Toronto, Ontario — In this week’s EV/AV report, General Motors takes car-making to a whole other dimension, as it teams up with Lockheed Martin to develop the next generation of lunar vehicles. While, rumours spur that Hyundai is cutting a number of combustion engine cars to make more room for its electric vehicle line-up. Additionally, reservations for the Tesla cyber truck recently surpassed one-million.
To Infinity and Beyond
Lockheed Martin and General Motors are teaming up to develop the next generation of lunar vehicles to transport astronauts on the surface of the Moon. NASA’s Artemis program is sending humans back to the Moon where they will explore and conduct scientific experiments using a variety of rovers.
NASA has challenged industry to develop a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) that will enable astronauts to explore the lunar surface farther than ever before. The LTV is the first of many types of surface mobility vehicles needed for NASA’s Artemis program.
To support NASA’s mission, the two industry leaders will develop a unique vehicle with innovative capabilities, drawing on their unparalleled engineering, performance, technology and reliability legacies. The result may allow astronauts to explore the lunar surface in unprecedented fashion and support discovery in places where humans have never gone before.
Lockheed Martin will lead the team by leveraging its more than 50-year-history of working with NASA on deep-space human and robotic spacecraft, such as NASA’s Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis and numerous Mars and planetary spacecraft.
“This alliance brings together powerhouse innovation from both companies to make a transformative class of vehicles,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Space.
GM is a leader in battery-electric technologies and propulsion systems that are central to its multi-brand, multi-segment electric vehicle strategy, positioning the company for an all-electric future. Additionally, GM will use autonomous technology to facilitate safer and more efficient operations on the Moon.
“Working together with Lockheed Martin and their deep-space exploration expertise, we plan to support American astronauts on the Moon once again,” said Alan Wexler, senior vice president of Innovation and Growth at General Motors.
Cutting Combustion Engines
It has been rumoured that Hyundai is cutting a number of combustion engine cars to make more room for its electric vehicle fleet.
Sources close to the car-maker told Reuters that top management approved the plan in March.
Suppositively, the company is planning to slash half of its combustion engine models, in order to invest in resources for its electric vehicle line-up.
Hyundai did not specifically address a Reuters question on its plans for combustion engine models. However, in an email the automaker said it will improve the efficiency of its internal combustion engine vehicle line-up in emerging markets.
Adding that its focus is to expand EVs in specific markets, with the goal of full electrification by 2040.
Tesla has recently surpassed one-million reservations for the Cybertruck, according to a crowdsourced Cybertruck reservation tally.
When Tesla first unveiled the Cybertruck in November 2019, the automaker began taking reservations with $100 refundable deposits— the company’s lowest deposit amount for a new vehicle. This number is significantly lower than other vehicles, which could explain the large amount of reservations.
CEO Elon Musk also announced that Tesla received over 250,000 reservations for the Cybertruck within a week of unveiling the vehicle. And interest in the electric pickup has continued to stay strong, even months after its debut.
The Cybertruck will be manufactured at the Cybertruck Gigafactory in Austin, Texas and production may begin this year.