Electric Vehicles

Apple WWDC: Electric vehicle routing options added to Apple Maps in iOS 14

Electirc vehicle drivers will be able to utilize new Apple Maps functionality to help with route planning.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple Maps is getting a bigger upgrade as part of iOS 14 than Apple CarPlay. The mapping app, which has to compete with Google Maps on users phones, is getting a host of significant additions with worldwide user implications as announced at today's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

The iOS 14 version of Apple Maps will include guides from companies including Zagat and AllTrails. it will provide suggestions for users looking to lessen their carbon footprint.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps Maps now includes guides for users.Photo courtesy of Apple

Cycling is added to the list of transportation options. With this choice, users are able to get a route that includes bike lanes, paths, and roads. The system takes changes in altitude into account, as well as the traffic situation on roads (busy vs quiet). Users can denote whether they want to carry their bicycle up stairs as part of their route or avoid stairs altogether. This addition rolls out to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing first. Additional city rollouts are planned.

Electric vehicle drivers can choose EV Routing for their Maps usage. Using that option, Maps will track your vehicle's current charge and will keep track of which chargers your vehicle is compatible with to ensure when you stop to charge, your vehicle is compatible with what's available.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps Technology that takes into account restricted driving zones is currently in development.Photo courtesy of Apple

The route mapping system also takes into account electric range and charging stations to find the optional route.

EV Routing functionality will first roll out in the BMW i4 as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Further, Apple is working on a solution to integrate Congestion and Green Zone information and support into the app allowing for alternative routes for cities that restrict travel for some drivers in certain areas. These types of restrictions are typically found in Europe and Asia.

Apple WWDC iOS 14 Maps EV charging is now considered as part of route mapping. Opting for that functionality shows where charging is along your way.Photo courtesy of Apple

At WWDC, Apple also announced a new NFC solution called ACarKey, which allows owners to use their phone as a key to get into and operate their vehicle, as well as a refreshed version of Apple CarPlay.

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Electric vehicle production

GM outlines huge investment in new EV production

The $7 billion number is GM's largest single investment to date.

General Motors

Automakers are not shy about their plans to electrify their vehicle lineups. In fact, it's just the opposite, as most can't wait to release a media kit that sings the virtues of moving toward electrification and outlines their commitments to investing billions to make the move a reality. General Motors has been more active than most, building new facilities and revamping existing factories to handle new-age EV manufacturing. Today, the auto giant announced a further investment to build a new plant and overhaul the Orion Township facility in Michigan. The move creates thousands of jobs and positions GM as an early powerhouse in the EV race.

GM EV investment. GM says its new and existing facilities will create and retain thousands of jobs.General Motors

The $7 billion investment is slated for four Michigan manufacturing facilities. GM says the move will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 existing positions, and notes that the amount represents the single largest investment in company history. A new Ultium Cells battery plant in Lansing is part of the deal, along with the conversion of the GM assembly planting Orion Township. Orion will eventually house production of the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra, making it the second of GM's facilities dedicated to building electric pickup trucks.

The Orion and Ultium Cells Lansing facilities will help GM boost its total full-size electric truck production to 600,000 units per year when both Factory Zero and Orion are in full swing. Though Ford sells more full-size trucks than Chevy or GMC individually, GM notes that the two combined move more trucks per year than The Blue Oval. The two plants join General Motors' existing EV-ready facilities that include Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck, Spring Hill Assemble in Tennessee, CAMI in Ontario, and the Ramos Arizpe Assembly facility in Mexico.

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New luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDrive The last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDrive Only 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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