COVID-19

President Trump names auto execs to Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups

President Donald Trump (center) delivers opening remarks at the beginning of a policy forum with business leaders with General Motors CEO Mary Barra (right) and chaired by Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman (left) in 2017. The President named Schwarzman and Barra to the newly formed Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.

Photo by Getty Images

Reopening the economy is the biggest talking point surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak as Americans have been social distancing and self-quarantining for the better part of a month at this point. President Trump today announced the lineup of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, a roster of advisors that are helping advise the administration as the best way to reopen the U.S. for business.

The Groups are divided by industry: agriculture, banking, construction/labor/workforce, defense, energy, financial services, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, retail, tech, telecommunications, transportation, sports, and thought leaders/groups.

Ford face masks 2020 coronavirus Ford has begun manufacture face masks and other personal protective equipment at its plants. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

While all other group names are easily definable, thought leaders/groups appears to be a group of former government officials from previous administrations and philanthropists.

The manufacturing division of the initiative is filled with leaders of the U.S.'s top automotive companies including Mike Manley (CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Bill Ford (Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company), Mary Barra (Chairman and CEO, General Motors), and Elon Musk (co-founder and CEO, Tesla).

FCA, Ford, and General Motors have already begun helping the COVID-19 relief effort. FCA is converting a plant to make face masks. Ford has launched a series of projects from construction face shields to working with suppliers to create respirators and using airbag material to create reusable hospital gowns for medical personnel. General Motors has formed a partnership with Ventec and begun fulfilling an order for 30,000 ventilators.

Though Musk made claims that Tesla shipped ventilators to health care facilities, it has been revealed that the company actually sent ResMed BiPAP (B-PAP) machines, which are more closely related to C-PAP devices than ventilators and will have to be converted to work as a ventilator.

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Tesla quietly released the "toy" today.

Tesla

Tesla is known for being unpredictable, so today’s news is not totally shocking, despite being extremely cool. The automaker released a new vehicle today, but not for use on the road, and not for use by grownups. The Cyberquad for Kids landed today with a sophisticated feature set and a very adult price tag of $1,900.

The Cyberquad for Kids checks in at 122 pounds and can carry a person that weighs as much as 150 pounds. Two forward speeds include 5 and 10 mph settings, and reverse can reach 5 mph. Depending on the rider’s weight and speed, the Cyberquad for Kids can travel up to 15+ miles on a charge. Tesla says that an empty battery can take up to five hours to fully recharge.

A full steel frame underpins the quad, and though it’s being pitched for kids, the ATV features adjustable suspension, rear disk brakes, LED light bars, and a cushioned seat. The futuristic EV looks almost identical to the larger Cyberquad we saw during the initial Cybertruck demonstration.

A thorough set of assembly and troubleshooting directions are available on Tesla’s site, but despite the Cyberquad for Kids’ complexity, don’t get any ideas about using it on the street. Tesla recommends using it on sidewalks and for stunts, but I think we’re all looking forward to the eventual tidal wave of YouTube videos this thing is going to generate.

Tesla Cyberquad for Kids Kids 8 years and older, and up to 150 pounds can ride. Tesla

If you’re hoping to get a Cyberquad for Kids, you might be out of luck. Though it only launched today, it’s already out of stock. There’s no word on if more will become available. Those that were lucky enough to snag one should start receiving them in early 2022.

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New electric pickup truck

GMC Hummer EV deliveries to start soon

Hummer EV deliveries will start in December.

GMC

This year has turned out to be as difficult for automakers as 2020 was, if not much more so. The pandemic is still a major factor, and to make matters worse there's a global microchip shortage that heavily impacts automakers' ability to build tech-heavy vehicles. GMC has a big launch left to handle in 2021, and according to a recent call with journalists, it's proceeding as planned. On a recent call with reporters, GMC exec Duncan Aldred noted that Hummer EV pickup deliveries are on track to begin in December. He also elaborated on the truck's EPA range numbers.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The trucks will deliver up to 329 miles on a charge. GMC

The Hummer's EPA range lands at 329, not far from the 350 miles General Motors targeted for the vehicle. Those are the estimates for the limited Hummer Edition 1, which carries a six-figure price tag and gobs of bells and whistles. Aldred said that other models coming later on will offer longer range estimates when they hit the roads sometime in 2023.

A staggering 80 percent of reservations GMC has gathered so far are for the Edition 1 model. Almost half of the 125,000 people who have inquired about the Hummer EV have placed the refundable $100 deposit and the SUV's first year of production is completely sold out.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV's first year of production is sold out. GMC

When it hits the streets later this year, the Hummer EV will be just in time to face off against a growing crop of EV trucks and SUVs. Rivian recently began delivering the R1T electric pickup truck and will continue with the R1S SUV next year. The Ford F-150 Lightning is coming in 2022, and General Motors itself has a Cadillac EV rollout to handle in 2022. Chevy and GMC will show off electric versions of the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks on January 5 and GMC will push the Hummer SUV EV in 2023.

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