Volkswagen’s new electric SUV has 250-mile range and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press

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VW unveils range for new electric SUV

Volkswagen of America on Wednesday said its new electric SUV, the ID.4 1st Edition and Pro models, will have an EPA-estimated 250 miles of range on a single charge.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for city driving is 104 MPGe. Highway driving is rated at 89 MPGe, and combined city/highway at 97 MPGe, the company said.

The first models to be launched offer an 82kWh (gross) battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque. At a DC fast-charging station, with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes, according to VW.

The 2021 ID.4, which will be built in Chattanooga by 2022, is on sale now with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, the company said.

CBL opens casino in Pittsburgh mall

CBL Properties on Wednesday announced the completion and grand opening of Live! Casino Pittsburgh, a $150-million entertainment destination.

It was developed by The Cordish Companies in the former Bon-Ton location at CBL’s Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, outside of Pittsburgh.

The new casino features 750 of the latest, state-of-the-art slots and approximately 30 live-action table games, as well as the FanDuel Sportsbook, according to Chattanooga-based CBL.

«Live! Casino Pittsburgh is a world-class gaming and entertainment destination and is a tremendous addition to Westmoreland Mall,» said Stephen Lebovitz, chief executive officer of CBL Properties. «It will draw customers from well beyond the mall’s existing trade area. This redevelopment is truly the most extraordinary reuse of a former anchor, not just at a CBL property, but at any property.»

Mortgage rates stay at record lows

U.S. long-term mortgage rates remained at record lows this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the economy.

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac reported Wednesday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan was unchanged this week from a record low 2.72%. A year ago, the benchmark rate was 3.68%.

The rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans stayed at 2.28%. It was 3.15% a year ago.

Interest rates have fallen this year as the virus batters the economy and the Federal Reserve pours money into the financial system to support a recovery.

Home sales dip 0.3% last month

Sales of new homes remained steady in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 999,000 units.

While the Commerce Department said October new home sales were down 0.3% from September, the government revised up its September marginally. In all, the figures did not change much from the previous month, a sign that sales of new homes is remaining steady despite the home-buying season now entering the fall.

Sales of new homes are up 41.5% from the same period a year earlier, reflecting record low mortgage rates and a pandemic-induced push to the suburbs has made the housing market a bright spot despite the recession.

The median price of a new home sold was $330,600, the report said.

Consumer spending up 0.5% last month

U.S. consumers increased their spending by a sluggish 0.5% last month, the weakest rise since April, when the pandemic first erupted, and a sign that Americans remain wary with the virus resurging across the country and threatening the economy.

The October gain reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department followed a seasonally adjusted 1.2% increase in September. It suggested that consumer spending, the primary driver of the U.S. economy, is being restrained by a weakened economy and by the failure of Congress to provide another stimulus package to struggling individuals and businesses.

The government’s report also showed that income, which provides the fuel for spending, fell 0.7% in October.

With new viral cases accelerating across the country, many states are adopting or considering new restrictions on businesses. Sales at restaurants and bars fell in October for the first time in six months. Restaurant traffic declined further in November, according to the reservations provider OpenTable. Hotel occupancy is down from a month ago. Consumer spending on credit cards dropped in the first week of November from a month earlier, according to data compiled by Opportunity Insights.

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