Jan 14, 2019

SUVs and trucks will drive the electric vehicle revolution

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution in America will eventually have to be driven by SUVs and trucks, even though the majority of EVs sold to this date have been cars.

The big picture: SUVs and trucks accounted for 72% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012, per AP.

  • But only two of the vehicles scheduled for unveiling at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither are ready for the road.
  • And one of the two, the Infiniti QX Inspiration concept electric SUV, had a technical issue and wasn't able to be shown, the Detroit Free Press notes.

"Because of the shift, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are canceling some or all of their sedan lines."

  • "At the same time, they are hedging their bets by planning electrics and hybrids to give people fuel-efficient SUV options should gas prices rise from the current national average of around $2.24 per gallon."
  • Volkswagen's first electric SUV in North America comes in 2020: The company plans to invest $34 billion on EV development by 2023, with the factory capacity to build up to 15 million EVs globally by 2025.
  • There already are some fully electric SUVs in the U.S. market: Tesla Model X, Jaguar i-Pace, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro, Audi e-tron.
  • The Kona EV, which starts at $28,950 after tax credits and has a range of 258 miles, was named the North American Utility of the Year.

What’s next: The number of electric SUVs on the market is slated to grow, while some electrified pickups are planned too.

Between the lines: The global EV market is well underway thanks to regulations and subsidies abroad, but those factors are less certain in the U.S. even as domestic sales are rising sharply.

  • "[A]utomakers thought their new vehicle fleet had to average about 36 miles per gallon by 2025 under U.S. fuel economy standards," AP notes.
  • "But the Trump administration has proposed freezing those standards at 2020 levels, a move that will spark a court challenge and a fight with California, which can set its own gas mileage and greenhouse gas standards."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states. The CDC later announced domestic travel restrictions for the states.

Why it matters: Trump said hours earlier he was considering quarantine measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN such a measure would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health