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The Future Of Volt And Leaf, VW e-Golf Priced, Electric-Car Hamsters: The Week In Reverse

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We look ahead to the next Volt and Leaf, get a first look at the only seven-passenger plug-in hybrid, and a price for the Volkswagen e-Golf. And guess who's using hamsters to market an electric car. It's The Week In Reverse for Friday, August 29, 2014, right here at Green Car Reports.

This week at Green Car Reports, we looked ahead to the next-generation versions of the two best-selling plug-in models, the Chevrolet Volt, and the Nissan Leaf. GM plans suggest that the range-extending gasoline engine under the hood of the upcoming 2016 Chevy Volt might get downsized to a three-cylinder; and while we expect plenty of improvements in the next-generation Leaf that's still a couple of years away, some independent renderings suggest that the exterior look might not be as radical as the current original.

Also earlier this week, Volkswagen priced its 2015 e-Golf for the U.S.  At around $36k, it costs more than the Leaf—or other Golfs—but it includes a long list of standard features and equipment that are options on the gasoline and diesel 2015 Golf models

A recent survey of automotive engineers and designers found there's a lot of agreement on one thing: that we need to shed a lot of weight from vehicles in order to meet future fuel economy and emissions targets. And it appears to have been a priority in the engineering of the all-new Volvo XC90 unveiled earlier this week in Stockholm. This new family-sized crossover saves saves more than 250 pounds compared to the previous version, and the 2016 XC90 will be the only seven-passenger vehicle that's available as a plug-in hybrid.

If you're planning to head out shopping for a new hybrid of any kind anytime soon, we published an Ultimate Guide that's bound to help. And we added a guide that surveys all the models that carry Ford's EcoBoost engine badge.

And with economic growth remaining slow, the so-called Tesla Hunger Games are ramping up. Several states are in what's been termed a “race to the bottom” – offering up $500 million or more in incentives for an upcoming Tesla Motors battery gigafactory that needs to be up and running at full capacity by 2017.

The upcoming 2015 Tesla Model X electric crossover is still around a year away. Yet analysts at Morgan Stanley have already predicted that it will “devour” the competition and sweep car-of-the-year awards. There are definitely some asterisks to this—like that the Model X hasn't yet been priced or detailed; and the firm owns some Tesla stock. But that apparently hasn't tempered its enthusiasm.

And whether you're enthusiastic about electric cars or not, you'll probably find the rodent sex appeal in Kia's new ad for the upcoming Soul EV to be...entertaining.

Kia Soul EV with 'hamsters' - August 2014

Kia Soul EV with 'hamsters' - August 2014

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