehicles’ internal cameras monitor driver awareness, while various alerts ensure they stay engaged.”

BlueCruise_Mustang_Mach E_02
Ford BlueCruise.

According to a 2018 AAA survey, 40% of drivers expect that systems with names like Autopilot, Hyundai ProPilot, Volvo Pilot Assist should enable cars to drive themselves, despite there being no such car on the market. Today’s most advanced driver-assistance systems can reliably do things like keep up with traffic, maintain a lane, and park automatically. Still, they require full driver supervision in case something goes wrong and they can’t handle more complex driving tasks. Lower-tier systems have safety features like collision detection, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring.

Read more: Why the CEO of a BMW- and Ford-backed battery startup thinks his $1.2 billion SPAC deal will help revolutionize EVs

It’s more than just marketing and naming. A larger problem is that drivers don’t fully understand what their cars can and can’t do – regardless of their features.

It’s a given that practically no owners read the manual, where most detailed information about safety features resides. But research has also shown that many car salespeople don’t grasp driver-assistance tech enough to adequately educate buyers. Some even spread misinformation.

A GM test driver sits in a 2021 Cadillac Escalade SUV with General Motors' Super Cruise hands-free driving assistance in this undated handout picture. General Motors/Handout via REUTERS
2021 Cadillac Escalade SUV with General Motors’ Super Cruise hands-free driving assistance.

Tracy Pearl, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma who researches self-driving technology, says the education gap creates two worrisome trends. More drivers will abuse systems like Autopilot by not paying attention to the road, while others won’t get the full benefits of advanced features because they either don’t trust the technology or don’t know how to use it.

“What we need are people in that middle category who are going to be steely-eyed realists about what exactly the system is capable of and who are willing to learn how to use their cars safely,” Pearl said. Expanding that group will be the key challenge facing automated driving in coming years, she continued.

Car companies also must improve the design of their systems, says Bryant Walker Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina who coauthored the global standards for driving automation. Especially pressing areas include what happens when a system needs to disengage and how cars monitor driver attention.

tesla autopilot
A Tesla on Autopilot.

GM’s Super Cruise, for example, uses cameras to ensure drivers’ eyes are looking forward. That’s more effective than some other strategies but remains an imperfect way of measuring attentiveness, Smith said. More generally, car companies need to think about balancing safety and convenience features to reduce the risk of crashes without making drivers lazy or degrade their driving skills, he said.

Ultimately, Smith said, the federal government should take more action to better understand driver-assist systems, standardize them, mandate the most life-saving features, and hold automakers to a higher standard. Automated vehicle policy, he says, represents a huge opportunity to make roads safer in a country where some 40,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes annually, and major restrictions on conventional vehicles are unlikely.

Advanced driver-assist systems are a potential game-changer for road safety. But with the way things are going, experts say we could start to see more crashes as the complex technology gets into the hands of more undereducated drivers.

“I think the problem is going to get worse before it gets better,” Pearl said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla just beat out Ford as the most American-made car for the first time ever

Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3, which is manufactured in Fremont, California.

  • Tesla’s Model 3 sedan topped Ford’s Mustang in the American-Made Index this year.
  • It’s the first time in 16 years that Tesla has topped the list.
  • The American-Made Index ranks American cars by how much of the car and its parts are made in the US.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In a ranking of dozens of American cars, Tesla took the top spot over rivals from American giants like Ford and Jeep – but not for the reasons you might think.

The American-Made Index, now in its 16th year, ranks dozens of American-made cars to determine which is the most “made in America” of all. It takes five primary factors into account: final assembly location, origin of parts, origin of engines, origin of transmissions, and manufacturing workforce.

To that end, Tesla’s Fremont, California-made Model 3 sedan took the top spot – the first time ever for Tesla.

Ford’s Mustang, made in Flat Rock, Michigan, took the second spot, while Tesla’s Model Y SUV rounded out the third spot.

Ford and Tesla have come into increasingly close competition lately, with Ford’s wildly successful Mustang Mach-E directly taking on Tesla in electric car sales. Ford’s first all-electric Mustang made a big enough splash when it launched earlier this year that it immediately cut Tesla’s market share in the electric car market by over 10%.

Despite the competition, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley appear to share a mutual appreciation of each other.

“Tesla & Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000’s of car startups. Prototypes are easy, production is hard & being cash flow positive is excruciating,” Musk tweeted in March. “Respect,” Farley said in response.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (, or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some second-hand trucks now cost more than their original sticker price in a red-hot market – a 2-year-old Toyota Tacoma went for $1,000 more than its price when new

Cars sit outside a used car dealership with spray paint on the windows advertising the vehicles.
Used car and truck dealers have bought models for more than their original sticker price.

  • Used trucks have been sold for above their original sticker price in a red-hot market, Fox Business reported.
  • A supply crunch from factory closures and worldwide chip shortages for new vehicles have contributed to price rises.
  • But prices have climbed at a slower rate this week, according to vehicle data site Black Book.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some car dealers have sold used trucks for more than the original sticker price thanks to rocketing demand and a global shortage of chips needed to make new cars, Fox Business reported.

Used vehicle prices have risen by an average of 30% over the past year, according to automotive data site Black Book, per Fox Business.

Alex Yurchenko, Black Book’s senior vice president of data science, told Fox Business that he had found 73 models of vehicles between one and three years old that were being sold to dealers at auctions for more than their original price.

“The market is very strange right now,” Yurchenko told Fox Business. “Dealers need the inventory, so they are paying lots of money for their vehicles on the wholesale market.”

A vehicle’s sticker price is the manufacturer’s recommended price for retailers.

While many of the models were high-value trucks and SUVs, such as the Ford F-150 Raptor pickup, Yurchenko told Fox Business that he found modestly priced vehicles sold above their sticker price, too. For example, Yurchenko found a 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR double cab pickup, originally priced at $29,000, going for nearly $1,000 more in 2021, Fox Business reported.

“Before we get through this, prices for many mainstream vehicles will get closer to their manufacturer’s suggested retail price,” Yurchenko told Fox Business.

The inflated prices are thanks to vehicle supply shortages caused by factory closures last year, a global shortage of automotive chips, and strong demand in the vehicle market, which is even leading to some sellers making a profit on cars with broken engines.

Used vehicle prices climbed 7.3% in May, and used vehicle price rises accounted for about one-third of overall inflation, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And used vehicle prices have also soared across the Atlantic – the UK’s Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) reported double-digit price increases over the past few months, and predicted that prices will rise further.

“We are in a kind of ‘perfect storm’ where stock is in very short supply, demand is high, and buyers are ready to spend freely,” VRA chair Philip Nothard said. Nothard said that dealers are also happy to sell older vehicles than they would’ve done previously.

The increase in used vehicle prices in the US has started to slow, with used cars climbing 0.75% last week – the lowest weekly rise in 17 weeks, Black Book told Fox Business.

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Ford is probably working on electric follow-ups to its Maverick and Ranger trucks

A line drawing of a Ford electric pickup.
Ford teased future electric pickups at an event in May.

  • Ford could follow up the F-150 Lightning with electric versions of the Maverick and Ranger pickups.
  • The vehicles aren’t official, but Ford said in May it plans to develop a mid-size electric truck
  • Ford CEO Jim Farley has said the new Maverick could become a family of trucks, including an EV.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The recently revealed F-150 Lightning is Ford’s first all-electric truck, but it won’t be the company’s last.

Although Ford hasn’t officially announced any new electric pickups yet, it has given every indication that it’s working on a battery-powered version of the mid-size Ranger or its new compact truck, the Maverick. Or both.

During an event in May, Ford announced two new platforms it’ll use for a slew of electric vehicles it’s planning to unleash over the next several years. One will underpin future utility vehicles and full-size pickups, presumably including the next-generation F-150 Lightning around the middle of the decade.

The other will form the basis for a huge variety of all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive models, including commercial vans, off-road SUVs, family haulers, and “mid-sized trucks,” Ford COO Hau Thai-Tang said.

Unless Ford plans to shake up its pickup lineup with a brand-new electric model – which would go against its strategy to “electrify our icons” – that probably means an electron-powered Ranger of some sort is on the way.

That truck could be called the Ranger Splash, judging by a trademark application Ford filed earlier this month first spotted by the auto site CarBuzz. Ford sold a sporty pickup called the Ranger Splash in the mid-1990s, and it applied this month to use the “Splash” name on “Motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, pick-up trucks, electric vehicles, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and their structural parts.”

While that’s not exactly a smoking gun, the theory isn’t so far-fetched given that Ford lifted the Lightning moniker from a high-performance F-150 it sold in the 1990s. Still, Ford could be looking to trademark “Splash” for something else entirely, like an options package.

Read more: How a former Tesla boss wants to use $44 million from investors like Amazon to make home EV charging cheaper

An electric take on the Maverick – Ford’s small pickup due out this fall – could also be just over the horizon. In an interview with Insider this month, Ford vice president Jim Baumbick, who led the pickup’s development, said of a Maverick EV that he “would not ever take anything off the table, given where electrification is going.”

And Ford CEO Jim Farley told The New York Times this month that he could see Ford developing a family of Maverick models, including an electric one.

More battery-powered pickups would come as part of the mammoth transition to EVs that Ford plans to undertake in coming years. The company plans for 40% of its sales to come from electric models by 2030, and pickups – a super-popular category that Ford is a leader in – are surely key to that goal.

A Ford spokesperson declined to comment on future products.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 2021 Ford Bronco has arrived. Here’s how to figure out which version of the new SUV is right for you.

2021 Ford Bronco
2021 Ford Bronco.

  • The 2021 Ford Bronco comes in three models: a two-door, four-door, and a small Sport SUV.
  • There are seven Bronco trims and five Sport trims.
  • All offer 4×4 off-road capabilities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The 2021 Ford Bronco was, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated and hyped vehicle announcements of 2020.

Ford’s reservation site crashing shortly after its launch is proof of just how excited people are for this thing. And as Ford begins shipping the Bronco to dealers, the entire three-vehicle family of rugged SUVs will soon be rolling down streets and off-road trails.

Instead of one Bronco model, Ford has given us three: There’s a small Bronco Sport version (which started shipping late last year), along with larger two-door and four-door Bronco SUVs, which Ford started sending to dealers this week. If you’re looking to order a new Bronco, though, you’ll have to wait until next year to take delivery, as Ford has 125,000 orders it’s working through already.

All three models are 4x4s and off-road capable. And within those various models are subsequently available trims and packages.

How are they all broken down? Let us walk you through it.


Ford Bronco
2021 Ford Bronco two-door and four-door.

The Bronco will have seven different trims to choose from. Within those trims, there are also five available package options. The trim you choose will determine which package is available to you. The packages are:

  1. Standard: you get LED headlights, black door handles, mirror caps, fender flares, fender tie-down hooks, manual air-conditioning, and push-button start.
  2. Mid: you get ambient footwell lighting, an automatically dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone temperature control, heated front seats, Reverse Sensing System, and a whole host of driver assistance features.
  3. High: here, you get hardware from the Mid package, as well as a 12-inch center touchscreen, a 360-degree camera, additional sound-deadening materials, a Forward Sensing System, and wing mirror LED approach lights and spotlight.
  4. Lux: building off of High package features, you get adaptive cruise control, a Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system plus subwoofer, Evasive Steering Assist, a heated steering wheel, a universal garage-door opener, two extra front row charging ports, a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, and a wireless charging pad.
  5. Sasquatch: you get 17-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, 35-inch mud-terrain tires, electronic-locking front and rear axles, high-clearance suspension, fancy shock absorbers, and high-clearance fender flares.

You can see a breakdown of everything here, or just keep reading.

Bronco Base

2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

This is your base-model Bronco. It comes with the seven-speed manual transmission (six regular gears and one crawler gear for low speeds and heavy-duty usage). Your standard equipment includes the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, good for a claimed 270 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque.

Ford says the Base consists of just the “absolute essentials” but is “ripe for customization.”

You can get the Base with the more powerful 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine – which produces a claimed 310 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque – but if you do, you have to get it with the 10-speed automatic transmission.

Further standard hardware includes 16-inch silver steel wheels, 30-inch all-season tires, cloth seats, and 4×4.

Prices start at $28,500.

Available packages: Sasquatch.

Bronco Big Bend

2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

Ford says the Big Bend is the one that gives you “creature comforts along with your standard Bronco features.”

These creature comforts include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, 17-inch aluminum wheels, 32-inch all-terrain tires, LED fog lamps, and cloth seats. Engine options include the 2.3-liter EcoBoost with the seven-speed manual or the 2.7-liter EcoBoost with the 10-speed automatic.

Prices start at $33,385.

Available packages: Sasquatch, Mid.

Black Diamond

2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

The Black Diamond comes standard with 17-inch black-painted wheels and 32-inch all-terrain tires. It has a heavy-duty modular front bumper and a powder-coated steel rear. There are also rock rails, heavy-duty bash plates, auxiliary switches in the overhead console, rubberized flooring with drain plugs, and marine-grade vinyl seats.

Ford says this is the one for “next-level outdoor adventure complete with washout interior.”

Engine options, again, are between the 2.3-liter and the seven-speed manual or the 2.7-liter and the 10-speed automatic.

Prices start at $36,050.

Available packages: Sasquatch, Mid.

Outer Banks

2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

This is the trim level that “puts off-road style and tech front and center,” according to Ford.

Your standard hardware includes the 2.3-liter Ecoboost, but of course, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost is an option. You also get 18-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, 32-inch all-terrain tires, signature LED head- and taillights, body-color exterior door handles, mirror caps, and fender flares, powder-coated tube steps, and cloth seats with a heated front row, though leather-trimmed seats are available.

Prices start at $38,955.

Available packages: Sasquatch, High, Lux.


2021 Ford Bronco
2021 Ford Bronco.

The Badlands trim comes standard with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost with the 2.7-liter available as an option. It has 17-inch gray-painted, machine-face aluminum wheels, 33-inch all-terrain tires, Badlands suspension with a front stabilizer bar disconnect, a heavy-duty modular front bumper, a powder-coated steel rear, auxiliary switches in the overhead console, rubberized flooring with drain plus, and marine-grade vinyl seats.

Basically, it’s like the Black Diamond trim, but with a few more features.

Ford says it’s for the folks who “crave the extreme in their off-roading.”

Prices start at $42,095.

Available packages: Sasquatch, Mid, High, Lux.


2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

With the Wildtrak, you lose the option of the smaller engine and instead only get the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, exclusively paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford says this one is “styled and made for high-speed off-roading.” Hardware includes a modular black-painted hard top, a Wildtrak hood graphic, carpet floors, and cloth seats with a heated front row. Leather-trimmed seats are available.

Prices start at $48,875.

Available packages: High, Lux

First Edition

2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

Sitting at the top of the Bronco’s trim levels is the First Edition. It comes standard with Sasquatch and Lux package hardware. Additionally, there’s a safari bar, carpeted floors, 35-inch tires, a unique interior, leather-trimmed seats with a heated front row, a 10-way power driver’s seat, modular black-painted hardtop, and First Edition hood and bodyside graphics.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and the 10-speed automatic are standard here, with Ford saying that it’s limiting production of the First Edition to just 3,500 examples.

Prices start at $59,305.

Unfortunately, all reservations for the First Edition have already been filled. Sorry.

Bronco Sport

Ford Bronco Sport
2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

The Bronco Sport is the small SUV member of the Bronco lineup. It’s not as off-road-dedicated as the other Broncos, but it still appears to be pretty capable in its own right. This is the one for folks who might want a more “normal” SUV, not something as hardcore as the other ones are.


2021 Ford Bronco Sport.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

The Base Sport is the cheapest one you can get. Standard features include a manual liftgate, flip-up rear glass, a carbon-black grille with a black Bronco badge, roof rack side rails, a trunk-mounted bottle-opener, single-zone manual climate settings, first-row carpeted floor mats, cloth seats, 4×4, the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, and the eight-speed automatic.

That 1.5-liter engine is good for a claimed 181 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque.

You also get the 17-inch silver wheels.

Prices start at $26,660.

Big Bend

2021 Ford Bronco Sport.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

The Big Bend is your next trim level.

Available with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission, it comes standard with 17-inch gray-painted aluminum wheels, 4×4, a manual liftgate, flip-up rear glass, roof rack side rails, a trunk-mounted bottle opener, privacy glass on the second row and the liftgate, a rubberized cargo floor, carpeted floor mats in the first row, zipper pockets, the MOLLE strap system, and cargo tie-down carabiner hooks and loops.

Prices start at $28,160.

Outer Banks

2021 Ford Bronco Sport.
2021 Ford Bronco Sport.

The Outer Banks also comes with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost and the eight-speed automatic.

With it, you get a manual liftgate, flip-up rear glass, body-colored door handles, the bottle opener, rain-sensing front wipers, 18-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, dual-zone temperature control, remote start, a rubberized cargo floor, carpet floor mats in the first and second row, ambient lighting, a 110-volt/150-watt AC outlet, cargo tie-down carabiner hooks and loops, zipper pockets, the MOLLE strap system, and an automatically dimming rearview mirror.

Prices start at $32,160.


2021 Ford Bronco.
2021 Ford Bronco.

With the Badlands Sport, you get the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission. That engine produces a claimed 245 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque.

There are four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes, electronic traction control, off-road suspension, 17-inch wheels, a 6.5-inch color LCD instrument panel, rubberized flooring, multiple power converters, rear under-seat storage, zipper pockets, MOLLE straps, and cargo tie-down carabiner hooks and loops.

From the outside, it has LED lights, metal bash plates, floodlights, a unique grille, and unique roof rack side rails.

This one definitely seems like it’s the hybrid between comfortable and off-road ready.

Prices start at $32,660.

First Edition

2021 Bronco Sport.
2021 Bronco Sport.

The First Edition also comes with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost and eight-speed automatic.

It has dual-zone climate control, remote start, rubber flooring, lane-keep, a powered moonroof, zipper pockets, MOLLE strap system, rear seat under-storage, cargo tie-down carabiner hooks and loops, the 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen system plus subwoofer, First Edition leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, 17-inch wheels, off-road tires, and black hood and roof decals.

Prices start at $38,500.

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