Automotive News - Traverse City - August 8, 2019 - 1

CAR MANAGEMENT

THURSDAY

autonews.com

BRIEFING SEMINARS

®

DAILY
AUGUST 8, 2019

THE BUZZ
A boost for
innovative
women
There's nothing like a little
healthy competition to spur
innovation. It also can give a
much-needed boost to startups.
That's one of the missions of
Quesnay, a New York company
specializing in "innovation
consulting
services."
President
Jennifer
Byrne says
Quesnay
helps fasttrack
innovation
by linking
LESLIE J.
startups
ALLEN
with
NEWS EDITOR
traditional
companies
and organizations. One way it
does this is by staging
competitions. Besides doling
out prize money, the programs
offer startups mentorship and
partnership opportunities.
Quesnay has staged the
competitions since its founding
in 2012. Early on, it noticed
something.
"We observed that over 90
percent of our applicants were
male entrepreneurs. And so we
started to think, we know that
there are a lot of talented
women who are entrepreneurs
in the technology space."
That led to the birth of Female
Founders in Tech, a
competition that invites
women-led startups to put
forth their ideas and
technologies.
One reason Byrne is at the
CAR Management Briefing
Seminars is to promote a
mobility track that starts in
2020.
To demonstrate the need, she
points to 2018's "Women at the
Wheel" study by Deloitte in
collaboration with Automotive
News. Of about 200 women
surveyed, only 1 percent called
automotive the best sector to
work in; 47 percent said if they
were to start over, they'd choose
another industry.
Quesnay realized women
entrepreneurs needed better
access.
"At the same time," Byrne said,
"it's the best time ever to be
involved in innovation in tech."
You may email Leslie J. Allen
at lallen@crain.com.

Entire contents © 2019 Crain Communications, Inc. Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

GM: Investors wanted for EV charging
Bechtel will lead project to set up station network

G

Michael Martinez
mdmartinez@crain.com

eneral Motors will need a robust electric vehicle charging infrastructure
network to achieve CEO Mary Barra's
goal of a future with zero crashes, zero
emissions and zero congestion.
But GM doesn't want to spend its own money
to create it.
"We don't wish to spend our capital to build
fast chargers," Mike Ableson, GM's vice president, electric vehicle charging and infrastructure, said Wednesday at the CAR Management
Briefing Seminars. "We wish to spend our capital to build more EVs."
To solve that challenge, the largest U.S. automaker is partnering with construction firm
Bechtel Corp. to build the network and will seek
outside investors to fund the project.
Ableson said working with the large construction firm has illustrated that most large infrastructure projects are funded with outside investment.
The Bechtel tie-up on EV chargers is only in
the initial stages, and Ableson did not name any

potential investors. But he said the companies
are "quite confident we can get interest from
outside investors."
A lack of charging stations is one of the biggest
inhibitors to owning an EV, along with price and
range, Ableson said.
Home and work chargers are most widely
used because that's where EVs spend a majority
of their time, he said. Public stations are only
used by a tiny percentage of Chevrolet Bolt EV
owners, but they're still vital to GM and other
automakers because they reassure owners that
EVs can become primary vehicles and work for
long road trips, Ableson said.
To help customers find such stations, a team
from GM's technical center in Israel created an
"energy assistant" in the myChevrolet app that
shows how far their Bolt can take them and
where chargers are located within that range.
GM is partnering with four companies to build
out that map, which Ableson said accounts for
94 percent of compatible chargers.
"There needs to be thousands and thousands
of these across the country," Ableson said. "It
gets to be a considerable construction task." n

JOE WILSSENS

"We don't wish to spend our capital to build fast
chargers," said GM's Mike Ableson. "We wish to
spend our capital to build more EVs."

Karma Automotive gears up for new Revero
California producer
is ready to talk - at last

K

Richard Truett
rtruett@crain.com

arma Automotive has kept a low profile while building out its California
factory and re-engineering the old
Fisker Karma, now called the Revero.
While Rivian, Faraday Future, Bollinger Motors and a handful of other startups have garnered headlines as they seek investors for their
electric vehicles, Karma Automotive - borne
out of the ashes of the old Fisker Automotive -
decided to stay out of the news until it had a salable vehicle.
"The way I like to do it is - we are deeds, not
words," Bob Kruse, Karma Automotive's chief
technology officer, said Wednesday at the CAR
Management Briefing Seminars. "We've essentially built the whole enterprise, from a supply
chain, through manufacturing, through product
engineering. We've got a retail network, a service
network and a system to track it all. On a small
scale, we are a complete automotive entity. We
can talk about what we've done. We can let you
drive what we've done. We don't have to make a
bunch of promises in a PowerPoint presentation
that says, 'Here's what we are going to do if we
raise money.' "
Karma Automotive is bankrolled by China's
Wanxiang Group Corp. The company's plant is
in Moreno Valley, Calif., east of Los Angeles. The
plan, Kruse said, is to expand the brand to include crossovers and other vehicles on a new

JOE WILSSENS

Bob Kruse, Karma Automotive's chief technology officer: "On a small scale, we are a complete
automotive entity. We can talk about what we've done. We can let you drive what we've done."

platform the company calls e-Klipse, scheduled
for production in 2021. A separate brand will be
launched for China. The company has four business units, focusing on vehicles, design, innovation and technology.
The 2020 Revero GT, Kruse says, is the company's core product. While some of the underpinnings can trace their roots to the Fisker Karma of
2012, the new car features a three-cylinder BMW
engine that powers a generator providing electricity to two electric motors that drive the rear
wheels. The car can travel up to 80 miles on a
single charge and around 360 miles on a full

charge and full tank of gasoline. The car is expected to cost around $135,000.
Kruse, a former General Motors executive who
helped develop the first-generation Chevrolet
Volt, said he has recruited former colleagues
from GM, and engineers from Ford, BMW and
other automakers. "We have a small but deep
engineering team," he said.
The company uses additive manufacturing to
make some of its parts and builds the complete
car at its California plant. Karma will show three
vehicles this month at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. e

lll

INSIDE THIS ISSUE
n Delphi is a year away from
producing a new-gen fuel system
that will boost the efficiency of
upcoming vehicles. I PAGE 4 I

n If autonomous vehicles put more
people in cars, it will mean more
traffic - unless the industry goes
multimodal. I PAGE 21 I


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Automotive News - Traverse City - August 8, 2019

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