EV/AV Report: March 16, 2020

Mustang Mach-E misses

Pricing for Ford’s newest EV, the Mustang Mach-E was announced this week⁠—though the highly anticipated vehicle does not qualify for Canada’s federal EV rebate.

The base price for the Mach-E is set at $50,495, prior to delivery and additional fees. 

In Canada, federal rebate-eligible vehicles must have six seats or fewer and a base-model trim with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000⁠—thus, the Mach-E misses the mark for the $5,000 rebate.

The car will still qualify for provincial rebates in B.C. and Quebec, where owners can receive up to $3,000 and $8,000, respectively.

The Mach-E is Ford’s answer to the waves of automaker electrification and features both a rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive version. It will be built in Mexico and will have a 480-kilometre range. 

Autonomous apprehension

Industry experts are concerned that, with the rise of autonomous vehicles, hackers could be launching more frequent small-scale attacks on cars with self-driving technologies.

While a massive, nation-sweeping attack is unlikely, smaller-scale attacks on connected cars are becoming a growing concern, says Josipa Petrunic, CEO of the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC). 

“The bigger concern would not be one virus taking us all down, but a whole host of viruses and a whole host of malicious attacks taking down a whole bunch of connected devices,” said Petrunic.

Petrunic said, as more vehicles are able to communicate with the internet⁠—and eventually, each other, and to traffic lights and roads using 5G⁠ data⁠—all of these points of communication could potentially become sites for malicious attacks.

Charles Eagan, chief technology officer at BlackBerry, said some organizations are already conducting vulnerability assessments on vehicles to make sure they are secure against cyberattacks.

Eagan said Canada is pushing to create cybersecurity standards for internet devices⁠—including cars, adding that there is not a clear standard established yet. 

A 2018 Senate report on the future of automated vehicles said that, “without strong safeguards in place, cyberterrorists could take control of Canadian cars from halfway across the world.” IT suggested Transport Canada “urgently develop vehicle safety guidelines for the design of automated and connected vehicles” and develop cybersecurity protocols for the transportation sector.

Mining for Mother Nature

The Canadian government recently announced it will introduce tax write-offs for all-electric off-road vehicles and other automotive equipment in an effort to reduce carbon emissions in the country’s mining sector. 

The write-off will allow companies to expense the full cost of the equipment the year that it is put in use. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the surprise announcement at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada mining conference in Toronto. 

The government first introduced the ability to expense the cost of clean energy equipment at its 2018 Fall Economic Statement, though this did not include most of the electric vehicles used in mines.

The types of available and eligible vehicles are set to expand each year, and the program specifies that the 100 percent write-off will be available for vehicles that will be used before 2024. It is expected to cost around $62 million over the next five years.

Prime Minister Trudeau also gave shout-outs to several Ontario mining companies pursuing sustainable endeavours. He mentioned Goldcorp’s Borden mine in Chapleau, Ont.—Canada’s first all-electric underground mining project—as well as MacLean Engineering’s environmental efforts as it develops its electric mining vehicles.

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