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Hyundai, Shell sign 5-year partnership extension with a clean mobility twist

Hyundai and Shell have extended their lubricants agreement for another five years.

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Hyundai Motor Company, the parent company of the Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis brands, has signed a five-year extension to its partnership with Royal Dutch Shell plc. The Global Business Cooperation Agreement allows the companies to continue their existing agreement, which has seen Shell provide engine oil products to the car company's global customers since 2005 and resulted in joint marketing opportunities.

The extension of the agreement, the fourth of its nature, includes a new section, marking a new endeavor for the companies. The agreement has a new focus on clean energy and carbon reduction, a shift that fits with the future of Hyundai vehicles and overall market changes.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5Hyundai is already well on its way to changing its vehicle landscape. The upcoming 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a large part of that pivot. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

"This time around we will join forces to drive positive change with clean mobility solutions that benefit all," said Un Soo Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Operations Division of Hyundai Motor Company. "With Shell, we will be securing our competitiveness within the automotive industry, continuing our transition as a smart mobility solution provider."

The agreement will also look at undertaking new cooperative projects that reflect the new direction of the companies. This includes establishing a new type of service for mobility providers, primarily in Asia. According to a release, both companies will also discuss cooperations schemes for energy supply business, such as EV and FCEV charging services.

"Accelerating the mobility sector to net zero will require collaborative pioneers willing to act now and establish the alignments needed to deliver a cleaner energy future," said Carlos Maurer, Executive Vice President of Shell's Global Commercial Business. "We believe we can best enhance Hyundai's customer service experiences by tapping our EV charging expertise and our deep insights gathered from daily interactions with motorists at our 46,000 retail sites globally."

The two companies run join research and development activities including for the first-fill lubricants to meet Hyundai's specific engine requirements, which could extend for collaboration on e-Fluids development for EVs.

Shell has been the top lubricants supplier in the global market for 14 consecutive years.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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Electric pickup truck

Ford F-150 Lightning could get tank turn

Ford patented a tank turn feature in late 2020.

Ford

The F-150 Lightning is packed with cool tech and capability, but we're learning that Ford has even bigger plans for its first electric pickup. Inside EVs found an exciting document on the Lightning Owners Forum that shows ford applied to patent a tank turn feature like the one we saw Rivian pull off a few years ago, where the truck spins around a center point using its electric motors. Rivian's tank turn feature still hasn't made it to market, so it's possible that Ford beats them to the punch.

Ford F-150 LightningTank turn allows the truck to spin while almost completely stationary.Ford

Ford applied for the patent in October 2020, but it's just now making its way out. In the document, Ford gives an example of how it could work: "Methods, apparatus, systems and articles of manufacture are disclosed to perform a tank turn. An example vehicle includes a first wheel and a second wheel, the first wheel located on an end of a first axle, the second wheel located on an end of the second axle, the end of the first axle opposite to the end of the second axle, a first suspension coupled to the first wheel, a second suspension coupled to the second wheel, and a controller to drive the first axle in a first direction, drive the second axle in the second direction and decrease a first suspension load of the first suspension and a second suspension load of the second suspension."

As Inside EVs points out, Rivian's tank turn feature employs the R1 T's quad-motor setup to drive each wheel individually. The F-150 Lightning doesn't currently have a four-motor choice and instead offers two motors – one on each axle. It's important to note that Rivian patented tank turn and showed that it could work, but there hasn't yet been a production vehicle that offers the capability. Toyota filed a patent in 2019, but again it's just paperwork at this point.

Ford F-150 LightningNo automaker has brought tank turn to production yet.

To achieve the turn, Ford has a few options. The most obvious would be to offer a quad-motor upgrade in future model years. It's unclear if such a feature is in the works or if Ford plans to provide beefier versions of the Lightning, such as a Raptor variant with upgraded motors. The automaker could also design gearing to reverse the wheels on one side while the others drive forward, or it could use braking to lock the wheels and tighten the turning radius.

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