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Over the last year, we’ve seen a lot of new car concepts for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), artificially intelligent autonomous driving systems, and even aerial mobility, and one day to the moon? It could happen if space cruises ever become a thing. We’re willing to bet one of the giants, maybe Apple or Google or the Hyundai Motor Group will invest in that next. A lot of plans to open EV production plants have surged as the shift towards an electrified future has strengthened more than ever. Lots of interesting technology is on the way for the auto market, and it eventually won’t look the same.
The Decade 2020s’
This year is the year every automaker came out to play ball. Dare Forward 2030 by Stellantis, Alliance 2030 by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the Hyundai Motor Group, a lot of big players had the same idea. For the rest of the decade, electric vehicles (EVs) are in and gasoline models will have to take a bow. Dodge stopped producing the gasoline models of the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, ending an era of high-octane muscle car performance. In their steed, Dodge announced its first two models of the eMuscle lineup, the 2023 Dodge Hornet PHEV and the Charger Daytona SRT BEV concept.
A lot of automakers finally stepped up to the plate. Mercedes-Benz announced a future of sustainability, producing materials while working to reduce and/or avoiding CO2 emissions. Chevrolet took the popular Silverado pickup truck and introduced the 2024 All-Electric Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC announced production of the GMC Hummer EV. The Ram ProMaster EV is set to come out in 2023, and Amazon has probably already bought 1000 (numbers not disclosed), and all of this new EV production calls for resources and expansion. Startup Rivian released the RT1 all-electric pickup truck.
All of these automakers and more start announcing an investment to manufacture a new plant for EV production. Nissan invested $500 million into a US EV assembly plant, Stellantis and Samsung SDI entered a joint venture to build a new EV battery facility in the U.S., and the Hyundai Motor Group announced its new metaplant in Georgia, a $ 5.54 billion plan to finally have a dedicated U.S. EV and battery manufacturing facility, being built in the State of Georgia. A new contender, Our Next Energy (ONE) plans to invest $1.6 billion to turn a normal office building into an EV battery cell plant in Van Buren Township, Michigan. If anyone was still questioning if EVs are practical, that’s all about to change. Already pushing the envelope to entice new consumers into electric power, Kia and Electrify America entered a joint venture to offer Kia EV6 owners to recharge for free up to 1,000 kWh, or about 3500 – 4000 miles. Again, that’s FOR FREE.
Along with electric ventures, a look into the future of mobility is becoming more and more software-defined. Vehicles that run on more of a software and less hardware are the next move for the Hyundai Motor Group, designing the first software-defined vehicles. They’re not alone – the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is working with Google to release a new operating system for cars, and Apple released a new flashy CarPlay User Interface that pops. Speaking of Apple, they’re changing the design of their self-driving vehicle project, Titan. A lot of automakers are pushing for autonomy and starting robotaxi services (Hyundai Motor Group) to test their technology and the different ways such technologies by designed for a purpose, such as hailing a ride or delivering pizza.
Even Congress wants to tackle the self-driving vehicle production in U.S. gap. Four different times, the senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced the SELF DRIVE Act. This proposed building a federal regulatory framework that would advance the development of autonomous vehicles in the U.S. Automakers are already on the way towards A.I. services entering the cars. The Hyundai Motor Group launched the Boston Dynamics AI Institute to educate the future or robotic engineers and programmers, and they’re going to enter a whole new industry by the time they graduate. During the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, it became clear that automakers didn’t just want to design cars – they wanted to design mobile digital living spaces for the average consumer to stay connected and take their digital content with them on the road. We look forward to the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show.
Then there are aircrafts. Commercially sold aircrafts…well maybe not yet for the everyday consumer, but many projects for personal air mobility are on the path to breaching the market. A new aircraft, the AirCar, was certified after completing 70 hours of flight testing. The Hyundai Motor Group basically just created a whole new company, Supernal, for its personal aircraft concept, and previewed a look at the eVTOL vehicle cabin concept. It looks like a personal helicopter, so far. The automotive group isn’t stopping there. Having shared a vision of the Smart City Concept, it also proposed exploration of the moon with a joint venture between the Hyundai Motor Group and six research institutes: Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI); Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI); Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI); Korea Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH); Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT); and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). Explore the moon virtually, of course.
If 2022 is this crazy, just imagine the rest of the decade for automotive technology. We love it on NowCar, and we’ll always be talking about new cars and new car technology on NowCar social media. Follow us and join the discussion.