WardsAuto Podcast Launches With BEV Series

WardsAuto Podcast kicks off with a series about the transition from an industry centered around internal-combustion engines to one focused on electrification.

Wards Staff

June 6, 2023

WardsAuto launches its first-ever podcast this week, beginning with a series of episodes centered around the auto industry’s gradual transition from one dominated by the internal-combustion-engines to one moving toward electrification.

WardsAuto chose this subject for the first podcast series because of something Ford CEO Jim Farley said last fall: “There is going to be more change in the auto industry in the next 10 years than there has been in the last 60. “

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Produced and hosted by WardsAuto Senior Editor David Kiley, Episode 1 features Christie Schweinsberg, Wards Intelligence senior analyst for Sustainability, which includes intelligence about BEVs and BEV charging infrastructure. Also interviewed in the first podcast is Jordan Choby, group vice president, powertrain for Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development.

President Biden signed an executive order setting a target for the auto industry to make 50% of new-vehicle sales BEVs by 2030. Governments are targeting 2032 to have BEVs account for 60% of vehicle sales. A proposed rule by the EPA reaches higher, creating a regulation that would require 60% of production be BEVs in 2030.

“I would say that 50% of new vehicles sales for BEVs is probably not going to happen, says Schweinsberg. “It’s one of those moonshot goals…it’s a pretty astronomical goal,” Schweinsberg added.

Toyota has been a leader in developing hybrids, especially with the expansion of the  Prius brand. But it has not been seen as a leader in BEVs.  Earlier this year, Toyota Chairman and President Akio Toyoda, just before stepping down as President, gave a speech in which he questioned the mandated expansion of BEVs at the expense of putting more hybrids and plug-in-hybrids on the road.

Choby talks about where Toyota’s BEV plan is headed relative to Toyoda’s comments.

“We see that BEV is the fastest growing powertrain…but we do have concerns that the high targets are well ahead of consumer demand,” says Choby.

Indeed, market demand for the number of BEVs policymakers want to mandate is the top concern among automakers and suppliers as they try to meet those mandates.

Other subjects in this initial series include battery technology, managing the transition while maintaining profitability and how suppliers are playing a big role in the transition. We will be talking with one startup completely dedicated to BEVs to learn where the challenges lie.

“As we go forward with the podcast, our strategy is to use the expertise of our editors and analysts to drill down on the transformative subjects like EVs, autonomous driving, software-based vehicles, telematics and more that are dominating all the capital and R&D investment by the industry,” says Dave Zoia, Senior Director-Content for Wards. “The news of the week is well-covered, but we feel there is a place for a podcast that goes deeper on these massive changes in technology in our industry.”

WardsAuto is dropping two episodes during its AutoTech: Electrification conference on June 7 and 8, with more weekly episodes in the pipeline.

Search for WardsAuto Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pandora and Spotify.


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