The Lamborghini Huracan goes off the pavement, Volkswagen starts American ID.4 production, Faraday Future might run out of money. 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.
Lamborghini Teases A Crossover Supercar
When Lamborghini launched the Urus, I was a touch underwhelmed. It just didn’t seem crazy enough for the Italian marque’s image. However, the Urus has shifted a lot of units, which may have got Lamborghini thinking about adding another soft-roader to its lineup. Indeed, Lamborghini is now taking the classic crossover approach of starting with a car, raising the ride height, and slapping on cladding and chunky tires. Safari-style Huracan? Safari-style Huracan.
Yes, a production version of the Huracan Sterrato concept car is on its way. I’m not going to mince words here: This thing looks fucking awesome. It’s every TaxTheRich100 daydream made real, then equipped with a warranty and sold to the public. There’s also a chance that the Sterrato will be the Huracan’s swansong, as Lamborghini is readying a replacement with PHEV power. In any case, this gravel-eating V10 monster seems to perfectly embody the supercar spirit – loud, fast, and crazy. I wouldn’t be surprised if more details on the Sterrato arrive in the coming months, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to find out exactly how Lamborghini raised the ride height on its baby bull.
Volkswagen Starts ID.4 Production In America
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, Volkswagen has announced in a press release that the first saleable ID.4 electric crossover produced in its Chattanooga, T.N. plant rolled off the line on Tuesday.
Volkswagen plans on ramping up American ID.4 production to 7,000 units per month in the fourth quarter of 2022, with even grander production plans for 2023. In addition, American consumers will soon be able to buy a cheaper ID.4 with a smaller 62 kWh battery pack. Volkswagen has confirmed production of this entry-level variant will start by year’s end, and that this model will carry a lower MSRP than the current Pro model.
In addition, massive investments in U.S. production have reportedly created thousands of American jobs. Keep in mind, it really takes a village to build a car, from plant workers to component supplier employees to workers handling raw materials.
As part of the preparation to launch the ID.4, suppliers have invested $2.7 billion throughout the North American continent, including the battery partnership with SK Innovation. More than 3,000 U.S. jobs on supplier side have been created.
Hey, 3,000 jobs isn’t anything to sneeze at, plus Volkswagen plans on hiring 1,000 plant workers in Chattanooga through 2022. While the ID.4’s user interface is certainly contentious, it’s still fundamentally a solid EV. Quiet, comfortable, spacious, and featuring surprisingly pleasant chassis tuning. More new vehicle supply is always a good thing, especially in a tight market, so hopefully we’ll see more ID.4s out and about in the next few months.
Flo Ramps Up Charging Station Production
Here’s a brand you may not have heard of. Flo is a Canadian manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations, with Level 3 stations in Canada, the Northeast, California, and Ohio, plus a handful scattered across other Midwest states. While not an American household name yet, Flo has some big ambitions for charging station production. According to Automotive News Canada, Flo will soon have the capacity to build 75,000 charging stations per year.
To localize and scale up production in the United States, Flo announced plans in June to spend $3 million to open a Michigan assembly plant. The site in Auburn Hills, north of Detroit, is scheduled to open this fall and gradually ramp up to producing 30,000 EV chargers per year.
It will join a pair of Flo assembly plants in Shawinigan, in central Quebec north of Trois-Rivières, where the company is expanding as well. Flo’s second Shawinigan plant opened in late 2021, doubling production capacity. Once running full tilt, the two Canadian plants will produce 45,000 chargers a year.
While this is good news for EV drivers, some of you might be thinking “great, another charging network where I have to carry a special card and put up with typical charging network reliability.” While that’s a valid point, Flo isn’t just in the Level 3 charging station game – Flo also builds Level 2 charging stations for home and business installation from local components. Not only do these Level 2 charging stations look pretty sleek, they make some incredible claims about durability. Flo says that its Home chargers work in temperatures from -40°F to 122°F (-40°C to 50°C), exactly the sort of thing we need in North America with our temperature extremes. Pricing doesn’t seem crazy either, ranging from $795 to $995.
Honestly, if you’re an EV driver and are able to install any sort of Level 2 charging station at home, I highly recommend making the upgrade. While the expense may seem a bit shocking at first, the convenience is incredible and it really reduces dependency on flaky public charging networks.
Faraday Future Appears To Be Running Out Of Cash
It’s been a tumultuous year for electric vehicle startups. Commercial EV company Electric Last Mile Solutions has filed for bankruptcy, Canoo warned investors of a potential liquidity shortage, Fisker wants non-refundable $5,000 deposits on its Ocean crossover, and now Faraday Future is facing a potential cash crisis. According to Bloomberg, Faraday Future issued a filing on Monday with hopes of raising $325 million and fears of running out of cash.
“The company needs additional cash to commercially launch the FF 91 and is currently seeking to raise additional capital to fund its operations through December 31, 2022.”
Well, this seems a bit concerning, not only for Faraday Future but also for retail investors who hopped in on the SPAC. Faraday Future’s stock is currently down around 76 percent from market peak in 2021, and retail investors won’t have much in the way of recoup if the company goes bust.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. With the Safari ethos making its way from Gambler 500 entrants to the supercar world, I’d love to know what car you’d lift and throw some knobby meats on. I’ll be honest, a Safari-style fifth-generation Maserati Quattroporte really appeals to me. Something about the concept of firing a glorious V8-powered Italian sports sedan down a gravel track really puts an ear-to-ear grin on my face. Plus, it’s not like I’d be ruining a rare car either. How about you? What fictional gravel-eating monster haunts your daydreams?
Lead photo credit: Lamborghini
What cars are these Flo chargers compatible with?
Pretty much every electric/plug-in hybrid in America use the same connector besides the Nissan leaf and Tesla
I’d Safari one of my Subaru Legacy wagons. Oh wait, the factory did that already. Since that’s already been done, I’ll just keep my cars low.