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The Mobilist
The future of batteries, electric cars, and driverless vehicles. A new blog from Medium.

Automobile

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The company seems ambivalent about its coming electric F-150

A white Ford F-150 Raptor is unveiled during the Ford press conference at the North American International Auto Show in 2016.
A white Ford F-150 Raptor is unveiled during the Ford press conference at the North American International Auto Show in 2016.
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

For 44 consecutive years, the Ford F-150 has been the bestselling pickup in the U.S. For 39 years, it’s been the most popular vehicle of any type. In the middle of next year, Ford says it will release a pure electric version of the truck, and the question then is whether the F-150, and not Tesla, Rivian, Hummer, or anyone else, is in the leading position to dominate the electric pickup.


Tesla competitors are fighting the last war and missing the hot middle market

An aerial view of 16 blue cars on yellow background.
An aerial view of 16 blue cars on yellow background.
Image: Bernhard Lang/Stone/Getty

The coming two or three years will finally bring rich pickings for anyone interested in checking out an electric vehicle. If announced debuts go as planned, there will be the $75,000 Rivian R1T pickup, the $70,000 Jaguar E-Pace SUV, and the $66,000 Audi e-tron, not to mention the $77,000 Lucid Air and the $150,000 Porsche Taycan.


Like Kodak and Nokia, the legacy automaker may be overtaken by the future

GM CEO Mary Barra at an event announcing a $300 million investment in the Orion assembly plant for electric and self driving
GM CEO Mary Barra at an event announcing a $300 million investment in the Orion assembly plant for electric and self driving
GM CEO Mary Barra at an event where she announced a $300 million investment in the GM Orion assembly plant for electric and self-driving vehicles on March 22, 2019, in Lake Orion, Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Stringer/Getty Images

Is GM in danger, the same as Kodak was before it went down the tubes in the ‘oughts? The same as Nokia before it, too, went from having the “it” product to the dustbin, as easy as you can spell iPhone?


Buried in its big announcement, the legacy automaker says it will tame metallic lithium

General Motors logo on a sign.
General Motors logo on a sign.
Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

GM has made the much-overlooked claim that by mid-decade, it expects to commercialize the most exotic of the stretch futuristic batteries currently on electric vehicle drawing boards.

Because of the…


After 10 years in stealth mode, QuantumScape launches an IPO, becoming the first U.S. battery company to go public in a decade

A worker assembles one of Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric cars at their factory in Zwickau, Germany on July 31, 2020.
A worker assembles one of Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric cars at their factory in Zwickau, Germany on July 31, 2020.
A worker assembles one of Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric cars at their factory in Zwickau, Germany, on July 31, 2020. Photo: Jens Schlueter/Stringer/Getty Images

In the early 1970s, decades before the cellphone, the handheld video camera, the laptop, or the modern electric car, scientists figured out that lithium, the lightest metal on the periodic table, could make for a revolutionary battery. Researchers at Exxon, hoping to diversify away from oil, were among those who began a series of experiments to create a lithium battery. But as often as not, they had to call the fire department, because the highly volatile element would sometimes catch fire and blow up the lab.

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