EV’s Will Match Gas Car Prices Sooner; Apple-Patent for Camera in Watch; Ford- Big US Battery Factory; Amazon Kuiper Satellites Approved by FCC

Sticker prices for electric vehicles are dropping faster than expected, and we may reach a tipping point soon. That’s according to a New York Times article. We’ve reported here about Tesla’s big cuts, and prices have also softened at Ford and General Motors. The big, legacy car makers, as well as Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai are ramping up production, which allows for economy of scale. The result? Cheaper EVs. The battery GM Equinox crossover due out this fall will be in the sweet spot for sales…around $30,000. That’s still $3400 more than the cheapest gas model, but right in the zone for mass buyers. The Chevy Bolt is also priced in the low $30,000 range. Waiting lists for EVs are also shortening. Ford already cut prices on its Mustang Mach-E, and expects to be able to cut more as battery costs come down with more mass production. Right now, EV prices have dropped across the board by an average of 17% since July 2022.

An unusual patent for an in-watch camera has been granted to Apple. According to Mashable.com, the cam would be built into the bottom of the Watch. Yeah, like me, you are saying ‘WHAT?’ Here’s the deal…you would remove the Watch from the wristband that holds the watch, point the bottom of the Watch at whatever you wanted to snap a pic of…using the screen as a viewfinder…then snap the Watch back into the band. As with a lot of patents, this one may never see the light of day. Apple also got a patent for a camera built into the watch crown in 2019, and that has yet to materialize. Any watch cam would be for occasional use…it will always be easier to snap a pic with your phone. 

Ford is planning a $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan. Automotive News notes that the factory will be in partnership with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology, a maker of lithium-iron batteries for EVs. The Mustang Mach-E already runs on their battery tech. According to Automotive News, Michigan is kicking in $1 billion in incentives. The plant will employ about 2500. In order to comply with the ‘made in America’ rules to get federal vehicle tax credits, Ford may own the plant outright, while CATL would operate the facility and keep their proprietary tech for building the batteries. Ford already has plant partnerships with South Korea’s SK Innovation for battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky. 

SpaceX, the Elon Musk company that has a fleet of satellites, has fought tooth and nail, but the FCC has approved Amazon’s Project Kuiper to allow the online giant to launch its own network of 3236 satellites. Zdnet.com reports that the FCC originally approved the deal in 2020, but has been winding through SpaceX’s various objections…mainly around their concerns about debris and collision risks with other satellites. Amazon has proposed an extensive debris mitigation plan. The satellite system is aimed at bringing high-speed broadband to customers around the world. SpaceX has approval for some 7500 satellites…more than double the system that Amazon is planning to put up.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Techinfied’ for now. 


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