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Jeep goes electric with Wrangler, releases concept for Easter Safari

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Jeep has revealed an all-electric version of its iconic Wrangler SUV as a concept vehicle and calls it Wrangler Magneto.

As a concept vehicle, it means consumers will have to wait at least a few years to purchase it.

Concept vehicles are typically products built by automakers to gauge customers’ interest or show the future direction of a vehicle or brand.

The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is fully electric SUV based on a two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

According to a CNBC report, the Magneto was unveiled on Monday alongside several other custom or concept vehicles for the Jeep Easter Safari, an annual off-road event for the brand held at Moab, Utah, in the United States.

The new Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept provides clues as to how the legendary American 4×4 will survive into the electric era.

It is one of four concepts heading to Moab in 2021, alongside a restomod version of the 1968 Jeep Commando, a heavily upgraded take on the Gladiator pick-up truck and an open-top take on the conventionally fuelled Wrangler that pays tribute to the model’s heritage.

Jeep regularly uses the off-road event as a testing ground for the capabilities of its vehicles as well as a way to gauge customer interest in new products.

Jim Morrison, vice president of the Jeep brand in North America, was quoted as saying, “The Moab Easter Jeep Safari has been a great tradition for more than half a century.

“It’s a place where we get to connect with our most die-hard off-road enthusiasts and the ones who are most loyal to our brand.”

Morrison also spoke on the new Wrangler during Monday’s media event, saying, “It’s a zero-emissions concept vehicle with Jeep 4×4 capability taken to the next level.”

He described the vehicle concept as “a sustainable, stealthy, rock-climbing force.”

The Magneto’s single-motor powertrain is said to offer performance on a par with the standard Wrangler’s 3.5-litre Pentastar petrol V6, packing 281bhp and 273lb ft for a 0-60mph time of 6.8sec and “unmistakable rock-climbing force”.

The future production version of this concept will likely adopt a single-speed set-up.

The new powertrain is said to emulate the character of the V6 engine, with a “negligible” perceivable difference between the two in normal use.

Jeep executives had said every Jeep would offer some form of electrification going forward.

The company recently started selling a plug-in hybrid electric version of the Wrangler under a new “4xe” moniker, a play on the brand’s off-road reputation combined with electrification.

Plug-in hybrid electric models have batteries like EVs but also still have a traditional internal combustion engine.

To make it an EV, engineers swapped out its internal combustion engine and some supporting parts for electric components such as four batteries and an e-motor.

The vehicle is capable of up to 273 foot-pounds of torque and 285 horsepower.

The Magneto runs 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.

The most unique thing about the Magneto is said to be its six-speed manual transmission, which electric vehicles don’t require because of their motors. Head of Jeep Design, Mark Allen, said the vehicle “has the best characteristics” of an automatic transmission but the “direct-drive feel” of a manual transmission, which is a key draw for off-road enthusiasts.

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Kia gets 30,000 pre-orders for battery-powered EV6 sedan

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Kia Motor Corporation, South Korea’s second-biggest carmaker, has launched an all-electric EV6 sedan in the domestic market ahead of its overseas launches later this year.
Already, the automaker says it has received over 30,000 pre-orders for the EV6 in the domestic market, and a combined 8,800 pre-orders in Europe and the United States, according to a report by Just Autos.
The maker of the K5 sedan and the Sorento SUV aim to sell 13,000 units of the zero-emission model on its home turf and 17,000 units in overseas markets this year.
The EV6 is Kia’s first model embedded with Hyundai Motor Group’s own EV-only electric-global modular platform (E-GMP).

The EV6 is priced at 47 million won-57 million won (US$40,800-$49,500) in Korea. With government subsidies, it can be purchased for under 40 million won.
The model is available with two kinds of battery packs — a standard 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack and a long-range 77.4-kWh one. The 58-kWh and 77.4-kWh models can travel up to 370 kilometres and 475 km, respectively, on a single charge.
Kia also plans to introduce sedans, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles based on the new EV platform for the next seven years.
It plans to beef up its EV lineup with 11 models, including the seven E-GMP-based ones, by 2025.
With its strengthened EV lineup, it aims to achieve a 6.6 percent share of the global battery-powered EV market by 2025 and global annual sales of 500,000 units by 2026.
Kia’s current EV market share is not available as its EV sales accounted for only 1 percent of its overall sales in 2019.
In April, Kia’s bigger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. launched the IONIQ 5 all-electric model equipped with the E-GMP platform.
Hyundai plans to introduce the IONIQ 6 next year and the IONIQ 7 large SUV in 2024. It will begin using alphanumeric names like its bigger rivals, such as BMW, whose models are named Series No. 1-8.

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GAC, Huawei plan smart electric SUV

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China-based auto firm, GAC Motors has sealed a deal with high-tech giant, Huawei, to produce a smart electric sport utility vehicle.
The GAC Group said its first joint project with Huawei would be a “smart SUV” with mass production targeted by the end of 2023.
GAC Motor aims to produce an entirely electrified lineup of vehicles by 2025.
GAC and Huawei said they planned to produce eight models together.
The medium to large size, pure electric SUV would have Level four autonomous driving capabilities, it added.
“GAC Group embraces and encourages extensive technological innovation in its vehicles, and Huawei is a global leader in many types of technology. This strategic cooperation will allow them to build a new generation of intelligent vehicles and digital platforms,” the pair said in a joint statement.
They also said, “This SUV and multiple other future models will utilise GAC’s GEP.30 chassis platform and Huawei’s computing and communication architecture as well as carrying Huawei’s full stack of intelligent vehicle solutions.”
Since signing a strategic cooperation agreement in 2017, GAC and Huawei have worked together on intelligent connected electric vehicle technology.
In September 2020 in Guangzhou, the two firms signed an agreement to further deepen cooperation, with a focus on computing and communication architecture in accordance with the trend in ‘software-heavy’ vehicles.

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Revised auto policy to become law before year end – NADDC

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  • Electric vehicle project incorporated

The Federal Government says the National Automotive Industry Development Plan will become law and its provisions binding on all players in the auto business in the country.

Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, who spoke in Lagos on the FG’s plans for the EVs also said the electric vehicle principle had been incorporated in the revised auto policy.

This came as stakeholders in the EVs and gas-powered vehicles called for the support of government in ensuring mass production and patronage of such vehicles in the country.

Jelani, who addressed participants virtually at a training programme organised by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association in Lagos, stressed that electric and gas-fired vehicles had become the future of automobile globally with many countries setting target to end the sale of petrol and diesel engine automobiles.

The NADDC DG spoke at the workshop with the theme, ‘Migration to Electric Vehicles and Gas-powered Vehicles; Opportunities & Challenges for Nigeria’, assuring investors in the Nigeria’s auto business that the policy would be passed into law before the end of the year.

According to him, a lot of development like the EVs as well as gas-powered vehicles are springing up as the government fine-tunes the auto policy bill.

On the charging stations for electric vehicle, the DG encouraged Business men and women to take advantage of the opportunity.

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, in his submission said migration into electric vehicles would reduce the dangerous emissions from fossil fuel vehicles mostly second hand flooding the Nigerian market.

Oyeyemi represented by the Lagos Sector Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide disclosed that 80 per cent of vehicles are second hand.

“Some of them are as old as 30 years and when they come in, we embrace them as new vehicles, we subject them to the same activities that the new vehicles are being subjected to, not minding the costs,” he said.

He said, “This migration is so important to Nigeria especially in the area of health. Many people are in the hospital in Lagos today, which hitherto wouldn’t have been if our atmosphere has been so sanitized.

“The closest to it that we had in Lagos was during the lockdown when we had less vehicles on Nigerian roads. The commissioner for health testified to it when I visited him. During the lockdown, 70 to 80 per cent of vehicles with all these emissions were erased from the system with the exception of articulated vehicles.”

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