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Zero Motorcycles' Electric ADV Bike Stakes Claim in a Fast-Growing Segment

Is the off-road world ready for an electric dual-sport motorcycle? Zero's new trail-ready DSR/X makes its case.

Zero Motorcycles enters the fastest-growing segment of motorcycling with its new go-anywhere, do-anything DSR/X.

With a claimed range of +/-150 miles and a ride time of at least 10 hours, the new bike offers the company's strongest motor and most powerful battery.

Riding an electric motorcycle on dirt takes a fun, adventurous activity to an entirely new—and silent—level.

Electric motorcycles have come a long way since Zero Motorcycles was founded in 2006. With the release of the world's first production electric adventure bike, the California electric vehicle pioneer is taking electric bikes where few have gone before. The 2023 Zero DSR/X is a trail-chewing, rock-scrambling, hill-climbing beast of a full-sized ADV bike—and all the while, the only thing you hear is a wash of gravel and dirt spraying out behind you.

Developed from the same basic frame as the company's popular SR/F and SR/S street bikes, the DSR/X reinforces the platform, boosts battery capacity and torque, and adds a slew of off-road-ready features and necessities.

BY Jon Langston

Is Tesla Close to Approving a Canada Gigafactory?

Speculation mounts as Tesla is believed to be looking at Ontario for its next gigafactory site.

Tesla is believed to be looking at sites in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec for a new gigafactory.

The EV maker officially opened two new plants this year—in Berlin and Texas—but has struggled to bring both up to their optimal production capacity.

Canada is believed to be a finalist for the next gigafactory location due to proximity of crucial raw materials and their processors.

After the launches of the Austin and Berlin gigafactories earlier this year, one might have expected to focus solely on cranking up output at its existing plants given new supply chain pressures and the rising cost of raw materials. But the Austin-based EV maker appears to be deep in the planning stages of yet another factory, this time just over the border from rivals in Michigan.

BY Jay Ramey

Hyundai's XCIENT Truck Will Help EPA Hydrogen Transport Project

Five hydrogen-electric trucks will soon transport liquified hydrogen on commercial routes in California.

Teaming up with a local California Air Quality District, Hyundai will build five hydrogen-electric big rigs to transport liquified hydrogen across California.

Specifically, the trucks will serve as contractors for First Element Fuel, the largest hydrogen refueling operator in the US, before going into general commercial service.

This project will be funded to the tune of $3.5 million through the EPA's Targeted Airshed Grant program, which seeks to reduce emissions from primary sources in over-congested areas.

“We are happy to deploy our XCIENT Fuel-Cell trucks in California, especially since this will help local stakeholders to decarbonize the hydrogen supply chain itself by substituting conventional trucks—which have been used to haul hydrogen—to hydrogen trucks," said Mark Freymueller, senior vice president and head of Commercial Vehicle Business Innovation of Hyundai Motor.

Commercial driving has been identified as a significant source of pollution, and manufacturers are scrambling to create cleaner versions of these necessary vehicles. In Europe, Stellantis has launched a fleet of for inner-city work, though it's unlikely these will come to the US. Mercedes has pieced together , and even Toyota is set to produce a hydrogen big rig. As the demand for clean commercial vehicles grows, it's likely the choice will come down to which propulsion style becomes the more subsidized option with better infrastructure. Until then, manufacturers will continue to experiment with both options.

Are you hopeful about hydrogen's place in a transportation market pushing toward zero-emission vehicles? Please comment below.

BY Emmet White

Tavares Talks Up Dodge, Chrysler Brands, Even as Models Disappear

Can Dodge and Chrysler survive the departure of the 300 sedan, Challenger coupe, and Charger sedan? CEO Carlos Tavares sounds upbeat.

The Chrysler and Dodge product lineups have been gutted over the course of many years.

But Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares (above) is upbeat about the future of both brands—and all 14 Stellantis brands—because they’re all making money, he tells journalists this week.

While it’s important to remain humble, Tavares also said Stellantis “will be the only credible challenger to Tesla—you will see that.”

Reading the tea leaves in Detroit for the past month, one might have serious questions about the viability about two storied brands— and —that have been joined at the hip since the former acquired the latter in 1928.

Since then, the two brands have reinvented themselves multiple times with the introduction of small cars, family cars, minivans, convertibles, performance cars, crossover, and SUVs—some better received than others.

The passing of time, however, has gutted each brand’s lineup. pickup trucks are now part of Ram, and the will be gone next year, leaving only the Durango SUV and 2023 Hornet compact crossover in the lineup.

Things appear to be even more dire for the brand. When the (on the same platform as the Challenger/Charger), Chrysler will have only the Pacifica minivan carrying the brand shield. Look back 15 years, and Chrysler had seven different models in the portfolio; 10 years ago, that number fell to three.

This kind of paring is familiar—it happened before the demise of Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Mercury, Saturn, and countless other discontinued brands. To date, has announced an all-electric as a preview of a production model arriving by 2024.

Such a promise has not yet been made on the product front for Chrysler, even though Stellantis promises Chrysler will launch its first battery-electric vehicle in 2025—perhaps a production version of —and will have a full battery-electric portfolio by 2028.

Chrysler and Dodge are only two of the 14 brands within the Stellantis group globally, and sounds quite optimistic about the future for these two legacy US brands, based on his comments to journalists this week during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“I am a happy CEO,” he said in response to a question about how Stellantis is managing so many automotive brands, which include Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat in Europe. “I am a privileged guy looking at fantastic things being done brand by brand.”

He chuckles about the question he often gets about whether it’s possible to equally “love all 14 of your kids.” But he says the “level of passion is sky high” at each brand within Stellantis, and that his main task is “giving them guidelines to avoid repeating the mistakes I’ve made myself during my career.”

Tavares didn’t provide financial details, but he said all 14 Stellantis brands (which in the US also include Jeep and Ram) are on sound footing.

“All of our brands are now making money—no exception—improving their earnings, improving financial results,” he told journalists, noting that the revenue stream feeds further product investments and marketing communication. “The company is being able to monetize the value we create. We give a runway to each brand.”

He went through the North American portfolio, referring to the obvious asset strengths of the Jeep and Ram brands, but then talking up and , despite the outward signs of trouble.

“We’ve had questions about the positioning of Chrysler,” he said, noting the stature of that luxury brand has been changing for decades. When the Chrysler rebound plan is fully baked, said Chrysler Brand CEO

As for Dodge, Tavares said the brand best known for muscle cars is “making a fantastic transformation,” and that converting the brand to

The profitability of Dodge and Chrysler—which must be thin considering how many vehicles are involved—makes all the difference. “As long as we are making money, we don’t have to rush. I can testify to what I see,” Tavares said, referring to employee passion and talent. He referred to “sometimes gloomy, chaotic times,” but then declared, “I am not worried (because) I know I have the people to overcome all this.”

And while it’s important to remain humble, Tavares also said Stellantis “will be the only credible challenger to Tesla—you will see that.”

On that electrification front, Tavares said Stellantis is investing $35 billion over the next five years in software and battery-electric vehicles, which represents half of the company’s intended R&D spend, with plans to have an all-electric vehicle portfolio in Europe by 2030, while in North America the goal is to reach 50% by 2030.

While Stellantis is clearly lagging cross-town rivals Ford and General Motors, which already have EVs in the US market, Tavares said next year with a ProMaster all-electric commercial van, to be followed by at least 25 all-electric vehicles by decade’s end.

Are you confident or concerned about the future of the Dodge and Chrysler brands in the US? Please comment below.

BY Tom Murphy