CES 2020

Amazon expanding Fire TV into FCA, BMW vehicles

BMW and FCA will be adding Amazon's Fire TV to forthcoming vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is partnering with automakers to expand the eyeballs viewing programming on their popular Fire TV streaming and live TV digital media player. The company is partnering with BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to add Fire TV to a variety of vehicles.

"Adding Fire TV to future BMW vehicles represents a big step in bringing the best of streamed entertainment to our products," said Fathi El-Dwaik, Vice President User Interaction, Business Line My Car and Business Line My Life, BMW Group. "With Amazon's approach, and with the help of Garmin, we are able to innovate and create a unique and special experience for BMW cars, providing the consistency of content and customer experience that Fire TV provides in the home. We look forward to working closely with Amazon to bring Fire TV to future vehicles."

The online retailer is touting the ability to drivers to utilize their Alexa voice assistant product hands-free in the vehicles alongside a touch screen with offline capability and playback to experience Fire TV content. Users will be able to enjoy shows recorded with Fire TV Recast or saved locally on a Fire TV device.

The devices will be able to stream content via the vehicle's Wi-Fi or LTE connection.

It is likely that the Fire TV capability will only be available to second-row screens. BMW and FCA haven't said which vehicles the technology will debut in but it's likely to be crossovers and minivans, which are inherently more family-friendly.

FCA is the parent company of the Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo auto brands. BMW's brands include BMW, Rolls-Royce, and Mini.

There is no word yet on whether of not the technology will expand to PSA vehicles when FCA and PSA complete their merger.

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Electric vehicles owners in Virginia and Florida will be able to partake in a new, simplified charging scheme.

Photo by Jae Young Ju/Getty Images

Florida and Virginia have joined a growing list of states allowing Electrify America customers to pay by the amount of energy they use to charge their vehicles, similar to the way that Citgo customers pay for gasoline by the gallon. Those two states have been added to Electrify America's new kilowatt-hour (kWh) pricing plan.

The updated pricing structure was established in September 2020 and allows for more transparency with Electrify America customers. It is now available in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Electrify America charging station Electrify America is in the process of adding charging stations across the U.S. Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

"Electrify America has listened to feedback from electric vehicle owners, potential customers, and longtime industry advocates. As a result we have developed a new pricing structure that is fair, consistent, and recognizes the increasing customer demand for kilowatt-hour pricing," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. "With the new pricing, we deliver a simplified charging experience that shows new and existing customers how easy it is to own an EV."

Florida and Virginia are growing in terms of the electric vehicle charging stations. EV drivers have access to 20 Electrify America charging stations with 96 individual fast chargers in Virginia, and 24 charging stations with 110 individual fast chargers in Florida.

Rates for charging start at $0.31 per kilowatt-hour. Complete pricing information is available at ElectrifyAmerica.com/pricing and on the Electrify America mobile app, which makes charging with the network even easier.

In states where the company operates that aren't in on kWh pricing, Electrify America will continue to offer pricing on a per-minute basis with customers billed for the time spent charging. There are two power levels starting at as low as $0.12 per minute.

Electrify America is committed to expanding its public network of ultra-fast EV chargers. They are planning to either have installed or be in the process of installing 800 total charging stations with approximately 3,500 chargers by December 2021.

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The 2021 Infiniti QX50 has received a few upgrades for the new model year.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Already in its third model year since its generational redesign, the 2021 Infiniti QX50 gets a number of upgrades including a roster of added standard equipment.

Infiniti will sell the model in five trim levels: Pure, Luxe, Essential, Sensory, and Autograph It has a starting MSRP of $37,750, a $500 price increase over the previous year’s model.

For that price, buyers will now be getting rear seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags, automatic collision notification with emergency call, acoustic laminated front side glass, and a Wi-Fi hot spot as standard equipment. The two-row SUV will also be available with a new Mineral Black paint job.

2021 Infiniti QX50 The QX50 remains much the same on the exterior.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The 2021 QX50 Luxe is now available with an Appearance Package that includes elements from the Edition 30 including 20-inch black-painted wheels, black mirror caps, dark chrome accents, black grille mesh, and graphite headliner.

Additionally, the QX50 Essential gets traffic sign recognition technology while the QX50 Sensory now has direct adaptive steering as standard. The QX50 Autograph gets a standard tow package.

Previously, Infiniti charged extra for the Climate Package on the QX50 Sensory. For 2021, that equipment is added as complementary.

The SUV continues to be powered by the company’s 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power plant that delivers 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive models achieve 25 mpg combined while all-wheel drive QX50s get 25 mpg combined.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the QX50 and all-wheel drive is available. Drivers can choose to operate their model in either Standard, Eco, Sport, or Personal drive model. Steering can be tailored Using Default, Dynamic, or Dynamic+ modes.

2021 Infiniti QX50 The car’s cabin features plush accomodations that befit its price tag.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti will also continue to offer all models, except the base Pure grade, with standard ProPilot Assist safety and driver assistance technology. That includes direct adaptive steering and adaptive cruise control technologies.

Active noise cancellation and active sound enhancement technology give the QX50 one of the quietest cabins in its class.

The 2021 Infiniti QX50 is on sale now.

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