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About circuits

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  1.   1. He's right that firing Diess didn't make a difference and Blume is just another short-sighted petrolhead. Moarrr cakes please! 2. Yes, VW software division Cariad is still a disaster. VW just fired the Cariad's CEO but I can't see how that will make a difference. 3. Yes, VW in China will only end in disaster. BYD et al are gonna eat their lunch. 4. Yes, VW in North America will do OK. We're talking about a tightly NAFTA-regulated market with close to a 500m population and VW are making big commitments to their auto and battery factories. 5. Trinity was likely cancelled because of higher energy and production prices. Germany is headed straight into deindustrialization without cheap Russian oil/gas. 6. I disagree with the exaggerated Tesla vs VW weight disparity claims. Yes, Tesla's gigacasted bodies give it a weight advantage but in the end it's a crappy size-class comparison:   - The weight difference is not exactly dramatic between the ID.3/Born and the Model 3 when comparing similar batteries. The Model 3 75kwh (1919kg) has almost the same real world range of 460km as an ID.3/Born 77kwh (1933kg) which is 450km. The Tesla is 40cm longer so indeed it's a bigger vehicle but the trunk space is only 40 litres more than the ID.3/Born... plus another 50 litres for the frunk. However, the ID.3/Born is taller and gives you the convenience of a hatchback with a continuous 1257 litres of cargo space. Apples vs oranges:       - Conversely, the very similarly-sized Model Y 75kwh with 415km range is 2072kg and the ID.4 77kwh with 410km range is 2123kg.  
  2. Lithium is one of the most abundant elements on earth ...of all the places to recover it, the Salton Sea area is almost ideal if the plans for habitat restoration can be realized.   I first visited there in the 90's. By then it was already a sad, post-apocalyptic landscape in the poorest area of California.
  3. The War in Ukraine

    Burning bridges is a classic military tactic, both for domestic and international purposes:   - The explicitly stated desire was to "freeze Europe" and push Europe into a recession, as seen in Putin's speeches and Russian government video adverts - To sow discontent in Europe and try to reduce Europeans' support of Ukraine due to subsequent oil/gas shortages - Europe as a trading partner may have been deemed a lost cause as they were in the process of weaning themselves off Russian oil/gas, therefore the value of the line had diminished greatly - To demonstrate resolve for international audiences, that there's no turning back and that negotiations would be useless. - To consolidate power: Domestic Russian dissent could be squashed as Europeans would no longer be able to leverage their money and gas/oil buying-power in Russia. - Putin could theoretically help preempt a potential internal coup by not allowing any replacement the compelling option to turn it on again and resume sales  
  4. I wouldn't be surprised if in some countries regulators intervene due to increased accidents from using touchscreens while driving:   Or maybe there will be a backlash:   btw potentiometers aren't necessarily less reliable than rotary digital encoders. You can get potentiometers with lifespans of 1-30 million cycles whereas encoders usually only go up to a few million. They both usually rely on metal wipers running across carbon traces which eventually get dirty and/or wear out.   One solution is Hall effect sensors or optical encoders which are more expensive.   Anyhow, for now VW is still the largest auto manufacturer by revenue and they say they're gonna stick to mechanical buttons. Let's see how long this stance holds. Since the ID.7 (Passat equivalent) is still using the touch buttons I presume this turnaround happened after component sourcing plans were finalized, but I'm sure they're still really squeezed by battery costs on their MEB electric platform.  
  5.   Maybe in a luxury vehicle that has all sorts of custom buttons, some of which even have their own little OLED/LCD displays. Can you provide some auto industry analysis documents or reports that back this up?   The list price of a 2023 VW Polo is 20k euro and it's still filled with mechanical controls. If mechanical buttons cost 1000 euro more to implement than touch, the implication is that those buttons increase the entire vehicle manufacturing cost by 5%. Ehhhhhh...   So despite VW having only having a profit margin of 400 euro (!) on the Polo, Thomas Schäfer is still insisting such physical controls will remain:      
  6.   Just to nitpick and for anal pedantry (because I am circuits after all lol), I highly doubt you'll find an analog potentiometer/rheostat on any steering wheel. What you mean is a rotary encoder of some kind that has 2 digital outputs which are interpreted as rotating one direction or the other using what's called quadrature encoding. It's far easier to translated rotational movement this way compared to analog voltage going to a potentiometer which also requires an analog to digital converter of some kind to translate the position to a digital signal on the automotive CAN data bus.   tldr; in a vehicle, 2 digital inputs from a rotary encoder are much cheaper, easier and more reliable to implement than 1 analog input from a potentiometer
  7. Having built various devices that use capacitive touch sensors, this discussion is filled with misinformation.   Capacitive touch sensors can have a lot of issues. Humidity and temperature can wreak havoc on their function. For example, there have been a lot of reports of the capacitive steering wheel sensors on the MEB platform not registering hand contact when the steering wheel heating was turned on. I've read several reports of people needed to have the entire steering wheel replaced. Low humidity, dry hands, high heat or cold, gloves (even with conductive fabric/thread) can all impede their response time and/or function.   As such:   1. You cannot, I repeat, absolutely cannot install capacitive touch sensors without in-situ testing and/or calibration. I'm talking about buttons, not displays. 2. The touch sensors on the MEB platform have a mechanical component: they physically move 2mm when depressed. All moving parts are subject to wear and tear. 3. The MEB touch sensors have mechanical haptic feedback on each side of the steering wheel, so more moving parts. The overall cost savings given VW's market may be far, far less than what was originally assumed. Having to spend, I dunno, 100 bucks more per vehicle is probably more economical than pissing off your customer base, as VW Passenger Car CEO Thomas Schäfer found out:   "We are sharpening our portfolio and our design, plus creating a new simplicity in operating our vehicles. For example, we are bringing back the push-button steering wheel! That’s what customers want from VW."
  8.   It's just a concept car. Don't expect the final product to look even remotely like that   In case you're not joking, steering wheels with flat bottoms have been popular for 17 years already:
  9. VW claimed they listened to everybody's criticism and would be bringing back real buttons on newer models - but the newly unveiled ID.7 still this crap.   At least the ID.2 concept car has real controls... for now. Rollers on each side plus physical buttons underneath:  
  10.   It's much weirder than you can imagine: The touch surface has some "give" when pushed inwards. You can feel the whole surface press down a couple mm and if the capacitive sensor registers your finger, the haptic feedback clicks. You can also set the speakers to make a noise too (No thank you!). The real kick in the nuts is that buttons with haptic feedback actually have a slower reaction time than real buttons!   Some of the controls are swipeable like volume. That's OK except when you have to press a little harder for it to detect your finger.   The one that drives everyone totally nuts on the Born is the cruise control speed swiper which your palm can accidentally brush against and suddenly you're going 10km/h faster. With practice you can avoid it. At least the ID series is spared from this particular harebrained nonsense.  
  11.   Kinda sorta - here's a quote which describes what's planned:   "VW is not using the 'full stack' android automotive platform that Volvo is. They're using it as the os for their own software stack, so essentially a replacement for qnx. That gives them even more flexibility. So to the user, nothing will look or function differently when they make the switch [to Android Automotive]."   Samsung's daughter company Harman is currently rolling out an Android app store for the VW group... and I couldn't care less. Herbert Diess' big push for VW's software division, CARIAD, was middling at best such that Audi will supposedly no longer be using CARIAD for its infotainment systems. Ouch.   One consolation is that VW just announced will guarantee security updates for over 15 years. Who knows if this will work out better than with the e-Golf that never received any updates and all the remote connectivity features were lost when 3G networks were shut down.    
  12. That's an overly flattering review of the MG4.   In Germany, the base price of the MG4 Comfort model with the 64kWh battery is 33k euro. The base model Born is 38k.   Pros: - 5k euro cheaper - 15km more range - Faster charging - More haptic controls   Cons: - Despite having a bit larger battery vs the 62kWh ID.3/Born battery, it only gets 15km more range because the motor is less efficient - The suspension is a significant step down from the ID.3/Born (partly due to its smaller wheels) - It's slower - Smaller interior and trunk space - Worse interior fit and finish - Less comfortable seats - Noisier at highway speeds - Nervous and jumpy driver assistance system - Slightly worse NCAP safety ratings, but still 5 stars - Ugly... lol  
  13.   Yes, German vehicle prices are generally quite high compared to China and even North America.   Also, Chinese EV prices are low due to government subsidies.   Upon release the base-model price after subsidies (Innovationsprämie + Umweltbonus) of the ID.3 and Cupra Born was 27k here. But inflation and greed has pushed up those prices by 5k in the last year.   In Canada, for example, the ID.4 is made in the new Chattanooga Tennessee factory and can cost 28k euro after taxes and Federal/Provincial rebates - eg. Quebec. Canada and the US manage lower manufacturing prices as they're a tightly integrated trade block with 380m people, they have somewhat weaker unions, labour & environmental protection.    
  14.   What counts as a Chinese EV? Manufactured in China? Chinese-only companies? What about American/European companies that have joint partnerships with Chinese manufacturers?   Case 1: Tesla As I try to decipher the ethical and/or quality-criteria being drawn here, the elephant in the room is Tesla. Many have commented that the build quality of Teslas made in Shanghai is better than American-made Teslas.   That said, there's also a lot of comments that Berlin-made Teslas have better body & interior workmanship than either Shanghai or US Teslas. Is the upshot that for some manufacturers, the order of desirability is EU > China > US?   Or to make this question even more interesting, imagine for a moment that Musk had nothing to do with Tesla anymore: would Teslas built in Shanghai be acceptable?   Case 2: VW If they get shipped to Europe, what about the forthcoming VW EVs built in China? VW has partnered with Horizon Robotics, SAIC, JAC and FAW. Most of these are 50/50 joint ventures but the one with Horizon Robotics is particularly interesting because VW own 60% - China only permitted foreign companies to own a majority stake in local auto manufacturers as of 2020.   OK, I have to admit this scenario is unlikely for now at least. The ID.3/ID.4 respectively cost under 20k/24k euro in China but I've read that importing them would be "politically impossible" at this point. VW will instead try to reduce manufacturing costs by having the cheaper ID.2 and Cupra Urban Rebel manufactured in their Martorell, Spain factory. German companies love to milk the cheap labour from the East (Skoda) & South (SEAT).    
  15.   It's all libertarian fun and games until your wallet gets smacked with the realization that Germany has particularly bonkers and predatory cartels* Have you taken a look at the brutal disconnect between commercial and end-consumer electricity prices? Would you be happier if the government hadn't recently introduced price cap of 40ct/kWh for consumers? Oh wait, that doesn't even apply to charging stations.   So that's why we're at where we are now. Wild west. And the only reason all charging stations will accept credit/debit cards is thanks to regulation.   Governmental overreach clearly sucks, but at some point it gets so reactionary that one may as well all aspire to be "free" like Texans. I hear they have an awesome power grid (/sarcasm/)   *The German empire used to be called the Land of the Cartels