Battery Swaps on the Rise, Tech v Tech, Flying w/ Kids

February 21, 2023
We’re talking on Tuesday as we talk about an increase in battery swapping stations. We also talk about a Texas high school tech competition as well as a new airline policy that makes it easier to fly with kids.
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  • Chinese EV maker, Nio, plans on adding 1,000 battery swap stations to its network by the end of the year according to Founder and Chairman William Li, bringing the total number of the stations to 2300
  • The method solves several problems included long waits at charge stations as well as grid strain as the swap out batteries can be charged during off peak times
  • The swap is done in a station that looks like a shoe box and is fully autonomous. It takes about 7 minutes
  • In order for the method to truly become convenient, it will require mass adoption across brands

  • Back in December, 40 teams of high school technical trade students competed in the North Texas Automobile Dealers Auto Tech Competition; a troubleshooting competition where teams were in a timed event to follow a service ticket and solve the stated problemes
  • Each team had a Dealer sponsor for several weeks before the event to prepare them
  • 117 students competed and over 700 attended the trade show event
  • Prizes includedSnap-on tool sets, job offers and advanced training paid for by the Carroll Shelby Foundation and North Texas Automobile Dealers Auto Tech association. Competitors were also treated to ride-alongs around nearby IndyCar and NASCAR track
  • Joe Laubhan, service director at Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine and a member of the association's education panel, did mock interviews to evaluate students' engagement. In recent years, he said he's hired a total of four students from the competitions. Two are now certified technicians, the third is on track to earn GM's elite world-class tech certification and the fourth is an apprentice and close to becoming certified. Classic Chevrolet also hired a student from the December event.
  • Certified techs can earn $70-80k per year right out of school

  • Retail Auto is a family business and we tend to see lots of families being brought along for conferences and events. Today, United has some good news for all of you family flyers as they open up more ‘preferred’ seats to travelers under 12 years of age so they can easily book seats next to their parents without paying an extra fee.
  • Also won’t charge customers a fare difference if they switch to a flight to the same destination that has adjacent seats
  • A Delta Air Lines spokesperson said it blocks certain rows of seats so families can sit together.
  • American Airlines platform will automatically search for available seats together at the time of booking for main cabin and

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Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:32

Good morning, it is Tuesday. We're still in the auto industry even after President's Day because what dealership is closed on Presidents Day Zero, talking about battery swaps on the rise tech V tech and flying with your kids.

Kyle Mountsier  00:46

The people really want to know who that is. And this one just hits close to home. I was running this morning, I was running this morning. And all seven TVs that had news stations had the same thing about flying on literally at the same time.

Paul Daly  01:01

That's where that text message came from.

Kyle Mountsier  01:03

Guys, we got to talk about this. Okay, here we go.

Paul Daly  01:07

Here's the news. Everyone very important is the news. We'll talk about that at the end just to build the suspense. But yesterday was Presidents Day, and you and I were talking kind of on the drives into work this morning of like, how different it is when you're an automotive because you're like Presidents Day, that seems like a nice idea and a reason to run a special commercial, but it really doesn't make any operational difference to your life whatsoever.

Kyle Mountsier  01:29

No, absolutely not. It's like, all of the emails, all of the you know, I think I wrote it yesterday. It's a bunch of emails and and flyers and banners and point of sale materials, and everything is pushed toward Presidents Day. And then it's funny, like, whenever you got a holiday that everybody else is often the country that works at like the banks or the or the all of that type of stuff. You're like driving to work and you're like, how to get here and half the time.

Paul Daly  01:58

Right, right. Somebody's gotta go to work. And somebody's gotta go to

Kyle Mountsier  02:02

work. So auto dealers in time, and I'm guessing I haven't heard from much yesterday, but I'm guessing that auto dealers did all right, just by the way that the vibe has been going to start this year.

Paul Daly  02:12

I love it. Hey, I love this comment from William Reynolds. Just walk six miles, let's get this day going. That's the spirit. That beat that made the automotive industry Great. Just walk six miles just for fun, just for fun just to start it. So you know, our email, we have a daily email, if you didn't know about it, you should know about it. And you should get it just go to a And by the way, experience the fastest site in automotive news that you've ever seen in your life. Just go to a and watch it pumper like it's an app. We're just gonna leave that there for a second.

Kyle Mountsier  02:43

But you can sign up we can claim that by the way, we can claim that we just did I think where we did just.

Paul Daly  02:50

But the email goes out every day. And it's just so much fun to read. It's just like a lot of insights about news or automotive and culture. It's just fun. It's just fun. Try it, you'll love it. But the point the reason I brought it up is because yesterday was Presidents Day. And you could tell automotives working because the open rate was close to 50%. Right? So the daily email open rates in the 40s to 50%. Like, you know, people are reading it on Presidents Day, not because they're sitting at home doing nothing because they're out there working. Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier  03:16

I share breakfast every single morning. All right. Let's

Paul Daly  03:19

get into the news. Now. The news today was also indicative of Presidents Day, because every morning we scour the news and I was like, Dude, it's like everyone ran yesterday stories and cars like President steps they did. Because they don't work in dealerships. They work in news organization.

Kyle Mountsier  03:34

They wrote them all on, on Saturday afternoon, they were like this will be good for Tuesday, no big deal. And a

Paul Daly  03:39

little thing that we don't have the luxury of around here in the asoto halls called redundancy. Which is kind of ironic, given that you and I look the way we do. I know we're saying,

Kyle Mountsier  03:49

Actually, we had someone yesterday asked us if we both have twins running around and that's not.

Paul Daly  03:53

That's not for those I said to you this morning, if there are two of me, one of us would have to die. We have problems. All right. So we're going all the way to China for our new Chinese Evie, Evie maker, Neil plans on adding 1000 battery swap stations to its network by the end of the year, according to founder and chairman William Lee, bringing the total number of these battery swap stations to 2300. So basically, this method solves the problem of like, Hey, I have to wait 20 or 30 minutes for a vehicle to charge. Not here. You drive into this shoe box looking building actually it looks like a sneaker box. And if it was mine, I would design it so it looked exactly like a sneaker box. You go in and the little school I've watched I like there's we linked it up in the show notes. But yeah, you're on your screen as you approach. You pick which battery you want. And the car kind of like goes into the thing and then you just wait seven minutes and swap your battery out and you're on your way. So it seems like a pretty reasonable solution. Seven minutes in and out. You get the new battery and then you have to swap it to the next place. Also, think about this, like the batteries can charge when the grid isn't at peak. Right? So because then you have all that is the sort of Senator just storing when they are. But in order for this to work, obviously, you need a lot of people swapping. But

Kyle Mountsier  05:06

yeah, you need a ton of people, you need all the brands to be able to play ball. Because unified platform. Yeah. So you have to have some level of unified platform, or you know, this is just think about, like, if you put gas in your car, there's one tube that works with the type of hole that you need. Yeah. And so like, in order to replicate that with batteries, we have to have platform agnostics. And that's going to be a pretty difficult thing. It's really interesting. I don't know if you remember, but like, probably 1011 years back, Tesla actually had a prototype of this at one of their announcement events, battery swap thing. Yeah. And they showed it live, they like did a battery swap live on stage, it came from underneath the floor. I you know, it's interesting, in Neo kind of taking that and now having, you know, getting up to this 2300 location level like that, that allows for a lot of these to happen. And I think this type of move, although you would need some level of platform agnostics is definitely the way to to enable a quicker charging opportunity. Because seven minutes like that's just a couple minutes longer than what I normally spend, you know, from getting out getting the gas, that type of thing that you don't get out of your car. Yeah. Unless you're never getting gas. It's like I would say that's a five minute stop, right? For most people that don't have Lincoln navigators. That's a five minute stop. To go to a seven minute stop. That's a lot more reasonable than a 30 minute stop for your full chart. Yep.

Paul Daly  06:39

But how many of the SWAT? Yeah, I mean, there's all kinds of things. But like, that's how innovation works. Somebody's got to try it. Somebody's got to do it. You get check the links out in the show notes. And one of them. A lot of these apparently are done like in the Netherlands, and there's some in Australia too. So I think they executed like 20,000 swaps, or I don't know a lot. They're doing it somewhere. But you know, when you look at Tesla and the rest of the charging room, we can't even agree on a charging standard for the end of the prong thing. I don't know that like getting the same data. It's I think it's an uphill battle. But there you go, somebody's doing it. And that's how it always starts. Speaking of people who are just doing

Kyle Mountsier  07:16

not a Nike story. This is

Paul Daly  07:18

not a Nike story, but we're dredging up some great stories from the last two or three months of automotive and this one we found on automotive news this morning. So back in December 14 teams that I know it's back in December you like what does this have to do with news but it is important because we want people to pay attention to this especially service departments. 40 teams of high school technical trade students competed in the north Texas auto dealer, automobile dealers, auto tech competition, which is a troubleshooting competition, where teams are basically in a timed event, they get a service ticket, they have a vehicle, they have some tools, and they have to troubleshoot what's going on with the vehicle and have a result and like put it back right who wins. Each team has a dealer sponsor for several weeks before the event to prepare them, which is pretty awesome, right and opportunity to get to know some of these texts and get them ready. 117 students competed over 700 attended the trade show. And they could compete for prizes, like snap on tool sets, job offers, how's that for a prize? Let's go with you get a job offer. And then they would also like some further education that was paid for by you know, foundation an opportunity to get to drive around the IndyCar NASCAR track. That's next door. So that's pretty good. That's how to

Kyle Mountsier  08:29

bring some people into the auto industry right there. That is that is like full funnel approach to technicians and finding new people to come on board. I like if you don't have an auto Dealers Association that's doing this go get your closest five competitors and all do it right, like find some way to engage the community, get into the trade schools and the high schools that are that are close to you and figure that out. Because hey, and if it's your five closest competitors, if you all get technicians, everybody wins,

Paul Daly  09:01

especially if you're pulling them from everywhere else. There's more than five we've seen a lot of dealers and a lot of our friends really leaning into the trade school mentality in the last several years. Lies Borchers is one um, they have all kinds of outreach into the technical schools SEO group. They do recruit ton of tech recruiting and a ton of interaction. So there's just a lot of attention here but to see this like a little bit of a Bing and everything's bigger in Texas, right, so of course they have this big Tech Tech Show competition. So I also found a quote here from one of our friends and you know, from classic Chevrolet, John lube on service director, classic Chevrolet and great fine where we will actually be in just a couple of months, shooting the new asoto digs TV show. Yes, we said that we'll talk more about it later. So he's a member of the association's education panel. They did mock interviews to evaluate students engagement. He says in recent years, they've hired a total of four students from the competitions. Two are now certified techs, and the third is on track to earn GMs elite world class tech certification. And the fourth is an apprentice and close to becoming certified. So they hired, they hired a tech from the December event. So they hired four. Let's do the math, get your napkin out, they hired four, they still have four. Right? And one of those four is at the highest, nearing the highest level of GM certification. Man, look, man, when you talk about tech school, or trade school, and make 70 to $80,000 gear one, you know how long I had to work as an adult before you go close to

Kyle Mountsier  10:32

that level average. Average post collegiate salaries are like $48,000 For most colleges.

Paul Daly  10:38

Yeah. Yeah. And let's not even talk about the debt. Come aside. We talked about the debt you accumulate like let's let's look at the balance sheet for these individuals for the first 10 years of their dough, man. I know so right now, Isaac is putting in his his application for tech training school. Our show producer, Isaac, are you are you there right now? Isaac, you jump in. Come on in. I'm here. You fixing cars right now? I just saw you ordered that wrench set on Amazon. Oh, no, no, I like my comfy desk job. Fair enough, fair. Inside where to go. There's a guy right? He's inside where to coat like, I'm not leaving boss. We're good. We love Isaac, he's the one that makes make sure the show looks so good for you every day and drops and all the stuff. And if you're at an event, you're gonna get to meet him soon enough. He's gonna put an iPhone in your face and ask you some fun questions. Speaking Oh, wait, wait, how


are we gonna do? We're getting into an event.

Paul Daly  11:36

Now we're talking. Segway.

Kyle Mountsier  11:42

So I see this as a big part of the retail auto industry, because we see so many families not just being apart of like the social ecosystem, but actually a part of events, people traveling with their families, the kids, all of that type of stuff, including a couple of guys you hear and see right now. But today, United has some good news for all those family fliers, as they opened up more preferred seats to travel just under 12 years of age. So they can easily book seats next to their parents without paying the extra fee. So they're not going to charge a fair difference to switch a flight to the same destination that has adjacent seats. So like if people are trying to find places where they because it's, you know, if you've traveled with kids before, and maybe you didn't get adjacent seats, you're always jockeying for like, Hey, will you switch us will you switch, you got to get a couple people up, the bags are all moving. And so finding flights that have adjacent seats, and especially like not at the back of the plane, which is always the family section is is definitely a priority. Delta Airlines says that they block certain rows of seats, so families can sit together, American Airlines will help people search for these seats together. Basically, what happened is, President Biden and a few other administrative people kind of stuck their finger a little bit at some of these airlines and said, Hey, you should be caring for families a little bit more so than putting in the work in the United is coming out swinging first,

Paul Daly  13:04

I think that first read the story. I was like, wait a minute, up to 12 years old can sit on the lap. I don't know why I processed that way. I was like, I was like, that's not very helpful. Very helpful at all. But one of the cool things about this too, is that if you can't get seats, or if you're traveling, you can actually switch to another flight fee free in order to get the seats together that you want. So I don't know if you don't fly a lot. When you have like pay the standard rate. Basically all the seats that show up that are available are either in the middle row, like middle seat or in the back of the plane. And now if you have someone under 12, they're going to open up the other one so you can see the other ones too. It's good. Yeah, it's positive, positive movement, positive movement. So I like you know, we'd like to celebrate when companies do things like CUDA and everyone else tries to respond. Oh, man, well, it's Tuesday after Presidents Day, no one's getting back from their day off. Everyone's already got a full head of steam going into the week. So just pay attention to the world around you. Serve some customers serve one another, and go book a flight with your 12 year old

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