Conspiracy theories on the John Batchelor radio show

Conspiracy theories on the John Batchelor radio show

GE watt station versus the Nissan Leaf

The New York Times auto blog called General Electric about a story in the blog-o-sphere stating that a Nissan dealer in the Bay Area sent an email out to it’s customer telling them not to purchase a GE WattStation. GE called Nissan Corporate to tell them to have their dealer retract it’s statement publicly…that did not happen. Nissan did say that there is no corporate push to it’s dealers telling them to point the finger.

General Electric called a press conference in which Michael Mahan, Product General Manager of Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure for GE Energy Industrial Solutions, basically said nothing that we didn’t already know. But the game was on. why? the implication was that Nissan wasn’t working with them.

But GE got what they wanted from the nothing conference. Journalists called Nissan, to find out the rest of the story. How 11 Nissan Leafs could short out their on-board computers using GE watt stations? Finally, Nissan put out a statement, “Nissan and GE have completed their investigation into the instances of Nissan LEAFs experiencing on-board charging (OBC) issues when using certain EV chargers. Nissan has traced the root cause of the issue to the LEAFs OBC software that can allow damage to occur to it’s OBC components while using certain chargers and in certain instances, such as when a brief under voltage or blackout condition occurs. Nissan is working to address this issue as quickly as possible, and in the meantime is advising customers to avoid charging during times when brownouts or momentary power dips may be likely, such as during electrical storms or high power usage on the grid.”

Ford’s turning to aluminum to lighten it’s load

The most fuel-efficient truck in it’s segment is about to become even lighter. Ford says they will start using aluminum to make their trucks 700 poiunds lighter, increasing the fuel efficiency another 25 percent.
Ford cites the new Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) requirements as the reason. If I were in a conspirarcy frame of miind it also might be because the Ram 1500 is coming out in 2013 with what they say will be the ost fuel efficent truck in the segment.
The Ram folks tell me that about 10 pecent of purchases are made on fuel efficiency as the number one factor.

Volkswagen wants Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne to step down as chairman of European auto trade group ACEA

Apparently, Marchionne is upset because, Marchionne says, Volkswagen has been aggressive with it’s incentives during the European economic downturn.

I just got back from a Hyundai event that showed Chrysler had some pretty heavy incentives on it’s products in the United States.

Reuters is reporting that Volkswagen has threatened to leave the ACEA if Marchionne doesn’t step down.

Ahhh, the dog days of Summer.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.