Monday, January 17News That Matters

Tag: Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Is Norway the Future of Cars?

Is Norway the Future of Cars?

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. Here is a collection of past columns.Last year, Norway reached a milestone. Only about 8 percent of new cars sold in the country ran purely on conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. Two-thirds of new cars sold were electric, and most of the rest were electric-and-gasoline hybrids.For years, Norway has been the world leader in shifting away from traditional cars, thanks to government benefits that made electric vehicles far more affordable and offered extras like letting electric car owners skip some fees for parking and toll roads.Still, electric car enthusiasts are stunned by the speed at which the internal combustion engine has become an endangered species in Norway.“It has surprised most people how quickly things have changed,” Christina Bu...

Why Tesla Soared as Other Automakers Struggled to Make Cars

Technology
For much of last year, established automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor operated in a different reality from Tesla, the electric car company.G.M. and Ford closed one factory after another — sometimes for months on end — because of a shortage of computer chips, leaving dealer lots bare and sending car prices zooming. Yet Tesla racked up record sales quarter after quarter and ended the year having sold nearly twice as many vehicles as it did in 2020 unhindered by an industrywide crisis.Tesla’s ability to conjure up critical components has a greater significance than one year’s car sales. It suggests that the company, and possibly other young electric car businesses, could threaten the dominance of giants like Volkswagen and G.M. sooner and more forcefully than most industry executiv...
Toyota Topped G.M. in U.S. Car Sales in 2021

Toyota Topped G.M. in U.S. Car Sales in 2021

Business
Toyota Motor unseated General Motors as the top-selling automaker in the United States last year, becoming the first manufacturer based outside the country to achieve that feat in the industry’s nearly 120-year history.That milestone underlines the changes shaking automakers, which face strong competition and external forces as they move into electric vehicles. And it came in a tumultuous and strange year in which automakers contended with an accelerating shift to electric vehicles and struggled with profound manufacturing challenges. New car sales have been damped by a severe shortage of computer chips that forced automakers to idle plants even though demand for cars has been incredibly robust.G.M., Ford Motor and Stellantis, the automaker created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peuge...

Tesla Draws Criticism After Opening Dealership in Xinjiang

Technology
Tesla came under fire from political leaders and human rights groups Tuesday after announcing it would open a dealership in the Xinjiang region, where China is accused of detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in indoctrination camps.“Together let’s start the journey of pure electricity in Xinjiang,” Tesla said in a post on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. The post included photos of a ribbon cutting at the dealership in Urumqi, the regional capital, and a Tesla sedan decorated with red and white balloons.“Nationless corporations are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labor in the region,” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said on Twitter.Mr. Rubio noted that the announcement came soon after President Biden signed legislation that would ban t...

Tesla Reports 87% Increase in 2021 Deliveries

Technology
Tesla reported Sunday that it delivered 936,000 cars in 2021, an 87 percent increase from the year before, despite the computer chip shortage that has disrupted auto production around the world.In the fourth quarter alone, the company delivered more than 308,000 vehicles, a 71 percent increase from the quarter a year earlier. The overwhelming share of the deliveries were of the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y hatchback.Tesla does not break out its deliveries by country. Much of its recent growth has been propelled by sales in Europe and China.The jump in deliveries capped a momentous year in which Tesla saw its stock and profits soar. It has also worked to open factories near Austin, Tex., and Berlin, in Germany, in hopes of sustaining its rapid growth.In October, Tesla’s market value for th...

Can a Sustainable Mining Experiment in New Caledonia Power Tesla’s Ambitions?

Technology, World
“New Caledonia, in its way of exploiting its ore, is perceived as a country which contributes to the fight against global warming,” the territory’s president, Louis Mapou, said in an interview. “We have very high production costs in New Caledonia, it is true, but we respect human rights, respect the rights of local people and respect the environment.”Even with guardrails in place, natural resource extraction remains a sensitive issue in New Caledonia. Nickel prices are up by about 25 percent this year, reflecting the mineral’s importance in the campaign to move away from fossil fuels. But so far, that has not led to greater profits for miners.Goro’s previous owner, the Brazilian mining giant Vale, was desperate to rid itself of the mine. Tensions over who would buy the nickel processing pl...
Tesla Recalls More Than 475,000 Cars Over Two Safety Defects

Tesla Recalls More Than 475,000 Cars Over Two Safety Defects

Technology
Tesla has told federal regulators that it plans to recall more than 475,000 cars for two separate defects that could affect safety.One recall covers 356,309 Model 3 sedans from the model years 2017 to 2020. Tesla told the regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that wiring to the rearview camera in those vehicles can be damaged by opening and closing the trunk. That could prevent images from appearing on the dashboard screen while backing up, increasing the risk of a crash.The second recall covers 119,009 Model S sedans from the 2014 to 2021 model years. These cars may have a misaligned latch on the front hood, which could allow the hood to open unexpectedly.Tesla reported the problems to the safety agency on Dec. 21; the agency posted the recalls to its website on W...

Chile, una nueva Constitución y el cambio climático

Technology, World
SALAR DE ATACAMA, Chile — Rara vez un país tiene la oportunidad de exponer sus ideales como nación y redactar una nueva constitución. Además, casi nunca la crisis climática y ecológica juega un papel central en ese proceso.Sin embargo, en Chile se está llevando a cabo una reinvención nacional con esas características. Después de meses de protestas por agravios sociales y ambientales, 155 chilenos fueron elegidos para redactar una nueva constitución en medio de lo que han declarado como un “estado de emergencia climática y ecológica”.Su trabajo no solo determinará cómo se gobierna este país de 19 millones de habitantes. También determinará el futuro de un metal suave y brillante, el litio, que se esconde en las aguas saladas debajo de este vasto y etéreo desierto localizado junto a la Cordi...
Chile Rewrites Its Constitution, Confronting Climate Change Head On

Chile Rewrites Its Constitution, Confronting Climate Change Head On

Technology, World
SALAR DE ATACAMA, Chile — Rarely does a country get a chance to lay out its ideals as a nation and write a new constitution for itself. Almost never does the climate and ecological crisis play a central role.That is, until now, in Chile, where a national reinvention is underway. After months of protests over social and environmental grievances, 155 Chileans have been elected to write a new constitution amid what they have declared a “climate and ecological emergency.”Their work will not only shape how this country of 19 million is governed. It will also determine the future of a soft, lustrous metal, lithium, lurking in the salt waters beneath this vast ethereal desert beside the Andes Mountains.Lithium is an essential component of batteries. And as the global economy seeks alternatives to...
Supply Chain Problems Mean Buying a Car Sometimes Takes a Plane Ride

Supply Chain Problems Mean Buying a Car Sometimes Takes a Plane Ride

Business
When Rachael Kasper started shopping for a new car in August, she had her heart set on a Ford Escape plug-in hybrid. The problem was that Ford hasn’t made many of them this year because of a computer chip shortage that has slowed auto production around the world.Ms. Kasper first came up empty in her home state of Michigan and, later, in neighboring states. When she expanded to the East Coast, she found one — at a dealership 537 miles away, in Hanover, Pa.“I flew to Baltimore, took a Lyft to the dealer, and then drove all the way home,” said Ms. Kasper, who owns a water-sports equipment retailer. “It was quite an adventure.”The shortage of computer chips, in large part caused by decisions made in the early days of the pandemic, has rippled through the auto industry this year. Manufacturers ...