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Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Massachusetts “Right to Repair” Initiative Passes
We may not know the results of the presidential election, but an important down-ballot measure passed last night. Massachusetts Question 1 won out massively, defending residents’ “Right to Repair.” The legislation will bar automakers from denying independent and at-home mechanics access to vehicle diagnostics and information.
That means car manufacturers can’t defend their dealership service departments with proprietary data tools and wireless repair services. Independent mechanics and owners will be able to purchase everything they need to maintain and repair vehicles, offering more choice to consumers and encouraging competition. As cars get more digitized, it’s a huge victory in the fight to protect your right to repair your own car.
Ford Executive Says Electric Super Duty Isn’t on the Way
The Ford F-Series of trucks is the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world. Just truck sales alone account for more revenue than most companies in the Fortune 500 make. So electrifying the F-Series is a huge step, one Ford will take with the all-electric F-150 coming in the next couple of years.
Just don’t expect electric F-250s or F-350s to follow shortly after. As InsideEVs notes, Ford’s president for Americas and International Markets Group said during a Credit Suisse forum that it isn’t in the works. The executive, Kumar Galhotra, said that it isn’t coming “at the moment.” This isn’t a huge surprise, as towing or hauling heavy loads massively reduces the range of electric vehicles. The Super Duty lineup is targeted specifically at people who need more towing and payload than the F-150 can offer, so it may take a bit until EVs can satisfy that market and still offer a usable range while towing.
BMW’s German Plants Will All Be Making EVs by 2022
The Bavarian auto giant still hasn’t quite cracked the EV market, but BMW is trying to get serious about full EVs. To compliment its wide range of plug-ins, BMW will launch the i4, iNEXT, and likely 7 Series EVs in the next few years. When those enter production, BMW Blog points out that all of the company’s German plants will be configured for and actively producing EVs.
That doesn’t mean its German plants will be all electric. Dingolfing, for instance, will continue to make the 5 Series alongside the iNEXT. But EVs are different enough from standard internal-combustion products that just ensuring production facilities are capable of EV production is important. With BMW EV production already running in China and slated for all German plants, the company’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant looks ripe for conversion to an EV-capable facility.