Waterlogged EVs Exploding, Amazon Stops Scout Autonomous Delivery Program, Bad News = Good News

The Automotive Troublemaker w/ Paul J Daly and Kyle Mountsier

07-10-2022 • 11 mins

It’s Friday and we’re wrapping up this week's news talking about an unanticipated challenge with waterlogged EVs. We’re also talking about why Amazon is pulling the plug on its autonomous delivery robot program, as well as what we should be looking for in today's jobs report.

  • Waterlogged EVs are beginning to ‘explode’ according to Florida’s Chief Fire Marshal
    • "There’s a ton of EVs disabled from Ian. As those batteries corrode, fires start," Patronis tweeted Thursday. "That’s a new challenge that our firefighters haven’t faced before. At least on this kind of scale."
    • Crews are using hundreds of gallons of water attempting to put these fires out
    • At NAMAD, Mark Bland of S&P Global mentioned that only 50% of fire stations nationwide are equipped with the training and resources to fight these EV fires
  • Amazon has pulled the plug on its ‘Scout’ autonomous delivery robot program after three years citing the program was not meeting customer expectations
    • Cooler sized robots on 6 wheels would carry packages directly to consumers homes and open its side hatch to allow the packages to be received
    • The program was about 3 years old and began autonomous deliveries in sidewalks communities in Seattle before expanding the program to Southern California
    • About 400 amazon employees were assigned to the project and will be offered jobs in other areas of the company
    • This is a sign that CEO Andy Jassey is reprioritizing funds as sales growth begins to slow from record levels
  • Good news could be bad news when it comes to the job report releasing today
    • During his talk at NAMAD, Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at Cox Automotive, mentioned that historically low unemployment reports would continue to push the fed to raise interest rates at their aggressive pace.
    • Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the report, due out Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, will show that payrolls increased 275,000 in September, while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. At least as important, estimates are for average hourly earnings to increase 0.3% month over month and 5.1% from a year ago.
    • One major concern is that both job growth and wage growth are outpacing inflation, leading to supply side recession. The hope is that if jobless claims rise, less aggressive spending would hit the market.
    • “I don’t think the Fed is going to pivot or pause or anything of that nature before the end of the year, certainly not because of jobs data,” said Shannon Saccocia, Chief Investment Officer at SVB Private Bank.

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