EV/AV Report ⁠— January 20, 2020

Rugged revamping

Rumours have circulated about Hummer’s return to the automotive landscape⁠ for months⁠—but recent updates to the matter suggest General Motors could be reviving the brand name with a lineup of electric pickups and SUVs, resurrecting the once-popular yet controversial badge name that was phased out nearly a decade ago.

Sources familiar with the matter have reportedly said GM is resurrecting the Hummer name with a family of all-new all-electric pickup trucks sold under the GMC brand. The first vehicle⁠—reportedly named ‘Hummer by GMC’—is expected to go into production in late 2021 and hit the market by early 2022.

The vehicle will be among the first of several large, battery-powered SUVs and pickup trucks that GM is expected to roll out over the next several years. Sources said the vehicle is likely to be sold in small volumes as a rugged, Jeep-like pickup truck for off-road enthusiasts. 

GM is also said to be planning a Super Bowl commercial starring NBA superstar LeBron James to promote the brand’s return.

Currently, there are no plans to establish Hummer as a stand-alone brand, which it was before GM discontinued it in 2010.

Eco-energy

As the problem surrounding EV battery recycling continues to progress, one Japanese automaker has developed a bright new way to repurpose the equipment.

In December, Mitsubishi announced that a part of its Okazaki City, Japan plant⁠—where the automaker makes electric cars⁠—will be powered by batteries previously used in its EVs. The solution aims to reduce carbon emissions through the introduction of renewable energy and will use a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system and a battery energy storage system (BESS) composed of repurposed EV batteries.

The rooftop PV system is said to be able to produce 3GW of power a year and store 1MWh of energy in used batteries from Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Construction on the rooftop system⁠—which is said to be one of the largest rooftop projects in Japan⁠—began in October 2019. Commercial operation is set to begin in May 2020.

Sustainability strategy

On Friday, Kia announced details of its ‘Plan S,’ its mid-to-long-term strategy aimed at what it’s calling “the future of the automotive industry,” encompassing electrification, car connectivity and autonomy.

Kia’s Plan S strategy states that, by the end of 2025, the automaker will aim to offer a full lineup of 11 battery electric vehicles. With these incoming models, Kia hopes to achieve a 6.6 percent share of the global EV market⁠—excluding China⁠—while also attaining a 25 percent share of its sales from eco-friendly cars.

With the global EV market expected to gain strength by 2026, Kia is aiming for 500,000 annual EV sales and global sales of 1 million eco-friendly vehicles, excluding China.

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