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Millions of Americans recently celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden, but few will likely rejoice at the possibility of higher taxes.

However, that seems like a real possibility as Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation said “I think all options need to be on the table.”

According to Fox News, Pete Buttigieg used his confirmation hearing to note “The gas tax has not been increased since 1993 and it’s never been pegged to inflation.” This means the Highway Trust Fund has been spending more money than it takes in and could become insolent around 2022.

Also Read: President Trump Said To Support A 25 Cent Increase In Gas Taxes

We have a real chance to deliver for the American people—to build our economy back, better than ever, and the @USDOT can play a central role in this. pic.twitter.com/0RaNJb0fyB

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 21, 2021

While Congress has injected funds into the Trust in the past, Buttigieg said the country needs a “solution that can provide some predictability and sustainability.” However, that might not be a gas tax as he noted the shift to electric vehicles could eventually eliminate its purpose.

That being said, Buttigieg stated changes to the gas tax could be a solution for the short to medium term. He didn’t go into specifics, but suggested this “could mean revisiting the gas tax, adjusting it, and / or connecting it to inflation.”

Following the confirmation hearing, a Buttigieg spokesperson reportedly disavowed his comments and said a “variety of options need to be on the table to ensure we can invest in our highways and create jobs, but increasing the gas tax is not among them.”

The Detroit Bureau notes the gas tax has remained 18.4 cents per gallon for the past 28 years and was set at a time when vehicles averaged around 21 mpg. That number jumped to 25.7 mpg last year and it means less money to fix America’s crumbling roads.

Infrastructure funding has been an ongoing issue and one with no easy answers.  Tax increases are widely unpopular, despite nearly everyone agreeing that better roads are needed. Alternative proposals, such as taxing people by the number of miles they drive, also face issues of their own as many would likely object to that kind of government monitoring.


VinFast has unveiled three new electric vehicles and announced plans to become a global automaker.

Kicking things off is the VF31, which is a C-segment crossover that will be launched in Vietnam this November.

It’s not exactly a thing of beauty, but it has a distinctive front fascia and plastic body cladding. The model will measure 169.3 inches (4,300 mm) long and have a wheelbase that spans 102.8 inches (2,611 mm).

Also Read: VinFast Wants The World To Take It Seriously, Unveils $164,000 President Luxury SUV

Inside, we can expect a heated steering wheel, heated / ventilated seats and a climate control system with a HEPA filter. Buyers will also find a “10-12.8 inch” infotainment system as well as driver assistance systems such as lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and a surround view camera.

On the performance front, the base model will have an electric motor that develops 114 hp (85 kW / 116 PS) and 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque.  If that’s not enough, the Premium version has 201 hp (150 kW / 204 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque. Both will have a 42 kWh battery pack and this will deliver a range of up to 186 miles (300 km).

VF32

The VF32 is a larger D-segment crossover that will be launched locally in February of 2022. It’s then slated to arrive in European, U.S. and Canadian markets in June.

The company didn’t say much about the model, but we can see chrome trim and slender LED daytime running lights. In terms of size, the VF32 will measure 187 inches (4,750 mm) long and have a 116.1 inch (2,950 mm) wheelbase.

Inside, drivers will find a 15.4-inch infotainment system and a multi-color ambient lighting system. Other highlights include heated / ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel and a climate control system with a HEPA filter.

The entry-level model will have a single electric motor developing 201 hp (150 kW / 204 PS) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of torque. Moving up to the Premium variant will reward buyers with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system producing 402 hp (300 kW / 408 PS) and 472 lb-ft (640 Nm). Both will apparently have a 90 kWh battery pack, but there’s no word on how far they’ll be able to travel.

VF33

The VF33 will arrive at the same time as the VF32 and feature LED Matrix headlights, a panoramic glass roof and a 15.4-inch infotainment system. We can also see a ventilated hood, flush-mounted door handles and a distinctive C-pillar. This particular model will measure 201.6 inches (5,120 mm) long with a wheelbase spanning 124 inches (3,150 mm).

The VF33 is slated to have a dual-motor all-wheel drive system producing 402 hp (300 kW / 408 PS). While the powertrain appears to carryover from the Premium version of the VF32, the VF33 will have a battery capacity of up to 106 kWh. This should enable the model to travel up to 342 miles (550 km) on a single charge.

The VF32 and FV33 are slated to have Level 2 and Level 3 semi-autonomous driving systems, while “full-option versions” of all three models will have “some Level 4 autopilot features.”  These are said to include summon and automatic parking functions. To enable these features, the vehicles will be equipped with 14 cameras, 19 360° sensors and an undisclosed amount of LiDAR sensors.

A lot of questions remain, but we’ll likely learn more in the coming months.

日前Subaru宣布,Toyota已經斥資700億日圓完成對Subaru的股權收購,截至2021年1月15日共收購897.37萬股,持股比例從16.83%增加到20%,等同於Toyota擁有可影響被投資者政策的表決權,而Subaru也正式納入Toyota旗下關係企業。

其實Toyota與Subaru最早於2005年締結合作關係,雙方合作項目包括有Subaru代工生產Toyota車款,Toyota委託Daihatsu負責提供Subaru貼牌車款 (如輕型自動車),但最具話題的合作莫過於2012年推出雙生跑車Toyota 86與Subaru BRZ。2016年更在Toyota的主導下,成立了名為「EV Common Architecture Spirit Co.」的合資事業,使Subaru得以利用Toyota的技術資源開發油電、純電等綠能車款,雙方甚至在2019年6月宣布將共同開發電動車專用的底盤平台,並以該平台為基礎,比照86與BRZ的作法攜手推出全新電動SUV,以加快投入電動車市場的腳步。

Toyota與Subaru將共同開發電動車專用的底盤平台,比照86與BRZ的作法攜手推出全新電動SUV。

在如此緊密的合作關係下,Toyota與Subaru於2019年9月27日一起宣布,雙方將簽訂全新的業務及資本合作協議,其中業務合作包括結合雙方技術優勢,共同開發AWD四驅車款及下一代86與BRZ,並將XV Crosstrek Hybrid搭載的THS (Toyota Hybrid System)油電動力系統,擴展至更多的Subaru車款,另外在車輛互聯網及自動駕駛技術的開發上,雙方也將有更進一步的合作。

Toyota與Subaru再度合作開發下一代86與BRZ。 (圖為新世代BRZ)

不過協議中提到的資本合作,即是Toyota將透過場外交易繼續收購Subaru的股權,直到持股比例達到可行使表決權的20%為止,而Subaru也將獲得最高800億日圓的投資金額。這項交易進行1年多之後終於在今年1月15日完成,依據權益法身為最大股東的Toyota將可合併雙方營收,也就是說Toyota與Subaru的全球銷售數據可合併計算,因此如果加上Subaru於去年所貢獻的全球銷售數據,TMC (Toyota Motor Corporation即豐田集團)其實已經超越VAG (Volkswagen Group即福斯集團)成為全球銷量最高的汽車集團,而這也是TMC睽違4年之後,再度從VAG手上奪回全球銷售龍頭寶座。

圖片來源:Subaru、Toyota

Tags: ToyotaSubaru速霸陸豐田TMCToyobaru