Remember when the CES show in Las Vegas meant “Consumer Electronics”?
First, it was the home computer – the big attraction during the late 1980s. Then came the big screen televisions, video games, interactive technology, and so forth. We got excited when the latest Nintendo system or Sony PlayStation would be featured at this show, didn’t we?
For better part of a decade, the automotive industry has inserted themselves into this show. This year, they went in big!
The big news came from Stellantis, as they discussed the future of the Chrysler brand. The plan is to make its lineup fully electric by 2028. It all starts with a crossover currently called the Airflow Concept.
The Chrysler Airflow Concept will be built on the corporate STLA platform that will underpin many vehicles across the Stellantis corporate family. It will also house several new technologies that will be seen across the company, such as an STLA Brain that will drive many functions on the vehicle, SmartCockpit for the cabin environment’s technology to allow for a customized experience for the driver and its occupants. Stellantis also announced the development of AutoDrive, which is a Level 3 autonomous driving system.
The most important piece of information we wanted to know from Stellantis was the Airflow Concept’s potential range. According to the company, the new Chrysler should get around 350-400 of range from a full battery.
General Motors made it clear that their vision for the automobile will be electric. They doubled down through the Chevrolet brand by introducing the 2024 Equinox EV and Silverado EV.
The Equinox EV is said to be a more affordable entry in the growing battery-electric SUV field. It will be built on the Ultium electric platform currently driving the GMC HUMMER EV and the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq. No word on range, but GM did state that the starting price should start from around $30,000.
More importantly, the Chevrolet Silverado EV will arrive to challenge Ford and Rivian in the electric truck segment. The new electric truck has more in common with the former truck product – the Avalanche – with its mid-gate and other design features than the HUMMER EV. Even though the Ultium EV platform forms the basis of this new pickup.
GM states that the Silverado EV would get a maximum range of 400 miles, along with a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds and up to 1,350 pounds of payload. The pickup will also feature available on board power of up to 10.2 kW.
Vietnamese auto manufacturer VinFast made their initial USA splash at the Los Angeles Auto Show. They came to Las Vegas to show us the rest of their hand for our market.
However, they are concentrating on two mid-size SUVs – the VF 8 and VF 9. The two-row VF 8 is said to get a maximum range of 316.9 miles, while the three-row VF 9 is stated for 422.5 miles of range. Both vehicles were designed by Pininfarina and will be stocked full of connected technology inside.
Both vehicles are now available to be reserved on VinFast’s US website with just a $200 refundable deposit and a discount upon vehicle purchase.
These developments have certainly made things more interesting in the battery-electric vehicle segment. A 250-mile range will no longer cut it. Nor will 300 miles. The goal is now 400 miles. That is what consumers really crave. The longer the range, the most likely a consumer might replace their internal combustion engine-powered vehicle for one.
LGBTQ consumers have already adapted to the EV lifestyle. How many of us own Teslas and other EVs from legacy manufacturers? Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, Porsche, GMC, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW already carved out a lead for others to follow. That includes the 200,000 reservations for the Ford F-150 Lighting pickup truck.
We’re also seeing the start-ups making a bigger splash in the EV market. MotorTrend awarded their Car and Truck of The Year to Lucid and Rivian, respectively. Fisker also made a huge splash with their rebooted company and their first product, the Ocean SUV.
We could see all of this played out next year as these new vehicles start appearing in showrooms across the U.S.A. Are you ready for more EVs to choose from?