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Ford Mustang Mach-E Gets Nearly 4,000 Sales In 1st Full Month! 70% Conquest Sales!!

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Ford has just reported February sales (it’s one of the only automakers that still reports monthly sales in the USA), and the headline news is that the Mustang Mach-E had nearly 4,000 sales in its first full month on the market. Score!

Ford even led the sales report with a picture of the new Mustang Mach-E. (For anyone who thinks Ford isn’t behind it Team Edison electrification crew and a transition to electric vehicles, let’s call this Exhibit C.)

Image courtesy of Ford.

If Ford could consistently sell 4,000 Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles per month, that would total nearly 50,000 per year — in the US alone. That is not a bad start for Ford, but I do hope that it has bigger plans. The Mustang Mach-E has a starting price of $42,895, but Ford buyers can still get a $7,500 federal tax credit on the Mach-E — even without Congress and Biden expanding and extending the tax credit. That brings the “base price” down to $35,395. Remember that it really wasn’t that long ago that there were no long-range electric vehicles on the road at that price, and then the Tesla Model 3 hit the market and became one of the country’s top selling cars. At a post-subsidy price of $35,395, the Mustang Mach-E — which is in the extremely popular crossover class — could be a truly high-volume seller. The old-school Mustang coupe saw 5,653 sales last month, and I think the Mustang Mach-E could easily pass that up with a little step on the torque by auto dealers, Ford’s production team, and good ol’ American marketing — especially with all the aging knees in the US of A.

As you may have seen, we had a Mustang Mach-E for a week here on Florida’s better coast. I couldn’t believe the responses it got in parking lots in the area — people were in love with it and many more people than I expected knew what it was and were aware it was brand new to the market. With a Tesla Model 3 as my daily driver, I haven’t seen this kind of enthusiasm and head-turning for years — Teslas are like Toyotas in this area. So, the Mustang Mach-E interest was surprising and uplifting. It showed that there’s a lot of interest in EVs beyond the Tesla brand.

Photo by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

Photo by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

Photo by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

My first-take review of the Mustang Mach-E (which Ford CEO Jim Farley surprisingly retweeted) didn’t focus on specs like range and acceleration, because I realized such a focus would miss the point. The Mustang Mach-E has all that it really needs in terms of range and acceleration, the basic requirements of an acceptable EV. However, the real selling point is its style. It is a vehicle that people can fall in love with — many people. An automobile is about much more than getting from A to B, and about much more than driving range between charges or 0–60 mph times. An automobile is about identity, culture, and style. The Mustang Mach-E offers so much in those regards that I honestly have trouble imagining that it won’t be a big hit.

Another hot metric from Ford’s press release is this one: “Nearly 70 percent of Mach-E orders are from competitive brands.” That’s BIG. One of the most important things an automaker targets is “conquest sales” (pulling buyers from other brands). Many buyers are very brand loyal, so conquest sales are tough. And conquest sales are what offer the opportunity to grow your sales and become a bigger player in the market. Nearly 70% conquest sales is a stunning metric, and a great sign for Ford. (Note: It hits me here, as I put on my investment hat, that I should disclose that I hold a small number of shares of Ford [NYSE:F] — but I offer no investment advice of any sort.)

Burying the lede quite a bit, though, I’ll say that the figure that excites me the most about the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s first full month of sales is this one: “just over one-fifth were sold in California.” In my opinion, this is great news for one big reason. It means that Ford is selling the Mustang Mach-E well beyond California. It’s easy to sell EVs in California, it’s basically necessary to sell EVs in California, and I have no real concern about long-term Mustang Mach-E consumer demand in California. On the other hand, almost no one sells electric vehicles in states outside of California and there are large dealer challenges to doing so. If 80% of Mustang Mach-E sales are outside of California, that tells me that there is vast, broad demand for Ford’s breakout electric vehicle, that auto dealers around the country will offer and happily sell the vehicle, and that Ford has a bright future.

Of course, we’ll need a lot more data to sustain this early enthusiasm. February sales could be from pent-up demand, gung-ho dealer purchases that may fizzle, or other factors that are not sustainable. We’ll see. But better to start with a bang than with a slow drizzle, and considering that the top selling non-Tesla EV in the United States last year was the Chevy Bolt EV at 20,754 sales, the potential for more than double that from the Mustang Mach-E is appealing.

What do you think? Can the Ford Mustang Mach-E reach 50,000 sales a year in the United States? Or 100,000? Or was this breakout month a result of pent-up demand, a buildup of supply before launch, and a peak that we’ll roll downhill from? Also, do you see the Mustang Mach-E selling well broadly, far beyond California, or were these initial sales an oddity that will be long forgotten by mid-2021?

For more on this new electric model, I recommend the following articles (3 of which were tweeted/retweeted by CEO Farley):

  1. Ford Mustang Mach-E — 1st Impressions
  2. Ford Mustang Mach-E — 1st Impressions, Take Two!
  3. Ford Mustang Mach-E 1st Drive Review, Take 3! It’s Not A Tesla, & That’s Good
  4. Ford Mustang Mach-E — 230 To 300 Mile Range For $35,395, $39,500, Or $42,300 (After Tax Credit)
  5. The Ford Mustang Mach-E Naming Controversy May Have A Silver Lining

 



 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/03/04/ford-mustang-mach-e-gets-nearly-4000-sales-in-1st-full-month-70-conquest-sales/

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Waymo CEO Krafcik Steps Down — Does It Mean Anything?

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The longtime CEO of Waymo, John Krafcik, has been leading what many consider to be the leading autonomous driving company since 2015 — 6 years. Though, the news is that Krafcik and/or higher-ups at Alphabet decided it was time for him to find a new passion. He is stepping down as CEO and Waymo will now be led by co-CEOs, Dmitri Dolgov, previously Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and Tekedra Mawakana, previously Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The top question is: does this mean anything? Is Krafcik stepping down because he has failed to deliver on key targets? Is commercial rollout going too slowly? Are autonomous capabilities progressing too slowly? Has Krafcik accomplished what he set out to accomplish and is now ready for either new challenges or early retirement?

Notably, Krafcik recently got into a little communications tussle with Tesla. Krafcik claimed that Tesla’s “full self-driving” system isn’t the right approach toward a fully autonomous vehicle. He considers it a dead end.

“It is a misconception that you can simply develop a driver-assistance system further until one day you can magically jump to a fully autonomous driving system,” Krafcik said in an interview with Manager Magazin.

Naturally, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sees it differently. He expects that the only way to get to truly useful self-driving vehicles is through the vision + deep machine learning system it is continuously improving. It must feel like a frantic race to solve a giant puzzle to many of the members of these teams — that’s certainly what it looks like from the outside. With the different approaches, though, it’s not just a race — one of the companies may be putting the puzzle together in the wrong way.

(NNs = neural networks.)

 



 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/04/03/waymo-ceo-krafcik-steps-down-does-it-mean-anything/

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The Fossil Fuel Industry Used Deception To Conceal Damage To BIPOC — NAACP Report

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) just published a report titled Fossil Fuel Foolery, which identified 10 tactics that the fossil fuel industry used as excuses for not accepting accountability for its impacts on the environment and human health. DesmogBlog noted that the industry used a long list of deceptive tactics that concealed environmental destruction harming Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as low-income communities. Not surprising — the fossil fuel industry only cares about money, and if the planet and human health stand in the way of that, so be it.

The article gave a snapshot of the report findings, and one of the most disturbing things I took notice of was the common tactic that the NAACP described as “co-opt community leaders and organizations and misrepresent the interests and opinions of communities,” sometimes with financial support, to “neutralize or weaken public opposition.”

In short, fossil fuel companies and utilities pour donations on churches, nonprofits, and advocacy organizations to pretty much secure the local community buy-in on projects that generate pollution. The article said it plainly: “to stifle the push towards renewable energy.” And that also includes misrepresenting the community through one or two hired hands.

One example noted in the article is Florida Power & Light’s donation of around $225,000 to the NAACP’s Florida state chapter between 2013 and 2017. Just after these donations, the Florida chapter began repeating industry talking points against the growth of solar energy. This helped accelerate the NAACP’s Initial 2019 report. In addition, the fossil fuel industry and its allies shift the blame onto the very communities affected the most by pollution to distract from the impact of industry operations. This sounds like a narcissistic abuser. Hurt someone and then blame them and convince them it’s their fault.

Last month, President Biden brought attention to a common nickname that encompasses my own city, Cancer Alley. In Louisiana, Cancer Alley is an area along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge (where I live) and New Orleans — the River Parishes of Louisiana where numerous industrial plants are located. This area has clusters of cancer patients and the constant coverage by the media led to the nickname.

President Biden spoke out about the petrochemical facilities that dump out the large quantities of toxic pollution onto predominantly Black communities, and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) accused the President of slamming our area. Considering Senator Cassidy’s stance in favor of fossil fuels, this isn’t surprising. Earlier this year, President Biden signed executive orders to transform our nation’s heavily fossil-fuel-powered economy into a clean-energy one and paused oil and gas leasing on federal land. President Biden also targeted removing subsidies for those industries. Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy spoke out against the President’s orders and in favor of the fossil fuel industry.

“Biden’s executive orders are counterproductive. They eliminate jobs and send them overseas to countries with worse environmental standards, increasing global emissions. We don’t need symbolism — we need solutions. So far, all we are seeing from this administration is an ‘energy’ agenda that betrays the working Americans who thought that this President was going to work for them.” — Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

DeSmogBlog noted that when United Nations human rights official issued a statement last month calling ”the development of petrochemical complexes” in the region “a form of environmental racism,” Senator Cassidy had some words to say about this. It should be noted that Senator Cassidy received around $600,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry during the 2020 election season. The fossil fuel-addicted senator pointed to obesity and cigarettes as the causes of cancer instead of the rampant pollution.

Late last year, I went down to the riverfront and was fortunate to have had my N95 mask — the chemicals from the plant across the river not only created a haze but made the air foul. That smell was well worse than cigarette smoke. I wrote about it here because it was so striking.

The Top 10 Fossil Fuel Industry Tactics

The NAACP listed the top 10 fossil fuel industry tactics that shift the blame and responsibility of its impact on BIPOC communities. They are as follows:

  1. Invest in efforts that undermine democracy.
  2. Finance political campaigns and pressure politicians.
  3. Fund scientists and scientific research institutions to publish biased research.
  4. Say government regulations hurt the economy and low-income communities.
  5. Deny or understate the harms polluting facilities cause to people and the environment.
  6. Deflect responsibility–shit blame to the communities they pollute.
  7. Co-opt community leaders and organizations and misrepresent the interest and opinions of communities.
  8. Exaggerate the level of job creation and downplay the lack of quality and safety in jobs.
  9. Praise false solutions while claiming that real solutions are impractical, impossible, or harmful for BIPOC and poor communities.
  10. “Embrace” renewables to control the new energy economy.

Some Key Highlights From The Report

The highly detailed report actually has information that is highly disturbing. For example, in 1980, ALEC founder Paul Weyrich stated: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission determined that limited political spending by corporations restricted their constitutional right to freedom of expression. This shifted the political power away from citizens to corporations and special interest groups.

Also, leading up to the 2020 election, the American Petroleum Institute spent over $5 million in lobbying practices. The group funneled money to campaign contributions — mostly financing the Senate Leadership Fund, which is a super PAC that supports the Republican Party. From the report:

“With financial support from the fossil fuel industry, politicians actively support destructive energy practices, falsely claim that emissions, not fossil fuels, are the enemy and draft diluted environmental agendas that focus on planting trees instead of shutting down industrially polluted, cancerous alleys.”

E = MC2: Enviro-lies = Manipulaiton X Ca$h

In this section of the report with the clever above headline, it noted that the Center for American Progress identified over 50 research agreements in a 2010 report. These agreements were between universities and major energy companies, where the companies donated a range between $1 million and $500 million toward energy-related research.

Another example cites a 1997 study by the National Centre for Cancer Institute which found that the chemical benzene, which is found in crude oil and gasoline, was connected to the development of chronic diseases in workers exposed to it. Following this report, several petrochemical companies gave nearly $40 million to fund scientific research “designed to protect member company interests.” One example of this type of research is the Shanghai Research Project which published research that supported the petrochemical companies’ practices.

Fossil Fuel Emissions Kill

The report noted that around 63,000 Americans are killed each year by air pollution and these Americans are disproportionally BIPOC and low-income community residents. Senator Cassidy can blame fat people and cigarettes all day, but it won’t change the fact that 40% of communities of color and low-income communities live within three miles of power plants that emit particulate matter that taints our air quality. Last year when the Exxon plant had that explosion — and, yes, despite what officials said, there were reports of an actual explosion (I was less than five miles away from the explosion) — who knows what was pumped into our air?

You can read the NAACP’s full report here.

 



 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/04/02/the-fossil-fuel-industry-used-deception-to-conceal-damage-to-bipoc-naacp-report/

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Reports: Tesla Plans To Start Building 5 Semi Trucks A Week

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Tesla is building a low-volume Tesla Semi production line, and once it’s complete, Tesla reportedly plans to produce 5 Tesla Semi electric trucks on a weekly basis, reports Yahoo! Finance. The article noted that the low-volume production line is being built in a new building in the industrial park where the Nevada Gigafactory is located. Tesla is also still planning for volume production of the Semi trucks to be manufactured at Giga Texas once it’s able to ramp up battery production there.

On Monday, Tesla received a new order for 10 of its Semi EVs along with two Megachargers. Benzinga reported that this was backed with almost $2 million in federal government support. The Mobile Source Air Pollution Review Committee is investing in a clean transportation initiative on California’s southern coast. As a part of this investment, it awarded MXS Leasing LLC, which is a logistics company based in California, $1.8 million for the deployment of 10 Tesla Semi Class 8 semi trucks and an additional $560,000 for the deployment for two overhead electric cranes.

Momentum, the company that assisted MHX with its application for the funding, said that the deal includes two Megachargers at MXH’s Fontana, California, site. Just after that news broke, Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted that Semi demand isn’t a problem, but that near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale the Semi. He also noted that this limitation will be less onerous next year.

Although many seem to view this as another delay, it should be noted, as Teslarati pointed out, that Elon Musk was talking about the difficulties of scaling the Semi’s manufacturing. The idea of Tesla actually producing its first few Semis in 2021 still seems possible.  This thought seems backed up by the new report noting that Tesla plans to produce 5 of its Semis on a weekly basis once the low-volume production line is completed.

 



 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/04/02/reports-tesla-plans-to-start-building-5-semi-trucks-a-week/

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Chevy Bolt Sales Jump 53.7%

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The Chevy Bolt is not the most exciting or flamboyant electric car on the market — it’s not a Tesla or the Ford Mustang Mach-E. However, it is the electric vehicle I see most often on the roads around me aside from all of Tesla’s models. It’s exciting and uplifting to see them, even if the car never put a tingle in the back of my neck.

One thing the Bolt does have in common with the Mach-E is that, love it or not, its sales are pretty weak. That’s not going to change, because it’s a vehicle class that is just not that popular in America. However, the good news is that things are looking up for the little Bolt EV.

In the first quarter of 2021, the Chevy Bolt EV’s sales rose 53.7% over its sales in the first quarter of 2020. In fact, it was the Bolt EV’s best first quarter in history. (Admittedly, it’s not a very long history, but the Bolt EV was the first long-range, semi-affordable electric car on the US market.)

The Bolt EV had 9,025 US sales last quarter, up from 5,873 sales in the first quarter of 2020. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Bolt EV had just 9,025 US sales last quarter. Multiply that by 4 and you don’t even get to 40,000 sales a year. Heck, you don’t even get to 37,000 sales a year.

You’re not going to cut enough emissions, GM, with under 40,000 electric vehicle sales a year in the 2020s. Tesla likely scored more than 22,000 first-quarter Model 3 sales in the US and 43,000+ first-quarter Model Y sales here. GM needs to understand why its EV of a similar age does so much worse, and how the company could get closer to Tesla’s numbers. The electric revolution is not going to slow down, and a model getting under 100,000 — let alone under 40,000 — annual sales is not going to be seen as a leader for long.

“What about the Bolt EUV? It’s bigger than the little Bolt EV.” Well, we’ll see. …

Chevy Bolt EUV fleet ready for test drives. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Chevy Bolt EUV with attractive backdrop. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Inside a Chevy Bolt EUV. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

 



 


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/04/02/chevy-bolt-sales-jump-53-7/

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