Michael J. Moody

A startup with a modular EV platform plans to go public via SPAC deal

The wave of electric-vehicle startups going public via so-called reverse mergers shows no signs of slowing, with Israel’s REE Automotive the latest to join the party.

A reverse merger is where a private company is able to go public by being taken over by a company that’s already publicly listed, thus avoiding the complexity of launching an initial public offering. The reverse mergers are typically done with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that is set up solely for this purpose, and this is the case with REE which on Wednesday announced it has teamed up with a SPAC known as 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2021, with the merged company to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “REE.” REE is expected to receive $500 million out of the deal which already lists some

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Recalled touchscreens were meant to only last 5-6 years

Tesla told regulators that the recalled touchscreens in nearly 135,000 Model S and Model X electric cars were only expected to last five to six years—much less than the average lifespan of cars on United States roads today.

Following a formal recall request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker issued a recall this week of 134,951 cars, including the 2012-2018 Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Tesla Model X over the potential for touchscreen failure.

Both vehicles use a 17-inch touchscreen (also known as the media control unit) not only for infotainment functions, but also for what the NHTSA considers safety-critical features, such as the window defroster/defogger and turn-signal chimes. The NHTSA also noted that screen failure could affect the Autopilot driver-assist system. It may also affect the federally-mandated rearview-camera display.

The government agency identified the source of the problem as the touchscreen’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor

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SpeedKore stuffed a Hellephant V-8 into a 1970 Dodge Charger for Kevin Hart

Let’s try this again. After comedian Kevin Hart was involved in a 2019 accident as a passenger in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda modified by SpeedKore Performance Group, the Wisconsin shop has built another Mopar muscle car for Hart. This time it’s a 1970 Dodge Charger called “Hellraiser,” and it features Mopar’s “Hellephant” engine.

The 7.0-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 was unveiled at the 2018 SEMA show, and went on sale as a crate motor in 2019 (the initial production run quickly sold out). Based on the Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, it makes 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque. The name combines the “hell” from Hellcat with “elephant,” the nickname of the original 426 Hemi, which just so happens to make the displacement of the new engine.

SpeedKore built a custom exhaust system for the Hellephant engine, connected the monster motor to a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon-spec ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic

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Worst start to the year for UK car sales since 1970

Britain has suffered its weakest January car sales in 51 years, as showroom closures brought the market to a near standstill.

a car parked in a parking lot

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Thursday that just 90,249 new vehicles were registered across the UK last month, down 40% on last year. SMMT said the new car registrations total was the lowest in January since 1970.

“Following a £20.4bn [$27.7bn] loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces a difficult start to 2021,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

READ MORE:Negative rates in focus as Bank of England updates the market

Sales of diesel vehicles fell by 62%, while petrol car sales dropped 50%. Demand for electric vehicles rose by 8% and hybrid sales grew by 34%.

The headline slump was caused by lockdown restrictions across the UK, which meant car showrooms were shut.

Hawes called for showrooms to be opened

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