Elon Musk has some surprising comments about fossil fuels, Nissan’s axing the Rogue Sport, and Honda goes to the dogs. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Elon Musk Says Something True
Elon Musk is a spectacular troll and shit-talker and this sometimes makes it difficult to give full credence to what he says, but Reuters reports that he said something that seems quite basic and also quite true at a conference in Norway earlier today.
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilisation will crumble,” Musk said on the sidelines of an energy conference in the southern city of Stavanger.
“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he said. “That will take some decades to complete.”
That is correct. While it would be dope if all of a sudden we had enough sustainable energy to power all our homes and businesses and cars and phones, the reality is that we do not. It will take an enormous amount of money, effort, and time to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, so transitioning towards clean energy is very much not an overnight switch.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep working in this direction but, for once, Elon Musk has put a realistic timeline on something. Good job Elon. Please stop talking there before you ru…
“One of my less obvious things to be concerned about is the birth rate, and I think its important that people have enough babies to support civilisation so that we don’t dwindle away,” Musk said.
There’s the old Elon! Good grief. Birth rate isn’t everything when it comes to sustaining civilization, so I guess the oil and gas comments could be chocked up to a fluke.
Nissan Is Reportedly Killing The Rogue Sport
I know it’s early in the morning, but I need you to think really hard. When was the last time you saw a Nissan Rogue Sport in the wild? Exactly. In what isn’t exactly surprising news, Automotive News reports than a Nissan internal memo says the Nissan Rogue Sport will exit production this December.
“With the all-new Rogue and recently redesigned Kicks, we will continue to cover this part of [the] market effectively,” Nissan Vice President Scott Shirley noted in the memo.
“We are also able to invest more resources in our current vehicle lifecycles and next-generation products,” Shirley noted.
While this all sounds about as boring as watching a layer of dust form on a coffee table, it’s an important moment of reflection on product portfolios. Too many manufacturers are guilty of selling vehicles that fill unneeded niches. For instance, the Hyundai Venue is a relatively slow-selling entry point to Hyundai’s crossover range. Citing Hyundai’s July sales report, only 1,895 Venues found homes last month compared to 4,253 Kona crossovers and 3,910 Accent subcompact cars. While the car shortage has affected these numbers, the Venue has historically held low sales compared to the Kona, a vehicle that’s only $2,300 more expensive when comparing base trims. In an era of component shortages, leaner lineups could really benefit manufacturers. Anyway, let’s see what else Automotive News has to say.
Ditching the Rogue Sport will allow Nissan to invest more into the subcompact Kicks, according to a dealer who requested he not be identified.
“We can get more bang for our buck with the Kicks, especially since it’s going all-wheel drive,” the dealer said.
Pause. The current U.S.-market Nissan Kicks in on the same V platform as the Versa and isn’t offered with all-wheel-drive. In fact, nothing in the V platform is offered with all-wheel-drive. Could a new Kicks be just around the corner? It’s certainly due for a new generation, so I’m excited to see if there’s any truth behind this dealer’s comment. The current Nissan Kicks is a brilliant bargain for anyone in the market for a new small hatchback and I’m hoping that the next one keeps prices low and equipment high.
Honda UK Launches New Dog-Friendly Accessory Packs
There’s no road trip companion quite like a dog, and Honda UK aims to make driving with dogs a bit safer and more convenient with several new dog-friendly accessory packs. Available for the CR-V, Civic Hatchback, and Jazz (known in America as the Fit), detailed pack equipment varies but the general concept stays the same. Each accessory pack comes with a dog guard for the cargo area, rubber floor mats, and some kind of cargo mat, while the accessory pack for the CR-V adds a bumper protector. While these accessory packs are a bit niche, Head of Automobile for Honda UK Rebecca Adamson shared some sound reasoning for the dealer accessories in a media release.
For many people, including me, dogs are so much more than a pet. They’re part of the family. The dog accessory pack is designed to bring peace of mind when travelling, no matter how long or short the distance. Not only will it help to keep your dog safe and secure while on the move, but it will also reduce the likelihood of interior damage.
While these dog-friendly accessory packs are only for the UK market at the moment, I’d love to see them on this side of the pond. A dog guard for a Civic Hatchback sounds quite brilliant for city-dwelling dog owners, while a bumper guard for the CR-V should prevent owners from scratching the paint while loading and unloading bulky items. Also, just look at the dogs Honda UK has in the press pics. Aren’t they adorable?
Lucid Hires Former Apple Exec For Software Help
While hard characteristics like cylinder count and square-feet-of-leather used to set luxury cars apart from more retail-grade machines, the concept of luxury in the electric vehicle space seems to be led by software. So how does an automaker create more luxurious software? Well, hiring from Silicon Valley is certainly one way of doing it. Automotive News reports that Lucid Motors has hired former Apple executive Derrick Carty to get the EV startup’s software up to speed.
Carty’s responsibilities at the newly created post include advanced driving assistance systems, audio, embedded software, and systems architecture, Lucid said a news release.
Carty will report to Michael Bell, Lucid’s senior vice president of digital.
“Derrick’s wealth of experience with systems architecture and his ability to lead teams that create customer-friendly, easy-to-use software interfaces is crucial as we continue to roll out new Lucid Air features via our over-the-air software updates,” Bell said in the release.
Carty seems like the sort of person Lucid Motors needs right now. Lucid still hasn’t rolled out Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, so letting owners mirror their phones will likely be a priority for the startup. In addition, over-the-air updates to enhance both features and cybersecurity are the norm in the EV world, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Lucid Motors wants some extra focus on those updates.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. With the work week back in swing, I’d love to know what automotive adventures you got up to over the weekend. I’ll admit, other than ordering new fog lights for the 325i and giving it a wash, it was a light weekend for me regarding car stuff. Still, light weekends can still be fun, so whether you finished up an engine swap or simply enjoyed a crisp heel-toe downshift while on a grocery run, I’d love to hear what you got up to.
Lead photo credit: Tesla